The Initiatic Process
Dedicated to my friend and teacher, Philippe Bandeira de Mello
In the study of esoteric wisdom, we find across history the emergence of the Initiatic orders. Esoteric schools of mystery which employ a process of initiation. This process is aimed at accelerating the pace of evolution in the experience of higher states of consciousness and the realization of sacred truths. In a way, the initiation process is a divinated journey into unmethodically studying the methods of spiritual ascension. Unmethodically, because the journey into the unseen realms of consciousness implies no maps and no defined destination. More so, because the journey is individual, we each have our own connection to source and our own unique form of interacting with the esoteric mysteries.
In most esoteric schools, the process of initiation is quite arduous and often requires the initiate to go through many tests and challenges. Proving their dedication and intent. The initiation ritual itself, in most cases, involves Initiatic vows. A declaration of commitment and a profound code of moral and spiritual behaviors. The vows are meant to be studied and lived by. It is a lifelong process and not just a single act of affirmation. Stepping into an Initiatic order usually implies a lifelong commitment, internally, to the specific line of esoteric study, but also externally, to the school itself.
The word initiation implies a beginning. As we begin our initiation process, we are asked to start anew. To come as an empty cup, willing to be filled and asking to receive guidance and instruction. It is important to mention that the act of asking to be initiated should not be taken lightly and requires a depth of study and a firm resolve of conscious and will. We are not asked to follow blindly but to doubt, question, and directly experience the emergence of the mystery within ourselves. Though the initiation ritual itself might repeat, year after year, each occurrence is asking us to come with that same attitude of newness. With a stronger resolve and a deeper understanding of the vows and choices we are about to make. With each passing year, the initiate understands the gravity of this act and the implications of uttering these sacred words.
When uttering the Sacred Vows, the initiate is making a solemn promise. This promise is a sincere call for Divine Intervention on their behalf. It is a reflection of their conscious mind. A reflection of the earnest intention they hold within their hearts. Every word carries a different type of weight. Some vows, superficially, might seem simple to follow. Others might imply a deep need for transformation and change. Because of the gravity of this ritual and the importance it plays in the Divine Plan when choosing this step and choosing to stand firm within these vows, it is important that we enter this ritual with a clear conscience and without leaving behind broken promises from the years before. Acknowledging where, in our own process of development, we lacked the ability to stand in our promises. Where we fell short and what we have seemed to forget.
And so, as we are willing to stand in our weaknesses and observe our own process of growth, before making new promises and calling in new vows, it is important to make a Declaration of Disavowing. A conscious choice to stand firm in the consequences of unfulfilled promises. In a way, clearing the path of our past and welcoming the presence of a brighter future. The declaration of disavowing is as important as the vows themselves. It should not be said without proper intention and awareness. It is a declaration of sincerity and humility. We are not just asked to erase our mistakes and sweep our faults under the rug. We are choosing with clear choice to do better. To invite our new commitments with greater responsibility and greater awareness of our actions moving forward.
This process of conscious choice to relieve Karmic debt and embrace newer commitments and responsibilities is the foundation of the esoteric Initiatic order. Growing in wisdom and embracing deeper truths can only be a response to a responsible and mature attitude within the study of spiritual evolution. The initiate grows first in the understanding of responsibility before receiving and experiencing greater mystical powers. With great power comes great responsibility… It is a natural progression for spiritual growth. It is the natural flow of esoteric wisdom, requiring deeper and deeper levels of humility, sincerity, and commitment in order to advance and expand one’s consciousness.