"Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. It is up to you to give [life] a meaning."
- J.P. Sartre
There is a great variety of initiations that we can accept and take on. It can be with an order or fraternity or it can be with a conclave or family. No matter the level of exoteric presence it still remains that we will find a form of lineage present and someone being the wielder and protector of this lineage and its legacy.
These forms of initiations are different from the initiations we encounter in established religious denominations in its collective acceptance of your willingness to partake. For instance a Catholic baptism makes you a part of the Church, and there is really no threat in being excommunicated, unless you have assumed holy office, and it is here the strand between a spiritual denomination and a religious institution meet, in the commitment.
The deeper the commitment, the greater is the investment and when the house of cards falls like broken dominos in unthinkable shitstorms, the resentment and anger is getting its fuel in expectations broken and thwarted. We see this taking effect in groups consolidating to speak against some spiritual leader or denomination in the name of the suffering inflicted upon the pilgrim. The suffering is always about realization and in this experience of realization the pilgrim can become sentimental and judgmental.
A commitment is a pledge and a promise and holds the entire idea of committing yourself to something. As a free man or woman making a willing commitment to something it is not possible to scapegoat circumstances, as free actors in our life the blame can only fall on yourself or on the other. And to approach this in more distant and objective terms the bond between Self and the Other. Because let us face it, if the bee stings your hand as you reach for the sweet dish you bought, you will blame the bee, and not the sweetness in between. Because of reaction and sentiments we always misplace whatever happens around us in relation to our idea of Self worth. This can raise the voice of the inner Critique as much as it can erect shields and walls to protect the egoistically defined Self.
No matter the ambition embedded in the modern democratic world view, you are always better Self served in pursuing what you are instead of what you want to be.
It is everything quite simple. We all thrive upon acknowledgment and being recognized, a part of the recognition of True Self rests in resistance and defeat. Recognition feels good and is often given as a token of eminence of some sort that we are likely to attribute to some form of conquest of Self. In reality human beings tend to start the process of recognition of Self from the outside, in the file of experience. We all enjoy the honey, but when it comes down to wormwood and bitter remedies we are not so happy, even knowing that healing is always bitter and at times painful. We know this is true about the body, that healing is often subject to painful treatments, why should it be different with the soul?
But in our modern world, ruled by the idea that even an idiot can rule a country this is by proxy different. The impression is too often that the one that tries to heal my soul is attacking my Self. And this impression is difficult to cut clear, because it is true that we have in this world of ambition, where the inferior have access to the higher, an impressive mass of charlatans and misguiders available. But aren’t these people waymarks of errors? In the end isn’t the choice yours? If you made an ill informed choice, what is the lesson in this?
The wrong turn is as important as the right turn. Life is the ultimate experience of a divine being. Take the bad with the good and the good in the same manner.
This being said, as initiation happens and a pilgrim is admitted to the fold we have in the approach several considerations that needs to be addressed. The initiator is the Master/Mistress of the situation. It should rest in recognition of kin, but there is a power balance in play there, that need to be acknowledged in order for it to not become sour, bitter and strange. The solution in this meeting is open communication and avoidance of deception.
The beginning of the initiatic encounter is crucial and it is here we find the entire field of fall and exaltation. It is important that the pilgrim is recognizing his or her master/mistress, and with recognizing I mean that the recognition is a result from approving after examination and investigation. It is that simple, really, and that hard.
It is in this field we find lineages being broken and Masters falling from their pedestal. It is all about the first commitment, it be well examined or not. In the end it will fall upon the pilgrim and not what the pilgrim was looking after. Because if the pilgrim found his rock and threw it in the water and complained about the waves it made, it was all the making of the pilgrim.
I am speaking here about taking responsibility of our journey and the stations we are attaining. When you meet a Master and declare him or her as such a commitment with your Self is made. You establish a North in your life by virtue of the wisdom and knowledge the Master is a bridge for. Here, many makes an error of judgment, because the Master is just the Tyler at the Door – but having the function of doorkeeper - the Master will also represent challenges. The Master holds what he or she holds and in this capacity challenges you. As you are invited the Master will continue to challenge you as you humanize the Master. Of course it would be better if you saw the warden and the human being as conjoined as you asked entrance, but most pilgrims just see the power and knowledge that can be attained though the Doorkeeper.
And so it happens that through Self seduction many pilgrims end up in Self delusion. When delusion happens the scapegoat becomes the Master and Warden – and if they are true Wardens and Masters they should be able to see your needs and hive you off or comfort you to stay.
But we see that at times it happens that lines and lineages are broken and families gain wayward children. It is all fine, rebellion is often a good thing, but to turn against those who gave you blessings and those who gave you lessons are never a good thing. It is after all your journey and no journey is made without mistakes, but it can always be done in respect and gratitude.
So, pilgrim, if the medicine is bitter, knows this bitterness holds the power of healing and when you are tempted to scapegoat don’t forget that you were always the goat.
The Master will always be a shine given to a human being. This human being often has its flaws, so learn from these flaws and take what you can. If it leads to a lineage broken, it be because you broke it or the Master broke it give attention to the shared sweetness and common interest and avoid resentment and anger, because every meeting is as blessed as every departure. Don’t turn back in anger on what challenged you to become more of what you truly is, but accept it with solemn fanfare and contentment, as you walk on making your footprints wiser as you walk the world and as such is able to make more and more sense of your Self...