We all try to make sense of the world. Often we find that the world have no other sense than our own. We perceive the world like this because our reference as an actor in the world is unavoidably a self reference. George Kelly in 1955 in his article about personal constructs, which came to have a huge impact on social psychology in the field we know as the theory(s) of attribution. This study ignited a lot of interesting research, but in a general we can state that what these studies found was that whenever our idea of Self is involved memory, recall and attitudes are enhanced in the affirmation of a Self that is in ongoing construction. In other words, our Self construct is something that is at the same time experienced as elastic, but is often in need of Self anchoring.
In my experience the search for spiritual, sorcerous or magical initiations are following similar rules. The pilgrim is in a phase where the Self construct is entering into a process where a need for something particular to fill the vacant field is sought. Magic and religion, politics and business can all be related to what fills this field to generate a feeling of fulfilment. It is about the experience of Self fulfilment and since the Self is always in construction we are in need of the anchors. These anchors are rudimental matters about our interests, physique, social statues and education and says little about who we really are, beside bringing attention to some preferences we assume is reflecting our Self.
This faculty of reflecting Self take the form of Ego or what we can understand as ‘I consciousness’. This faculty is doubly conditioned, from the environment the organism/being is functioning within and from the silence of Self that speaks through intuition and feelings of the ‘gut’. The Ego is often getting a bad rap, but it is not a bad faculty, it is the faculty that enables us to identify us as what we are and also the faculty that enables us to move effectively in an environment. The Ego is as such important, but can at times be misplaced in relation to Self. Since it is the Ego, the ‘I’ that is acting upon the world and experiencing the world it can also adopt ignorance of Self. Ignorance of Self is quite common for all human beings and we see this in the activity of the Ego to bind things and events to the ‘I’ in such way that Self reference is worked as a tool for solidifying our identity. So, in summary, Ego is the active, while our Self is passive. As we tend to notice more what is acting upon the world we are also more observant with the activities of the Ego that the Self, Ego is mediating.
The Self is still and silent, it is the truth of who we are and our Fate, but like God it will always be partly veiled in mystery and enigma. The Ego is informed by thoughts, the tunnel of communication between Self and Ego, but it is also mediated by the world it expresses itself in, where a pulse of giving and receiving is happening, turning our Ego into a flexible front for our Self.
In the scope of initiation this dynamic is experienced as flashes of lighting, sweet winds and eureka’s. What happens is that the Ego is undergoing a significant event so it can be more true to Self and when this occurs thoughts becomes overwhelming because we all of a sudden understand more, all of a sudden the senseless makes sense, which calls upon emotional responses. When this occurs, we have truly initiated something, but it is crucial that we realize that these epiphanies are the beginning of a journey and not the sign of crown ship.
Initiation, in truth means to embark on something, to start something, to initiate something. It holds the idea of you, the one seeking initiation, realizing some form of lack and in asking for initiation see fulfilment of Self by exercising your Ego. Effective initiation will always start off an important process in the field between Ego and Self that after the flashes of the initiatic experience calms down one will seek to initiate one’s Self...
When the pilgrim arrives to this crossroad where he or she asks for initiation he or she asks that the darkness generated in the active dance of Ego in the world is dispelled in favour of the clarity that makes the pilgrim touch Self. This premise can be masked by searching power or submission – the proposition is yet the same - because darkness can be exhilarating and intoxicating as it can be humbling and confusing.
When the desire for initiation is stated a rupture between the affirmations of Self and the betrayal of Ego occurs, which invites the destruction of the Self construct generated by our Ego up to this point.
This is what happens as one asks for initiation and in doing this a field is established, that is one of trust, hope, love and expectation where the one asking initiation is in truth asking to see Self, but as the pilgrim is often veiled in the darkness he or she seeks to shatter the proposition often takes other forms. Most common is to ask for initiation because of the personal power expected to gain from it. Secondly a reference to the calling of spirits is brought up, often as a veiled demand for initiation.
Concerning the search for power; indeed power can be drunk until you explode from the results of initiation, but if you don’t have the necessary power over yourself you will be a holed skull, dripping and leaking everywhere, unable to hold securely anything and you will be unable to initiate your Self.
As for the second point, the spirits are calling me. Surely callings do happen, but more frequent is the calling of the soul that seeks sentiments written in occult colours and seeks to fulfill these sentiments and longings by active involvement in what is requested.
In both these cases we see the Self reference; it is about the need and vacuum of the Pilgrim, it is almost always about Ego asking. The Ego asking, the destructive darkness of identity, is always a construct and the Pilgrim is presenting this darkness to the initiator to dissolve. At least this is what goes on in true initiations. Everyone can obtain some pseudo initiation into whatever these days, but I am not speaking of this. I am speaking of initiation as something that shatters your soul and dispels the darkness that clouds the vision your Ego holds of your Self. I speak of what was written at the gates of the temple in Delphi: ‘Know thy Self’ as a requirement or at least a proposition for embarking on the initiatic journey.
And it is here we have a third category of Pilgrims, those who searches for knowledge so they can better understand them Selves. They are rare. And it is these rare candidates that are ready for initiation.
As you ask someone for initiation you ask a lot. In presenting the wish a relationship is established. This relationship is from a Seeker to a Master.
I am well aware that the term Master has suffered cultural bias, but a Master is someone who can guide you in his capacity of knowing what you seek to know. To submit darkness to the light of a Master means that you are handing over your darkness to someone who dissolved his darkness and thus can help you dissolving yours.
It is never about a Master-Slave relationship in ways denigrating or abusive. It is about admitting lack to the one you perceive being able to dispel your darkness and fill your lack with what you need. The pilgrim needs to evaluate the Master he or she proposes initiation in front of as much as she or he is evaluating its own needs and lack. It still remains that the one approached for initiation should always be approached as a Master. If you choose a pseudo master or an abusive master this must be addressed to your lack of judgment and not the existence of charlatans, con artists and pseudo-masters in the world.
It still remains, the one asking tutoring becomes the submissive part in this relationship. The Master has something to give and the pilgrim asking have something to be filled, this being real or a product of seductive darkness providing illusions. Still, the path is made from wrong turns and good turns, ankles broken and moss between the toes. The first one who states Need is always the one who stays – waiting - in the lost echo of its own Need. Who answers the echo can bring salvation or burdens and becomes the Master of both. The Master doesn’t need the question as much as the Pilgrim needs the answer... but it is in the approach we discover who knows their shit and those who are shit and we see who is the guide and who is the tyrant of a myriad souls.
The very request of asking initiation should be delicate, vulnerable and painful – if it is not; it was not a request, but a demand, done because you wanted power to your Self construct... and that is never good, because in the demand you become a solipsist tyrant of your own existence, the sole owner of your own darkness.
So measure well why you ask for initiation and who you ask it from. One hand may meet another hand – or not. A master found that don’t take your hand might lead you to the one eye that can truly see you and hold you. What you want might not be what you need, and in this way we erect mirrors of reflection so we can shatter our love for Self affirmation. Doing this we can break down in simplicity and humility where our naked soul calls out to be clothed and dressed piece by piece as the Self sizzles in the darkness calling that secret harmony that bring kin to recognize kin, it be as a Knight, Beggar, Queen or King seeing you for what you really need so Ego can at last recognizes Self...