Written by Gary L. Stewart, Imperator R+C and OMCE Knight Commander
In a previous article entitled "Introductory Elements of Initiation," I stated that the OMCE is an initiatic and ritualistic order, and I explained what this means. I also spoke of a current which has no boundaries of space or time, and that from this current, or path, sprang the OMCE's traditional initiatic lineage and purpose.
Further, I explained the three types of initiation—the common, the rare, and the detrimental followed by a rather lengthy explanation of the first category, and then brief descriptions of the second and third. The purpose of this article is to examine the second category—the rare initiation.
First, we must understand more from the heart than from the mind that any discussion regarding initiation must necessarily be circular. In other words, we are considering a stream or current which we call the path, that has neither beginning nor end. The path is not linear in that it does not relate to the intellectual concepts of space and time. It does not come from anywhere, nor does it end someplace. It simply flows. Since its nature is a flowing motion, so to speak, and it has no beginning nor end, how then can this current, or path, be perceived?
In viewing the path from a Linear perspective, we see ourselves as a point, and the path as a line. At any given time we may enter into the current, but this does not necessarily mean that we have merged with the current and become one with it. We descriptively state that the current flows and that, by entering, we flow with it. However, "flowing with it" does not mean that we have to be carried downstream by the motion. To do so would mean that we are simply travelling from one point to another, or, in other words, aimlessly wandering in a general direction. It is the nature of the current to flow, and by entering into the current, it must then become our nature to flow.
Consequently, we must not think of the path as a line progressing in a particular direction, or think of ourselves as points along the line, as this will result in thinking in terms of measurement and asking ourselves such questions as: "Where am I on the path?" or "How evolved am I?" On the initiatory path, measurement has no real intrinsic value other than in arriving at an intellectual understanding of the situation.
Thus, we face a paradox. On the one hand, we "enter into the path," which tells us that at some "point" we must begin. But if the path has no beginning or ending, how then can one "enter" without perceiving a linear situation? This question can be simply answered by stating that we must develop versatility of mind and heart, and subsequently change our perspective so as to view the situation not from separation, but rather from Oneness. "I am the current." "I am the path." But the "I" is not me personally. It is all that is.
This awareness is arrived at only through initiation, and by no other means. Ironically, we are not always aware of the initiation, or even aware of this path inherent within ourselves. But it is there. It always has been, and the act of entering the current is merely a realisation that we are already on the path. As a result, our perspective of the path has changed. It is no longer a linear line but rather an all-pervading substance that has an appearance of existing in degrees only relative to the understanding of the individual who is experiencing it. Our perception, then, is a circular, flowing motion that knows no points. It is not, in actuality, a spiral form, because it has no mundane direction—nor a sense of higher or lower. Nor, at the same time, is it self-contained, because it is truly infinite as viewed from the more complete perspective of omnipotency.
The common initiation, as was considered previously, basically accomplishes two things. First, it represents—no, it is a complete path or current solidified into a method. It has all the elements in their completeness contained in a system that is in and of itself omnipotent. In this type of initiation, the tradition and lineage of this system is passed from one initiate to another. Please understand that the awareness of expanded consciousness, or mystical illumination, that the common initiation represents and serves, is not necessarily understood consciously by the initiate receiving the initiation. Nor is it necessarily consciously understood by the initiator, the one who initiates. It is important to realise that an intangible substance is passed from one to another by process of the common initiation since each initiate, regardless of understanding, has taken a vow to become a vehicle of Light and to truly serve the path. It is not necessary for initiate or initiator to understand the essence that is passed from one to another, as long as purity of motive and sincerity is evident. This is simply because a person does not bestow an initiation upon another person. The initiator serves the initiation, and it is the initiate who receives what is served by another and agrees to serve perpetually in the same fashion—taking on the full responsibility to learn what has occurred.
Secondly, the common initiation inspires and awakens the dormant rare initiation within each individual. It is important to note at this point that a rare initiation is not higher, lower, or better than a common initiation, or vice versa. For a path to be followed, there is an immediate interrelationship between the two forms of initiation that necessitates their inseparability. This point will be illustrated shortly.
The rare initiation can also be referred to as the true initiation, although the latter term can be misleading. Simply defined, the rare initiation occurs when an initiate receives initiation directly through a spiritual osmosis and not from a human initiator. In other words, there is a complete merging of the nature of the initiate with the spiritual current. The initiate realises that he or she does not merely enter into a current and travel from point to point, as mentioned previously, but rather the nature of the initiate is to become identical with the flow or the current. The rare initiation implies that the recipient has received a realisation of mystical illumination. However, there is much more to this than meets the eye.
Anyone can receive mystical illumination, and one does not have to be on a path to do so. If such is the case, it must be realised that the nature of the illumination could possibly be meaningless or that it is wasted, in a sense, on someone who does not realise its meaning and put it into action. Mystical illumination in and of itself is common. What is extremely rare is for a person to actually realise and to participate in the experience, thereby fully appreciating its value. All beings have the potential for an awakening inherent within them. Therefore, mystical illumination becomes a simple realisation. Whether that realisation varies in degree of knowing from 2 + 2 = 4, to an expanded consciousness of the Cosmic depends upon the initiative and purpose of the individual.
The importance of a mystical experience is that it is noetic. One knows without doubt that something is true. In the simple example 2 + 2 = 4, it is not the fact that 2 + 2 = 4 that is a mystical awareness, but rather it is the knowing and feeling of that intangible substance which causes us to realise and to wonder with awe for the first time that there is in existence such a fact that truly 2 + 2 = 4. We have all had that experience of knowing, and that feeling is so difficult to describe, and sometimes so very subtle that it can easily be missed because we become too involved with the results or facts. But, indeed, it is there! The force of our awareness depends upon how we respond to the subtle energy.
We cannot rightly qualify the equation 2 + 2 = 4 as a mystical illumination or the result of a rare initiation. But it is important to know that it is the source behind the realisation of the truth of this equation that must be nurtured.
Once again our discussion becomes circular. I previously mentioned that there is an interrelationship between the common and rare initiations. This relationship has to do with the path, or current.
If an individual is a recipient of a rare initiation resulting in a full awakening of spiritual realisation, we can presume that that person has been prepared for the experience. Perhaps that individual entered upon a path and was prepared by a series of common initiations during his or her lifetime. Or maybe he or she had been prepared during a previous incarnation. When the initiate has such an experience, one of three outcomes will result. Either that person will do nothing, thereby keeping the experience to himself or herself, or the initiate will act and become purposeful, thereby serving the initiation in the manner of sharing it with others or serving humanity; or the initiate will embark upon a new path.
In the first instance we can assume that the initiation was not full, even though it may have appeared so to the individual. Qualities of service are lacking and the benefits become self-serving. Thus, the initiation was, in a sense, wasted, even though lesser commitments may manifest.
In the second instance, accompanying the initiation was a sense of need to serve. Such service more commonly will manifest with the individual making a quiet and unassuming vow and commitment to serve as a vehicle of Light, in avenues that may not even appear to be mystical in nature. Such individuals may work in the development of culture, education, or service to humanity in some other form. Generally, such people are highly regarded, recognised in their field, and stand out amongst the rest of their co-workers in that their purpose has a much deeper commitment.
Of the three outcomes, the second and third are more in line with the work and purposes of mystical lineages and Orders such as the OMCE. In the second outcome the individual had already entered into a current, or path, and had received common initiations which inspired and quickened the rare initiation. Such initiates' choice of purpose then becomes to work entirely within their chosen path and add their strength of understanding of the common initiation to others within their current. The third outcome is to start a new path. But again, this third result is misleading, as the "new" path is not new, but merely a branch of the old, and if we can envision a tree with many branches, we can see how such currents interrelate.
We say that there are many paths, and indeed there are, but they all stem from the same source of a mystical and spiritual foundation. Branches are developed according to need, and traditionally such paths as the Rosicrucian current have generated mystical and non-mystical offshoots, based upon the spiritual ideal of service and need at the time of inception. In the past the Rosicrucian current has been responsible for influencing and forming other mystical movements, orders, and rites, as well as contributing to the development of such educational and apparently non-mystical organisations as the Royal Society and other scientific and philosophical thought systems, so as to guide and add greater mystical meaning to such movements. Today, in addition to our spiritual and esoteric work, we do the same by concentrating primarily on culture and education as mundane representations and manifestations of our spiritual ideal. Tomorrow will be determined by need.
In summation, initiation is always evident in mystical and spiritual quests. Our first step onto a path is the result of an initiation teaching us of the need to know and to do more. Later, the initiate will experience a common initiation or a rare initiation. If the rare initiation is experienced first, involvement with the common initiation becomes a necessity. If one starts with the common initiation, the attainment of a rare initiation becomes a goal, and the appreciation of the common initiation subsequently becomes more evolved, thus forming a circle, as all initiations are a merging of One.
Copyright © 1988 by Gary L. Stewart