What is Initiation in gnostic sense?

By Initiation we understand the entrance, step by step, into the Hierarchy, and the sacramental sealing of powers and faculties pertaining to the original man, in the reborn, new man.

These powers and faculties, this new state-of-being, are preserved and guarded by the Hierarchy as mysteries. We shall divide them in seven aspects:

  1. There is an absolute higher knowledge, an absolute Wisdom. This is not to be understood as the intellectual study and comprehension of a specific philosophy, but as an inner access to the Universal Doctrine, the inner knowledge of and insight into the luminous Plan of God;
  2. On the basis of this higher, inner Reason, a uniting with Divine Power, an inner-conscious fellowship with the Lord (the Hierarchy);
  3. the unfolding of the true will-being of man, which means: a perfect attunement of the human will to the Divine Will: the ‘willing nothing but what God wills that we will’. So this does not mean a disciplinary repression of one’s personal will, but harmonizing one’s will, on the basis of the enlightened Reason and of inner fellowship with God;
  4. the chastening and energizing of these three developments by engaging in a Field of Work; by placing that which one has acquired in the service of a task, a mission, on behalf of the Great Work;
  5. bringing about a structural change according to spirit, soul and body, as the consummation of the process of rebirth;
  6. entering into fellowship with mankind in an entirely different way, in the service of the Great Work of Liberation;
  7. entering into the freedom of a priest-king, as an absolute part of Christ, as a member of the Body of Christ (the Hierarchy).

We can understand the first three aspects as the wonderful birth of the new man. The fourth aspect as the sacrifice of his life and the way of the cross of the new man, the fifth aspect as the resurrection of the new man, the sixth aspect as his ascension, the seventh aspect as the descent of the Holy Spirit into the new man.

None of that which pertains to this development and none of the consequences thereof can be withheld from anyone. The way to attainment is open to all, provided that a person is willing to fulfil the conditions. However all mysteries are being protected. Therefore, they must be extended to us: they must be sacramentally sealed within us by the Hierarchy and by one of its messengers. This procedure cannot be dispensed with.

It is necessary to protect the mysteries in order to prevent disaster because, at the hands of unqualified and malevolent persons, certain faculties and powers, which can only be developed safely in the new man, may cause a dreadful calamity.

However, to anyone who is truly of good will, full liberty to enter upon the path of the mysteries is ensured, in the validity of the law: ‘When the pupil is ready, the Master is there.’ This pronouncement is a magnetic axiom which definitely excludes any discrimination, as well as fraud. Consequently, no one can be held back.

It is evident that there are different grades or steps of initiation. Initiation is as a step-by-step ascension; it is like climbing a mountain, like mounting a stairway with many steps, like an ascent with many guides and scientifically organized aid.

The I-delusion has caused many false ideas to take form with regard to this matter of guided inner development. Owing to the desire to ‘be free’, many a promising tie has been severe, to the detriment of the candidates.

The idea of initiation is strange to many people; yet, the reality and truth of it is rooted in all world-religions, and very powerfully so in Christianity.

It is exclusively the inner quality of the candidate, prepared on the basis of Remembrance and Fundamental Change, which is determining and decisive.

Now there comes a time, when the magnetic vibration emanating from the seeker driven by Remembrance has gained a certain quality, that it has elements in it of something really unearthly. As soon as this is the case, the thought-image is caught by the Hierarchy and, completing its natural reflection, there will also be a personal reaction.

However, this personal reaction, this personal help, will always come in an impersonal form, which means that the person involved, often without being conscious of the guidance, will be brought into contact, in numerous ways, with one of the messengers active in the material sphere, in the service of the Hierarchy.

Such a messenger is one blessed by the Hierarchy. He has obtained the power to ‘bless and seal’, which is to say that, through his direct bond with the candidate in question, he brings about an indirect bond between the latter and the Hierarchy.

When a man stands under the radiation-power of the Hierarchy, of the Spiritual Sun, and is touched by a ray of the Universal Light, this force is being transmuted in him and is thus radiated forth again.

This is the shadow emanating from such a person, and which, so, can develop a certain power. If this shadow is cast by into the Hierarchy and who labours in its service, then he has ‘a shade upon his right hand’; in other words, he can and may positively use, in the service of the Light, as a spiritual goodwill, the force which has been transmuted within himself.

Source: Elementary Philosophy of the Modern Rosycross , J. van Rijckenborgh

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