Lesson 10: Initiation
Levels Of Initiation
Soul development is like moving through an educational system, passing tests and graduating to the next level. Thus there are levels of initiation.
You may have noticed these levels in your own spiritual journey. At times you may feel like you are on a plateau and not making progress. Then a problem or challenge arises that must be met and overcome. It is an opportunity for initiation, for purification of selfishness.
Having learned that particular lesson you will probably find it easier to deal with in the future. And yet, at some point, another problem or crisis will arise, another opportunity for initiation – and so it goes.
Application: Review your own educational progress as a soul in this lifetime. Have you ever felt like you were being tested? Did you pass the test the first time, or were multiple attempts required? Have you ever experienced plateaus in your journey, only to find an even more challenging opportunity offered?
… the members [of Norfolk Study Group #1] experienced much that was humiliating and much that called for selflessness, yet in all they were happy since they had been counted worthy to be called into service. (262-127 Report)
THESE [members of the Norfolk Study Group #1], as given, leading in their respective places and times, for as each of these gather as a body for aid to another, there will be from time to time a message from one to another. This is not only a promise, it's a threat! Be mindful of it, but be faithful to each as they are received. (262-2)
Initiation, regardless of the context, is usually humbling. Typically the individual ego is overwhelmed by the group into which it is assimilated.
Spiritual initiation also calls forth humility as the self is purged and purified of selfishness. Apparently, the members of the Norfolk Study Group #1 found some of the process of spiritual awakening to be “humiliating.” The Cayce readings for the individuals in the group often cited failure to apply the lessons. Personal shortcomings were also noted in the question and answer sections of many of those readings.
As the second reading in the series observed, there would be challenging times ahead due to friction between group members – thus a promise and a threat! This aspect of the group process corresponds to the “sweet and bitter” of spiritual initiation as symbolized in the book of Revelation by the little book that is sweet in the mouth but bitter in the belly.
Application: Take time to reflect on spiritual initiation. Have you experienced the purification of spiritual initiation? Have you ever felt humbled or even “humiliated” by the process of spiritual initiation? Have you witnessed this in others?
The Shadow of Initiation
Having reflected on spiritual initiation, it will probably be easier to recognize it in others and to become aware of the potential for negative projection during purification. You may even become aware of your own tendency in this regard. Don’t be surprised if this happens, it is par for the course.
In particular, if the shadow of initiation should appear in a group, organization, or individual that you thought was spiritually advanced, don’t be discouraged. It may simply be the long shadow cast by a high spiritual ideal. It’s all about purification.
Application: Take stock of your own spiritual journey and judge for yourself if negative projection has been part of your experience – in either direction. Can you let it go and forgive yourself and others as needed?