When a man has made his contact through meditation with the group to which he belongs. and becomes, therefore, ever more and more group conscious, he is then in a position to take what are called a series of initiations. These initiations are simply expansions of consciousness, brought about with the help of Those who have already achieved the goal. Who have already identified Themselves with the group, and Who are a conscious part of the body of the Heavenly Man. With Their assistance, and through Their aid, a man will gradually awaken to the realisation that is Theirs. There is great interest everywhere today in this subject of Initiation- and an over-emphasis has been laid upon Its ceremonial aspect. We need to remember that every great unfoldment of consciousness is an Initiation.
Every time that we become more aware of our environment, and our mental content is Increased. it Is an initiation on a tiny sale. Every time our horizon widens, and we think and sec more broadly, it is an initiation, and herein to us lies the value of life itself, and the greatness of our opportunity. Every initiation has to be self-initiated. That final stage when definite help is brought to us from outside sources is not achieved because there are great Beings anxious to help us, Who come to us where we are and seek to lift us. It comes to us because we have done the necessary work, and nothing can stop it coming. It is our right. Those who have achieved can and will and do aid and assist us, but Their hands are tied until we have done our share of the undertaking.
When a man has made his contact through meditation with the group to which he belongs. and becomes, therefore, ever more and more group conscious, he is then in a position to take what are called a series of initiations.
These initiations are simply expansions of consciousness, brought about with the help of Those who have already achieved the goal. Who have already identified Themselves with the group, and Who are a conscious part of the body of the Heavenly Man. With Their assistance, and through Their aid, a man will gradually awaken to the realisation that is Theirs. There is great interest everywhere today in this subject of Initiation- and an over-emphasis has been laid upon Its ceremonial aspect.
We need to remember that every great unfoldment of consciousness is an Initiation.
Every step forward along the path of awareness is an initiation. When an atom of substance was built into the form, it was for that atom an initiation. It became aware of another type of force. and its range of contact became wider. when the consciousness of the vegetable and animal kingdom merged, and the life passed from the lower kingdom into the higher, that was an initiation.
When theconsciousness of the animal expanded into that of the human being, still another great initiation took place. All the four kingdoms have been entered by an initiation, or through an expansion of consciousness.
Ahead of the human family lies now the fifth, or spiritual kingdom, and it is likewise entered through a certain initiation, as an be seen by those who intelligently read their New Testament. And in all these cases these initiations have been brought about by the help of Those who already know.
Thus we have within the evolutionary scheme not great gaps between one kingdom and another, and between one state of awareness and another, but a gradual development of consciousness, and one in which we, each one of us, have had and will have our share. if we can remember this universality of initiation we shall have a better proportioned point of view in connection with it.
Every time that we become more aware of our environment, and our mental content is Increased. it Is an initiation on a tiny sale. Every time our horizon widens, and we think and sec more broadly, it is an initiation, and herein to us lies the value of life itself, and the greatness of our opportunity.
Every initiation has to be self-initiated. That final stage when definite help is brought to us from outside sources is not achieved because there are great Beings anxious to help us, Who come to us where we are and seek to lift us. It comes to us because we have done the necessary work, and nothing can stop it coming. It is our right. Those who have achieved can and will and do aid and assist us, but Their hands are tied until we have done our share of the undertaking. Nothing therefore that we do to increase our usefulness in the world, no steps that we take to build better bodies, no effort that we make to gain selfcontrol and to equip our mental body, is ever lost; it is all something which we are adding to the total we are piling up, which will some day bring us to a great revelation, and every hourly, daily effort that we make, swells the tide of energy which will sweep us to the portal of initiation. The meaning of the word “initiation” is to “to go into.” It means simply that an initiate is one who has taken the first steps into the spiritual kingdom, and has had the first series of spiritual revelations, each one of which is a key to a still greater revelation.
The indwelling electric “Will” who is consciously experiencing through these material bodies hold these dense material sheaths together, till it consciously decides that it is no more interested to dwell any more in them.
The same process of materialization, and then subsequent liberation after gained material experience is followed also by a Prajapati [planetary scheme logos], as well as a Solar logos.
We speak much of the at-one-ment which Christ made within Himself and for man. We recognise the unity He felt with the Father, and that He has called us to a similar divine unity. But is it not possible that He established a synthesis broader than that of the individual and God—the synthesis of the kingdom of God?
What do these words mean? We have talked of the kingdom of Heaven in terms of separation. We are either in that kingdom or out of it. We are told that we must step out of the kingdom of men (controlled by the world, the flesh and the devil) into another kingdom which is pictured as utterly different. Yet is this so? All aspects of the three sub-human kingdoms—animal, vegetable and mineral—are found In man; and their synthesis, plus another factor, the divine Intellect, we call the human kingdom. Man unifies in himself the so-called lesser manifestations of deity. In the sub-human kingdoms of nature we find three major types of consciousness: the mineral kingdom, with its subjective discriminating power, its capacity to grow, and its ultimate radio-activity; the vegetable kingdom, with its sensitivity or sentiency, and its developing response apparatus which is sensitive to sunlight, to warmth and cold, and to other environing climatic conditions; the animal kingdom with its greatly increased awareness, its capacity for free movement and for wider contacts through its instinctive nature. The human kingdom embodies all these types of awareness—consciousness, sentiency, instinct—plus that mysterious human faculty which we call “the mind,” and we sum up all these inherited qualities in the word “self-conscious.”
There comes, however, in the experience of the intelligent human being, a slowly dawning recognition that there is something still greater and of deeper value outside himself. He is sensitised to a subtler range of contacts and to impressions which he calls spiritual or ideal or mystical.
Another type of consciousness begins to germinate in him, and at the 05] birth at Bethlehem this awareness becomes manifested and recognisable. Just as the human being synthesises in himself all that has been, plus his own peculiar constitution and qualities, so in him can also begin to emerge and demonstrate qualities which are not human. Members of the kingdom of God will surely embody the heritage of four kingdoms, as man embodies the heritage of three.
This higher citizenship involves the expression of the Christ consciousness, which is the consciousness of the group, of the relation of the part to the whole (something which Christ continuously emphasised) and of the human to the divine.
The result of this realisation must surely be, under the evolutionary scheme, the appearance of another kingdom in nature. This constitutes the great task of Christ. Through the power of His realised divinity He produced the man who blended in Himself the best of all that had been, and revealed also what could be.
He brought together into a functioning unity the higher and the lower, and made out of them “one new man.” He founded the kingdom of God on earth, and produced a synthesis of all the kingdoms in nature, thus causing the appearance of a fifth kingdom. We might sum up the at-one-ments which He brought about as follows:
He unified in Himself to perfection the physical, emotional and mental aspects of man, and demonstrated therefore the perfect Individual. He unified in Himself soul and body, the higher and the lower aspects, and therefore produced a divine incarnation. lie unified in Himself the best of 41 the kingdoms in nature. mineral. vegetable. animal, which means in their synthesis, the human with the totellect functioning. Then lie blended this synthesis with a higher spititual factor and brought to the birth another kingdom in nature, the fifth.
Christ, having produced in Himself one unification or at-one-ment after another, for the benefit of humanity, appears before John the Baptist, and passes through the second initiation, that of purification In the waters of Jordan.
Through 1961 the process of baptism, and through the temptations which followed, He evidenced His maturity. faced His mission, and demonstrated to the world His purity and His power.
The third Initiation, that of the Tronsfiguratiort. testified to the fact of the at one-mem which Christ made between soul and body. Integration was complete. and the consequent illumination was made apparent to His disciples. He appeared before them as Son of Man and Son of God, and basing proved to them Who lie was. He faced the death which lay ahead of Him, and the Intervening service.
In the fourth initiation. He demonstrated this Integration not only as God.Man. but as the One Who enfolded In His consciousness the entire world of men. Ile unified Himself with humanity. and portrayed the effectiveness of that divine energy which enabled Him to say In troth, -I. If I be lifted up from the Earth, will draw all men unto Me? (Sr. John. XII. 32.) lie was lifted up between Earth and Heaven, and for two thousand yeas these words of His have stood unchallenged.
“Then coined, Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John. to be baptised of him. But John forbade him. saying. I have need to be baptised of Thee and earnest Thou to me? ‘
And Jews answering said unto him. Suffer It to be so now, for it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered Him.
‘And Jesus, when lie was baptised, went up straightaway out of the wales: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove. and lighting upon Him. –
And lo a voice from heaven. saying. This is my beloved Son. In Whom I am well pleased?
In these simple words we ate told the story of this Initiation. The keynote Is purification. and it closed a period of proparation. of quiet service and inaugurated a cycle of strenuous ( 97) activity. The pudficadon of the lower nature is a requirement which the Christian Church has ever emphasised as has also the Hindu faith. Christ held this ideal before His disciples and all men when He said, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” (St. Matt., V, 8.)
Christ in this great initiation, entered into the stream, and the waters passed over Him. In India this initiation is called that of “entering the stream,” and he who undergoes it is regarded as having demonstrated both physical and psychic purity. In considering this initiation we must remember that two kinds of baptism are referred to in the story.
“John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptise you with water: but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose:
He shall baptise you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” (St. Luke., III, 16.)
There are therefore two kinds of baptism:
That of John the Baptist, which is the baptism by water. The baptism of Jesus Christ, which is that of the Holy Ghost and of fire.
In these two symbols much of the story of human development is summed up, and the joint work of John the Baptist and of Jesus produced a synthesis which is indicative of the immediate objective of our racial endeavour.
The symbolism is exact according to the ancient mystery teaching. A dose study of this symbolic rendering of a basic truth would greatly profit the seeker in all countries, and an understanding of the significance of the symbols employed would throw much light upon reality. In the evolution of the race the sentient feeling nature is  first developed, and water has ever been the symbol of that nature.
The fluid nature of the emotions, the constant shifting between sentient pleasure and pain, the storms which arise in the world of feeling, and the peace and calm which can descend upon a man, make of water a most apposite symbol of this interior subtle world of the lower nature in which most of us live, and wherein our consciousness is predominantly focussed.
The average man or woman is predominantly a blend of the physical and emotional natures; all early races have this characteristic and the probability is that, in old Atlantis, civilisation was entirely centred in the feelings and the desires, in the emotions, and—among its most advanced types—in the heart life. John the Baptist therefore gave the baptism of water which testified to the purification of the emotional nature, which must always be a preliminary step to the purification by fire.
A new factor now enters in, the discriminating faculty of the mind. By means of it. the disciple can Wog the mental life under control and dedicate it to the life of the kingdom of God, which Is consummated at the Third Initiation.
Through the correct use of the mind, the disciple is led to make right choice, and to balance (with wisdom) the endless pairs of opposites. We pass through the Binh initiation some what unconsciously.
The full significance of what we have undergone does not appear to us; we are “Infants In Christ,” and as infants we just live and submit to discipline, gradually growing toward maturity. But there comes a time in the life of every initiate when choice must be made, and Christ was faced with this.
A clear, clean Interior break Is to be made with the past before we can face towards a future of service, consciously undertaken, and know that from that rime on nothing will be the same. This initiation marked a tremendous change in the life of Jesus of Narareth.
Up to that time, for thirty years, lie had simply been the carpenter of the little town, and the son of His parents. He was a personality doing much good in a small sphere. But after the purification in Jordan, having “fulfilled all righteousness,” (Sr. Man., ill, 15.)
Ile became the Christ, and went about His country, serving the race and speaking those words which have moulded for centuries our Western civilisation. For each of us there must come the same great expansion, and it occurs when we me fitted to take the second initiation. Our desire-life is then confronted with essential choices which only the mind can enable us properly to handle.
We are told in Cruden’s Concordance that the name John means “which God gave,” and In the three names which appear together in this episode—John, Jesus and Christ—the whole story of the consecrated aspirant is summed up: John, symbolising the divine aspect deeply hidden in man. which prompts a man towards the needed purity; Jesus, in this case symbolising the consecrated, pledged disciple or initiate, ready for that process which will be the seal of his purification; Christ, the divine indwelling Son of God, able now to manifest In Jesus, because Jesus has submitted to the baptism of John. That submission and completed purification brought its reward.
It was at this initiation that God Himself proclaimed His Son to be the One in Whom He was well pleased.” Every initiation is simply a recognition. It is a false Idea, current In many schools of the mysteries and of esoteddsm, that initiation connotes a mysterious ceremony wherein, through the medium of the initiator and the rod of initiation, conditions are definitely changed in the aspirant, so that forever after he is altered and different. An Initiation takes place whenever a man becomes, through his own self-effort, an initiate. Then having taken “the kingdom of Heaven by violence? (St Mart., XI. a.) and having “worked out” his “own salvation through fear and trembling,” (Philippians. It Li) his spiritual status is immediately recognised by his peers, and he is admitted to initiation.
At Initiation two things happen: the initiate discovers his fellow initiates, those with whom he can associate, and he finds out also the mission to which he is called. He becomes aware of his divinity in a new and factual sense, not just as a deeply spiritual hope, an inniguing hypothetical possibility and his heart’s desire. He knows himself to be a son of Gad, therefore recognition is accorded to him. This was strikingly the case with Jesus Christ. His task emerged in its dread Implications before His eyes, and this must surely have been the reason why He was driven into the wilderness. The urge to solitude, the search for that quiet where reflection and determination can strengthen each other, was the natural outcome of this recognition. He saw what He had to do—to serve, to suffer and to found the kingdom of God. The expansion of consciousness was immediate and deep. Dr. Schweitzer says in this connection:
About Jesus’ earlier development we know nothing. All Iles in the dark. Only this is sure: at his baptism the secret of his existence was disclosed to him—namely, that he was the One whom God had destined to be the Messiah. With this revelation he was complete, and underwent no further development. For now he is assured that, until the near coming of the messianic age which was to reveal his glorious dignity, he was to labour for the Kingdom as the unrecognised and hidden Messiah, and must prove and purify himself together with his friends in the final Affliction?
Instincts suffice only for a nature which, on the whole, remains on one level. An individual who is more guided by unconscious choice than by the conscious one, tends therefore toward outspoken psychic conservatism.
This is the reason the primitive does not change in the course of thousands of years, and it is also the cause of his fearing everything strange and unusual. Were he less conservative, it might lead to maladaptation, and thus to the greatest of psychic dangers, namely a kind of neurosis.
A higher and wider consciousness which only comes by means of assimilating the unfamiliar, tends towards autonomy, towards revolution against the old gods who are nothing other than those powerful, unconscious, primordial images which, up to this time, have held consciousness in thrall.
“The more powerful and independent consciousness becomes, and with it the conscious will, the more is the unconscious forced into the background. When this happens, it becomes easily possible for the conscious structures to be detached from the unconscious images. Gaining thus in freedom, they break the chains of mere instinctiveness, and finally arrive at a state that is deprived of, or contrary to instinct. Consciousness thus torn from its roots and no longer able to appeal to the authority of primordial images, possesses a Promethean freedom, it is true, but it also partakes of the nature of a godless hubris. It soars above the earth, even above mankind, but the danger of capsizing is there, not for every individual, to be sure, but collectively for the weak members of such a society, who again Promethean-like, are bound by the unconscious to the Caucasus. The wise Chinese would say in the words of the I Ching: When yang has reached its greatest strength, the dark power of yin is born within its depths; night begins at midday when yang breaks up and begins to change into yin. —C.C. Jung
Jung shows that only the strong can break the anchor-holds of the collective unconscious. When this is done, a condition is produced in the Promethean, in which he is receptive to new ideas. He is, as it were, brainwashed of old concepts, old patterns of activity and old idols. He is not an iconoclast, for he is ready for new ideas, and new idols. It is then that the Soul gains its real opportunity to take hold and direct its lower triad, the personality. New anchors are now established by the man with the Fifth kingdom, the hierarchy of Masters. This new realm is complementary to the lower primordial archetypes described in Jung’s collective unconscious. It is the higher counterpart of those lower anchors which bound the man to primordial images hitherto.