The Path of Initiation

caersidi450pxWe, all of humanity and many other beings as well, are walking the Path of Initiation.

For the most part, such knowledge resides in the unconscious. We live, we love and we suffer, until there seeps through to us this vague notion that, in the very nature of things, there must be something more, and then curiosity’s fuse begins to burn. For some of us, most notably those of us born under the sign of Gemini, this intense curiosity becomes impossible to ignore: it becomes clear that, for every Mystery, there must be an associated Path. We instinctively know that, if found, if followed, this Path will lead us to some glorious destiny, of which, in truth, we have not the slightest idea except that it is True, and Big, and Beautiful. We know it in our hearts, where we have touched its shadow, and that very shadow fills us with awe and wonder, with love and delight. The shadow-flame of this destiny burns in our hearts, sets aflame a radiant longing that cannot be explained and cannot be ignored. It is a mystery. Once that longing is lit, nothing can extinguish it.

It is precisely this fiery longing that brings us, fleet of foot, to the doors of a Mystery school.

When we enter, what do we want, what do we expect? We have all sorts of politically correct and practical answers, like, ‘We expect to find guidance,’ or, ‘We need road-signs’ – or the oft- heard and stiflingly correct: We want to know in order to serve’. But in truth, all we really want is to find the Light. We want to embrace the glorious Mystery that has been tantalising us; we want to meet it face to face, and become one with it. We want its love and we want its power and we want its wisdom. We want Initiation…and we want it now, today.

Of course, having come this far, most of us are streetwise and realistic; we understand that precious pearls come at a price, and we allow ourselves to be lured into buying lessons and doing a bit of daily meditation. Good things take time. Having a request granted takes time. Why, even enrolling in the school takes time. We wait patiently and once we’re in, kill time by plodding away at the central course that every Mystery School will provide. We toil away at the Foundation Course, bravely biting back our disappointment at not being placed on the Advanced Course – where we secretly feel we really ought to be.

It is hard. First thing we know, life throws us into the thick of the surf. We are off on some mystical sea voyage. Braving the breakers, at least we know something is happening. Apparently we have been accepted on some inner level, and our journey has actually and truly started. The Path often feels as ephemeral as the silver shadow of the Moon across the Sea. All the time we make perfect reports, doing our best to show those Higher Initiates how proficient we are, how well prepared we were, how much effort we are willing to put in so that They see that we are ready for Initiation. We submit our work to a supervisor and ignore her advice. But we get through.

Next comes the sheer wave-wall of the Advanced Course. On we paddle. The lessons suggest we do a bit of work on our raft, fixing it up as we wait. Patiently we polish every fender and decorate the woodwork, until it becomes a lovely vessel, our pride and joy. We fashion first one sail and then a whole set of sails, and still They are not ready. So we learn how to navigate; we get to know our ship until she obeys our very thoughts. And still no Initiation. We yearn for it, like a child putting aside the main course, longing for dessert. We begin to wonder. Must we really meditate every day? When will They see that I am ready? Two years? Five years? Are we wasting my time? Slowly, we begin to despair. We feel deserted. We are on the wrong track. We must be.

At this point, most of us stop. Many turn back and head for the shore; some set their boats adrift and go in search of a better path; some simply give up and drown in daily life’s shallow pool.

But some of us are fools without other options, and for lack of other true alternatives, we plod on, and on, and on. A vague contour darkens in the distance. At first, we think it is a ship. On closer look, we realise, it is a cloud. With alarming speed, it grows and darkens, and next thing we know, rain begins to pour, lightening flashes. We have hit on something big! Great power is afoot! The Light!

Excitedly, we continue – and, before we know it, the lightning hits our beautiful vessel. We are shipwrecked, big time. As the storm subsides, we find ourselves half in shock in the cold water, shivering among the debris of our proud little raft, useless now and utterly broken. The Light was not in the lightning, nor in the storm.

We are lost at sea and drowning. For a moment, hope flares as the Sun breaks through the clouds. The whole of the sky lights up, displaying golden lining on every cloud as far as the eye can see. Then it fades and, we realise, the Light is not in the sun and clouds. We grow quiet as we surrender to the water, drifting on its soft, rocking, lullaby waves. Now, all is lost.

We relax into the sea, which, somehow, seems a little less cold. Night falls and the stars appear, diamonds in their mind-blowing multitudes. On we drift, aimlessly lost; at the mercy of the waves. We grow hungry; there is nothing to eat. We grow thirsty, there is nothing to drink.

1186263_597373063634820_985857118_nThe Morningstar finds us still alive, amazed that we haven’t drowned just yet, more amazed as we realise that we are in a new boat.  Lightly, it skids across the water. It has a ring of familiarity, and with a shock, we recognise our very own raft that we have worked on for so long! It has turned into a boat, made of pure light! Now we are talking!

We climb the mast at lightning speed because, surely, the Mystery we searched for so long must lie ahead, just over the horizon. But no – all we see are many, many other boats of light, scattered across the sea in a sad and random mess, like the stars across the heavens, flotsam constellations oscillating, changing. But there is no Path. No Light. Then, the terrible truth hits us. We realise that we have been fools from the start. There is no Path. There never was.

Silently, we turn our boat, breathing her Light, our own Light, a Light more glorious than any Light we had ever expected. Then it dawns on us. This is the Light we were looking for. It is in our very own hands! The Light is the brilliantly scattered beautiful web of diamond stars, shining and shimmering. And we are part of it. We always were a part of it, from the very, very start. We just didn’t have eyes to see.

Someone comes along with an offer of Initiation. We have a lovely ceremony and a good party, and then we move on, for there is work to do. Near the shore, we see wave upon wave of this beautiful light, creatures of light ebbing and flowing, breaking like surf in their attempt to reach the Sea:Wave upon wave reaching out, reclining, reaching out again. Some even venture out onto the water in tiny little rafts, boats, surfboards or even the occasional ocean liner, and we rush to their aid. Often, they cannot see us at all, so we build little boats to make ourselves visible to them. We guide them along, help them get familiar with their vessel, laying out Paths of Light, until they are in deep enough water, where they can safely abandon their crafts and sail free.

As we do so, we become familiar with the Sea. We search out its currents; we live off seaweed; we dance with the seagulls; we make friends with fishermen, merchants, navy and mermaids who teach the mysteries of Tir of Tonn, Land under the Waves.

This is the greatest Mystery of all, that we are One, a starry web of One Brilliance, its lights scattered across time and space.  This is what Initiation is all about, to understand that truly we are Light, One Light. To find the One, we must blend our lights together as One. And for this, we must make a leap of faith across the abyss of isolation. It is the highest Initiation of all, and we call it Love. Over and over again, we need to take this initiation, this grand leap of faith.

Go for it. Pray. Reach out for the Light. And when you have prepared for all you’re worth, just close your eyes and jump.