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Re: Initiate?

Aug 27, 1995 11:33 PM
by K. Paul Johnson

According to Ann E. Bermingham:
> Rich:
> >It is surely a fact that there are many Initiates who have taught in the
> >past, continue to teach today, and will teach in the future. What is the
> >evidence that we should regard the Christian Alice Bailey in such a light, or
> >the Tibetan whom we are told is "D.K." of the Mahatma Letters?
> This brings up an interesting question, one which has bothered me for a while.
> What is an Initiate? And how does one recognize one? By the what he/she
> teaches or writes? By what others say that person is? Does he walk around with
> a badge that says INITIATE on it, pinned to his lapel? I would appreciate
> answers from any member of Theos-l.


HPB defines "initiate" as "anyone who was received into and had
revealed to him the mysteries and secrets of either Masonry or
Occultism." (Glossary)

Guenon and his Traditionalist admirers regard Theosophy and HPB
as "counter-initiatory" which is related to the fact that, as
Seyyed Hossain Nasr has written, Guenon's whole message is
"based upon not only the theoretical grasp of tradition but the
necessity of living within an orthodox, traditional way,
without which no metaphysical truth can possess
efficacy...There is for him no spiritual realization possible
outside tradition and orthodoxy."

Mircea Eliade is more helpful in relating the concept of
initiation to objective standards. He identifies 3 types of
initiation: rites of passage, personal ecstatic experiences
occurring in connection with "a mystical vocation," and rites
of entry into secret societies. Common themes in all three are
isolation, death and rebirth, and learning secret teachings.

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