The concept and experience of initiation is normally associated with the idea and existence of secret or quasi-secret brotherhoods and societies set apart from the mainstream of life. As far back as Ancient Egypt and Greece, there are tales of rituals conducted in secrecy, to establish for the aspirant the absolute and unwavering certainty of the existence of a second body able to traverse the worlds of spirit at will. Methods such as meditation, chanting, fasting, enforced incarceration and sacramental consumption of entheogens were employed to induce thew altered state necessary for the loosening of the bonds.
On the assumption that only a few souls were sufficiently evolved the ordinary citizen was neither asked nor required to undergo such a trial. It was reserved for the hand picked few. But it is the ordinary citizen to whom I now speak. My assumption being that the average person is now considerably more evolved that their counterparts in ancient Greece and Egypt. The centuries of experience absorbed by us all have rendered us ready to reach into the mysteries and manifest ourselves.
But due to the rise of scientism and rationalism we have, for at least the last two hundred years, lived in an atmosphere of skepticism and materialism. The evidence of our five senses, properly processed according to the dictates of scientific objectivity, and aided only by the equipment engineered by the elite, are still considered supreme.
Experiences inaccessible to normal sight, hearing or touch are still considered worthy of ridicule. Those who know little or nothing of clairvoyance, clairaudience, precognition, psychometry and the like, persist in debunking the entire spectrum of phenomena. Never having studied the accumulated histories of evidence for any of the occurences, they cannot see the patterns repeating across cultures and epochs, and they continue to view the few incidents they are aware of as isolated and thus somehow disposable. The armchair critic is much too comfortable to stand up and look out the window. Besides, that raucous noise is obviously thunder, a deity we once appeased.
We cannot see the dead, therefore they do not exist. Sightings of fairies cannot be verified by anyone except others who have seen fairies, and of course, who’s going to trust someone who claims to have seen a fairy? Aliens have been encountered by thousands of citizens, maybe millions, but unfortunately not by anyone with status, position or authority to maintain. But the rest of us know, don’t we?
Conditioned as we are by the skepticism enforced by the scientific paradigm lording it over our culture, we have become significantly disconnected from our inner knowing selves. We do not trust our intuition; some of us barely have a passing acquaintance with it. Often it only rises to the surface in the intensity of relationships and families.
Most, if not all, mothers have had the uncanny experience of knowing exactly what their child will choose to do in a certain situation. Psychology, attesting to patterns of predictability and certain minute but observable twitches, will almost always defeat the notion of intuitive understanding on the familial wavelength, but most mothers will finally emerge from that drubbing insisting that they know their kid. Similarly, many men sense, after a long night’s squeezing and groaning, upon seeing their woman dance around the kitchen compiling a breakfast of champions, that something other than semen has been transferred to the mate.
And that slight pressure you feel, when you turn your head to look, and someone is staring at you, from across the street or a passing car, what is that, the energy of thought, the thrust and parry of desire? Perhaps it cannot yet be proved to the satisfaction of the academy, despite Rupert Sheldrake’s best efforts, but it happens all the time, in any grouping of humans. The eyes engage. the interest is expressed, a beam goes forth and finds its object, eddying around it in the possibility of empathy. The object’s aura is aroused and this activates response. You look around and generally they look away. But if they don’t there exists the chance, the by-now legendary window of opportunity, that, as Roger Waters once so aptly put it, strangers passing in the street, by chance two separate glances meet, and I am you and what I see is me.
On such occasions we acknowledge unseen energies. Energies that science would have us reduce to mere superstitions. Well the time for such rational reductionism is over. It may have helped wean us away from gross superstition based on fear of the unknown, but as we develop more refined sensibilities rooted in trust, discernment and love of the mysterious, it is little more than a crutch reaching round our ankles.
The sweet exhaustion of coupling, the birth of a baby and the death of a beloved are just three of the initiations every one of us can witness. And if we learn to trust our intuitions about unseen energies, and leave our doubts about our insignificance and unworthiness behind, we can learn to witness these two transformative events as wise old souls rather than dumbstruck adolescents, for fully experienced, they are initiations every bit as significant as any attempted throughout history. Denuded of religious and scientific dogma they are supreme examples of the passionate and sublime dramas we are endlessly re-enacting.
What exactly is it that two humans share in the sweat and screech of sex? What mingles other than bodies to provide a platform for an incoming soul? That self-evident intelligence behind those newly opened eyes, which of the many possible responses is it seeking? The company of light, the encroachment of touch, the heartbeat cure? What do we witness in a father or mother inexorably moving toward stasis? When they cease all movement what has departed. The rhythmic animation of the lungs? Bodily warmth nourished by blood? The words we know so well?
Instead of the excitement and panic attending these transformations I propose a witness unwound from the heart and watching the thoughts poaching on the brain. Yes, it is a strenuous challenge, but no, it is not an impossible feat.
Feel the energies feeding in and out of the situational vortex: they can be like winds, they can be like tides, they can be like storms arising out of summer. You are the landscape, you are the seascape. Feel the motions within you as something coming from without and proceeding beyond. They will, of course, pass through, leaving you changed, leaving you wet, leaving you wounded by nothing but weather.