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Another term that Bailey uses is that of initiation, which she defines essentially “an expansion of consciousness” Initiation: Human & Solar, p. 12. In some ways initiation is like an enlightenment experience. Many years ago when I was getting my Master’s in Transpersonal Psychology, I ran into difficulty in the Transpersonal Psychology world because of my assertion (drawn from my background in the Bailey model), that there was no such thing as one enlightenment experience. Even though Hollywood movies like to promote images of people suddenly waking up one day and becoming spiritually realized forever more, the Bailey system asserts that we go through numerous expansions of consciousness, or enlightenment experiences. In fact, she states that there are nine initiations that humans go through before they would be considered human no more. To let you know, however, my books (Becoming Soul and Becoming Spirit) will focus primarily on the first three, while mentioning briefly the fourth and fifth ones.
Before we summarize some of the initiations Bailey talks about let’s look a little more closely at her definition of the word. To quote, “What, therefore, is initiation? Initiation might be defined in two ways. It is first of all the entering into a new and wider dimensional world by the expansion of a man’s consciousness so that he can include and encompass that which he now excludes, and from which he normally separates himself in his thinking and acts. It is, secondly, the entering into man of those energies which are distinctive of the soul and of the soul alone—the forces of intelligent love and of spiritual will. These are dynamic energies, and they actuate all who are liberated souls. This process of entering into and of being entered into should be a simultaneous and synthetic process, an event of the first importance. Where it is sequential or alternating, it indicates an uneven unfoldment and an unbalanced condition. There is frequently the theory of unfoldment, and a mental grasp anent the facts of the initiatory process before they are practiced experimentally in the daily life and thus psychologically integrated into the practical expression of the living process on the physical plane” (Esoteric Psychology, Vol. II, pp. 12—13).
So already we see some of the following components as being involved:
- It is a two-fold process of:
- the Integrated Personality entering into the Soul
- The Soul entering the Integrated Personality
- As the Integrated Personality enters the realm of the Soul it:
- enters into a new and wider dimensional world
- expands the consciousness making the person more inclusive vs. exclusive
- As the Soul enters the Integrated Personality it:
- increases the quotient of intelligent love
- enhances the capacity to utilize the spiritual will.
- Though it “should” be a a “simultaneous and synthetic process” it is often “sequential or alternating” due to “an uneven unfoldment and an unbalanced condition.” (Please see my chapters on the Problem With Levels and Filling the Gaps in Spiritual Development for more on this).
- Just like you can’t lose weight by reading about how to lose weight, you cannot go through any initiation process by just talking about it. You have to master the various processes involved in any initiation you undergo. In short, you have to go beyond theory and belief, and demonstrate that you have practiced what is required of any initiation you are going through, which is done in a scientific way.
- Each initiation results in a practical expression on the physical plane.
- Each initiation increases your capacity to understand and serve the “Divine Plan.”
- Each initiation expands your capacity to synthesize and correlate knowledge.
- Each initiation increases your comprehension of the value and purpose of any form.
- Each initiation increases your ability sense and learn the lesson from any occurrence and event.
- Initiations only happen after you have demonstrated enough right thinking, living, and effort have lifted one into a new vibratory level that in turn produces a crisis.
- Initiations shift from a personal enlightenment experience to a group enlightenment experience in Bailey’s model.
To summarize the most significant points above, initiation is a process you go through in a scientific way so that you can become more inclusive, Soul-full, filled with intelligent love, and capable of demonstrating increased spiritual will to get something useful in service to humanity accomplished. Initiations in Bailey’s model all go through three phases: 1) Preparation; 2) Expansion; 3) Assimilation. (Read more about these three stages here). In other words, you have to prepare yourself to take the initiation by accomplishing the development tasks involved with any particular initiation. Then once you are at that “level” so to speak the “rod of initiation” is applied, similar to a piece of clay being fired in an oven to help “set the mold.” However, after this expansion stage you have to assimilate the insights involved in that initiation, by putting into practice the insights the initiation brings about when the consciousness is expanded. The process of putting into practice these insights in a practical way are part of the assimilation stage.
Each initiation then produces at-one-ment. “At-one-ment on all levels—emotional, intuitional, spiritual and Divine—consists in conscious, continuous functioning. In all cases it is preceded by a burning, through the medium of the inner fire, and by the destruction, through sacrifice, of all that separates” Initiation: Human & Solar, p. 18. Or to put it another way, Bailey states that “Initiation is, therefore, a constant fusion of the lights, progressively entered, thus enabling the initiate to see further, deeper and more inclusively” Rays and the Initiations, pp. 539—540. Or, to say it another way, the consciousness is increasingly able to follow the twelve points listed above. With this basic understanding in place, let’s now go into a brief summary of her main initiations, which encompass only the first five.
Initiation I. Birth. Freedom from the control of the physical body and its appetites. Rays & Initiations, p. 685
What then is the First Initiation? In the Bailey teachings there is a great deal of symbolism spoken about in regards to the First Initiation that I have written extensively on in my book Becoming Soul. In fact most of Bailey’s writings were designed to help people get through her First (and Second) Initiations. Suffice it to say that the preparatory stage of the First Initiation (done during her Little Chelaship stage that includes her Aspirant and Probationary Discipleship phases), is all about attempting to break the hold of the physical body with its five senses that immerse person in making the life emphasis primarily about fulfilling the materialistic drives for money/security, pleasure/sex, and power.
At some point we have freed our consciousness enough from the daily obsessions over money/security, pleasure/sex, and power, that the consciousness can be expanded and the Soul shines forth and makes itself factually known within the consciousness of the Integrated Personality. Or, to say it differently the materialistic paradigm is finally broken because the individual factually experiences realms beyond what the five senses reveals. Often this is experienced mystically with associated phenomena of seeing light, having visions, or in other ways becoming factually convinced that the realm of the Soul (or the kingdom of conscious Souls, or kingdom of heaven as Bailey puts it), exists. Bailey also states that “the energy of the soul is beginning to dominate and to control the lower types of force [i.e. those that belong to the Integrated Personality).” In short, the notion that we are only the brain and physical body experienced through the world of the five senses is broken. We know beyond a doubt that something more than what the world of the five senses reveals to us exists, causing us to reorient ourselves away from a life geared to satisfy only the physical appetites so that we can come to know the Soul and eventually become that Soul.
Some key points that go along with this First Initiation, or expansion of consciousness, are as follows: 1. The spiritual path begins in a less selfish way because the fact of the Soul can no longer be denied by the individual who has gone through this experience. 2. We see for the first time how money and the five senses are used for selfish purposes, and we begin to more genuinely use our resources along more spiritual pursuits. 3. The individual recognizes the fact of the Soul in all things. Divinity is no longer viewed as something transcendent, but also as something imminent, or within all living beings. 4. The ability to organize the life (mind, emotions, body and environment) is speeded up making the person more efficient in her/his capacity to bring spiritual ideas into fruition. 5. The person gains more emotional stability because she/he is better able to recognize when she/he is succumbing to emotional reactivity. To put it in modern language the person is learning the necessity for more “emotional intelligence” and is starting to demonstrate more poise under pressure. 6. Regardless of the profession the person is in she/he experiences a growth in intellectual capacity and is starting to possess the ability to synthesize more and more areas of knowledge. 7. The birth of real love emerges that is no longer driven by selfish motives, though the capacity to demonstrate that love out in the world needs to be perfected. 8. The desire to be of real service in the world intensifies, though again she/he has a ways to go before that service will allow one to make an impact for the good on a global level, because that service is still too intertwined with selfish motives.
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