- Initiation (Theosophy)
Initiation is a concept in
Theosophythat there are nine levels of spiritual development. According to Alice A. Bailey, "Initiation" is the "process of undergoing an [Higher consciousness|expansion [toward higher levels of] consciousness] " [ Bailey, Alice A. "Initiation, Human and Solar" New York: 1922--Lucis Publishing Page 12 ] It is believed by Theosophists that all souls that reincarnate(that includes everyone) gradually evolve upward through these levels of consciousness over millions of years, although evilacts may cause bad karmawhich may cause one to temporarily regress.
The vast majority of ordinary
humanitylies on the probationary path (below the first initiation).
First initiation ("birth" to the spiritual life)
According to Alice A. Bailey, at the first initiation one gains full control of the
physical body. [ Bailey, Alice A. "Initiation, Human and Solar" New York: 1922--Lucis Publishing Page 82 ]
econd initiation ("baptism")
Alice A. Bailey states that at the second initiation, one gains full control of the
astral body. [ Bailey, Alice A. "Initiation, Human and Solar" New York: 1922--Lucis Publishing Page 85 ]
Third initiation ("the transfiguration")
An individual who is at the level of the third initiation has acquired fully developed
clairvoyanceand clairaudience. [ Bailey, Alice A. "Initiation, Human and Solar" New York: 1922--Lucis Publishing Page 87 ]
Fourth initiation ("the crucifixion")
An individual reaching the fourth initiation is known as the perfected one, or an
Arhat( Pali) or a Paramahansa( Sanskrit). Symbolically the fourth initiation is denoted as the " crucifixion" initiation. An Arhat is supposed to be one who does not need to be incarnated again to develop.
Fifth initiation ("the resurrection")
The fifth initiation, called the "
resurrection", comprises beings designated as "Masters of the Wisdom" or Ascended masters. According to both Alice A. Bailey and Benjamin Creme, there are a total of 52 beings at this level of initiation.
ixth initiation ("the ascension" or "masterhood")
The Chohans (Lords) of the
Seven Rays- El Morya,Master Kuthumi, Paul the Venetian, Serapis Bey, Master Hilarion, Master Jesusand the Master Rakoczi - are seven of the beings at the level of the sixth initiation, while Djwal Khulis another.
eventh initiation ("bodhisattva" , "avatar", or "christhood")
The seventh initiation is known as the initiation of the
Bodhisattava(Buddhism)or the Avatar(Hinduism). The "Maitreya" or "World Teacher" (known as Krishnaby Hindus, the Christby Christians, Maitreyaby Buddhists, Messiahby the Jews, the Iman Mahdiby Muslims, and the Peshotanby the Zoroastrians) is at this level. At this level also are said to be the Manu and the Mahachohan. [ Bailey, Alice A. "Initiation, Human and Solar" New York: 1922--Lucis Publishing Chart--Page 49 ]
Eighth initiation ("buddhahood")
Level eight is the level of the Buddha.
Ninth initiation ("godhood")
Level nine is the "Lord of the World":
Sanat Kumara- the "Ancient of Days", believed by Theosophists to be the governing deityof Earth.
Tenth initiation ("planetary logos")
The tenth initiation is considered to symbolize perfection and is used to describe the
Initiation in popular culture
1975, Todd Rundgrenreleased an album titled "Initiation" which has a song called "Initiation" on side one. The title of the album is apparently based on the Theosophical concept of Initiation as taught by Alice A. Bailey and C.W. Leadbeater. The entire second side of the album is taken up by a song called "A Treatise on Cosmic Fire"; the three parts of the song are listed as: "I. The Internal Fire, or Fire by Friction; II. The Fire of Spirit, or Electric Fire; The Fire of Mind, or Solar Fire." The second parts of these three phrases are taken directly from Alice A. Bailey's book "A Treatise on Cosmic Fire".
* Leadbeater, C.W. "The Masters and the Path" Adyar, Madras, India: 1925--Theosophical Publishing House--Chart on page 249 (diagram 5), provides details about the Great Ones functioning on initiation levels five through nine. [http://www.anandgholap.net/Masters_And_Path-Images/image015.jpg]
* Bailey, Alice A. "Initiation, Human and Solar" New York: 1922--Lucis Publishing
* Creme, Benjamin "Maitreya's Mission" Amsterdam: 1986--Share International Foundation-- Chart on pages 373-393 gives the Level of Initiation of famous people of history (all the indicated levels are between one and five).
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