"One of the more subtle and profound initiations is not conducted by people, but by a Divine Spirit in which we can be transformed, renewed, reborn, or energized into a new level of knowledge and experience. This can happen outside of any organized religion, as a mystical experience, to anyone at any time. Dogma and authoritative belief systems are not required."
~ 333 Keywords to Change Your Life - "Initiate"
What is a Sacred Initiation?
The traditional reference of a formal initiation is to mark a rite of passage, by admission to a group or organization. Sometimes a reference to birth and death are used to describe dying to the old self and being reborn. Examples include baptism, bar mitzvah, secret vows, ceremonies, physical challenges to overcome, or a realization of the quest to drink from the metaphorical cup of the Holy Grail. Commonly there is a teacher/student, guru/disciple or Master/initiate relationship with a ceremony or ritual. A sacred initiation is not formal. An example is an "informal" baptism by the Divine Spirit compared to a ritual baptism by water.
"The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” - John 3:8
A sacred initiation is a spiritual experience that seems to help you cross a threshold, and changes your life in some way. This can happen without a human intermediary, through acts of a Divine Spirit. In this type of informal initiation, we can be transformed, renewed, reborn, or energized into a new level of knowledge
When Does an Initiation Happen?
Anything can be a catalyst or trigger for an initiation experience. It does not need to be a formal ceremony or ritual, although those have evolved to give external symbolism and reverence to represent or affirm an internal or external change in life. It can also be something that seems "normal" at the time but in retrospect it may be seen as an initiation as a result of what happened in consciousness. It can happen at any time or place.
Can a book can be a catalyst for a sacred initiation?
At age eighteen, a few years before I had a sacred puja ceremony initiation experience, I was given the book Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda and just reading it was a dramatic experience for me. It had the effect of taking my very limited consciousness and awareness of spiritual realities to a whole new level. I looked at life differently after that, inspired by the possibilities of learning and having deeper levels of experience. It was like a sacred initiation as it was the beginning of a spiritual journey that continues onward and upward. On this journey I have had different types of initiations, and they continue occasionally to this day. Writing is a form of initiation, when a threshold is crossed and new ideas or words come into the mind to create, express, and share with others, inspired by a muse or Divine Spirit.
May the Divine Spirit be like a wind or breeze in our life, even though we do not know where or when it may happen. And as initiates, may it bless our soul, spirit, and consciousness with an initiation as a sacred experience. Are you ready?
~ David Lawrence Brown