About Masonic Initiation Generalities

Receipt of the container in the lodge

Initiation is a word that comes from the Latin initium, with the meaning of entry or beginning. Both meanings were preserved in the act of Initiation, which represents, on the one hand, entry into a particular group, and on the other hand implies the beginning of a new life, a living with the supreme truths.

Contemporary societies have desacralized the term. Today they talk about initiation in mathematics or physics-which means a didactic act. However, desacralization is not integral: initiation in a particular area involves providing special techniques and information, understanding that area, finding an effective approach. And finding an effective way to approach is precisely the method of any initiation.

The initiation process is ancient. There were discovered skulls dating from the Neolithic which carries the traces of a delicate operation called Trepanation. Today it is believed that Trepanning was part of the rite of initiation of that period. Otherwise, Neolithic is the era from which definite evidence arises about the existence of world-scale initiation rites. We can push this evidence much further, until the dawn of the Paleolithic. The burial of corpses in the fetal position and their staining with ochre are clear indications of the existence of an initiation to the Paleolithic people because it shows two essential things: identification of death with birth and privileged role of blood, Considered the vital substance.

The importance and persistence of initiation rites require an explanation. It’s about the function of these actions.

By initiation, the individual gained three categories of knowledge and Skills:

  • Learn the myths of collectivity and her way of interpreting existence;
  • The necessary ability to exercise a profession (hunting, farming, later craft);
  • It gained moral enlightenment, together with paranormal powers and learn the techniques of entering the trance.

This latest category of information explains the formidable efficiency of the initiation. Actually, this is where the main point of the discussion was.

The initiation rites are very diverse. Along the way, I will offer some examples, but their variety is huge, impossible to cover now. Instead, the common stages and elements can be highlighted, which is precisely the description of the problem.

Any initiation implies death and a revival. The individual must die as a profane and be reborn as initiated. To be reborn as initiated means to acquire enlightenment and-in most cases-paranormal powers. This is done on two horses: physical and spiritual. Both worth discussing.

The physical path involves a series of frustrations, excesses and graduated cakes in a scholar manner.

Frustrations include depriving certain foods and sexual life. Sometimes candidates are buried in graves, covered with branches and must stand still as dead. Other times, like the Bombo tribe in Cameroon, the candidate for the sorcerer function is closed for five months with a girl he’s not allowed to touch. Finally, to other African tribes, the candidate is tied face to face with a corpse for three days in a hole. Excess, on the contrary, consists in consuming drugs and exacerbating sexual life. The tantric said of the left, some Gnostic sects, some Taoist sects pursue the release of sexual frenzy. The American Indians, like the Aztecs and the Mayans, knew the cactus called Peyotl, from which they were extracting a drug that was currently being made during the initiations and sacred ceremonies. The Backima tribe of Mayombe (Zair) factory a narcotic drink called the death drink. During the initiation, the candidate is obliged to drink it and stay drugged for three days. Some authors sit in the category of EXEs and ritual dances, performed until physical exhaustion and getting the collective trance. There are societies where ceremonies are fulfilled only by the use of ritual dance or on-the-spot spins until the loss of knowledge. But the most spectacular group is the tortures. They can be classified in ritual operations (circumcision), mutilations, flagellations, and evidence of courage. The most common mutilations refer to the live-plucking of some teeth and amputation of the little finger. Flagellations (i.e. whipping) are very common; Sometimes-as in the Kuta population-they are followed by lubricating the body with stinging leaves or irritants. The culmination of the tortures is the operation of circumcision, very widespread in the world. It is made alive and is extremely painful: The Australians karadjeri, for example, a practice by skinning the male genital organ completely. The evidence of courage is, in general, the final part of the tortures. The Mandan tribe in North America demanded the passage of the following evidence: Two men cut the chest muscles and the back of the candidate, they put their hand in the wound and they were pulling a rope under these muscles. The candidate was then raised in the air by those fringes. In the muscles of the arms and legs, there were the stakes that were hooked on buffalo skulls. Anyway, he was blown up like a feather, until he lost consciousness.

Operation masters do not leave traces on the body, the spiritual path is as excruciating. It begins with the first act of initiation; The neophyte is plucked from the middle of the family and isolated, Usually in a cave or in a hut in the woods. There he waits for a monster that will swallow him. His eyes Are tied; his ears Are sealed. When he can hear, he listens to a few days of lurid voices and frightening noises. In parallel, he is tortured by the system described earlier. Afterward, he’s not allowed to talk, and he only moves his hand. Tibetans build Neophytes in a cave, leaving them only a small opening to receive water and food. There, in the cave, the future Lama must meditate permanently for several months, sometimes several years. If he does not have the power to resist and break the wall, he loses the right to initiate and expose himself to the danger of being destroyed. The terrible sufferings of the initiation period are aimed at inoculating the neophyte with the firm’s belief that he died and is tormented by the demon gods. He must die in order to be reborn otherwise, as initiated. For a long time, the authors could not explain the origin and basis of this process. For us, it is clear that this is how living is conducted on the brink of death. Neophyte is brought to the limit of biological existence (more even: any initiation technique implies denial of normal biological existence-from here, by example, the great abstinence of yogis and even the strategy of the asana, which are the most abnormal yoga positions with to be forced into the trance and to obtain the vision beyond the world. Next, he is brought to the prenatal hypnotic state-when he can easily assimilate a huge amount of information: the myths of the tribe; The role, significance, and application of tools; Techniques for the production of Ecstasy. So, psychologically speaking, he really dies and is reborn, because only through the living of the dead can the spiritual force be gained.

This was, by the other, very often stated. Behold, as an example, a short and famous quote from Plutarch: “The Soul, at the time of death, has the same sensations as those who are initiated in the great mysteries.

Gradually, initiation was associated with the notion of secrecy and mystery. We have seen this association since the Archaic period: there is a generalized and another, subsequent, much more selective initiation, reserved only to the chosen ones that entered the so-called Männerbunde or Weiberbunde, secret societies of men or women. The differential between the chosen ones and the others had the difference in physical, psychological and paranormal qualities.

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