We need to understand what Initiation really is. It is purification of a very special kind. To us, when we are in the world of spirit, the soul is the whole being of man. When that soul is imprisoned in the human body he is attached to a personality. Soul and personality are two but soul-personality is one.
When you, a spiritual being, set apart to fulfil some spiritual work in the world of men under the guidance of God’s laws, planned your return to earth in this day of time it was for you, and for those who guided you and are still guiding you, a very important event for when the soul has a spiritual message to give, that soul is not permitted to slip through the ethers from heaven to earth for incarnation. It is a very long preparation and a dwelling in each plane of consciousness on the part of the soul before it enters the human body.
While you were in the place of light you would be one of a group of workers attached to a Master-Initiate. The work of the Master-Initiate has one definite purpose; he may be a healer, he may be a teacher, he may be both teacher and healer, but one of those attributes will be the most important one. But because he is a Master-Initiate he has himself passed through every phase of the experiences which we call ‘Initiation.’ He knows how far a student may be helped and how far he must tread the path of initiation alone, and he knows just exactly how much power and light and what coloured rays will be necessary for the student’s path.
You, too, as the soul coming into incarnation, have a part to play. You must prepare for that descent into matter. First of all, under the guidance of your Master-Initiate, your Doorkeeper and your Spiritual Guide will be chosen. Although your Doorkeeper and your Spiritual Guide will be indicated by you, it is the Master-Initiate who advises you, and there is no choice.
You will spend a portion of each of your periods, which are equivalent to your day and night on earth in the company of your Doorkeeper. You will spend a similar period with your Spiritual Guide. Those periods will be spent in preparing for the great event of birth and living in the physical body. There will be a great deal to be done. You will have to meet those Great Beings of the Hierarchy, who guide that particular group of Master-Initiates, and step by step, with all the joy and the glory of the light of the place of light, you will be guided by your Master-Initiate in all you say and think, ‘say’ being merely a projection of sound upon the ether, not the spoken word.
You will plan your life under the guidance of the Master-Initiate. It will be his advice that will set the plan of your Zodical signs and of course the planets which guide you under those signs, and there will be a helper set apart who will collect your past experiences. These will be studied and arranged in such a way that certain of them will be taken again, so that it will be a very long preparation. Your soul will be purified during the whole time of the preparation. The rays of light will be poured into you and then there will come that immensely important moment when the Spirit of the Father-Mother God will be poured into you by the Father Himself, that is His gift to you as you set forth, and that spirit contains a portion of the Glory of God which you carried to earth with you even though you may not remember it.
You will greet your Master-Initiate at regular periods of very short intervals in between. You will come to know him and to love him and to realise that his gentleness contains the power of the love of God and that his severity must always be with you and that you must understand the need for that severity if you falter on the path.
So you make that preparation for that immense journey to earth. The soul sets forth, descending, Oh so slowly, through plane after plane of consciousness until the moment comes for it to enter the physical body and be born a tiny crying child. It will probably be a long time before the Master-Initiate himself, to whom you belong and who belongs to you, will be able to manifest to your vision or your understanding, but he will be very near you through your life, and those whom you call your Guides will come under his instructions until the moment comes for him to manifest to you, and after that moment you will spend two periods in every twenty-four hours with him.
For a long time you will not even be conscious of his presence. You certainly will not be conscious of it during the waking hours of your day, but you may begin to be conscious during the hours of sleep and when you meet him pass it off as a dream. But all the time he will be guiding you towards those great steps of initiation which you have come to earth to take and you are not taking that initiation alone for yourself; you are taking it with a large company of men and women who serve and love the same Master-Initiate as you do and whom you will meet in your waking life without recognising them, and during the hours of sleep with still less recognition.
We speak of a great spiritual Being named Gautama as the Buddha, and I wonder if you realise exactly what Buddha means. Buddha is an immense force of light, the greatest force of light in the world, because it is a combination of Christ rays enclosing within them the rays of the Cosmos and the rays of the Hierarchy. Therefore, when we speak of the Master-Initiate Gautama coming to earth as the Buddha, we mean that his great being, his physical body even, was able by its immense purification and preparation to hold the full force of this immense power of light.
Gautama did not come to earth only for that period in which he lived. He came to prepare for a new Christ whom he knew would be much greater than the Christ who would follow him and who would also hold the full force of the power of light that he held, plus certain additional rays of light set aside for the purpose, and it is this Being, prepared for 5,000 years ago, that we are expecting at the moment. We do not expect him to manifest tomorrow. His coming is a very, very slow process. Everything that is touched by his power must first be purified just as you were prepared for your descent into matter.
Above all, the disciples must be prepared, and that preparation is by purification. That is exactly what initiation is. It is a purification of the whole being of man in preparation for his fulfillment of an immense work for God.
In the very ancient days this immense force of light could only be touched through the Mysteries and therefore Master-Initiates chose certain members of their people under the guidance of Beings of Light who set the pattern for that School of Mysteries in which they worked, and these, men and women alike, were set apart.
They purified their bodies daily with cold water. The purification of their garments was something of immense importance. Their food was fresh and clean and pure, untouched by the hand of ordinary people, and these people lived apart from the multitude, apart from the Court, apart from the world, and they studied in the silence of the Temple the great Mysteries. Through these Mysteries there were set for them certain tests which were tests for the Initiation and there were seven great trials or tests for everyone.
When the power was withdrawn from the Mystery Schools, so that man could no longer purify himself and prepare himself through initiation in the Temple, a great loss was felt, and this loss or blankness, this emptiness came to the hearts of men just before the coming of the Master Jesus, and that period would have been roughly, about 3,000 years ago, so that during a period of 2,000 years, the chosen ones who were able to study the Mysteries were able to reach that tremendous Buddhic force when they had become initiates.
It was during this period that man, lost and alone, began to practice evil in the Temples, and it was during this period that the blood sacrifices were prominent among men, and then gradually the force of the incoming Master-Initiate was felt and the Christ ray was poured through the planet you know as the Sun, so that long before Jesus dwelt among men that Christ force was felt by man through the power of the physical Sun.
From the moment that Jesus was born, incarnate man was able to contact the Christ force direct, that was the great gift which the Master Jesus brought to man, and those among the rulers of the people in Rome and in Jerusalem who knew and realised what was happening sought to destroy Jesus because they did not feel they wanted the whole earth to feel the force of that ray or to become regenerated by it. They crucified Him, but in crucifying Him they released a still greater force of light which returned to the earth through the blood which fell upon the ground, and through the etherisation of the blood, the first manifestation of the Christ of Aquarius was felt among men.
It probably will be a very long time before the Aquarian Christ comes fully into His own, but all those who are set aside to work through their initiation under their own Master-Initiate, their Teacher, will move step by step towards Him and the purification which is necessary for the initiate will be carried out on all planes.
If your soul had come to earth to enter the physical body swiftly and without preparation it would have had no inner light which could expand and draw light from each plane as it descended. It would have had only grey ugliness which would have made contact with any part of ugliness in any of those planes and gathered it together, so that when the soul came into incarnation, it would be a hideous being, lacking in spiritual light, with no knowledge of the laws of God.
In a sense your preparation for initiation is just that period reversed. You are on earth. Your soul is guiding your personality through certain experiences on earth in order that you may become purified, body, soul and spirit, sufficiently so that the Buddhic force may touch you and hold you for all time, and that means that when you return to the world of spirit you will be already filled with light and you will make your contribution to the place of light as an initiate of whichever Master you are called upon to serve.
All countries, all peoples, have different forms of initiation, and therefore the souls that understand the value of these tests and trials will return to earth again and again and again, always seeking different nations, different peoples, for their incarnational period that they may learn through every possible angle and every possible point of view all that there is to learn about the purification of the body and the soul for the coming of the light.
You are the children who are leaving the Piscean Age behind you. You are held by the light which Christ Jesus gave to mankind. He did not mind if He never touched it Himself again so long as the people of the earth whom He loved should have the full power and value of it, and in order to test you He withdraws the light very slowly away from you during that period from Christmas to Midsummer and then He begins to pour it out upon you again until your whole being is filled with the Christ force in preparation for the Buddhic force which comes later.
(From The Sacred Vessel, by Mona Rolfe PhD)