21. GNOSTIC INITIATION
Initiation is a ceremony, usually a group action, in which secret knowledge is transmitted to an aspirant which will produce great changes in him. Once initiated, the aspirant will never be the same again. When an initiation is real, is true, it is a turning point in the aspirant's life. There is a before and after as regards the initiation, because something has occurred in this ceremony which has changed his life in a spectacular way, something he will never be able to forget. I have known people who received initiations in different places, but on no occasion did they notice anything special. Without a doubt, these were not true initiations. But when someone receives a true initiation, his experience is in fact very striking and he will never forget it. Some compare this experience to that of having been struck by a kind of lightning flash in the middle of the ceremony. This "lightning flash" is what produces the terrible change which will mark the aspirant's life forever. Now he will never again go back to being what he had been before. For the rest of his life he will remain focused on the goal, the specific objective of the initiation received.
Every man, sooner or later will have to choose one of the only two paths, opposing and irreconcilable, open to him: fulfilment of his soul or fulfilment of his Spirit. There is no third possibility. The path of the right hand towards the demiurge by means of perfection of the soul, or the Path of the Left Hand, towards the Unknowable God, by means of liberation of the Spirit. The latter is what makes up the particular goal or objective of an initiation, and that is why there are only initiations of the soul or initiations of the Spirit. The purpose of both is to facilitate the candidate's access towards the destiny he has chosen.
It is important to know the main characteristics of both kinds of initiations, in order to differentiate accurately between one and the other. Many people who are unaware of these details fall into traps which will lead them directly into the jaws of the demiurge. It is easy to make a mistake since there are disguises and falsifications to consider as well as lack of books and information. Let us have a look at those things it is necessary to take into account to be able to reject the poisoned fruit offered to us by the servants of the demiurge.
Firstly, the objective of the initiations of the soul is the final merging with the demiurge. This is of prime importance. If someone talks to us about "the union with God", "losing oneself in God", "the fusion of the individual conscience with the One Conscience", samadhi (dissolution in the demiurge), etc., we will know that we are dealing with a religion, sect or esoteric movement which the demiurge is behind. Of course the initiations that can be granted there will be initiations of the soul and not of the Spirit.
On the other hand, in initiations of the Spirit, the aim will never be a fusion with any god. At the end of the path, when the total confrontation with the demiurge occurs, the initiate will have to resist and reject him, exclude him and exclude himself forever. In these cases, it is not about samadhi, but kaivalya : absolute separation. But special kaivalya, not only total separation with respect to everything created by the demiurge. No. Real kaivalya inevitably includes total and absolute separation from the demiurge himself.
Secondly, in initiations which lead to the demiurge, the aim is to weaken the self of the aspirant, and to push him to renounce to it. Every religious movement which works in favour of the demiurge will give great importance to the need to destroy the self of the aspirants. For fusion with the demiurge to be successful, it is fundamental that the aspirant renounces his self. Once the self has been disintegrated, the empty shell into which the initiate has been converted will be quickly filled by the demiurge. This man has surrendered himself to the demiurge like a sacrificial animal, has attained nothingness and the nothingness has been filled by the demiurge. The goal of the demiurge has been achieved; this man has come a long way to end up by dissolving himself in the one who created him.
On the other hand, in initiations of the Spirit, the aim is always the enlargement of the self and the accumulation of power. Enlarging the self is to get close to the Spirit. If the self does not exist, the Spirit cannot manifest Itself. Renouncing the self is to renounce the Spirit.
Thirdly, in initiations of the soul there are talks about evolution, the future and progress. "The soul has to evolve until it is fused with God". "All creation evolves towards God". "Mankind will continue to evolve until it becomes a universal communion of souls". "The world gets better every day."
On the contrary, in initiations of the Spirit there are talks about return and the past. The world is heading towards its deterioration and destruction. There is nothing good to look forward to in the future. The restoration of Something that there was in the past is essential. In order to repair the Great Injustice carried out by the demiurge and his conmen, it is necessary to go back to that past to deactivate everything, to liberate that which has to be liberated and to destroy that which has to be destroyed.
Fourthly, in initiations of the soul one will hear talk of compassion, devotion, love, generosity and service. Compassion for all beings created by the demiurge. Love for the demiurge and for other men. "Love of everything that the Breath of Divine Life has brought into existence" (this "Breath of Divine Life" is no other than the breath of the demiurge). Service is about serving other men and the "masters" of the white lodge and the demiurge, "to restore the Plan on Earth". Also emphasised are blame and regret.
On the other hand, in initiations of the Spirit, the candidate is like a warrior who has declared total war on the forces of matter. One does not hear talk of peace but swords, the fight for freedom and taking the Heavens by assault. It is not about love, devotion, blame nor regret but duty, honour and revenge. One has to take into account that as the aspirant is Spiritualising, aggressiveness and repulsion for all that is anti-Spiritual and impure, material and created, increase within him. This is the natural hostility of the Spirit towards the demiurge and his work. If the Spirit felt love for the demiurge and his creation, it would not be a Spirit, it would be a soul. The soul is pure love (for the demiurge and his work). The Spirit is pure hate (for the demiurge and his work).
The details which we have stated here allow us to better identify which side these people or religious groups which pretend to help others are on. When we listen to them or read their books we will know straight away if they are with God or with the devil. In this era of darkness in which one only hears talk of the "fulfilment of the soul", of "the powers of the soul", of the "perfection of the soul", it is good to remember that, although persecuted and denied, liberation and fulfilment of the Spirit also exist.
Once the two possible kinds of initiation have been identified we will go on to take a look at its other characteristics.
In Gnostic initiations, the person receives certain secret knowledge. This is not any knowledge but that which produces noticeable changes in the aspirant. It is about special knowledge which has the power to transform the one who listens to it. This type of knowledge is of the utmost importance for a Gnostic (we have already seen that this is the meaning of Gnosis: knowledge). For every Gnostic, salvation is not achieved through faith but through knowledge. This secret knowledge, transmitted during initiation, is not the end of the path but the start. This knowledge has the power to wake up and urge the candidate on to his final goal: liberation of the Spirit. Once received and studied, this knowledge gradually transforms the initiate, in stages. To attain the radical change desired, the final transmutation by the Spirit, the initiate will have to fight constantly and tirelessly. The memory and impact of the initiation will give him strength so that he never gives up or forgets his goal.
In an old Gnostic work, recovered recently and given the title "Trimorphic Protennoia", it is said that initiation is an experience of knowledge which brings spiritual fulfilment. It is also said that it is a process of ascension which is defeat of the cosmos and consolidation of that which is true (the cosmos is the work of the demiurge and that which is true is the Spirit). It speaks of knowledge which liberates and purifies, men who seek the world of the Spirit, and of men who walk in matter. It speaks of initiations in stages which gradually purify and smooth the path of ascent towards the Spirit. In this book, the demiurge is called "the great demon".
There are usually three initiations. After the changes produced by the first initiation and when he is considered to be prepared, the initiate will receive the second initiation which will produce other kinds of changes in him. Then the third initiation will be carried out which will completely smooth the path to his final transmutation.
Another characteristic of initiations is that they can be individual or group. Up to now we have spoken about individual initiations, when a man decides to pass through the threshold and be initiated. In the second case it is now a people or an entire community whose members seek out this transformation as one. These cases are even more rare but there have been several throughout the course of history.
Another situation is self-initiation when the candidate feels he is ready and decides to initiate himself.
There is also the case of initiations received during sleep.
We will be looking at these last two cases in more detail later on.
How would a Gnostic initiation have been carried out in former times? All the Gnostic books which described the process have been destroyed. Let us have a look amongst the enemies of Gnosticism, who on the other hand were able to read these books. Irenaeus of Lyons was one of them. He wrote a book of five volumes called "Adversus Haereses" (against heresy). Only the first volume, which is quite easy to get hold of and in which Irenaeus mocks Gnostic ideas, has been translated. The other volumes are in Greek and Latin, hidden in some library which is difficult to access. This is understandable since the second volume refers to the ideas of the great Gnostic Marcion and it is not desirable that people get to know about his ideas or read his immortal work "Antithesis" for example. The enemies of Gnosis tried to make sure that no man could be enlightened by Marcion's work, or awakened by it; it wouldn't be the case that one of the religions of the demiurge falls down!
But the third volume, the most well-hidden, is the one which describes Gnostic initiation ceremonies. If these books against Gnosis, written by no less than Saint Irenaeus, full of slander and irony against Gnosticism, are so jealously guarded.What can we expect in the case of an authentically Gnostic book!
The great scholar in Gnosticism, Elaine Pagels, had access to the third volume by Irenaeus of Lyons and in her book "The Gnostic Gospels" she describes several details of Gnostic initiation. Pagels tells us that the aspirant is aware now that before he adored and served the demiurge who up to that moment he had confused with the true God. During the initiation ceremony, the aspirant addresses the demiurge declaring his independence from him and from his creation, telling him that he now no longer belongs to his sphere of authority and that he has transcended all that. The initiate recognizes the Unknowable God, rejects the authority of the creator god and his commands, and declares that he has been forever liberated from the power of the demiurge. From this point on his relationship with the demiurge will be completely different.
By means of the initiation, the initiate has radically changed his relation with the creator god. He has separated himself from the demiurge and all creation. He has separated himself from his body and soul. He is now outside the laws which govern the world of matter and time. He is now outside everything, except his Spirit.
Let us now return to the theme of self-initiation. There are men who have woken up a little and are desperately searching for the path of liberation of their Spirits. Those men can initiate themselves and produce the transcendental change which can lead them to the Spirit.
Next I will relate the formula of self-initiation which I developed and applied to myself. At night, in bed and ready to sleep, whoever so wishes can mentally repeat the following until they fall asleep: "I want to separate myself from the creator god and his creation, I want to separate myself from matter and time, I want to separate myself from my body and soul, I want to unite myself with my Spirit, I want my Spirit to be liberated, I want to be my Spirit, I am my Spirit".
This formula of self-initiation produces incredibly striking results; however it must be applied with care. At least at the start, it is better not to practice it every night.
This type of nocturnal self-initiation leads us onto the cases in which initiations are received during sleep. In these cases the aspirant moves out of his physical body and the ceremony is carried out in other dimensions of the created universe. There are initiates who have received one, two, even three initiations during sleep. Others have received the first on the physical plane and the rest outside of it. Each case is unique; there are no two the same.
During the initiation ceremonies carried out during sleep, the aspirant, although far away from his physical body, is fully conscious of what is happening.
Not only initiations of the Spirit, but also those of the soul can be received in other dimensions.
In my case, I searched the world over and for many years for someone who could give me the true Gnostic initiation. In the end, I found out that person had been living all those years less then a hundred metres from my house! I had been searching distant countries for that which was within arm's reach. When I went and knocked on his door I was told that he had left this world a short time ago. My disappointment was so great that I thought the only way to get the authentic Gnostic initiation would be to initiate myself during sleep, in other dimensions of the created world.
Next I am going to relate some of the experiences that have happened to me.
One night, during which I had been reading "The Green Face", a book by Gustav Meyrink, before going to sleep I mentally repeated "I want the liberation of my Spirit" many times and then I fell asleep. Half an hour had passed when a bright light woke me up. I kept my eyes closed but could see a bright light; everything around me was light. I slowly opened my eyes and realized that this intense light filled the whole room. I thought that someone had got into my house and put the lights on. But no, the lights were out; this was a different light, a strange light that I had never seen before. Without moving, I looked around the whole room and found that the light was coming from one of the corners. A beam of light was flowing out from the corner and had already filled the room, gushing forth like a bright mist which engulfed everything. Faced with phenomena such as these we must try not to be afraid and remember that fear does not exist for the Spirit. The Spirit is not afraid of anything because It is indestructible, immortal and eternal.
Another night, after reading a few pages of the book "The Theory of Eternal Life" by Rodney Collin, I resolved to mentally repeat the words "I want to receive the initiation of the Spirit" until I fell asleep. Forty minutes later, the same light as before woke me up but now there were also two people in the room. I kept my eyes closed, but "sensed" that there were two men there, next to my bed. I thought "How could they have got in, if the doors and windows are locked and only I have the keys to the house?" I was afraid to open my eyes, afraid to look at them and afraid they would notice I had woken up. I heard a strange and powerful voice: "You called us and we have come, and now you are afraid!" I kept my eyes shut and did not reply. I wanted to escape, but I was afraid they would attack me if I tried. Next, I heard "You weren't fully prepared" and then "There is no other way". They immediately nailed into my head a kind of needle, without giving me time to react or defend myself. I felt that they were injecting a kind of liquid into my brain, using what appeared to me to be a kind of metal syringe or something similar. Then I fell asleep. From that day on I felt within me a sort of distance with respect to the world and I knew without a doubt exactly what the goal was to which I had to dedicate all my efforts for the rest of my life. I also noticed that my doubts and uncertainties about the most direct path to the Spirit had disappeared.
Fear in a man is a sign that he is still identifying with the created world and its laws. A sign that he still loves matter, his body and soul, and does not want to lose them. For that reason his separation from everything created must be gradual. As he progresses with his Spiritualization his fear diminishes, at the same time as, as we have already said, his hostility towards the impure and the ephemeral increases. This is the proof that a man is becoming close to his Spirit.
Years later, I had a similar experience after mental repetitions prior to sleep. The same light and the same men appeared. This time the same voice said: "Now there is no fear". And next they leant a strange instrument against my head which emitted some sort of laser beam. A strange rhomboid-shaped symbol was then engraved on my head by the beam. After that second experience, less invasive than the first, I noticed that I was getting closer to my Spirit without looking back or around me. The path had been completely smoothed, transformed into a direct path and now I only had to walk down it.
The third initiation aims to ease and help with the final transmutation, the True Salvation.
> Continue reading next chapter: True liberation of the Spirit