Blayne started the ball rolling with this question:
So would one know for sure of they were a second degree initiate or not? Or could they be a second degree initiate and not know it? If they could and not know it when would one know for sure what level they are at?
Until the writings of Alice A. Bailey became available knowledge of the initiations were not available to the masses. Hence there have been many initiates in history who knew nothing about the initiations. All initiates have had a sense of making progress before the eyes of God but few understood the gradations.
Shakespeare, Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddie, Lincoln, Churchill, Edison, Tesla and many other initiates had similar initiation experiences but it is likely that none of them were consciously aware that there were specific initiations. Once in a while an initiate will have a conscious revelation that tells him what is going on, but this is the exception.
DK tells us that the actual recognition by the Hierarchy of an initiation happens after the abilities and qualities of the initiation have already been obtained. It’s a little like getting a college diploma after the ceremony. The diploma does nothing to enhance your education or make you smarter or improve your skills. It is merely recognition of accomplishment.
Even so, the initiations are like diplomas giving recognition of something that is already accomplished.
When you read DK about the initiations it sounds like all initiates would know if they have passed an initiation even if they have not heard of Alice A. Bailey. He talks about ceremonies that accompany them with Masters, rods of power etc. Who could put something like that out of his mind?
DK barely mentions the reasons that initiates rarely recall initiation ceremonies. There are two reasons for this.
(1) The initiation ceremonies are usually held after death, between lives.
(2) Other times they take place during sleep. The disciple may have some dreams around the event but the conscious memory is often lost.
It is only on rare occasions that initiates have a conscious memory of initiation ceremonies. I doubt that even Alice A. Bailey or HPB had full memories of their own, even though they were aware of the initiation process.
Since a seeker can be an initiate yet have no conscious memory of any ceremony of recognition then can he know if he has passed the first, the second, the third etc.
The answer is a pretty solid yes for the first and the third, but the second is more difficult to discern.
The first degree initiate has the birth of the Christ in his heart. He becomes a seeker and does all he can to purify himself to make himself acceptable before God. He seeks to control his sexual impulses and body appetites.
Many seekers can identify with going through this process.
The third degree initiate has a profound supernatural experience where he confronts the Dweller on the Threshold and experiences the Angel of the Presence that ends with seeing through illusion. Such a disciple will recognize this initiation when it is described by DK or others.
The second initiation is a little more difficult to recognize because glamour springing from the ego is powerfully involved and must be overcome.
Many first degree initiates struggling with glamour will automatically assume he or she has achieved the second or beyond. Those struggling with ego and glamour usually overestimate their status and a few have the glamour of false humility and project themselves as below average when in their hearts they see themselves as superior to others.
The second initiation is one of the most difficult to achieve because of the power of the lower ego and the surrounding glamours. Then the achievement is a long tough process with no one great moment or flash of light marking the achievemet. Reaching the second initiation is a little like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. When you put in the last piece you finally see the whole picture but this achievement was proceeded by finding many other pieces first.
Here are some qualities found in the second degree initiate.
(1) Strong desire to improve himself and achieve self control
(2) He is at peace with his emotional self even in stressful conditions.
(3) He will rarely take offense at anything anyone says, even if it is highly insulting or outrageous. If someone shoves him he is not likely to shove back unless there is some purpose in it.
(4) He will rarely make statements to illustrate how great or talented he is. He will show his ability by his actions rather than boasting or even subtle hints.
(5) If associates see you as someone who is always trying to prove how good you are or as an obnoxious ego then chances are you have not achieved the second degree. If they see you as a nice person and feel comfortable having you in charge then that is an indication you have achieved, but there are exceptions.
(6) A second degree or higher is usually working on initiating something such as, a group, a philosophy, a business or some idea. He will go beyond just dreaming and scheming and attempt to accomplish and will not quit just because times are tough.
(7) The second degree is opening up his heart energies and those close to him (or her) will enjoy the relationship and sense the warm energies coming from this person.
(8) No one likes to be criticized but the second degree or higher will appreciate constrictive criticism and even be open to learning from harsh destructive attacks.
(9) The second degree can transcend guilt and put it in its proper place where it can do no harm.
(10)He practices the principle of harmlessness.
(11) He holds no grievances.
(12) He has achieved a degree of soul contact and has had spiritual experiences that have convinced him that the spiritual world is real.
(13) He takes responsibility for his lot in life and will rarely blame others for his problems.
(14) He has good mental development, is reasonable and logical.
These are just a few of a list that could be expanded.
The key mark of the second degree initiate is the overcoming of glamour but the difficulty in only going by this is that one who has not achieved the second degree cannot see glamour correctly. He may think he has no glamour when he does. This difficulty will make the list I have presented quite helpful if contemplated.
If Paul experienced the 3rd initiation on the road to Damascus, then when did he experience his 2nd? How could Paul have experienced the 2nd initiation and still persecute the Christians? The 2nd initiation should have dispelled this error about the Christians.
We do not have many details of Paul’s life before he joined the church. We do know his mind was highly developed and was very focused. These are two qualities of a second degree initiate. My guess is that he had some spiritual experiences when he was young that made him dedicated to the highest he knew and that led to overcoming glamour.
The second degree can be far from perfect because of illusion. Remember that Hitler was a second degree initiate who took the Left Hand Path instead of the Right. Paul was probably close to this in persecuting the Christians but caught himself before it was too late.
Ruth wants to know what kind of initiates will be in the first molecule?
The answer is the higher the better but it could be composed of mostly first degree initiates and succeed as long as the individuals involved are open to the energies of the soul and are not overly critical of others in the group. Molecules in the past have been made of first degree initiates and higher.
The 3rd initiation is usually undertaken in the 1st Saturn cycle by the age of 28, isn’t it?, so if a Molecule only consisted of 3rd degree initiates, then most in that Molecule would be in their 20s.
Initiations that are repeated from past lives are completed by the age of 21, but new ones can be achieved at any age past 21. Moses reached his third when he was in his eighties. Initiates continue to achieve way past their first Saturn cycle.
The question came up as to why HPB smoked if she had control over her appetites. If you read her biography you see that she smoked unapologetically and really enjoyed it and offered cigarettes to all. She seemed unaware that smoking was bad for the health so did not attempt to stop this habit.
You aren’t even capable of choosing a path (right or left) until AFTER compeltion of the 3rd…
The choice is made as one approaches the third. When the third is approached the choice between the two paths becomes clear. If the left hand path is chosen then illusion is magnified. If the right is chosen then revelation comes, illusion is dispelled and the initiation is achieved.
JJ said if you passed the first or second in a previous life you may not be aware of that in this life because the ordinance part does not need to repeat. But the third and up gets the full meal deal ordinances with BOL guys using the rod of power etc. Hard to miss – you would absolutely consciously know.
There would only be the ceremony if the initiate passes the third for the first time. There would only be a subtle recognition of accomplishment if he is repeating what he achieved in a past life.
Ruth asks about the initiations of Moses. Moses was overshadowed by an advanced entity who apparently achieved the fifth initiation in that life for the scriptures indicate that his body was not subject to death. It appears the lower Moses figure attained the third. In any later incarnation he would have repeated these initiations before the age of 21 and started working on additional ones. Sometimes it takes many lives to move from one initiation to another and other times progress goes fairly quickly.
Copyright 2011 by J J Dewey