Identification and Initiation, States and Stages
Updated: Aug 10, 2018
By way of clarifying our approach, I want to discuss the difference between initiation and identification. Initiation has to do with consciousness, so using the Theosophical model of the planes as a ‘ladder’, we might say that the soul or self consciousness climbs the ladder from plane to plane and undergoes initiations on and between planes. This same self conscious entity, when on the lower three planes is called ‘personality’, on the middle three ‘soul’, and on the higher three, ‘monad’, but it is the same thing – the climbing self – the becoming or evolving one.
There is also a process of assistance between planes because consciousness is one. Those on higher planes encourage and point out to those on lower, via the fire of consciousness, how to climb and achieve mastery on each plane. Not only the self consciousness evolves but so does the matter of the planes themselves as they are ‘worked through’ by the evolving lives. The masculine principle ( in theos terminlogy ) is the climbing self – individual and group – and the planes or devic lives are the feminine principle. On the lower two and one half planes the feminine principle is stronger and thus there is a tendency for the climbing self to over-identify with its sheaths and get stuck. Thus there is an emphasis on the self consciousness or masculine principle. Once the buddhic plane is reached then there is a realisation that the planes and consciousness are two aspects of a single reality previously unrevealed – the self and the sheaths in which the self comes to know itself are a duality. This is the beginning of identification with the One that lies behind all twos.
An important point to realise is that identification ‘can’ occur on any plane because it is the reality that lies at the heart of both the climbing self and the sheaths. It is much more likely to occur from the buddhic plane however, because this is the central plane of the system.
This has its correspondence to the idea in Integral studies of ‘states’ and ‘stages’. Stages represent the stable structures of consciousness that are developed as the climbing self grows up through the planes. They are both individual and collective with breakthroughs and new structures in one area affecting each other. This is why Hierarchy itself and the ashrams are evolving. Stages correspond to initiations and as human consciousness evolves, these initiations are both easier to take ( because the collective structures on the planes are more sophisticated ) and the standards get raised ( which results in more development of the planes ).
Identification on the other hand refers to a state. A state of consciousness is like waking, dreaming, sleeping to which we add turiya ( witnessing ) and turiyatita ( non dual realisation ) . These states can and do occur in all selves on all planes. On the lower planes however, the self is so patriotically immersed that we only register waking and some dreaming. The higher up the planes and the more initiations we take, then the more these ‘states’ become anchored in structures of waking consciousness, starting with lucid dreaming, witnessing deep sleep and so on. So, once again, non dual identification is much more likely to occur on higher planes and deeper structures of consciousness but can occur and indeed permeates all levels.
Why is this important? Because those on higher planes are able to transmit to and through the lower – not only the energy of more developed consciousness ( initiation ) but also the energy of life ( identification ). This energy, as it permeates the lower planes, more and more is experienced by those polarised there as a pressure in their core, the centre or the heart ( whatever level of heart ) – a pressure with no visible source – to open from the inside out.
Identification accelerates Initiation.
The example is easier seen if we take a particular level – for example, the person polarised in their causal body on the higher three subplanes of the mental. They are in abstract mind, so one interaction with other souls is through abstract ideas – exchanging forms with each other – the third subplane. Then there is the flow of buddhic solar fire channeled through the second subplane. This is not ideas but the energy experienced as solar love, and souls then respond magnetically to each other and by resonance are drawn into their ashramic affiliations. The petals are encouraged to open through the exchange of ideas and the mutual sharing of love as a quality of energy and consciousness. The first subplane however allows for the flow of atma and monadic charge. This is experienced through the jewel as a pressure to open the petals from the inside out. The charge of life is so strong it causes a pressure against any limitations, both in consciousness and in form.
The same process works on other planes – for example, the emotional experience is a deep welling up in the core of the feeling life and an opening of the heart ( inside the emotions are buddhi and then the monad ). On the physical plane the energy in the body – the rush light – wants to be free of limitation and rises from the physical into the etheric and so on.
So the release of the energy of Life through the cosmic physical planes – collectively what we call the Shamballa Impacts – both acts through consciousness, increasing the process of initiation, but also directly through the core of both the planes and the selves on those planes. The direct transmission of Life has some downsides – because it stimulates the Self at all levels and if too much of that self is polarised on the lower planes then conflict is the result. Its great upside however, is that it is experienced as coming from within and not without. Initiation is a process where those other souls more advanced than us help us out and we know they are doing that. With identification, the impulse to BE, to evolve, and to express higher and deeper levels of that being is emerging directly through the core of our own being.
Ideally in this school we need to be working with all processes – the initiation of the selves, the evolving of those forms and structures that support that initiation, and the generating of a reservoir of life that increases the capacity for identification in those in the field, and in our wider field of service.