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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

Discussion on initiation

This is a page from the third version of Technopagan Yearnings. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.neowayland.com/C550866538/E20051227173100

A great discussion on what initiation is and what it is for, touching on whether self-initiation is valid

These are the comments from the post Self-Initiation. I think the discussion warrants a post of it's own.

I've made some minor formatting changes to make it easier to read and keep track of who said what. I also corrected my spelling errors.

Juliaki | 12.23.05 - 7:30 am

If, instead of initiation, we changed it to be ordination...can someone be self-ordained into religious service? To me, the words are *almost* synonymous.

Also, one can be an elder and never initiated, and one can be initiated and never an elder. However, I can honestly say that I have never met an elder who claims that they were "self-initiated". They either have received initiation from someone else (through some line of training) or they don't see initiation as important for them.

(Oh, and I also think that if you move "beyond the 'bright & shineys' that you've totally missed the point of the journey…)

NeoWayland | 12.23.05 - 5:01 pm


Same logic applies. Who ordained the first one?

I'm not saying that this is a usual occurrence. But I am saying it is possible. How often is a daVinci or a Newton or a Julian born?

Even more important, how often do circumstances combine with potential to produce?

We know from our own history that it's easier for us to build on that which has gone before. I'm not disputing that.

But we also know that sometimes an individual comes along whose ideas and actions bear no resemblance to what happened before. The kind of person whose insights change our fundamental understanding of the world. And we know that those people are absolutely necessary to human advancement.

NeoWayland |12.23.05 - 5:03 pm

Oh, and for the "bright & shineys," they aren't the only part of the journey. And you have to risk them in order to continue.

That is what I meant by moving beyond.

Juliaki | 12.24.05 - 9:05 am

If you look at all the religions I can think of out there that have some idea of ordination, the person/deity who ordained (initiated) the first was himself/herself/itself NOT ordained nor initiated.

Probably the example that most people are familiar with is Christianity. Who ordained the first pope? According to the Catholic myth, Jesus took a guy by the name of Simeon ben Jonah and "called"/ordained/initiated him to be the foundation of the church (Petra to Peter) as its father (Pappa to Pope). Jesus himself was not a pope of the Christian church, but was able to initiate someone into that role.

The person who starts any sort of line like that is *not* initiated. Many of them may be elevated...but that is not the same thing as initiation. So yes, there is a very clear spot upon which initiation starts. There is a person who can be pointed to who is the first. But they receive that initation from someone else who is *not* initiated.

Another example. I just made up a recipe out of my own creativity today. Now I tell you that it is a recipe that was handed down to me by the family. You say "But I just saw you create that from scratch". I say "But I have a family, therefore it must have been handed down to me, even though I'm the first person to do this." Is there any logical sense in that?

The process of initiation and ordination is one of a continuance of that which is already there and made manifest, passed from one person to another under the guidance of the divine. Therein lies the difference.

What you are describing is a very beautiful elevation. And those are very important. It just isn't initiation any more than Coke is beer or flour is sugar.

NeoWayland | 12.24.05 - 11:20 pm

You seem to be making a circular argument, so let's move beyond that for just a moment.

Posit, there is something other than the continuance and tradition that is handed from one to the other.

Now, it's not particularly important for our definition what that something is, but it is necessary that we recognize that the "fist full of lightning brought back from the mountaintop" came from something other than the initiation process, and that the initiation process is in fact meant to prepare the way for that "fist full of lightning."

Without pulling out more semantics, can we agree on that much?

And since this one seems to "have legs" as it were, would you mind terribly if I copy/pasted it into a main entry after we are done so all the search engines and the blog RSS feed pick it up?

Juliaki | 12.25.05 - 6:48 am

I'll agree that there is "that something else" (and there are even terms for it which you may or may not agree with).

I'll agree that the "fist full of lightning brought back from the mountaintop" can (and most often *does*) come from something other than the initiation process.

What I don't agree with is that the initiation process is meant to prepare the way for that "fist full of lightning, etc.".

Perhaps that's where we're stuck at.....

But yes, feel free to archive this wherever.

NeoWayland | 12.27.05 - 5:50 am

Well, I was trying to let people talk about it without violating any confidences.

Unless you or someone else has something to add, I will post this as an entry in the main blog on Wednesday.

Posted: Wed - December 28, 2005 at 04:31 AM

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