Initiation—a word derived from the Latin words initio (‘begin’, ‘originate’), initium (‘a beginning’) and ineo (‘go in’, ‘enter upon’, ‘begin’), from in (‘in’) + eo (‘go’)—refers primarily to entering consciously into an experience and knowledge of the mystery of life. This is not just an intellectual knowledge but also an intuitive and experiential knowledge, the ultimate purpose being that the initiate should become the knower—a knower of the truth. This truth is the wisdom, the secret of life itself. To truly know the truth means living the truth, or living in truth. It means being able to answer the question “What is truth?” not just by explaining it but also by manifesting it.

What indeed is truth? The great teachers have always taught the same, that the truth is love, and that it is this love which is wisdom. But what is love? “The essence of all, the divine Self, the I Am,” answer the great teachers who know. Indeed, the whole path of initiation is a path of self-knowledge, not just of the individual self but also of the divine Self, the Universal Being.

Life itself bestows initiation, but various religions and mystery schools have existed and still exist to help teach, guide, help and train the aspiring initiate. The path of initiation is literally like a path which we have to walk step-by-step. It is also associated with a gradual increase in consciousness, ability and knowledge, in a natural evolutionary way; thus the path is also symbolised as having steps up, known as degrees, akin to climbing a staircase or a mountain. Thus initiation goes step-by-step, degree by degree. In this there is a recognisable pattern that expresses the wisdom and which the wisdom designed according to its laws. The starting point of initiation, because truth is love, is a person’s dedication to follow the path of love by living a life of love.

Naturally there are tests, because we wouldn’t know what real love is unless we experience something of what love is not and learn to manifest love in whatever situation we are in. We have to become good at it. Manifest love is love in action, which is spiritual light. Light shines in darkness and turns darkness to light; but without the darkness to start with we would not be able to see, recognise and know the light.

Zoence Academy and Mystery School is established to help people understand the wisdom and enter as initiates ever more deeply into the mystery of life, so that ultimately we become knowers or illumined beings, and of great help to the world.

Mysteries of Initiation

In a mystery school the student enters into the mystery and thus becomes an initiate (from in-itio, meaning 'to enter in'). But this entering into the mystery and subsequent discovery of truth is done by degrees, a step (or degree) at a time. In this, each person has his or her own pace. What is lovely about a mystery is that it can usually be participated in by initiates at various stages and degrees of initiation.

Time and place play key roles in this: thus right timing and a suitable location in the landscape in which the mystery is enacted are both important; for in the mystery it is understood that man, nature and the spiritual world are inseparable, and that all three are involved in enacting the story.

A mystery set up by a mystery school is only partly man-made, for it serves a greater purpose and is part of a much greater mystery that is of divine origin. The setting up of a true mystery, therefore, only occurs through suitable inspiration and inner guidance, and is always for a good and loving purpose, as an act of service for the world. All true initiates will also have this purpose—to love, understand and serve the truth, which truth is love, or love in action. The initial expression of love as a loving purpose or will to love is the fundamental '1st degree' requisite for entering the mystery and becoming an initiate.

Moreover, each mystery, although initially designed and set up by the leaders or hierophants of the mystery school, gradually unfolds an underlying and previously unknown story from the divine Source that one could say is the real mystery. It is both the 'real' and the 'man-made' together that constitute the whole mystery. Like the Gemini—the immortal and mortal—they act as loving twins or partners.

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