Western Esotericism - Philosophy - Initiation


The concept of initiation plays a very important role in the Western mystical tradition, and many people participating in this tradition are initiated in one or more mystical organisations. Initiatory societies existed in ancient Greece and ancient Egypt, working as schools or colleges for the spreading of their secret teachings to worthy individuals. These teachings were not accessible to the general public, symbolized by the Greek phrase "Ουδείς αγεωμέτρητος εισείτω" (which may be translated as "no person without knowledge of Geometry should get in") found in Plato's Academy.

The tradition of initiation and secrecy is well preserved today, although it is criticised by many people, mainly those related to the New Age phenomenon, where many participants have adopted the view that access to knowledge should be as open as possible. However, many New Age schools and doctrines still require a process of initiation and the private tutelage of a guru, as with many forms of yoga) or other enlightened master (e.g., Zen Buddhism) in order for the passing of wisdom or knowledge to occur.

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Other articles related to "initiation, initiations":

London International School Of Performing Arts - Initiation Course
... The Initiation Course focuses on Physical vocal preparation and observation of the physical world, enabling the student to transpose these elements through the body and the space around them ... The Initiation Course culminates with a final project or Investigation where the students are given a longer time to develop a public presentation based on observation of a particular theme or subject ...
Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha - Initiation
... Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati eventually announced that Sri Srinivasa Sastri would succeed him as the next Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Sringeri ... The sacred initiation ceremony was held on May 22, 1931 ...
Mircea Eliade - Psychological Effects of Initiations
... experiments in psychology have shown that severe initiations produce cognitive dissonance ... Rewards during initiations have important consequences in that initiates who feel more rewarded express stronger group identity ... As well as group attraction, initiations can also produce conformity among new members ...
Mawé People - Initiation Rites
... people use intentional bullet ant stings as part of their initiation rites to become a warrior ... The goal of this initiation rite is to keep the glove on for a full ten minutes ... To fully complete the initiation, however, the boys must go through the ordeal a total of 20 times over the course of several months or even years ...
Sandringham High School, Johannesburg - Initiation Ceremony
... Sandringham never adopted the time-honored tradition of initiation typical of the South African school system ... Initiation was banned by the South African Schools Act in 1996 ...

Famous quotes containing the word initiation:

    The difficult and risky task of meeting and mastering the new—whether it be the settlement of new lands or the initiation of new ways of life—is not undertaken by the vanguard of society but by its rear. It is the misfits, failures, fugitives, outcasts and their like who are among the first to grapple with the new.
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    Until the end of the Middle Ages, and in many cases afterwards too, in order to obtain initiation in a trade of any sort whatever—whether that of courtier, soldier, administrator, merchant or workman—a boy did not amass the knowledge necessary to ply that trade before entering it, but threw himself into it; he then acquired the necessary knowledge.
    Philippe Ariés (20th century)