Initiations are a vital part of our growth and development as human beings. An initiation is a growth medium for consciousness, one that combines the needs of the human world with that of the spiritual realms. Initiations are bound by invocations (setting the intention at multiple levels of reality), actions that test the mettle of the initiate, and a final graduation in which the initiate joins the ranks of others who have undergone a similar process.
For instance, marriage ceremonies are a common initiation into the adult world. There are a series of invocations that culminate in the formation of a new state: the commitment of two individuals to share affection, resources, and to support each other. Ideally, such a ceremony brings together the aspirations of two people with the blessing of the community (wedding guests) and an officiating Ritual Elder (priest). Once the ceremony is over, the marriage begins. Actions follow, such as the creation of joint assets, learning to share money, and bringing children into the world. Each action brings its own challenges, but the end result should be a relational “container” where the needs of two people are supported, and personal development occurs.
Initiations are found throughout our lives, whether it is a graduation from college, a promotion to a leadership position in the workplace, or the creation of a work of art, the publishing of a book, or an athletic accomplishment. In the world of energy healing each practitioner must also move through a series of initiations that prepare them for the deeply soulful work of helping others. These specialized initiations follow the general theme outlined above but with one important addition: in order to take someone on a journey of self-discovery we have to have completed that journey ourselves. But sometimes things don’t go exactly as we had hoped. We run the risk of misleading people if we attempt to initiate others into a container of growth that we have yet to complete for ourselves.
This is the Failed Initiation: where someone attempts to teach or mentor another in a process they, themselves, have not yet achieved. In our childhoods, it is the parent who has not yet become a fully initiated adult, trying to raise a child from a limited and often injurious standpoint. In the workplace, it is the controlling or psychopathic employer taking advantage of their position of power over their dependent workers. And, it also applies to those looking for personal or spiritual mentor or guides. Those healers or teachers could be carrying unhealed wounding or developmental deficits that, ultimately, could affect us.
As Energy Healing is the transfer and interaction of one energy field (the healer) with another (the client) there can be important implications for any energy healer who has also experienced a Failed Initiation. The issues of the healer’s failure – whether a developmental challenge, an unhealed trauma from childhood, or an unresolved past-life pattern – are evoked within the container of their working relationship with a client. A client may be unable to complete their personal growth work if the Ritual Elder has not completed their own version of that growth.
There are several symptoms of energy healers acting as Ritual Elders (or Shaman) for others, and who have suffered a Failed Initiation. The first symptom is a overwhelming yet unjustified sense of confidence in that healer’s abilities, despite a lack of mirrored success in the outside world. In other words, they become a legend in their own mind, rather than through actions that bring them verifiable results. Every initiated energy healer knows that the breadth of what they don’t know is staggering, and they are always seeking to gain new skills, new knowledge, and new insights in order to grow, and to improve themselves. But a Ritual Elder/Shaman who has experienced a Failed Initiation will, instead, be found to rest confidently only on the fruits of their past accomplishments. Growth is no longer occurring.
The second symptom of the healer or teacher working from the place of Failed Initiation is the hidden agenda. If I have any kind of plan for my client, if I try to mold my client into a form pleasing to my own world view, I am no longer functioning as a spiritual healer. I have become yet another force in the client’s life that seeks to use and exploit him. The initiated healer works to free the client of impediments to the flowering of the client’s personal development. The initiated healer’s only agenda must be to support the ultimate freedom of adult choice for their client.
Thirdly, a Failed Initiation healer recycles old material relentlessly: placing old wine in new bottles. In contrast, the initiated healer will attempt to flow with the Tao (to the best of their ability), to listen to the world around them, to track the hints of coming change emanating from the spiritual realms. Resting in the knowledge of the past, the initiated healer will move ever forward, into the future, and attempt to co-create new forms of healing work that addresses the needs of the modern individual.
To gain a successful initiation for ourselves we must find an appropriate Ritual Elder/Shaman who has successfully completed their initiation, follow the proscribed training, and be willing to drop through our conditioned preconceptions of the world into a deeper understanding of reality. Most importantly, we must choose to “take the drop”, or the fall from pride, by choosing to dissolve our old Egoic self via the initiation process. Our reward will be when the world appears to us new, because we, ourselves, have changed. When we find that we are no longer the same person who began the initiation process years ago.
But perhaps the most important end result of any successful initiation should be humility. This ancient virtue is what is gained by denying our self-importance as held in our Infant Mind (the Egoic self), and which allows us to accept what all initiates know to be true … that we are all only part of a vast movement of humans, only one of many who strive for healing, and for awakening. We are all in it together.
© 2016 by Dean Ramsden. All rights reserved.
Top photo by Yui Wang: Dean in Japan, 2007