Thursday, 29 March 2012

Initiation and the Absolute

The essence of an overwhelming initiation has an elitist character and the power to distinguish the higher initiated man or woman from the ordinary uninitiated man or woman. The difference is the natural effect that magic has. For the ordinary uninitiated man, knowledge is restricted to the senses and their finite sphere of operation of accidental character that directly experiences the phenomena and then assumes the existence of the noumenon within a framework of concepts and relations of an abstract character. However, the higher initiated man or woman undergoes the antithesis of experiencing the abstract in a pragmatic way. Experiencing the sensible is merely one perception of reality that the higher initiated man possesses. Initiation corresponds, transforms, and arranges in a hierarchical fashion levels of perception of absoluteness with the experience of the phenomenal belonging to a certain degree of experience, whereas that of the Absolute is only accessible to the higher initiated man. As far as the measure of ‘absoluteness’ is concerned, Evola wrote,

One may say approximately that it is determined by the degree of ‘active identification’, namely by the degree according to which the Self is implicated and unified in its experience, and according to which its object is transparent to it in terms of a ‘meaning’. In correspondence to these degrees, the hierarchy proceeds from ‘sign’ to ‘sign’, from ‘name’ to ‘name’, until it reaches a state of perfect, superrational, intellectual vision, of full actualization or realization of the object in the Self and the Self in the object. This is a state of power and of absolute evidence… There is an ancient saying according to which one did not join the ancient Mysteries in ‘to learn’, but rather in order to achieve a sacred state through deep experience.[1]

From the perspective of the initiatic process, ‘to know’ equates with ‘being the known object’, a realisation that extends when one’s consciousness is transformed by active identification, which is not a mystical and emotive state, but an essential and supra-rational one. The transformation of one’s consciousness also parallels the acquisition of power as the consequence of active identification with a cause conferring power over that same cause. According to this active and experiential initiatic principle, knowledge and experience are the same. This process of initiation is what established the differences between human beings and reaffirming the principle of ‘each to their own’ where one’s ideals and freedom are proportional to what one is.

[1] Ea, ‘The Nature of Initiatic Knowledge’, in Introduction to Magic: Rituals and Practical Techniques for the Magus, by Julius Evola and the Gruppo di UR, 2001, page. 27.

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