A Dialogue on Initiation


Initiation - From The Book of Confidences

The Disciple: O Teacher, long have I been following upon thy words of wisdom, and yet not once hast thou addressed me concerning the initiation.

The Sage: Nor do we speak of birth while drawing our first breath; nor do we speak of death as we yield up our life.

The Disciple: I pardon crave for my presumption, but all the books devoted to things holy do largely tell of strange and awesome trials that have to be endured, and lives of Holy Ones like Buddh and Christ bear mark of them surpassed in mighty hours.

The Sage: My son, hast thou been listening for rolling thunders? Hast thou been looking for sight divine or terrible? Dost thou not know that daily thou dost come into initiation? that hourly thou dost present thyself unto a trial?

The Disciple: Thou speakest strangely to mine ears. My life is lowly and constricted by naught but small plain duties. In those I fail not, as they are there to do, and necessary, nor would I recreant be – but yet they lift me not to spiritual planes.

The Sage: Thy practice falls below thine aspirations, it doth appear, for when one acts in full performance of necessary, rightful duty, he then doth rove the plane of Spirit. Thine understanding failing thee in this, thou hast now regarded the Pathway of thine evolving life as outside thyself. The Path lies in thy duties – nor doth highest being bow to greater law than law of duty by all duties, and thus to the Whole. Dost love thy duties?

The Disciple: How could one love such drear routine as binds me?

The Sage: So might yon stars speak on their great cyclic course; so might tides and seasons lament their ordered law; so might thine heart reject its system of pulsation. On, endlessly, do repetitions grave their knowledge in the Book of Life. E’en vagrant comet learns its place at last searching again same places of the sky. Couldst thou, then, hope to come to thine initiation in other order – unique within all Nature to escape the repetitioned sweep of daily toil? Would not love only be to do each humble labor as though it were exalted; to serve the powerful, the rich, the ignorant, as they were Holy Ones?

The Disciple: Would I could do so! But where my Karma stations me, they think not of things of Soul; much would they scoff at all that I would say, and scorn my loftiest ideals.

The Sage: Then, blest thou art in power and place and part to seem as nothing in their eyes: too oft doth pride of progress and untimely adulation mar the silent work within. And who doth know but these – ”sinners” of now – may next life be to thee as preceptors? Great sins are soon crossed o’er with steadfast purpose and sacrificial will.

The Disciple: I think, revered One, I would be more steadfast were I ever sure the way to go. Wouldst thou but say to me – “go here,” “stay there” – so no mistake could be, unmurmuring I would rejoice to do thy bidding nor mourn my slow ascent of toilsome Path.

The Sage: And I were to say – “do this,” “do that,” thou wouldst surely fail of the initiation. The muscles of thy will were never strengthened, did I push or pull thee one way or the other. Mistakes thou mightst not make but could not tell how ne’er to make another. Mistake were only mine that I would steal from thee thy sovereign power of choice which makes of thee a God.

The Disciple: Worse confounded is my reason for these words of thine. Doth not the Scriptures say, “Not my will but thine be done ? ”

The Sage: The Higher Self of me, of thee, of all men is unseparate: That is thy highest light and law and will, for thou art That. Act thou as by that light, thou canst wrong no man. Act according to that law, thou doest by the law of Holiest Ones. Act by that pure choice, no longer pity for thy weak self shall drown the light; thy will becomes Compassion Absolute.

The Disciple: O Most Revered, a light shines through my heart as ne’er before, for all my seeking gaze. It is thy light, and yet I see by mine.

The Sage: Then thou, in this, hast found initiation, for thou hast seen by eye of Spirit. The holy Mysteries are not of sight or sound of matter, which is but vasty screed for thy perceptive understanding. So, then, may that light grow, till the jungle growth of thy nature lies all revealed; till thou, the God, dost see the man’s perceptions clean and clear. The Buddha and the Christ came by long path of discipline and service; came by degree – by many minor steps like this of thine – unto Initiation’s final door.

The Disciple: Never may I lose the spirit of this hour! My heart has beat with thine. Mine eyes have glimpsed what may be. O Teacher, what gratitude is due thee – may my daily duty bear the witness!

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“From The Book of Confidences” is a very short but highly inspirational book consisting of twelve chapters each presenting a brief dialogue between a Sage or wise spiritual Teacher and various seekers after Truth and understanding. It was first written and published in the USA in 1947 and reprinted in India in 1950. Each of the conversations is distinctly Eastern in style and also distinctly practical in nature, as well as being imbued with concepts and quotations from the Theosophical literature, especially H.P. Blavatsky’s “The Voice of the Silence.”

Its authorship was attributed to Dhan Gargya, which was in fact but a pen name of John Garrigues, one of the original Associates of the ULT (United Lodge of Theosophists) and an influential figure in the work and growth of the ULT from its founding by Robert Crosbie in 1909 up until Garrigues’ own death in the 1940s.

If you liked this article you may also like some of the articles listed under the topic of “Spiritual Living and Practice” on the Articles page, including The Daily Initiation.

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