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In The Oxford English Dictionary, initiation is defined as “formal introduction by preliminary instruction or initial ceremony into some position, office or society.” In its spiritual sense, it means a lesson that a soul must learn in order to evolve to the next stage of development. G. A. Gaskell describes initiation as follows:

Each stage, each step, each advance, each growth in grace corresponds to an initiation, which is a spiritual leading forth to a fuller life.[1]

Initiation is the only means whereby the master can determine whether his disciple is ready to receive greater light, greater knowledge, greater responsibility. Initiation is the testing of the soul according to a definite, predetermined course that is known as the Path.

Testing on the Path

When the pupil is ready for the commitment to the path of eternal life (having seen the futility of false theology in mainline religions or of false gurus’ cults of idolatry), then the ascended master appears—with his commitment to the pupil. This is the meaning of hierarchy, whose logical function and highest expression is sealed in the Guru-chela relationship originally sponsored by Sanat Kumara.

Step by step, the disciple is prepared for his soul’s testings on the Path. These are sometimes given to him when least expected through family and friends. Whatever his environment, the disciple finds that the master is acting either directly or indirectly through his associates to test his mastery of the law of harmony and his correct use of the Godly attributes of Power, Wisdom, and Love. And ultimately the testing is to see whether or not the chela is willing to make the required sacrifices concerning the lesser self that are necessary in order for him to receive the mantle of the Greater Self, his own beloved I AM Presence, as well as that of the master.

The initiations given to the disciples and the trials endured by the saints as they move among the unawakened masses are all part of a foolproof system evolved by the Hierarchy whereby the real intentions and the actual attainment—not the wishful thinking—of seekers may be determined each step of the way. Then, when all tests have been passed and the requirements of the Lords of Karma have been met, their inheritance and their divine Sonship is reestablished and they are bidden through the ritual of the ascension to eat of the Tree of Life and to live forever.

Initiation in past ages and today

The Ascended Master Chananda discusses the differing methods of initiation used by the Brotherhood:

Initiation into the Brotherhood today is somewhat different than it was in ages past. Long ago the would-be chela was taken to Luxor, Heliopolis, Lhasa or elsewhere and given trials of great endurance involving both physical and spiritual tests. The rigors of these trials almost defy imagination, and many of the would-be chelas fell short of passing the mark. Those who did not are among the Immortals! Today, however, changing times, new methods of communication and transportation, and other factors have altered many old conditions; and new spiritual techniques have been evolved just as material methods have changed.

Therefore, most of the students living in the present Aquarian age are being given their initiations in the outer world. Karmic events are, so to speak, altered whereby friends, relatives, associates and even the man in the street become the instruments through which their tests come. This makes it necessary for mankind, and especially the would-be disciple, to be extremely vigilant, for one never knows just when a vital and conclusive test may be in the offing.

However, let me amplify that you must not permit this statement to cause you to become apprehensive. Just be diligent to behave as a Christ, remembering his words, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me!”[2] If you will really follow this, you may well pass any test with flying colors that the Brotherhood sends for your perfection, admonishment and initiation into the highest spiritual brotherhood—the Great White Brotherhood—the fraternity of beloved Jesus, Kuthumi, El Morya, Djwal Kul, beloved Lanto, Kuan Yin, Mother Mary, beloved Serapis Bey, Paul the Venetian and every Ascended and Cosmic Being!

To this aspire! To this calling be dedicated! There is much, much more to the Great White Brotherhood than either tongue or pen could tell.[3]

El Morya on Initiation

In The Chela and the Path, El Morya speaks of the requirements of initiation:

Whether Christian or Jew, Moslem or Zen Buddhist, or none of these, know, O seeker after higher reality, that the path of initiation can be trod wherever you are. But you must take the first step. My responsibility is to guide and guard: yours is to follow.

With the full faculties of mind and heart and soul, you chart the course of your life. If you desire, the grid of hierarchy and of initiation through hierarchy can be superimposed upon your chart. If you have not the desire for initiation, if there be no longing to replace the old man with the new, if there be no desiring for freedom, then you cannot magnetize the molecules of our momentum on the path, nor will you magnetize the mind of the Great Initiator who provides not only the testing, but the wherewithal to pass the tests....

Chelas who knock on the door at Darjeeling are asked if they understand the urgency of world conditions and the crying need of the hour. If they have not yet gained that perspective, we recommend that they seek the disciplines of another retreat. For here at Darjeeling we offer a crash program in chelaship and initiation on the path for those who are willing to follow implicitly the demands of their own Christ Self and to respond with a flame that leaps and with eyes that sparkle with the kindling fires of soul discernment....

To be free to respond to the initiations of the path, you must be free from the magnetism of mankind's carnal-mindedness. “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”[4]... You must be free to accept the limitless reality of your being. You must not allow anyone to take from you the freedom to be unlimited in your God Self....

The weight of world karma has never been greater. The Divine Mother intercedes before the Court of the Sacred Fire on behalf of the children of God that the descent of their own karma might not destroy the very platform of their evolution. As Thoreau said, “What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?” So we say, what is the use of the path of initiation if the planetary platform can no longer sustain its evolutions?

Therefore, the path of initiation is drawn with two parallel lines. The first is man attaining self-mastery in the microcosm of his being, and the second is man attaining self-mastery in the Macrocosm of the planetary body and consciousness. Chelas who have garnered the thrust of energy necessary to sustain the first line of initiation are given the opportunity to sustain the second....

If you would preserve the path of initiation for yourself and your offspring, then you have a vested interest in preserving the planetary platform. And as you look upon the world today, no matter what your perspective, you can truthfully say all is not well with mankind.[5]

Maitreya on initiation

Lord Maitreya instructs us on the path of Initiation:

Some of you know me as the Great Initiator, and you have already called to me most lovingly to be initiated on the path of attainment. But when I have come, you have not recognized me. In vain I have stood before you to initiate you in the law of energy flow....

The first initiation on the path of attainment is to learn to deal with energy. Inasmuch as energy is God, learning to deal with energy is learning to deal with God—God as Spirit, God as Matter, God in manifestation in man, in woman, in child, God within yourself as the flow of energy from the centers of God-awareness, God as the flow of energy between yourself and other selves—from heart to heart, from soul to soul, from mind to mind.

And what of these emotions that flow, God’s energy in motion between lifestreams—the one and the many and the masses waiting for the kindling fires of the Spirit? God’s energy in motion is the water and the wind and the fire and the earth; for all energy moves as the great fiery sea of God’s Being, of Life becoming life. Therefore, learn to deal with energy. Learn to give and to receive in harmony....

The purpose of initiation is to inaugurate spirals of God-integration within souls who would move toward the center of Being that is life. Life in all of its dazzling splendor, life in its concentrated essence of the sacred fire, is too intense for mortals who have subjected themselves unto the laws of mortality. Those who live by death and death’s disintegration are not prepared to live in a life that is God.

It is an absolute requirement of the Law of Life that you don the spirals of integration—integration with God, your own Real Self. Day by day, line by line, the challenge of initiation is to integrate the soul, that potential of selfhood, with the Spirit of the living God, the I AM THAT I AM. And the keys to integration are (1) the science of harmony, (2) the science of energy flow and (3) the Science of the Spoken Word....

The magnet of love, the magnet of wisdom and the magnet of power that is your heart flame is the essence of your initiation on the Path.... Chelas of good will, understand that life in you is the victory in every cycle of initiation that is for the manifestation of perfection within you! In the heart and out of the heart are all of the issues of life.

The pathway back to the Central Sun of Being is the path of initiation whereby the soul must travel over the cycles that she has created through the correct and the incorrect qualification of God’s energy—of God as energy. Line by line, spiral by spiral, the soul returns to the heart of the One by the law of the One....

There are dispensations on the path of initiation whereby the soul may be taken by grace into the center of the Christ consciousness for re-creation in the Trinity, for inspiration, rejuvenation. These periods of grace spent in the Holy of Holies are moments of God-identification that mark the ascent of the aspiring one....

These moments in the mountain of God are a promise and a preparation for the moments of eternity to come when the soul, by attainment, will fly on the wings of initiation to the heights of the vaulted cathedral of the heart. Thus by initiation the lark ascends....

We give you keys that you might discover the formula of your own initiation. That formula is locked in the heart of your I AM Presence and in the magnificent spheres of your own causal body of light.[6]

Specific initiations

See the following links and sources for more information on specific initiations:

For more information

El Morya, The Chela and the Path: Keys to Soul Mastery in the Aquarian Age.

Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Maitreya on Initiation.


Elizabeth Clare Prophet, The Astrology of the Four Horsemen, p. 189.

El Morya, The Chela and the Path: Keys to Soul Mastery in the Aquarian Age, pp. 16, 66, 67, 68.

Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Maitreya on Initiation.

Mark L. Prophet and Elizabeth Clare Prophet, The Path to Attainment, pp. 303–304.

Mark L. Prophet and Elizabeth Clare Prophet, The Path to Immortality, p. 216.

  1. Dictionary of All Scriptures and Myths (New York: Julian Press, 1960), p. 391.
  2. Matt. 25:40.
  3. Chananda with the Ascended Master Alexander Gaylord, “The Great White Brotherhood as Inner World Government,” in Mark L. Prophet and Elizabeth Clare Prophet, The Path to Attainment, pp. 303–304.
  4. Rom. 8:6.
  5. El Morya, The Chela and the Path: Keys to Soul Mastery in the Aquarian Age, pp. 16, 66, 67, 68.
  6. Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Maitreya on Initiation.