The Mysteries of Christianity Part III
Christianity and Initiation
Many rites fo passage we share in Christianity today are the reflection of various ceremonial and initiatory gathered by the faith throughout time.We even dare to say that many of these were part of the common practice of many spiritual traditions of the ancient world.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad are the roads that lead to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it.”
~Matthew 7: 13-14
The Narrow Door
No student of the Ageless Wisdom doctrines can forget the familiar sound of the passage mentioned above. The Narrow Road or Door illustrates an initiatic path that may be so difficult to trail that for some it may seem like a sharp blade. The Kathopanishad, a scripture that unveils the mystery of death and the meaning of life, talks about the phenomenon of death: in the manifested and phenomenal Universe everything is born, grows, develops and dies, in a permanent state of becoming. For those that follow the path of desire and know not of the Divine Source, they will not be able to grasp the mysteries of Life and beyond.
Every initiation is a process of death and rebirth into a new stage of consciousness, death for mundane elements that are not aligned with the new vibrational scope and a rebirth into higher realms of perception and reality.
The Narrow Door is an initiatic portal. It is only through it that the candidate of the mysteries can enter the kingdom. The seeker should be prepared for rebirth into a “new life” and feel as pure as children, with a restored innocence and pure faith. This was the real sense of the expression “born again.”
Few are the real initiates in each of the generations, they are the top crop of humanity, even knowing that many will strive each life to better themselves. There is no weight of recrimination, or of doom on it, just the intention to reach self-realization.
Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack? Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.”
Eternal life, in the Jewish tradition, would be received by those that conquered the liberation from the wheels of rebirth, because traditionally they believed that imperfect souls needed to come back to Earth to perfect themselves. Only when all the impulses generated by the desires of this world are shed one can truly pass through the Narrow Door.
The Second Birth
“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
The Second Birth is another term utilized to represent mystical initiation. Even in India inside of the cast system, we see the higher casts call themselves as the twice-birthed ones. Nowadays these rituals are mere performic rites, but they follow the wisdom and traditions of the ageless world of spirit.
“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
~Matthew 5, 48
Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs, you are doing if God were not with him.”
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
“You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things?”
In this initiation, the seeker would liberate himself from all the bonds and ties with the material world of imperfection and enter the path to becoming a perfect master, awakening the Christ within. The Second Birth can even be a technical term for a symbolic rite of passage fro Christianity, getting out of the “cycle of generation” or the cycle of birth and death. Following the same line of thought, we can even infer that the term “resurrection of the dead” refers to the concept of initiation, not the standard Christianity idea promoted by the modern Christian churches.