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The gospel story and 
the path of initiation
by Benjamin Creme

The five Initiations which everyone will take are symbolically demonstrated in the Bible. 

The evolutionary journey on which we are engaged is marked off by five major points of crisis, major expansions of consciousness, which are the five steps to Liberation and Mastery. These are the five planetary Initiations which free us from further incarnational experience on this Earth. All of the Masters have taken these five Initiations (some have taken further, higher Initiations) and Their presence in this world is the result of a conscious decision to serve the Plan of Evolution and not from any need (through personal karma) to incarnate.

The esoteric process we call Initiation is an artificial forcing process, introduced into our planet in mid-Atlantean times to speed up the evolutionary process. Without it we would inevitably arrive at the same point of development as we evidence today, but it would take millions of years longer to do so.

In those far-off days, a crisis occurred in a part of this solar system which required the presence of some of the most advanced members of the Hierarchy of this planet Who at that time came from Venus. The process of Initiation was therefore introduced to enable the most advanced members of our Earth evolution to undergo this forcing process, and so equip them to take over the lower posts in the Hierarchy, thus releasing the Senior Masters for other work.

The highest Initiation possible for an Earth man at that time was the third Initiation, and among the first group to reach that achievement were the Christ and the Buddha, Who have remained at the forefront of our evolution to this day.


Seen from the esoteric stand point, the Gospel Story is really the story of Initiation, a story presented to humanity again and again, in different ways, long before Christianity. The account of the life of Jesus is the symbolic presentation, dramatically re-enacted for us, of the Initiate's journey to Perfection.

The first Initiation is called the Birth of Christ and is symbolised by the birth of the Disciple Jesus at Bethlehem. When the evolutionary energy which we call the Christ Principle or Consciousness is awakened in the human heart (the spiritual heart Centre at the right side of the chest: "the wise man's heart is at the right side, the foolish man's heart at the left"), the man or woman becomes ready for preparation to take the first Initiation. It is important to realize that the man or woman is already Initiate before he or she stands before the Initiator. The human soul, the first Master, brings its vehicle to the point of Initiation through its life experience and meditation. Then the Master (of the Hierarchy) steps in, and by a combination of stimulus, testing and presented service opportunity, prepares the candidate to come before the Hierophant to receive the impact of the energy from the rod of Initiation which He wields. The Christ, Maitreya, is the Hierophant at the first and second Initiations, the third and higher Initiations being taken before the Lord of the World, Sanat Kumara, on Shamballa. "I am the Way." "No man can know the Father except through me." These sayings of the Christ are esoterically true, but they have been interpreted by the Churches, quite wrongly, to mean that Christianity (or more correctly Churchianity) is the only religious path, that only if a man accepts the (man-made) dogmas and doctrines of the Church can he know God. The Christ embodies the Christ Principle on this planet. It is through the manifestation of this Principle that we re-orient ourselves and enter the Initiatory Path. In this sense, He is indeed, "the Way". Likewise, only when one has stood before the Christ at the first two Initiations can one take the third, which opens up for one contact with the Monad, the Spirit, the "father in heaven".

The "born-again" Christian groups have an inkling of the truth in that the first Initiation is the "second birth" of the Bible; but, of course, this is an experience shared by millions today throughout the world, and not exclusive to the "born again" Christians.

The first Initiation demonstrates control over the physical body, in particular over the tiny devic (or elemental) lives which make up the bodies of man. The second Initiation demonstrates control over the astral emotional body or elemental lives which make up that vehicle. This is called the Baptism Initiation and is symbolised for us by the Baptism of Jesus at Jordan. The third - the first true soul Initiation - is called the Transfiguration and is symbolised by the Transfiguration of Jesus on the Mount. It demonstrates control over the mental elemental and body and brings in Monadic contact and energy for the first time: "The Jewel in the Heart of the Lotus".

Jesus entered the world at Bethlehem as a third degree Initiate and so simply symbolised these three stages of growth for us. He had to undergo the fourth Initiation and did so in full physical fact for our sake to dramatise, symbolically, the experience of Renunciation. In the West this Initiation is known as the Crucifixion; in the East it is called the Great Renunciation, when all is renounced position, family, even life itself if necessary for the higher, spiritual life.


Then follows, and this is the core of the Christian Gospel Story, the fifth Initiation, the Resurrection, symbolised by the resurrection of the body of Jesus after the Crucifixion. Each Initiation attracts to the bodies of the Initiate matter of sub-atomic particles - literally light. By the fourth Initiation the bodies of the Initiate are three-quarters sub-atomic or light. This process is completed at the fifth or Resurrection Initiation, when the Initiate stands free from the pull of matter for ever, a perfected Master. The evolutionary goal has been achieved and the Master has finished his life experience on this planet. His choice to remain on this Earth and so serve the Plan of our Planetary Logos is His alone.

There are higher Initiations which call the Master to further effort. The Ascension, symbolised by the Ascension of the Christ after His appearance before the Disciples in the Resurrected body of Jesus, marks the sixth Initiatory experience and confers Cosmic Consciousness and total immortality of the body to the Ascended Master.

Seen in this way, the Gospel Story holds before humanity the promise of Divinity, a Divinity realised not alone by one extraordinary man - the Son of God - but a Divinity attainable by all who make the necessary effort to expand their consciousness to include the spiritual levels; a Divinity achieved, too, by a scientific process, of which the Christ and His Masters are the custodians - the process of Initiation.

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First published April 1999, Last modified: 15-Oct-2005