January 19, 2013

Against Chaos: Conspiracy Theories And Initiation Rites

I'm always asking myself if spreading the truth about 9/11, and other world-changing events like the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the American-Iranian hostage crisis, 7/7 and Sandy Hook is wise. Lately, my gut is telling me no. And the more books I read about religion, esotericism, mystical philosophy, and the like, the more comfortable I become in holding this new position.

Here is an excerpt from Mircea Eliade's 1958 book called, "Rites and Symbols of Initiation: The Mysteries of Birth and Rebirth":
"For, in order not to overcomplicate this first chapter, I have here chiefly stressed the symbolism of death. It was important to make it clear that puberty rites, precisely because they bring about the neophyte's introduction into the realm of the sacred, imply death to the profane condition, that is, death to childhood. But we have seen that this initiatory death of the boys is at the same time the occasion for an intertribal festival that regenerates the collective religious life.

Hence Australian initiations are episodes in a cosmic mystery. Initiates and novices leave behind the familiar landscape of the common camp and, on the sacred ground or in the bush, relive the primordial events, the mythical history of the tribe. Reactualizing the myths of origin implies, as we saw, participation in the Dream Times, in the Time sanctified by the mystical presence of the Divine Beings and the Ancestors. For our purpose, it is not important that the Supreme Beings of the sky do not everywhere play the leading role in initiation ceremonies; nor, as we shall see in greater detail in the next chapter, that among some peoples this role falls to the Ancestors or to other mythical figures, some of them with a demonic aspect. To me, it seems extremely important that, whatever the identity of these Superhuman Beings may be, for the respective tribes they represent the world of transcendent and sacred realities. Equally important is the fact that the collective initiation ceremonies reactualize the mythical times in which these Divine Beings were creating or organizing the earth; in other words, initiation is considered to be performed by these Divine Beings or in their presence. Hence the mystical death of the novices is not something negative. On the contrary, their death to childhood, to asexuality, to ignorance--in short, to the profane condition--is the occasion for a total regeneration of the cosmos and the collectivity. Because their gestures are repeated, the Gods, the civilizing Heroes, the mythical Ancestors, are again present and active on earth. The mystical death of the boys and their awakening in the community of initiated men thus form part of a grandiose reiteration of the cosmogony, of the anthropogony, and of all the creations that were characteristic of the primordial epoch, the Dream Times. Initiation recapitulates the sacred history of the world. And through this recapitulation, the whole world is sanctified anew. The boys die to their profane condition and are resuscitated in a new world; for, through the revelation they have received during their initiation, they can perceive the world as a sacred work, a creation of the Gods.

Let us mark and remember this fact, which is as it were a fundamental motif, documented in every kind of initiation: the experience of initiatory death and resurrection not only basically changes the neophyte's fundamental mode of being, but at the same time reveals to him the sacredness of human life and of the world, by revealing to him the great mystery, common to all religions, that men, with the cosmos, with all forms of life, are the creation of the Gods or of Superhuman Beings. This revelation is conveyed by the origin myths. Learning how things came into existence, the novice at the same time learns that he is the creation of Another, the result of such-and-such a primordial event, the consequence of a series of mythological occurrences, in short, of a sacred history. This discovery that man is part and parcel of a sacred history which can be communicated only to initiates constitutes the point of departure for a long-continued flowering of religious forms." [Eliade, M. "Rites and Symbols of Initiation: The Mysteries of Birth and Rebirth." 1958. Harper Torchbooks: New York. Pg. 18 - 20].