For 40,000 years human beings knew that children do not become adult except through formidable initiatory processes. We seem to have forgotten.
Responsibility is applied consciousness.
An initiatory process is the activation procedure for bringing a person into the authentic wisdom of responsibility and consequence. When we are about fifteen years old we are structurally capable of beginning with initiatory processes.
The child part of us wants to avoid responsibility and keep making messes without cleaning them up. If the child part is not intelligently confronted it remains in control for our entire lives. Then sadly we can only create what a child can create. This explains a lot about modern culture.
Initiatory processes are formal, irrevocable procedures through which the child part, call it the self-centered ego, is gradually and permanently taken out of power through being replaced by principles and purposes greater than ourselves.
Of necessity true initiatory processes are incomprehensibly difficult. Yet, as is evidenced in the experiment of patriarchal empire, without ongoing initiations taking us further and further into adulthood service the childish agenda will sidetrack society into cataclysm.
Modern culture asserts that becoming an adult happens automatically when we turn eighteen or twenty-one years of age. But that does not occur. Our mistake comes from a lack of understanding about what an adult is.
Being adult includes a changed relationship to responsibility. No longer is responsibility a burden to be avoided as in the childish perspective. Adult responsibility is a new agreement between an individual and the universe after which the adult’s life is about stewarding resources that are beyond the scope of modern culture thoughtware. For example, an initiated adult takes responsibility for attention, center, presence, purpose, outcome, space, time, energy, feelings, thoughts, possibility, consequences, the Box, the greater community, the planet, and responsibility for responsibility. To get a further idea, here is a seven-minute silent video listing over one hundred fifty initiatory processes.
How many of these have you engaged?
We are not educated about what most of these mean because modern education does not prepare us for initiations into adulthood.
Ignorance, however, does not prevent the thing we are ignorant about from seriously impacting our lives. Think of the Roman Empire succumbing to lead water pipes. Think of Madame Curie dying of radiation poisoning. Think of the last parking ticket you got.
The decisive importance of adulthood initiatory processes may have faded from modern culture due to confusing the purpose of traditional rites of passage with the kind of adulthood initiations needed today. This difference can now be explained. It has to do with what is done with the assemblage points.
I borrow the term assemblage points from Carlos Castaneda’s reports of Don Juan Matus’ Yaqui teachings. Assemblage points are the origins of our self-perception and will to action. The location of our assemblage points determines who we are.
Indigenous rites of passage produce adults whose assemblage points have been removed from the context of the mother and welded to the context of the village. That is, initiated men and women know who they are and what they are to do at the various stages and stations of their life because their assemblage points are anchored in the customs and traditions of the tribe. By identifying themselves as their culture they perceive and behave so as to duplicate procedures long proven to assure the survival of their people. Such an initiation makes sense under static conditions. The whole village is put at risk of starvation if young people are permitted to invent new ways for hunting deer or planting and harvesting the rice.
Present conditions differ from past conditions in that today’s circumstances are rapidly evolving. Getting a university degree so as to duplicate what is already not working is insane, though to a large degree this remains the basic strategy of modern culture education.
The good news is that, below mainstream media radar, diverse new cultures are currently emerging in exponentially increasing numbers as modern culture dies from internal hemorrhaging. These new cultures, call them next cultures if you will, function according to a different set of criteria. Their primary variance from modern culture is that they are designed to perpetually thrive in a complex closed system such as a planet.
One central way next cultures achieve that objective is through centering the culture around ongoing adulthood initiatory processes in which both women and men have their assemblage points detached from the mother and welded to their own center of being. This makes each individual unconditionally responsible for literally everything, giving them no chance to export authority to Senators or Representatives in Washington or even Mayors downtown.
Clearly, re-orienting to the condition of radical responsibility requires upgrading to new thoughtware. The thoughtware running in modern culture came from our parents before we went to school. This is because modern education provides information to think about. In comparison, next culture education provides distinctions and thoughtmaps to think with. Running thoughtware from your parents, which they downloaded from their parents, etc., means you are running thoughtware that has been handed down from generation to generation for thousands of years. This, my friend, is very outdated thoughtware.
Next culture’s ongoing initiatory processes involve carefully timed shocks of pressure and vacuum, plus connection to a wide range of energetic resources. Some initiations are designed to turn on internal capacities that have been lying dormant, as if still wrapped in their original cocoon, unhatched. Other initiations build out and stabilize one at a time your four bodies (physical, intellectual, emotional and energetic) expanding your capacity for relationship, communication, healing, intimacy, creation, harmony with the world, serving your destiny, and your ability to safely journey in upper, middle and under worlds.
At this point I invite you to make an edgework experiment. The experiment is this: think about what it would be like to decide to place at the center of your life the path of ongoing adulthood initiatory processes. What would it be like if you took your intentions seriously and put what mattered most to you first?
There cannot be a standardized sequence for initiatory processes because each person is unique. Authenticity is not standardizeable. Each initiation unfolds and strengthens individual talents and knacks. The idea is to ignite each person’s unquenchable inspiration for providing their beneficial contributions to humanity.
Your journey is hindered before you even begin because modern culture does not contain the thoughtware for understanding the necessity of being initiated. Therefore part of your edgework is to gain that clarity by studying reports from other edgeworkers. For starters try reading Robert Wolff’s Original Wisdom, William Glasser’s Choice Theory, Robert Fritz’ Creating, Joseph Chilton Pearce’s From Magical Child to Magical Teen, Malidoma Patrice Somé’s Of Water and the Spirit, Martin Prechtel’s Secrets of the Talking Jaguar and Long Life Honey In The Heart, James P. Carse’s Finite and Infinite Games, Lyall Watson’s Gifts of Unknown Things and Lightening Bird, Clinton Callahan’s Radiant Joy Brilliant Love and Directing The Power Of Conscious Feelings, Brad Blanton’s Radical Honesty, and Red Hawk’s Self Observation. Put these books on your bedside table and watch the universe change before your eyes.
Because initiation work involves upgrading ways that you think, feel, act and are, it is deceptive to think that you can navigate your initiatory processes for yourself by yourself. What I just said goes against the ingrained Western attitude of “I can do it myself.” But wouldn’t some part of you doubt the validity of someone telling you they initiated themselves? That would be like trying to midwife your own birth.
The suggestion is to establish connections with experienced facilitators. Start checking them out. But keep in mind that if you are not guided by someone who comes from where you want to go then your perspectives come from the place you are leaving and you might not get very far, or go along very safely, like driving your car by looking into the rear-view mirror.
A guide is someone more experienced and further advanced in their initiations than you are, and, who is responsible enough, clear-headed enough, and clear-hearted enough to serve as a guide.
Since initiation work is not sponsored by modern culture your guide will need to be someone with access to a context beyond modern culture’s thought horizon. You will not necessarily be able to see what they see because appropriate actions may at first seem contradictory. However, this does not mean that you should commit to the first Tantric-Shaolin Kabalistic-American-Indian Tibetan-Buddhist Psychic-Sufi-Shaman-Drummer Hawaiian-Kundalini-Priest-Healer from Africa who comes along. But it does mean to consider taking what may seem like a risk. Both safety and comfort are illusions. Safety is an illusion because you will die. Comfort is an illusion because you are not dead yet.
The reason I can encourage you to begin initiatory work now even if you are not currently collaborating with a guide has to do with the law of precession. This law says that as soon as you start making authentic efforts towards a committed goal, the universe provides sideways coincidences to make your efforts more productive in the big picture — including providing a suitable guide when one is truly needed.
In my experience you can place radical reliance and lean heavily on the intelligence behind the seeming random order of your ongoing initiatory processes. The universe so often supports us in our efforts towards conscious evolution because it seems to appreciate the responsible adult men and women with whom it can creatively engage. I think you’ve had the experience: when you get in the flow of things, the flow does most of the work connecting you with your next coincidence.
Once you taste the clarity and possibility that gushes through you while serving other people as the space through which bright principles can do their work in the world, something in you remembers that this is how it is supposed to be.
It is then you may recognize that your further steps could be somehow bound up with guiding initiatory processes for others.
If so, you have just entered a definitely interesting gameworld.