*Thando* who undergoes a seemingly more ‘conventional’ form of spiritual initiation that involves witnesses and hands on mentorship may be doubtful of *Thembi* whose spiritual initiation is seemingly less ‘conventional’ and doesn’t involve hands on mentorship from another human being. Thando is projecting her soul experience onto Thembi, which is making poor Thembi doubt her own soul’s journey. Thando and Thembi argue about this often because each one wants to defend the truth that they know. There is only so much language that they both have access to in making their points and what they they both can’t see is that there are other divine influences that have set the rites of their soul’s passages so far apart. It is these influences that they can’t see and perhaps don’t have the language for that would show them that neither one of them is more correct than the other.
We may all be in this lifetime on Earth together, but our souls didn’t start their journeys at the exact same point or with the same obligations to fulfill.
One’s spiritual initiation is not only dependent on the type of ancestors they walk with, the nature of their guides and the ways of their lineage – it is also dependent on one’s life path, circumstances experienced in this lifetime as well as previous lifetimes and experiences that must still be gained or even shed in the future of this lifetime. One’s ailments, powers, anointment, and energy are also factors that influence how one’s spiritual initiation manifests. These are just the factors that I will mention for this piece, there’s definitely far more – including the age of one’s soul. These varying influences are what make spiritual initiation such a vast and diverse occurrence that can’t be placed in set boxes.
The different forms of spiritual initiation that we may hear about today are not a new or modern thing, we just now live in an era where these variations are spoken about publicly. There are spiritual workers from previous generations that underwent ‘unconventional’ initiation but didn’t have the means, freedom, permission or obligation to speak of their journeys as readily and openly as we do today. Some of these spiritual workers had to navigate their initiation independently and in isolation for safety reasons. It is not a new or recent thing for one to go through most of their spiritual initiation without hands on mentorship from another human being. Historically, this was an ideal way for the ancestors to ensure that one’s life was not harmed, and that the nature of their gift remained untainted – in some cases it was because one’s gift and nature was that rare in that particular era or community. Either way, spiritual initiation has never been something that could or should be painted with the same brush, and the processes have always varied and been unique to each soul.
Think about the varying lifespans of human beings; some souls depart from this lifetime when they are still infants while others depart at a much older physical age. Some souls do not even make it past the womb experience, because the womb was the only experience of this lifetime that they needed to have. All of this happens because our souls have different obligations which influences what we experience in this lifetime and how long that experience is. It is not only our understanding that makes things valid, but also creation’s purpose. In as much as it is not up to us to dictate how long someone must have their experience in any given lifetime, it’s also not up to us to dictate how one’s soul should be orientated into their spiritual realm or how they should be returned back to themselves.
The diversity of spiritual initiation, however, does not erase the need for accountability, honesty and ethical practice. Every soul has a responsibility to be honest about what it is that their spiritual initiation, in whichever form, qualifies them to do. There is no official human ombudsman that can accurately regulate, measure or oversee one’s spiritual downloads, it is one’s conscious that has to fill that position. We all have an ethical responsibility to show up honestly to the world and to avoid sabotaging others and ourselves with falsehood.
While we’re here, let me remind you that spiritual initiation is not reserved for those who are specifically called to be healers, and it doesn’t only happen in the form of one having trances, channeling spirits, or experiencing the supernatural. What happens on a physical level can still be spiritual because all that is physical is fundamentally born from spiritual energy. Spiritual initiation can happen through the circumstances you encounter in your work life and career choice – it can also happen through your school course, hobbies, social network, romantic and friendly relationships as well experiences with your family. This is part of why spiritual teachings emphasise the need for one to live their life with presence and awareness, that helps you access the insight that you need about your life journey. There is no limit to the resources that spirit can and will use to create a rite of passage for your becoming and self- realisation. We are called by spirit and our guides in one way or another and some of what we are called into requires some form of initiation. It is everybody’s divine right to engage with what the nature of their calling is and the required initiation for that calling. We must guard ourselves from ruining each other’s sacred experiences and remember that life balances itself out in ways that are outside of our personal ideals. Your believing that something is wrong is valid, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t have its own rightful place in balancing out creation or fulfilling a divine plan.
Check your bias. Check your projections. Check what you think you know. Focus on the knowledge, practice and message that you have been anointed to carry and share in the universe without invalidating that which is unfamiliar to you. It’s important that we check ourselves so that we don’t turn spirit into something that only suits and validates us personally. We should allow spirit to be what it is.
One species of a plant can’t and doesn’t interfere with how another species grows. The mountain can’t criticise the river for its formless nature. Spirit expresses itself differently through all of us, let it be what it is.
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