We are neither wholly born nor wholly made what we are. The choice for us to become was made long ago. From that time onward, we have been reborn again and again, carrying within us in every lifetime the seed of what we are.
Sometimes we forget ourselves, and wander our lives like sleepwalkers, only half-aware of our true natures. Yet sleeping or awakened, we are born with the potential for transformation.
Awakening is a process of expanded awareness. Anyone with gifts and talents of a subtle nature undergoes an awakening in their life. This is when they come into their own, finally accepting what has been latent within them since birth. For us, the process can be traumatic, as the existence we awaken to opens us up to a host of strange thoughts, sensations, and experiences which lie outside the limits accepted even by other Awakened.
Awakening is the alchemical forge in which we are transformed from dross to spiritual gold. It is the recalling of a part of our Selves that has become clouded over time. It is becoming more than the little self of this lifetime, grasping the totality of who we were and who we are to be -- our Essential Self.
Some of us have greater potential than others. Some are born with an instinctive understanding of their potential and they may gradually come to realize that potential on their own. They recall without prompting and their power is great.
The bulk of our number are born ignorant to what they are. As they grow and mature, there are subtle hints of the latent power, but fear and self-doubt generally keep these from being acknowledged and accepted. Such as these must be awakened to their true selves by another of our number already familiar to our ways.
There are two rituals of initiation. The Lesser Initiation is an exchange of feeding which occurs between the teacher and the initiate. The initiate is drained deeply, often for the first time. This heightens his awareness of his energy body and will often catalyze him into realizing his potential in the next few days. The sensations that this process inspires are usually too intense to ignore or explain away. If fed from deeply enough, his instincts will overcome him and he will feed from others in order to replenish his depleted system.
The Greater Initiation involves a ritual death and rebirth which occurs on both the physical and spiritual levels for the initiate. It is visionary and shamanic in nature and forces the initiate to face himself and all that he has been within the boundaries of his own soul. Like all deaths and rebirths, this ritual strips away old identities and assumptions. The little self of this lifetime is subsumed into the greater Self, and the initiate is irrevocably changed. This rite is reserved for only the strongest minds, for any who are weak or filled with fear may not survive the initiation. Their minds can be blown away like dry autumn leaves in the face of the totality of who they are.