Initiation FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT AUTHENTIC ADULTHOOD INITIATIONS

  1. WHAT IS ADULTHOOD? It is easier to say what is childhood. Childhood is the condition of continuing to hide behind the survival strategy you adopted during your first 15 years of life for coping with your parents, school, your family and society. Without authentic adulthood initiations you continue to project mommy and daddy on the authority figures in your life… you remain trapped inside of your childhood survival strategies, as handicapped as a butterfly unable to escape from its chrysalis. Yes, your survival strategies do their job. They allow you to survive. The side effect is they block you from coming alive. In modern culture, authentic adulthood is an unknown condition. This is because the work needed to escape from childhood and expand into adulthood is equivalent to the struggles required for a butterfly to extract itself from its chrysalis, or a bird to escape from its eggshell. In other words, initiation takes real work. The patriarchy banned authentic adulthood initiatory processes long ago so as to make people easier to dominate. The rituals or ceremonies that remain in terms of getting a driver’s license, having a Bat Mitsva / Bar Mitsva or a Confirmation, or graduating from high school, are weak shadows of the real thing, not formidable enough to escape the grips of childhood convictions. Childhood is the allotted time you have to build matrix that is complex and resilient enough to hold the consciousness needed to take adulthood levels of responsibility. As a metaphor, if a spaceship does not attain a specified escape velocity during its launch it will never escape the grips of Earth’s gravitational field and will be pulled back to Earth to crash. To gain an adult relationship with your own potential and the universe, certain clearly defined work is needed to reach the childhood escape velocity. These are your your initiatory steps.
  2. WHY IS ONE INITIATION INSUFFICIENT? Fortunately in terms of activating your adult and archetypal potentials there is no top end. In short, some final adulthood state can never be achieved. Consciousness, the universe, and our potential as an adult are far beyond what we can currently imagine or understand. This is good news. It means that on your path of adulthood initiations you will never get bored. There is always more potential to unfold and activate. Adulthood initiation has no end, but it does have a beginning. The beginning is when you become so painfully aware that you are not initiated that you have no option but to do whatever it takes to make your first steps. By the time you read and understand this sentence you have barely enough time to get going.
  3. WHAT IS MATRIX? Matrix is the energetic structure in your Being (your energetic body) that you build out of distinctions. The more distinctions you weave together into your Being the more consciousness you can catch. At first your matrix is very loose, catching almost nothing. Eventually your matrix becomes like a net catching certain qualities of consciousness. By weaving more and more distinctions together your matrix changes from a net to a sail. Then your life is literally blow forward by consciousness itself and you are serving something greater than yourself.  Consciousness is everywhere, like light. But you don’t see the light until it reflects off of an object and into your eyes. What you see is determined by the qualities of the object the light strikes. The same is true of consciousness. Consciousness is everywhere, but you do not perceive it until it strikes an object, and then the quality of the consciousness that manifests is determined by the structure of the object the consciousness hits. If it strikes a stone you get stone consciousness. If it strikes a cat you get cat consciousness. Gaia has evolved a biological structure that is complex and general enough that it add complexity to its structure of Being during one lifetime – the Homo sapiens. Humans can become more conscious by building more matrix – not by learning more information but by becoming more present. Matrix is built by subjecting yourself to certain beneficial stresses, such as practices, visiting sacred sites, being in the presence of saints, accepting the food the waiter brings even if that is not what you ordered, raising children well, and figuring out what this paragraph means.
  4. WHAT IS PRESENCE? There are two ways to enter presence: identify with everything, or identify with nothing. One of these ways is more practical. The creative power of presence increases when a circular series of conditions are met. I say circular because what follows is not a list of conditions. It is a circle of conditions. This means all of these ingredients work together to amplify presence. If any of them are weak or missing it diminishes presence. These conditions are turned on during authentic adulthood initiations. They include:
    1. You are centered. (Keeping your energetic center of Being located on your physical center of balance.)
    2. You experientially distinguish your Box from your Being. (Staying disidentified with your Box as your self, and also staying disidentified with the other person’s Box and their self. This is means staying unhookable.)
    3. You are in contact with other Beings where they currently are, for example, at which level in the spiral dynamics thoughtmap. (Connecting Being to Being, through the Boxes.)
    4. You consciously navigate and communicate your emotions and feelings. (This is Phase 2 of Feelings Work. Phase 1 of Feelings Work is learning to consciously feel.)
    5. You are conscious of your purpose. (It helps being conscious of your purpose when you have Distilled your Bright Principles – a procedure that is explained in Chapter 8 of the book Directing the Power of Conscious Feelings, and when you have distilled your Shadow Principles in the Hidden Purpose Process –  a grueling 4-hour initiation delivered in Possibility Labs.)
    6. You have your Gremlin on a short leash to serve your Archetypal Lineage. (This is Phase 2 of Gremlin Work. Phase 1 of Gremlin Work is learning that you have a Gremlin to protect your Box’s survival strategy, learning what your Gremlin’s name is, drawing his picture, choosing to put him on a Gremlin food diet that you choose, learning that Gremlin serves Hidden Purposes, and that you can tell your Gremlin to “Sit!” at your side – he has been longing for you to grow up enough to do this so he can get on with his real job of being an endless source of nonlinear possibility for your adult life of serving your Archetypal Lineage.)
    7. You are keeping a minimized NOW. (This means keeping a NOW that is too small for stories, because stories exist in time. If you are running inside of a story you are either in the future or in the past, in other words, in time. In the present there is no time, so there can be no stories. One of the easiest ways to detect if you are present is to check for stories. If you are in a story you are not in the present.)
    8. You are keeping a minimized HERE. (This means keeping a HERE that is small enough to be within reach NOW. The old suggestion to, “Be here now,” might be more accurately stated as, “Be HERE more.” If it is not HERE you have no power to do anything about it yet. Wait until whatever it is comes into your circle and then you are empowered to make a difference with it. For more on this watch the film The Mask of Zorro with Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Anthony Hopkins, focusing on the diagram on the floor in Zorro’s training cave. It is the same as the symbol on Zorro’s talisman.
    9. You are ongoingly intentionally splitting your attention and using a neutral, non-judgemental part of your attention to observe yourself and notice what is really going on.
    10. You are consciously using the three basic human creation powers:
      1. Declaring. (You declare what “is” so through consciously using “Is-Glue” to make the High Drama stories that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy.)
      2. Choosing. (You retain the power to choose from an infinite source of options that are not offered on the current menu. This means that every choice is an option.)
      3. Asking. (You use orthogonal questions as a navigational aid, that is, to ask whatever questions are necessary – even if you never heard of them before – to get wherever you need to go. The space determines what is possible. When you need to change the results and you cannot change the circumstance then you can change what is possible by asking questions the answers to which do not exist in current space.)
    11. You are being radically honest and radically responsible.
    12. You are using the endless abundance of possibility that exists in groundlessness for creating and invention – changing your relationship to the emptiness inside of yourself so that you use it to retain access to the void.
    13. You inhabit all 5 bodies, your physical, intellectual, emotional, and energetic bodies so you can live, and your archetypal body so you can play full out and explore during intimacy journeys.
  5. WHAT IS INITIATION? An initiation is any process that causes you to take responsibility for something you never imagined could be taken responsibility for. Generally after an initiation you have more capacity to be present, to perceive, to interact, and to create. Joseph Chilton Pearce defines intelligence as the ability to interact. Accordingly, then, an initiation makes you more intelligent. Initiation also expands your context making your energetic body able to catch more consciousness. Technically, authentic adulthood initiations move your assemblage points from their original position (connected into your mother) to a more adult location. The term assemblage points comes from Carlos Castaneda’s work with Don Juan Matus as described in the book Journey to Ixtlan. Your assemblage points are the origin of your orientation and perspective.  For mind-blowing stories of indigenous initiations please read Robert Wolf’s book about the Malaysian Sng’oi titled Original Wisdom: stories of an ancient way of knowing, and Malidoma Patrice Somé’s book about the Dagara people of Burkina Faso titled Of Water and the Spirit.
  6. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NEXT CULTURE INITIATION AND TRADITIONAL INDIGENOUS INITIATION? Indigenous initiations detach your assemblage points from your mother and anchor them into the traditions of your tribe. The result is that, from then on, the traditions determine every aspect of your life, for example, how to plant the crops and store the food, how to dress, build a house, get married, raise a family, how to celebrate, how to solve problems, how to pray, and how to die. (For an amazing account of the Mayan traditions and initiatory practices read Martín Prechtel’s pair of books: first read Secrets of the Talking Jaguar, and then Long Life Honey In The Heart.) Indigenous initiation makes sense when you have a tradition that is sustainable and you also live in stable environmental conditions. Today, neither of these conditions apply. Modern culture is the opposite of sustainable –  modern culture is ecocidal, and conditions ecologically, technically, economically, and politically are all radically changing. In these circumstances an entirely different type of initiation is required. This different type of initiation is next culture initiation (archearchal initiation). The difference is that in archearchal initiations your assemblage points are removed from being attached to your mother and then for each and every new initiation they are attached to your own center. The result is that from then on you and you alone are responsible for every choice that you make about life. This is also the beginning of radical responsibility, the condition that makes you personally flexible enough to leave behind modern culture and invent and shift into sustainable regenerative culture.
  7. WHAT IS RESPONSIBILITY? Responsibility is applied consciousness. Another way to say this is, responsibility is consciousness in action. Simple, eh?
  8. WHAT IS RADICAL RESPONSIBILITY? Radical responsibility is the realization that what is, is, as it is (from Arnaud Desjardins)…  with no stories attached. None. It is just this (from Lee Lozowick). No meaning at all. It is even meaningless that it is meaningless. Radical responsibility is responsibility without recourse to blame or excuses, unconditional responsibility… the orientation that you alone are responsible for the meanings you attach to anything. This means, for example, that there is no such thing as a “problem.” It means that it is impossible to be a “victim.” It means that irresponsibility is an illusion. It means that you are responsible for everything everywhere being as it is. It means that you chose your parents. It means that if you see a piece of litter lying on the street and you do not pick it up, you are just as responsible for it being there as the person who dropped it there. It is your street. It is your planet. It is your garbage. This is a responsible universe, waiting for you to come out and play.
  9. WHAT IS CONSCIOUSNESS? (What is this… a galaxical FAQ section?) The universe is built out of consciousness. If you spin consciousness you get subatomic particles. If you vibrate consciousness you get light and other electromagnetic radiations. Is it all one.
  10. WHAT IS A GAMEWORLD? Human beings do not interact with the world as it is. We interact with the world through gameworlds. Gameworlds use the thoughtware from a specific context to establish rules of engagement. For example, having a bank account is a gameworld. Bringing a letter to the Post Office is a gameworld. Working at a company is a gameworld. Driving a car is a gameworld. Renting an apartment is a gameworld. Buying food at the grocery store is a gameworld. Having a family, or a town, or a religion, or an army, or a company, or a country is a gameworld. Any project you create or participate in is a gameworld.
  11. WHAT IS CONTEXT? Context is the relationship that a gameworld has to responsibility and consciousness. For example, the context of the modern culture gameworld is to avoid taking responsibility by externalizing costs to the environment, to future generations, or to “third world” nations so as to show a “profit.” The context used in the gameworlds of next culture is radical responsibility, with the clarity that in a closed cycle ecosystem there is no such thing as profit.
  12. WHAT INITIATIONS DO I NEED? The short answer is, you need them all… why would you want any less? But what does “all” mean? To get a brief idea of what “all” means, have a look at this video that shows a list of possible adulthood initiations you might want to engage to jack-in to your inner and outer resources: Video of Partial List of Adulthood Initiations. The long answer is that you need the next initiations that can be held by the matrix you have already built, or, you need whichever initiations will build the next part of your matrix. The best way to figure this out is to simply trust your intuition and follow what you are interested in. If an initiation attracts you, go for it. Who you become during that initiation will prepare you for your next initiations.
  13. WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY FOR INITIATIONS? Once you understand and experience what an authentic Initiator has gone through to serve you as an Initiator… what the authentic Initiator has had to sacrifice and pay to get to the place in their life and in the world where they can actually serve you as an authentic Initiator… you will be happy to give them whatever money they ask for to keep delivering their services. None of the authentic Initiators I know have a lot of money, yet they are the richest people in terms of the quality of their lives and getting to work in alignment with their true values. The key term here is, of course, authentic. How do you determine the authenticity and trustworthiness of an initiator? One useful hint is to meet and hang around with other people making use of the initiator’s skills. Are they empowered, playful, freely expressing their opinions, enthusiastic, creative, nonlinear, asking dangerous questions, giving and receiving feedback and coaching? Are they amazed? If so you may have found an authentic Initiator. Are the participants are adaptive, rule-bound, fanatical, cautious, conforming, fearful, quiet, obeying, playing small, dependent, silent, or whiny? If so you you may have found an initiator who delivers the appearance of competence better than actual competence. In the end, it is the impeccability of the practitioner that creates a good initiator. And… life is shorter than we usually imagine, so make sure to be having Fun!