Importance of Initiation
An initiation rite is a ritual or ceremony marking entrance or acceptance into a group or society. In modern society, initiation ceremonies usually mark the transition into adulthood, as demarcated by the community. Examples of such ceremonies include the Catholic First Communion, the Jewish Bar and Bat Mitzvah, military initiation, acceptance into a fraternity or secret society, graduation from school or even initiation into a gang. Initiation rites are an integral part of traditional societies and even more important in the male gender.
Famous historian of religion, Mircea Eliade, wrote in his book Rites and Symbols of Initiation that “…in the modern Western world significant initiation is practically non-existent.” Eliade defines an initiation as a “body of rites and oral teachings whose purpose is to produce a decisive alteration in the religious and social status of the person to be initiated. In philosophical terms, initiation is equivalent to a basic change in existential; the novice emerges from his ordeal endowed with a totally different being from that which he possessed before his initiation…”
As a newly raised Master Mason I know my journey in Freemasonry has just started. One of the most common explanations of Freemasonry I’ve read and heard from brethren is “ Freemasonry is a peculiar system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols”. Recognizing patterns is an important ability while I’m going through my journey learning how beautiful and peculiar Freemasonry really is, in my humble opinion. Patterns are powerful. They set up expectations, inspire questions, and make connections. Compared to all mental abilities, pattern recognition is said to have the highest correlation with the so called “intelligence factor”. This is a remarkably vast subject that I can not cover in a short time, however I will give you a brief glimpse on how we see the world through patterns, how its plays an important role in my understanding of Freemasonry, and what makes it all possible the neocortex.