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Workshop - Initiation

[This teaching idea comes from my teacher through Donna Lancaster.
If you would like to receive her newsletter which reiterates our teacher's material, you can contact her at
Meanwhile, here is some material from our teacher that I didn't have.
By the way, she's written a book "The Short and the Tall of it" , A wonderful biography in which she includes many of the teaching ideas.]

From Salt Lake City 4/71 (tape 2)

(audience participation in parenthesis)
[brackets for clarification]

[When I first got into the teachings, I heard about my teacher putting on schools. I always wanted to attend one and was very curious as to what would go on in the teaching school. I finally have a description here which I'm sharing with you. Although it's not possible to attend a school, it provides the discovery that we truly do have our very own school from Life each and every day. To see it that way helps us with dis-identification, and gives us a new view of Life.]

Short synopsis of an esoteric school (tape 2, side one)

We take a group of people periodically and put on an initiation or otherwise called an esoteric school. An esoteric school and initiation is one and the same thing, and it's divided into four degrees-three of which are obvious and the fourth which is describing the other three.

We take about 6 months to put this on-two months for the first degree-two months for the second degree-two months for the third and about two weeks to explain what we did.

Now we lead people into all sorts of things. They are asking to be non-disturbed, you remember, but we're trying to talk about higher mind. So we throw out a thing that they interpret that if they did that, they would be non-disturbed until and they get to the third degree.

So I will describe the third degree and how it works, what a school is, what an initiation is and the whole idea that we initiate the use of higher mind. So whether it's called a school or whether it's called initiation, it's one in same difference. If you take everything literal in it, you'll have a lot of "fun". But some of you now see it for what it is; and obviously, most of you here have already been through the school. Even with describing before I start, exactly what I'm going to do in each one of the degrees; while doing it-nobody catches on until after they've been through it and had their head bent around a while-then we describe it again, and then they kinda catch on.

We tell people, "We're gonna lead you down some blind alleys and give you the third degree and make you miserable; and they'll get caught anyway. When you're in the third degree, everything's miserable, isn't it? You're trying so desperately to be comfortable, and this is where the person finally experiments without intending to experiment-and the experiment is not what they think they're doing, but something else. We make sure that the experiment takes place so they have experienced it. I'm called awfully dirty names sometimes for that; but so far, we've not had anybody leave. There are four possible results when a person goes through an esoteric school or an initiation.

1. You can never hear a bit of it; and it totally goes over your head-that's when the seed fell on soft ground and the birds eat it up.
2. Another thing is that you can get all delighted with the first and second degrees because they're kind of pleasant. You are in a nice protected area and you don't even have to pay your own bills. You get all carried away with that and are very delighted with it until the third degree starts and then you run-that's the one that fell on shallow soil, sprung up and grew, but at the first sign of adversity (which is when the third degree hits you), why you run.
3. The third thing is you can get caught up in the brambles and get choked out-now the brambles is when you think you know all about it long before you ever heard the first word-(after all, I know all this, I've been doing it for 25 years.)
4. And then some can finally understand what it's all about and bring forth great values to world and living-30 fold, 40 fold.
So these are the things that happen to anyone-one of those four happens to anyone who attends an initiation or esoteric school and follows it through. It is very interesting to observe it going on.

Life's School

We said we would describe an initiation as it pertains to Life.

Initiation is divided into four degrees. The first degree is welcome Now all these initiations are a duplication of life, a concentrated form of what goes on in all of our existence. Now all Life is set up by the great Host as an initiation. We seldom see it as that, but that's what it is.

So the first degree is a welcome. So you're welcomed into a situation when you got born into this world whether they wanted you or not. They sent little cards of congratulations and little gifts. This usually lasts a couple of months, so you get to feeling in an initiation situation that you kinda belong there. You feel secure. Everybody's wanting to feel secure. So they get to feeling secure-everything is just wonderful.

Now the second degree is oral teaching. Teaching of concepts.

So this goes on for quite a while and this is rather pleasant because you just have pleasant things to agree with or disagree with and at least they're just ideas. So this basically covers the time in your existence from the time you started kindergarten until you got through college, does it not? You're taught the rules and the regulations and morals of the community in which you live. So you're exposed to all the great professions in your environment and you come up with all your ideals. Now this is when you set up ideals-really-because it is implied if not stated that if you do all these things then everything will be all right. My dear old mother told me, "If you'll always do the right thing, everything will be fine for you." But she never did get around to telling me what the right thing was, so she left me to try and figure that out for myself. I did that for years-never did find out.

So this goes on and by the time we're through the second degree, we've made all sorts of interesting decisions that "This is the way I will live my life." "I'll always be honest." "I'll always be good." "I'll do the right thing." We are quite prone to take all kinds of little vows without knowing the future. You know we decide, "I'll always do thus and so." But you don't know what you're going to do tomorrow, do you? Because you don't know what kind of challenges are gonna come up.

But anyway, we get all this done. Then starts the third degree.

Now this is the existence. In everyday life we have been going along and you get through all this college bit and you stay and get your master's and then you decide you'll stay around and get your doctorate; and so you stay and get that, and you decide to goof off a little bit longer and get a couple of side degrees. But someday we have to go out and face that cold cruel world-all on our own. And this is when everything goes "snafu", you know. And nobody is patting you on the back anymore. This Life process is put on as a daily thing--a symbol of this process--is put on in one day. In our little school, we put on one for six months. There is about two months allowed for each one of these degrees.

When this third degree goes on, if you should "see it", then would you want to change anything? There's drunks in the world, you know they come barging in making all manner of noise. They're degree-team people. There's people that makes all sorts of commotion in your existence. They're degree-team people.

Now we've all dreamed of building us a utopia where there's no third degree members in there. That's people making all this noise; but I've noticed that the Host is quite capable (no matter what you set up) that He can get two degree-team people for every one you run out. He gets two more in there-someway or another. Because we can't get along without this degree-team-we'd never wake up.

So when I see someone being very obnoxious, I let him know that he's a third-degree man and he let's me alone. He'll just let you alone. Just like the guy that said, "You're a witch." And I said, "Sure I'm a witch, and I was thinking what I had in mind for you." He lets me alone because I dun told him I'm aware of your game, I'm in too.

So the degree team never bothers you as long as you are conscious that all of these things are just possibilities for you to have a challenge--to see if you are asleep or conscious. Now this is the whole idea of initiation. It is to initiate us into consciousness and out of childhood. Somebody said that when I was a child, I thought as a child, spoke as a child and acted as a child. But when I became a man or when I was initiated into adulthood, not just grew up by a number of years, but I was initiated into it, then I began to think, act, and behave like a man. So this is the whole idea of initiation is for us to see that all of these degree-team people, we are so gritched about, are degree-team people.

Now we usually get married to a degree-team person. We have them for kids and we usually work with them somewhere or other. About right? Married one, had four or five of them for kids, and everywhere you go to work, there's one or two of them there.

But you see, if I recognize them as what they are, that they are degree-team people and I don't fight and struggle with them, I just agree with them. That's the adversary, you know, is the guy that's trying to wake me up-and I agree with him right then and there, so then it's all over with. So then I am an initiated member, and then I can sit back and watch all the other people get educated-and that's the greatest fun if you develop a perverted sense of humor-you can see how people get themselves all pushed out of shape over something the degree-team person's doing to them. You ever had any degree-team people around you?

(Yes, I'm married to one. I got one for a daughter?)

They're everywhere, but if you recognize it and agree with them, then they're the most wonderful people to be around. So then, as we go along these ways, what happens? We have nothing that we would want to change. I wouldn't want to change anyone's behavior because I don't want those people to quit their job as being degree-team people, would you?

(Might put me to sleep more than I am.)

Right. With them, at least you have a chance to get awake and catch on to what he's doing. Now you're only awake when you see that you wouldn't change it for anything. You'd be glad to leave them there-they got you awake-you wouldn't want to change it. Maybe it'd get him to wake up after a while-or her. And this is the way the whole thing operates. So is there anything in this world that you would want to change?

Now if you start thinking, all you want to do is "change it into a utopia" then there'd be no third-degree members in there. Isn't that what you'd think of as the ideal. That's what we dream up is a world without any third-degree people in it. What kind of place would that be?

(It'd be kinda boring.)

So would you want to change anything in this world? Do you want to understand so you will have it all clear, or can you just simply see that's what it is. You've discovered I don't have to fight with this guy. I don't have to understand him-he's a degree man, he picks on me a little bit. […..and I don't have to be understood either. This was a hard one and still is at times…….Marsha] So I just agree with him, and he sees he's in on "the know" now. So, I'm no longer a subject for him; now, he can go on to somebody else. Once I can respond to all the degree-team people freely and not as a threat, then I have passed the third degree. Now most of us have never passed the third degree and as the lady said, we've been in it since we were about 7 years old. See we want to get back in that womb state.

You can be without conflict, but you'll still be disturbed. Disturbance means your conscious. If you're laying sleeping and I come shake you, I've disturbed you. Now if you're mad at me for having done that, you have a conflict, ok? And if you just get up and go on about your business and say, "Well that joker woke me up, so what?" Did you ever get awakened by a wrong number at 3:00 am. How'd you handle it? Now you were disturbed by the telephone; and if you got mad about it, you had a conflict, ok.

You're automatic response to somebody that comes up and bugs you a little bit is to fight or run-that's mechanical. In order to make a good little story out of it and make them conscious and let them know you know what they're doing, you have to be conscious, and you can't respond mechanically. So you're responding differently than you ever did in your life when you do something consciously, is that right?

What's your usual response?

(Defend myself.)

You want to defend. How do you defend?

(Fight back.)

Right-so you fight or run and that's just mechanical-machines do that-a dog does that too, doesn't he? So you would be conscious that this is a challenge, and then you will see something altogether different come out of your mouth. You always agree with it because you have nothing to prove or defend to the degree-team man. Only thing is that you are being conscious.

(So it's just not letting people bother you.)

Well, it's not lettin' them, it's seeing what they're doing. If you see what they're doing, that they're trying to wake everybody up; and if you see through it, you woke up. How long have you been in the third-degree room.

(Quite a while.)

(You said the degree-team people are trying to wake everybody up. They don't know they're trying to.)

Well a few of them in the world do and the rest of them--Well, you can always get them to follow you. There's a few conscious ones around-they're all over the world all the time. The whole world is a big initiation-and there's a few conscious ones.

So with all of this in the world would you change anything or would you just see it for what it is-it gives each of us a chance to wake up. Once we wake up, we quit reacting to it, we respond to it. Somebody comes up and calls you a dirty so and so-do you have to defend yourself? Or do you say, "He's a degree man, he's trying me out, and I say yeah, I've been there for years, I've prided myself on being the highest grade so and so that runs around. Do you have to defend yourself and see that you are respected and treated appropriately at all times? If they call you a thief, you say I pride myself on being a great thief and I'm thinking about starting a thieving school so I can teach others. The shows over with, nobody will argue with you then. You dropped them right there. What do you have to defend with all the contentions and struggles to defend our idea about ourselves, defend our dignity (whatever that may mean). Can't you just respond when somebody says you're blah blah blah. You have nothing to defend, nothing to prove about yourself. Do you have anything that has to be changed or can you just respond. And you're no longer torn up about all the things going on out there. But as long as you gotta correct it and have everybody in a little cuddly state where everybody is pleased-man have you got problems. You'll never have a quiet moment in your day.

Now if one sees what's going on, one has a quiet mind.

Peace of Mind

Now in a quiet mind there is an inner state in man that begins to develop-we've all heard of people who are clairvoyant. We've heard of people who can foresee, heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons and all these things. All of this comes from an inner development of the Life principle in man. Now as long as man is in a state of struggle, conflict, resistance, chaotic states of mind, he's busy busy, busy in his head-no inner development takes place. And as long as there is no inner development, it remains like a tiny little seed. When we are trying to understand something, we are busy struggling in the mind. But when we see it for what it is; and there is no attempt to change anything, there is this inner development; and this inner development continues as long as there is peace of mind. If you have it for one hour, then you have one hour of development.

Now if a child grows for an hour, you hardly notice it, is that right? They're always growing apparently. You can't see your child growing. But in six weeks you can notice some growth, is that right? And in six years there will be a whole bunch more in all probability. And in 60 years there might be a whole bunch more of it. So this inner development grows, takes place and develops any time there is peace of mind. You only have peace of mind when you're not trying to change anything.

And you're never trying to change anything when you see it as it is because it couldn't be improved upon as far as our intelligence can go because I don't know what would happen if the least thing were different in this world, do you?

Do you know what would have happened to you today if you hadn't come down here? You might have been a basket case somewhere, you don't know. We truly don't know. So when we have no urge to change it, then there is peace of mind, and then the inner development happens. Then in a few weeks you'll find that you have faculties that you've only dreamed of all of your life. That you have always struggled to try to develop which was a totally worthless endeavor any more than you trying to be an inch taller or three inches taller by your own efforts. Inner development grows naturally, develops naturally just as your body grew from a baby to adulthood. Inner development grows just the same way whenever there is peace of mind.

Now we've all heard that in ancient China they used to bind the feet of little girls so they would be petite. They made cripples and kept small feet. Finally they began to pull the bandages off; and, of course, the feet grew naturally which was the appropriate way for them to do.

So when we understand the third degree for what it is; and as we have this inner development, we find all the faculties and abilities that you've only dreamed of and heard of and hoped you could do and asked "Why don't I have it, how did that guy get it." and so forth which was mere curiosity; but it begins to take place. And you'll find that the more you have peace of mind, the more this development takes place. Now if you have one hour of peace of mind, it grows an hour and then you go back to chaos for 36 hours, you don't lose the one-hours growth. Then you go back to being peaceful again for 30 minutes why you have another 30 minutes of development-now you got an hour and a half, and you don't ever lose that. It continues to be there and it will only grow during the peace of mind.

The one thing that we can do is to begin to look at things a little differently. We don't have to judge them. In the first place I am incapable of judging because I don't know all the things that will result from whatever is happening this moment. Do you? Being incapable of judging, you cannot set up an ideal of what ought to be. Not being capable of judging and not setting up the ideal, you have nothing to struggle towards, nothing to attempt to change because you don't know ___couldn't hear tape?_____ grow and how to put it together and make it possible for thousands upon millions of human beings to develop, do you? You sure don't-so we better take it like it is. I don't know how to improve this human body. I stand in awe which I've done many years-the physiology. The more I studied and the longer I've studied it and watch it work, the more I stand in awe. It is a beautiful work and a design that man hasn't been able to figure out--much less even duplicate one human step.

When we discover that particular fact; and realize we cannot improve this; we, then, start thinking, "Well maybe I can make a better world". This is a whole other chaotic effort-we can have better governments, and we can have better churches, better healing arts. We can get all these troubles straightened out and we'll have people understanding each other and everybody will be just lovey-dovey and we'll have us a beehive that just won't quit. We think we can do that; but what would it be like if we tried to do it Bill?


You don't know, because you sure don't know what started it, is that right? So it's possible that the thing is just fine just like it is. And if I see it differently than I've ever seen it, I see it as a great initiation going on and I can pass that initiation and enjoy every minute of it. I have nothing I need to change so then there is no struggle, no conflict, no resistance in the mind-there is peace of mind and then the inner development begins to take place. You will find that you have abilities that you have heard of, but never dreamed that you would have. There is an endless variety of these abilities of which we are only potential-the seed is there, but it has never had a chance to develop because we've never allowed peace of mind to be there. In a quiet mind, this inner development takes place and this is what everybody is here for is to allow that development to take place. You can't make the inner development, it happens just like your feet grew when you were a baby when there is peace of mind. This you can do by beginning to look at things a little differently. You always saw them as bad people doing mean old things to good people. You might see that they were there to wake us up and that all these situations give me an opportunity that otherwise I wouldn't have.

Esoteric School - more on the esoteric school after the welcome part.

Oral Teaching

You are taught all the traditions and the ideas of this particular teaching organization whatever it may be. It's a nice room, air conditioned, soft chairs and you're given all these beautiful things, and you take vows to always uphold them, all that good stuff. Then they tell you we're going to change the setting a little bit to the next degree, and if all you people will go into this little room here while we change the setting.

Third Degree

Then they tell you we're going to change the setting a little bit to the next degree, and if all you people will go into this little room here while we change the setting. The little room has had water poured on the floor and the heaters been running in there and it's quite steamy; but you're only going to be there a minute while they change the setting. Unknowing to the candidates; about half of the people in that room are members of the degree team-just about half. And they start all kinds of little conflicts going on. Pretty soon you're taking one side or the other and making all manner of noise. Then somebody commits some kind of vile language and this has been set. Maybe they find fault with the organization that's putting on this beautiful initiation. And then somebody comes and says, "Sorry, there's a little delay." And this goes on and everybody's getting tired from sitting there and you're hot and you're uncomfortable, and crowded and then somebody begins to criticize that. And then one individual arrives late and he is dog drunk and he comes in trying to pick a fight and falling all over the place and using vile language; and pretty soon you're involved in every conceivable kind of contention and fight that you could ever see. You know, everything went haywire this particular day while you were there.

But if you should ever catch on while you are in there that all of this is a big show for you to respond objectively and see what's going on instead of judging with your usual approach as "this is pleasurable", "this is giving me attention" etc. The first two degrees you got all of this pleasure and attention. So, in this one, you would see it. Unbeknownst to you one wall of this room is a one-way mirror. The people outside the third-degree room can see what's going on and they have speakers so they can hear it. And one day you catch on--you see it, and then some guy comes and calls you out of the room very roughly. You probably think you are going to be strung up by your toes-things are getting rough in this place-there's even been a murder in there-I saw a guy got a hole shot right through him-I stuck my finger in the hole. But that's enough of that. You took all manner of vows you wouldn't tell this and just a little while before you said that you would always uphold the laws of the land that you lived in-and now you've vowed never to "let this out" because it would reflect on the organization. You cross yourself all over the place.

So when all of these terrible things are happening and suddenly you get called out; then you're welcomed with all glory that you understood that this was a big joke going on in there and you're allowed to sit in one of the chairs in the air-conditioning and watch the rest of them in there. You know, it's hilarious fun. It's like waking up from a nightmare.

But getting back to the third degree room. Now by the time the third degree gets around, why there are things that get unpleasant. "Everybody's not behaving like they ought to"-"somebody has taken advantage of me", or "somebody's not doing the things they ought to do". We have with us this afternoon two previous students. Diana and Katy who were with us in these little degree-team exercises down in Baregga. At first it was delightful, wasn't it Katy. It was real nice and everyone went out and goofed off. Everything went fine. We had lots of classes and everything was going fine.

But finally we get involved in businesses, and everybody's busy both day and night-there's not enough time-and somebody's not carrying their load-somebody's nosin' in and somebody's gossiping-and somebody should do this and somebody should to do something else-and everybody was in everybody's face for a while, and everything changed. Of course I'm sittin' off somewhere laughin'; but I don't let anybody else know I'm doing that. Then after it's all over, we explain it.

So the third degree is when the situation gets difficult. This is when you're on your own, and you find that you didn't keep all those vows, and you didn't do all these ideals you had set out for yourself.

That's the third degree, you see. Get people trying to do all these great things they agreed to in the second oral teaching-sounds easy, doesn't it? But then when things "get goin'" what happens? You break 'em, huh? And of course you feel miserable about the whole show. But then somebody comes along afterwards explains what happened-how this went on. So we have described to us the whole initiation. Now isn't that a duplication of life. It goes on every day, huh?


Right on down the line. You've been right through the degrees. You've had the welcome committee, the oral teaching and the third degree.

(Only trouble is …………….couldn't hear.)

Well, yeah, but you're slow in catchin' onto what's goin' on. Now as soon as one sees that one is in the third degree, there's nothing threatening there. When they're putting this on in a big room, you know you have the first degree and the second degree. Then we say, "Will you excuse us--we're going to put you over here in one of these little rooms, and you'll be there just for a minute while we change the setting." Then everything starts going haywire. You're in there for hours and it's hot and it sweaty and half of those people in there are degree-team men buggin' you and giving you suggestion saying how terrible everything is, and how terrible we are; and this whole thing is going to the dogs; and that the next degree-man is comin' in soon. So finally when he does arrive, he's drunk and fallin' all over the place and he's making all sorts of noises. And someone tells you, "The thing just got out of hand the day you were there." That's all.

So man ends up "serving the senses" instead of being conscious to give awareness that he is seeing what is. Now we see this in every facet of living. And if we can stop and see that all the way around us is a big initiation-the whole world is a great stage of initiation-the whole earthly existence is an initiation ceremony that lasts for a number of years. Number one it has the degree of being welcomed into. Number two, the training of all the little ideas; and Number three, is when we get to try it out to see how we respond-as an infant, or do we respond consciously. The whole idea is to make us conscious.

Now we can be one conscious individual and work as a conscious group, and we would not try to build utopia-we'd make a free country where there are challenges, right?

When we see this, we can begin with I don't need the government or anybody else but me consciously, one individual begins to see that there is stress-there is challenges and that all these people who I have heretofore judged as being a threat to me are really my teachers and giving me an opportunity to be awake and respond consciously.

Now if we should begin to see this whole world, which all our little school is, it's a condensation of everyday world. So if we see all of this going on, we recognize that there is intelligence somewhere that organized and created a society, a group of people, and that this is a great initiation. If you can see that one day, you would not want to change one thing; and when you don't want to change anything, what state is your mind in Bill?


[insert from later-And as long as you see all these social evils that's got to be corrected like's going on in that third-degree room (it's concentrated there); and you're going to correct all those social evils out there, what do you have to do? If you got to change lots of things, what state are you in. You're judging and you're shocked and your in a state of anger and guilt and fear and insecurity and you're agitated and you're concerned.

Have you ever tried to change some great social problem-stop wars, end poverty, end all prejudice-all these things. Have you ever tried to do that? You were very carried away, weren't you? If you could see that's the only opportunity we have for really recognizing truth-knowing what's going on. And if we stopped all of these challenges, we'd all remain little blobs of infants with fairly grown bodies-there's no possible chance to ever get out of it without having this great third-degree initiation going on everywhere. And if you look and see somebody hurt or uncomfortable, what's it all about? It's initiation going on-third degree. And if you understand it and see it, what do you do? You do just like the guy sittin' there looking through the one-way glass listening to all this commotion going on in the little room, you'd laugh up a storm, right?--because they've got their clown suits on. Only thing is they don't actually have on clown suits-but, really, it's a clown performance in there. And when we see all of these, we begin to see that I don't want to change anything because I couldn't improve on it.

If we didn't have all these games going on with all the commotion, we'd have to invent some more, and they'd probably be just as noisy as these are, huh? So whatever we invent, it seems Life uses that as a means of giving us a temptation so that we have an opportunity to wake up. We have seen the things going on out here and I wouldn't want to change anything-I'm free to respond to whatever comes along; but I wouldn't want to change the fact that there's a little thievin' going on tonight. Thievin' goes on in that room; and there is also a bunch of other things goes on in there. Also in there is somebody trying to sell somebody something that doesn't look like he ought to be using that particular place to sell it. We're can judge it according to our old methods as to this is not pleasurable and this is not attention and approval and everybody's not behaving like they ought to be, or we can see it differently.

When we can change our perception, when we see that all of this is a very great plan-that it is absolutely intelligent behavior for all the people. You know half of the people making all the commotion are members of the degree team-they are unconscious of it, but they've been cast in that role; and incidentally, most of us are a degree-team member to somebody else as they are to us.