by Christopher Fulkerson

CF's Composition Desk

Unusual Aerial Phenomenon Over San Francisco Bay
Photograph by Christopher Fulkerson

Copyright 1999 by Christopher Fulkerson
All Rights Reserved

You can have pretty much any type of initiation you like, into any open or secret society or mystery cult you can find or think of, and you have probably already had very many such initiations. There are no genuine boundaries or requirements: every orthodoxy requires a left hand in order to function properly.

For the initiate, the real question is, do you have the awareness to even know when it really was that you were initiated, and can you make anything out of it?

Gowns, vows, smells and bells - these things are to initiation what a pyramid is to a geometric point. If you require a pyramid to make the point, you will not get the point very often.

Secret societies don't keep secrets in quite the manner the general public believes. Really important messages, from all of history, are being sent to you all the time, on television, in the movies, in magazines, in literature, at the opera... everywhere. And when something is really important, it is communicated very plainly, in a completely everyday way. I once read an entire teaching from a photographic advertisement for a table setting.

There is also the action of self-initiation, the most honorable and secret of all initiations. It should surprise no one for it to be suggested that the Constitution of the United States can be understood as a preservation of the ingredients of self-initiation. This can be at the very highest level, and yet very domestic and normal at the same time: I have experienced samadhi twice, which is as many times as the historical Buddha experienced samadhi, and both of my enlightenment experiences were in the presence of dozens or hundreds of people, both times with scarcely any attention being paid to it by anybody around me. In fact, the only glitch in the process was when I tried to talk to someone I thought was a friend, to bring her into the state of mind I was in; I walked up to her and began to quote from one of the Psalms; she was very offended by my speaking in religious terms, and stalked off, "unable to handle it."

It would be more accurate to say that you are constantly turning down opportunities to be involved to a greater or more personal degree, than that you are constantly being left out of secret societies.

I can tell you this as a fact: the invocation of the Muse, that appears in ancient literature, always corresponds to a certain moment in the life of the reader. One certain method of self-initiation is to read all of Homer.


Posted 4/5/2010.