PHILOSOPHY OF SACRAMENTAL INITIATION
From the Philosophy of Sacramental Initiation by the Holy Order of MANS
Sacraments and the priesthood: It is impossible to consider
one without the other; and it is impossible to consider
either without bringing in the life and reality of Jesus
Christ as He is Lord of earth as well as the Christian
Messiah. To understand the sacraments it is necessary to
understand the priesthood. To know what a priest really is
and does is to know what the sacraments really are and what
they accomplish in bringing aid and comfort to the human
soul and body and its preparation for the life to follow.
true priest is one whose entire life is tinctured by a
sacramental character. Thomas Aquinas has said, "the
entire Christian religion is derived from the priesthood of
Christ." (Christ Jesus) We might add that the
spiritual fulfillment of the entire world is so derived. The
goal, the means and the substance of evolution itself finds
its term in the transcendent Body of Christ. This is the
great work for which we, as priests, are set apart.
of the chief duties and functions of a priest in the Holy
Order of Mans is to master the art of true spiritual service
in performing the various sacraments, rituals and ceremonies
of our Order.
sacraments are the tools of the priest. They are the means
whereby the priest partakes of the great cosmic plan of the
evolution of this planet and of mankind according to the
Will of the Father through the Great Christ.
world today has all but forgotten the true nature and
function of the sacraments. A question often asked by those
who are interested in entering the Order or in knowing about
it is, why all the ritual? Why the need for it?
man has lost touch with the guidelines of the ancient wisdom
teachings and he is equally out of touch with the symbols
and procedures of modern science, so he is adrift in the
uncharted area of his own ignorance and opinion, which often
amounts to little more than superstition.
sacraments not only provide a link between the ancient
wisdom and modern science, but actually provide a scientific
spiritual foundation on which man can grow to realize his
divine self on the path of Godhood.
it is very important that the priest have intimate knowledge
of the nature, function and purpose of the sacraments and
how to use them. This is the holy alchemy of the priesthood.
And mastery in this highest of arts is the goal of every
Foundation of the Sacraments
reality of the sacraments, what they actually mean and
signify, is the basis of all religions.
see this in the history and development of the Christian
category of churches, where the sacraments are at once the
unifying theme of them all as well as the subject of their
bitterest controversies and divisions because of their lack
of the reality of living symbolism in God's creation.
Christian theology, a sacrament is generally defined as "the visible form of an invisible grace".
This definition is acceptable to most of the Christian
denominations. They also accept as basic the belief that a
sacrament must be a sign or action that is "instituted
by Christ". According to the New Testament, Jesus
instituted, commanded and practiced various activities, such
as baptism, a common meal, anointing, healing the sick, and
so on. In the early years of the Christian Church there were
many practices used, some of them gaining acceptance, others
being discarded, until there became generally accepted,
after a few centuries of debate and crisis, the seven basic
Sacraments which we know today, Baptism, Penance, the
Eucharist, Confirmation, Matrimony, Holy Orders or
Ordination and Anointing or "Extreme Unction".
fact, only two of these Sacraments can actually be
documented from the text of the New Testament itself:
Baptism and the Eucharist. For this reason, some of the
Christian denominations have limited their rituals to these
two alone. Others have continued to follow the older
tradition of seven sacraments. The primary justification for
all the differing approaches to liturgy among Christians has
been the same in all cases, relying on a combination of
historical evidence, textual interpretation, and accepted
approach. Christian churches sometimes differ in their
opinions as to the authentic number of sacraments actually
endorsed by Christ Jesus or how many He instituted to be
used by the apostles. It is more important really to know
what the nature of a sacrament actually is and what it truly
agree that sacraments are "signs" involving some
external, physical objects or actions. Some Christian
authorities, primarily radical Protestants, claimed they are
nothing more than that. Others believed that sacraments are
symbols to be used in commemoration of the life and actions
of Jesus and that they have value and devotional actions.
Some held that Sacraments have a role as signs of the
presence of grace within the recipient.
others, primarily Catholic and Orthodox, had held that the
sacraments are signs of the efficacious Presence of God.
This theory, fully developed in the Council of Treat, led to
the doctrine that the sacraments are not only a means to
grace, but actually "contain the grace they
signify". This resulted in a theory that the sacraments
have "efficacy apart from the disposition of the
recipient", that is, the sacraments worked regardless
of the state of mind of the minister or the receiver.
Opponents denounced this theory as superstitious magic; and
some offered the opposite extreme, a rationalistic theory of
the sacraments as merely devotional symbols. For them, the
sacraments were "ordinances", not channels of
grace but expressions of the faith and obedience of the
these differences continue to separate the various
on the external historical or textual evidence alone allows
for various interpretations of what it all means. In
reality, however, the truth of Christianity is revealed when
we stop dealing with the history and origins of the
Christian church and begin considering the history and
origins of the Christ Consciousness -- the reality of the
Power as an Idea, as a Reality, as a fundamental and
universal principle in action, throughout history.
we see that the Christ-idea and the Christ-teaching were
making remarkable impressions in many parts of the world
before and during the lifetime of Jesus, whereas no
Christian church had yet been established. The power of
CHRISTianity does not lie in church or order, but in its
essence and its substance, in the way of the Christos
through which the Order and Law of the Solar System itself
manifests. "Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but My
word shall not pass away." It cannot be tied to the
laying of a material foundation, but must be tied to the
cornerstone of the Self, as it unfolded the awakening
consciousness of man at the time he began to appreciate the
existence of the Christ Consciousness in the universal
church of man.
science and technology seems to have deeply undermined the
faith of many people in the effectiveness or
"relevance" of any religious ceremonies or
rituals. The modern western churches have been forced to
revise and "laicize" their rituals in an attempt
to make them relevant and palatable to the concerns of
key to this problem is that power and function -- energy in
action -- is always relevant in any age. People will accept
something that works, especially if they understand the
purpose of it. This understanding will come as we teach the
real factors involved in the true sacraments, as they are
being restored through the Holy Order of Mans which has
returned to the ancient alchemy and the old way of the old
church as it was understood at the beginning which conforms
to the simplicity of creation.
The Three Factors in the
Development of the Sacraments
The ancient wisdom of the Christian Mysteries, the
"natural science" of the sages of old. This is the
great discovery through revelation and experience that there
was a definite process of God Realization through the
external and only begotten Son, the great Christos, based on
the Mysteries, where these inner teachings were taught to
the few who were able to receive them. "For the law was
given by Moses."
The Word made flesh. The descent of the Christ into the form
of the Master Jesus. The greatest event in the history of
the Earth. The rebirth and regeneration of the world and all
Mankind by the Light, Life and Love of the Christos. A new
pattern was permanently set into motion. Infused into the
Earth is the permanent redemption and atonement brought by
His grace. The temple veil was rent, and all were invited to
share in the Mysteries. "...but grace and truth came by
The principles of modern Science. What is true in the
spiritual world must be reflected in the physical world. A
spiritual principle is a scientific principle. Epigenesis. A
functional force that is measurable by experience and thus
provable by results manifesting in the physical world.
true Sacrament then is the point where these three factors
meet and agree. Its foundation is initiation, science and
revelation. Its proof is its result. Its result is to draw
the individual into the Life of the body of Christ.
Sacraments must not be confused with other rituals and
ceremonies used in the performance of liturgy. These four
terms -- liturgy, sacrament, ritual and ceremony are often
used interchangeably, but they are not, in fact, synonyms.
For example, not every ritual is a sacrament; and not every
ceremony has a regular or formal ritual. When we distinguish
the characteristics of each type of spiritual service, this
helps to clarify the function of liturgy.
general, all these terms relate to man's application,
direction or use of the great creative force of the
itself, refers to the celebration of the public worship of a
given type, expressed in rites, ceremonies and formulas.
in its broadest meaning, refers to any action performed
according to an accepted custom or form. For example, our
funeral ceremony is not a Sacrament in itself and does not
even have an exact ritual form; rather it is a ceremony we
use as a service of comfort to the family of the deceased,
to return the elements of the body to the earth, and to send
the soul on to his new life.
term ritual has a more precise meaning. It refers to those
ceremonies of living symbolism which involve the solar and
magnetic Forces of the earth and its poles, and the Forces
impinging on the earth of the other planets of the solar
system. Many of the rites and ceremonies used by the ancient
temples and mystery schools are examples of rituals of this
type. Even though these sacred rites may be performed with
great power and solemnity, they are not actually sacraments
in themselves. In the Holy Order of Mans we are preserving
this ancient tradition by restoring the use of such sacred
rituals as the holy celebration of the four cardinal points
of the sun cycle, the Equinox and the Solstices services;
the new and full moon services, and others more or less
related to the mysteries of nature, initiation, and the life
of our planet within our solar system.
above all, as the most divine of all spiritual gifts are the
sacraments. The sacraments are the visible manifestation of
initiation and the projection of God's plan of salvation for
the basic patterns which we set so that we may receive our
grace, they certainly play a most vital and essential role
in the attainment of the illumination and the realization of
a sacrament is a ritual of living symbolism established by
divine grace and conferring upon the soul of man the
effective potential of one or another of the Solar
basic sacraments, such as Baptism, Communion and Holy Orders
or Ordination, were practiced in one form or another long
before the Master Jesus ever walked the earth. The ancient
rituals of initiation, from which stem many of our modern
sacraments, had been in existence eons ago, because the path
of initiation is the universal and eternal path of the
growth and evolution of mankind on this orb.
gospel of John says that, "The law was given by Moses,
but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." Since His
Ascension, Jesus has assumed Lordship of Earth. As Lord of
Earth, Christ Jesus draws all things to Himself by the
projection of a perfect pattern of growth into the life of
earth. This pattern is the divine Atonement brought by the
supreme gift of His grace, now available to all.
is simply the free and unmerited and unearned love of God.
It is the divine influence in men, which allows them to
regenerate and attain sanctity or God-realization. It
manifests in the physical world as the law of epigenesis.
This is the functional process through which grace is
established in man. It is the formation of a fresh organic
germ of higher Life which regenerates the lower, older body
by a series of successive accretions until the lower body is
entirely transformed into a new creature, the purified soul
in the Body of Light. In the words of Paul, the
master-builder, "But God, who is rich in mercy, for His
great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in
sins, has quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye
are saved)". Ephesians 2:4-5
joining of these two realities, the ancient mysteries of
initiation and the grace brought by Jesus Christ, resulted
in the creation of the sacraments of the new age as used in
every sacrament is a solar initiation in itself, but as the
indispensable means of conferring the grace of God upon men
the sacraments provide the foundation of every initiatory
step taken by the soul on its path up the timeless ladder of
initiation -- Jacob's ladder -- the return to Godhead
through the divine Christ.
Solar initiations form the universal path of consciousness
for all beings in this solar system under the great Lord of
the Sun. For in this Being, the great Christos, as Paul has
said, we all live and move and have our being. The rituals
of initiation and the sacraments are processes by which man
finds his way through the labyrinth of untruths to the
source and the chamber of truth -- the Akasha, the mind of
God - - where he finds the truth and has the experience
which will give him the opportunity to move up the ladder in
vibration while he is attaining a closer state of purity and
to attain greater wisdom for greater service.
from the true mystical and scientific stand-points the
sacraments and the related rituals of initiation play a very
important part in the process of the spiritual growth of the
individual because they motivate and spark the positive
development of the soul personality of the individual and
eliminate the negative patterns. The rituals used by the
ancients, and still used in similar form and spirit by many
who know and understand and are workers or teachers, were
partly for the purpose of illustrating and impressing upon
the psychic mind, the brain in the psychic body, certain
laws and principles.
ancients knew that the psychic part of many delights in
ritual and therefore ever seeks to experience those flights
of elevation into the world of higher mind, the thought
world and the world of symbolism, which compose a great part
of the carefully worked out ceremonies of each secret Order
of mystery temple. When a candidate or student performed
certain ceremonies in a temple or an order, his objective
mind was spared and impressed by the illustrations, the
colors, the movements, and the words of the ritual.
conscious purpose of the objective symbols of a sacrament or
ritual is to hold the mind of the candidate or student in
concentration while his psychic consciousness visualizes and
creates a condition for itself that it enjoys and therefore
remembers, and ever after retains the impressions and
patterns of this experience in the soul.
person experiencing the action of the sacrament or the
ritual has then later to experience in his own personal life
these same particular principles and laws expressed and
demonstrated in the ceremony. This does not mean that
sacraments and rituals are not real and effective right
then, but there is an unseen side that is very powerful.
the ancient temples or occult schools these rituals of
initiation were often experienced in the form of the mystery
play. In the Holy Order of Mans we no longer put on the
panorama of the play as in the ancient temple, but we live
the play as part of our everyday life in the Order.
sacraments and the true principles of initiation are the
central actions in the daily life and pattern of the Order,
around which all else revolves. The pattern of all spiritual
growth are expressed in the principles and laws of creation
and these are made effective in the life of the individual
by the receiving of the various sacraments.
he who participates in the sacraments and accepts them at
the deeper level is expressing the real mysteries of the
divine grace and he attains a state of acceptance where the
epigenesis may work through him and he may obtain the bounty
of this earth which God has granted unto him.
the individual is performing the visible symbols and signs
of the sacrament, this invokes the nature, vibration and
action of the visible world which they symbolize. By being
in the state of grace the individual is prepared and
predisposed to accept the imprint of the reality and the
pattern of this higher invisible spiritual world. Thus he
becomes part of the Mind and the Spirit of God and partakes
of the essence of life eternal.
the Father sent our Lord Jesus Christ so that we might avail
ourselves of the treasures hidden in His being. The Master
Jesus said while on earth, "Unless a man be born again
of water and the Holy Spirit he cannot enter the
us it is obvious enough to say that as we partake of the
sacrament as a visible creature, we also sense the presence
and reality of the transformation and feel the power which
moves through us and reveals the invisible God who made all
things. Undoubtedly the material universe affords the proof
of the realization of God. But the sacraments are not purely
a part of the order of natural creation but are a physical
manifestation of the unseen Solar initiations divined by God
for the stage by stage development of man, and given to
mankind as revelation through the Person of Christ Jesus.
might be said that the physical body of man is the pivot of
salvation. For when the soul of man is united with God and
in harmony, it is the body which makes the union possible
with its forward step as it enters into the act of the
sacrament of Communion or any other sacrament.
use the material form because we have a level of expression
in the world. For complete existence it must be manifest on
all levels of our life, both spiritual and physical.
anoint the body that the soul may be consecrated. Thus the
body is sealed that the soul may do the work of
strengthening it. This is why we use the water and oil in
in his instructions on the Christian's participation in the
death and resurrection of Christ maintained that only
through the sanctification of the body could the soul find
its path to the glories of Heaven and the eternal
resurrection to everlasting life.
Paul well knew that with the care of this external and
seeable creation of God -- the outer body -- that the inner
man would become compelled to be sanctified and rise higher
and closer to that state of unity with God because of it.
it is the very Word of God which motivates the life force to
manifest through these sacramental rites given by
revelation, that man and woman in their physical vehicles
may become an integral part of the greatest of all rites,
the creation of the divine man on the path of Godhood.
the performance of the sacraments the priest helps to
propagate the reality of God's glorious creation which
restores the dignity of man and prepares and preserves the
earth for the return of the Great One and the coming and the
completion of the New Heaven and the New Earth.
the material level the body is also purified, so that the
purer force may pass into the physical -- less effected --
in a purer state.