The Initiatory Narrative

The Initiatory Narrative

introductory spiritual exercises

The initiatory narrative is an adventure story that has embedded within it the elements of spiritual growth. This adventure story was referred to by Joseph Campbell as the Hero’s Journey. The story itself is an allegory of spiritual growth. The initiatory narrative embedded within the story is the personal experiences of an initiate.

The New Testament of the Bible:

The New Testament is an initiatory narrative. Father Paul, founder of the Holy Order of MANS, referred to this as a handbook of initiation. The narrative begins with the identification of Jesus through the symbolic meaning of the Virgin Birth.

This identification is made again through the baptism of Jesus at the River Jordan by John the Baptist. Thus the beginning of the narrative is to identify the character which is to represent Reality itself.

Later in the narrative, this character declares, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” This expresses the conceptual framework of the journey into reality.

The nature of this journey is expressed just after the baptism at the River Jordan through the temptations of Jesus. Right after the temptations comes the calling. This is expressed by Jesus declaring to the other characters, “Come, follow me!” Later on in the narrative Jesus (the great reality) declares in no uncertain terms, “I have chosen you; you have not chosen me.” This expresses the fact that the only way to embark on this journey is by invitation (a calling) only.

The rest of the narrative is composed of the various trials and temptations that those who are called will go through.

The initiatory narrative is not composed in linear form, which means that it is not in chronological order. This brings into focus that the initiatory path is a path of transmutation. This means that those who are called are gradually transformed into the likeness of that which they seek. This transformational process is referred to as alchemy. The trials, tribulations and temptations are the catalysts that engender the transformations. The path is a drama that takes place between you and the infinite reality.



I strive, O Father, Creator of all,

To be a Nameless Wanderer,

To be perfect and all-sufficient,

So poised, so balanced,

That none but Self can comprehend.


All of this was unknown, unknowable.

The greatness, the splendor, the magnificence of all,

With the Majesty of Thy Power

I, more than mind of man, can conceive.


For in the beginning, O Father, all-knowing,

Thou didst speak the Word,

And the Word was with Thee,

And the Word was Thee.

And the greatness and the splendor

Of Thy Power didst manifest,

Not through mind, but Thy Self.

For then the Word took flesh,

And the great being of the Christos was born

In all magnificence and Power.


For this is the mystery that man has not understood.

For Thy Word thou spokest once again.

God in great humility

Sealed in the fleshly body Of a little child,

Thus was the Master Jesus born.


My every prayer shall be, and is,

That in this Holy Family

I be received.

To be the servant of all,

To receive the great call,

Glory, glory, glory,

Lord God of all.  Amen

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