Purpose and Goal of Initiation Is Gnosis
Legends of a Fall attempt to explain why a chasm exists between the human mind and divine consciousness. This great mystery is a fundamental concern for both religion and philosophy. The existence of such a chasm is, however, simply accepted as a basic premise in esoteric doctrine. The purpose of initiation is not to explain the Fall but to overcome its effects.
The goal of initiation, the primary “secret” of the wisdom tradition, is gnosis—direct, tangible, personal experience of God within the human body in the here and now. A “gnostic” is one who “knows,” who cultivates the discipline of contact with divine consciousness. Unlike those who follow religions that either seek, guarantee, or threaten their adherents with the presence or absence of an after-death state of grace, the gnostic fully intends to experience grace within his or her lifetime.