This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

Initiatic transmission and the qualities of the guru

There are situations where and individual who does not possess the qualities of the guru nonetheless is in a position to confer initiation. This is similar to what happens in sacramental theology where a priest who may or may not possess any exceptional qualities is permitted to confer grace upon the laity via the Eucharist. Although perhaps this is a stretch, it does help to illustrate such a case. Here the ‘transmitter’ of the spiritual influence is not a guru but instead plays the part of an upaguru, with the single reservation that when it is a question of initiation the upaguru must be fully conscious of what he does and the nature of his role. The point in mentioning this situation is to say that it is possible that initiation be conferred without the presence of an authentic guru.

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