What is the First Degree?
The First Degree is called the Water Initiation because it involves the purification of the emotional nature and water is a symbol for the emotions. The goal of this degree is to transform selfish desire into the energy of love-wisdom.
Jesus bending in humility to John is a symbol for the First degree, which has also been called the Baptism Initiation.
What is Love-Wisdom?
Love-wisdom is the ability to love others and express that love with wisdom. It is the sense of oneness or group consciousness that is part of our divinity. From this space of intuitive love we are empowered to heal and liberate our brothers and sisters and respond to their inherent needs.
Love-wisdom is the warmth of Spirit that we bathe in and that heals all pain and separation. It is group consciousness, where all separation dissolves and there is only one unifying, silent Presence. One no longer sees any difference between oneself and others. Selfish desire is a misconceived, lesser expression of love-wisdom, which is why it needs to be transformed. Motive is everything.
The Father-Mother God and the Great White Brotherhood express love-wisdom as part of Their divine consciousness. It has also been called Christ-consciousness, because it was first demonstrated by the Christ. It is flowering in many people in recent decades and we are all potential Christs.
What happens during the Water Initiation?
During the Water Initiation we tend to experience interpersonal conflict and develop an awareness that our desires cause suffering and pain. We note how when desires are thwarted, the ego reacts with anger, rage, jealousy and the whole gamut of emotions. We see ourselves act in ways that provoke the Law of Nature (Karma) and drag us deeper into suffering.
Our desires originate in our animal instincts and while we still have animal bodies, most of us are now humans wanting to manifest our divinity. So we can remain as animals or we can express the love-wisdom of our true nature.
Fulfillment of a desire brings temporary satisfaction, but then the desire grows through repetition compulsion. The various passions we experience cause distress when they are overindulged in or repressed, so moderation seems to be the key to successful management of our desires.
Unresolved desires, especially the desire to be loved and accepted, leads to chronic emotionalism and reactivity. The whole society is displaying these symptoms nowadays. We seem unwilling to be present to each other because we are too busy chasing possessions and desires. The frequency of personality disorders in the general population (10%) is evidence of this emotionalism.
Spiritual values like patience, tolerance and forgiveness are the perfume of love-wisdom and if we can come into the present moment they naturally manifest within us. We can also actively practice them as recommended by all of the great spiritual systems.
When desires and emotional reactions are raging the inner voice of our intuition goes unheard and we do crazy things like murder, rape and start wars. They deprive us of our humanity and even worse, our divinity.
The opportunity to develop discernment mainly comes through our relationships, which are a mirror of our emotional nature. They reflect our desires, expectations and the manipulations we use to get what we think we need.
As you face the suffering and challenges of the Water Initiation cycles, you gradually develop more discernment, which is the ability to distinguish between what is Real and what is illusion.
You learn to identify those desires, which can be safely satisfied and those which are best left alone. Ultimately, discernment reduces our desires, because we realize how little we need from the world.
This self-reliance comes from recognizing that the source of love, wisdom and peace already lives within us as the silent Presence. The silence this evokes allows the love-wisdom of our divinity to channel through us with greater fidelity.
Doing Your Duty
Another way to manage desire is to redirect your focus from your desires back to your inherent duty or purpose, as a parent, partner or server. Doing one’s duty feels inherently right and calms us because we know we are doing the roles and duties that our karma requires of us.
Making Peace with Time
Our desires need time to achieve and so we struggle with time and feel impatient. We lose the present moment by focusing on the future, an imaginary place, where we believe our desires will be fulfilled. As long as our desires remain unresolved there can be no contentment.
Sometimes it is important to ventilate repressed emotions and get them out. Whether it be rage, grief, shame or other feelings then owning and accepting them allows them to pass through your energy field and you can then return to Presence.
Purpose of the Emotions
Our emotional nature has been given to us so that we can learn to refine our desire and transmute it into love-wisdom, into intuitive love. Our desires and emotions are the unrefined matter, the lead, of our personality nature and we need to turn them into the gold of love and wisdom. In serving others, the ego’s self-focus is transcended and a true and eternal basis for joy is revealed.
When emotional factors cloud your judgment, you are undergoing a cycle of the Water Initiation. The need is to replace anger, guilt and resentment with gratitude, humility and joy. Until the emotions are in check it is difficult to go progress on the Way of Love-Wisdom.
White magic offers many techniques for directing positive energies towards the source of conflicts, both in our own energy centres and in the world. It offers new ways of dealing with our problems, which are simple and economical.
If there is a strong emotional reactivity or insatiable desire in your life and it is not being resolved, then you can try the following prayer. “Father-Mother God, I accept the need for this situation, please show me how to resolve it.” Then you wait for the insights and intuitions that will come.
There are many therapeutic and energetic techniques one can use to heal the subconscious self of negative impressions and tendencies and calm the heart and mind.
In learning to tame the emotional nature, it is important to recognize that desire is infinite and insatiable. You’ll never be satiated by indulging it.
A person with an addiction is going through the First Degree and is using pleasurable (or painful) sensations to stifle the emotional pain and hurt within themselves. The desire is controlling them.
If you can allow yourself to feel the suppressed emotional pain, then you free yourself of the reason for the habit disorder and find peace.
You can also resolve emotional conditions by accepting your inherent helplessness and surrendering to the divine Will. This attitude allows you to move through the First Degree and progress in your spiritual realization.
Signs of Progress
Through the various techniques we are discussing the Water Initiation can be successfully resolved and the emotional body will become still and peaceful. It transforms into a great ocean of rose-pink light, a channel for love-wisdom.
Another sign of progress is your growing self-reliance. One teacher summed this up by saying that he kept his happiness in his top pocket and would get it out whenever he needed it. He had mastered self-reliance and resolved his desire nature, so that he no longer required any external factors to make him happy.
Once you are disciplined and no longer controlled by your attachments, dependencies and desires, you experience a tranquillity that allows your inner vision and hearing to emerge.