In magical traditions, initiations are widely used as an instrument of spiritual development. Sometimes initiation is done as a particular ritual. There are two types of initiations. First is an initiation that gives access and entrance to a new level, group, or circle. The second type is an initiation that confirms achievements and made progress and holds the status. Suppose the first initiation makes it possible for an adept to gain contact with quality and start developing it. Then the second initiation confirms when adept had finally mastered the quality.
Reclusion is retreat practice. Often it is linked with asceticism, and sometimes this method may take years. Reclusion is necessary when a mage has to do serious work that accepts no interruption. There is a known case where monk Bodhidharma has been in seclusion for nine years, after which he founded Shaolin Temple and developed martial arts for ordinary people. The mage has been working for nine years; the physical body has degenerated, and as a result, so martial arts were to strengthen the body.
An average human will gain nothing from long seclusion or retreat. Leaving society is not the best spiritual development practice, as society is a good training place for reaching a calm mind and a stress-free life without obscurations. Being unfree in society does not mean you will gain freedom if you leave it. Freedom is in the mind and consciousness. Anybody can meditate in the mountains and comfortable conditions. Absolute freedom comes from the inside and does not depend on the external conditions of the world. Release from suffering and limitations can only be possible when you are the master of yourself.
There are certain practices developed as a temporary exit from society. The retreat itself means seclusions. Sometimes people are moving mindlessly through their life, and it is valuable for them to take a break and look into their inner self, to be alone and understand whenever they are walking in the right direction. There are several popular retreat methods, some of which are Vipassana and Dark Retreat. In Vipassana, for 7-10 days, everybody gives the oath to be silent and not speak. There is plain vegetarian food, and participants cannot use phones, mobiles, or computers. This retreat is straightforward and gives a break from rush and stress. Dark Retreat is a bit more magical event. Participants are separated and completely isolated from any light source in this case. Living without light for two days or more creates sensory deprivation for the brain, activating the third eye region and making some people see hallucinations and visions. Dark Retreats last from 7 to 40 days. The longer person stays in darkness, the stronger his informational hunger and the more vivid his perception of the world. However, if a person is not prepared mentally for such an experience, and does not know how to meditate and control their mind, going through the Dark Retreat will have negative consequences.
A cultivator who has finished his evolution on earth and attained the maximum level of development and spiritual perfection gains a possibility to move into the Higher plane. Such people are called great saints; one known historical case is the Sage Devraha Baba. Assumptions about how long he has lived in the body have no point, for mages have no age. It is the body that goes through life and death, but not the mage. For a mage, instead of years lived, there is a level of progress in art. This Higher plane is a place where Gods or Ascended Sages live. Anyone who ascended there could be considered a God. The further development of these creatures goes into other planes. Same way as kids grow out of the kindergarten sandbox and do not return. Some of these Sages might be looking after our world to prevent everything from ending badly on a planet scale and maintain a possibility for people to develop. Like adults, watch kids play and fight in the sandbox, but do not get involved and let kids grow and develop themselves. The problems in the sandbox are considered normal and needed for people to learn. It is just the scale of a view that is different.
Neirong (c) 2016