1.1 Reasons for and functions 1.2 Types 1.3 Psychological
2.1 Religious and spiritual 2.2 Trade union 2.3 Naval and military 2.4 Gang 2.5 Tribal 2.6 China
3 See also 4 References 5 Bibliography 6 External links
"this real valuation of ritual death finally led to conquest of the fear of real death." "[initiation's] function is to reveal the deep meaning of existence to the new generations and to help them assume the responsibility of being truly men and hence of participating in culture." "it reveals a world open to the trans-human, a world that, in our philosophical terminology, we should call transcendental." "to make [the initiand] open to spiritual values."
The Okipa ceremony was a test for young
These can be broken into two types:
puberty rites, "by virtue of which adolescents gain access to the sacred, to knowledge, and to sexuality-- by which, in short, they become human beings." specialized initiations, which certain individuals undergo in order to transcend their human condition and become protégés of the Supernatural Beings or even their equals."
Psychological In the study of certain social forms of initiation, such as hazing in college fraternities and sororities, laboratory experiments in psychology suggest that severe initiations produce cognitive dissonance. Dissonance is then thought to produce feelings of strong group attraction among initiates after the experience, because they want to justify the effort used. Rewards during initiations have important consequences in that initiates who feel more rewarded express stronger group identity. As well as group attraction, initiations can also produce conformity among new members. Psychology experiments have also shown that initiations increase feelings of affiliation. Examples Religious and spiritual
Freemasonry initiation. 18th century
See also: Religious initiation rites, Empowerment (Vajrayana), and
Endowment (Latter Day Saints)
A spiritual initiation rite normally implies a shepherding process
where those who are at a higher level guide the initiate through a
process of greater exposure of knowledge. This may include the
revelation of secrets, hence the term secret society for such
organizations, usually reserved for those at the higher level of
understanding. One famous historical example is the Eleusinian
Mysteries of ancient Greece, thought to go back to at least the
Mycenaean period or "bronze age".
In the context of ritual magic and esotericism, an initiation is
considered to cause a fundamental process of change to begin within
the person being initiated and its "evolution operates within both the
material world and the spiritual world". The person conducting the
initiation (the initiator), being in possession of a certain power or
state of being, transfers this power or state to the person being
initiated. Thus the concept of initiation is similar to that of
apostolic succession. The initiation process is often likened to a
simultaneous death and rebirth, because as well as being a beginning
it also implies an ending as existence on one level drops away in an
ascension to the next.
Equator crossing ceremony on Empress of Australia, August 1941
Some communities on board a military vessel and also of military soldiers tend to form a closed 'family' which absorbs in members, who are often formally accepted, generally after a form of trial or hazing. In addition, there can be similar rites of passages associated with parts of naval and military life, which do not constitute true initiations as the participants are already and remain members of the same community. One such rite is associated with crossing the equator on board a naval ship, but it can even be taken by passengers on board a cruise liner, who are not and do not become members of anything but the so-called "equator crossing club". Another form, “Kissing the Royal Belly” or “Royal Baby”, calls for initiates to kneel before a senior member of the crew, who wears a mock diaper. This “Baby” usually has a huge stomach covered with greasy materials ranging from cooking oil to mustard, shaving cream, eggs, and oysters. Junior sailors must lick the Baby’s navel area, while the "baby" grabs and shakes their head to better smear the goo onto their faces. Gang Gangs often require new members to commit crimes before accepting them as part of the gang. New members may be physically beaten by fellow gang members to demonstrate their courage, also known as "beat in" or "jump in", which occasionally results in a fatality. One study indicates that young people are more likely to be hurt in gang initiation than they are by refusing to join. Female members may be required to have sex with male members as a form of initiation, also known as "sex in", though they may also be "jumped-in" like their male counterparts. One study shows that female members who were “sexed-in” as part of gang initiation were thereafter viewed with lower respect than those that were "jumped-in", even when promised they would become full-fledged members. Another study found that sexed-in members face greater risks of sexual exploitation and abuse by fellow male members. Tribal
This hat would only have been worn by initiates to Kindi, the highest level of Bwami. Tail hair of an elephant, a metaphor for Kindi, crowns the hat. European-made buttons began to replace cowrie shells as prestige items on such Bwami paraphernalia as the Western presence grew in eastern Congo in the early twentieth century
Tribes often have initiations. The initiation done in the
^ Aronson, E.; Mills, J. (1959). "The effect of severity of initiation
on liking for a group". Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology. 59
(2): 177–181. doi:10.1037/h0047195.
^ Festinger, L (1961). "The psychological effects of insufficient
rewards". American Psychologist. 16 (1): 1–11.
^ Kamau, C. (2012). What does being initiated severely into a group
do? The role of rewards. International Journal of Psychology,
^ Keating, C. F.; Pomerantz, J.; Pommer, S. D.; Ritt, S. J. H.;
Miller, L. M.; McCormick, J. (2005). "Going to college and unpacking
hazing: A functional approach to decrypting initiation practices among
undergraduates". Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice. 9
(2): 104–126. doi:10.1037/1089-26188.8.131.52.
^ Lodewijkx, H. F. M.; van Zomeren, M.; Syroit, J. E. M. M. (2005).
"The anticipation of a severe initiation: Gender differences in
effects on affiliation tendency and group attraction". Small Group
Research. 36 (2): 237–262. doi:10.1177/1046496404272381.
^ Bernard, Christian (2015). So Mote It Be!. Chapter 10. Mystical
Barker, John (2007). The Anthropology of Morality in Melanesia and
Beyond. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 0754671852.
Brumbaugh, Robert (1980). "Models of Separation and a Mountain Ok
Religion". Ethos. 8 (4).
Robbins, Joel (2001). "God Is Nothing but Talk: Modernity, Language,
and Prayer in a
Papua New Guinea
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