Initiation In Society

-- Priesthood, Boy Scouts and Going Away to War.

Societies have initiations.  Such things as the LDS ordaining young men to the priesthood, the rituals associated with a boy becoming a man, the Boy Scouts and what happens when young men go away to war, all go over the initiation process that turns a child into an adult and teaches them the core values of their society.  These rites of passage are intended to civilize young men and to give them a place in society.

In this process of civilizing young men, an important feature is that an initiation of some sort must occur about the time of puberty and adolescence (yes, I know that those are two different events).  Our society has lost that or had the rituals we use become ineffective.  Perhaps the rituals we use should be superseded, replaced or reworked for our times.  In considering what and how to replace or supersede things such as the Boy Scouts, it helps to understand what initiation is about and how it works.

Initiation has three parts:

First, the basic message (why you have to behave -- "I had never supposed"):

Second, the reformation or mystery ("I am a child of God"):

Third, this is your Culture ("You are a promised people.") -- things to always remember:

This is just the start of an essay.

But, just looking at the framework gives worlds of information.

[ (mediation)] [Ethesis] [Surviving Loss] [©1996-1998 Stephen R. Marsh All Rights Reserved] [e-mail]
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