In the past, the truths of initiation were revealed very sparingly and only at the price of terrible trials. This is why those who received them could use them to become extraordinarily powerful.
But now that people receive them without having to make any effort of their own, they are incapable of using them to become powerful. They are like those who have a lot of money without having earned it: they waste it; they have no true appreciation of its value. Whereas those who have to earn their living by the sweat of their brow are fully aware of the value of money.
You already know more than the great Sadhus of India
How true this is! However, in spite of all this, the great mysteries must gradually be revealed, for that is the will of heaven. Actually, you yourselves already know far more than even the sadhus and yogis of India. Their knowledge is not very extensive, but they use the little they know to acquire great powers; whereas you who know a great deal are not capable of achieving very much.
In our times also, initiation will take a different form. In the old days it was given in the temples, and candidates had to endure trials by fire, air, water and earth. Nowadays, it occurs in the course of everyday life: an initiate places his disciples in certain situations, confronts them with certain problems and observes their reactions without their even being aware that he is doing so.
Today’s trials occur in our everyday lives
All your trials occur in the ordinary course of life; the four elements are present in your lives. It is in your everyday lives that you have to show that you have overcome fear, lust, egoism, sensuality, and so on. Yes, there are many trials in everyday life, and this is particularly true for those who want to advance towards initiation. They can be sure in advance that their desire will be granted, but they can also be sure that they will be put to the test.
When they are least expecting it, in the ordinary course of their lives, they will be tested. The trials of initiation are part of life; every minor event of our lives can be a testing. In fact it is precisely because people underestimate the importance of these little things and expect their trials to take the shape of a major event that they often fail.
Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
Complete Works Vol. 26, A New Dawn: Society and Politics in the Light of Initiatic Science
Chapter 1, Forms and Principles