If you understand Initiation, then no, it is not superfluous, but it is also not the path that all of us must, or will tread. It is very much a forcing process, and we learn in the Tibetan Master's writings that it is UNIVERSAL (essentially) but that it is also not applied or attempted on all planets as is currently the case with planet Earth. This sounds contradictory, yet I think it's clarified via further explanation. I seem to recall that on Venus the method of Initiation was applied, and this is why that Scheme reached the goal for Planetary Evolution a full Round and a half before schedule. This is why Venus has been able to lend her assistance to Earth's evolution for ~18 million years, and why she is referred to as our Sister Scheme. Also, in Buddhism - and sometimes in esoteric teachings - the Bodhisattva Way is understood as applying to relatively enlightened souls ... so yes, it can include people such as you and I. But to say, "I am a Bodhisattva" would certainly be misleading to anyone that knows us, now wouldn't it. In Theosophical or other occult circles, one sometimes hears the terms Arhat (Arhan, Lohan, Lohat, Rahat, all interchangeable) ... and Master, Adept or Bodhisattva ... all applied to Initiates who are clearly below the 4th, 5th and 7th degrees of Initiation, respectively. Additionally, there came a time in the Theosophical Society's history when CWL and Annie Besant were doling out initiations like gold stars, going around telling all sorts of folks they'd achieved the arhat initiation or similar. I think that most experienced students know this was crap. CWL gets corrected a little later as the Tibetan Master explains that he made a few mistakes, and Master DK sure ought to know. He was the one training CWL, and he knew precisely what was going on, including the whole business over the Maitreya project, as it has unfortunately been termed. Please don't think for an instant that Leadbeater, Besant or the other Theosophists were mistaken, however, about Krishnamurti ... or that their teachings on the Initiations are inherently flawed or misleading. The fact that such information originated with the Mahatmas (of Whom we can name half a dozen, easily, Who were instrumental in the TS's origins) is indisputable, once certain realizations are at hand. No Theosophist is *required* to believe this, and for good reason. Most, on the other hand, come to see the Truth on their own. Else, like C.S. Lewis, they forsake their calling ... and look elsewhere. So, again, Initiation when understood, is something we cannot deny, as it occurs planetwide, every day, affecting millions - or billions. Once you have a better idea of what is being suggested ... it becomes impossible to believe otherwise. But when the topic is glamourized, and/or when we are only or primarily concened with questions like, "Oh, am I an initiate? WHEN will I take initiation? and so on" ... it's better to probably just set the whole idea aside until we come to a clearer understanding, or better presentation that we are accustomed to. The best book for anyone with at least a little familiarity with the Path of Occultism [Esotericism] is Initiation Human and Solar, the first book written by Alice Bailey with the Tibetan Master. It can be read online, or ordered from Amazon.com or Lucis Trust. I'll start a thread on it if it looks like folks are as interested in that as in discussing the Masters.