THE ORDER OF ROSICRUCIANS
THE ROSICRUCIAN FELLOWSHIP
Before entering upon an explanation of the teachings of the Rosicrucians, it may be well to say a word about them and about the place they hold in the evolution of humanity.
For reasons to be given later these teachings advocate the dualistic view; they hold that man is a Spirit enfolding all the powers of God as the seed enfolds the plant, and that these powers are being slowly unfolded by a series of existences in a gradually improving earthy body; also that this process of development has been performed under the guidance of exalted Beings who are yet ordering our steps, though in a decreasing measure, as we gradually acquire intellect and will. These exalted Beings, though unseen to the physical eyes, are nevertheless potent factors in all affairs of life, and give to the various groups of humanity lessons which will most efficiently promote the growth of their spiritual powers. In fact, the earth may be likened to a vast training school in which there are pupils of varying age and ability as we find it in one of our own schools. There are the savages, living and worshipping under most primitive conditions, seeing in stick or stone a God. Then, as man progresses onwards and upwards in the scale of civilization, we find a higher and higher conception of Deity, which has flowered here in our Western World in the beautiful Christian religion that now furnishes our spiritual inspiration and incentive to improve.
These various religions have been given to each group of humanity by the exalted beings whom we know in the Christian religion as the Recording Angels, whose wonderful prevision enables them to view the trend of even so unstable a quantity as the human mind, and thus they are enabled to determine what steps are necessary to lead our unfoldment along the lines congruous to the highest universal good.
When we study the history of the ancient nations we shall find that at about six hundred years B.C. a great spiritual wave had its inception on the Eastern shores of the Pacific Ocean where the great Confucian religion accelerated the progress of the Chinese nation, then also the religion of the Buddha commenced to win its millions of adherents in India, and still further West we have the lofty philosophy of Pythagoras. Each system was suited to the needs of the particular people to whom it was sent. Then came the period of the Skeptics, in Greece, and later, traveling westward the same spiritual wave is manifested as the Christian religion of the so-called "Dark Ages" when the dogma of a dominant church compelled belief from the whole of Western Europe.
It is a law in the universe that a wave of spiritual awakening is always followed by a period of doubting materialism; each phase is necessary in order that the Spirit may receive equal development of heart and intellect without being carried too far in either direction. The great Beings aforementioned, who care for our progress, always take steps to safeguard humanity against that danger, and when they foresaw the wave of materialism which commenced in the sixteenth century with the birth of our modern science, they took steps to protect the West as they had formerly safeguarded the East against the skeptics who were held in check by the Mystery Schools.
In the fourteenth century there appeared in central Europe a great spiritual teacher whose symbolical name was
CHRISTIAN ROSE CROSS,
who founded the mysterious Order of the Rosy Cross, concerning which so many speculations have been made and so little has become known to the world at large, for it is the Mystery School of the West and is open only to those who have attained the stage of spiritual unfoldment necessary to be initiated in its secrets concerning the Science of Life and Being.
If we are so far developed that we are able to leave our dense physical body and take a soul flight into interplanetary space we shall find that the ultimate physical atom is spherical in shape like our earth; it is a ball. When we take a number of balls of even size and group them around one, it will take just twelve balls to hide a thirteenth within. Thus the twelve visible and the one hidden are numbers revealing a cosmic relationship and as all Mystery Orders are based upon cosmic lines, they are composed of twelve members gathered around a thirteenth who is the invisible HEAD.
There are seven colors in the spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. But between the violet and the red there are still five other colors which are invisible to the physical eye but reveal themselves to the spiritual sight. In every Mystery Order there are also seven Brothers who at times go out into the world and there perform whatever work may be necessary to advance the people among whom they serve, but five are never seen outside the temple. They work with and teach those alone who have passed through certain stages of spiritual unfoldment and are able to visit the temple in their spiritual bodies, a feat taught in the first initiation which usually takes place outside the temple as it is not convenient for all to visit that place physically.
Let not the reader imagine that this initiation makes the pupil a Rosicrucian, it does not, any more than admission to a high school makes a boy a member of the faculty. Nor does he become a Rosicrucian even after having passed through all the nine degrees of this or any other Mystery School. The Rosicrucians are Hierophants of the Lesser Mysteries, and beyond them there are still schools wherein greater Mysteries are taught. Those who have advanced through the Lesser Mysteries are called Adepts, but even they have not reached the exalted standpoint of the twelve Brothers of the Rosicrucian Order or the Hierophants of any other Lesser Mystery School any more than the freshman at college has attained to the knowledge and position of a teacher in the high school from which he has just graduated.
A later work will deal with initiation, but we may say here that the door of a genuine Mystery School is not unlocked by a golden key, but is only opened as a reward for meritorious service to humanity and any one who advertises himself as a Rosicrucian or makes a charge for tuition, by either of those acts shows himself to be a charlatan. The true pupil of any Mystery School is far too modest to advertise the fact, he will scorn all titles or honors from men, he will have no regard for riches save the riches of love given to him by those whom it becomes his privilege to help and teach.
In the centuries that have gone by since the Rosicrucian Order was first formed they have worked quietly and secretly, aiming to mould the thought of Western Europe through the works of Paracelsus, Boehme, Bacon, Shakespeare, Fludd and others. Each night at midnight when the physical activities of the day are at their lowest ebb, and the spiritual impulse at its highest flood tide, they have sent out from their temple soul-stirring vibrations to counteract materialism and to further the development of soul powers. To their activities we owe the gradual spiritualization of our once so materialistic science.
With the commencement of the twentieth century a further step was taken. It was realized that something must be done to make religion scientific as well as to make science religious, in order that they may ultimately blend; for at the present time heart and intellect are divorced. The heart instinctively feels the truth of religious teachings concerning such wonderful mysteries as the Immaculate Conception (the Mystic Birth), the Crucifixion (the Mystic Death), the Cleansing Blood, the Atonement, and other doctrines of the Church, which the intellect refuses to believe, as they are incapable of demonstration, and seemingly at war with natural law. Material advancement may be furthered when intellect is dominant and the longings of the heart unsatisfied, but soul growth will be retarded until the heart also receives satisfaction.
In order to give the world a teaching so blended that it will satisfy both the mind and heart, a messenger must be found and instructed. Certain unusual qualifications were necessary, and the first one chosen failed to pass a certain test after several years had been spent to prepare him for the work to be done.
It is well said that there is a time to sow, and a time to reap, and that there are certain times for all the works of life, and in accordance with this law of periodicity each impulse in spiritual uplift must also be undertaken at an appropriate time to be successful. The first and sixth decades of each century are particularly propitious to commence the promulgation of new spiritual teachings. Therefore the Rosicrucians were much concerned at this failure, for only five years were left of the first decade of the twentieth century.
Their second choice of a messenger fell upon the present writer, though he knew it not at the time, and by shaping circumstances about him they made it possible for him to begin a period of preparation for the work they desired him to do. Three years later, when he had gone to Germany, also because of circumstances shaped by the invisible Brotherhood, and was on the verge of despair at the discovery that the light which was the object of his quest, was only a jack-o-lantern, the Brothers of the Rosicrucian Order applied the test to see whether he would be a faithful messenger and give the teachings they desired to entrust to him, to the world. And when he had passed the trial they gave him the monumental solution of the problem of existence first published in THE ROSICRUCIAN COSMO-CONCEPTION IN November, 1909, more than a year before the expiration of the first decade of the twentieth century. This book marked a new era in so-called "occult" literature, and the many editions which have since been published as well as the thousands of letters which continue to come to the author, are speaking testimonies to the fact that people are finding in this teaching a satisfaction they have sought elsewhere in vain.
The Rosicrucians teach that all great religions have been given to the people among whom they are found, by Divine Intelligences who designed each system of worship to suit the needs of the race or nation to whom it was given. A primitive people cannot respond to a lofty and sublime religion, and VICE VERSA. What helps one race would hinder another, and in pursuance of the same policy there has been devised a system of soul-unfoldment suited especially to the Western people, who are racially and temperamentally unfit to undergo the discipline of the Eastern school, which was designed for the more backward Hindus.
For the purpose of promulgating the Rosicrucian Teachings in the Western World, the Rosicrucian Fellowship was founded in 1909. It is the herald of the Aquarian Age, when the Sun by its precessional passage through the constellation Aquarius, will bring out all the intellectual and spiritual potencies in man which are symbolized by that sign. As heat from a fire warms all objects within the sphere of its radiations, so also the Aquarian ray will raise the earth's vibrations to a pitch we are as yet unable to comprehend, though we have demonstrations of the MATERIAL workings of this force in the inventions which have revolutionized life within the memory of the present generation. We have wondered at the X-ray, which sees through the human body, but each one has a sense latent which when evolved will enable him to see through any number of bodies or to any distance. We marvel at the telephone conversations across the continent of America, but each has within a latent sense which when evolved will enable him to see through any number of bodies or to any distance. We marvel at the telephone conversations across the continent of America, but each has within a latent sense of speech and hearing that is far more acute; we are surprised at the exploits of ships under sea and in the sky, but we are all capable of passage under water or through the sky; nay, more we may pass unscathed through the solid rock and the raging fire, if we know how, and lightning itself is slow compared to the speed with which we may travel. This sounds like a fairy tale today, as did Jules Verne's stories a generation ago, but the Aquarian Age will witness the realization of these dreams, and ever so much more that we still do not even dream of. Such faculties will then be the possessions of large numbers of people who will have gradually evolved them as previously the ability to walk, speak, hear, and see, were developed.
Therein lies a great danger, for, obviously, anyone endowed with such faculties may use them to the greatest detriment of the world at large, unless restrained by a spirit of unselfishness and an all-embracing altruism. Therefore religion is needed today as never before, to foster love and fellow-feeling among humanity so that it may be prepared to use the great gifts in store for it wisely and well. This need of religion is specially felt in a certain class where the ether is more loosely knit to the physical atoms than in the majority, and on that account they are now beginning to sense the Aquarian vibrations.
This class is again divided in two groups. In one the intellect is dominant, and the people in that class therefore seek to grasp the spiritual mysteries out of curiosity from the viewpoint of cold reason. They pursue the path of knowledge for the sake of knowledge, considering that an end in itself. The idea that knowledge is of value only when put to practical constructive use does not seem to have presented itself to them. This class we may call OCCULTISTS.
The other group does not care for knowledge, but feels an inner urge God-ward, and pursues the path of devotion to the high ideal set before them in Christ, doing the deeds that He did as far as their flesh will permit, and this in time results in an interior illumination which brings with it all the knowledge obtained by the other class, and much more. This class we may describe as MYSTICS.
Certain dangers confront each of the two groups. If the occultist obtains illumination and evolves within himself the latent spiritual faculties, he may use them for the furtherance of his personal objects, to the great detriment of his fellow-men. That is black magic, and the punishment which it AUTOMATICALLY calls down upon the head of the perpetrator is so awful that it is best to draw the veil over it. The mystic may also err because of ignorance, and fall into the meshes of nature's law, but being actuated by love, his mistakes will never be very serious, and as he grows in grace the soundless voice within his heart will speak more distinctly to teach him the way.
The Rosicrucian Fellowship endeavors to prepare the world in general, and the sensitives of the two groups in particular, for the awakening of the latent powers in man, so that all may be guided safely through the danger-zone and be as well fitted as possible to use these new faculties. Effort is made to blend the love without which Paul declared a knowledge of all mysteries worthless, with a mystic knowledge rooted and grounded in love, so that the pupils of this school may become LIVING exponents of this blended soul-science of the Western Wisdom School, and gradually educate humanity at large in the virtues necessary to make the possession of higher powers safe.
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