What is the core of the Rosicrucian Teaching?
The core of the Rosicrucian Teaching is the gospel of service.
For our sakes Deity manifested the universe. The great creative Hierarchies have all been and some of them still are our servants. The luminous star angels, whose fiery bodies we see whirling through space, have worked with us for ages, and in due time Christ came to bring us the spiritual impetus needed at that time. It is also significant in the extreme that in the parable of the last judgment Christ does not say, "Well done, thou great and erudite philosopher, who knoweth the Bible, the Kabala, the "Cosmo" and all the other mysterious literature which reveals the intricate workings of nature" but He says, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: * * * enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. * * * * For I was hungry, and you gave me meat: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; * * * ." Not one single word about knowledge; the whole emphasis was laid upon faithfulness and service.
There is a deep occult reason for this: service builds the soul body, the glorious wedding garment without which no man can enter into the kingdom of the heavens, occultly termed "The New Galilee," and it does not matter whether we are aware of what is going on, so long as we accomplish the work. Moreover, as the luminous soul body grows in and around a person, this light will teach him or her about the Mysteries without the need of books, and one who is thus God-taught knows more than all the books in the world contain. In due time the inner vision will be opened and the way to the Temple shown. If you want to teach your friends, no matter how skeptical they may be, they will believe you if you preach the gospel of service.
But you must preach by practice. You must become a servant of men yourself if you would have them believe in you. If you want them to follow, you must lead, or they will have the right to question your sincerity. Remember, "ye are a city upon a hill," and when you make professions they have a right to judge you by your fruits; therefore say little, serve much.
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Who are the Rosicrucians and what does the name signify?
The ancient Rosicrucian Brotherhood consisted of high spiritual beings who had advanced far beyond ordinary man in purity and spiritual wisdom. They were learned alchemists, doctors, and mathematicians -- twelve Supermen of the fourteenth century, who were guided by and who worked with a thirteenth known by the name of Christian Rosenkreuz (Christian Rose Cross). These thirteen august men worked secretly. They formed themselves into a Brotherhood known as the Rosicrucian Order or Order of the Rose Cross. The teachings of this Order were given only to a very few wise men; nothing was printed until the year 1614 when a small pamphlet written in the German language was circulated among those only who were ready to receive these teachings.
This secret brotherhood is still in existence, is still working with and for the upliftment of humanity. Only those who are highly evolved spiritually are admitted into this inner branch of the Rosicrucian movement, and these physicians of the soul may be found among those who are at the helm of some great movement or country and are directly concerned with the forward movement of the world and its work. These Brothers never make themselves known and work unselfishly for the good of mankind.
In 1908 Max Heindel, who was of Danish birth, was chosen as a messenger of these Brothers to carry the Rosicrucian Teachings to the western world, and after spending some time under their direct tutelage, was instructed to return to America and give to the world publicly what previously had been held secret. At this particular time in the world's work, mankind had reached the stage where it could be given a more exalted phase of the Christian religion and when the mysteries (which the Christ spoke of in Matthew 13:11, and Luke 8:10) should be given to the many instead of the few.
After Max Heindel reached America he had these exalted teachings printed in the textbook entitled The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, which has been translated into various languages and continues to be shipped into all parts of the world. He also established The Rosicrucian Fellowship as the Preparatory School for the Rosicrucian Order, with International Headquarters at Mt. Ecclesia, Oceanside, California. The Fellowship has no connection with any other organization, even if the latter does use the word "Rosicrucian" as a part of its title.
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Do the Rosicrucians teach that the Christ was a divine Messenger -- the Savior of the world?
Yes, Christ Jesus was the greatest being that has ever functioned in a physical body on our Earth. However, the Rosicrucian Teachings explain that Jesus was a man, and that at the Baptism, he surrendered his lower vehicles to the Christ Spirit to use in His ministry on the material plane. At the Crucifixion the Christ was released from the bodies of Jesus and entered into the Earth. This great Archangel is still the indwelling Spirit of the Earth, is still the Savior of mankind. After a careful study of the teachings as given out by the Rosicrucian Fellowship, the Christ becomes a living factor in the lives of students, who not only recognize the divinity of Christ but who make every effort to follow in His footsteps.
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Does the Rosicrucian student believe in a life after death?
Yes, the Rosicrucian Teachings take the sting of sorrow out of death because they prepare the aspirant for what he is to expect in the life to come. A journey into foreign lands is made pleasant when we are prepared and know of the country into which we are to travel; likewise it is a great comfort to know of conditions existing in that land which has been made so mysterious by the dark shadow of ignorance which has rested over man for so many ages. Knowledge of the life beyond the grave is most comforting to the one who has lost loved ones.
The Elder Brothers of the Rose Cross, with their superior knowledge of the spiritual worlds bring to us the proof of an existence of these higher worlds; also many advanced students have received positive proof of life after death: to them it is no longer a theory but a Truth. It is possible, with the development of a finer sense, to actually experience and see the conditions existing in this invisible land of the so-called dead which is interpenetrating our dense physical world, although unseen by those who have only the sense of physical sight developed. As John McCreery says in his beautiful poem:
"They are not dead. They have but passed
Death to the Rosicrucian student is but a shifting of consciousness, a casting away of a worn-out garment (the physical body) to take on that spiritual body which Paul tells us about in the 15th Chapter of 1st. Corinthians.
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Do the Rosicrucians believe in Rebirth and the Law of Consequence?
In the 17th chapter of Matthew verses 11, 12, 13, Jesus gave his disciples a very wonderful demonstration of the philosophy of rebirth. After his transfiguration he plainly said that Elias had come already and the disciples understood he had reference to John the Baptist. The 8th chapter of Job and the latter portion of the 19th chapter tells us of rebirth.
The Rosicrucians teach that all the causes set into action in one life cannot ripen in one existence, and that all things must reach a stage of fruition, that "Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap." This is one of the biblical teachings, that man must reap his own harvests from the seeds he has sown, be they good or evil; therefore each individual passes through a number of earth lives during which he builds character. It is at this stage of his living that he either enjoys the fruits of his past building, or is suffering from the results of his evil deeds.
Each life is as a day in school, where the spirit learns its lessons. We are told in Genesis that God made man in His own image; if man is divinely made he must also become as wise as the Father Who made him. Naturally this cannot be accomplished in one life, but a slow process of evolution is necessary to lift man from that tiny spark of divinity to become as wise and all knowing as his Father in heaven.
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Tell us something about the Rosicrucian method of healing the sick.
In each of the four gospels we find that the Christ preached the gospel of healing. He healed all who came to Him and He sent His disciples out into the world with the two commands: Preach the Gospel and Heal the Sick. These two commands are also given to the Rosicrucians, who are physicians of the soul, for sickness is first manifested in the Vital Body, which is the vehicle of the soul and healing can be best accomplished through this invisible vehicle. During the time of sleep when man is free from his physical body and functioning in the spiritual world, healing is more quickly accomplished. The esoteric students are trained for this particular work.
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We understand that the Rosicrucians do not set a price upon their lessons nor upon their healing ministrations. Is not the workman "worthy of his hire?"
In the 10th chapter of Matthew, Christ tells His disciples to go to the lost sheep of Israel and to preach the gospel and heal the sick. But he also tells them to provide neither gold, silver, brass, nor scrip for their journey. In the 10th chapter of 1st Corinthians, Paul also holds out this thought, to preach the gospel without charge. The Rosicrucians have followed this practice from the very beginning and never set a price on their teachings. No true believer of this exalted teaching will charge for lessons or require a monthly membership fee. This at once brands him as an impostor. If we have faith and work unselfishly, God will always take care of His own and the Love offerings will be sufficient to keep the aspirant in his simple needs.
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But will this not encourage some to take all and give nothing? Will it not develop selfishness in some? There is a law in nature that we cannot obtain anything for nothing.
Yes, numbers are attending the churches, lectures and classes, never dropping a penny into the collection baskets, feeling this unnecessary unless they are approached and, naturally, they will take all and give nothing. But they do not reason the matter from the standpoint of God's laws which are silently operating through the laws of Cause and Effect; sometime, somewhere, these debts will come to the Ego who thinks he is slipping through life defrauding, taking all and giving nothing.
"Be not deceived, God is not mocked,
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How is the aspirant to know the genuine from the counterfeit, how distinguish between genuine spiritual enlightenment and psychic intoxication?
The trance state is never a mark of spiritual enlightenment, no matter how induced. It is a morbid and abnormal condition, not to be emulated by anyone seeking spiritual enlightenment. There is only one true path to firsthand knowledge, only one right way to spiritual enlightenment, and that is by cultivation of your own soul powers. Build your soul body by patient persistence in well doing, enlighten others who know less than you who wish the little knowledge you now possess, look for opportunities to serve others in the small and menial things, as well as in the greater, according to your ability and opportunity. Then some day you will cease to see through a glass darkly and you will know for yourself without depending upon others.
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For what purpose was the Rosicrucian Fellowship started?
Christ told us that it is possible to take the kingdom of God by storm and attain to the consciousness and conditions there prevailing. But Paul informs us that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; he states that we have a soul body (soma psuchicon- 1 Cor. 15:44), and that we shall meet the Lord in the air when He comes. This soul body is therefore as necessary to entrance into the new age of the kingdom of God as a body equipped with lungs was to the Atlanteans who desired to enter into the age in which we are now living. Therefore it is necessary that we make our calling and election sure by preparing the Golden Wedding Garment, the soul body, which alone can secure our admission to the mystic marriage.
The multitude is slowly moving in the right direction as led by the different churches, but there is an ever growing class that, so to speak, feels the wings of the soul body sprouting, people who feel an inner urge to take the kingdom of God by storm. Though unaware of any definite ideal, they sense a greater truth and more certain light than those which the Church radiates; they are tired of parables and long to learn the underlying facts at the very feet of Christ.
The Rosicrucian Fellowship was started for the purpose of reaching this class, to show them the way to illumination, to help them build their soul body and evolve the soul powers which will enable them to enter consciously into the kingdom of God and obtain first-hand knowledge.
This is a large undertaking, none greater, and even under the most favorable existing conditions progress must be slow, but if the aspirant will continue with patient perseverance in well doing, it can be done.
The methods are definite, scientific, and religious; they have been originated by the Western School of the Rosicrucian Order, and are therefore specially suited to western people. Sometimes, but very rarely, they bring results in a short time; generally it requires years and even lives before the aspirant attains, but the Rosicrucian system will in the end bring all to their heart's desire.
The Tabernacle in the Wilderness was a symbolic representation of the way to God, and, as Paul says, held a shadow of better things to come. Everything in it had its spiritual meaning. The table of shew-bread gives us an important lesson germane to our present consideration. Students will remember that the ancient Israelites were commanded to bring the shewbread to the tabernacle at stated intervals. The grain from which this was made was given them by God but they must prepare the soil in which it was to grow, they must plant and cultivate, they must weed and water, so as to secure the greatest possible increase; they must harvest and thresh, grind and bake, before they had the loaves which they brought to the tabernacle as bread to shew for their toil. Similarly, God gives to all the grain of opportunity to serve, but it is our duty to cultivate these opportunities and nurse and nourish them in the soil of loving kindness so that they may bring a great increase. We must always bear in mind the words of Christ that He came to minister and to serve. Therefore anyone aspiring to follow in His steps and to be great in the kingdom of God must ever be on the lookout for opportunities to serve his fellows. Each day must be filled as full as possible with kind and considerate deeds, for they are the warp and woof of which the golden wedding garment (soul body) is woven. Without these "works" no amount of prayer, fasting, or other religious exercise will avail. It is useless to repair to the temple without this bread to shew that we have really worked in the Master's service.
The foregoing is also the teaching of the exoteric churches; but the following is the exclusively Rosicrucian scientific teaching and method, based upon the deepest knowledge of spiritual facts whereby the aspirant is enabled to gain the maximum soul growth in each life, so that his spiritual advancement is accelerated beyond his very wildest dreams. Therefore this is the most important spiritual teaching that has been given to man in modern times, and no one who tries honestly to follow this simple method can fail to be enormously benefited:
Ether is the medium of transmission of light, that which etches a picture on the photographic film. It permeates the air, and with every breath we draw from birth to death ether enters our system and etches a picture of our surroundings and actions on a little atom in the heart. Thus each carries with him a complete record of his life, which is assimilated after death. Expiation of the evil deeds causes pain and anguish in purgatory. These are thus transmuted to conscience to prevent repetition of the same mistakes in succeeding lives: the good deeds are transmuted to love and benevolence. Instead of waiting for this post-mortem transmutation of the shewbread of life, the aspirant who desires to take heaven by storm may assimilate the fruits of each day after retiring and before going to sleep by running over the deeds done. The events of the day are considered in reverse order so that that which happened in the evening is taken first, then the happenings of the afternoon, forenoon, and morning. This is important for it conforms to the way the life panorama acts after death, taking first the events just prior to death, last, the events of infancy. The object is to show the effects and then refer them to their antecedent causes.
In this retrospection it will do the aspirant no good to run over the events of the day and mildly blame himself where he did wrong—he is usually sure enough to praise himself sufficiently for his good deeds. But he must remember the altar of burnt offerings where the sacrifices for sin were offered. They were first rubbed with salt and then placed on the altar to be consumed by a divinely enkindled fire. Anyone knows what an intense pain is caused when salt is rubbed into a wound, and this rubbing with salt is symbolic of the pain the aspirant must feel for his wrongdoing. Now mark that it was not permissible to place the sacrifice on the altar until it had thus rubbed with salt. God would not accept it before, but when it had been salted it was consumed by a fire kindled by God Himself.
This tells us that unless we have washed our evil deeds of the day in the salt of our tears and heartfelt contrition, God will not accept our sacrifice of repentance; but when we have really repented, our sins will be washed away and our recording seed atom will be clean as the driven snow. With respect to our good deeds we may remember that there were two little piles of frankincense on the top of the shew bread. These were offered upon the altar of incense, where the smoke ascended as a sweet savor to the Lord, so different from the nauseating stench that went up from the altar where the sin offerings were burned. Is it any wonder that God took no delight in the sacrifice of bulls and calves, but delighted in a contrite heart and repentant spirit?
It is this spiritual aromatic extract of our good deeds that builds our soul body. By the ordinary natural process it takes about one-third as many years in our post-mortem existence as we lived in the body, to reap what we have sowed. But when an aspirant has assimilated the fruits of life by faithful retrospection at the end of each day, he is free as soon as he leaves the body and may use the years spent by others in purgatory and the first heaven as he pleases. Furthermore, as he needs neither food, shelter, nor sleep, he may spend twenty-four hours a day doing good. Thus he has practically as many years of service and soul growth after death as the number of his earth life; and being trained and schooled in this work, his attainments are probably greater than could be made in a number of lives in the ordinary way.
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