A ROUGH SKETCH OF THEIR FUNDAMENTAL DOCTRINES.
The following are in outline the fundamental doctrines of the Brothers of the Rosy Cross. He who fulfills the required conditions, may find all necessary information in the "Book of Initiation," and they say that when he is ready he finds with ease, a guide who, through his higher self instructs and directs him infallibly.
It is understood that the Society desires to be truly spiritual and asks no fees, but it seeks as members only those who are practical workers in the cause of humanity. But it is a secret body, not from fear of enemies, but in order to spread the truth, unimpeded by the war of opinions. The truth being eternal, is not subject to opinion, but to those who are able to see, it stands revealed in its own light.
1. The Universe as a whole is a Unity, having only one, eternal, universal and fundamental cause for its existence. All the multifarious forms, essences, powers or principles, are not originally self-existent, but are merely various manifestations of that one and universal cause. They are various modes of one original activity, and their shapes or organisms are the products of that activity, working upon different planes of existence and in various stages of evolution.
2. This cause, being eternal, unlimited and infinite, is beyond the power of the intellectual comprehension of any mortal and limited being. Its presence may be perceived everywhere, but in its highest aspect it can fully be known only to itself. Beings lower than itself, may intuitively feel its presence, but cannot intellectually know it, until they have risen up to its own level on the plane of existence. To avoid circumlocution, we call that eternal (spiritual) principle in its highest aspect "God" or "Brahm"; both words signifying originally "Good." (1)
3. In this eternal and universal cause, the center or fountain of All, is contained potentially everything existing in the Universe. It is itself, germinally or in a more or less developed state contained in everything that exists, It forms the (spiritual) center of every living organism, and life itself is only a mode of manifestation of its own power. It is the cause and the architect of every form; it builds the form which it in habits, from that center, by the power of its own (consciously or unconsciously active) will and thought, and by the means offered by eternal nature, the latter being itself a product of previous states of its own existence and eternal action.
4. The highest form of activity of this principle requires for its perfect expression, perfect means. The perfect cannot manifest its perfection in an imperfect organism. The place which a being occupies on the ladder of evolution, depends on the progress which that divine principle, acting in the center of each being, has made in evolving an organism, adapted to its manifestation.
5. The most perfect organism for the manifestation of the divine and universal principle in its highest aspect, of which we know, in the (spiritual) organism of Man. In this organism, this divine principle, after having attained sensation and consciousness in the lower forms of nature, may acquire (spiritual) self-consciousness and self-knowledge, evolving what is called the individual mind, with all its powers and faculties, for (spiritual) perception and real knowledge or wisdom.
6. The (ordinarily) visible so called physical body of man is not the real Man, but merely a more or less imperfect representation of the real, or "inner man," whose sphere of activity may extend as far as the sphere of his mind; in other words — as far as the power of his (spiritual) perception. The "inner man" is a reality, which after having attained — by the power of self differentiation — an individual existence, will retain its individuality, after the physical forms, which it has occupied for the purposes of evolution during its life upon a planet, have been disintegrated and changed into other forms.
7. Every being continues to exist in its essence after the (physical) form which expressed its essential character, has dissolved and disappeared; but as long as it has not acquired (spiritual) self-consciousness and self-knowledge, it is forced, after a time of rest, to reappear in a new form (mask or personality), to resume the process of its further development. (2) After the divine principle in man has attained individual (spiritual) self-consciousness and self-knowledge, it requires no more embodiments in (physical) forms, and may, harmoniously united with the All, continue to exist as a self-conscious intelligence.
8. The attainment of spiritual self-consciousness and self-knowledge and the necessarily resulting perfection, therefore involves the attainment of immortality, and the latter can only be acquired by acquiring the former. Only that which is perfect remains; the imperfect is continually subject to change.
9. Although the individual human monad, without (spiritual) self-consciousness and knowledge, may arrive at that state of perfection in the slow course of its evolution, extending perhaps over many millions of years, nevertheless there is no necessity to wait until nature may, perhaps slowly and unaided, accomplish her object, but she may be assisted by the individual will and effort of those who know how to proceed.
10. The first necessary requirement for all who desire perfection, is therefore to know the laws that rule in the visible and invisible universe, and the attainment of the knowledge involves a study of the constitution of the Universe and of the constitution of (the soul of) Man.
11. From knowledge springs power, but those who possess knowledge, will be in the possession of something that will not benefit them, unless they desire to put it to some practical use. The second requirement is therefore to will, and as an individual will, deviating from the direction of the will of universal good, or acting in opposition to the latter, is evil, and can only bring final destruction upon him that exercises it, consequently the will of the individual must act in accordance with the universal will of God.
12. To act evil is for the majority of men far easier than to do good. Good will and desires to become useful must be made to accomplish some work. To overcome the resistance of evil and to put good into practice requires energy, courage and effort, and the third necessary requirement is therefore to dare to practice the good which we know and desire.
13. But as a power, after it has once been obtained, may be employed for good or for evil purposes, and as it is not desirable that persons with evil inclinations and tendencies, should be taught the way to prolong their personal existence after the dissolution of their physical form, because their existence would cause the infliction of injury upon others, and expose themselves to a long, slow and painful final disintegration; therefore, the deepest secrets of the Rosicrucians, and the way to the practical application of the secret knowledge, should be taught only to those who are good and pure to a degree sufficient to warrant that the mysteries communicated and revealed to them, may not be misapplied. The fourth necessary requirement for the Rosicrucian is, therefore, to be silent, in regard to that which it is not expedient to speak.
1. These words are continually giving rise to misunderstandings and misinterpretations, because nearly every one has a different opinion of what is "Good." (return to text)
2. See Bhagavad-Gita, c. 6. (return to text)
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