Rosicrucianism

According to the author Manly P. Hall, there are four distinct theories about Rosicrucianism:

1) There is an assumption that the Rosicrucian Order existed historically in accordance with the description in Fama Fraternitatis which appeared in print in 1614. This pamphlet reminds the reader of God’s goodness, warns the intelligentsia of following false prophets and ignoring the true knowledge, and makes clear that a reformation is necessary.

2) Some Masonic brethren accept the historical existence of the “Brotherhood of the Rose Cross” and believe that it originated in mediaeval Europe as an outgrowth of alchemical speculation and that Johann Valentin Andrea, a German theologian, was the founder and might have reformed an existing society established by Sir Henry Cornelius Agrippa; some believe that Rosicrucians represented the first European invasion of Buddhist and Brahmin culture; and still others believe it was founded in Egypt during the philosophic supremacy of that empire.

3) The third theory takes the form of a sweeping denial of Rosicrucianism claiming that it was entirely a product of imagination.

4) The fourth theory asserts that the Rosicrucians actually possessed all the supernatural powers with which they were credited. According to this theory, the true Rosicrucian Brotherhood consisted of a limited number of highly developed adepts who possessed the secret of the Philosopher’s Stone and knew the process of transmuting the base metals into gold but taught that these were only allegorical terms concealing the true mystery of human regeneration through the transmutation of the “base elements” of man’s lower nature into the “gold” of intellectual and spiritual realization.
There are quite a few books and articles about Rosicrucianism in print and online. Online can be found two works by the German Theosophist, Dr. Franz Hartmann:

  1. With the Adepts, an Adventure among the Rosicrucians
  2. Cosmology, or Universal Science, Containing the Mysteries of the Universe regarding God, Nature, Man, the Macrocosm and the Microcosm; Eternity and Time, by means of the Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians.

The founder of Anthropology, Dr. Rudolf Steiner, has given numerous lectures, titled “Theosophy of the Rosicrucian”.

The Secret Doctrine of the Rosicrucianspublished in 1918 can be found online as well. In this book the reader learns that the Secret Doctrine of the Rosicrucians is believed to have been built up gradually and carefully, by the old occult masters and adepts, from the scattered fragments of the esoteric teachings which were treasured by the wise men of all races. The legend runs that these fragments of the Secret Doctrine were the scattered portions of the old esoteric teaching of ancient Atlantis—the bits of the great mass of the Atlantean occult teachings which were scattered in all directions by the great cataclysm which had destroyed that great continent. The few survivors of the Atlantean civilization carefully preserved these Fragments of Truth, and passed them on to their chosen students and capable descendants.

The old Masters who made it the object of their lives to gather together these scattered fragments, and to reconstruct the Occult Doctrine of the Atlanteans, found a portion of their material in Egypt, in India, in Persia, in Chaldea, in Medea, in China, in Assyria, and in Ancient Greece, and also in the mystic records of the Hebrews, such as the Kabballah and the Zohar. The common source, however, may be regarded as distinctly Oriental. The great philosophies of the East, in fact, may be said to have been built upon the base of these still more ancient teachings. Moreover, the great Grecian Secret Teachings are believed to have been based upon knowledge obtained from this same common source. So, at the last, the Secret Doctrine of the Rosicrucians may be said to be the Secret Doctrine of Atlantis, transmitted through the descendants of the people of that great center of occult knowledge.
The Rosicrucians teach that that there are Seven Cosmic Principles present and operating throughout the Cosmos, and extending even to its smallest activities. These Seven Cosmic Principles are as follows:

1) The Principle of Correspondence (manifests in a certain correspondence or analogy between manifestations of the various planes of activity in the Cosmos and is indicated by the old Hermetic aphorism: “As above, so below; as below, so above,” and by the Arcane axiom: “Ex Uno disce Omnes,” or “From One know All.”)

2) The Principle of Law and Order (manifests in the presence and manifestation of a regular sequence, and orderly procession of phenomena in the universe of things. It is voiced by the celebrated axiom of a leading scientist that “The Universe is governed by laws.” The spirit of this principle of truth is embodied in the very term “The Cosmos,” which term is derived from the Greek term “Kosmos,” meaning: “The world or universe considered in connection with perfect order and arrangement, as opposed to Chaos.” In the occult teachings of the Rosicrucians it is impressed upon the student that “there is no such thing as Chance,” in so far as Chance is used in the sense of “uncaused happening.”)

3) The Principle of Vibration (manifests in the manifestation of a state of vibration in everything in the Manifested Cosmos. It is voiced by the old occult axiom: “Everything vibrates.” Science now tells us that not only is every particle of matter, or every mass of matter, in a state of continual vibration, but also that light, heat, magnetism, electricity and every other form of natural force results from a state of vibration. The occultists go further than this, and assert that even on the mental and spiritual planes there is ever manifest a condition of vibration.

4) The Principle of Rhythm (manifests in that universal regular swing or time-beat which is apparent in all the manifested world, from its highest to its lowest manifestation. The ancient occult axiom “Everything beats time” expresses this fundamental fact of the Cosmos. Rhythm means: “Regularly recurring motion, change or impulse proceeding in time-measured, alternating sequence.”)

5) The Principle of Cycles (manifests that universal circular direction of process or progress which is apparent in all the manifested world, from its highest to its lowest manifestation. The spirit of this principle was expressed in the ancient occult axiom: “Everything proceeds in circles.”)

6) The Principle of Polarity (manifests that universal fact of “the pairs of opposites,” or “the antinomies,” which is apparent in all the manifested world, from its highest to its lowest manifestation. The spirit of this principle was expressed in the ancient occult axiom: “Everything has its Opposite, which is the other pole of its manifestation.” One of the most surprising features of this discovery is that we have to understand that the two contrasting sets of qualities are really but two aspects or phases of the whole thing—the real thing, or thing in itself—the unity of the two, instead of being two separated and distinct things. Or, stating it in other words, we discover that the two opposing sets of characteristics are merely relative to each other, and together form a correlated unity and balanced whole.)

7) The Principle of Sex (manifests in the universal presence of sex distinction and activity which is apparent in all the manifested world, from its highest to its lowest manifestations. The spirit of this principle was expressed in the ancient occult axiom: “Sex is omnipresent and all-pervasive in the universe. All creation is generation, and all generation proceeds from Sex.

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