Part 2 of 2 (Chapters V-VIII) [Part 1]
IN THE PRONAOS
TEMPLE OF TRUTH
By Franz Hartmann, M.D.
THE ROSICRUCIAN "ORDERS."
Why is there so much perplexity about the mysterious order of the Rosicrucians? Let us ask in return, Why is there so much perplexity about that mysterious being called "Man"? The answer is that man is a spiritual being, inhabiting the spiritual world, which he has never entirely left; while the terrestrial personality in which he manifests himself during his earthly life is an inhabitant of this planet. That which the historian and the scientist know about man is merely that which refers to his physical body; while nothing is known to them about his real self. To imagine that such knowledge is true anthropology is like imagining that we know all about a man if we once see the coat which he wears. Likewise the true Rosicrucians, whether they still walk upon the earth in a visible form, or whether they inhabit the astral plane, are spiritual powers, such as are beyond the reach of examination of the externally reasoning historian or scientist. They are people who, as the Bible expresses it, "live upon the earth, but whose consciousness is in heaven."
The vulgar sees only the external form, but not the spirit which is the true inhabitant of that form. To discern the latter, the power of spiritual discernment is required. The coat which a man wears does not make the man; to pour water over a person does not make him a true Christian, and to have one's name entered into the register of some society calling itself "Rosicrucian," does not endow one with the rosy and golden light of love and wisdom that comes from the unfoldment of the "Rose" within the centre of one's soul.
But it is far easier to undergo some external ceremony than to die the mystic death which is required for the purpose of passing through the "Gates of Gold"; it is easier to profess a creed than to acquire true knowledge; and for this reason we find during the Middle Ages not less than at this present time many people who imagine that they could be made into Rosicrucians and Adepts, by joining some society dealing with mystical subjects.
In the beginning of the 17th century Germany was overrun, not only by monks and nuns and religious fanatics of all kinds, but also by a great many impostors and adventurers. There were pretended Alchemists, Astrologers, Fortune-tellers, and there was a universal mania among the people to pry into the secrets of Nature, and to enrich themselves by alchemical processes, or, if need be, by the help of the devil. This epidemic of superstition and folly seemed to require a strong remedy, and as foolish people are not accessible to reasonable arguments, it occurred to some sharp-witted mind to try the more caustic remedy of sarcasm. There appeared in the year 1614 two pamphlets, written by the same author, entitled, "Universal and General Reformation of the Whole Wide World," and the "Fama Fraternitatis; or, Brotherhood of the Laudable Order of the R.C. (Rosicrucians), a message to the Governments, nobles, and scientists of Europe." This book was out of print during the last century, and Frederic Nicolai, in Berlin, had it reprinted in the year 1781, falsifying however, its date, inserting 1681 instead of the correct date, an "Regensburg" instead of "Berlin." Another edition of the Fama Frama ternitatis appeared at Frankfurt-on-Maine in the year 1827, and to this was added an additional part, entitled "Confessio."
These books, soon after they first appeared, made a great impression upon the public mind, and were immediately translated into several languages. The Universal Reformation is a satirical work. It most interesting contents are an account of the meeting of a supposed Congress for the purpose of reforming the world. The story is as follows:—At the time of the Emperor Justinian, Apollo takes a look at the world, and finds it to be full of vices and wickedness. He therefore makes up his mind to call together a meeting of all the wise and virtuous men of the country to consult together how this evil might be remedied. Unfortunately, among all of them there is none to be found who is possessed of sufficient virtue and intelligence to give the desired advice. Appolo therefore assembles the seven ancient sages of Greece and three Romans, Marcus, Cato, and Seneca. A young Italian philosopher, by the name of Jacob Mazzonius, is appointed secretary. The congregation meets in the delphic Palatium; and now follow the speeches which were held. The sages talk the most egregious nonsense. Thales, for instance, advises that a window should be inserted in the breast of every man, so that the people could look into his heart. Solon has become a communist, and wants to divide out
all the public and private property, so that all should have equal parts. Bias proposes to prohibit all intercourse between the people, to destroy the bridges and to forbid using ships. Cato desires that God should be asked to send another deluge, to destroy the whole feminine sex and all males over 20 years of age; and to request Him to invent a new and better method of procreation. All the sages dispute and contradict each other, and finally it is resolved to cite the diseased century and make it come into court, so that the patient may be closely investigated. The century is brought in. It is an old man with a healthy-looking face, but having a weak voice. They examine him, and find that his face is painted, and a further investigation shows that not a single part of his body is without some disease. The savants then come to the conclusion that they cannot cure him; but they do not want to adjourn without having it appear that they had done something very useful and important, so they impose a new tax upon cabbage, carrots and parsley. They publish the document with a great deal of swagger and self-praise, and the delighted people jubilate and applaud.
The meaning of this pamphlet, which was written for the purpose of throwing ridicule upon a certain class of people who wanted to improve the world at once and to show the absurdity and impossibility of such an undertaking, was plain enough, and it seems incredible that its purpose should have been misunderstood. That there were any people who took the matter seriously shows the extreme ignorance and want of judgment of the common people of those times, and forms an interesting episode for the student of history and intellectual evolution. The other pamphlet which accompanied the former is the celebrated Fama Fraternitatis. The Universal Reformation threw ridicule upon the self-constituted "world-reformers," and this second pamphlet now invites these would-be reformers to meet, and it, at the same time, gives them some useful hints as to what they might do to attain their object; advising them that the only true method for improving the world is to begin by improving themselves. This pamphlet being like the other one, a satire upon the would-be reformers and so-called Rosicrucians, might, for all that, have been written by a genuine Rosicrucian, for it contains true Rosicrucian principles, such as are advocated by the Adepts. It shows the insufficiency of the scientific and theological views of those times. It ridicules the imbecility of the pretended Alchemists, who imagined that by some chemical process they could transform lead into gold; but in doing so it gives good advice, and under the mask of divulging the laws and objects of some mysterious Rosicrucian Society, it indicates certain rules and principles, which afterward formed the basis of an organised society of investigators in Occultism, who adopted the name Rosicrucians.
Added to this, Fama Fraternitatis is the story of the "pious, spiritual, and highly-illuminated Father," Fr. R. C. Christian Rosencreutz. It is said that he was a German nobleman, who had been educated in a convent, and that long before the time of the Reformation he had made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in company with another brother of his convent, and that while at Damascus they had been initiated by some learned Arabs into the mysteries of the secret science. After remaining three years at Damascus, they went to Fez, in Africa, and there they obtained still more knowledge of magic, and of the relations existing between the macrocosm and microcosm. After having also travelled in Spain, he returned to Germany, where he founded a kind of a convent called Sanctus Spiritus, and remained there writing his secret science and continuing his studies. He then accepted as his assistants, at first three, and afterwards four more monks from the same convent in which he had been educated, and thus founded the first society of the Rosicrucians. They then laid down the results of their science in books, which are said to be still in existence, and in the hands of some Rosicrucians. It is then said that 120 years after his death, the entrance to his tomb was discovered. A staircase led into a subterranean vault, at the door of which was written, Post annos CXX. patebo. There was a light burning in the vault, which however, became extinct as soon as it was approached. The vault had seven sides and seven angles, each side being five feet wide and eight feet high. The upper part represented the firmament, the floor the earth, and they were laid out in triangles, while each side was divided into ten squares. In the middle was an altar, bearing a brass plate, upon which were engraved the letters, A. C. R. C; and the words, Hoc Universi Compendium vivus mihi Sepulchrum feci. In the midst were four figures surrounded by the words, Nequaquam Vacuum. Legis Jugum. Libertas Evangelii. Du Gloria Intacta. Below the altar was found the body of Rosencreuz, intact, and without any signs of putrefaction. In his hand was a book of parchment, with golden letters marked on the cover with a T (Testamentum?), and at the end was written, Ex Deo naximur. In Jesu morimur. Per Spiritum Sanctum reviviscimus." There were signed the names of the brothers present at the funeral of the deceased.
In the year 1615, a new edition of these pamphlets appeared, to which was added another one, entitled Confessio; or, "the Confession of the Society and Brotherhood of the R. C.;" giving great promises about future revelations, but ending with the advice to everybody that until these revelations were made the people should continue to believe in the Bible.
All these pamphlets had—as will be shown farther on—one and the same author, and as the "General Reformation" was of an entirely satirical character and a pure invention, having no more foundation in fact, than the Don Quixote de la Mancha of Cervantes, there is no reason whatever why we should believe that the succeeding pamphlets should have been meant seriously, and that the story of the returned knight, Christian Rosencreuz, should have been anything more than an allegory. Moreover, there is no indication of what became of the body of that knight after it was once discovered, nor that the temple of the Holy Ghost (Sanctus Spiritus) exists anywhere else but in the hearts of men.
The whole object of these pamphlets seems to have been to present great truths to the ignorant, but to dish them up in a fictitious form, appealing to the curiosity of the people, and to the prevailing craving for a knowledge of the mysteries of Nature, which the majority of the people of these times wanted to know for the purpose of obtaining selfish and personal benefits.
The beauty of the doctrines which shone through these satirical writings were so great and attractive that they excited universal attention; but at the same time the craving of the majority of the people for the mysterious was so great that it blinded their eyes, and rendered them incapable of perceiving the true object of the writer, which was to ridicule the pretensions of dogmatic science and theology, and to draw the people up to a higher conception of true Christianity. The belief in the existence of a real secret organization of Rosicrucians, possessed of the secret how to make gold out of lead and iron, and of prolonging life by means of taking some fluid in the shape of a medicine, was universal; and quacks and pretenders of all kinds roamed over the country and helped to spread the superstitions, often selling worthless compounds for fabulous prices as being the "Elixir of Life;" while others wasted their fortunes and became poor in making vain efforts to transmute metals.
A flood of writings appeared, some attacking and some defending the Rosicrucian Society, which was supposed to exist, but of which no one knew anything. Some people, and even some of the well-informed ones, believed in the existence of such a society; others denied it. But neither one class nor the other could bring any positive proofs for their beliefs. People are always willing to believe that which they desire to be true, and everyone wanted to be admitted as a member of that secret society, of which nobody was certain whether it existed at all; and if anyone boasted of being a Rosicrucian, or succeeded in creating the impression that he was one, he awed the ignorant, and was regarded by them as a very favoured person, and in this way impostors and adventurers often succeeded in preying upon the pockets of the rich.
Those who wanted to be taught magic and sorcery desired that a society or school where they might learn such things should exist; and because they desired it they believed in its existence. If no genuine Rosicrucian could be found, one had to be invented. If the true Rosicrucian society was not to be had, imitations of what was believed to constitute a Rosicrucian society had to be organized. In this way numerous societies were formed, calling themselves "Rosicrucians"; and "Rosicrucianism" took various shapes.
One of the most important publications, and which is calculated to throw light upon the mysterious subject of Rosicrucianism which still perplexes the learned, is the Chymical Marriage of Christian Rosencreutz, printed in 1616. This, again, was written to throw ridicule upon the vain and self-conceited dogmatists, scientists, and "gold-makers" of those times, while at the same time it contains high and exalted truths, disguised in an allegorical form, but easily to be perceived by the practical Occultist, and by him only. It can easily be seen that the style and tendencies of this publication have a great deal of resemblance to that of the Fama Fraternitatis. Now it has been ascertained beyond any doubt that the author of the "Chemical Marriage" was Johann Valentine Andreae,1 who wrote it while a young student in the years 1602 and 1603 in Tübingen. He acknowledges this in the history which he gives of his life, and he adds that he intended to give a true picture of the popular follies of that time. This renders it extremely probable that he was also the author of the "General Reformation," of the Confessio, and of the story of Christian Rosencreutz, and this probability amounts to almost conviction if we take into consideration the discovery made afterwards, that the "General Reformation" is nothing else but a literal translation of a part of a book from Boccalini Ragguagli di Parmaso. Andreae was a great admirer of that author, and he also adopted his style in his Mythologia Christiana; it is therefore plain that he also made the above-named translation, and added it to his "Fama Fraternitatis." Both writings, in fact, form a complement to each other. In the "General Reformation" the political would-be-reformers are held up to ridicule, and in the "Fama" the mystical dreamers, imaginary theosophists, pretended gold-makers, and supposed discoverers of the universal panacea are castigated. There can be no reasonable doubt that this was Andreae's object, and, moreover, his intimate friend, Professor Besoldt, in Tübingen, acknowledged it in saying that the character of both books was plain enough, and that it was very strange that so many intelligent people had been led by the nose to mistake their meaning. Andreae himself, without, however, acknowledging himself to be their author, expressed himself to the effect that the whole was a satire and a fable. In his "confession" he says: (Sc.) risisse semper Rosicrucianam fabulum et curiositatis fraterculos fuisse in sectatum2 and in his paper entitled "Turris Babel, seu judiciorum de Fraternitatae Rosaccas crucis chaos," he speaks still more plainly upon this subject. It seems to have been his object in this latter publication to help those to become sober again who had become intoxicated by misunderstanding the former publications, for he exclaims: "Listen, ye mortals! In vain will ye wait for the arrival of that fraternity; the comedy is over. The fama has played it in, the fama has played it out," etc., etc. Still there were many who were not satisfied with this explanation, and who believed that it had been Andreae's intention to cause by his fama, a secret society of the scientists of his age to come into existence; but Andreae was too wise to attempt such an absurdity and to apply to the most unreasonable persons of his age to form a reasonable society.
The question why he should have selected the name "Rosicrucian" for his imaginary society is not difficult to answer. The Cross and the Rose were favourite symbols among the Alchemists and Theosophists long before anything of a "Rosicrucian Society" was known. More-over, in his own coat of arms, as in that of Luther, there was a cross and four roses, a circumstance which probably led him to select that name.
There is, perhaps, very rarely a fable or work of fiction invented which is not based upon some fact, however disconnected such facts may be with the subject. A work, entitled Sphinx Rosesa, printed in 1618, makes it appear very plausible that the writer of the Fama Fraternitatis, in inventing the story of Christian Rosencreutz and his three brothers, whose number was afterwards increased by four more, had certain originals in his mind, which served as prototypes to construct his story. The author of that Sphinx says that the idea of forming such a society for the general reformation of mankind arose from the success of Luther's Reformation; that the knight, Christian Rosencreutz, was, in reality, no other person than a certain Andreas von Carolstadt, an adventurer, who had travelled a great deal, but never been in Palestine. He made himself so obnoxious to the clergy of his time, whom he desired to reform, that they, after his death, put the following Epitaph upon his grave:—Carolstadius Pestis Ecclesiae venonissima, tandem a Diabolo occisus est. This means: "Here lies Carolstadt, who was a poisonous plague to the Church until the devil killed him at last." The three supposed associates of Rosencreutz were the friends of Carolstadt, the reformer Zwingli, Oecolompadius, and Bucerus, and the four others, who were supposed to have been added afterwards, were probably Nicalaus Palargus, Marcus Stubner, Martin Cellurius, and, finally, Thomas Münster, all of which persons were more or less known on account of their desire to aid in reforming the Church.
As the people became infatuated with the idea of becoming Rosicrucians, and no real society of Adepts could be found, they organized Rosicrucian societies without any real Adepts, and thus a great many so-called Rosicrucian societies came into existence. There was one such society founded by Christian Rose in 1623, having head centres in the Hague, Amsterdam, Nuremberg, Mantua, Venice, Hamburg, Dantzig and Erfurt. They used to dress in black, and wore at their meetings blue ribbons with a golden wreath and a rose. As a sign of recognition the brothers wore a black silk cord in the top button hole. This ornament was given to the neophytes after they had promised under oath to be strangled by such a cord rather than reveal the secrets which they were supposed to possess. They also had another sign, consisting of the "tonsure," such as is used today by the Roman Catholic clergy, meaning a small round shaven spot on the top of the head, originating probably from the custom of the Buddhist priests, who shave their whole head. Hence many of them wore a wig, in order not to be recognised as belonging to the brotherhood. They led a very quiet life, and were devout people. On all high festivals, very early at sunrise they would leave their residence, and go out through the gate of the town facing the east. When another one of them appeared, or when they met at other places, one would say: Ave Frater! to which the other would answer, Rosae et Aureae; then the first one said Crucis, then both together said: Benedictus Deus Dominus noster, que nobis dedit Signum! They also had for the sake of legitimation a large document, to which the Imperator affixed the great seal.3
There was another "Rosicrucian society," formed at Paris in the year 1660 by an apothecary named Jacob Rose. This society was dissolved in 1674, in consequence of the notorious case of wholesale poisoning by the ill-reputed Marquise de Brinvillier.
Whether or not there ever were any real Adepts and genuine Alchemists among the members of these Rosicrucian societies, we are, of course, not in a position to affirm. We are satisfied to know that Adepts do exist and that Alchemy is a fact; but whether they had anything to do with these orders we do not know, nor do we care about it, as it is now of no consequence whatever. All that we know for certain in regard to this matter is, that there existed at that time persons in possession of an extraordinary amount of occult knowledge, as is shown by the books they have left; but whether these persons belonged or did not belong to any organized society, is absolutely useless to know.
During the life of Theophrastus Paracelsus, he was the intellectual centre to which Alchemists, Occultists, Mystics, Reformers and Rosicrucians were attracted, but there is no indication that he was a member of any society of men calling themselves "Rosicrucians." There is, likewise, no indication that after the time of Paracelsus any organized society of true Adepts, calling themselves "Rosicrucian Society," ever existed. Some of the greatest minds of that age were engaged in occult research, and were naturally attracted together by the bonds of sympathy; but however much they may have been united in the spirit (in the temple of the Holy Ghost), there is no indication that they had an organized society on the external plane, nor would any real Adepts need any other but spiritual signs of recognition.
A book printed in 1714, and written by Sinecrus Renatus, contains the remarkable information that some years ago the Masters of the Rosicrucians had gone to India, and that none of them at present remained in Europe. This is not at all improbable; for the moral atmosphere of Europe is at the present time not very congenial for spirtual development, nor very inviting to those who, while progressing on the Path of Light, are reincarnating in physical forms.
As all researches after a real Rosicrucian society consisting of genuine Adepts were naturally fruitless, the excitement caused by the Fama Fratemitatis gradually ceased, and there was not much said or written about them until between the years 1756 and 1768, when a new degree of Freemasonry came into existence, called the "Rosicrucian Knights," or the order of Rose-croix, or the Knights of the Eagle and Pelican; but we should in vain search among these knights for any genuine Adept, or even for anyone possessed of occult knowledge or power; for as our modern churches have lost the key to the mysteries which were once entrusted to their guardianship, and have degenerated into places for social gatherings and religious pastime, so our modem Masons have long ago lost the Word, and will not find it again unless they dive below the surface of external ceremonies and seek for it in their own hearts.
The most important books written during the time of the Rosicrucian controversy were the following:—
I. Books Written in Favour of the Rosicrucians:
(Titles translated from the German.)
Fama Fraternitatis, or the discovery of the laudable Order of the Rosy Cross.—Anonym., Frankfurt, 1615.
Confessio, or Confession of the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross.— Anonym., Frankfurt, 1615.
Opinion regarding the laudable Order of the Rosy Cross, by Adam Bruxius, M.D., l6l6.
Message to the Philosophical Fraternity of the Rosy Cross, by Valentin Tschirnessus, Goerlitz.
Thesaurus Fidei, or warning to the novices of the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross, 1619.
Fons Gratiae, by Trenaeus Agnostus, C.W., 1619.
Raptus Philosophicus, or Philosophical Revelations for the Fraternity of the R.C., 1619, by Rhodophilus Stansophorus.
Silentium Post Clamores. An apology resp. Defence, by R.M.F., 1617.
Prater Crucis Rosacae, or. What kind of people are the Rosicrucians? By M.A.O.F.W., 1617.
Speculum Constantiae. Appeal to new members of the R.C. Society, by Trenaeus Agnostus, C.W., 1618.
Themis Aurea. The Laws and Regulations of the laudable Fraternity of the R.C., by Michael Mater, Imp. Cons. Corn. Ey. Ex., 1618.
Tintinabulum Sapnorum, or, The Discovery of the blessed Fraternity of the Order of the R.C., by Trenaeus Agnostus, C.W., 1619.
Prater Non Frater. Admonitions to the disciples of the R.C., 1619.
Prodromus Rhodo-Stauroticus. Directions for the practice of Alchemy, 1620.
Colloquium Rhodo-Stauroticum. A discourse regarding the Fraternity of the R.C., 1621.
Rosencreuti. Ch. Chemical Marriage, Anno 1459? (1781).
//. Writings Inimical to the Rosicrucians.
Benevolent Advice regarding the Fama and Confessio of the R.C., by And. Libavius M.D., P.C; Sae. Theolog. and Philosoph., l6l6.
Sphinx Rosceea. Suspicions in regard to the mysteries of the R.C., by Christophorus Nigrimus Philomusus and Theologus, 1618.
The New Arabian and Moorish Fraternity, by Eusebius Christianus, a carrier of the wooden cross.
Speculum Ambitionis, or A Mirror for Ambition, in which may be seen how the Devil has brought all sorts of new orders into existence. A refutation of the doctrines of that new sect, called Rosicrucians, by Joh. Hintner, 1620.
Tomfoolery Discovered, or, Christian Refutation of the so-called Brothers of the Rosy Cross, showing that these people are not of God, but of the Devil. A timely warning to all pious Christians.! By Joh. Silvert Aegl, 1617.
The more important modern books on Rosicrucianism are: Semler's "Collections to the history of the Rosicrucians"; Bouterwek's "Origin of the R.C.; Murr, "The true origin of Rosicrucians and Freemasons"; Buhle, "Origin and history of the R.C."; Nicolai, "Remarks about the history of the Rosicrucians and Freemasons"; Herder, "An article in the German Mercury of March, 1782, and reprinted in Herder's Philosophy and History," vol. 15, p. 258; Arnold, "History of the churches and heretics," part ii., lib. xvii., cap. 18; Rossbach, "Joh. Valentin Andreae and his age," Berlin, 1819. There are numerous books on Alchemy, Theosophy, and Occult Science which have been written by people supposed to have been Rosicrucians; but they give no account of the history of the latter. The most prominent are the works of Theophrastus Paracelsus, Jacob Boehme, Cornelius Agrippa of Nettesheim; Robert Fludd's "Summum Bonum"; John Arndt, "Silentium Dei," and "The true Christendom"; Simon Studion, "Naometria"; Trenaeus Philalethes, "Lumen de Lumina," and innumerable others, which may be drawn into this category; but perhaps the most interesting of all is an illustrated work which is now out of print, and has become very rare, and which is entitled "The Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century"4 and from which a great deal of information contained in this present
volume is taken.
Dr. Johann Yelentin Andreae was born Aug. 17, 1586, at Herrenberg, in Wurtemnberg, and died an abbot of Adelsberg, at Stuttgart, June 27, 1654. He spoke several languages, was well versed in theology, mathematics, history, and the natural sciences. He was of a noble mind, anxious to do good, and an original character. Herder describes him as a rose among the thorns.
Andreae's autobiography. Weismann, hist. eccl. P. ii., p. 936.
Extracted from the "Sphinx." Vol. I., No. l.
This book has been reprinted and published with the fac-similes of the plates by The Aries Press, Chicago, 111.
Vade retro satanas. Nunquam mihi suade vana. Sunt mala quae libas.
Ipse venena bibas.
PSEUDO-ROSICRUCIANS—IMPOSTERS AND FOOLS
The fool's paradise is the world of self-created illusions, without the recognition of the
underlying eternal truth.
The Devil is God inverted. Falsehood is truth perverted. The spirit produces the form to be its true image; but, for all that the form does not always represent the true qualities of the spirit. Thus the sun shines upon the earth, and his rays produce wholesome and poisonous growths, and the spirit of Christ for ever remains in His glory, even if a thousand of so-called "Christian" sects misrepresent Him, so that His image can no more be recognised in them. Likewise the true Brothers of the Golden and Rosy Cross still exist, even if the name of their order has been misused by impostors and fools.
The age at which the idea of Rosicrucian societies became popular was a time when orders of all kinds were flourishing. Monasteries, convents, and religious orders were the plagues of the country; in some places the Catholic clergy, in others the Protestant clergy, were, so to say, omnipotent. The work of the great Reformation had only begun its work, and free thought and free speech were little known. The Protestant clergy were not less intolerant than the Catholics who preceded them, and in some places the latter were still in possession of all the authority they possessed at the time of the Inquisition.
In consequence of the power of the Church over the citizens of the country—a power which the former abused very freely—it became necessary to have secret societies and places where the members could secretly meet and exchange thir opinions without being overheard by spies and traitors. Secret orders of all kinds were, therefore, existing in great numbers, and foremost of all were the Freemasons, an order which, on account of the strength of its principles, has continued to exist. At that time Masonry was not what it is now. A writer of those times, in a work published in 1666, informs us that it was neither a political nor a Christian institution, but a truly secret organization, which admitted such men as members who were anxious to obtain the priceless boon of liberty of conscience, and to avoid clerical prosecution.
But the air of mystery which hung about the masonic lodges was also very attractive to all who were mystically inclined. Then, as now strange rumours circulated about the doings of the Masons, wild stories were whispered about among the ignorant, which the clergy of those times, like their brothers of the present day, helped to start, circulate, and exaggerate. They were accused of practising black magic and sorcery, and some even accused them of being in league with devils.
All these things served to attract to the masonic lodges not merely those who were desirous of freedom of speech, but also those who desired to learn forbidden secrets; and, moreover, adventurers of all kinds sought to gain admittance and sometimes succeeded. Many of the masonic brothers attempted to study and practise alchemy; and there are some accounts proving that sometimes successful alchemical experiments were made in the lodges. But, generally speaking, then, as now, those who joined a lodge for the purpose of having some very important secrets revealed to them, were sadly disappointed, for besides the external ceremonies and forms, which they were sworn not to reveal, and which were of no further importance, they were informed of nothing which would have been worth revealing. They went from one degree to another, paying large sums for being admitted into higher degrees, and still no revelations were made, and all they learned on such occasions was some other form of ceremony, a knowledge of which was hardly worth the price they paid for it.
It is, therefore, not surprising that when the Rosicrucian mania broke out, and when the more exaggerated accounts about the great powers; of that order were fully believed, that the Masons opened their ranks to anyone who was supposed to be a Rosicrucian, and that if the latter succeeded in making the brothers believe that he was actually such a favoured person, he would at once gain a great deal of influence in the lodge. These circumstances opened the doors of the masonic lodges to a great many strolling adventurers, vagabonds, charlatans, and mountebanks; and especially the Catholic as well as the Protestant "Jesuits" were not slow to see their advantage, and to gain admission to the lodges under the disguise of Rosicrucians.
They pretended to be in communication with certan unknown superiors, some grand patriarch of Jerusalem, or some invisible somebody, whose orders had to be obeyed without asking any questions, but whose names must not be revealed; and to make such supposed orders more effective, they produced letters and documents apparently coming from such superiors, but which they had written and sealed themselves. On some occasions they performed sleight-of-hand tricks, produced sham apparitions of ghosts and deceased persons, for the purpose of deluding the members of the lodge, and to make them believe in their supernatural powers. Thus they made Freemasonry their tool and used the power which they gained for the advancement of their own interests.
Volumes might be filled with amusing accounts of the doings of the pseudo-Rosicrucians; but we have only room for a few examples, and shall, for that purpose, select those whose influence in history was of considerable importance.
One of the adventurers, of whom it is still doubtful whether or not he possessed any occult powers, was the reputed Schroepfer, a bankrupt inn-keeper of Leipzig. His only object seemed to be to make as much money as he could, and to spend it as fast he made it. He assumed the name "von Steinbach," and pretended to be a French Colonel, and to have been appointed by the Duke of Orleans as secret ambassador, sent to reform masonry, and to establish a connection with the Jesuits, who were at that time driven away. These Jesuits, he said, were in possession of an enormous amount of treasure, which they had entrusted to his care; but his intention was to use that money for the benefit of the country, and whoever wanted to obtain a share of it would have to come to confession and to better his life.
It is almost incredible that any sane person should have believed such nonsense; nevertheless, when a prospect of obtaining money is held out, most people are ready to believe almost anything. Moreover, Schroepfer had a wonderful power of gaining the confidence of those who came near him, and he had some knowledge of chemistry, which gave him a scientific air, and so it happened that even some people of high social position believed in his assertions.
To gain full power over his dupes, he deposited in a bank at Frankfurt a sealed package, to be returned to him whenever he desired it; this package was said to contain several millions in bank-notes, but which, as might have been supposed, contained nothing but brown paper. On the strength of that supposed deposit, which "could not then be touched," he borrowed large sums of money. He even gained the confidence of the Duke of Cairland, in whose presence he caused the apparition of the Chevalier de Saxe to appear in the palace. This scene is described by an eye-witness as follows:—"The large room wherein the ghost was to appear had the form of a theatre, and had formerly been used for the purpose of giving private plays and operas. The spectators were sitting in a half-circle, and they received strict orders not to leave their seats under any circumstances, nor to touch nor examine any of the apparatus for the conjuring process, else the most dread consequences would follow. They had, furthermore, to wear that they would not reveal afterwards what they had seen.
The Duke and his Minister, von Wurmb, and other dignitaries were present. Schroepfer appeared, nodded to the assembly, and walked in a haughty manner up to the platform. The Duke had desired to see the apparition of the Chevalier de Saxe, and Schroepfer consented. Suddenly all the candles in the room went out at once, and every one present felt a feeling of horror creeping over him. At the same time a stupefying smoke of some incense which Schroepfer was burning fillrd the room. Gradually the platform grew more light, while the place for the spectators remained in darkness. A kind of bluish light shone upon the faces of the latter, which gave to every one of them a ghostly appearance. Gradually a cloud became visible in the background of the stage. At first it was only like a thin mist, but slowly it grew more solid. Gradually it assumed the outlines of a human form. The details of the figure became clearer, the face could be seen and recognised; there was the living image of the Chevalier de Saxe.
"The Duke, seeing his dead relative standing before him, broke in an exclamation of horror. The apparition lifted its arm. Every one was terrified; none dared to speak. There were deep sighs.
"Then the ghost began to speak in a hollow voice, complaining that he had been disturbed in his sleep in the grave.
"The Duke appeared to be near fainting; but being a courageous man, he rose with an effort, and it seemed for a moment that his reason was to be victorious over superstition.
''Laying his hand on his sword, he exclaimed, 'Illusion of hell! Go back to the place from whence you came!'
"At that moment the sword dropped from his hand, as if he had been suddenly paralyzed. The apparition was gone and the room was dark. Suddenly, as quickly as they had been extinguished, the candles began to burn again, and we all saw the conjuror in his long habit of black velvet, looking still paler than usual, the sweat standing upon his forehead, resembling a man who has just escaped some great danger. Having recovered, he turned to the Duke and reproached him.
" 'Your Excellency,' said Schroepfer, 'may congratulate yourself that we have not all been killed. Only the most powerful conjurations on my part could prevent the apparition from murdering us. It was the most terrible hour of my life.'
"The Duke excused himself, and finally begged pardon, promising to be more obedient at some future occasion."
"There were a great many people of whom Schroepfer had borrowed money, sometimes even large sums, and they all grew impatient, and wanted to be paid. Schroepfer was forced to produce the package from the bank, and it was found to be worthless. But even that was not sufficient to destroy the confidence of his dupes. They persuaded themselves that he was a high Rosicrucian Adept, who was only testing their faith. "Can we, in our ignorance," they said, "head the Master's heart and know his intentions? Perhaps he is going to take away our earthly Mammon, and give us for it the imperishable philosopher's stone."
"At last, however, the measure was full; the creditors refused to be fed any longer on idle promises; they wanted their money. So they selected a deputation from their midst, and sent them to Leipzig, where Schroepfer had gone to escape their importunity. When they entered his room he bade them welcome in a kind manner and full of assurance.
"I have already been informed of your coming," he said, "and have been waiting for you."
"Then," they answered, "you will also know that we have come for the purpose of obtaining a settlement of our financial affairs."
"What!" exclaimed Schroepfer, appearing to be astonished, "do you doubt me?'
"Not I," answered the one addressed; "but some of my friends do."
"And you, sir?" asked Schroepfer, turning to another one and fixing his eyes upon him.
The person addressed trembled, and began to stammer an excuse; but Schroepfer, whose face assumed a triumphant smile, continued:—
"Oh, you of little faith! ye are worse than the doubting Thomas, more obstinate than Peter, who thrice denied his Master. I have opened before you the portals of the spirit world and made you see its inhabitants, and you still doubt my power. I wanted to lead you into the innermost sanctuary, and to make you richer than all the kings of this earth; but you have not stood the test imposed upon you. Shame upon you! Without faith and confidence no miracle can be performed. Doubt is the great sin of the world."
'"Mercy, great master!" exclaimed one; "do not punish the innocent with the guilty. I did not doubt."
"I know it," answered Schroepfer; "and for the sake of one just man, I will forgive the sins of all. The mammon after which your sinful heart hankers, you shall receive; what I promised will be done; but it would have been better for you if you had chosen the hidden wisdom instead of possessions which perish."
They then begged his pardon, and at last he became less stern and forgave them their doubts. He promised not only to unveil to them all the secrets of the true Rosicrucians, but he also appointed a certain day for the payment of his debt.
The revelations about the secrets never came; but the day appointed for the payment of the debt arrived. In the evening preceding that eventful day, Schroepfer invited all his creditors to his house. The supper which was served was excellent, the wine of the first quality. Schroepfer was in high spirits, more talkative than usual, and amused his guests by some clever sleight-of-hand tricks, attributing it, of course, all to the spirits. Midnight passed, and the guests prepared themselves to depart for their residences, but the host objected.
"I shall not let you go," he said, "you may all sleep here, and in the morning, even before sunrise, I will show you something entirely new. Heretofore I have shown you dead people whom I have called back into life; but this morning I will show you a living man whom you will believe to be dead." He then took up his glass filled with wine, and caused it to jingle by bringing it in contact with the glasses held by the others, with each one successively. As he approached the last one, his glass broke into pieces.
"What does this mean?" asked one.
"The fate of mankind," answered Schroepfer. "The wine of life has escaped, the vessel broke to pieces; I am fatigued enough to die."
He feel asleep, and the guests followed his example, sleeping in armchairs and on lounges as well as they could manage it. Early in the morning Schroepfer called to them to awake; telling them that it was time to go. They all went together out of the town to an almost solitary place called the "Rosenthal." Schroepfer was silent, and appeared to be very serious. Having arrived at the place of destination, he ordered his companions to remain where he posted them.
"Do not move," he said, "until I call you to help me to raise the buried treasure. I am now going into that grove, where you will soon see a wonderful apparition."
With a satirical smile on his pale face he turned away and disappeared in the bushes. Soon a sound as of a pistol-shot sounded from there. They thought that it was perhaps fired by some hunter, and paid no further attention to it. They waited. One quarter of an hour after another passed away, and nothing happened. They did not dare to leave their places, fearing to rouse the anger of the magician by their disobedience. The mist of the morning had turned into a fine rain, which made their position very uncomfortable. They grew impatient, and consulted with each other what was to be done. While they were discussing the subject, some proposing to follow Shroepfer into the bushes, and others objecting, saying that by doing so they might interrupt his incantations, or at least give him a welcome excuse for not obtaining the treasure, a stranger approached. His appearance was. so sudden that it almost appeared miraculous.
"I know," said the stranger, "for whom you are waiting. Schroepfer will not come; he is dead."
"You lie!" exclaimed one of the company, being very indignant about this intrusion.
Instead of answering, the stranger gave a certain secret sign which proved him to be one of the superiors of a high masonic order. All present bowed respectfully.
"Follow me," he said, "and you will see that I told you the truth."
They followed him into the ticket, and there they found the magician dead upon the sod. He held a pistol in his hand; the ball had penetrated his heart.
Thus perished a man who, although he was an impostor, may nevertheless have been in possession of some occult knowledge, but who had not strength enough to resist the temptations of the senses, and who misused his powers for the gratification of his personal self.
Johann Christoph Woellner was the son of a Protestant clergyman, who resided near Spandau, and became preacher of the Evangelical community at Grossbehnitz, near Berlin. While in this position he succeeded in seducing the daughter of his patron, the General Itzenplitz, and the family at last consented to a marriage which they could not prevent. The affair was still more scandalous on account of the publicly known fact that Woellner made love to the mother of the girl before he married the latter. By this marriage he acquired a considerable fortune. He was very much inclined to mysticism, and soon became one of the most active and prominent members of the Rosicrucians. His name in the lodge was Chrysophron, and by the influence of his friends he obtained an influential position, which he used for the advancement of his own selfish interests, and finally he obtained a position at the Prussian Court.
He appeared externally very modest and meek; while at the same time his conceit and ambition were without limits, and no means were too vile to him, if by them he could accomplish his purpose. His low forehead indicated a person of very little intelligence, but a great deal of cunning. His little eyes were continually looking downwards; his manners were those of a pious coxcomb. Sympathetic souls find each other, and he therefore became very intimate with Bischofswerder, another pseudo-Rosicrucian. who was Minister of State and favourite of King Frederic William II. of Prussia, and he in company with his friend worked together for the destruction of the religious liberty of the people, as shall be described further on.
Another of the same class was the pastor Johann August Stark, an Evangelical preacher, but secretly a Catholic, and in league with the Jesuits. He was an extraordinary hypocrite. Still worse, but more ridiculous, was his disciple, the pseudo-Rosicrucian Mayr, a very eccentric character and a great fanatic. He was limping, bald-headed, squinted, and of most unprepossessing appearance. A broad trunk, with an immense hydrocephalic head rested upon thin, weak legs. He usually wore black pantaloons and vest, and an orange-coloured coat. While preaching, he shot with a pistol from the pulpit at a man who slept during the sermon, and wounded him, exclaiming, "I will wake you up!" He had all kinds of religions. In the morning he went to the Catholic mass, next he preached in the Protestant church, then spent his afternoons in the Jewish synagogue or with the Mennonites, and in the evening he went to the masonic lodge.
These were some of the types of the "Rosicrucians" which infested the masonic lodges of those times, and it is a marvel that they did not destroy masonry. Some of them were impostors, others were dupes, and not a few imposed upon their dupes, while at the same time they were the dupes of others. This confusion of incompatible elements, such as freethinkers, pietists, reasonable men, and superstitious fools, could not fail to bring on a separation within the lodges and they naturally became divided into two parts, of which one represented progression and tolerance, the other one bigotry and superstition. Among the latter class was the "Society of the Cross," who at their initiation had to take the following oath: "In the name of the crucified I swear to break all ties which bind me to my father, mother, brothers, sisters, wife, relatives, friends, sweethearts, king, benefactors, or to any other human being, whom I may have sworn to obey, so that I may belong entirely to Christ."
The Crown Prince, afterwards King Frederic William II. of Prussia, was himself a member of a masonic lodge and a great admirer of Woellner and Bischofswerder, who exerted their nefarious influence over him, and whenever the unfortunate prince appeared to become subject to doubts regarding the supernatural powers of his friends, they quieted him again by causing the spectre of some dead friend to appear before him, which was not at all difficult to do, as they were in possession of all the paraphernalia necessary to perform sleight-of-hand tricks, such as magic lanterns, electric batteries, etc.; and there was no danger of being detected in these tricks, as the spectators had to remain within a certain "magic" circle, which they were not permitted to leave; and it was always said that a disobedience to the orders of the magician would be followed by the direst consequences, or perhaps be fatal to all.
The greatest enemies of the so-called "Rosicrucians" were the llluminati, a secret organization, radiating throughout the whole of Germany. At their head stood the councillor Weishaupt, formerly professor at the University of Ingolstadt, in Bavaria. He had been educated in his youth in a Jesuit convent, but afterwards became a bitter enemy of that order. He wanted to liberate the people from the bonds of bigotry by spreading his cosmopolitan ideas, and he founded the order of the Illuminati, using the already existing masonic symbols and formula". He proclaimed that the object of his order was not to interfere with the Church or State, but that it intended to work for the moral improvement of humanity, to do good, to prevent evil, and to spread useful knowledge to all parts of the world. The necessary requirements to become a member of his order are described by him as follows:—
"He who is not deaf to the voice of suffering, whose heart is open to charity, and who is the brother and friend of the unfortunate, is our brother. He should love all creatures, and not cause pain even to a worm. He ought to be constant in adversity, indefatigable in doing good, courageous in overcoming difficulties. He should not look with contempt upon the weak; he should be above all selfish and personal considerations, and be anxious to benefit mankind. He should avoid idleness, and not consider any kind of knowledge to be below his dignity to investigate. But the main object of his life should be the attainment of self-knowledge. He who cares for virtue and truth for its own sake will not care for the applause of the vulgar. He who dares to do that which his own heart commands him to do is fit to become a member of our order."
His order, like all secret orders, possessed the charm which always surrounds that which is mysterious. It had three degrees; the first one consisted of the novices and the minervales. After passing an examination, the candidate was accepted into a higher degree, consisting of the lesser and the higher degree of Illuminati, and finally followed the highest degree, the Priests. According: to Weishaupt's ideas, the main object of true religion was to lift man up to a higher conception of his true nature and destiny, and thereby bring him up to a realization of this higher state of human dignity. This could not be accomplished by force, but merely by the spreading of knowledge, displacing error and superstition. He thought that if men could once realize the necessity of virtue and be all united by brotherly love, immorality, vice, degradation, and poverty would cease to exist, and men would become their own rulers and guides.
He furthermore attempted to prove that true (esoteric) Christianity was not a popular religion, or a religion for the vulgar, but that it was a system of philosophy, given in symbols, comprehensible only to those who were far enough advanced to be instructed in it, and it was the duty of the Illuminati to study the esoteric side of the religious systems, and to try to comprehend their meaning.
The highest rank in the highest degree was that of Regent. The Regents were the superiors of the order, and only the most useful and virtuous members were admitted to that rank, after having passed through long and severe probations.1
Soon the Illuminati became objects of fear and suspicion for the Governments, especially in Bavaria. A Protestant clergyman, Lange, was accidentally killed by a stroke of lightning. When his body was examined by the authorities, they found some papers regarding the order, and a list of some of its prominent members. This was the signal for a universal inquisition and persecution. Many of the noblest and most eminent persons were imprisoned or banished, others fled, and a price was set upon Weishapt's head, who, however, escaped to Gotha, where he found an asylum.2
Still the order of the Illuminati continued to exist, and between them and the Roslcrucians there existed the same animosity as now between the Liberals and the Ultramontanes, or between Progressionists and Conservatives. Each party denounced the other one, and each party had some just cause; for the Rosicrucians attempted to push the people still lower into darkness and superstition, while the Illuminati gave them a light which the people did not understand, and by undermining the authority of the priesthood, which governed the people by fear, they also undermined the authority of the law, by which the people must be ruled, as long as they cannot rule themselves.
King Frederic the Great cared nothing about these religious quarrels. In his dominions everyone was at liberty to follow the religion which suited him best; and all the efforts of the Rosicrucians were therefore directed to maintain their power over the Crown Prince, and in this they succeeded. The Crown Prince was a good-hearted but weak-minded man, whose strength had been to a certain extent exhausted by too much sensual enjoyment. He often had spells of great moral depression and brooded over his regrets for the past. He needed some comfort and consolation, and this he attempted to find sometimes in the arms of the Countess of Lichtenau; at other times in those of the pietists and "Rosicrucians," Bischofswerder and Woellner.
These "Rosicrucians" used all the means they could to obtain power. They calumniated Frederic the Great, and saw in him their greatest enemy, because his liberal measures hindered them from forcing their narrow-minded ideas and bigotry upon the people. They frightened the credulous Crown Prince by painting and exaggerating to him the dire consequences of the spreading of "irreligious" doctrines. They proposed to restore the Inquisition in a Protestant shape.
Frederic the Great died; Frederic William II. became King; but he was ruled by Bischofswerder and Woellner, and by his mistresses. One of the first successful attempts of the former was to restore to a great extent the power of Rome in Protestant Germany. Woellner became Minister of the religious department, and soon followed the issue of the infamous "religious edict" of July 9, 1788. In this edict everybody was warned by order of the King to subordinate his own reason to the dogmas of the Church; and those who should contravene this order were theatened with the loss of the offices they held and with imprisonment. They generously permitted everybody to believe what he pleased, but they strongly prohibited any expression of opinion in regard to religious matters, if such opinions were not sanctioned by the Church. But those who should dare to ridicule a clergyman were threatened with the heaviest punishment. At the same time censure was established, so that nothing could be printed and published without having first been submitted to the clerical authorities for approval.
The excitement caused by this shameful edict was terrible. The Illuminati led by the bookseller Nicolay, at Berlin, protested against it; but their writings were confiscated. Woellner surrounded himself with "Rosicrucians" and pietiests and a "spiritual examination board" was instituted, which examined every candidate for an office in regard to his creed before he could be appointed. They examined all clergymen and school teachers and ejected everyone who was not a hypocrite and who dared to say what he thought. They published a miserable catechism written in bad Latin, in which was prescribed what a person would have to believe before he could pass the examination. Pietistic schools and hymn-books were introduced and everything possible was attempted to make the people more stupid than they already were.
The disgrace which was brought upon the name "Rosicrucians" by these pseudo-Rosicrucians was so great that even to this day everything connected with Rosicrucianism is believed by the public in Germany to be identical with bigotry, pietism, hypocrisy, knavery, animalism, and absurdity.
See Weishaupt, "Intercourse with Man."
This took place in the year 1758, under the reign of Maximillian Joseph, who has been called The Beloved on account of his goodness. The doctrines of Weishaupt were none other than the doctrines of Christ; but they were not in conformity with the personal interests of autocratic "Christian" priests, who have ever been the real enemies of the truth and light, and the servants of darkness and evil.
ROSICRUCIANS AND ALCHEMISTS.
The following pages were originally intended to form the basis of a separate work, entitled "A Key to the Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians." As the idea of bringing out such a book has been abandoned for the present, they have been added as a suitable appendix to the foregoing historical notes.
It will be found that the doctrines presented herein contain the most profound secrets, especially in regard to the "resurrection of the flesh." They go to show that the physical body is neither a useless nor a despicable thing, and that Matter is as necessary to Spirit, as Spirit to Matter. Without the presence of a living body no resurrection could take place; neither could the Spirit have any relative existence without the presence of a material form. The state of Nirvana is not to be attained by merely dreaming about it, and before Man can rise superior to anything he must have attained that to which he desires to become superior. Only from the soul resurrected within the body of flesh arises the glorified spirit.
PRAESENTIA MUNIAMUR EJUS IN OBTTU NOSTRO
Ex Deo nascimur. In Jesu morimur. Reviviscimus per
IN THE PRONAOS OF
THE TEMPLE OF THE ROSY CROSS.
Our salvation is the life of Christ in us.
The place or state wherein the true Rosicrucian lives is far too exalted and glorious to be described in words. When we enter the vestibule of the temple of the true Rosy Cross, we enter into a region of unalloyed bliss and happiness. There is an effulgence of super-terrestrial light, where all aborious thinking and exercise of the imagination for the purpose of drawing logical inferences about the unknown, ceases, for in that light is the realm of pure knowledge; to live there is to perceive, and to perceive is to know. Into that paradise of celestial consciousness nothing impure can enter. No room is there for terrestrial flesh and blood; but the spiritual beings which inhabit that realm are made of the flesh and body of "Christ," in other words, of the substance of the spiritual soul.
H. P. Blavatsky, in her "Key to Theosophy," says that there are beings having attained a state of spiritual consciousness which would entitle them to enter the state of Nirvana; nevertheless, out of compassion for mankind, they still remain residents of this earth, inhabiting invisibly for mortal eyes the astral plane of our planet. In that, she describes the true order of the Golden and Rosy Cross as a spiritual Brotherhood, and if one of these superior beings, for some purpose or other, reincarnates in a human body upon this planet, then will there be a real Rosicrucian in a visible form upon this earth.
The "history" of that "brotherhood" is the history of the evolution of the world, and that of the spiritual regeneration of the soul and the body of man; for although each of these individual beings had its own terrestial history and experiences in passing through many incarnations upon this planet, nevertheless, in its essential points the history of all is alike, and consisted in the conquering of the low and the unfoldment of the high. They all had to bear the Cross of suffering before they could become crowned with victory; they all had to crucify their selfish and personal will, and die in regard to all that attracts the soul to the sphere of earthly desires and illusions before they could have the spiritual faculties of their souls unfolded like the Rose whose leaves are unfolded by the rays of the rising sun.
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1. Love God above all.
To "love God" means to love wisdom and truth. We can love God in no other way than in being obedient to Divine law; and to enable us to exercise that obedience conscientiously requires knowledge of the law, which can only be gained by practice.
2. Devote your time to your spiritual advancement.
As the sun without leaving his place in the sky sends his rays upon the earth to shine upon the pure and the impure, and to illuminate even the most minute material objects with his light; likewise the spirit of man may send his mental rays into matter to obtain knowledge of all terrestrial things; but there is no need that the spirit should thereby lose its own divine self-consciousness, and be itself absorbed by the objects of its perception.
3. Be entirely unselfish.
Spiritual knowledge begins only where all sense of self ceases. Where the delusion which causes man to imagine himself to be a being separated and isolated from others ends, there he begins to realize his true state as an all-embracing universal and divine self-conscious power.
4. Be temperate, modest, energetic, and silent.
The door to the inner temple is called "Contentment"; but no animal can enter therein, only he who walks uprightly, being conscious of his true dignity as a human being. Without energy, nothing can be accomplished; and only in the silence, when all thoughts and desires are at rest, can the Divine harmonies penetrate to the internal ear.
5. Learn to know the origin of the METALS contained within thyself.
Ignorance is the cause of suffering. That which is material must be crucified and die, so that that which is spiritual may be resurrected and live.
6. Beware of quacks and pretenders.
He who claims to be in possession of knowledge knows nothing; only he through whom the Word of wisdom speaks is wise.
7. Live in constant adoration of the highest good.
The worm seeks for pleasure among abomination and filth; but the free eagle spreads his wings and rises up towards the sun.
8. Learn the theory before you attempt the practice.
He who travels with a trustworthy guide will be safer than he who refuses to profit by the experience of another.
9. Exercise charity towards all beings.
All beings are one in the spirit; divided from each other merely by the illusion of form. He who is charitable towards another form in which the universal One Life is manifest, saves suffering to his own self.
10. Read the ancient books of wisdom.
Books are to the unripe mind that which the mother's milk is to the nursling. We must receive drink from others until we have gained sufficient strength and experience to descend to the living fountain within ourselves, and to draw from there the water of truth.
11. Try to understand their secret meaning.
That which is external may be seen with the external eye; but that which is spiritual can only be seen with the eye of the spirit.
These are the eleven rules which ought to be followed by those who desire to enter the temple of the Rosy Cross; but the Rosicrucians have a twelfth rule, an Arcanum, in which great powers reside, but at which it is not lawful to speak. This Arcanum will be given to those who deserve it, and by its aid they will find light in the darkness, and a guiding hand through the labyrinth. This Arcanum is inexpressible in the language of mortals, and it can, therefore, only be communicated from heart to heart. There is no torture strong enough to extract it from the true Rosicrucian; for even if he were willing to reveal it, those who are unworthy of it are not capable of receiving it.
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THE DUTIES OF A ROSICRUCIAN.
Those who are dead in the flesh will read the following with the external understanding; those who live in the spirit will see its internal meaning, and act accordingly.
The duties of a true Rosicrucian are:—
1. To alleviate suffering and to cure the sick without accepting any remuneration.
The medicine which they give is more valuable than gold; it is of an invisible kind, and can be had for nothing everywhere.
2. To adopt the style of their clothing to the costumes' of the country wherein they reside for the time being.
The clothing of the spirit is the form which he inhabits, and must be adapted to the conditions of the planet whereon he resides.
3. To meet once a year in a certain place.
Those who do not meet at that place, when their terrestrial career is over will have their names taken out of the book of life.
4. Each member has to select a proper person to be his successor.
Each man is himself the creator of that being whose personality he adopts on the next step on the ladder of evolution.
5. The letters R.C. are the emblem of the order.
Those who have truly entered the order will bear the marks upon their body, which cannot be mistaken by him who is capable of recognising them.
6. The existence of the Brotherhood is to be kept secret for one hundred years, beginning from the time when it was first established.
Nor will the "hundred years" be over until man has awakened to the consciousness of his own divine nature.
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THE SECRET SIGNS OF THE ROSICRUCIANS.
There are sixteen signs by which a member of the order of the Rosicrucians may be known. He who possesses only a few of those signs is not a member of a very high degree, for the true Rosicrucian possesses them all.
1. The Rosicrucian is Patient.
His first and most important victory is the conquest of his own self. It is the victory over the LION, who has bitterly injured some of the best followers of the Holy Cross. He is not to be vanquished by a fierce and inconsiderate attack made upon him; but he must be made to surrender to patience and fortitude. The true Rosicrucian tries to overcome his enemies by kindness, and those who hate him by gifts. He heaps not curses, but the burning fire of love upon their heads. He does not persecute his enemies with the sword, or with faggots, but he suffers the weeds to grow with the wheat until they are both matured, when they will be separated by Nature.
2. The Rosicrucian is Kind.
He never appears gloomy or melancholy, or with a scowl or sneer upon his face. He acts kindly and politely towards everybody, and is always ready to render assistance to others. Although he is different from the majority of other people, still he tries to accommodate himself to their ways, habits and manners, as much as his dignity will permit. He is, therefore, an agreeable companion, and knows how to converse with the rich as well as with the poor, and to move among all classes of society so as to command their respect; for he has conquered the bear of vulgarity.
3. The Rosicrucian knows no Envy.
Before he is accepted into the order he must go through the terrible ordeal of cutting off the head of the snake of envy; which is a very difficult labour, because the snake is sly, and easily hides itself in some corner. The true Rosicrucian is always content with his lot, knowing that it is such as he deserves it to be. He never worries about the advantages or riches which others possess, but wishes always the best to everybody. He knows that he will obtain all he deserves, and he cares not if any other person possesses more than he. He expects no favours, but he distributes his favours without any partiality.
4. The Rosicrucian does not Boast.
He knows that man is nothing but an instrument in the hands of GOD, and that he can accomplish nothing useful by his own will; the latter being nothing but the will of GOD perverted in man. To GOD he gives all the praise, and to that which is mortal he gives all the blame. He is in no inordinate haste to accomplish a thing, but he waits until he receives his orders from the Master who resides above and within. He is careful what he speaks about, and uses no unhallowed language.
5. The Rosicrucian is not Vain.
He proves thereby that there is something real in him, and that he is not like a blown-up bag filled with air. Applause or blame leaves him unaffected, nor does he feel aggrieved if he is contradicted or encounters contempt. He lives within himself, and enjoys the beauties of his own inner world, but he never desires to show off his possessions, nor to pride himself on any spiritual gifts which he may have attained. The greater his gifts, the greater will be his modesty, and the more will he be willing to be obedient to the law.
6. The Rosicrucian is not Disorderly.
He always strives to do his duty, and to act according to the order established by the law. He cares nothing for externalities, nor for ceremonies. The law is written within his heart, and therefore all his thoughts and acts are ruled by it. His respectability is not centred in his external appearance, but in his real being, which may be compared to a root from which all his actions spring. The interior beauty of his soul is reflected upon his exterior, and stamps all his acts with its seal; the light existing in his heart may be perceived in his eye by an expert; it is the mirror of the Divine image within.
7. The Rosicrucian is not Ambitious
There is nothing more injurious to spiritual development and expansion of the soul than a narrow mind and a selfish character. The true Rosicrucian always cares much more for the welfare of others than for his own. He has no private or personal interest to defend or foster. He always seeks to do good, and he never avoids any opportunity which may present itself for that purpose.
8. The Rosicrucian is not Irritable.
It is evident that a person who works for the benefit of the whole will be hated by those whose personal advantages are not benefited thereby; because selfishness is opposed to magnanimity, and the claims of the few are not always compatible with the interests of the community. The Rosicrucian will therefore be often resisted by narrow-minded and short-sighted people; he will be slandered by calumniators, his motives will be misrepresented, he will be misjudged by the ignorant, ridiculed by the would-be wise, and taunted by the fool. All such proceedings, however, cannot excite or irritate the mind of the true Rosicrucian, nor disturb the divine harmony of his soul; for his faith rests in the perception and knowledge of the truth within himself. The opposition of a thousand ignorant people will not induce him to desist from doing that which he knows to be noble and good, and he will do it even if it should involve the loss of his fortune or of his life. Being able and accustomed to direct his spiritual sight towards the divine, he cannot be deluded by the illusions of matter, but clings to the eternal reality. Being surrounded by angelic influences, and listening to their voices, he is not affected by the noise made by the animals. He lives in the company of those noble beings, who were once men like others, but who have become transfigured, and who are now beyond the reach of the vulgar and low.
9. The Rosicrucian does not think evil of others.
Those who think evil of others see merely the evil which exists within themselves reflected and mirrored forth in others. The Rosicrucian is always willing to recognise in everything that which is good. Tolerance is a virtue by which the Rosicrucian is eminently distinguished from others; and by which he may be known. If a thing appears to be ambiguous, he suspends his judgment about it until he has investigated its nature; but as long as his judgment is not perfect, he is more inclined to form a good opinion than an evil one about everything.
10. The Rosicrucian loves justice.
He, however, never sets himself up as a judge over the faults of others, nor does he wish to appear to be wise by censuring the mistakes of others. He does not enjoy gossip, and cares no more about the foolishness committed by others, than he would about the buzzing of a fly or the capers of a monkey. He finds no pleasure in listening to political or personal quarrels, disputations, or mutual recriminations. He cares nothing for the cunningness of a fox, the dissimulation of a crocodile, or the rapacity of a wolf, and is not amused by the stirring up of mud. His nobility of character lifts him up into a sphere far beyond all such trifles and absurdities, and being above the sensual plane, wherein ordinary mortals find their happiness and enjoyment, he lives with those who do not think evil of each other, who do not rejoice about an injustice done to their brother, or make merry about his ignorance, and enjoy his misfortunes. He enjoys the company of those who love the truth, and who are surrounded by the peace and
harmony of the spirit.
11. The Rosicrucian loves the truth.
There is no devil worse than falsehood and calumny. Ignorance is a nonentity, but falsehood is the substance of evil. The calumniator rejoices whenever he has found something upon which to base his lies and to make them grow like mountains. Opposed to it is the truth, it being a ray of light from the eternal fountain of GOOD, which has the power to transform man into a divine being. The ROSICRUCIAN seeks, therefore, no other light but the light of truth, and this light he does not enjoy alone, but in company of all who are good and filled with its divine majesty, whether they live on this earth or in the spiritual state; and he enjoys it above all with those who are persecuted, oppressed, and innocent, but who will be saved by the truth.
12. The Roslcrucian knows how to be silent.
Those who are false do not love the truth. Those who are foolish do not love wisdom. The true Rosicrucian prefers to enjoy the company of those who can appreciate truth to that of those who would trample it with their feet. He will keep that which he knows locked up within his heart, for in silence is power. As a minister of state does not go about telling to everybody the secrets of the king; so the Rosicrucian does not parade before the public the revelations made to him by the king within, who is nobler and wiser than all the earthly kings and princes; for they only rule by the authority and power derived from Him. His secrecy ceases only when the king commands him to speak, for it is then not he who speaks, but the truth that is speaking through him.
13. The Rosicrucian believes that which he knows.
He believes in the immutability of eternal law, and that every cause has a certain effect. He knows that the truth cannot lie, and that the promises made to him by the king will be fulfilled, if he does not himself hinder their fulfilment. He is, therefore, inaccessible to doubt or fear, and puts implicit confidence in the divine principle of truth, which has become alive and conscious within his heart.
14. The Rosicrucian's hope is firm.
Spiritual hope is the certain conviction resulting from a knowledge of the law, that the truths recognised by faith will grow and be fulfilled; it is the knowledge of the heart, and very different from the intellectual speculation of the reasoning brain. His faith rests upon the rock of direct perception and cannot be overthrown. He knows that in everything, however evil it may appear to he, there is a germ of good, and he hopes that in the course of evolution that germ will become developed, and thus evil be transformed into good.
15. The Rosicrucian cannot be vanquished by suffering.
He knows that there is no light without shadow, no evil without some good, and that strength only grows by resistance. Having once recognised the existence of the Divine principle within everything, external changes are to him of little importance, and do not deserve great attention. His main object is to hold on to his spiritual possessions, and not to lose the crown which he has gained in the battle of life.
16. The Rosicrucian will always remain a member of his society.
Names are of little importance. The principle which presides over the Rosicrucian Society is the truth; and he who knows the truth, and follows it in practice, is a member of the society over which the truth practises. If all names were changed and all languages altered, the truth would remain the same; and he who lives in the truth will live even if all nations should pass away.
These are the sixteen signs of the true Rosicrucians, which have been revealed to a pilgrim by an angel who took away the heart of the pilgrim, leaving in its place a fiery coal, which is now incessantly burning and glowing with love of the universal brotherhood of humanity.
———— oOo ————
The most valuable jewel of the Rosicrucians is WISDOM, which is represented by a pure DIAMOND in the centre of the ROSE, but the CROSS is adorned with twelve jewels of priceless value, in all of which the power that resides in the truth is manifested. These jewels are:
1. Jasper (dark green). The power of active light, multiplying itself to a sevenfold degree, and evolving seven states of the one light, by which the seven states of darkness may be consumed.
2. Hyacinth (yellow). LOVE, born from the matrix of Light, manifesting itself as it grows, and emitting red rays. Its power overcomes the spirit of anger and violence.
3. Chrysolite (white). Princely wisdom. It confounds that which is foolish and vain, subdues it, and comes out of the battle victorious.
4. Sapphire (blue). Truth; originating and growing out of its own essence. It overcomes doubt and vacillation.
5. Smaragd [Emerald] (green). The blooming spring in its eternal justice destroying the unjust attributes of a perverted and degenerate nature and opening the fountain of infinite treasures.
6. Topaz (golden). The symbol of peace, mild and pleasant. It suffers no impurity or division to exist, neither does it admit that which causes separation and quarrels. It heals ruptures and cures wounds.
7. Amethyst (violet). Impartiality, equilibrium of justice and judgment. It cannot be falsified, bent, or counterfeited. It weighs all things in the scales of justice, and is opposed to fraud, cruelty, or tyranny.
8. Beryl (diverse colours). Meekness, humility; the equal temperature of the spirit, being kind and good, and overcoming wrath, stubbornness, and bitterness.
9. Sardis (light red). The high magical FAITH, growing into power, and destroying fear, scepticism, and superstition.
10. Chrysoprase (light green). Invisible power and strength, overcoming all opposition, allowing nothing to remain which could possibly resist the law.
11. Sardonyx (striped). Triumphant JOY and gladness, flowing from the eternal fountain of happiness, destroying all sorrow and
sadness. (May it bless you!).
12. Chalcedony (striped). The crown of Victory, dominion, glory. The keystone and the greatest of all miracles, turning everything to
the glorification of GOD.
———— oOo ————
SIGNS FROM THE HEART OF THE CELESTIAL MOTHER.
(From the work of Antonio Ginther. August Vindelicorum. 1741.)
Prænesis. A ship in the open sea, with a floating anchor, and a star shining overhead, with the inscription: Hac monstrante viam.
Emblema 1. An open book with the name MARIA, and a heart transfixed by a sword, with the inscription: Omnibus in omnibus.
2. A seven-headed monster threatened with a club. Inscription: In virtute tua.
3. A closed and sealed door with an angel attempting to open it. Inscription: Signatur ne perdatur.
4. A landscape representing an island. The sun rises and the stars shine. Inscription: Aurora ab lacrymis.
5. An orange tree bearing fruits, of which the inner part is sweet, while the rind is bitter. Inscription: Dulce amarum.
6. An altar with a fire upon it, in which a heart is burning, sending out a sweet odour. Inscription: In odorem suavitatis.
7. A pure white lily in a flower-pot, standing in a garden. Inscription: Virginei laus prima pudoris.
8. An angel separating wheat from chaff by means of a sieve. Inscription: Dimittit inanes.
9. A ring with a jewel exhibited upon a table. Inscription: Honori invincem.
10. A globe illuminated by the full moon. Inscription: Plena sibi et aliis.
11. Jacob's ladder with seven steps, reaching from the earth up to heaven. Inscription: Descendendo ascendendo.
12. A sun-dial attached to the wall of a tower. Inscription: Altissimus obnumbrat.
13. The signs of the Zodiac, with the sun passing through the sign of the Virgin. Inscription: Jam mitlus ardet.
14. A hen brooding in a stable, brooding over eggs. Inscription: Pant in alieno.
15. Two palm-trees, inclined towards each other. Inscription: Blando se -pace salutant.
16. A grape-vine, cut from the trunk, is weeping. Inscription: Ut gaudeas mero.
17. A plant, representing a myrrh. Inscription: Amara sect, salubris.
18. A painter's easel, with a cloth ready for painting. Inscription: Qua forma placebit.
19. A heart transfixed by a sword. Inscription: Usque ad divisionem animæ.
20. Two doves pecking at each other. Inscription: Amat et castigat.
21. A passion flower. Inscription: Delectat et cruciat.
22. Wolves and sheep, eagles and bats, basking together in the sunshine. Inscription: Non possentibus offert.
23. A bird, sitting between thorns and thistles. Inscription: His ego sustentor.
24. Ivy winding around a dead tree. Inscription: Nee mors separavit.
25. Two hearts in a winepress. Inscription: Cogit in unum.
26. A crocodile shedding tears while eating a man. Inscription: Plorat et devorat.
27. Wolf devouring a sheep. Inscription: Non est qui redimat.
28. Tulips inclining toward the rising sun. Inscription: Languexit in umbra.
29. Two stringed musical instruments; a hand plays upon one. Inscription: Unam tetigis se sat est.
30. A white lily growing between thorns. Inscription: Transfixum suavius.
31. The prophet Jonah thrown into the raging sea. Inscription: Merger ne mergantur.
32. The setting sun and the evening star. Inscription: Sequitur deserta cadentem.
33. A cross with a snake wound around it. Inscription: Pharms-cumnon venenum.
34. Eagle, rising towards the sun. Inscription: Ad te levavi oculos.
35. A squirrel standing upon a log, floating in the water and rowing. Inscription: Ne merger.
36. Light tower, illuminating the ocean. Inscription: Erantibus una micat.
37. Rock standing in a stormy sea. Inscription: Non commovebitur.
38. A diamond exposed upon a table. Inscription: In puritate pretium.
39. Grafting a tree. Inscription: Accipit in sua.
40. A man hanging upon a tree. Inscription: Non est hac tutior umbra.
41. A flock of sheep, each one bearing the letter T upon the forehead. Inscription: Non habet redargutionem.
42. Chandelier with seven lights. Inscription: Non extinguetur..
43. A solar eclipse. Inscription: Morientis sideris umbra.
44. The setting sun and a rainbow shedding tears. Inscription: Desinit in lacrymas.
45. Cypress blown at by winds coming from the four quarters of the world. Inscription: Concussio firmat.
46. Two hearts surrounded by thorns, with nails and a dagger. Inscription: Vulneratum vulnerat.
47- A heart transfixed by a sword and instruments of torture. Inscription: Superminet omnes.
48. Beehive, and bees flying around flowers. Inscription: Currit in odorem.
49. A chemical furnace with retorts, from which drops are falling. Inscription: Color elicit imbres.
50. A man sowing grain into furrows. Inscription: Ut surgat in ortum.
51. A cloth spread upon a field and sprinkled with water. Inscription: A lacrymis candor.
52. Ocean waves and a bird flying through the furrows of water. Inscription: Mersa non mergitur.
53. Noah's dove with an olive branch. Inscription: Einergere nuntiat orbem.
54. Flying eagle carrying a Iamb. Inscription: Tulit prædeam tartari.
55. Rain descending upon flowers. Inscription: Dulce refrigerium.
56. Plumb-line and level. Inscription: Recta a recto.
57. A hot iron upon an anvil. Inscription: Dum calet.
58. Solitary bird sitting in a cave. Inscription: Gemit dilectum suum.
59. Elephant drinking blood flowing from a grape. Inscription: Acuitur in præliurn.
60. Bird escaping from a nest. Inscription: Ad sidera sursum.
61. Sunrise rays shining into a heart of adamant. Inscription: Intima lustrat.
62. A flying bird attached to a string. Inscription: Cupio dissolvi.
63. Two birds of Paradise flying upwards. Inscription: Innixa ascendit.
64. A triple crown made of silver, iron, and gold. Inscription: Curso complete.
65. The statue of Dagon thrown down and broken to pieces. A corpse. Inscription: Cui honorem honorem.
66. The Red Sea dividing for the passage of the Israelites. Inscription: Illue iter quo ostendum.
67. Labyrinth with a human figure therein. A hand extended from heaven holds a thread reaching down to the figure. Inscription: Hac duce tuta via est.
68. A camp. Among the tents is a standard bearing the image of a man. Inscription: Presidium et decus.
69. A clock, whose finger points to the second hour. Inscription: Ultima secunda.
70. Ship at sea carrying a light. Fishes and birds are attracted by the glow. Inscription: Veniunt ad lucem.
Epilogus.—Noah's ark in tranquil water. Inscription: Non mergitur, sed extollitur.
SIGNS REFERRING TO THE DIVINE CHILD.
(From the above-mentioned work.)
Prænesis. —A hen with chickens under her wings. A hawk preying in the air above. Inscription: Sub umbra alarum tuarum.
Emblema 1. A figure kneeling and holding a book wherein is represented a fiery heart. Inscription: Tolle lege.
2. Altar upon which a fire is lighted by a sunray. Inscription: Extinctos suscitat ignes.
3. Sunray falling through a lens and setting a ship on fire. Insciption: Ignis ab Primo.
4. Sun shining upon a lambskin extended upon the earth. Inscription: Descendit de cæ is.
5. A chrysalis upon a leaf. Inscription: Ecce venio.
7. The sea and the rising sun. Inscription: Renovabit faciem terræ.
8. A rising sun eclipsed by the moon. Inscription: Condor ut exorior.
9. A chicken and an eagle in the air. The former is protected against the latter by a shield. Inscription: A facie persequentis.
10. A rose in the midst of a garden. Inscription: Hæc mihi sola placet.
11. A lamb burning upon an altar. Inscription: Deus non despicies.
12. Dogs hunting. Inscription: Fuga salutem.
13. A Iamb dying at the foot of a cross. Inscription: Obediens uaque ad mortem.
14. The ark of the covenant. Rays of lightning. Inscription: Procul este profani.
15. Sun in the midst of clouds. Inscription: Fulgura in pluvium fruite.
16. Sun shining upon sheep and wolves. Inscription: Super robos et malos.
17. A well and a pitcher. Inscription: Hauriar, non exhauriar.
18. Animals entering the ark. Inscription: Una salutem.
19. Shepherd carrying a Iamb. Inscription: Onus meum leve.
20. Sheep drinking at a well. The water is stirred by a pole. Inscription: Similem dant vulnera formam.
21. A dove sitting upon a globe. Inscription: Non sufficit una.
22. Light penetrating the clouds. Inscription: Umbram fugat veritas.
23. A vineyard and the rising sun. Inscription: Pertransiit beneficiendo.
24. Three hearts with a sieve floating above them. Inscription: Cælo contrito resurgent.
25. Swan cleaning his feathers before proceeding to eat. Inscription: Antequam comedum.
26. A hungry dog howling at the moon. Inscription: Inanis impetus.
27. Ark of the covenant drawn by two oxen. Inscription: Sancta sancte.
28. A winepress. Inscription: Premitur ut exferimat.
29. An opening bud. Inscription: Vulneribus profundit opes.
30. Amor shooting arrows at a heart. Inscription: Donee attingam.
31. Cross and paraphernalia for crucification. Inscription: Præbet non prohibet.
32. A sunflower looking towards the rising sun. Inscription: Usque ad occasum.
33. Drops of sweat falling down in a garden. Inscription: Tandem resoluta venit.
34. Sword protruding from the clouds. Inscription: Cædo noncedo.
35. Hammer and anvil, a forge and a fire. Inscription: Ferendo, non feriendo.
36. A ram crowned with thorns upon an altar. Inscription: Victima coronata.
37. A sheep carrying animals. Inscription: Quam grave portat onus.
38. A crucified person and a snake upon a tree. Inscription: Unde mors unde vita.
39. A tree shedding tears into three dishes. Inscription: Et Iæsa medelam.
40. A spring fountain. Inscription: Rigat ut erigat.
41. A heart offered to an eagle. Inscription: Redibit ad Dominum.
42. A heart upon a cross surrounded by thorns, crowned with a laurel. Inscription :Pignus amabile pacis.
43. Bird persecuted by a hawk seeks refuge in the cleft of a rock. Inscription: Hoc tuta sua sub antro.
44. Target with a burning heart in the centre; Amor shooting arrows at it. Inscription: Trahe mi post te.
45. Pelican feeding her young ones with her own blood. Inscription: Ut vitam habeant.
47. Phoenix sinking into the flames. Inscription: Hic mihi dulce mori.
48. Blood from a lamb flowing into a cup. Inscription: Purgantes temperat ignis.
49. Clouds from which proceed rays of lightning. Inscription: Lux recto fatumque noscenti.
50. Eagle fiying towards the sun. Inscription: Tune facie ad faciem.
Epilogus.—A hedgehog, having rolled in fruits, is covered with them. Inscription: Venturl providus ævi.
He who can see the meaning of all these allegories has his eyes open.
ERBA SECRETORUM HERMETIS.
It is, beyond any doubt, most certain and true, that the Below is like the Above, and thereby can be accomplished the miracle of one only thing. As all things are derived from only one thing, by the will and the word of the One who created it in his mind; likewise all things result from this unity by the order of nature. Its father is the sun, its mother the moon; the air carries it in its womb; its nurse is the earth. This thing is the origin of all perfections that exist throughout the world. Its power is most perfect when it has again been reduced to earth.
Separate the earth from the fire, and the subtle from that which is gross; act with prudence, understanding, and modesty. It rises up from the earth to the heavens, and returns again to the earth, taking unto itself the power of the Above and the Below. Thus you will obtain the glory of the whole world. Therefore discard all ignorance and impotency. This is the strongest of all powers, for it overcomes all subtle things, and can penetrate through all that is gross. Thus was the world created, and from this originate rare combinations, and are wrought miracles of various kinds. Therefore have I been called Hermes Trismegistus, having obtained thee-parts of the wisdom of the whole world. This is what is to be said about the masterwork of the alchymical art.
Qux sunt in superis hac inferioribus insunt; Quod rnonstrat coelum, id terra frequenter habet. Ignis, Aqua et Fluitans, due sunt contraria; Felix taiia si jungis, sit tibi scire satis.
alchemy is that science which results from a knowledge of God, Nature, and Man. A perfect knowledge of either of them cannot be obtained without the knowledge of the other two, for these three are one and inseparable. Alchemy is not merely an intellectual, but a spiritual science; because that which belongs to the spirit can only be spiritually known. Nevertheless, it is a science dealing with material things, for spirit and matter are only two opposite manifestations or "poles" of the eternal one. Alchemy is an art, and as every art requires an artist to exercise it, likewise this divine science and art can be practised only by those who are in possession of the divine power necessary for that purpose. It is true that the external manipulations required for the production of certain alchemical preparations may, like an ordinary chemical process, be taught to anybody capable of reasoning; but the results which he would accomplish would be without life, for only he in whom the true life has awakened can awaken it from its sleep in the prima materia, and cause visible forms to grow from the Chaos of nature.
Alchemy in its highest aspects deals with the spiritual regeneration of man, and teaches how a god may be made out of a human being or, to express it more correctly, how to establish the conditions necessary for the development of divine powers in man, so that a human being may become a god by the power of God, in the same sense as a seed becomes a plant by the aid of the four elements, and the action of the invisible fifth. Alchemy in its more material aspect teaches how minerals, metals, plants, and animals, and men, may be generated, or made to grow from their "seeds"; or, in other words, how that generation, which is accomplished during long periods of time in the due course of the action of natural laws, may be accomplished in a comparatively very short time, if these natural laws are guided and supplied with material, by the spiritual knowledge of man. There is no doubt in my mind that gold can be made to grow by alchemical means; but it requires an Alchemist to make the experiment succeed, and he who is attracted by the power of gold will not obtain possession of the spiritual power necessary to practise that art.
It is not the object of these pages to furnish proof to the sceptic that Alchemy is a truth, nor to furnish arguments on the strength of which the incredulous may become persuaded to believe in its possibility. To believe in a thing of which one has no knowledge would be of little benefit; but those who have some spiritual knowledge of Alchemy, perhaps having studied it in some former incarnation, may receive some benefit from a perusal of this chapter, as it may serve to bring that which they already spiritually know to the understanding of their mind.1
It is a mistake to confound Alchemy with Chemistry. Modern Chemistry is a science which deals merely with the external forms in which the element of matter is manifesting itself. It never produces anything new. We may mix and compound and decompose two or more chemical bodies an unlimited number of times, and cause them to appear under various different forms, but at the end we will have no augmentation of substance, nor anything more than the combinations of the substances that have been employed at the beginning. Alchemy does not mix or compound anything, it causes that which already exists in a latent state to become active and grow. Alchemy is, therefore, more comparable to botany or agriculture than to Chemistry; and, in fact, the growth of a plant, a tree, or an animal is an alchemical process going on in the alchemical laboratory of nature, and performed by the great Alchemist, the power of God acting in nature.
The nature of Alchemy is clearly explained by Johannes Tritheim, who says:—
"God is an essential and hidden fire in all things, and especially in man. That fire generates all things. It has generated them, and will generate them in the future, and that which is generated is the true divine light in all eternity. God is a fire; but no fire can burn, and no light appear within nature without the addition of air to cause the combustion, and likewise the Holy Spirit in you must act as a divine 'air' or breath, coming out of the divine fire and breathing upon the fire within the soul, so that the light will appear, for the light must be nourished by the fire, and this light is love and gladness and joy within the eternal deity. This light is Jesus, having emanated from eternity from Jehovah. He who has this light not within himself is in the fire without light; but if the light is in him, then is the Christ in him, and takes form in him, and such a person will know that light as it exists in nature.
"All things such as we see are in their interior fire and light, wherein is hidden the essence of the spirit. All things are a trinity of fire, light, and air. In other words, 'Spirit,' the 'father,' is a divine superessential light; the 'son,' the light having become manifest; the 'holy spirit' a divine superessential air and motion. The fire resides within the heart and sends its rays through the whole body of man, causing it to live; but it no light is bom from the fire without the presence of the spirit of holiness."
To express this in other words we may say—All things are made of thought, and exist in the universal mind (the astral light), and within each is latent the will, by whose action they may become developed and their powers unfolded. This takes place under favourable circumstances by the slow and unconscious action of the universal will acting in nature, and may be accomplished in a very short time by the aid of the conscious will of the alchemist; but before the will of a person can accomplish such wonders in external substances, his will must first become self-conscious within itself; the light that shines from the centre of his own heart, must become living and bright before it can act upon those substances with which the Alchemist deals. He in whom this divine light of the Christ (the Atma) has not awakened to life, is virtually asleep in the spirit, and can act upon spiritual things no more than a man can deal with material substances while he sleeps; but this fact will hardly be acknowledged or comprehended by the superficial scientist and rationalist, who imagine themselves to be fully awake, and therefore the secrets of alchemy are an inexplicable mystery to them, which can be disposed of in no other way than by being denied or laughed away. Alchemy was known at the most ancient times. It was no secret to the initiates among the ancient Brahmins and the Egyptians; and the Bible, if read in the light of the Cabala, will be found to be the description of an alchemical process. The Aleph represent three fiery flames, nevertheless, it is only one letter. In Magic it means AOH, the Father, the one from which all the rest take their origin, the Alpha and likewise the Omega, the beginning and also the end. As the air causes the fire to burn and to emit a light, likewise the Holy Spirit (without whose presence nothing can be accomplished) nourishing the divine fire with the soul, causes the living light of the Christ to become manifest. This is also indicated in the three first letters of the word , for the means "Ben," the son; the AOH, the father; and means "Ruach," or spirit. This, then, is a trinity of father, son, and spirit, and its quality is indicated by the following syllable , indicating the true generation, for the is the letter symbolizing the fire, and the the light. The pronounciation of the former is like the hissing of the flame, but the latter issues mildly from the fire, as it is likewise born mildly and humbly within the human soul while the symbolizes the spirit and the power of the outspoken word.
The "Song of Solomon," in the Old Testament, is a description of the processes of alchemy. In this Song the Subjectum is described in Cant. i., 5; the Lilium artis in C. ii., I; the Preparation and Purification in C. ii., 4; the Fire in C. ii; 7, and C. iv., 16; the Putrefaction in C. Hi., I; Sublimation and Distillation in C. Hi; 6; Coagulation and Change of Colours, C. v., 9 to 14; Fixation, C. ii, 11, and C viii, 4; Multiplication, C. vi., 7; Augmentation and Projection, C. vvi. 8, etc., etc.
With all this it must not be supposed that the practice of Alchemy consists merely in the exercise of the will and the imagination, or that the products obtained are merely imaginary and intangible or invisible to mortal eyes. On the contrary, no alchemical processes can be accomplished without the presence of visible and tangible matter, as it is so to say a spiritualizing of "matter." There is no transformation of "matter" into "spirit," as some people believe, for each of the seven principles of eternal nature is unchangeable, arid remains for ever in its own centre, in the same sense as darkness cannot be turned into light, although a light may be kindled within the darkness, in consequence of which the darkness will disappear. Likewise within each material form there sleeps the divine spirit, the light, which may become awakened to life and activity, and illuminate the body and cause it to live and to grow. Of the qualities of the powers of that light, or even of its existence, modern chemistry has no knowledge and no names to describe it; but they are described under various names in the Bible, and in the still older religious books of the East.
There is a visible substance and an invisible one; a tangible water and one that is beyond the reach of perception by the physical senses; a visible fire and an invisible magic fire; neither can either of these accomplish anything without the other, for in the practice of Alchemy, as in the regeneration of man, that which is above must be made to penetrate that which is below, so that the lower may enter into a higher state of existence.
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THE "PRIMA MATERIA"
If we wish to know nature we must learn to know God, and God cannot be known without a knowledge of one's own divine self. The spiritual substance of which external visible nature is an imperfect expression and manifestation, has been called "Prima Materia"; it is the material for the formation of a new heaven and a new earth. It is like "water," or a "crystalline ocean," if compared with our grossly material earth, it is at once fire, water, air, and earth, corporeal in its essence, and nevertheless, incorporeal relatively to our physical forms.
In it as the "Chaos," are contained the germs, or seeds, or "potencies" of all things that ever existed, and of all that ever will exist in the future. It is the soul, or corpus of nature, and by means of the magic fire, it may be extricated from all substances, and be rendered corporeal and visible. It is a unity, and nevertheless a trinity, according to its aspects as Sulphur, Mercury, and Salt. These three are distinct qualities characterising the spirit of light, and nevertheless they are nothing different from the essence of the light, and this light is eternal nature, or the soul of the world.
This primordial matter contains the powers that go to form minerals and metals, vegetables and animals, and everything that breathes; all throbbing hearts, and send them into the forms of the lower worlds and into all beings, acting through their own centres, and leading the forms higher up on the road to perfection. The forms in which this living principle becomes fixed become perfect and permanent, so that they will neither rust nor decay, nor be changed on being exposed to the air; neither can such forms be dissolved by water, nor be destroyed by fire, nor eaten up by the elements of the earth.
"This spirit can be obtained in the same manner in which it is communicated to the earth by the stars; and this takes place by means of water, which serves as its vehicle. It is not the Philosopher's Stone, but the latter may be prepared of it by causing that which is volantile to become fixed.
"I admonish you to pay strict attention to the boiling of the water, and not to allow your minds to be disturbed by things of minor importance. Boil it slowly, and let it putrefy until it attains the proper colour, for in the water of Life is contained the germ of wisdom. By the art of boiling the water will become transformed into earth. This earth is to be changed into a pure crystalline fluid, from which an excellent red fire is produced; but this water and fire, grown together into one essence, produces the great Panacea, composed of meekness and strength: the lamb and the lion in one."
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THE SECRET FIRE
In H. P. Blavatsky's book "The Voice of the Silence," the secret fire of the Alchemists is described as "Kundalini," the "serpentine," or annular working power in the body of the ascetic. "It is an electric fiery occult or Fohatic power, the great pristine force which underlies all organic and inorganic matter"; and in another place the author says: "It is an electro-spiritual force, a creative power which, when aroused into action, can as easily kill as it can create."
This point is the reason why the secrets of Alchemy are not divulged to the curious, and why only those who have gained the power to control their own self will be told how that power can be aroused in man.
In regard to this "secret fire," the Rosicrucians say:
The potentialities in nature are aroused by the action of the secret fire, assisted by the elementary fire. The secret fire is invisible, and is contained within all things. It is the most potential and powerful fire, with which the external visible fire cannot be compared. It is the fire with which Moses burned the golden calf, and that which Jeremiah hid away, and which seventy years after was found by the knowing ones, but which, by that time had become a thick water. (2 Maccab. I. and II.)
Without the possession of this magic fire, no alchemical process can be accomplished, and therefore it is recommended in the "Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians," that the student of Alchemy should above all seek for the fire.
1. Follow Nature.
It is useless to seek for the sun by the light of a candle.
2. First know; then act.
Real knowledge exists in the triangle composed of seeing, feeling, and understanding.
3. Use no vulgar processes. Use only one vessel, one fire, one instrument.
The door to success lies in the unity of will and purpose and the proper adaptation of the means to the end. There are many roads leading to the celestial centre. He who follows the chosen path may succeed, while he who attempts to walk on many paths will be delayed.
4. Keep the fire constantly burning.
If the molten metals are allowed to cool off before they are transformed into higher ones, they will become hard again, and the whole process will have to be recommenced from the beginning. Use the inextinguishable lamp. Its light will not go out unless it is driven away by force.
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THE FIVE THINGS NECESSARY TO OBSERVE IN THE PRACTICE OF ALCHEMY.
1. To recognise the true PRIMA MATERIA.
It is to be found everywhere; but if you do not find it in your own house, you will find it nowhere. It is a living substance that can be discovered only in places inhabited by man. It is the only substance from which the Philosopher's Stone can be prepared, and without that substance no genuine silver or gold can be made. In thirty pounds of ordinary mercury, there is usually not more than one pound of the true substance; and a hundred pounds of ordinary sulphur usually contain not more than one pound of that which is useful. It can only be found above the earth, but not below it. It is before everybody's eyes; no one can live without it; everybody uses it; the poor usually possess more of it than the rich; the ignorant esteem it highly, but the learned ones often throw it away. The children play with it in the street, and yet it is invisible. It can be perceived by the sense of feeling, but it cannot be seen with the material eye.
2. Use for the preparation of the PRIMA MATERIA only the rose-coloured blood of the Red Lion and the pure white gluten of the Eagle.
Let your Will be strong, but without anger, and your Thoughts be pure from that which infects the lower strata of the earth's atmosphere. Let the fire of the divine Will penetrate deeply within your soul, and elevate your mind to the highest regions of thought.
3. Obtain the sacred Fire.
It is not of man's making; it cannot be bought, but it is given for nothing to those who deserve it.
4. Then follow Multiplication and Increase, for which purpose weight and measure are necessary.
Weigh all things with the scales of justice, and measure them by the rule of reason.
5. The fifth is the Application, that is to say the Projection upon the metals.
This will be accomplished by nature without artificial aid.
AXIOM ATA HERMETICA.
1. Whatever may be accomplished by a simple method should not be attempted by a complicated one.
There is only one Truth, whose existence requires no proof, because it is itself proof enough to those who are capable of perceiving it. Why should we enter into complexness to seek for that which is simple? The sages say: "Ignis et Azoth tibi sufficiunt." The body is already in your possession. All that you require is the fire and the air.
2. No substance can be made perfect without long suffering.
Great is the error of those who imagine that the Philosopher's Stone can be hardened without being first dissolved; their time and labour is wasted.
3. Nature must be aided by art whenever she is deficient in power.
Art may be the handmaid of nature, but cannot supplant her mistress. Art without nature is always unnatural. Nature without art is not always perfect.
4. Nature cannot be amended except in her own self.
The nature of a tree cannot be changed by trimming the branches or by the addition of ornaments; it can be improved only by improving the soil upon which it grows, or by grafting.
5. Nature enjoys, comprehends, and overcomes nature.
There is no other actual knowledge than the knowledge of self. Every being can only truly realize its own existence, but not that of any element entirely foreign to it.
6. He who does not know motion does not know nature.
Nature is the product of emotion. At the moment in which eternal motion should cease, all nature would cease to exist. He who does not know the motions that are taking place in his body is a stranger in his own house.
7. Whatever produces the same effect as is produced by a compound is similar to the latter.
The One is greater than all the rest of the numbers, for from it an infinite variety of mathematical magnitudes may be evolved, but no change is possible without the all-pervading presence of the One, whose qualities are manifest in its manifestations.
8. No one can pass from one extreme to another except through a medium.
An animal cannot become divine before it becomes human. That which is unnatural must become natural before its nature can become spiritual.
9. Metals cannot be changed into other metals without having been first reduced to -prima materia.
The self-will, opposed to the divine, must cease before the divine Will can enter into the heart. We must become unsophisticated, like children; before the word of wisdom can speak in our mind.
10. The unripe must be assisted by the rife.
Thus fermentation will be induced. The law of Induction rules in all departments of nature.
11. In the Calcination the Corpus is not reduced, but augmented, in quantity.
True asceticism consists in giving up that which one does not want after having received something better.
12. In Alchemy nothing can bear fruit without having first been mortified.
The light cannot shine through matter unless the matter has become sufficiently refined to allow the passage of the rays.
13. That which kills produces life; that which causes death causes resurrection; that which destroys creates.
Nothing comes out of nothing. The creation of a new form is conditioned by the destruction (transformation) of the old one.
14. Everything containing a seed may be augmented, but not without the assistance of nature.
It is only through the seed that the fruit bearing more seeds comes into existence.
15. Each thing is multiplied and augmented by means of a male and female principle.
Matter produces nothing unless penetrated by power. Nature creates nothing unless impregnated by Spirit. Thought remains unproductive unless rendered active by Will.
16. The virtue of each seed is to unite itself with each thing belonging to its own kingdom.
Each thing in nature is attracted by its own nature represented in other things. Colours and sounds of a similar nature form harmonious units, substances that are related with each other can be combined, animals of the same genus associate with each other, and spiritual powers unite with their own kindred germs.
17. A pure womb gives birth to a pure fruit.
Only in the innermost sanctuary of the soul will the mystery of the spirit be revealed.
18. Fire and heat can only be produced by motion.
Stagnation is death. The stone thrown into the water forms progressively radiating circles, which are produced by motion. The soul that cannot be moved cannot be elevated, and becomes petrified.
19. The whole method is begun and finished by only one method:
The great Arcanum is a celestial spirit, descending from the sun, the moon, and the stars, and which is brought into perfection in the saturnine object by continuous boiling until it attains the state of sublimation and power necessary to transform the base metals into gold. This operation is performed by the hermetic fire. The separation of the subtle from the gross must be done carefully, adding continually water; for the more earthly the materials are, the more must they be diluted and made to move. Continue this process until the separated soul is reunited with the body.
20. The entire process is accomplished through nothing else but Water.
It is the same Water over which the Spirit of God moved in the beginning, when darkness was upon the face of the deep.
21. Each thing comes from and out of that into which it will be resolved again.
That which is earthy comes from the earth; that which belongs to the stars is obtained from the stars; that which is spiritual comes from the Spirit, and returns to God.
22. Where the true principles are absent, the results will be imperfect
Mere imitations cannot produce genuine results. Merely imaginary love, wisdom, and power can only be effective in the realm of illusions
23. Art begins where nature ceases to act.
Art accomplishes by means of nature that which nature is unable to accomplish if unaided by art.
24. The hermetic art is not attained by great variety of methods, the lapýs is only one.
There is only one eternal, unchangeable truth. It may appear under many different aspects; but in that case it is not the truth that changes: it is we who change our modes of conceiving of it.
25. The substance of which the arcanum is prepared should be pure, indestructible, and Incombustible.
It should be pure of grossly material elements, indestructible by doubt, and incapable of being burned up in the fire of passion.
26. Do not seek for the seed of the phýlosopher's stone in the Elements.
Only at the Centre of the fruit is that seed to be found.
27. The substance of the Philosopher's Stone is mercurial.
Those that are wise are seeking for it in the mercury; the fool seeks to create it out of his own empty brain.
28. The seed of the metals is in the metals, and the metals are born of themselves.
The growth of the metals is very slow; but it may be hastened by the addition of Patience.
29. Use only perfect metals.
Crude mercury, such as is usually found in European countries, is perfectly useless for this work. Worldly wisdom is foolishness in the eyes of the Lord.
30. That which is hard and thick must be made subtle and thin by calcination.
This is a very painful and tedious process, because it is necessary to remove even the root of evil, and this causes the heart to bleed, and tortured nature to cry out.
31. The foundation of this art is to reduce the corpora into argentum vývýum.
This is the Solutio Sulphuris Sapientium in Mercurio. A science without life is a dead science; an intellect without spirituality is only a false and borrowed light.
32. In the solution the solvent and the dissolved must remain together.
Fire and water must be made to combine. Thought and love must remain for ever united.
33. If the seed is not treated by warmth and moisture, it will be useless.
Coldness contracts and dryness hardens the heart, but the fire of divine love expands it, and the water of thought dissolves the residua.
34. The earth produces no fruit unless moistened repeatedly.
No revelation takes place in the darkness except through the light.
35. The moistening takes place by water, with which it has the closest affinity.
The body itself is a product of thought, and has therefore the closest affinity with the mind.
36. Everything dry naturally tends to attract the moisture which it requires to become complete in its constitution.
The One, from which all things are produced, is perfect; and therefore all things contain within themselves the tendency and possibility for perfection.
37. A seed is useless and impotent unless it is put in its appropriate matrix.
A soul cannot develop and progress without an appropriate body, because it is the physical body that furnishes the material for its
38. Active heat produces in that which is moist blackness; in that which is dry, whiteness; and in that which is white, a yellow colour.
First comes mortification, then calcination, and afterwards the golden glow produced by the light of the sacred fire illuminating the
39. The fire must be moderate, uninterrupted, slow, equal, moist, warm, white, light, all-embracing, enclosed, penetrating, living, inexhaustible, and the one used by nature.
It is the fire that descends from heaven to bless all mankind.
40. All operations must take place in only one vessel and without removing it from the fire.
The substance used for the preparation of the Philosopher's Stone should be collected only in one place and not be dispersed in many places. If the gold has once lost its brightness, it is difficult to restore it.
41. The vessel should be well closed, so that the water may not run out of it, or the air escape; it ought to be hermetically sealed, because if the spirit were to find a place to escape, the power would be lost; and furthermore it should be well closed, so that nothing foreign and impure can enter and become mixed with it.
There should always be put at the door of the laboratory a sentinel with a flaming sword to examine all visitors, and to reject those that are not worthy to be admitted.
42. Do not open the vessel until the moistening is completed.
If the vessel is prematurely opened, most of the labour is lost.
43. The more the Lapis is nursed and nourished, the more will it increase.
Divine wisdom is inexhaustible; the limitation exists only in the capacity of the form to receive it.
There are two kinds of knowledge in man, namely, that which belongs to his spirit (Budhi), and that which belongs to his mind (Manas). The former is, so to say, the quintessence of what man has learned in previous incarnations; the latter is that which he has learned in his present life. If he were to succeed to rise up in his mind to the sphere of his spirit, to unite his Budhi with his Manas; then would the mind share the knowledge which the spirit possesses.