Who is a Rosicrucian?
Not infrequently, we find that someone takes the platform to explain why he is a Baptist, Methodist, or Christian Scientist, and what his particular faith may be. We often have been asked by our students for something which would help make plain to their associates why they had embraced the teachings of the Elder Brothers given through The Rosicrucian Fellowship. We, therefore, will endeavor to give a succinct résumé of reasons which appeal to us as sufficient, but students will doubtless find many other reasons equally good or better, which they may add verbally to what is said here.
It should be made clear in the very beginning that students in the Rosicrucian Fellowship do not call themselves Rosicrucians. That title applies only to the Elder Brothers, who are the hierophants of the Western Wisdom Teachings. They are as far beyond the greatest living saint in spiritual development as that saint is above the lowest fetish worshiper.
Satisfying Head and Heart
When the bark of our life sails lightly upon smooth summer seas, wafted along by the fair winds of health and prosperity, when friends are present on every hand, eager to help us plan pleasures which will increase our enjoyment of this world's goods, when social favors or political power come to us to gratify our every wish in whatever sphere our inclinations seek expression, then, indeed, we may say and seem justified in saying with our whole heart and soul, "This world is good enough for me." But when we come to the end of the smiling sea of success, when the whirlwind of adversity has blown us upon the rocky shores of disaster and a wave of suffering threatens to engulf us, when friends have failed and every human help is as far off as it is unavailing, then we must look for guidance to the skies as does the mariner when he steers his ship over the waste of waters.
When the skipper scans the sky in search of a star whereby to steer the ship safely, he finds that the whole heavens are in motion. Therefore, to follow almost any one of the myriad of wandering stars visible to the eye would be disastrous. To meet the requirements, the guiding star must be perfectly steadfast and immovable, and there is only one such, namely, the North Star. By its guiding light the mariner may steer in full confidence and bring his ship to the haven of rest and safety. Similarly, one who is looking for a guide which he may trust in days of sorrow and trouble should embrace a religion founded on eternal laws and immutable principles, a religion able to explain the mystery of life in a logical manner to satisfy the intellect. At the same time, a system of devotion should be included that may satisfy the heart. Thus these twin factors in life will receive equal satisfaction. Only when man has a clear intellectual conception of the scheme of human development is he in a position to range himself in the therewith. When it is made clear to him that this scheme is beneficent and benevolent in the very highest degree, that all is truly ruled by divine love, this understanding will sooner or later call out a true devotion and heartfelt acquiescence which will awaken a desire to become a co-worker with God the world's work.
When seeking Spirits come to the door of the church to seek surcease from sorrow, they cannot be satisfied with platitudes that it is the will of God that sorrow and suffering have come to them, that in His divine will He has seen fit to scourge them, and that they must take it as an indication that He regards them as His beloved children and be satisfied no matter what happens. They cannot see that Deity does justice when He makes some rich and many poor, a few healthy and many sickly; it is evident only too often that iniquity is prosperous while rectitude is in rags.
The Rosicrucian Teaching gives clear and logical information concerning the world and man; it invites questions instead of discouraging them, so that the seeker after spiritual truth may receive full satisfaction intellectually; its explanations are as strictly scientific as they are reverently religious. It refers us for information regarding life's problems to laws that are as unchangeable and immutable in their realms of action as the North Star is in the heavens.
Law of Cause and Effect
Though the world whirls upon its axis at the rate of 1,000 miles per hour, we stand safely anywhere upon its surface because the principle of gravity prevents us from being hurled into space by the terrific speed. We know that the Law of Gravity is eternal; it will not act today and suspend action tomorrow. When we enter a hydraulic elevator we rest safely upon a column of water because that fluid is more incompressible than most solids, and this property is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Were its action suspended for even a few moments, thousands of people would fall to their deaths.
The Law of Cause and Effect also is immutable; if we throw a stone into the air, the act is not complete until by gravitation it has returned to Earth. "Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap," is the way this law is expressed in the realm of morals. "The mills of the Gods grind slowly, but they grind exceeding small." Once an act has been done, the reaction will come sometime, somewhere, as surely as the stone that was thrown into the air will return to the Earth.
The School of Life
It is manifest that all the causes we set going in life do not ripen in the present existence, and it follows that they must find their fruition somewhere else at some other time, or the law would be invalidated. The cancellation of this law would be as absolutely impossible as the suspension of the Law of Gravitation, for cancellation of either would make chaos out of Cosmos. The Rosicrucian Teachings; explain this by a statement that man is a Spirit attending the school of life for the purpose of unfolding latent spiritual power, and that for this purpose he lives many lives in earthly bodies of increasingly fine texture which enable him to express himself better and better. In the lower grades of this school of evolution, man has few faculties. Each life-day he comes to school in the morning of childhood, and is given lessons to learn, and at night, when old and gray, the nursemaid of nature, Death, puts him to sleep, that he may rest from his labors until the dawn of another life-day when he is given a new child body and new lessons. Each day "Experience," the teacher of the school, helps him to learn some of the lessons of life, and gradually he becomes more and more proficient. Someday he will have learned the entire curriculum of the school, which includes building bodies as well as using them. Thus when we see one who has few faculties, we know that he is a young Spirit who has not
learned life's lessons; when we find a beautiful character, we recognize an old Spirit who has spent much time in mastering its lessons. Therefore we do not despair of God's love when we see the inequalities of life, for we know that in time all will be perfect, as our Father in Heaven is perfect.
Meeting Loved Ones
The Rosicrucian Teachings also take the sting of sorrow out of the greatest of all trials, the loss of loved ones, even if they have been what is called wayward or black sheep. We know that it is an actual fact that in God we live and move and have our being; hence, if one single Spirit were lost, a part of God would be lost, and such a proposition is absolutely impossible. Under the immutable Law of Cause and Effect, we are bound to meet these loved ones sometime in the future under other circumstances, and there the love that binds us together must continue until it has found its fullest expression. The laws of Nature would be violated if a stone thrown from the Earth were to remain suspended in the atmosphere, and under the same immutable laws those who pass into the higher spheres must return. Christ said, "If I go to my Father, I will return."
Although our reason may reach into the mysteries of life, there is still a higher stage: actual firsthand knowledge. As a matter of fact, the foregoing propositions are capable of verification. We all have a sixth sense latent in our being, which will sometime enable us to view the spiritual worlds with the same distinctness as that with which we see the temporal. This sixth sense will be developed by all in the course of evolution, and there are certain means whereby it may be developed now by all who care to take the necessary time and trouble to do so. Some have done this and have told of their travels in the land of the Spirit. We believe their testimony concerning that place just as we believe people who have traveled in Africa or Australia who tell us of those countries. Just as we say that we know the Earth rotates upon its axis and revolves in its orbit around the Sun because we have been thus informed by scientists who have made the investigations and calculations that establish these facts, so also we say that we know that the dead live. We know that whether dead or alive, in the body or out of it, we all are enfolded in the love of our Father in Heaven, without Whose Will not the smallest sparrow fails to the ground. We know that He cares for all and orders our steps in harmony with His plans to develop our powers to the highest possible degree.
Eye has not seen or ear heard the glories that are yet in store for us, but Oliver Wendell Holmes has expressed a little of what we may expect in the following lines:
Build thee more stately mansions O my soul!
As the swift seasons roll,
Leave thy low vaulted past,
Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
Till thou at length art free,
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life's unresting sea.
We follow the Rosicrucian Teaching in preference to other systems, because of the logical soul-satisfying philosophy of life given by it, and invite others who wish to share the blessings thereof to investigate.