By the Grand Master Constant Chevillon
Grand Master Constant Chevillón, who was a great personality in European esotericism during the first half of the 20th century, wrote this interesting article. In addition to being very spiritual, this illustrious man was so committed to the ideals of liberty that the Nazis who occupied France in 1944 executed him.
THE SCHOOLS OF INITIATION
These schools started long before history began to write of human activities. During every epoch their members willingly served the best interests of their communities, teaching and guiding them to enjoying the greatest possible benefits in life and reducing suffering. Nevertheless, history reveals that not all were willing to receive the truth “that makes men free!”.
Their fundamental teachings can be traced to primitive Coptic Egyptian and pre Christian Gnostics and have never changed.
Nonetheless, every age has required a new interpretation and application of the Law to adapt to the needs of individuals and nations.
In this New Age the work of the Hidden and Spiritual Associations needs to be re-established in the world with the same vigor as in previous epochs so that communities may be educated in the Law and qualified to apply it in obtaining Illumination and the immortalizing of the Soul as the only salvation for humanity.
In times past pseudo-occult societies and imaginary Rosicrucian organizations have destroyed the confidence of many researchers, students and aspirants. Man has an overwhelming tendency to accept as true those appearances that please him. But his confidence must be reestablished.
THE ESOTERIC KNOWLEDGE
When the mind of an individual is open to thinking that a deeper science exists than that which is taught in the universities – great and respectable in many aspects, the Secret Science needs to be studied along side of the others and this intent will initiate a process of spiritual culture that the Sacred Writings call “the ascent of Jacob’s ladder”, conducting him, not to heaven exactly but to the Illumination of his Mind and Soul. That is to say: to Initiation, with the result of liberation of the Soul and spirit from all servitude to the body.
The majority receive only knowledge of the possibilities of material life and ignore that they possess a Soul that can be awakened and made active, whose powers are greater, more vital and real, than anything else that might be desired. Many continue to believe that a higher education is a most desirable and worthy human achievement. But the intellect does not provide access to the world of the Soul, the world of Life; its greatest power consists of giving superficial explanations of things without penetrating their essence and lacks the vital power to reform men and create fraternity. On the other hand the emotional nature, often called the divine nature, is the foundation of all intelligence and strength that is true and enduring.
The primary objective of these teachings is to guide the individual toward the inner self until he finds his own Metaphysical Center and lights the Sacred Flame on his own Inner Altar. This flame is the point of contact between men and the source of all power and knowledge. It provides a spiritual center around which a happy, constructive, and productive life can be built. According to the mystical literature of all cultures, including the West, it is the highest experience a man may attain. The genuine Christian mysticism is rich in this theme; of this field it will suffice to cite Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross. The Order teaches the aspirant the laws and principles that will guide him; however, the aspirant has to do his own work. It is he who must apply these in his daily life to obtain inner development and awaken the forces that can be utilized to achieve health, vitality and youth, as well as any other personal or social purpose.
This training allows you to conquer self and act according to reason and by the Law of Love. It is simple, natural, and becomes a part of your daily life. It is therefore not incompatible with any activity or appropriate business, nor does it prohibit positive pleasures. It increases the capacity for work, refines the senses, clears the mind, develops sensibility and ennobles the capacity for pleasure and in accord with the law of polarity, the capacity for pain. It does not seek to dominate others, but only to inspire and serve in an effective and disinterested way. It prompts you to become independent in your thoughts and free will and to increase the capacity of judgment and discernment by becoming free, but before all, responsible men.
Step by step, and imperceptibly, the neophyte gains the strength to face the circumstances of his life however adverse they might be. He learns to awaken his own strength and exercise his own power. He learns to cultivate the emotions of the heart and the Soul and realize his own powers, energies and latent possibilities for realizing the bounty of life and to carry forth the Sacred Flame so that it burns in the center of his being and transforms him into a Brother of Light or Son of God.
Once a man reaches a certain degree of inner development he can commune with the Hierarchical Centers where dwell pure and creative life and obtain the gifts existing in the Higher Realms, of Love, Power, Energy and Kindness, that belong to the wise and are attainable by all men. It is not only possible to contact these Centers, they can be reached by a vast number of individuals who are wasting away in their dying careers or awaken too late to remedy their folly. Beethoven, for example, was naturally bound to the Musical Centers and received his inspirations from these Centers. Socrates was in contact with the Philosophical Centers and the Soul of the Prophet of Galilee drew inspiration from the most inner Center, that of Love.
Never in the history of the world have better opportunities been offered than in the present. But men and women live as if in a dream, enslaved by weaknesses both their own and that of others, blinded by their environment and adverse or idiotic conditions, enslaved by the opinions of others. They walk blindly, guided by the outer philosophies of symbolic religions, stumbling upon experience without understanding the lessons of pain, happiness and loss, without understanding the reason for it all. Those who resort to the hidden knowledge will discover why they suffer and understand the reason for suffering, the sense of pain or joy and for effort. By the light of philosophy, science, and the experiences of those who have preceded them on the path, they study the necessary steps to reach a realization of illumination and immortalization of the soul within a creative and positive life for themselves and those around him.
In spite of persecution for independent thought during the medieval period, scientists, professors, doctors and monks, protected by the walls of their monasteries, surrendered to the study of science, philosophy, alchemy, astronomy, magic and the hidden philosophy. Some of these individuals were deeply religious, sincere followers of the doctrine of Jesus and understood it as a teaching of ethics and mysticism relating to life and not as a dogmatic theological system. To defend themselves in their pursuit they united in hidden societies and maintained their faith to the traditional Secret Wisdom of Pythagoras, the Essenes, the Gnostics, Platonists and the Brotherhood of the East. Celebrated thinkers, mystics and scientists such as Raymond Lull, Roger Bacon, Tritemio, and Paracelus were leaders and members.
At the beginning of the Reformation in Germany, one of the most prominent figures of that epoch, Johan Valentin Andrea, joined with many of the most advanced Initiates of those societies to form a new fraternity that took as its emblem the Rose and Cross. Its objective was to unite in a single body the spiritual interpretation of Christianity as given by Suza, Tauler, Echhart, Studion and Johann Schaeffer, the ancient Hermetic wisdom, and the teachings of the Oriental Mystics.
At the early beginning of the 17th century (1614) this Rosicrucian Fraternity, or Fraternity of the Rose Cross, whose original and immutable name is Rose Cross Order, as the heir of the Ancient Wisdom of the mysteries and the best of Mystical Christian thought was the creative school of its time and since then, and continuing today, has continued to strictly observe all the ancient “Lardmarks”. Subsequently, various different organizations have abusively taken this wonderful name for themselves.
It is an exclusive spiritual and secret school dedicated to the truly spiritual teaching of philosophy and spiritual science whose practice is to carry out the development and immortalization of the human Soul while it lives within a physical body, leading it to Cosmic Consciousness and by this means establishing fraternity in the land.
The Order is an association of free people, absolutely ethical and free of every dogma. Members of any religion may be and are aspirants in this School. It is apolitical, even as it adheres ardently to a doctrine advancing the complete freedom of men. It is fundamentally spiritual because it teaches the Immortality of the Soul and the Paternity of God, is scientific because it teaches the laws that give health to the body, strength to the mind, and works incessantly for the elevation of spiritual, mental and physical liberation of men.
It does not promise divine or supernatural powers to its Neophytes, although its inner members are familiarized with psychic forces and certain laws of Nature and are experts in the management of these and have discovered that forces more subtle than electricity, under certain conditions, can be used and directed appropriately by a mind trained in will and creative imagination to utilize them to carry out many things for the exaltation and benefit of humanity, while at the same time a form of power is established in the soul that is far superior to what men of earthly minds can understand.
The Fraternity, Order, Temple and Brotherhood of the Rosicrucians basically teaches the highest forms of ethics and the transmutation of the low metals (passions of the mind and body) into the pure gold of spiritual Illumination.
Rosicrucians are practical people who believe in the advancement of the race, in order, and in the continuous improvement of the self in all spheres of action. Their motto is: DARE TO DO.
Being a Rosicrucian is not to have received a degree or title from some Order or Fraternity, however powerful it may be, it is the final result of a process of development; coming from having penetrated certain deep levels of being and attaining knowledge and power by ones own effort and dedication. And the lips of those who attain are sealed with an impenetrable silence that can never be given or taken away.