Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition
No. 3, Vol 1. Autumnal Equinox 2002
  Response to 'What of Rosicrucianism Today?': an editorial

In his editorial reviewing the Rosicrucian precepts of Brotherhood (JMWT No. 2) J. S. Kupperman states that:

"Some of the original precepts have certainly become passé, others perhaps unnecessary or impossible in modern culture".

Perhaps modern magical groups wishing to justify their focus on the self before all things will find comfort in the belief that the ideals of service and compassion expressed in the Fama are dated and no longer relevant, but from my perspective nothing could be further from the truth. Apart from the sixth precept, that the Brotherhood should remain secret for 100 years, the ideals espoused by these precepts are as relevant today as they were in 1614:

  • To heal the sick and for free.
  • To adopt the garb and customs of wherever one finds oneself.

  • To find and train a worthy successor for the Order upon his death.

  • To meet together at least once every year.

  • The name Christian Rosenkreutz would symbolise their ideals.

Bearing in mind that the Fama is allegorical and must be read on many levels, we may translate these principles as:

  • Providing healing and spiritual service to humanity, both on the outer and inner planes, with nothing expected or taken in return. (This is counter to the practice of charging for medicine, house clearings, healings etc common in today's New Age and magical community).

  • Keeping silent and anonymous in our spiritual service, so that our egos are less likely to become involved. (Again this runs counter to the tendency to exalt one's self with titles and claims to be a 'Rosicrucian', an 'adept' or to advertise how much we have helped those less fortunate than ourselves).

  • Helping to train and induct others so that the service to humanity will continue. (This motivation for teaching and passing on the Secret Wisdom is counter to the modern practice of commercial teaching and expensive weekend courses offering 'mastership' in spiritual healing techniques and the like. It also runs counter to the often found inner motivation within teachers to collect as many students as possible as a way of shoring up their fragile egos; "he who dies with the most initiates wins!").

  • Joining together to share spiritual aspirations, be recharged and essentially be peer-reviewed, helping to ensure we do not wander off on our own ego led tracks.

  • Continual aspiration towards that state of consciousness symbolised by Christian Rosenkreutz. (CRC being the epitome of 'a just man made perfect' who upon his illumination used all his spiritual gifts and efforts in the service of humanity without focus on his self).

    Any western esoteric group or person following these ideals would be providing free service to humanity within a framework that attempts to eliminate corruption of the service through the ego and which ensures the service continues year after year. Is this really then passé?

    Focusing on the first precept Kupperman reproduces without criticism a standard Western esoteric perspective that through spiritual development of the individual the world is healed.

    through spiritual development the individual is better able to become a conduit for the divine Light. By bringing more Light into the individual seeker, that seeker is then able to channel that light out into the rest of the world, be it through healing the sick (be they physically, mentally, or spiritually ill), invoking the Gods or just by being a better person. All of these things could quite easily be categorized as a type of healing; not only of our fellow humans but of the Earth itself.

    This individualistic approach runs counter to the self-less service espoused by the Rosicrucian tradition. We cannot delude ourselves that by changing ourselves, we will indeed change the world. To some small degree this may happen, but as the history of Western magic, littered with ego-inflated and self-serving, magicians who never helped anyone besides themselves, testifies it probably won't. The key here is the motivation we bring to our spirituality and magic. If we desire to heal and serve the world, we should do exactly that and focus what spiritual and esoteric wisdom and skills we have to that end. If we desire to become more spiritually evolved, enlightened etc, then we should focus our efforts towards the self. But let us not confuse the two and justify our self-focus through perversion of the selfless service espoused within the Rosicrucian mysteries.

    True and selfless service (as symbolised by CRC) is giving from our selves without any thought of our selves. In selfless Rosicrucian inspired service we serve 'God, humanity and the whole Universe' without any focus upon our self. In doing so, by placing ourselves into the spirit of service, we may find ourselves changed and transformed, so that we may serve deeper and better. Or we may not. In any case, it is not our focus, the service itself is. We do not serve others by changing ourselves. We serve others by helping to restore health and Divinity to them and the world.

    Peregrin Wildoak