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