THE heavens and the stars
At the appointed time will disappear.
A wave will strike the earth,
And lo! it vanishes.
Only the Truth will remain Unchangeable.
And you at that moment,
Passing from this dream-life,
With self discarded,
Will be one with the Beloved.
Oh! Master, ponder on your coming and your going,
And the thousand existences that lie before you!
–The Secret Rose Garden
There isn’t a fundamental difference, that’s the point
Sure if you ONLY look at the outside, then yes there is a fundamental difference.
Someone just posted a question about where to find information about Rosicrucianism being catholic online….
Sadly I doubt they will find it. Why? Because the web only will deal with the outward face.
If one looks at the history we shall come up with some simple “ideas”
Firstly Rosicrucianism has its roots in mysticism, in Islam…in Sufism. With Sufism we have a cross pollination (some would argue that came from “Persian Gnostic strands”) that influenced Judaic Kabbalah and Esoteric Christianity. The Rose cross’ use of the Rose symbol, a symbol of the perfected self, the true self…comes from Islam. Of course if one reads the Chemical wedding, arguably the key Rosicrucian text (the rest largely being commentary) we see the divine feminine. Our protagonist meets Venus; the rose again is symbol of Venus. In this instance we see the divine feminine, the Virgin; the protagonist also meets 7 other versions earlier in his journey. So we see the Rose also represents the Virgin Mary. So we return to Catholicism. So yes, Rosicrucianism is Catholicism.
Of course Rose Cross, historically is a protest, a form of Protestantism. Arguably this stems from Martin Luther who “co-incidentally” created a crest formed from a rose, a red heart a black cross and a golden circle (with a “blue sky”). The Modern Lectorium group of course uses a red, a white and a golden rose to represent different stages of “development.”
Now of course Martin Luther was a very good monk, with much faith and devotion in his Catholicism. If one examines the history, Luther never sought to destroy Catholicism, he merely chose to reform what had become outwardly, and a corrupt institution… power corrupts. One could argue the seeds of Luther’s revolt were sewn centuries before by the killing of the Knights Templars and the Cathars. But then the outward exoteric face of religion often fears, and misunderstands the inner esoteric (deeper understanding) face of itself. Modern Muslims for example have ill feelings toward the Sufi and many modern Christians are suspicious of more esoteric branches of their own faith.
So what do we have? Rosicrucianism is protestant in that it is a protest. But it fails to truly be protestant as it is a protest to the outer face while retaining a deeper inner esoteric core. The protestant movement as a whole, by and large ran screaming to distance itself from the esoteric and remove it as much as possible. The Protestant movement ironically embraced the Gnostic (classical Gnostic, i.e. users of the NagHammadi library of texts) and Sufi idea of transcending Dogma. Gone were the want and need for power, leaders and ritual. Of course as Sufi and Gnostics know, these both have their place but should not be followed rigidly. So where as the Protestant movement threw away the temple and replaced it largely with a wooden horse, the original intent was a return to a much early esoteric form, an inner core that to this day is exactly what Rosicrucianism represents and is (although this is further complicated by 19th century change and revaluation and re-invention by so called modern “Rosicrucian” groups).
So in summary, at the core Catholicism and Rosicrucianism is the same thing…as is Sufism. The Rose Cross movement and the Sufi (and the Gnostic) seek to remove the constraints and politics found in the outer exoteric parts of religion, WHILE retaining the inner esoteric (which can never be separated from, fully, arguably) practices and teachings of their respective religious base.
It is ironic that we return full circle where it becomes those that claim an esoteric heritage become the accusers and finger pointers. In so doing they become the exact embodiment of the beings that Frater Rose Cross sought to run screaming from. For at the heart, the Rose Cross has always been about transcending division, by passing differences and seeking a universal unity. As has the Gnostic and the Sufi, fittingly because this is where Rosicrucianism comes from.
As do all truly worthwhile spiritual practices…Of course there is a danger in supposing all roads lead to Rome. This is quite clearly not the case, but there is a fundamental tie that binds most of the world’s spiritual practices. Interestingly enough, the word Religion means to tie, to bind and to bring together.
O King of Glory:
O Lord of Hosts:
O thou, the Creator of Heaven, and Earth, and of all things visible and invisible:
Now, (even now, at length,) Among others thy manifold mercies used, toward me, thy simple servant John Dee, I most humbly beseech thee, in this my present petition to have mercy upon me, to have pity upon me, to have Compassion upon me: Who, faithfully and sincerely, of long time, have sought among men, in Earth: And also by prayer, (full often and pitifully,) have made suit unto thy Divine Majesty for the obtaining of some convenient portion of True Knowledge and understanding of thy laws and Ordinances, established in the Natures and properties of thy Creatures: by which Knowledge, Thy Divine Wisdom, Power and Goodness, (on thy Creatures bestowed, and to them imparted.) being to me made manifest, might abundantly instruct, furnish, and allure me, (for the same,) incessantly to pronounce thy praises, to rend unto thee, most hearty thanks, to advance thy true honor, and to Win unto thy Name, some of thy due Majestical Glory, among all people, and forever.”
–[Sloane Manuscript 3191, Folio 45; British Museum; presented here with today’s spelling.] Linda S. Schrigner (http://www.crcsite.org/dee1.htm)++
extract of the above article:
The Rosicrucian doctrine of Creation which we have recently
published , is found again in its entirety in the philosophy of Ibn
Sina. God does not create the world directly but the necessary Being
emanates a pure intelligence which is the First Cause. This First
Cause knows the Creator as necessary and itself as possible. From
this time multiplicity introduces itself into the Order of creation.
This intelligence is the active intellect, the illuminator of souls.
From sphere to sphere (through the ten spheres) the radiance pursues
itself towards the pure intelligences as far as the level of matter.
God is understood therefore as the omnipotent and creative First
Cause. He cannot have been abstaining from all time and have
commenced that which implies in him a change so that the creation is
The Creator does not directly create matter, but it is through the
role of the intermediaries, the angels who identify themselves with
the first principles.
It is possible that Chr. Rosenkreutz could have known the teachings
of Ibn Sina or Abdu’l-Karim al-Jili, who developed an analogous
theory: ” The world is co-eternal with God, but in the logical
order, the judgement that God exists in Himself is anterior to the
judgment that things exist in his knowledge. He knows them as He
knows Himself but they are not eternal and He is eternal.”
Mohyi-ed-Din taught that the souls are pre-existent to the body,
that they are of different degrees of perfection and that they
unequally break through the shadows of the body. The act of learning
for them, therefore is nothing more than a remembering, a return
ascension towards the place from which they had first departed.
Ibn-Arabi who wrote a book on “The Hundred Names of God” used
circles to expound his system , which is singularly close to that
of “Dignitates Divinae” by Raymond Lully, who is considered as an
initiate and precursor to the Rose-Croix.