Christian Rosenkreutz is the name given to one of the greatest initiates of the West. An initiate is a person who has established a relationship with the Higher Powers of the world. This relationship is based on the initiate’s proven understanding of the world’s spiritual laws (obscurely referenced to in the past as ‘The Mysteries’). An initiate establishes a relationship with these Higher Powers not for the sake of his or her own spiritual development, or to gain power, or to access boundless knowledge. Rather, he becomes an initiate in order to better serve the Higher Powers and become an instrument towards the fulfillment of their mission—which is the spiritual development (salvation) of all humanity.
Portrait of Christian Rosenkreuz by Johannes Valentin Andreae, author of ‘The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreuz’)
Christian Rosenkreuz is the name given to the personality that has been in the service of these Higher Powers since the 13th century. It is said that he grew up in a european estate surrounded by nature, under the tutelage of twelve wise men: seven who were adepts in the wisdom taught by the ancient 7 Holy Rishis of India, four who were adepts in the wisdom of man’s 4 causal bodies (physical, energetical, emotional, mental), and one whose scientific and rational intellect was highly developed.
During his childhood, he received the influence of these twelve wise men, absorbed their teachings into himself and transformed them into one unified philosophy, where it is said both eastern and western currents of thought merge and become one, as it also happens with the apparently opposing Platonic and Aristotelic streams of wisdom. After the boy’s powers of cognition underwent this monumental task, his physical body was spent. So he received his initiation, and shortly afterwards he died.
The Arthurian round table, inspired by the Twelve Wise Men
Only to reincarnate in the 14th century as the personality who became known under the name of Christian Rosenkreuz and who founded the Rosicrucians, or the Order of the Rosy Cross. In this incarnation, he lived for more than 100 years. It is said that this personality has been in almost constant incarnation, sacrificing his stay in the Higher Worlds and remaining on Earth to be of service to humanity and to the mission of the Higher Powers. Two of his most popular incarnations were in the personalities of Francis Bacon and the Count of St. Germain.
The Rosicrucians, or the Order of the Rosy Cross, is a secret fraternity of initiates. This secret fraternity has no affiliation with any of the groups that currently and publicly call themselves Rosicrucians. To truly become a Rosicrucian, you must be initiated into the spiritual world, not pay a membership fee.
To become initiated into the spiritual world, a person’s soul must first be transmuted, as through alchemical processes, into a higher expression of itself (eastern wisdom calls this higher expression Manas). There are two rules in the Higher Worlds concerning the aspirant to the mysteries, the seeker of the spirit, or any other name given to the person who wishes to establish a relationship with the Higher Powers in order to serve them:
The first rule is that the knowledge due a seeker cannot be withheld. This means that if you seek, you will find (I have certainly felt this to be true in my own personal experience).
The second rule is that the teacher will appear when the student is ready. If you strive to earnestly perfect yourself spiritually, sooner or later an initiate will appear with the objective to teach you, and to become your guide upon the spiritual path.
The Count of Saint Germain
The Rosicrucian concept of having a spiritual teacher is similar to the concept of discipleship found in eastern wisdom. In both cases, a relationship is forged between two unequal parties, one who wishes to teach and the other who wishes to learn. But while the relationship between a disciple and a guru was traditionally based on virtues such as obedience, which served their purpose in their time, the Rosicrucian relationship between a teacher and a student is based rather on the mutual understanding, trust, and acceptance of each other’s freedom.
Feelings of respect, admiration, and perhaps even love may naturally arise in the soul of the student towards his teacher, and this is positive whenever such feelings are based on sound reverence for what is worthy of admiration in the teacher, rather than blind adoration of its personality. As for the teacher, he or she may instruct and guide the student along the spiritual path, but may never interfere with his or her own free will.
Humanity has evolved, which means the ways to connect with the spiritual world have changed. In ancient indian or egyptian times, humanity’s soul was still child-like and much more open to the mysteries of the world. We could understand the hidden wisdom in a much more intuitive way.
Nowadays, it is not so easy. Humanity isn’t as child-like or as open to wonder as it was so long ago. We’re rational, intellectual, scientific. We don’t accept statements at face value, we need proof and evidence in order to believe. We’re analytical, critical, and most of all skeptical. And that’s okay, this is where we chose to be, which means it is exactly where we need to be in order to learn what we must learn.
The scientific mind
It also means the average modern man or woman will most likely never accept to be in a relationship where his or her free will is suppressed to another’s. And neither should they, for according to the Rosicrucian stream of wisdom, this is no longer necessary for the development of human souls. It is now possible for an individual to connect with the spiritual worlds personally.
In fact, the duty of each human soul is to build its own bridge back to the Spirit. Only then will we have transmuted into the higher expression of the self. The mission of Christian Rosenkreuz is to lead humanity through this transmutation, and later, to reconnect humanity with the cosmos. This is where platonism and aristotelianism meet in Rosicrucianism.
Platonic thought holds that knowledge can be accessed when we first approach the ideal, that is to say; the general before the specific; the cosmic before the earthly; the godly before the human. Aristotelic thought, on the other hand, holds that knowledge can be accessed when we approach the human before the godly, the earthly before the cosmic, the specific before the general, and the idea before the ideal.
The reason Aristotle (who was only 25 when Plato died) had this discrepancy with his teacher (inarguably the greatest of the ancient Greek philosophers), was because Aristotle believed, through his observation of human nature, that the human ‘I’, its ‘Ego’, or its Mind, was the best tool for human development. Cosmic wisdom, he stated, was veiled from our senses. Humans could no longer access universal truth as they did before. For humanity, the individual spirit, the personal ‘I’, was beginning to flourish, while its intuitive connection to the spiritual worlds was beginning to recede. We must focus on the specific—this being the personal development of each and every human Mind—in order to spiritually evolve.
Here was Plato, the last initiate of ancient times in incarnation, an eminence in every sense, and he had to deal with a pupil who was questioning the entire basis of his approach to knowledge.This debate is famously reproduced in ‘The School of Athens’, by Renaissance man Raphael. It is said that the argument got so serious, Plato refused entry of Aristotle into his academy, which may mean Aristotle never got initiated.
The School of Athens
The famous philosophers are the two men in the center of the painting. The man to the left is Plato. He is pointing upwards, stating that knowledge comes from the cosmos. The younger personality is Aristotle, to the right. He is leveling his hand to the ground, stating that knowledge comes from the earth, from our immediate perception of reality.
On his deathbed, Plato summoned Aristotle, who went and sat with him. It is said Plato announced to his ex-pupil his decision to retire into the spiritual worlds, which meant he would not incarnate on earth again for some time. It is also said the two philosophers reconciled in the end, and that Aristotle departed Plato‘s house on friendly terms, before he died.
How much of this actually happened is not important. What is important is that these two distinct streams of wisdom were finally synthesized into one philosophy by Christian Rosenkreuz, who is so great an initiate that he is an active participant of both earthly and cosmic events.
According to Rosicrucian wisdom, it is true we are earthly beings, but there will come a time when we will once again be reunited with the greater realities of the cosmos, and also become participants in universal affairs. Therefore, humanity must first learn to connect with what is spiritual within its own self, transmute its lower nature into a higher expression by purifying the Ego, and then establish the right relationship to the cosmos by understanding its laws. Both the Aristotelic and the Platonic streams of wisdom are necessary for this task.
As was mentioned, Rosicrucian wisdom not only corrects the discrepancy between the two most influential philosophers of modern history, but it also unites both the eastern and western currents of mysticism. On this matter, let it only be said for now that Christian Rosenkreuz is faithfully committed to spreading the Christ’s impulse of love and salvation so that it takes root in humanity’s soul and leads the world into the next phase of evolution.
However, Christian Rosencreuz is also a devoted friend of the Buddha and believes in his message of peace, acknowledging the beneficial influences such a message has on mankind.
The Order of the Rosy Cross is currently active. This means that initiates belonging to the Order are organized: They communicate with each other and participate in all kinds of events for the sake of their mission. Some initiates are in incarnation and thus their work is focused on the earthly plane. Others initiates work directly from the spiritual world.
The fact that the Order of the Rosy Cross is active means that a seeker of the spirit can aspire to become a pupil of the Rosicrucians, and later even become initiated into their ranks.
However, regarding this matter we must remember the rule that the teacher will only appear when the student is ready. Before we become a pupil of the Rosicrucians, we must first inwardly perfect ourselves to a degree that is acceptable to these initiates. Some of the things to take into account on this preparatory path is the fostering of inner humility, modesty, reverence for the truth, concentration, observation, meditation, patience, and most of all the understanding that even though personal spiritual progress may appear slow at the beginning, it is nevertheless real and everlasting.