A TALK ON UNDERSTANDING ROSICRUCIAN PHILOSOPHY
Fraters and Sorors,
BY T.L. RUNDELL F.R.C.
In formulating this talk and trying to gather my thoughts on the subject of Philosophy, I was inspired by several authors who led me on to greater things than perhaps I would have achierved on my own, and I therefore entrust them to you for your perusal; the authors were:
Herbert Spencer, Bishop Berkerly, William Preston Colin Dyer and Joseph Fort Newton
Preston once stated that Philosophy means the unfolding of wisdom. This wisdom we gather as a science of Philosophy from various sources by their Symbols, Legends, Allegories or occurrences from the Bible.
It is well to have an understanding of what philosophy is, as it is generally understood or perhaps misunderstood and as it may be, is understood by us as Rosicrucians in its synthetic, highest, and most comprehensive conception. Philosophy then, is the love of wisdom, resulting in the search for truth and its application to all relationships.
Socrates once said:
"It is devotion to the pursuit of truth."
while Plato said:
"Philosophy is the knowledge of eternal variety."
Spencer defined philosophy as:
"The totality of all scientific knowledge."
While Pulsen stated that:
"Philosophy was the reduction of general knowledge obtained by the special scientist to form a complete system."
AS ROSicrucians, we cannot escape the conviction that the universe being one, must unite all separate components in a comprehensive universal system, including all knowledge of all sciences, which must essentially harmonise in a single coherent unit. Philosophy, is also contrasted with religion. Theology as a science, or knowledge of a religion, must colligate with all other knowledge or science in a universe of truth, and with equal necessity, all religions must in reality be one religion, and being one, must be, and ultimately are Philosophy.
Through logic, reason and the study of the universe, it was known by An-ax-i-manderr centuries before Christ, that which has today been proven by science - man by observation of nature and the inner search for universal truth, discovered that life arose from the sea, and An-ax-i-mander stated:
"Living creatures arose from the moist element as it was evaporated by the sun. man was like another animal, mainly fish in the beginning.
The first living creatures were produced in the moist element, and were covered with prickly integuments. AS time went on they came out upon the
dried part and the integuments soon began to break off, and changed their manner of lifell.
we realise today that the Philosophers of the ancient world revealed a great deal less than that which was known to them, and in their reachings would constantly advance over the public teachings of their immediate predecessors. This was done by object lessons and concrete illustration, rather than by abstract thought, which fact makes their explanations seem crude in expression and deficient in understanding to the scientist and thinkers of today. These very thinkers would indicate to the exoteric world of thinkers, understand their knowledge was much more than they exoterically disclosed.
The earliest recorded period by which the Great Masters of Philosophy lived is known as the Greek period. Thales is called the founder of the Ionic School, his teachings mark the transition from the age dominated by the mythological conception with its multiplicity of gods, of which Homer was the last previous exponent.
Thales taught that the original element was water, that one divine essence is diffused throughout all being, that the universe is a living creature, that nothing is dead, even stones have souls and that all things are full of God.
All the great masters of Philosophy were initiates of the mystery schools of their time, and were taught how to study man and the cosmos by the use of the intellect. These schools of which The Great white Brotherhood is linked traditionally taught Geometry, Grammar, mathematics, Astrology, Rhetoric, Logic, the Art of Healing and other subjects, they employed the Kabala and Philosophy to hide well their secrets from the profane, yet opened up a world of great amazement of learning to the profound student who has been given the keys to unlock the hidden mysteries.
By Grammar - He was taught to express in noble and adequate language his innermost thoughts and ideals;
by Rhetoric - to enable him to conceal his ideals under the protecting cover of ambiguous language and figures of speech; by Logic - he was trained in the organisation of the intellectual faculties with which he has been endowed; by Arithmetic - he gained the key to multitude, magnitude and proportion;
by Geometry - he was inducted into the mathematics of form, the harmony and rhythm of angles, and the Philosophy of organisation;
by music - he was reminded that the universe is founded upon the laws of celestial harmonies and that harmony and rhythm are all pervading;
by Astronomy - to gain an understanding of the immensities of time and space, of the proper relationship between himself and the universe, and of the awesomeness of that Unknown Power which is driving the countless stars of the firement through illimitable space.
Equipped then with the knowledge conferred by familiarity with the liberal arts and sciences, the studious Rosicrucian finds himself confronted by few problems with which he cannot cope.
The Rosicrucian Order today is a system that teachers symbols, algory objects and concrete lessons through the use of the Kabala and Philosophy, incorporated within the rituals, and symbols of the order.
The Kabbalah is a Metaphysical system mainly used by the Jewish nation, but is found in all religions the world over and is as old as man. It is a system by which the Elect shall know God and the Universe. It will raise him above common knowledge and make him understand the profound meaning and the plan of creation. Kabbalahism is probably the only religious movement of the Gnostic type to come full circle:
To create mysteries, and explain them, to hide secrets, and discover them, and come at last back to the greater mystery from which it started with deeper insights and wider knowledge.
The root of the word Kabbalah is KBL, which means to "receive". Hence the Kabbalah is the "Received DOCtrinell which was received by the student orally until the invent of writing of which was derived from the symbols of the Kabbalah.
The Kabbalah predates all known recorded history, and can be found in every land. Its main thrust comes from Egypt, ASSira and Babylon. In the Sanskrit, there is much of it, also it is strongly seen in Peru, China, Japan throughout Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia.
The greatest single area of information on the subject, comes from the book of Splendour or Zo-Har. Dr. J. Ableson stated in 1931 in his introduction to the translated text into English, extracts periods
that the zo-har is a congress of treatises, texts,
and fragments of texts, belonging to different
but all resembling one another in their method of
interpretation of the Torah.
Along with the Zo-Har, another work by the Jewish Metaphysics is the Sepher Yez-Irah or the book of creation. These two books will give you enough knowledge of the fundamental teachings of the Kabbalah.
The whole purpose of Philosophy, is attained when men are able to think clearly and act wisely; to this end, the thought of all Great Philosophers has been directed, even before Plato.
The Ardent Student of ROSicrucian today then has through his persistent questioning, striven to extract from their knowledge what constituted truth and virtue, for he knows that eager souls are grouping for the light that makes men free.
No man having once rightly apprehended the significance of Rosicrucianism will be blind to the necessity of men directing their lives by some sort of Philosophy, Rosicrucianism rests on the principles of the first great elemental Philosophy, that is the belief in god and the immortality of the soul. To all and sundry the mysteries of ROSicrucianism will continue to remain secret unless the student within its ranks studies in depth, then and only then will the mysteries unfold and be known to him, and when known, he will hold forever their secret.
It is through Philosophy, that we find the teachings of ROSicrucianism which brings to the student a better understanding of Religion, God, Nature and man. It shows him that all are separate of each other, and yet are one with each other and one with God. As each person is an individual in thought and action, his beliefs are his own. NO man can tell you that which you have to find yourself. I can tell you my Philosophy on life and understanding of Rosicrucian, but it will surely differ from yours, yet, when seen through the eyes of God, all will be the same. When Algory, and the symbology of Rosicrucianism is unlocked, the student is shown the path within where attunement with God awaits, and the light of truth is unveiled.
Do not be put off by the thought of a heavy intellectual pursuit, for that is not the case, but open your heart and mind to the God of your conception and take your f irst step along the path of realisation and many many more will follow. Then soon too. you will be like a light to those fumbling in the darkness of the unknown for you will have found the light and know.
Philosophy is nothing else but the study of wisdom and truth. It can reasonably then be expected, that those who have spent a great deal of time within its study, should enjoy a greater calm and serenity of mind, a greater clearness and evidence of knowledge and be less disturbed with doubts and difficulties than other men.
This is true only after having departed from sense and instinct, to follow the light of a superior principle, to reason, to meditate and reflect on the nature of things and to find its soul essence for to know the soul of anything, is to know and understand it, and what was once unknowable becomes known.
There is reason for all things, nothing manifests without first being the effect of some action, which becomes the cause of the manifestation. Electricity is generated to produce light in a globe, without it, the globe would not light up, thus, the electricity is the cause of the manifestation of light in the globe to know that the electricity flows through the fine filament within the globe, and causing the filament to glow to give light, is to know the soul essence of the globe.
Having once found the soul essence, we are led further on to find where the electricity came from, how it was generated, what the generator was made from, how was it stored after it was generated, why was the receptacle able to store it without it being lost ect. This, Fraters and Sorors is Philosophising and the more man asks the more man will learn, and the more man learns the more man becomes to know God and understands God.
Do not take anything for granted, ask yourself why, and then will all things unfold unto you, nothing from then on will be strange or supernatural, nor will it be a miracle and neither will you be frightened and unsure for all things in the universe will be known to you, and then will you be a beacon unto men, who stumble in the dark, showing them the lighted path on which they may walk and come to know God also.
Manly P. Hall has said:
11Rosicrucianism is eternal truth, personified, idealised and yet made simple. Eternal Truth alone can serve it. Virture is its priest; patience its warden; illumination its master. The world cannot know this, however save when Rosicrucians in their daily life prove that it is so. Its truth is devine, and is not to be desecrated or defamed by the thoughtlessness of its keepers. Its temple is a holly place, to be entered in reverence. material thoughts and material dissensions must be left without its gate. They may not enter. Only the pure of heart, regenerated and transmuted, may pass the sanctity of its veil. The schemer has no place in its ranks, nor the materialist in its shrinel for Rosicrucians walk on hallowed ground, sanctified by the veneration of ages. Let the tounge be stilled, let the heart be stilled, let the mind be stilled. In reverence and in silence, stillness shall speak, the voice of stillness is the voice of the creator. Show your light and your power to men, but before God what have you to offer, save in humility? Your robes, your tinsil, and your jewels mean naught to Him, until! your own body and soul, gleaming with the radiance of perfection become the living ornaments of your Lodge".
Fraters and Sorors, just because you have been initiated into several Degrees in the Rosicrucian Lodge, makes you in any way a ROSicrucian in its true meaning, for like any school of learning you must apply yourself to the teachings, and retain a good understanding of them before you can pass the set exams of each grade.
Those who would become real ROSicrucians must work to that end. The light does not come miraculously, but at the end of a toilsome way. There is a vast deal by far, far more than most men dream, of knowledge and truth, hidden away in our traditions, our history, our customs, our laws and above all, in our incomparable ritual, but a man can no more become possed of that treasure, without working for it, than he can come into an understanding of Greek without studying it.
Rosicrucian research does not mean a delving into the dust bins of antiquity for care lore, it means digging out of Rosicrucian that which there is in it now, for truth and for light.
Fraters and Sorors in closing, let me say that Truth is never lost, but must always be sought for and found. Reality is always everpresent, dimensionless and all prevailing.
Rosicrucian Philosophy calls men to a comandership of the Spirit, to a fraternity of Thought, to a convocation of Selves. Philosophy then, invites man out of the vainness of selfishness, out of the sorrow of ignorance, and the despair of worldiness, out of the traversty of ambition and the cruel clutches of greed, out of the red hell of hate, and the cold tomb of dead idealism.
Philosophy would lead all men into the broad calm vistas of truth, for the world of Philosophy is a land of peace, where these finner qualitites, pent up within each human soul are even opertunities for expression. Here men are taught the wonders of the Earth; each blade of grass, stick or stone is endowed with speach and tells the secret of its being, for in the light of Philosophy is revealed the purpose of existance. The wisdom and goodness permeating the whole becomes evident even to man's imperfect intellect.
Philosophers are not born, nor do they die, for once having achieved the realization of immortality, they are themselves immortal. Having once communed with self, they realize that within, there is an immortal foundation, that will not pass away, and upon that foundation of Self, do they errect that which will endure for all time.
AS with all the sciences of ROSicrucianism, should, they be approached with moderation, so that one, nor the other, will become unballanced with the rest so is it with Philosophy, but with the exception, that to succeed in the understanding of the true meaning of ROSicrucianism, it must first be mastered, then will it harmonise with all the rest.
Let me f inish by leaving you with this thought by Manly P. Hall:
"What motive leads the Rosicrucian candidate out of the world and up the winding stairway to the light?
He alone can truly know, for in his heart is hidden the motive of his works. Is he seeking the light of
he seeking wisdom eternal? Does he
and offer it upon the alter of the
Most High? Of all things, motive is most important.
Though we fail again and again, if our motive be
true, we are victorious. Though time after time we
succeed, if our motive be unworthy, we have failed.
Enter the temple in reverence, for it is in truth
the dwelling place of a Great Spirit, the Spirit of
the Great white Brotherhood. RoSicrucianism is an
ordainer of Kings. Its hand has shaped the
destinies of worlds, and the perfect fruitage of its
moulding is an honest man. What nobler thing can be
accomplished than the illumination of ignorance?
What greater task is there than the joyous labour of
service? And what nobler man can there be than that
ROSicrucian who serves his Lights, and is himself a
light unto his fellow men?
the East? Is bring his life