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  • hercullesrj
    Jun 9, 2002


      Its Character and Purpose
      Friends have expressed the wish that I should speak today on the
      subject of the lecture here a year ago, when it was said that the
      Initiation of Christian Rosenkreutz took place in very special
      circumstances in the thirteenth century and that since then this
      Individuality has worked unceasingly in the spiritual life. Today we
      shall hear still more of Christian Rosenkreutz as we study the great
      task which devolved upon him at the dawn of the age of intellect in
      order that provision might be made for the future of humanity.

      A being like Christian Rosenkreutz, who is present in the world as a
      great and eminent occultist has to reckon with the conditions
      peculiar to his epoch. The intrinsic character of spiritual life as
      it is in the present age, arose for the first time when modern
      natural science came upon the scene with men like Copernicus,
      Giordano Bruno, Galileo and others. Human beings today are taught
      about Copernicus in their early schooldays and the impressions then
      received remain with them their whole life long. In earlier times it
      was quite different. - Try to picture what a contrast there is
      between a man of the modern age and one who lived centuries ago.
      Before the days of Copernicus, everyone believed that the Earth
      remains at rest in cosmic space with the sun and the stars revolving
      around it. The very ground slipped from under men's feet when
      Copernicus came forward with the doctrine that the Earth is moving
      with tremendous speed through the universe! We should not
      underestimate the effects of such a revolution in thinking,
      accompanied as it was by a corresponding change in the life of
      feeling. All the thoughts and ideas of men were suddenly different
      from what they had been before the days of' Copernicus! And now let
      us ask: What has occultism to say about this revolution in thinking?

      One who asks from the standpoint of occultism, what kind of world-
      conception can be derived from the Copernican tenets, will have to
      admit that although these ideas can lead to great achievements in the
      realm of natural science and in external life, they are incapable of
      promoting any understanding of the spiritual foundations of the world
      and the things of the world - for truth to tell there has never been
      a worse instrument for understanding the spiritual foundations of the
      world than the ideas of Copernicus - never in the evolution of the
      human mind! The reason for this is that all these Copernican concepts
      are inspired by Lucifer. Copernicanism is one of the last attacks,
      one of the last great attacks made by Lucifer upon the evolution of
      man. In earlier, pre-Copernican thought, the external world was,
      indeed, maya: but much traditional wisdom, much truth concerning the
      world and the things of the world still survived. Since Copernicus,
      however, man has maya around him not only in his material perceptions
      but his concepts and ideas in themselves are maya. Today men regard
      it as self-evident that the sun stands firmly at the centre with the
      planets revolving around it in elliptics. In no far distant future,
      however, it will be realised that the view of the world of stars held
      by Copernicus is much less correct than the earlier, Ptolemaic view.
      The view of the world held by the school of Copernicus and Kepler is,
      in many respects, convenient, but as an explanation of the macrocosm
      it is not the truth.

      And so Christian Rosenkreutz, confronted by a world conception which
      is itself a maya, an illusion, was obliged to take a stand with
      regard to it. It devolved upon him to rescue occultism in an age when
      all the concepts of science were themselves maya - for with its
      material globes in cosmic space the Copernican world system was maya,
      even as concept. Thus towards the end of the sixteenth century, there
      took place one of those Conferences of which we heard here a year ago
      in connection with the Initiation of Christian Rosenkreutz himself in
      the thirteenth century. - In this later occult Conference of leading
      Individualities, [footnote: See East in the Light of the West,
      Chapter VI, etc.] Christian Rosenkreutz was associated with certain
      other great Individualities concerned with the leadership of
      humanity. There were present not only personalities in incarnation on
      the physical plane but entelechies operating in the spiritual worlds;
      and the Individuality who in the sixth century before Christ had been
      incarnated as Gautama Buddha also participated.

      The occultists of the East rightly believe - for they know it to be
      the truth - that the Buddha who in his twenty-ninth year rose from
      the rank of Bodhisattva to that of Buddha, had incarnated then for
      the last time in a physical body. It is absolutely true that when the
      individuality of a Bodhisattva becomes a Buddha, he no longer appears
      on the Earth in physical incarnation. But this does not mean that he
      ceases to he active in the affairs of the Earth. The Buddha continues
      to work for the Earth, although he is never again present in a
      physical body but sends down his influence from the spiritual world.
      The "Gloria" heard by the Shepherds in the fields proclaimed from the
      spiritual world that the forces of Buddha were streaming into the
      astral body of the Child Jesus described in St. Luke's Gospel. The
      words of the Gloria came from Buddha who was working in the astral
      body of the Child Jesus. This wonderful message of Peace and Love is
      an integral part of Buddha's contribution to Christianity. But later
      on too, the Buddha works into the deeds of men - not physically but
      from the spiritual world - and he has co-operated in measures that
      have been necessary for the sake of progress in the evolution of

      In the seventh and eighth centuries, for example, there was a very
      important centre of Initiation in the neighbourhood of the Black Sea,
      in which the Buddha taught, in his spirit-body. In such Schools there
      are teachers who live in the physical body; but it is also possible
      for the more advanced pupils to receive instruction from one who
      teaches in an ether-body only. Among the pupils of the Buddha at that
      time was one who incarnated again a few centuries later. We are
      speaking, therefore, of a physical personality who centuries later
      lived again in a physical body and is known to us as St. Francis of
      Assisi. The quality characteristic of Francis of Assisi and of the
      life of his monks - which has so much similarity with that of the
      disciples of Buddha - is due to the fact that Francis of Assisi
      himself was a pupil of Buddha.

      It is easy to perceive the contrast between the qualities
      characteristic of men who like Francis of Assisi were striving
      fervently for the Spirit and those engrossed in the world of
      industry, technical life and discoveries of modern civilisation. Many
      there were, including occultists, who suffered deeply at the thought
      that in the future two separate classes of human beings would
      inevitably arise. They foresaw the one class wholly given up to the
      affairs of practical life, convinced that security depends entirely
      upon the production of means of nourishment, the construction of
      machines, and so forth; whereas the other class would be composed of
      men who, like Francis of Assisi, withdraw altogether from the
      practical affairs of the world for the sake of the spiritual life.
      Left to itself, without intervention, history would inevitably have
      taken this course. But in the wise counsels of the spiritual worlds,
      steps were taken to avert the worst form of this evil on the Earth.

      A Conference of the greatest and most advanced Individualities was
      called together by Christian Rosenkreutz. His most intimate pupil and
      friend, the great teacher Buddha, participated in these counsels and
      in the decisions reached. At that spiritual Conference it was
      resolved that henceforward Buddha would dwell on Mars and there
      unfold his influence and activity. Buddha transferred his work to
      Mars in the year 1604. And on Mars he performed a deed similar to
      that performed by Christ on the Earth in the Mystery of Golgotha.
      Christian Rosenkreutz had known what the work of Buddha on Mars would
      signify for the whole Cosmos, what his teachings of Nirvana, of
      liberation from the Earth would signify on Mars. The teaching of
      Nirvana was unsuited to a form of culture directed primarily to
      practical life. Buddha's pupil, Francis of Assisi, was an example of
      the fact that this teaching produces in its adepts complete
      remoteness from the world and its affairs. But the content of
      Buddhism which was not adapted to the practical life of man between
      birth and death was of high importance for the soul between death and
      a new birth. Christian Rosenkreutz realised that for a certain
      purification needed on Mars, the teachings of Buddha were pre-
      eminently suitable. The Christ Being, the Essence of Divine Love, had
      once come down to the Earth to a people in many respects alien, and
      in the seventeenth century, Buddha, the Prince of Peace, went to
      Mars - the planet of war and conflict - to execute his mission there.
      The souls on Mars were warlike, torn with strife. Thus Buddha
      performed a deed of sacrifice similar to the deed performed in the
      Mystery of Golgotha by the Bearer of the Essence of Divine Love. To
      dwell on Mars as Buddha was a deed of sacrifice offered to the
      Cosmos. He was as it were the lamb offered up in sacrifice on Mars
      and to accept this environment of strife was for him a kind of
      crucifixion. Buddha performed this deed on Mars in the service of
      Christian Rosenkreutz. Thus do the great Beings who guide the world
      work together, not only on the Earth but from one planet to another.

      Since the Mystery of Mars was consummated by Gautama Buddha, human
      beings have been able to receive different forces from Mars during
      the corresponding period between death and a new birth. Not only does
      a man bring with him into a new birth quite different forces from
      Mars, but because of the influence exercised by the spiritual deed of
      Buddha, forces also stream from Mars into men who practise meditation
      as a means for reaching the spiritual world. When the modern pupil of
      Spiritual Science meditates in the sense indicated by Christian
      Rosenkreutz, forces sent to the Earth by Buddha as the Redeemer of
      Mars, stream to him.

      Christian Rosenkreutz is thus revealed to us as the great Servant of
      Christ Jesus; but what Buddha, as the emissary of Christian
      Rosenkreutz, was destined to contribute to the work of Christ Jesus -
      this had also to come to the help of the work performed by Christian
      Rosenkreutz in the service of Christ Jesus. The soul of Gautama
      Buddha has not again been in physical incarnation on the Earth but is
      utterly dedicated to the work of the Christ Impulse. What was the
      word of Peace sent forth from the Buddha to the Child Jesus described
      in the Gospel of St. Luke? "Glory in the Heights and on the Earth -
      Peace!" And this word of Peace, issuing mysteriously from Buddha,
      resounds from the planet of war and conflict to the soul of men on
      the Earth.

      Because all these things had transpired, it was possible to avert the
      division of human beings into the two distinct classes - consisting
      on the one hand of men of the type of Francis of Assisi and on the
      other, men who live wholly in materialism. If Buddha had remained in
      direct and immediate connection with the Earth he would not have been
      able to concern himself with the "men of practical affairs"; and his
      influence would have made the others into monks like Francis of
      Assisi. Through the deed of Redemption performed by Gautama Buddha on
      Mars, it is possible for us, when we are passing through the Mars-
      period of existence between death and a new birth, to become
      followers of Francis of Assisi without causing subsequent deprivation
      to the Earth. Grotesque as it may seem, it is true nevertheless, that
      since the seventeenth century, every human being in the Mars-
      existence is, for a time, a Buddhist, a Franciscan, an immediate
      follower of Francis of Assisi. Francis of Assisi has since made only
      one brief incarnation on Earth as a child; he died in childhood and
      has not again incarnated. He is intimately linked with the work of
      Buddha on Mars and is one of his most eminent followers.

      We have thus placed before our souls a picture of what came to pass
      through that great Conference at the end of the sixteenth century,
      resembling what had happened on Earth in the thirteenth century, when
      Christian Rosenkreutz gathered his faithful around him. Nothing less
      was accomplished than this. - It was possible to avert from humanity
      the threatened separation into two classes, so that men might remain
      inwardly united. And those who are intent upon esoteric development,
      in spite of their absorption in practical life, can achieve their
      goal because the Buddha is working from the sphere of Mars and not
      from the sphere of the Earth. Those forces which help to promote a
      healthy esoteric life are also attributable to the work and influence
      of Buddha.

      In my book, Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment, I have
      dealt with the methods that are appropriate for meditation today. The
      essential point is that in Rosicrucian training, development is such
      that the human being is not torn away from the earthly activities
      demanded of him by karma. Rosicrucian esoteric development can
      proceed without causing the slightest disturbance in any situation or
      occupation. Because Christian Rosenkreutz was able to transfer the
      work of Buddha from the Earth to Mars, it has become possible for the
      influences of Buddha, from outside the Earth, to pour down to men.

      Again, then, we have heard of one of the spiritual deeds of Christian
      Rosenkreutz but to understand these deeds of the thirteenth and
      sixteenth centuries we must find our way to their esoteric meaning
      and significance. It would be good if people were to realise how
      entirely consistent the progress of Theosophy in the West has been
      since the founding of the Middle European Section of the Theosophical
      Society. Here in Switzerland, lecture-courses have been given on the
      four Gospels. The substance of all these lectures is contained in
      germ in my book Christianity as Mystical Fact, written twelve years
      ago. The book Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment
      describes the Western path of development that is compatible with
      practical activities of every kind. Today I have indicated that a
      basic factor in these matters is the mission assigned to Gautama
      Buddha by Christian Rosenkreutz, for I have spoken of the significant
      influence which the transference of Buddha to Mars made possible in
      our solar system. And so stone after stone fits into its proper place
      in our Western Theosophy, for it has been built up consistently and
      in obedience to principle and everything that comes later harmonises
      with what went before. Inner consistency is essential in any
      conception of the world, if it is to stand upon the ground of truth.
      And those who are able to draw near to Christian Rosenkreutz see with
      wondering veneration by what consistent paths he has carried through
      the great mission entrusted to him. In our time this is the
      Rosicrucian-Christian path of development. That the great teacher of
      Nirvana is now fulfilling a mission outside the Earth, on Mars - this
      too is one of the wise and consistent deeds of Christian Rosenkreutz.

      As a conclusion, the following brief indication may here be given for
      those who aspire to become pupils of Christian Rosenkreutz.

      A year ago we heard how the knowledge of a certain relationship to
      Christian Rosenkreutz may come to man involuntarily. But it is also
      possible to put a kind of question to one's own destiny: "Can I make
      myself worthy to become a pupil of Christian Rosenkreutz?" ... Let
      such a man try to place before his soul a picture of Christian
      Rosenkreutz, the great Teacher of the modern age, in the midst of the
      Twelve, sending forth Gautama Buddha into the Cosmos as his emissary
      at the beginning of the seventeenth century, thus bringing about a
      consummation of what came to pass in the sixth century before Christ
      through the Sermon at Benares. If this picture, with its whole
      import, stands vividly before the soul, if a man feels that something
      streaming from this great and impressive picture wrings from his soul
      the words: O Man, thou art not merely an earthly Being; thou art in
      truth a Cosmic Being! ... then he may believe with quiet
      confidence: "I can aspire to become a pupil of Christian
      Rosenkreutz." This picture of the relationship of Christian
      Rosenkreutz to Gautama Buddha is a potent and effective meditation.

      Such is the aspiration I would fain bring to life in your souls ...
      Study of the world must always interest us profoundly, but this study
      must be the means whereby through our own development we are led on
      into the higher worlds.

      (27 Feb 1861 – 30 March 1925)
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