|Rosicrucian Questions and Answers
In the words of Rosicrucian Imperator, Christian Bernard, "For centuries the Rosicrucian Order has perpetuated the teachings that have been transmitted through the ages by initiates of the past. For a considerable period, it has kept this knowledge under the seal of extreme secrecy so as to avoid the persecution often inflicted upon those individuals who possessed a knowledge that was deemed unacceptable or dangerous by religious or political authorities. In this day and age the Order conducts its activities in a discreet way, its sole purpose being to transmit a knowledge of the mysteries to those who diligently seek it. Such work is now made public only because humanity is at a crossroads in its destiny and needs, more than ever, to renew its connection with true spirituality."
The Rosicrucian Order's book, Rosicrucian Order, AMORC-Questions and Answers, is a engrossing look at the Order's history, its teachings, its views on many current-day subjects, and its authentic connection to the Primordial Tradition. Prepared under the supervision of Rosicrucian Imperator Christian Bernard, this work answers numerous questions regarding the Rosicrucian Order's history, teachings, and future role in the world. These questions have been chosen from among those most often asked at lectures informing the public about what the Order is or is not.
The questions and their answers have been arranged by subject matter into sixteen chapters, with intriguing chapter headings such as "What Is AMORC?", "AMORC and the 21st Century," "Health Matters," "Rosicrucian History," "Reincarnation and Karma," "Spirituality and Science," "Viewpoints Regarding Controversial Subjects," etc. Illustrations found throughout the book add further interest to the subjects covered.
Perusing the book, readers will discover that some of these questions overlap or are closely related to each other. As Imperator Bernard explains in his preface to the book, "This has been done deliberately, so that the responses can be given from differing and complementary angles, thus facilitating a fuller understanding of the issues raised. By reading them carefully, you will be able to familiarize yourself with Rosicrucianism and discover to what extent the Rosicrucian Tradition espouses an exceptional philosophy and learning."
Below is a sampling of some of the questions and answers from the many various topics covered in the newly released book. Rosicrucians and non-members alike will find this new book fascinating reading. In fact, Rosicrucian Order, AMORC-Questions and Answers will also serve as a wonderful introduction to the Rosicrucian Order for friends and acquaintances who may be interested in the Order and its vital Work.
What are the traditional origins of AMORC?
The traditional origins of AMORC go back to the mystery schools of ancient Egypt. In these schools, enlightened mystics gathered together to study the mysteries of the universe, nature, and humanity hence the expression mystery schools. About 1500 B.C.E., Pharaoh Thutmose III combined these schools into a single order bound by a single set of rules. About a century later, Amenhotep IV-known more commonly as Akhnaton-created a unique body of teaching for all members of this order. During his reign he also founded the first monotheistic religion in historical record.
From Egypt the Order spread to Greece, an event in which Pythagoras played a singular role, and it then spread to medieval Europe, with the alchemists and Templars being agents of this Tradition. In the following centuries, the philosophers of the Renaissance and spiritually minded students of the modern period contributed to its expansion, both in the East and West. Since freedom of conscience was often lacking in past societies, the Order concealed its identity under various names during its history. But it never ceased to perpetuate its teachings among those individuals seeking the Light. Today, AMORC is the trustee of this cultural and spiritual heritage. (from the "Rosicrucian History" chapter)
What is the meaning of the term Rose Cross?
First of all, the term Rose Cross denotes the symbol of AMORC. Secondly, it relates to the state of perfection that every Rosicrucian seeks to attain by study and the application of the Order's teachings. Naturally, the attainment of such a state demands much time and necessitates constant work on oneself. (from the "What Is AMORC?" chapter)
What is the Rosicrucian conception of the term community?
Being members of the Rosicrucian Order not only means that members enjoy the benefits of the traditional teachings, they also are part of a great worldwide community. Every human being needs to communicate with others and tie the knots of friendship. That is why the Order promotes the creation of local affiliated bodies-Lodges, Chapters, Pronaoi, and Atrium Groups-places where members meet, exchange ideas, and study together, thus constituting AMORC's social side.
Apart from these local groups, AMORC regularly holds regional, national, and international conventions. The conventions generally last several days and enable Rosicrucians in attendance to meet one another. At the same time, they serve as a framework for especially meaningful cultural and spiritual activities. (from the "AMORC as a Community" chapter)
Are women admitted into the Order?
Of course, and they always have been. Considering that women are included among the Grand Masters of the Order, this shows that they have the same status and prerogatives as men. (from the "Membership in AMORC" chapter)
What importance does the Order attach to the development of psychic powers?
Although the development of such psychic powers as telepathy, telekinesis, radiesthesia, clairvoyance, clairaudience, and psychic projection is included in the Order's teachings, Rosicrucians attach a secondary importance to them and do not encourage their development as an end in itself. Furthermore, having such powers is not at all a criterion of spiritual evolution. From a Rosicrucian perspective, what is basically important is the awakening of our spiritual faculties-that is, the awakening of such virtues as generosity, humility, and tolerance, which belong to the soul. (from the "Spirituality and Science" chapter)
Does the Order ask its members to abstain from eating meat, from smoking, or from drinking alcohol?
AMORC does not attempt to change the habits or lifestyles of its members through authoritarian measures or autocratic decrees. The teachings help Rosicrucian students determine, using a progressive program of instruction, what is good for their own health, so that they can decide to follow whatever regimen they choose. Personal experience and study are vital in this regard. (from the "Health Matters" chapter)
What position does AMORC take on the issue of capital punishment?
Although the Order takes no official position regarding this matter, its teachings nevertheless express opposition to the death penalty, and give three fundamental reasons for this stand. First of all, executing a condemned person cannot give life back to the victim, and so it simply satisfies the need for vengeance which, although understandable on the human level, is negative in itself. Secondly, experience has shown, contrary to current opinion, that capital punishment is not a deterrent and, in fact, it even produces the opposite effect. Thirdly, executed criminals leave the world stirred by the desire for vengeance after having been made to suffer the penalty. When they reincarnate, some of them remain in the same frame of mind and may sometimes resume a much more dangerous life as a criminal. In the final analysis, most Rosicrucians share the opinion of Louis Claude de Saint-Martin, a great 18th century mystic, who expressed this opinion: "Man has no right to take from a criminal what cannot be given back to him." (from the "Viewpoints Regarding Controversial Topics" chapter)
What importance does the Order accord to ecology?
Quite obviously, Earth is the basis for our existence. From a Rosicrucian perspective, it is also the body that the collective soul of humanity uses to evolve toward its own ideal of perfection. Earth is a masterpiece of creation and thus deserves our greatest respect and should stir our imagination. Unfortunately, we humans, through ignorance, neglect, or selfishness, never cease to harm Earth through our use of dangerous pollutants, excessive deforestation, or the wanton slaughter of animals. If nothing is done on a global scale to put an end to these activities, our planet will experience an agonizing death-and so will we-and we shall have to bear a heavy responsibility for this planetary crisis.
In the final analysis, ecology plays an integral part in mystical consciousness, because we cannot be interested in the mysteries of life without also being concerned with what is to become of Earth. That is why Rosicrucians are particularly sensitive to the problems of the environment, and we try to set an example of proper respect towards nature and all living creatures. From the moment we set out on the spiritual path, we cannot fail to be concerned with the future of our planet, as it is a wonderful expression of divine laws and will remain the mother of humanity forever. (from the "AMORC and the 21st Century" chapter)