Monday, August 14, 2006

The Rosicrucian Christ

The Rosicrucan Christ of the Heart

While Rosicrucians are devout and hence do constitute a body of "religious" individuals throughout the world, the Rosicrucian organization is not trying to form another church or another religious movement.

It is not to be expected that a Rosicrucian will abandon his mem­bership in the church of his selection, attend no church, or accept the Rosicrucian Order as a church. Since the Order does not operate as a church and does not encourage its members to abandon their church connections, it cannot be said to be either competing with the church or attempting to fulfill its function. There is, nevertheless, a deep religious spirit back of Rosicrucian philosophy, and Rosicrucians throughout past centuries were notably spiritual, religious, and devout in their practices.

Rosicrucian philosophy is nonsectarian. Every Rosicrucian has a great love for the God of the Universe, the Supreme Being, or the Supreme Architect. Rosicrucian teachings do not incline members to a special sectarian interpretation of God or religion. The Christian religion gives considerable emphasis to the deity, divinity, and superior powers and distinctions of Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God. That makes the Christian religion and its denominations sectarian.

On the other hand, there are millions of Buddhists who also believe in a Supreme God, Supreme Architect, or Supreme Being. He is not another God although through misunderstanding many believe that Buddha himself is worshipped as God.

Many Rosicrucians in the past, and perhaps a majority in the early centuries, were Christians and worshipped Jesus the Christ. Throughout the Western world today, thousands of Rosicrucians are devout Christians; yet they do not find in our work anything that detracts from their own devotion to the Christian doctrines. We also have Jews, Moslems, Buddhists, and others who find that our work does not interfere at all with their religious devotion or their sectarian ideas.

In most early Rosicrucian manuscripts, there are many references to the Lord Jesus, and Jesus the Christ. In the book of Rosicrucian Secret Symbols, a reprint of an ancient book of Rosicrucian symbolism, there are many diagrams referring to the Christ. Rosicrucians, however, both ancient and modern, have a slightly different understanding of Jesus the Christ than do those who are simply adherents of the Christian religion. Rosicrucians make a distinction between Jesus as a human individual, incarnated on earth as the Son of God, and the Christ spirit, or the Christ.

Every Rosicrucian will gradually come to understand that the Christ spirit, or the Christ symbolizes a principle, a power, a divine character, presented to us in the Christian Bible. Like many Rosicrucians of ancient times, those of today who are Jews, Moslems, or Buddhists admire, love, respect, and worship the idea of the Christ principle, the Christ spirit and the Christ without accepting Christian sectarian doctrines. To the Rosicrucian, it is important to understand that in the soul and spirit of every man there is a portion of the God consciousness or of the God mind, wisdom, and power. That is the Christ spirit or the Christ.

Orthodox Christian doctrines state that eternal life and redemption from original sin are dependent upon the acceptance of Jesus the Christ as Lord and Savior. It is not enough, state these doctrines, that an individual be godly, obey the Ten Commandments strictly, and worship God sincerely; for, while such a life may free from commission of sin, the individual himself still shares with mankind the inherited burden of original sin. Of this he cannot rid himself until he takes Jesus into his heart and accepts him as a personal Savior and redeemer.

Rosicrucians differ here. They claim that it is possible for man to live a godly life without having adopted Jesus the Christ as his personal Savior. Throughout the earth, there are millions who have not been and probably never will be Christians because they know little about the Christian religion. Centuries before Jesus the Christ was born, there were millions who lived good lives. They could not be justly condemned to eternal punishment for not accepting a person not yet created. They could not accept the Christian religion before there was such a thing, and they could not accept Jesus as a Savior before he was born, made incarnate, or revealed to them. The Christian, however, has as much right to his doctrinal beliefs and interpretations as anyone, and it is not within our province to discuss who is right or wrong.

Rosicrucians feel that instead of insisting that every individual ADOPT Jesus the Christ as his Savior, it would be better to awaken, and ENTHRONE the Christ spirit already dwelling within us. Ancient Rosicrucians came to realize that Jesus the Christ as a divine principle, spirit, or power in the lives of men, is not something external to man, dwelling in space and awaiting discovery and adoption, but that the Christ spirit is already a part of our con­sciousness although we may have failed to recognize it or to work in harmony with it.

The average Rosicrucian who analyzes the matter will agree with the Christian doctrines to this extent: Until a man recognizes this Christ spirit, awakens it, quickens it, and lives in accordance with it, he is lost and cannot find the eternal kingdom of peace and light, love, and life. In that regard, therefore, the Christ spirit or the Christ can become the redeeming Savior, the redeeming power for each of us.

From this point of view, Rosicrucians do not regard the Christ as a person who lived as a human being or as a special form of divinity not resident in any human body before. This does not mean that a Rosicrucian will deny that a human being such as the one represented in the Christian doctrines as Jesus did live. It is immaterial from the Rosicrucian point of view whether there ever was a special and only begotten Son of God born on earth as the only true and real Christ and who had the only Christ spirit within him. Whether or not there was such a historical person has no bearing upon the fact that in the soul and divine spirit of each of us resides some of the essence, mind, power, spirit of this great Christ. This spirit within is like a person imprisoned in the sanctuary or cathedral of the soul in each of us. Because of our lack of recognition, lack of understanding and desire to abide by the wisdom, divinity, and spirit of that Christ, the Christ within us cannot function, guide, and lead us to fulfillment.

There is a difference between the idea of ADOPTION and that of RECOGNITION. Christian doctrines would have us believe that the Christ resides outside of us in the spiritual kingdom and that we must bring into our consciousness something that is not already there. Rosicrucians, on the other hand, believe that the Christ spirit is born in us and resides in us from the moment that the soul enters the body, but that we must ENTHRONE it within our hearts and consciousness by our understanding recognition. It is much like saying that we must adopt God as the Supreme Being in the universe instead of recognizing that He already is. God exists everywhere, and is within the soul and body of every individual. We do not have to adopt Him into our lives, but we do have to recognize, obey, and enthrone Him.

This leads us to the conclusion, according to the earliest Rosicrucian teachings, that man has within his divine consciousness two divine principles and powers-the God principle and power, and the Christ principle and power. Therefore, man can live, move, and have his being physically and mentally without the recognition and enthronement of Jesus the Christ, but not so happily and successfully as otherwise, for once he understands the Christ principle within him, he finds new power and new possibilities that lead to an eternal existence.

It is the Christ spirit or the Christ within that represents the psychic and divine. It is the Christ within that enables us to heal, to project our thoughts, to sense the thoughts of others, to control matters external to ourselves, and to regulate conditions within our bodies. The moment the Rosicrucian begins to develop his psychic powers, abilities and tendencies, he awakens, quickens, and gives recognition to the Christ within him.

This understanding of religious and divine principles will not make a devout Christian any the less reverential toward the historical Jesus the Christ. It will merely give him a greater and better understanding of who or what that character was, why he represented an ideal earthly form of the Christ spirit, and how he was the "only begotten Son of God." Undoubtedly that character came to earth to reveal the Christ principle in all of us and to point "the way" to eternal life and salvation; but the Christ is still with us and in us, though impotent-because of our lack of recognition and enthronement of him.

The idea, therefore, that there must be a second coming of the great historical character of Jesus to earth to save the world is not the understanding Rosicrucians have. The second coming of Jesus the Christ is the coming of recognition within our own soul and consciousness of the Christ spirit or of the Christ.

As the Christian's "adoption or acceptance" of Jesus as a personal Savior starts a new life for him, so will the recognition and enthronement of the Christ within begin a new cycle of life for you and bring you nearer the ideal life than anything else.

Who will accept Christ as your own Savior today, and realize “He was there all the while” waiting to show you his “Second Coming?”

Marked Elect

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