Do you call yourself a Rosicrucian?
Sorry guys no more funny hats.
In the Fama Fraternitatis Rosae Crucis, we find six principles that the members of the order agreed to keep. These agreements, like all of the writings of the Rosicrucians, are framed in metaphorical and symbolic language. They hold a surface meaning that serves the initiates in developing a life based on higher values; but they also have much deeper meanings that can stimulate deeper spiritual evolution. The members agreed that, even though they may find themselves scattered around the world, each one would be able to perfectly maintain their secret link to the inner order by their adherence to these six agreements.
Each agreement holds such a wealth of knowledge and wisdom that we can only address one at a time in this forum. The first agreement is quite well known: That none of them shall profess any other thing than to cure the sick freely. This agreement is frequently cited to call out anyone who charges money for healing services. Yet, like all of the agreements, the actual meaning is much more profound. However, I have reserved commentary on the first agreement for a later post, and will focus here on the second, lesser known agreement. The second agreement is:
That none of them shall wear distinctive clothing, but they should follow the customs of whatever country they are found within.
This agreement is rich with metaphors for spiritual life. Let’s start with the idea of distinctive clothing. Obviously, in its simplest outermost level, this principle advises that the Rosicrucian initiate would not be found wearing a clerical collar, religious garb or a habit of any kind. Likewise, she or he would not be involved in appearing in public in special clothing, but would reserve sacred garments for use in their private rites. The R+C initiate is always more interested in being a person of integrity than a person of authority. The fact that religious clothing is referred to as a habit tells us several things about some of the other implications of this agreement.
We very much wear our habits as clothing. All of our thoughts, emotions, past experiences and daily stresses, foods we eat, what we like and dislike and what we believe — have a tangible outcome in the physical form, the body. This is what your body is made of: all of these influences happening within and around you, moment to moment, every day. The yogis say (and there are quite a few yogis who are Rosicrucians) that the body is not at all what it appears to be. We think that the body is solid matter, and it does have an organic component to be sure. But the Rosicrucian holds the ideal of the body as a living, swirling vortex of divine consciousness that magnetizes organic matter to it.
The process of accumulating distortions and obstructions to this force begins as soon as the energy takes on individual identity. This is the creation of the soul, which brings its karma into play, creating the first distortions to the pure force of the spirit, imbuing it with distinctive characteristics. The realization of this ideal state of consciousness within the body comes about to the degree that one is able to remove these qualifications from the mental and physical nature.
This habit of identity is part of what is referred to as distinctive clothing. We wear distinctive clothing to the degree that we distinguish ourselves as individuals, and the physical body plays a large role in this process for it is the clothing of the soul. The individual body interacts with and affects the whole of the physical plane. For example, historically when groups of initiates lived together in communities according to Rosicrucian principles, they were blessed with extraordinary physical, mental and spiritual health, and peaceful cooperation guided all of their endeavors.
We can see how creating a less distinctive, individualized body might allow a greater descent of spiritual light into the physical plane.
We can see how creating a less distinct, individualized body might allow a greater descent of spiritual light into the physical plane. This idea directs attention to the Rosicrucian alchemical teachings, especially those that transmute body into a clear conduit for higher divine force. The R+C practitioner seeks to unify spirit and matter. A body consciously created from the spiritual plane is a far superior vehicle for healthy life on Earth. Imagine the effect on the planet of the presence of numerous bodies vibrating at such a higher frequency.
When we give up distinctive clothing, we refuse to any longer wear a body created by a separate ego with self-derived emotions and preferences. How do we start the process of removing those unwanted influences and getting rid of this old clothing? A discipline of holistic purification can help cleanse the aura, body, mind and emotions and bring about a new base line from which a new body can be built. Such a discipline would include fasting to support detoxification of the physical and would include special meditations to dissolve the old ways of the habit-mind. Such practices can be found in virtually every organization that teaches the R+C path.
We shall not wear distinctive clothing is an agreement that gives us a lot to reflect upon beyond changing the individual self. It also points toward going beyond any identity based on the nation of our birth, ethnic or racial groups, and religious or spiritual beliefs. This is highlighted in the second part of the agreement: they shall follow the customs of whatever country they are found within.
Overthrowing attachments and limitations is a process of reprogramming the cells of the body and smoothing out the grooves worn into the habit-mind. Historically, the R+C initiate is called to travel, moving about in unfamiliar cultures, a practice that tests our level of surrender and provides opportunities to leave ingrained social identity behind. There is a profound feeling in this idea of dissolving the limited identity by immersion in the crucible of daily life in a world previously unknown.
R+C practitioners are found all over the world, yet they cannot be seen because they blend so perfectly into their surroundings. Only their character distinguishes them, and even this is not their personal character, but that prescribed by the order in other agreements. The second agreement encompasses a very inclusive concept. It allows us to step into the oneness, the truth that we are all citizens of this earth.
The second agreement has great implications for the times that we live in now, and for those that are coming as the world becomes smaller every day. You see, from the R+C perspective, the people of the earth are meant to be the rulers of the earth. Notice they point toward people, not governments. The Rosicrucian Order has for some time worked boldly, shaping various world governments, each one bringing greater freedom and self-rule.
Imagine what it would be like if we could establish the second agreement as a value worldwide. Of course, humanity may need to be developed spiritually to a place of higher consciousness before the planet might really benefit from such a radical shift in personal and national identity. Regardless of the time he or she lives in, the R+C initiate endeavors to live from the truth of our mutual global citizenship. This is why so many Rosicrucians, secret or not, are found participating in humanitarian endeavors that have no national boundaries, and that look to what benefits the Earth, over and above what is expedient for any particular nation. Remember, the R+C seeks to unify spirit and matter. Materialist forces are cosmic energies that are polarized into the shadow of matter, and the last thing they want is spirituality.
The R+C adept, Rudolf Steiner, referred to the materialistic forces as Ahriman, a consciousness within the field of manifestation that wants to withhold knowledge of the soul and the spirit from humanity. These are the forces that are predominantly controlling the Earth and its people today. Their cause is served greatly by nationalism and patriotism, bringing into being potent thought-forms, which can be used to maintain separation among people and hold them in check by the manipulation of their passion. Our only loyalty and passion must be given to God alone, the Spirit within each of us, the will to good, which is also known as Love. This is the force that unifies all people, teaches the truth of the soul and the spirit, and foretells our ultimate inheritance of the divine kingdom on earth. It’s not hard to see how desperately the second R+C agreement is needed in the world today.
The call to global citizenry has taken many forms on the planet over time. It is said that certain Rosicrucian adepts were involved in attempting to bring the cause of the people to a better state in France, seeking to avoid the French Revolution, but in the end supporting the greater freedom the ensuing battle brought about. Rosicrucian adepts are also known to have inspired the founders of the United States, who were all members of the Masonic Lodge. Of course, in the hands of less evolved human egos, even this highly innovative form of self-sovereignty has become corrupted.
The imperative to establish unified life on earth continues today, strengthening people to command their own destiny, to no longer forfeit their sovereignty as children of God to any corrupt or oppressive government, religion or culture. Perhaps one day a newly inspired Constitution will arise for the Earth, one that supports the people to cast off their distinctive clothing and recognize their oneness with each other. When it does, you can be sure the Rosicrucian Order is guiding its birth and development.
A welcome speaker here at the Mystica Aeterna, Chavah Aima is a teacher and initiate in the Rosicrucian tradition. A graduate of Paul Foster Case’s B.O.T.A., specializing in Hermetic Tarot and the Ageless Wisdom, she has been sharing her wisdom of the west for more than 20 years. She is the co-founder of Heart of the Rose mystery school and Enlightened Life Temple. http://chavahaima.com