M A N I F E S T O
Positio Fraternitatis Rosae Crucis
Salutem Punctis Trianguli!
In this, the first year of the third millennium, in the sight of the God of all beings and of all life, we, the Deputies of the Supreme Council of the Rosicrucians, have judged that the time has come to light the fourth R+C Torch in order to reveal our position regarding the present state of humanity, and to bring to light the threats that lie heavy upon it, as well as the hopes that we place on it.
So Mote It Be!
Ad Rosam per Crucem Ad Crucem per Rosam
Antiquus Mysticusque Ordo Rosae Crucis
Positio Fraternitatis Rosae Crucis
©2005, Supreme Grand Lodge of the Ancient & Mystical Order Rosae Crucis Published by the Grand Lodge of the English Language Jurisdiction, AMORC, Inc.
Since we did not know how to contact you directly, we are doing so through the medium of this Manifesto. We hope that you will read it with an open mind and that it will arouse at the least some thought within you. Our wish is not to convince you of the validity of this Positio; it is to share it with you freely. Of course, we hope that it will ﬁnd a responsive chord within your soul. If not, we appeal to your tolerance….
In 1623, the Rose-Croix plastered the walls of Paris with mysterious and intriguing posters, which read as follows:
“We, the Deputies of the Higher College of the Rose-Croix, do make our stay, visibly and invisibly, in this city, by the grace of the Most High, to Whom turn the hearts of the Just. We demonstrate and instruct, without books and distinctions, the ability to speak all manners of tongues of the countries where we choose to be, in order to draw our fellow creatures from error of death.”
“He who takes it upon himself to see us merely out of curiosity will never make contact with us. But if his inclination seriously impels him to register in our fellowship, we, who are judges of intentions, will cause him to see the truth of our promises; to the extent that we shall not make known the place of our meeting in this city, since the thoughts attached to the real desire of the seeker will lead us to him and him to us.”
A few years before, the Rose-Croix had already made themselves known by publishing three now famous Manifestos: the Fama Fraternitatis, the Confessio Fraternitatis, and the Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreuz, published respectively in 1614, 1615, and 1616.
At the time, these three Manifestos aroused many reactions in intellectual circles, and also among political and religious authorities. Between 1614 and 1620, about 400 pamphlets, manuscripts, and books were published—some to praise these Manifestos; others to disparage them. As can be seen, their publication constituted a major historical event, especially in the esoteric world.
The Fama Fraternitatis addressed political and religious leaders, as well as the scientists of the time. While making a rather negative statement about the general situation in Europe, it revealed the existence of the Order of the Rose-Croix through the allegorical story of Christian Rosenkreuz (1378-1484), beginning with his journey throughout the world before giving birth to the Rosicrucian movement, and ending with the discovery of his tomb. This Manifesto called for a “Universal Reform.”
The Confessio Fraternitatis complemented the ﬁrst Manifesto by insisting, on the one hand, upon the need for a regeneration of humanity and society; and, on the other hand, by pointing out that the Rosicrucians possess a philosophical knowledge enabling it to achieve this regeneration. It primarily addressed seekers who wished to participate in the work of the Order and to strive for the happiness of humanity. The prophetic aspect of this text greatly intrigued the scholars of the day.
In a style rather diﬀerent from that of the ﬁrst two Manifestos, the Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreuz recounted an initiatory journey which portrayed the quest for Illumination. This seven-day journey took place for the most part in a mysterious castle where the wedding of a king and a queen was to be held. The Chymical Wedding symbolically related the spiritual development which leads an Initiate to achieve union between the soul (the bride) and God (the bridegroom).
As emphasized by contemporary historians, thinkers, and philosophers, the publication of these three Manifestos was neither insigniﬁcant nor inopportune. It occurred at a time when Europe—politically divided and torn asunder by conﬂicting economic interests—was experiencing a profound existential crisis. Religious wars were sowing unhappiness and desolation, causing division even within families; and science, developing rapidly, was already demonstrating a trend toward materialism. For the vast majority, living conditions were miserable. The changing society of the time was undergoing a complete mutation, and yet it lacked guidelines for evolvement that held a general interest.
History repeats itself and regularly re-enacts the same events, though generally on a broader scale. Thus, almost four centuries after the publication of the ﬁrst three Manifestos, we notice that the entire world, and Europe in particular, is facing an unprecedented existential crisis in all spheres: political, economic, scientiﬁc, technological, religious, moral, artistic, etc. Moreover, our planet—the environment in which we live and evolve—is gravely threatened, elevating in importance the relatively recent science of ecology. Certainly, present-day humanity is not faring well. This is why, faithful to our Tradition and our Ideal, we, the Rose-Croix of today, have deemed it advisable to address this crisis through this Positio.
The Positio Fraternitatis Rosae Crucis is not an eschatological essay. It is by no means apocalyptic. As we have just mentioned, its purpose is to state our position concerning the state of the world today and to reveal what seems worrisome to us about its future. As our past brothers and sisters did in their time, we likewise wish to appeal for more humanism and spirituality, for we are convinced that the individualism and materialism now prevailing in modern societies cannot bring to humanity the happiness which it rightfully desires. This Positio will undoubtedly seem alarmist to some, and yet, as the saying goes: “Who is so deaf or so blind as the one that willfully will neither hear nor see?”
Today’s humanity is both troubled and bewildered. The great progress we have achieved materially has not truly brought us happiness and does not enable us to foresee our future with serenity. Wars, famines, epidemics, ecological catastrophes, social crises, attacks on fundamental freedoms—these are just some of the many calamities which contradict the hope that humans have for their future. That is why we are addressing this message to all those who are willing to hear it. This message is in the same tradition as that expressed by the 17th- century Rosicrucians through the ﬁrst three Manifestos. To understand the message we must realistically read the great book of history and have a clear view of humanity—this great body composed of men and women in the process of evolution.
Humanity evolves over time, as does everything else connected with our lives. Indeed, the whole universe evolves. This is characteristic of everything which exists in the manifested world. However we feel that human evolution is not limited to the material aspects of our existence, convinced as we are that we possess a soul—in other words, a spiritual dimension. According to our teachings, it is this soul that makes us conscious beings, capable of reﬂecting upon our origin and destiny. This is why we consider human evolution as an end, spirituality as a means, and time as an enlightener.
History is made intelligible not by the events which generate it or which it generates, rather by the connections which unite such events. Furthermore, most of today’s historians will admit that history has a greater overall meaning, and that events need to be understood within the entire context of history. To understand history properly, events should be carefully considered not simply as isolated elements, rather as parts of a greater whole. As a matter of fact, we feel that an event is truly historical only in relationship to the greater whole of which it is a part. To dissociate events from the greater whole, or to make a moral code from history out of their dissociation, constitutes intellectual fraud. This is why seeming connections, juxtapositions, coincidences, or concomitances never really owe anything to chance.
As mentioned in the Foreword, we see a similarity between the present world situation and that of 17th-century Europe. What some refer to as the “post-modern era” has brought about comparable eﬀects in many areas of modern life, and this has unfortunately resulted in a certain degeneracy of humanity. However, we feel that this degeneracy is only temporary and that it will lead to an individual and collective regeneration, provided that men and women give a humanist and spiritualistic direction to their future. If we do not, we lay ourselves open to much more serious problems than those we are facing today.
Due to our ontology, we think that human beings are the most evolved of all creatures living on Earth, even though we often behave in a shameful manner not beﬁtting this status.
The reason that we hold this privileged position is because we are endowed with self-consciousness and free will. We are therefore capable of thinking and directing our lives as we so choose. We also believe that each human being is an elementary cell of a single body—that of all humanity. By virtue of this principle, our conception of humanism is that all humans should have the same rights, be given the same respect, and enjoy the same freedoms, regardless of the country of their origin or the nation in which they live.
As for our conception of spirituality, it is based, on the one hand, upon the conviction that God exists as an Absolute Intelligence having created the universe and everything therein; and, on the other hand, on the assurance that each human being possesses a soul which emanates from God. Moreover, we think that God manifests in all creation through laws that we must study, understand, and respect for our greater good. In fact, we believe that humanity is evolving toward the realization of a Divine Plan and that humanity is destined to create an ideal society upon Earth. This spiritualistic humanism may seem utopian. However, we concur with Plato, when he stated in The Republic: “Utopia is the form of Ideal Society. Perhaps it is impossible to achieve it on Earth, and yet a wise man must place all his hopes in it.”
In this transitional period of history, the regeneration of humanity seems to us more possible than ever before because of the convergence of consciousness, the generalization of international exchanges, the growth of cross-cultural fertilization, the worldwide coverage of news, as well as the growing interdisciplinary movement among the diﬀerent branches of learning. We think that this regeneration, which must take place both individually and collectively, can only come about by favoring eclecticism and its corollary, tolerance. Actually, no political institution, religion, philosophy, or science holds a monopoly on truth. However, we can approach truth by sharing the most noble aspects that each of these disciplines has to oﬀer humanity, seeking unity through diversity.
Sooner or later, life’s vicissitudes lead us to ponder the reason for our presence on Earth. This quest for justiﬁcation is natural, for it is an integral part of the human soul and constitutes the foundation of our evolution. Furthermore, the events which have blazed the trail of history cannot be justiﬁed simply through the fact that they exist; they demand a greater reason for their being, a reason above and beyond their mere existence. We believe that this raison d’être involves a spiritual process which incites human beings to question themselves about the mysteries of life—hence the interest which we attach to mysticism and to the “Quest for Truth” at some point in our evolution. If this pursuit is natural, we additionally feel that humans are driven to hope and optimism by a command of their divine nature and by a biological instinct for survival. Thus, the aspiration to transcendency appears to be a vital requirement of the human species.
Concerning politics, we feel that a complete renewal of political systems is imperative. Among the important 20th-century political models, Marxism-Leninism and National Socialism, founded on supposedly deﬁnitive social postulates, have led to a decline of reason and ﬁnally to barbarism. These two totalitarian ideologies have inevitably come up against the human need for self-determination, thus betraying our right to freedom while at the same time writing some of the blackest pages of history. And history has disqualiﬁed them both—forever, let us hope! Whatever we may think of them, political systems based upon a single, monolithic idea often have in common a desire to impose upon human beings a “Doctrine of Salvation,” which is supposed to free them from their imperfect state, and elevate them to a heavenly status. Moreover, most of these political systems do not ask citizens to think, rather to believe, which makes them resemble in eﬀect “nonsectarian religions.”
Conversely, trends of thought such as Rosicrucianism are not monolithic, rather they are open and pluralistic. In other words, they encourage dialogue with others and promote human relations. At the same time, they accept a plurality of opinions and the diversity of behavior patterns. Therefore, such systems of thought feed upon exchanges, interactions, and even contradictions, which totalitarian ideologies forbid and from which they abstain. Moreover, it is for this reason that Rosicrucian thought has been consistently rejected by totalitarian systems, whatever their nature may be. From its very beginning, our Order has advocated the right of each individual to create and express her or his own ideas freely. In this respect, Rosicrucians are not necessarily freethinkers, however they are all free to think.
In the state of the world today, it seems to us that true democracy remains the best form of government—although certain weaknesses cannot be overlooked. In any genuine democracy, based upon freedom of thought and expression, we generally ﬁnd a multitude of tendencies, as much among the governors as among the governed. Unfortunately, this plurality often engenders dissension, with all its resulting conﬂicts. Sadly, it is for this reason that most democratic states manifest divisions that continually and almost systematically conﬂict with one another. It seems to us that these political divisions, most often gravitating around a majority and an opposition, are no longer well suited to modern societies, and hold back the regeneration of humanity. The ideal in this regard would be for each nation to help promote the emergence of a government bringing together the personalities most capable of governing the aﬀairs of state. In a wider sense, we hope that one day there will be a worldwide government representing all nations, of which today’s United Nations is just the beginning.
Concerning economics, we feel that the economic situation of the world is completely adrift. We can see that the current economic system conditions human activity more and more, and this is increasingly becoming the norm. On the one hand, this economic dominance takes the form of very inﬂuential, and therefore interventionist, structured networks which appear in various guises. On the other hand, today’s economy operates from determined values that, more than ever before, are necessarily quantiﬁable, involving cost of production, break-even point, evaluation of proﬁt, duration of labor, and so on. These values are essential to the present economic system and provide it with the means to achieve its ends. Unfortunately, these ends are fundamentally materialistic, because they are based on excessive proﬁt and enrichment. This is how human beings have entered into the service of the economy, while the economy should instead serve human beings.
All nations are presently dependent on a worldwide economic system, which we may describe as being totalitarian. This economic totalitarianism does not meet the most elementary needs of hundreds of millions of people, while the supply of money has never been so vast on a worldwide scale. This means that the wealth produced by human beings only beneﬁts a minority among them, which we ﬁnd deplorable. Actually, we notice that the gap never ceases to widen between the most aﬄuent nations and the poorest. We can observe the same phenomenon within each country, between the most deprived classes and the most fortunate ones. We feel that this situation has arisen because the economy has become too speculative, and it supplies markets and interests that are more virtual than real.
Quite obviously, economics will fulﬁll its role well only when it is serving all of humanity. This supposes that we shall come to view money for what it should be: a means of exchange and an energy meant to supply everyone with what he or she needs to live happily on the material plane. In this regard, we are convinced that human beings are not destined to be poor, and even less to be destitute; on the contrary, they are meant to have everything that may contribute to human welfare, so that we may lift our souls with perfect peace of mind toward higher planes of consciousness. In absolute terms, economics should be used in such a way that there would no longer be people who experience poverty, and every person would enjoy good material conditions, for such is the foundation of human dignity. Poverty is not destined; nor is it the eﬀect of a divine decree. Generally speaking, it is the consequence of human selﬁshness. Therefore, we hope that the day will come when the economic system will be based upon sharing and taking into account the common good. However, the resources of the Earth are not inexhaustible and cannot be divided endlessly, so it will certainly be necessary to control the birth rate, especially in overpopulated countries.
Concerning science, we feel that science has reached a particularly critical phase. Indeed, it cannot be denied that science has advanced immensely and enabled humanity to achieve considerable progress. Without science, we would still be in the Stone Age. And yet, where the Greek civilization had worked out a qualitative understanding of scientiﬁc research, the 17th century brought on a veritable upheaval by establishing the supremacy of the quantitative concept, which is closely tied in with the evolution of economics. Mechanism, rationalism, positivism, etc., have separated consciousness and matter into two very distinct realms and reduced all phenomena to a measurable entity devoid of subjectivity. The how has eliminated the why. While it is true that research undertaken in the past few decades has led to important discoveries, the ﬁnancial stakes seem to have taken precedence over everything else, and we have now reached the pinnacle of scientiﬁc materialism.
We have made ourselves the slaves of science, more than we have subjected it to our will. Today, simple technological failures are capable of putting the most advanced societies in jeopardy, which proves that we have created an imbalance between the qualitative and the quantitative, and also between ourselves and that which we create. The materialistic goals that humans pursue today through scientiﬁc research have resulted in leading many minds astray. At the same time, these materialistic goals have estranged us from our soul and from the divine within us. This excessive rationalization by science is a real danger that will threaten humanity sooner or later. In fact, any society in which matter dominates conscience, advances that which is the less noble in human nature. Therefore, such a society condemns itself to disappear prematurely and most often under tragic circumstances.
To a certain extent, science has become a religion—a materialistic religion, which is paradoxical. Based upon a mechanistic approach to the universe, nature, and humanity itself, science possesses its own creed: “Only believe what is seen”; and its own dogma: “No truth outside of science.” Nevertheless, we notice that the research conducted on the how of things has led science to question the why, so that little by little science is becoming aware of its limitations, and in this regard is beginning to agree with mysticism. Some scientists—still too few it is true—have even reached the point of admitting the existence of God. It must be noted that science and mysticism were very close in ancient times, to such an extent that scientists were mystics, and vice versa. It is precisely toward the reuniﬁcation of these two paths of knowledge that we must work in the coming decades.
It has become necessary to rethink the question of knowledge. For instance, what is the true meaning of being able to reproduce an experience? Is a proposition that cannot be veriﬁed in all cases necessarily false? Surpassing the rational dualism that took hold in the 17th century seems imperative to us, for true knowledge lies in this “surpassingness.” Moreover, simply because the existence of God cannot be proved does not justify the declaration that God does not exist. Truth may have many faces; to remember only one in the name of rationality is an insult to reason. Besides, can we truly speak of rational or irrational? Is science itself rational, when it believes in chance? In fact, it seems to us much more irrational to believe in chance rather than to not believe in it. On this same subject, we must say that our Order has always been against the common notion of chance, which it looks upon as an easy solution and resignation in the face of reality. We agree with Albert Einstein’s comment about chance when he described it as: “The Path that God takes when [God] wants to remain anonymous.”
The evolution of science also poses new problems, both ethically and metaphysically. While it cannot be denied that genetic research has made it possible to achieve incredible progress in the treatment of previously incurable illnesses, this same research has opened the way to developments making it possible to create human beings through cloning. This form of procreation can only lead to a genetic impoverishment of the human species and to the degeneracy of the human race. Further, it implies criteria of selection inevitably stamped with subjectivity and consequently presents risks when it comes to the matter of eugenics. Moreover, reproduction by cloning only takes into account the physical and material part of the human being, without paying particular attention to the mind or the soul. This is why we feel that such genetic manipulation not only harms human dignity; it also threatens the mental, psychic, and spiritual integrity of human beings.
In this respect, we agree with the following saying: “Science without conscience is the ruin of the soul.” The appropriation of human beings by other human beings has only left sad memories throughout history. Therefore, it seems dangerous to us that scientists be given free rein to conduct experiments involving the reproductive cloning of human beings in particular, and all living species in general. We entertain the same fears regarding the manipulations aﬀecting the genetic makeup of both animals and plants.
Concerning technology, we note that technology is also undergoing a complete transformation. From our very beginnings, humans have always attempted to fabricate tools and machines so as to improve their living conditions and to make their work more eﬃcient. In its most positive aspects, this desire originally had three primary goals: to enable humans to create things which they could not fabricate by hand alone; to spare them eﬀort and fatigue; and to save time. Of course, for centuries, if not millennia, technology was only used to help humans with manual work and physical activities, while today it also assists us in the intellectual sphere. Moreover, for a very long time technology was limited to mechanical processes requiring direct human intervention and causing little or no harm to the environment.
Today, technology is omnipresent and constitutes the core of modern societies, to the extent that it has become almost indispensable. Its uses are many, and it now integrates all types of processes—mechanical, as well as electrical, electronic, computer, and so on. Unfortunately, the dark side of technology is that machines have become a danger to humans themselves. Ideally, machines were intended to help humans by sparing us from toil; now they are replacing humans. Moreover, we cannot deny that the development of mechanization has progressively led to a certain dehumanization of society, in the sense that it has considerably reduced human interaction—in other words, direct physical contacts. Added to this are all the forms of pollution generated by industrialization.
The problem now posed by technology stems from the fact that it has evolved much faster than has human consciousness.
Consequently, we believe that technology must break away from today’s emphasis on materialism and become an agent of humanism. To bring this about, it is imperative that the human being again be placed at the center of our social fabric which, according to what we have said with respect to economics, implies having machines again serve human beings. To accomplish this necessitates a thorough questioning of the materialistic values that form the basis of today’s society. This implies that all human beings reorient themselves and come to understand that we must respect the quality of life, and stop this frenetic race against time. This is only possible, however, if humans learn once more how to live in harmony with nature, and also with themselves. The ideal would be for technology to evolve in such a way that it would free human beings from the most diﬃcult tasks and, at the same time, enable us to evolve harmoniously in contact with others.
Concerning the great religions, we believe that they are now manifesting two opposite movements—centripetal and centrifugal. The ﬁrst movement—which looks inward—consists of fundamentalist groups within Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, as well as other religions seeking a return to their religious roots. The second movement—which looks outward—has resulted in a neglect of religious creed in general and of religious dogmas in particular. People are no longer satisﬁed to remain on the periphery of a system of beliefs, even though a particular religion is said to be revealed. They now want to place themselves in the center of a system of thought arising from their own experiences. In this respect, the acceptance of religious dogmas is no longer automatic. Believers have acquired a certain critical sense regarding religious questions, and the basis of their convictions corresponds increasingly to a self-validation. Whereas in the past the need for spirituality brought forth a few religions having an arborescent form—i.e., that of a tree well rooted in its sociocultural soil, to the enrichment of which they have also contributed—today it takes the form of a rhizoidal structure, composed of many and varied small shrubs. Does not Spirit move where It wishes?
What we have today, on the fringe or in place of the great religions, are groups of like mind, religious communities sharing similar ideas, or movements of thought within which doctrines, more proposed than imposed, are accepted through voluntary membership. Irrespective of the intrinsic nature of these religious communities, groups, or movements, their multiplication indicates a diversiﬁcation of the spiritual quest. Generally speaking, we feel that this diversiﬁcation has come about because the great religions, which we respect as such, no longer have a monopoly on faith. They exhibit increasing diﬃculties in answering people’s questions and can no longer satisfy them inwardly. Furthermore, people may be estranged because the religions have alienated themselves from spirituality. And yet spirituality, although immutable in essence, constantly seeks to express itself through channels increasingly suited to the evolution of humanity.
The survival of the great religions depends more than ever upon their ability to discard the most dogmatic moral and doctrinal beliefs and positions they have adopted through the centuries. If the major religions wish to endure, it is imperative that they adapt to society. If they do not take into account either the evolution of human consciousness or scientiﬁc progress, they condemn themselves to a gradual disappearance, and not without causing further ethnic, social, and religious conﬂicts. Nonetheless, we presume that their disappearance is inevitable and that, under the inﬂuence of a worldwide expansion of consciousness, they will give birth to a universal religion, which will integrate the best that the major religions have to oﬀer humanity for its regeneration. Furthermore, we believe that the desire to know divine laws—that is, natural, universal, and spiritual laws—will eventually supplant the need just to believe in God. We assume, therefore, that belief will one day give way to knowledge.
Concerning morality—a concept whose meaning is becoming more and more ambiguous—we observe that it is being increasingly disregarded. In our view, morality should not show a blind compliance with various rules or even dogmas—social, religious, political, or otherwise. However this is how much of society perceives today’s morality, and so, they reject it. We feel that morality should instead relate to the respect that any individual should have for oneself, for others, and for the environment. Self-respect consists of living according to one’s own ideas and not in assuming behavior that we disapprove of in others. Respect for others merely consists of not doing unto them what we would not want them to do unto us, as taught by all sages of the past. As to respect for the environment, let us be so bold as to say that to respect nature and preserve it for generations to come ﬂows naturally from the heart. Seen from this standpoint, morality implies a balance between the rights and the duties of everyone, which gives it a humanistic dimension that is not at all moralizing.
Morality, in the sense that we have just explained, brings up the whole matter of education, which now seems to be in a state of distress. Most parents have withdrawn themselves from the educational process, or no longer have the necessary qualiﬁcations to properly educate their children. Many parents are shifting their responsibility onto the teachers in order to compensate for this inadequacy. After all, is it not a teacher’s role to instruct—that is, to transmit knowledge? Rather, education should consist of implanting civic and ethical values. In this, we concur with Socrates who believed it to be “the art of awakening the virtues of the soul,” such as humility, generosity, honesty, tolerance, kindness, and so on. Apart from any spiritual consideration, we believe that these are the virtues which parents, and adults in general, should inculcate in children. Naturally, this implies that, even if they have not acquired these virtues themselves, they at least be aware of the need to acquire them.
As you surely know, the Rosicrucians of the past practiced material alchemy, which consisted of transmuting raw metals—such as tin and lead—into gold. What we often ignore is that they also devoted themselves to spiritual alchemy. Contemporary Rosicrucians give priority to this form of alchemy, for the world needs it more than ever. This spiritual alchemy consists of transmuting every human fault into its opposite quality, so as to acquire precisely the virtues to which we have referred earlier. In fact, we believe that such virtues constitute human dignity, for we are worthy of our status only when expressing virtue in our thoughts, words, and deeds. Undoubtedly, if all individuals—whatever their religious beliefs, political ideas, or other thoughts may be—made the eﬀort to acquire these virtues, it would be a better world. Consequently, humanity can and must eﬀect a complete moral and spiritual reform, and for this to happen, each individual must regenerate oneself.
Concerning art, we feel that during the past centuries, and most particularly during the last decades, it has followed a trend of intellectualization that has led it toward an increasing degree of abstraction. This process has divided art into two opposing trends: elitist art and popular art. Elitist art, which is expressed through the abstract, is most often understood only by those who claim to be, or who are said to be its initiates. Through a natural reaction, popular art opposes this tendency by intensifying its way of portraying the concrete, sometimes in an excessively representational fashion. And yet, as paradoxical as it may seem, both delve deeper and deeper into matter, since it is quite true that opposites attract. Thus, art has become structurally and ideologically materialistic, in the image of most realms of human endeavor. At the present time, it interprets the impulses of the ego more than the aspirations of the soul, which we regret.
We believe that truly inspired art consists of interpreting on the human plane the beauty and purity of the Divine Plane. In this view, noise is not music; daubing is not painting; hammering is not sculpture; helter-skelter movement is not dancing. When these art forms are not limited to expressing some passing fashion, they become serious means of expression that convey a sociological message that cannot be ignored. We can appreciate such means of expression, of course, and yet it seems to us inappropriate to call them “artistic.” In order for the arts to participate in the regeneration of humanity, we believe that they must draw their inspiration from natural, universal, and spiritual archetypes, which implies that artists “ascend” toward these archetypes, rather than “descend” toward the most common stereotypes. At the same time, it is absolutely necessary that the arts bestow upon themselves an aesthetic purpose. In our view, these two major conditions must be met so that the arts may truly contribute to the raising of consciousness and become the human expression of Cosmic Harmony.
Concerning human relationships, we think that people are more and more self-seeking and leave less and less room for altruism. Of course, outbreaks of solidarity occur, although it happens only occasionally during such catastrophes as ﬂoods, storms, earthquakes, etc. In ordinary times, the policy of “everyone for oneself” predominates in behavioral patterns. In our view, this increase in individualism is again a consequence of the excessive materialism that is rampant today in modern societies. Nevertheless, the resultant isolation should eventually bring about the desire and need to renew contact with others. Moreover, we may hope that this solitude will lead everyone to go increasingly within and eventually become aware of spirituality.
The general prevalence of violence also seems to us very disquieting. Of course, it has always existed, yet it now expresses itself increasingly in individual behavior. Even more seriously, it is manifesting itself at an earlier age. At the beginning of the 21st century, one child kills another without any apparent compunction. Added to this real-life violence is the ﬁctional violence which dominates the motion-picture and television screens. The ﬁrst kind of violence inspires the second, and the second feeds the ﬁrst, creating a vicious circle that needs to be stopped. It cannot be denied that violence has any number of causes, such as social poverty, fragmentation of the family, desire for vengeance, need for domination, feelings of injustice, and so on; its worst agent is none other than violence itself. Clearly, this culture of violence is pernicious and cannot be constructive, especially since humanity has the means to destroy itself on a planetary scale for the ﬁrst time in known history.
In a paradox of modern times, we notice, moreover, that in this era of communication, individuals barely communicate with one another. Members of the same family no longer converse among themselves, so busy are they in listening to the radio, watching television, or surﬁng the Internet.
Another established fact has more generally commanded attention: telecommunication has supplanted other forms of communication. In so doing, it places one in isolation and intensiﬁes the individualism mentioned earlier. Please do not mistake our meaning: individualism, as a natural right to live autonomously and responsibly, should not be condemned at all in our eyes—quite the contrary. Yet when it becomes a way of life based on the negation of others, it seems particularly disturbing, in that it has contributed to the disintegration of the family circle and the fabric of society.
As contradictory as it may seem, we feel that today’s lack of communication among our fellow citizens is partly the result of an excess of information. Of course, we do not mean to question the right to inform and the right to be informed, for both are the pillars of any true democracy. Nevertheless, it appears to us that information has become both excessive and intrusive, to the point that it has generated its opposite: disinformation. We also regret that it is focused primarily on the precariousness of the human condition and overemphasizes the negative aspects of human behavior. At best, it feeds on pessimism, sadness, and despair; at worst, on suspicion, division, and rancor. Although there is a legitimate need to show those things, which contribute to the ugliness of the world, it is in everyone’s best interest to also reveal those things that contribute to its beauty. More than ever, the world needs optimism, hope, and unity.
This understanding would constitute a great step forward, more radical yet than the scientiﬁc and technological progress experienced in the 20th century. This is why every society should not only encourage face-to- face meetings among its members; it should also open itself up to the world. By doing so, we defend the cause of a humane society making all individuals citizens of the world, which implies putting an end to all forms of racial, ethnic, social, religious, or political discrimination or segregation. Such openness encourages the coming of a Culture of Peace, founded upon integration and cooperation, to which the Rosicrucians have always devoted themselves. As humanity is one in essence, its happiness is only possible by promoting the welfare of all human beings without exception.
Concerning humanity’s relationship with nature, we believe that on the whole it has never been so deleterious. It is surely obvious to everyone that human activity is inﬂicting increasing degradation on the environment. Yet, it is also obvious that the survival of the human species depends upon its ability to respect natural balance. The development of civilization has generated many dangers because of biological manipulations aﬀecting food, the widespread use of polluting agents, the poorly controlled accumulation of nuclear wastes—just to mention a few of the major risks. The protection of nature, and therefore the safeguarding of humanity, has become the responsibility of all people, whereas previously it concerned only specialists. Moreover, it has now become a worldwide matter. This is all the more important since our very concept of nature has changed, and we have come to realize how much we are part of it. We can no longer speak today of “Nature in itself ” in that nature will be what humanity wishes it to be.
One of the characteristics of our present era is our great consumption of energy. This phenomenon would not be worrisome in itself if it were intelligently managed. Yet we observe that such natural resources as coal, gas, and petroleum are being overexploited and are gradually becoming exhausted. Moreover, certain energy sources, such as nuclear power plants, present serious hazards, which are very diﬃcult to overcome. We also observe that, despite the recent attempts at dialogue, certain dangers, such as the greenhouse eﬀects of gas emission, desertiﬁcation, deforestation, pollution of the oceans, and so on, are not the object of adequate protective measures, because of a lack of will. Apart from the fact that these assaults upon the environment cause humanity to face very serious risks, they show a great lack of maturity, both individually and collectively. Despite what some experts claim, we feel that present climatic disturbances, with such a large share of storms, ﬂoods, and so on, are the result of the damage that humans have been inﬂicting upon our planet for too long.
Quite obviously, another major problem—that of water— is sure to confront us in the future with increasing impact. Water is an element indispensable to the maintenance and development of life. In one form or another, all living beings need it. Humans are no exception to this natural law, if only because water constitutes seventy percent of our bodies. And yet today, access to fresh water is restricted for approximately one out of six world inhabitants, a proportion which may reach one out of four in less than ﬁfty years, due to the increase in worldwide population, and the pollution of rivers and streams. Today, most eminent specialists agree that “white gold,” more than “black gold,” will be the great resource of this century, with all the potential for conﬂict that this implies. An awareness of this problem on a worldwide level is imperative.
Air pollution also entails serious dangers for life in general, and for the human species in particular. Industry, heating, and transportation contribute to the degradation of air quality and pollute the atmosphere, giving rise to potential health hazards. Urban areas are the most aﬀected by this phenomenon, which threatens to increase along with expanding urbanization. In connection with this, the massive growth of cities constitutes a danger which could threaten the stability of societies. Concerning the growth of urban areas, we concur with the advice that Plato, who was mentioned earlier, expressed centuries ago: “To the point where, enlarged, it preserves its unity, the city can expand, yet not beyond.” Gigantism cannot favor humanism, in the sense we have deﬁned it. It inevitably brings about discord and gives rise to misery and insecurity.
Humanity’s behavior toward animals is also part of our relationship with nature. It is our duty to love and respect them. All are part of the life chain manifesting on Earth, and all are agents of evolution. In their own way, animals are also vehicles of the Divine Soul and participate in the Divine Plan. We can even go so far as to consider the most evolved among them to be humans in the making that are passing through the evolutionary process. For all of these reasons, we ﬁnd the conditions in which many animals are reared and slaughtered to be appalling. As for vivisection, we view it as being an act of cruelty. Generally speaking, we believe that society must include all beings to whom life has given birth. Consequently, we agree with the following words attributed to Pythagoras: “As long as men continue to destroy ruthlessly the living beings from the lower kingdoms, they will know neither health nor peace. As long as they massacre animals, they will kill each other. In eﬀect, whoever sows murder and suﬀering cannot reap joy and love.”
Concerning humanity’s relationship with the Universe, we believe that it is based upon interdependence. As children of the Earth, and as the Earth is a child of the universe, we are therefore children of the universe. The atoms composing the human body originate in nature and remain within the conﬁnes of the Cosmos, which causes astrophysicists to comment that “We are children of the stars.” Even though we are indebted to the universe, it should also be noted that the universe owes much to humanity also—not its existence, of course, rather its reason for being. Indeed, what would the universe be if human eyes could not contemplate it? If our consciousness could not embrace it? If our soul could not be reﬂected in it? The universe and humanity need each other to know and even recognize each other, which reminds us of the famous saying: “Know thyself, and thou shalt know the Universe and the Gods.”
Nevertheless, we should not deduce that our conception of Creation is anthropocentric. Indeed, we do not make humans the center of the Divine Plan. Rather, let us say that we make humanity a focus of our concerns. In our opinion, humanity’s presence on Earth is not the result of mere happenstance; rather, it is the consequence of an intention originating from a Universal Intelligence commonly called “God.” Although God is incomprehensible and unintelligible because of Transcendency, this is not true of the laws through which God manifests within Creation. As previously mentioned, we have the power—if not the responsibility—to study these laws and to apply them for our material and spiritual welfare. We even believe that in this study and application lie our reason for being, as well as our happiness.
Humanity’s relationship with the universe also brings up the matter of knowing whether life exists elsewhere outside of Earth. We are convinced that this is the case. Since the universe includes approximately one hundred billion galaxies, and each galaxy has about one hundred billion stars, there probably exist millions of solar systems comparable to ours. Consequently, to think that only our planet is inhabited seems to us to be an absurdity and constitutes a form of egocentrism. Among the forms of life populating other worlds, some are probably more evolved than those existing on Earth; others may be less so. Yet they are all a part of the same Divine Plan and participate in Cosmic Evolution. As for knowing whether extraterrestrials are capable of contacting humanity, we feel that this will happen, and we are not spending time waiting for it. We have other priorities. Nonetheless, the day will come when this contact will happen, and it will constitute an unprecedented event. Indeed, the history of humanity will then integrate into that of Universal Life….
This, therefore, is what we wished to tell you by means of this Manifesto. Perhaps it has seemed alarmist to you, however because of our very philosophy, let us assure you that we are both idealistic and optimistic, for we have faith in humanity and in its destiny. When we consider the most useful and beautiful works humans have created in the ﬁelds of science, technology, architecture, art, literature, and others—and when we think of the most noble sentiments that we are capable of feeling and expressing, such as wonder, compassion, love, and so on—we cannot doubt that humanity is innately divine and capable of transcending itself for the greater good. In this respect, we believe, at the risk once again of appearing utopian, that humans have the power to make Earth a place of peace, harmony, and community. It simply depends on us.
The situation of the contemporary world is not hopeless; it is worrisome. What concerns us most is not so much the condition of humanity; it is that of our planet. We think that time is of no signiﬁcance in terms of humanity’s spiritual development, since we have all eternity to carry out this evolution, seeing that our soul is immortal. On the other hand, Earth is truly threatened, at least as a living environment for the human species. Time is running out for it, and we believe that its protection is a vital necessity in the 21st century. It is to this purpose that politics, economics, science, technology, and all other ﬁelds of human activity should devote their eﬀorts. Is it really so diﬃcult to understand that humanity can only ﬁnd happiness by living in harmony with natural laws and, in a wider sense, with divine laws? Furthermore, is it so unreasonable to admit that humanity has the wherewithal to sublimate its own interests? Nevertheless, if humans continue to pursue materialism, the darkest prophecies will be fulﬁlled and no one will be spared.
It matters little what political ideas, religious beliefs, and philosophical convictions people hold. The time has passed for divisiveness in all its forms; the time is now ripe for unity—unity of diﬀerences in the service of the common good. In this, our Order counts among its ranks Christians, Jews, Moslems,Buddhists, Hindus, Animists, and even Agnostics. It also includes people who belong to all social classes and represent all recognized political movements. Men and women enjoy complete equality in status, and each member enjoys the same prerogatives. This unity in diversity has given power to our ideals and to our égrégore, a reﬂection of the fact that the virtue we cherish the most is tolerance—in other words, the right to diﬀer. This does not make us sages, for wisdom encompasses many other virtues. Rather, we think of ourselves as being philosophers—literally, as “lovers of wisdom.”
Before sealing this Positio, and thereby giving it the stamp of our Order, we wish to conclude with an invocation that expresses what we may call “Rosicrucian Utopia” in the Platonist sense of the word. We are appealing to the good will of everyone so that one day this Utopia may become a reality, for the greater good of humanity. Perhaps this day will never come, however if all men and women endeavor to believe in it, and act accordingly, the world can only become better because of it….
God of all beings,God of all life,
In the humanity we are dreaming of:
- Politicians are profoundly humanistic and strive to serve the common good;
- Economists manage state ﬁnances with discernment and in the interest of all;
- Scientists are spiritualistic and seek their inspiration in the Book of Nature;
- Artists are inspired and express the beauty and purity of the Divine Plan in their works;
- Physicians are motivated by love for their community and treat both the soul and the body;
- Misery and poverty have vanished, for everyone has what one needs to live happily;
- Work is not regarded as a chore; it is looked at as a source of growth and well-being;
- Nature is considered to be the most beautiful temple of all, and animals are considered to be our brothers and sisters on the path of evolution;
- A World Government composed of the leaders of all nations, working in the interest of all humanity, has come into existence;
- Spirituality is an ideal and a way of life, which springs forth from a Universal Religion, founded more upon the knowledge of divine laws than upon the belief in God;
- Human relations are founded upon love, friendship, and community, so that the whole world lives in peace and
So Mote It Be!
Sealed on March 20, 2001
Rosicrucian Year 3354
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