Rosicrucian Writings Online

Knowing God

By Frater Royle Thurston
[From The Rosicrucian Digest April 1931]
IF I WERE asked to state what was the most important or outstanding benefit in a general sense resulting from the studies and practices of the Rosicrucian principles I would unhesitatingly state that it is the beginning of a newer and better life through a newer and better concept of God.
While it is true that the Rosicrucian Fraternity has always been a very practical organization of real workers in the world we cannot overlook the fact that fundamental principles that enable the followers of the Rosy Cross to become more happy and successful in their earthly lives are related to spiritual truths leading to an awakening of the spiritual concepts of life.
Even he who is most busily engaged with the material problems of life and who thinks he has little time for spiritual thought and mediation often keenly realizes that he needs a better and more intimate acquaintance with the spiritual things of life and especially a better concept of God and God's laws. It is useless for anyone but the foolish atheist and the imbecilic mind to try and argue that the average man and woman is not benefitted by a better acquaintance with the Supreme Mind that rules this universe. It is a fact that is easily demonstrated that as a man or woman is attuned with a more perfect understanding of God, so the whole of life is changed for the better.
Fortunately, the Rosicrucian teachings have kept pace with the evolutionary progress of man's concept of all things. If in five, ten, or fifty thousand years of human evolution and human struggle toward higher ideals man has not brought himself closer to God through a better understanding of God, then we would have to admit that human evolution is failing and that the perfection of the human race is impossible. But I dare say that there are few rational beings who would venture to make such a statement.
The nearer man approaches to God in his understanding the more evolved and more inclusive becomes his consciousness of God and God's principles. The concepts and ideals that satisfied him or brought a satisfactory understanding of God to him centuries ago are unsatisfactory today. Man's better understanding of man has had a great change upon man's concept of God, and man's experience of the working of many of God's laws even here in our daily material affairs has tended to change man's concept of God and His principles and the general working of the laws of love and mercy and justice in all of our human affairs has likewise modified man's concept of what God's laws and principles must be like. Even the continued evolution of human love or the love of human beings toward one another and especially the love of parents toward children in the developing civilization has taught man that the Father of us all must be a more loving being than we understood in our earliest concepts.
The Rosicrucian teachings have kept pace with these evolving concepts in the mind of man and continually anticipated the newer questions, the newer problems, and the newer explanations that man meditates upon in the period when he lifts himself out of the material affairs of life and seeks to raise his consciousness to a higher plane.
First of all, we find that the Rosicrucian teachings reveal God as not only a loving, merciful, just ruler, but as one to be loved instead of feared. How easily many of us can recall that in our youth it was a commonplace expression to say that this or that individual was doing wrong because he did not have the fear of God in his heart. It seems to be the accepted standard or concept to think of God as someone to be feared with terror and awe. Little children were taught that they should do certain good things and refrain from doing certain sinful things because they should fear God and His mysterious power of punishing them for the evil they did. The fear idea was developed to such an extreme that they were taught that they did not dare think of God while smiling or laughing or to speak of Him in any casual way or with any other attitude than that of extreme fear. It is no wonder that the children came to believe that God could be approached only at bed time through the week, or in the church on Sunday, while on bended knee and with hands upraised in typical pagan attitude of fearful adoration.
The erroneous Biblical quotation that intimated that revenge was a power exclusively given to God and that God also visited His Wrath and envy, hatred and retribution, upon men and women, and that He was jealous and suspicious, were ideas commonly promulgated by the religious leaders and based their argument upon isolated and mistranslated passages in the Bible.
It is not a wonder that for ages men speculated upon the loving and merciful nature of God and asked why He allowed many sinners to succeed in life while those who tried to be pious and honest were unfortunate. Reasoning from such a false premise was responsible for the doubt that gradually arose in the minds of millions of persons as to the love and supreme wisdom and mercy of such a God. In fact, we may safely say that the strongest arguments used by the atheists today in their contentions that there is no God are based upon the fact that God has been misrepresented to millions of persons or represented as such a being as would warrant us in doubting that He was a merciful and loving Father.
The Rosicrucian conception of God is so wholly different from all of this and yet so consistent with what Jesus taught and the greatest disciples and Lights among men have revealed in the past that we find the Rosicrucians entering into a new life through their better understanding of God and God's ways. Such an understanding brings peace and contentment to the weary soul, to the tried and sorely tested physical body and to the perplexed mind. It brings hope and renewed life and energy and a firm conviction that justice will prevail and that truth will be demonstrated.
It opens up a new phase of life and a broader horizon here on this earth plane. It brings God closer to man, more intimate, more personal, and more friendly in every human sense of the word. It makes God's laws appear in their true light as not only immutable and not only just but rational, reasonable, and thoroughly understandable. It does away with all of the seeming inconsistencies and injustices and takes out of the picture entirely the idea that God is an arbitrary ruler and that He is jealous or has any of the elements of wrath and revenge in His consciousness. It makes man realize that he and not an unmerciful God brings into his life the unfortunate results of his errors and that instead of God finding joy and happiness in our suffering that we have had visited upon us. He is sympathetic and willing to forgive if we but ask for it and make ourselves worthy of it.
Certainly the change of concept of God is the greatest change that can come into the life of a man or woman for as I have said above it is fundamental to all of our thinking and doing in every phase of our existence, but we cannot realize this nor test the truth of it until our concept of God has been changed and we enter into the new life and new way of living that result from such a change.
The Rosicrucian teachings, therefore, are of extreme importance from a purely religious or spiritual point of view inasmuch as this one great change of concept in regard to God and His laws will bring that regeneration and that re-birth that every religion claims to be the ultimate end of their doctrines and practices.
Let us keep this in mind and speak of this to those who may inquire about the Rosicrucian teachings and the relation of these teachings to religious and spiritual matters. It is not necessary to have a religious creed or dogmatic outline of religious principles in order to become more Godly and more spiritual for a closer and better understanding of God and His ways of working and enable every man and woman to understand and adopt the true divine laws as the only creed that is necessary for perfect living.

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