Rosicrucian Writings Online
A Message from a MasterAN INTERVIEW WITH ONE OF THE SECRET MASTERS OF
THE WORLD HIERARCHY OF ROSICRUCIANS
By Ill . . . Fr . . . H. Spencer Lewis, Imperator
[From The Rosicrucian Digest December 1934]
WHILE on my recent visit to Europe, my presence at several secret conclaves and assemblies of the chief executives of the various mystical brotherhoods represented, brought me again in close contact with some of the secret Masters of the Invisible Hierarchy of the Rosicrucian Order.
Many pleasant and profitable interviews were made possible, and with the rare privilege of being permitted to make written notes, I was enabled to bring back to our Western continent many unusual messages which I shall be happy to give to our members from time to time with the permission granted to me.
Having prepared for most of these special interviews with written questions, I shall present each with the question and answer in precisely the routine in which they were asked and answered with very slight, if any, variation in the exact words spoken, English being used throughout.
Q. Since our members in North America and other Western lands are not accustomed to the mystical terminology of the East, how best can I describe what is meant by the "Invisible Hierarchy"?
A. First, one should have a correct understanding of the term Hierarchy, as used by all mystics. It is a constituted power--Divinely constituted we believe--vested in and exercised by a group of individuals who have willingly assumed the great responsibility of directing the exoteric and esoteric functionings of a universal movement operating through human and mundane channels. Such a Hierarchy is, then, an intermediary body between the Cosmic Hosts and the mundane fraternity, between the esoteric directions and the exoteric manifestations. By its very nature such a body cannot be a wholly visible (exoteric) nor wholly invisible (esoteric) one; but, since the Hierarchy maintains a truly impersonal character, veils itself with seclusion, and transmits its authority and mandates to the worldly organization solely through the secret channels of its accepted and empowered officials in each jurisdiction, it remains "invisible" to the membership at large. In this sense only, is it invisible. The term does not imply any supernatural existence whatever.
Q. The reference in many documents to "Cosmic Hosts" also perplexes the adepts of the Western World. How may this term be explained without a violation of any of the Superior Rules of the Order?
A. Just a moment ago I used the term "Cosmic Hosts." It is an awkward term in these modern times, but we know of no other that is quite so appropriate. The term is found, generally, in our ancient documents, as you say, and I believe it originated in an attempt to distinguish the Great Masters from the Heavenly Host of Angels often referred to in early Christian writings, and even in pre-Christian periods. The term, in our usage, does not imply a sacred body in the theological sense. It includes, very definitely, only those Master Minds working through Cosmic channels. These are the great souls which have evolved to the highest degree of psychic unfoldment, and whose physical or bodily existence is given little consideration--often unknown because considered unimportant.
Q. In the Western World there is much mystery and misunderstanding about the so-called "Great Masters" described in the writings and teachings of the various occult schools. What may be said about them?
A. One may say little that will be understood except by those who have come in contact with them. Most certainly they are not the obliging magicians one reads about in certain books and magazines published in the past fifty years. The ancient term for them was one of utmost respect--Illuminated Ones--and the present use of the word Great is easily misunderstood. This qualification refers not to any personal attribute, nor to our intent to eulogize them, which would be highly distasteful, but to the fact that they constitute the great, outer circle of the Hierarchy or Brotherhood--the White Brotherhood--great only in the sense that it is as wide and broad as the Universe itself. Their field of contact is unlimited by the confines of national boundaries, the distinction of races, or the creeds of men. Neither are they limited in their contacts by the physical senses nor the material forms of communication. Anticipating another question, we shall also say that these masters have never given their support to, nor sponsored any movement that promoted the redemption and evolution of man through a humanly invented dogmatic creed or the recognition of one "world saviour" as a part of a limited sectarian or exclusive body of propagandists.
Q. Does this "Invisible Hierarchy" ever interfere in the affairs of men and nations to prevent errors and catastrophies?
A. You will find an answer to that problem in the fact that nature makes no attempt to prevent man's interference in her affairs--and it must be conceded that she is powerful enough to exert a restraining influence at any time; and God, the intelligence and power back of nature, makes no attempt to restrain man in the free exercise of his privileges. I call this question a problem because man has made a complex problem out of his incompetent consideration of the matter. Man can learn only through experience, and in experience lies his path of evolution. God could prevent his children from committing errors which bring them pain and sorrow, but it would defeat the very purpose of his Kingdom on earth. Man is here to learn. He must drink from the cup of life. The Hierarchy could interfere with the trend and tendencies of nations and groups of individuals by direct prevention. It prefers, however, to work in harmony with the Divine plan. Therefore, its only method of guidance is to inspire the minds of men who seek Cosmic inspiration with such urges, impulses, or motives, as will lead them to rightful acts and constructive conclusions in their thinking. All men will not seek such inspiration through meditation and spiritual attunement, and all who sense the urge of inspired direction will not heed it when it appears to be contrary to their vain or evil desires. It is, however, the determination of the few, divinely inspired, to do the right thing as opposed to those desiring to do the wrong, that constitutes the continuous conflict among individuals and nations.
In all ages the inspired thinkers, the followers of Divine urges, have been the pioneers of the means for man's advancement, and the path-finders in the course of man's efforts to reach higher planes of unfoldment and development. Through the commands, pleas, and prayers of these leaders, disturbing and frustrating the enslaving prejudices and schemes of the evil-doers, contest, conflict, challenge, and struggle result. Always is right victorious, but in the contest and struggle are lessons learned and experiences gained. Out of this crucible of contention comes the transmuted elements of evolved civilization.
Q. Have you a personal message for the sincere aspirants of my part of the world which I may give them through the public pages of our little bulletin (The Rosicrucian Digest)?
A. We wonder if we will be understood if we say that the greatest need in your land is greater opportunity for the multitudes to express -- to indulge and enjoy -- the deep spirituality of their highly refined natures? We mean to imply, unmistakingly, that your people are more truly spiritual in their innate beings than they realize. This is because of two opposite conditions. Your people represent a high curve of cultural and civic unfoldment and development, with inherited intensity of faith and belief in the truly sacred things of life. Their souls as individual expressions are very old, with many ages and cycles of spiritual progress back of them strengthened by the mixture of blood and traditions; but, on the other hand, their national customs and form of civilization are very new, very young, and greatly lacking in development. For this reason the very noble, spiritual desires and urges of their souls find little opportunity to express and repose in the sweet beauties of the spiritual things of life.
They need the consecrated soil into which they may transplant the flowers of their sacred gardens. They need the same free opportunities to manifest the suppressed whisperings of the inner-self that they enjoy in political matters. They need the sympathetic understanding, the congenial environment for their spiritual desires that the mystic enjoys in his monastery, or the artist enjoys in his ramblings amid the wild beauties of nature, and the philosopher enjoys in his schools of discussion.
Your people are restrained in their free expression and sympathetic indulgences by the limitations of dogmatic creeds. They are limited in their association with others in worship and meditation by the formal ritual and services of sectarianism. They are surrounded by organized religion, systematized theologies and doctrines. They are suppressed by the set standards of cults and conventionalized conduct in all religious, philosophical, social, political, and human matters. The "recognized" methods of doing things must be respected to avoid criticism.
I know you will protest and say that your people are rapidly disregarding these limitations, and that is true. But it took your country five hundred years--nearly--to recognize the truth of pre-natal influences only because the deep inner belief was suppressed by the fear of criticism. The equality of men and women in all essential things was denied all universal expression in your country until the indignation of the spirit of your women could stand it no longer and burst forth like a volcano. Your outer admission of the enslaving effects of a superstitious belief in the exclusive efficacy of drugs to heal disease was delayed until one woman dared to preach and teach the truth about the power of mind. You must have your truths organized in systems which finally paralyze the grip which custom, habit, and fear have held upon your thinking and acting.
Q. Do you find that the world is becoming more spiritualized, or more interested in what we may term the spiritual and psychic values, or is the opposite the truth?
A. Throughout the world today there is a very definite increase of interest in the spiritual or Divine principles and values as affecting not only life itself, but all of our interests and our welfare generally. It is like a renaissance, and will lead to many world-wide reforms and revolutionary, or rather, evolutionary changes in man's thinking and doing. They are revolutionary in their nature, but will come about gradually and not through any rapid concerted action directed or controlled by any organizations or group of people. The various metaphysical, occult, and spiritual organizations or brotherhoods throughout the world will contribute to these changes and in fact have already contributed to them by laying the foundation for the broadening of man's view-point and the extension of his consciousness beyond the limited sphere of his material interests. Everywhere there is a greater interest in the reading of philosophical, mystical, religious, and spiritual publications, and especially with the better class of books. More lectures and discourses are being given in various parts of every country on these subjects than heretofore, and even the newspapers are inclined to emphasize this view-point in their editorials, and in their consideration of important policies. The world is moving toward a better and more general appreciation of these things, and it is a hopeful sign for the future peace and happiness of the world.
Q. In many of the ancient manuscripts it is stated that the spirit of the ancient mysteries would move from the east toward the west in certain cycles. Many of these cycles have passed and we find that the spirit of mysticism has moved toward the Western World, but do you see that this is going to continue until the Western World will become a center of learning in these subjects as great as was the center in the Orient in times past?
A. The movement of the spirit of mystery and mysticism has been progressing westward for many centuries. According to ancient traditions this is the second or third time that the spirit has moved around the world from east to west, and back to east again. These same traditions should lead us to believe that the great power of Divine Wisdom and Oriental philosophy and mystery which appeared in Egypt, India, and other parts of the Orient in the Fifth or Sixth Centuries preceding the Christian Era was the second or third time that those countries had been mighty in this knowledge, and had passed from such high position into a secondary position again by the movement of the spirit of these teachings and the power resulting from them from the east to the west. At one time this great power had centered itself in its western movement in Atlantis, the continent that eventually disappeared. It may be that in a preceding cycle it had centered itself in the continent of Lemuria. According to these cycles the movement of the power will eventually bring it to great establishment in your continents of North America and South America. Eventually, of course, after several hundred years, it will pass on westward again, and we shall find in Japan and China, and then in Persia and India, and finally in the last part of the cycle once more in Egypt, new centers of reawakened and reestablished mystical power. At the present time the people in your part of the Western World are receiving the greater radiations of this spiritual wisdom, and our part of the world is losing nothing, but gaining also, for the spirit seems to hover over the continents of Europe and North and South America in a manner to indicate that we must take up the leadership and become the stewards of this great wisdom for the rest of the world for a section of the cycle or progressive movement. I think that within the next fifty years North and South America will see marvelous changes in the lives of its people resulting from not only this influx of wisdom and Divine Power, but the spirit of freedom that has grown in these countries and established a condition that will permit the Divine knowledge to grow and attain its greatest strength of radiation and influence.
In conclusion, I would like to transmit through you to the members of the Rosicrucian Order, and all of the allied activities, the blessings and benedictions of all of us who are associated together in conserving and radiating the ancient wisdom and Divine power of spiritual revelation. We are at one with the world and love all people, but we look to the rising generations and the new students on the path for those leaders and those adepts who will carry on the great work of the Universal Hierarchy.
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