Rosicrucian Writings Online


Questions Answered

By THE IMPERATOR
[H. Spencer Lewis]
 
[From The Mystic Triangle September 1927]
 
 
(Important questions may be sent to the Editor of the Triangle and each month a few of them will be submitted to the Imperator for his personal answer. If questions refer to any point in the lecture, please give number of lecture and page. Questions which anticipate points in future lectures will not be answered.)
 

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Q.--I have received a letter from a friend of mine in Los Angeles who says that our Order is in bad repute there because of some scandal a short time ago over the sale of wine to its members. I asked this friend to investigate and this is the report she sent me. Also that the headquarters in that city is in a poor building and not at all refined or in good taste. If I did not know my friend I would doubt what she says as being true, for in this city we have very fine people associated with our work.
 
A.--This report is typical of what may be received when one asks a stranger to investigate a matter with which they are not familiar. It is true that the new branch in Los Angeles settled itself temporarily in a small building, right in the heart of the city for immediate convenience until it could get its own buildings erected in one of the prettiest suburban sections of Los Angeles. Many business and society organizations have to do things of this kind at times while awaiting the completion of a new building. It is hardly fair, however, to judge an organization by its temporary place. But before this issue of the Triangle is in print the new branch there will be in a better location, still temporary. Finding buildings with large halls that can be used as a Lodge room and where there is privacy is not always an easy matter, as hundreds of our branches know. As for the "scandal," this reference shows again how unreliable a report may be and how it can cause harm when made by one who is not careful in the matter of making inquiries. Some three or more years ago several men connected with race-tracks and other sports in California and Mexico conceived a plan of forming a "religious" organization by means of which they could sell to their "members" sacramental wine under the existing laws. Then there came into existence, almost over night, an organization known as "the RosiKrucian Cult." Why in the world the men selected the name Rosicrucian, with its peculiar spelling, we do not know. Their headquarters was in Los Angeles. Our Headquarters was in San Francisco at the time. We found that this "Cult" offered a case of wine to its members with each "initiation fee," and wine at certain periods of the month, so that each member could "meditate" three times a day with wine. We took the matter up at once with the Prohibition Agent in San Francisco and our letters to him were published in the San Francisco newspapers, protesting, as we did, against the similarity of names and the disgrace. The national constitution of the Rosicrucian Order in all lands forbids the use of anything else than unfermented grape juice in any extreme ritual--and such use of grape juice plays no part in our regular work. Our stand in this regard is now a matter of court record and the United States has tried to break up or stop the plan under which this "chartered Church of RosiKrucians" is operating. They frankly admit that the peculiar K in the name stands for kick. But the point is, the RosiKrucian Cult is not the AMORC and was never associated with it. This is the fact that the investigator should have learned before spreading a story that injures a reputable organization. Why are not such questions or investigations directed to us or to some responsible source of information?
 
Q.--I have just read about the new Rosicrucian Manual. I want one by all means and I find that nearly all the members in our Lodge desire one. There are two questions I would like to ask about it. First, is it an absolute necessity to such an extent that one cannot proceed with the work without it? Secondly, is it true that the AMORC was not the first to issue such a manual?
 
A.--The new Manual is not an absolute necessity to the study of the regular lessons, but it includes matter and helps not in the lectures and which are not a part of our regular work but found to be helpful to all, through the thousands of inquiries sent to us. This Manual, costing just a few cents over two dollars, will save the average member ten or fifteen dollars in books, for we have found that sooner or later the average member is tempted to buy some books in order to secure light on various subjects which become of interest to him while studying. Many of these subjects are covered in the Manual. In answer to your second question will say that AMORC put out a Manual in 1918, which was the first to be issued in this country. It was very small and was practically limited to the officers of our Order. It was soon exhausted and the present one is our second edition, greatly enlarged. There have been some attempts to put so-called Rosicrucian Manuals on the market, but AMORC has issued but two, and these are genuine.
 
Q.--Have the Rosicrucians ever taken a definite stand in regard to the correctness of the Christian doctrines?
 
A.--Certainly not. It is not within our province, either as a college of the philosophies and sciences, or as a non-sectarian fraternity, to take any stand in regard to any religious doctrines. The AMORC is not a religious school or a school of religion. That it includes the theological principles in its teachings does not make it a theological seminary. Just what bearing the Christian doctrines can have upon the subjects we teach we cannot see. We have as many devout Christians in our membership--even as officers--as we have persons of all the other religious denominations combined. We have a very high regard for the Christian church and the Christian doctrines.
 
Q.--What do you think of the claim made by some former Christian Science leaders that Mary Baker Eddy will return to life?
 
A.--Since we are convinced of the truthfulness of the fundamental doctrines of reincarnation--which are not contrary to any of the religious doctrines of the various churches--we are convinced that Mrs. Eddy will return to earth again and live again in a body. Whether she will continue the great work she started, or take up a newer and higher line of humanitarian activity, we cannot tell--nor can any of the other humans now living on this plane. At any rate, her future coming is nothing for the self-appointed apostles of the future to build upon for their own aggrandizement.
 
Q.--My little girl does not like to say the prayer, "Now I lay me down to sleep," and takes special objection to the words, "if I should die," because she has heard us say that there is no death. Can you give us another short prayer for children to say at night?
 
A.--Yes, there is a typical Rosicrucian prayer for children to say at night, as follows:
 
"Now I close my eyes in Peace
With this thought my troubles cease!
As I rest in sleep Profound,
With my heart to God close-bound,
I will know no sin or pain
And hope for morning's life again.
Bless thy children here on earth,
And fill them all with joyous mirth.
Bless our parents, too, dear God,
While they guard and sweetly nod.
All the world is good and right,
Guided by Thy Loving Sight.--Amen."
 
Q.--Lecture No. 6 of my Grade has proven to be a valuable lecture indeed. By way of recapitulation we have brought before us the salient features of the work thus far in the Third Grade. I note in paragraph four, of page one, another reference to the doctrine of reincarnation. I feel, somehow, that this doctrine is a very satisfying one indeed. I enjoyed the articles on Reincarnation in the Mystic Triangle. It is a doctrine that, as I learn more about it, I would like to introduce from my pulpit. I have discussed it with a number of our clergy and the consensus of opinion is that it is lacking in Biblical support. I would like to know if, in your opinion, the authors of Matthew 17:10-13 and Mark 9:11-13 inclusive had such a doctrine in mind and if it was taught by the Master Jesus.
 
A.--The doctrine of reincarnation is today the oldest and most universal of all religious doctrines and is held by more persons and found in more religions than any one other doctrine. In fact, while only 34% of the people of the world are Christians, and less than 60% of the people of the world adhere to any strict religious principles, fully 75% of the people of the world adhere to the doctrine of reincarnation, either as an ethical principle (in which form it existed for many centuries) or as a fundamental of all religious doctrines. As for Biblical support, there is one question asked by Jesus of His Disciples: "Whom do they say I am?" The question and the answers given cannot possibly refer to anything other than the popular belief that every great Son of God or Messenger must have lived before and, as some other personality, once before appeared to man and did God's work. Jesus wanted to know with whom, in the popular mind, He was associated; which one of the previous Messengers of God the people believed Him to be. There can be no other interpretation to His question, and it plainly indicates His knowledge of the principles of reincarnation, His knowledge of the people's belief, and the importance of the matter. That more references do not appear in the King James version of the Bible becomes understandable as one studies the many passages which have been deleted. The doctrine of reincarnation would have been an "inconvenience" in the early days of the church, but would now prove to be its greatest aid. Many clergymen have adopted some of the reincarnation principles in their sermons and the writer has spoken on the subject on a Sunday night in one of the largest Episcopal churches in America whose Pastor finds joy and help in the doctrines. One may not find all the desired support for the doctrine in the Bible of today--but where can one find any support in the Bible for the Apostle's Creed which is so universal in the Churches. Bear in mind, also, that originally the doctrine of reincarnation was not a religious doctrine any more than our present-day principles of the regeneration and rebirth of cells in the body through the process of physical economy are religious doctrines, and for that reason reincarnation and its principles were not preached in religious assemblies nor referred to more than incidentally in religious writings. It really is not to be considered as exclusively a religious doctrine today.
 
Q.--I would like to know more about the Great Pyramid; who built it, why and when, and the secrets it contains. I have a very intellectual friend, a Pastor of the Baptist Church here, to whom I went for this information. I was surprised to hear him say, in answer to my question: "I have handled that stone at the top of the Pyramid, in times past; I was one of those who discovered the secret chest therein. I was an Egyptian scholar." I knew he had never been out of America, and so I looked at him keenly and asked him if he really believed what he said, and he replied, "I KNOW it!" So I discovered he was talking of a previous incarnation, and I was lifted to the nth Heaven. Then I discovered how much he knew and he admitted that he was a Rosicrucian in spirit. He is a man admired and beloved by thousands and known as the most prominent Baptist preacher in this State, where the Baptist Church is very strong and large.
 
A.--If the Pastor said he knew, we have no reason to question his statement, for it is possible to know of past incarnations, as thousands of our members do know. Many have journeyed abroad to find verification and have gone to the old cities, towns and hamlets where they had once lived, and even to the tombstones of those with whom they had been familiar in the past. So your Pastor may have been an Egyptian scholar at some time in the past and, as such, assisted others in exploring the great stone at the top wherein was contained a chest of records. We cannot, however, at this time give you all the facts you ask for in connection with the Great Pyramid, for that would require several whole issues of this magazine. Our lectures contain some facts and some day we will publish some articles about the Pyramid. You seem to be a little surprised that a Baptist minister should be interested in the doctrines of reincarnation. It is a fact that more orthodox clergymen accept reincarnation today than is known--and many of them freely touch upon it--when their congregations do not object. As soon as a clergyman finds that his congregation is not biased about the matter he is generally very happy to be able to speak what he knows. Do not blame the clergyman for holding back many truths; it is not due to ignorance or bias on their part, but to the intolerant and biased attitude of those sitting on the first rows and singing God's praises the loudest.
 
Q.--When can we expect to see published in the Triangle the address made by the Master K. H. at the International Rosicrucian Congress in Europe last summer?
 
A.--We have hesitated to print this address because we find that some other occult organization has been copying and using matter regarding this Convention, taking extracts from the Triangle and attempting to give the impression of some connection with the Convention. The address is too important to be mutilated by deletions and additions so as to make it fit some other purposes. For these reasons we have withheld it for a while.
 
Q.--What percentage does heredity count in the life of a human being?
 
A.--We are prone to think of heredity as pertaining to the physical part of man solely. We inherit certain tendencies through blood, it is true, but we also inherit certain other tendencies through the soul consciousness or psychic consciousness. If we unite these two forms of heredity, I would say that heredity affects us largely in youth--perhaps to the extent of 75%--and environment and education 25%. Later in life, unless trained to give heed to the dictates and urges of the soul and psychic consciousness, the very reverse is true.

 

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