Rosicrucian Writings Online
THOUGHT OF THE MONTH
WHY A NEW YEAR?
By THE IMPERATOR
[H. Spencer Lewis]
[From The Rosicrucian Digest March 1939]
IN THE month of March a proclamation is issued by the Imperator stating that on a certain date the Rosicrucian New Year ceremony is celebrated in harmony, and in keeping with the same period, throughout the membership generally in various countries and parts of the world. This is done simply because according to the oriental calendars and ancient calendars the real new year begins in March when the sun begins its new progress through the various signs of the Zodiac rather than on the first of January, and you will note that the Rosicrucian New Year almost coincides with certain Jewish holy days and certain other oriental holy days.
But my thought at the present time is not in connection with the reason for the Rosicrucian New Year being celebrated in March. My thought is why there should be any new year at all, or any celebration at all. To us here at Headquarters and to all of our branches it means the beginning of another fiscal year or another year of routine activities. We do not overlook its sacredness for we participate in the sacred feast and ceremony for the celebration of the beginning of such a new year. But it means the start of another cycle of activities, and just recently in connection with the American calendar new year in January my thoughts were why there should be a waiting for a new year to begin new things. Things can begin anew at sunrise any day and at any hour during the day, and during the night for that matter. But still most of us like formality, ritual and what we call a logical reason for doing things and so we have adopted and accepted certain periods of the year for doing things. In the east the farmers plant seeds in the spring, perhaps for good reasons agriculturally, but often because of formality. Here recently in California where we are establishing our new clinic and sanitarium, we planted vegetables and seeds in our own garden in December, at a time when every farmer in the east and midwest would have said nothing would come from our efforts, and that we were absolutely out of harmony with nature. Yet throughout the latter part of December and the first part of January the things planted in that garden grew and grew until now, in the middle of January, we are ready to take fresh fruits from that garden and take them to our table and eat, contrary to all the rules and regulations of form and ritual in agriculture.
In the same manner we can plant seeds in our own souls and minds at any season of the year, any day and any hour, and make that day the beginning of a new cycle in the doing of things and thinking of things. But why should we call it a new year? It is not new in any sense except the sense we give to it out of a misunderstanding. It may be the beginning of another cycle or another year, but not necessarily a new cycle or a new year. A change in any direction does not mean the beginning of a new direction. There is so little that is really new in this old world, and there are so many things to come that may be looked upon as new, that no one dares vouchsafe the opinion at any time as to what is new and what is old. A change for the better is always good and beneficial whether it is something new or something to which we have become quite accustomed. Each day, each week, each month, each year is filled with cycles and no one of the cycles is more important than the other. And yet there is a tendency to give a yearly cycle undue significance. From my personal point of view, which is what I am always expressing in this particular department of the magazine, the rising sun in the morning and the dawn of another day is the most important cycle in my life, and I try to make each day count as though it were to be not only a new day, but the only day and the last day and in that sense I am thankful at the close of the day for what I have been able to do, and simply hope, resting in the grace of the Cosmic, that another day may come, not to be a new day but just another day.
If you have the same thoughts and will maintain them throughout your life, you will find your years being composed of a multiplicity of days, weeks and months that are exciting and thrilling instead of a dull and monotonous year that can only revive interest when it dies at midnight on a certain day, and begins with the ringing of bells the next morning. Such a life is shallow, empty, and fraught with bitter disappointments, whereas the other one is a continuous panorama like a phantasmagoria of exciting incidents which you create and which have no relation to the calendar, to rituals, to forms, traditions, or anything else.
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