Rosicrucian Writings Online

Why We Have A Secret Order

An Explanation Of Rosaecrucianism
[From The American Rosae Crucis February 1917]
The question is often asked: "Why is it necessary to have a secret order to promulgate the wonderful teachings which you have?" To this question there are many answers and some of these are noted here.
Primarily the idea of a secret order is to unite the students in one body for definite work and study with such obligations as make for unity of thought and purpose.
There is no other school or institute anywhere in the world dealing with diversified subjects and starting with the very elements of an education which holds its students so closely to the work and maintains such determination of purpose on the part of the student body, as a properly organized secret society. This very point is utilized, this very law is appropriated by organizations or groups of evil workers also because of the efficiency it produces. When used for good it means wonderful good; when used for evil it means formidable power.
Furthermore the teachings which our Order promulgate are not for every one. This is true, not because we so decreed it, but because many are not ready to receive them and understand them. There are many powers and forces in nature which can be used for wonderful good, which all of us admit would be dangerous in the hands of the incompetent, insincere or evil minded. But if we are mistaken in this opinion, based upon experience of a thousand or more years, then the mistake can be remedied by those who believe otherwise. For, a widespread demand for our teachings, a demand by every human being for such knowledge, if ever manifested sincerely, accompanied with unselfishness, will bring a quick response on our part and our work will be open to all. But time has shown and continues to show, that out of every hundred men and women we meet casually there are only fifteen or twenty who are willing to devote one hour or one day a week to deep and careful study of the laws and principles involved in our work.
That the average human being is ready to have someone tell him any great secret of life, perform some miracle, or make some cure or otherwise apply the teachings of our Order, is granted. But such willingness to be shown or given some interesting fact or law does not constitute a sincere desire to study, master and unselfishly apply the laws and forces of nature for the good of humanity. And that is why we have an Order, a systematized schooling, a secret organization and a method of selecting who shall and who shall not receive the teachings.
However, what is said above does not mean that because but few are willing to study and master the laws, all should not benefit by the knowledge which our Order possesses. In fact the very purpose of our Order is not to gratify the personal desires of the members for knowledge, but to teach and help them to work in the interests of humanity. While only a few may know the laws, every man, woman and child, yea even the dumb animals, should receive the benefits of that knowledge.
Every Rosaecrucian promises, in exchange for the knowledge which he or she receives, to do at least one great act for humanity or for some man or woman before passing out of this life. Our work is, therefore, altruistic, humanitarian and utilitarian. The secrecy in our Order applies only to the study and teaching of the laws; the practise of them is to be done in the open, for all, without regard to race, color or creed.
For many hundreds of years the Order has grown with this principle, and it is to-day the most powerful, silent, secret, unpretentious and unselfish agent for good known to man.
To heal the sick without demand for remuneration; to advise and direct those groping in the dark by honest and unbiased advice; to remedy and transmute the evil forces into agencies for good,--these are the avowed purposes of our Order.
Are YOU ready for Rosaecrucianism? In your own answer will you find the reason for the secrecy and the exclusiveness of our Order.
Webmaster's Note:  The above article was reprinted in the Rosicrucian Digest of December 1940 with the author identified as Dr. H. Spencer Lewis, F.R.C.

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