FORTY-FIVE years ago, a man with about a dozen other men and women met in a
small hall in New York City
This man was inspired by an ideal and a very conscious solemn promise that he
had made but a few years before. For a number of years he had been a student of
the history of the Rosicrucians. The information available to him had been
scanty--gathered from general literary sources. And also such information was
shrouded in ambiguity and mystery. However, something about the name
"Rosicrucians," and their traditional dedication to a fearless
exposition of the whole constitution of man, challenged inquiry.
The young man's imagination was fired and he was determined to know more of the
Rosicrucians. As to how this was to be accomplished he had not been certain. In
the Rosicrucians were little more than a myth, a legend of the remote
past. The young man was eventually given the opportunity to journey to Europe
where throughout ages the Rosicrucians had
alternately thrived and declined with the changing fortunes of the nations in
which they had existed.
The young man's fervor and sincerity brought him to the threshold of the
Rosicrucian Order in France
After trial, test, and initiation he was assigned the mission to re-establish
the noble Rosicrucian teachings in the New World
His mandate required that he present these teachings in modern vernacular, and
that he use analogies and examples from the contemporary arts and sciences
where necessary. But he likewise was instructed that the basic principles and
centuries-old doctrines of the Order were to be expounded and preserved, for
they were of Cosmic root.
The young man was finally admonished that his sacrifices would be great in the
years ahead; he would need to give of himself and of his resources. He was told
that every satisfaction which he might gain from his mission would be mitigated
by the humiliation, persecution and vilification, he would suffer at the hands
of those with opposing motives. He would be maligned as an impostor, accused of
seeking personal aggrandizement and of striving for personal, mercenary gain.
At his transition he would have little worldly gain to show for long and
arduous labor. He was further told that he could count his only reward as a
realization that he had been faithful to a trust and that he had thousands more
devoted friends than enemies.
So it was forty-five years ago in that small hall, with a little band of
supporters, that this young man took his first step in a long struggling
ascent. That night he conducted the first official conclave in America
second cycle of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC. That which these masters of the
Order in Europe
had prophesied, time was to
fulfill. Abuse upon abuse, calumny upon calumny, was heaped upon him with the
passing years. The ignorant derided him. The prejudiced maligned him. The
envious conspired by defamation to disqualify and possibly usurp his position.
His family shared his labors for years when there was nought to be had in
return but consolation for a work well done. Likewise, they became the
recipients of the vituperation of his enemies.
The prophecy of reward also came to be fulfilled. The Rosicrucian Order grew.
Its growth was not alone in number of members throughout the world. It grew as
a force for good and truth in the hearts and minds of thousands of splendid men
and women in nearly every land.
This man who stood in that little hall in New
, facing an uncertain future with undaunted
courage, was H. Spencer Lewis. He became the first Imperator of AMORC for the
second cycle of the Order's existence. He lived to see the fruits of his labor
Dr. H. Spencer Lewis passed through transition on Wednesday, August 2, 1939.
The ashes of his earthly remains were interred in Rosicrucian
, San Jose, California
Each year, a brief, informal ceremony is held in Rosicrucian Park
on August 2 at 4:15 p.m., Pacific Daylight Saving Time, to commemorate his
HIGHER INITIATION, which Rosicrucians consider the transition from this life.
Members and officers participate in this ceremony. Those Rosicrucians unable to
attend are asked to devote a minute of silent tribute to Dr. H. Spencer Lewis
at a time corresponding to that in their locality, if at all convenient.