Rosicrucian Writings Online

In Memoriam

 [From The Rosicrucian Digest July 1960]
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 America 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 for the 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 York City, 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 ripen.
Dr. H. Spencer Lewis passed through transition on Wednesday, August 2, 1939. The ashes of his earthly remains were interred in Rosicrucian Park, 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.

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