Rosicrucian Writings Online
THOUGHT OF THE MONTH
THE GREAT WHITE BROTHERHOOD
By THE IMPERATOR
[Ralph M. Lewis]
[From The Rosicrucian Digest February 1943]
THERE is very good reason to believe that all of the ancient exiles and lost tribes did not equally possess the concealed mysteries, the secret wisdom. In each tribe there were, of course, those who were initiates and who composed the brotherhood. Nevertheless, one of the most mystical of all the tribes, and which was thoroughly conversant with the concealed mysteries, was the Essenes. Each member of the Essenes was also one of the great brotherhood whose breast and consciousness were a repository for the ancient wisdom. The Essenes had their own system of degrees, with mystical initiations for each, and there was a dress and symbolism peculiar to each degree, which indicated the attainment of the member.
One of the degrees composing really a sect within the Essenes was known as the Therapeuti. The members of it were especially trained in the art of healing and in the care of the sick and the prevention of disease. In other words, these sages specialized, shall we say, in the application of that portion of the secret wisdom which concerned the curing of disease and the maintenance of health. To Rosicrucians it is of special interest that the Essenes had an inner shrine in their homes--a sanctum--for meditation. Pliny, referring to the Essenes, said their usages are different from all other peoples and nations.
Dr. H. Spencer Lewis, in his book "The Mystical Life of Jesus," which gives a fascinating and lengthy account of the Essenes, relates that these perpetuators of the secret wisdom first assumed their name, Essenes, at
The next human link with this esoteric wisdom is found in
To them, God is indefinable, that is, defying description. He is likewise ineffable and passionless. The fact that there is ascribed to Him a lack of passion distinguishes their conception of God from the orthodox Hebrew notion. By being passionless, it is meant that God knew no anger or jealousy, nor a special love toward any group of men. God, to the Druses, manifested in numerous incarnations, in fact seventy in all. Each incarnation was for one of seventy different periods of the world. In each of these incarnations He was a great spiritual leader. The first creation of God, according to the Druses, is a universal intelligence, an all-pervading spirit. Next in rank are four ministering spirits, namely, Soul, The Word, the Right and Left Wing. They further expounded that the material world is an emanation from and a mirror of the Divine Intelligence. The soul of a virtuous man or woman is said to pass through a succession of births in new incarnations. In each incarnation the personality becomes more perfect until eventually it is absorbed into the Deity.
The main body of this White Brotherhood, that is, the greater number, left an indelible mark upon human society, as like a torch of light they moved across the face of continents. The disciples this brotherhood made, and left in its wake, in turn became the nucleus of other esoteric, mystical, and philosophical societies. They are well established in history and several of them are in existence today. Finally this main body of mystics entered the mountain fastness of
In this region, there were already dwelling a people. They were indigenous to the land, and they were of Mongolian racial stock. They were of savage and warlike disposition. They composed an animalistic cult who worshipped demons and devils and practiced malediction and phylactery of the crudest kind. Even today they exist in large numbers in
It is an erroneous idea that what is now the city of
Sometime after 650 A. D., Buddhism invaded
One principal misunderstanding of the Buddhistic doctrines arose among the Tibetan sects. It was and is believed that no salvation or Nirvana, that is, ultimate absorption into the divine state, can be had unless one enters a monastic order, namely, becomes a lama. Consequently, one out of every three of the some three million population is a lama. This condition contributed, therefore, to the rapid decline of the population. The White Brotherhood saw in true Buddhism many spiritual and mystical precepts worthy to be preserved and to be lived. Therefore, in addition to their own studies, they became members of some of the higher Buddhistic Orders, and gave their time to the monasteries. That is, they assisted in the translation of sacred teachings into the Pali and Sanskrit languages, or from them into the profane languages of the outside world.
As the centuries passed, the Great White Brotherhood membership became further dispersed throughout those great monasteries which clung tenaciously to the finer aspects of Buddhism. By no means must this be interpreted that the members of the Great White Brotherhood became Buddhists exclusively. As individuals, most of them lived and worked in these finer, nobler monasteries as teachers and performed scholastic duties. As members of the Great White Brotherhood, they met at various places in great assemblages to perform their own ancient mystical rites, and to have their own masters and teachers orate to them upon the mysteries.
These members of the Great White Brotherhood had naught to do with the Bo cult nor with the lesser Buddhistic orders, with their perverted ideas and practice of theurgy. Neither did they possess a great temple, secluded away, which idea appeals to the imagination, and which has been made the basis of many fiction stories. One may journey into the interior of
There are numerous societies and "schools," in
Such authentic Orders have, in comparatively recent times, for their mutual protection organized themselves into a world-wide federation. The abbreviated title of that federation is the F. U. D. O. S. I. A few of the Orders it includes are: Ordre des Samaritains (Inconnus), Ordre de la AMORC, Ordre Brahmanique Russe, Ordre de la Rose-Croix, Ordre Martiniste. Any new societies or orders, that is, just organized or established within the last ten, fifteen, or twenty years, could not and would not receive any epistles from the Great White Brotherhood unless they had been established by recognized members of the authentic Orders now composing the F. U. D. O. S. I., thus assuring that they would conform only to the highest precepts of the Great White Brotherhood.
New teachings which originate with the Great White Brotherhood are issued to one or more of the authentic Orders of the F. U. D. O. S. I., sometimes in the Sanskrit language and accompanied by instructions that they be translated by them, and thence disseminated to the other esoteric Orders comprising the F. U. D. O. S. I. Such teachings are never issued to an individual, we repeat, exclusively for his personal use or for him to establish an order or school, as has been fraudulently claimed at times. When such manuscripts or documents are sent from
I have personally seen such manuscripts which were transmitted to Dr. H. Spencer Lewis, late Imperator of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC. They have the traditional signs and seals upon them of the Great White Brotherhood, especially some which are concealed from the curious, and which are always known just to the initiate, and which must remain secret. Many manuscripts which purport to be issued by the Great White Brotherhood are often proven false, because the author of them did not know the true secret symbols, and therefore could not include them. I have examined such fraudulent documents and found them to be literally covered with a maze of symbols, many of them meaningless. Apparently the author realized that there was some identifying character, and he did not know what it was, and hoped by this maze of symbols to impress whomever he sent the document to. Any true officer of an esoteric Order of the F. U. D. O. S. I., which is the recognized channel for the Great White Brotherhood, is never misled; therefore, neither are the members who associate with such authentic societies and brotherhoods. That is why AMORC, for example, continually stresses its traditions, its historical background, and its authenticity.
I knew a member of the Great White Brotherhood. That is, he was not only affiliated with one of the official Orders recognized by the Great White Brotherhood, but he lived and had been educated with them in
Unless one has been initiated into an esoteric Order recognized by the Great White Brotherhood and the F. U. D. O. S. I., and also has a position of trust, he will gain nothing by a journey to Tibet and India in the hope of contacting directly the brethren in white, who, incidentally, do not dress in white publicly, but only in their secret ceremonies.
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