Rosicrucian Writings Online


[From The Rosicrucian Digest January 1944]
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was an American Statesman, scientist, inventor, philanthropist, and author. He was apprenticed to his brother as a printer in Boston. Later he went to Philadelphia and worked his way up from the printing press to the owner of the "Philadelphia Gazette." He followed a public career holding such positions as Clerk of the General Assembly, Postmaster and Postmaster General. He founded the first library in Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania and the American Philosophical Society. He received honorary degrees from St. Andrews in 1759, and Oxford in 1762, and in 1775 he received the Copley Gold Medal. He experimented a great deal with electricity, the outcome of which was the invention of the lightning rod and his one-fluid theory. He was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
When Benjamin Franklin helped design the occult and mystical Great Seal of the United States, he was a past Grand Master of the Pennsylvania Freemasons as well as a Rosicrucian. It has been established that those particular Freemasons were formerly of a group of Rosicrucians in England that divided, some becoming Freemasons and the others keeping the old terminology of Rosicrucianism. F. de P. Castells, a modern high degree Mason, in his recent book, "Our Ancient Brethren, the Originators of Freemasonry," presents proof of these statements. In addition, Franklin was skilled in the knowledge of magic squares and in the writings of Cornelius Agrippa and the Kabalists. While in Paris, he served with distinction as Master of the mystical lodge on the Nine Muses. While in France, he met and belonged to the group of old European Rosicrucians, knew Mesmer and the incomparable St. Germain and Cagliostro.
His plan had two sides to it. One was for the inner life, the other was for the outer life. His plan for the inner life resulted in his practice of the thirteen virtues. The outcome of his outer life was the founding of a club composed of workers from a printing house. It is usually called the "Junto." It was a social club, as well as a study circle and a moral organization. The "Junto" was later enlarged and drafted into the beginning of an immensely popular movement known as the Rosicrucians. This occult club we see even then was most practical. As the result of these two sides of Franklin's life plan being fused, American thought was stamped with two themes, the Quaker's spiritual side and that of the esoteric practical side of the Rosicrucian. He balanced these two themes in his life by his own unique self-control and practical nature.

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