Frequently Asked Questions
Most frequent questions and answers
What makes the Rosicrucian Order different from “New Age” groups
There are many so-called “new-age” groups who are doing excellent work in the advancement of humanity and its realisation of ever higher ideals and standards of behaviour. Many of these groups however, focus on relatively narrow areas of study, usually only a single issue or topic. Some concern themselves exclusively with health and physical well-being, others offer one form or another of spiritual or quasi-spiritual attunement, others focus on the development of psychic powers, whilst others are concerned almost exclusively with the augmentation of one’s mental powers for the attainment of personal prosperity. The Rosicrucian teachings balance the material and the spiritual, constantly striving to demonstrate their interconnectedness and the need for a balance to exist between them. A clear understanding of the natural laws that govern all realms – physical, mental, psychic and spiritual – leads to true prosperity and peace of mind. A significant portion of the teachings cannot be found anywhere else and are exclusively Rosicrucian in origin and practice. The Rosicrucian philosophy has been developed over the centuries from the combined efforts of many great minds. Freedom of thought is encouraged, and there is no specific code of belief or conduct that must be followed. Extremes of inner or outer behaviour or thought are discouraged, for the simple reason that nothing of permanent value ever arises from such extremes. The lessons are structured in a sequential system to provide safe, gradual development. Ancient truths are incorporated into practical, time tested techniques which can be applied immediately in everyday life.
What do the terms mysticism and metaphysics mean
The Encyclopaedia Brittanica defines mysticism as: “a spiritual quest for hidden truth or wisdom, the goal of which is union with the divine or sacred (the transcendent realm).” In simple terms, mysticism can be defined as an experience where one personally knows, through direct experience, the Source of all Being. This source has variously been called God, the Cosmic, the Divine, the Sacred, the One, the Unity and many more besides. The Rosicrucian system presupposes that everyone can have immediate, personal union with God. Everyone has this potential connection available to them and simply needs to find out how to use it. The teachings allow the student to explore the connection without the need for any dogma or any religious beliefs. The Encyclopaedia Brittanica defines metaphysics as: “… a philosophical study whose object is to determine the real nature of things.” Quite literally, from the ancient Greek language it is translated as: “what comes after physics.” Metaphysics therefore deals with matters falling beyond our present understanding of science. It also examines things falling outside the scope of the physical senses; things such as intuition, psychic experiences, spiritual healing, astral travel, etc. Specifically, it deals with a detailed enquiry into how these and other processes work, as well as what their ultimate nature and purpose are. The Rosicrucian teachings incorporate both mysticism and metaphysics as part of its regular curriculum, and explains many subtle details not covered elsewhere.
What does the Rosicrucian Order teach?
Through the system of study offered by AMORC, students are able to achieve their highest potential on all levels of being: physical, mental, psychic and spiritual. The studies help to broaden the existing five physical senses of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing through the stimulation and awakening of psychic analogues of these senses, which in the majority of people at least, remain dormant throughout life and are rarely used. Through the Order’s teachings, the student gains a detailed understanding of mysticism, and is encouraged to study and apply a broad range of principles from metaphysics, psychology, parapsychology, comparative philosophy, psychic healing, as well as a corpus of non-rigorous scientific knowledge which has not yet been fully modelled by modern scientific theory, but which has been adequately dealt with by Rosicrucians for centuries. Although some topics covered by the Order are dealt with by conventional education systems, there are several areas that are only now beginning to be dealt with by mainstream academic institutions, most notably those dealing with healing, parapsychology and metaphysics. Some of the “non-scientific” topics the Order deals with will now be highlighted, though please note that these examples are not exhaustive by any means:- · The development of a personal path to better health is stressed from the outset through the application of tried and tested techniques of psychic self-healing, specialised relaxation techniques and the proper use of breathing. With greater health comes a natural flow of energy and enthusiasm for life. · The development of the “intuitive faculty” is powerfully stressed in the Order’s teachings. “Intuition” is a human faculty which augments and extends the perceptive ranges of the five physical senses. The result is a far deeper experience of life and the ability to see through the outer appearances of things and events to their true nature. Understanding the “essence” or true nature of all things and situations in life is of invaluable assistance to us in our efforts to evolve. · Meditation is used as an aid to self-healing and general psychological well-being. Though meditation has been used for many thousands of years by the elite and most learned of all major religions, far from being an inherently religious (and hence sectarian) practice, it is a process which can be enjoyed by all human beings, regardless of belief. Amongst the many benefits of regular meditation are poise and balance in one’s actions, and a sense of peace, well-being and achievement in all that one does. ·
The Order also stresses the use of the technique of visualisation as a tool in the achievement of one’s goals in life. Every endeavour begins with a plan of sorts. The clearer the plan, and the clearer the visualisation of the final outcome of one’s endeavour, the greater will be the chances of complete success. In addition, there are certain values which Rosicrucians support in everything they do. Freedom of personal thought, tolerance of the thoughts and beliefs of others, and the value of self-responsibility are central to the Rosicrucian way of life.
Membership in the Order offers the student access to a truly vast storehouse of knowledge, a source of profound wisdom which has been carefully preserved and augmented by mystery schools for several thousand years. Every sincere person with an open mind and a sincere, positive motive, is eligible to receive this knowledge from the Order. It is extremely important to understand that the teachings do not attempt to dictate what one should think or believe.
The Order’s teachings are merely markers delineating a well trodden path of progress to peace, happiness and fulfilment in life, which countless men and women of the past have taken and stayed with throughout their lives. Some of the greatest personalities of the past benefited from their association with Rosicrucians and their way of life. The exemplary manner in which they led their lives lends credence to the teachings the Order has to offer. AMORC does not propose a belief system with creeds or dogmas. On the contrary, it demands that each member establish a personal philosophy of life based on the best and least selfish thoughts they are capable of. From the Order, each member learns how to carve out a personally satisfying, practical approach to life, an approach which is constantly refined through the rest of life. All students are taught to take personal responsibility for their experiences in life and learn to master their actions through direct, daily experiences of learning. They learn to think for themselves, and discover how to draw upon the higher knowledge already within them. What the Order provides are merely the tools and techniques necessary for them to accomplish this.
How would the Rosicrucian teachings affect my religious beliefs ?
Since AMORC is strictly non-sectarian, and therefore not a religion, becoming a Rosicrucian student does not in any way require you to change your religious beliefs. In fact, the Order encourages everyone to participate in the religion of their choice. The result is that Rosicrucian students come from every religious denomination, and through the Order’s teachings, many find a greater appreciation of their particular religious beliefs. Members who do not belong to any particular religion, often experience ever expanding feelings of connection or attunement with some form of “higher intelligence” which though almost impossible to define, nevertheless appears to be constantly present through all sorts of trials, tribulations, periods of happiness and sadness. Before they joined the Order however, there was nothing.
Do I have to spend years of studying before I will realize any real benefits?
No. Almost immediately you will begin to see your life in a different light. A mind stretched by new knowledge can never go back to its prior form, and with this knowledge you will begin working on whatever areas you need or want to improve upon. Furthermore, through our early exercises, you will begin developing parts of your mind that have been left dormant throughout your life. This will facilitate even greater knowledge and ability to deal with situations. You might ask: “Why does it take so long?” Two important points come to mind. First, even though the studies do cover many years, you will enjoy, almost immediately, knowledge with which to help you better yourself. Secondly, ask yourself: “In what field of study does a person receive instant attainment?” Whenever you are learning something new, whether it is another language or how to play the piano, it takes time to develop the basic skills and even longer to master them to the best of your ability. The same holds true for mastering your life. Yet, in time, through the Rosicrucian teachings you will be able to accomplish this. Once you do, you will never regret the time you spent in this endeavour
I’ve been studying metaphysics and mysticism for years. Can I get on an accelerated programme or begin with advanced Degrees?
The uniqueness of the Rosicrucian teachings does not come simply from the body of knowledge it offers, but from the way in which it is organised to produce a genuine evolution in consciousness. This is a good reason for the word “order” in our name. Each topic covers an important step needed to derive benefits from the following topic, and these need to be studied and internalised sequentially. It is imperative, therefore, regardless of your previous study, to begin at the beginning. If you really have advanced some way in the fields of mysticism and metaphysics, then happily for you, you will be able to absorb and internalise the Rosicrucian teachings just that bit faster.
How are the Rosicrucian lessons structured
The Order’s teachings are divided into a number of broad sections under names such as the Postulant section, the Neophyte section, the Initiate section, etc. Each section covers a range of specific topics, some of which will be repeated from previous sections but in greater detail. Furthermore, each section is divided into subsections called “Degrees,” and within these degrees are the actual weekly lessons or “monographs” as they are called. This body of mystical and metaphysical knowledge unfolds spirally from one topic to the next. By following a spiral outward from its centre, each succeeding pass around the spiral establishes a larger, more all-encompassing circle of understanding.
This circle may be compared to the reality in which each of us finds ourselves. The larger our reality, the more freedom and true choice we have in life. With every topic studied, one or more “class masters” are assigned to give correspondence assistance to members who have questions or difficulty in understanding or dealing with the topics. A strong effort is made to answer all questions, and no sincerely asked question is ever turned down because it is “stupid.” Of course, whereas class masters may be specialists in their particular areas of expertise, they can only really point the way, for it is ultimately up to the student to do the required work to achieve full internalisation of the knowledge and wisdom being imparted.
As is no doubt already clear, the Rosicrucian Order does not promise instant enlightenment as is done by so many other New Age organisations. It has sufficient understanding of the principles involved to know that quick, easy results are not possible and whatever results do come quickly, are merely an exercise in principles already mastered in the past. Those principles not yet mastered take hard effort and deep sincerity of purpose to eventually master. Each member receives four lessons per month, each of which should be studied under as ideal conditions as possible.
These lessons, each averaging six to eight pages in length, introduce certain ideas and experiments in a straightforward and simple manner. No special level of intellect or college training is required except of course that the student is expected to be fully literate. One or more periods each week must be set aside for the purpose of reading and absorbing the lessons, as well as conducting the exercises and simple experiments given. For the remainder of the week the student should periodically think about the important ideas contained in recent lessons and make repeated efforts at succeeding with the exercises. This simple commitment is requested as the lessons are not simply a body of knowledge, but a way of life. Students who only read the monographs and do not seriously attempt to succeed with the recommended exercises and experiments, or do not adequately practise the techniques, are wasting their time, much as it is a waste of time to simply read a book on how to play a musical instrument without adequately practising the playing technique on that instrument.