Yesterday and today, we have always lived, and still live, in a complex world of mind-boggling diversity. We must realise that it is from the innate spirituality within us that the various numerous religions of the world have emanated.
Whenever we come together for a Rosicrucian conclave we are reminded of how fortunate we are to have become members of the Rosicrucian Order. The activities we participate in during a conclave help to demonstrate many of the profound principles we learn through our membership.
These are not abstract lessons; they are lessons that have practical application to our daily lives. And they help us lead better lives. We become healthier, happier, and more peaceful as we sincerely apply the Rosicrucian teachings in our lives.
As practising Rosicrucians we should easily and willingly fit into any society in which we live, for there is nothing weird or strange in what we do as members of AMORC.
It is said that the Rosicrucian is ‘a walking question mark’, which simply means that we have a desire to know the truth about our existence and the universe in which we live.
This requires a bold investigation into the natural and spiritual laws governing the universe, and our appreciation of the natural and spiritual laws of the universe helps us to easily adapt to and blend into any society. With mastery of the laws, we become outstanding, not as misfits in society, but as beacons of light worthy of emulation.
The gregarious instinct of humankind is the force behind our social interactions.
We are born with a need to come together and keep each other company. Our need to interact with one another is so great that we come together to form large complex societies.
Each society interacts with other societies to such an extent that currently every society has become directly or indirectly linked with every other society on the planet. We have formed a global network of human interaction that is unmatched by any other creature on Earth, at least on a physical level.
Unfortunately, our societies are fraught with all kinds of problems such as poverty, ill health, criminality, terrorism, superstition and discrimination to name just a few.
Each problem seems to pave way to one or more other problems. For example poverty increases the potential of criminality. Discrimination could instigate acts of terrorism. And a correlation exists between poor education and poor health.
However, in the scheme of things, it so happens that there is one vice that is responsible for most if not all the other societal vices. And this is social injustice.
When society denies some people of their fair share of goods and services while others get more than they deserve an imbalance is created in its internal structure. This underlying imbalance manifests outwardly as all kinds of societal ills.
The fundamental balance of the society is maintained by justice. Achieving social justice in our interactions requires the kind of understanding that is gained through spiritual development.
An intriguing symbol of justice known as Lady Justice can be found on the premises of every courthouse and judicial institution.
Symbols are often used in mystical tradition to convey deep universal truths. Mystical symbols communicate with us at the deepest levels of our consciousness because they are part of the language of our subconscious mind. The study of the symbolism embodied in Lady Justice is worthwhile at this time because it gives us a profound insight into what is required to uphold justice.
Lady Justice is depicted as a trim female figure wearing a toga. She is blindfolded. In her left hand she carries a scale while in her right hand she holds an unsheathed sword.
The female figure in the Greco-Roman attire, the philosopher’s toga, is reminiscent of the Ancient Roman goddess Justitia. Within the Roman pantheon Justitia was the goddess of justice; a virtue that every Roman emperor was keen to identify with. The feminine nature is considered to be receptive, nurturing, and subtle.
This is opposite and complementary to the masculine nature which is active, driven, and aggressive. Lady Justice appears to be in her prime in health and energy thereby depicting justice as a potent and fundamental force of nature.
The scales she holds in her left hand are the balancing scales of justice.
The idea of using scales as a symbol for judgment goes far back in history to the times of Ancient Egypt. Anubis the Ancient Egyptian God of the underworld was believed to be responsible for receiving departed souls in the underworld.
He carried a scale which was used to weigh the heart of the departed soul against a feather. This feather was known as the feather of Maat; the Ancient Egyptian word for Truth. Only a heart free of the burdens of falsehood could possibly balance against a feather. The purity of such a heart can be understood from an extract from the Egyptian Book of the Dead known as Confession to Maat.
The Egyptian Book of the Dead is a compilation of texts meant to guide the departed souls into the afterlife. A verse from Confession to Maat text says:
“I have not added to the weights of the scales to cheat the seller. I have not misread the pointer of the scales to cheat the buyer.” And after a series of other negations against any evil doing, the confession ends with an affirmation of purity made by saying: “I am pure, I am pure, I am pure.”
The scales also allude to the universal Law of Karma also known as the law of natural justice or the law of natural compensation. For every action initiated by an individual the scale is tipped.
The Universe then responds in equal measure returning the scale back to a state of balance. This is why Karmic reactions always perfectly correspond to our actions.
And this is the true definition of justice.
The piercing action of justice is symbolised by the unsheathed sword wielded in the right hand of Lady Justice. When retribution comes for our wrong doing it strikes us like the blow of a sword.
When we have deeply painful experiences it becomes easier to sympathise with others having similar experiences. As we evolve, we eventually get to a point where we feel the need to protect others from having similarly hurtful experiences. We become like soldiers at the vanguard of the battle for justice. In human affairs we must often fight for justice.
Another quality often represented by a sword in esoteric tradition is the force of the mind or mental force.
Justice is a mental concept and the sword symbolises the power of thought or the sharp intellect required to administer it effectively. And for justice to be efficaciously administered it is essential that there is no form of bias or favouritism.
This quality of lack of bias is symbolised by the blindfold.
With the blindfold everyone is reduced to the same status because no one is visually recognisable under the blindfold therefore everyone becomes unknown.
True justice is carried out without fear or favour. In justice, there is no mercy hence the common plea for justice to be tempered with mercy. The blindfold also denotes mastery.
When a practice has been carried out many times, we can reach a stage of mastery in which we are able to do the task blindfolded. When the outer vision is covered, the inner vision becomes more active.
The blindfold therefore also depicts the awakening of the inner senses and their application in unravelling the mysteries that confound the mortal mind in search for justice.
From the foregoing we can appreciate the profound symbolism of Lady Justice and can apply this knowledge in our lives. If we can align ourselves with the principles of justice we will be working in harmony with cosmic laws.
And as a result of this we will experience greater balance in our lives.
The blindfold should remind us to be detached when judging any situation; not allowing sentiment to becloud our judgment. It should also remind us to turn our consciousness inwards to receive inner guidance.
The sword should remind us that justice rarely comes to us on a platter of gold. We have to demand for it and fight for our rights.
The fight for justice should be more of a psychological fight than physical or emotional. And we must always remember to be balanced in our demands. For whatever we demand, we must offer something of equal worth otherwise we may tip the scale too far in the other direction and still end up with injustice.
For instance, if we are determined to have a just and egalitarian world, we must work hard on our spirituality in creating it bearing in mind that we are essentially spiritual beings in physical bodies.
We must teach our children eternal values through the ages at prenatal and postnatal stages of their development. This way, they will grow up with these values making the next generation much greater than us.
In line with Rosicrucian spiritual culture, I quote from an ancient Rosicrucian manuscript titled “Unto Thee I Grant the economy of life” on what parents should teach a child:
Teach him obedience and he will bless you.
Teach him modesty, and he will not be ashamed.
Teach him gratitude, and he will receive benefits.
Teach him charity, and he will gain love.
Teach him temperance, and he will have health.
Teach him prudence, and fortune will attend him.
Teach him justice, and he will be honoured by the world.
Teach him diligence, and his wealth will increase.
Teach him benevolence, and his mind will be exalted.
Teach him science, and his life will be useful.
Teach him religion, and his death will be happy.
Most people throughout the world condemn extra-judicial killings. Raising children in an atmosphere of incessant killings and hatred, means we have failed abysmally to create an atmosphere of love, tolerance and peace for their upbringing.
An atmosphere of hatred and intolerance can never attract justice. We therefore call on the various arms of governments in all countries as well as religious leaders and fellow citizens of our planet to join the moral campaign to stop all acts of terrorism, killings, banditry, kidnappings, robbery and all acts of violence.
When we look around us we find that examples of injustice abound and are hard pressed to find more than a few cases where justice was served. This indicates that there is still a lot of work to be done.
Beginning with ourselves, we must realise that in the consciousness of the Divine, religiosity yields to spirituality when at the personal level we think good, speak good and do good always as a way of life.
To think good, speak good and do good always is the Law.
If this is understood and practised by us individually and collectively, then we can say at last that Religion has become Spirituality.
But alas this is not yet so because spirituality does not come from religion; it comes from our soul, from the innermost recesses of the Divinity within us.
Adaptation of ‘Spirituality for Social Justice’ by Kenneth U Idiodi from the Rosicrucian Heritage, September 2019