We are all aware that we are living in particularly difficult times. Listening to the news make us swiftly aware of the turmoil and strife which exist in many parts of the world, and it is natural that we, as Rosicrucians who strive for a better society, one where people can live in peace and harmony, should be deeply concerned with the present problems of humanity and the obvious drift and decline of our present, much valued way of life.
Many people question whether or not society is moving in the right direction.
Although there is a growing interest in esotericism on the part of an increasing number of people, the world still regards those who are interested in mysticism and the occult as dreamers with an unrealistic outlook on life. It’s part of the price we must pay for our ideals, to be criticised by those who have little or no understanding of our studies or philosophy.
To many misinformed or uninformed people, we are dreamers, seeking an escape from the normal responsibilities of life. But the study of mysticism is not an escape from life. Rather, we, as Rosicrucian students, are confronted with many obstacles which stand in the way of reaching our ideals. But by meeting these obstacles head on, which in the main are our own shortcomings and deficiencies, we will have the opportunity to ascend the spiral of our own personal development.
We strive unsuccessfully to find more than a handful of leaders of character who can show the way to greater and more meaningful values. There are very few men and women today that can be justifiably called great. Paging through history however, we see how at various times men and women of remarkable insight and genius emerged and brought long-lasting inspiration to humanity. They were writers, artists, philosophers and of course mystics of the highest calibre.
They taught the world how to think and have moved human hearts and minds by the unselfish power and compassion they demonstrated.
The Highest Ideals
If there is anything that we need today to give us a proper perspective of the mystical life, it is the inspiration of those whose lives exemplified the highest ideals of human attainment. There is nothing so helpful for acquiring a true perspective of life and of our place in it than the study and review of the works of the great thinkers of the past. Knowledge and experience alone lead to a proper perspective of life, and knowledge and experience alone will bring that peace of mind which is so necessary in these conflicting and disturbing times.
When we are dedicated to our best conduct and when we strive to achieve a greater degree of mystical development, we come into harmony and cooperation on the psychic plane with many others of like thoughts and interests. There is a companionship on the higher planes of consciousness that we are not always aware of.
Another thought we should consider is that when we study the works of these great luminaries of the past, whether they were mystics or not, by our own devotion to their work, a bond is formed between us, which leads to much insight and inspiration. The works of many writers and artists reveal this fact. By devoting ourselves to the inspired works of these great thinkers and innovators, we can experience an intuitive understanding of their thoughts and ideals.
It is only natural that, under the pressures of modern daily living, we sometimes feel out of harmony with our present way of life.
There is a conflict between the ideal path envisaged by our studies and the environment in which we live. Our lesson here is to adjust to all the circumstances which confront us. We must not avoid but penetrate these problems more deeply and endeavour to view them from an impersonal point of view. We thereby gain insight and strength from such experiences, for this is the way of advancement.
We so often cut off the very experiences or opportunities for advancement, under the misconception that these antagonisms have nothing to do with mystical or spiritual evolution. The truth is however, that from such experiences our character is developed, resulting in a greater understanding of life and its broader purpose.
Our association with others creates many of our difficulties. But these problems can teach us much. By standing detached and apart from others periodically, we can come to understand what these obstacles really mean, and we must learn to adjust to them. For in our service to others, it is imperative that we understand the problems of life before we attempt to serve the needs of others.
When one first enters on the path of spiritual enlightenment, there is usually no great difficulty in accumulating a great deal of knowledge about mystical principles and beliefs. The assimilation of facts usually proceeds at a fairly rapid pace. But there comes a time in the mystical and spiritual development of each of us, when we have to reflect upon what such knowledge can do for us and how it can be used in our daily affairs for the benefit of ourselves and others.
This is where we meet an important test, because our consciousness has begun to expand and attune itself with the higher levels of inner consciousness. It is at this time that we begin to feel the need to exercise the spiritual will and to find the best method to express all we know in achieving some really useful purpose.
At this stage of our development we really begin to think and act for ourselves.
Up to this time, we have been privileged to receive guidance and instruction from others in a purely intellectual sense, but the use of that knowledge now becomes our own responsibility.
Through this knowledge that we have gained, we begin to realise that there is a deeper fount of knowledge which lies within the inner self. We discover that knowledge and truth are always present in the higher reaches of consciousness and that all we need do is become aware of it. This is where our greatest difficulty lies, for one of the most important laws we have to realise is that the light and life of the soul within us will only reveal itself through a concentrated and determined effort.
We have to learn to acquire relentlessness in the will and compassion in the heart in order to draw forth from within ourselves the greater light of truth which we desire.
Learning from Others
Those whose hearts and minds are set upon the highest accomplishments of the mystical life will accept the condition that frustration and strife are necessary elements for the most rapid development and highest mystical attainment. Most of our difficulties and the problems of the world at the present time are not problems of the mind, but of the emotional nature of humankind.
The spiritual suffering of the world has not decreased with the advent of science, quite the opposite. It is more prevalent today than ever before; all the more reason for us to gain knowledge and understanding so that we may render practical service for the benefit of humanity.
We need practical and inspired thinking to carry us through life so that we may attain the lofty ideals which we have envisaged. That is why we should seek knowledge and experience which will give us a deeper understanding of the meaning of life.
Life is a test and a challenge and we have to meet that challenge with all the insight we have gained.
Within each one of us there is a great source of wisdom and knowledge, but we have to draw upon this source with persistent effort in all our endeavours. If we demand little from ourselves, little will be given. This is only saying that we should try to rise to the occasion when we are faced with problems and difficulties and we can often be surprised at what we can accomplish by a little more effort on our part. It should be a constant practice of ours to demand more from ourselves and a little less from others, for in this lies one of the secrets of our advancement.
By interrogating ourselves as to what we know and what we believe, we will reveal the extent of our knowledge and understanding in all aspects of life. By seeking the guidance of the inner self and applying ourselves to study and meditation on the important issues of life with a relentlessness of will, the way will be revealed as to how, with a compassionate heart, we may best serve the cosmic powers to which we have pledged our hearts and minds.
When we study the lives and works of the great thinkers of the past, we see in their works the inspiration for the gradual enlightenment of humankind.
It is with pride that we see how many notable Rosicrucians are to be found in the ranks of these great men and women who pledged themselves to seek the truth, and found inspiration by undertaking a voyage of discovery into the realms of the inner spiritual self. Humanity today awaits the guidance of those who, with vision and understanding for the real needs of humankind, will come to the fore and lead the way to the accomplishments of our innermost ideals.
This is what we are pledged to.
By the light of our own understanding, we will work with others to help guide humanity to a sane, practical, and more spiritual way of life that is in harmony with the Cosmic and which will prove to be a blessing to all humankind.
Adaptation of “The Spiritual Will” by Robert Daniels from the Rosicrucian Beacon, March 2020.