Wednesday, 6 October 2010
CASE 103 - SRIA - The Rosicrucian Philosophy
The philosophy of Rosicrucian Fraternity is founded on the aspirations of its legendary founder Christian Rosencreutz a German of noble birth and monastic education who, having sojourned the East in search of enlightenment, sought to bring the ancient knowledge he had gained back to the West. After encountering resistance and ridicule throughout Europe he retired to Germany where he founded the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross. Originally a secret Order, the Rosicrucians came to light 120 years after the Founder’s death as an established but ‘invisible’ Fraternity (at about the same time as the rise of Speculative Freemasonry) at the turn of the 17th century through the publication of the two manifestos: the Fama Fraternitatis and the Confessio Fraternitatis (the Fame and the Confession of the Fraternity) published in Germany in 1614/15, which invited all the learned of Europe to join them in a educational, moral and scientific reformation of society. Rosicrucianism has ever been concerned with individual and fraternal search for divine enlightenment for the benefit of the individual in particular and of society in general.
In common with Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism is concerned with encouraging the fellowship of Man and with comprehending the true nature and purpose of his place in Creation. The spiritual journey of one’s understanding of one’s relationship with the Creator is peculiarly unique and individual. But it need not be lonely. Indeed it may be necessary that one be guided or encouraged by an adept or some other who has traversed and contemplated a similar path. The original Brethren of the Rose and Cross invited the learned of Europe to join them in a general reformation of learning and society; the S.R.I.A. now invites all master masons seeking further enlightenment to join our Society and to participate in the objects of our fraternal assembly:
The diffusion of Light and the advancement of Science.
Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry have been connected since time immemorial .
Historically the earliest evidence linking Rosicrucianism and Freemasonry appears in Henry Adamson’s The Muses Threnodie printed in Edinburgh in 1638.
For what we presage is not gross
For we be brethren of the Rosie Cross;
We have the Mason Word and second sight,
Things for to come we can foretell aright.
Some Masonic historians believe that modern Speculative Freemasonry owes much to the Rosicrucian movement. Certainly the earliest recorded speculative Freemasons in England, Sir Robert Moray and Elias Ashmole, if not themselves Rosicrucians, were deeply interested in Rosicrucian philosophy and ideals - ideals that perhaps provided their motive for establishing The Royal Society.
The Rosicrucian Society of England was founded in 1867 by the freemason Robert Wentworth Little and six other brethren following the discovery of certain manuscripts in the archives of Grand Lodge. Many eminent and scholarly masons have been members of the Order.
Since that time it has been the natural home for masons seeking intellectual and spiritual fulfilment.
The Masonic qualification for membership of the SRIA is a legacy of the group of individuals who founded the Society. Masonic approbation is, in itself, a recommendation that the candidate is a fit and proper person, familiar with ceremonial work and obligations of fidelity required of the members of the Society; that is, having attained the rank of a Master Mason in a duly warranted lodge the candidate has in that position shown himself to be a man of worth and discretion, seeking more knowledge of the mysteries that encompass us.
The Masonic qualification therefore is intended to give assurance that fidelity and privacy will characterise the consduct of its members.