by Gary L. Stewart
Also published in the book "Awakened Attitude"
a collection of essays by Gary L. Stewart
I have said and written the following many times: "The ends do not justify the means. It is not the goal that must be reached; it is the process that must be followed. The goal is merely a result. The process is the act which creates the goal." In mysticism, purity is essential, clear direction a must, and selflessness is the act. Anything less is unworthy of our Order. Anything less degrades humanity.
The intent of this article is to attempt to share with you the essence of Rosicrucianism and our direction. To touch this, however, one must know, not believe; and one must feel from the heart, not think from the brain.
Our beloved Order is much more than a school of mysticism disseminating teachings. It is an initiatic Order of mysticism in the Rosicrucian tradition. What does this mean? It means that we serve Light, flow with Light, and share what we are. We must realize that we are not following the course of ordinary human standards, but rather those standards of an esoteric and spiritual creation. If we can only understand this simple statement, its implications are profound. The statement as well as the implications can be written in words, but the meaning must be read from the heart. Meditate upon and be illumined by this. When realized, nothing more need be said.
Our Order teaches students in the hopes that a few will arrive at a realization. In past years and centuries the Order has gone through phases that were without enlightened individuals. We have called these phases "inactive" or "dormant" cycles of the Order. But do not misunderstand this. It does not mean that the Order was perpetuated by unenlightened people. It means, rather, that the Order had no physical vehicle by which to express itself.
Historically, there have been more times without the Order than there have been with it. Traditionally, there has never been a time that we were without the Order because its essence has always manifested in an "intangible" esoteric creation, merely waiting to be touched by the hearts of those who truly aspire. When there is at least one such individual, then the Order manifests on a physical plane. Nevertheless, the Order is never without life and function. It is never inactive: only human perspective makes it appear so. The Path by which to touch the Order is simple. It is by initiation. We learn through service.
We, as human beings (for never forget that we are), are in a unique situation today. Not only are we approaching the end of a century, we are also approaching the end of a millennium. There has always been and there will always be a special excitement of charged energy during such an era -- especially during the first two or three hundred years afterwards, and sometimes before. We need only observe history to see this.
But today is different from our recorded past. Never before during such a recent recorded cycle have humans had available to them such potential and such power. And, perhaps, never before has humanity been so out of touch with its spiritual heritage. What are we going to do? That crucial question must be decided now! Note these words to a modern song written by a group of traditional Australian Aborigines who are connected especially close to myself: "There is an ancient culture and a modern flock. A drilling rig in a sacred rock. Those angry words upon the flags, won't make that dreaming come back." (By Warumpi Band). This is merely one indication of our human plight. A 50,000 year-old spiritual culture is in danger of dying. Why? Truly, as with the Order and other spiritual movements, the creation cannot die in spiritual planes; but human beings can lose touch. If this happens, we enter the ultimate cycle of starting, again, at the beginning.
The Cosmic is impersonal. It is, and it does what it does. It is not concerned with human affairs other than being our source. We, therefore, must realize this and take responsibility for our actions so that we may return home. This is true Service. Such is our purpose as human beings.
The ultimate question arises: Are human beings capable of this? The answer, naturally, is "yes." Even though we may not act in that direction, we are capable, as we cannot be separate from the One. However, if we ask if we are accomplishing our goal, then I think the answer is obvious. No, we are not. We are at a crossroads where the realization of what we must do is very close, but the act of doing is so far away. It is at this point where the Order is vitally important. We must solidify into a movement within every aspect of our action to assist others to realize and then to help them act. This is what our teachings teach and what the Order, as a collective unit, does in its activities.
Each Rosicrucian is responsible for refining his or her mystical awareness. Followers have always made, in the past and present, the mistake of personifying an avatar and thereby placing all responsibility upon this individual, and thus releasing such responsibility from themselves. In history, a person becomes an example, a leader who is responsible for teaching of the Master Within. An imperfect understanding on the part of the student begins to ascribe allegory and myth to the teachings. After a few generations, the myth becomes dogma; and the teachings become a mystery which the esoteric Order preserves in purity and protects in spiritual planes. To know what is there, one must be there oneself. Such knowledge will not be given in words or "channeled" by others.
It is time to realize that there is no individual avatar. There never was. The avatar is a movement, it has always been. But it is not any movement; the movement is special. The crucial movement is now in the process of maturing. It is the Rosicrucian movement. But it will not manifest unless we, as Rosicrucians, realize our true worth and keep alive within its heart the intensity of fire.
As always, we must be concerned with the physical vehicle, as our foundation is "As above, so below." The physical manifestation of the Confraternity of the Rose Cross is such a vehicle, and Rosicrucians of the past knew this fact quite well. The vehicle was applied toward purposes of Light to accomplish a goal by way of a process, the result being a profound impact upon society. Who is responsible for the introduction of the scientific method, freedom of thought, the elements of democracy and similar systems, the advancement of peace and culture, and much more? The philosophers and mystics, many of whom worked within movements, and many within the Order.
Indeed, the Order has exercised a profound impact upon civilization in various centuries; most notably during the seventeenth century. At the same time, we must realize that such impact is not momentary, but rather directed as a process to create a goal. The advanced concepts introduced to humanity of the past were not to be used for control and power, or even influence although we can see that those of little understanding would attempt to do just that. In reality, that which was introduced was merely meant to catalyze all people to begin to take the responsibility to speed their way toward enlightenment.
Today, we are entrusted with the responsibility to perpetuate the movement into the next phase. As Imperator, I am obligated to state that I am fully aware of the responsibility and have shared in the vision of the past and the future. My vows are to assure accomplishment. I have seen our success and know the Path which must be taken. I also know the challenges and obstacles. As with all Imperators, my counsel is: "Do that which must be done and can be done in no other way."
In reference to the events occurring within the Order: I will not say why it must take place in the manner that it does, because it is self-evident. I will only say that it does so in accordance with a plan of a future of necessity in which all Rosicrucians share. We must realize the difference between the Order and its physical vehicle, and we must realize that the vehicle needs to be a reflection of the Order. Our administration directs the vehicle. Our officers must, by necessity, direct the Order, and they must appreciate and serve the Tradition. Of them, I will not accept less than excellence -- not because of my own personal feelings, but rather by responsibility of a movement set forth several centuries ago.