Was Rudolf Steiner the Master Christian Rosenkreutz?

Was Rudolf Steiner the Master Christian Rosenkreutz?

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By Douglas Gabriel

Christian Rosenkreutz felt it to be his mission to make it possible for every human being, no matter where he stands in modern life, to rise to spiritual heights.
— Rudolf Steiner

Through the myth of Christian Rosenkreutz, a new world of ancient wisdom opened up for Europe as the tides of Eastern, Near Eastern, and Alexandrian wisdom flooded into Europe through the use of symbols and illustrations that conveyed the mystery teachings of the ancients back to the beginning of human history. No longer did the narrow view of the Catholic Church limit the horizons of spiritual seekers. Pagan heresies filled the pages of those who responded to the universal call for a reformation of Europe. Some of the anxious seekers who wished to join the Brotherhood of the Rose Cross found themselves suffering at the hands of the Catholic Church. The secrecy of the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross was first and foremost there to protect aspiring Rosicrucians from burning at the stake.

The greatest insight about Christian Rosenkreutz (known also as CRC) and Rosicrucianism was given by Rudolf Steiner, who many say was another incarnation of Christian Rosenkreutz. We will let Steiner’s own words represent his sentiments concerning this question so that the reader may make their own determination. It is more important to study what Steiner tells us about CRC and the stimulation he gave to an already existing stream of spiritual teachings that go back to ancient times. Steiner believed that the spiritual content of Rosicrucianism was a continuation of some elements found in Freemasonry, Gnosticism, the teachings of the Holy Grail, and the combined teachings of the ancient Indian, Persian, and Egyptian-Chaldean epochs.  Rosicrucianism was renewed and became acknowledged publicly in the 17th century, but has its roots in ancient times. The secrecy of the Rosicrucians was also maintained in the spiritual streams that flowed into it. Rosicrucians and their predecessors have remained hidden, for the most part, even into our own time. Rosicrucians belong to the “Invisible College” and they work in secret making sure that they integrate into their environments and are only known for lending succor to those who are ill or in need.

What concerns Rosicrucians is the inner path that has turned the outer teachings of the past into the personal path of individualized self-development. Steiner tells us that three great leaders from the Indian, Persian, and Egyptian-Chaldean periods decided with another great initiate to combine all of the ancient teachings into a synthesis that would become the teachings of Rosicrucians.  These teachers, Skythianos, Zarathustra, and Gautama Buddha worked with Manes to implant the outer wisdom of the priest-kings into the individualized wisdom of the modern Rosicrucian.  This great meeting happened in the fourth century and was one of the most important events for humanity, especially for the Rosicrucian movement. This amalgamation of all previous outer wisdom into a personalized inner wisdom is the signature of the Consciousness Soul era that began in 1413. In 1459 Christian Rosenkreutz was given a special initiation by Manes wherein he took into himself a copy of the perfected “I” of Jesus Christ that is found in the realm of spiritual economy, or Shamballa. This perfected “I” or ego of Jesus Christ gave Christian Rosenkreutz the capacity to hold the combined synthesis of all ancient wisdom in his personal self. This ability made possible by a previous incarnation of Christian Rosenkreutz in the thirteenth century.

The initiation of Christian Rosenkreutz in the fifteenth century fully transformed his astral body. In a previous initiation in the thirteenth century, he underwent a process that fully transformed his etheric body through absorbing and transforming the teachings of the twelve wise initiates who gathered around his body that seem to be turning completely transparent. During this initiation, the combined wisdom of the twelve great spiritual leaders of humanity went through a complete transformation on a higher level and formed into a synthesis of the twelve world religions. New forms were created for this wisdom so that it could become more effective for the individual aspirant on the path of self-development. This newly synthesized wisdom became the content of Rosicrucianism.

Christian Rosenkreutz went through his first initiation when Jesus Christ raised him from the dead when he was known as Lazarus. After this new type of initiation, conducted by Jesus Christ, Lazarus was known from then on as John, the one the Lord loved. John wrote the Gospel of St. John, the Epistles of John, and the Apocalypse. John was the first initiate to recognize the cosmic mission of Christ and the new mysteries of Christ are found in John’s writings. It was this initiation of John’s physical body by Jesus Christ that made it possible for the initiations of the etheric and astral bodies in the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries.

The Historical Evidence for Christian Rosenkreutz

Previously, we posted articles on the incarnations of St. Germain in our Masters and Avatars series at Ourspirit.com. The Secret Incarnations of St. Germain and Mysterious Painting Reveals Initiation of Christian Rosenkreutz reveal St. Germain’s incarnations as Christian Rosenkreutz, St. John the Divine (who was the same person as Lazarus), Hiram Abif (the builder of Solomon’s temple), and numerous others including the direct lineage of Cain and Tubul Cain. Our colleague, in his post Incarnations of St. Germain compiled by John Barnwell, gave further indications of these incarnations as shown in numerous writings of Rudolf Steiner.

Now that we have outlined all of these incarnations, we can give full attention to two incarnations of Christian Rosenkreutz before he was St. Germain, one incarnation in the thirteenth century and another in the fifteenth century.

Ostensibly, Christian Rosenkreutz was a fifteenth century personality, not given historical credence by external history, but known to us from two anonymous Rosicrucian legends: Fama Fraternitatis or Discovery of the Brotherhood of the Highly Commendable Order of the Rose Cross, Cassel 1614; and Confessio Fraternitatis or Confession of the Commendable Brotherhood of the Highly Honored Rose Cross,Cassel 1615, according to which Christian Rosenkreutz was a German of noble descent who lived from 1378 to 1484. The name occurs for the first time in a document called Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz (Anno 1459) written in 1604.  Handwritten copies were anonymously published in Strasbourg in 1616 by Johann Valentin Andreae who was a seventeen-year-old student in Tubingen University, who later became a Lutheran pastor.

Of him Rudolf Steiner says: “Valentin Andreae is the physical writer of this Chymical Wedding. He himself knew nothing of it, for he shows us that later. It was not written by a human being or a physical personality. He made use of this secretary, who later became the pastor, Valentin Andreae. A young man, lends his hand to a spiritual Being. This was the spirituality flowing forth, which still revealed itself to men. The verses of the Chymical Wedding are revelations of something magnificent, mighty macrocosmic images, mighty experiences majestically arising, between man and the macrocosm.” Mystery Knowledge and Mystery Centers, Rudolf Steiner, December 9, 1923.  GA 232

It is not uncommon that a person becomes a mouthpiece for spiritual content that they do not fully understand; this is the process of artistic inspiration. Andreae was inspired by spiritual events that were well known among the wise and initiated. His call for a universal reformation of science, art and religion was in keeping with the sentiment of Europe concerning the stranglehold of the Catholic Church on “heretics” throughout Moravia, Bohemia, Germany, and Protestant Europe. Many others before him had also called for a “reformation” of science art and religion since Luther’s day. All of Northern Europe wished to throw off the yoke of Rome, but the founding of the Jesuits, a military order of priests, sounded the trumpet of the Counter-Reformation.

Christian Rosenkreutz is a most complicated individual and what we known of him through Johann Valentin Andreae only scratches the surface of the depth of what Rudolf Steiner has revealed about CRC and his numerous incarnations. Rosicrucianism is not limited to the first Rosicrucian trilogy authored by the young Andreae. The tradition is old, deep and all-encompassing and we should not be fooled into thinking that CRC was fictional, a myth, or didn’t exist at all. The Rosicrucian trilogy of Andreae tapped into the core of a tradition that goes back to ancient times. Andreae was more than likely over-lighted by Christian Rosenkreutz himself so that the truth might come to light. The fact that Andreae’s political ambitions were quickly dampened by the Thirty Years War that destroyed his own church, The Unity Brethren, and left him denying any part in the jest of political idealism called Rosicrucianism.

The Sources of Rosicrucianism

One of the radical secret teachings of the Rosicrucians was the use of symbols and illustrations to teach secret wisdom, much like Amos Comenius used illustrations in his universal reformation of education. Andreae and Comenius were both Bishops in the Unity Brethren and Andreae, at one point, said that Comenius had taken on the mantle of leading the Rosicrucians. Comenius called for a reformation of education and the building of the Temple of Pansophia, an ideal Rosicrucian crypt that was much like the legendary tomb of Christian Rosenkreutz described in the Fame of the Fraternity. Pictures and symbols were forbidden in many religions and seen as evil sorcery.  The very methodologies of the Rosicrucians were heretical from the first page onward.

  The Tomb of Christian Rosenkreutz

In the description of Christian Rosenkreutz in the Fame of the Fraternity, we see the cosmopolitan spiritual seeker who is born in 1378 in Europe and travels to the Near East where he has a Damascus event like Paul wherein he directly experiences the being of Christ in the etheric realm. He travels throughout the Levant, Egypt and Northern Africa studying all the wisdom of the ancients. He learns many languages and is trained by the best healers and spiritual teachers. Eventually he translates the most holy book “M” and returns with it to Europe where he gathers a few of the twelve wise men, who reincarnated with him at that time, around himself in secret to teach them what he had learned. This small group of four became the original Rosicrucians founded by Christian Rosenkreutz.

The Rosicrucian spiritual stream also has other sources. One of the clearest sources was Ormus, a high priest of Isis in Alexandria who was taught by St. Mark. Ormus converted to Christianity and together with St. Mark, they transformed the cult of Isis into a Christian cult that was also the basis of the Grail cult, the Templar cult, Freemasonry. Christian Rosenkreutz took these cults and turned them into Rosicrucianism in modern times. These same teachings of Ormus, that were derived from ancient mystery wisdom, were transformed into symbolic instructions and rituals for moral development that eventually became the 90 degrees of the Memphis Mizraim Freemasonic Rites. These rites existed long before their revitalization by Joseph Balsamo (Cagliostro) who claimed to have received them from the Comte de St. Germain – an incarnation of Christian Rosenkreutz. Thus, the Gnostic Christianity of Ormus and St. Mark transform all of the known mystery wisdom of the time and synthesize it into rituals that symbolically teach the spiritual content of the ancient mysteries. Some would claim that Ormus was, in fact, an incarnation of Christian Rosenkreutz.

Rudolf Steiner on Christian Rosenkreutz

It is only Rudolf Steiner who speaks of the initiations of Christian Rosenkreutz – Lazarus to St. John (physical), the young child initiated by the twelve great teachers (etheric), the initiation depicted in the Chymical Wedding (astral), and the fifteenth century initiation of Christian Rosenkreutz by Manes to receive a replica of Jesus Christ’s ego body (“I”). Only a few other spiritual researchers point out that St. Germain was another incarnation of Christian Rosenkreutz.  This insightful wisdom opens new vistas to understand karma and reincarnation and the sources of Rosicrucianism. Steiner said many times, even from his initial years in Theosophy, that the Master Christian Rosenkreutz and the Master Jesus were the masters that he followed and represented. He had the greatest esteem and praise for Christian Rosenkreutz, and now we can see why. Christian Rosenkreutz has been a key figure throughout human spiritual history.  Steiner also indicates that Christian Rosenkreutz is of the same lineage as Cain and Tubul Cain.  This indication shows again the tremendously important role CRC has play over the entire history of human development.

Rudolf Steiner tells us that Christian Rosenkreutz later incarnated as the Count of St. Germain, the son of Francis II of the House of Rakoczy, often called “The Prince of Transylvania” (1676-1735), and Princess Maria Amelia of Hesse-Rheinfels (married 1694). The son, born about 1710, was christened Josephus Germanus, and was later known as the Count of St. Germain, the last prince of the House of Rakoczy.

The selections below of Rudolf Steiner’s explain the importance Christian Rosenkreutz is for spiritual development in the West. Rosenkreutz helps prepare aspirants for the Christian-Rosicrucian Path while the Master Jesus prepares us for the Christian-Esoteric Path.

Response to a Question by Wilhelm Rath, From the History & Contents of the First Section of the Esoteric School 1904-1914, Stuttgart, October 16, 1922

Since that time Christian Rosenkreutz has become the leading personality in the spiritual life of the West. Both he and the Master Jesus, the Friend of God from the Highlands, have been incarnated in every century since then. They incarnate in turns every century, and from that time on the Master Jesus has worked along with Christian Rosenkreutz.

Esoteric Lessons, 1904-1909: Lectures, Notes, Meditations, and Exercises by Rudolf Steiner, Notes of Esoteric Lessons from Memory by the Participants. Translated by James H. Hindes. June 1, 1907, Munich. Manuscript from Anna Weissmann.

That lofty spiritual individuality who recognized this was Christian Rosenkreutz.  He was the one who, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, undertook the great work of uniting the spiritual culture of the East with that of the West. He has always lived among us and is still with us today as leader in the spiritual life. He brought the spiritual culture of the East, as it is represented in the Old and New Testaments as the highest blossom of Eastern wisdom, into intimate harmony with the wisdom that originated in Atlantis. Thus he gave us Christianity in the form in which it had been prepared and introduced by that mysterious “Unknown man from the Highlands” who came to Johannes Tauler.  “Highlands” signifies the spiritual world, the kingdom of Heaven. The lofty spiritual being who was concealed in the “Unknown man from the Highlands” was none other than the Master Jesus himself, in whose body Christ once lived on Earth. He too is with us today. The Master Jesus and the Master Christian Rosenkreutz prepare for us two paths to invitations, the Christian-esoteric path and the Christian-Rosicrucian path.  Both of these paths have existed since the Middle Ages. But the spiritual life has increasingly disappeared from human consciousness with the rise of materialism. At the end of the nineteenth century, materialism had become so powerful that humankind needed a new spiritual infusion if it was not to perish.

Rosenkreutz Unifies the Spiritual Culture of East and West

Rudolf Steiner was a Theosophist who taught a Western esoteric path instead of an Eastern path.  The Eastern path of Theosophy was centered on the masters Kuthumi and Morya while other masters like Hilarion and Serapis Bey played a lesser role. Steiner’s Western path of Theosophy, which he re-founded under the name Anthroposophy, was more attuned to the Christian masters – the Master Jesus and Christian Rosenkreutz. Even though this is true, H. P. Blavatsky was inspired by Christian Rosenkreutz when she wrote her first book, Isis Unveiled. Later, Blavatsky was no longer attuned to the two Western masters.

Esoteric Lessons, 1904-1909: Lectures, Notes, Meditations, and Exercises by Rudolf Steiner, Notes of Esoteric Lessons from Memory by the Participants. Translated by James H. Hindes. June 1, 1907, Munich. Manuscript from Anna Weissmann.

That lofty spiritual individuality who recognized this was Christian Rosenkreutz. He was the one who, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, undertook the great work of uniting the spiritual culture of the East with that of the West.  He has always lived among us and is still with us today as leader in the spiritual life. He brought the spiritual culture of the East, as it is represented in the Old and New Testaments as the highest blossom of Eastern wisdom, into intimate harmony with the wisdom that originated in Atlantis. Thus he gave us Christianity in the form in which it had been prepared and introduced by that mysterious “Unknown man from the Highlands” who came to Johannes Tauler. “Highlands” signifies the spiritual world, the kingdom of Heaven. The lofty spiritual being who was concealed in the “Unknown man from the Highlands” was none other than the Master Jesus himself, in whose body Christ once lived on Earth. He too is with us today. The Master Jesus and the Master Christian Rosenkreutz prepare for us two paths to invitations, the Christian-esoteric path and the Christian-Rosicrucian path. Both of these paths have existed since the Middle Ages.  But the spiritual life has increasingly disappeared from human consciousness with the rise of materialism. At the end of the nineteenth century, materialism had become so powerful that humankind needed a new spiritual infusion if it was not to perish.

There was a single personality who, because of her psychic constitution, was able to perceive the voice of the Master. This was H.P. Blavtasky. When she began her work not all esoteric traditions had been lost.  here were, rather, in the West numerous Brotherhoods that had received [preserved] esoteric wisdom, but in a rigid, ossified form without vital life. When H.P. Blavatsky wrote her Isis Unveiled they vociferously claimed that this wisdom belonged to them, for many of the symbols and teachings were known to them and they sought to place hindrances in her path every way possible. Thus Blavatsky was harassed in the worst way possible in an attempt to prevent her from fulfilling her work in a Christian esoteric sense, as was her original intention.  Indeed, at that time she had to suffer through terrible things. And those exoteric brotherhoods actually managed to bring things to the point where she had to clothe what she had to say in Eastern dress in her second work, The Secret Doctrine. Even today we are still accustomed to having most terms for esoteric connections in Eastern language. But this Eastern form of wisdom is nothing for us Western people. In can only hinder us and bring us back from our goals. The people who are to form the kernel for the following races are her in the West.

This should be given as a factual answer to what the voice of the Masters from the East made known a short while ago. Our Western Masters have also spoke, although less noisily. And we want to write deeply into our hearts what they said. They called upon us to work with them on the future evolution of humankind and to stand firmly and endure in all the battles that yet stand before us; to hold firmly to what we possess as a living, holy tradition. This call should always sound in our souls. However, no one should believe that there exist any disharmony between the Masters of the East and West. The Masters always live in harmony. Nevertheless, in recent time a decisive change has taken place in regard for the esoteric school of East and West. Until now both schools were united in a great circle under a common leadership of Masters.

Now, however, the western school has made itself independent and there now exist two school on the same level, one in the East and one in the West: two smaller circles instead of one great one. The eastern school is led by Mrs. Annie Besant and those who in their hearts feel themselves drawn to her can no longer remain in our school. Everyone should well consider for which path his or her heart longs. Two Masters stand at the head of our western school: the Master Jesus and the Master Christian Rosenkreutz. And they lead us on two paths, the Christian esoteric and the Christian Rosicrucian. The Great White Lodge guides all spiritual movements, and the Masters Jesus and Christian Rosenkreutz belong to it.

Rosenkreutz Receives Replica of the “I” of Jesus

As we read above, Rosenkreutz was initiated three times to prepare his physical, etheric, and astral bodies in preparation for the fourth initiation where he received a replica of the ego body of Jesus Christ into his being. This momentous initiation was the highest that a human being can attain. Jesus Christ had raised CRC-Lazarus from the dead to completely renew his physical body. The twelve wise men initiated CRC and renewed his etheric body. The initiation described in the Chymical Wedding renewed CRC’s astral body so that finally, Manes could initiate CRC into the process of receiving a replica of the ego body of Jesus Christ. These deep secrets of Rosicrucianism are some of the most hidden mysteries of human spiritual evolution.

Esoteric Lessons, 1904-1909: Lectures, Notes, Meditations, and Exercises by Rudolf Steiner, Notes of Esoteric Lessons from Memory by the Participants. Translated by James H. Hindes. May 27, 1909, Berlin. Manuscript from Eugenie Bredow.

The childhood of the great initiates differs little from the life of other children; perhaps there are only a few aspects that indicate the kind of spirit that lives in a child. They must learn and enrich their knowledge as others and only thus acquire what they were in previous incarnations. This was also the case with Christian Rosenkreutz. Perhaps it took many a miracle for him not to have recognized at the outset the significance of the event of Golgotha. That was because the “I” of Jesus was placed in him, as in Augustine the etheric body, and in venerable Francis Assisi the astral body. But because it was the “I” it first had to work its way through to knowledge in order to bring it to full effect. With it he had a high and important mission.

The Spiritual Power of Rosenkreutz

Once the spiritual power of Jesus Christ’s ego body was active in Rosenkreutz, amazing physical and spiritual forces began to emanate from his body that are unique in history. The bonds of physical limitations are burst asunder and CRC begins to affect many people at once and his stream of Rosicrucianism grows stronger all the time.

Esoteric Christianity and the Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz, Rosicrucian Christianity, Neuchatel, September 27, 1911.  GA 130.

Christian Rosenkreutz is an individual who is active both when he is in incarnation and when he is not incarnated in a physical body; he works not only as a physical being and through physical forces, but above all spiritually, through higher forces. Great forces emanating from the etheric body of Christian Rosenkreutz can work into our soul and also into our spirit. It is our duty to get to know these forces, for we work with them as Rosicrucians. Strictly speaking, the Rosicrucian movement began in the thirteenth century.  At that time these forces worked extra-ordinarily strongly, and a Christian Rosenkreutz stream has been active in spiritual life ever since. There is a law that this spiritual stream of force has to become especially powerful every hundred years or so.

Thirteenth Century Incarnation of Rosenkreutz and the Wonderous Child

Though little is known of the life of Christian Rosenkreutz, even less is known of his incarnation in the thirteenth century. Only Rudolf Steiner tells us the story of the youth, which I like to call “the wondrous child,” who shows us what all of humanity will one day become. The tradition of twelve holy ones surrounding a “thirteenth” goes back to ancient Egyptian initiations on beyond.  The twelve hierophants surrounded the aspirant who lay in a sepulcher in a “mock death” that sometimes actually led to death. Initiation in the past was a very real matter of life and death.  Freemasonic rituals centered on raising the Master Hiram from his grave. Countless traditions focused on life after death and the mysteries that surround that sacred knowledge. Once initiation was completed, the newly awaken one came to know that their soul and spirit are eternal and that there is life after death among the very spirits the aspirant was introduced to during initiation.  Ritual death was a path of understanding eternal life.

Rudolf Steiner tells the story of the initiation of the wondrous child (who later is CRC) numerous times, each with new details and a different perspective. The story is so unique and unusual that it is well worth the time to read numerous versions of the story so that as many of the details as possible are made available to the person who is hearing this story for the first time. It is a story that is a vision, a fairy tale and a spiritual reality all in one. Christian Rosenkreutz represents an advanced being who is going through what humanity will go through in the distant future.  Rosenkreutz was awakened early in his incarnations and has suffered more than any other human who has lived besides Jesus Christ. He was a martyr in at least ten incarnations and his lives show a rough and uphill climb throughout all of his incarnations. Rosenkreutz is at the hub of the masters of wisdom that weave in and out of his incarnations. Some of the twelve wise ones who gather around him as his teachers in the 13th century return to be his students in the fifteenth century.

Below are Steiner’s indications about this most significant initiation of Christian Rosenkreutz by the Seven Holy Rishis and the Masters of Wisdom.

Esoteric Christianity and the Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz, The Seven Principles of the Macrocosm and their Connection with the Human Being, Lecture Notes, Stuttgart, November 28, 1911. GA 130

In the thirteenth century, humanity was for a short period completely cut off from any clairvoyant capacity. This is why a great conference of the wisest people was held at the time, the ‘College of the Twelve.’ The first seven of these were the Holy Rishis, each one of whom embodied one of the seven Atlantean evolutionary stages. Four other wise masters embodied the first four sub-races of our epoch: the Indian, the Persian, the Egyptian-Chaldean, and the Graeco-Roman. The twelfth represented all that followed. Among these twelve was a boy, the thirteenth, whom they took into their midst; and all twelve poured out their wisdom upon him in a particular way. As a result that body of the boy became wholly light-filled and shimmering. For a long time he had eaten nothing. He lived only a short while under this mighty influence, but during this time was able, through what he had taken up from all the others, to become their teacher, to instruct them in things that they themselves could not encompass singly. Specifically, he could explain to them through his own vision the higher meaning of the Pauline event. Then he died and was reborn in the fourteenth century as Christian Rosenkreutz. He then lived for a hundred years, and since then has been the teacher not only of the twelve wise men, but of all of humanity.

Esoteric Christianity and the Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz, Lecture 1, Neuchatel, September 27, 1911.  GA 130

Christian Rosenkreutz is an individual who is active both when he is in incarnation and when he is not incarnated in a physical body; he works not only as a physical being and through physical forces, but above all spiritually through higher forces. Great forces emanating from the etheric body of Christian Rosenkreutz can work into our soul and also into our spirit. It is our duty to get to know these forces, for we work with them as Rosicrucians. 

Strictly speaking the Rosicrucian movement began in the thirteenth century. At that time these forces worked extraordinarily strongly, and a Christian Rosenkreutz stream has been active in spiritual life ever since. There is a law that this spiritual stream of force has to become especially powerful every hundred years or so. This is to be seen now in the theosophical movement. Christian Rosenkreutz gave an indication of this in his last exoteric statements.

The Rosicrucian stream began in the thirteenth century. During that century personalities particularly suitable for initiation had to be specially chosen. Initiation could take place only after the short period of darkness had run its course.

In a place in Europe that cannot be named yet – though this will be possible in the not very distant future — a lodge of a very spiritual nature was formed comprising a council of twelve men who had received into themselves the sum of the spiritual wisdom of olden times and of their own time. So we are concerned with twelve men who lived in that dark era, twelve outstanding individualities, who united together to help the progress of humanity.    None of them could see directly into the spiritual world, but they could awaken to life in themselves memories of what they had experienced through earlier initiations. And the karma of mankind brought it about that in seven of the twelve all that still remained to mankind of the ancient Atlantean epoch was incarnated. In my Occult Science it has already been stated that in the seven holy Rishis of old, the teachers of the ancient Indian cultural epoch, all that was left of the Atlantean epoch was preserved. These seven men who were incarnated again in the thirteenth century, and who were part of the council of twelve, were just those who could look back into the seven streams of the ancient Atlantean cultural epoch of mankind and the further course of these streams.

Among these seven individualities each one of them could bring one stream to life for their time and the present time. In addition to these seven there were another four who could not look back into times long past but could look back to the occult wisdom mankind had acquired in the four post-Atlantean epochs. The first could look back to the ancient Indian period, the second to the ancient Persian cultural period, the third to the Egyptian-Chaldean-Assyrian-Babylonian cultural period and the fourth to the Greco-Roman culture. These four joined the seven to form a council of wise men in the thirteenth century. A twelfth had the fewest memories as it were, however he was the most intellectual among them, and it was his task to foster external science in particular. These twelve individualities not only lived in the experiences of Western occultism, but these twelve different streams of wisdom worked together to make a whole. A remarkable reference to this can be found in Goethe’s poem The Mysteries.

We shall be speaking, then, of twelve outstanding individualities. The middle of the thirteenth century is the time when a new culture began. At this time a certain low point of spiritual life had been reached. Even the most highly developed could not approach the spiritual worlds. Then it was that the council of the spiritual elite assembled. These twelve men, who represented the sum of all the spiritual knowledge of their age and the twelve tendencies of thought, came together in a place in Europe that cannot as yet be named.

This council of the twelve only possessed clairvoyant memory and intellectual wisdom. The seven successors of the seven Rishis remembered their ancient wisdom, and the other five represented the wisdom of the five post-Atlantean cultures. Thus the twelve represented the whole of Atlantean and post-Atlantean wisdom. The twelfth was a man who attained the intellectual wisdom of his time in the highest degree. He possessed intellectually all the knowledge of his time, whilst the others, to whom direct spiritual wisdom was also denied at that time, acquired their knowledge by returning in memory to their earlier incarnations.

The beginning of a new culture was only possible, however, because a thirteenth came to join the twelve. The thirteenth did not become a scholar in the accepted sense of that time. He was an individuality who had been incarnated at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha. In the incarnations that followed he prepared himself for his mission through humility of soul and through a fervent life devoted to God. He was a great soul, a pious, deeply mystical human being, who had not just acquired these qualities but was born with them. If you imagine to yourselves a young man who is very pious and who devotes all his time to fervent prayer to God, then you can have a picture of the individuality of this thirteenth. He grew up entirely under the care and instruction of the twelve, and he received as much wisdom as each one could give him. He was educated with the greatest care, and every precaution was taken to see that no one other than the twelve exercised an influence on him. He was kept apart from the rest of the world. He was a very delicate child in that incarnation of the thirteenth century, and therefore the education that the twelve bestowed upon him worked right into his physical body. Now the twelve, being deeply devoted to their spiritual tasks and inwardly permeated with Christianity, were conscious that the external Christianity of the Church was only a caricature of the real Christianity. They were permeated with the greatness of Christianity, although in the outside world they were taken to be its enemies. Each individuality worked his way into just one aspect of Christianity. Their endeavor was to unite the various religions into one great whole.    They were convinced that the whole of spiritual life was contained in their twelve streams, and each one influenced the pupil to the best of his ability. Their aim was to achieve a synthesis of all the religions, but they knew that this was not to be achieved by means of any theory but only as the result of spiritual life. And for this a suitable education of the thirteenth was essential.

    Whilst the spiritual forces of the thirteenth increased beyond measure, his physical forces drained away. It came to the point where he almost ceased to have any further connection with external life, and all interest in the physical world disappeared. He lived entirely for the sake of the spiritual development which the twelve were bringing about in him. The wisdom of the twelve was reflected in him. It reached the point where the thirteenth refused to eat and wasted away.

Then an event occurred that could only happen once in history. It was the kind of event that can take place when the forces of the macrocosm co-operate for the sake of what they can bring to fruition. After a few days the body of the thirteenth became quite transparent, and for days he lay as though dead. The twelve now gathered round him at certain intervals. At these moments all knowledge and wisdom flowed from their lips. Whilst the thirteenth lay as though dead, they let their wisdom flow towards him in short prayer-like formulae. The best way to imagine them is to picture the twelve in a circle round the thirteenth. This situation ended when the soul of the thirteenth awakened like a new soul. He had experienced a great transformation of soul. Within it there now existed something that was like a completely new birth of the twelve streams of wisdom, so that the twelve wise men could also learn something entirely new from the youth. His body, too, came to life now in such a way that this revival of his absolutely transparent body was beyond compare. The youth could now speak of quite new experiences. The twelve could recognize that he had experienced the event of Damascus: it was a repetition of the vision of Paul on the road to Damascus.

    In the course of a few weeks the thirteenth reproduced all the wisdom he had received from the twelve, but in a new form. This new form was as though given by Christ Himself. What he now revealed to them, the twelve called true Christianity, the synthesis of all the religions, and they distinguished between this true Christianity and the Christianity of the period in which they lived. The thirteenth died relatively young, and the twelve then devoted themselves to the task of recording what the thirteenth had revealed to them, in imaginations — for it could only be done in that way. Thus came the symbolic figures and pictures contained in the collection of Hinricus Madathanus Theosophus, and the communications of H.P. Blavatsky in the work Isis Unveiled. We have to see the occult process in such a way that the fruits of the initiation of the thirteenth remained as the residue of his etheric body, within the spiritual atmosphere of the earth. This residue inspired the twelve as well as their pupils that succeeded them, so that they could form the occult Rosicrucian stream. Yet it continued to work as an etheric body, and it then became part of the new etheric body of the thirteenth when he incarnated again.

The individuality of the thirteenth reincarnated as soon as the fourteenth century, roughly in the middle. In this incarnation he lived for over a hundred years. He was brought up in a similar way in the circle of the pupils and successors of the twelve, but not in such a secluded way as in his previous incarnation. When he was twenty-eight years old he formed a remarkable resolution. He had to leave Europe and travel. First he went to Damascus, and what Paul had experienced there happened again to him. This event can be described as the fruits of what took place in the previous incarnation. All the forces of the wonderful etheric body of the individuality of the thirteenth century had remained intact, none of them dispersed after death into the general world ether. This was a permanent etheric body, remaining intact in the ether spheres thereafter. This same highly spiritual etheric body again radiated from the spiritual world into the new incarnation, the individuality in the fourteenth century.

Therefore, he was led to experience the event of Damascus again. This is the individuality of Christian Rosenkreutz. He was the thirteenth in the circle of the twelve. He was named thus from this incarnation onwards. Esoterically, in the occult sense, he was already Christian Rosenkreutz in the thirteenth century, but exoterically he was named thus only from the fourteenth century. And the pupils of this thirteenth are the successors of the other twelve in the thirteenth century. These are the Rosicrucians.

At that time Christian Rosenkreutz traveled through the whole of the known world. After he had received all the wisdom of the twelve, fructified by the mighty Being of the Christ, it was easy for him to receive all the wisdom of that time in the course of seven years. When, after seven years, he returned to Europe, he took the most highly developed pupils and successors of the twelve as his pupils, and then began the actual work of the Rosicrucians.

By the grace of what radiated from the wonderful etheric body of Christian Rosenkreutz they could develop an absolutely new world conception. They saw the will forces as being not only in man but in the macrocosm also, for instance in thunder and lightning. And they saw the forces of thought on the one hand in man and also outside in the world in the rainbow and the rosy light of dawn. The Rosicrucians sought the strength to achieve such harmony of willing and thinking in their own soul in the force radiating from this etheric body of the thirteenth, Christian Rosenkreutz.

It was established that all the discoveries they made had to remain the secret of the Rosicrucians for a hundred years, and that not until a hundred years had passed might these Rosicrucian revelations be divulged to the world, for not until they had worked at them for a hundred years might they talk about them in an appropriate way. Thus what appeared in 1785 in the work The Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians was being prepared from the seventeenth to the eighteenth century.

Now it is also of great importance to know that in any century the Rosicrucian inspiration is given in such a way that the name of the one who receives the inspiration is never made public. Only the highest initiates know it. Today, for instance, only those occurrences can be made public that happened a hundred years ago, for that is the time that must pass before it is permissible to speak of it in the outside world. The temptation is too great that people would idealize fanatically a person bearing such authority, which is the worst thing that can happen. It would be too near to idolatry. This silence, however, is not only essential in order to avoid the outer temptations of ambition and pride, which could probably be overcome, but above all to avoid occult astral attacks which would be constantly directed at an individuality of that caliber. That is why it is an essential condition that a fact like this can only be spoken of after a hundred years.

Through the works of the Rosicrucians the etheric body of Christian Rosenkreutz became ever stronger and mightier from century to century. It worked not only through Christian Rosenkreutz but through all those who became his pupils. From the fourteenth century onwards Christian Rosenkreutz has been incarnated again and again. Everything that is made known in the name of theosophy is strengthened by the etheric body of Christian Rosenkreutz, and those who make theosophy known let themselves be overshadowed by this etheric body, that can work on them, both when Christian Rosenkreutz is incarnated, and when he is not in incarnation.

    The Count of Saint Germain was the exoteric reincarnation of Christian Rosenkreutz in the eighteenth century.  This name was given to other people, too, however; therefore, not everything that is told about Count Saint Germain here and there in the outside world applies to the real Christian Rosenkreutz. Christian Rosenkreutz is incarnated again today. The inspiration for the work of H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, came from the strength radiating from his etheric body. It was also Christian Rosenkreutz’s influence working invisibly on Lessing that inspired him to write The Education of the Human Race (1780). Because of the rising tide of materialism, it became more and more difficult for inspiration to come about in the Rosicrucian way. Then in the nineteenth century came the high tide of materialism. Many things could only be given very incompletely. In 1851 the problem of the immortality of the soul was solved by Widenmann through the idea of reincarnation. His text was awarded a prize. Even around 1850 Drossbach wrote from a psychological point of view in favor of reincarnation.

Thus the forces radiating from the etheric body of Christian Rosenkreutz continued to be active in the nineteenth century too. And a renewal of theosophical life could come about because by 1899 the little Kali Yuga had run its course. That is why the approach to the spiritual world is easier now and spiritual influence is possible to a far greater degree. The etheric body of Christian Rosenkreutz has become very strong, and, through devotion to this, man will be able to acquire the new clairvoyance, and lofty spiritual forces will come into being. This will only be possible, however, for those people who follow the training of Christian Rosenkreutz correctly. Until now an esoteric Rosicrucian preparation was essential, but the twentieth century has the mission of enabling this etheric body to become so powerful that it can also work exoterically. Those affected by it will be granted the experience of the event that Paul experienced on the road to Damascus. Until now this etheric body has only worked into the school of the Rosicrucians; in the twentieth century more and more people will be able to experience the effect of it, and through this they will come to experience the appearance of Christ in the etheric body. It is the work of the Rosicrucians that makes possible the etheric vision of Christ. The number of people who will become capable of seeing it will grow and grow. We must attribute this re-appearance to the important work of the twelve and the thirteenth in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

   If you can become an instrument of Christian Rosenkreutz, then you can be assured that the smallest detail of your soul activity will be there for eternity.

 

The Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz, Intimate Workings of Karma, Lecture IV, February 9, 1912.  GA 130

   When in about the middle of the thirteenth century, the darkness lifted, strange happenings transpired at a certain place in Europe — the name cannot now be given but sometime it may be possible to communicate it in a Group lecture. Twelve men in Europe of great and outstanding wisdom, whose spiritual development had taken an unusual course, emerged from the condition of twilight that had obscured clairvoyant vision. Of these twelve wise men, seven, to begin with, must be distinguished. Remembrance of their earlier initiations had remained in these seven men, and this remembrance, together with the knowledge still surviving was such that the seven men recapitulated in themselves conditions they had once lived through in the period following the Atlantean catastrophe — the ancient Indian epoch of culture. The teachings given by the seven holy Rishis of India had come to life again in the souls of these seven wise men of Europe; seven rays of the ancient wisdom of the sacred Atlantean culture shone forth in the hearts of these seven men who through the operations of world-karma had gathered at a certain place in Europe in the thirteenth century and had found one another again.

To these seven came four others. In the soul of the first of these four, the wisdom belonging to the ancient Indian culture shone forth — he was the eighth among the twelve. The wisdom of the ancient Persian culture lived in the soul of the ninth; the wisdom of the third period — that of Egyptian-Chaldean culture — lived in the soul of the tenth, and the wisdom of Graeco-Latin culture in the soul of the eleventh. The wisdom of culture as it was in that particular age — the contemporary wisdom — lived in the soul of the twelfth. In these twelve men who came together to perform a special mission, the twelve different streams in the spiritual development of mankind were represented. The fact that all true religions and all true philosophies belong to twelve basic types is in itself a mystery. Buddhism, Brahmanism, Vedanta philosophy, materialism, or whatever it be — all of them can be traced to the twelve basic types; it is only a matter of setting to work with precision and accuracy. And so all the different streams of man’s spiritual life — the religions, the philosophies and conceptions of the world spread over the Earth — were united in that “College” of the Twelve.

After the period of darkness had passed and spiritual achievement was possible again, a Thirteenth came, in remarkable circumstances, to the Twelve. I am telling you now of one of those events which transpire secretly in the evolution of mankind once and once only. They cannot occur a second time and are mentioned not as a hint that efforts should be made to repeat them but for quite other reasons. When the darkness had lifted and it was possible again to unfold clairvoyant vision, the coming of the Thirteenth was announced in a mysterious way to the twelve wise men. They knew: a child with significant and remarkable incarnations behind him is now to be born. They knew that one of his incarnations had been at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha. It was known, therefore, that one who had been a contemporary of the Events in Palestine was returning.  The birth of the child in these unusual circumstances during the thirteenth century could not have been said to be that of an individuality of renown.

History tells us very little about the incarnations of the Thirteenth. He was born many times, with great and profound qualities of heart. It was known that this individuality was to be born again as a child and that he was destined for a very special mission. This knowledge was revealed to the twelve seers who took the child entirely into their charge and were able to arrange that from the very beginning he was shut off from the outside world. He was removed from his family and cared for by these twelve men. Guided by their clairvoyance, they reared the child with every care, in such a way that all the forces acquired from previous incarnations were able to unfold in him.

The child developed in a strange and remarkable way. The Twelve were not in any sense fanatics; they were full of inner composure, enlightenment and peacefulness of heart. They were very sparing with teaching clothed in words but because they lived in communion with the boy, twelve rays of light as it were went out of them into him and were resolved, in his soul, into one great harmony. It would not have been possible to give him any kind of academic examination; nevertheless, there lived within him, transmuted into feeling and sensitive perception, all that the twelve representatives of the twelve different types of religion poured into his soul. His whole soul echoed back the harmony of the twelve different forms of belief spread over the Earth. In this way the soul of the boy had very much to bear and worked in a strange way upon the body.

Strangely enough, as the harmony within the boy’s soul increased, the more delicate his body became — more and more delicate, until at a certain age of life it was transparent in every limb. The boy ate less and less until finally he took no nourishment at all. Then he lay for days in a condition of complete torpor: the soul had left the body, but returned after a few days. The youth was now inwardly quite changed. The twelve different rays of the mind of humanity were united in a single radiance and he gave utterance to the greatest, most wonderful secrets; he did not repeat what the first, or the second, or the third had said, but gave forth in a new and wonderful synthesis, all that they would have said had they spoken in unison; all the knowledge they possessed was gathered into one whole and when voiced by the Thirteenth this new wisdom seemed actually to have come to birth in him. It was as though a higher Spirit were speaking in him. Something entirely and essentially new was thus imparted to the twelve wise men. Wisdom in abundance was imparted to them, and to each individually, greater illumination of what had been known to him hitherto.

I have been describing to you the first School of Christian Rosenkreutz, for the Thirteenth is the Individuality known to us by that name. In that incarnation he died after only a brief earthly existence; in the fourteenth century he was born again and lived, then, for more than a hundred years. Thus in the thirteenth century his life was brief, in the fourteenth century, very long. During the first half of this later incarnation he went on great journeys in search of the different centers of culture in Europe, Africa and Asia, in order to gather knowledge of what had come to life in him during the previous century; then he returned to Europe. A few of those who had brought him up in the thirteenth century were again in incarnation and were joined by others. This was the time of the inauguration of the Rosicrucian stream of spiritual life. And Christian Rosenkreutz himself incarnated again and again.

    To this very day he is at work — during the brief intervals, too, when he is not actually in incarnation; through his higher bodies he then works spiritually into human beings, without the need of spatial contact. We must try to picture the mysterious way in which his influence operates.

The forces in the ether bodies of highly developed individualities stream out and have a potent effect upon other human beings. The ether body of Christian Rosenkreutz, too, works far and wide into the world. And reference must here be made to a fact that is of the greatest significance in many human lives; it is something that transpires in the spiritual world between death and a new birth and is not to be ascribed to “chance.”

Christian Rosenkreutz has always made use of the short intervals of time between his incarnations to call into his particular stream of spiritual life those souls whom he knows to be ripe; between his deaths and births he has concerned himself, as it were, with choosing out those who are ready to enter his stream. But human beings themselves, by learning to be attentive, must be able to recognize by what means Christian Rosenkreutz gives them a sign that they may count themselves among his chosen. This sign has been given in the lives of very many human beings of the present time, but they pay no heed to it. Yet among the apparently “chance” happenings in a man’s life there may be such a sign — it is to be regarded as an indication that between death and a new birth Christian Rosenkreutz has found him mature and ready; the sign is, however, given by Christian Rosenkreutz on the physical plane. This event may be called the mark of Christian Rosenkreutz.

Let us suppose that a man is lying in bed – in other places I have mentioned different forms of such a happening but all of them have occurred – for some unaccountable reason he suddenly wakes up and as though guided by instinct looks at a wall otherwise quite dark; in the half-light of the room. He sees, written on the wall: “Get up now, this minute!” It all seems very strange, but he gets up and goes out of the house; hardly has he done so than the ceiling over his bed collapses; although nobody else would have been in danger of injury, he himself must inevitably have been killed. The most thorough investigation proves that no single being on the physical plane warned him to get up from the bed! If he had remained lying there, he would certainly be dead.  Such an experience may be thought to be hallucination, or something of the kind; but deeper investigation will reveal that these particular experiences — and they come to hundreds of people — are not accidental. A beckoning call has come from Christian Rosenkreutz. The karma of the one called in this way always indicates that Christian Rosenkreutz bestows the life he may claim. I say explicitly: such experiences occur in the lives of many people at the present time, and it is only a question of being alert. The occurrence does not always take such a graphic form as the example quoted, but numbers of human beings nowadays have had such experiences. There, then, we have in our life, a fact of which we may say that its cause does not lie in a period of actual incarnation; we may have contacted Christian Rosenkreutz in the spiritual world. I have laid particular stress on this outstanding event of the call.

The Fifteenth Century Incarnation of Rosenkreutz

After his incarnation as “the wondrous child,” the same individuality reincarnated in the fifteenth century as the person outer history has called Christian Rosenkreutz. In 1459 Christian Rosenkreutz was initiated a third time to effect his astral body so that it was prepared to accept a replica of Jesus Christ’s ego body. This initiation was portrayed in the Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz.

Rosicrucian Wisdom an Introduction, The New Form of Wisdom, Munich, Lecture 1, May 22, 1907. GA 99

In 1459 a lofty spiritual individuality, incarnate in the human personality who bears in the world the name of Christian Rosenkreutz, appeared as the teacher of a small circle of initiated pupils. In 1459, within a strictly secluded spiritual brotherhood, the Fraternitas Rosae Crucis, Christian Rosenkreutz was raised to the rank of Eques lapidis aurei, Knight of the Golden Stone. Until far into the eighteenth century, the wisdom of which we are speaking was preserved within a secret brotherhood, bound by strict rules which separated its members from the exoteric world. In the eighteenth century it was the mission of this brotherhood to allow certain esoteric truths to flow, by spiritual ways, into the culture of Central Europe. Only now, in our own time, has it become possible to make this Rosicrucian wisdom accessible again and allow it to flow into general culture.

We must touch briefly upon two facts pertaining to the spiritual life if we are to be clear about the fundamental character of Rosicrucian wisdom. The first of these is the relationship of the pupil to the teacher; and here again there are two aspects to consider. We shall speak, first, of what is termed “clairvoyance” and secondly, of what is called “belief in authority.”  “Clairvoyance” – the term is really inadequate – comprises not only spiritual seeing but also spiritual hearing. These two faculties are the source of all knowledge of the world’s hidden wisdom, and true knowledge of the spiritual worlds can come from no other source.

In Rosicrucianism there is an essential difference between discovering spiritual truths and understanding them. Only those who have developed spiritual faculties in a fairly high degree can themselves discover a spiritual truth in the higher worlds. Clairvoyance is the necessary prerequisite for discovering a spiritual truth, but only for discovering it. For a long time to come, nothing will be taught exoterically by genuine Rosicrucianism that cannot be grasped by the ordinary, logical intellect.

So it is with all esoteric development in the Rosicrucian sense. The teacher is the friend, the counsellor, one who has already lived through esoteric experiences and now helps the pupils to do so themselves. Rosicrucian wisdom must not stream only into the head, nor only into the heart, but also into the hand, into our manual skills, into our daily actions. It does not take effect as sentimental sympathy; it is the acquisition, by strenuous effort, of faculties enabling us to work for the well-being of humanity. The attitude of the Rosicrucian is that what counts is knowledge able to take hold of and intervene effectively in life.

This, then, is the second aspect of Rosicrucian wisdom, namely, that although it can be discovered only through the powers of clairvoyance, it can be understood by normal human reason.

The Rosicrucian does not consider it his task to withdraw in any way from the physical world.  For what he has to do is to spiritualize the physical world.  He must rise to the highest regions of spiritual life and with the knowledge there obtained labor actively in the physical world, especially amongst human beings.

The Stream of Rosicrucianism Before Rosenkreutz

As we have said above, the spiritual stream of Rosicrucianism goes back to the wisdom that was taught in the mystery temples of Atlantis. This ancient wisdom has been handed down through the millennia by the great initiates, priest-kings, and spiritual leaders who have helped create and shape religion, culture and art.  Four of these great teachers gathered together in the fourth century to work to amalgamate the ancient wisdom that each of them had developed in their respective cultures and combine it into a new form of wisdom that could be internalized by modern humans. A new synthesis was planned and the spiritual stream of the ancient mysteries was to take a new form and be delivered by one who could carry such a weight as a human being. The new synthesis could not be delivered by an avatar, it had to be delivered by a human being who was part of the spiritual core of human development. This being was Christian Rosenkreutz.

East in Light of the West, The Bodhisattvas and the Christ, August 31, 1909.  GA 113

There is a fourth individuality named in history behind whom for those who have the proper comprehension, much lies hidden – an individuality still higher and more powerful than Skythianos, than Buddha or than Zarathustra. This individuality is Manes, and those who see more in Manichaeism than is usually the case know him to be a very high messenger of Christ. It is said that a few centuries after Christ had lived on the earth, there was held one of the greatest assemblies of the spiritual world connected with the earth that ever took place, and that there, Manes gathered round him three mighty personalities of the fourth century after Christ. In this figurative description a most significant fact in connection with spiritual development is expressed. Manes called these persons together to consult with them as to the means of reintroducing the wisdom that had lived throughout the changing times of the post Atlantean age and of causing it to unfold more and more gloriously in the future.

Who were the personalities brought together by Manes in that memorable assembly? (It should be remembered that such an event can only be witnessed by spiritual sight.) He called together the personality in whom Skythianos lived at that time, and also the physical reflection of the Buddha who had then appeared again, and the erstwhile Zarathustra who was wearing a physical body at that time. Around Manes was this council, himself in the center and around him Skythianos, Buddha and Zarathustra. And in that council a plan was agreed upon for causing all the wisdom of the Bodhisattvas of the post-Atlantean time to flow more and more strongly into the future of mankind; and the plan of the future evolution of the civilizations of the earth then decided upon was adhered to and carried over into the European mysteries of the Rosy Cross. These particular mysteries have always been connected with the individualities of Skythianos, of Buddha and of Zarathustra. They were the teachers in the schools of the Rosy Cross; teachers who gave their wisdom to the earth as a gift, in order that through it the Christ Being might be understood. Hence in all spiritual Rosicrucian schools the deepest reverence is paid to these old initiates who preserved the primeval wisdom of Atlantis; to the re-incarnated Skythianos, in whom was seen the great and honored Bodhisattva of the West; to the temporarily incarnated reflection of the Buddha, who also was honored as one of the Bodhisattvas; and finally to Zarathustra, the reincarnated Zarathustra. These were looked up to as the great Teachers of the European Initiates.

Rosicrucianism is the Synthesis of Twelve World Religions

The person Christian Rosenkreutz and the Rosicrucian spiritual stream are somewhat separate and different. We have seen how Christian Rosenkreutz had to be prepared through numerous incarnations to be ready for his four different initiations. Each step he took closer to the fulfillment of those initiations readied him to embody this new synthesis of mystery wisdom. As the wondrous child, he received a perfected etheric body with all of the wisdom from the starry world outside. Through his initiation in the Chymical Wedding he develops his inner world and tames the astral body. Then through a miraculous embodiment of a replica of Jesus Christ’s ego body, Christian Rosenkreutz passes through another initiation that helps him become the synthesis of the twelve world religions. Rosenkreutz becomes the “Christened Being” that all humans will become in the distant future. He is a forerunner of human spiritual development.

Rosicrucianism is separate from the individual of Christian Rosenkreutz. Rosicrucianism can be developed alone, invisibly and without outer supports from churches or other groups. Rosicrucians can work independently and secretively in their alchemical labs; they focus on spiritual development, turning lead (vices) into gold (virtue). Rosicrucianism is a path of spiritual development that links the aspirant to the wisdom of the world’s religions, great philosophers and thinkers. The Rosicrucian does not necessarily have to meet CRC in the spiritual world or be called, marked, or chosen by him; even though that often does happen. To connect to CRC one can connect to the spiritual stream of Rosicrucianism throughout the ages. The aspirant can attempt to create a synthesis of the ancient religions and merge it with science and art. This noble cause has created many a theosophist who has used one or another ancient pathway to open the door to a comprehensive understanding of mystery wisdom. Rosicrucianism is constantly evolving as humanity evolves. It is this spiritual evolution that Christian Rosenkreutz so personally represents. He is a role model, an example to emulate and strive to be like.  Rosicrucianism itself is the path; Christian Rosenkreutz shows us the goal.

Rosicrucianism has developed most openly since the time of Johann Valentin Andreae (after 1604) and the many offerings of wisdom from the hundreds of Rosicrucian wannabes have added a wealth of illustrations filled with symbols and writings from ancient wisdom. Rosicrucianism at that time was part of the birth of not only the Reformation, but also another European Renaissance and a new Enlightenment. The methods and teachings of the Rosicrucians were offered by many people who were never members of any Rosicrucian Brotherhood. Hundreds of Rosicrucian texts appeared and are still being added to over the centuries. Rosicrucianism is still developing. Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophy is a new form of Rosicrucianism and its wealth of wisdom is seemingly endless.

Let’s look at some of the teachings of the Rosicrucians.

Seven Steps of Initiation in Rosicrucianism

The Christian Mystery, How Does One Gain Higher Knowledge in the Rosicrucian Sense? Munich, December 11, 1906.

Rosicrucians were one of the most intimate secret brotherhoods, with strict trials and difficult tests that had to be passed. Those seeking admission to the Rosicrucian order had to go through a great deal. They had to absorb a very specific spiritual training in order to be led to a vision of themselves. What Rosicrucianism really is cannot be found in the Fama Fraternitatis because Rosicrucian secrets were passed on only through oral tradition. The Rosicrucian stream is carried by the great teachers who have always remained in the background.

Rosicrucianism includes seven steps of initiation. The seven steps form a unified method that makes it possible for Europeans to pass all the tests required. These steps need not necessarily be completed in sequence. The teacher chooses what is appropriate for the individual pupil, what is most suitable for the one concerned. The seven steps are 1) study, 2) imagination, 3) inspired knowledge or reading the esoteric script, 4) preparation of the philosopher’s stone, 5) learning the correspondence between the microcosm and macrocosm, 6) living into the macrocosm, 7) and the highest stage, divine blessedness.  The highest step attainable by a Rosicrucian is blessedness. Here the initiates grow together with the entire universe; they experience the pinnacle of human evolution as it is designed for humanity in a distant future. Pupils direct their entire effort toward preparing this evolution.

The symbol for dying is the black cross, the symbols for resurrection are the roses.

Rosicrucians Teach Moral Law

A Lecture, Munich, November 10 or 11, 1905, From the History & Contents of the First Section of the Esoteric School 1904-1914.

When human beings become aware of the fact that the good and the moral can become something as clear and definite as a mathematical formula, then they will have united on this level as a humanity that will bear a very different physiognomy than the humanity of our day. To lead humankind to a knowledge of such a moral order, to reveal its laws to human beings, so that a group of people arise who consciously work toward these aims, that was the object of…Christian Rosenkreutz….[He] and his seven pupils [in physical manifestation] laid the foundation for the recognition of the moral law, so that this would not continue to reverberate in what was given by the different religions, but could be grasped as it was, and awaken to life in each individual. The truth, with regard to morality and goodness, will arise within people as something acknowledged and experienced.

Esoteric Lessons, 1904-1909: Lectures, Notes, Meditations, and Exercises by Rudolf Steiner, Notes of Esoteric Lessons from Memory by the Participants. Translated by James H. Hindes.  November 10 or 11, 1905, Munich. Manuscript from Eugenie Bredow.

Necessity for the esotericist to understand the plan that humankind is unconsciously working through under the guidance of the White Lodge. In order to lead humanity to this knowledge of the moral, to reveal its laws so that a band of people arises that consciously works out of itself, the fourth Master, Christian Rosenkreutz, founded the Rosicrucian Order. The other intellectual education of the West requires a different teaching.  In the East the spiritual teaching that was given to the Indians by the ancient Rishis continue to influence the folk. Christian Rosenkreutz and his seven pupils placed morality at the beginning of knowledge of the law, not in order for it to echo in human beings in the law given by the religions, but rather so that the law, recognized as such, awaken in every individual human being to individual life. The truth in the realm of morality and the good should arise within people as something felt and understood.

Good and Evil Called Out by Rosicrucians

Esoteric Lessons, 1904-1909: Lectures, Notes, Meditations, and Exercises by Rudolf Steiner, Notes of Esoteric Lessons from Memory by the Participants. Translated by James H. Hindes. November 1, 1906, Munich. Notes from Therese Walther.

The esoteric brotherhood of the Rosicrucians is the nursery in which the human material for the coming age must be formed. In times of special darkness a specially bright light must constantly arise. Christ was born during the age of Oriphiel; when Oriphiel again comes into his regency (in a few centuries), then the spiritual light that was brought by Christian Rosenkreutz and is now spread must have created a multitude of clairvoyant people who are pioneers working consciously toward the goal. That will call into existence the separation into two main streams, a race of good people and a race of evil people. Good and evil are still relatively little differentiated.  Our eyes also penetrate very little through the form of the flesh. Now it is a relatively short step from evil to good, from good to evil. If the forces of the masters, and those humans who join them with all their strength and will, and the powers of the gods of hindrance, also called Mammon (forces of Satan and the Asuras), and their human followers intervene increasingly powerfully in the life of humanity, then the good will be developed into a divine Good, and the evil into a something terrible – Antichrist. Then every one of us “world-helpers” will need all the power that can accrue to him or her through suffering and overcoming suffering, through evil and overcoming evil. The purpose of Theosophy, of Rosicrucianism, is to call people to this battle through such knowledge and to give them peace in the battle.

Rosicrucian Teachings Are Available to All

Esoteric Christianity and the Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz, Address Given at the Opening of the Christian Rosenkreutz Group, Hamburg, June 17, 1912.  GA 130

By doing no more than mentioning the name of Christian Rosenkreutz, we subscribe to the principle that no religion should be higher than our striving for truth. Christian Rosenkreutz never demands any kind of personality cult, and takes pains to ensure that teachings are accessible to human reason and understanding. His teaching never requires blind faith in the masters. If we first use our own powers, the possibility will arise of applying truth to recognize the masters of wisdom and harmony of feelings. No one is asked simply to believe, for then belief in the masters would stand higher than the truth itself. If unconditional belief in a master should ever be demanded, the principles of the Theosophical Society would have been violated. Only those who can examine and test what is given from the world of spirit can keep faith with Christian Rosenkreutz.

The Christian Mystery, The Yoga Path, Christian Gnostic Initiation, and the Esotericism of the Rosicrucians, Cologne, November 30. 1906.

A third path is the Christian Rosicrucian. Here the teacher is the adviser who gives guidance limited primarily to the measures required for spiritual development. The spiritual development must be arranged in such a way that its influence completely permeates the life of the individual. A teacher must always be present at an initiation; there is no serious initiation without a teacher. Initiation is a process of spiritual fertilization. If this is not brought about by the dual relationship between teacher and pupil, then it would be a damaging process.

Rosenkreutz and the Maitreya Buddha

In the following selection, the importance and primary position of Christian Rosenkreutz in the scheme of human spiritual development is brought to light.  Rosenkreutz is a human who has advanced ahead of the rest of humanity, but realizing that he can ask Gautama Buddha to take up a mission for humanity, places him in a most amazing position. This relationship with Buddha demonstrates that Rudolf Steiner’s magnificent descriptions of the power of CRC is substantiated through his historic deeds. Rosenkreutz works with all of the Masters of Wisdom and Harmony of Feelings, the Great White Brotherhood, the bodhisattvas and buddhas, the avatars and the hierarchy above humanity. He is able to inspire many at once, whether he is incarnated in a body or not. His consciousness pervades the entire spiritual stream of Rosicrucianism, which we now know encompasses the wisdom of the ancient mysteries.

Christian Rosenkreutz and the Maitreya Buddha bring the cosmic wisdom that is necessary to understand the mysteries of Christ’s incarnation and resurrection. The black cross represents death and the seven roses represent resurrection, the message of eternal life. The Rose Cross is the new message of the twelve world religions rolled into one – Christ is birth, death, and resurrection – the author of karma and reincarnation. This is the message of Christian Rosenkreutz that goes from Christian Esotericism into the realm of Cosmic Christianity led by the being of Wisdom Herself – Sophia.

The Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz, The Christ Impulse as Living Reality, Lecture V, Munchen, November 18-19, 1911. GA 130

    The loftiest teachers of the successive epochs are the Bodhisattvas who already in the pre-Christian era pointed to Christ in His full reality of being; again in the post-Christian era they point to Him as a Power Who is now united with the Earth. Thus the Bodhisattvas work both before and after Christ’s physical life on Earth.

He who was born as the son of a King in India, 550 years before Christ, lived and taught for twenty-nine years as a Bodhisattva, and then ascended to the rank of Buddha; thereafter he was never again to appear on the earth in a body of flesh but from then onwards he worked from the spiritual world. When this Bodhisattva had become Buddha, he was succeeded by the new Bodhisattva whose mission it is to lead mankind to an understanding of the Christ Impulse. All these things had come to pass before the appearance of Christ on the Earth.

About the year 105 B.C. there was living in Palestine a man greatly defamed in rabbinical literature. His name was Jeshu ben Pandira and he was an incarnation of this new Bodhisattva. Jesus of Nazareth is an essentially different being, in that when he (Jesus of Nazareth) reached the age of 30, he became the bearer of Christ, at the Baptism by John in the Jordan. It was Jeshu ben Pandira from whom the Essene teachings were mainly derived. Jeshu ben Pandira was stoned by his enemies and his corpse was hung on a cross as a further mark of contempt. His existence can be established without the help of occult research for plenty is said about him in rabbinical literature, although the information is either misleading or deliberately falsified. He bore within him the Individuality of the new Bodhisattva and was the successor of Gautama Buddha.

It is also necessary for us to know that one of the characteristics of the incarnations of the Bodhisattva is that in his youth he cannot be recognized as such. Between his thirtieth and thirty-third years a great revolution takes place in the soul and the personality is fundamentally transformed. For example, a Moses or Abraham individuality can take possession of the personality of a bodhisattva at this time of his life.

    About 3,000 years after our present time, this bodhisattva will become the Maitreya Buddha. And then his influence from the spiritual world will flow into the hearts of men as a magic, moral power. The stream going forth from the Maitreya Buddha will unite with the stream of Western spiritual life connected with Christian Rosenkreutz.

The Bodhisattva who once lived as Jeshu ben Pandira comes down to the Earth again and again in a human body and will continue to do so in order to fulfil the rest of his task and particular mission which cannot, as yet, be completed. Although its consummation can already be foreseen by clairvoyance, there exists no larynx capable of producing the sounds of the speech that will be uttered when this bodhisattva rises to the rank of buddha. In agreement with oriental occultism, therefore, it can be said: 5,000 years after Gautama Buddha, that is to say, towards the end of the next 3,000 years, the bodhisattva who is his successor will become a buddha. But as it is his mission to prepare human beings for the epoch connected paramountly with the development of true morality, when, in the future, he becomes a buddha, the words of his speech will contain the magic power of the Good. For thousands of years, therefore, oriental tradition has predicted: Maitreya Buddha, the Buddha who is to come, will be a Bringer of the Good by way of the word. He will then be able to teach men of the real nature of the Christ Impulse and in that age the Buddha stream and the Christ stream will flow into one. Only so can the Christ Mystery be truly understood. So mighty and all-pervading was the Impulse poured into the evolution of mankind that its waves surge onwards into future epochs. In the fourth epoch of post-Atlantean civilization this impulse was made manifest in the incarnation of Christ in a human, physical body. And we are now going forward to an epoch when the impulse will manifest in such a way that human beings will behold the Christ on the astral plane as an etheric form.

Since the thirteenth century, the Movement connected with the name Christian Rosenkreutz has been an integral part of the spiritual life of mankind. Spiritual measures of a very definite kind were necessary in the thirteenth century to enable the influence connected with this name to become part of the spiritual life of the modern age. At that time, when the spiritual world was entirely shut off from human vision, a “College” of twelve wise men came together. All the spiritual knowledge of the world and its secrets then existing was gathered into this College — distributed as it were in different sections. By means of certain occult processes there had been transmitted to seven of these twelve wise men, the wisdom that had passed over from Atlantis into the holy Rishis. In four others lived the wisdom of the sacred mysteries of the Indian, Persian, Egyptian and Graeco-Latin epochs respectively. And what existed in those days of the kind of culture which was to characterize the Fifth post-Atlantean epoch — this constituted the wisdom of the twelfth. The whole range of spiritual life was accessible to these Twelve.

Now it was known at that time that a certain individuality who had been a contemporary of the Mystery of Golgotha, was to be born, again as a child. Meanwhile, through a number of incarnations, this individuality had unfolded a power of deep and fervent piety, devotion and love. The College of the twelve wise men took this child into their care soon after he was born; shut off from the outside, exoteric world, he came under no influence save theirs; they were his teachers as well as caring for his bodily needs. The manner of the child’s development was altogether unique; the profound spirituality he bore within him as the fruit of many incarnations came to expression, too, in his outer, bodily form. He was a weak and sickly child, but his body became marvelously transparent. He grew up and developed in such a way that a radiant, shining Spirit indwelt a body that had become transparent. Through the processes of a profoundly wise form of education, all the wisdom from the ages preceding and during post-Atlantean times which the twelve wise men were able to give forth, rayed into his soul. By way of the deeper soul-forces, not by way of the intellect, the treasures of all this wisdom united in the soul of this child. He then fell into a strange condition. For a certain period of time he ceased to take nourishment; all external functions of life were as though paralyzed, and the whole of the wisdom received by the child rayed back to the Twelve. Each of them received back what he had originally given, but now in a different form. And those twelve wise men felt: Now, for the first time, the twelve great religions and world-conceptions have united into one interconnected whole, have been given to us! And henceforward there lived in the twelve men what we call Rosicrucian Christianity.

The child lived only a short time longer. In the external world we give the name Christian Rosenkreutz to this Individuality. But it was not until the fourteenth century that he was known by this name. In the fourteenth century he was born again and lived then for more than a hundred years. Even when he was not incarnated in the flesh, he worked through his ether body, always with the purpose of influencing the development of Christianity in its true form as the synthesis of all the great religions and systems of thought in the world. And he has worked on into our own time, either as a human being or from his ether-body, inspiring all that was done in the West to establish the synthesis of the great religions. His influence today is waxing and growing greater all the time.

Many a person of whom we do not expect it, is a pupil chosen by Christian Rosenkreutz. Even today it is possible to speak of a sign by means of which Christian Rosenkreutz calls to one whom he has chosen. Many people can apprehend this sign in their life; it may express itself in a thousand ways, but these different manifestations all lead back to a typical form which may be described as follows.

The choice may, for example, happen in the following way.  A man embarks upon some undertaking; he spares no effort to make it successful and forges straight ahead towards his goal. While he is ruthlessly making his way in the world (he may be a thorough materialist), suddenly he hears a voice saying: “Stop what you propose to do!” And he will be aware that this was no physical voice. But now suppose that he does abstain from his project. If he has actually done this he may realize that if he had continued ruthlessly towards his goal, he would certainly have been led to his death. These are the two fundamentals: that he knows with certainty, firstly, that the warning came from the spiritual world, and secondly, that death would have come to him had he persisted in his undertaking. It is therefore revealed to one who is to become a pupil: You have actually been saved, moreover by a warning proceeding from a world of which, to begin with, you know nothing! So far as circumstances of the earthly world are concerned, death has already come to you and your further life is to be regarded as a gift. And when the man in question realizes this he will be led to the resolve to work in a spiritual movement. If the resolve is taken, this means that he has actually been chosen. This is how Christian Rosenkreutz begins to gather his pupils around him, and many human beings, if they were sufficiently alert, would be conscious of such an event in their inner life.

The human beings of whom it can be said that they were, or will now be, united in this way with Christian Rosenkreutz, are those who should be the pioneers of a deeper understanding of esoteric Christianity. This stream of spiritual life connected with Christian Rosenkreutz provides the highest means for enabling the Christ Impulse to be understood in our present time. The beginning was already made long, long ago — a hundred years before the Mystery of Golgotha, through Jeshu ben Pandira whose essential mission was to make preparation for the coming of Christ. He had a pupil, Matthew, whose name subsequently passed over to a successor who was living at the time of Jesus of Nazareth. The greatest deed wrought by Jeshu ben Pandira was that he was the originator and preparer of the Gospel according to St. Matthew. The content of this Gospel derives from a ritual of initiation and passages such as that concerning the Temptation, and others, too, originate from enactments in the ancient Mysteries. All these processes in the evolution of humanity were to become fact on the physical plane too. And this was what was written down, in outline, by the pupil of Jeshu ben Pandira.  And it is to this end that the stream of spiritual life going out from Jeshu ben Pandira flows into unity with the other stream which, at the beginning of the thirteenth century, is connected with the name of Christian Rosenkreutz.

Rosenkreutz and the Mission of Buddha

Just as we have seen in the selection above, Christian Rosenkreutz was held in great esteem by the beings in spiritual ranks above him. His mission is so important for the salvation of humanity that many beings work together with him to further advance the mission of Rosicrucianism.  New sacrifices needed to be made to meet the challenges that modern times present to the aspirant. Rosenkreutz has the help of the Maitreya Buddha to deliver the message of the cosmic Christ to humanity on Earth but elements of humanity’s unresolved astral body were hindering the work.

In the selection below we read how CRC asked Gautama Buddha to go to Mars to help calm down and resolve these astral forces of hindrance. This sacrifice was a cosmic deed that was similar to Christ’s sacrifice.

The Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz, Lecture VII, Neuchatel December 18, 1912.  GA 130

    Thus towards the end of the sixteenth century, there took place one of those Conferences of which we heard here a year ago in connection with the Initiation of Christian Rosenkreutz himself in the thirteenth century.  In this later occult Conference of leading Individualities, Christian Rosenkreutz was associated with certain other great individualities concerned with the leadership of humanity. There were present not only personalities in incarnation on the physical plane but entelechies operating in the spiritual worlds; and the individuality who in the sixth century before Christ had been incarnated as Gautama Buddha also participated.

The occultists of the East rightly believe — for they know it to be the truth — that the Buddha who in his twenty-ninth year rose from the rank of Bodhisattva to that of Buddha, had incarnated then for the last time in a physical body. It is absolutely true that when the individuality of a Bodhisattva becomes a Buddha, he no longer appears on the Earth in physical incarnation. But this does not mean that he ceases to be active in the affairs of the Earth. The Buddha continues to work for the Earth, although he is never again present in a physical body but sends down his influence from the spiritual world. The “Gloria” heard by the Shepherds in the fields proclaimed from the spiritual world that the forces of Buddha were streaming into the astral body of the Child Jesus described in St. Luke’s Gospel. The words of the Gloria came from Buddha who was working in the astral body of the Child Jesus. This wonderful message of Peace and Love is an integral part of Buddha’s contribution to Christianity. But later on too, the Buddha works into the deeds of men — not physically but from the spiritual world — and he has co-operated in measures that have been necessary for the sake of progress in the evolution of humanity.

    In the seventh and eighth centuries, for example, there was a very important center of Initiation in the neighborhood of the Black Sea, in which the Buddha taught, in his spirit-body. In such Schools there are teachers who live in the physical body; but it is also possible for the more advanced pupils to receive instruction from one who teaches in an ether-body only. Among the pupils of the Buddha at that time was one who incarnated again a few centuries later. We are speaking, therefore, of a physical personality who centuries later lived again in a physical body and is known to us as St. Francis of Assisi. The quality characteristic of Francis of Assisi and of the life of his monks — which has so much similarity with that of the disciples of Buddha — is due to the fact that Francis of Assisi himself was a pupil of Buddha.

    A Conference of the greatest and most advanced Individualities was called together by Christian Rosenkreutz. His most intimate pupil and friend, the great teacher Buddha, participated in these counsels and in the decisions reached. At that spiritual Conference it was resolved that henceforward Buddha would dwell on Mars and there unfold his influence and activity. Buddha transferred his work to Mars in the year 1604. And on Mars he performed a deed similar to that performed by Christ on the Earth in the Mystery of Golgotha. Christian Rosenkreutz had known what the work of Buddha on Mars would signify for the whole Cosmos, what his teachings of Nirvana, of liberation from the Earth would signify on Mars.

The teaching of Nirvana was unsuited to a form of culture directed primarily to practical life. Buddha’s pupil, Francis of Assisi, was an example of the fact that this teaching produces in its adepts complete remoteness from the world and its affairs. But the content of Buddhism which was not adapted to the practical life of man between birth and death was of high importance for the soul between death and a new birth. Christian Rosenkreutz realized that for a certain purification needed on Mars, the teachings of Buddha were pre-eminently suitable. The Christ Being, the Essence of Divine Love, had once come down to the Earth to a people in many respects alien, and in the seventeenth century, Buddha, the Prince of Peace, went to Mars — the planet of war and conflict — to execute his mission there. The souls on Mars were warlike, torn with strife. Thus Buddha performed a deed of sacrifice similar to the deed performed in the Mystery of Golgotha by the Bearer of the Essence of Divine Love. To dwell on Mars as Buddha was a deed of sacrifice offered to the Cosmos. He was as it were the lamb offered up in sacrifice on Mars and to accept this environment of strife was for him a kind of crucifixion. Buddha performed this deed on Mars in the service of Christian Rosenkreutz. Thus do the great Beings who guide the world work together, not only on the Earth but from one planet to another.

Since the Mystery of Mars was consummated by Gautama Buddha, human beings have been able to receive different forces from Mars during the corresponding period between death and a new birth. Not only does a man bring with him into a new birth quite different forces from Mars, but because of the influence exercised by the spiritual deed of Buddha, forces also stream from Mars into men who practice meditation as a means for reaching the spiritual world. When the modern pupil of Spiritual Science meditates in the sense indicated by Christian Rosenkreutz, forces sent to the Earth by Buddha as the Redeemer of Mars, stream to him.

    Christian Rosenkreutz is thus revealed to us as the great Servant of Christ Jesus; but what Buddha, as the emissary of Christian Rosenkreutz, was destined to contribute to the work of Christ Jesus — this had also to come to the help of the work performed by Christian Rosenkreutz in the service of Christ Jesus. The soul of Gautama Buddha has not again been in physical incarnation on the Earth but is utterly dedicated to the work of the Christ Impulse.

Francis of Assisi has since made only one brief incarnation on Earth as a child; he died in childhood and has not again incarnated. He is intimately linked with the work of Buddha on Mars and is one of his most eminent followers.

    And those who are able to draw near to Christian Rosenkreutz see with wondering veneration by what consistent paths he has carried through the great mission entrusted to him. In our time this is the Rosicrucian-Christian path of development. That the great teacher of Nirvana is now fulfilling a mission outside the Earth, on Mars — this too is one of the wise and consistent deeds of Christian Rosenkreutz.

Christian Rosenkreutz: The Archetypal Human

We have read in the foregoing that Christian Rosenkreutz is a most important Master of Wisdom, and we have seen how entire traditions have arisen around his personal development. He seems to be an archetypal human going through his initiations for the sake of all humans, both as a spiritual deed and as an example to follow. The importance of CRC in spiritual development is hard to overestimate or exaggerate. Certainly the secrecy and hidden nature of CRC and Rosicrucianism has kept this wisdom from many, and the confusion around what is, or is not, Rosicrucian can be frustrating. But once we understand the secret tales of Christian Rosenkreutz brought to us by Rudolf Steiner, we can see that the ancient wisdom in Anthroposophy is the same wisdom brought forth by the twelve teachers of wisdom and synthesized in the person of Christian Rosenkreutz.

Once the grand picture of Christian Rosenkreutz and Rosicrucianism is painted by Rudolf Steiner, we can again approach the question of whether Rudolf Steiner was, in fact, Christian Rosenkreutz reincarnated. We can certainly understand now why Christian Rosenkreutz was so important to Steiner after hearing about the wondrous spiritual initiations CRC went through.  But we can also see that Rudolf Steiner’s particular incarnations, as given in the book Rudolf Steiner Enters My Life, do not coincide at all with the many incarnations Steiner has revealed concerning Christian Rosenkreutz.

Then, there are those who proclaim that Steiner was the Master Jesus, the Maitreya Buddha, or over-lighted by them. One writer proclaims Steiner to be Serapis Bey. The speculation is endless and, in my opinion, pointless. Even if we do wait the standard 100 years that is “supposed” to be waited before we talk about who Steiner was in a previous incarnation, it would still be pointless.  Speculation is still speculation until the seer proves that her/his reading of the Akashic Records is accurate and useful. Few people since Steiner’s time have had the gifts and made the sacrifices necessary to read the Akashic Records as accurately as Steiner did.

Let’s remember that Steiner said in private conversations with friends that the Master Jesus and the Master St. Germain (CRC) were both incarnated at his time and both initiated him. These statements, though not completely verified or repeated to others, do indicate that Steiner was neither of these masters. Perhaps Steiner was a Master of Wisdom all to his own. Certainly Steiner’s incarnations demonstrate that he was a spiritual leader of our age and that his direct communion with the Christ is profound and unique. But exactly who Steiner was, is, or will be will have to wait until the Masters are ready to share that wisdom with us.


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