Τρίτη, 19 Απριλίου 2016

Lectorium Rosicrucianum


Lectorium Rosicrucianum

Lectorium Rosicrucianum is one of the main international Rosicrucian bodies. In the 1920s Jan Leene (1896–1968) and his brother Zwier Wilhelm Leene (1892–1938) became the most important Dutch lead- ers of the California-based Rosicrucian Fellowship of Max Heindel (Carl Louis von Grasshoff, 1865–1919). On August 24, 1924, the Leenes had a spiritual expe- rience that today is regarded as foundational for the Lectorium Rosicrucianum. The Leenes, however, who were joined in 1930 by Henny Stok-Huyser (1902–1990), only declared their independence from the Rosicrucian Fellowship in 1935, when they established the Rozekruisers Genootschap. 

After the premature death of Zwier Wilhelm in 1938, Jan Leene (using the pen name Jan van Rijckenborgh) and Mrs. Stok- Huyser (who signed herself as Catharose de Petri) began to put in writing their version of Christian Gnosticism, derived from Hermeticism, the 17th-century Rosicrucian movement, and the mystical Christianity of Jacob Boehme (Jakob Böhme) (1575–1624). Jan van Rijckenborgh translated Boehme’s Aurora into Dutch, and in 1941 he was instrumental in founding a Jacob Boehme Society.

When the Nazis entered Holland, the movement was banned, its possessions confiscated, and its temples razed. Several members, including Jews, died in the concentration camps. In 1945, after the difficulties of the war period, the movement adopted the name Lectorium Rosicrucianum. Interested in Catharism, the two founders met Antonin Gadal (1871–1962) in France in 1948, Gadal being one of the key figures of the Cathar revival in the 20th century. At the same time, the Lectorium Rosicrucianum began to spread, first to Germany, where the Rosicrucian myth was as important as the Cathar tragedy was in southern France, and then to a number of other countries. The most notable success came, however, after the death of Van Rijckenborgh (1968) and Catharose de Petri (1990), who were replaced by an International Spiritual Directorate.

There are currently approximately 15,000 adherents of the Lectorium Rosicrucianum, who are divided into 14,000 “pupils” and about 1,000 “members,” who await admission as pupils. After a waiting period of one or two years, the new pupils engage in a way of life in which a “balance of the consciousness” is regarded as essential. From this engagement stems a quest for mental, emotional, and physical purification, supported by vegetarianism and abstinence from alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. There is also a clear disapproval of other “unhealthy influences,” in particular those allegedly transmitted by television, as well as the more subtle influences coming from the world of the dead (the “reflective sphere”).

In order to understand the Lectorium, it is crucial to look at it in the light of Gnosticism and the Cathar tradition. The Lectorium proposes a classical Gnostic dualism between the divine, or static, world and the natural, or dialectic, world, which the true God did not create. As French historian Antoine Faivre has pointed out, it is difficult to reconcile this dualism with the Rosicrucian tradition, since the latter, at least in its 17th- century origins, is not dualistic.

The dialectic world includes both the living and those among the dead who, in a state of dissolution, await a new incarnation. Van Rijckenborgh’s idea of subsequent incarnations can only be understood within the framework of his notion that each person is a microcosm. Popular theories of reincarnation, whereby it is the personal ego that reincarnates, are refuted by this view. 

The only function of the ego is in fact to sacrifice itself in favor of the “resurrection of the original soul,” the divine spark at the heart of the human microcosm. The so-called living, having forgotten their divine origin, are imprisoned in this dualist and absurd world, although they also possess a “spirit spark atom,” which manifests itself in many as remembrance (or pre-remembrance) and nostalgia. The path to trans- figuration, as envisaged by the Lectorium, is a seven- stage process that aims to awaken that divine spark, called “the rose of the heart,” and to lead humans back to their original condition, the divine world of the Light.

One finds here the classical picture common to all forms of Gnosticism. This version of Gnosticism, however, organizes itself according to a language and according to models often derived directly from the Cathar tradition. Over and above the debate on the role of Gadal and his neo-Catharism, the dualism of the Lectorium and that of the Cathars are remarkably similar. Both are not only evident in their cosmology but they also inspire human behavior. Human actions can further the progress toward transfiguration or, conversely, can further imprison humans in the dialectic field.

The Lectorium provides an esoteric interpretation of both soul and body, as well as presenting a vision of the future. Here, one finds texts on the coming of a false Christ and an Armageddon that could be regarded as either millennialist or apocalyptic. These labels are misleading, however, since apocalyptic language is used purely within a Gnostic context and is largely symbolic.

Lectorium Rosicrucianum
Bakenessergracht 11-15
2011JS Haarlem The Netherlands 

By Massimo Introvigne and PierLuigi Zoccatelli
From : Religions of the World (Encyclopedia) Edited By J. G. Melton, M. Baumann
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