A most unusual summons 'tis indeed,
That draws us here together at this time.
It comes from men, who ever hold that they,
From all Earth's other children separate,
Are honoured with a special spirit-aim.
Yet now, 'tis said, their spirit-eyes behold,
That in the world's plan they must be bound close
With men whose spirit is unconsecrate;
Who face life's fight in their own strength alone.
I ne'er felt drawn towards such spirit-ways
As find their chief resource in secrecy;
I only care to hold fast to sound thought,
And to the commonsense of human minds.
This Spirit-League by which we now are called
Means not through this same call that we should be
Initiated in its higher aims.
It will thro' mystic dim word-portraiture
Keep us but in the Temple's outer courts;
And use our powers but as the people's voice —
A cunning plan to strengthen its own will.
So shall we merely be the helpers blind
Of men who from the spirit heights above,
Look down to lead us on with beckoning hand
They do not hold that we are ready yet
Even to take one step that might lead on
Toward their holy Temple's treasure-house,
Or to the spirit-light in which they dwell.
When I observe the true state of this league
It seems I see but pride and self-deceit
Clothed in a prophet's robe and humble dress.
And so 'twere surely best to shun each thing
That here is offered us in wisdom's garb;
That we at any rate may not appear
To strive without due proof against the work
Which is so highly prized by many men;
So would I counsel you at first to hear
What aim this wisdom-teacher hath in view
And then to follow simple commonsense.
Who takes such sense as guide within himself
Will not be led astray by tempting lures
Which from the Mystic Temple issue forth.
I do not know, I cannot even guess
With what strange spirit-gift these men are dowered
Who now desire to find a bridge to us.
But still I know well several honest men
Within the ranks of this same Spirit-League.
Strictly they guard the secret of the fount
Whence this their knowledge is supposed to come;
But that the fountain whence they drink is good,
Their life and deeds make manifest to all.
And all that from their circle issues forth
Bears on its face the mark of truest love.
So may we well believe the aim is good
Which leads them in this special way to men,
To whom the mystic path is strange and new,
But in whose souls the instinct for the truth
And honest goals of spirit-life find place.
Caution would seem to me our duty now.
I think the mystics find the time draws nigh
Which brings an ending to their sovereign power.
Reason will scarcely ask in future times
What dreams of truth these holy temples had.
If this league tells of goals of such a kind
As have seemed wise to mankind's general thought
Then it were good to join our lot to theirs.
Yet they had better shun the mystic's robe
If they would truly pass the portal by,
Which, like some barrier of heavenly light,
Conceals their sacred shrine from worlds profane.
For in that world 'twill be of small account
What value each shall put upon himself.
No higher value shall each one receive
Than universal judgment granteth him.
So much that here I needs must listen to
Sounds like the words of those poor blinded men,
Who cannot see the noble spirit-light
Which streams from every consecrated shrine
In rays of wisdom to the outer world
To comfort and to heal the souls of men.
He only in whose heart this light doth shine,
And pierce with warming glow his inmost soul
Can recognize the true worth of this hour,
Which opens up the mystic's solemn realm
Even to those who feel themselves too weak
To reach, through deep soul struggle, to the high
And consecrate abodes of spirit-light.
Many sure signs show plainly much must change
Within those souls who strive to follow close
The Spirit's guidance, in their daily life.
But little can be said which goes to prove
That mystic ways can lead on to those ends
Which bring strong powers into the souls of men.
It seems to me that what our time requires
Is leaders, who by using nature's powers
Can join dexterity to genius,
And working thus amidst the things of Earth
Fulfil their purpose in. the world of men.
Such men do search for roots of spirit-work
Deep in the mother-earth of truth itself,
And thus are kept from idle wandering
Along the path away from human health.
Feeling myself possessed with this idea
I recognize in Doctor Strader's self
The powers which for such guidance of the soul
Are better suited than the mystics' are.
How long path man with sorrow had to feel
That thro' the great inventions of machinery
Full many a fetter has been riveted
On the free spirit-instinct in his soul.
But now a hope Both rise within the breast
Whereof none heretofore can e'er have dreamed.
In Strader's workshops we can see, in small,
The working of those wonders, which, in great
Shall soon transform the meaning of technique
And free its shoulders from that heavy load
Which in our day Both weigh on many souls.
Indeed such words as these are full of hope
About my seemingly successful work.
'Tis true there yet remains the bridge to pass
Between experiment and actual use,
But all that science up till now can show
Proves it is technically possible.
The author of this work may be allowed
To speak here freely of the hopes he bears
As to the service it may render man.
He begs to be forgiven any words
That sound vainglorious to the general ear,
They only shadow forth the feelings whence
The strength for this work flows into his soul.
We see how in man's daily life on earth
The workings of emotion and the soul
Disperse and lapse into a soulless state
The more the spirit masters all the powers
That it can find within the realm of sense.
Each day the work grows more mechanical,
Which makes for worth in life; and through such work
Man's life itself becomes mechanical.
Many have sought with painful diligence,
Devising methods that might prove of use,
So that the arts of cold machinery
Might no more lame the soul-life of mankind
Or prove a hindrance to true spirit-aims.
But little was achieved through all this strife
In which one question only seemed of weight,
How man should act towards his fellow-men.
I have myself spent many a solemn hour
In thinking out this riddle of man's life.
But ever did I find such thought produced
No fruit of any value for real life.
I felt myself draw near the bitter thought
That cosmic fate hath foreordained the lot
That victory in this material realm
Must ever be to spirit-paths a foe.
Release from this bewilderment of thought
Was brought me by a seeming accident.
It was my lot to make experiments
In matters from such questions far removed;
When suddenly there flashed across my mind
A thought which showed me where the right path lay.
Test followed close on test, until at last
Such powers were gathered there in front of me,
As in their full expression shall some day
Through application purely technical
Restore that freedom to humanity
In which the soul may find development.
No more shall men be forced to dream away
Their whole existence plant-like, fashioning
In narrow factory rooms unlovely things.
Industrial powers will be so dispersed
That every man shall have what he may need
To keep him in his work, in his own home
Arranged by him, as he may think it best.
I thought it well to speak first of this hope
So that it may not seem quite out of place
To say, what I must say, about this call
Which now the Rosicrucian Brotherhood
Issues to men who stand outside their league.
'Tis only when a human soul unfolds
And finds its own true being in itself
That those fine instincts, which from endless time
Draw spirits each to each, can have full scope.
And therefore, only he will think aright
Who recognizes that this call conforms
To signs, which we have learned to know full well.
The brotherhood in future will bestow
Its highest treasures freely on mankind
Because all men will learn to long for them.
The words just spoken have been wrung from out
A soul, which hath been given to our times
To grace the realms of sense with life's true worth.
And in this field I doubt if any one
With Doctor Strader could compete to-day.
But I myself trod very different paths
To find out what is needful for the soul.
So I, too, beg your leave to speak a word.
Fate hath made clear to me that I must search
Among those treasures, which disclose themselves
To every man within his inmost soul.
Therein I seemed to find true wisdom's light
Which can full well illuminate life's worth.
The mystic pupilship was given me
In solitude and contemplation deep.
And thus I learned that all that makes man lord
Of this strong realm of sense, doth only serve
To blind his being, and condemn mankind
To search in darkness for the way of life.
Aye, e'en those gems of knowledge which the use
Of reason and of sense hath found on earth,
Are but faint gropings in a darkened realm.
I know it is the mystic way alone
That can direct our steps to life's true light.
Myself I stood upon that path of truth
As one who strives without a helping hand;
But all men cannot struggle thus alone.
The knowledge gained by sense and intellect
Seems like a body left without a soul
When it doth set itself defiantly
Against the light that since Earth's dawn hath streamed
From sacred temples of true mystery.
Ye therefore ought in gratitude to grasp
The hand that beckons from the Temple now
Upon whose threshold roses full of light
Girdle significant the sign of death.
A man who feels the worth of his own soul
Can but rely upon his own ideas,
If he desire to know the spirit-worlds
And find himself therein in very truth.
Whoe'er can give himself, with blindfold faith,
To outside guidance, first must lose himself.
Aye, e'en that light, which deep within himself
A man may feel as highest wisdom's power
Claims spirit-recognition only when
Its truth admits of proof within itself.
This light may be a danger to a man
If he draws near thereto without such proof.
For often on this path the soul mistakes
For a true picture, of the cosmic depths,
Fancies begotten from its unconscious wish.
Fully to understand the mystic way
Each man must trace its impulse in himself.
Who, ere he enters on the search, doth form
In his own soul a picture of the goal,
Whereto that search must lead, is sure to find
Instead of truth, delusion's fantasy.
For, we may say, that each true mystic should
Thus hold himself toward the goal of truth
As one who from a mountain-top would gaze
Upon the beauty of a distant view.
He waits till be has gained the utmost height
Before he tries to picture all the scene
Whereto his pilgrimage hath guided him.
At such a time as this we should not ask
How men should hold themselves toward the truth.
The brethren of the league will not require
To hear about such things from men like us.
It hath indeed already reached mine ears
That an occurrence of a special sort
Hath forced the league to turn and think of us.
Thomasius, who came some years ago
Beneath the influence of a spirit-stream,
Which sets itself to follow mystic aims,
Hath learned just how to use such forms of thought
As in our time compel men's confidence,
And hang them, as a mantle, round that lore
Which, it is claimed, to seers is revealed.
In this way he was able to succeed,
And gain approval from both far and near
For writings which had borrowed logic's garb
But which, in fact, contained but mystic dreams.
Even inquirers of acknowledged worth
Are with the message of the man inspired
And so lend colour to his present fame,
Which grows, I fear, in dangerous degree.
Initiates did dread this line of thought
Since it must needs destroy the fixed idea
That wisdom is their sole prerogative.
And so they try to shelter 'neath their wing
That which Thomasius is giving forth.
Indeed, they wish it to appear as if
They knew already in the years gone by
That such a message would just now be sent
To serve in building up their own great work.
If they succeed now at this present time
In drawing us with craft into their net,
They will make clear unto the world at large
That powers of destiny did wisely send
Thomasius with his message at this time
So that belief in their significance
Might with the commonsense of man combine.
This Mystic League is bold to make the claim
That it alone must ever guide mankind:
It proves thereby what small account it takes
Of all that can be won for man's true weal
Just by sound commonsense, for we may say
That 'tis now proved that nature and the soul
Can be explained as things mechanical.
And 'tis indeed a check to all free thought
That Doctor Strader with so clear a brain,
Should countenance this mystic fallacy.
Who thus doth master powers mechanical
Should not indeed lack insight, to perceive
That e'en to gain true knowledge of the soul
All mystic learnings needs must be destroyed.
Yet this false science, which Thomasius
Is giving forth to-day to all the world,
Enables e'en extreme sagacity
To reconcile itself with wildest dreams,
When once it falls a victim to that snare.
If through strict training in the way of thought,
Most natural to man, Thomasius
Had for this work of his prepared himself,
Instead of studying the mystic art,
He might have plucked full many a noble fruit
From wisdom's tree through his own inborn gifts.
Instead of which upon the way he chose
Naught but disastrous error could occur.
No doubt the brotherhood may like to think
Such error can be turned to their account.
It finds acceptance, since it seeks to show
That science now bath giv'n souls strong proof
Of knowledge only found in dreams before.
That it is possible to speak such words
As we have just been forced with pain to hear,
Shows clearly how that insight which flows forth
From spirit-life bath scarce indeed begun
To grow at all 'midst all our modern thoughts.
Turn your eyes backward o'er the flight of time
And see what things lived in the souls of men
Before the science which is now in flower
Was even able to reveal its seed.
Then you will find that this same Mystic League
Doth but to-day fulfil a work which then
Was traced beforehand in the cosmic scheme.
We had to wait until Thomasius
Had finished this great work he had in hand.
The way is new by which the spirit-light
Illuminates through him the souls of men.
And yet this light did ever work in all
That men have dared to make upon the Earth.
But where, then, was the source of all this light
Which, tho' souls knew it not, could shine so clear?
We find all signs point to the mystic art,
Which dwelt in secret consecrated shrines,
Before mankind let reason be its guide.
The Spirit League which now bath called us here
Will gladly let the mystic light stream forth
On that bold work, which out of human thought
Strives to the knowledge of the spirit-world.
And we, who, in this hour so big with fate,
May stay awhile on consecrated ground,
Shall be the first who, uninitiate,
Shall see the torch of God from spirit-heights
Leap down into the depths of human souls.
Thomasius, indeed, needs not the shield,
The Rose-Cross Brothers have in mind for him,
If in an earnest scientific way
He can portray the pathway of the soul
Through many earthly lives and spirit-realms.
This work kath now revealed the light on high,
To which they say the mystic temples lead,
E'en unto men who erstwhile had to shun
The very threshold of such sacred shrines.
Such recognition doth he well deserve
As he already hath so richly found
Because he gave that freedom unto thought,
Which was denied it by the mystic schools.
The Rose-Cross Brothers can in future live
But in the recollection of mankind.
That which they call for, at this very time
Will soon gain consciousness of its own power
And undermine the Temple's fundaments.
They boldly wish to join in future days
Reason and science to their sacred shrine.
Thomasius, therefore, whom so willingly
They now admit into their Temple's midst
Will count hereafter as their conqueror.
I have been sorely blamed because I think
That he acts well, who holds himself prepared
To further, in close union with the league,
The work which through Thomasius is fulfilled.
One speaker took objection to my views
And held I ought to know how dangerous
The mystic's true soul-searching may become.
I often felt I best could understand
The spirit-way when I gave up myself
Completely to the influence binding me
To mechanisms which I made myself.
The way in which I stood toward my works
Hath shown the meaning of the sacred shrine.
And while I was at work, I often thought:
‘How do I seem to one who only tries
To understand the working of those powers
Which I put into things mechanical?
And yet what might I be unto a soul
To whom I might reveal myself in love?’
I have to thank such thoughts as these that now
The learning which from mystic circles springs
Reveals itself to me in its true light.
And so, though not initiate, I know
That souls of gods can in the sacred shrine
Reveal themselves in love to human souls.
The noble words which Doctor Strader speaks
About the sacred shrines must surely find
An echo in those souls which stand outside
The gates through which initiates may pass,
But yet are counted worthy to receive
The lore initiates do strive to teach:
It is not difficult to understand
Why our forefathers held to the belief
That mystics were the enemies of light.
It even was denied their souls to guess
What hidden secrets lay within the shrine.
All this is changed to-day. The Mystic Light
Is not entirely hid, but tells the world
As much as uninitiate folk may know.
And many souls, who have received this light
And been revived thereby, have felt forthwith
A rousing up of soul-powers, which before
Worked in them, as in sleep, unconsciously.
(Three knocks are heard.)
The owners of this place will soon approach
And ye will hear what they desire to say.
But if ye wish to understand their words
And to receive through them the light yourselves
Ye must not by pre-judgment blind yourselves.
The power of the initiates will now
Prove itself mighty, wheresoe'er it finds
Good hearts and wills prepared to offer up
Erroneous fancies to the light of truth;
But where the will hath grown through error hard
And thus hath slain the sense of truth itself,
This power will there be proved of none effect.
Such words as these might be of use to one
Who through self-contemplation did desire
To find himself within his inmost soul.
But at the first appearance of this league
'Twere better to hold fast to those reports
About this kind of spirit-brotherhood,
Which may be credited historically.
From them we see that very many men
Have been enticed into the holy shrine
By secret words, which led them to believe
That in these temples, step by step, the soul
Could from the lowliest grades of wisdom rise
Up to the heights where spirit-sight is gained.
Who followed such inducements soon perceived
That in the lower grades he could see signs
Whose purport offered him much food for thought.
He dared to hope that in the higher grades
The meaning of these signs would be disclosed,
And wisdom be revealed: but when he reached
Those higher grades himself, he found instead
That masters knew but little of those signs
And did but speak about the world and life —
Nothing but meaningless and barren words.
If he was not deceived by these same words
Nor yet was tricked by their futility,
He turned himself away from such pursuits.
And so at this time 'tis perhaps of use
To listen to the judgment of the past
As well as unto edifying speech.
(Again three knocks are heard.)
(The curtain is drawn back, and there enter the Grand Master
of the Mystic League, Hilary True-to-God; after him, Magnus
Bellicosus, the Second Preceptor; Albertus Torquatus, the First
Master of the Ceremonies; and Frederick Trustworthy, the Second
Master of the Ceremonies. The persons who were before assembled
group themselves on each side of the hall.)