There has been a cooperation with the Spiritual School of the golden Rosycross and the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica or Ritman Library since 1986, which is now part of the Embassy of the free mind in Amsterdam. At the age of sixteen, the founder, Joost Ruben Ritman, became aware of the unique field of the Christian-Hermetic gnosis. In 1957, when his mother gave him a book by Jakob Boehme written in 1657, he realised for the first time that a certain category of ancient books was still marketed.
After a quarter century of active acquisition of the collection, working virtually from the beginning with a scientific staff, he was able to bring this collection into the open in a meaningful way by the mid-1980’s. The first exhibition dealt, amongst other things, with the manifestoes of the classical Rosicrucians. From the outset, he has viewed all the activities of this library in connection with the spiritual line that has been discussed in this book and therefore, also in connection with the same impulse that drives the Spiritual School of the Lectorium Rosicrucianum.
In an address of 19 January 1985, he stated that ‘the work in the Light has certainly been preserved in a material and concrete form. This is why the library takes the point of view that this spiritual treasure in the form of documents, manuscripts and writings, including the writings of our Grandmasters, actually belongs in a tradition that is many thousands of years old. [...] The library is a testimony to the ‘rivers of wisdom’ that, according to the timeline of Robert Forlong, have been flowing for over 12,000 years and in the silt of which numerous, special seeds have germinated, which help the human being further in his development.’
And Ritman continued. ‘If the Alchemical Wedding of CRC speaks about ‘Hermes is the primordial source’, we immediately see the principle of the work of our Grandmasters, namely the Egyptian Arch-Gnosis and the mysteries of Christian Rosycross. […]' This was once described as follows by Karl von Eckartshausen: ‘There is still a secret society of unknown masters that has continued in an uninterrupted succession since the times of the first Christians. Through this secret company and its uninterrupted duration, not only the true tradition of the hidden forces is present by means of which Christ and the apostles have accomplished miracles, but this company also possesses a part of those miraculous powers, so that they not only control nature, but are also able to generate the most important effects in this nature with the help of the spirit or the spiritual breath.’
Ritman concluded the lecture by referring to an analogy in The Alchemical Wedding, by which he wanted to emphasise the unity of radiation and the unity of the work of both the Spiritual School and the library as emanating from one source. He quoted from J. van Rijckenborgh’s explanations: ‘The precious library found by Christian Rosycross in the castle’s burial vault need no longer give rise to questions. In an astral focal point of an astral field, the ideas and forces, the development and impulses brought about by the wisdom of those exalted beings who formed the field and the focal point, are always preserved. They are present in the temple of renewal and they remain there as starting points for ideas, supported by the Spirit itself. This is why not one single particle of that wisdom can be lost. [...]
Living souls, wherever they may live, wherever they may be spread over the earth, cooperate in building the temple fortress without anyone ever breaking down what another has built. The wisdom and power released by any living soul always fit together harmoniously with the wisdom and power of every other living soul, even though they may not know each other.
In this world and its reflection sphere, what one person builds is torn down by another. A philosopher develops a certain idea. Along comes another philosopher with the opposite idea. Things are entirely different in the living soul state. This is why, when gnostic wisdom is discovered, it always corresponds to other wisdom of the Gnosis. The one truth always confirms the other and even though the ideas it contains may show variations and be attuned to particular aspects, they combine together in absolute harmony. Living souls can speak but one language, and whatever the variations, there is always a fundamental unity, because ultimately there is but one wisdom, one fundamental truth.’
Catharose de Petri, who was present during this address, not only expressed her enthusiasm and gratitude in her word of thanks, she also expressed her great respect for what had been collected in the library: ‘It is great; very great! After everything we were allowed to become acquainted with, only this one prayer arises from the heart that the spirit, the love, the light and the wisdom, which now still lies bound as ‘words’ in your treasury of books, may one day be released by countless seeking souls. To be precise, not as teachings of knowledge, but that they may be released in the heart of everyone who really wants to be liberated as to the soul, so that what has been received may one day – in the activity of the radiant Light – achieve fulfilment and growth. For is it not, after all, the
goal of your work that the true, absolute life, emanating from the original Spirit, can be born in a pure manifestation.’
With the many activities that it has developed, the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica is a striking example of the abovementioned stream of the Pistis, the electromagnetic influence that links humanity with the knowledge of liberation. Here we find contained in books, manuscripts and unique copies, the Gnosis of the centuries, Hermetics, the science of alchemy, combined in a unique collection. It is a testimony of centuries of struggle of the human being, who time and again must become acquainted with the laws of the universe in a spiritual sense; it is a testimony of the human being who learns to see that it is not the earthly laws, with their arduous progress, but the laws of the Light, the radiation laws from the solar world that allow him to make faster progress than he had ever believed possible. And once charged with this knowledge, he will understand that not only are both systems of laws not antagonistic but also, in fact, enrich each other.
In 1986, together with the Jung society, the BPH organised, a congress in the Kosmos in Amsterdam, titled ‘Gnosis, the third component of the western cultural tradition’. It was for the first time that the gnosis, other than through the work of the Spiritual School, was placed right in the middle of society. Led by Prof. Dr. Gilles Quispel, many speakers dealt with topical themes in the light of the ancient gnostic teachings. From different angles, scholars such as Van den Broek, Sinnige, Burnier and young Esther de Boer (who spoke about the Gospel of Mary Magdalene) dealt with the continuous influence of the gnosis on our culture.
Studies concerning both the nature and influence of the gnosis during late antiquity as well as concerning the influence of the gnosis on western culture guided the listener (again) to Montaillou, and to Goethe’s writing desk and he became (according to a review from the Dutch Library Service) ‘a contemporary of Hegel, and meets Steiner, Jung and others’. The organiser himself stated that, in addition to Athens (the reason) and Jerusalem (the faith), Alexandria, the gnosis, should be counted in ‘the third component of western culture’, because, in addition to Greek philosophy and Christianity, the gnosis has significantly contributed to the culture of Western Europe. Two years later, the presentations of this symposium were published in book form. In December 1990, a second congress followed, ‘The Hermetic Gnosis throughout the ages’, the presentations of which were also published.
There is another aspect of the BPH that is important for the acceptance of the Spiritual School in modern society. By its point of departure, ad fontes, return to the sources, it attracts students and many renowned scholars, who perform their own research and studies there, often with astonishing insights and publications. Regularly, these results correspond remarkably with the insights that J. van Rijckenborgh and his followers had developed throughout the preceding decades.
Perhaps they formulated it differently in their time, and without the opportunity for scientific substantiation because another task awaited them. Many of these insights were unknown when they were expressed for the first time. Often they were dismissed as socially irrelevant and not modern enough. However, in an unforeseen way, modern, scientific results support the gnostic-scientific basis of the work of the modern Rosycross.
In the context of this book, it will not seem strange that we first of all ascribe these results to the broader spirit of this time. Nevertheless, these insights require much study and much effort; and many of them have become possible by the facilities offered by the Ritman library, particularly due to the sources that have become available within its walls. Nowadays, there are only a few people who can acquire knowledge intuitively; every self-respecting researcher bases his research on sources. The ideas, forces and developments of wisdom along with the mighty impulses of wisdom of the exalted ones are preserved, and not only spiritually, in an astral field!
Due to the activity of the library, the sympathy for and the goodwill towards the Spiritual School have tremendously increased within the top circle of scholars who investigate the gnosis, hermetics and the history of free thinking. In this way, it was thanks to the relationship with the BPH, that the eminence grise of scientific research of the Gnosis, Gilles Quispel, visited Renova several times to support a symposium with his scintillating narrative style. He began his first lecture, during the congress ‘Back to the Sources’, with: ‘The cosmic Jesus Christ is the Sun... and it is for and in all.’ Next, Quispel discussed ‘three gospels’: the Gospel of Truth, the Gospel of Thomas and the Heliant. He subtly stated that ‘a word of Jesus outside the Bible may be clearer than his word in the Bible’. According to him, the writings discussed are all characterised by the idea that ‘the kingdom of God does not concern a vision of the future: no, this kingdom already exists, but people do not see it.»
People are seemingly asleep and wholly unconscious. However, the mentioned gospels still clearly speak of the idea that the cosmic Jesus is the Sun, without which no one can exist. It is also a Sun that shines for everyone: ‘Since Augustine (354 AD), every church has forgotten this. One was focused on the elect, so that the knowledge of the cosmic Christ was lost in everything and everyone’. According to the speaker, this knowledge is that ‘God is not malevolent or harsh. No, God is: sweet and good. The gnostic mystic sees this, knows this and also tastes it.’
Former finance minister, professor Witteveen, also the spiritual leader of the Sufi movement in The Netherlands, along with important authors in the field of the early gnosis like Jacob Slavenburg, participated in these days. Their sympathy and appreciation for the atmosphere and the work of the Spiritual School have a wide scope and their value can hardly be overestimated.
In 2005, a cross section of the collection of this library was bought by the Dutch state. In a letter from minister, Maria van der Hoeven, dated 14 April 2005, it was stated that ‘the sources in the subcollections Hermetics, Alchemy, Mysticism and Rosicrucians, consisting of manuscripts and ancient printed books until approximately 1750, may be considered to be the core collection of the BPH. [...] The theme of the BPH is summarised in it and the unique nature of the BPH as a whole is sufficiently guaranteed in this way. [...]
The newly acquired National Property is on loan to the BPH Foundation, in which Mr. J.R. Ritman has also permanently placed his private share in the library. In this way, the two parts of the property will in their coherence remain available to the public and to academic research. [...] In the multi-year plan of the BPH Foundation, its goal for the coming years is described as further developing the research institution that has been formed around the collection by intensifying the existing associations with, amongst other things,
the Royal Library, the Royal Academy of Sciences and the academic world at home and abroad.’
Source: Called by the world heart by Peter Huijs