In every era, a spiritual school is the current impulse of the Brotherhood of Life. It originates directly from the powers of the Supernature. Yet, it always tries to link up with schools of the past that have worked in the earthly world. It is primarily created by the direct radiation of the light of the Supernature, but it also stems from the earthly realm of the perishable world, where remnants of earlier spiritual schools exist in the form of manuscripts and symbols. In addition, there are always preparatory impulses out of which a spiritual school develops, just as Jesus had a relationship with the community of the Essenes before he assumed his task.
The founders of the Lectorium Rosicrucianum were Jan Leene, whose spiritual name was Jan van Rijckenborgh (1896-1968) and his brother Z W Leene (1892-1938). They grew up in a reformed Dutch family. The two brothers had already experienced a strong seeking element at an early age: their spirit-sparks were radiating a desire to develop, but found no opportunity to do so in the perishable world. Ordinary Christianity, as it was propagated by the churches, was no longer sufficient for them.
They found an answer to their quest for the truth in the work of Max Heindel and his community, the Rosicrucian Fellowship. In Max Heindel's «The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception», they discovered a spiritual interpretation of the world in which the path of humanity was described. It outlined the involution into the material world, but also the possibility of an evolution, of leaving this life of imprisonment in the world and re-entering the divine world, with the help of the Brotherhood. For some years, Jan Leene was the leader of the Dutch branch of the Rosicrucian Fellowship. There his longing for the link with the Supernature was nourished. The Rosicrucian Fellowship was a community in which he was, for the time being, able to develop his spiritual predisposition. During these years, he was also deeply immersed in theosophy, mainly through the books of H P Blavatsky.
The true assignment
The moment arrived in which the brothers Leene became conscious of their true task. It was not only necessary to change the nature-born personality to the extent that it could understand the purpose of life and thus detach from its own, and world, karma, but it was also the task of John the Baptist, who was called to a reversal. The human being would also have to accomplish -- with Jesus -- a process of transfiguration. The old, nature-born personality would have to decline, in the power of the Christ, so that a new, spirit-born personality would arise. In this way, the Leene brothers became aware of the basic principle of a transfiguristic Spiritual School. Then it had to be realised with a group that had still to be formed.
The two brothers began this formation of the group, when they assembled on 24 August 1924 with a group of like-minded people in a house in Haarlem, for the first meeting under the sign of transfigurism. This date is considered to be the moment in which the Lectorium Rosicrucianum was founded. Jan Leene continued to work within the context of the Rosicrucian Fellowship until 1934, but then founded his own organisation. In 1930, Mrs H Stok-Huijser (spiritual name Catharose de Petri) joined Jan van Rijckenborgh in the spiritual leadership of the Lectorium Rosicrucianum.
Gradually, the Lectorium Rosicrucianum, the little seedling, growing toward independence, nourished by the light of the Supernature and aimed at transfiguration, began to look for support in the spiritual past of humanity. Jan Leene was intensely occupied with the 17th-century Rosicrucian manifestoes. However, a decisive encounter occurred shortly after World War II. Catharose de Petri and Jan van Rijckenborgh came into contact with the last representative of the Cathars in the South of France. The Cathars had practised a fundamental requirement of transfiguration: the endura. The endura is the conscious «mortification» of the old earthly personality in the power of the Christ, so that the true self, the new personality, born of God, can develop. The endura is the «death» of Plato, the conscious dissociation from all striving for power, influence and lust. It is the death of the grain of seed in Jesus' parable: «...unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.» (John 12:24)
Various journeys to the Languedoc reinforced the link between the Lectorium Rosicrucianum and the Cathars, through Antonin Gadal, their last patriarch. Since that time, the pupils have regularly assembled in Ussat-les-Bains to experience this link with the powers of the preceding Brotherhood.
International development after World War II
During the decades after World War II, the Lectorium Rosicrucianum experienced a tremendous, dynamic expansion that ran parallel to these contacts with the ancient Brotherhood of the Cathars . This was primarily caused by the spiritual power of the Brotherhood, which became increasingly active in the young group and appeared to the outside world through its externally manifesting Spiritual School.
This development began with the publication of the book Dei Gloria Intacta by J van Rijckenborgh in 1946. This work had been written during the war years, at the time when the School of the Golden Rosycross had to work secretly, because The Netherlands was occupied by the Germans and the Lectorium Rosicrucianum had been banned.
In the book «Dei Gloria Intacta», the foundation was laid for the teachings of the modern Rosycross, and during the following decades, a number of other books by J van Rijckenborgh and Catharose de Petri, the two spiritual leaders of the School, were published.
In all these books, transfiguration was clearly placed in the light of the Bible, that is, in the light of the purely Christian mysteries. Many common points were found in the Universal Teachings, and have, more clearly than ever before, been brought to light. These points can be found, for example, in the wisdom of Hermes Trismegistus, contained in the Corpus Hermeticum, in the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu, the pure Chinese Gnosis, and of course, last but not least, in the writings of the classical Rosycross: the Fama Fraternitatis R. C., the Confessio Fraternitatis R. C. and The Alchemical Wedding of Christian Rosycross. A great treasure of knowledge and spiritual wisdom was laid down in these publications.
The expansion of the School's manifestation in matter has kept pace with the many writings, which were published regularly between 1946 and the 1960's. Apart from propagating the purely transfiguristic philosophy in word and writing, the unique co-operation at a high spiritual level between Catharose de Petri and Jan van Rijckenborgh resulted, under their highly inspiring vision, in an organisation that spread its wings over many countries in Europe and far beyond. The main purpose of all of this was to make the spiritual treasure they had released, take root in the hearts of the pupils and of all who were looking for new, higher values, for being truly human.
Seven main centres
The Spiritual Leadership of the Lectorium Rosicrucianum uninterruptedly envisaged renewal and true spiritual change. In order to realise this in human beings, so that they could fully immerse themselves in it, renewal centres were founded. Seven main centres had to be created, and within each of these centres a Renewal Temple was the focal point.
The creation of these centres started in 1946 with the acquisition of the Elckerlyc building in Lage Vuursche, a central location in the heart of the Netherlands. Conferences on countless subjects, all dealing with the Universal Teachings of transfiguration, have continued to be held in this centre. An increasing number of interested people poured in and so it is not surprising that by 1951, the accommodation had been expanded three times. At the same time, the Renova Temple was put into use. The first large renewal centre was thus ready, and since then, has been visited by thousands of pupils from The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Switzerland and many other countries.
In the following years, the other main focal points were founded in quick succession. Conference centres were built in Northern and Southern Germany, in Switzerland and in Brazil (Calw in Southern Germany, Bad Münder in Northern Germany, Caux in Switzerland). , The pupils assembled in these focal points regularly to immerse themselves in the teachings of the Rosycross, which have always been based on the one universal foundation. The focal points of all these activities are the Renewal Temples. The mode of life of many pupils has undergone a great change. The group has increasingly raised itself up to the wide vistas of a spiritual gnostic life.
During later years, conference centres were established in the North and the South of France, and the School got a firm foothold in countries like Spain, Italy, Poland, Russia, the Czech Republic and Hungary, as well as the United States, Canada,, South America, Africa and New Zealand.
In every country in which the Lectorium Rosicrucianum is active, centre buildings have been established in which the pupils assemble between conferences. Thus, the work of the Lectorium Rosicrucianum has become an international spiritual work with pupils and interested people in many countries of the world.
Forecourt, youthwork and Jan van Rijckenborgh Schools
In the meantime, a so-called Forecourt work has been formed, which has the task of informing interested seekers about the modern Rosycross. In every place where the Lectorium Rosicrucianum is active, interested people have the opportunity to attend the regularly held public presentations. A stream of seekers, characteristic of this time, attends these meetings and thus many interested people find their way to the Lectorium Rosicrucianum.
Within the Lectorium Rosicrucianum, there is also a flourishing youthwork that is very active in nearly every country in which the School works. The main task of the youthwork is to keep the heart of the young child open, if possible, for future spiritual interest and development. We know that there is a great sensitivity to the impressions of its soul being in a young child. Unfortunately, this sensitivity is often lost later, or is pushed to the background by our social life: the struggle for life, making a career, often at the insistence of parents and, last but not least, an educational system in which a competitive spirit is often still strongly promoted. Due to all of this, the danger exists that soon the inner voice of the soul will no longer be heard and the I-central life will become dominant. The youthwork of the Lectorium Rosicrucianum tries to speak to the voice of the soul and keep it alive in the child.
This is also the aim of the Schools of the Rosycross. For the above-mentioned reasons, there was an urgent need to give specific education, directed at the preservation of the child's soul. This education is carried out in the Jan van Rijckenborgh primary schools in Hilversum and Heiloo. This aspect, which is supported by the Lectorium Rosicrucianum in all possible ways, also attracts the interest of a wider circle of people.
It is impossible to mention all the branches of the Lectorium Rosicrucianum in this brief summary. But the reader will certainly have gained an impression of its comprehensive work. After more than eighty years, it has grown into a worldwide movement. However, the main issue in all of this is to move with the Universal Stream, and consequently to be open to the demands of the new era.
What is the basis of this dynamic development? What is its secret? Immediately after World War II, the Spiritual Leaders concentrated on the new era, they knew was imminent, yes, which was already developing. That, which had been outlined to their visionary sight into the astral and etheric planes of our cosmos, was on the brink of being manifested in matter as well. They relied therefore on the firm conviction that in everything they did and said it would be apparent that, in our century, the whole of humanity will be affected by a tremendous atmospheric change, having to do with the existing relationship among the planets of our solar system. In this system, mighty spiritual forces are being released that have a strong influence on all life on our planet. But, they are primarily meant to address humanity on our planet in particular. With respect to what? With respect to the call in the name of God, which every human being carries within him. The call of this time period is going through the whole of humanity, whether it understands it or not. And all must react.
This call, this new era, is called Aquarius. The concept of Aquarius, quite familiar nowadays, was still unknown to most people, when it was already intensively discussed in the Lectorium Rosicrucianum, not in the sense of a political, economic or religious reformation or of what already exists, but in the sense of a total spiritual reveille. This concerns a fundamental change, a total reversal. Humanity is called to leave the old paths and achieve fundamental life renewal in order to be able to ascend to a higher spiral of life. Hence, Aquarius is a strong effort to make humanity enter into a fundamental spiritual change, and to arrive at the one, true religion. Everything else will, if necessary, adapt itself to this change.
This is why the Lectorium Rosicrucianum has put itself at the service of a Truth that will put an end to all deceit, delusion and ignorance, provided the human being follows his calling in the name of God. Truth is light and power. Truth is love. They are atmospheric, and consequently universal and omnipresent.
On the basis of this conviction, the Lectorium Rosicrucianum considers its task to be to seize and create every condition and possibility to offer this universal tincture to all who approach it, and would like to receive it. The truth, that leads a human being to his true destiny, is not bound to any dogma or system. The truth is universal knowledge. This knowledge should be released in the human being. This is why it is necessary for him to break away from his old state of life. Then the veils fall away. Then there can no longer be any mystification. Then the human being receives the power to see and hear firsthand.
The Lectorium Rosicrucianum has many different ways of speaking about the universal truth that has always existed, and is always made known to humanity. The extensive amount of literature published by Rozekruis Pers, also testifies to the universal truth. There are countless facets of the divine diamond that we call Gnosis. The Gnosis of all times is the interpretation of the divine Word. Anyone who recognises this Word will find that, in its entirety, it forms the Lectorium Rosicrucianum. He will know that he is standing at the source. Then he is neither able, nor desires, to do anything but draw from this source, not only for himself, but also for all who are seeking and longing for it. He shall lead everyone he encounters on his path, towards it.
Servants of the Light
The servants of the Light work among humanity on various levels. As emissaries of the truth, they come to live among the people. A few of them have the task of building a Living Body, a new cosmos, enveloped by a new and pure astral field. They have succeeded in this task. This concerns a cosmos with focal points that can serve as places of transformation for the new atmospheric conditions. These focal points are spread to teach all who desire it, to breathe in the new spiritual atmosphere, which, in all its purity, belongs to the higher spirit-soul world.
These focal points have been established. The Cosmos has been formed. A Living Body with a powerfield of new etheric and astral qualities has been formed. Following the first pioneers, many have since chosen to live in it. They have found a new purpose in life and devote themselves to a preparatory mode of life and a one-pointedness of purpose in order to be able to fulfil the new conditions imposed by the Sun logos. A very intensive and profoundly spiritual work is uninterruptedly taking place. Many devote themselves to it, giving all their time, their life, to it.
The International Spiritual Directorate
To co-ordinate and lead this comprehensive work, the Spiritual Leaders formed an International Spiritual Directorate. Such a group was also installed in Brazil to assume the Spiritual Leadership for the whole South American continent.
The transfiguristic teachings, based on the pure, original, Christian Gnosis, and related to the Universal Teachings of all times, have been revealed by the two Grandmasters of the Spiritual School, Jan van Rijckenborgh and Catharose de Petri. Their unique co-operation, which covered half a lifetime, set a huge spiritual movement in motion, in which a new source of power is vibrating.
The Spiritual Directorate will carry on these teachings, which were propagated in their pure form, without adding or taking away anything of the essence. The full responsibility for both the manifesting organisation and the spiritual treasure has been put into its hands. It will preserve and protect this treasure, keep it alive and, if possible, spread it over the whole world. The International Spiritual Directorate advocates only to carry on the great work of the two spiritual leaders through time, and to preserve the Spiritual School itself as the carrier of a Living Body, at the service of all who are in it and who will become part of it in the future. With deep gratitude and respect for what the spiritual leaders have given and accomplished, the members of the Spiritual Directorate will perform this task to the best of their ability, with insight and in good conscience.
Source: Rosicrucians through the ages, Rozekruis Pers, 2005