The Rosicrucian Enlightenment

The Rosicrucian Enlightenment

The Rosicrucian Enlightenment

The Rosicrucian Enlightenment

Synopsis

A history of the role that the occult has played in the formation of modern science and medicine, The Rosicrucian Enlightenment has had a tremendous impact on our understanding of the western esoteric tradition.

Excerpt

The title of this book may give rise to some misunderstanding. 'Rosicrucian' may suggest that this is going to be a book about modern groups of enquirers into various forms of occultism. 'Enlightenment' may suggest that the book will be about the period known as the Aufklärung, the emergence into the light of reason from the darkness of superstition with Voltaire, Diderot, and the eighteenth century. The two words together seem to make an impossibility, representing two opposite tendencies, the one towards strange forms of superstition, the other towards critical and rational opposition to superstition. How can a Rosicrucian be enlightened? The fact is that I am using 'Rosicrucian' in a strictly limited historical sense, and I am not using 'Enlightenment' in the usual strictly limited historical sense. The period covered by the book is almost entirely the early seventeenth century, though with excursions before and after. It is concerned with certain documents published in Germany in the early seventeenth century, generally known as 'the Rosicrucian manifestos', and with the historical setting of those documents. Later movements calling themselves 'Rosicrucian' up to, and including, the present, are entirely excluded. Since these documents, or manifestos, claim that new advances in man's knowledge are at hand, my title is historically correct. There was indeed a movement in the early seventeenth century which can be

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