The Real History of the Rosicrucians, by Arthur Edward Waite, , at sacred-texts.com
"THERE is a point," quoth a grandiloquent pseudo-Rosicrucian in an impressive and tragedy voice, "there is a point," he repeated in the conventional whisper of the unexplainable mystic, "beyond which we inevitably must keep silence. We are driven to take refuge in portentous darkness and in irretrievable mystery." The godless and incorrigible scepticism of a coarse, unsubdued intelligence, surrendered to a reprobate sense, and basely and wilfully grovelling in the blind alleys of natural causes, begs leave to believe that this is because extremes meet, that the heights of the inexpressible are closely approximate to the abysmal depths of bathos. But the unsubdued intelligence is known to have covered the shame of its naked ignorance with the "filthy rags" of a posteriori methods. Anathema maranatha. Let it have no part in the life to come! Nevertheless, I have found it superfluous to "keep guard over" the secrets of the Rosicrucians, or to veil their mysteries in inviolable silence, and this is for a simple reason, namely, that they have never revealed any. If the manifestoes I have published emanated in reality from a secret society, it has stood guard over its own treasures, and as neither Mr Hargrave Jennings nor myself can "boast of having ever--really and in fact--seen or known any supposed (or suspected) member in the flesh," we have nothing to reveal or to withhold. "The recondite systems connected
with the illustrious Rosicrucians" are, of course, enveloped in darkness, and, in common with other students of esoteric lore, I am inclined to consider that this darkness does cover a real and, possibly, a recoverable knowledge. But it is not of our making and in our age, which has nothing to fear from the rack or the faggot, and but little from the milder agonies of eternal Coventry, it is no longer worth preserving. Nihil est opertum quod non revelabitur, et occultum quod non scietur. The time has come when that which was muttered in darkness may be declared plainly in the full face of day, and when that which was whispered in the ear can be proclaimed on the house-top. The tremendous secrets of spiritual alchemy are about to surrender at discretion to the searching investigations of the sympathetic and impartial student at work in the cause of truth. On the faith of a follower of Honnes, I can promise that nothing shall be held back from those true Sons of the Doctrine, the sincere seekers after light who are prepared to approach the supreme arcana of the psychic world with a clean heart and an earnest aim. True Rosicrucians and true alchemical adepts, if there be any in existence at this day, will not resent a new procedure when circumstances have been radically changed. The pontiffs of darkness and mystery will probably discover that it is too late to make use of that policy of assassination which is supposed to have been applied in the case of the Abbé de Villars. I appeal, therefore, to those students of occultism who are men of method as well as of imagination, of reason as well as of intuition, to assist me in clearing away the dust and rubbish which have accumulated during centuries of oblivion, misrepresentation, and calumny in the silent sanctuaries of the transcendental sciences, that the traditionary secrets of Nature
unencumbered by evasive veils, which preserved them perhaps in the past from the violence of tyrants and intellectual task-masters in the high places of religion and science, but which are rent on every side, and "execrable from the moment that they are useless," may shine forth in the darkness of doubt and uncertainty, to illuminate the strait and narrow avenues which communicate between the seen and the unseen.
While this work was passing through the press, Mr Hargrave Jennings has issued the third edition of "The Rosicrucians, their Rites and Mysteries." It is spread over the space of two large volumes of an imposing and handsome appearance. It embodies some new but wholly irrelevant materials, and does not contain one syllable of additional information on its ostensible subject. The additional illustrations are quite beside the question, having no reference, however esoteric and remote, to the Rosicrucian mystery. This edition, in fact, justifies still further the severe criticism which I have been forced to make on the purposeless and rambling speculations of its eccentric author.