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Conscience Revolution: Our Time's Challenge

 by Pierre Gohar (Voulon, France)
A paper presented at The 2001 Conference in London




 Here’s one of the major conclusions of Jan van Rijckenborgh’s works (1896-1968 : founder of the Golden Rosy-Cross School) : Our  state of conscience determines our world representation and consequently our behaviour. Our state of conscience is the result of our soul state, that mysterious life breath which animates us. Thus, to modify our behaviour we must not proceed to an evolution of conscience, but to a revolution of our conscience. But the stake and the problem of our time is to  take concretely into account this conclusion in our everyday life. To reach that goal, we must re-unify, according to one only leading axis, three dimensions that cross each other in our conscience : science, religion, and philosophy. We shall discover along that talk, through the works of Jan van Rijckenborgh, how to reach that reunification.


 The tradition to which a Spiritual School refers to can be recognized by its world, man, and life representation. The founding elements of that representation are partly borrowed to the reference tradition and partly brought as a novelty and enrichment by the founding members.

 The Golden Rosycross School, created in 1924 in the Netherlands by J.V. Rijckenborgh and Z.W. Leene, his brother, constitutes the present manifestation of the thought current developed by the XVIIth century Rosycross brotherhood. It puts forward a philosophy, that is a life, man and world panorama true to the pure rosicrucian tradition. What’s more, and here is its fundamental function, it suggests to each of its members to be a conscious actor in that panorama. To reach that realisation it displays, according to a real scientifical process, all components,  especially  the conscience, that are going to react and transform themselves all along that process. At last, it sets at everybody’s disposal all the elements of a superior mystique, necessary  to activate that process and in that meaning, it can be considered as a genuine religion in the original meaning of the word.

 A New World Vision

Our world representation determines our behaviour in life. Then our world representation is not only determined by our education and all our experiments building and feeding our conscience, but also by the action of our unconscious. That conclusion is one of the basic elements of Schopenhauer (1788-1860) philosophical system. He developed the concept of immediate or intuitive knowledge in order to grasp the nature of things. We find in that philosophical system the legacy of the old greco-latin period philosophical systems. In these days, they did not know our time intellectualism, but rather a kind of “intellectual intuition”, enabling a direct and global nature perception[1]. Let’s remind that one of the most influenced by Shopenhauer philosophers was Eduard von Hartmann (1842-1906) author of “The Philosophy of the Unconscious’. Then Pr De Hartog, a theologian (1869-1938), was influenced by Von Hartmann. Himself had an evident influence[2] upon J.V. Rijckenborgh, who developed in his turn the notion of “rational faith”, especially in his work “The Present Times Gnosis”. On that point J.V. Rijckenborgh meets the philosophical system of Schopenhauer. But he specifically insists on the  essential role of immediate knowledge of the absolute in man or spiritual experiment. This is the only one that can  lastingly modify our conscience, thus our world representation and consequently our life behaviour, as shows that excerpt of one of the oldest texts of Jan Van Rijckenborgh[3]]: “ The part of mankind that calls itself christian never reaches unity or rising when it neither leaves nor abandons once and for all the way on which centuries brought it…Only the process, the sanctification path, the life sanctification, can deliver us…The one who follows that sanctification path proves it by his inner light. And the inner light is the bridge that can cross over the huge abyss which lies between us and the Life and God mysteries ". J.V. Rickenborgh demonstrates that this inner experiment can be realised according to a scientifical process, which is at the present time limited to the  world of phenomenons, thus to a tiny fraction of the Reality that Schopenhauer puts into the heart of his philosophical research.

 At first sight, the world vision that constitutes the foundation for the whole of the J.V. Rijckenborgh philosophical system is simple. The macrocosm is constituted of two radically different fields. One is the manifestation field of the absolute, and the other the one of space-time, thus of transience. That dualist vision, developed in a particularly worked out cosmogony, can be found in most of gnostical thought systems. In the cosmogony described by J.V. Rijckenborgh, our world and the universe perceptible by our senses are the result of the conscience loss of an original life wave. That one, unable to  stay in the macrocosm evolution plan, was put aside, following that conscience loss, in a closed domain : the one we know as our present universe. This is the process of fall into space-time, that eternity-delay, reported by many ancient myths. Then a specific plan was set to work to enable these excluded ones to find back their original situation. One of the aspects of this plan was  the rehabilitation of the original conscience. J.V.Riijckenborgh describes it extensively in his works as being the Soul rebirth. This plan has been transmitted to mankind by all great spirituality masters. It has not been understood by large religious confessions, as they have substituted to that inner process (founded on the discovery of the two souls in man), to an hypothetical salvation in a mysterious “realm of the dead”. So, and here J.V.Rijckenborgh specifically insists, the only real starting-point for us is our conscience and its support, the body.  Here starts mankind spiritual history, with the appearance of  Mystery Schools. Their one and only vocation is to remind everybody his original condition and to show him the way back: an astounding process of restoring the original conscience, starting from our present state. That process must be took in charge by everyone of us in a responsible and autonomous way during the short time of our life.

 A deeper analysis of J.V. Rijkenborgh work shows in fact the great complexity of his world vision. Far from limiting himself to a primitive dualism, we can discover in it a complex relations system between the huge original  macrocosm, no more accessible by our conscience, and the limited universe our senses can perceive, itself constituted of two fields. The first of these is the one the sciences of this nature can measure; the second is the invisible one which the author names “reflection sphere”, for it is the reflection of mankind thoughts and feelings. That domain of the invisible has absolutely nothing to do with the original macrocosm and J.V. Rijckenborgh quite specifically insists on this essential distinction, at the root of many mistakes and mystifications. What’s more, man himself is structured in an identical way : an immortal microcosm being, still linked to the original world, but lacking his original conscience he would need to reintegrate and stay in this original life-field, co-existing with a material body, himself half earthly and half subtle; that last one being the reflection of our thoughts and emotions.

 Having sketched that picture, the author shows how, along a continuous cycle, the immortal microcosm passes from the visible to the invisible world, on the one hand at the moment of our death, and on the other hand at the moment of our birth. Here he describes the reincarnation cycle with a noticeable precision, insisting more particularly on this point: it is the immortal microcosm that is concerned with the reincarnation cycle, and not the material body with its subtle parts.

 That description is not limited to a minutely analysis exercise that his exceptional conscience faculties enabled J.V. Rijckenborgh to carry through. His goal is thus to demonstrate that in our present day situation the Original threefold Man is amputated of an essential, vital organ : the Spirit, since he is no more in possession of the true soul that would enable him to  restore the relation between  body and Spirit. To do so, a first step comes to the fore : the Soul rebirth, made free the I-conscience  which is dependant on that only terrestrial domain, and then linked anew to the original cosmos.

 The Soul Rebirth : Foundation for a genuine religion

 J.V. Rijckenborgh precisely introduces us here into the Mysteries of Christianity, which for him is the expression, misunderstood by religions, of that gnostical processes by which every man innerly becomes  a Christ. But that unveiling of the Christianity essence has nothing to do with an either religious or occult process. Here we have the logical outcome of his philosophical process. He is probably the only author in today’s occident having really reached the goal Schelling set for all philosophical process : “ As well as we could declare incomplete any kind of philosophy excluding for instance nature, a philosophy will never reach its end if it cannot include Christianity; Christianity is one of the largest and of the more significative world phenomenon; in its sort, it is a reality to the same extent as nature.…[4] ”. For J.V. Rijckenborgh, the essence itself of Christianity lies in the mystery of the Soul rebirth. For we all have a soul, but in its present condition it is enslaved to the body and depends totally on it. The original Christianity asserted the presence of two souls in man and that teaching was fiercely fought, especially by Augustine, one of the founding fathers of official Christianity, who wrote in The Confessions : “ Let them disappear from your face my God,… those who conclude that we have two souls of a different nature, the one good, the one bad…These men wanting to be light, not in the Lord, but in themselves, mistake the nature of the soul with the one of God, and then, … they are … in their horrible arrogance[5] ”. Thus, another soul, spiritual and immortal, exists besides our natural and mortal soul, but in an embryonic state. We must enable that embryonal soul to grow and thus to carry on its animative original function. That point precisely constitutes the mystery of Christianity, however clearly indicated in the Gospel of John : “ Truely indeed, I tell you, if a man is not born again, he cannot belong to God’s Kingdom[6] ”. To manage that rebirth, we must link ourselves, by an intense yearning to an energy enabling the awakening of the original Soul. We must here underline an omnipresent element in J.V. Rijckenborgh’s thought: the desire has a magnetic influence, it attracts just like a magnet the target of its covetousness. When the desire to understand the meaning of one’s existence comes from the our soul’s deepest, an answer, we could say an energy, is attracted. That energy has particular features. It is of an “electromagnetic” nature, tells us J.V. Rijckenborgh.

 A Spiritual Science

Far from constituting an abstract metaphysics without any rational foundation, J.V. Rijckenborgh develops a true radiation laws science, which govern the universe. On that point the great originality of the author is to offer a new thought frame inside which metaphysics and science are united, which is without any equivalent in the philosophical, scientifical, or religious approach in occident. We could define that new thought frame as a “sacred science”, or “spiritual ecology”. For, since a few years, we have seen the development of “systemic sciences” which link in a coherent whole what is separately studied by traditional disciplines. To the notion of separation, the systemic approach substitutes the one of “interaction between elements”. It defines a new form of ecology. In the field of nature sciences, the science-ecology unifies in a same coherent vision a whole of interdependant constituents that are separately relevant to zoology, botanic, microbiology, geography, physical sciences, …. For instance, in that processes, earth sciences account for our planet as a complex system in the heart of which apparently separated disciplines, such as geology, meteorology, vulcanology, sismology, etc… articulate themselves. We can consider that in J.V.Rijckenborgh vision of spirituality, a similar kind of systemic approach was developed . We could thus call it a “spiritual ecology”. That spiritual ecology unifies in one only balance - philosophy, science and tradition - restoring everyone of these fields in its original function.

So, J.V. Rijckenborgh quite especially insists upon the links uniting everyone of us with the life manifestations of that world. Every thought, every feeling, every action we proceed to, have an influence upon the whole nature and upon the whole macrocosm. That assertion has nothing to do with a religious mystique, but it refers to a double conclusion. The first is that our emotional and mental field is constantly interacting with the one of the whole of mankind. According to the nature of our emotions and thoughts an interference network happens and  influences every individual just as the whole of mankind. That notion of interference network is more than a simple image and corresponds to a physical reality, similar to the one of undulatory phenomenons interferences. The second conclusion is that every physical body is composed of atoms coming from nature and that can have belonged to other composed bodies. We here allow ourselves the comparison with a noticeable quantum physics experiment, showing that when subatomic particles have been correlated in their history, they keep somehow the memory of that correlation, whatever may be the distance between them[7]. So, any modification of the state of one of these particles leads to a modification of the state of the other one, and that, instantly, whatever the distance between them. That instantaneous reaction transgresses one of the fundamental laws of physics, which says that any phenomenon must happen at a lesser speed than the one of light. We must then admit the existence of a set of laws, which classical physics totally ignores. These laws are of an electromagnetic nature and have a determining influence upon our existence. This electromagnetism notion is abundantly used by J.V. Rijckenborgh, particularly in “The Present Times Gnosis”. One of the main electromagnetic sources in our cosmos is the sun, gigantic thermonuclear power station with a complex whole of intern convections movements. These differential movements  act in the same way as a gigantic dynamo : they generate a solar magnetic field, extremely complex and powerful. That one defines a magnetosphere or heliosphere, which influence is felt farther than Pluto’s orbit. Furthermore, the sun is the most important natural neutrino source. That radiations and particles whole - neutrinos, protons, electrons - constitute the “solar wind”. The greatest part of the solar wind ais hold in the Van Allen radiation belt, and produce the northern lights in the poles, as well as the electro magnetic currents in the superior Earth atmosphere. Now, in the book “The Present Times Gnosis”,  the author shows our conscience state is of an electromagnetic nature. From the beginning of the 1980’s, we know that the brains produces low intensity electromagnetic fields that could be measured due to the building of ultra sensitive detectors called SQUID (Superconducting Quantum Interference Device[8] ) The neurobiologists consider these fields are due to the electrical activity of the neuronal system. However, Sir John Eccles, neurobiologist and Medicine Nobel Prize in 1964, on the contrary considers the brains are not the broadcaster but the receptor of a “conscience field”, thought being one of its manifestations[9]. Starting from that hypothesis, we can easily admit that J.V. Rijckenborgh assertion, written in the fifties : “ It follows that your specific conscience state is dependant on the quality and activities of the intercosmic magnetic field surrounding you[10] ”. And the author adds : “ What exists in the intercosmic magnetic field projects itself in your brains, manifests itself as conscience; and what is in you as conscience leads to life manifestation. That’s why you are completely directed by nature[11] ". At that stage of our study, we can guess what comes next  in the demonstration J.V. Rijckenborgh makes in The Present Day Gnosis. Our life challenge will be to make us free from the nature’s grip by a radical conscience change. However, two conditions are here necessary. The first one is inwardly; it demands the activation of physiological processes supported by a certain number of organs such as for instance, the pineal gland. That one plays  the role of the magnetic field captor, just as some scientifical studies have shown it. The second one, outwardly, needs the influence of a magnetic field J.V. Rijckenborgh defines as being the one of the Gnosis, independent of the space-time laws. So two fundamental magnetic fields co-exist :  one  organises and structures our natural life-field, which Jacob Boehme also names the “wrath world”, the other organises and structures the Gnosis life field or “Light World”.

 J.V. Rijckenborgh shows the two consequences of that coexistence : “ The Gnosis protects the wrath world against itself, and in the same time, the Gnosis prevents that world from poisoning the Logos, the universal manifestation[12] " and “ The Gnosis, as divine law, leads the dialectical manifestation from period to period, so that what’s lost come back to the original fatherland[13]  ”. That reintegration is done through a process named by the author “tranfiguration” and the scientifical dimension of his work culminates in the detailed depiction of that process : “ We can see the manifestation being born, on the basis of the Gnosis fundamental force, by rotation and vibratory frequency increasing, by attraction and repulsion, power ,  light,  heat,  sound, cohesion, life and movement In that sevenfold development lies hidden all we can understand as transmutation and transfiguration With the help of that sevenfold force, we can accomplish everything[14] ”. But that “transmutation” does not constitute an evolutive process along which the parameters defining our natural state continuously change. We could illustrate that with the transformation of numerous organic, physical or social systems happening in a discontinuous way. After a period (phase) where the system stays in a given state, it quickly swing into a new state. For instance, water is in a solid state at a lesser than 0° C temperature. A weak increasing in temperature (state variable) is enough to make it in a liquid state. The transition phase, or organisational level phenomenon, refers to that swing, particularly sensible to the weak variations of the state variable, from a stable organisational level to another. J.V. Rijckenborgh uses the word “fork” similar to the notion of fork in the chaos theory. Thus, the fork typifies the point where a system becomes unstable and may evolve into one or several other stable configuration. Mankind has come to such an evolving point: " Let us just notice that such a moment in world history has started. The two magnetic fields existing in our nature order have been moving away from one another, since an already past moment[15]  "


 All we can do here is to underline the great coherence of J.V. Rijckenborgh thought: he displays with a remarkable precision his world, life and man vision. But that representation is just worked out in order to incite everybody to the finding of his own task in an absolute autonomy and freedom of conscience. To reach that goal, the author urges everybody to link himself again to the fundamental force of the Gnosis, as is natural in a genuine religion, free from all sorts of dogma and authority. J.V. Rijckenborgh describes in his whole works, in a clear language that everybody can understand, rigorously and methodically, and for the first time in the occidental spirituality history, the manifold processes and physiological, psychological and spiritual relations which are the consequences of such a link. If his work attests an unquestionable unity of philosophical thought, religious mystique and scientifical rigour, his exclusive goal is to suggest the edification of such a unity in everyone of us.


[1] Rudolf Steiner – Christian Rose-Croix – Trois conférences faites à Neuchâtel, 1911 et 1912

[2] A.H. Van der Brul – J. Van Rijckenborgh – Rose-Croix moderne et gnostique hermétique – Pentagramme 1995, n°2, Rozekruis Pers France ed.

[3] id.

[4] Schelling – Philosophie de la Révélation – Livre 1, p. 163 – Presses Universitaires de France ed., 1989

[5] Saint Augustin – Les Confessions, Livre Huitième, chap. X, p. 171, Garnier Flammarion ed.

[6] Jean, 3

[7] Experiment of A. Aspect in 1981 at Institut d'Optique Théorique et Appliquée (IOTA) of Paris

[8] La Recherche – Le magnétisme du cerveau – n°223, juillet-août 1990

[9] La pensée en quanta – Le Monde – 8 avril 1992

[10] J.V. Rijckenborgh – La Gnose des Temps Présents – p. 26 – Rozekruis Pers ed., 1982

[11] id., p. 27

[12] id. p. 36

[13] id. p. 38

[14] id. p. 154

[15] id. p. 28

The Spiritual Supermarket: Religious Pluralism in the 21st Century

April 19-22, 2001

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