The Strange Relationship Between Calvinism and Rosicrucianism©

Previously, I was asked a question about the Concept of Soul by a long-term Rosicrucian. In my answer, I introduced the unfamiliar esoteric concept that permanent souls are not given to human beings, ad libitum at birth (Christian) or later in life (Hebrew). The fundamental esoteric teaching states that a few are born possessing an active esoteric seed, spiritual nidus, or point in the heart and others or are lucky enough to have been born with a quiescent seed which is activated by life. Most are born without such link and so are unable to move beyond the status of our primate species.

Now, I know some persons are going to protest and immediately offer argument. Commons arguments are:

(1) One of the more tenable positions of opposition states that it seems unfair not to give all human beings a soul at birth or at maturity. But, is it really unfair to burden someone with a permanent soul they might not want? Perhaps, they just want to remain a creature with creature desires (given by nature), live out their allotted years and be done with the suffering which comes with life? Gurdjieff use to say, “Happy is the creature who has completed his or her soul, happy is the creature who lives without a soul, and miserable is the creature trying to finish completion of a soul.”

Lack of a soul is consistent with those defective creatures born without any social mores or conscience who so desire power and wealth that they will do anything to gains it. Not to forget sociopathic war mongers, serial killers, and high profile executives.
A soul is to valuable for willy-nilly distribution. Moreover, why would the Cosmic give something potentially divine to those who would make a mockery of such God?

If God gives man a soul which is already perfect and complete, why not give similar or lesser souls to all animals?

(2) Mainline Christians will offer in opposition the creation story in Genesis 3:7, which states that God formed man of the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul. This concept is also introduced in the early Rosicrucian monographs and is related to the concept of Soul Personality.

However, they confuse the English translation by applying the term “living soul” to the modern metaphysical concept of souls or jivas. When this creation story was incorporated into the OT, the Hebrews meant that man became a being aware of himself or herself (the power to name). The had no religious concept of an immortal soul in this time period.

Moreover, the second creation story in Genesis 1:26-27 completely ignores the concept of soul. It states that man was made in the image and likeness of the Elohim which implies that he is a creature who has been made aware (knows self and not self) and can create as do the Elohim. Again, no concept of an immortal and permanent soul or jiva.

Also, when Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden and into the world, the world was populated by similar creatures to Adam and Eve, such having to have been created during the seven days, though not directly mentioned.

Subsequently, the Christian presumptions are unfounded.

(3) Early Buddhism denies the existence of permanent souls or jivas;, while, most vedic sects do believe in jivas or Atman.

(4) GI Gurdjieff was a proponent of having to make a soul.

(5) Curiously, in the Protestant teachings of John Calvin and Jacobus Arminius being saved is a matter of God’s Grace and not Good Works. If one is not saved, it is by God’s choice and clearly such person cannot have a living soul.

For John Calvin (1509-1564), the doctrine of “eternal election” refers to both the predestination of the elect and the reprobate,

By predestination we mean the eternal decree of God, by which he determined with himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every man. All are not created on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation; and, accordingly, as each has been created for one or other of these ends, we say that he has been predestined to life or to death…

The elect are saved based on God’s free mercy, while the reprobate are excluded from it by God’s righteous and “incomprehensible” judgement.

…We maintain that this counsel, as regards the elect, is founded on his free mercy, without any respect to human worth, while those whom he dooms to destruction are excluded from access to life by a just and blameless, but at the same time incomprehensible judgment…

Jacobus Arminius disagreed with the Calvinist understanding of election, writing, Thus in this view, God’s choice of individuals for salvation is not unconditional. It is conditioned upon God’s foreknowledge of (enduring) faith in individuals which is made possible because of God’s . That is, God’s prevenient grace enables mankind to make the choice to believe, obey and persevere in faith, but they can resist this grace and choose to be lost. Those that God foresees will believe, obey and endure to the end (as enabled by His grace), are the ones whom He chooses from the beginning for salvation. The choice to be chosen is ultimately based on the individual, not on God, whom they insist wants all to be saved.

Although, I do not ascribe to either view, or the concept of free grace of most fundamentalist sects, I am of the opinion that Calvin and Arminius were expressing a corrupted view of the actual teachings of esotericism as noted below.

(6) The inner teachings of the Order are consistent with my position as to the rarity of permanence of awareness from life to life. For example, in the early copies of the R+C Manual, a table was given showing what percentage of persons being accepted into the postulant stage actually move beyond the general work of the Order (likely 12th Degree, AMORC data between 1918 to 1932, exact year unknown). The quoted number is approximately 10%. There is no data available as to have many postulants actually enter into and finish the Planes Degrees and so have been exposed to the full Teachings. My guess is less than 1%.

Further support for the esoteric teaching I am reviewing is found in an ancient R+C adage. “Of 1,000 people called to esotericism, no more than One enters into a School. Of 1,000 entrants to an esoteric school, no more than One finishes the outer work. Of the 1,000 finishing the outer work, only One finishes the inner work. And this One, we call a Rosicrucian Initiate, a man or woman having completed the Work to finalize a Divine Soul.”

In conclusion, I would refer you to Pascal’s Wager as to theism vs. atheism, with the following modification:

At this moment, you might not be aware of having the activated esoteric seed needed for finalizing a permanent soul. But, wisdom teaches that you should study and apply the esoteric teaching in you daily life so to live as if you did possess such an activated esoteric seed. At the worst, you will die a Good Man or Good Woman–and maybe God will give you another chance!  And this is what I would say is true mercy and true love.

Blessings one all. Baal Eyt, librarian of the Tower of Babel

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