“The Rosicrucian is patient. His first and most important victory is the conquest of his own self. It is the victory over the Lion, who has bitterly injured some of the best followers of the Holy Cross. … The true Rosicrucian tries to overcome his enemies by kindness, and those who hate him by gifts. He heaps not curses, but the burning fire of love upon them. …
“The Rosicrucian is kind. He never appears gloomy or melancholy, or with a scowl or sneer upon his face. He acts kindly and politely towards everybody, and is always ready to render assistance to others. … He has conquered the bear of vulgarity.
“The Rosicrucian knows no envy. Before he is accepted into the order he must go through the terrible ordeal of cutting off the head of the snake of envy, which is a very difficult labor, because the snake is sly, and easily hides itself in some corner. The true Rosicrucian is always content with his lot. … He never worries about the advantages or riches which which others possess, but wishes always the best for everybody. … He expects no favors, but hr distributes his favors without any partiality.” ~Franz Hartmann
Mr. Hartmann’s book is specifically about the Rosicrucian order but applies just as well to any real spiritual school or community. He has explained in a section that I have quoted before that the real Rosicrucians he speaks of are from some time ago, and the current group by that name is not the same. But you can replace “Rosicrucian” in the quote with “Pythagorean,” “Essene,” or any of a dozen or more spiritual schools and it will all still apply. In fact, the students of real spiritual schools are not in competition with each other at all. Truth is truth, and while ceremonies and minor teachings may vary, the basic truths and awakening methods remain the same.
Conquest of Self
It is the first duty of the spiritual student to conquer himself (or herself). It isn’t always clear, however, exactly what that means.
Let’s start with what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean we have to rid ourselves of ego. Nor does it mean we have to rid ourselves of all sense of individuality. Some popular schools of today have simplified the teachings of the ancients schools and say that it does. That makes even less sense than saying that men have to be physically circumcised in order to achieve spiritual enlightenment. Mutilating the body in any way doesn’t help spiritual growth. Mutilating the mind doesn’t either. Destroying the ego, or the sense of self is destroying an important part of what we are.
What conquest of self does mean is that we have to have complete control of ourselves. It means we don’t go berserk when someone does something that injures us in a minor way. We don’t completely lose our self-control and start acting like a five-year-old if we are called out of the audience in a TV game show. We are disciplined, controlled. If we aren’t, we are doomed. People engaging in spiritual development who cannot keep their emotions in check are the easiest targets of the dark beings who want to stop such development. Continue reading “Conquest of Self Begins Spiritual Growth”