System of Study
The Rosicrucian curriculum is much more than a study course; it is a comprehensive and thorough system of spiritual discovery. Unlike many other organisations, the Rosicrucian Order does not promise instant enlightenment, for it knows this is not possible. It does however deliver tried and tested methods of inducing rapid and positive changes to people's lives. The first part of this system is a preparatory set of 12 lessons arranged over 3 months which will give you a short introduction to the Order and a brief overview of its teachings.
The second part is a more thorough preparatory stage consisting of 48 lessons with exercises that takes a further 12 months to complete. By the end of this, you will have a good idea whether or not the Rosicrucian Order is for you; or more generally, if personal spiritual discovery is after all worth your while.
You may think it is a long time to wait, only to discover by the end of it that it really wasn't for you after all. But the same can be said about any endeavour in life. We can't fully know if we fit in with it until we have tried and tested its merits to our complete satisfaction. From our experience in dealing with hundreds of thousands of people in the past who have had relatively unformed urges to find "something deeper" in life, possibly something of a spiritual nature about themselves..., we have learnt that no amount of reading can supply anyone with this essential inner experience in much less time than this. Development of one's spiritual consciousness requires more emphasis on practical experience than on intellectual development, and that in turn takes time to develop and mature.
Should you choose to continue beyond the preparatory stage, you may be admitted to the main curriculum which will take a further 4½ years to complete. There are of course several milestones along the way, and each degree studied and internalised is a real achievement. Four and a half years may seem like a long time, but consider it in the same light as you would when learning to become an accomplished musician from scratch…, it takes years of practice and study…, and unlocking your deeper spiritual nature is as precise and demanding a task as learning to play any musical instrument.
Whatever endeavour one embarks on in life, it is quite usual to gain proficiency and skill relatively quickly at first. But after that first flush of success, one needs to spend much more time consolidating one's gains before they become second nature and a subconscious part of one's being. The inner maturation process involved with any form of spiritual discovery can only happen as fast as we can cope with it..., no faster. No amount of wishing it were faster will work, and it is therefore incumbent upon us to exercise both patience and fortitude always. With the Rosicrucian system of development, virtually everyone sees beneficial changes taking place in a relatively short time to begin with, and these may go on for several years..., but the real work lies in making those changes permanent aspects of one's being and not leave them as temporarily interesting experiences that are quickly forgotten.
The Rosicrucian teachings are brought to life through practical exercises (not physical exercises) designed to produce a genuine awakening and enhancement of one's consciousness and one's ability to use that precious consciousness more effectively. Rosicrucians do many such exercises over the years, and also conduct simple experiments to prove to themselves that the principles they are applying in their daily routines actually work. Of course knowing that a system works and is beneficial is relatively simple; but making it work permanently and under all conditions, as if it were a part of one's deeper self, requires sustained, motivated effort.
Upon successful completion of this main section of study and development, you will have achieved a definite level of mastery over yourself and your environment. You will have changed for the better and will be able to look back and see how incredibly much your realisation of, and ability to competently deal with your innate deeper spirituality has matured since you became a Rosicrucian. The teachings are of course not static, and are updated regularly to reflect our changing world; so there is more, much more to learn beyond these four and a half years of study, and should you sincerely wish to move on to the deeper work of the Order, you will be invited to do so in due course.
Each month, you will receive an envelope of weekly lessons in the form of booklets or monographs to read in the privacy of your home. The lessons are from eight to 20 pages long, and introduce new ideas, exercises and experiments relating to the development and enhancement of your spiritual consciousness in a straightforward and simple manner. You need no special prior education to follow these lessons; nor do you need any high intellect or intelligence to keep up. However, you do need to apply yourself sincerely and to the best of your ability to the task of learning and accomplishing as much as you can each week. This especially concerns the various exercises and experiments that are given for you to try. They are almost all very simple and easy to do, but at the same time, they are designed to bring about specific beneficial results safely and in the most efficient manner possible.
You will be asked to devote about two hours per week studying the week's lesson for the first time and performing any exercises or experiments given. For the remainder of the week, you will be expected to reflect on the ideas contained in the lesson, re-read them a few times to re-acquaint yourself with the principles discussed, but most importantly, to practice the exercises given. The lessons are more than a mere body of knowledge as you would find for example in a university or college. Slowly they introduce you to new ideas, but more importantly, they show you a new and better way of living. Although there is probably very little you enjoy in life that you would need to give up, your quest will require real dedication, a few changes to your personal habits perhaps, but most importantly to actively test, prod and probe the ideas, exercises and experiments you are given; for it is crucial that they be incorporated into your daily routine as quickly as possible, and converted through experience into part and parcel of your conscious awareness of the deep spiritual nature already within you. Gradually, theories will be replaced by direct experience, knowledge, skills, confidence, peace of mind, and the ability to create the kind of life you really want.
The initial part of your affiliation with the Rosicrucian Order will have taken about 5½ years, and will have taken you through three sections called the Postulant, Neophyte and Initiate sections.