Freemasons and Rosicrucians - the Enlightened


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This aspect is directly linked to fundamental differences between St. Petersburg and Moscow Masonic institutions.

Moscow was the old capital, which had lost its importance after the Court and governmental agencies had moved to the new capital, St. Since that time, Moscow society formed a kind of opposition to the imperial regime. They were not satisfied with the moral doctrine related to the three Masonic degrees, the only ones recognized by the London Grand Lodge, and established contacts with the famous Berlin Three Globes Lodge, which was the centre of the Gold- und Rosenkreuz Golden and Rosy Cross movement in Germany. Soon after that, the Moscow Rosicrucian Order was established.

In their turn, St. Petersburg Masonic leaders opposed the spreading of the new system in every way. At the same time, there are many facts contradicting the traditional interpretation of their views and activity as reactionary. Russian Rosicrucianism was patriarchal and conservative, but also favored openness and receptivity to the other, as well as religious utopianism, and attributed exceptional significance to human reason, which is quite an uncommon combination.

Therefore, Russian Freemasons could simultane- ously oppose the Enlightenment and proclaim tolerance and cosmopolitanism. Their strong reformist idealism could be easily intertwined with principles of order, allegiance to power, obedience and submission p. It seems that it was the Moscow Rosicrucian Circle that became the most original phenomenon in Russian Freemasonry.

It is important to take into account the conventional character of the names these people used to designate themselves. Thus, they would call themselves Freemasons, Rosicrucians, Templars, etc. In fact, the Brethren in Moscow proclaimed themselves free from any Masonic subordination. As a whole, one could come to the conclusion that Moscow was a peculiar center of Masonic unification, whereas St. Petersburg incessantly provoked various intrigues, conflicts and schisms.

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This revolution would give rise to a new conception of man, a free and responsible personality. The idea of building a new human model based on the view of man as a Microcosm was placed on the agenda. Such a reformation took on a particularly relevant significance in its Russian context, in which a complete anthropological way of thinking did not exist. Thus, the inability of the Orthodox Church to respond to the needs of practical life in a period of crisis and profound cultural transformation, forced Russian Rosicrucians to look for the concept of man in other sources, including Western European mysticism, the Hermetic tradition, etc.

This quest resulted among other things in the translation and publication of hundreds of books.

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This was perceived by the heads of the Moscow Rosicrucians as a valuable and helpful campaign for the ethical transformation of the Russian educated classes. For this reason, they established a special translation seminary and a chain of publishing houses and bookstores.

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The books edited and published by the Moscow Circle featured a wide variety of genres and topics, comprising popular booklets and scientific works, mystical and hermetic treatises and classical works of rationalistic philosophers and Encyclopaedists, the writings of the Church Fathers, etc. In spite of its seeming eclecticism, this activity conformed to a distinct plan aimed at gaining valuable grains of wisdom from all possible sources. Probably the most valuable aspect of this book is the close analysis of the views that Moscow Rosicrucians and Eastern Orthodoxy had in common.

As far as I know, this issue has never been studied as a specific problem in the intellectual history of Russia in that period. Being generally devoted Orthodox Christians, Russian Rosicrucians did not share absolute faith in progress and human reason. Their activities were not opposed to the religious institution. No wonder that Platon Levshin, metropolitan of Moscow and one of the most respected theologians of that time, was frankly sympathetic with Novikov and his views, as he made it clear in writing to the Empress herself.


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Almost every facet of Rosicrucian activity in Moscow—doctrine, rites, charity, etc. It seems that even the inner organization of the Order was modeled on the structure of the Orthodox Church. Thus, like Russian ascetics, they referred to their actions as podvigs heroic acts.

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Moscow Rosicrucians became especially famous for their publishing activity. These interweaving elements, belonging to different cultures, produced very original results. The relationship between the head of the Order and a new member reproduced the traditional relationship between the elder and novice in the Orthodox monastery. The Moscow Rosicrucians who belonged to the secret Inner Order were required to be humble, meek, obedient, submissive, and tolerant.

The same rules were established by the Fathers of the Eastern Church for the monastic life. It is clear that these characteristics had almost nothing in common with the image of an enlightened man who is fully confident in the omnipotence of human reason. Some of the most respected Rosicrucians were held in the same kind of reverence usually attributed to Orthodox elders.

Thus, Johann Schwarz and Semion Gamaleia were surrounded by an aura of sanctity. In doing so they followed the view of St. Russian Rosicrucians were well acquainted with the writings and ideas of Jacob Boehme, believing in the deep concordance between the views of the Philosophus Teutonicus and those of the Eastern Church Fathers. Rosicrucians combined two mystical traditions—Boehmian panvitalism and its religious personalism Boehme, Frankenberg, Pordage, and Gichtel —and Eastern Orthodox mysticism. The reconciliation of Boehmian personalism with a lifestyle choice inspired by the ascetic and mystical tradition of Eastern Christianity had extremely significant practical consequences.

The way of faith chosen by Russian Brethren and their convictions were very similar to the precepts of the church fathers which had been almost forgotten by the historic Churches. Russian masons sought salvation within the Church, but the boundaries of their Church did not coincide with the limits of the official Russian church.

Unfortunately, Faggionato does not focus much on the textual sources translated and studied by the members of the Moscow Circle. There are hundreds of works on alchemy, magic, Hermetism, Kabbalah, etc. More information about this seller Contact this seller. Items related to Freemasons and Rosicrucians - The Enlightened. Manly P. Freemasons and Rosicrucians - The Enlightened.

Publisher: Cornerstone Book Publishers , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:.


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  • Synopsis About this title Is Masonry merely a club created to collect dues and offer light entertainment or is it something far more inspired? Product Description : Freemasons and Rosicrucians - the Enlightened Is Masonry merely a club created to collect dues and offer light entertainment or is it something far more inspired? Full description "About this title" may belong to another edition of this title. Buy New Learn more about this copy.

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