What wants to become?
The thoughts I would like to share with you are born from my membership and involvement in the Golden Rosycross for over 35 years. I am 58 years old and have been actively connected with the Rosicrucian current for a large part of my life. First I was youth leader for almost 20 years, i.e. organizing events for young people who were close to the Rosycross through their parents; to a large extent, it was international work for me. Later I was offered a position on a committee (the Presidium), which I have held for almost ten years now. And for six years now, my wife Sabine and I have been the directors of the Bad Münder Conference Centre in Northern Germany. Here we organize about 30 events a year with a total of about 8,000 overnight stays. We also have a seminar house (Haus 4), which can be rented through airbnb and is open to other spiritual teachers and trainers. At the moment we work here with 8 full-time staff members – people who really put their lives, their presence, under the cause. From time to time there are arguments and positional struggles or misunderstandings and we experience how all this dissolves when we let go of our own standpoint and surrender to the process. The project Golden Rosycross is a non-profit organisation and therefore totally dependent on the cooperation of our members. And that is exactly where it is important that we learn the ability to communicate on the soul level, to really connect with each other, to appreciate each other and to further develop such great projects like this.
For me this is a deep insight that comes from this work in the material world: There is no separation of work and life. Life is always also work and work is always life. It is a wonderful experience for my co-workers and myself – this merging of work and life into an activity that is full of meaning. We experience how form and content belong together.
Life suddenly becomes spiritual progress
There are special moments of deep contemplation, even spiritual enlightenment, in work. Life suddenly becomes spiritual progress. After all, in all that is organisational there is also one’s own way of gaining soul-consciousness and what in the Rosicrucian community is called the Path. These processes are an essential part of my life. The contact with the group and the temple hours together are the core of the “work” that is life!
It is a constant recognition, realisation and reflection, a coming into contact with the deep spiritual connections that reach into the spiritual sphere. That is why working here is for me an essential part of my spiritual development process. Recognition – realisation – recognition – realisation, in life, in the projects, in the family, actually everywhere.
But back to the topic of my lecture Courage for the present. Why did I chose this topic?
Permit me a short excursion into my biography.
As a younger man, I felt the spiritual as a whole to be holy, great, wonderful, powerful and mysterious. Today I can say that no one has described this state better for me than Michael Ende with his figure of the shamgiant TUR TUR in his youth book Jim Knopf und Lukas der Lokomotivführer (Jim Knopf and Lukas the locomotive driver). Everything was so big and formidable and a little threatening at first.
TUR TUR, the shamgiant, becomes smaller
When I was around for longer, I began to look less and less at the big and noble thoughts and goals that are postulated in every spiritual community, that one should follow, that are, so to speak, the goal agreements of belonging. Instead, I began to focus more on the tension that exists between the doctrine and my own life. TUR TUR became smaller because something was now required of me that I was allowed to develop in my childhood. It is called: self-esteem and ego-strength. I received these through the loving way my parents treated me. I come from a mining family. But that is another story. In any case, a kind of tool, an approach developed in me: “Check everything and keep the good”, the good that you simply know from within, that you recognise. Every intuition has to prove itself in life. The good is also temporary – it develops, and every horizon is exchanged for the new one that shows itself. And this continues until a horizon appears that can no longer be exchanged. I recognised more and more clearly the relativity of my own states of being.
Let’s take the topic of non-contention (a demand on our path): How long can we be non-contentious – towards others, towards situations? In relation to political events, to injustice, to injuries, when driving a car, in relationships, in group work, in relation to oneself. Today, if I look closely, I say: not ten seconds, or at most 15.
And – is my spiritual path then lost? – Yes! After fifteen seconds. But it starts again in the sixteenth second.
The spiritual sparks that live in us, that accompany us and that we should pay attention to, they are the matrix for rebirth. And they are with us, they do not leave us, even when we are darkened. As soon as we can open ourselves again, they are back. This is the field of tension in which we live, I live, and TUR TUR becomes life-size, adapts to my reality.
The moment I add to this point of real incapacity the willingness to be there, where I am, he becomes life-size and becomes my partner. He becomes a counsellor, a person who speaks to me, who does not want to kill me, but who is simply there and finds it quite alright if I am wrong once in a while.
My claims, my noble thoughts of a path, a spiritual mastery, an “enlightenment”, my TUR TUR, daily coincide in reality with what is.
The present – an inexorable rock
Reality, the present, is an inexorable rock on which one is always shattered and one sees one’s own ideas falling apart again and again. And yet this rock is not closed, but offers entrance through a certain inner feeling. I call it silence or humility, readiness or presence. It is then as if the rock of the present opens and forms a space of knowledge. I am human and I am allowed to be human, in contact with spiritual worlds and a monad that wants to gain influence in me so that development can take place in the sense of an awakening.
And in these moments I understand that this organisation, and perhaps any organisation, is a practical apparatus in which people humanly create opportunities for others to uplift and develop spiritually in the present. Created by highly inspired people, it has been active worldwide for almost 100 years.
We work for each other, with our weaknesses, fears and inabilities, but we are all found again and again in the quest for light, in the quest for soul, we would say, the new soul.
This has been an important experience, especially in the last few years, to which a question was added: Where does spirituality grow? Where does Spirit emerge, or more precisely: where do we experience the penetrating and transforming presence of spiritual forces that are not of this world, but also not of that world alone?
Light and shadow
Gnosis, this ancient primordial religion, which is also an important source of the philosophy of this community, says it unequivocally: there is an order in which shadows and light are interwoven, evil and good, and there is an order that created all this. So there is an order of light and an order of light and darkness, so to speak. We live in the latter and the help for our work comes from the kingdom that is not of this world, the kingdom of light.
If our consciousness manages to rise into this field, then from there comes power for our path, for our inner “rock” in the present. For this power is in everything and can be recognised in everything; it is above all a “rock” in the present.
The pneuma of which I speak is not a local state, but a vibration, a field in which one participates by virtue of one’s inner state. It is here and among us, we are penetrated by it. We have felt it today [during this symposium, ed.], this special silence, this special force that surrounds us here and can be experienced immediately when we are silent.
The waves and the big sea
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of sitting on a beautiful beach in Brittany. There was a family with four children, all of different ages, playing. The oldest one was very close to the big waves and struggled to keep upright in them, but managed to do so. The smallest one tried the foothills of the waves.
So everyone tried in his place, and behind the waves was the big sea, in which no one swam, but whose presence everyone felt. Which says nothing else but: We approach the great field of the spiritual in our own way and in everyone’s own speed – but in all this we are constantly in and surrounded by it.
So I come back to the question: Where do we experience this penetrating force of the Spirit that carries everything? Where is the encounter with Him? Encounter, correctly thought, is encounter with the presence of the spiritual in time, with the presence of the “nothing”, because it seems unknown, but is nevertheless “everything”.
The “nothing” of the Spirit
For us human beings the absolute light is darkness. It is the unknown, the darkness, the “unground”, the “nothing”.
For steps into it, it takes courage, readiness, alertness and truthfulness. Qualities that are emanations of a being that is directed towards the presence of the “nothing”, the completely different and unknown. But – let us not think of this as a “nothing” in the usual sense. The “nothing” of the Spirit is highly active, creative, “dark” substance, which is immediately there, and becomes “something” in us, if it is possible, if we can let it in.
This is how Meister Eckhart describes it: God wants to enter into you. He is standing at the door, but you must let him in. Then out of this “nothing” can become “everything”. Not separation – but unity. This is then as Meister Eckhart says: “Lose yourself in the nothingness, then you will be found in the light.”
Let us lose ourselves in the presence of the Other. Or: Through self-loss we attain the high spiritual individual who rises within us and makes us familiar with the “nothing”. A guide, a helper has risen.
Where people can meet in this orientation towards the “nothing”, in silence possibly, there is “everything”. There is no separation, not between souls, not between people, not between movements and currents. In the presence of the spiritual, for which there are various names, individuality exists as an unrestricted expression of a single whole.
This is what I want to say: the encounter with the pneuma, with gnosis, with the anointed spark, the Christ field, happens in the presence that can be courageously won. The presence can bring forth this one force again and again, make it visible, connect us with it. This ONE is the immeasurable ocean of abundance, into which one rhythmically enters and is transformed into it. One lets oneself be changed so that everything else changes.
A time will come …
Finally, a thought that seems to me to be suitable for a view of What wants to become?: A time will come in which unity is not a contourless mass, but a vibration that is carried by individuals who recognize themselves in it and who are completely independent of any organization, but not without organization, and who are standing in the present for humanity in a creating and renewing way.