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Page 1
W
ILL YOU please give me some in-
formation concerning the Manichees?
In The Cosmo-Conception Max
Heindel stated only that they were a
higher order than the Rosicrucians.
The history books seem to indicate that they are extinct,
and that St. Augustine belonged to them.
Answer: Mani (or Manes or Manicheus) was born near
Ctesiphon in Mesopotamia somewhere around 216
A.D., and died around 277 A.D. His father is supposed
to have been a member of the sect of “Baptizers.”
Orthodox people do not admit that he was a Christian,
but we believe that he was Gnostic Christian. Mani
called himself “I, Mani, the Apostle of Jesus Christ,”
and said that he had come to fulfill Christ’s prophecy of
the “Comforter” who would teach the fullness of Truth.
He combined Zoroaster’s teachings and Buddha’s
teachings (probably also Taoism) with the New
Testament. Being a Persian he did not deem it neces-
sary to become a Jew first in order to be a Christian.
Hence Manicheanism did not have much to do with the
Old Testament. Orthodoxy refuses to accept as
Christian anyone who does not accept the Old
Testament along with the New. Many early Christians
clung to their own scriptures; the Greeks and Egyptians
clung to Hermes Trismegistus along with the Gospels.
Mani evidently felt that he had solved the problem of
good and evil and the nature of reality. His basic system
was like that expounded in the gospel of Truth discov-
ered some years ago at Nag Hammadi in Egypt. To this
he added the extensive angelology of the Persians—
just as the Jews had done earlier. Aramaic was the offi-
cial language of the Western Persian Empire, and
Aramaic is the Eastern dialect of the same language
that Hebrew is the Western dialect of. In other words,
the Persians had the same angel words as the Hebrews,
in Aramaic, which was the language spoken by Jesus
Himself. Mani wrote in Syriac and Persian, and in
“code” or cyphers. Many Manichean books were dis-
covered in the 1930’s.
The legend of the Light Elves and Night Elves men-
tioned in The Rosicrucian Cosmo Conception indicates
that the Manicheans had undertaken to solve this prob-
lem of the conquest of evil in just the way that Max
Heindel describes. However, the so-called Manichean
teachings on the nature of Truth and Reality were not
original with Mani. As said, they were found in the
Gospel of Truth, written somewhere around the middle
of the second century, whereas Mani lived in the third.
Zoroastrian angelology is, of course, a true part of
Christianity and esoteric Judaism. There is no question
but that during the Exile the Hebrew prophets in
Babylon and Persia worked hand-in-hand with the
Zoroastrian Teachers. Even the Bible indicates that.
The exoteric Manicheans, however, are not the Inner
Mystery School of which Max Heindel speaks as even
now working on the chief problem of the Jupiter
Period. Just as The Rosicrucian Fellowship is the exo-
teric preparatory school for the Order of the Rose
Cross, so the Manichean movement, including the
Catharists and Albigenses of Southern France, repre-
sents the external representative of a great Mystery
School on the inner Planes.
But virtually all of the basic spiritual concepts of
Manicheanism are also to be found in Rosicrucianism,
because these are, of course, universally and eternally
true. Wherever minds are open to Truth, these concepts
will will be revealed. Only bigotry keeps them out.
So far as the Manichean cosmogony is concerned, that
is just a matter of science. It was partly based on “reve-
lation” (reading in the Memory of Nature) and partly on
external scientific discoveries. Modern scientists are
reworking their cosmogony, modifying the Nebular
Hypothesis, and making new discoveries in evolution,
the nature of matter, etc. All of these changes will even-
tually be incorporated into the religion of the Aquarian
RAYS 03
35
Who Are the Manichees?
The Cross and Roses Meditation
READERSQUESTIONS

Page 2
Age, which will therefore have a new cosmogony.
Yes, St. Augustine was a member, but he never
entered the esoteric school. In Manicheanism there was
a very complete inner teaching, and this Augustine did
not get. He was one of the “auditors,” in the outer
school, similar to our category of “students.” He quar-
reled with a Manichean lecturer on a matter of astrono-
my, and then joined the Roman Catholic Church, into
which, in fact, he had been born. His mother, Monica,
was a devout Catholic and prayed continually for his
restoration to her Church.
Due to bitter persecution from all sides, the exoteric
Order of Mani was driven undercover, but the
Manicheans simply disguised themselves in any way
possible and worked from within the ranks of their ene-
mies. Mani was crucified by the Persian priesthood,
bigots and persecutors who did not like Mani’s
Christianity. Mani’s Order existed in Europe and Asia
for more than a thousand years, and it may be restored
in some form with the next few centuries.
Question: What is the meditation on the black cross
and the seven red roses?
Answer: The cross in the early versions of the
Rosicrucian emblem was shown as black, including the
original cross planted on Mt. Ecclesia to commemorate
the founding of the Rosicrucian Fellowship’s
Headquarters. In referring to the Foundation Day cere-
monies in his November 1911 Letter to Students, Max
Heindel writes: “We made a large cross of the same
style as our emblem, and on the three upper ends we
had painted, in gilt letters, the initials: C. R. C. These,
you know, represent the symbolical name of our great
Head, and designate our emblem as the Christian Rose
Cross, which conveys an idea of beauty and a higher
life so different from the gloom of death usually associ-
ated with the black cross.”
In fact, the Rosicrucian Order, for which the
Fellowship is the authorized Preparatory School, is
named after its Founder, Christian Rose Cross
(Rosenkreutz in German), a name which, as stated in
The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, embodies “the
manner and the means by which the present day man is
transformed into the Divine Superman. This symbol,
‘Christian Rosen Kreutz,’ [The] Christian Rose Cross,
shows the end and aim of human evolution, the road to
be traveled, and the means whereby that end is gained.
The black cross, the twining green stem of the plant, the
thorns, the blood red roses—in these is hidden the solu-
tion of the World Mystery—Man’s past evolution, pre-
sent constitution, and particularly the secret of his
future development” (p. 519). The emblem has under-
gone some evolution, including the conversion of the
cross from black to white. In anticipation of the first
Probationer’s meeting on June 3, 1913, a Mt. Ecclesia
carpenter had cut out two crosses. Mrs. Heindel had
painted one of them black with a white border on one
side and the reverse side white with a black border. But
Max Heindel said what was needed was a pure white
cross, together with seven red roses. The second cross
was, accordingly, painted all white. For this meeting
Mrs. Heindel affixed the white cross to a golden star
which she had painted upon a blue curtain and fastened
three white roses within a garland of red artificial roses.
However, after the emblem was unveiled, the two white
side roses slowly slipped down “as if invisible fingers
were moving” them, until they were held by a bottom
leaf of the most beautiful central rose about two inches
below the lower limb of the cross. “The vibrations in
the room became so high that some were spellbound.
Max Heindel attempted to rise in order to speak but
was so overcome that his voice failed him while tears
streamed down his cheeks. All those present were
assured that the thirteenth Brother, Christian
Rosenkreutz, was present in his vital body. After a few
words from Max Heindel, all disbanded in silence.”
Thus the single white rose positioned at the crux of
the four arms of the cross was confirmed. It signifies:
(1) the indwelling Spirit (Ego) radiating its four instru-
ments (physical, vital, and desire bodies and mind); (2)
the etheric larynx that will be able to speak the creative
word; (3) for healing services it represents the heart of
the invisible helper; (4) and, generally, it symbolizes
the aspirant’s ideal of purity of life, “the path of chasti-
ty.” The five-pointed star symbolizes “that inestimable
influence for health, helpfulness and spiritual uplift
which radiates from every servant of humanity,” which
is the soul body, St. Paul’s soma psuchicon. The seven
red roses signify: (1) human blood cleansed from pas-
sion, making possible the occult development of seven
etheric centers of the vital body, correlated with the
seven ductless glands and; (2) the purification of the
desire nature, which promotes development of the
seven centers of the desire body (see illustration in the
Cosmo pp. 68-69), latent in most persons, but capable
(as with the etheric centers) of becoming extrasensory
organs, making possible various superphysical abili-
ties—thus, in both above instances, occasioning the
Rosicrucian salutation: “May the roses bloom upon
your cross.” Since this composite emblem is nothing
less than a symbol of God in manifestation, continued
meditation upon it will richly inform the student. Ë
36
RAYS 03