THE ISLAMIC ORIGIN OF THE ROSE-CROIX - 2
By Emile Dantinne ( Sar Hieronymus)
Originally published in the review "Inconnues" 1951
The Sufis evidently distinguished themselves from Brethren of Purity, and if their doctrines had some points in common with nearly all the Sufi sects, it is necessary to certainly except that which admitted metempsychosis. Following the teachings of the Arab neo-platonic philosophers and Jewish kabbalists who often influenced the mystics, they called for the idea of metempsychosis, in order to represent the chastisement of the impure soul leaving the body16.
Their teaching presented enough Christian cross fertilizations that it attracted the attention of the Christian initiate C.Rosenkreutz. Their doctrine of the Logos deriving from the Gospels evidently differed from the Christian idea, but there was among them a syncretism which one discovers in the Rosicrucian rituals. In the ascension of the soul towards God, the Illumination of the Names is given by the Bible, the Illumination of the attributes by the Gospels, and the Illumination of the Essence by the Koran. Jesus and Mohammed had revealed the mysteries of the Invisible. 17This is well enough the character of this syncretism.
It is to be noted that Brethren of Purity did not wear any special clothing18; it is a known fact that the initiators also assured themselves that one person who could succeed them, and that they practiced abstinence, which the author of the Fama translated by an Arab image " they were engaged to virginity " 19, they healed the sick . I will abstain from citing the names of the great Arabic doctors who are so well known.
The Rosicrucian doctrine of Creation which we have recently published 20, is found again in its entirety in the philosophy of Ibn Sina. God does not create the world directly but the necessary Being emanates a pure intelligence which is the First Cause. This First Cause knows the Creator as necessary and itself as possible. From this time multiplicity introduces itself into the Order of creation. This intelligence is the active intellect, the illuminator of souls. From sphere to sphere (through the ten spheres) the radiance persues itself towards the pure intelligences as far as the level of matter.
God is understood therefore as the omnipotent and creative First Cause. He cannot have been abstaining from all time and have commenced that which implies in him a change so that the creation is eternal.
The Creator does not directly create matter, but it is through the role of the intermediaries, the angels who identify themselves with the first principles21.
It is possible that Chr. Rosenkreutz could have known the teachings of Ibn Sina or Abdu'l-Karim al-Jili22, who developed an analogous theory: " The world is co-eternal with God, but in the logical order, the judgement that God exists in Himself is anterior to the judgement that things exist in his knowledge. He knows them as He knows Himself but they are not eternal and He is eternal.23"
Mohyi-ed-Din taught that the souls are pre-existent to the body, that they are of different degrees of perfection and that they unequally break through the shadows of the body. The act of learning for them, therefore is nothing more than a remembering, a return ascension towards the place from which they had first departed.
Ibn-Arabi who wrote a book on "The Hundred Names of God" used circles to expound his system , which is singularly close to that of "Dignitates Divinae" by Raymond Lully, who is considered as an initiate and precursor to the Rose-Croix.
Rosicrucian theurgy hardly differs from that of the Sufis although the Sufis derive a very rich angelology from the Koran. At the side of the Cherubim is a more elevated angel named al-Nun who symbolizes Divine Knowledge. He is placed in front of the celestial Tablet; under the Throne are placed the angels named al Qalam ( the pens); the angel al-Mudabbir ; the angels named al-Mufassil are placed before the Imamu'l Mubin, (First Intelligence); the Ruh are the objects of Divine Knowledge...... The Sufi mystic when he reaches the degree of perfection is in contact with the angels. If by them he attains the knowledge of the worlds visible and invisible, it is by them also that he exercises a superhuman power over things, over humanity and over events, since the evoked angels here are no longer the simple messengers of God but the thought itself of God, in so far as it emanates from the Divine Essence through the First Created towards the metaphysical reality of things.
It is in this that the High Magic al sihru'l ali resides . In "The Path of Divine Unity", the mystic Jili explains how by the use of a formula the mystic obtains from God that which he desires24.