I recently completed reading a biography of L. Frank Baum, entitled Finding Oz. The book chronicles the trajectory of Baum's famous Land of Oz by citing meaningful moments in his personal history. Many of his novels' themes derive from the author's adult conversion to a metaphysical philosophy known as Theosophy. Before reading the book, I don't think I had ever heard of Theosophy; in one sentence, it is the belief that God's wisdom "may be achieved through spiritual ecstasy" and "direct intuition." My personal take on it is that Theosophy is a kind of well-intentioned, if far-out, combination of the best of Eastern and Western religious/philosophical precepts with a dash of the occult thrown in for good, mystical measure.
Now we don't often get into heavy discussions of religion and philosophy at wacky tacky, but on a recent drive to a family get-together, the strangeness of the bright-white, dodecagonal, domed building high atop a hill in Oceanside, CA led to a serendipitous meeting of philosophy, literature, architecture, and wacky tacky holy rollin'.
Like Dorothy being led to The Emerald City, we were drawn to the mysterious, mountaintop structure that we spied as we zoomed down our own sort of yellow-brick road. Little did we know upon reaching our destination that we had risen to the top of Mount Ecclesia, the world headquarters of the Rosicrucian Fellowship. I had heard the word "Rosicrucian" before but had no idea what it meant. As it happens, the mystical branch of Christian philosophy is inexorably linked to Theosophy. Based on ancient wisdom as interpreted by a 14th-Century, German philosopher, the 20th-Century incarnation of Rosicrucianism draws heavily upon the beliefs of theosophists, like L. Frank Baum.
|Mr. Tiny trying very awkwardly to avoid disturbing "the healing energy field"...|
Lest one think that the hippy movement began in the 1960s, Rosicrucians' strong embrace of pacifism, vegetarianism, and an earnest preparedness for the coming of the Age of Aquarius predates fringed vests and Hair by decades, if not centuries. Self-branded as "An Association of Christain Mystics," the fellowship has a strong belief in healing through a legacy of secret, ancient truths as presented by founder, Max Heindel.
|The sprawling, hill-top grounds includes a vegetarian cafeteria, meeting rooms, a|
hotel, and several houses. The crown jewel of the Rosicrucian compound is, of course,
the healing temple known as The Ecclesia.
Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995, The Ecclesia is home to daily healing meetings.
Even had the doors been unlocked, I'm not so sure that we would've been allowed inside...but we always try.
|With ties to a variety of secret societies and fraternal organizations (ahem, Freemasons), |
Rosicrucianism, a branch of "esoteric Christianity," employs much of the same ancient
Egyptian imagery, as seen here on the entrance to The Ecclesia.
Rosicrucianism seems a little bit spooky at first; really though, once most religions/philosophies are broken down into their most elemental parts, they all come across as a little spooky and hard-to-believe, don't they? Esoteric Christianity, while difficult for me to fully grasp, is an area of philosophy with which I am pleased to have become acquainted. At the very least it will up my game when I play Jeopardy with the TV.
Before reading Finding Oz, esoteric Christianity was not on my radar; post-read, it seems that I see Theosophy everywhere - but I'm not complaining. I mean, who doesn't love a good medieval, Egyptian, Christian, occult, Masonic, hippy, astrological, conspiracy-laden philosophy that begins and ends with The Wizard of Oz?
|I want to go all "astro projecto" as much as the next guy but I'm still not|
one-hundred percent certain what this Rosicrucianism thing is all about; it seems
that Mr. Tiny and Rosicrucianism might always be a little "star-crossed."
I'm not so sure that Mr. Tiny will be partaking of the Rosicrucian Kool-Aid any time soon, but I really do encourage and appreciate anyone's search for truth. Should Rosicrucianism's basic tenets truly be self-improvement, altruism, and the pursuit of universal wisdom, well, then that's good enough for Mr. Tiny. Anytime that "peace will guide the planet and love will steer the stars," we're ready to take a backseat to whomever is driving. But maybe that's just me looking at the world through Rosicrucian-colored glasses.
"The Age of Aquarius" - The 5th Dimension
Mount Ecclesia & The Rosicrucian Fellowship Headquarters
2222 Mission Ave