Friday, November 18, 2011

Get paid to do Great Work

Last night, one of my friends asked if there was any way to get paid to do the Great Work. Is it possible to make your livelihood doing the Great Work? or helping others do the Great Work?

Now, being a Rosicrucian, my answer is based on the Fama Fraternitatis. In this founding document of the Rosicrucian movement (which Golden Dawn and the BIORC may or may not be a part of--depending upon who you ask), we learn the original Brotherhood bound itself by six rules.

First, That none of them should profess any other thing than to cure the sick, and that gratis.

Second, None of the posterity should be constrained to wear one certain kind of habit, but therein to follow the custom of the country.

Third, That every year, upon the day C., they should meet together at the house Sancti Spiritus, or write the cause of his absence.

Fourth, Every Brother should look about for a worthy person who, after his decease, might succeed him.

Fifth, The word R. C. should be their seal, mark, and character.

Sixth, The Fraternity should remain secret one hundred years.

It is the first and second clauses that has the most bearing on this particular question.

Let's start with the second clause, which states that no future generation of the Order will be forced to wear a particular style of clothes, that they will adopt the customs of the country that they are living in. The extension of this clause to this question is the implication that if one normally gets paid for a profession in the country that one is living in, then a Rosicrucian is also entitled to charge for that service or product.

It is the first clause that complicates matters. There are three parts of it that we need to understand, for it applies to all in the Fraternity.

The first part is "profess"--which is not only to claim, but it is also related to the words professor and profession. It also relates to taking the vows of a religious Order. So does this mean that the only profession that a member of the RC can take is that of a doctor? Or that is the only subject that they can teach? Or are they only allowed to join religious Orders and tradtions that are focused on healing? Or something else?

The seond part we need to understand is what is meant by "cure the sick." Is this referring to physical sickness? Or to mental sickness? Or to societial sickness? Or all three?

We do know one thing that it does not refer to---the members of the Brotherhood are not allowed to cheat death. Even though they are allowed to live life free from disease and pain, "they could not live and pass their time appointed by God." Even the most learned of them, the very founder of the Fraternity, Brother R.C. dies. Yet the fact that they live from from illnesses and pain indicates that curing the sick does include the physical. So must the members of the RC be doctors and nurses? or must they be some form of healer which work affects the physical body? Ironically if the latter, it would mean that a member of the RC can work in any profession that provides care and substance to the physical body, or that has a positive effect on the human body---this would include cooks and writers.

The last and third part, we must understand is what is meant by "gratis." This word is related both to grace and to gratuity (aka tips). At the very least, the members of the RC are allowed to take tips for their work. The implication is that a member of the RC is not allowed to withhold their services from those who are unable to pay; but they are also allowed to accept payment, or at least tips, for the work that they are doing.

So given that the members of the Fraternity are allowed to adopt the customs of the country they are living in, the range of activities that could lead to healing, and the fact that the membership is allowed to take tips---yes, you can get paid to do the Great Work; just remember to have a sliding scale on your fee structure.

If you disagree with me, because you speak the original language and I am using an English translation, remember that I am allowed to adopt the customs of the United States of America which is the country I am living in. Also bear in mind that I would like to keep a roof over my head and food on the table without having to resort to robbing banks or begging on the street. Nevertheless, feel free to criticize my reading of the material---you can't possibly disagree with me more than the professors at the University of Colorado do.


Peregrin said...

Hi Morgan,

Great post! Not that I agree 100 per cent with it all, but having someone make intelligent analysis of these matters, while not towing some party line, is wonderful.

Of course you've made me want to go and look up the original German for a few words. Thanks a lot!

Not that it really matters. Interpretation of our western esoteric traditions, for me, rests on the traditional injunction of exegesis for all religious texts. If it increases or promotes compassion it may be correct, if it does not, it is definitely not correct. Yours increases our compassion, for ourselves and family by providing a living, for the world and people as whole by showing the need for a sliding scale.

Great... I am aware there is another post later than this and scanned some muttterings elsewhere. I do hope no one had got their knickers in knot over your very, very good post. Thanks. :)

Morgan Drake Eckstein said...

Besides the mutterings, I recieved a really nasty private message (from another party) telling me to quit talking about Griffin's Order in such a negative manner. I am still confused about how my post had anything to do with the A&O and their Third Order. For an Order that claims that they want peace, their members have a nasty way of showing it. I am beginning to understand why no one allows known A&O members to post comments on non-A&O forums and blogs, and why people refuse to discuss differences of opinions with them.

Peregrin said...

Ah, yes, just read the latest :)

The thing I guess we need to realize is EVERYONE is against them. Pat, Nick, Donald Michael Kraig, Zink, the SIRA, SRICF, Raven Grimmasi - the list goes on and on. And in the wise words of Anakin Skywalker, "If you're not with me, then you're my enemy!"

So, they are bound to see attacks everywhere. Poor things. :)

Donald Michael Kraig said...

Respectfully, Peregrin, I am not "against" any group. What I AM against are behaviors I consider illegitimate and/or unethical such as ripping people off or changing the core system of a group while still claiming to be a legitimate version of that group.

Peregrin said...

Oh, bugger... I guess my literally sarcasm needs work. @DMK - of course you are not against any group. I was trying to point out how some of the AO leadership seem to THINK everyone is against them when they are not. It's a sign of something or other, I am sure :)