Montségur in South France, last sanctuary of the Cathars
The history of Gnosticism from the 7th Century until today leads to movements like the Bogomiles, the Manichaeans and the Cathars, and to unique individuals like Meister Eckhart and Jakob Boehme. The Rosicrucians in the LRC also stand in the Gnostic tradition.
Gnostics are characterized by their longing for the kingdom of Light. They can be found in the gnostic movements of all ages and also in individual persons who became messengers of the divine reality through their serving life.
Gnosticism in the 7th to 13th Century
In the 7th Century, the Paulicians lived and worked in the Eastern Roman Empire. They rejected any hierarchy being in power since this would inhibit the inner experience of truth.
By the end of the 11th Century, hundreds of thousands of Paulicians – as with the Manichean – were killed by the Byzantine Orthodox Church.
But the gnosis lived on. Its light and power shone, for example, in the community of the Bogomiles who primarily lived in Bulgaria during the 12th and 13th Century and imparted their gnostic heritage to the Cathars in southern France. These two purely gnostic oriented communities suffered the same fate as their predecessors. Untold thousands of them were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the so-called “orthodox”.
Templars and Rosicrucians
In the early Middle Ages, the gnosis was alive in the inner circles of the Templar Order. At the beginning of the 17th Century, it appeared strong and clear in the Rosicrucian movement. Johann Valentin Andreae, the author of the Rosicrucian Manifestos, was one of its most important representatives. From this movement, connecting lines lead to the Freemasons, who reorganized their communities in the early 18th Century. Another strong gnostic impulse resulted in the foundation of the Theosophical Society in the 19th Century. Helena Petrowna Blavatsky and Annie Besant were important key figures of this community. The movements of Rudolf Steiner and Max Heindel followed. In 1924, the history of the School of the Golden Rosycross had its first beginnings with the spiritual efforts of Jan van Rijckenborgh and his brother Zwier Willem Leene, who later founded the Lectorium Rosicrucianum together with Catharose de Petri. As gnostic Rosicrucians, they had a very special inner connection with the previous Brotherhood of the Cathars. All these movements are evidence of inner Christianity and describe a path to God, which is possible only by the relationship with the Spirit of Christ.