Preface by Doride Zelle in the new book ‘Mysteries and Challenges of Birth, Life and Death’

For many decades we, as humanity, have experienced tremendous acceleration. What was experienced in the past during the course of several generations, we now experience in just one lifetime. Developments in the technical, medical, economic, social, cultural and political fields are moving at lightning speed. We are continually forced to make choices, both individually and also collectively, because if we do not choose for ourselves, someone else will choose for us. 

If we want to change our experience of outer circumstances, we will have to start working on our inner self because the world that we experience externally is a reflection of our inner self. The challenges that we face as people of the 21st century cannot be overcome with hard work but by working from the heart. As a human being, we are still far from finished. We are beings in the making, and becoming true and complete human being begins from the divine principle in the heart. 

In this way we arrive at what is called the knowledge of the heart: gnosis. That is a knowing from the inside out. Gnosis is not the property of a particular philosophy or religion. It is universal because it is connected with human experience. There are many currents that can be described as gnostic. They all have in common that the human being is regarded as twofold: both mortal as well as eternal. They teach that we can go a road by which we live more and more from eternal inspiration and stimuli through which we will fulfil our inner calling and be transformed into a new person. 

This book proceeds from a gnostic perspective to examine what is important for every person: birth, life and death. Birth is the opposite of death, but life has no opposite. Life was, it is and it always will be. It is a mystery. We will never fully understand it, but we may still penetrate it more deeply. 

After my death my body decays, but what happens to my consciousness? Does that disappear too? Or does it actually increase? Will I go to heaven or will I return to earth in another body? Why am I living here on earth anyhow? What am I to do here? These are essential questions about life that are asked by people everywhere, regardless of their culture, their education or their religion. If we can continually keep such questions about life active within us, we may not receive direct and definitive answers, but the questions will gradually dissolve within us until we ourselves become the answer. 

The essential question is not whether life exists after death, but whether we are really alive before our death. Our view on life and death is decisive for the way in which we shape and experience our lives. If we take our lives seriously, we will also have to take death seriously. Life and death are not so much riddles that we can solve, but rather mysteries that we can consciously experience so that our lives become more meaningful, more intense and more valuable. 

Mysteries and Challenges of Birth, Life and Death – Becoming a New Human Being is the fourth volume in the Spiritual Texts Library, a series of guides for 21st-century people who want to follow a path of spiritual awareness and renewal in their daily lives. This series of books is based on carefully selected classical spiritual texts and reflections on these subjects, taken from the more than four centuries old living tradition of the Rosicrucians. 

All publications of the Spiritual Texts Library are broadly oriented, deeply rooted and spiritually inspired. The books in this series are synchronised so that together they offer a richly varied insight into the mysteries of life, death and rebirth. They contain many points of interest that foster discussion and are therefore ideal to work with in discussion circles. 

This book is a sequel to Mysteries and Symbols of the Soul – Becoming a Spirit-inspired person, which is mainly concerned with the road to unity. On a deeper level, everything is of course connected to everything else. The dispersion that we experience constantly still originates from unity. As human beings, we are called to be living connections between this unity and the multiplicity in which we live by becoming ourselves a unity: a unity of spirit, soul and body. 

‘Freedom’ is the central theme in ‘Mysteries and Challenges of Birth, Life and Death’. When we can release any blocking imagina- tions and attachments – that is a form of inner dying – then we can reach a higher level of freedom, so that we can make a greater contribution to the unity. Something eternal will also develop in us, something not tied to the earthly cycles that rise, shine and fade. 

In the first part of this publication, the discussion of the mysteries of birth, life and death is based on Bible excerpts and inspired by the extensive writings of J. van Rijckenborgh (1896-1968) and Catharose de Petri (1902-1990), co-founders of the International School of the Golden Rosycross. Each chapter is preceded by a quote from one of their books, either Elementary Philosophy of the Modern Rosycross or The Living Word. These publications are composed from lectures that were held between 1950 and 1980. Well-known concepts such as hell, purgatory and heaven are considered as well as reincarnation, karma and transfiguration. 

The Bible quotations that are included in this book are derived from several different versions of the Bible. Several quotes are also taken from the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas. Since it is vital that developments in society be viewed from the standpoint of the timeless universal wisdom, practical and ethical questions are also discussed from the spiritual vision that is unfolded in this book. 

The conditions of death can actually enrich us when we no longer cling to physical personal property, but instead open ourselves to influences from the soul. Then we are at the beginning of a path of self-initiation. On this path, an immortal resurrection body is developed through which we may experience enlightenment and liberation. 

Rozekruis Pers, Doride Zelle 

Source: Mysteries and Challenges of Birth, Life and Death



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