Prayer

Update 6/19/22

After spending some time thinking on this topic, almost every day, I’ve come to respect the importance of praying only for “Thy will be done.” To pray for the will of God, and not my own will for an outcome. This is an important aspect of the path, as it removes ego and desire, but it begs another question, “is it possible for anything other than God’s will to be done?” Can my will override God’s will? Of course not. So then, every act of prayer, can only align with the karma of the situation. The spiritual school feels that such selfish-desire based prayer is not answered by God but by entities within the reflection sphere.

Either way, feeling this out, I do feel that I need to surrender to God’s will, even when it is a hard choice.

Original Post:

Let’s talk about prayer. Last night I had a wonderful experience listening to some pupils discuss J. van Rijckenborgh’s treatise on the subject of prayer. Their main source of the talk came from J. van Rickenborgh’s book, “The Elementary Philosophy of the Golden Rosycross.” While a lot of the talk I agreed with, there were moments of Rijckenborgh’s thoughts that I find difficult to accept. As I mulled this over before going to bed, I awoke the next morning to find a recorded podcast from the Golden Rosycross. What is amazing about the podcast is that it covers the very issue on prayer that I was feeling! What are the odds? Below I’ve presented two cases on prayer, one from the sourced book, The Elementary Philosophy of the Golden Rosycross (which links to the book), and the other an audio recorded embedded below.

Prayer, from The Elementary Philosophy of the Golden Rosycross

Starting on page 185, the book has a chapter devoted to the topic of prayer. The chapter is actually called “Prayer.” In this chapter Jan van Rijckenborgh outlines how prayer is (from his perspective) misunderstood by most people. He says that true prayer, as done by the Golden Rosycross, is without emotion or expressing feelings of reverence.

He [the pupil of the Golden Rosycross] prays for the spiritual welfare of his being. His prayer is aimed at the well-being of mankind and arises from altruism and not from selfishness. He prays for love, encompassing all things and all beings; for spiritual riches, so that he may be able to serve truly from the fullness of an inner wealth; for power, so that he can help to liberate mankind from its distress; for glory so to become and be that his life announces God’s glory by his deeds.

Elementary Philosophy of the Golden Rosycross, pg. 188

This, I think, is very good sentiment. It understands prayer from a higher perspective. Not wanting prayer to be a wishing stone, True prayer is more of a process of liberation and love. I agree with this sentiment, although I can’t fault a person for praying for their children to be safe or to overcome an illness. I can’t even fault emotional prayer or prayer of reverence, as who am I to judge another? But yes, I do feel Rijckenborgh’s prayer quote above is very true.

Prayer as an Act of Magic

Rijckenborgh speaks of prayer has having three components – which make prayer an act of magical invocation. The three aspects are thinking, willing and desiring. In my experience I agree. More than prayer, these three elements, which I attribute to: belief, will and intent drive the human experience. They create and maintain our experience based on expectation. One has a cultural belief of “ghosts and goblins,” and has such a manifested experience if the given conditions are met. Another has a “scientific” belief of UFOs, and their belief system makes it real utilizing their intent and will. This is in every religion, channeled to an outcome. I have even seen what I think are non-spiritual grifters, utilize the audience’s will, intent and belief in the guru/master to achieve the miraculous.

To this Rijckenborgh raises some concerns:

If man invokes God, Christ or the Holy Spirit out of his lower primitive state, prompted by a selfish desire, he will logically attract selfish forces, because he himself has evoked them by the black magic of his prayer. 

Elementary Philosophy of the Golden Rosycross, pg. 186

This makes a lot of sense to me, not just because Rijckenborgh wrote it, but we can actually see it in action. Look at people who invoke Jesus out of fear, anger, hate, intolerance and then look at the result. When I read that, I was reminded of the political crowd and a woman caught in insanity, photographed holding a sign that read, “Thank Jesus for [name of the politician].”

Such feelings attract the wrong vibration, no matter the words spoken, as the magical operation operates on one’s INTENT, and one’s WILL. This, to me, is false prayer, however, Rijckenborgh has a different take on false prayer.

False Prayer

Rijckenborgh continues on and goes even deeper, digging into what he considers false prayer. One example of this is his depiction of Catholic prayer. He describes their prayer as the work of the Reflection-Sphere. Meaning that there is a temporary spiritual realm beyond the veil of mortality (reflection-sphere), where entities and egregores (hive/group minds of religion and social orders) exist. The idea of a reflection-sphere, although not provable, is certainly viable. One has to accept it with a bit of faith, but it isn’t a far stretch as most spiritual cosmologies have such a concept – they might call it the “Astral Kingdoms.”

Rijckenborgh claims that the Catholic is unknowingly reaching to the reflection-sphere (not God), to get their prayers answered. In other words, that other entities are involved in their prayers. This, for me, is a stretch. Not that I have any love of Catholicism (I have no allegiance and never have), I just find it off-putting to label someone as false because they are praying in a different way. A big claim, like this, requires big proof. His foundation is possibly based on the idea of materialistic prayer attracting reflection sphere elements. He doesn’t really bridge the logic here to establish a reason why Catholic prayer specifically is reflection-sphere oriented. In other words, if a Catholic prayed with an earnest love of God, to commune with the Divine, would wouldn’t they reach the Divine?

Unlike the “black magic” example of an angry woman screaming her prayer for a political candidate, a Catholic could have pure intent, just like a Protestant… Rijckenborgh, however, see’s both as faulty:

They [Catholics] are addressed not to the Lord of all life and his hierarchy but to the Roman Catholic god and to the hierarchy on the other side of the veil. That is why all kinds of prayer books are used, filled with set prayers designed to maintain the binding between the masses and the Roman Catholic god. An entire pantheon of saints is maintained for the same purpose.

Elementary Philosophy of the Golden Rosycross, pg. 187

Rijckenborgh also addresses the prayer of Protestant Christians. He argues that they too are addressing the reflection-sphere, but unlike Catholics who are addressing a dedicated entity of their faith, Protestants are victims of any entity in the reflection-sphere.

In Protestantism there is also much praying, but since it has no hierarchy in the reflection sphere due to its disunity, it is a helpless prey for numerous forces in the reflection sphere.

Elementary Philosophy of the Golden Rosycross, pg. 187

Here again there is a gap to a conclusion. We can establish logically that if there is a reflection-sphere, prayer’s of materialistic gain would end up there. But what of those who pray for others, and happen to be Protestant, Hindu, Muslim? As luck would have it, a Golden Rosycross podcast appeared today to answer this very question.

A Tolerant View of Prayer

Up to now prayer has been described by Rickenborgh as something negative if done from a different view or religion. Negative in the sense that it doesn’t reach God, but entities and egregores in the reflection-sphere. While intention certainly matters with prayer – and examples of false prayer abound around us (such as political prayer, angry and intolerant prayer), which no doubt evoke a false deity – the idea that groups invoke the reflection sphere because they are praying differently seems a bit harsh.

Today, the Golden Rosycross released a podcast episode titled, “The Religion of God is Love.” You can read and hear the podcast through THIS LINK.

Rumi: Moses and the Shepherd

In the podcast, the speaker raises a story from Rumi called Moses and the Shepherd. This is a tale of Moses coming across a shepherd who is praying to God in a very unusual way:

O God, where are You, that I may become Your servant and sew Your shoes and comb Your hair? That I may wash Your clothes and kill Your lice and bring milk to You, O Worshipful One; That I may kiss Your little hand and rub Your little foot, (and when) bedtime comes I may sweep Your little room 

Moses and the Shepherd

The prayer hardly conforms to a traditional prayer – God, for the shepherd, is depicted as a child he will care for. One might even say it is emotional – in the sense that it is familiarizing God as a loved child. When Moses hears this prayer he becomes irate and chastises the man for blasphemy. The shepherd runs away, and then God speaks to Moses:

‘You have parted My servant from Me. Did you come (as a prophet) to unite, or did you come to separate? I have bestowed on every one a (special) way of acting: I have given to every one a (particular) form of expression. I look not at the tongue or the speech; I look at the inward (spirit) and the state (of feeling). I gaze into the heart (to see) whether it is humble, though the words uttered be not humble.’

Ibid.

God chastises Moses for his harsh words against another man’s prayer, saying “I have bestowed on every one a special way of acting: I have given to every one a particular form of expression. I look not at the tongue or the speech; I look at the inward spirit and state of feeling. I gaze into the heart to see whether it is humble, though the words uttered be not humble.”

Synthesis

Prayer, depicted by Rijckenborgh is a form of magic (I agree). Depending on one’s intent the prayer can manifest darkly or of the Light (I agree). Our motives determine what we connect with, and I’ve often said out loud (in my more aggressive days) that many Christians are worshiping the Satan they condemn (by way of their hate).

HOWEVER, we come to problem where the author claims that all who are Protestant and Catholic are by their very nature unable to pray to God – they instead are interceded by forces of the reflection-sphere (false deities, energies or egregores) that pretend to play God.

I feel this is a personal bias of the author – for when I look at the words of Rumi, in his story of Moses and the Shepherd, I read exactly what I feel God is and wants. He isn’t looking for us to divide one from another, chastising and creating disharmony – but to come into oneness, allowing for people to pray in their own ways, as long as the prayer from their heart and spirit is in accordance with the vibration of the Living God.

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