A Rosicrucian Notebook by Willy Schrodter © 1992

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    A Rosicrucian Notebook by  Willy Schrodter        ©  1992   Red Wheel/Weiser   ISBN  0-87728-757-0   320 pages  paperback         $21.95 (U.S.)


    I have been dealing with translations of foreign language texts which presents certain difficulties.  I need to rely on the integrity and ability of those responsible for the translations.  I have no reason to doubt their ability and integrity, but I have no personal way of verifying that the translations have not been influenced by the personal beliefs of the translators.


    This book is over half a century in its German edition and is composed, in large part, of quotations from other works by Rosicrucian authors over the preceding two or three centuries.  Many of these books were privately printed and, even when commercially printed, the majority are unavailable in English.  This, naturally, makes verification even more difficult.


    The purpose of this book is not to explain Rosicrucian beliefs, but rather to explore the techniques and knowledge available to them.  It does not tell a story.  It is a notebook – heavily annotated and referenced.  Thus it is possible to look up any topic you are interested in without having to work your way through the entire book.


    The topics covered range from the mystical (the Life Light) to the practical (magnetic healing) with an emphasis on making life better.  After all, that was the expressed goal of the Rosicrucian movement.


    Many readers will, undoubtedly question the reality behind the author’s assertions.  Perhaps they should pass on this book.  This book is intended to allow easier access to information which has not been easily accessible for many years.


    The author draws a large number of parallels and connections between Arabian thought and teachings (as claimed by the earliest identified Rosicrucians) and such other diverse groups as the Essenes and Cathars.  There is, of course, no way to either substantiate, or to disprove, these allegations.  They may be factual or they may simply be the result of similar expression of ideas.  This inability, however, does nothing to detract from the usefulness of this work.


    For those interested in the subject of Rosicrucian thought, this book will be a valuable addition to the library of available (and understandable) material.  It is, as noted previously, heavily annotated and referenced.  Even though many of the books cited will be unavailable to any except the most dedicated researcher and scholar, enough excerpts have been provided to allow the reader to get the feel for these obscure works.


    There are more modern references in this book, although even these are rather dated.  These allow the students to pursue their own research with relative ease.


    This book is not the final word on Rosicrucian thought by any means.  Nor is it the most definitive.  It is, however, a valuable addition to the library of anyone interested in learning more about this “secret society.”  It is well worth purchasing and reading.


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