This week I read "The Rosicrucian Utopia" by Robert Vanloo. In the 1610's, three manifestos were published throughout Europe calling for a spiritual and societal regeneration. These texts, attributed to a mysterious brotherhood, were to have a singular destiny and to have a lasting and profound influence on the history of the West. However, the author of the texts, a certain Valentin Andrea, will partly disown these texts admitting to have produced only a student's prank... The farce will however take unexpected proportions.
This book by Robert Vanloo on the Rosicrucians is a sum of its own. Historical sum first of all for the meticulous work of the author who reconstitutes and tells with brio the geopolitical context which saw the birth of the famous Rosicrucian manifestos. Historical sum also in the following chapters where the heirs of the manifestos, those who were inspired by them, are depicted in a lively way.
But also ideological sum because the history of the Rosicrucian is above all the history of an idea, of a utopia in the noble sense of the term. Utopia of a modern world where science would not be mechanistic and scientistic but at the service of a spiritualist conception of the Universe. Political utopia also with a general importance given to the notion of social justice and equity for all (even if it is true that some people have used the Rosicrucians to promote very reactionary ideals). Religious utopia with from the outset a position in favor of religious freedom and freedom of thought, the movements or thinkers claiming to be part of it will always be in the face of religious fundamentalism and clericalism. Finally, it is a mystical utopia because the main idea behind Rosicrucianism is the regeneration of the world and the actualization of the inner wedding between the soul and God.
Were the manifestos a clever mystification? Yes and no. With the reading of this work and others quite as serious, one has rather the impression that Valentin Andrea was the spokesman in spite of him of a current exceeding it completely. A hermetic current which exists and irrigates the Western magic under various forms since the Antiquity until our days.