Among all that is going on with the pandemic and accompanying fear being expressed around the world, some thoughts from Rosicrucian history came to mind. One was that back in the late 1930s there was increasing anxiety, not just among Europeans, but also among the American public with the increasing hostilities in Europe emanating from Germany and the Hitler regime. The fear and anxiety was building and every related news byte was a common everyday topic. Possibly because of this worrisome state of affairs a new movie went into production in Hollywood. This was the movie Lost Horizon directed by the great Frank Capra. It came out in 1937. The plot described in Wikipedia is this:
“It is 1935. Before returning to England to become the new Foreign Secretary, writer, soldier, and diplomat Robert Conway has one last task in China: Rescue 90 westerners in the city of Baskul. He flies out with the last few evacuees, just ahead of armed revolutionaries. Unbeknownst to the passengers, the pilot has been replaced and their aircraft hijacked. It eventually runs out of fuel and crashes deep in the Himalayas, killing their abductor. The group is rescued by Chang and his men and taken to Shangri-La, an idyllic valley sheltered from the bitter cold. The contented inhabitants are led by the mysterious High Lama.”
Also of interest, the International Movie Database (IMDb) notes that “From a critical standpoint, ‘Lost Horizon’ has stood the test of time to be one of the greatest adventure classics ever produced by Hollywood.”
When this movie came out our first Imperator Harvey Spencer Lewis, who seems to have been widely known and highly respected in the U.S., praised it very highly and even contacted theaters around the country giving the Order’s endorsement of it. One of the things he said about it was that in this era of such great anxiety such a movie as this helps to redirect the public minds to a more peaceful vision of the future, or words to that effect. Shangri-La was a type of Utopia conceived as also a repository of ancient and secret wisdom.
Visions such as this movie presents can transform anxiety to peace profound and may do so by lifting one’s conscious gaze from the material plane to the thought and spiritual planes of idealism and eternal values thus bringing out our higher emotional vibrations to the fore of our consciousness.
And this is not the first time that the Rosicrucians promoted a Utopian vision for humanity. The original Rosicrucian manifestoes specifically called for a reformation of the world. Former Rosicrucian Imperator Francis Bacon of England also sought a world reformation and wrote a story of a kind of Rosicrucian Utopian society called New Atlantis.
Later, 17th century education reformer Jan Amos Komensky, who we know as Comenius, who was well read in Rosicrucian thought and a follower of Francis Bacon, authored another kind of universal reform in education. In fact, today Comenius is considered the ‘Father of Modern Education’ and the great inspiration for the UNESCO. His main vision of a Utopia is found in his Consultatio catholica, which was more of a down to earth Utopia.
Today’s AMORC again promotes a Rosicrucian Utopia which like its predecessors covers life on earth in a universal way.
And perhaps, most interesting of all, this concept of a Utopia state as conceived by Rosicrucians, may have been one of the ideas that inspired our beloved Imperator Harvey Lewis to create the Cathedral of the Soul, now known as the Celestial Sanctum, a place or condition where Rosicrucians and others can find a kind of Shangri-La in their own hearts and minds.