Foreword to A Rose Croix Oratory | by Greg Kaminsky
The book you hold in your hands is actually much more than just a book. It is the result of a labor of love—one man’s quest to become better than he was, involving a lifetime of work, including years spent learning from some of the greatest teachers. Yet, this book is even more than the result of extraordinary effort, it is also the result of divine grace descending in response to his effort to learn and grow.
I have known Chuck Dunning for almost five years and been following his work for even longer. During this time, I have been regularly impressed with his warmth, fraternal spirit, compassion, tenderheartedness, intelligence, knowledge, and wisdom. Of all the Freemasons that I’ve met and known over the years, few have the level of dedication, accomplishment, and capability to do what Chuck has displayed. That is why I am such a devoted follower of his work, a reader of his books, and why I was thrilled when he asked me to write the foreword to this volume.
Rosicrucianism has always held a very special place in my heart. Perhaps it was the mysterious origins of the tradition, or the manner in which they gathered together various strands of esotericism to syncretize them into an authentic spiritual path, or the way that members never professed themselves to be one, or that their purpose was to heal the sick at no charge, or their desire to reform society at every level, or perhaps the combination of all of these motives that led me to study the Rosicrucian writings and practice their methods? But more likely than not, it was the emphasis on love as the basis for life and the pursuit of wisdom that won me over. Regardless, I was hooked and never really let it go. I find the Rosicrucian philosophy and tradition to be sublime, inspirational, and something I feel drawn to as a way of being and knowing. That is why I spent so much time and effort devoted to learning about and understanding what it meant to be a Rosicrucian, how this tradition spread from Europe to the New World, how Jewish Kabbalah came to be adopted by Christians, and how Rosicrucians employed alchemy as a means for healing and spiritual growth.
Along with my devotion to the Rosicrucian tradition, there were several books that guided my way. Paul Foster Case’s The True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order was the first, followed by the D.O.M.A. manuscript published by Manly P. Hall, and more recently by Michael Martin’s edition of the Fama Fraternitatis, with commentary that interprets the documents in a more mature manner, have informed and inspired my studies. But until now, I had never encountered a book that informed and inspired in such a way that the path was clear, accessible, and traversable.
Yes, Brother Chuck Dunning’s book is primarily concerned with Rosicrucianism within a Masonic context. However, even if one is not a Freemason, the concepts and exercises provided within are certainly valuable and practicable. But if one is a Mason and interested in following this path, you could not ask for a more thorough, well-considered, thoughtful, and inspiring guide than this.
Brother Chuck’s absolutely beautiful, sublime, and pointedly accurate devotional poetry is a very fitting accompaniment and demonstrates accomplishment of the authentic understanding of this spiritual path. These odes are stunning in their clarity. From my perspective, this clarity and ability to express it is only gained by one who actually lives the words.
The inclusion of the emblems of Daniel Cramer is such a special touch and reminder of the origins and ultimate meaning of the Rosicrucian tradition. Accompanying each chapter is a sacred emblem whose contemplation is a doorway. They are some of the most supremely sublime symbols I have ever seen, and it is a blessing for them to grace this book.
I cannot actually imagine a better gathering of author and subject than Chuck Dunning and Masonic Rosicrucianism. As I mentioned, since the time I met him, Chuck has demonstrated the accomplishment of virtue, the embodiment of fraternalism and love for humanity, a keen intellect, and devotion to and knowledge of the traditions of Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism beyond anyone I know. For him to author this text and share it with us is a huge blessing. He honors the origins of the Rosicrucian tradition, its philosophy, the teachings on Cabala, alchemy, magic, and its integration with Freemasonry, particularly within the Scottish Rite. Even his insights into the creation of a Christian Cabala that borrowed from the Jewish tradition, a thorny issue at best, is mature, well-considered, and kind. Finally, Brother Chuck graces us with his words on service and most importantly, love as the basis and result of this spiritual path. It would be accurate to say that while reading this book, I was moved between respect for the impeccable communication of knowledge and feelings of heartfelt emotion when encountering sublime poetry and the underlying intentions beneath the words.
Chuck Dunning is a true and worthy guide. This book is an authentic presentation of the Rosicrucian philosophy, from its inception in the seventeenth century to its modern expressions. The inclusion of his personal experiences, reflections, insights, and devotional verses along with the sublime symbolic artwork ensures that this book is one that you can depend on as you traverse the path. It is accurate, well-considered, intentionally crafted to aid you on your journey, and if you follow its teachings as methods to practice, you will not go astray.
I have tried my best, but I find that my words may not be a worthy foreword to this sublime text written by Brother Chuck. His wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and ability to communicate it both effectively and with tenderheartedness often leaves me speechless. His words seemingly anticipated all my protestations, arguments, and criticisms and masterfully addressed them as they arose. The demonstration of the mastery of the information combined with skillful employment of it in a practical sense is extraordinary. So, please forgive me if my words can only point out the nature of Brother Chuck’s, and I trust that you will understand what I mean as you progress through the book.
Finally, it is crucial that you understand that the Rosicrucian philosophy presented herein is not truth. It is method. Meaning that if one practices and accomplishes the methods described within, then one may know truth. Because, if practiced over years, the results of these methods inculcate a way of being that allows one to know exactly what the Rosicrucian masters of old knew.
The true meaning of life is found within service in love, and we must devote ourselves to our labors and prayers with diligence and become the human beings we were always meant to be. This text is a wonderful aid to guide our steps along the way to becoming that. I want to thank Brother Chuck for the opportunity to read this book and introduce it to you. And I want to thank you for reading this and, hopefully, following the precepts laid out here so that you too can one day know the truth of the Rosy Cross.
Sincerely & fraternally, with Love,
March 30, 2022