Max Heindel

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Max Heindel (born Carl Louis von Grasshoff in Denmark on July 23, 1865 ‑ United States, January 6, 1919), Christian occultist and mystic.

At the age of sixteen years he left home to learn the engineering profession. For a number of years he was Chief Engineer on one of the large passenger steamers of the Cunard Line plying between America and Europe. From 1895 to 1901, he was a consulting engineer in New York city.

Max Heindel moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1903. He became interested in the study of metaphysics and joined the Theosophical Society of Los Angeles, of which he was vice-president in 1904 and 1905.

In 1907 he travelled to Germany with his friend Dr. Alma Von Brandis to hear a cycle of lectures by Rudolf Steiner. During his stay at Germany, it is reported that Heindel was visited by a highly evolved Spiritual being (in its vital body) later identified as an Elder Brother of the Rosicrucian Order (which, according to Max Heindel, is an Order in the inner worlds, having no direct connection to physical organizations which intitle themselves by this name). This Elder Brother put Heindel to a test to determine his worthiness to be messenger of the Western Wisdom Teachings. Afterwards he was given instruction how to reach the etheric Temple of the Rose Cross, near the German/Bohemian border, and at this Temple Max Heindel was in direct communication with and under the personal instructions of the Elder Brothers of the Rose Cross.

Heindel returned to America in the summer of 1908 where he at once started to formulate the Rosicrucian teachings which he had received from the Elder Brothers, published as a book entitled The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception in 1909: it is a work of mystical and occult science (Esoteric Christianity). It contains a comprehensive outline of the evolutionary processes of man and the universe, correlating science with religion.

From 1909 to 1919, suffering a severe heart condition and with an adverse financial situation, Max Heindel was able to perform a valuable work for the Brothers of the Rose Cross: he left a legacy of books, lectures and lessons which are translated into many languages all over the world; founded the The Rosicrucian Fellowship in 1909/11 at Mount Ecclesia, Oceanside (California); published the Christian Esoteric magazine Rays from the Rose Cross in 1913 (still edited nowadays) and launched the Fellowship's Spiritual Healing service. Following the Fellowship's foundation, he started, with the aid of his wife Augusta Foss Heindel, the task of distributing and disseminating the Rosicrucian Teachings: the various books were translated and printed in foreign languages, lessons were sent out by correspondence and groups formed in many of the larger cities.

He passed into the Great Beyond on January 6th, 1919 at Oceanside, California. It is said his body dropped slowly as if lovinghands were holding him and laying him down gently; as he looked up, smiling into Mrs. Heindel face, he spoke his last words: "I am all right dear."

Max Heindel's work for the Rosicrucian Order is continued, since that time, through students of the Rosicrucian Philosophy around the world who assist, as Invisible Helpers, the Elder Brothers to carry out the Spiritual Healing work.


  • The Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception, first edition in 1909 (ISBN 0-911274-34-0) www
  • The Rosicrucian Christianity Lectures (ISBN 0-911274-84-7) www
  • The Rosicrucian Philosophy in Questions and Answers - Volume I (ISBN 0-9112-74-89-8) www
  • The Rosicrucian Philosophy in Questions and Answers - Volume II (ISBN 0-911274-90-1) www
  • The Rosicrucian Mysteries (ISBN 0-911274-86-3) www
  • Letters to Students (ISBN 0-911274-09-X) www
  • Gleanings of a Mystic (ISBN 0-911274-87-1) www
  • Mysteries of the Great Operas (ISBN 0-911274-88-X) www
  • Teachings of an Initiate (ISBN 0-911274-19-7) www
  • Ancient and Modern Initiation (ISBN 0-911274-82-0) www
  • The Web of Destiny (ISBN 0-911274-17-0) www
  • Freemasonry and Catholicism (ISBN 0-911274-04-9) www
  • The Vital Body (ISBN 0911274-16-2) www
  • The Desire Body (ISBN 0-911274-03-0) www
  • The Rosicrucian Principles of Child Training (ISBN 0-911274-62-6) www
  • How Shall We Know Christ at His Coming? (ISBN 0-911274-64-2) www
  • The Mystical Interpretation of Christmas (ISBN 0-911274-65-0) www
  • The Mystical Interpretation of Easter (ISBN 0-911274-69-3) www
  • Nature Spirits and Nature Forces (ISBN 0-911274-70-7) www
  • The Message of the Stars (ISBN 0-911274-18-9) www
  • Simplified Scientific Astrology (ISBN 0-911274-01-4) www
  • Astro-Diagnosis - A Guide to Healing (ISBN 0-911274-06-5) www
  • Occult Principles of Health and Healing (ISBN 0-911274-81-2) www
  • Blavatsky and The Secret Doctrine, from his writings (1933; Introduction by Manly Palmer Hall), www

Quotations (insight into the starting point of the author's writings)

  • When a new philosophy is presented to the world it is met in different ways by different people. (...) Both these classes stand in their own light. "Set" ideas render them impervious to rays of truth.
  • Buddha, great, grand and sublime, may be the "light of Asia," but Christ will yet be acknowledged the "Light of the World." As the sun outshines the brightest star in the heavens, dispels every vestige of darkness and gives life and light to all beings, so, in a not too distant future, will the true religion of Christ supersede and obliterate all other religions, to the eternal benefit of mankind.
  • In our civilization the chasm that stretches between mind and heart yawns deep and wide and, as the mind flies on from discovery to discovery in the realms of science, the gulf becomes ever deeper and wider and the heart is left further and further behind.
  • Only when that co-operation is attained and perfected will man attain the higher, truer understanding of himself and of the world of which he is a part; only that can give him a broad mind and a great heart.
  • Across every threshold the skeleton form of Death throws his fearsome shadow. Old or young, well or ill, rich or poor, all, all alike must pass out into that shadow and throughout the ages has sounded the piteous cry for a solution of the riddle of life--the riddle of death.
  • The man who realizes his ignorance has taken the first step toward knowledge.
  • Christ said, "The Truth shall make you free," but Truth is not found once and forever. Truth is eternal, and the quest for Truth must also be eternal.

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