Martinism & K.O.R.C.
A few months after creating the Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Cross, more than 80 years after the death of Saint Martin, Papus and Chaboseau, both Grand Officers of the Order, discovered they had received a consecration dating back to the famous theosophist.
Papus claimed to have been initiated in 1882 to the rank of U.S. “Unknown Superior” (Supérieur Inconnu- S.I. in French) by Henri Delaage, who claimed a direct link with Saint-Martin by the system of “free initiations.” As for Chaboseau, his filiation would have been transmitted to him by his aunt Amelie de Boisse-Mortemart. Both decided to initiate each other and immediately informed the other leaders of the Order. Papus and Chaboseau gave this essentially spiritual tradition coming from Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin to the Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Cross. As Delaage stated, it was only materialized by “two letters and a few points.”
Immediately aware of the richness of this heritage, the Order gave a body to this transmission by associating it with the initiation of “Unknown Philosopher” of the Masonic system of H.-T. Tschudi. Then, “Unknown Superior” became the preliminary degree of the Order. The Masonic version, originally essentially symbolic, was thus activated by the ritualistic knowledge of the members of the Order. The “Shining Star” was once again able to fully radiate.
From that moment, any new member of the Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Cross would first receive the “Unknown Superior,” “Adept of Saint Martin.”
Remember that Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin founded a “small school in Paris” a few years after the death of his master Martinès de Pasqually. This school (community) aimed at the purest spirituality. He incorporated the doctrines of Martinès into his own, and instituted the degree of U.S. This title was a resumption of the distinctive name of the supreme dignity of the members of the Sovereign Tribunal of the Order of the Elus Coen. Most secret societies used various degrees in their curriculum. Saint Martin chose to introduce a simple ritual consecration, whose goal was to communicate the key that opens the inner door of the soul though which we can reach the spheres of the Spirit. At these heights, no degrees are necessary. The only requirements are a manifestation of a true desire, a commitment of the soul and an awakening of the right will.
The principles were both identical to and different from those of the Order of the Elus -Coen. Techniques and ritual preparations, for example, have always been relatively simple in the school of Saint Martin. In this mystical way, unlike certain magical and theurgic schools, the preparation step was our daily inner work and our “moral attitude of purity.” This means that all ritual preparations are useless for someone who does not practice this inner step. This is the only condition to the approach of a true inner purity.
It is for this reason that the Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Cross has always considered this initiation as a moral prerequisite for the training undertaken. It was therefore unnecessary to create a “Martinist Order.” The first step of “Unknown Philosopher” is fundamental and requires only minimal theoretical training. This state is spiritual and constitutes an indomitable inner step. How can we imagine that we must study Kabbalah, theology or any other science to engage morally in such an inner step? Someone focusing only on abstract ideas has nothing to do with this type of spirituality. This is what the Martinist Order from Origins was.
It was not until Papus and his successors that the idea appeared to make “Martinism” an Initiatic Order, organized in degrees crowned by the unique initiation given by Saint Martin, the “Unknown Superior.”
A few years later, in 1891, the Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Cross asked Papus to develop the initiation of the Unknown Superior in the form of an external Order whose essential role would be spirituality and Christian chivalry. Papus chose to structure it according to the Masonic system of three degrees. The only real initiation was obviously that of U.S. (Unknown Superior). Papus’ mission was unambiguous: the goal was to allow a larger number of people to discover the thought of Saint-Martin and to undertake the moral process represented in the purest form of Christian chivalry.
This structure gave some stability to the Martinist Order, which continued to develop after the death of Papus and split later into a countless number of organizations.
The Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Cross, faithful to its spirit, continued to accept candidates having been initiated “Unknown Superior,” or initiated them according to the original form as a prerequisite to the initiatic process undertaken.
The current Ill. Grand Patriarch Rose-Croix Jean-Louis de Biasi received all the Martinist lineages, making the Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Cross one of the most legitimate heir of the Martinist Tradition.