OF WHAT ARE WE IN PURSUIT OF?
By Worshipful Brother Frederic L.
subscribe to the religious doctrine of the fall of man (OK-humankind), which
is told across many different religious traditions, then that which was lost
was a oneness with God, a perfect relationship with the Grand Architect of the
Universe. The next question, logically, is then how do we restore that which
has been lost? We will leave that question unanswered for awhile, but come
back to it in the end.
“Freemasonry And The Doctrine Of Reincarnation” on Masonic World we find
drama of the Greek Mysteries enunciates, as well as veils, two cardinal
verities: the Fall, and Redemption from that Fall. Thus from the sad and
woeful state into which Persophone falls she is finally rescued and restored
to the supernal abodes; but not until the coming of the Saviour, represented
in the Hermetic parable under the name of Osiris (“the risen from the
tomb”)- the Man Regenerate. This Redeemer, himself of divine origin; is in
other allegories represented under other names, but the idea is always
defined, and the intention obvious. Indeed, Osiris is the Jesus of our
Christian doctrine, the supreme Initiate or “Captain of Salvation”; He is
the reflection and counterpart in Man of the supreme Lord of the Universe
(Greek – Dionysos, Hebrew – Adonai), the ideal type of humanity. He is
represented as in all things “instructed” and directed by Hermes; famed as
the celestial conductor of souls from the “dark abodes”; the wise and
ubiquitous God in whom the student recognizes the Genius of the
Understanding, or Divine Reason, the “nous” of Platonic doctrine – and the
mystic “Spirit of Christ”.
One of the
aspects of Freemasonry that needs not to be forgotten when we look at this
question is its mystical nature and identification with the ancient mysteries,
the Egyptian, Greek and Roman mystery schools, with the Kabbalah, alchemy,
Gnostic thought et al.
(students of the mystery schools) were further given instruction concerning
the different levels and graduations of the Universe, some of them material
and some ethereal, the planes and sub -planes, upon which the great scheme
is being carried out; which levels and planes, all progressively linked
together, constitute one vast ladder of many rounds, staves, or rungs, a
veritable “Ladder of Life”. Candidates thus came to understand that the
Universe consists of embodied consciousness, and that these embodied
consciousness exist in a practically infinite gradation of varying degrees
of perfection – a real “Ladder of Life” or “Stair of Life”, stretching
endlessly in either direction, for our imagination can conceive no limits
except a hierarchical one; and such hierarchical limitation is but spacial,
and not actual, qualitative and formal. They were shown that the “Ladder of
Life” is marked at certain intervals by landing places, so to speak, which
the Mysteries called “planes of being” (different spheres of consciousness,
to express the idea in alternative terms). Candidates in the old systems
were given instruction in these matters before being admitted to.
Initiation, and the knowledge gained served to explain to them their own
nature and constitution, and their place in the World-system. Today,
Freemasonry, perpetuating the ancient teaching, exhibits to the Brethren a
simple ladder, a symbol which when properly interpreted is calculated to
open widely the eyes of their imagination. It is true that the ladder
portrayed on the T.B. of the First Degree is given a moral significance in
the Instruction lecture, but, as students of
Hebrew mysticism are well aware, “Jacob’s
Ladder” is also a symbol of the Universe with its succession of
step-like planes reaching from the heights to the depths. Indeed, we learn
from the V. of the S.L., that the Fathers House has many mansions, many
levels and resting places for His creatures in their different conditions
and degrees of progress; and it is these levels, these planes and
sub-planes, that are denoted by the rungs and staves of the symbolic
is a whole component here that is often overlooked. And the reason it is
snubbed is that today’s poorly instructed, social Mason sees no application to
his daily life that is plausible.
So that which
is lost will not only remain lost but will be doubly deeply buried.
three articles on The Beehive about Lodge renewal has triggered some soul
searching. Not one of these articles even remotely alluded to the importance
of the mystical nature of Freemasonry.
Next we must
ask the question of how do we make good men better? Most Masons will tell you
that it is simply a matter of adhering to the virtues and morality of
Freemasonry. But how do the virtues and ethics of Freemasonry differ from most
religions one might choose to practice? What, then, is so special and superior
about Freemasonry? How can a society that purports all kinds of lofty
development of character reveal that its secret is to follow a morality
readily available in any house of worship? What is so Gnostic about that? And
where does Freemasonry’s mysticism fit in? Is it just some sort of occult
offshoot of troubled and hallucinogenic minds?
Masons today regard the mystical traditions of their Fraternity as heretical
and a corruption of the Craft. But if you read somebody like Wilmshurst in
“The Meaning Of Masonry,”
you can see how he sees symbolism on top of symbolism on top of symbolism and
meaning behind meaning behind meaning.
with today’s Freemason is that he refuses to look beyond his nose, wants
everything cut and dried and handed to him on a silver platter, and refuses to
apply any contemplation and meditation as to how Freemasonry might help him
get back what has been lost.
religious concept we need to throw into the mix here is that of reincarnation.
In its general application, not associated with any particular religious
tradition, we have in this concept reliving life experience over and over
again with the purpose of attaining a higher and higher plane, nearer and
nearer to the Creator. If reincarnation is heretical to your belief system, if
we only live one life, then we can squeeze that higher plane attainment into a
shorter span, one lifetime. Perhaps we can say that a man who works at it at
70 years old is on a higher plane than he was at 60, and at 60 higher than
when he was 50, and at 50 higher than when he was 40 and so forth.
hypothesis of pre-existence (under which the special doctrine of
reincarnation falls) does not, it is true, solve the fundamental problems
but it pushes back some of the initial difficulties. It furnishes an ampler
ground for the development of the individual than the cribbed, cabined, and
confined area of one short earth-life, and by providing a stage or series of
stages for the acts and scenes of the age-long drama of the man-soul prior
to the present existence, permits us to entertain the notion of a law of
moral causation conditioning our present relation to circumstances in a way
that does not clash with our innate sense of justice. (Masonic World)
Freemasonry is really unique, if it really has something to offer no one else
has, then let’s find out what that is and elevate ourselves from being just
another mundane society. Let’s dig deeper, think harder, meditate stronger and
you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it will be opened unto
A deep thinker in Freemasonry recently told me
that what a Mason should endeavor to gather from his fraternity is
But that’s not the complete answer. And the reason that more do not come up
with the full complete answer is because there is such a prohibition, such a
fear of turning Freemasonry into a religion that the mystical experience has
to be denied. Thus, today, Masons can only think in terms of individual,
earthly improvement. WISDOM is
as high as we can go.
So what is
the real secret of Freemasonry buried under symbolism on top of symbolism on
top of symbolism? The answer is the solution to the question, how do we get
back that which was lost, oneness with God.
The answer we
are now ready to give is
By incorporating Freemasonry’s mysterious, mystical ingredient into our
awareness and conduct we rise to a higher and higher plane, closer and closer
to the “I am that I am.” Whether we do it over many lives or just one is
us to grasp clearly the Ancient Wisdom teaching, it is essential to bear in
mind the distinction which is made between the individuality and the
personality, between life and form, spirit and body. The Secret Doctrine
presupposes that man is a spiritual Being or Ego, with the triple powers of
WILL, WISDOM and CREATIVE INTELLIGENCE, and that he enters into relationship
with matter in order to shape for himself a succession of bodies which
constitute his successive personalities, and by means of which he gains the
experiences that are essential for mental, moral and spiritual growth, until
gradually his real nature shines out in all its Wisdom, Strength and Beauty.
Accordingly, the personality is deemed to include the soul (as this is
understood in our modern terminology) as well as the body, or, stated
alternatively; the personality embraces expression as well as the form. The
soul, then, being the reflection of the three-fold nature of the Spirit
necessarily has also three attributes (modes of express ion), and these are
the familiar thoughts, feelings and actions of the human personal
should a Lodge be doing and what are the Masonic steps to greater spiritual
attainment? It looks like this:
Now go forth
and govern yourself accordingly.