There is an old occult maxim which declares that—" Nothing is concealed from him who knows." No Mason is bound to conceal that which he has never learned in the Lodge. All else he receives as he learns any thing, places his own estimate upon its value, and becomes individually responsible for its use. It must be a matter of conscience, and be weighed in the balance of duty, and every one must abide by the result. If Masonry has lost the Royal Secret, or if it never possessed it, or if it was wrenched away in the very name of Religion little more than a century ago, all the same, it belongs to the Craft as the Heir-apparent of the Old Wisdom. But the time has come when no cable-tow can bind it. It now belongs to Humanity equally with the Mason. To this end has it been preserved throughout the centuries.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Three Lesser Lights - Enlighten Your Path

My wife says my blogs are to long, and nobody can understand them…Ouch.
Oh well, here is a short one, although it is Masonic in nature, an intuitive individual might find it enlightening.
Allow me to introduce to the three Lesser Lights of Freemasonry, the triad, or triangle of the Sun, Moon, and Mercury.
No I haven't forgotten what the ritual told me, that the Lesser Lights represent the Sun, Moon, and Master of the Lodge, I tend to agree with Brother Pike, “The Temple of Eleusis was lighted by a window in the roof. The sanctuary so lighted, Dion compares to the Universe, from which he says it differed in size alone; and in it the great lights of nature played a great part and were mystically represented. The images of the Sun, Moon, and Mercury were represented there and they are still the three lights of a Masonic Lodge; except that for Mercury, the Master of the Lodge has been absurdly substituted.” When one begins to look at the bigger picture you will plainly see that Mercury, symbolic of wisdom should be returned to its rightful place in the triad known as the Lesser Lights.
Freemasonry is old, as a matter of fact no one really knows how old, but that's not my field of interest, we'll leave that to the historians. The problem with being old is that many assume wrongly that because a tradition is old it must be out of touch with many of the advances made in philosophical thought and spiritual sciences, which couldn't be further from the truth. By its nature symbolic thought is progressive, in order to understand the veiled symbolism one must first attempt to find the universal meaning of a symbol, then the cultural as to how it is being used, and then to the personal, the level in which the symbol speaks to the individual. Think of it as learning a new language, a language made up of beautiful pictures.
Now let's get back on track. What we are discussing here is the triad of the Sun, Moon, and Mercury, although called the Lesser Lights, these three make up the highest level of spiritual enlightenment symbolized in the Masonic Temple, not in position, but in consciousness.
In position, the three Lesser Lights are symbolized by the Senior Deacon symbolic of Sun, the Junior Deacon symbolic of the Moon, and the Marshall symbolic of the messenger Mercury.
Now when we look at consciousness, and how the symbols allude to states of mind, the Sun is symbolic of divine Unity, called by many names, Divine Union, Self Realization, Nirvana, Samadhi, the end of the subject object dichotomy, the end of opposites.
Simplified, it’s the pinnacle of our journey, immortality can only happen when one reaches this level.
Please allow me before we continue to show you how symbolism progresses. The symbol of the Sun, which is also the symbol of gold, is the “point within a circle”. In today's modern psychology many symbolize the conscious mind as the tip of an iceberg, the ever so small pinnacle that is visible above the water line, with the largest portion unseen and below the water, a “point within a circle”. It's only when the above and the below become one do we become whole, “and the two shall become one flesh: so that they are no more two, but one flesh.” Mark 10:8.
So here we have this triad with the Sun at the apex, the highest level of consciousness, below it is the Moon and Mercury, both separate levels of consciousness that must be harmonized in order for one to progress to “Unity” consciousness, the Sun.
The Moon is symbolic of intuition, a necessary component to the spiritual path, insight in the sixth sense that must be tempered by Mercury, wisdom.
This is a state of consciousness that is a little hard to explain, how does one describe light to a blind man?
According to the dictionary intuition is defined as a "quick and ready insight;" and "the act or process of coming to direct knowledge without reasoning or inferring." It is derived from the Latin word "intueri" which means "to see within." It is a way of knowing, of sensing the truth without explanations. Someone my not consider themselves to be particularly spiritual or metaphysically adept yet may be quite good at following their gut instincts.
According to many Freemasonry a bye product of the “Enlightenment” is a “reason” based philosophical path with in roots in moral philosophy, a presumption that many within Freemasonry hold true today. Yet only intuition will assist those hoodwinked individuals go inside and uncover the true meaning. I promise you may know the rituals backward and forward, control your passions, practice charity, and read everything written about Freemasonry but without intuition you'll be stuck on a level that may have a few rungs above it.
Before we explore the level of Mercury, wisdom, allow me to share a very unscientific observation, believe it or not, but at least consider it.
Freemasonry itself mirrors society, the majority of Freemasons see Masonry as a Moral path, a kind of adult self help group that practices charity and makes good men better men. It has been my personal observation only about ten percent sees it as a spiritual tradition, not religious, spiritual in the sense that the initiate has a goal, in the western esoteric tradition we may call this Divine Union or Christ Consciousness. It has also been my observation that only about ten percent of all Freemasons in a Lodge actually attend meetings and ritual work within the Temple, another proof that most understand little of what they have started. It's kind of scary when we do the math, if only ten percent show up, and only ten percent of those get it, you may think we have a problem. But I don't think that's the case, I have the feeling Freemasonry has always functioned that way. As one who loves to read the old titles from learned brothers I have found this situation discussed by the best of them, here Brother Albert Pike tells it like it is; “Masonry, like all the Religions, all the Mysteries, Hermeticism and Alchemy, conceals its secrets from all except the Adepts and Sages, or the Elect, and uses false explanations and misinterpretations of its symbols to mislead those who deserve only to be misled; to conceal the Truth, which it calls Light, from them, and to draw them away from it.”, the fact is you need intuition to progress, reason and logic will only cause you to see one side of the coin.
I'm not really sure what the percentage of the population is what we call intuitive, some believe as little as twenty five percent, or how many left handed individuals with right intuitive brain dominance compare to the right handed logical dominant left brain individuals, but fear not with a little bit of insight and understanding a new world is there for those that are willing to think outside the bun and step into the world of intuition.
Enough of the respectful critiquing I don't want the wrath of the Apollo to comes down upon me.
In order to progress to the level of intuition we need wisdom, not to be confused with knowledge which can actually be an impediment on our path. The more you think you know the more you judge, the more open you are the more you perceive, dump those judgments and see things as they actually are. When you get to the level of Mercury your ego is on its way out, wisdom keeps intuition from becoming fanciful imagination. Only until wisdom and intuition become one does our consciousness advance to the Sun, a task rarely accomplished, yet possible.
What you have read will not be understood by ninety percent of the population, the other ten will say “I knew that”. Where percentage are you?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Good By Neighbor........

My neighbor died yesterday, I didn't know him. Sure I had seen him many times, walking down the steep hill rain, snow, or sunshine, walking to the local convenience store for a rack of beer, which seemed to be his sustenance, I've felt the pull.

Now its not my place to judge, but I did, and now I feel like shit, I'm sure his demons were to much.

I would see him staggering alone, day to night, rarely would I comment aloud. Should I have stepped up, I don't know. What could I have done? Although I saw the spiral down I did nothing what could I have done?

He died alone, in his backyard.

He wasn't old, ten years younger then I, but his liver wasn't as strong.

He had a dog, all black and really friendly, how fitting. I hope in his last moments he was enjoying the love he had for his dog “Sadie”.

Goodbye Mark, I know not your last name, the world was not your cup of tea!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

My Day in the Garden of Eden - Enter If You Dare

The Garden of Eden
A Reinterpretation
As much as I enjoy the myth of the Garden of Eden, I do realize it is such. It still amazes me how many still maintain a literal belief in something that is so highly symbolic.
I do confess I have no dog in the fight between creationists and evolutionists, you guys and girls may have it, I tend to believe certain mystery's will reveal themselves when the time is ready, all this my-side is better than your-side is nothing but division, minor to most but all one has to do is watch the daily news to see what happens when this my-side versus your-side infects group think, and to think how long this ignorant behavior has plagued humanity, and yet on and on it goes.
I use to wonder what would happen if we took away all the holy books, for just a few generations, enough time for humankind to forget the programmed mindset that has been passed on in ignorance century after century, then bring them all back, the Bible, Torah, Koran, Bhagavad-Gita, the Buddhist Sutra's, and all the other teachings that have been passed down century after century. Would we then see the beauty contained within all the various approaches to Light, would we be able to see the interconnections between symbols and thought, or would we still attempt to divide that which was not meant to be divided, or was it? The answer may lay smack dab in the middle of the Garden of Eden.
Our story takes place in the most idyllic of all gardens, the garden of pure potential, a garden where every seed planted bares fruit.
Like all good gardener's our Master Gardener, who shall remain nameless, carefully prepared the soil, putting his heart and soul in it's design and content, each and every particle had purpose, no matter how small.
Everything vibrated with life, and the sound was good, Om is the primordial throb.
Out of this perfect design, through the expansion of the garden and life, and through the love of the gardener, arrived what we call man, filled with life given vibration at a level above all others. One could easily say everything was a buzz.
As we clearly know, everything has a partner in order to make it whole, not two half's, one whole.
Slowly our Master Gardner's creation blossomed with life, everything was in harmony, the most perfect of all music.
One day while Adam and Eve were picnicking naked in the garden, the much maligned
Will, the serpent of the garden, slide slowly to the naked Eve's side.
Who was this much maligned serpent known as Will, short for Free Will, alias Free Wilson derived from Free Wisdom, because he tempts man to the knowledge of himself.
Smitten by the naked beauty of Eve, he struck up a conversation, hoping Adam wouldn't hear.
As etiquette would require, the much maligned Will presented Eve with two apples, although most think only one but as we know the two make the one, no if's and doubts about it, one from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and one from the Tree of Life, one Delicious the other Macintosh.
It would be foolish to assume that Eve really had a choice, our Master Gardener had planned for every scenario, Eve would take a bite, not only was it the proper thing to do, courtesy required it. She took a bite from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
As soon as the delicious first bite graced her pallet Adam appeared to separate from Eve, instead of Eve and Adam being one they now appeared to be two, two halves no longer a whole, subject object.
Now if you’re a fatalist you may think all is lost, but you’re wrong. Adam and Eve would try to reform the union that had been lost, but one and one only created two again. Eventually it happened, through one of their liaisons, Eve gave birth to another one. Now Adam a one, Eve a one, and now a son Cain a one, added together they formed three, the first geometric whole, the triangle.
Adam and Eve had actually found a way to eat for the Tree of Life!
Some will get….Some won’t….

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Dark Time Has Arrived - Why Freemasons Go Dark

You gotta love “Dark Time”, although most don't even know what it is, it's not that I don't love “Labor”, it’s a fact of life for those involved in Freemasonry, but it’s always nice to recharge our batteries.
That brings me to “Dark Time” and what it is, and how it may be explained.
The fact is, “Dark Time” in Freemasonry the time when our Lodges are closed. But you’re not getting off that easy if you think that's it in a nutshell, as with the nature of Freemasonry everything is veiled, not veiled to keep it secret from the uninitiated, but to cause one to do the research.
So here we are, Dark Time, our Lodge does not meet. For some brothers Dark Time is a symbolic summer vacation, a time to kick back with the family, chill and pop a few beers.
Still, others in the more rural locations believe that Dark Time is a tradition carried over from a time when most Freemasons would return to the farm, raise the crops, and prepare for the next winter to come. (Close to the truth, but still veiled)

The truth may be found many centuries ago, back when Sirius or Sothis was pre-eminently the star of Egypt.
Although Sirius is rarely mentioned in the allegories or rituals of Freemasonry, trust me he's worth the meet and greet.
Here's a small paragraph written by the prominent Masonic encyclopedic Albert Gallatin Mackey, it should resonate with all Master Masons: “When Isis first found the body (Osiris), where it had floated ashore near Byblos, a shrub of erica, or tamarisk, near it, had, by the virtue of the body, shot up into a tree around it, and protected it; and hence our sprig of acacia. Isis was also aided in her search by Anubis, in the shape of a dog. He was Sirius, or the Dog-star, the friend and counselor of Osiris, and the inventor of language, grammar, astronomy, surveying, arithmetic, music and medical science; the first maker of laws; and who taught the worship of the gods, and the building of temples.”
Sirius was called the dog-star (Dog days of summer, get it?) It was the star of Mercury or Budha (trust me Budha is spelled correctly here), called the great instructor of mankind, before other Buddha’s, also known as Hermes.
How may one God have so many names? Shake, shake, shake, because it’s important for some cultures to name the Gods themselves, be careful when you judge another's God it may be your own!
So who is this Sirius, the one who's arrival signals time to go Dark.

Time for a little myth, trust me it will be good to hear, especially if you’re beginning the path of Freemasonry. This is probably a good time for a little disclaimer; what your about to read is not your everyday Freemasonry, with that said take it with a grain of salt, it all depends on what rung of the ladder your own.
Enter Osiris, the Egyptian God of the earth, and by association with vegetation and in particular grain (wheat). The yearly drought in Egypt and the regular yearly flooding of the Nile were personified in the life of Osiris as seen in his death and resurrection which coincided with both celestial and agricultural events. (As above, so below, Macrocosm, Microcosm)
There are two solstices each year. The winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, occurs when the sun appears farthest south in the sky. The summer solstice, the longest day of the year, occurs when the sun appears farthest in the north. In Freemasonry these solstices are symbolized by the Holy St. Johns, plural, who's birthdays just so happen on the summer and winter solstices. (All Masonic Temples are dedicated to the Holy St. John's.)
The Egyptians were especially interested in the summer solstice because it marked the beginning of the Nile's flood season. Accurately predicting the floods was of such vital importance that the appearance of Sirius, which occurs around the time of the summer solstice, was recognized as the beginning of the Egyptian New Year.
The brightest star in the night sky, Sirius was the embodiment of Isis, sister and consort of the god Osiris, who appeared in the sky as Orion. Sirius first appeared in the dawn sky each year around the time of the summer solstice and just before the Nile's flood season. Ancient Egyptians learned to predict the summer floods by the disappearance of Orion from the night sky, followed by the first appearance of Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, at dawn. Some would say the blazing star found on the Lodge Room floor is actually symbolic of Sirius.
In ancient theology, Egyptians saw Orion and Sirius as the heavenly embodiment of Osiris and Isis, two of their most important gods, who were believed to bring the life-giving floods each year. Egyptians believed Sirius was responsible for the rains, so it was vital to accurately predict its arrival. Sirius was the centerpiece of Egypt's 365-day solar calendar, and its appearance marked the beginning of the New Year. The three bright stars forming the belt of Orion, the hunter, were the celestial embodiment of Osiris, god of the dead, whose resurrection from the dead was pictured in the flooding of the Nile at the summer solstice which was a picture to them of God's salvation for the people of Egypt.
Here we find Dark Time, with the arrival of Sirius and the dog-days of summer, the time when all Egyptians retired into their towns on the warning of the northern wind and the dog-star, where they remained idle for two months or more till the waters were perfectly drained. Therefore the prudence of the Egyptians, before the overflowing, chiefly consisted in observing the termination of the vernal winds, the return of the northerly which began with the summer and at last the rising of the dog-star, which circumstance was to them the most remarkable point of the heavens. (The point within the circle)

You have to admit; once one begins to understand myth one begins to see the interconnections. I especially love the fact that many of the same myths with the same underlining meaning use different names for the cast and characters within the myths, you could say the various names of God. It could be the reason why in the myth of Moses the burning bush identifies him or herself as I am that I am. If you believe I am that I am can only be the one your familiar with your attempting to bind that which is boundless.
Let’s not forget that it was under the form of myths that the ancients taught and learned of the divinity of the human body, the temple of God within. So here we have Osiris, the soul incarnating and so losing for the while its memory and even spiritual life, was said to be slain and cut to pieces by his brother Typhoon, the evil genius of matter, the myriad passions of bodily life.
Paul said to his pupils that he "traveled (Freemasons are commonly known as travelers) until the Christ was formed within you;" until Horus the Son should arise and avenge his father Osiris; until "the Warrior or Savior" should be born; until the soul should gather itself together, reassert its divinity, regain its radiant spiritual consciousness as master and redeemer and spiritualizer of the consciousness of matter.
In the myth it is Horus who avenges his father. Osiris is resurrected and rules with his old splendor and power in the underworld, by night the soul regains its proper being. Horus rules on earth, in the body by day, having routed the evil Typhoon.
The Next section is for Freemasons only, if you are not in the Tradition it is requested you look away otherwise you run the risk of being sucked into my world.
In Freemasonry, it is taught that the Blazing Star is a symbol of deity, of omnipresence (the Creator is present everywhere) and of omniscience (the Creator sees and knows all). Sirius is therefore the “sacred place” all Masons must ascend to: It is the source of divine power and the destination of divine individuals. This concept is often represented in Masonic art.
To achieve perfection, the initiate must successfully understand and internalize the dual nature of the world (good and evil; masculine and feminine; black and white, etc.) through alchemical metamorphosis. This concept is symbolically represented by the union of Osiris and Isis (the male and female principles) to give birth to Horus, the star-child, the Christ-like figure, the perfected man of Freemasonry – who is equated with the Blazing Star.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Story of the Master Ladder Maker

It seems like forever since I wrote a blog, in fact I still haven't, what follows is actually a rough draft of a chapter of a book I've been writing. Granted I'm writing for an audience that is mostly Masonic, but fear not, anyone can get the drift.

The ladder can be a wonderful symbol when explaining levels of consciousness, awareness, and even symbolic interpretation. Allow me to share a tale with you, the story of a craftsman that decided to give humankind the ultimate gift.

Our craftsman was a master ladder maker, tried and true. With the dusk soon approaching our master ladder maker decided it was time to build humankind the ultimate gift a ladder to the divine.

As any master ladder maker would do our craftsman drew out his plans upon what he called a trestle board, a blueprint of sorts which would be followed to construct the perfect ladder.

Now you may think that building a ladder to the divine would be simple, but I promise you that's not necessarily the case, because our master ladder maker has decided to give the gift to all humankind he must estimate the height, width, and payload of each and every rung.

He must estimate how many will actually climb the ladder, how far they will climb, and who will actually ascend to the top.
Humanity was large, yet our ladder maker knew not all would would climb, gravity and the world of the senses was strong, many are afraid of heights.

With that in mind our ladder maker knew the first rung would have to be very very wide, most would assuredly take the first step, not all, but most.

As for the second step our master ladder maker realized that less would ascend, again the pull of gravity, materialism, would impede the progress of many.

As the master ladder maker contemplated his ladder he now realized that by looking at the human condition and the pull of materialism, gravity, his ladder would have to be very wide at the bottom to accommodate a large number and slowly narrow because with every step less would ascend, he also knew of the be pitfalls on the way up. Ladder climbing is not always an easy task, one must firmly establish his or her footing before proceeding to the next step, which is not always easy if one does not proceed firmly with the right intent.

Danger awaits each and every step, as one climbs higher there is less help to ascend, less individuals on the level ascended to.

One of the most dangerous and inherent dangers of ladder climbing is that of the inevitable encounter with other individuals that believe they are at the top, so convincing, they are able to stop the progress of certain individuals from ascending to the top by making them falsely believe they have reached the summit when in reality they still have a way to go.

After the master ladder maker had thought out all the possible scenarios the climbers could encounter he new how his ladder to the divine would be constructed. Taking into consideration the sheer number that would begin the journey he knew the first step would have to be one easy step up, and incredibly wide. Because of the pull of gravity many will not take the next step, this step would not have to be as wide.

You may find it hard to believe but the master ladder maker knew he only needed seven steps to reach the divine, each step would be narrower than the last, each step would be a further height than the last making it harder to ascend but doable.

In almost all spiritual traditions, ladders have been used to symbolize transformation. Not all ladder makers agree on how many levels, yet upon a close look you'll find more often than not its all about leaving the world of egocentric belief, darkness, Unity, illumination.

Years ago in Freemasonry, before the ritual was changed, for reasons I can't figure, it was said; “Masons met on the square and hoped to part on the level”, now we say “meet on the level and part on the square.”

My personal opinion, which I will share with you, is that it took away the original meaning when it was changed.

Symbolically, the square, as we will surely discuss in the future, is actually symbolic of Matter. Freemasons meet on the square of Matter, not to mention we are Matter.

Least we not forget the square shape of our apron, symbolic of Matter.

I understand how one could misunderstand the symbolism and change it, thinking that all brothers should meet on the level, kings equal to subjects, but with the square actually symbolic of Matter why would we depart on Matter, it doesn't make sense.

Now if we go back to our story of the master ladder maker, and use his ladder to the divine where each rung is symbolic of expanding consciousness, we could say that we as Freemasons meet on the square of Matter, the ladder itself, and hope achieve the same level of consciousness.

I can hear it now, where is the seven rung ladder symbolized in the Lodge Room? The answer is in the East, the seven steps to the Master, each and every step smaller and higher than the next, all symbolic of the levels of consciousness required to ascend.

It's not in my pay grade to return the veiled teaching to its original structure, but you can see why some things should not be changed.

Lets return to our master ladder maker, and his ladder to the divine. The ladder maker did not build his ladder just for Freemasons, he built it for all humankind. You could say that each and every individual of every spiritual path, no matter what creed or denomination, is own the ladder at this time. That certainly doesn't mean we're all on the same level, the fact is, as our ladder maker knew, very few will actually finish the ascent in this lifetime. I'm not saying its impossible, but climbing this symbolic ladder is no easy task, there is a certain amount of work that must be done. Just because one sees the ladder, reads of the ladder, and professes to know the ladder, you still have to climb it.

My early Sunday morning television is filled with individuals that know there sacred law backwards and forward, but still haven't gotten beyond the first rung. They have diminished highly symbolic thought and brought it down to a level that makes no sense, preaching fear, sin, and retribution. Many of these individuals believe that all humankind must stand on the same rung, a disaster waiting to happen in the world of ladders.

Chances are, as many others, you think your close to the top. If so, congratulations your a realized Buddha, or a Jesus, or a Krishna, but if you have an inkling that maybe your not there, yet you wonder what rung your own, I'll give you a clue; if you think God's somewhere up there and your down here, you have a lot of climbing to go, if you still have an ego, climb, and if your still in the grip of dualistic thought, you might need a boost.

There is what I call ladder etiquette, something not always followed by climbers, trust me you know them. Ladder etiquette is realizing that we are all on the ladder, many of us on different rungs. Assisting each other on his or her ascent is commendable, but before you attempt to persuade someone to relocate to your rung, respect the persons level, its all the same ladder, my way or the highway is definitely one of the lowest rungs. The more you judge the lower your rung.

Have you ever experienced the dreaded “I don't understand what you mean”? All this means is one is on a different rung, not a big deal, just a different level. If your level fears punishment from a God that sits in judgment, you might just want to seek a new rung.

I am about to share with you a very high rung insight, if you get it, awesome, if not, we are not yet on the same level, yet.

When you get to the top you just might find, the proof is in the pudding, that when you reach the summit all those individuals climbing the ladder were actually YOU.