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.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
It seems like forever since I posted a blog entry, apologies to my brothers and readers. For the last few months I have been actively putting together my thoughts and interpretations on rarely discussed Masonic symbols, which I hope to publish in book form, with a little help from my son, some time this year. Just for a little update my Masonic journey has taken me deeper into the Kabbalah and alchemical thought, two traditions that mainstream Freemasonry rarely discusses, and if truth be told would probably prefer we didn't. Don't believe me, look at this taken from a Grand Lodge website, fortunately from another country north of mine: "Those who claim Kabbalistic roots for Freemasonry are of two, widely different, perspectives. The first group are generally religious fundamentalists who, a priori, condemn Freemasonry, Judaism, and the Kabbalah as being anti-Christian and often equate the whole with satanism, and the second group is composed of freemasons and kabbalists who promote the theory of Freemasonry’s link to the Kabbalah. They are entitled to their opinions, but it must be stressed that they do not speak for Freemasonry. They are only expressing their opinions. They view the study of both as enhancing their relationship with God and have come to some personal conclusions about what they perceive as similarities. Whatever intellectual or spiritual similarities there may be between Freemasonry and the Kabbalah, any historical links are strictly conjectural and unsupported." I certainly don't belong to the first group, being a Freemason myself, and totally disagree that the second group is "conjectural and unsupported", just because the author of the article can't see the connections doesn't mean the connections don't exist, when in truth once one seriously researches the symbolic design of the lodge room and looks deep into Masonic symbolism, beyond the obvious, one can't but see the Kabbalah and alchemical connections. As to why I address this age old esoteric vs. exoteric battle for the hearts and souls in Freemasonry, it appears once again intrenchment has reared its ugly head, fortunately not here in my state, but nevertheless in another state out west. No I'm not picking on the west, I just didn't want to name the state because I kind of feel bad for the naive Grand Secretary that penned the letter addressed to other Grand Secretaries, which by the way has since been removed from the web . It appears the Grand Secretary of this state believes that the Masonic Restoration Foundation may be at its core a branch of Martinism. He even went on recommending others look up the Golden Dawn, Hermeticism, and alchemy, as if these were all dangerous elements that threatened today's Freemasonry, all subjects discussed within the lectures given by the MRF. I am very familiar with the work of the MRF, having read most, if not all, of the many articles the brothers involved have written. I have also read just about every book some of these brothers have carefully penned without finding any boggy man in the mix. Do the research yourself, you might just find that here again we have that age old battle where the old is afraid of the new. But in a weird twist of fate we see the new is really the old, and the old that reared its head is really outdated. Allow me to explain. First and foremost I am not a member of the MRF, although after writing this I may be. Much, if not all, of the the MRF's work revolves around "Restoration", bringing back a deeper initiate experience, encouraging education, fostering pride in our temples, and the return to true brotherhood, all laudable pursuits that have sadly been missing from many of our lodges for years. I guess you could say they in their own humble way is trying to fix something many have found broken. Of you don't know what I mean, look at the sidelines. To date I haven't read of any member of the MRF trying to change one word of ritual, so what is it this unnamed Grand Secretary fears? Could it be the inclusion of education, with its introductions into philosophies and sciences once discussed and written of by brothers in the past, but now forgotten by most, babies thrown out with the bath water? Noting that in his letter he directly mentions Hermeticism and alchemy, he should be reminded that at the inception of modern Freemasonry, 1717, these were both subjects of particular interest to our founding brothers, theologians, natural philosophers, and alchemists who I believe were heavily influenced by and hid that influence deep inside the symbolism of Freemasonry, you just have to remove your hoodwink to see it. As for the Martinism conspiracy put forth by the Grand Secretary, I don"t see it. I think just because one of the members of the MRF is a Martinist it does not mean there is a conspiracy to turn Freemasonry into Martinism. For many years I sat beside a Druid in my lodge, and guess what because he was a Druid Freemasonry didn't become Druidism. On a side note do a little research on Druidism & Freemasonry, I think, you'll be surprised at what you find. The fact is Freemasonry is a progressive science, and fortunately Freemasonry is progressing, and sadly some are fearful of change. Enough critiquing, now on to little gratitude. Over the past couple years the lodge I proudly belong to has embraced Masonic education, even going so far as appointing a Masonic Education Officer, a brother the third of the age of most of the brethren. Although it's still just a few brothers that are willing speak, we are bound and determined to bring back open discussions on history, symbolism, and comparative philosophies, all subjects I believe we would of heard addressed in the lodges of our great great great grandfathers, something that has been missing for years. As of late I am organizing a night of Masonic "Light" for my brothers. It is my hope to fill the sidelines with brothers that are seeking that which has become lost, although a little clique in the ruins of the temple. It's sadly been years since our sidelines have been full and now I have taken on this challenge willingly in hope of "restoring" a little of that has been lost. To date we have contacted Brother Ryan J. Flynn, Masonic Artist, the Phoenix Lodge, New Hampshire's first Traditional Lodge of Onservation, under the guidance of Worshipful Pat O'Sullivan, and fellow Sir Knight & Brother Anthony Mongelli, Masonic author, speaker, and lecturer, all of which have agreed to speak and present a night of Masonic Light for the brethren. I will most certainly post more information on this very special night planned for June 14th 2014 at Humane 21,