Index: The ethical vision of esotericism - The esoterical and exoterical implications of the initiatory morale - The ritual meanings - The ethics of silence - The search for the truth - To want justice - The wish for realization - Emotional neutrality - Submission to the Law - The initiatory Brotherhood - The Masonic discretion - The initiatory secret - Small guide to the esoterical sense of Freemasonry - Liberté, Fraternité, Egalité
Appendix: Comments on rights and duties of the initiatory path - Hiram Abiff, the messiah of the Builders of Temples
The ethical vision of esotericism
There are always several sides, perspectives and points of view from which we can view an idea, observe a behavior or interpret a situation. They seldom constitute an objective judgment; they look like exclusive criteria affected by particular elements that seem to prevail in attracting or rejecting an idea, a behavior, a person or a situation, rather than being influenced by the intellect. In this way a personal code becomes the exclusive criterion (*) that ends up by replacing an impartial judgment.
* A closed system is a thesis built to resist denials (cit. Karl Popper).
Closed systems are made of totally abstract theses, ideological statements or religious dogmas that can be confirmed only inside their structures and their instruments. Therefore they can’t be denied. These statements and testimonies are said to be self-immunizing, because they are based on reasonable modules, supported without being questioned. This makes them immune from any kind of denial deriving from a dialectic debate or an intellectual confrontation.
Furthermore, we also consider as part of a closed system some ideological thesis or beliefs stated as all-inclusive propositions, viz. the speculative systems where we can find the explanation of and for everything.
Every time an exclusive criterion intervenes between the observer and the person observed, in the judgments of the observer will be included also the assumptions that generated it and the yardstick he uses. An assumption is never clearly verifiable; even more if it comes from an objective point of view. It will be more likely a supposition that comes from uses, orientations and emblematic beliefs determined by strong psychological characterizations. Emotional factors give the biggest ideological relevance to social uses, popular habits and emblematic convictions; they all are features of imitative attitude (See learning by imitation). Here the excitability prevails on the imperturbability of a realistic and objective vision.
Emotional excitability is the antithesis of sense.
Excitability is therefore the feeling most commonly used to make an imaginary criterion or an improbable event believable; it even turns it into a fundamental principle. This feeling reaches its top by mixing with credulousness. Their result is the best means to obtain the submission to an article of faith or the plebiscitary agreement for a political issue.
Like any other Institution, Freemasonry as well inspires either attraction or rejection. Most of the hostility towards the Freemasonry is not for emotional reasons but rather for political ones; considered the high credit given to the Freemasonry and the followers it has in every country, though, we can say that its rejection is a phenomenon limited to few examples of doctrinal and political dogmatism. Throughout Europe this hostility has historical reasons.
The French Freemasonry was the workshop for Enlightenment which, in Europe, destabilized the power of the monarchy and the Church, setting the principles of constitutional and republican laws. In particular, the principles given by the Human Law gave social dignity back to the citizens, redeeming them from the ideological subjugation and freeing them from the doctrinal custody they were under by law.
Giving respect to the citizen, by recognizing equality between classes, reduced social rivalry, bringing the parts to reciprocal tolerance. The idea of equality upset the relationship of subjugation between the two sexes, giving back to both their freedom to affirm themselves as individual identities, with self-determination and freedom of choice. In this way it was given men and women the faculty to direct their life and mark their destiny in synchrony with their own feelings and emotions. This also confirmed the equality of every form of expression in the democratic environment. Philosophies, sciences, political and religious postulates were the subjects where feelings and needs of each individual could be free without impositions. It was impossible to state that a doctrine was superior to another of the same nature. Ideological and cultural vassalage ended, at least officially.
The esoterical and exoterical implications of the initiatory morale
Freemasonry is an Institution made of initiatory essence and exoterical substance.
The exoterical part is formed by the part of ordinary militancy that has kept the most suitable characteristics to relate and communicate with the profane world. This exoterical militancy is often prestigious; it often hides to itself another initiatory and undoubtedly esoterical part.
Exoterical militancy aggregates around a hierarchy of exterior values; besides justice, equality and brotherhood, there are feelings of tolerance, solidarity and altruism. These feelings certify the moral integrity of the Freemason and they are the natural corollary of an ideologically free and morally active man. The Mason’s duties, though, make a moral code where the rules are inside the soul of the man who looks in himself and in the reflections of the world to find the knowledge of truth and fairness.
The visible face of Freemasonry is a speculative area accessible to many; only later we will have the subtle distinction that will select the lower initiates, certifying their achievement of the values of a lower hierarchy. In this case mundane merits or titles will not determine the value, because the distinctive sign of the initiate is the unmistakable love for research, intellectual depth and inner richness. Depth and spiritual richness will be the only visible line of his progress. We can distinguish the exoterical process of the mason, essentially social and respectful of the individual characteristics, from the initiatory process of an exquisitely esoterical nature and able to change deeply every profane characterization.
Although they are designed to work on different planes, both the exoterical and the esoterical way concur to the same goal. Although they use different tones, they both aim at the materialization of the common wellbeing.
The exoterical way, which turns outward in the main road of the profane world, arouses the best principles of equity and justice. The esoterical way turns inward; it doesn’t go towards the profane world, but it waits for it to knock at its door and to ask to get in. In this way, every profane in his own silence can start the Journey on the search of the inner universe.
The ritual meanings
The exoterical form of Freemasonry is a container of ancient symbols and ritual and allegorical languages. It is an envelope that in its modern disposition has been strongly marked by a biblical Hebraism; this has transmitted in this area as well its whole misogyny.
Despite its apparent form, the essence of Freemasonry stays tied to the mysteriosophical principles of the old initiatory fundaments which, as its catechisms state, from East go towards the West.
The spiritual fellowship that joins east and west characterizes the hidden esotericism postulated in its mysteries. This esotericism is hidden in the exoterical form of the symbols that it transmits, in the meaning of the deeds and ritual words. This intention is re-veiled (veiled twice) and it is not easy to be interpreted; only a true initiate can give it back its vital breath. Only because he has learnt the art of building images with words.
Words are the motion of the conscience and the strength of its thoughts.
The thought of an advanced conscience has a strength that, if it is well addressed, has the power to reach and affect every center desired, changing its organization and exalting or depressing the elements of the inner structure. This structure can be of an instinctual, emotional, intellectual or even spiritual nature. The initiate introduced to the use of the word is soon educated to recognize the rule that similes are attracted. With regard to the ritual use of the word, since the word is energy in motion, the following rule is true: the motion of every energetic element attracts a minor element of the same nature.
Like an emotional impulse can attract a plane of emotional sensation with the same tone but lower measure, so an intellectual stimulation can find correspondence in an intellectual sensation of the same intensity, although of lower measure; a spiritual tension can interact on a level of conscience of the same quality, although of lower expansion.
If the difference between the emanating unit and the destination is too big, the latter will force the minor unit not to assimilate or conceive what it receives. It will be obliged, then, to reject the emission in excess that it can’t conceive, or interpret the stimulations either by uniforming them to the limits of its status or condensing them with the help of imagination.
In the case of a reasoning entity, the excess of reception will cause a black out of the conscience, an unparalleled psycho-emotional shock. Only man as a thinking unit can interfere with his own internal structures in order to modify or damage them, sometimes irreversibly. We don’t mean only physical damages, here.
Therefore the initiate is gradually educated to the use of sound and light which, if interiorized in the proper way, are both elements of great power, both in the stages of destructive smoothing and in those aimed at repairing the personality.
The elective affinity has a primary role in the determination of the quality of tones and the kind of relationship that can occur among similes. A consciously awaken, thinking and advanced unit can arbitrarily carry out the conditions to induce the attraction of its higher simile on itself.
The initiate knows well that this is possible, using both external and internal elements.
An example is related to the Ars Pontificia, where the initiate creates the conditions (bridge of conscience) for his personal self to be obscured by the intelligent will of the higher Ego.
This is believed to be an act of "sacrifice and loss of oneself" only by those who, dimmed by the veil of unconsciousness, don’t understand the advantages that the lower simile has from the realization of this "alliance" with its higher simile.
The use of ritual word and sound, then, are the pillars of the mysterial ceremonial in the theurgic view called evocation-invocation.
In order for an idea closed into a concept, or represented by a symbol, to be understood and recognized, it is necessary that the form or expression used to manifest it is penetrated until, through intuition, the observer can recall on the surface the inner synthesis. In order to obtain this, the aspirant will have to increase his own potentialities by practicing mental concentration, focalization of ideas and reflection of the thought. Beyond this threshold we start the visualization of ideas (symbols, colors and sounds), situations, facts and people (imagination of the past and imaginary projection of the future).
All these exercises help us to use the two lobes of the brain ("masculine" and "feminine" impulses of the mind) and to settle in the middle of the latter, confirming the myth of the third eye.
At the beginning of this process it is taught to devote oneself to listen more to what comes from outside sources than to the sound of one’s own words. (*)
* The akoustikoi, or listener, in the Pythagorean School was the man in complete silence, in order to develop the ability to penetrate the mystery through the inner observation. He kept learning without teaching anything to anyone. This task was reserved to the epopts that had passed the levels of mathematikoi and phisikoi.
The epopts were the people "whose eyes are open". Plato stated that by concentrating to perceive interiorly the solar plexus we could reach the consciousness of the universe. We must reflect on this statement.
The mental silence will become the palette where to draw and the notebook where to write the meanings of what is around us. Few people work in order to access all these meanings, from the smallest to the biggest.
To consider the silence of deeds, forms and colors is not only about living the spirit of every meaning. It also means to find oneself again, in the silence of one’s own conscience, where the meanings are hidden in the representations in order to protect them from indiscreet eyes.
The ethics of silence
The rule of silence reminds us that: “those who don’t recognize can’t cognize”.
What is the point of talking about something to someone who can’t understand or see it? What is re-veiled (veiled twice) must appear clear to the eyes of the observer, otherwise it is unfair to prematurely open the sense of meanings which we wouldn’t naturally have access to. If there is a reason, it is better if what is veiled under an indistinct form for the blind stays only a curiosity.
The adept learns to evaluate what is said, how it is said and whom it is said to. This is the hierarchy of values that he must acknowledge to his interlocutors. A title, a disguise or an exterior sign is not enough to ruin the ability to discriminate falsehood from truth.
What is said: to show a concept until its essence appears and its mastery is transmitted is an act of love, wisdom and beauty. The fundament of this action will always beprudence.
How it is said: the sense of an idea is always hidden by the expression used to say it. The latter overlaps the meaning hiding it inside itself.
In an initiatory environment, in order to reach the root of an idea it is used a method of analysis and study called esotericism (from the Greek esoterikós: to see inside). Therefore the expression or the form that represents the transmitted idea must be translated into an actual language suitable to the listener. The person who transmits an idea must do it in small doses. He must not think that the listener can understand his language, but he must remember that the listener is able to understand his own language.
This is why the method used is what we call mouth-ear.
This is the allegory of a communication in unison, where the two languages are placed on the same intellectual plane. The prudent caution of the instructor will allow the listener to interpret any kind of meanings that otherwise would be stranger to him.
To whom it is said: “I can’t read or spell, but tell me the first word and I will tell you the second”.
In this ritual sentence the new way of approaching a new interlocutor is highlighted; he is asked to be the first to demonstrate his ability to face and study the subject.
After the first answer we can judge if we want to face and study the subject, the idea or the argument with him. Applying this method will prevent the initiate from opening improperly with people who are not prepared, maybe not trustworthy or only vainly curious. Therefore the fundament of actions will be once again prudence.
Caution, though, must always be accompanied by the right amount of generosity. The latter will be necessary in order to be helpful towards men and women who feel, think and live in a morally responsible way but still lack inner sensitivity.
These people are all those who aren’t conscious of themselves as an inner essence yet; the best energy of altruism will have to be directed towards them. It is impossible not to recognize them because even if their lips are silent and don’t ask questions, their eyes speak for them. Besides these differences, though, it is wise to keep silent on the deep subjects of the inner way.
The search for the truth
The search for what really is requires for the work instruments to be the right ones. In this case, the choice depends on the presence of a requirement called inner order.
Only with such an element we are able to proceed to the recognition of an exterior truth starting from an inner balance.
How can we credit a research done with the disorder of psychic instruments which are not shrewd? Observing a reality through the vision of a distorted and clouded mind leads to a confused image that will conclude in a false, or at least partial, idea. Reality will be then replaced by the opinion of an exclusive criterion which is subjective or partial.
From this only sectarianism and injustice can originate. The sense of every truth is inside us and in order to perceive it we must only free it from the veil of our inadequacies and selfishness, but most of all the morass of our arrogance.
The search for the truth is perceived by the initiate as a duty but also as an inalienable right which, from inside the being, sounds as a necessity to go along its way. For this reason the initiatory path is a process of search for ourselves; despite starting from the outside it always leads to the center of ourselves.
It is a path that we all must walk on our own, although we might share parts of it with others.
The travelers are not all looking for the truth. They might be bandits or idlers. If we are careful, though, and we sharpen our inner sense, we will also recognize some extraordinary travelers on the way to the “East”.
The initiatory path is life itself and many people fool themselves, thinking they can escape it by ignoring it. Life, with its initiatory trials, is always stronger than any selfishness or cowardice. Those who don’t shun life carry out their path, accepting what’s on their way with intelligence, without too much grief if a thorn sticks in their foot. It will be sufficient to stop and gently pull it away and the wound will heal soon.
The initiatory way is a journey to walk with light and fast steps; it is carried out by those who feel it is a natural and spontaneous need. The truth, though, can be only found reflected on the surface of our conscience because only in the secret heart of his inner Tabernacle the noble Traveler will be able to recognize the Holy Grail.
During the initiatory path we learn to distinguish between man’s conscience and body.
Once we judge men and women only by their mind we will not be affected any more by external characteristics; the latter will not be the primary element of every form of judgment and the source of attraction or rejection. By following reality we leave the deceitful sphere of appearance and we enter the sphere of being; although still working with relative realities, we start the straight part of our journey.
To want justice
“To want justice means to have already obtained it”.
This axiom is demonstrated when the will is real as a deed of an inner reality that embodies itself and it is projected towards the exterior reality. Of course this requires that we have already acknowledged in our conscience what is fair and good. Fair and good are two inalienable elements of the same substance, the truth.
Understanding what is called the essence of justice leads to accepting the idea of an inner and universal order that creates and keeps the natural balance. If the desire for justice implies the recognition of a natural order that rules everything, to recognize order means to want order and to recognize justice means to want justice.
To wish for justice means to follow principles that fight the unjust, viz. to resist to the disorder ruling the chaos of materiality by opposing it. Equity and beauty are two pillars of the Fair Work.
The desire for realization
Once the initiate stops deceiving himself about his own persona and the things of the world, he stops feeding on the false reality which is only the distorted image of the true inner structure. The natural aspiration to truth and beauty will drive the initiate to stop appearing and to become what he really is inside his heart. To go out of the world of "shadows" and make their essence useless, means to repudiate the image of ourselves conceived by a distorted conscience; the latter will then be ready to open to a new and different order which respects the inner evolution of the human family.
Earlier on we accepted the past as necessary; now we must modify it, rejecting any intrusion to the realization whose parameters are not in harmony anymore with those of the new initiatory reality.
At first it seems impossible and full of obstacles to reach the alignment of all the passional drives of the physical personality (the lower self) and the almost separating impersonality of the higher Ego. Personality lives constantly in the whirl of the emotional phenomena that reach the physical mind. Desires and passion that we think belonging to us cause the oscillation of the thread of conscience that links the personality to the super-conscious higher part of self. In order to achieve a reduction of the tremors of the physical conscience, it is necessary to impose a better emotional steadiness on it. Therefore we start using the mind by practicing the attention on the activities of our own thoughts. We must concentrate its energies and focus them to look at the images and its feelings which, emerging improperly in the mind, are the main cause of its wandering.
If we guide the physical attitude to a status of vigilant neutrality, we can activate other psychic mechanisms of a higher order which beforehand couldn’t find a grip in the emotional instability of the physical mind. Before reaching a sufficient status of inner steadiness it is necessary to reduce the oscillations produced by the emotiveness, which are absolutely normal, and take it back where we consider desirable and proper. We must also highlight that it is a serious mistake to censor emotions immoderately; they must be educated as you would do with a child, creating the right balance, a right "ratio" that, using the control of its sensations, will avoid the serious "trouble of the pendulum".
To control the "plumb line that joins what is at the bottom and what is at the top" means to give shape to the link between the different planes of conscience, building the necessary number of bridges of conscience that will join consciousness and sub-consciousness, and later physical identity and its super-consciousness; the conscience will then become a unique and complete identity.
Submission to the Law
The citizen swears to submit to the State’s laws. The Freemason as well swears to respect the laws of the State where he lives, but he also promises to obey the universal ideals of his Order.
Exteriorly there is no difference between the citizen and the Mason citizen; they have both promised not to infringe the social codes that rule the common life.
Codes, though, are only a human convention, the result of a morale that must be respected for the social wellbeing; they are used not to offend the principles of coexistence, defending its contents through the instruments of education. The thread of the social wellbeing and the non-offense is shared by the citizen and the mason citizen; with the initiate, though, the matter goes further.
This doesn’t mean that the initiate is above the rules, taboo and social conventions; only that his attention is focused elsewhere.
The initiate proceeds from the knowledge of his inner order to recognize the exterior Order. Indeed, if nature is man, man is nature; therefore if the universe is man, man is universe and if the divine is man, man will be divine.
Once the initiate has verified this postulate, it becomes for him a tangible axiom through which a binary system of conscience starts reflecting. The first relative and individual stage is that of the personal conscience that is reflected in a bigger synthesis that involves the individual and every simile. Both the single and the enlarged system of conscience, though, partly reflect the conscience of other systemic and universal spheres. When man acknowledges this, he starts experiencing earth and sky.
This allegory expresses the recognition of a binary reality made of substance and essence; it would be deceitful to consider it separated in two parts. We would fall in the relative subjectivity or, even worse, the ignorance of half existence.
Cycles, cadences and rhythms of the physical and metaphysical nature live in symbiosis and reciprocal communication (osmosis). This agreement of substance perceivable to the physical senses and essence apparently unperceivable is the fundament of the world as it is described in the laws of the Great Book of Nature that contains all and that is contained by everyone.
This criterion was expressed in the motto: Know Thyself. Re-joining the conscience of our earth (physicality and all its elements) and the conscience of our inner sky (mind and spirit) makes the obstacle of the materialism that veils the Divinity we all carry invisible.
Starting from our inner balance we will recognize the laws of universality that move the binary system of physics and metaphysics. This inner balance will be expressed in charisma and harmony; it will be passed on to every exterior activity of the initiate.
The initiate will lead his apparent activity with respect for the social rules inspired by the common wellbeing; he will also lead his life according to the inner order that he links to the status that affects the activity of every living entity. By recognizing the universal principles of our inner rules we will recognize the principles of the evolution that rules life. This will be for the initiate the only rule he can share with all the initiates of every age and nationality.
The initiatory Brotherhood
Astonishment is typical of the nature of the philosopher; philosophy originates only from astonishment. – Plato (Teeteto)
Philo-sophia is the sense of love for knowledge, which can only be reached with the objective understanding (see "closed system") of every appearance. We must be able to distinguish the true philosopher from the arrogant, dialectic or encyclopedic man because, as Seneca said: Facet docet philosophia, non dicere (Letters to Lucilius xx.); the follower of philosophy acts, he doesn’t only talk. Also Bernard of Clairvaux, founder of the Templar Rule, was against the sterility of the flatus vocis, viz. the useless conventional dialectics. Dialectics and sciolism are the basis of exclusive criteria that draw the lines of a philosophy which doesn’t result from the objective vision of the thing itself (Kant: ding an sich); it is rather the philosophy relative to practical applications. Besides exclusive philosophy we then have the Philosophy of Law, P. of Language, P. of morale, P. of Science, P. of History, etc.
The initiate-mason is at first a speculative logic and rational man who, after his evolution, can reach all the qualities of the illuminated philosopher. The mason, then, can be a realist of materialism, a logic man of abstraction and a philosopher of metaphysics. He can be present in all the directions of humanism. For the mason-Initiate, then, philosophy is the instrument for those who wish to know the "in itself" of all things and the means of all those who find the salvation from uncertainty and confusion in knowledge.
A fundament of universality is: "Brothers are all those who recognize themselves consciously in the light that brightens the love for understanding". The way how this recognition occurs is described in the motto: "by recognizing (the illuminated Brother) you will be recognized (by him)".
Only the components of the Chain of lovers of the Light of truth recognize and are recognized by the initiatory Brotherhood. They distinguish the physical light from the inner Light, separating their meanings. They call the light of materiality Black light, in antithesis to the True light, which is the spiritual one.
The fraternal help is carried out by understanding and helping the personality of the aspirants, keeping in mind that we are all brothers in soul. We are all shadows reflected by a divine Son and for this reason we are all linked by a bond of truly universal love. How can we not love the shadows of the brothers who approach us, knowing that the true bonk is the spiritual self, still imperfect in its form but right and perfect in its essence?
These principles open every heart to a brotherly love that goes beyond bonds of "too human" selfishness; it overcomes the fragile aspects of the material conscience that clasps, smothers and hides the true inner brother.
"If the word is silver, silence is gold". This popular saying suits perfectly the Masonic principle of discretion. The rule to observe a lot and to talk seldom must guide the initiate in any situation. Why waste an ocean of dialectics or encyclopedic verbosity when a sign, a deed or a word are enough to express an idea?
The muddled practice of rhetoric is the sign of an inner confusion that surrounds the fundamental nucleus of ideas, dispersing its energies rather than concentrating them. We know that idea-sound-word produce concrete effects in those who receive them. It is obvious how only a perfect knowledge of such actions can avoid all the wrong inputs we carry in our conscience. Why not reduce the error margin by using as little words as necessary for the idea?
The initiatory secret
Tradition tells us how every Mason left his seal in every work he made as a sign of his initiatory degree; every Master who saw it would recognize the symbols of the brotherhood that linked them in an initiatory Society. The recognizable sign is the meaning of the cosmogony placed in the Maze at the center of Temples" and Cathedrals’ floors. Leonardo da Vinci was asked why he left the center of his maze completely blank. He replied that if a Master walked on his Work, he would recognize it. If he is not a Master, then why leave a message he won’t be able to understand?
Small guide to the esoterical sense of Freemasonry
Before introducing the reader to the remaining of the compendium, it will be useful to list some landmarks necessary to understand the sense of the initiatory morale inborn in Freemasonry.
1) Initiatory Freemasonry is the bed of a spiritual search.
2) The Mason’s life, as it was known to old initiates, must be based on the search for the truth.
3) The truth is symbolized by the color white; white is the color of initiation.
4) The immutability of the initiatory duties doesn’t die when some fragments of the spiritual truth are extended to the exoterical substance of Freemasonry.
5) The degrees of the initiatory Pyramid contain the allegory of the evolutionary stages of human conscience (neither male nor female) in the search for its immaterial accomplishment.
6) The four initiatory journeys are the allegory of the human journey towards the 5 Kingdoms of Nature (the Flaming Pentalpha of spiritual life), which make the substance and essence of the physical and metaphysical identity of the humankind. The evolutionary journey winds across the earth (the constitution of the different stages of physical-animal substance of the humankind), water (desires and passion), air (the degrees of thought) and fire (intuitive or spiritually inspired thought).
The 5 initiatory steps are the allegory of as many levels of ability in recognizing oneself beyond the appearance of a form of conscience that goes from the mineral-man to the animal-man; he can then find himself in the thought of the psychic-man in his different degrees and he ends up in the conscience of the spiritual-man. This, in short, is the initiatory journey.
7) Freemasonry expresses three stages of conscience that form its 3 esoterical degrees;
1° degree: operative Freemasonry.
2° degree: speculative Freemasonry.
3° degree: spiritual Freemasonry.
The three esoterical degrees correspond to Three Arts.
1. Ars Muratoria (theoretical stage of the individual).
2. Ars Regia (intellectual-intuitive stage of the individual).
3. Ars Pontificia (intuitive-spiritual stage of the individual).
The three Arts correspond to Three sacred buildings which are the sign of the inner progress of the initiate.
1. The Temple of Salomon is the physical body. It is represented by the square and it is the allegory of reason, placed at the top of physicality.
2. The Tabernacle is the Holy Grail. It is the action of the spirit that must fill the Cup of the humankind with its substance. It is represented by the triangle and it is the allegory of intelligence inspired by the knowledge of the soul.
3. The Temple of Ezekiel is the world enclosed in the representation of a sphere. This temple is the allegory of intelligence illuminated by spirituality.
8) Self-control, honesty of intentions, sense of justice, compassion, impersonality in actions, integrity, empathy and sense of brotherhood are elements that help the spiritual growth.
9) The goal of the initiate is to increase the understanding of the spiritual values reaching the mastery of his own life, which he will perfect in the sequence of initiations.
10) To reveal the sense of life and of existence, until we distinguish the denominator that joins birth, growth, disease and recovery, decay and death. To perceive the sense of immortality transmitted to the physical conscience by its metaphysical counterpart.
11) In the most advanced stage there will not be any more viewers sitting among the Pillars of the Temple, but only spiritual operators.
12) Relevant facts inborn in Freemasonry:
a) the great ancientness of the teachings hidden by symbols;
b) the universality of the initiatory principles hidden in ritual gestures and words;
c) the initiatory principles are unchangeable because they are tailored to the human nature; they change when the nature of the initiate changes; when he evolves, he will have to face wider and deeper horizons of conscience;
d) the need to develop techniques suitable to the mental and technical advancement of civilization.
13) Useful and reasonable changes in the symbolic language will not affect the initiatory inspiration of Freemasonry.
14) It is useless to change rituals, ceremonies or vestments; it is necessary to understand the deep initiatory meaning held within them.
15) Freemasonry doesn’t need secrecy. The man who doesn’t have eyes to see will never be able to perceive the occult sense of the symbols it holds.
16) The Order of the Masons was instituted in the past to imprint in the matter the divinity of the universal Work.
17) The Art of building Temples has divine origins. It was created to instruct a Group of members of the human family to divulge, with their art, the principles of human evolution, marked in the Great Work.
18) The divine Plan is the Path, the knowledge of the Great Work is the Truth, and the harmony with the Plan is Life: these are the fundaments of the primitive Freemasonry.
19) If Freemasonry wants to survive, in the future it will have to show its usefulness to all men worldwide.
20) The postulates of an adept’s life are to ask honestly, to search thoroughly and to learn with zeal.
21) A master mason is essentially a master of himself.
22) In Freemasonry spiritual research has often been proclaimed. Until Freemasonry is not understood properly, though, it will remain an old but dumb envelope for many adepts.
23) The principles of the old initiatory duties have survived during the centuries because they have been kept and transmitted by a Society of illuminated minds, able to recognize the fate that moves the humankind.
24) The high degrees of Freemasonry will have to drive masons to live an initiatory life and not only to interpret it, starting from themselves.
25) The mason, once reached the real initiation, will be recognized for the quality he will infuse in the sense of his life and for the degree of usefulness in the Community where he lives his ordinary life.
26) The aspiration of the highest stages of Freemasonry is to create workers useful to the Great human Work. This destiny can be reached only by turning every possible man and woman into a mason; it is necessary that every mason becomes an illuminated mason, in order for every symbolic initiate to become a real initiate.
27) Freemasonry doesn’t need new adepts but better adepts. It doesn’t need crowded Lodges, but a ritual participation full of initiatory understanding.
28) The Ritual is not only a means to participate to an unsolved mystery, but it must be deeply understood in order to exteriorize the theurgic sense of mystery; the ceremonial is the main means of spiritual understanding and initiatory growth given to the ancient Order since its archaic foundation.
29) In order to be effective, in every kind of ceremonial the postulants will have to accomplish the difficult task of sublimating their metals, silencing every personalism and individualistic attitude, until the right universality is given to the destiny of Freemasonry.
30) It is necessary to work for the ordinary Mason to accept the idea of not being a part in itself, but a fragment of an Order made of creative operators committed to the wellbeing and progress of the humankind. It will be up to his conscience, then, to harmonize with this idea or to give up the initiatory path and remain only a shadow in the Order.
Liberté, Fraternité, Egalité
Even the most exoterical interpretation of the Freemasonry follows the moral perspective of these three statements. The initiate, though, also follows other old duties, such as love for truth, tolerance towards the different and altruism. For the Freemason the first moral fundament is to be a man free from egoism and ignorance, and a moral citizen.
The statement I think therefore I become what I want is not accepted by a moral authority which would like to impose its placet on every matter of social or religious ethics. The same moral authority considers the individual as an accused and sinner beforehand; it obviously reckons that he doesn’t have intellectual legitimation, moral discernment and he doesn’t deserve any spiritual powers. To him is only acknowledged the possibility of mediating through a third party, who will relieve him of his ignorance and the state of guilt he is responsible for, although unconsciously.
If we imply the contradiction of a dogmatic proposition that guarantees unconditionally non-demonstrated truths, in order to grasp the sense of this we must come to the conclusion that not everybody feels the need to think; indeed, many people are afraid of the "emptiness and the space" that accompany the freedom of thought. For this reason psychic agoraphobia and mental dullness are the most obvious characteristics of the people who join any kind of fundamentalism. They don’t conceive freedom and equality as common wellbeing; indeed, they think it’s a danger and a destabilizing element for their criteria and feelings. The mason, though, since he was born a free and a moral man, can’t take care of a dissent that doesn’t concern him; no criticism will ever be able to stop him from stating his initiatory principles. It will indeed be proper if he maintains the moral rules of his ethics and ideals, opposing any rude action that might dim its meanings. It will never be necessary to preserve initiatory contents that are not clear to a mind that doesn’t have them already impressed in its conscience.
In the subject of equality and individual dignity, the postulates of Freemasonry were not an absolute novelty, because Freemasonry is only a modern attempt to re-interpret old freedoms and old duties (1) which, as in the past, are still opposed by absolutist powers whose elitist principles defend hierarchies considered indiscussed and indisputable. With the advent of free thought, though, the monarchic and theocratic sovereignties had to face a decrease in consent; it used to be formally plebiscitary but it became uncertain and it concentrated in the least conscious parts of the population.
The realist conception (see philosophical realism and idealistic realism – Plato) substantially changed the social conscience of the citizens, both of the old and the new world. In Europe and in America the word freedom gave the drive for a new concept of homeland. It wasn’t any more expression of elitist sovereignty, but an idea created by the conscience of the people. In Italy as well the Carbonarism, of Masonic inspiration, highlighted the idea of freedom transmitted by Illuminism, spreading it up to inspire the republican Risorgimento.
In order to understand all this it would be sufficient an analysis free from the prejudices that have shaped so many historical perspectives. By distorting one of these perspectives they tried to demonize the ideal of Freemasonry by adding the taboo of a hypothetical apostasy to it. This accusation was made by a pedantic authority which has never been an example of coherence with the principles professed by its religion.
Every historical discussion always contains a flaw; the biggest one is the factiousness of the person chosen to comment the facts whose protagonist is the entity in charge.
It is not surprising, then, to find the Italian Masonry surrounded by feelings adverse to its true initiatory identity. We must also admit that the anti-historical partisanship of this country doesn’t found its arguments only on the obvious forgery, but, with intelligence and mastery, it also uses the arrows thrown by the stupidity of people belonging to the counterpart.
In order to organize its disinformation on the Masonic revolutions, the Church of Rome used the initiatory mediocrity of few clumsy masons who, for the purpose of reaching the profane power, have looked after their interests together with a substantial crowd of "servants of the State and the Church".
A few examples of wickedness accomplished by a small number of adherents, though, can’t degrade the initiatory reality implied in the Freemasonry; the latter, in the esotericism of its catechism, had already forecast the moral perversion where could end some of the weakest links of the initiatory Chain.
The morale of the Masonic workers is founded on the immoral behavior of "Bad Fellowship" who, for their own profit, killed the Master Hiram (2), the progenitor and spiritual messiah of all the Builders of the Holy Temple.
In order to understand the signs of the Masonic morale it is not necessary to follow the criticism coming from a closed system. It would be enough to go back to a vision inside the Freemasonry and converge to a point of observation that for an initiate is his esotericism.
(1) Comments of rights and duties of the initiatory path
The rule says that the initiate must give back, in the form of service for common wellbeing, all the knowledge and ability that have been given to him by the initiatory Chain who educated him and allowed him to progress in his evolutionary journey. To fail this rule brings a negative load that is difficult to value for superficial eyes.
Originally initiation was unique and it was addressed to the most active and conscious members of the human family.
With time the contents of initiations were fragmented in many specific details. This satisfied the need to simplify a sense that a common mind couldn’t hold anything unless it transformed its ordinary structure into an extraordinary personality.
The fragmentation helped to vulgarize its sense of initiation, it made its contents unrecognizable and its uniqueness disappeared. If we look back we can still recognize the initiatory singularity, by putting together three fragments that by now are changed.
An ideal line joined the sacerdotal condition to the scientific-mysterial one and to the warlike one, making a unique flow of power, science and conscience. The warlike initiation was the first one to separate from the mysterial-sacerdotal one. The power that derived from sacredness and wisdom was broken by the interest of a class that wanted to create its own sovereign supremacy based on strength rather than will and intelligence. Since then, the latter appeared less and less.
It is not necessary to linger on the proliferation of sub-products derived from what remained. The mysterial fragment of the initiatory science degenerated in magic and then in superstition and popular magism. The sacerdotal fragment degenerated in the anthropomorphic cults of popular religions, which used gods in the likeness of man and with his passion. The conclusion of this first jump downwards is that initiation, at first joined in a vertex of illuminated animism, ended up by coagulating in an apex of imagination, always hovering between myth and popular legends.
Despite the proliferations of ideological whirls, the initiatory viaticum continued being transmitted substantially intact. Some different words were used to match the change of languages, but its characteristics remained the same.
It is made of three compartments and they are one the evolution of the other; only the last one, though, leads to initiation.
The adept will have to face the conditions of aspirantship and probation; they will be exalted in an apex of inner consciousness called initiation.
At first the adept (novice, apprentice or postulant) must be "cleansed" from the models that are his habits, protected from himself and his education. Only a tenacious aspiration allows him to bear the tensions of a destructive stage that will change the points of view of his life. Later on, he will give proof of the clearness of his intentions and this is the period of probation. Once this is finished, if the necessary merits are found in him, he will be able to start the journey of initiatory investiture which his colleagues of higher degree will recognize to him.
So far, every adept has the right to be guided and he must obey only the duty towards himself and his intellectual and moral growth. Once he reaches the initiatory investiture, he takes on duties towards the outside; they suit better the principles of his Order or Institution.
Once reached the "esoterical adult age" he has the duty to submit what he has been transmitted to the common interest. He must not consider any of the faculties reached through the expansion of his conscience as his own, despite the fact that he deserves them for working so hard. For him, after receiving so much, the time to do in order to give starts. But not randomly.
The initiate puts his abilities at the service of a bigger plan, invisible to the people who live only in their present time. This plan has stayed the same in time but its strategies change continuously, according to the historical moments and the social needs. It is a project of the people who recognize the silent flow of the invisible wave where the destinies of peoples and countries float. (back to the main article)
(2) Hiram Abiff, the messiah of the Builders of the Temples.
According to the chosen path, the old mysteries provide for different trials for the postulant. Every initiatory journey revealed a Mystery and each mystery expressed a school and its elective Temple.
As in the old times, also the initiatory ceremony for the master Freemason (3rd degree of the Masonic Pyramid made of 33 steps) represents the spiritual re-birth that, in the adept, occurs when he becomes a master. His initiatory re-birth, though, is linked to the resurrection of the spirit of the Master in him. This spiritual resurrection is symbolically represented with a ritual psycho-drama.
To go back to the source of the myth, we must consider that every initiatory and religious School (the two entities were once upon a time indivisible), well beyond the time of the Builders of the Pyramids, used to express the sacredness of their origin with a portentous advent of an anthropomorphic nature, which was the exoterical representation of the passage to a new stage of the human progress.
The commonly used advent is a god or a semi-god that has become man and the bearer of innovative ideals. He would be born from a woman but without a father because, in a patriarchal and archaic system, the lack of a male figure highlighted the lack of earthly influence by the father, and the obvious origin of his divine faculties. This makes him a guide with extraordinary qualities who has come to educate, purify and initiate the humankind. He is a spiritual example betrayed by the passion of those beneficed by him. He is mortified, sacrificed and killed for fear of the immaterial benefit he brought, opposed to the misdeed of earthly passion.
The good that feeds human Progress always resurrects in the heart of anyone who crosses the threshold of spirituality, the access to an initiatory life veiled in the sacred configuration of a Temple. It is a construction that is in actual fact the inner representation of the earthly world.
Every tradition in the cycles and recurrence of history, testifies the passage of a new messiah, restorer and divulger of a unique, shareable and perennial spiritual model.
Master Hiram, orphan by father, ideally represents a man participating to the spirituality of the Work of the universe. He is dispenser of wisdom and Master of Art; he promulgates to "Workers, Fellowship and Masters" of the world the secrets of the cosmic and universal construction, with an ability that they can use in planning products of the sacred representations. Hiram is the spiritual master of the Builder that engraves in the stone the image of the sacredness. He is betrayed and killed by the ignorance of bad disciples and he becomes the messiah of an inner reality, closed in the forms of a Temple created in the likeness of a celestial Jerusalem, which is the material model to build forgotten celestial virtues on earth. (back to the main article)
Part 2 >>