In the century of ‘open society’ where can esotericism be placed, intended as a secret teaching? It is our duty, I think, to wonder if it makes any sense to talk about esotericism ‘today’ or if, on the contrary, we need to focus on new syntheses. Neurosciences and physics of the infinitely small make past ‘secret’ doctrines obsolete; perhaps they still have their charm, also thanks to their intuitions, but they are indeed obsolete… no doubt. In other words, the background where ‘initiatory societies’ operate is very different from that of Pythagoras, of the builders of cathedrals, of Dee and Ashmole, Anderson and so on. We must leave the return to the past to Harry Potter. On the contrary, let’s ask ourselves what it means to be ‘initiates’ in the twenty-first century and what can the Mysteries be.|
Where did Masonic Solidarity get to? (part 2 - ESOTERICISM EPISTLES - IV)
By Authors of Esonet
© copyright 2007 by Esonet.it - Esonet.com
Where did Masonic Solidarity get to? (part 2 - ESOTERICISM EPISTLES - IV)
22 nd September 2007 - L. M. writes:
[…] I am [elided] and I follow you on Esonet.
I would like to make a few considerations on the open topic of ‘Masonic solidarity', first of all sharing the idea of the widespread arrogance and ignorance in Lodges. Personally I apply this criticism to myself as well; in silence I reflect on other people, too. I disagree that everything is bad. I also think it is not true that there have been better times: Cicero used to laugh at the ‘laudatores temporis acti' ( Praisers of time past, Note of the translator) ; and our fathers and grandfathers had to face two world wars. Therefore let's not rush into clichés of pessimism. Furthermore, the inner journey is one matter, political dynamics are another. The latter have their rules, studied, coded and analyzed for thousands of years; we must refer to these rules to ‘understand the world'. Otherwise the world appears wrong, like the lenses we use to look at it. Or at least I think so! Likewise, the huge widening in the field of human knowledge doesn't allow the re-proposal of past schemes to understand reality.
In the century of ‘open society' where can esotericism be placed, intended as secret teaching? It is our duty, I think, to wonder if it makes any sense to talk about esotericism ‘today' or if, on the contrary, we need to focus on new syntheses.
Knowing that the Earth will burn and the Sun will implode gives a sense of finiteness to all we are and that surrounds us. It forces us to re-think the concept of life itself. Neurosciences and physics of the infinitely small make past ‘secret' doctrines obsolete; perhaps they still have their charm, also thanks to their intuitions, but they are indeed obsolete… no doubt. In other words, the background where ‘initiatory societies' operate is very different from that of Pythagoras, of the builders of cathedrals, of Dee and Ashmole, Anderson and so on. We must leave the return to the past to Harry Potter. On the contrary, let's ask ourselves what it means to be ‘initiates' in the twenty-first century and what can the Mysteries be. Without breaking the answers halfway in the attempt to hide the nothing under a veil, like many pseudo-priests of our acquaintance do. Of course there isn't solidarity among swindlers, tricksters and charlatans. Of course…
Personally I can't answer the above questions. But I think I should ask them to myself and then look for the answers.
Sorry for the abruptness. Triple Fraternal Embrace LM
25 th September 2007 - Athos A. Altomonte writes:
‘It is a good, fair and due' act to defend a bureaucratized Institution that lacks arguments other than self-celebration; here what is counterbalanced is not intrinsic qualities, but rather the availability of man to become ‘manageable'. Yet, this act doesn't wipe out the absence of an Institution that claims to be initiatory and depositary of mysteries and secrets of which it knows nothing and wants to know nothing. Since such Masons have these expectations your fiery intervention doesn't have the strength to move in the slightest the feeling of decadence that grows outside the games of power.
If you truly followed Esonet and its sections made by authoritative authors, scientific researchers accredited to Universities and Masons qualified not only on ‘the history of Garibaldi', you would have realized that nobody but its own admirers throws discredit on Freemasonry. Exceptionally it can happen that some problems come to a head by themselves. Such as the absence of quality in the current thought, like you admit. But not for the lack of current vision or hindered by obsolete roots, as you say. The reason is that without a past there can't be a future; knowing the past has a decisive educational role. Rather, the weakness of the current thought depends on the commercialization of who is willing to market his conscience; people tolerant and sympathizing only with themselves and their itches for ridiculous and pathetic roles of power (?).
Someone should feel pietas for those fake initiates and fake Masons who wander pompously filled with pride among the Pillars of the Temples . And I thank you for defending them. Although the strength of your arguments is ‘sound of flute' rather than ‘rumble of thunder'.
Next to the consolatory and even romantic habit of ostentation of robes and medals, in front of our very own eyes it has developed the commercial and commercializing use of Freemasonry considered as an instrument for ‘petty businesses and small and big bucks'.
Is this the novelty proposed to us? The symptoms lead us elsewhere.
The symptoms are the tens of people who express regret for many ideals stated but never concretized. This regret is amplified by honest and liberal instruments such as Esonet, through a critical and articulated though, which the hierarchs closed in small cages outside the world are not able to listen to.
Another symptom is the kind of coral reef that is growing between Freemasonry of intellectual dignity and Freemasonry of feasts and honors.
Last but not least is the initiatory postulate. Knowing the shortness of your Masonic experience and the incompetence of your fellow travelers, I think it is difficult that you have matured a conclusion on the subject of Initiation apart from appearances and opinions.
From your words it appears like old pinchbeck that can be replaced by a futuristic thought. But innovative compared to what?
Modern thought is more and more quickly overcome by itself. Dialectic erudition is an actuality with short life and it must be continuously updated to renew oneself. But the bases remain and certain principles are not seasonal fruits, since they have been lasting for thousands of years.
I am talking about the science of man and not of his technologies.
The initiation you know belongs to ceremonial folklore, it is not aimed at millenary perfection, which will occupy the consciences of keen people for even longer, aimed at completing the human Identity, based on mental and spiritual sensitivity and not on quotations meant for effect and studied to impress profane audiences.
Another forgotten reason of ‘being Masons' is the defense of the ‘laic thought', which has been replaced by Rules, Regulations and Statutes; they are the only strength of ‘accountants and administrators' who are the ‘belly' of the Institution but will never become its ‘head'.
Looking for Illuminism in the Masonic Temple today is like looking for spirituality in the Church of the German Shepherd.
What I see and what the readers see is the absence of both, with nothing to replace them. Power wants reverence. Laity is only consumerism; spirituality is only faith in anti-scientific irrationality. But the masses are not only made of fools.
Perhaps all this can be difficult to interpret for the Mason who is still a victim of perception transference. But it is not the sign of a total ending, only the decline of a cycle, which, in due course, as it has always happened before, will be replaced by a renewed thought rooted in the fundaments of the humankind.
Optimistically, we are the ‘gardeners' of this event. It is false to say that we ‘go against it'. The contrary is true, we are ‘in favor' of the best concept of which Freemasonry (as well) is the inert vehicle.
We care about gathering the originality of symbolic roots, which are the premises for today's science, because the today matures the tomorrow. In the ideas we grasp the fundamental principle that is motion and continuous transformation.
We want to retrieve the completeness of the past, so that the best ones will be able to start from a step of consciousness higher than what you've been deprived of.
It is the finite aspect inside all of us. Some might say that this is an ambitious idea, like for Prometheus on the boundary of pride. But for people who feel that what makes man infinite is his thought, this attraction can become the service for the wellbeing of the humankind preached by Masonic catechisms, that can't be limited to occasional charity drawn from the ‘alms-box' (see note 1).
From a personal point of view everything is fine. There's no disagreement between us. But as participants to Masonic things and similar we are on opposite planes, believe it or not. This is the difference; the possible antagonism comes from here.
I don't claim to teach you anything when I say that the only mystery of man is Man, the only living symbol of his microcosm. This is what Diogenes was looking for and what his disciples look for, including myself. Find man and you'll find yourself.
The free Man in free thought is already traveling towards his ‘inner sky', which abstracts him from the animal spirit that has been ruling him for thousands of years. This is one of the purposes of Initiation. It is the ‘transformation' of the human nature, in the sense of sublimation of mind and conscience in the respect of one's own inner instruments, which can join those of any other man only after achieving synthesis. Not of one's thought, but synthesis of oneself, after gathering in one point the different dimensions which we are made of, without discarding or blaming any part of them, but educating them as if it was a choir. This is Harmonics, the silent sound that joins man's sphere, planetary, systemic and cosmic spheres into a unique chord.
If you really wanted to develop this thought by ‘cultivating' what you feel is right, or possible or at least appraisable, you are in the wrong field. Church and Freemasonry are today the sepulcher of truth and the exaltation of false human spirit, even the ancient one that you consider obsolete.
Look around you with the critical crudeness of the free thinker; don't listen to what they say but see what they do and then judge which the part to discard is. If, as I imagine, you are a sensible person, I don't doubt that you would wish the end of a senseless cycle that doesn't have any link with ‘yesterday' but neither with today or tomorrow. Therefore it is best to try other ways, other formulas. ‘Cocked hats, titles and honors' are not part of a license of growth, experimenting on oneself is.
These are my reasons, on which I hold the judgment , left to the readers that will read our reflections.
Fraternally, Athos Altomonte
Alms-box: A box which, toward the close of the Lodge, is handed around by an appropriate officer for the reception of such donations for general objects of charity as the brethren may feel disposed to bestow. This laudable custom is very generally practised in the Lodges of England, Scotland , and Ireland and universally in those of the Continent. This custom has not been adopted in the Lodges of America , except in those of French origin and in those of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.