I think it is time to admit that even the so-called ‘High initiations' (31 st , 32 nd and 33 rd , the three administrative Degrees of Freemasonry) as well as the previous ones are the approximate and quite folkloristic memory of ancient splendors. Their meanings remain obscure even to the ‘pontiffs' of Freemasonry.
But if the initiatory side of Freemasonry is quite misty, the profane one is not less so. It would be a mistake to consider Freemasonry a source of business and power. This is another legend fostered on purpose, for various reasons, by those who want to demonize it as well as by those who want to make it look attractive.
It makes me smile to hear talks about ‘Business Freemasonry'. It was a' legend' even before the enquiries of the rancorous and not very illuminated attorney Cordova involved Freemasonry in the ‘Big judicial Flop' that everybody knows about. Rather, many signs show how the exoteric side of Freemasonry is going to become a parking space for pensioners looking for pinchbeck frames to give a glossy coat to their wide idle spaces.
Therefore I exclude that Freemasonry can be today a useful vehicle to clinch a deal or to obtain privileges. Therefore ‘whoever is searching' should look at other associations with a ‘philanthropist' purpose, such as the Knights of St. Maurice (monarchists), the Knights of Malta ( Vatican ) or simply the Rotary or Lyons . Among them we find many notable Masons, escaped from the pensioners' Freemasonry.
I don't deny that, like in any other mysteric and spiritual environment, next to the ‘heavy' part there is also a ‘lighter' one. Therefore in Freemasonry as well there is an initiatory side, not very keen to share the ‘convivial' activities of the exoteric counterpart.
Here we have the appearance of two kinds of conscience that form the Masonic dualism (and not only Masonic), viz.: The two faces of Freemasonry.
In conclusion, here are some considerations on the ‘double-life' of the initiatory organisms. I think that the people belonging to the two ‘classes of life' recognize each other. Although both prefer to ignore each other, for obvious reasons.
The first group because they prefer to experience a mythical, convivial and exoteric Freemasonry, therefore no effort to ‘change' is required; it is possible for them to remain as they are. They only boast the mundane ‘professionalism' of their profane life.
The ambiguity of the para-initiates is not welcomed by ‘purists', which prefer not to mix up with them. But this ‘aristocratic' attitude doesn't pay. Indeed, it has caused most of the Masons to chase the pleasure of wearing a sash or a decoration, always different and better than the previous one, giving life to a kind of little Vanity Fair.
And so I don't believe at all that the exoteric conscience of Freemasonry is mostly made of ‘businessmen' but rather of ‘sash-ists'.
As a ‘consolation in so much desolation' we must recognize something else. Whilst the ‘vulgar' (Lead) parts of any exoteric organization, including the Church, are ‘localized realities', viz. closed systems that fight and disown each other, the parts that tend to the ‘fine metal' are in actual fact ‘wide spread realities', viz. open systems that re-cognize each other by communicating, even through their ‘own languages'. They do not omit assisting each other in a new kind of work, the proselytism of an undifferentiated initiatory system.
An idea that advances in a fragmentary fashion is still part of a common project. This is an aspect of the silent Chain that I have mentioned before.
Its elements can be easily recognized thanks to a characteristic sign. They are all scholars, but not of the ‘formal regularity' of the Order they belong to. They rather look for the source of initiatory regularity that cannot be found among papers or patents of the archives. The most advanced become ‘Guardians of the Temple '. Those that can open, in the eyes of the Noble Traveler, the ‘invisible Door' that leads to the initiatory path; an inner path made of sacrifice, work on oneself and change.
It is the path of metamorphosis or, if you prefer, a return to what we really are.