Everything changes and is modified, obeying the universal Law of Motion and Intelligent Activity.
We certainly will not deny this law, neither the evidence of the events occurring around us, under our very own eyes. We certainly will not take shelter behind the Towers made of pumice-stone of those who deny that something is changing. But we are among those who accept the change in order not to die in the eyes of history and social reality. If there must be a change, we will support it as much as our Group abilities will allow us, in order for it to become and have the best possible shape.
Of all the great changes that are hitting every region of the world of man, we will talk about the particular one that involves the Masonic ideology, daughter of the Vulgar Era.
The latter is now closing its cycle; history will tell what good and bad it brought. We certainly won’t judge it.
What is certain is that a goal has been achieved; to bring some reflections of the initiatory Thought to the lowest section of the humankind, in the attempt to accelerate its inner growth.
But this work “for the benefit of the humankind” has also a price; every initiate can see, touch and listen to this price around him and in every Temple of the G.A.
Once accomplished its task of popularization and vulgarization of the initiatory culture, the old Masonic Body is slowly crumbling, losing the appearance of ordinary ostentation that had to cover it for over two centuries, preparing to reappear in an aspect more suitable to Its tradition and Its ancient lineage.
At the beginning of the 3rd Millennium nobody any longer, mystifying the concept of tolerance, asks Freemasonry to remain popular and (initiatorily) illiterate, enough to allow the dialogue with every profane that, even admitted inside it, wishes to remain as such. On the contrary, everybody asks with more and more determination for Freemasonry to get its characteristics of Initiatory School, educated and spiritually elevated back. Those who don’t want to adapt to this change of quality should be abandoned to the approximation of their ideological quadriviums.
The space available to those that don’t change and don’t want to change their mundane mindset is getting smaller and smaller every year; many abandon the field and go back to their natural place, in the world of Chaos.
Their ideology and politics fell, their supports and economy disappeared, but most of all their false prestige vanished.
The events that prepare the transformation in a new ideological washing are already underway. The old separating and reactionary Masonic ideology full of the myth of Nietzsche Superman fades away.
So now that it has been overcome by the times and drowned by the infinitely tiny contradictions of its own men, what will the face of the New Freemasonry be, that will emerge from the impact with the events caused by the changes produced by the advent of the 3rd Millennium?
Here I intend to leave any personal opinion aside; I consider myself too keen on the new that’s coming and too fed up with the old that’s left. But since the new is the restoration of the Ancient, perhaps it is wrong to call it “new’; it”s more appropriate to call it the return to the “right”.
We had the occasion of an intervention from an impartial observatory. It was a serious and constructive criticism contained in a work published in ’92; its authors were Giorgio Galli, political analyst and journalist and Rudy Stauder, writer.
They carried out a research that ranges from politics to economy and culture, through the major social and religious events of the last 50 years, up to a detailed analysis among politics, religion and economic interest. As a consequence, they got to the wars broken out in the middle East, focusing their attention to the causes of interest that allowed the raging of the conflict with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.
As well as the authors’ opinions, we also find the judgment of many men of learning and scientists.
In dealing with the various topics the authors draw a profile of what, according to them, is modern Freemasonry. Indeed, they indicate precisely which elements, lacking in the present ideological system, would allow it to be recognized again as an initiatory system.
As well as finding the uncompromising but interesting and constructive cultural criticism, the Mason who reads it in full will also have to make a reflection.
The non-Masonic world feels more and more often the need to urge the most experienced Masons to find themselves in a renewed morality, to undertake a new intellectual and esoteric process in Freemasonry that analyzes again the links with tradition, such as those with the sciences of “Beauty”. They are required to correct and disperse the wrong tendencies arisen due to the past habits of managements by superficial and politically oriented hierarchies and Grand Masters. So, despite criticism, is it perhaps possible that Freemasonry is perceived, maybe unconsciously, as a useful and necessary container of historical and cultural memories, not only by Its good Mason children, but also by the profane themselves?
Let’s try, then, and read this criticism that comes from the “cultural world” external to the Masonic Order. Then, at the end of the reading, everybody must ask himself this question and give the answer.
Loosely based on the book: Politica ed esoterismo alle soglie del 2000 (Politics and Esotericism at the dawn of 2000, Note of the Translator). Rizzoli 1992 (Chapter VIII – Europe and the western tradition).
«[...] On the other hand, the institution mostly entrusted to preserve the western tradition, viz. Freemasonry, seems to have forgotten its task of reawakening of consciences and the lodges have reduced the symbols they host to corpses.
The symbols live if man wants to let them live; otherwise they are nothing but apparently abstruse ornaments and decorations. Triangles, zodiac hieroglyphs, statues, masonry tools become pathetic meaningless frills.
Symbols are dynamized by the rite, by the evocating energy of gestures and words when they are carried out and pronounced in full awareness of what is being done and said.
But how many lodges understand the importance of the rite?
Most of them just carry it out hurriedly, considering the discussion of administrative roles and the intellectual exchange on social, historic and literary topics more important than Masonic symbology.
This way the weights of sessions (meetings) are reversed; the primary element becomes secondary and vice versa; the exoteric aspect prevails on the esoteric aspect.
In a pamphlet published in 1924 called What is Freemasonry, a Master Mason hidden behind the pseudonym Leonida, and that in other texts shows some wisdom, states: “When any ritual function, be it simple or solemn, is repeated frequently enough, it undoubtedly loses solemnity [...]
Freemasonry must therefore make an effort to give its ordinary assemblies the characteristics of proper family meetings, preserving the solemnity of its magnificent symbolisms for very special occasions, such as the reception of new brothers or Masonic authorities [...]».
These words expressed more clearly than in other texts, even later ones, explain better than any other comment the tendency to the profanation of an institution that should pursue esoteric intentions.
We are facing a natural development of its primary deviation, which started when it preferred to take care of men rather than the man, of social issues rather than the development of the inner potential.
Therefore those who knock at the door of the Masonic Temple in search of a message that can fill the existential vacuum inside every human creature are often disappointed. And so they go in search of an answer and a shelter in the basements smelling of incense and sandal, without realizing the disorientation that can assail their psyche that developed in a western environment and that leads many people to a sudden confusion.
Despite everything the man who, trusting himself, reading and meditating, has the consistency to remain in the lodge crowded with corpses, slowly acquires the privilege of seeing them resurrected. The resurrected symbols will talk to those who work («the work», viz. the esoteric work, «is the first duty and the major consolation of man», states the Masonic ritual); they will remain quietly inanimate for all the others.
But there’s more. Robert Ambelain, one of the main exotericists of our century, states that any Mason that assiduously attends the meetings, even without the due consciousness, would obtain a strengthening of his human abilities, although in longer terms than the operative esotericist. In other words, to attend with purity and regularity the Temple will be sufficient in order to gain clairvoyance, clear-hearing, etc., the famous siddhi, the powers of Hindu tradition, thanks to the penetrating action of what we might call «group spirit». This theory is shared by few people; but because it has been enunciated by an authoritative personality I thought it was fair to quote it.
Certainly the aspiration of the true esotericist is not the acquisition of the siddhi. The former tends to the kingdom of metaphysics, considering the so-called “powers” (which we run into sooner or later) only the sign that perhaps he’s walking on the right path.
He knows that it is dangerous to be charmed by such conquests, placed like enchanting sirens to tempt naive people and those who only aim at an alleged superiority on those who haven’t heard their song yet.
Freemasonry, however, tends more and more to miss even the banal goal of the acquisition of certain gifts; therefore in the best of cases it turns into a charity or a rescue entity. But this is how its ultimate goal fails, that is spiritual Alchemy, which should be its task; failing such goal doesn’t benefit the growth of the institution.
According to many people the year 1717, commonly considered as the date of birth of present Freemasonry, should rather be considered as its date of death. On this topic Francesco Brunelli states that: «the Freemasonry of the “Mediterranean” area could not but highlight the aspects of esoteric Tradition that it contained in power; whilst the schismatic Freemasonry of 1717 had privileged certain profane orientations [...] The differences in the rituals of initiation between Anglo-Saxon and Mediterranean Freemasonry involve two different ways of aiming life. The former implies a horizontal aiming on the moral plane [...] Anderson’s Constitutions of 1723 that rule this institution hope for Freemasonry to become the joining point and the means to create a sincere friendship among men that could have been strangers for each other [...] The Constitutions of 1815 insist on a personal theism and require Anglican denomination, morale, friendship [...]
Mediterranean Freemasonry, on the contrary, doesn’t just settle consciences by simply believing in a God and doing some charity, but it insists on a vertical plane, on life as preparation to death, on death as rebirth to be pursued even and especially here and now, through purification, through a reintegration. The purposes and means of all the initiations of all times!».
Therefore 1717 is the year when the institution moved its esoteric goals to the background, preferring to work on the political and social sphere.
Be this the crucial date or not, it is certain that the esoteric goal has actually been sacrificed for the benefit of profane choices.
From the latter disputes, contrasts and fragmentations typical of exoteric and mundane aspects originated.
On the contrary, esoteric research transcends human quarrels and it is aggregating in itself. When esotericists meet they don’t worry about which group one or the other belongs to, they feel joined in the community of intentions, true brothers in spirit.
Losing sight of the ultimate goal is the main cause of the proliferation of rival groups and coveys; they all consider themselves as depositaries of the truth.
But in the fragmented and disappointing scenario of the betrayed western tradition, the esotericists that believe in it continue to work. These researchers in such a special field, being aware of the extraordinary uniqueness of our times, are obviously more sensitive and attentive than others to the needs of the new era, which, as we have seen, proposes group work. So, in the last few years some meeting points were born, where the scholars of western esotericism from various geographical proveniences and research orientations gather periodically. They are mostly Masons disappointed with the actual direction of their institution, but determined to work for change, all together for the ultimate goal of the formation of the initiatory conscience. But in this field as well it is legitimate to suppose that the situation of “Medea’s Cauldron” typical of this transition era, will re-propose itself at a higher level.
In other words it is possible that next to pure researchers we also find those who only want to gain “magic” powers. And since it is a very sophisticated field, where it makes sense to talk about energies and “subtle planes”, there seem to be more possibilities for the wished rebirth in new ways of existence, as well as the dangers that might come from a negative use of those powers.
The intense and fast diffusion of multiple groups with western and eastern spiritual tendencies, as well as the Christian ones, - whose members gather around figures of “sorcerers” that claim to be in contact with the celestial Powers - is a phenomenon that also reveals man’s desire for religiosity. The fact that they often use the wrong means to draw from religions is a typical sign of the confusion of this time in history.
Whilst esotericists regret the decline of traditional values and gather together to preserve and protect them from oblivion, the Catholic Church expresses deep concern for the thriving of sects of any inspiration, since they interfere with its exclusive rightson spiritual power. The catholic Massimo Introvigne confirms this in his book “Le sette cristiane” (The Christian sects, Note of the Translator): «A hidden danger...that affects today in particular the Catholic church is the almost continuous appearance of sorcerers, revelations, apparitions and groups that give the prophet-sorcerer an almost unconditional authority... and one of the least known but not unimportant dangers that threaten the Church is the proliferation of micro-sects...rebels in principle to any negative judgment from the authority, and that consider the sorcerer or the revelation as a rule not just for themselves but for everyone.»
But is there still a tradition transmitted only orally in the West? The question can be answered only by those who benefitted by this transmission. But those who received it don’t talk about it, whilst there are many people who falsely claim to have enjoyed this privilege. Personally I believe that oral transmission still exist and will always exist. But it is necessary for the disciple to “be prepared” to receive and operatively elaborate the words of the Master, which otherwise will remain pure and simple sonorous expressions.
Let’s go back to the same principle; in any case the organs “mouth” and “ear” must be intended in terms that go beyond their normal functions of talking and listening. The Master doesn’t give the disciple direct information on the results of his personal researches, but he allows him to achieve them through his strength and efforts. At the moment when the disciple submits to the Master the hypotheses deriving from his studies and experiences, he will be able to confirm if they are correct. And the Master will not change such behavior in any circumstance, not even on his death bed.
Except that at that final moment he will transfer all his spiritual energy, what is called “sphere of influence” on the man who he will consider the most reliable depositary of the knowledge he gained during the course of his life. Therefore the disciple doesn’t understand sonorous concrete messages, but he introjects his Master more than he’s ever done until then. He will receive potentially all the patrimony of an initiate, but in order to realize it he will need to continue working.
«The special transmission of the doctrine that doesn’t appeal to a verbal formulation requires that the individual to understand it and absorbs it in his mind. This is called the incommunicable subtlety (the initiatory secret)». – a Master of the 13th century.
There are also people who state that oral transmission continues in esoteric groups.
Freemasonry, on the contrary, has forgotten its original direction and at the same time it refuses innovation; therefore the work for the building of the Temple is suspended, at least officially. But there are committed esotericists who work day and night to bring bricks to erect its walls.
Therefore we need to find tradition again and vivify it in the light of the new times. Because, as Wolfgang Goethe said: «...no past things deserve to be re-lived; there isn’t any New Eternal that comes from the amplified elements of the Ancient; the true pure ardent desire must always be productive and reach always new and better creations».
In other words the teaching is the evangelical one, where it is always necessary to add and not demolish.
The evolution of the mind and a new way of thinking are the true revolution of the new times of which Freemasonry should be the driving force.
If it is badly used the mind...lies, tells lies that as such are made of nothing, of emptiness.
Brunelli writes: «It is quite clear that Masons and Freemasonry must, with the consciousness of the symbolism of the instruments they work with, use the mind as a creative tool and not only to rationalize, speculate and so on.
In the world of mind the first principles of what happens on earth originate; the world of tomorrow is born every hour, here, in the mind of the men who can use the instrument of force: creative thought».
Guenon himself stated: «First of all it is necessary to say that there are occult power of different order, which carry out their action in different fields, through means suitable to their purposes....it is undeniable that the mindset of the individuals in a community can be modified by a system of appropriate suggestions...A determined attitude requires favorable conditions to establish itself and it is necessary to know and make the most of these conditions, if they already exist, or to reach their achievement».
«A correct use of the mind requires man to master cerebral mechanisms» - C.G. Jung
The “reawakened man” influences the reality that surrounds him, at least that of his environment, inspiring respect and love and at the same time fierce hatred by those who don’t accept his diversity. The free thinker, living symbol of renovation, is an inconvenient and scary figure; both for the individuals who dug up their recess, which might not be comfortable but is still a shelter, and for “esoteric” institutions that built their power on old principles.
Sri Aurobindo (philosopher, 1872/1950) wrote:
«Our ideal is a spirituality that doesn’t retract from life, but conquers it with the power of the Spirit. The West turned intellectual, emotional, vital and material development of the human being into its ideal. But it neglected the main possibilities of his spiritual essence. It has ideals of progress, freedom, equality, brotherhood, reason and science, every kind of efficiency, better politics and social and economic organization, unification and earthly happiness of the race (article of the American Constitution, Note of the Author).
These are certainly great ideals; but the West doesn’t understand that a spiritual transformation is necessary in order to achieve these ideals completely.
The East has the secret for this transformation, but it has been looking away from this earth for too long. The time has come to heal this separation and join life with Spirit».
Konrad Lorenz (ethologist) lists the eight capital sins of society:
«overpopulation; devastation of vital space; spirit of competition; the withering of feelings; the deterioration of the genetic patrimony; the oblivion of tradition; indoctrination; nuclear weapons».
Albert Einstein: «...the liberation of the atomic energy has changed everything so much that our usual way of thinking has become obsolete... In order to survive the humankind will have to adopt a substantially new way of thinking... and through a distressing experience we have learnt that rational thought is not enough to solve the problems of social life».
Substantially, the systems of the new thought are aimed at the stimulation of the right part of the brain, which the male oriented culture in general and the illuminist in particular have neglected, rather preferring to develop the functions of the left hemisphere, viz. the side of organizing logic.
We might compare the human brain to the globe, also divided into two hemispheres, Western (left) and Eastern (right). Also, we can compare the earthly and individual East and West respectively to the feminine and masculine worlds.
The societies that live in the two hemispheres produced the two different cultures that Aurobindo mentioned and that so far have only been met sporadically in the figures of very few learned people.
Today, with the advent of the 3rd millennium, we have the requirements for this to happen, starting from ourselves, rough stones to be smoothed through esoteric work, producing the meeting between the two hemispheres of which we are the bearers: those of our brain. We talked indeed about the correct use of the mind.
The substantially new way of thinking mentioned by Einstein can also be seen in the two quotations where the illustrious scientists talks about religion and study.
«...cosmic religiosity doesn’t know any dogmas, neither any Gods conceived on the likeness of man. Therefore there is no Church that funds its main teaching on cosmic religion...»;
«…the purpose of the school should always be this: that when young people leave it they should have gained a harmonious personality, not only a specialization... first of all it should be aimed at the development of a general attitude to free thinking and free judgment, not the acquisition of a special knowledge».