Category:Question & Answer

Intellectual elite and spiritual aristocracy
by Athos A. Altomonte
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Question: Dear Athos, do you think that the process, either Masonic or initiatory in general, is or should be of an elitist or aristocratic sort?

Answer: I know that the initiatory path is an extraordinary one. I know that it leads to extraordinary goals. I know that a true initiate is not an ordinary person, but an extraordinary one, able to manage extraordinary resources with generous wisdom. And these resources cannot be found in the common man, not even if he’s educated and refined. One needs to understand all these differences before saying: I can recognize an initiate.
I know that an initiate is part of an elite of inner intellectuality founded on a spiritual aristocracy. But, except for rare occasions, I refuse to admit that masons are part of it.

Q: Who can understand (and how) when the step from common man to wise initiate is finally made?

A: When what you’re saying brightens the listener’s face. And whilst you’re giving him the answers he needs, a grateful smile will beam across his face… Then you can start considering yourself a wise man.
But if your interlocutor doesn’t let you finish your thought, if he wants you to tell him only what he wants to hear, if he uses words to fascinate his audience like a juggler,… be sure, he’s not a wise man.

Q: What ability and possibility have others to perceive this state in us?

A: It depends on what you mean by “others”. Many nod only because they’re waiting their turn to talk and receive your approval. Others nod because they don’t understand what you’re talking about and don’t want to admit it. Others nod only because they are bored and doing so they hope to shorten the bother.
Then there is the one who understands what’s missing in our talk. He adds the missing part to our thought and doing so he completes a perfect construction.
What you want is the approval from the latter.

Q: I might think in my conscience, that I have done good steps, even if it isn’t entirely true.

A: A rule is that self-diagnosis is not possible.
We tend to self-absolution and self-satisfaction when judging ourselves. It is better to find a judge that is less partial than ourselves if we want to see clearer.

Q: I agree with what you say even if I still have many personal doubts… I have learnt that the state of illumination is very difficult to attain and those who have achieved so much often keep this state secret ….

A: Entering the Freemasonry is an experience within the reach of everyone, accessible, I might add, to common people. It’s enough to want it and have enough money to pay the toll.

The chances for entry are so many that being denied the access is only a rare exception. Therefore there’s no elitism in being a Mason. It is very difficult, in fact, to distinguish a Mason from a common citizen.

Furthermore, in the Freemasonry, even at high levels, you won’t find any signs of the presence of a spiritual aristocracy.
Especially considering how a crowd of ex Grand Masters and Sovereign Grand Commanders do and undo Masonic communions according to their convenience.

Freemasonry should be looked at as if it was a primer, a container in which we find many different stories stuck together, all from different periods and developed in different conditions to each other. Therefore Freemasonry is mainly a collection of memories which have been elaborated and lived outside of it. They can become a guideline, though, to a researcher able to find a common denominator that is their “guiding thread”.

Freemasonry initiates only in a symbolic way. And symbolically initiate someone is unsubstantial like trying to feed someone through the smell of food.

As we said, though, in Freemasonry there is a guide line, a common denominator which we find in all the “lived experiences”.
I think that the secret to be revealed is this denominator, which is hidden to a superficial look.

It is necessary that a careful observer becomes a willing and stubborn researcher, so that the common element, that we can find unchanged in every lower tradition, can reveal once again the point “where the initiation is known”.


This article comes from Esotericism Readings

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