The Lion and the Tiger
The (lesser) Mysteries of modern Freemasonry are the exoteric manifestation of ancient mysteriosophical Schools that, in the East and then in the West (esoteric symbology of the 17th degree), have descended amongst men to bring the sense of their initiatory ideas.
On the contrary of what happens with the ostentatious infallibility of the greater devotional Adepts, these ideas are in today’s Freemasonry less imperfect than those of their Adepts, which indeed pursue with tenacious imperfection their own inner perfection through Freemasonry.
Many initiates state that who claims to have reached perfection or infallibility has only reached his own apex, which will be followed by a descending parabola. We must remind the younger researcher that every cycle of Nature, big or small (systemic, planetary, racial or individual), interior or exterior, always undergoes a cadence that can be resumed in the Rhythm (wave-sound) of emersion (appearance-birth), tension (evolution-growth), immersion (dissolution-generation). If this is still true Freemasons, like initiates, must still express the best of the abilities hidden in the symbolic and Ritual esotericism of Freemasonry. The old operative synergies hidden in the allegorical representations must be uncovered.
Every Freemason of average stature knows the name of at least one of those old Ritual energies, but they all agree because they are afraid of expressing them in their real extent. I am talking about the ritual constitution of an Eggregore, for example, one of many possible qualities.
Before seeking Ritual and initiatory perfection, it is necessary to face honestly and courageously a theme that appears laic and profane, where it is expressed perhaps one of the main imperfections of the present initiatory system. We must raise the ambiguity of the alleged universality that is in fact only partially true.
The Masonic Temple, like any other Temple, must be seen (and not only looked at) as a big Book of Stone, where the experience of a few men acquired some truths and passed on a mute (silent) teaching “to those who have eyes to understand”. This intertwines in the enigmatic continuity and in the complex contiguity of the mathematical expressions of the architectonic geometries, in the allegories contained in paraments and vestments, in the meanings hidden in the geometries of symbols and in the tones of colors. All this and more is summed up in an occult conception made by three components of the Temple, whose power is well known to the initiate. They are:
The space contained by the shape,
The vibration expressed by the color,
The strength emanated by the sound.
Among the meanings of the Temple there are the Three Sephirothic Pillars that “support and elevate it”.
The mysteriosophic Temple is supported by Two physical Pillars: masculine and feminine. They are both necessary to its bodily support. The Third Sephirothis Pillar in the middle is invisible from the west (Malkuth) and the east (Kheter) because it is spiritual; it helps its spiritual elevation.
The symbology of these three pillars perfectly fits into the body of the initiate. During his initiatory Journey and through the trials he voluntarily undergoes, he must carry out a personal work of transmutation. It starts by educating all the parts of his emotional and instinctual mind.
The alchemic-spiritual tradition as well as the hermetic one give great importance to the reconciliation between the left part of self, so-called feminine, introverted and often conflicting, and the right part, extroverted and so-called masculine. The conflict originated by the diversity of these two physical and emotional elements doesn’t find its solution in the superiority of one part on the other, but in recomposing their differences by diverting its emotional characteristics on the abstract planes of intellect (Ars Regia) and then on the hyper-physical and spiritual planes (Ars Pontificia). The two elements recomposed in the middle Pillar, in the cardiac intellect of Tiphereth (the soul) first and in the intellectual splendor (monad) after, will turn back from conflicting into complementary elements. The Three will become One once again.
If this is written in the big Books of Stone and if it is true for the single individual who aspires to initiatory elevation, we don’t see why some people deny that the same conditions apply to all the people. Why would they apply to part of the humankind and not to all of it?
In the subject of the initiatory recognition of the Mother of the Humankind we can see the imperfection due to a lack of preparation of certain lesser adepts.
Although a lot of importance is given to the charisma of the Father of the Humankind, transmitted in the initiatory Right of man, the very “common” conscience of many living souls (nephesh) still ignores the charisma of the Mother of the Humankind, transmitted in the initiatory Right of women. This right is sometimes only outlined and therefore it damages the soul of half the humankind.
Although many people who occupy “prestigious” levels of symbolic and virtual hierarchies have already started to seriously consider the problem of “the other half of their universality”, many others interpret the matter of initiatory Right exclusively in a male perspective.
Many people are ingrained in a hidden majority of feminine temperament and they feel rivalry towards characteristics similar to theirs, which they know that could be improved. For these people the idea of sharing their alleged “power” of initiatory superiority is unbearable.
If man is the Guardian of the Temple (planetary, the four kingdoms of Nature), woman is the keeper of its Tabernacle (the fire of Life). If ignorance lets us forget the huge importance of these roles, it also leads to confusion in the attempt to overwhelm each other. The antagonism that still exists today comes from a taboo, heritage of an old and primitive totemic culture. It affects the emotional sphere of many men but for the man-Freemason it opens a serious contradiction between the vision of male egocentrism and the “progress of the humankind” that they, or at least their catechisms, solemnly wish.
Modern Freemasonry adorned itself with the motto of the French Masonic illuminism, which is Freedom, Equality and Brotherhood; the latter actually expresses the Rights ofevery man and woman, no matter what type, culture, creed, class, race and color they are. Among the most important, at least for their enunciation, are the rights to free thinking, to freedom of association and to freedom of believing and acting by conscience. It is surprising how these rules find resistance in profane culture; yet more surprising is that such a resistance has supporters in an alleged “initiatory” environment.
We can’t reconcile this resistance with the old teaching that states the natural right of every man and woman to spiritual Initiation, in front of their Creator, above and beyond any human convention and whatever name He is given.
The complex of so much resistance is certainly made by many elements. If we don’t consider irrational and illogical components, though, there aren’t many left.
In the west there is still a strong division between male and female and sacred and profane; it is given by the Jewish colors taken by many elaboration of cultural customs. These colors appear fundamental in its Churches and its Freemasonry.
Because of superstition or class interest it is said that the woman was sent out of the Temple because she was impure. The reason is their menstrual cycle, which, instead of being considered a “natural cleansing” has been given the meaning of a sign of female indignity in front of the purity of Mysteries.
It would be far too easy to demonstrate, based on facts and history, how difficult it is to find candor and virtue in the deeds of the Fathers of phallic doctrines. Likewise it is impossible to find the purity of truth in the fantastic hermeneutic manipulations inherited in the absolute-improbability of “closed systems”, with their alleged theorems of cosmogony and faith.
The corrupters of the Mysteries didn’t understand the truth they contained because they compared them with themselves. Therefore they translated in male and female the principles of the active-passive Poles (poles of bio-energy + and -), whilst, as “introduced” Initiates knew, they corresponded to the right side (+) and the left side (-) of the physical body.
The law ruling electric energy, active-passive, belonging to the organic motion of the physical body, was misunderstood for a long time. What was left was only the memory of the “prevalence” of the active on the passive, of the male on the female, linked to the strength of animal sex. It became a relevant part of the Phallic Cults. According to the latter, the genital organ is the demonstration of the qualities of an individual. The fullness of a penis would be enough to demonstrate a doubtless intellectual and spiritual superiority on those lacking this attribute.
If this wasn’t a dramatic reality of alienation and suffering lasted thousands of years, this discussion wouldn’t even deserve a line in any esoteric essay, because of its foolishness. But the evolutionary damage caused to everyone by these aberrations can’t be kept quiet by people who feel part of the humankind.
The inner progress of women has “marked the step”, but if they haven’t become the Lions, the same damage has backfired on men. It should be clear by now that man needs to learn to ride the Tiger in order to elevate mentally.
In other words, the aspirant to the greater Initiation must learn to support the impulses that come from the impetuousness of sensual passion and to master instinctual impulsiveness. Many people think that the domain of the Tiger and its characteristics only represent women’s weakness. They refuse to make any effort in educating that part of themselves and consider it inferior and impure. Therefore they abandon the idea of developing completely their intuitive abilities. Nevertheless, man can reach the high peaks of inner revelation only through intuition. He will then arrive to the noblest and highest part of one’s conscience: the soul. It is the only innocent, true and pure part of man and woman.
We learn respectfully all the ideas spread by Fathers and patriarchs, although they never agreed between Them in the definition of forms and contents of their dogmas. On the other hand, we can see how none of great Guides, Masters and Initiates has ever refused his teaching to disciples of both sexes. Likewise both sexes have always been on the path of wisdom and spirituality. Does this difference in the approach to the initiatory path mean anything? Perhaps we can assume that discrimination based on physical sex has always been the consequence of minor levels of the initiatory and spiritual conscience.
In Masonic modernity heritages of totemic superstition are accompanied by some misogyny hidden in the formulas of old duties suggested by modern conventions. This has spoiled the hoped universality of freedom, equality and brotherhood, leaving them as a prerogative for the “male” part of the humankind. There are people who immorally lock themselves in the comfortable den of their egoism and exclude all the problems that don’t concern them directly, avoiding being involved in stressful situations that don’t give them any advantage.
This is extremely blameworthy. These are just whims, though, and perhaps they are used to cover a deep emotional deficiency, an insecurity more varied and complex than it looks, and an oedipal inhibition that they don’t want to face.
This minor taboo linked to their feminine side simulates the bigger taboo of male virility. It is perhaps the loss of his semen, of his virile strength or it hides the ghost of the latent homosexual side in every man and woman.
The esoteric value of two of the Symbolic animals
The Lion with its animal regality is the esoteric symbol of the highest expression of the physical impulsive, extroverted and dynamic psyche (masculine). It is the part of physical conscience that “appears” to the conscience of a self that expresses its subjectivity with the power of its centrifugal determination.
The Tiger as well with its animal regality is the esoteric symbol of the same conscience that, expressed through the feminine counterpart of the physical psyche, appears like a self exalting its own subjectivity with a reflexive, introverted and centripetal temperament. It is characterized by a receptive element so perceptive and sensitive that it touches intuitiveness.
We must remember, though, that conscience is androgen and therefore it is not characterized as masculine or feminine.
Many animals have been used to symbolically represent the emotional mobility of the mind.
Lion and Tiger are symbols of the activity of the two hemispheres of the brain, the dynamic left and the receptive right.
To learn to ride the Tiger, as Confucius said, is the symbolic teaching that shows how man must learn to improve his feminine and intuitive side. This means to develop his perceptive sensitivity through meditation and mental visualization. In other words he must learn how to open the inner eye of mental perception through the will (masculine). The latter is an allegory of the pure reason of hermeticists. The vision of the mind “conscious of what it realizes with its touch” is the gift of higher psychism that initiates call knowledge by contact. It is an empathic contact between one’s conscious knowledge and the conceptual object observed (psychic empathy).
In the ùnion between “east and west” the dynamic and the receptive part of the mind “look at their own half of the Sky (inner)”. Therefore “the initiate is able to see all that there is in the sky”. This is the sense of the esoteric astrology from which originates the divine Vision where we meet the Eye of God (inner revelation).
Translated in western terms we can say that by re-joining what had been separated – this means that man should improve the qualities (color-vibration) of his feminine in his masculine side and woman should improve the potentialities (vibration-sound) in her masculine side – by doing this, one will be able to see the whole sky.
It will be possible to observe all the forms in their exteriority and at the same time to perceive their inner meanings (included the constitution of man’s conscience).
The postulate of developing the inner perception in order to balance harmoniously the emphasis of the exterior activity, leads to a conscious perception of both sides of reality, the external and concrete one and the inner and metaphysical one. The thought will then harmoniously lay on intellect and intuition. It will be exalted by the love aspect from the cardiac conscience (what was once the physical-feminine aspect) and strengthened by the will aspect from the mental conscience (what was once the physical-masculine aspect).
The researcher shouldn’t be surprised if we say that mind, cause of thoughts, and brain, container and physical resonance box of thoughts, are two different and distant things. Technically these two realities can “exist” separately and live in full autonomy one from the other. Nevertheless this would prevent the conscience of the superior Ego (soul) to express itself in the personal and physical self of man.
For many people to improve their feminine side means to become effeminate and to lose their virile attributes. In actual fact, if this is done in the right proportions and terms, the symbolic teaching gives us a different scenario. The Initiate knows that Man has to learn to “ride the Tiger” in order to evolve his mind. On the other hand Woman must learn to “ride her Lion”.
This is why on the initiatory Path of the Humankind and for its progress, the presence of every woman is as much important to man’s growth as the presence of every man is important for the woman’s growth. Man and woman will look at each other’s heart and reflect themselves in it; they will recognize the part of themselves that they can’t see yet. In my opinion this is a sufficient reason for an initiatory system to operate with a Chorda Fratres made of links of Men and Women.