Thirteen Answers on Magic, Church, Freemasonry and esotericism
By Athos A. Altomonte
© copyright by Esonet.it – Esonet.com
• Is a syncretism between two opposite realities such as Catholicism and magic possible …?
• We talk about Regular and Accepted Lodges…?
• There is a problem of costs; a few years ago for joining a Lodge I was asked…?
• Many people nowadays consider Freemasonry a corrupted Institution…?
• I am very keen on Initiatory sciences and nowadays what troubles me is the excommunication by the Catholic Church…?
• I think that only God can say who really owns the Truth…?
• In these days I am interested in Kremmerzian Hermeticism…?
• I am against any form of discrimination towards women and vice versa...?
• I wish for the restart … of the Inter-religious Dialogue between the (Worldwide) Masonic Institution and the Catholic Church …?
• The Latin Catholic Church claims to have the primacy on the interpretation of the great figure of Christ…?
• I studied Religious Sciences in a Catholic Institute, I would like to study Initiatory Sciences as well….?
• I have a great Longing for Knowledge. I am not happy with the usual truths…?
• I consider you a good Master and I speak to you with pleasure…?
Q: Is a syncretism between two opposite realities such as Catholicism and magic possible, like it happens in Latin America ?
R: In Latin America there is a mystic phenomenon called Santeria . It is a popular phenomenon like Catholicism is.
Although in a more suggestive and sophisticated way, Catholicism as well uses magic and instills it in every ritual, starting from elevations, evocations, healings and absolutions. Continuing with exorcisms, funerals, weddings, confirmations, communions; blessing and exorcizing warehouses, factories, flags and any kind of weapon and military instrument (talking about love!)
In other words, ritual magic is used in any kind of functions and in any occasion.
The difference between the two is that in Santeria the contact with the Divinity is very personal, refined and strict. On the contrary, in Catholicism the contact between the believer and the Divinity is not allowed; indeed, it has always been opposed by the sovereign hierarchies that have replaced it with the presence of a man, a professional of faith. Finally, in Catholicism the presence of God is not a central value any more, but it has been reduced to an impending and marginal factor. It has been replaced by a multitude of human ‘personifications' that starting from Jesus, Son of Man and his mother, ends up in the almost infinite crowd of believers of the roman Church; all saints and patrons.
Q: We talk about Regular and Accepted Lodges, I am a profane, can you tell me which ones are they in Italy …?
A: A unique case in the world, Italian Freemasonry is formally non-Freemasonry. I'll explain. Italian Freemasonry has been divided by a people of Guelphs and Ghibellins, followed by a court of vassals, vavasors and minor vassals; it has been formally suspended from any international recognition. It is not the Institution's fault but rather of its ‘inhabitants'.
Unfortunately we are an individualist and therefore extremely undisciplined country. There can't be ‘three in the same room' without fighting for the role of ‘captain of fortune'. Caesar himself stated demagogically: it is better to be the first in a province than second in Rome . He thought that it was better to be ‘great among small people' than ‘ small among great people' . It is difficult to share this principle with the light of reason. But our people only occasionally have common sense. Flaiano as well describes us as: ‘a people always ready to run to the winner's rescue'. Therefore, always vassals, vavasors or minor vassals.
Freemasonry is universal but Masons are not there yet. Therefore we have to deal with ‘cohabiting separated people' unable to be in the same room without fighting.
Italian Freemasonry split even further, generating the Great Orient of Italy (the GOI of Palazzo Giustiniani ) and the Grand Lodge of Italy of the Ancient and Accepted Freemasons (GLD'I of Palazzo Vitelleschi ). There is no difference between the two ‘cousin' Families but ‘administrative convenience' and political-institutional interests.
Apart from the circle of interests for the various positions, as it happens among all ordinary mortals , the true differences are in the attitude towards Religion and Women.
The GOI (Grand Orient of Italy) opposes the first and disowns the second. Indeed, it states the incompatibility between Woman and Initiation, which is meant only for men. This is a racist and misogynic attitude which, paradoxically, finds support in the Catholic Church that they oppose and they are opposed by.
The Grand Lodge of Italy, on the contrary, has followed the Principles of Human Rights that states ‘equal rights' between Men and Women. And it couldn't be otherwise, since in the Rituals of both Families it is usually reminded that every Mason works for the Benefit of the Humankind . But someone thinks that the Humankind is only made of men. Is the genital attribute perhaps a theological virtue? Bah?
Perhaps because they were busy with other matters, the Freemasons haven't spread the dowry of initiatory wealth passed into their primitive as well as poor Masonry tradition by the (true) Superior Incognitos, Rose and Cross scientists, Templars, Philosophers, Symbolists, Hermeticists and Alchemists who, during the great persecutions by the Roman Church, found a safe refuge by wearing the clothes of Freemasons.
But we must not generalize. Some good Masons pass on the esoteric sense of the initiatory teaching from a generation to another: which like the sun comes from the East (in each Ritual of Lodge it is said that the ‘Light' comes from the East). Luckily this teaching remained uncorrupted by hands dirty with ‘lime', because it is ‘veiled' in the diction of Real Secret.
Q: There is a problem of costs; a few years ago for joining a Lodge I was asked…I couldn't afford it and I had to...
A: The Masonic institution supports itself thanks to the contributions of its affiliates, which are substantially two. The first occurs at the moment of acceptance in the Order, precisely before the symbolic ceremony that makes the neophyte Apprentice Freemason.
The second contribution is called ‘capitation' and it is a quarterly payment.
These payments are made by each Mason for the support of the administrative side of the Institution. The main expenses are representative ones, and then there are publications, office staff, cleaning, maintenance and anything that is necessary to guarantee the optimal use of the Temples made available by the individual Lodges for their weekly meetings.
Q: Many people nowadays consider Freemasonry a corrupted Institution,… I think that there still are some good Lodges.
A: Every Institution is founded on an Ideal, usually the best possible. The counterparts of the ideal are the men who represent it.
The Ideal is an abstract idea and as such it can't be corrupted; the men who ‘should represent' it, though, can be corrupted.
I don't want to generalize, but it is true, there have been corrupted Masons. Such as politicians who took bribes, information and security offices in perennial ‘chaos', carabinieri guilty of sidetracking or taking ransoms belonging to kidnapped people, of processing drugs, policemen at the service of crime, customs officers that make a profit out of the corruption that they are supposed to fight, pedophile priests, usurers, etc. But fortunately all these ‘gentlemen' are not their Institutions; likewise those who eat pizza and play the mandolin are not Italy .
Q: I am very keen on Initiatory sciences and nowadays what troubles me is the excommunication by the Catholic Church of the Catholics that join the Masonic Lodges.
A: Again, these issues are connected with political conveniences and logics of power.
What the Pope king, sovereign of the Church of Rome, has never been able to accept is Risorgimento, which upset the sovereign, religious and monarchic Rights, opening them to the people, who had never had rights and should have never had any. Before the French revolutionary movements fell into the popular chaos of ‘terror', they originated from an intellectual and Masonic aristocracy. I mean the group arisen around the ‘Encyclopèdie' of Diderot and D'Alembert which, among the many illuminated Masons (Illuminism) included also Voltaire.
In our website you can find some selected readings from the Encyclopédie . But to have more information, I suggest to read the text: Initiatory morale or Apostasy (see).
Here there is a thorough analysis of all the topics you mention and more. At the end of the second part you will also find the integral text of the excommunication of Freemasonry which, after all the premises, you won't help finding a morally specious and spiritually inconsistent political document.
Q: I think that only God can say who really owns the Truth and perhaps everybody owns a part of this Truth, because each of us only sees a face of the multifold aspects of Absolute Truth.
A: I don't think that in any case God is ever involved in the moody and ‘too human' aspects of mankind. I don't think either that God comes to Man (why should he?) but it's the human Being (man and woman) who has to go to Him, through the particle of God that everybody holds in himself and that ‘animates' him. Also, we must remember that it is never the soul to be wrong, but the mind. And the human mind is not a beholder of truth. Perhaps, if it became loyal with a bit of good will, it might start to perceive some fragments of ‘reality'. But it is unlikely that man and woman are able to see the beauty that surrounds them (the truth) until they keep their eyes shut not to see the ugliness they've accumulated inside themselves. For further comments on the subject see The myth of absolute truths and Can absolute truth reach man?
Q: In these days I am interested in Kremmerzian Hermeticism (Brotherhood of Myriam). I consider the (Buddhist) ethics of the Ten Commandments as universal ethics; something is good if it respects these ten rules. Substantially I am a philanthropist, I give blood, I often make donations to charities according to my possibilities and I volunteer when I have time.
A: To be ‘good' but static can often become the same thing.
Ideological, ethic and moral goodness doesn't release from the inertia that disconnects the being from his duty, which is to support progress internally. First of all because the ‘first member of the humankind' we must help to grow is ourselves. Think of something: who can help a sick person: a volunteer or a doctor? The volunteer can relieve the discomfort of a patient, but a doctor can save his life. Therefore only by progressing we can help others more. The saying goes: Who knows does. Therefore, ethics and moral are fine, but we must commit the best part of ourselves to ‘grow'. Firstly because we need to answer to our ‘Karma', secondly with the energies left and after having ‘carried out our work properly' we can ‘assist' other people's ‘Karma'.
As far as being Kremmerzian or other is concerned, I can say that I think reality is Unique even if its interpretations are infinite, because nobody is able to ‘look at it' directly or to conceive its uniqueness.
Therefore the ‘secret' is to tend to uniqueness working at the synthesis of ourselves.
Consciences are subjected to little minds which are sensitively too specialized. Therefore we need the appropriate languages to interpret meanings that we are not able to recognize in their synthetic forms.
Each interpretation converges into a language that doesn't belong to it, but none of them can be considered better or more complete than another.
Alchemy, hermeticism, magic, religion, philosophy, yoga and whatever man has been able to imagine in order to comply with his modest abilities, are nothing but ‘little pathways of truth'. They are interpretative, modest and relative principles that, although useful to orientate oneself and find one's own abilities, must be abandoned as soon as possible to head towards a main road. I must say that main roads are not crowded at all and to find a fellow traveller is something special.
Those who like company, then, must remain in the crowded paths.
Q: I am against any form of discrimination towards women and vice versa; I think there are fine female scholars and Initiates as well as fine male scholars and Initiates or profane.
A: As you can guess from the fifth answer, I fully agree. The only possible criticisms to the female gender are a result of the subjugated roles they've had for thousands of years. These are due to models of psychological subjection they have been relegated to from the ‘patriarchal' culture and the phallic religions, which conceived them in their own image.
Therefore the lack of practice can't be but a venial sin. The lack of volition in the feminine part is already dissolving.
In an opera it was sung: …la donna è mobile qual piuma al vento ( Woman is fickle like a feather in the wind, Note of the Translator) . It can be true for the people of mobile phones, beauty contests and soubrettes; but these times, despite the media obstacles, are heading towards decline. We can see it from the uncertainty and worry that troubles the male gender, simple bearers of penis, used to be considered superior without having to demonstrate anything.
Like other irreversible processes that are changing and taking us back towards a new Era, religions as well, made of paternal, maternal and filial models, are falling. Here is the novelty coming, just there in front of us. As long as we want to see it.
But many people bury their head under the sand and feel better!
Q: I wish for the restart or the continuation of the Inter-religious Dialogue between the (Worldwide) Masonic Institution and the Catholic Church.
A: I like Utopias because, after all, they always contain a fragment of possible truth. The possible truth of this utopia, though, is still so deep that we can't see its tip.
Q: The Latin Catholic Church claims to have the primacy on the interpretation of the great figure of Christ, but it has committed many mistakes…
A: Documents in hand, and they are not few, I'd say that the Catholic Church has the primacy in the invention of the figure of Jesus the Nazarene. The main co-authors of Christ's drama have been, although in different ages, Saint Paul and Saint Jerome . The former, Paul of Tarsus, Roman citizen, never met Jesus but claimed to be his disciple (?), causing the rage of Peter that from Tyre and Sidon cursed him, accusing him of breaking the Law of the Fathers, viz. of not observing the religious rule that forced the followers to the ‘divine pact' of circumcision.
It is quite ironic that the two saints, who were once sworn enemies, share today the same festivity.
Finally Saint Jerome , despite his written complaints, complied to the order of the ‘Holy See' to continue ‘modeling' the parts of the so-called canonic Gospels, cutting and sewing at the pope's pleasure.
As I said, documents are clear, but this is not the place for this topic.
Q: I studied Religious Sciences in a Catholic Institute, I would like to study Initiatory Sciences as well in a Masonic Institute opened to profane students like me. Does it exist? If so, where is it and how to join?
A: Perhaps you've found the simplest and most direct formula: Esonet.
Q: … I have a great Longing for Knowledge. I am not happy with the usual truths but I always seek other Truths, other points of view. I am registered with many MLs, all very interesting. I receive an average of 250 messages a day.
A: I repeat what is my conviction, grown during years of ‘esoteric journeys', crossing several times every corner of the earth (little, to be honest).
I understand that we must widen our ‘cultural' horizon to see ‘what's around'. But then we must decide the direction to take and follow it until the end. The confusion of multiplicity is never a good dish to satisfy the ‘hunger for knowledge'.
So, watch, observe, understand and judge. Never fall in love with a theory. Don't allow any theorem to become an indubitable dogma. Don't stop at the surface of an argument, because the external face of any conceptual form is inhabited by a multitude of ‘parasites' and they infect the brain as well as the soul.
Since in this world there's no certainty, it is necessary to ‘dare'. Therefore, study with detachment the multiplicity of lesser interpretations, which are not a warranty of quality, and decide.
Dive deep into any meaning with courage. This is true esotericism.
And if you find a guide you can trust, penetrate the ‘land of meanings' without stopping. And remember: after all Knowledge is useless without the Book to write it on and one of those BOOKS is you.
Q: I consider you a good Master and I speak to you with pleasure. Thank you very much for your precious advices. … E.B.
A: Dear Friend, before leaving you, I'd like to tell you one last thing. Don't consider me as a Master, but I can still give you an advice. To make a good philosopher, an Adept or an Initiate it is not necessary a good Master or an extraordinary Teaching.
It is necessary a ‘Good Disciple' who is a quiet, thorough, disciplined and willing pupil; on which a Master can lavish all his love.
Athos A. Altomonte.