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Imago Templi / Book VI

by Athos A. Altomonte

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Treaty of Esoteric Symbology and Archaic Cosmogony of the Masonic Temple

for the Freemason Brothers

Index: Introductory elements to the study of the Tree of Life - Purpose of White Freemasonry - Masonic Initiation

Introductory elements to the study of the Tree of Life

The Masonic System “rests” the geometry of its oblong and the meanings that it contains on the horizontal as well as on the vertical plane, on the Sephirotic Tree, also called Tree of Life.

Therefore I think it is appropriate, before starting dealing with this topic, to point out and explain the goals proposed by the Master Builders that handed down the Initiatory Path in the Temple.

Purpose of White Freemasonry

Freemasonry is a Ceremonial Order

which, through Instruction and Ritual,

pursues the Initiation of its Adepts.

The knowledge of Symbols, Colors, Words

and the occult meanings of the archaic Rituals,

leads the eye of the Brother Mason to recognize the Temple hidden in the Lodge.

Inviolable Temple because invisible to profane eyes.

The access of the Master Mason in the now revealed Temple,

connects him with the conscience of the Universal Brotherhood.

And when you understand what I am saying to you,

you will be able to cry out the statement of the Mason that has become a Master

“I know immortality”.

These words were dedicated to a Masonic work group, the Quatuor Coronati, at the beginning of an experience that would allow, through a precise journey, to rediscover the symbolic and esoteric meanings of their own Institution and as a consequence to reveal the Temple hidden in the Lodge.

To access the Second level under the guide of a Master means, for the lower initiate, to recognize the analogy between the exterior and the interior Temple of Man and to reveal it.

Because the exterior Temple is made in the likeness of Man.

To access the Third level means to recognize the analogy between his own inner Temple and the super-mundane one, called Celestial Jerusalem by Mystics.

Because the inner Temple of Man is made in the likeness of the Universe.

The first external Temple is called the Temple of Solomon.

Solomon only erected the exterior Form of Jerusalem's Temple. And on its floor the first Square of the Oblong is connected to the Form and Personality of Man.

The second Temple, the Tabernacle or Temple of Ezekiel.

In the Oblong it is contained in the middle Square. The middle Chamber correlated to the illuminated Mind of the Initiated Man. Ezekiel saw in it the Ladder of the angels' Hierarchy that goes up and down, forming the vertical Plane of the Work.

The third Temple, the Santa Sanctorum or Temple of Melchizedek.

Contained in the last Square of the Floor, it hides the circular Temple, put in relation with the spiritual Mind of the Realized Man.

Melchizedek, Great Priest and King of Salem (Jerusalem) blessed Adam. – (Genesis, XIV)

In the first Temple (symbolic) the work is done on the Personality of man in order to illuminate it.

In the second Temple the work is done on the Mind, in order to expand its ability of “comprehension” and make it accessible to the “Light” of the Ego. Finally, in the third Temple this Mind is opened to the “Fire” of the Spirit. The cosmic Fohat.

Therefore we can say that the purpose of Freemasonry is to guide its Adepts towards the loss of their profanity, through the Initiatory Path, up to the recognition and rejoining with their own real Self. Re-acquiring, as a son of the widow, the prerogatives of the Son of Light. From unreal to real passing three thresholds of initiation.

Masonic Initiation

Albert Pike 33 Sovereign Grand Commander. The last Greater Initiate to guide the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in the so called Common Era. Below, his autographic signature.

We have often mentioned a real Initiation, as opposed to a symbolic initiation.

Although the purpose of this work is the exposition of the esoteric symbolism of the Masonic Temple, it is not possible to omit mentioning the basic rules of Initiation, which has its place in that Temple.

By symbolic initiation we mean the acceptance and following introduction of a Mason to a higher level.

On the contrary, real Initiation implies that the journey to that level has already been carried out, and the Adept has truly assimilated all that is expected and contained in that level from a historical, philosophical and esoteric point of view (3 levels of comprehension).

This involves, for man, having outlined in himself not a personal opinion or a personal interpretation of what he has learnt, which would indeed be superficial; bur rather having built his own knowledge on the topics assimilated (evolution of the forma mentis) which, when superimposed to the Principles of the Order and the knowledge of Tradition, can properly match them.

But all this is not enough if the learning (comprehension of the horizontal plane) and the study (penetration on the vertical plane) were not relative to the whole canonic journey up to its roots (31st, 32nd and 33rd Degree of the Scottish Rite), that are driven in the Archetype of the Universal Order. And this perspective doesn't give any importance or relevance to the short-sightedness of Lesser Adepts that would like those degrees to be “administrative”.

In actual fact, as we will be able to fully recognize beyond any doubt in the third work, the Great Caduceus of the Scottish Rite, in those three degrees of the White Freemasonry are the interpretation keys of the Greater Mysteries exactly as it is handed down by the Great Initiates, in the Case of Harmonics of the G.A.O.T.U.

For example, let’s consider a Mason at his entrance to the 4th degree of the Rite. At first he undergoes a symbolic initiation (acceptance and introduction to the degree); the real initiation occurs at the exit of the Chamber of learning, on condition that he has truly and impersonally learnt and assimilated the teachings that “coverthat Chamber, in the three-fold view mentioned above, that is historical, philosophical and esoteric (with the un-veiling of certain meanings).

The Mason himself, once become “initiate” from the 9th degree of the Rite, “in order to consider himself as such” must have learnt, studied and synthesized the contents of the eight previous Chambers as well as the three levels of the Order.

As a consequence, it is self-evident that it is to be expected, from the same Mason that exits the 30th degree, the same punctual knowledge of the three degrees of the Order and of the 27 degrees of the Rite that he is supposed to have passed, having absorbed their deepest meanings.

If the contents of the 30 degrees of the Scottish Rite could be compared to 30 books about medicine, who would accept to undergo an operation by a surgeon who hardly read six or seven of them? For the same reason, which Mason would expect to be Initiated by someone who is in the same position as this surgeon? And who, and to what, does he think he can initiate?

This is one of the factors of what is called “the problem of counter-initiation in the Masonic field”. But we will see more of them during our journey.

The Brother that wants to venture on the hard Path of Initiation, neglecting the symbolic path of the “sash”, should think carefully about his future. And, as a son of the widow, choose to become either a Light or a Shadow of the Order.

To those who say that in the three degrees of the Order there are all the elements of the Masonic Work, I’d say that it is true. But I would also add that only the gradual and balanced development of all the “33 symbolic containers” allow the mind of man (the eye of the mind) the “Zoom” effect that highlights every detail of the cultural vastness that I’d call “the Gnosisof the Three Blue degrees.

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This article comes from Esotericism Readings

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