The Journey as inner itinerary towards initiatory transformation
And a short analysis on the meaning of the Masonic Secret
Index: The symbol of the sword - From the reality of Principles to the mirage of opinions - Transformation and Transmutation - [Initiatory modesty] - Intellectual speculation - [Flaming Pentalpha]
Stated what was necessary to state in order to create a safe "basis" of conceptual language, we can now identify the elements that compose our argument.
The symbol of the sword
Taking the sword as an example, man has poured into it a network of meanings that go beyond the concrete one of a metallic form, an object destined to a precise use; he made an intense symbol-thought out of it, overlapping the meanings of defense and offence, good and evil, according to the honorable or dishonorable use that man made of it. These concepts, linked to the morale although not applicable to this inert form per se, have originated the Chivalry Code in the west and the Bushido in the East, both in the meanings of Code of Honor. The sword became a distinctive sign, a symbol of cast, which distinguished the warrior initiates and the royal cast ( today we would say that it is a status symbol).
The sword in the moral and emotional evolution of man was enriched by new meanings; it became the symbol of purity of intentions as well as the concrete manifestation of honor. Indeed, many famous knights, considering their sword the prolongation of the best part of themselves, viz. the Soul, used to name it (always with a feminine name) and they wanted to die holding it in their hands. In the East the similitude is obvious; samurais, the warrior Cast and Shoguns, their kings, considered the blade as the expression of their own Ki, the spiritual will. This superior will is expressed through the "mind that guides the hand" and by emitting the ritual sound (abdominal and glottal) therefore called Kiai.
This is not, as many people believe, a scream, but a ritual and destructive sound that was used to annihilate the (personal) will of the adversary.
By holding the sword by the point and keeping the (cross-shaped) handle upright, the Christian knight turned it into a symbol of mystic Chivalry, crying "God wants it!". With the Templars the first Code of Chivalry of the monks-warriors was born (see The monastic military Order), called, in fact, Mystic Chivalry.
The sword also became a symbol of «initiatory Transmission», of temporal and exoteric power, used both by the royal and the ecclesiastical casts.
In oriental Cosmogony, a flaming sword was placed in the hands of spiritual beings called Deva; this symbology was passed on to the West, placing it in the hands of the Cherubs. These are the Monads of Man and the Children of God, placed to "guard" the spiritual Kingdom and they don't allow man (themselves, their own lower counterpart immersed in the Matter) to re-ascend in those Planes before accomplishing the Work in the lower World (the consecration of the matter, therefore of the Planet) and overcoming all the trials that the achievement of this Building Work involves. The flaming sword symbolizes the spiritual energy expressed through the Fire Element (Electrical). The flaming sword remains the highest meaning of manifested spirituality for the Initiation of the four lower Kingdoms.
With this example we want to point out that man, in good and evil, is always the creator of the "value" attributed to an object, a symbol, a concept, a thought and all that he can create and manipulate both physically and psychically. Therefore it appears undiscerning to state that Freemasonry as well, which is a highly advanced Form-thought, contains the expression of "all the best" as well as "all the worst" that man can express in it, through himself, with his free will, his own thought and his actions.
From the reality of Principles to the mirage of opinions
The initiatory principles of Freemasonry are universal, timeless, unchangeable and in their synthesis they lead to the sensitive contact with the Great Architect. But if those Principles are not known or applied, the adept will reflect only his own personal qualities or characteristics of Freemasonry. It happens, then, that one believes that there are several types of Freemasonry, such as symbolic, speculative, ritual, initiatory, esoteric and exoteric, manifested and occult; in actual fact this is the result of a mirage.
Freemasonry is ONE, but there are many and relative reflections of the minds of those who come into contact with it and that yield their own particular mental and interpretative color.
Therefore the Principles become Criteria; personal and relative opinions become proper codes "accepted" by those who, unconsciously or because of mental laziness, easily recognize themselves in those colors and in those interpretative reductions. Therefore we can say that those distinctions don't exist in Freemasonry, but only in the relativity and mediocrity of its adepts.
It is also true that every differentiation of form or language tends to dissolve and disappear during the evolution of Initiates, recomposing itself into Universal "language" and "knowledge".
At his entrance in Freemasonry, the newly-introduced, although initiated Mason, keeps for a certain period of time all his previous psychological and attitudinal characteristics, those belonging to the Profane. His link with the roles he interprets in the world of Chaos of "I am this – I am that"; the relative and sectarian personal opinions matured there and the hierarchies of conventionslearnt so far are insufficient and often incompatible with the role of initiate and with the values of an Ancient and Universal Order. Therefore, with the abandonment of metals the neophyte is taught that all these relative and sectarian personal characteristics must be changed and overcome. The duration of this first change is linked to the presence of a mental attitude that defends its own egocentric self and its own personal individuality (emotional coloration), opposing every possible change of self. Therefore the period of transition between the stage of purely "accepted" Mason and that of "entered" to the Principles of the Order, called Mysteries in an archaic definition, has an indeterminable duration. It can last a few months, a few years or even follow him throughout his Masonic itinerary, up to the "symbolic" achievement of the highest ritual degrees, determining a merely virtual ascent of the Masonic Pyramid. Once reached this conclusion, the adept can't but bravely acknowledge that from the initiatory point of view this kind of ascent, virtual or symbolic, is and remains only a dream, a delusion.
Let's not forget that in the Masonic Catechism is clearly indicated how Hiram, allegory of the initiatory Spirit that enlightens the conscience of every master, was killed by Profanes and they were certainly not those who lived outside the Temple, but indeed, the initiates themselves. They were already in the Temple , false masters, false initiates but most of all bad disciples.
Likewise, nowadays the initiatory Spirit Horus-Hiram is killed in Freemasonry with the three weapons of arrogance, ignorance and presumptuousness; this drama is re-proposed in the Order thanks to the presence in its Columns of "accepted people" that keep preserving and spreading the profane characteristics. With proud dialectics they claim to despise any mistakes (of other people) as it is told in the parable of "the beam of wood and the speck" of the Great Initiate Jesus the Nazarene.
Transformation and Transmutation
The attitude to assimilate the Teaching offered by archaic and modern Tradition and to identify oneself with the superior Principles of the Order determines the permanence of the adept in this first initiatory band, called ordinary. If he expects to achieve this change only on the level of form and exterior attitude (trans-form), but keeping all the attitudes focused on himself that characterize his profane individuality, we will only see a mere transformism that illuminists wittily called «the triumph of appearance» and others «the vanity fair».
If he transforms only his exterior form with clothes and paraments, or his language with polished symbolism, changing his attitude by taking particular physical "postures", but without achieving the inner Transmutation that makes the adept unrecognizable compared to his profane premises before the symbolic and virtual initiation, then all this, even in an initiatory field, is considered only empty transformism.
Freemasonry tends to change and develop the inner (psychic) structures of man – introduced to Its thought – otherwise what would be the meaning of initiating oneself to several levels if each of us kept our profane premises? The Masonic Order that contains and expresses Initiation doesn't have any interest in manifestations of form or personal attitude that are less than a concrete and substantial reality of initiatory orthodoxy, especially intellectually.
An adept that doesn't understand this first principle will express an image of Freemasonry (in actual fact of himself ) that is called ordinary (vulgar) and this will last all the time he thinks necessary or suitable before he starts the personal Work, the first act of which is Transmutation (this time he will transmute) his own metals*.
* Initiatory modesty - Here the journey of the adept meets the principle of «initiatory modesty». On principle, the Initiate always shows to be what he really is and therefore his modesty must not be confused with some form of exterior attitude of the initiatory Model, viz. aimed at expressing only apparently «what the adept is not yet, an Initiate» as con-form. Furthermore, modesty is a form of reluctance that hides an egocentric sub-personality.
In the adept, «initiatory Modesty» consists of making himself available (offer of lower self ) to all those changes of his separated and individualistic Personality, which are required of him in order to reach the Model-Archetype contained by what is called the Principles of the Order (elevation of the lower self ). For the adept this Model-Archetype is Freemasonry itself, because Freemasonry contains in Itself, in a mirror-like form, the recognition of the Archetype ONE.
This knowledge is kept in the symbolic Form called the «Royal Secret» transmitted in its essence by the Hierophants of the Ancient Times. But the Royal Secret is not only the knowledge of the Identity of the Archetype ONE, of how It manifests itself and of Whom, He, manifests, but it is mainly the knowledge of how to achieve contact with Him. Therefore in a superior spiral, the modesty of the Initiate is «Sacrifice of self», adapting, with humbleness, to the superior Principles of the Order, which are therefore called Universal rather than personal.
In its will to transmute and let a part of itself fall behind, the link with the Ego and the Triad begins. By aligning with them and converging in their line of principles, the Work of personal fulfillment of the initiate occurs and ends.
On its turn the Triad tends to convey its lower counterparts of Psyche and Personality, through which it is linked to the densest energy of the matter , towards the Principle called the Great Work, which is nothing but the Activity of the Great Architect.
In other words, by ordinary we mean the stage where the adept has neither elaborated nor transmuted yet all the conceptual perspectives that can be led back to the value of relative or personal opinion, modifying the vulgar emotional aspects taken in the profane World. With this the adept tends to the achievement of a first speculative model suitable to the basic values and Principles of the universal Masonic Order and not to the profane roles and models that they oppose.
If the common (vulgar) principles and tendencies clash with the initiatory ones, how can a man accepted into Freemasonry claim to be suitable to its Principles, if he wants to remain similar to the "self" that knocked on the Temple's door as a "Profane"?
Therefore by ordinary level in man we mean the emotional and lower "sphere" of Personality, which is the Profane aspect inside every adept; until it rules his mind there won't be any room for the Initiate. This is the first choice that the conscience of the adept has to make; to preserve the Profane aspect in himself or to dissolve it in order to give life to the Initiate. One thing is certain: despite the many delusions on the subject, one can't live together with the other.
CLike in the Card of the Tower (see the Card of the Tarots that represents this choice) the will of Man has to choose which of the two must be thrown in the abyss; we can be sure that the choice is not devoid of drama and pain because we are somehow used to and fond of the original personality and at the same time, not to allow the birth in oneself of the Initiate (manifestation of the Triad) brings a deterioration and painful tension called "Melancholy" (see Durer's etching).
The initiate must achieve the ability to blend two precise elements: Logics (mental penetration and geometric quality) and Intuition (creativity); the faculty of Intelligence will then appear. On the other hand by remaining linked to the elements of reason only, to the lower mental aspect, to the emotions of Personality in their most egocentric form, he will never give life to the next "mental form", the speculative one. Intellectual speculation is the method used to reflect on the lower planes of Personality (lower mind) the "Light" of Truth, what is called "Sense of Life", translating its synthetic conceptuality into a mental "language" accessible and transmittable to the reason, which will have to express its concept (communicating) to the outside.
The speculative stage of the adept ( from speculum, mirror, to mirror, to reflect intellectually ) in the initiatory sense is in no way connectable to the common activity of instinctive and emotional thought and reasonable thought.
Reasonable thought draws from the culture, the memory-history of the past, the reservoir of the archive-memory shared by part of the Humankind or even to the archive of personal memories and experiences. In the latter instance, the personal interpretation of a Criterion reduces it to a simple opinion which, at the end of the day, has the mathematical value of a half-billionth; the personal opinion of a man, like that of any other inhabitant of this planet, is worth one, as opposed to the opinions of the remaining inhabitants (today around six billions). Therefore, in an initiatory field, a personal opinion without a confirmation in the perennial Tradition which is, like science, patrimony of the humankind, is worth 1/6,000,000,000, no matter who formulates it.
Intellectual speculation is the ability to speculatively reflect on (in) oneself, on one's own conscious mind, the truth of the High Principles placed in the meanings and symbols of Wisdom, itself symbol of Intelligence of the Archetype ONE, up to deflect them with a dynamic action called intelligence ( from intelligere, to read inside) in the complex geometric quality of logics.
The inner action of logics is later reflected in the external action of reason, through vehicles such as spoken, written or sign language.
In this Bridge between consciousness and super-consciousness, the reason is used by the Initiate only to express to the outside as a means of communication rather than instrument of identification, as it is for the Profane. Thanks to the Initiate's will, the reason becomes a docile instrument at the service of Pure Reason, the thought of his own Triad. It becomes an instrument deprived of any personal identification with instincts and lower emotions, which it will learn to use without being involved. Once again we want to point out, if it is still necessary, that to indicate the existence of an interpretative form of 1st level, called ordinary, and of 2nd level, called speculative, doesn't mean to reduce the value of Freemasonry to the 3rd level, initiatory, or 4th level, which synthesizes all of them.
Freemasonry is itself the primogenital child of the "Ancient and Accepted Mysteriosophic Order" called of the Greater Mysteries (anterior to the Chaldean ones but still Solar) and, in the highest symbolism of White Freemasonry, it contains and preserves the Teaching (One) of the "Ancient and Accepted" Tradition (One) by the Initiated Masons, the Master Builders.
A first level of reason is demonstrated to the Profane in the Chamber of Reflection with the symbolic exposition of a candle. In the allegory it expresses the psychological state that we could call barely illuminated of the animal, emotional and instinctive reason ( once upon a time the candle was made of animal wax ), which is emanated by the lower sphere of man and reaches conscience, viz. self, through the brain.
In his own speculative progression, once called recognition or, with a more modern term re-connection , the adept, through the historical memory of the initiatory Chorda Fratres gets in contact with the speculative expression of the Tradition and of the Mysteries in the exterior form of Symbols, Myths and Allegories. This "lights" his imagination and makes him suitable to perceive a philosophical and speculative investigation of what he has been shown so far in a formal key. The lesser initiate, therefore, in the allegorical terms of Tradition, goes from the weak light of the candle (symbol of the lower mind) to the half-Light of reason, which finds its development in the complex geometric quality of Logic.
But this is not enough to reach the conditions expressed by the highest symbol of Initiation of Freemasonry: the Flaming Pentalpha*.
* Flaming Pentalpha - In the speculative level, the symbol of Pentalpha represents the occult physiology of Man; indeed he encloses in the «domain» of his own «substantia» (essence subordinate to him) all the five Kingdoms of Nature that manifest themselves in the planetary Logos. In the human skeleton the elements of the Mineral Kingdom are represented; in the liquid ones the Vegetable Kingdom; in the physical body the Animal Kingdom; in the planes of thought, reason-logics-intuition, the Human Kingdom and, with the Animic Triad, Intellect and Pure Reason, the 5 th Kingdom of Nature starts, the divine or spiritual one, which includes the Monad of the Initiate. The Monads are biblical Children of God that "mated with the most beautiful daughters of man", the best among the physical Forms of man, giving birth to the Giants, the first spiritual men and Guides of the Humankind; therefore it was said that once upon a time Gods walked amongst men.
In the symbol of Pentalpha we must distinguish a first stage that is called the condition of half-Light, of «Man Separated» from the 5 th Kingdom, viz. a Shadow of the Universal Order.
After the half-Light, if the lesser initiate didn't look for his own inner work but progressively continued achieving the transformation of his own inner structure, he would eventually obtain an expansion of the ordinary conscience (the threshold of attention), sufficient to contain, in its formae mentis the manifestation of a first reflection of the 5 th Kingdom of Nature. This is the point of no return for the lesser initiate.
Once he is sufficiently conscious, nobody and nothing will be able to hold him from progressing and it is unthinkable that he can go back on his Path, since at this point, his dominant note will be Will, which is stronger than Love and Intelligence (two Aspects of the cosmic Trinity) because the «Will» aspect is the first note of the Archetype One (the dynamic Will is the First Aspect of the cosmic Trinity).
This Initiate, thanks to the Power (the Light) of the Ego that is emanated inside him, enters in "Communion" with the Power (energetic) of his own planetary Logos of which man is the living symbol, through the five Kingdoms that he resumes in himself. This is the esoteric meaning of the term Universal Communion. Therefore the Initiate is called "Re-integrated Man" (with the Great Kingdom of Nature of Matter-Spirit, «vital» expression of the planetary Logos) and he becomes a Point of Light (or a Light) of the Universal Order, a Flaming Pentalpha.
In its highest speculative form the symbol of Pentalpha contains two meanings which have a deeper character than the previous ones. By using two images we can see how, in the mathematical development of the space around the symbol, we can see the representation of the cosmic Man, also called Celestial Man or Adamokadmon, macrocosmic and microcosmic. He is fixed to the cross of manifestation at the three arms of the cosmic Cross which, in this case, expresses only three Elements, Air, Water and Earth. There is no trace of the 1 st Element, Fire, because that Man is spiritual and therefore he is himself a spiritual and igneous Entity. If we want to study further the speculative "penetration" of this symbol, we will recognize in the triple Cross (the cosmic Trinity) the symbol of the TAU of the Egyptian Mysteries linked to Osiris, the spiritual Solar Logos. The TAU is nothing but the Harmonious Scale of sonorous relations between the Planetary Logoi and the Solar Logos.
Pythagoras, with his Monochord , used the same harmonious scale to demonstrate the metaphysical sonority that he called the silent sound of «the Harmony of the spheres».
Both teachings have reached us thanks to the Tradition of the Masonic Order. This is the solution, for the initiate, of the link between sound and the manifestation of the Archetype One (divine macrocosm) and of the Monad (human microcosm).
With the Teaching contained in the TAU ( much earlier than the AUM and the OM of the Veda ) the "Verb" in the mystic Catechisms finds its own initiatory resolution.