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Imago Templi / Book II - 2nd part

by Athos A. Altomonte

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Index: The Labyrinth in the esoteric tradition - The squaring of the temple - Some Freemasonry example of square and oblong square

The Labyrinth in the esoteric tradition

On the horizontal plane of «Chaos» the Reason, deceived by its own senses, has to cross a Mental Plane that appears to it Real and Infinite, but that is in actual fact the result of its own deceit and delusion.

This moment is known by Tradition as the Labyrinth; in the inner life of the Apprentice it marks the passage from his own Floor, of personal and separating understanding, to the Floor of the Temple, where, thanks to Systems and Guides, the paths become regular and understandable, true Paths of Initiatory Science.

The Labyrinth of Chaos can be distinguished from the regularity of the Floor of the Temple for a fundamental aspect.

Everything in the Labyrinth is deceit and fear for Reason, which doesn't have the Gift of Discrimination (symbolically it doesn't have the Light ), whilst on the Paths of the Temple everything leads to a widening of knowledge through a System cadenced by the Rhythm and the Ritual Cycle, which teaches the Apprentice, even before he is aware of it, to Harmonize his own mind with the Ego, like in the symbolism of the Plumb line through what is known as "Solemnity" in the use of body, gestures and words.

Personality approaches the Labyrinth of Life of Chaos with nothing but itself and the wish to obtain something never seen before as a prize for its ability.

Once entered the unknown and unknowable corridors of the Labyrinth of Life, without any orientation for the false paths, it has two possibilities: it can continue relying only on its own abilities, perhaps overestimating itself, and keep wandering hoping in the luck of outside intervention or, more seriously, it can forget why it entered the Path and which purpose it was pursuing.

In the latter condition are all those who wander and stir the profane world, the World of Chaos.

These blind, numb and forgetful Brothers are called by the Wise men the Prisoners of the Planet.

We will take as an example the most famous Labyrinth in the Western culture, Minos' Cretan Maze; the first metaphor of this symbol must be considered immediately. In actual fact there isn't any exit from the labyrinth on the horizontal plane except for its entrance, which is impossible to find.

The only true exit is in the center, on the vertical axis , but it is well preserved by the Minotaur, the Guardian of the Threshold of the Oriental Tradition, which represents the animal physicality that preserves the duties of all of us which, due to the Law of Cause-Effect, we must learn to exhaust by accomplishing them.

This Work Group has been created to respond to the needs of "how to overcome the Guardian"; therefore this topic will be the subject of long investigation and study, like all the other subjects considered necessary for the personal progress and that we will discover along the way.

Now I would like you to think about the many esoteric indications that surround the Legends on the Labyrinth, which are left to float in time, thinking that someone might draw a teaching and a benefit.

One of the tales is the most useful thanks to its details; here we find two characters (dual concept), the Architect Builder and his son (Triad and Quaternary) in search of an escape route.

The chance comes from the creation of two pairs of Wings by the Elder Builder with his own hands. Let's consider this fundamental indication and we will discover that the Wings in the Caduceus of Hermes show the Air Virtue of the Initiatory Knowledge as a unique means of vertical transfer.

And so it happened.

The Son , who hadn't acquired the Wings with the Expert Work of his own hands - the Knowledge of the Master Builder - since he received them as a gift, showed a carelessness that led to the death of the young and inexperienced Personality.

This must also be interpreted as a warning to the rushed masters, which can cost the Order the loss of the Disciple.

In conclusion we can say that for man the Exit from the Labyrinth of the Profane Life and the overcoming of all that it represents, is in the vertical direction that he will be able to give his own Mind towards Initiation and in the experience that he will be able to draw from this condition.

There are further Legends in Greek Mythology, as well as in others, which deserve attention for the things that they really represent, such as Psycho-dramas and symbolical containers of a figurative and archaic language, of a hidden reality to re-discover in its proper and intimate meanings.

Heroes such as Theseus and Jason, obviously Initiates, accept the task of a mission for the benefit of their King (prevalence of the 2 nd Cast on the other 3) and, marginally, for their people.

The Mythological Hero always chooses his companions among the most valiant ones who have or embody an Initiatory Virtue .

Jason, for example, builds a ship that symbolizes the means that ploughs the Watery and turbulent world of Astral and profane passion, delusion. It ploughs the surface (it reminds us of the symbolic crossing of the horizontal plane of the Initiatory Floor) in order to reach, after a series of trials that qualify him as well as the Initiatory Virtues in each of "his" companions, the overcoming of oneself and one's own "Destiny-Duty" through an inner journey, the V.I.T.R.I.O.L. of Western Esotericists .

In the Myth of the Initiated Hero we often find the acceptance of a heroic mission that goes beyond the physical World symbolized by the Labyrinth or by a Journey on the Waters and the overcoming of Trials of Strength and Intelligence for him and his companions, who represent the Initiatory Virtues fragmented in the Man that forgets His own true Self, the Ego.

In the heroic epic journey of Theseus , the psycho-drama becomes slightly more hermetic.

Theseus accepts the indispensable help of Ariadne, which we can immediately recognize as the help from his Soul, as much as Beatrice is the Celestial Bride of the Initiatory Hero Dante.

Once explained this point, we can clearly see the allegory of the Thread that links Ariadne, outside the Labyrinth of physicality, and Theseus in the act of facing the Guardian of the Threshold (see). Either it is the lower Self, as I believe, or the Destiny of a whole people or nation, it doesn't change the terms in the message of the Myth.

In order for the psycho-drama to stay longer in the memory of the people, here as well as in other mythologies, a "profane note"' has been added to impress the popular imagination; a man betraying a woman.

In this conclusion, although esoterically unreliable, the Personality, through the Thread of conscience (the Bridge, the Antahkarana of Eastern tradition), achieved the contact, therefore the help of Ego, Soul, to obtain the Victory on its own Duty in the Physical World and reaches the goal of being impressed in an emotional mind, and therefore to float in the myth until it will touch the mind of those who can interpret it and give it its original meaning back.

When man crosses the Labyrinth of Profane World, although accidentally, he learns the concept of inner verticalness and he will reach the end of the "most painful part of the journey"; this will give him the chance to knock at the door of the Temple .

There, he will find Elderly Brothers that will instruct him and incite him to cross a different kind of horizontal Plane, the Path of the initiatory Science as a Labyrinth, this time, of understanding and wisdom.

This will allow him the access, if he wants , to the True Vertical Vision, which leads to the inner Door of Initiation.

The squaring of the temple

The first operation that a Master Mason must accomplish at his Ritual access to the Temple is the Squaring on the floor.

The meaning of this operation has been sufficiently explained in the part dealing with the Boundaries of the Temple.

Our task is to explain how to do it exactly.

The responsibility of taking care of the perambulations on the Floor is given to the constant attention of the Brother that has the task of W.M. as well as to the Master of Ceremonies.

The M. of C. will guide the Ritual entrance of the Brothers in the Temple clockwise; likewise all the following movements on the Floor will have the same direction, whilst the Ritual exit will be anti-clockwise.

If we wonder the reason for this, we will find that in Tradition the Motion of the Temple follows the motion of the Mobile Cross, also called Cross of the Disciple.

The symbol of this Cross is the sign of the motion in the physical Sun passed on into the Swastika; this symbol is present in the Eastern Tradition as well as in the Celtic-European one and in the Western Tradition of Native Americans (or American Indians).

In Europe we still find the same esoteric meaning in St. Andrew's cross with the Sun placed in the cross of the arms, which are diagonal to each other.

For the researchers, I would like to report what Scandinavian Archaic Cosmogony says about this sign of solar motion (see image), which they call the Hammer of Thor, Active Will of the Solar Logos. He is the God of Thunder and Celestial Workman; he causes sparks (Fire Element) by beating on the Firestone (in Space and on Matter) and those sparks become the Worlds of Creation.

"…the Children of Thor*. They took with them Miólnal **, not as a weapon of war, but as an instrument used to consecrate the new Skies and the New Earth…"


* the Children of Thor are the (6) Builders, Children of the Divine Carpenter (7) (notice the perfect adherence to the Hebrew symbology of the Menorah).

** Miólnar is the name given to the Hammer of the God Thor.

Notice how in all Cosmogonies the instruments of Power have a proper name, showing that they are permeated with life. This Tradition was active until the most recent times of warrior casts, who named the Sword (see Symbol of the Sword) and this was a common habit in the East as well as in the West.

I suggest you carefully consider the analogies of the Scandinavian Cosmogony with others; you will be surprised by the similitude in terms and numbers.

Quoting the Archaic Cosmogony, there are two representations for the Swastika, one oriented clockwise and another anticlockwise.

The clockwise Swastika indicates Sublimation or Spiritualization ; therefore Matter is defeated and redeemed. Furthermore, it represents the Cycle of Spiritualization, viz. the return to the House of the Father.

This is the reason for this movement at the opening of the Works: the elevation of the psychic and energetic status of the participants to the Work of construction towards the ideal height of the G. A. O. T. U.

The other Swastika, oriented anticlockwise, expresses Condensation or Materialization and it represents the Cycle of construction of Material Forms, the predominance of Matter on Spirit.

This is the reason for the anticlockwise Motion at the exit: to allow the energies evoked during the "vertical and clockwise" entrance, "Solar" of the Three Lights and the Body of the Brothers Dignitaries and Officers to penetrate "strongly" in the Physical World and be dragged, voluntarily and involuntarily, to the exit in the profane World, for the longest possible time.

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Fragment of an Aztec painting in the Temple of the Sun. Notice on the outside the symbol of infinite and eternity. Inscribed into it, two symbols of the sun. With the first one on the left, the sun rises, with the second on the right the sun goes down until it disappears in the sunset.

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Some Freemasonry examples of squares and oblong squares in the architectonic works of the Temples

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This article comes from Esotericism Readings

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