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Wedgwood of the Liberal Catholic Church. Originally a priest of the Church of England, his interest in spiritualism caused him to end his affiliation with Anglicanism in favour of the Theosophical Society, where he became an associate of Annie Besant. He became a high-ranking officer of the society, but resigned in amid a scandal. Accusations of his detractors were never proven and, with Besant's assistance, he was readmitted a few years later.
Leadbeater went on to write over 69 books and pamphlets that examined in detail the hidden side of life as well as maintain regular speaking engagements. His efforts on behalf of the society assured his status as one of its leading members until his death in Books by Charles W. No trivia or quizzes yet. Quotes from The Hidden Life I But I do say that the country was permeated with joy and fearlessness so far as its religious ideas were concerned, and that every one who by any stretch of courtesy could be described as a religious man was occupied not with thoughts of his personal salvation, but with the desire to be a useful agent of the divine Power.
He was told to answer: In all his perambulations, he had to begin with the left foot. If the candidate violated his O. Another degree is mentioned in the papyrus of Nesi-Amsu, where it is said that the body was cut to pieces and burnt to ashes, and these were spread over the face of the waters to the four winds of heaven. There is in the temple of Khnumu in the island of Elephantine, just off Assouan, a bas-relief which shows us two figures, one of the Pharaoh and the other of a priest wearing the ibis head-dress of Thoth, standing in an attitude strongly suggestive of the f.
See Plate II a. It is intended to represent an initiation, and the word given is "Maat-heru," which means "true of voice" or "one whose voice must be obeyed". I have also seen a painting in which four attendants are depicted saluting a Pharaoh with the p The gavel was then made of stone, and was a model of the double-headed axe.
Plate I AS K. That of the First Degree was pure white, as it is now; but the M. The Blazing Star in the centre of the Lodge existed, but it had eight points instead of six or five. It was called "The Star of Dawn" or "The Morning Star," and represented Horus of the Resurrection, who is pictured as bearing it upon his head and as having given it to his followers. The Masonic square was well-known, and was called neka. It is to be found in many temples, and also appears in the great pyramid. It is said that it was used for squaring stones, and also symbolically for squaring conduct, which once more resembles the modern interpretation.
To build on the square was to build for ever, according to the teachings of ancient Egypt; and in the Egyptian Hall of Judgment Osiris is seen seated on the square while judging the dead. See Plate II b. Thus the square came to symbolize the foundation of eternal law. The Egyptians used the rough and the smooth ashlars with much the same meaning that Masons attach to them today. A wand surmounted by a dove is represented, not only in ancient Egypt, but also in some of the monuments in Central America, and those who bore it were called "conductors".
It is a curious fact, also, that the descendants of the Nilotic negroes, who emigrated long ago from Egypt to Central Africa, when called to take an oath in a court of law, still do so with a gesture which, still do so with a gesture, were I at liberty to describe it in writing, would be universally recognized by the Craft. Another point that struck me much on looking at engravings of vignettes in The Book of the Dead is that the h This Book of the Dead, as it has been somewhat unfortunately called, is part of a manual which in its entirety was intended as a kind of guide to the astral plane, containing a number of instructions for the conduct both of the departed and the initiate in the lower regions of that other world.
The chapters which have been collected from the various tombs do not give us the whole of that work, but only one section of it, and even that is much corrupted. The mind of the Egyptian seems to have worked along exceedingly formal and orderly lines; he tabulated every conceivable description of entity which a dead man could by any possibility meet, and arranged carefully the special charm or word of power which he considered most certain to vanquish the creature if he should prove hostile, never apparently realizing that it was his own will which did the work, but attributing his success to some kind of magic.
The Book of the Dead was originally intended to be kept secret, although in later days certain chapters were written on papyrus and buried with the dead man. As is said in one of the texts: Do not let the eye of anyone look upon it - that were abomination. The Book of the Master of the Secret House is its name. Marsham Adams, The Book of the Master, p.
In ancient Egypt they recognized seven souls, or life-forces, coming forth from the Most High. Six of these were prehuman; the seventh was our humanity, and was brought forth from the virgin Neith. The symbol attached to that bringing forth was that of the pelican, who was fabled to draw blood from her own breast in order to feed her young; this later became a prominent symbol in the Rosicrucian philosophy, which seems to have been derived largely from Egyptian teaching. We read in Egyptian hieroglyphics of "the One and the Four," referring to Horus and his four Brothers.
In Egypt the egg was the symbol for the setting sun, which is often seen in that shape when about to touch the horizon. That egg passed into the underworld, and was hatched there, and out of it came the young sun the next morning, rising in his strength, which was called "the flame born of a flame". All this bore a deeply mystical significance, which was explained in the Mysteries. When Osiris died, Isis and Nepthys - in turn tried to raise him, but it proved a failure; then Anubis attempted it and succeeded, and Osiris returned to the world with the secrets of Amenti - a significant statement which seems to suggest that the secrets which we possess are closely connected with the underworld and the life after death.
These are some of the most striking of the evidences which I have been able to collect; and there are others which may not be written. I feel that many more can probably be found, but even these, when taken together, make any theory of coincidence impossible.
There is no doubt that this to which we have the honour to belong today is the same fraternity which I knew six thousand years ago, and it can indeed be carried back to a far greater antiquity still. Churchward claims that some of the signs are six hundred thousand years old; that is quite likely to be true, for the world is very ancient, and assuredly Freemasonry has one of the very oldest rituals existing.
We must of course admit that the mere appearance of one of our symbols does not necessarily involve the existence of a Lodge, but at least it shows that, even so long ago as that, men were thinking along somewhat the same lines, and trying to express their thoughts in the same language of symbol that we employ today.
That the rituals and symbols should have been preserved to us with so wonderfully little alteration is surely a marvellous thing; it would be inexplicable but for the fact that the Great Powers behind evolution have taken an interest in the matter, and gradually brought people back to the true lines when they had swerved somewhat away from them.
This business was always in the hands of the Chohan of the Seventh Ray, for that is the ray most especially connected with ceremonial of all kinds, and its Head was always the supreme Hierophant of the Mysteries of ancient Egypt. The present holder of that office is that Master of the Wisdom of whom we often speak as the Comte de S.
The Hidden Life In Freemasonry
Germain, because He appeared under that title in the eighteenth century. He is also sometimes called Prince Rakoczi, as He is the last survivor of that royal house. Exactly when He was appointed to the Headship of the Ceremonial Ray I do not know, but He took a keen interest in Freemasonry as early as the third century A. We find him at that period as Albanus, a man of noble Roman family, born at the town of Verulam in England. As a young man he went to Rome, joined the army there, and achieved considerable distinction in it.
He served in Rome for some seven years at any rate, perhaps longer than that. It was there that he was initiated into Freemasonry, and also became a proficient in the Mithraic Mysteries, which were so closely associated with it. After this time in Rome he returned to his birthplace in England, and was appointed governor of the fortress there.
He also held the position of "the Master of the Works", whatever that may have meant; he certainly superintended the repairs and the general work in the fortress at Verulam, and he was at the same time the Imperial Paymaster. The story goes that the workmen were treated as slaves and wretchedly paid, but that S.
Alban as he was afterwards called introduced Freemasonry and changed all that, securing for them better wages and greatly improved conditions generally. Many of our Brn. In that a good deal is said about S. Albans work for the Craft, and it is specially mentioned that he brought from France certain ancient charges which are practically identical with those in use at the present time. He was beheaded in the persecution by the Emperor Diocletian in the year , and the great abbey of S.
Alban was built over his remains some five hundred years later. In the year he was born in Constantinople and received the name of Proclus - a name which in after life he was destined to make famous. He was one of the last great exponents of Neo-Platonism, and his influence overshadowed to a great extent the medieval Christian Church. After that there is a gap in his list of incarnations, as to which at present we know nothing.
We find him reborn in the year , and in that life he was Roger Bacon, a Franciscan friar, who was a reformer both of the theology and the science of his day. In came his birth as Christian Rosenkreutz. That also was an incarnation of considerable importance, for in it he founded the secret society of the Rosicrucians. He seems some fifty years later, or a little more than that, to have used the body of Hunyadi Janos, an eminent Hungarian soldier and leader.
Also we are told that about he had a life as the monk Robertus, somewhere in middle Europe.
The Hidden Life in Freemasonry - C. W. Leadbeater - Google Книги
We know practically nothing about that, as to what he did or in what way he distinguished himself. After that comes one of the greatest of his births, for in the year he was born as Francis Bacon. Of that great man we hear in history little that is true and a great deal that is false. The real facts of his life are gradually becoming known, largely by means of a cipher story which he wrote secretly in the many works which he published. That story is of entrancing interest, but it does not concern us here. A sketch of it may be found in my book The Hidden Side of Christian Festivals, from which I am epitomizing this account.
A century later we are told that he took birth as Jozsef Rakoczi, a prince of Transylvania. We find him mentioned in the encyclopedias, but not much information is given. After that considerable mystery surrounds his movements. He seems to have travelled about Europe, and he turns up at intervals, but we have little definite knowledge about him. He was the Comte de S.
Germain at the time of the French Revolution, and worked much with Madame Blavatsky, who was at that period in incarnation under the name of Pere Joseph. He also appears to have disguised himself as Baron Hompesch, who was the last of the Knights of St. John of Malta, the man who arranged the transfer of the island of Malta to the English.
This great saint and teacher still lives, and His present body has no appearance of great age. I myself met Him physically in Rome in , and had a long conversation with Him. Upon His recognition and assent as Head of the Seventh Ray the validity of all rites and degrees depends. He often selects pupils from among the Brn. Today but few of His Masons acknowledge Him as their Sovereign Grand Master, yet the possibility of such discipleship has ever been recognized in the traditions of the Order.
It is said in an ancient catechism of masculine Masonry: As a Mason whence come you? Whither directing your course? What inducement have you to leave the W To seek a Master, and from Him to gain instruction. Fortunately our ancestors have recognized the importance of handing down the working unchanged.
Some few points have been dropped during that vast lapse of time; a few others have been slightly modified; but they are marvellously few. The charges have become longer, and the non-officials take less part in the work than they used to do; in the old days they constantly chanted short versicles of praise or exhortation, and each one of them understood himself to be filling a definite position, to be a necessary wheel in the great machine. From this knowledge several points emerge.
It is noteworthy that the Masonic ceremonies, which have so long been supposed to be rather in opposition to the received religion of the country, are seen to be themselves a relic of the most sacred part of a great ancient religion. Like every product of these ancient and elaborately perfected systems, these rites are full of meaning, or rather of meanings; for in Egypt we attributed to them a fourfold signification.
Since every detail is thus full of import, it is obvious that nothing should ever be changed without the greatest care, and only then by those who know its full intent, so that the symbology of the whole may not be spoiled. It is exceedingly difficult to explain to twentieth century readers all that this work meant to us in the sunny land of Khem; but I will try to describe the four layers of interpretation as they were taught when I myself lived there.
The first idea of its meaning was that it conveyed to us and symbolized in action the way in which the Great Architect had constructed the universe - that in the movements made and in the plan of the Lodge were enshrined some of the great principles on which that universe had been built. The vortical movement in the censing, the raising and lowering of the columns, the cross, the anchor and the cup upon the ladder of evolution - all these things and many more we interpreted in that way.
The different degrees penetrated further and further into the knowledge of His methods and of the principles upon which He works. For we not only held that He worked in the past, but that He is working now, that His universe is an active expression of Him. In those days, books filled a far less prominent place in our lives than they do now, and it was considered that to record knowledge in a series of appropriate and suggestive actions made a more powerful appeal to a man's mind, and established that knowledge better in memory, than to read it from a book.
We are, therefore, preserving by our unvarying actions the memory of certain facts and laws in nature. Because that is so, and because the laws of the universe must be universal in their application and must act down here as well as above, we held that the Great Architect expected from us a life in accordance with the law which He had made. The square was to be applied literally to stones and buildings, but symbolically to man's conduct, and man must arrange his life in agreement with what obviously followed from these considerations; therefore the strictest probity was demanded, and a high level of purity, physical, emotional and mental.
Perfect rectitude and justice were required, and yet at the same time loving4dndness and gentleness, and in all cases "doing unto others what ye would that they should do unto you. The work is a preparation for death, and for what follows it. The two pillars B. There is a vast amount of information about the life after death to be derived from an intelligent consideration of Masonic ceremonies, and through constantly practising them these worlds will become really familiar to us; so that when we shall pass beyond the grave, no longer in figurative death, we shall feel ourselves quite at home in repeating once more what we have so often enacted in symbol within the Lodge.
Above all, it is emphasized that the same laws hold good on the other side of the grave as on this, that in both states we are equally in the presence of God, and that where that holy Name is invoked there can be no cause for fear. The fourth intention is the hardest of all to explain. To make you understand that, I must try to take you back, if I can, into the atmosphere of old Egypt, and to the attitude that religious men held there.
I do not know whether it is possible to reconstruct that in these modern days, which are so hopelessly, so fundamentally different. The religion which we know best at the present day is intensely individualistic; the great central objective put before most Christians is that of saving their own souls. That duty is represented to be of primary importance. Can you picture to yourselves a religion, just as much a religion in every way, in every respect as earnest, as fervid, as real, from which that idea was entirely absent, to which it would have been utterly inconceivable?
Can you think, as a beginning, of a condition of mind in which no one feared anything excepting wrong, and its possible results in delaying unfoldment; in which men looked forward with perfect certainty to their progress after death, because they knew all about it; in which their one desire was not for salvation but for advancement in evolution, because such advancement brought them greater power to do effectively the hidden work which God expected of them?
I am not suggesting that every one in ancient Egypt was altruistic, any more than are all the people in modern England. But I do say that the country was permeated with joy and fearlessness so far as its religious ideas were concerned, and that every one who by any stretch of courtesy could be described as a religious man was occupied not with thoughts of his personal salvation, but with the desire to be a useful agent of the divine Power.
The outer religion of ancient Egypt - the official religion in which everyone took part, from the King to the slave - was one of the most splendid that have ever been known to man. Gorgeous processions perambulating avenues miles in length, amid pillars so stupendous that they seemed scarcely human work, stately boats in a medley of rainbow colours sweeping majestically down the placid Nile, music triumphant or plaintive, but always thrilling - how shall I describe something so absolutely without parallel in our puny modern times? The common dress of all classes in Egypt was white; but in contradistinction their religious processions were masses of splendid, glowing colour, the priests wearing vestments of crimson and a gorgeous blue supposed to represent the blue of the sky, and many other brilliant colours also.
The life of ancient Egypt, as indeed of modern Egypt, centred round the river Nile, slow-flowing and majestic, and richly decorated barges were used for all purposes of transit, and also for the celebration of religious festivals. On these the priests were arranged in certain symbolical figures, standing or sitting; and all wore the colours appropriate to the particular aspect of the Deity which they symbolized.
Not only were solemn sacrifices offered to the gods upon these barges at altars wonderfully adorned with flowers and precious embroideries, sometimes built up by stages to a hundred feet or more in the air; but living pictures or scenes were also enacted upon them, having a symbolical meaning connected with the festival which was being celebrated.
In such ways was represented the judgment of the dead, with the weighing of the heart by Anubis against the feather of Maat, the characters of Anubis and Thoth being played by priests who wore the appropriate masks. I remember also a very gruesome performance of the dismemberment of Osiris, in which His body was cut into pieces and then put together again - not the body of a real person, of course, but none the less very realistically enacted. These splendid processions swept down the river between the thronging multitudes of worshippers, shedding the benediction of the gods as they passed by, and evoking tremendous enthusiasm and devotion in the people.
The ancient Egyptians have often been accused of polytheism, but in reality they were no more guilty of the charge than are the Hindus. All men knew and worshipped the One God, Amen-Ra, the "One without a Second", the centre of whose manifestation on the physical plane is the sun; but they worshipped Him under different aspects and through different channels. In one of the hymns addressed to Him it was said: We adore the souls that are emanated from Thee, that share Thy Being, that are Thyself. O Thou that art hidden, yet everywhere manifest, we worship Thee in greeting each God-soul that cometh forth from Thee and liveth in us.
The "gods" were not considered to be equal with God, but rather to have attained union with Him at various levels, and therefore to be channels of His infinite power to mankind. The cult of the gods was in reality but little different from the cult of Angels and Saints in the Catholic Church. Just as Christians look to St. Michael and to Our Lady as real personages and hold festivals in their honour, so in ancient Egypt adoration was offered to Isis and Osiris, and to other deities likewise.
In the ultimate these august names referred to Aspects of the Godhead, Amen-Ra, for the Trinity in Egypt was represented by Father, Mother, Son - Osiris, Isis and Horus instead of the Christian presentation of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; but below that divine level there were then, as there are now, great Beings in whom the Ideal was embodied, who acted as representatives and as channels of God's threefold power and grace to man. Furthermore there are hierarchies of Angels belonging to these different lines, just as there are hierarchies of Angels who follow the leadership of St.
Michael and of Our Lady - each of whom is a channel and representative of his Order according to the level of his development. The celebration of the ritual of Isis, for instance, always attracted her attention, and invoked the presence of Angels of Her Order, who acted as channels of the divine blessing in that wondrous aspect of the Hidden Truth which she represented. No doubt the really religious man took his part in all the outward pomp which I have described; but what he prized far above all its amazing magnificence was his membership in some Lodge of the sacred Mysteries - a Lodge which devoted itself with reverent enthusiasm to the hidden work which was the principal activity of this noble religion.
It is of this hidden side of the Egyptian cult, not of its outer glories, that Freemasonry is a relic, and the ritual which is preserved in it is a part of that of the Mysteries. To explain what this hidden work was, let us draw a parallel from a more modern method of producing a somewhat similar result.
The Christian plan for spreading abroad the divine power or grace is principally by means of the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, commonly called by our Roman brethren the Mass. We must not think of that grace as a sort of poetical expression, or as in the least degree vague and cloudy; we are dealing with a force as definite as electricity - a spiritual power which is spread abroad over the people in certain ways, which leaves its own effect behind it, and needs its own vehicles, just as electricity needs its appropriate machinery.
It is possible by clairvoyance to watch the action of that force, to see how the service of the Eucharist builds up a thought-form, through which that force is distributed by the priest with the aid of the Angel invoked for that purpose. It has been so arranged that the attitude of the priest, his knowledge - even his character - does not in any way interfere with the due effect of the Sacrament.
There is, in any case, an irreducible minimum which is transmitted. So long as he performs the prescribed ceremonies the result is achieved. The old Egyptian religion had the same idea of pouring out spiritual force upon all its people, but its method was altogether different. The Christian magic can be performed by the priest alone, and may even be done quite mechanically; but the intelligent assistance of the laity greatly increases its power and the amount of force which can be outpoured.
The Egyptian plan, however, positively required the earnest and intelligent co-operation of a considerable number of people. It was, therefore, much more difficult to achieve perfectly, but when thoroughly done it was far more powerful, and covered a much wider range of country. The Christian scheme needs a vast number of churches dotted all over the land; the Egyptian plan required only the action of a few Grand Lodges established in the principal cities in order to flood the whole kingdom with the Hidden Light - the work of the ordinary Lodges being regarded as subsidiary to these, and rather as a training ground for membership in the Grand Lodges.
The central doctrine of the religion of the ancient Egyptians was that the divine power dwelt in every man, even the lowest and most degraded, and they called that power "The Hidden Light". They held that through that Light, which existed in all, men could always be reached and helped, and that it was their business to find that Light within every one, however unpromising, and to strengthen it. The very motto of the Pharaoh was "Look for the Light," implying that his supreme duty as King was to look for that Hidden Light in every man around him, and strive to bring it forth into fuller manifestation.
The Egyptians held that this divine spark, which exists in every one, could most effectively be fanned into flame by transmuting and bringing down to the three lower worlds the tremendous spiritual force which is the life of the higher planes, and then pouring it out over the country as has been described. Knowing that spiritual force to be but another manifestation of the manifold power of God, they gave to it also the name of the Hidden Light; and from this double use of the term confusion sometimes arises. They fully recognized that such a downpour of divine grace could be evoked only by a supreme effort of devotion on their part; and the making of such an effort, together with the provision of suitable machinery for spreading the force when it came, was a great part of the hidden work to which the noblest of the Egyptians devoted so much of their time and energy; and this was the fourth of the objects intended to be served by the sacred and secret ritual, of which that of Masonry is a relic.
The Egyptian race of the period of which I have been speaking was of mixed blood, but dominantly Aryan. Our researches show that about 13, B. The ruling race in Egypt in those days was a branch of what has been called in Theosophical books the Toltec sub-race - a branch probably identical with that Cro-Magnon race which inhabited Europe and Africa somewhere about 25, B. Sir Arthur Keith remarks that this race was mentally and physically one of the finest that the world has ever seen.
Broca has noted that the brain content of the skull of the Cro-Magnon woman surpasses that of the average male of today. The average height of the men of this race was six feet one and a half inches; the shoulders were exceedingly broad and the arms short as compared with the legs; the nose was thin but prominent, the cheek-bones high, and the chin massive.
It happened that the King or Pharaoh on the throne at the time when the expedition from South India arrived had a daughter but no son, his wife having died in child-birth. The newcomers were received with great cordiality by both King and High-Priest, and intermarriage with the strangers became a coveted honour in the Egyptian families, especially as the King had approved the marriage of his daughter with the leader of the band, who was a Prince of India.
In a few generations the Aryan blood had tinged the entire Egyptian nobility, and this produced the type, well known from the monuments, which had Aryan features, but the Toltec colouring. After many centuries there came a ruler who was influenced by a foreign princess, whom he had espoused, to cast aside the Aryan traditions and establish lower forms of worship; but the clan drew together and, by strictly marrying only among themselves, preserved the old customs and religion as well as their purity of race. Nearly four thousand years after the arrival of the Indians, there arose in Egypt certain prophets who foretold a great flood, so the clan in a body took ship across the Red Sea and found a refuge among the mountains of Arabia.
Even when everything settled down, the country was a wilderness, bounded on the west no longer by a peaceful sea but by a vast salt swamp, which as the centuries rolled on dried into an inhospitable desert. Of all the glories of Egypt there remained only the pyramids towering in lonely desolation - a state of things which endured for fifteen hundred years before the clan returned from its mountain refuge, grown into a great nation. But long before this half-savage tribes had ventured into the land, fighting their primitive battles on the banks of the great river which had once borne the argosies of a mighty civilization, and was yet to witness a revival of those ancient glories, and to mirror the stately temples of Osiris and Amen-Ra.
The first of the several races that entered the country was a negroid people from Central Africa; they had, however, been displaced by various others before the Aryo-Egyptians returned from Arabia, settled near Abydos, and gradually in a peaceful manner became once more the dominant power. Two thousand four hundred years later the Manu under the name of Menes incarnated, united the whole of Egypt under one rule, and founded at the same time the first dynasty and his great city of Memphis. This empire had already flourished for more than a millennium and a half before the reign of Rameses the Great, who was himself the Master of one of the principal Lodges at the time when I had the Honour to belong to it.
During the time when I was living in Egypt, the government of the country was directed from within the organization of the Mysteries. Egypt was divided into forty-two nomes or counties, and the nomarch or ruler of the county was the Master of the principal Lodge of the nome. There was a Grand Lodge - not to be confused with the three Grand Lodges of Amen to be described later - which consisted of all the nomarchs, and of which the Grand Master was the Pharaoh.
This Grand Lodge was convened at Memphis, and worked a different ritual from those of the lower grades. It was to this body that the Pharaoh announced his decrees; for although his power in the land was almost absolute, yet before any serious decision was made he always took counsel with his nomarchs - and, judging by their decisions, they were a very capable body of men. Lesser matters were settled by an executive committee of this Lodge over which the Pharaoh presided; but important steps were always discussed in Grand Lodge itself.
Thus the Mysteries entered into political as well as into religious life in the old days; and politics were much less selfish in consequence. There were in Egypt in those days three Grand Lodges of Amen, each of which was strictly limited to forty members, every one of whom was a necessary part of the machine. Including the officers, whose business was the recitation of the Office and the magnetization of the Lodge, each member was the representative of a particular quality. One was called the Knight of Love, another the Knight of Truth, another the Knight of Perseverance, and so on; and each was supposed to become a specialist in thinking and expressing the quality assigned to him.
The idea was that the forty qualities, thus expressed through the Lodge as a whole, would make the character of a perfect man, a kind of heavenly man, through whom the power behind could be poured out upon the whole country. These three Grand Lodges worked three distinct types of Masonry, of which only one has come down to us in the twentieth century. The Master of the first Grand Lodge represented wisdom, and his two Wardens strength and beauty, as in our Lodges today. The predominant power outpoured was that wisdom which is perfect love, the quality that is indeed most needed in the world at the present time.
The Master of the second Grand Lodge represented strength, and his Wardens wisdom and beauty, and the strength of the First Aspect of the Trinity was the predominant quality of the Lodge. The Master of the third Grand Lodge typified beauty, and the wisdom and the strength were made subordinate to that third aspect of the Hidden Light. As every one present had to bear his part in building the form, exact co-operation and perfect harmony were absolutely necessary, and only people who could forget themselves entirely in the great work were selected from the ordinary Lodges to become members of these three Grand Lodges, whose power was such that their influence covered the entire country.
The slightest flaw in the character of one of the forty members would have seriously weakened the form through which all the work was being done. It is perhaps a relic of this paramount necessity which dictates our present regulation that any Brn.
In ancient Egypt there was an intensity of brotherly feeling between the members of a Lodge which is probably rarely attained now; they felt themselves bound together by the holiest of ties, not only as parts of the same machine, but actually as fellow-workers with God Himself. The ritual worked by the Grand Lodges was known as The Building of the Temple of Amen; a translation of its actual wording will be given in another part of this book.
It was indeed one of the most splendid and powerful sacraments known to man. It was celebrated for thousands of years, during which Egypt was a mighty land, but a time came when the egos most advanced in evolution began to seek incarnation in new nations, in which, as in different classes in the world-school, they might learn new lessons. Then this portion of the Egyptian Mysteries fell into abeyance, while the Egyptian civilization grew degenerate and formalized as it became a theatre for the activities of less evolved men.
There were also dotted all about the country numerous other Lodges, which more closely resembled those of modern times. Their work was much more varied than that of the three Grand Lodges, and they met more frequently, for to them was entrusted the work of preparing their members for higher things, and giving them a liberal education. Their purpose was the same as that of the Mysteries everywhere, to provide a definite system of culture and education for adults, a thing which is not done on a large and public scale in our present day, when the rather curious belief is widely spread that education ends with school or college.
The Mysteries were the great public institutions, centres of national and religious life, to which people of the better classes flocked in thousands, and they did their work well, for one who had passed through their degrees - a process of many years - thereby became what we should now call a highly educated and cultured man or woman, with, in addition to his knowledge about this world, a vivid realization of the future after death, of man's place in the scheme of things, and therefore of what was really worth doing and living for.
Even in these ordinary Lodges every member took part in the work, and the labour of those in the columns was regarded as more arduous than that of the officers. Though the latter had special physical actions through which they must go with great accuracy, the former had to use their thought-power all the time. They had all to join at certain points in the ritual in sending out streams of thought, more in the nature of will- power than of meditation, the object of the whole effort being to erect over and around the Lodge a magnificent and radiant thought-form of perfect proportions, specially constructed to receive and transmit in the most effective way the Divine Force which was called down by their act of devotion.
If any member's thought was ineffectual, the mighty temple- like thought-form was correspondingly defective in one part; but the Master of the Lodge was usually a clairvoyant priest or priestess who could see where the defect lay, and so could keep his Lodge strictly up to the mark. Thus these Lodges also shared in the same great work of force- distribution, though on a smaller scale than the three Grand Lodges which were specially entrusted with that task. Without some purpose such as this our great Masonic effort seems unintelligible.
We have in nearly all Masonic Lodges a beautiful opening ceremony, full of deep symbolical meaning, and when understood it is seen to be no mere form, but a wonderfully effective formula, calling to our aid various entities, and preparing the way for the performance of a very definite service to mankind. Yet, having opened our Lodge and made all these preparations, we proceed at once to close down, unless we have a candidate to initiate or pass or raise, or a lecture to deliver to our own people.
Surely such a wonderful preparation should end in something definite, in a real piece of work for the benefit of mankind. In ancient Egypt there was this splendid work, the culmination to which all the preparations led up. Our true purpose should be the same. We meet and go through certain ceremonies, and give them the name of work - a name that is quite inappropriate as applied to the mere ceremonies, no matter how full of meaning they may be.
But if we are building a grand and beautiful form as a channel for the divine energy, through which the world may be helped, then most assuredly we are doing work, collecting, concentrating and storing up great superhuman forces, and then, with the closing blessing, pouring all that out upon the world. Without this, all the preliminaries are, as it says in the Co-Masonic mystic charge, "like massive doorways, leading nowhither".
There is no reason why we in the present day should not do as much with our ritual as did the ancient Egyptians. Any defects that may stand in the way are to be found not in the outer world, but in the failure on the part of the Brn. In Egypt no one troubled the Bro.
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Secretary with letters of excuse; the Brn. Let us hope that Freemasonry will have a future worthy of its past, and that before long such Lodges as they had in Egypt will be working in many parts of the world. There are various lines along which the recollection of the way in which the work was done in ancient Egypt may be of use to us, for those people performed their ceremonies with full knowledge of their meaning, and so the points upon which they laid great stress are likely to be important to us also.
Deep reverence was their strongest characteristic. They regarded their temple much as the most earnest Christians regard their church, except that their attitude was dictated by scientific knowledge rather than by feeling. They understood that the temple was strongly magnetized, and that to preserve the full strength of that magnetism great care was necessary.
To speak of ordinary matters in the temple would have been considered as sacrilege, as it would mean the introduction of a disturbing influence. Vesting and all preliminary business was always done in the anteroom, and the Brn. The Mystery teaching of Egypt was very closely guarded, and it was only with great difficulty and under special conditions that anyone not an Egyptian born could be allowed to receive it.
Still, it was given to various distinguished foreigners, and among others to Moses, of whom it is said in the biblical story that he was "learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians". He passed on his knowledge to the Jewish priestly line, and thus it survived in a more or less defective form till the time of David and Solomon. When Solomon built his temple he erected it on Masonic lines, and made it a centre of Masonic symbolism and work.
He unquestionably intended his temple to demonstrate and to preserve for his people a certain set of measurements, in the same sort of way in which all kinds of astronomical and geodetic facts were enshrined in the measurements of the great pyramid. II, on the Pillars. He did not succeed, because much of the tradition had been lost; or it would perhaps be truer to say that while external ceremonial and even the traditional ornamentation had been very fairly preserved, the clue to the meaning of it all was no longer known.
Until that time initiates of the Jewish Mysteries had had their attention directed to the House of Light in Egypt; but King Solomon resolved to keep their thoughts and feelings strictly focused upon the building which he had himself erected, and therefore instead of speaking to them of the symbolical death and resurrection of Osiris in Egypt he invented the original form of our present traditional history to take its place.
In fact, he Judaized the entire ritual, substituting Hebrew words for the original Egyptian, though in some cases at least preserving the original meaning. It should be remembered that in doing this he was only bringing the practice of his people into line with that of neighbouring tribes and nations. There were many lines of Mystery tradition, and though the Jews had brought with them across the desert of Sinai much of the Egyptian form, the Tyrians and others preserved rather the story of the descent of Tammuz or Adonis than that of the dismemberment of Osiris.
Ward in his latest book on this subject seems inclined to advocate the theory that we as Masons owe comparatively little to Egypt and very much to Syria. In this briefest of outlines of Masonic history I cannot pursue the question further, but I hope to say more upon it in my next volume, Glimpses of Masonic History. It is principally along this line of Jewish descent that Masonry has come down to us in Europe, though there have been other infiltrations.
Numa Pompilius, the second King of Rome, who founded the Roman Collegia, established in connection with them a system of the Mysteries which derived its Masonic succession from Egypt; but its ceremonies and teachings were somewhat modified by the migration of the rites of Attis and Cybele to Rome about B. From the Collegia this mingled tradition was handed on through the Comacini and various other secret societies through the dangerous times of the Middle Ages; and when a better age dawned and persecution became less fierce it came to the surface once more. Certain fragments of it were gathered together in to form the Grand Lodge of England, and so it has come down to us unto the present day.
It should be understood, however, that there is no one line of Masonic orthodoxy. A parallel tradition, coming originally from Chaldean sources, has given rise to Masonry as worked upon the continent of Europe. And yet another line seems to have been brought back by the Knights Templars on their return from the crusades. The whole subject of Masonic history is one of exceeding interest; but, owing to the fact that Masonry is after all a secret society, it is often almost impossible to trace the line of its descent by means of any docu- ments which are now available, and consequently there is great confusion and contradiction among the various accounts.
We have ourselves devoted a good deal of investigation and research to this matter, and I have published some of its results in the book just mentioned, Glimpses of Masonic History. Much of the ancient wisdom has been allowed to slip into oblivion, and so some of the true secrets were lost to the great body of the Brn.
But among the Hierophants of the Great White Brotherhood the true secrets have ever been preserved, and they will always reward the search of the really earnest Mason. We, of these later sub-races, may prove ourselves just as unselfish and capable of just as good work for our fellowmen as were the people of old. Indeed, we ourselves may well be those men of old, come back in new bodies, and bringing with us the old attraction to the form of faith and work which then we knew so well. Let us try to revive under these far different conditions the unconquerable spirit which distinguished us so long ago.
It means a good deal of hard work, for every officer must do his part quite perfectly, and that involves much training and practice. Yet I feel sure that there are many who will respond to the Master's call and come forward to join in preparing the way for those who are to come. Let each Lodge make itself a model Lodge, thoroughly efficient in its working, so that when anyone visits it he may be impressed by the good work done and by the strength of its magnetic atmosphere, and may thereby be induced to share in this vast undertaking. Our members must also be able, when they in turn visit other Lodges, to explain our method of working, and show how, from the occult point of view, the ceremonies should be performed.
Above all, they must carry with them everywhere the strong magnetism of a completely harmonious centre, the potent radiation of brotherly love. To us also, as to the ancient Egyptians, the Lodge should be holy ground, consecrated and set apart for Masonic work, never to be used for any secular purpose. It should have an atmosphere of its own, just as have the great medieval cathedrals; as they are permeated by the influence of centuries of devotion, so should the very walls of our Temple radiate strength, broadmindedness and brotherly love.
IT is customary in speaking of the Freemasonic Lodge to which one belongs to think of a hall or room in an ordinary building in the physical world. Therefore, when its extension is mentioned, the ordinary ideas of its measurements in length, breadth and height come up in the mind. It is necessary, however, to think of much more than that, for the Lodge represents the universe at large, as is explained in the ritual of the Craft degrees of Universal Co-Masonry.
In the description of the t The form of the Lodge-room, according to Dr. Mackey, should be that of a parallelogram at least one-third larger from east to west than it is from north to south. It should always, if possible, be situated due east and west, should The approaches to the Lodge room from without should be angular, for, as Oliver says, "a straight entrance is unmasonic, and cannot be tolerated.
That on his right hand is for the introduction of visitors and members and, leading from the T. Plate III shows the form of the Lodge and the positions of the principal objects in it, as usually arranged by Co-Masons of the British jurisdiction.
The floor of the Lodge, technically speaking, is the mosaic pavement, which will be described among the ornaments of the Lodge. The correct shape for this is a double square - that is to say, a rectangle having a length double its breadth - and the Lodge may be thought of as a double cube standing on this floor. Considered as the entire room, the Lodge is a temple of humanity, and as such it may be taken to symbolize a man lying upon his back. In this position the three great supports correspond to important centres in the human body.
The column of the R. W, corresponds to the generative organs, symbols of strength and virility, and also to the solar plexus, the great ganglionic centre of the sympathetic system; and that of the W. Three reasons are given in the ritual to explain why our Lodges are set east and west. In the first place, the sun rises in the east, and the sun is regarded in Masonry as a symbol of divinity. Secondly, all the western nations look to the east as the source of their wisdom.
Thirdly, the Masons follow the precedent of the temple of King Solomon, which was set east and west in imitation of the arrangement of the tabernacle which was carried by the Israelites in their wanderings through the desert, and was always placed east and west when put down. It is certainly not sufficient to say that the early Masons oriented their Lodges merely because all churches and chapels ought to be so; rather the ecclesiastical rule spectare ad orientem was also a rule for the Masons.
As we have already said, the Egyptian origin of Masonry has been somewhat obscured by Jewish influence. When Moses introduced the Egyptian wisdom to the Jews they quickly gave their own colouring to it. They are a very remarkable race, in that they assimilate readily, but stamp their own decided characteristics upon whatever they take up. In this case, the Egyptians spoke of the great pyramid of Gizeh as the "House of Light", or more commonly "The Light" but the Jews were taught to interpret it as referring to the temple of King Solomon.
The real reason, however, for the careful orientation of the Lodge is magnetic. There is a constant flow of force in both directions between the equator and each of the poles of the earth, and there is also a current flowing at right angles to that, moving round the earth in the direction of its motion.
Both of these currents are utilized in the working of the Lodge, as will be explained when we come to deal with the ceremonies. The world at large does not recognize the presence of these forces, which are not of the same order as those which influence a common steel or iron magnet, but there are some people who are sensitive to them to such an extent that they cannot sleep comfortably if they lie across them. Some of these people sleep best with the head to the north, others with the head to the south.
Among the Hindus it is considered that only an ascetic should sleep with his head to the north. The householder, the man of the world, should lie with his head to the south. The ritual tells us that the covering of a, Freemason's Lodge is a celestial canopy of divers colours. This may very well symbolize the star- lit heavens which canopy the true temple of humanity, when we regard the Lodge as universal; but the reference to divers colours indicates another meaning, for the vault of the sky is not of various hues, except at sunrise and sunset, but is blue.
The real celestial canopy is the aura of the man whom we have thought of as lying on his back; it is the vividly tinted thought-form that is made during the working of the Lodge. We see this symbolism appearing elsewhere also, in Joseph's coat of many colours in the V. Wilmshurst in The Meaning of Masonry also interprets the canopy as the aura of man, which is surely more reasonable than to suppose with Dr. Mackey that because the early Brn. In the Grand Lodge of England working there is generally no altar at all, or at the most only an appendage to the Master's pedestal; so that when the candidate is taking the O.
In some Lodges the altar is a little east of the centre of the floor, and in others it stands in the middle of the floor. On the altar, or close to it, or hanging above it in the middle of the eastern square, there is in Co-Masonic Lodges a small light burning, usually enclosed in ruby-coloured glass.
This light symbolizes the reflection of Deity in matter, and it corresponds exactly to the light in Catholic churches which burns always before the Altar on which the Host is reserved. The place where the sacred offerings were presented to God.
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After the erection of the Tabernacle, altars were of two kinds, altars of sacrifice and altars of incense. The altar of Masonry may be considered as the representative of both these forms. From hence the grateful incense of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, is ever rising to the Great I Am; while on it the unruly passions and the worldly appetites of the Brethren are laid as a fitting sacrifice to the genius of our Order. The proper form of a masonic altar is that of a cube, about three feet high, with four horns, one at each corner, and having spread open upon it the Holy Bible, Square, and Compasses, while around it are placed in a triangular form and proper position the three lesser lights.
The stars represent the three lighted candles and the black dot the vacancy in the north, where there is no light.