I am often puzzled by the Mason who travels the internet looking for weaker prey, or who is looking to pick an online fight with another Mason. Did he (or she) not learn anything from his Masonic lessons? Well, he actually did, but in a misguided effort to protect the craft, he instead has become a cyberbully. Instead of accepting another Masonic viewpoint, he actually goes out of his way to discredit the brother; this is an act unbecoming a Mason who desires a high moral character. As such, after some reflection, I have decided to write my own views on the matter; and here they are, with supporting quotes from Albert Pike’s book Morals and Dogma, 1871.
Online Etiquette For Masons:
1. Just State Your Views In A Polite, None Threatening Or Offensive Manner:
When posting a comment online, do nothing more than state your views in a polite inoffensive manner. Never try to provoke another Mason by asking a question you already know the answer to. This is a common tactic of a Masonic cyberbully. I am weary of the Mason who asks a question only to turn it into an unwinnable debate. You see, some men (and women) don’t take their Masonic lessons with them after they leave lodge; as Pike confirmed:
“A man may be a good sort of man in general, and yet a very bad man in particular: good in the Lodge and bad in the world; good in public, and bad in his family; good at home, and bad on a journey or in a strange city. Many a man earnestly desires to be a good Mason. He says so, and is sincere. But if you require him to resist a certain passion, to sacrifice a certain indulgence, to control his appetite at a particular feast, or to keep his temper in a dispute, you will find that he does not wish to be a good Mason, in that particular case; or, wishing, is not able to resist his worse impulses” (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 151).
2. Never Debate Another Mason Online:
I have found that there is not enough space or time in an online forum to truly debate any Masonic question. It is best to, again, just state your opinion in an inoffensive manner, or simply quote the opinion of a prominent Masonic author, and move on. Most often, I go online for Masonic inspiration, education and ideas; however, sometimes I find infighting, which is a behavior unbecoming a Mason; or as Pike so poignantly wrote:
“Wherever there is strife and hatred among the brethren, there is no Masonry; for Masonry is Peace, and Brotherly Love, and Concord” (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 124).
When I see such behavior, I often feel compelled to leave that forum and never return to it. In fact, because some sites are so poorly monitored, and it happens so often, and is so harsh, I simply leave (un-join) the group, and never return to it; and I have done so on numerous occasions. Why might you ask? It’s simple, because I believe Masonry is a personal journey of discovery, and not a debate club, or as Pike wrote about interpreting Masonic legends and its history:
“WHETHER the legend and history of this Degree are historically true, or but an allegory, containing in itself a deeper truth and a profounder meaning, we shall not now debate. If it be but a legendary myth, you must find out for yourself what it means (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 204).
You see, if Pike was asked a question today about online debating of Masonic history and its legends, I believe he would say the same thing he said in 1871, that, “we should not now debate;” rather, he would tell us that we must find out for ourself what something means. Therefore, making a public spectacle online, in the end, does nothing to really change another Mason’s mind. Pike wrote about “venal orators” and their destructive antics, and contrasted them to having eloquence for good purposes, to teach etc:
“If you have Eloquence, it is a mighty force. See that you use it for good purposes—to teach, exhort, ennoble the people, and not to mislead and corrupt them. Corrupt and venal orators are the assassins of the public liberties and of public morals.” (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 91).
3. Think Before Responding, Because There Is Power In Your Thoughts And Words; So Use Them Wisely:
In the past, I let my emotions get the best of me, and I responded too quickly, which led me to writing something I regretted a few days later. I now take several hours to reflect, and sometimes I take a day or two, before responding. This has helped me better phrase my words, so they won’t be perceived as offensive. Pike wrote about the immortal power of thoughts and words, and their existence within the soul:
“Take, then, the attributes of the soul. I am conscious that I exist and am the same identical person that I was twenty years ago. I am conscious that my body is not I,–that if my arms were lopped away, this person that I call ME, would still remain, complete, entire, identical as before. But I cannot ascertain, by the most intense and long-continued reflection, what I am, nor where within my body I reside, nor whether I am a point, or an expanded substance. I have no power to examine and inspect. I exist, will, think, perceive. That I know, and nothing more. I think a noble and sublime Thought. What is that Thought? It is not Matter, nor Spirit. It is not a Thing; but a Power and Force. I make upon a paper certain conventional marks, that represent that Thought. There is no Power or Virtue in the marks I write, but only in the Thought which they tell to others. I die, but the Thought still lives. It is a Power. It acts on men, excites them to enthusiasm, inspires patriotism, governs their conduct, controls their destinies, disposes of life and death. The words I speak are but a certain succession of particular sounds, that by conventional arrangement communicate to others the Immaterial, Intangible, Eternal Thought. The fact that Thought continues to exist an instant, after it makes its appearance in the soul, proves it immortal: for there is nothing conceivable that can destroy it. The spoken words, being mere sounds, may vanish into thin air, and the written ones, mere marks, be burned, erased, destroyed: but the THOUGHT itself lives still, and must live on forever. A Human Thought, then, is an actual EXISTENCE, and a FORCE and POWER, capable of acting upon and controlling matter as well as mind. Is not the existence of a God, who is the immaterial soul of the Universe, and whose THOUGHT, embodied or not embodied in His WORD, is an Infinite Power, of Creation and production, destruction and preservation, quite as comprehensible as the existence of a Soul, of a Thought separated from the Soul, of the Power of that Thought to mold the fate and influence the Destinies of Humanity” (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 573)?
4. Sometimes It Is Better Not To Respond At All:
Sometimes I don’t respond at all. I do this because I felt the question or comment was only used to lead me into a debate; something I hate doing, because I personally believe such behavior may tarnish my soul. Many times, I have to remind myself about what Pike wrote of men who appear to be virtuous, who quote good words only to glaze over their bad deeds. Simply stated, I am more concerned with a man’s actions and deeds than his words. Pike wrote:
“A great Preacher well said, “Therefore thou art inexcusable. O Man, whosoever thou art, that judgest; for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself: for thou that judgest, doest the same things.” It is amazing to see how men can talk of virtue and honor, whose life denies both. It is curious to see with what a marvellous facility many bad men quote Scripture. It seems to comfort their evil consciences, to use good words; and to glaze over bad deeds with holy texts, wrested to their purpose. Often, the more a man talks about Charity and Toleration, the less he has of either; the more he talks about Virtue, the smaller stock he has of it. The mouth speaks out of the abundance of the heart; but often the very reverse of what the man practices. And the vicious and sensual often express, and in a sense feel, strong disgust at vice and sensuality. Hypocrisy is not so common as is imagined” (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 150).
5. Don’t Invite Others Into A Discussion Only To Gang Up On Another Mason:
I have seen this unbecoming behavior several times on Facebook. The cyberbullying Mason has a group of followers, which he uses to discredit other Masonic viewpoints. The Mason plugs in the names of his followers into the group conversation, and pretty soon you see four or five, sometimes even 7 or more, ganging up on another Mason and his views on a particular point. On the surface, it might look like the Masonic cyberbullying gang has won the argument; but not really. You see, their success was only limited to their cyberbullying group of Masons; all the good Masons had already left, or chose not to participate in the unbecoming behavior. Sadly, this destructive behavior has a negative impact on young and new Masons; for you see, when they witness this kind of online behavior they either leave disheartened and thinking negatively about the craft, or adapt to become accepted by their peers. And they too become a cyberbully; and the cycle continues uninterrupted. Pike wrote about respecting others and their opinions, and compared that type of individual to a gentle, kind, good honest and principled person:
“Those who forget the rights of others, must not be surprised if their own are forgotten; and those who stoop to the lowest embraces of sense must not wonder, if others are not concerned to find their prostrate honor, and lift it up to the remembrance and respect of the world. To the gentle, many will be gentle; to the kind, many will be kind. A good man will find that there is goodness in the world; an honest man will find that there is honesty in the world; and a man of principle will find principle and integrity in the minds of others” (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 193-194).
6. Don’t Ever Attack Other Masonic Orders (Rites) Or Other Esoteric Organizations, Especially Clandestine Orders, And Never Tell Another Person That He Or She Is Not A True Mason Because They Do Not Belong To Your Order:
Simply stated, nothing is really ever gained by attacking others online. By doing so, all you do is create enemies, and tarnish your own soul in the process. When a Mason attacks other organizations as being illegitimate, he only succeeds in demonstrating his own ignorance about the lessons within Masonry. So what if some orders accept women and others do not; or some orders charge more money than others; or there are two Grand Lodges fighting for control; and so forth and so on. When a Mason attacks another order, viewpoint or position, he does nothing to change those organizations or its followers; such behavior only makes enemies of them. Interestingly, quite often I have found many people from different and unaffiliated orders more knowledgeable about Masonic esoteric history, doctrine and behavior than the common Master Mason of traditional Blue Lodge Masonry, who so often love to attack others based only on the limited knowledge he gained from exclusive Blue Lodge instruction. Pike confirmed the basis for the craft when he wrote about morality and virtue, and disinterestedness:
“The bases of Masonry being morality and virtue, it is by studying one and practicing the other, that the conduct of a Mason becomes irreproachable. The good of Humanity being its principal object, disinterestedness is one of the first virtues that it requires of its members; for that is the source of justice and beneficence” (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 185).
Think about it, Masons don’t generally attack the none-Mason for not being a Mason, but some Masons think it is fair game to attack Masons of other orders, like none-affiliated orders and so called clandestine orders; really, how hypocritical is that? Basically, what they are saying is, like a naive high school freshman, “our team is better than your team,” which is another ingenuous behavior.
Furthermore, Pike also wrote about our own ignorance when it comes to God’s plan for humanity; this includes Mason and none-Mason alike, and all the different non-affiliated orders of the broader craft:
“All errors are not equally innocuous. That which is most injurious is to entertain unworthy conceptions of the nature and attributes of God; and it is this that Masonry symbolizes by ignorance of the True Word. The true word of a Mason is, not the entire, perfect, absolute truth in regard to God; but the highest and noblest conception of Him that our minds are capable of forming; and this word is Ineffable, because one man cannot communicate to another his own conception of Deity; since every man’s conception of God must be proportioned to his mental cultivation, and intellectual powers, and moral excellence. God is, as man conceives Him, the reflected image of man himself.
For every man’s conception of God must vary with his mental cultivation and mental powers. If any one contents himself with any lower image than his intellect is capable of grasping, then he contents himself with that which is false to him, as well as false in fact. If lower than he can reach, he must needs feel it to be false. And if we, of the nineteenth century after Christ, adopt the conceptions of the nineteenth century before Him; if our conceptions of God are those of the ignorant, narrow-minded, and vindictive Israelite; then we think worse of God, and have a lower, meaner, and more limited view of His nature, than the faculties which He has bestowed are capable of grasping. The highest view we can form is nearest to the truth. If we acquiesce in any lower one, we acquiesce in an untruth. We feel that it is an affront and an indignity to Him, to conceive of Him as cruel, short-sighted, capricious, and unjust; as a jealous, an angry, a vindictive Being. When we examine our conceptions of His character, if we can conceive of a loftier, nobler, higher, more beneficent, glorious, and magnificent character, then this latter is to us the true conception of Deity; for nothing can be imagined more excellent than He” (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 223-224).
Ever wonder why this world has so many different religions? It’s simple, as Pike wrote above, “because one man cannot communicate to another his own conception of Deity.” Is it any wonder than why we also have so many different orders within the broader craft. In short, the whole of Masonry, and its many non-affiliated orders, cannot truly advance this world spiritually until we stop attacking each other online and offline.
7. Don’t Go Online To Self-Aggrandize Yourself Or Your Order (Rite); Rather, Go Online To Find Inspiration And Share Knowledge For Personal Advancement ~ Let Us Do Away With This Odious Self-Flattery:
Why do some Masons feel the need to be better than others? Also, why are some Masons compelled to judge our Masonic brethren and sistren in hast? Yes, let us strive to be more like God; but always remember that God loves all his children, not just the Masons of your order (rite). Pike wrote:
“Continually you praise each other, and utter elaborate and high-wrought eulogies upon the Order. Everywhere you assume that you are what you should be, and nowhere do you look upon yourselves as you are. Is it true that all our actions are so many acts of homage to virtue? Explore the recesses of your hearts; let us examine ourselves with an impartial eye, and make answer to our own questioning! Can we bear to ourselves the consoling testimony that we always rigidly perform our duties; that we even half perform them?
Let us away with this odious self-flattery! Let us be men, if we cannot be sages! The laws of Masonry, above others excellent, cannot wholly change men’s natures. They enlighten them, they point out the true way; but they can lead them in it, only by repressing the fire of their passions, and subjugating their selfishness. Alas, these conquer, and Masonry is forgotten!
After praising each other all our lives, there are always excellent Brethren, who, over our coffins, shower unlimited eulogies. Every one of us who dies, however useless his life, has been a model of all the virtues, a very child of the celestial light. In Egypt, among our old Masters, where Masonry was more cultivated than vanity, no one could gain admittance to the sacred asylum of the tomb until he had passed under the most solemn judgment. A grave tribunal sat in judgment upon all, even the kings. They said to the dead. “Whoever thou art, give account to thy country of thy actions! What hast thou done with thy time and life? The law interrogates thee, thy country hears thee, Truth sits in judgment on thee!” Princes came there to be judged, escorted only by their virtues and their vices. A public accuser recounted, the history of the dead man’s life, and threw the blaze of the torch of truth on all his actions. If it were adjudged that he had led an evil life, his memory was condemned in the presence of the nation, and his body was denied the honors of sepulture. What a lesson the old Masonry taught to the sons of the people” (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 186-187).
8. Be Fair In Your Judgment of Another Mason (Or Another Person); And Never Comment On Someone’s Motives:
I have seen it time and time again, one Mason will speculate on another Mason’s motives when responding to an online post or response. The enlightened Mason should lean on his or her Masonic education, which includes not judging another person too quickly. Pike wrote about the Masons “who are invested with the power of judgment,” should “in deducing the motive” of another person “not assign to the act either the best or the worst motives,” rather, they should be “just and fair:”
“Those who are invested with the power of judgment should judge the causes of all persons uprightly and impartially, without any personal consideration of the power of the mighty, or the bribe of the rich, or the needs of the poor. That is the cardinal rule, which no one will dispute; though many fail to observe it. But they must do more. They must divest themselves of prejudice and preconception. They must hear patiently, remember accurately, and weigh carefully the facts and the arguments offered before them. They must not leap hastily to conclusions, nor form opinions before they have heard all. They must not presume crime or fraud. They must neither be ruled by stubborn pride of opinion, nor be too facile and yielding to the views and arguments of others. In deducing the motive from the proven act, they must not assign to the act either the best or the worst motives, but those which they would think it just and fair for the world to assign to it, if they themselves had done if; nor must they endeavor to make many little circumstances, that weigh nothing separately, weigh much together, to prove their own acuteness and sagacity. These are sound rules for every juror, also, to observe.
In our intercourse with others, there are two kinds of injustice: the first, of those who offer an injury; the second, of those who have it in their power to avert an injury from those to whom it is offered, and yet do it not. So active injustice may be done in two ways—by force and by fraud,–of which force is lion-like, and fraud fox-like,--both utterly repugnant to social duty, but fraud the more detestable.
Every wrong done by one man to another, whether it affect his person, his property, his happiness, or his reputation, is an offense against the law of justice. The field of this Degree is therefore a wide and vast one; and Masonry seeks for the most impressive mode of enforcing the law of justice, and the most effectual means of preventing wrong and injustice.
To this end it teaches this great and momentous truth: that wrong and injustice once done cannot be undone” (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 126).
9. Be Concerned With How Your Actions Will Be Looked Upon By Others In The Craft And Outside The Craft:
I know I alluded to this topic earlier; however, it truly needs to be addressed in its own stand alone section. Masonry is a big umbrella, with a lot of people from differing backgrounds. As such, we will not all agree on everything, nor should we; especially given the fact that Masonry was designed as an individual adventure. Yet, despite this understanding, we still retain some Masons who act according to their worldly instruction, rather than Masonic instruction; and they get away with this behavior because many Masons empower them by agreeing with, or disagreeing with, them in an online forum. Instead, we should simply walk away from them, and not empower them anymore. Pike mentioned this problem when he asked why we still retain some Masons who excite rivalries and jealousies:
“Your debates should be but friendly conversations. You need concord, union, and peace. Why then do you retain among you men who excite rivalries and jealousies; why permit great and violent controversy and ambitious pretensions? How do your own words and acts agree? If your Masonry is a nullity, how can you exercise any influence on others (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 186)?
As well, be very careful when writing about your political and religious viewpoints, for this too may look poorly upon you and the craft. I am often confused when a Mason makes an offhand political or religious comment for or against a position. Again, I have to ask, did they not learn anything from their Masonic lessons? Pike wrote about the problems of politics and religion:
“In every credo, religious or political as in the soul of man, there are two regions, the Dialectic and the Ethic; and it is only when the two are harmoniously blended, that a perfect discipline is evolved. There are men who dialectically are Christians, as there are a multitude who dialectically are Masons, and yet who are ethically Infidels, as these are ethically of the Profane, in the strictest sense:–intellectual believers, but practical atheists:–men who will write you “Evidences,” in perfect faith in their logic, but cannot carry out the Christian or Masonic doctrine, owing to the strength, or weakness, of the flesh. On the other hand, there are many dialectical skeptics, but ethical believers, as there are many Masons who have never undergone initiation; and as ethics are the end and purpose of religion, so are ethical believers the most worthy. He who does right is better than he who thinks right. But you must not act upon the hypothesis that all men are hypocrites, whose conduct does not square with their sentiments. No vice is more rare, for no task is more difficult, than systematic hypocrisy. When the Demagogue becomes a Usurper it does not follow that he was all the time a hypocrite. Shallow men only so judge of others” (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p 35).
Therefore, when a topic of discussion becomes unMasonic, simply leave it, don’t respond, and if need be, leave the site. Don’t empower these Masons by either praising them, liking their comments, or making a comment in support of, or against, their statement; for some people love to be attacked, and attack others who disagree with their position; it empowers them. On several occasions, I have witnessed a negative statement made by a Mason go unchallenged, with no likes or comments, which told me that others did not enjoy what had been written online. I personally think this is the best way of stating your displeasure online. Just leave the unMasonic statement alone; it is toxic.
10: Never Flatter Another Mason:
I have seen this behavior from time to time; although it does not happen that much. There is a fine line between acknowledging someones years of service, efforts and rank within the craft, and flattering them. I have seen the embarrassment and shame some Masons feel when they are overtly flattered. You see, Masonry teaches humbleness; so when a Mason unknowingly flatters another Mason, he may, in fact, be hurting him or embarrassing him personally, and his reputation; even when done online. Pike confirmed my concerns when he wrote:
“Flattery, either of individual or people, corrupts both the receiver and the giver; and adulation is not of more service to the people than to kings. A Cæsar, securely seated in power, cares less for it than a free democracy; nor will his appetite for it grow to exorbitance, as that of a people will, until it becomes insatiate. The effect of liberty to individuals is, that they may do what they please; to a people, it is to a great extent the same. If accessible to flattery, as this is always interested, and resorted to on low and base motives, and for evil purposes, either individual or people is sure, in doing what it pleases, to do what in honor and conscience should have been left undone. One ought not even to risk congratulations, which may soon be turned into complaints; and as both individuals and peoples are prone to make a bad use of power, to flatter them, which is a sure way to mislead them, well deserves to be called a crime” (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 83).
11. Don’t Attack Another Mason’s Grammar, Misspelling Or Word Usage Online; If It Bothers You That Much, Just Send A Private Message Letting Him or Her Know There Are Errors, And Make Suggestions.
This is a favorite tool of the Masonic cyberbully. Simply stated, if he (or she) does not like what was written, instead of countering with logic, or countering with his own posting, or blog site, he goes after the other Mason’s grammar, etc. Think about it, how often do we read comments online that have grammatical errors in them. Literally, I read hundreds of comments everyday that have errors in them, but I never comment. Generally, I can make sense of what was written and let it go. There is a book in the middle of each Blue Lodge room, and we call it the rule and guide of our faith; yes, it is the Holy Bible. It is there to guide us. Therefore, what does it say about pointing out another person’s errors?
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7: 3-5, NIV).
Also, I have read many great works of literature that had countless mistakes in them; but I can still make sense of what was written, and find value in the author’s work. I am often reminded of J. K. Rowling’s book series about Harry Potter, which had hundreds upon hundreds of errors in them. Yet, her books are still the most popular children’s books ever written. Better yet, how about Albert Pike’s original book, Morals and Dogma (1871), which also has hundreds upon hundreds of errors in it. Please remember, not everyone was an English major in college; a point English majors love to throw about. The closest thing I could find from Pike on the matter is when he wrote about the misunderstanding of words, which are often misused just like symbols are:
“A single example of the symbolism of words will indicate to you one branch of Masonic study. We find in the English Rite this phrase: ‘I will always hail, ever conceal, and never reveal;’ and in the Catechism, these: “Q∴ ‘I hail.’ A∴ ‘I conceal;’ and ignorance, misunderstanding the word ‘hail,’ has interpolated the phrase, “From whence do you hail!’ But the word is really ‘hele,’ from the Anglo-Saxon verb elan, helan, to cover, hide, or conceal. And this word is rendered by the Latin verb tegere, to cover or roof over. ‘That ye fro me no thynge woll hele,’ says Gower. ‘They hele fro me no priuyte,’ says the Romaunt of the Rose. ‘To heal a house,’ is a common phrase in Sussex; and in the west of England, he that covers a house with slates is called a Healer. Wherefore, to ‘heal‘ means the same thing as to ’tile,’–itself symbolic, as meaning, primarily, to cover a house with tiles,–and means to cover, hide, or conceal. Thus language too is symbolism, and words are as much misunderstood and misused as more material symbols are (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 63).
Which means there have always been errors with regard to language, written words and symbolism, and these errors will perhaps always remain; so get over it and move on? I find the only reason a Mason would comment publicly about another Mason’s written errors is to denigrate him or her in front of others, and to raise himself above the author. Which I believe is another ingenuous behavior unbecoming a Mason who desires a high moral character.
12. Don’t Attack, Or Comment Negatively About, Albert Pike Or His Book, Morals And Dogma:
Simply stated, when you attack Albert Pike, you are attacking the order of Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, and when you comment negatively on Pike, you are portraying that Masonic order negatively, both of which are acts unbecoming a Mason who desires a high moral character. Albert Pike is the author of the popular book Morals and Dogma (1871, 2011), which is given to initiates when they first become Masons of the order.
A favorite pastime of the Masonic cyberbully is to say that Pike was a racist because he fought for the south in the American Civil War, which made him a segregationist, and by extension, a racist. Alternatively, that he was a member of the Scottish Rite KKK Project, which is an outright fabrication by Anton Chaitkin, a founding member of the Lyndon LaRouche movement. You see, when a Mason makes such a claim, he or she only demonstrates a lack of knowledge on the topic; like no supporting documentation or referencing of the claims. Yet, one only needs to read his book Morals and Dogma to see that he spoke out against the injustice of slavery and the separation of the races:
“And as to London–it looked like judgment, if it be true that the Asiatic cholera had its origin in English avarice and cruelty, as they suppose who trace it to the tax which Warren Hastings, when Governor-General of India, imposed on salt, thus cutting off its use from millions of the vegetable-eating races of the East: just as that disease whose spectral shadow lies always upon America’s threshold, originated in the avarice and cruelty of the slave-trade, translating the African coast fever to the congenial climate of the West Indies and Southern America–the yellow fever of the former, and the vomito negro of the latter.
But we should be slow to make inferences from our petty human logic to the ethics of the Almighty. Whatever the cruelty of the slave-trade, or the severity of slavery on the continents or islands of America, we should still, in regard to its supposed consequences, be wiser, perhaps, to say with that great and simple Casuist Who gave the world the Christian religion: “Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans because they suffered such things? or those eighteen upon whom the tower of Siloam fell and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all the men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
Retribution bars retaliation, even in words. A city shattered, burned, destroyed, desolate, a land wasted, humiliated, made a desert and a wilderness, or wearing the thorny crown of humiliation and subjugation, is invested with the sacred prerogatives and immunities of the dead. The base human revenge of exultation at its fall and ruin should shrink back abashed in the presence of the infinite Divine chastisement. ‘Forgiveness is wiser than revenge,’ our Freemasonry teaches us, ‘and it is better to love than to hate.’ Let him who sees in great calamities the hand of God, be silent, and fear His judgments.
Men are great or small in stature as it pleases God. But their nature is great or small as it pleases themselves. Men are not born, some with great souls and some with little souls. One by taking thought cannot add to his stature, but he can enlarge his soul. By an act of the will he can make himself a moral giant, or dwarf himself to a pigmy” (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 812-813).
Pike also wrote that God has no color; the Parsees, by the way, where from India:
“The Parsees, retaining the old religion taught by Zaradisht, say in their catechism: ‘We believe in only one God, and do not believe in any beside Him; Who created the Heavens, the Earth, the Angels… Our God has neither face nor form, color nor shape, nor fixed place. There is no other like Him, nor can our mind comprehend Him‘” (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 620).
Or when Pike wrote that black and white will commingle when the depots cease to slay and ravage:
“Where the armies of the despots cease to slay and ravage, the armies of ‘Freedom’ take their place, and, the black and white commingled, slaughter and burn and ravish. Each age re-enacts the crimes as well as the follies of its predecessors, and still war licenses outrage and turns fruitful lands into deserts, and God is thanked in the Churches for bloody butcheries, and the remorseless devastators, even when swollen by plunder, are crowned with laurels and receive ovations” (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 295).
Still others like to comment on his writing style, and that he copied much of his work. Again, it is truly unfair to relate modern writing styles to those of the past. In addition, when a Mason attacks either his spelling errors, or his comprehension style, the Mason only demonstrates a lack of knowledge from the period. Many authors of the period did not reference, like they do today; in fact, in many eastern countries, copying is an acceptable behavior even today. It has only become unacceptable in the west in the last century or so. Also, when Pike wrote his book, he assumed it would only be given to a small group of men with high intellectual backgrounds (leaders of the Scottish Rite, SJ). It was not written for the general Mason; only after his death did it become widely distributed. As for spelling errors, as a historian, I have read countless books going back centuries that had spelling errors in them; as such, this too was a common occurrence from the period. I have come to understand such mistakes to be as much from the printer/type setter, as the author. For me anyway, when someone complains about such mistakes, they only end up demonstrating their lack of comprehension skills, and their ability to truly understand his great book. Also, if such mistakes bother you that much, simply go to the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction website and order the newest edition of his book Morals and Dogma, which has been updated to modern academic standards.
I will be writing on this topic more in the near future, so look for it on this blog site.
13. Be Careful When Using Humor Online; It Is A tool To Hide Or Sway Intentions:
I have seen it repeatedly online, a Mason will attempt to use humor to sway the conversation, or it ends up being misinterpreted. Always remember, the other person cannot see your facial expressions or mannerisms, which are important components when using humor, or trying to tell a joke. Pike was very much aware of the use of humor in history and spoke of its misdealings on several occasions; like when he wrote that the despot will use whatever means available to him to sway the opinion of another:
“Under a Despotism, men are false, treacherous, and deceitful… they are so as a means of attaining popularity… Experience will probably prove that these odious and detestable vices will grow most rankly and spread most rapidly… and fraud becomes the highway to the latter, the land will reek with falsehood and sweat lies and chicane… To adapt one’s opinions to the popular humor; to defend, apologize for, and justify the popular follies; to advocate the expedient and the plausible; to caress, cajole, and flatter the elector” (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 66).
But rather, the Mason “labors equally to defend and to improve the people. He does not flatter them to mislead them, nor fawn upon them to rule them, nor conceal his opinions to humor them, nor tell them that they can never err, and that their voice is the voice of God” (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 177).
14. Don’t Use A Pseudonym, Or Trust Any Mason Using A Pseudonym Online:
Sadly, I find the Masonic cyberbully sometimes has to go underground to perform his unMasonic acts of disparaging another Mason’s good name and efforts. Another favorite tool of the cyberbully is using a pseudonym. Now I know there are perhaps some good reasons for using a hidden name; like, perhaps he or she is a public figure, etc. However, in the rare case a Mason must hide his name, he should be careful when attacking another person who is using his given name. If your argument is valid and is to be respected by others, put your given name to your comment, or do not comment at all. It is truly unfair to attack another Mason by hiding under the veil of a pseudonym. Pike wrote that the actions of man, which are public, cannot be concealed, “Nothing is more usual than to pretend conscience in all the actions of man which are public and cannot be concealed” (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 111).
15. Do Not Attack Any Religion, Religious Organization Or Religious Opinion:
Again, I have to ask, for those Masons who willfully attack religion, a religious order or a religious viewpoint, did they not learn anything from their Masonic lessons? I have witnessed this behavior from time to time, where a Mason feels it is OK to attack the Vatican or some evangelical order because they spoke-out against Freemasonry. If I attacked every person who spoke out against Freemasonry, I would have no friends or family left, seriously. But more importantly, nothing is ever gained by attacking a religion or religious viewpoints; in fact, sadly you maybe hurting the feelings of a Masonic brother (or sister) who is of that faith, which drives a wedge between you and that person. In the end, nothing is ever truly gained by publicly attacking religion. Pike wrote, “Love clasps the hand of love, amid all the envyings and distractions of showy competition,” and “bitter or revengeful feelings, contempt, dislike, hatred… are intruders and not welcome:”
Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and its teachings are instruction in religion. For here are inculcated disinterestedness, affection, toleration, devotedness, patriotism, truth, a generous sympathy with those who suffer and mourn, pity for the fallen, mercy for the erring, relief for those in want, Faith, Hope, and .Charity. Here we meet as brethren, to learn to know and love each other. Here we greet each other gladly, are lenient to each other’s faults, regardful of each other’s feelings, ready to relieve each other’s wants. This is the true religion revealed to the ancient patriarchs; which Masonry has taught for many centuries, and which it will continue to teach as long as time endures. If unworthy passions, or selfish, bitter, or revengeful feelings, contempt, dislike, hatred, enter here, they are intruders and not welcome, strangers uninvited, and not guests.
Certainly there are many evils and bad passions, and much hate and contempt and unkindness everywhere in the world. We cannot refuse to see the evil that is in life. But all is not evil. We still see God in the world. There is good amidst the evil. The hand of mercy leads wealth to the hovels of poverty and sorrow. Truth and simplicity live amid many wiles and sophistries. There are good hearts underneath gay robes, and under tattered garments also. Love clasps the hand of love, amid all the envyings and distractions of showy competition (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 213-214).
And again, Pike wrote, “To respect all forms of worship, to tolerate all political and religious opinions; not to blame, and still less to condemn the religion of others: not to seek to make converts; but to be content if they have the religion of Socrates; a veneration for the Creator, the religion of good works, and grateful acknowledgment of God’s blessings” (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 333). There you have it, let us be content that we have the religion of good works and God’s blessings, which we most assuredly lose when we attack another person’s religion or religious viewpoints.
With all that said, please, go online, but be careful; and by all means, continue to enjoy your online Masonic community experience, for there is still yet much more to learn. Yet, in that rare occasion a Mason acts unMasonic, you now have some tools to help you decide how to respond, or not to respond.
So Mote It Be!!!
PS: Also, please remember that Masonry has spread itself around the globe. There is a hunger for its teachings and principles. Yet, with that said, there are also significant differences that are intertwined into Masonry from each culture. Below are a few Masonic pictures from around the globe that I gathered to help illustrate my point. Can you see the differences and similarities? Also, please keep in mind, I am not asking the orders and rites I am a member of to change any of their tenets or teachings, but I am asking the brethren to follow its teachings. There is a good reason we have male only lodges, and I accept that; just as there are other orders (none-affiliated) that allow women only or both men and women combined to learn together, which I have no problem if some people want to do that. All I am asking is for us to stop bashing each others order or orders, and for us all to live in peace in harmony, which Masonry teaches and aspires each of its followers to strive for. Enjoy the following picture tour: