As mentioned in my previous article Spiritual Anarchy and Freemasonry, “Upon reflection, our declining numbers is nothing but the symptom of a disease that we allowed to infiltrate the Craft, i.e. Postmodernism.” Our Masonic forefathers warned us to be on guard against the Profane, but we have not listened. Instead, we have allowed Profane thinking into the Craft; nevertheless, this was to be expected, as it has throughout the history of mankind.
You see, the Craft is a pathway to elevated levels of learning, which requires a depth of study in order to understand its teachings. No, I am not talking about someone who earned a position within the Craft because of his association and length of service. As honorable as a Mason’s service to the Craft is, in the end, his service to the Craft often has little to do with one’s Masonic knowledge. Case in point, Albert Pike wrote in his book Morals and Dogma (1871), “As all the great Mysteries of God and the Universe are thus hidden in the Ternary, it everywhere appears in Masonry and in the Hermetic Philosophy under its mask of Alchemy. It even appears where Masons do not suspect it” (p. 791-792). Wait a minute, is Pike suggesting that Freemasonry does not reveal all it secrets to the newly initiated? Yes, of course. Pike confirmed this concealment when he wrote:
“If you have been disappointed in the first three Degrees, as you have received them, and if it has seemed to you that the performance has not come up to the promise, that the lessons of morality are not new, and the scientific instruction is but rudimentary, and the symbols are imperfectly explained, remember that the ceremonies and lessons of those Degrees have been for ages more and more accommodating themselves, by curtailment and sinking into commonplace, to the often limited memory and capacity of the Master and Instructor, and to the intellect and needs of the Pupil and Initiate; that they have come to us from an age when symbols were used, not to reveal but to conceal; when the commonest learning was confined to a select few, and the simplest principles of morality seemed newly discovered truths; and that these antique and simple Degrees now stand like the broken columns of a roofless Druidic temple, in their rude and mutilated greatness; in many parts, also, corrupted by time, and disfigured by modern additions and absurd interpretations. They are but the entrance to the great Masonic Temple, the triple columns of the portico” (p. 106).
Yes my friends, Pike wrote that Masonry would be “corrupted by time, and disfigured by modern additions,” and that our symbols were meant to conceal, not reveal deeper meanings to everyone. Now, keep in mind, Pike was not merely talking about the first three degrees of Freemasonry; no, he was alluding to all the degrees within the Craft. He firmly believed that Masonic symbols and ceremonies had more than one meaning; that they were intended to be hidden; not fully disclosed. Why? Simply stated, he, like others before him, knew the Craft would be infiltrated; but more on that a little later. Here we read Pike discussing the secrets:
“These Degrees are also intended to teach more than morals. The symbols and ceremonies of Masonry have more than one meaning. They rather conceal than disclose the Truth. They hint it only, at least; and their varied meanings are only to be discovered by reflection and study. Truth is not only symbolized by Light, but as the ray of light is separable into rays of different colors, so is truth separable into kinds.” (p. 148).
Think about it for a moment, history is replete with examples of good ideas that eventually become corrupted; which Pike confirmed, “Unfortunately, as Truths always become perverted into falsehoods, and are falsehoods when misapplied, this Truth became the Gospel of Anarchy, soon after it was first preached. Masonry early comprehended this Truth, and recognized its own enlarged duties…” and “felt that this Truth had the Omnipotence of God on its side” (p. 24).
I know, I know, there is that pesky word again, God. You see, so many within the Craft today have been taught that Freemasonry has nothing to do with religion; therefore, they dismiss any relationship to the word God. Nevertheless, “God and truth are inseparable; a knowledge of God is possession of the saving oracles of truth” (p. 713). This infiltration in thinking was to be expected, for you see, men of all ages act the same, which 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” (p. 151).
I know, I know, Masons don’t like to discuss the fact that evil may have in fact infiltrated our distinguished institutions; or that we are suppose to be on guard against the evil Mason. But honestly, one only needs to look at our writings to discover the fact that we were forewarned, as Pike wrote, “The true Mason loves not only his kindred and his country, but all mankind; not only the good, but also the evil, among his brethren.” I could easily go on and on with regard to the topic of the evil Mason, but I won’t. I will however mention that I wrote a four hundred page book called Masonry and the Three Little Pigs (2015) that covered this topic in length. Therefore, I am very familiar with the topic of evil infiltration within the Craft.
In conclusion, this was the fourth article written this year on the topic of Postmodernism and its negative effect on the Craft; and it will not be my last. In the article, I discussed why we have to keep our most valued secrets within elevated levels of learning. In short, to keep them from the profane. Honestly, until one understands the importance of these true secrets, he will continue to wonder and ponder like the Postmodern thinkers of destruction and ruin. Here are a few departing words from Eliphas Levi, the man who most influenced Pike:
The man who is enslaved by his passions or worldly prejudices can in no wise be initiated; he must alter or he will never attain; hence he cannot be an adept, for the word signifies a person who has attained by will and by work. The man who loves his own opinions and fears to part with them, who suspects new truths, who is unprepared to doubt everything rather than admit anything on chance, should close this book; for him it is useless and dangerous; he will fail to understand it, and it will trouble him, while if he should divine its meaning, it will be a still greater source of disquietude. If you hold by anything in the world more than by reason, truth,and justice; if your will be uncertain and vacillating, either in good or evil; if logic alarm you, or the naked truth make you blush; if you are hurt when accepted errors are assailed; condemn this work straight away; do not read it; let it cease to exist for you; but at the same time do not cry it down as dangerous. The secrets which it records will be understood by an elect few, and will be held back by those who understand them. (Eliphas Levi, Transcendental Magic, 1854, p. 28-29).
So Mote It Be!