This topic is often brought up in many of my private conversations. The simple answer is No and YES. On the surface, the simple answer is NO. You see, the ideals that support the teachings of Immortality are clearly not immediately visible. In fact, finding Immortal teachings requires a key. The general teachings or understandings that most people have regarding this topic often misguide even the most diligent researchers. I can comfortably say this, because even my own research was misguided, that was until I understood the key.
You see, I went into studying the ancient mysteries from a pure Christian perspective regarding Immortality; that being, the soul separated from the body upon death led to Immortality of the soul. This singular perspective perverted my research for years. In truth, it was not until my third reading of Albert Pike’s Morals and Dogma (1872) did I even understand that he was writing about different types of Immortality. Yes, you read that correctly, there is more than one type of Immortality. There is, of course, the commonly taught type of Immortality; that being, upon death the soul separates into an Immortal state. Nevertheless, there is also the idea of an eternal physical state, as well as other varying degrees of Immortality.
The former being that the body can live much longer than originally thought. The human body is designed to regenerate. However, most people are taught the principles of death, which guides their subconscious conditioning; leading to an inevitable early death.
Nevertheless, there is a YES equation to the question as well. Freemasonry does in fact teach many Immortal principles. Case in point: when Pike writes about Immortality of the soul, he may in fact be writing about the division of the soul upon death; however, there is also the ancient belief that the soul is only of effective use while the body is alive. Therefore, there is a dual meaning to the Immortality of the soul. Moreover, when he writes about Immortality as a stand-alone topic, he may be writing about three different meanings; and perhaps even more levels.
The first being what I like to call Life Extension; i.e. Immortality. A little history lesson is in order for this idea to make sense. In our historical past, say the Middle Ages, the average life span was about 30 and 40 years old. Therefore, when one generation witnessed someone much older living multiple generations, they simply referred to him as an Immortal. As such, an Immortal was a person who simply lived two to three times longer than the average person did. As well, we have accounts of others living hundreds and even thousands of years.
The second type of Immortality, as mentioned previously, is the nurturing the soul of a living human. The soul is to be nurtured while the person is alive in order to reach a higher level of enlightenment. The purer the soul, the higher that person reaches in his understanding of, not only God, but also his position in this world. This purity enables him to live a longer and more fulfilled life than say a person who lives a negative life.
Interestingly, my Scottish Rite Valley (Chapter) reads a list of brothers who passed away at the end of each year. While reading, I pay close attention to the ages of these departed brothers. Inevitably, most of the ages range between 90 and 105. I find this this most fascinating. These men simply lived good Masonic lives and as a result lived much longer than the average man does. How is this possible? Simply stated, one lives longer when he is good, does good deeds and spreads love upon this earth. Yet, if they only studied the mysteries deeper, they may have in fact lived even longer.
Moreover, the third type of Immortality is what I was taught when I was a young man. In essence, the soul is to be purified before death in order to have an afterlife. Otherwise, your soul will not ascend to heaven.
Now, I am not dismissing any of these. The first two are very similar. The idea that one must purify his soul in order to extend his life (Life Extension) aligns well with simply living a good life. As well, I have no problem with the idea that if Life Extension is not attained, the alternative is an everlasting life in Heaven. I really do not think it is an all or nothing equation.
In support of my argument, we will now turn to Manley P. Hall, who probably said it best when he wrote, “But as the way for the redemption of the soul is concealed by the mysteries, so the secrets for the redemption of metals are also concealed, that they may not fall into the hands of the profane and thereby be perverted” (Hall, Manley, P. Secret Teachings of All Ages, 1928, p. 154). In short, the concepts surrounding the soul are not fully understood by most people; that there are most certainly mysteries yet to unfold; and that they are hidden for a reason, which is to keep them from the profane.
It should also be understood, there is the theory that one must also purify his body in order to attain an Immortal state. This is where the principles of Alchemy comes in; but that subject will be discussed at a later time period.
So Mote It Be!