Why Are We Encouraged To Explore Divinity Within Freemasonry If The Craft Is Not A Religion?

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This article will be my fifth submission on the topic of Postmodernism and its negative effects on the Craft. Here is a list of the other four:

  1. Jan 1, 2016: Postmodernism And Its Devastating Effect On Freemasonry
  2. Feb 1, 2016: Characteristics of a Postmodern Freemason
  3. March 1, 2016: Spiritual Anarchy and Freemasonry
  4. April 1, 2016:Why Does Freemasonry Conceal Its Secrets From Even Its Own Members?

I am often puzzled by the statement that Freemasonry is not a religion; for you see, I have read countless accounts where some of our greatest authors claimed otherwise. But before I delve into specifics, let’s first define what religion means; I say this only because most people don’t even understand how the word is defined. Here is a great definition for the word:

Religion (from O.Fr. religion ‘religious community,’ from L. religionem (nom. religio) ‘respect for what is sacred, reverence for the gods,’ ‘obligation, the bond between man and the gods’ is derived from the Latin religiō, the ultimate origins of which are obscure… Religion is a cultural system of behaviors and practices, mythologies, world views, sacred texts, holy places, ethics, and societal organisation that relate humanity to what an anthropologist has called ‘an order of existence’… Religions have sacred histories and narratives, which may be preserved in sacred scriptures, and symbols and holy places, that aim to explain the meaning of life, the origin of life, or the Universe.

I know, some readers of this post will immediately dismiss this definition. You see, our cultural conditioning has predetermined our path of thinking, “Within Postmodernism, we are taught to dismiss any teaching of religion; that religion has no place in a secular society.” However, let’s breakdown the above definition before specifically discussing its effect on Freemasonry.

So what is religion? Well from the above definition, the origin of the word religion is a “respect for what is sacred, reverence for God.” The word sacred can be defined as “devoted or dedicated to a deity;” and God can be defined as “the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe.” Therefore, when we are discussing the word religion, we are talking about something that is of the sacredness of God, not a body or an institutional organization per say. Yes, such beliefs have morphed themselves into beliefs systems that have become known as religious organizations; but that does not negate its original meaning, which is nothing but a “reverence for God.”

Therefore, when Albert Pike mentioned the word religion, was he talking about religion in the original sense, the contemporary sense, or something in between? To answer this question, let us take a closer look at his profound words from Chapter VIII of Morals and Dogma (1871), pages 212-214; I interjected my interpreted comments between each paragraph to better relate Pike’s meaning:

For there is a religion of toil. It is not all drudgery, a mere stretching of the limbs and straining of the sinews to tasks. It has a meaning and an intent. A living heart pours life-blood into the toiling arm; and warm affections inspire and mingle with man’s labors. They are the home affections. Labor toils a field, or plies its task in cities, or urges the keels of commerce over wide oceans; but home is its centre; and thither it ever goes with its earnings, with the means of support and comfort for others; offerings sacred to the thought of every true man, as a sacrifice at a golden shrine. Many faults there are amidst the toils of life; many harsh and hasty words are uttered; but still the toils go on, weary and hard and exasperating as they often are. For in that home is age or sickness, or helpless infancy, or gentle childhood, or feeble woman, that must not want. If man had no other than mere selfish impulses, the scene of labor which we behold around us would not exist.

Comment: Here we see Pike discussing the toil of religion, or the work/study of religion. I must emphasis that Pike never mentioned any specific religious organization, which means he meant something else, like perhaps the benefits a man might receive from the study of religion.

The advocate who fairly and honestly presents his case, with a feeling of true self-respect, honor, and conscience, to help the tribunal on towards the right conclusion, with a conviction that God’s justice reigns there, is acting a religious part, leading that day a religious life; or else right and justice are no part of religion. Whether, during all that day, he has once appealed, in form or in terms, to his conscience, or not; whether he has once spoken of religion and God, or not; if there has been the inward purpose, the conscious intent and desire, that sacred justice should triumph, he has that day led a good and religious life, and made a most essential contribution to that religion of life and of society, the cause of equity between man and man, and of truth and right action in the world.

Comment: Pike now mentions an advocate who is making his case; as opposed to a particular doctrine, which comes from religious bodies and organizations. And that the advocate would begin to act according to the belief he spoke of, which would change his life and society.

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Books, to be of religious tendency in the Masonic sense, need not be books of sermons, of pious exercises, or of prayers. Whatever inculcates pure, noble, and patriotic sentiments, or touches the heart with the beauty of virtue, and the excellence of an up-right life, accords with the religion of Masonry, and is the Gospel of literature and art. That Gospel is preached from many a book and painting, from many a poem and fiction, and review and newspaper; and it is a painful error and miserable narrowness, not to recognize these wide-spread agencies of Heaven’s providing; not to see and welcome these many-handed coadjutors, to the great and good cause. The oracles of God do not speak from the pulpit alone.

Comment: Now we read Pike making a distinction between Masonry and central religious tenancies, i.e. Churches. That Masonry’s religion should not be based on sermons, prayers or pious exercises; rather, our religion is based on the “beauty of virtue” and an “up-right life.”

There is also a religion of society. In business, there is much more than sale, exchange, price, payment; for there is the sacred faith of man in man. When we repose perfect confidence in the integrity of another; when we feel that he will not swerve from the right, frank, straightforward, conscientious course, for any temptation; his integrity and conscientiousness are the image of God to us; and when we believe in it, it is as great and generous an act, as when we believe in the rectitude of the Deity.

Comment: Now he writes that there is a religion of society; that our own daily actions in business and life are based on God, i.e. Religion. Again, Pike is not talking about an organizational body.

In gay assemblies for amusement, the good affections of life gush and mingle. If they did not, these gathering places would be as dreary and repulsive as the caves and dens of outlaws and robbers. When friends meet, and hands are warmly pressed, and the eye kindles and the countenance is suffused with gladness, there is a religion between their hearts; and each loves and worships the True and Good that is in the other. It is not policy, or self-interest, or selfishness that spreads such a charm around that meeting, but the halo of bright and beautiful affection.

Comment: “When friends meet… there is a religion” that exist between them; that there is love and goodness, and a worship, which links one to another. Again, there is no mention of an organizational body, just people loving the company of another – this is a religion.

The same splendor of kindly liking, and affectionate regard, shines like the soft overarching sky, over all the world; over all places where men meet, and walk or toil together; not over lovers’ bowers and marriage altars alone, not over the homes of purity and tenderness alone; but over all tilled fields, and busy workshops, and dusty highways, and paved streets. There is not a worn stone upon the sidewalks, but has been the altar of such offerings of mutual kindness; nor a wooden pillar or iron railing against which hearts beating with affection have not leaned. How many soever other elements there are in the stream of life flowing through these channels, that is surely here and everywhere; honest, heartfelt, disinterested, inexpressible affection.

Comment: Pike wrote that this “same splendor” is in the world; wherever people meet, work and toil together there is religion.

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 ( Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 212).

Comment: And now the finale, therefore, “every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion, and its teachings are instruction in religion.” You see, Masonry “is the true religion,” which had been “revealed to the ancient patriarchs.” And it will continue to “teach as long as time endures.”

I know, I know, you might be saying again that Masonry is not a religion, and in this sense I agree – Masonry is not a religion in the contemporary sense. No, Masonry is a religion in the ancient sense. Nevertheless, it is still a religion. It does not matter that contemporary religions have altered its usage and made a mockery of the word, the word religion still retains its original meaning if one only wants to take the time to study it meaning!

Pike also commented that Masonry had always “religiously preserved that enlightened faith;” that it has always been because of “religion and philosophy,” and that many of the religions of the past “enfeebled the religious spirit:”

Masonry has in all times religiously preserved that enlightened faith from which flow sublime Devotedness, the sentiment of Fraternity fruitful of good works, the spirit of indulgence and peace, of sweet hopes and effectual consolations; and inflexibility in the accomplishment of the most painful and arduous duties. It has always propagated it with ardor and perseverance; and therefore it labors at the present day more zealously than ever. Scarcely a Masonic discourse is pronounced, that does not demonstrate the necessity and advantages of this faith, and especially recall the two constitutive principles of religion, that make all religion,–love of God, and love of neighbor. Masons carry these principles into the bosoms of their families and of society. While the Sectarians of former times enfeebled the religious spirit, Masonry, forming one great People over the whole globe, and march under the great banner of Charity and Benevolence, preserves feeling, strengthens it, extends it in its purity and simplicity, as it has always existed in the depths of the human heart, as it existed even under the dominion of the most ancient forms of worship, but where gross and debasing superstitions forbade its recognition.

A Masonic Lodge should resemble a bee-hive, in which all the members work together with ardor for the common good. Masonry is not made for cold souls and narrow minds, that do not comprehend its lofty mission and sublime apostolate. Here the anathema against lukewarm souls applies. To comfort misfortune, to popularize knowledge, to teach whatever is true and pure in religion and philosophy, to accustom men to respect order and the proprieties of life, to point out the way to genuine happiness, to prepare for that fortunate period, when all the factions of the Human Family, united by the bonds of Toleration and Fraternity, shall be but one household,–these are labors that may well excite zeal and even enthusiasm (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 137).

Yes, many people still think religion and philosophy are separate; however, they are in fact not. In truth, the basis of religion is philosophy, something Masonry has maintained:

Nevertheless, Masonry, which is Morality and Philosophy, must not cease to do its duty. We never know at what moment success awaits our efforts–generally when most unexpected–nor with what effect our efforts are or are not to be attended. Succeed or fail, Masonry must not bow to error, or succumb under discouragement. There were at Rome a few Carthaginian soldiers, taken prisoners, who refused to bow to Flaminius, and had a little of Hannibal’s magnanimity. Masons should possess an equal greatness of soul. Masonry should be an energy; finding its aim and effect in the amelioration of mankind. Socrates should enter into Adam, and produce Marcus Aurelius, in other words, bring forth from the man of enjoyments, the man of wisdom. Masonry should not be a mere watch-tower, built upon mystery, from which to gaze at ease upon the world, with no other result than to be a convenience for the curious. To hold the full cup of thought to the thirsty lips of men; to give to all the true ideas of Deity; to harmonize conscience and science, are the province of Philosophy. Morality is Faith in full bloom. Contemplation should lead to action, and the absolute be practical; the ideal be made air and food and drink to the human mind. Wisdom is a sacred communion. It is only on that condition that it ceases to be a sterile love of Science, and becomes the one and supreme method by which to unite Humanity and arouse it to concerted action. Then Philosophy becomes Religion ( Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 20).

I realize this information is perhaps new to many readers of this blog; nevertheless, it must be revealed to you now, during this critical juncture in Masonic history. Like so many things, Pike actually warned the Craft back in 1871 that this day would come; that we would divide the Craft based on these two areas, Religion and Philosophy:

We may be sure that so soon as Religion and Philosophy become distinct departments, the mental activity of the age is in advance of its Faith; and that, though habit may sustain the latter for a time, its vitality is gone (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 731).

Again, Pike warned that Religion and Philosophy would become distinctly separate. We can see it every time a member of the Craft states that we are not a religion, when in fact, in a historical sense, we are.

You see, this is all apart of the subject I have been writing about since January – YES, the pesky topic of Postmodernism. Feel free to link to other articles for further information on the topic; which has been linked above for your convenience.  In short, Postmodernism has been a failed experiment. As hard as contemporary scholars have tried to separate society from seeking Divinity, it has not worked. Of course it worked for the people who always succumb to the whims of the moment; but for those who are seeking a higher calling than immediate social gratification, Postmodernism has only been a temporary obstacle to true Enlightenment.

In conclusion, in your authors humble option, Indeed, Masonry is the original primitive religion; however, it is not a religion in the contemporary sense, let’s make a distinction. Pike wrote the “Masonry is not a religion…” and yet he wrote that “Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion” above:

But Masonry teaches, and has preserved in their purity, the cardinal tenets of the old primitive faith, which underlie and are the foundation of all religions. All that ever existed have had a basis of truth; and all have overlaid that truth with errors. The primitive truths taught by the Redeemer were sooner corrupted, and intermingled and alloyed with fictions than when taught to the first of our race. Masonry is the universal morality which is suitable to the inhabitants of every clime, to the man of every creed. It has taught no doctrines, except those truths that tend directly to the well-being of man; and those who have attempted to direct it toward useless vengeance, political ends, and Jesuitism, have merely perverted it to purposes foreign to its pure spirit and real nature (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 161).

You see, despite the fact that Freemasonry is not a contemporary religion, we are still obligated, as Masons, to seek Divinity and Masonic religion in our own way; therefore, never let any Postmodern thinking tell you otherwise!

So Mote It Be!!!

Hank Kraychir

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Why Does Freemasonry Conceal Its Secrets From Even Its Own Members?

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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).

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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!

Hank Kraychir

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Spiritual Anarchy and Freemasonry

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This is my third article on the topic of Postmodernism and its devastating effect on the Craft. If you haven’t been following this series of articles, I recommend you read “Postmodernism and its Devastating Effect on Freemasonry” and “Characteristics of a Postmodern Freemason” before reading this article. Otherwise many of the points I make will not make as much sense.

Albert Pike perhaps said it best when he wrote, “What, in fact, is a despot, spiritual or temporal, but a crowned anarchist?” Of course this could be interpreted differently, but I see it as a spiritual battle. Let me explain further.

After some study and reflection, I discovered a connection between the words Anarchist and Antichrist; and this connection is widely used by our popular culture today. Case in point, check out this song by the Sex Pistols, its called “Anarchy In The UK.”

Please read the lyrics carefully. Can you see the correlation between Anarchy and Antichrist:

Lyrics to the song “Anarchy In The UK:”

Right now ha, ha, ha, ha, ha
I am an anti-Christ
I am an anarchist,
Don’t know what I want
But I know how to get it
I want to destroy the passerby
‘Cause I want to be anarchy,
No dogs body
Anarchy for the U.K.
It’s coming sometime and maybe
I give a wrong time, stop a traffic line.
Your future dream is a shopping scheme
‘Cause I want to be anarchy,
In the city
How many ways to get what you want
I use the best, I use the rest
I use the enemy.
I use anarchy
‘Cause I want to be anarchy,
Its the only way to be
Is this the MPLA
Or is this the UDA
Or is this the IRA
I thought it was the U.K.
Or just another country
Another council tenancy.
I want to be anarchy
And I want to be anarchy
(Oh what a name)
And I want to be an anarchist
(I get pissed, destroy!)

This popular song is certainly reflective of Postmodern thinking, education and to be honest it’s an obvious effort to program the masses against seeking Divinity; i.e. Postmodernism.

You see, “The word ‘antichrist’ combines two roots: αντί (anti) + Χριστός (Khristos). ‘Αντί’ can mean not only ‘against’ and ‘opposite of,’ but also ‘in place of.’ “Χριστός”, translated ‘Christ,’ is Greek for the Hebrew ‘Messiah.’ Both ‘Christ’ and ‘Messiah’ literally mean ‘Anointed One.” Whereas, Anarchy can be defined as “the condition of a society, entity, group of people or a single person which does not recognize authority.” In short, both definitions are one in the same; Antichrist is against the anointed or the one chosen, just like Anarchy means not recognizing authority.

I wrote in my article “Postmodernism and its Devastating Effect on Freemasonry” that Postmodernism can be defined as:

a late-20th-century movement in the arts, architecture, and criticism that was a departure from modernism. Postmodernism includes skeptical interpretations of culture, literature, art, philosophy, history, economics, architecture, fiction, and literary criticism.’ Better yet, “it can be described as a set of critical, strategic and rhetorical practices employing concepts such as difference, repetition, the trace, the simulacrum, and hyperreality to destabilize other concepts such as presence, identity, historical progress, epistemic certainty, and the univocity of meaning.’ Did you catch that? In short, Postmodernism ‘can be described as a set of critical, strategic and rhetorical practices… to destabilize concepts such as presence, identity, historical progress.’ This destructive thought process is all part of an academic effort to destroy ‘Traditionalism, which can be defined as, ‘Adherence to tradition, especially in cultural or religious practice,’ or ‘A system holding that all knowledge is derived from original divine revelation and is transmitted by tradition,’ like that of Freemasonry.”

You see, Freemasonry teaches the opposite of Anarchy. Nevertheless, we have within our ranks those who espouse the tenets of Postmodernism, which is nothing but Anarchy disguised as new and fresh ideas. These agents of change use terms like progressiveness, needed reforms and modernism. I hear it all the time, we need to change and update our appearance and views in order to attract the youth. Sadly, many within the Craft accept these comments as fact and go along to get ahead. But when we allow such behavior to occur, we are actually diluting our message and ultimate value.

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Whereas, Albert Pike instructed us to be on the watch for such novel ideas. In fact, he used the two words Anarchist and Anarchy at least nine times in his book Morals and Dogma (1871), like when he wrote, “There is no evil that is not preferable to Anarchy” (1871, p. 97). Did you catch that? Pike wrote that evil itself is preferable to Anarchy. For you see, truth itself can become perverted, “Unfortunately, as Truths always become perverted into falsehoods, and are falsehoods when misapplied, this Truth become the Gospel of Anarchy, soon after it was first preached” (p. 24).

Freemasonry teaches structure, not Anarchy; social cohesion, not disorder:

“Society, in its great relations, is as much the creation of Heaven as is the system of the Universe. If that bond of gravitation that holds all worlds and systems together, were suddenly severed, the universe would fly into wild and boundless chaos. And if we were to sever all the moral bonds that hold society together; if we could cut off from it every conviction of Truth and Integrity, of an authority above it, and of a conscience within it, it would immediately rush to disorder and frightful anarchy and ruin. The religion we teach is therefore as really a principle of things, and as certain and true, as gravitation” (p. 196-197).

We do not side with a political party or a religious sect; no, we side with the moral authority of governance:

“Masonry, not in anywise derogating from the differing duties which the diversity of states requires, tends to create a new people, which, composed of men of many nations and tongues, shall all be bound together by the bonds of science, morality, and virtue. Essentially philanthropic, philosophical, and progressive, it has for the basis of its dogma a firm belief in the existence of God and his providence, and of the immortality of the soul; for its object, the dissemination of moral, political, philosophical, and religious truth, and the practice of all the virtues. In every age, its device has been, ‘Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,’ with constitutional government, law, order, discipline, and subordination to legitimate authority–government and not anarchy” (p. 220).

Furthermore, as Pike wrote earlier, “What, in fact, is a despot, spiritual or temporal, but a crowned anarchist,” so to did Eliphas Levi confirm, “Those two blood-hungered monsters, despotism and anarchy, will tear themselves to pieces, and annihilate each other, after having mutually sustained each other for a little while, by the embrace of their struggle itself (The Key of the Mysteries, 1861, p. 31).

Unfortunately, there exist,

“men who wish to realize salvation by faith alone, because charity escapes them, and who can no longer realize it, even upon the earth, for their pretended sacraments are no longer anything but allegorical mummeries; they no longer give grace; they no longer make God seen and touched; they are no longer, in a word, the signs of the almighty power of faith, but the compelled witnesses of the eternal impotence of doubt” (Eliphas Levi, The Key of the Mysteries, 1861, p. 42).

How often are we told that Freemasonry is not at all religious, despite the fact many of our greatest Masonic authors proclaim otherwise; like that of Albert Pike:

“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” (Albert Pike, M0rals and Dogma, 1871, p. 213-214).

Albert Mackey wrote in his book An Encyclopedia of Freemasonry and its Kindred Sciences that “Masonry may rightfully claim to be called a religious institution” (1912, p. 618). Furthermore,  Joseph Moody also claimed in his book, The Origin of Free-Masonry (1852), that Freemasonry was formed as a religion, “We have, we think, successfully proved, and we have abundant authority for the same, that, Freemasonry in its origin was religious, and this principle serves as a faithful guide to its condition and history throughout all its ramifications, and by whatever name it may have been designated” (p. 44).

Think about it, the biggest Postmodern hoax committed by the Craft has been against itself; and that is the belief that we are simply a fraternal organization, with no religious components or tendencies, which has lowered our value substantially. Oh! How have we been deceived! Where did such ideas originate? Surely, not from our own history, which tells a different story. One only needs to follow the allegorical path established within our own symbols and rituals to find religion, or as Pike wrote above, “This is the true religion revealed to the ancient patriarchs; which Masonry has taught for many centuries.”

In conclusion, before we can truly realize any sustainable growth, and a true cultural value again, we must first analyze what we have done to ourselves. Upon reflection, our declining numbers is nothing but the symptom of a disease that we allowed to infiltrate the Craft, i.e. Postmodernism; but more on that next month!

So Mote It Be!!!

Hank Kraychir

xxxx

PS: Think about it, the Craft hides the truth from its own initiates, and why do we do it. It’s obvious, to hide our secrets from the PROFANE!  Yes, even those Despots who have infiltrated the Craft and dismiss our true value and history. So before you dismiss the religious components within Freemasonry, reflect! Or as Eliphas Levi wrote, “TO KNOW, TO DARE, TO WILL, TO KEEP SILENT.” Here are a couple allegorical songs to end with and reflect upon; simply listen to the words and relate them allegorically to the lies we tell initiates and the general public, and why we do it and its necessity, which has led to a division with the Craft. Again, more on that next month.

 


 

Characteristics of a Postmodern Freemason.

Postmodern Freemason

After writing my last article, Postmodernism And Its Devastating Effect On Freemasonry, I received a great many questions about Postmodernism. In fact, I started using the terms “Postmodern Mason” and “Postmodern Freemason” in many of my responses, which led to even more questions about the terms. Apparently they have never been used within the Craft to distinguish a type of thinking before.

As a response to so many questions and interest into the topic of a “Postmodern Freemason,” I have decided to write this corresponding article. Now, before I delve into specifics, let me just say that everyone has Postmodern tendencies; some more than others, as will become evident. But first, let’s learn a little more about the term Postmodernism, which can be defined,

Postmodernism is a late-20th-century movement in the arts, architecture, and criticism that was a departure from modernism. Postmodernism includes skeptical interpretations of culture, literature, art, philosophy, history, economics, architecture, fiction, and literary criticism. It is often associated with deconstruction and post-structuralism because its usage as a term gained significant popularity at the same time as twentieth-century post-structural thought.

The term postmodernism has been applied to a host of movements, mainly in art, music, and literature, that reacted against tendencies in modernism, and are typically marked by revival of historical elements and techniques.

With that said, despite it’s once perceived popularity, Postmodernism has come under criticism by many in the academic world,

Criticisms of postmodernism are intellectually diverse, including the assertions that postmodernism is meaningless and promotes obscurantism. For example, Noam Chomsky has argued that postmodernism is meaningless because it adds nothing to analytical or empirical knowledge. He asks why postmodernist intellectuals do not respond like people in other fields when asked, “what are the principles of their theories, on what evidence are they based, what do they explain that wasn’t already obvious, etc.?…If [these requests] can’t be met, then I’d suggest recourse to Hume’s advice in similar circumstances: ‘to the flames’.” Christian apologist William Lane Craig has noted “The idea that we live in a postmodern culture is a myth. In fact, a postmodern culture is an impossibility; it would be utterly unliveable. People are not relativistic when it comes to matters of science, engineering, and technology; rather, they are relativistic and pluralistic in matters of religion and ethics. But, of course, that’s not postmodernism; that’s modernism!”… However, as for continental philosophy, American academics have tended to label it “postmodernist”, especially practitioners of “French Theory”. Such a trend might derive from U.S. departments of Comparative Literature… Philosopher Daniel Dennett declared, “Postmodernism, the school of ‘thought’ that proclaimed ‘There are no truths, only interpretations’ has largely played itself out in absurdity, but it has left behind a generation of academics in the humanities disabled by their distrust of the very idea of truth and their disrespect for evidence, settling for ‘conversations’ in which nobody is wrong and nothing can be confirmed, only asserted with whatever style you can muster.”

Did you catch that? Here it is again, “There are no truths, only interpretations’ has largely played itself out in absurdity, but it has left behind a generation of academics in the humanities disabled by their distrust of the very idea of truth and their disrespect for evidence, settling for ‘conversations’ in which nobody is wrong and nothing can be confirmed, only asserted with whatever style you can muster.”

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How often, especially of Facebook, are we confronted with fellow Masons who only want to argue, and even when a question has been answered, they simply switch to other points to argue a belief is wrong. Honestly, it happens all the time. This is the Postmodern Freemason in action.

I was recently told that debate and discussion were necessary components of learning. To which my response was no they are not; rather, they are just another set of tools, or a hook if you will, to help a student retain information. Case in point, I read Pike’s book Morals and Dogma (1871) daily, and I follow this reading with a short post on Pikequotes blog. In essence, I am learning every day, yet I have no discussion or debate with Pike about his writings. You see, you can learn without discussion or debate. Just read a book; something many people have forgotten how to do, like so many traditional things today.

Yet, as an college instructor, I do use discussion and debate to help students better understand a point. Nevertheless, sadly, many people, including Postmodern teachers, have stretched this idea to all types of learning; as though this is the only way a person can learn, which is sheer nonsense. So, did you ever wonder why social media is filled with Postmodern thinking and responses; well, here you have one of the principles reasons why. Our schools have been filled with academics who think nothing about allowing such behavior, and in fact encourage it. I see it all the time. Students are encouraged to respond to ideas and issues without ever studying them. And when they do conduct some research, it’s normally limited to the first few hits on Google. Which is followed by other Postmodernist who blabber their nonsensical opinions about a traditional viewpoint. Well, guess what? People are finally catching on to this foolish play on words, and are starting to fight back.

After a great deal of reflection, here are my thoughts and opinions about spotting the Postmodern Freemason who would rather argue, debate and start a discussion with the intent of attacking traditional Freemasonry and those who support such thinking, etc, instead of becoming a student of the mysteries:

  1. Rhetorical debate to divide and destroy – The Postmodern Freemason seeks to debate and uses rhetoric in order to create havoc. It is a simple but effective plan for internal division within the Craft.
  2. There are no conclusive facts – the Postmodern Freemason deems the concept of truth as an artificial illusion, altered by people and special interest to achieve dominance over others; a tactic they use aggressively to counter traditionalism.
  3. Facts and fault are identical – the Postmodern Freemason maintains that facts are too restrictive to conclude anything. In short, what is fact today can be false in the future.
  4. Would rather rely on other Postmodernist thought than rely on tradition – The Postmodern Freemason often rejects conventional (traditional) judgment and impartiality; preferring instead to rely on the judgments of others as a guide, rather than accept historical facts, truths and traditions.
  5. Traditionalism is incorrect and dishonest – the Postmodern Freemason protests against the limitations of religious secular power and moral development. In short, they are conducting an intellectual war towards traditional institutions and traditional thinking. Instead of trying to understand that most of these organizations actually have been infiltrated by supporters of the mysteries, they make enemies of them.
  6. Traditionalism is exclusion – The Postmodern Freemason claims that cooperative possession is better than individualism, which they believe is a process of traditional exclusion.
  7. Cynicism with modernism – The Postmodern Freemason is always asking more from the unfulfilled promises of religion, government, science and technology.
  8. Morality is personal – The Postmodern Freemason believes morality to be of one’s own personal opinion. He often lowers the ideals of morality to one’s own personal private code of ethics devoid of traditional standards and long held established rules of conduct.
  9. Globalization is better than nationalism – the Postmodern Freemason claims that national boundaries are a hindrance to human potential, trade and the final uniting of the people of the world. Nationalism, they think, instigates conflict. Consequently, the Postmodernist Freemason frequently suggest the concepts of internationalism, and the uniting of countries through trade agreements as a first step towards this aim; disavowing our own long standing tradition to support one’s National Government.
  10. Freemasonry holds ideals from all religions – The Postmodern Freemason often denounces the exclusive claims of Jesus Christ or Muhammad as being the only way to God; preferring new age religions. Again, never understanding that many of the mysteries are held within both of these religions. In fact, the traditions of Freemasonry predates these religions, and uphold the traditions of religions that no longer exist.
  11. Defend feminists and homosexuals – Postmodern Freemasons often defend the causes of feminists and homosexuals over traditionalism, not understanding that such beliefs and behaviors are actually apart of the mysteries. Somehow many in the Craft have come to see these two issues as separate, when in fact they are not. Gender and sexual relations are in fact an essential part of the lessons of the mysteries.
  12. Environmentalism is the solution – Postmodern Freemasons blame Western society for the destruction of the environment; this is like saying we must throw out the baby with the bathwater because the water is bad.

Therefore, as can be read above, many people hold Postmodern views on particular issues, including myself. Before studying Pike’s book Morals and Dogma (1871), I too conducted my behavior according my Postmodern training; I would be a hypocrite to say otherwise.

It is clear however, especially after studying the mysteries, that we, as a culture, have become confused by such thinking. Postmodern thinking is meant to destroy rather than educate and unite. The lines between Analytical thinking and Postmodern thinking have become blurred. Yes, let us analysis, there is nothing wrong with analyzing Freemasonry; but the problem begins when we use only our Postmodern training and conditioning to destroy rather than understand. In short, “the more I learn, the less I really know,” is a better attitude than “I know better than our traditions and history.”

So Mote It Be!!!

Hank Kraychir

xxxx

Postmodernism And Its Devastating Effect On Freemasonry.

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As a historian, I am constantly reminded of the term “Postmodernism,” which can be defined as “a late-20th-century movement in the arts, architecture, and criticism that was a departure from modernism. Postmodernism includes skeptical interpretations of culture, literature, art, philosophy, history, economics, architecture, fiction, and literary criticism.” Better yet, “it can be described as a set of critical, strategic and rhetorical practices employing concepts such as difference, repetition, the trace, the simulacrum, and hyperreality to destabilize other concepts such as presence, identity, historical progress, epistemic certainty, and the univocity of meaning.” Did you catch that? In short, Postmodernism “can be described as a set of critical, strategic and rhetorical practices… to destabilize concepts such as presence, identity, historical progress.” This destructive thought process is all part of an academic effort to destroy “Traditionalism,” which can be defined as, “Adherence to tradition, especially in cultural or religious practice,” or “A system holding that all knowledge is derived from original divine revelation and is transmitted by tradition,” like that of Freemasonry; but more on that a little later.

The term Postmodernism has been around for well over a hundred years, but it was mostly used in the arts during this period; however, little by little it worked its way into literature. Nevertheless, starting in the 1960s, Postmodern thinking became the new prize of academia. Did you ever wonder why our public schools have gone through so many changes in the past five decades? Well, it is all a part of this Postmodern movement. As well, ever wonder why we are programmed to think new is better. Again, Postmodern programming by our teachers and leaders, who were also trained to think new is better. Brother Cameron MacKay perhaps said it best when he wrote,

At the very roots of this post-industrial society – as part of its base genetic make up – is an urge for development – a need for progress – a need for growth. To generate this growth change becomes the critical essential characteristic of postmodernism. Every year the design of an automobile is changed,. Every year the fashion in cloths is redefined. Perfectly good buildings are imploded so that new buildings can be put in their stead. Economic models are constantly being revisited and revised. The economic chain from manufacturer to wholesaler to distributor to retailer is completely dismantled and replaced by amorphous constantly shifting relationships in which, at times, the manufacturer competes directly with his own retailer for the same customer. Everyone’s trade or profession becomes relegated to the status of a product for sale. Hence teachers are somehow to be rated not on their ability to teach , inspire, or motivate children but on how many BA’s they can generate. Lawyers are no longer measured on the wisdom of their legal advice but are measured and evaluated on the number of dollars they generate.

All we have to do is again look at the above definition for “Traditionalism” to see why old is bad and new is good. In short, Traditionalism is the adherence to tradition, which is derived from Divinity. Little by little, this Postmodern thinking has further separated us from seeking Divinity. It should also be mentioned that the word Divinity can be defined as “spirituality” or “mysticism.”

I am not alone in my criticism of Postmodernism! Many academics have asserted that Postmodernism is “meaningless and promotes obscurantism.” Obscurantism means “the practice of deliberately preventing the facts or the full details of some matter from becoming known.” Sound familiar? It should; this is what happened to Albert Pike. Seriously, I am told repeatedly from other Freemasons, why were we not told the truth about Pike; and why does the Craft continue to lie or bury the truth about this Masonic legend? Honestly though, it really is no one person’s fault. No, rather it is a part of this cultural phenomenon known as Postmodernism.

Case in point, Noam Chomsky contended that postmodernism was meaningless because it added nothing to “analytical or empirical knowledge.” Furthermore, William Lane Craig stated that “The idea that we live in a postmodern culture is a myth. In fact, a postmodern culture is an impossibility; it would be utterly unliveable. People are not relativistic when it comes to matters of science, engineering, and technology; rather, they are relativistic and pluralistic in matters of religion and ethics. But, of course, that’s not postmodernism; that’s modernism!” As well, several academic critiques of postmodernism have found that many Postmodern works are nothing more than “Fashionable Nonsense.” Sadly, Postmodernism believes that there are no truths; i.e. nobody is wrong and everybody is right.

Moreover, as a Freemason, I have witnessed this activity play itself out. As I wrote in my book, Masonry and the Three Little Pigs (2015), the wolf uses the benevolence of the Craft to destroy the character of other men. I should have, however, added that the wolf uses the benevolence, under the banner of Postmodernism, to destroy long standing traditions for his own benefit. You see, Postmodern idealism is used within the Craft to destroy long standing traditions of moral development. Our foundations are based on long standing religious principles of moral behavior, something Postmodernism is attempting to destroy. I might also add that we use religious principles from all of the great religions of the world, many of which no longer exist.

As many readers of my blogs already know, I am a student of Albert Pike’s great work, Morals and Dogma (1871). With that said, I have found that there is a disconnect between most Freemasons and Pike’s book. As I wrote on my Facebook page recently, “When the Craft turned its back on Pike, membership turned down significantly. It all started in the mid 1960’s and has steadily decreased ever since. Just check out these numbers, from a high of over 4 million to almost 1 million today.” I supported this statement with this research from Masonic Service Association of North America; here is a graph demonstrating these declining numbers:

1924 3,077,161       1955 4,009,925       1986 2,839,962
1925 3,157,566       1956 4,053,323       1987 2,763,828
1926 3,218,375       1957 4,085,676       1988 2,682,537
1927 3,267,241       1958 4,099,928       1989 2,608,935
1928 3,295,872       1959 4,103,161       1990 2,531,643
1929 3,295,125       1960 4,099,219       1991 2,452,676
1930 3,279,778       1961 4,086,499       1992 2,371,863
1931 3,216,307       1962 4,063,563       1993 2,293,949
1932 3,069,645       1963 4,034,020       1994 2,225,611
1933 2,901,758       1964 4,005,605       1995 2,153,316
1934 2,760,451       1965 3,987,690       1996 2,089,578
1935 2,659,218       1966 3,948,193       1997 2,021,909
1936 2,591,309       1967 3,910,509       1998 1,967,208
1937 2,549,772       1968 3,868,854       1999 1,902,588
1938 2,514,595       1969 3,817,846       2000 1,841,169
1939 2,482,291       1970 3,763,213       2001 1,774,200
1940 2,457,263       1971 3,718,718       2002 1,727,505
1941 2,451,301       1972 3,661,507       2003 1,671,255
1942 2,478,892       1973 3,611,448       2004 1,617,032
1943 2,561,844       1974 3,561,767       2005 1,569,812
1944 2,719,607       1975 3,512,628       2006 1,525,131
1945 2,896,343       1976 3,470,980       2007 1,483,449
1946 3,097,713       1977 3,418,844       2008 1,444,823
1947 3,281,371       1978 3,360,409       2009 1,404,059
1948 3,426,155       1979 3,304,334       2010 1,373,453
1949 3,545,757       1980 3,251,528       2011 1,336,503
1950 3,644,634       1981 3,188,175       2012 1,306,539
1951 3,726,744       1982 3,121,746       2013 1,246,241
1952 3,808,364       1983 3,060,242       2014 1,211,183
1953 3,893,530       1984 2,992,389
1954 3,964,118       1985 2,914,421

With the benefit of historical hindsight, we can see a parallel between the rise of Postmodernism, the decline of Modernism, and declining Masonic membership in the United States. In essence, without knowing it, collectively and subconsciousness, Freemasonry has succumbed to Postmodern thinking. Freemasonry is a collective organism, made up of millions of men (and women); this could not have happened unless our collective consciousness allowed it to happen. And the only way of overcome this problem is for our collective consciousness to will it, followed by collective action and the reestablishment of our ancient traditions. Nevertheless, this will never happen unless we are first willing to dismiss Postmodernism, an issue that has become a part of our popular culture. But the first step in addressing any problem is first admitting we have one.

Therefore, the next time you instinctively criticize a traditional institution, like perhaps a religion, etc. and so forth, don’t. For you see, when we do this, we are only demonstrating our preconditioned Postmodern programming. Believe it or not, Freemasonry needs traditional religions, because they are the breeding grounds for future Freemasons. As well, nothing can be gained by attacking anyone or any institution, traditional or not; it does nothing but taint your soul. Please, just remember one thing, new is not always better; especially when it comes to religion, faith and even Freemasonry. And like I wrote in my previous article, The Ancients Vs. The Moderns; An Unwinnable Civil War,

The battle between the Ancients and the Moderns (or Postmoderns as they are often called today) is about 300 years old, if not longer. Basically, the Ancients formed a Grand Lodge in England in 1751 because they believed the Moderns had taken control of the Grand Lodge that was formed in 1717, and were progressively attempting to change the history of Freemasonry. Sound familiar? It should! You see, for the most part this battle is no longer being played out by Grand Lodges; rather it is being played out in our literature by well meaning pundits like myself. I have referred to this battle as a civil war. Seriously, this battle has gone on for some 300 years, with no end in sight. How sad.

In conclusion, we need, more than ever, to return to our traditional roots and teachings. This path of Postmodernism is a destructive force that continues to divide the Craft, and will result in our own demise; that is unless we can stop our declining numbers.    

So Mote It Be!

Hank Kraychir

Next Month’s Article

Postmodern Freemason

How Old Is the Square And Compass, And Why It Matters!

Sadly, I am repeatedly scolded by some of my Masonic brethren for researching Masonic lineage. I am so often told that I am simply making things up to fit a narrative that does not exist. Like my latest endeavor, the square and compass, which has resulted in this accusation being repeated again and again by well intentioned protectors of the craft.

As a student of Albert Pike, I have learned so much in the past several years about Masonic history; of which many Masons refuse to accept. As I have said before on this blog, it is much easier to believe the post 1717 narrative than to look for anecdotal evidence of Masonic lineage; like Pike did in his book Morals and Dogma (1871). His evidence is overwhelming, so much so that pundits simply attack his work instead of trying to understand it. Case in point, on page 277-278, Pike wrote about the first Masonic legislator Buddha, who lived about the fifth century BC:

“The first Masonic Legislator whose memory is preserved to us by history, was Buddha, who, about a thousand years before the Christian era, reformed the religion of Manous. He called to the Priesthood all men, without distinction of caste, who felt themselves inspired by God to instruct men. Those who so associated themselves formed a Society of Prophets under the name of Samaneans. They recognized the existence of a single uncreated God, in whose bosom everything grows, is developed and transformed. The worship of this God reposed upon the obedience of all the beings He created. His feasts were those of the Solstices. The doctrines of Buddha pervaded India, China, and Japan.”

As many Masons are aware, much of our own Masonic history predates the Christ era, and actually emanates from Asia, or the East. Think about it, why does the Master of a Lodge site in the East, among other reasons? One of the reasons is our lineage can be traced to Asia, like the countries of China, India and Japan, which Pike mentioned in the above quote.

I like to put out feelers before I write an article, like I did with this particular topic, in order to get some feedback about pundit thinking. Most of the feedback is positive; however, every once in a while I get an earful from a Mason who has only been instructed in the post 1717 narrative. I don’t know why a Mason feels the need to argue a position based on limited knowledge, but it happens frequently. Sadly, there is no proof in the 1717 narrative, but Masons continue to believe the lie that has been propagated for decades based on nothing more than a limited reading library. There are many good reasons for Albert Pike writing Morals and Dogma, many of which had to do with Masonic conduct, yet just as much of it attempted to tie Masonic history together; but only if one becomes a student of the book. His intentions where clear and simple, he wanted to help solve this debate, which has caused so much strife within the craft. Nevertheless, like I mentioned earlier, instead of trying to understand his work, pundits would rather attack a dead man who only tried to help the Brotherhood understand its own past.

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Case in point, the history of the square and compass. It is commonly believed that the square and compass, one on top of the other, is a post 1717 creation; not true I am afraid, which is clearly illustrated in this quote, “The so-called ‘Square and Compass’ emblem, which is carved from a sea shell, has aroused wide interest. It was found about 1925 in the eastern edge of the Casa Grande Village about four feet down in a trash mound of the red-on-buff period and the indications are that it was made by the ancient inhabitants about 1,800 years ago.'” Please look at this photograph from the same website:

This square and compass object was discovered in 1925 by Charles E. Manier in Tuscon, Arizona, and is apart of what is called the Tucson artifacts. Needless to say, this discovery has led to much speculation, with several prominent archaeologists divided as to its authenticity. Regardless, this is still further anecdotal proof that the square and compass, one on top of the other, predates the 1717 narrative. In fact, if true, it would date the object to at least 800 AD, if not further back.

Yet, despite the fact there is little proof of the square and compass being together, one on top of the other, this does not mean the square and compass was not used separately to teach an ancient speculative lesson. Here is one image to help illustrate my point that the use of the square and or compass is as old as recorded history, and has been used to remind men (women) of their potential and to help them avoid common errors.

Fu Xi and his sister Nuwa are considered the founders or first rulers of China. Fu Xi is most often given credit for bringing moral standards to the country.

“In the beginning there was as yet no moral or social order. Men knew their mothers only, not their fathers. When hungry, they searched for food; when satisfied, they threw away the remnants. They devoured their food hide and hair, drank the blood, and clad themselves in skins and rushes. Then came Fu Xi and looked upward and contemplated the images in the heavens, and looked downward and contemplated the occurrences on earth. He united man and wife, regulated the five stages of change, and laid down the laws of humanity. He devised the eight trigrams, in order to gain mastery over the world. — Ban Gu, Baihu tongyi.”

Therefore, the square and compass (compasses) have been depicted throughout ancient China. Here are just a few more depictions from the same website to consider, which will further demonstrate the prevalence of its usage:

In fact, in an 1881 Freemason’s Chronicle article entitled Freemasonry in China, it was revealed, “from time immemorial we find the square and compasses used by Chinese writers, either together or separately, to symbolize precisely the same phrases of conduct as in our own system of Freemasonry” (p. 193).

With this in mind, now let us ponder the words of Joseph Newton, who wrote the following in his book, The Builders (1922),

“Long before our era we find the working tools of the Mason used as emblems of the very truths which they teach today. In the oldest classic of China, The Book of History, dating back to the twentieth century before Christ, we read the instruction, ‘Ye officers of Government, apply the compasses.’ even if we begin where The Book of History end, we find many such allusions more than seven hundred years before the Christian era. For example, in the famous canonical work, called The Great learning, which has been referred to the fifth century B.C., we read, that a man should abstain from doing unto others what he would not they should do to him; ‘and this,’ the writer add, ‘is called the principle of acting on the square.’ So also Confucius and his great follower, Mencius. In the writings of Mencius it is taught that men should apply the square and compasses morally to their lives, and the level and the marking line besides, if they would walk in the straight and even paths of wisdom, and keep themselves within the bounds of honor and virtue. In the sixth book of his philosophy we find these words:

A Master Mason, in teaching apprentices, makes use of the compasses and the square. Ye who are engaged in the pursuit of wisdom must also make use of the compass and square'” (p. 30).

Therefore, we find The Book of History, which dates back to the 20th century B.C., mentioning the speculative use of the compass; and this is followed up by Confucius, who lived between 551 and 479 BC, and Mencius, who lived between 385 and 302 BC, both of whom also confirmed the speculative use of the square and compass nearly 500 years before Christ. And for me anyway, the biggest glaring example of Masonic lineage is when Mencius (4th century BC) confirmed the use of the term “Master Mason” while using the speculative use of the words square and compass with regard to moral instruction; not strictly operative, which so many pundits have misapplied.

As such, the next time you hear that the square and compass was developed and combined in the last few hundred years (the 1717 narrative again), think again. Yes, it would appear the instruments have almost always had operative and speculative applications.

Furthermore, here is a quote from Pike regarding the Asians influencing the speculative meaning of the square and compass:

“The COMPASS, therefore, as the Symbol of the Heavens, represents the spiritual, intellectual, and moral portion of this double nature of Humanity; and the SQUARE, as the Symbol of the Earth, its material, sensual, and baser portion.

‘Truth and Intelligence,’ said one of the Ancient Indian Sects of Philosophers, ‘are the Eternal attributes of God, not of the individual Soul, which is susceptible both of knowledge and ignorance, of pleasure and pain; therefore God and the individual Soul are distinct:’ and this expression of the ancient Nyaya Philosophers, in regard to Truth, has been handed down to us through the long succession of ages, in the lessons of Freemasonry, wherein we read, that ‘Truth is a Divine Attribute, and the foundation of every virtue.’

‘While embodied in matter,’ they said, ‘the Soul is in a state of imprisonment, and is under the influence of evil passions; but having, by intense study, arrived at the knowledge of the elements and principles of Nature, it attains unto the place of TIE ETERNAL; in which state of happiness, its individuality does not cease.’

The vitality which animates the mortal frame, the Breath of Life of the Hebrew Genesis, the Hindu Philosophers in general held, perishes with it; but the Soul is divine, an emanation of the Spirit of God, but not a portion of that Spirit. For they compared it to the heat and light sent forth from the Sun, or to a ray of that light, which neither lessens nor divides its own essence” (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 851-852).

Therefore, as to the question of the importance of the Square and Compass to contemporary Freemasonry; simply stated, it proves without a doubt that our ancient speculative teachings, and our lineage, began with the first records of time, just like the story of Adam, which the 1723 Constitutions of Free-Masons claimed. This important fact can now be added to the other information I have written on this blog, which dismisses the predominant 1717 theme espoused by the Postmoderns today in an effort to disprove the claim made by the Ancients (i.e. York Legend, etc.)

So Mote It Be!

Hank Kraychir

xxxx

PS: Here are a few other pictures discovered while researching this topic:

Notice the square in the lower left hand corner:

I have seen this type of “Square” dimension at entrances to buildings, on monuments, on altars, etc. Here we see “the ‘Great’ pyramid of Khufu – The ‘Kings chamber’ in the Great pyramid is covered over with several granite stones estimated at 50-70 tons each.”

A couple of sets of bronze compasses or dividers and a set square. Ancient Greek tools that are still being copied and used with little change today.

“Old Parish Church, Errol Churchyard. General view of gravestone of May Duff, 1762. Double rosette with double torches of Life and Death. Winged Soul over ribband insc: ‘After Death Life. Hors Est Boni Viri Natalis’. Shield with the tools of a mason (setsquare, folding ruler, dividers chisel, hammer and mallet). Insc: ‘D.M S.D’.”

A Masonic Jewel: California Masonic Homes And Outreach Services.

I had the opportunity to visit the Masonic Home in Covina, California a couple of weeks ago. This was my second visit this year. This time I was attending a District VIII Lodge Outreach Program. It was an all-day affair to help spread the word about California’s Masonic Assistance Programs for Freemasons in the state. As liaison coordinators for this program in our Lodges, we are expected to share this knowledge with our Brethren and their families. Moreover, we are expected to attend further training sessions each quarter for the duration of our participation.

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This online article will be kept brief; however, its intent is to inform Masons in the state of California about the services available to them and their families; and to highlight several of the most important issues I thought Masons should be aware of. Furthermore, by discussing these services with the broader Craft, I hope to encourage Freemasons to support and expand such programs in other states and countries as well.

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There are two branches under the Masonic Assistance Program in California. First are the better-known Masonic Homes in Covina and Union City. Yet there is also the lesser-known Masonic Outreach Services, which includes assistance for a Mason’s immediate family; and another outreach program for seniors who may need help before entering the home program, or for those who want to maintain an independent lifestyle. I must emphasize, if at any time you have a question, feel free to call the help-line at 1-888-466-3642 and leave a message. I have been assured that your call will more than likely be returned by the end of the day; if not, please be patient, as the staff tend to spend a great deal of time with each caller. I have found the staff to be incredibly friendly and well informed about senior and family issues, and they are available to help answer your questions if a need should arise.

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It should also be mentioned that the Masonic assistance phone-line, 1-888-466-3642, is ready to help any Mason or family member who might have questions, not just California Freemasons. Several examples were given at this training conference, which demonstrated an overt willingness to help Masonic families connect with services in other states. In particular were the widows of Masons who needed guidance from everything from Social Security benefits to Masonic services in other states. The staff members on the other end of the phone are ready and willing to help the broader Masonic family with questions; just give them a call if you have a concern you would like addressed. It is always better to ask then wait to find out later you had done something wrong.

I do want to emphasize several key points before writing any further about this Masonic Jewel in California. Freemasons and their families need to be aware of several issues that can lead to a problem. In order to be eligible for these programs, a Mason must be a member of the Grand Lodge of California (Blue Lodge) in good standing; among other things, this means your dues must be up to date. I have been told that sometimes a man will go into the hospital for a lengthy duration and the wife or other family members dismiss the payment notices, which can lead to his suspension (i.e. good standing). Moreover, many Freemasons live in the state of California and are members of other Masonic Orders, like York Rite and Scottish Rite, etc, but never bother to affiliate with a Blue Lodge in California. Remember, York Rite and Scottish Rite are national or regional Orders and are separately run from a state’s Grand Lodge. It must be stressed, the money to pay for these services came from the dues, and other private donations, of Blue Lodge members in the state of California; as such, services, other than the help-line, will only be distributed amongst its members and their family members; under certain eligibility requirements.

In short, to be eligible for these services make sure your dues are paid; as well, become a member of a Lodge in California. The surest way to know if you are eligible for these services is by having an updated California Blue Lodge dues card, which also has the phone number for these services on it. It should also be mentioned that you must have been a member for at least five years before you can receive any benefits. And please don’t forget to discuss these services with your immediate family members, who might be in charge of your affairs if you become incapacitated.

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Furthermore, I did not know that my mother would have been eligible for these services. She has since passed away; but it would have been a comfort to know that she could also have been eligible to stay at one of the two homes, or use the other available services, if it was needed.

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A Mason must be aware of a few other eligibility issues as well. To be eligible for either of the Masonic homes, an individual cannot have more than $2,000 in debt, and a couple must not have more than $3,500 in debt when applying. THIS INCLUDES STUDENT LOANS. Notice I capitalized STUDENT LOANS. I did this for a reason. It is not a prevalent problem right now, but it may be in the future. My age generation was discouraged from taking out STUDENT LOANS to pay for college; not so today. Today, almost every student attending college takes out some type of a STUDENT LOAN. I know because I have four children who have had to deal with this issue. Moreover, the Federal Government has also instituted a new pay scale repayment program, which means a growing number of students will never repay their STUDENT LOANS; but the amount owed will continue to grow because of the interest applied to the loan. As well, there is still some uncertainly about the duration of the amount owed and if that amount would be attached to future social security payments, which is the case today with some seniors. Sadly, some seniors who defaulted on their STUDENT LOANS are having a portion of their Social Security payments seized. Nevertheless, the important point is to have little or no debt before attempting to enter the Masonic Home Program. This issue does not affect my immediate family or me, but I know it will become a growing problem in the coming decades; an issue I will continue to discuss with our Masonic leadership in the future.

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There is also a wait time of about 12-18 months before being admitted into the Covina Masonic Home, and 12-24 months for the Union City Home. The difference being the level of care; the Union City Home has many special programs for seniors, while the Covina Masonic home is for independent and assisted living adults only. Although, I was told that the Covina Masonic Home would start construction on a new complex real soon, which will expand senior programming at that location?

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAPlease keep in mind, there are others who have much more information than I can give in this simple blog article. The purpose of this article was to spark your interest to find out more about these services, which are available to all eligible Masons and their family members in the state of California. I purposely left out pertinent details, which you will discover only by calling 1-888-466-3642, or by going to their website pages, Masonic Homes – For Seniors, Masonic Senior Outreach and Masonic Family Outreach.

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In conclusion, I am grateful to be just a small part of this incredible Masonic organization. Every time I walk on the grounds of this beautiful home in Covina, I get a wonderful and joyful feeling. As of yet, I have not gone to the Union City Masonic Home, but I understand it is just as beautiful. Please help spread the good word about these services, which are available to eligible Freemasons and their families in California. Surprisingly, most Masons in the state know little about the California Masonic Homes and the Outreach Services available to them, and to the broader Masonic family with the help-line to help answer questions ~/G\~

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So Mote It Be!!!

Hank Kraychir 

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PS: for your enjoyment, here are some more pictures I took on my visit:

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Destiny Masonic Lodge No. 856 is located at the Covina Masonic Home

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Inside view of Destiny Masonic Lodge No. 856

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Reading room

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A view of the grounds from the cafeteria

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A daily menu

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A small general store

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Computer room

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Barbecue patio

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Game room

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Health club

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Beauty salon

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Quilting room

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Quilting supplies

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Quilting supplies

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Pottery is a very popular activity in the craft room

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One of its several libraries

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A puzzle room

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Yet another of its many Rose Gardens

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Medical staff on duty 24 hours a day

The Ancients Vs. The Moderns; An Unwinnable Civil War.

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The deeper and deeper I look into the ancient lineage of Freemasonry, I am constantly confronted with the lack of Empirical Evidence. Yet, with that thought in mind, let us also consider the fact that the Craft itself was never designed to be am Empirically based organization, despite recent attempts to make it one. You see, the concept of Empirical Evidence is a recent phenomena of scientific academia, which has it roots in alchemy, which I will discuss later on in the article. Whereas, the ancients employed both Empirical and Anecdotal Evidence in its decision making process.

But before I delve into this specific topic, a little history is in order. The battle between the Ancients and the Moderns (or Postmoderns as they are often called today) is about 300 years old, if not longer. Basically, the Ancients formed a Grand Lodge in England in 1751 because they believed the Moderns had taken control of the Grand Lodge that was formed in 1717, and were progressively attempting to change the history of Freemasonry. Sound familiar? It should! You see, for the most part this battle is no longer being played out by Grand Lodges; rather it is being played out in our literature by well meaning pundits like myself. I have referred to this battle as a civil war. Seriously, this battle has gone on for some 300 years, with no end in sight. How sad.

Consider the following, Masonic Empirical believers do not buy into the argument that Anecdotal Evidence should be considered in any Masonic discussion about our lineage. Nevertheless, it is admitted by the academic world that Anecdotal Evidence still falls under “the scope of Scientific method.” Admittedly, it is the weaker of the two evidences; nonetheless, it is still used and applied as a starting point for scientific discovery.  We also know that Anecdotal discovery uses the creative elements of the human mind, and is the source of countless new ideas, discoveries and inventions; but it is also sometimes biased, especially if misapplied and not balanced with Empirical Evidence. In short, scientific researchers often start with Anecdotal Evidence and end with Empirical Evidence.

But how do historians look upon such theories? As a historian, I was taught to look at Anecdotal Evidence as a secondary source, particularly when primary Empirical Evidence was available. However, in the absence of Empirical Evidence, historians often turn to diaries, newspapers, journals, etc., to help tell a story and fill in the gaps. Most people are not aware that these types of sources are less accurate and fall under the Anecdotal Evidence category. Nevertheless, historians still use such information to help fill in the gaps that Empirical Evidence does not supply.

In my history studies, the first topic I was taught was historiography, which can be defined as, “the writing of history; especially:  the writing of history based on the critical examination of sources, the selection of particulars from the authentic materials, and the synthesis of particulars into a narrative that will stand the test of critical methods.” At the conclusion of my studies on this topic, I learned that virtually all history is flawed, especially the further back one looks. The reason for this belief is simple, virtually all history contains the biases of the individual who wrote about a topic. Or as Walter Benjamin amply stated, “history is written by the victors.”

In fact, historians often use Anecdotal data when writing about history. Furthermore, many historians today use hermeneutics to form a better perspective about a historical event or time period. You see, way too many people are caught up in the Empirical vs Anecdotal Evidence debate, which is so often used in the realm of the sciences, but is often dismissed, or at least becoming less important, by many authors of history.

As well, a closer look into the topic of hermeneutics demonstrates something we already apply in Freemasonry, but is dismissed by the Moderns as unscientific. I love this word, unscientific; as though the Craft was ever designed to be strictly scientific. For surely it was never intended to be so. But I digress. The word hermeneutics can be defined as, “the theory and methodology of text interpretation, especially the interpretation of biblical texts, wisdom literature, and philosophical texts.” You see, this is what Aristotle and Plato used in their great works, which still influences Freemasonry today,

In De Interpretatione, Aristotle offers a theory which lays the groundwork for many later theories of interpretation and semiotics:

Words spoken are symbols or signs (symbola) of affections or impressions (pathemata) of the soul (psyche); written words are the signs of words spoken.

As writing, so also is speech not the same for all races of men.

But the mental affections themselves, of which these words are primarily signs (semeia), are the same for the whole of mankind, as are also the objects (pragmata) of which those affections are representations or likenesses, images, copies (homoiomata).  [De Interpretatione, 1.16a4]

Equally important to later developments are some ancient texts on poetry, rhetoric, and sophistry:

Aristotle’s Poetics, Rhetoric, and On Sophistical Refutations

Plato’s dialogues, Cratylus, Ion, Gorgias, Lesser Hippias, and The Republic

This type of literature and learning became prominent in the middle ages, and helped shape our views about reading and interpreting like the ancients:

The discipline of hermeneutics emerged with the new humanist education of the 15th century as a historical and critical methodology for analyzing texts. In a triumph of early modern hermeneutics, the Italian humanist Lorenzo Valla proved in 1440 that the Donation of Constantine was a forgery. This was done through intrinsic evidence of the text itself… The rationalist Enlightenment led hermeneutists, especially Protestant exegetists, to view Scriptural texts as secular classical texts. They interpreted Scripture as responses to historical or social forces so that, for example, apparent contradictions and difficult passages in the New Testament might be clarified by comparing their possible meanings with contemporary Christian practices.

You see, many times, only through text interpretation can a truth be revealed. I know this type of learning counters contemporary thinking about traditional educational sources; nevertheless, it has value and is now becoming a recognized type of study, despite recent attempts to dismiss its worth in contributing to scholastic study.

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Yet it should also be said, these types of learning and study have been around the esoteric world since the beginning of recorded history through the use of allegorical literature and interpretation. Albert Pike wrote,

“Though deprecating the demoralizing tendencies of poetry, he was too wise to attempt to replace them by other representations of a positive kind. He justly says, that spiritual things can be made intelligible only through figures; and the forms of allegorical expression which, in a rude age, had been adopted unconsciously, were designedly chosen by the philosopher as the most appropriate vehicles for theological ideas” (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 678).

Therefore, if the philosophers, like Aristotle and Plato, understood and used allegory as a source for expressing ideas unfit for the profane, why are we as Masonic historians criticized for using anecdotal, and or allegorical interpretations, when writing about Masonry. Honestly, it makes no sense not to use Anecdotal data and allegory when writing about Masonry, especially since the Craft itself was devised using such concepts.

“Everywhere the sacred body of Nature was covered with the veil of allegory, which concealed it from the profane, and allowed it to be seen only by the sage who thought it worthy to be the object of his study and investigation. She showed herself to those only who loved her in spirit and in truth, and she abandoned the indifferent and careless to error and to ignorance. ‘The Sages of Greece,’ says Pausanias, ‘never wrote otherwise than in an enigmatical manner, never naturally and directly.’ ‘Nature,’ says Sallust the Philosopher, “should be sung only in a language that imitates the secrecy of her processes and operations. She is herself an enigma. We see only bodies in movement; the forces and springs that move them are hidden from us.’ The poets inspired by the Divinity, the wisest philosophers, all the theologians, the chiefs of the initiations and Mysteries, even the gods uttering their oracles, have borrowed the figurative language of allegory. ‘The Egyptians,’ says Proclus, ‘preferred that mode of teaching, and spoke of the great secrets of Nature, only in mythological enigmas.’ The Gymnosophists of India and the Druids of Gaul lent to science the same enigmatic language, and in the same style wrote the Hierophants of Phœnicia” (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 659).

As Pike wrote above, the poets, philosophers and theologians all wrote in an enigmatic style that held great secrets, and they did this for a reason; they wanted to hide these wonderful teachings and wonders from the profane. So they covered, or hid, them under a veil of allegory.

Interestingly, unlike today, the ancients understood the differences between Anecdotal Evidence (parables of the Hermetic philosophers) and Empirical Evidence (prophets of Alchemy); Alchemy, of course, being the precursor to modern day science, which Pike confirmed when he wrote about their differences and their use in understanding the entirety of a topic:

“It is in this sense we are to understand the parables of the Hermetic philosophers and the prophets of Alchemy; but in their works, as in the Great Work, we must skillfully separate the subtile from the gross, the mystic from the positive, allegory from theory. If you would read them with pleasure and understandingly, you must first understand them allegorically in their entirety and then descend from allegories to realities by way of the correspondences or analogies indicated in the single dogma.

In others words, it is certainly OK to write about differences, but never totally dismiss somethings value to a topic. Yes, lets seek Empirical Evidence whenever possible, but let’s not dismiss the true potential of Anecdotal Evidence, like allegorical literature (poetry, biblical accounts, folklore, ancient literature, etc) and their interpretations, simply because it is not fully understood or agreed upon and appreciated through Empirical ideals, which again is a contemporary idea to separate the two, which the ancients did not do.

Pike was clear about interpreting:

EACH of us makes such applications to his own faith and creed, of the symbols and ceremonies of this Degree, as seems to him proper. With these special interpretations we have here nothing to do. Like the legend of the Master Khūrūm, in which some see figured the condemnation and sufferings of Christ; others those of the unfortunate Grand Master of the Templars; others those of the first Charles, King of England; and others still the annual descent of the Sun at the winter Solstice to the regions of darkness, the basis of many an ancient legend; so the ceremonies of this Degree receive different explanations; each interpreting them for himself, and being offended at the interpretation of no other.

Did you catch that? Many people see things others do not, but we should never be offended at the interpretation of another person. Therefore, our own Masonic literature encourages us to seek new Masonic knowledge through interpretation; however, we are told by a small group of modern academics that we are wrong for seeking out Masonic lineage using such a method. In other words, here is the cool-aid, shut up and simply drink the 1717 narrative. I don’t think so, we don’t buy into this idea and never will. So what are we to do as Masons? Should we keep fighting this unwinnable battle, or perhaps find a solution? I think I have a solution to the problem.

I personally think the only solution is to admit that both methods are valuable within the scope of discovering our lineage. We need to stop thinking of Freemasonry strictly as a science; but rather we need to again reestablish the ancient viewpoint of research, just like the ancient alchemist did. You see, they included a spiritual or an occultist component to everything they did. They did not just rely on Empirical Evidence; no, they were willing to use both Empirical and Anecdotal Evidences to explain something.  Even contemporary historians use Anecdotal Evidence to explain things that otherwise would go unexplained.

You see, we are neither science based nor history based in our foundation; rather, we are an immersion of both. Only because of contemporary academic ideas have we become separated, which has resulted in a split within the Craft itself. One side says the other is not truly representative of Masonic lineage based solely on the ideals of Empirical Evidence, while the other side says we can only explain our past using Anecdotal Evidence. Honestly, I think we need to rethink our positions and start showing brotherly love, otherwise this unwinnable civil war will never cease. I certainly hope for this day; until than however, I will continue to write about Masonic lineage using both forms of evidences; never dismissing the value of each of them.

So Mote It Be!!!

Hank Kraychir 

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The Morals And Dogma Of Modern Freemasonry.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Gnostic Warrior host Moe Bedard for almost two hours recently. During our time together, we discussed countless Masonic topics revolving around the teachings of Albert Pike’s book Morals and Dogma (1871). If you would like to listen to this broadcast, please follow the link below. I would also like to thank Moe for being so generous with his time; he was very kind and a great host. Needless to say, he demonstrated incredible knowledge about the ancient mysteries.

So Mote It Be!!!

Hank Kraychir

Pike Comments On Homsexuality.

Gay Mason

While researching Albert Pike’s book, Morals and Dogma (1871), I discovered something relevant to Freemasonry today, which may enlighten my Brethren about the topic of homosexuality as it related to the ancient mysteries. But first let me make just a few comments.

I only bring this topic up because two Grand Lodges in the United States, Tennessee and Georgia, are taking a stance against men who are homosexual. To my knowledge, it has been pretty well understood that such issues were to be kept private; well, I guess some Grand Lodges no longer adhere to the doctrine of no religion and no politics in Freemasonry.

You see, the no religion no politics ideal has served the Craft well, at least when it has been adhered to and applied. Some Masons think that this policy is only meant to be used between Brothers in a Lodge room; not so I am afraid. The no religion no politics ideal also means that we should not succumb to the political will and religious doctrine of popular opinion. Freemasonry is not a political or religious body; as such, we should stop acting like one, and instead start acting like an institution of higher learning, which teaches benevolent tolerance and good will towards all men and women, but especially those who are being persecuted.

In any event, Pike and his book Morals and Dogma have also suffered greatly the past 30 to 40 years. Instead of defending his book, the broader Craft simply dismissed it, something many Masons now believe was the wrong decision. You see, the broader Craft succumbed to political and religious pressures in the late 1970s and early 1980s; and because of this negativity, Freemasons entering the Craft demonstrated little to no interest in Pike’s book. This resulted in an abundance of copies of Morals and Dogma throughout the nation, which the Scottish Rite (SJ) mistook as a sign that the book was too difficult to understand. Pike’s book was replaced with another book in 1988; a book many Masons felt was necessary at the time to keep his ideas alive. Nevertheless, as popular as this book was and still is, it did not stop the overall decline in broader Craft numbers. It is obvious now however the broader Craft should have simply defended Pike instead of turning its back on him. I say this, because the recent release of Albert Pike’s book Morals and Dogma (annotated version) by the Scottish Rite (SJ) has led to a surge in interest in his work. History has certainly redeemed Pike, and now the Craft is seeing an overall increase as a result.

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In any event, Pike wrote his views in Morals and Dogma during a time of incredible political turmoil; and despite the fact that only a few hundred copies were initially published, he had to have known that wider distribution would occur after his death. So he hid his more controversial views in allegory and archaic language, much like our own Masonic lessons do, which will be explained below.

Case in point. Pike mentioned something very profound, which will certainly upset some people! He wrote, For the union of Nature with herself is a chaste marriage, of which the union of man and woman was a natural image.” To learn more about this particular quote, please go to my other blog Pikequotes. So what was Pike trying to communicate to us? One must first define what “union of Nature” is. Well, a clue can be seen in the second half of the sentence, when he wrote, “the union of man and woman was a natural image.” Therefore, the union between a man and woman is acceptable, right. OK, that is how most people might interpret this segment as well? That would mean that the “union of Nature” is a “chaste marriage,” or some type of union as well. At first, I was taken back, because I know the meaning of chaste is to be pure, like perhaps a virgin, or at least I thought. Well, I looked up the word chaste and discovered there were four definitions; they are, “Not having sex, morally pure or decent, not sinful, and simple or plain.” So I have to ask the question, how could a “natural image,” which is the union of a man and a woman, be good, and a “union of nature” or a “chaste marriage” also be good? WOW, to say the least. So what was Pike saying, and what distinction can be made between a “natural image” and a “chaste marriage,” both of which are pure and not sinful?

Well, if he mentioned the union of man and woman in the later part of the sentence, he must have been referring to natural acts (unions) in the first part of the sentence, like man and man, and woman and woman, in union, which, as he wrote, is a “chaste marriage.” Therefore, the act of sex between man and man, or woman and woman, would be morally pure and decent, not sinful and simple or plain. However, with that said, he also mentioned that the union between man and woman is the natural image; this is because it creates life, i.e. a child. Needless to say, this takes some time to gather ones head around, only because western civilization has been taught that homosexuality of not chaste, whereas Pike is stating that such a union is a “chaste marriage,” but not a “natural image,” only because this type of union does not create offspring. This is the only difference between the two unions; although, it must be said again, both unions are pure and good.

Furthermore, right after the above post, the following night, I posted another lesson from Pike, which mentioned the “orgies of Phœnicia.” And as most people know, orgies (Orgia) were the union of sexes simultaneously in a ritual act, and was often used in the ancient world on a wedding night. You see, Pike could have easily left out these points, but he chose to include them; therefore, by extension he was attempting to tell us something. Something that each person must conclude for ourselves. So, in the beginning of his lesson he wrote about a union of nature being a chaste marriage, and at the end he wrote about the orgies of Phœnicia; does one really think Pike was only discussing the union between male and female? I don’t. But again, it is up to each Mason to interpret and decide for himself, that is what allegory is all about. And this is how Masonry has been operating regarding the topic of homosexuality, at least until recently.

So many people have written that Pike was a man of his time; but honestly, he was a man well ahead of his time, which can be proven by his above claim about a union of nature being a chaste marriage. Once again, it must be repeated, Pike was a man well ahead of his time with regard to issues that we are just now starting to address. I think the Grand Lodges of Tennessee and Georgia need to reread Pike? Like I have said before, no wonder some Freemason’s had tried to cleanse the Craft of Pike’s book Morals and Dogma some thirty years ago. Well, I have news for those Masons who continue wage war against the ancient teachings of the Craft, and continue to allow outside political and religious influences to govern Freemasonry. A growing number of Masons now want Pike brought back into Masonic discussions and instruction to remind us of our ancient historical roots and doctrines, and as a guide to future behavior (Morals) and beliefs (Dogma) for all Masons of every Order. Only time will tell if this internal civil war will continue at the cost and to the dismay of the Brethren.

So Mote It Be!!!

Hank Kraychir

xxxx