Thursday, October 26, 2006

Mysticism of Masonry

"Only the Perfect Master [he who has lived the life according to the Law
until the Soul is brought into Consciousness] can so chip away the stone as to
reveal in all its grandeur and beauty the Divine Ideal, and endow it with the
breath of life [Immortality]. Such is the building of character. The fable of
Pygmalion and Galatea is, after all, more real than history. The thread of
history is not in isolate facts, joined by conjecture and warped to the
ignorant, bigoted and time-serving opinions of men. The real thread is to be
sought in the theme that runs through the symphony of creation; in the lofty
ideals that inspire the life of man and that lead him from the clod and the
lowlands where hover the ghosts of superstition and fear, to the mountains of
light where dwell forever inspiration and peace. Such ideals are the Christ
[of the true church], Hiram [of the Masonic Order] and the Perfect Masters [of
the Occult Fraternities].
"No genuine Mason, imbued with the spirit of liberality, will treat any
religion [or religious belief, even if it has but one sincere adherent] with
derision or contempt, or exclude from fellowship any Brother who believes in
the existence of God, the Brotherhood of Man and the Immortality of the Soul.
This catholic Liberal and all-embracing spirit is the very foundation of
Masonry and any departure from it is un-Masonic and subversive of the ancient
Landmarks and Genius of Masonry. True Masonry has, for ages, held aloft the
torchlight of Toleration, Equity and Fraternity. The bigoted sectarian,
whoever he may be, divides the world into two classes: those who, with zeal
and blind faith, accept his dogmas and those who do not.
"In its ritualism and monitorial lessons, Masonry teaches nothing in
morals, in science, in religion or in any other department of human knowledge
or human interest, not taught elsewhere in current forms of thought or by the
sages of the past. In these directions it has no secrets of any kind. It is in
the ancient symbols of Freemasonry that its real secrets lie concealed and
these are as densely veiled to the Mason as to any other, unless he has
studied the science of symbolism in general and Masonic symbolism in
particular. In place of the term Mystic Masonry, the term Symbolic Masonry
might as well have been used; but just there lies the whole secret - a
profound mystery - and few Masons up to the present time have had the interest
or the patience necessary to such investigation as might bring revealment.
This is a fact and not intended as either a criticism or a reproach. If,
lacking a knowledge of the profound meaning of Masonic symbolism and its
transcendent interest and importance, Masons have allowed the whole
organization not only to fail in all real progress but to degenerate, that is
indeed a reproach.
"There never was greater need than at the present time, never so great an
opportunity as now, for Masonry to assume its true place among the
institutions of man and to force recognition by the simple power of Brotherly
Love, Relief and Truth, based upon philosophy such as nowhere else exists
outside of its ancient symbols. If the majority of Masons do not realize the
true significance and value of their possessions, there is all the more need
for those who do to speak out, even in the face of discouragement and
detraction, and do their utmost to demonstrate the truth. Does any intelligent
Mason imagine that the guilds of practical Masons of a century and a half ago
originated the order of Freemasons? There were indeed Architects and Master
builders among them but the great majority of Masons were far more
ignorant, as manual servants, than the majority of such builders are today.*
"Freemasonry is modeled on the plan of the Ancient [Osirian]# Mysteries,
with their glyphs and allegories. This is no mere coincidence; the parallels
are too closely drawn. Albert Pike came to the conclusion, after long and
patient investigation, that certain Hermetic Philosophers had a hand in the
construction of the organization of Free and Accepted Masons and, if they
embodied in its symbolism more than appears on the surface and far deeper
truths than the superficial student readily discerns, it was evidently
designed that future generations should uncover and use these profounder
"In brief, then, the real secrets of Freemasonry lie in its symbols, and
the meaning of the symbols reveals a profound philosophy and a Universal
Science, that have never been transcended by man.
"There is a thread of tradition connecting modern Masonry with the most
ancient Mysteries of Antiquity. The ancient landmarks may be discovered in
every nation and time. `Notwithstanding the connection that so evidently
exists,' says Dr. Rebold, `between the Ancient Mysteries and the Freemasonry
of our day, the latter should be considered an initiation rather than a
continuation of those ancient Mysteries; for initiation into them was the
entering of a school, wherein were taught art, science, morals, law,
philosophy, philanthropy and the wonders and worship of nature.'" -Dr. Buck,
Mystic Masonry.
The universal science and sublime philosophy once taught in the Greater
Mysteries of Atlantis, Egypt, Chaldea, Persia and India, have undoubtedly been
a dead letter in the lodges of modern Freemasonry but this science and
philosophy have not been either lost or destroyed as so many, even among the
scholars, seem to think. They are carefully conserved in the Archives of the
older Fraternities and ever at the command of the sincere aspirant who is
willing to study, to learn to live the life. Nothing of the Ancient Mysteries
will be withheld from the true student if he is liberal enough and of
sufficiently pure mind, to see the beauties in the grossest shell. Only man's
unworthiness can prevent him from rending the veil of the Mysteries, bringing
to mind the ancient and very true maxim: "Naught from without can harm you;
fear only that which is within yourself." How well it would be if all men were
to comprehend the spirit of this saying and were they to live in that spirit;
what a "shelving" there would be of twentieth century reformers - those
fanatics and hypocrites, who would make men good (external white-washing) by
the enactment of countless legislative acts which require an army - in the
parlance of the street of grafters and political hangers-on who must be
maintained at the expense of an unfortunate but honest citizenry.
"It should be borne in mind that in modern Freemasonry, in the Ancient
Mysteries and in all the truly great Religions, there always was an exoteric
portion given out to the masses - the uninitiated, and an esoteric doctrine
reserved for the initiate [who could appreciate and respect it] and revealed
in the degrees, according as the candidate demonstrated his fitness to
receive, conceal and rightly use the knowledge so imparted.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Teachings of Don Juan

Our lot as men is to learn. I have learned to see and I tell you that nothing really matters. A man of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting, nor by thinking about what he will think when he has finished acting. A man of knowledge chooses a path with heart and follows it; and then he looks and rejoices and laughs; and then he sees and knows. He knows that his life will be over altogether too soon; he knows that he, as well as everybody else, is not going anywhere; he knows, because he sees , that nothing is more important than anything else. In other words, a man of knowledge has no honor, no dignity, no family, no name, no country, but only life to be lived, and under these circumstances his only tie to his fellow men is his controlled folly. Thus a man of knowledge endeavors, and sweats, and puffs, and if one looks at him he is just like any ordinary man, except that the folly of his life is under control. Nothing being more important than anything else, a man of knowledge chooses any act, and acts it out as if it matters to him. His controlled folly makes him say that what he does matters and makes him act as if it did, and yet he knows that it doesn't; so when he fulfills his acts he retreats in peace, and whether his acts were good or bad, or worked or didn't, is in no way part of his concern.
You think about your acts, therefore you have to believe your acts are as important as you think they are, when in reality nothing of what one does is important. Nothing! But then if nothing really matters, as you ask me, how can I go on living? It would be simple to die; that's what you say and believe, because you're thinking about life, just as you're thinking now what seeing would be like. You want me to describe it to you so you can begin to think about it, the way you do with everything else. In the case of seeing , however, thinking is not the issue at all, so I cannot tell you what it is like to see . Now you want me to describe the reasons for my controlled folly and I can only tell you that controlled folly is very much like seeing ; it is something you cannot think about.
Our lot as men is to learn and, as I've said, one goes to knowledge as one goes to war; with fear, with respect, aware that one is going to war, and with absolute confidence in oneself. Put your trust in yourself. There's no emptiness in the life of a man of knowledge, everything is filled to the brim and everything is equal. For me there is no victory, or defeat, or emptiness. Everything is filled to the brim and everything is equal and my struggle is worth my while.
In order to become a man of knowledge one must be a warrior. One must strive without giving up, without a complaint, without flinching, until one sees , only to realize then that nothing matters. You're too concerned with liking people or with being liked yourself. A man of knowledge likes, that's all. He likes whatever or whoever he wants, but he uses his controlled folly to be unconcerned about it.
My controlled folly applies only to myself and to the acts I perform while in the company of my fellow men.

You must talk to the plants you're going to pick before you pick them. In order to see the plants you must talk to them personally, you must get to know them individually; then the plants can tell you anything you care to know about them.
You fail to understand that I am not joking. When a man of enlightenment attempts to see , he attempts to gain power.
You think everything in the world is simple to understand because everything you do is a routine that is simple to understand.

You have to have an unbending intent in order to become a man of knowledge.
* *
A warrior takes responsibility for his acts; for the most trivial of his acts. He waits patiently, knowing that he is waiting, and knowing what he is waiting for. That is the warrior's way.
What makes us unhappy is to want. Yet if we would learn to cut our wants to nothing, the smallest thing we'd get would be a true gift. To be poor or wanting is only a thought; and so is to hate, or to be hungry, or to be in pain. They are only thoughts for me now, I have accomplished that feat. The power to do that is all we have, mind you, to oppose the forces of our lives; without that power we are dregs, dust in the wind.
It is up to us as single individuals to oppose the forces of our lives. Only a warrior can survive. A warrior knows that he is waiting and what he is waiting for; and while he waits he wants nothing and thus whatever little thing he gets is more than he can take. If he needs to eat he finds a way, because he is not hungry; if something hurts his body he finds a way to stop it, because he is not in pain. To be hungry or to be in pain means that the man has abandoned himself and is no longer a warrior; and the forces of his hunger and pain will destroy him.
* * *
The countless paths one traverses in one's life are all equal. Oppressors and oppressed meet at the end, and the only thing that prevails is that life was altogether too short for both.

You must act like a warrior. One learns to act like a warrior by acting, not by talking. A warrior has only his will and his patience and with them he builds anything he wants. You have no more time for retreats or for regrets. You only have time to live like a warrior and work for patience and will .
Will is something very special. It happens mysteriously. There is no real way of telling how one uses it, except that the results of using the will are astounding. Perhaps the first thing that one should do is to know that one can develop the will . A warrior knows that and proceeds to wait for it.
A warrior knows that he is waiting and knows what he is waiting for. It is very difficult, if not impossible, for the average man to know what he is waiting for. A warrior, however, has no problems; he knows that he is waiting for his will .
Will is something very clear and powerful which can direct our acts. Will is something a man uses, for instance, to win a battle which he, by all calculations, should lose. It is not what we call courage. Courage is something else. Men of courage are dependable men, noble men perennially surrounded by people who flock around them and admire them; yet very few men of courage have will . Usually they are fearless men who are given to performing daring common-sense acts; most of the time a courageous man is also fearsome and feared. Will , on the other hand, has to do with astonishing feats that defy our common sense. You may say that it is a kind of control.
Will is not what one calls "will power." Denying oneself certain things with "will power," is an indulgence and I don't recommend anything of the kind. The indulgence of denying is by far the worst; it forces us to believe we are doing great things, when in effect we are only fixed within ourselves.
Will is a power. And since it is a power it has to be controlled and tuned and that takes time. When I was your age I was as impulsive as you. Yet I have changed. Our will operates in spite of our indulgence. For example your will is already opening your gap, little by little.
There is a gap in us; like the soft spot on the head of a child which closes with age, this gap opens as one develops one's will . It's an opening. It allows a space for the will to shoot out, like an arrow. What a man of enlightenment calls will is a power within ourselves. It is not a thought, or an object, or a wish. An act of "will power" is not will because such an act needs thinking and wishing. Will is what can make you succeed when your thoughts tell you that you're defeated. Will is a force which is the true link between men and the world.
The world is whatever we perceive, in any manner we may choose to perceive. Perceiving the world entails a process of apprehending whatever presents itself to us. This particular perceiving is done with our senses and with our will . Will is a relation between ourselves and the perceived world.
What the average man calls will is character and strong disposition. What a man of enlightenment calls will is a force that comes from within and attaches itself to the world out there. One can perceive the world with the senses as well as with the will .
An average man can "grab" the things of the world only with his hands, or his senses, but a man of enlightenment can grab them also with his will . I cannot really describe how it is done, but you yourself, for instance, cannot describe to me how you hear. It happens that I am also capable of hearing, so we can talk about what we hear, but not about how we hear. A man of enlightenment uses his will to perceive the world. That perceiving, however, is not like hearing. When we look at the world or when we hear it, we have the impression that it is out there and that it is real. When we perceive the world with our will we know that the world is not as "out there" or as "real" as we think.
Will is a force, a power. Seeing is not a force, but rather a way of getting through things. A sorcerer may have a very strong will and yet he may not see ; which means that only a man of knowledge perceives the world with his senses and with his will and also with his seeing .
Now you know you are waiting for your will . You still don't know what it is, or how it could happen to you. So watch carefully everything you do. The very thing that could help you develop your will is amidst all the little things you do.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Charles Mackay

Old Tubal Cain was a man of might
In the days when the Earth was young;
By the fierce red light of his furnace bright
The strokes of his hammer rung;
And he lifted high his brawny hand
On the iron glowing clear,
Till the sparks rushed out in scarlet showers
And he fashioned the sword and spear.
And he sang "Hurra for the handiwork!
Hurra for the spear and sword!
Hurra for the hand that shall wield them well,
For he shall be king and lord!"

To Tubal Cain came many a one,
As he wrought by his roaring fire;
And each one prayed for a strong steel blade
As the crown of his desire.
And he made them weapons sharp and strong,
Till they shouted loud for glee,
And gave him gifts of pearl and gold,
And spoils of the forest free;
And they said, "Hurra for Tubal Cain,
Who hath given us strength anew!
Hurra for the smith, hurra for the fire,
And hurra for the metal true!"

But a sudden change came o'er his heart
Ere the setting of the sun,
And Tubal Cain was filled with pain for
The Evil he had done;
He saw that men, with rage and hate,
Made war upon their kind,
That the land was red with the blood they shed,
In their lust for carnage blind.
And he said, "Alas! that ever I made,
Or the skill of mine should plan,
The spear and the sword for men whose joy
Is to slay their fellow-man."

And for many a day old Tubal Cain
Sat brooding o'er his woe;
And his hand forebore to smite the ore,
And his furnace smoldered low.
But he rose at last with a cheerful face,
And a bright courageous eye,
And bared his strong right hand for work
While the quick flames mounted high!
And he sang, "Hurra for my handicraft!"
And the red sparks lit the air;
"Not alone for the blade was the bright steel made!"
And he fashioned the first ploughshare.

And men, taught wisdom from the past,
In friendship joined their hands;
Hung the sword in the hall, the spear on the wall,
And ploughed the willing lands;
And sang, "Hurra for Tubal Cain!
Our staunch good friend is he;
And for the ploughshare and the plough
To him our praise shall be;
But while oppression lifts its head,
Or a tyrant would be lord
Though we may thank him for the plough
We'll not forget the sword!"