V.I.T.R.I.O.L. ( Sulfuric Acid)

The Secret of Alchemy 
Phase  1     : Preparation 
From Wikipedia
The Chamber of Reflection is a small darkened room adjoining the Lodge Room. It is a sombre place of meditation and reflection for candidates for initiation into Freemasonry, and is sometimes used in higher degrees.[1] There is no specific list of contents, but it may contain either literally or in representation, such objects or images as a skull, a sickle or scythe, an hourglass, bread and water, sulphur, salt and a cockerel (symbolising mercury), a lantern or candle, or the acronym “V.I.T.R.I.O.L.” 
Before the ceremony of initiation, the candidate is placed for a time in the Chamber of Reflection, in order to meditate and consider how Freemasonry is about to change his life. He is given a series of questions to answer. 
Questions:
1. Do you solemnly declare upon your honor, that in seeking admission you are actuated by no mercenary or other unworthy motive?
2. Does your conscience accuse you of any crime, unrepented of, which would render you unworthy of becoming a member.
Typically, he is asked his duties to God, his fellow men, and himself. In some lodges he is also asked to make a will. At the end of this time, he is led to the Temple for initiation.Although the impact of the chamber’s furniture must of necessity be personal, the symbolism relates to hermetic and alchemical  correspondences. The chamber itself is symbolic of a cave, introducing the candidate to the alchemical element of earth. (He will meet the others in the temple.) The skull (often with crossed bones) is an obvious symbol of mortality, and coupled with the hourglass, points to the brevity of mortal existence. Bread and water indicate simplicity. The rooster symbolises the alchemical principle of mercury, which partnered with the salt and sulphur, symbolise faith, hope and charity. “V.I.T.R.I.O.L.” or vitriol (sulphuric acid) is interpreted as visita interiora terrae, rectificandoque, invenies occultum lapidem“, or “visit the interior of the earth, and purifying it, you will find the hidden stone.” This is another way of saying “look within yourself for the truth”.
-Cabinet_of_Reflection_symbols
THE ANTE ROOM  OR CHAMBER OF REFLECTION

AN OMITTED INDISPENSABLE PART OF OUR RITUAL
By: Carlos Antonio Martinez, Jr.

The chamber of reflection

The Chamber of Reflection… After being told a few words of warning calling for the reconsideration on the steps he is about to take, mysterious words bearing a contrasting and intimidating message of discouragement, the young candidate, compelled by either Conviction or Curiosity, decides to ignore such “warnings”, and valiantly enters that “cavern-like” room on the day of his initiation into the Craft. He immediately finds himself in the middle of a gloomy and obscure scenario – a small table with a skull and crossed tibia, a lit candle, a sand clock about to stop, and a few suggestive wall inscriptions complementary of everything he was forewarned prior to stepping into such a perturbing enclosure. Truly, this is a chamber of reflection.

He cannot help feeling like an unfortunate detainee of ancient times, locked in a dungeon awaiting his sentence. On the small table there are also a cup of water, a small piece of bread, and some salt, which seem to be the only food that he is entitled to ingest for being imprisoned. He instinctively asks himself “Am I a Prisoner?”; “I have not done anything wrong”; “I came here of my own free will and they throw me in here”; “How long will they keep me?”; “I have no idea, but, I want to get out, I want to throw down the towel and surrender in the second round”; “I give up”; I can’t stand it any longer”; “What is this about?”; “Why did they lock me up?”; “Is this how they make Good Men better?”; “Is this what they mean by Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth?”; “They are probably just having fun with me!”; “They have me in such a ridiculous and hopeless state!”; “One of my hands is tied, I’m barefooted, almost naked, without my belongings, and partially blind-folded!”; “My God, what’s next?”; “A ransom?”; “Am I being kidnapped?”; “Are all those sinister rumors about the Masons true?”…

… The young neophyte then recovers his briefly lost sanity, and focus his attention on some of the fluorescent phrases posted on the dark walls: “IF YOU ARE AFRAID, LEAVE”; “IF YOU ARE NOT CERTAIN, WITHDRAW”; “IF YOU CANNOT COPE, RENOUNCE”; All of the sudden, however, these intimidating and daring clauses give him the encouragement to continue on, to test himself, to confront and overcome his own fears, to subdue his vices, and to begin to truly know himself.

Suddenly, a man wearing a black robe hands him a paper with four (4) questions that he must answer in sixty (60) seconds. At that moment, the novice thinks – “Who, in my present state and condition, is going to answer this questionnaire correctly in one (1) minute?” – While reading the questions, he feels like a bucket of cold water has fallen upon him, slightly refreshing his already warm and confused mind. There are four (4) questions he must reflect upon: What is Man’s duty to God? Again, he thinks – “What, didn’t they say that, here, Religion is never discussed?” – He thinks for a moment and answers what he thinks is right. What is Man’s duty to Himself? “Dignity”, he replies. But, again, he cannot help to think – “What type of Dignity can I have or talk about, after being treated like a dirty rag?”. What is Man’s duty to his Fellow Beings? Without hesitation he replies – “Respect”. If your last hour arrived, what would be your Testament? This time, the young man’s face frowns and he thinks aloud – “A last will? “What are they going to do to me now?”; “I’m locked away in a room, I know nobody in this place, and I’m in the presence of human remains”; “Now, I truly feel uncomfortable!” – He stops, thinks again for a few seconds, and replies – “I’d give half of my holdings to my loved-ones, and the other half to people in need”.

He was given sixty (60) seconds, but, he feels as twenty (20) minutes have gone by; his anxiety begins to feel like asphyxia with an unmistakable sensation of claustrophobia. Suddenly, there is a distinct knock at the door, two or three different voices from without order him not to turn around, and, once more, he is completely blind-folded.

As he is taken away, he remembers reading a particular word with three points between each letter: V:.I:.T:.R:.I:.O:.L:. At that time, our young Initiate did not know its meaning, he probably even assumed that it was an unknown reference to God; But, in due time, he will encounter the latin phrase: “VISITA INTERIORA TERRAE RECTIFICANDO INVENIES OCCULTUM LAPIDEM”, which, semi-translated into English means: “VISIT THE INTERIOR OF THE EARTH, THROUGH RECTIFICATION YOU SHALL FIND THE HIDDEN STONE”, and, then, he will realize that such word went hand in hand with everything he saw and read in that “cavern-like” chamber. Studying and analyzing further, he will find its significance, that of visiting and knowing his Inner Side/Nature, and submitting to a Self-Examination of Conscience with which he must reflect over his actions and deeds, and, thus, discover his Internal Self or Hidden Stone, the Philosophers Stone of the Alchemists, the Rough Ashlar of the Free-Mason.

The ancient Egyptian, Persian and Greek Sages adopted the custom of surrounding their teachings with enigmas that could only be contemplated in silence, and which expressed invariable and uniform principles that formed a perfect and harmonious ensemble that, at the same time, defined a ceremony of religious and secret nature needed for the Initiation and Training of all Priests and Priestesses who desired to unravel these enigmas. These enigmas comprise all that relates to the developing possibilities of the human state that culminate with that which has been called “Restoration of Primeval State”, and these are nothing more than a preparation for The Great Mysteries which appertain to the realization of the super-human states, and conduct the Initiate toward states of spiritual order until reaching the Supreme Identity. Thus, the new adept is brought closer to the hidden truths of the divine.

All the Philosophers of antiquity were disciples of an Initiation, being Progress and the Foundation of the Mysteries what enabled them to liberate themselves from the chaos of superstition. In those times, only the Mysteries could liberate Men from barbarousness. From these mysteries were derived the doctrines of Confucius, Zoroaster and Hermes Trismegistus. Such were the timeless characteristics of the Ancient Mysteries, that fragments of these teachings have reached Modern Freemasonry. These influences are found in the various different Rites of the Order. In all these mysteries we find a common factor indicating a same origin, the ceremonies of initiation were all funereal in character featuring a mystical death and resurrection, and the trials were conducted in the darkness of the night – the aspirant had to be examined, tried and purified in order to attain Wisdom and Light.

In the Mithraic-Zoroastrian mysteries, the neophyte was subject to a rigorous fasting and to a series of tests and trials, where the methods of exciting awe and fear varied ingeniously; all types of sounds and noises were simulated, the roaring of ferocious animals, the explosion of thunder, lightning, lashings with sticks, lamentations, screams of horror or pain, and the sensations of heat or cold were also implemented, by having him/her swim in rivers of strong current and walk through blazing areas. All these tests and trials lasted between twenty-four and eighty days, at the end of which the candidate was introduced in an real cavern. These initiation caverns were small in size, their walls and ceilings were painted with astral signs, and represented the world, the dual movement of the planets, and the passage of the souls through the celestial spheres. Once inside, the candidate was caused to walk through a ladder or bridge along which there were seven doors, each made of a different metal symbolizing the respective attributes of every planet. This Ladder was posteriorly adopted by the Jews and featured in the mythical dream of Jacob, and, presently, it is an indispensable symbol in a number of our Masonic Degrees. As the climax of the ceremony was nearing, the new adept was conducted to a larger room where he/she underwent some type of Baptism, and was finally prepared to receive the Seven Lessons that would constitute the completion of his/her Initiation. In due time, this particular ceremony began to be implemented by almost every Mystery School, until it made its way into Masonic Rituals in the form of “The Ante-Room” or “Chamber of Reflections”.

In the Higher Mysteries, celebrated in Elleusis during the month of September, these ceremonies lasted nine days, and were held in honor of the Goddesses Demeter and Persephone. The Temple was divided in three parts: the “Megaron” or Sanctuary (corresponding to the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Temple of Solomon), the “Anactoron” or Main Hall (equivalent to the place of collective prayer), and the Underground Chamber located right below the temple. The Infernal Regions and/or Punishment for the uninitiated impious one was symbolically represented by this Underground Chamber, and it was reminiscent of an episode in the drama of Demeter, Persephone and Pluto. Within the walls of this temple, the beliefs and teachings of a celestial life after death were earnestly imparted to their “Adoptae” or Accepted, and thus expanded to the more profound studies of Cosmogony and Anthropogenesis.

In the Druid Mysteries, almost entirely native to the regions of Britain and Gaul, their rituals, brought from Greece by Scandinavian route, required the Initiate to undergo much physical purification and mental preparation; their First Degree was conferred by inflicting a symbolical death on the aspirant, which, culminated in his/her attainment of the Third Degree or regeneration, at which point he/she was placed on a boat symbolizing his/her readiness to sail-off on life’s journey.

The formidable Egyptians, Mayans and Incas used to leave the Initiate alone, locked inside the actual funereal chamber of a pyramid, lying inside a coffin and surrounded by mummies and other lugubrious emblems, so that he/she could reflect on the steps about to be taken – that unless emerging triumphant, such failure could cost him/her the permanent loss of his/her freedom.

Following these ancient initiatic customs and traditions, divesting the candidate of all personal clothing and removing all minerals and metals from him, the Profane is caused to find himself alone with his own values before a first symbolical approximation that invites him to meditate over the vanities of existence, and warns him of mere curiosity as he seeks membership in our Order.

In modern Free-Masonry, the chamber of reflections is equivalent to the alchemical siphon, where the Recipient shall experience transmutation by means of the conjugation and regulating of his/her recondite energies. The Profane “descends to the Infernos”, he must die first, in order to “resuscitate” and attain the light of Initiation. There he shall leave the dealings of the exterior world, there will be an interior abstraction, like the original matrix, so that he can emerge from the depths of the earth (the chaotic dense matter) to the subtleness of the spirit.

This place is also representative of both Macrocosm and Microcosm, in other words, of the Universe and Man. In it, there are manifested four levels or superposed planes where the basic elements of Alchemy are found – earth, fire, water and air. The first level belongs to that of Fire, the primordial element for the work of transmutation; the second and third levels belong to those of Water and Earth – the transforming substances, and the fourth level belongs to the element of Air, the subtlety of gases related with transcendence.

It is particularly important to underline the use of certain phrases inscribed upon this chamber’s walls; these phrases bore messages such as: “IF MERE CURIOSITY HAS BROUGHT YOU HERE, LEAVE!”; “KNOW THYSELF!”; “DUST YOU ARE AND, AGAIN, DUST YOU SHALL BECOME!”; “TO DIE, YOU WERE BORN!”; “TO BETTER EMPLOY YOUR LIFE, THINK OF DEATH!”; “IF AVARICE GUIDES YOU, GO AWAY!”; IF YOU PAY HOMAGE TO HUMAN DISTINCTIONS, LEAVE, FOR HERE WE KNOW THEM NOT!”; “IF YOU FEAR TO BE REPRIMENDED OVER YOUR DEFECTS, DO NOT PROCEED!”; “IF YOU LIE, YOU SHALL BE EXPOSED!”; “IF YOU ARE AFRAID, WITHDRAW!”. These inscriptions are precisely inviting us to “visit the entrails of the earth”, in other words, to effectuate an introspection of our personalities, by being capable to “rectify”, to separate the dense from the subtle, and, thus, to find the “hidden stone” of the Philosophers, the True Philosophers Stone where the Profane’s real capacity for transmutation resides. For the Free-Mason, the transformation of Led or Rough Ashlar into Gold or Cubical Stone; the manner by which Man and Woman become the object of “The Great Work”.

The disorder and obscurity that prevail in the Chamber of Reflections, giving the appearance of a sepulchral cave, furnished with symbols of death and destruction – a skull and bones, is equivalent to being submerged in the center of the earth, from whence we came and ultimately shall return. Of all four elements that reign in Nature (Earth, Water, Air and Fire), Earth is the first that we must “overcome” during our Masonic Initiation. Our momentary stay in the Chamber of Reflections makes us remember the State of Ignorance in which we humans find ourselves, before knowing one fundamental principle of the Masonic Order:  “YOU MUST DIE IN VICES, TO BE BORN IN VIRTUES!”; Or, like Joshua Ben Joseph, alias: “The Christ”, allegedly stated: “HE/SHE WHO IS NOT REBORN, WILL NOT ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN!”.

Just before stepping into the Ante-Room, we deposit our material valuables with our Bro:. Exp:. , in order to symbolically enter in a State of Original Purity, making effectual solely our True Values – Moral and Spiritual, glimpsing a new path-way, and disappearing our exterior bonds and considerations to be indefectibly open for a New State of Conscience. This, is the place where two worlds separate, the Profane and the Sacred; This is the critical point where Palingeness (Rebirth and/or Transformation) begins; The return to Life, by finding ourselves and self-divesting of our old personalities (egos and masks), recuperating our authentic being, which, in turn, shall conduct us to the True Initiation, to the Progressive Realization of our being, subjecting to examination our Will and Purpose of Advancement.

Being within that confinement, isolated between those dark walls, the Free-Mason-To-Be completes the strengthening and maturity of his soul, aided by the reflection upon that which surrounds him – the first symbols open to a Candidate’s view.

The ability to “reflect” is most necessary in a Free-Mason’s life! Reflection, per Philosophical Tenets, is the faculty of the human spirit through which the individual retreats and concentrates on him/herself to examine the phenomena subjected to his/her observation. Reflection is so important, that everyone who lacks the capacity of it, is totally incapable of comprehending the mission entrusted to him/her; he/she becomes toy and/or victim of his/her errors and/or passions – giving, instead, to the one who has developed it, an extraordinary superiority in intellectual and moral concepts. Reflection is a complex faculty, by which the active conscience illustrates and completes the Knowledge that the state of spontaneity had left in darkness and confusion.

The Man or Woman who reflects, bothers him/herself solely with matters that take place in the interior of his thoughts, finding him/herself forced to self-isolate from all exterior occurrences that besiege him/her, and to impede their access by suspending the function of the organs which perceive them. The Free-Mason who reflects, needs the retreat, the quietude, the darkness and the silence – to comprehend the phenomena of the spirit, and to clearly distinguish those invisible and impalpable objects concealed by light, and, which, only the silence of the night can reveal.

By proper use of Reflection, the Free-Mason is capable of perfectly distinguishing his thoughts, his ideas of Liberty, of Merit or Demerit. By aide of Reflection, the Free-Mason examines and judges his own actions, weights the consequences of the same, appreciates his moral character, and rejoices in discovering those noble qualities of the soul which, place him above all other creatures. Reflection teaches the Free-Mason the objective for which his glorious attributes call for, and lifts up the veil that concealed his destiny.

While in the Chamber of Reflections, the neophyte symbolically descends to the utmost dense and inferior; he finds himself in the darkness; he is in conflict with the duality of personalities – on one side, the material, composed of a physical body, and, on the other, the ethereal body, mind and emotions that he has constructed with his birth and with his particular circumstances; and, at a higher level, he faces the Elevated Personality, the Superior Individuality where he finds his true being, and shining right above it, is The Great Architect Of The Universe – so that before leaving the Ante Room, on his way to the Lodge Room, he can finally attain the Perfect Expression of the Spirit in the Physical Body.

Through the Ages, the Chamber of Reflection has represented the Initiate’s descend to the Infernos, the apparent death which precedes reincarnation, the re-encounter with a new life, and the Sun defeating the Autumnal Equinox, and rising victorious from its battle against darkness in the Equinox of Spring.

Brothers, a revision and additional embellishment of our Over-Simplified ritual, is most necessary, and way over-due. Our new Brethren must experience what some of us, unfortunately, did not. Our more philosophically and esoterically-inclined “New Breed” of members will cherish the experience of reflecting before seeing the Light. They will treasure the instant when called upon to reflect on their duties to God, to their fellow beings, and to themselves, just like our fore-brothers did, ages before there was even any grouping of four “Non-Operative Masonic Lodges” and their controversial merger into another “Grand Lodge” in England.

The ritualistic lessons of our Craft must be as vivid as possible. Our neophytes must go through the experience of being locked in that room, so that they may confront their own fears and demons. Fears and Demons that, perhaps, they are not aware of. The appreciation, skill, and habit of Reflection must be inculcated in the New Free-Mason beginning on the day of his Initiation. He must be taught to know himself better, to pay more attention to his vices and virtues, and to know the “true secret” on how to successfully polish his “rough ashlar”.

Now is the time for us to pause and “reflect”! … Many times, man fails to use the virtue of Reflection, and even goes through life without ever using it, until his final moment arrives; and, finally, he remembers that he has conscience, and meditates on what has been of his life up to that instant. We, as Free-Masons, should not make that mistake with the same frequency. Unlike the uncultivated, the Profane and Indiffferent Mason alike, we must look into ourselves, see through our Third Eyes, and think before acting.

Thanks to this “catacomb”, feeblemindedly omitted from our present rituals, we, Free-Masons, are what we are, and will be what we will be. In the Chamber of Reflection we are all reborn, and thus we learn to apply to our lives that wise adage that exhorts: “NEVER SAY WHAT YOU THINK, ALWAYS THINK WHAT YOU SAY!”

___________________________

The 7 Steps in AlchemicaL Transformation

By

Joseph D. Dismore

The Transformative Processes

There are seven steps in the transformative processes, both for physical Alchemy as well as spiritual Alchemy. Here is a brief list of the 7 Steps of the Emerald formula.

1. Calcination
2. Dissolution
3. Separation
4. Conjunction
5. Fermentation
6. Distillation
7. Coagulation

In this series of posts I shall endeavour to give examples of the Physical Alchemical Processes and the Psychological Process of Transformation that each of these 7 Steps includes. We shall start with the First of the Seven Steps: Calcination.

1. Calcination – Calcination is the first of the seven major operations in the Alchemy of Transformation.

Chemically, the Calcination process involves heating a substance in a crucible or over an open flame until it is reduced to ashes. In the Arcanum Experiment, Calcination is represented by Sulfuric Acid, which the alchemist made from a naturally occurring substance called Vitriol. Sulfuric Acid is a powerful corrosive that eats away flesh and reacts with all metals except Gold.

Psychologically, this is a destruction of ego and our attachment to material possessions. Calcination is usually a natural humbling process as we are gradually assaulted and overcome by the trials and tribulations of life, though it can be a deliberate surrender of our inherent hubris gained through a variety of spiritual disciplines that ignite the fire of introspection and self-evaluation.

Psychologically, the Fire of Calcination can be experienced as the metabolic discipline or aerobic activity that tunes the body, burning off excess from overindulgence and producing a lean, mean, fighting machine. Calcination begins in the Base or Lead Chakra at the Sacrel Cup at the Base of the Spine.

On the Planetary level, it is the Fire of Creation, the formation of a liveable environment from molten matter and volcanic ashes.

“The Emerald Formula”
by: Alchemy Lab

“Calcination represents the beginning of a Black Stage, Calcination is described as the destruction of the ego and all its defence mechanisms. For most of us, Calcination is a natural process that takes place over time, as we are gradually assaulted and overcome by the trials and tribulations of life. But for Alchemists, Calcination is a controlled burn achieved by a deliberate surrender of our materiality through a variety of spiritual disciplines that ignite the passion in our souls. In all the instances, Calcination is working with Fire to burn away mental constructs and reveal a person’s true essence.”

“The Emerald Tablet…Alchemy for Personal Transformation”
by: Dennis William Hauck
Pg. 158


In the above short descriptions I have given two examples of the 1st Step toward Alchemical Transformation as described in “The Emerald Formula”, and in Dennis William Hauck’s book ” The Emerald Tablet…Alchemy for Personal Transformation.” These are very brief examples of the process but I hope it sheds some small light on the 1st Step of the Process of Transformation, both physical and spiritual.

The Second Section covers the Process of “Dissolution.”

According to the Oxford English Dictionary the word “Dissolution” is defined as – The action or process of dissolving or being dissolved. From Latin – Dissolutio(n), from Dissolvere (See Dissolve).

Dissolve – With reference to a solid – become or cause to become incorporated into a liquid so as to form a solution.

Dissolution is the second major operation in the Alchemy of Transformation.

Chemical, it is the dissolving the ashes from Calcination in water. In the Arcanum Experiment, Dissolution is represented by iron oxide or rust, which illustrated the potentially corrosive powers of water on even the hardest of metals. When Processed, Vitriol breaks down into sulfuric acid and iron oxide, which are the first two arcana or secret ingredients. The Egyptians smelted Iron as far back as 1500 BCE and used iron compounds in tonics as disinfectants.

(Alchemy Dictionary, Alchemy, Magick, Mysticism, Mysticism Dictionary, Body Mind and Soul.)

Alchemy: Alchemy is the art and science of Transformation. This is not an easily understood art, because the primal medium of alchemical expression is through the use of allegory and mythological symbols, which can be interpreted simultaneously both at a material and a spiritual level.

(Alchemy: Magickal Traditions Dictionary on ALchemy.)

Alchemy: (from the Greek, Chemeia, “Chemistry”, the Arabic, Al Kimya, “The Chemistry”, or the Egyptian, Khemeia, “the Preparation of Black Ore”): A form of ceremonial magick commonly believed to be focused on the Transmutation of base metals into precious metals (e.g.: converting lead to gold). The ultimate goal of the Alchemist is to transform the chaotic primordial First Matter (the Khem) into perfection; a goal that is accomplished through spiritual enlightenment.

We shall be concerned with the Spiritual Transformative qualities of each of these 7 Steps in the Process of Spiritual Transformation.

Psychologically, this represents a further breaking down of the artificial structures of the Psyche by total immersion in the unconscious, non-rational, feminine or rejected part of our minds. It is for the most part, an unconscious process in which our conscious minds let go of control to allow the surfacing of buried material. It is opening the floodgates and generating new energy from the waters held back. Dissolution can be experienced as “flow,” the bliss of being well-used and actively engaged in creative acts without traditional prejudices, personal hang-ups, or established hierarchy getting in the way.

Inwardly this represents a further breaking down of the artificial structures of the psyche and a unifying of the different aspects. Traditionally the approach was such that the initiates conscious minds must let go of control, opening the “floodgates” and generating new energy from the waters held back; again potentially a painful process. If the approach involves deeper integration and alliance of the subconscious and even the unconscious to a certain degree then Dissolution can be experienced as a flow of bliss. We are not speaking of traditional psychological therapy but rather a conscious spiritual process available now. through Dissolution one becomes more integrated and able to actively engage in creative acts with less personal or cultural prejudice or limited conditioning entering in to the creative process.

Physiologically, Dissolution is the continuance of the kundalini experience, the opening-up of energy channels in the body to recharge and elevate every single cell. Dissolution takes place in the Genital or Tin Chakra and involves the lungs and spleen.

“Dissolution”- The second circle depicts the black Soul Bird watchi9ng itself undergoing Dissolution literally dissolving before it’s eyes in the powerful force of the unconscious. This internal “water which does not wet the hands” takes the form of dreams, voices, visions and strange feelings which reveal a less ordered and less rational world existing simultaneously with our everyday life. Also reflecting back from the pool of Dissolution is the white image of the essence of the Soul Bird which is exposed in this operation….

Just as Calcination works on the mind and ego to destroy deceptions and impure thoughts, so does Dissolution work on the heart and id to release buried emotions that conceal or distort our true nature….

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This Third Section covers the Process of “Separation”

According to the Oxford English Dictionary the word “Separation” is defined as – The action or state of separating or being separated. “Separate”= Move or come apart; make or become detached, disconnected. From Latin: Separat, Separare ‘ disjoin, divide’, from se- ‘apart’ + parare ‘prepare’.

Separation is the third of the operations of transformation in alchemy.

Chemically, it is the isolation of the components of Dissolution by filtration and then discarding any ungenuine or unworthy material. In the Arcanum Experiment, Separation is represented by the compound sodium carbonate, which separates out of water and appears as white soda ash on dry lakebeds. The oldest known deposits are in Egypt. The alchemists sometimes referred to this compound as Natron, which meant the common tendency in all salts to form solid bodies or precipitates.

Psychologically, this process is the rediscovery of our essence and the reclaiming of dream and visionary “gold” previously rejected by the masculine, rational part of our minds. It is for the most part, a conscious process (that has become conscious through the process of Dissolution), in which we review formerly hidden material and decide what to discard and what to reintegrate into our refined personality. Much of this shadowy material is things we are ashamed of or were taught to hide away from our parents, churches, and schooling. Separation is letting go of the self-inflicted restraints to our true nature, so our true personality can shine through.

Physiologically, Separation is following and controlling the breath in the body as it works with the forces of Spirit and Soul to give birth to new energy and physical renewal. Separation begins in the Naval or Iron Chakra located at the level of the solar plexus.

The third circle shows the operation of Separation in which black, earthbound Soul Bird splits into two white birds that descend to retrieve the saved remains of Calcination and Dissolution. This is the first coming together of Soul and Spirit, and the newly acquired vantage point allows the discernment of what is worthy of being saved from the two previous operations. In Psychological terms, the process of Separation retrieves the frozen energy released from the breaking down of habits and crystalized thoughts (assumptions, beliefs, and prejudices) and hardened feelings (emotional blockages, neuroses and phobias). This misspent energy is now available to drive our Spiritual Transformation. Above this circle is written “Terrae” which means “Of the Earth” and refers to the real essences and energy being separated out from the dregs of matter at this stage…

To summarize, Separation is the letting go of the self-inflicted restraints to our true nature and saving the hidden essence, which becomes the subject of the following operations. The essence is made up of the best parts of our Spirit and Soul, our Mind and Heart. “The Wind Carried It In Its Belly,” says the Emerald Tablet, and this stage is the application of the Element of Air in the work. Separation delivers the retrieved Spiritual Essence safely through the processes of Calcination and Dissolution to the First Incarnation, which is Earthly Conjunction.

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Conjunction-A Joining Together.

Conjunction is the fourth of the seven operations of alchemy.

Chemically, it is the recombination of the saved elements from Separation into a new substance. In the Arcanum Experiment, Conjunction is symbolized by a Nitrate compound known as cubic-saltpeter or potassium nitrate, which the alchemist called Natron or simply salt. Blue-colored Natron acid (aqua fortis) was made by mixing potassium nitrate with sulfuric acid and was used to separate silver from gold. The inert residue precipitated from the acid during the reaction like a child being born.

Psychologically, It is empowerment of our true selves, the union of both the feminine and masculine sides of our personalities into a new belief system or an intuitive state of consciousness. The Union of opposites can also be seen as the integration of the Conscious and Unconscious aspects of the Psyche, when combined and in cooperation bring about a wholeness that generates the Child of the Union, which, can be seen as the Hermaphroditic Essence of the True Self which is freed from the restraints of preconditioned and preconceived moral and social beliefs, that have restricted the True Inner Self from being freed. The alchemist referred to it as the Lesser Stone, and after it is achieved, the adept is able to clearly discern what needs to be done to achieve lasting enlightenment, which is union with the Overself. Often, synchronicities begin to occur that confirm the alchemist is on the right track.

Inwardly this corresponds to the union of both the masculine and feminine sides of our nature into a unified state of consciousness. With this unification comes the potential for direct nonlinear knowing that is more than intuition; but rather a direct knowing by being able to become “part of” that which would be known; a “grokking”.

Physiologically, Conjunction is using the bodies sexual energies for personal transformation. Conjunction takes place in the body at the level of the Heart or Copper Chakra

“The fourth circle depicts the Birds of the Soul the “Anima” and “Spiritus” leaving the earth together, lifting a five-spiked crown (the Quintessence recovered from the preceding operations) into heaven on the realm of the One Mind. This Conjunction is the turning point of the whole alchemical process and denotes the change from Forces of (Anima-Soul) in the triangle of the left to the forces of the (Spiritus-Spirit) in the triangle on the right. Above the circle is inscribed the word RECTIFICANDO, which means “by rectification” or setting things right, and the wings of the Ascended Essence spread over this operation to bless it.”

On the personal level, Conjunction is the empowerment of our True Selves, the union of both masculine and feminine sides of our personalities into a new belief system that must still be nurtured to survive. The alchemist describes this fragile child as a crude hermaphrodite, but alas it grows in strength, The Child of the Philosophers solidifies into the Lesser Stone, a State of Consciousness in which the Initiate is able to clearly discern what needs to be done to achieve lasting enlightenment. This Lesser Stone is often equated with the Emerald Tablet itself, which every one of us must create anew within…

~ * ~

Fermentation is the Fifth operation in the Alchemy of Transformation.

Fermentation – The chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria, yeasts, or other microorganisms, especially that which is involved in the making of beers, wines, and spirits in which sugar is converted to ethyl alcohol. 2. Archaic- Agitation and Social Unrest.

Fermentation is a two-stepped process that begins with the putrefaction of the Hermaphroditic “Child” from the Conjunction resulting in the death and resurrection to a new level of being. The Fermentation phase then begins with the introduction of new life into the product of Conjunction to strengthen it and inure its survival.

Chemically, Fermentation is the growth of a Ferment (bacteria) in organic solutions, such as occurs in the fermenting of milk to produce curds and cheese or in the fermenting of grapes to produce wine. In the Arcanum Experiment, the process of Fermentation is represented by a compound called Liquor Hepatis, which is an oily, reddish-brown mixture of ammonia and the rotten-egg-smelling compound hydrogen sulfide. Egyptian alchemists made ammonia by heating camel dung in sealed containers and thought of it as a kind of refined Mercury that embodied the life force. Liquor Hepatis means “Liquor of the Liver,” which they believed was the seat of the Soul, and the colour they associated with the compound was green, the colour of bile. Surprisingly, Liquor Hepatis exudes a wonderful fragrance, and the alchemists made a perfume of it called “Balsam of the Soul.”

Psychologically, The Fermentation Process starts with the inspiration of spiritual power from Above that reanimates, energizes, and enlightens the alchemist. Out of the blackness of his Putrefaction comes the yellow Ferment, which appears like a golden wax flowing out of the fowl matter of the Soul. Its arrival is announced by a brilliant display of colours and meaningful visions called the “Peacock’s Tail.” Fermentation can be achieved through various activities that include intense prayer, desire for mystical union, breakdown of the personality, transpersonal therapy, psychedelic drugs, and deep meditation. Fermentation is living inspiration from something totally beyond us.

Fermentation is the rousing or lifting of the “River of Life” through the Crucible of the Heart and into the Throat Chakra. It is expressed as vibratory tones and spoken truths emerging from the Throat or Mercury Chakra.

Physiologically, Fermentation is the rousing of living energy (chi or kundalini) in the body to heal and vivify. It is expressed as vibratory tones and spoken truths emerging from the Throat or Mercury Chakra.

“The fifth ray of the Axoth points to the area where the left wing of the Ascended Essence touches the standing bird spirit. The ray is with the cipher for the metal copper and the planet Venus. This section is often coloured turquoise or green, which is associated with the Emerald Vision… This is the ray of the inspired Spiritual Warrior, the alchemical adept who has seen the way and wants to tell others of his or her discovery and to spread his vision of higher consciousness throughout the world.”

“The fifth circle is under the inscription INVENIES, which means ‘You Will Discover’. This is the operation of Fermentation in which the mystic substance forms the ambrosia of the gods, which represents the first solidification of the result of Conjoining of Soul and Spirit…Fermentation is the introduction of new life into the Product of Conjunction to completely change its characteristics- that is, to completely raise it to a new level of being.”

“Fermentation is flooding the mind with meaningful and profoundly real images from something totally beyond us that lies at the edge of our personal reality. It is like a swinging door between one level of consciousness and another, between Soul and Spirit, between Matter and Mind.”

~ * ~

Distillation – Purify (a Liquid) by heating it until it vaporizes, then cooling and condensing the vapor and collecting the resulting liquid. 2. Extract a volatile component of (a substance) by heating, often with a solvent. Extract the essential meaning of.

Distillation is the Sixth Major Operation in the Alchemy of Transformation.

Chemically, it is the boiling and condensation of the fermented solution to increase its purity, such as takes place in the distilling of wine to make brandy. In the Arcanum Experiment, distillation is represented by a compound known as Black Pulvis Solaris, which is made by mixing black antimony with purified sulfur. The two immediately clump together to make what the alchemists called a “bezoar,” a kind of sublimated solid that forms in the intestines and brain.

Chemically, distillation is the boiling and condensation of the fermented solution to increase it’s purity, which is why this is known as the white stage of alchemy. Psychologically, the agitation and sublimation of psychic forces is necessary to ensure that no impurities from the ego or id are incorporated into the next and final process. “It Rises From The Earth to Heaven and Descends Again to Earth” is how the tablet describes the operation, which represents the second or higher application of the Water element in the tablet. The alchemist thought of this phase as working with the heavenly element Mercury to extract and refashion the metals. The ferment, the soft amalgam or balsam resulting from this operation, must be hardened into a Stone before it can be made permanent, and the final phase of Distillation is a Sublimation in which the vapor turns solid, or the Spirit is made Corporeal.

Psychologically, Distillation is the agitation and sublimation of psychic forces is necessary to ensure that no impurities from the inflated ego or deeply submerged id are incorporated into the next and final stage. Personal Distillation consists of a variety of introspection techniques that raise the content of the Psyche to the highest level possible. Free from sentimentality and emotions, cut off even from one’s personal identity. Distillation is the purification of the unborn Self – all that we truly are and can be.

Physiologically, Distillation is raising the Life Force repeatedly from the lower regions in the cauldron of the body to the brain (what Oriental alchemists called the Circulation of Light), where it eventually becomes a wondrous solidifying light full of power. Distillation is said to culminate in the Third Eye are of the forehead, at the Level of the pituitary and pineal glands, in the Brow or Ajna Silver Chakra.

The important Distillation process is referred to in the Emerald Tablet “It rises from Earth to Heaven, and then descends again to the Earth, and receives Power from Above and from Below. Thus you will have the Glory of the whole world.”

“Your feelings and thoughts are the feelings and thoughts of the whole universe.” (from The Emerald Tablet by Dennis William Hauck.) This statement describes the process of Distillation, where we become far more interested in the greater good then merely in our own. It is the transformational stage where we spiritually and emotionally mature enough to merge with the collective conscious and unconscious without becoming devasted by what we find there. The reason we can keep our balance after having arrived at the distillation stage is that the Ego no longer controls us and we can therefore appreciate the mysteries of the collective – and personal- shadow material without the ego’s intrusion. (The shadow is that part of our consciousness, as well as societies, that holds the darker, rejected, denied and powerful aspects. It not only holds difficult material that sometimes feels demonic in nature, but it also is the repository of our gifts, talents, and Soul’s voice until such time as we are ready to fully take them on.)

Distillation brings the creative out of us. It encourages all that we are to manifest in balanced and serenely powerful ways. It heralds the entry of the influence of the higher forces and the balancing of those forces with the lower ones, which provide our “groundedness,” so crucial to wholeness. A distilled person would know that the Soul, rather than the Ego, was now guiding His/Her Life. A distilled person surrenders to the higher forces while celebrating and honoring the existence of the lower ones. A mystical symbol of this state of consciousness which appears in many spiritual and religious logos is the images of two triangles, one with its point coming down to either touch or merge into a second triangle whose point rises up to meet or merge with the other.

~ * ~

In this seventh and final section of “The 7 Steps In Alchemical Transformation” I shall endeavor to explain the process of Coagulation. Once again I am attempting to represent the Psychological Transformation or Mystical and Spiritual Alchemy rather than the Physical Transmutation of Baser Metals into Gold. The Process of Transformation is seen to be one of a series of from four to seven stages of Transforming the Lower Personality and Baser Self, into Uniying with the Higher Self or Higher Genius. This Union often occurs after a period of Breakdown some have called the Union with Kether or the Union of the Higher Self with the Lower Self the Seventh Death, called this because the individual loses desire to be in a functioning with the world in which they sought to be a part of.There are Three main Abyss crossings reprented in the becoming whole stage and with each of these Crossings there are changes in Consciousness. In ancient times (and in modern occult lodges) these events were called Initiations. Today, such initiations can happen “automatically” to people who know nothing of the Western Mystery Traditions or of the ALchemical Transformations, these “automatic” Changes of Consiousness are usually diagnosed by medical men and experienced by the patient as a Nervous Breakdown or Temporary Psychosis. The usual symptoms of the First Change or Transformation from the brute lower instinct of man to a higher more mentally and emotionally refined man is proceeded with Emotional and Mental Upheavel, usually they can work things out given time, and some recapitualtions occur almost simultaneously with the Crossing of the particular abyss.

The Second stage is the “Journey into Self”, as Union with the Higher Self,” and is called by Dr. Carl G. Jung “The Process of Individuation.” The Third Crossing is only accomplished by those ready to Transition from Life to the Next Life, so the experience being nbeyond mere words to relate is something that is best left unspoken until the time of our Passing.

This Seventh Section is on the Alchemical Transformative Function of (Coagulation).

Coagulation- Change to a solid or semi-solid state. From: Latin: Coagulare ‘Curdle’.

Coagulation is the Seventh and Final Operation in Alchemy.

Chemically, Coagulation is the precipitation or sublimation of the purified Ferment from Distillation. In the Arcanum Experiment, Coagulation is represented by a compound called Red Pulvis Solaris, which is a Reddish-Orange Powder of pure Sulfur mixed with the Terapeutic Mercury compound, Red Mercuric Oxide. The name Pulvis Solaris means “Powder of The Sun” and the alchemists believed it could instantly perfect any substance to which it was added.

Psychologically, Coagulation is first sensed as a new confidence that is beyond all things, though many experience it as a Second Body of Golden Coalesced Light, a permanent vehicle of Consciousness that embodies the highest aspirations and evolutions of the Mind. Coagulation incarnates and releases the Ultima Materia of the Soul, the Astral Body, which the alchemists also referred to as the Greater or Philospher’s Stone. Using the magical Stone, the alchemists believed they could exist on all levels of reality.

Physiologically, this stage is marked by the release of the Elixir in the blood that rejuvenates the body into a perfect vessel of health. A brain ambrosia is said to be released through the interaction of light from the phallic-shaped pineal gland and matter from the vulva of the pituitary. This heavenly food or viaticum both nourishes and energizes the celss without any waste products being produced. These physiological and psychological processes create the Second Body, a body of solid light that emerges through the Crown or Gold Chakra.

There is said to be a Continuity of Consciousness using the Greater Philospher’s Stone. From the Emerald Tablet:
“Thus you will have the Glory of the Whole World. ALl obscurity will be clear to you. This is the Strong Power of All Powers because it Overcomes Everything Fine and Penetrates Everything Solid.”


“The final seventh circle shows an androgynous youth emerging from an open grave, with the Latin word LAPIDEM, meaning “the Stone,” next to it. This is the stage of Coagulation, in which the Feremented Soul Child of the Conjunction is fused with the sublimated spiritual presence of Distillation. The resurrection of the soul is accomplished by bringing together only the purest essence of our bodies or matter into the Light of Meditation and Reflection on Life Experiences. It becomes a permanent and always available state of consciousness that embodies the highest aspirations and evolution of mind and is sensed as a new strength of personality to survive any onslaught. In the Mystical sense, this “Turning into Earth” is the realization of the eternal spirit body, often confirmed in an Out-Of- Body Experience.

Coagulation then is the Recombination of Purified and Distilled Ferment of the Lower Personality and Baser Self to admixture in a Union with the Higher Self or the Purified Astral Body or Second Body which when combined and fused, the whole person is then Conscious to a Greater Degree of all things both Inner and Outer, both Subjective and Objective in the Realm of Reality. The Whole Person or Transformed Individual is operating on All Levels of Existence Simultaneously, and a New Vigourousness and Strength fills them with Light and Life.

“MAY THE FORCE ( GOD) BE WITH YOU”, STAR WARS

morals and dogma

FORCE, unregulated or ill-regulated, is not only wasted in the void, like that of gunpowder burned in the open air, and steam unconfined by science; ” the first sentence in  the monumental book Morals and Dogma by Ill Albert Pike, 33 Degree. “Our free agency and our will are forces. Thought is a force. Prayer is a force.”

This word caught  my attention sometime in 2005 when I joined the Scottish Rite Freemasonry. Why Force? Was it because of the symbolism of the three great pillars in the Lodge represented by  the Worshipful Master, the Senior and the Junior Wardens  which means Wisdom, Strength or Force, and Beauty, or was it the  Force that created God  as allegorically  emphasized  by Ill Albert Pike, that consequently made the universe.” Or was  it  Force that started all things. “In the beginning God (force) created the heaven and the earth.”

albert pike

Albert Pike (December 29, 1809 – April 2, 1891) was an attorney, soldier, writer, and Freemason. Albert Pike is the only Confederate military officer or figure to be honored with a statue in Washington, D.C.

From the:   Knight of the East and West, Chapter XVll, Morals and Dogma

“A ray of Light, shot from the Deity, is the cause and principle of all that exists. It is at once Father and Mother of All, in the sublimest sense. It penetrates everything; and without it nothing can exist an instant. From this double FORCE, designated by the two parts of the word IHUH emanated the FIRST-BORN of God, the Universal FORM, in which are contained all beings; the Persian and Platonic Archetype of things, united with the Infinite by the primitive ray of Light.”

“This First-Born is the Creative Agent, Conservator, and animating Principle of the Universe. It is THE LIGHT of LIGHT. It possesses the three Primitive Forces of the Divinity, LIGHT, SPIRIT, and LIFE [Φώς, Πνευμά, and Ζων]. As it has received what it gives, Light and Life, it is equally considered as the generative and conceptive Principle, the Primitive Man, ADAM KADMON. As such, it has revealed itself in ten emanations or Sephiroth, which are not ten different beings, nor even beings at all; but sources of life, vessels of Omnipotence, and types of Creation. They are Sovereignty or Will, Wisdom, Intelligence,Benignity, Severity, Beauty, Victory, Glory, Permanency, and Empire. These are attributes of God; and this idea, that God reveals Himself by His attributes, and that the human mind cannot perceive or discern God Himself, in his works, but only his mode of manifesting Himself, is a profound Truth. We know of the Invisible only what the Visible reveals.”

 

MORALS AND DOGMA.

I.

APPRENTICE.

THE TWELVE-INCH RULE AND THE COMMON GAVEL.

FORCE, unregulated or ill-regulated, is not only wasted in the void, like that of gunpowder burned in the open air, and steam unconfined by science; but, striking in the dark, and its blows meeting only the air, they recoil and bruise itself. It is destruction and ruin. It is the volcano, the earthquake, the cyclone;–not growth and progress. It is Polyphemus blinded, striking at random, and falling headlong among the sharp rocks by the impetus of his own blows.

The blind Force of the people is a Force that must be economized, and also managed, as the blind Force of steam, lifting the ponderous iron arms and turning the large wheels, is made to bore and rifle the cannon and to weave the most delicate lace. It must be regulated by Intellect. Intellect is to the people and the people’s Force, what the slender needle of the compass is to the ship–its soul, always counselling the huge mass of wood and iron, and always pointing to the north. To attack the citadels built up on all sides against the human race by superstitions, despotisms, and prejudices,

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the Force must have a brain and a law. Then its deeds of daring produce permanent results, and there is real progress. Then there are sublime conquests. Thought is a force, and philosophy should be an energy, finding its aim and its effects in the amelioration of mankind. The two great motors are Truth and Love. When all these Forces are combined, and guided by the Intellect, and regulated by the RULE of Right, and Justice, and of combined and systematic movement and effort, the great revolution prepared for by the ages will begin to march. The POWER of the Deity Himself is in equilibrium with His WISDOM. Hence the only results are HARMONY.

It is because Force is ill regulated, that revolutions prove fail-tires. Therefore it is that so often insurrections, coming from those high mountains that domineer over the moral horizon, Justice, Wisdom, Reason, Right, built of the purest snow of the ideal after a long fall from rock to rock, after having reflected the sky in their transparency, and been swollen by a hundred affluents, in the majestic path of triumph, suddenly lose themselves in quagmires, like a California river in the sands.

The onward march of the human race requires that the heights around it should blaze with noble and enduring lessons of courage. Deeds of daring dazzle history, and form one class of the guiding lights of man. They are the stars and coruscations from that great sea of electricity, the Force inherent in the people. To strive, to brave all risks, to perish, to persevere, to be true to one’s self, to grapple body to body with destiny, to surprise defeat by the little terror it inspires, now to confront unrighteous power, now to defy intoxicated triumph–these are the examples that the nations need and the light that electrifies them.

There are immense Forces in the great caverns of evil beneath society; in the hideous degradation, squalor, wretchedness and destitution, vices and crimes that reek and simmer in the darkness in that populace below the people, of great cities. There disinterestedness vanishes, every one howls, searches, gropes, and gnaws for himself. Ideas are ignored, and of progress there is no thought. This populace has two mothers, both of them stepmothers–Ignorance and Misery. Want is their only guide–for the appetite alone they crave satisfaction. Yet even these may be employed. The lowly sand we trample upon, cast into the furnace, melted, purified by fire, may become resplendent crystal.

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[paragraph continues]They have the brute force of the HAMMER, but their blows help on the great cause, when struck within the lines traced by the RULE held by wisdom and discretion.

Yet it is this very Force of the people, this Titanic power of the giants, that builds the fortifications of tyrants, and is embodied in their armies. Hence the possibility of such tyrannies as those of which it has been said, that “Rome smells worse under Vitellius than under Sulla. Under Claudius and under Domitian there is a deformity of baseness corresponding to the ugliness of the tyranny. The foulness of the slaves is a direct result of the atrocious baseness of the despot. A miasma exhales from these crouching consciences that reflect the master; the public authorities are unclean, hearts are collapsed, consciences shrunken, souls puny. This is so under Caracalla, it is so under Commodus, it is so under Heliogabalus, while from the Roman senate, under Cæsar, there comes only the rank odor peculiar to the eagle’s eyrie.”

It is the force of the people that sustains all these despotisms, the basest as well as the best. That force acts through armies; and these oftener enslave than liberate. Despotism there applies the RULE. Force is the MACE of steel at the saddle-bow of the knight or of the bishop in armor. Passive obedience by force supports thrones and oligarchies, Spanish kings, and Venetian senates. Might, in an army wielded by tyranny, is the enormous sum total of utter weakness; and so Humanity wages war against Humanity, in despite of Humanity. So a people willingly submits to despot-ism, and its workmen submit to be despised, and its soldiers to be whipped; therefore it is that battles lost by a nation are often progress attained. Less glory is more liberty. When the drum is silent, reason sometimes speaks.

Tyrants use the force of the people to chain and subjugate–that is, enyoke the people. Then they plough with them as men do with oxen yoked. Thus the spirit of liberty and innovation is reduced by bayonets, and principles are struck dumb by cannon-shot; while the monks mingle with the troopers, and the Church militant and jubilant, Catholic or Puritan, sings Te Deums for victories over rebellion.

The military power, not subordinate to the civil power, again the HAMMER or MACE of FORCE, independent of the RULE, is an armed tyranny, born full-grown, as Athenè sprung from the brain of Zeus. It spawns a dynasty, and begins with Cæsar to rot into

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[paragraph continues]Vitellius and Commodus. At the present day it inclines to begin where formerly dynasties ended.

Constantly the people put forth immense strength, only to end in immense weakness. The force of the people is exhausted in indefinitely prolonging things long since dead; in governing mankind by embalming old dead tyrannies of Faith; restoring dilapidated dogmas; regilding faded, worm-eaten shrines; whitening and rouging ancient and barren superstitions; saving society by multiplying parasites; perpetuating superannuated institutions; enforcing the worship of symbols as the actual means of salvation; and tying the dead corpse of the Past, mouth to mouth, with the living Present. Therefore it is that it is one of the fatalities of Humanity to be condemned to eternal struggles with phantoms, with superstitions, bigotries, hypocrisies, prejudices, the formulas of error, and the pleas of tyranny. Despotisms, seen in the past, become respectable, as the mountain, bristling with volcanic rock, rugged and horrid, seen through the haze of distance is blue and smooth and beautiful. The sight of a single dungeon of tyranny is worth more, to dispel illusions, and create a holy hatred of despotism, and to direct FORCE aright, than the most eloquent volumes. The French should have preserved the Bastile as a perpetual lesson; Italy should not destroy the dungeons of the Inquisition. The Force of the people maintained the Power that built its gloomy cells, and placed the living in their granite sepulchres.

The FORCE of the people cannot, by its unrestrained and fitful action, maintain and continue in action and existence a free Government once created. That Force must be limited, restrained, conveyed by distribution into different channels, and by roundabout courses, to outlets, whence it is to issue as the law, action, and decision of the State; as the wise old Egyptian kings conveyed in different canals, by sub-division, the swelling waters of the Nile, and compelled them to fertilize and not devastate the land. There must be the jus et norma, the law and Rule, or Gauge, of constitution and law, within which the public force must act. Make a breach in either, and the great steam-hammer, with its swift and ponderous blows, crushes all the machinery to atoms, and, at last, wrenching itself away, lies inert and dead amid the ruin it has wrought.

The FORCE of the people, or the popular will, in action and

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exerted, symbolized by the GAVEL, regulated and guided by and acting within the limits of LAW and ORDER, symbolized by the TWENTY-FOUR-INCH RULE, has for its fruit LIBERTY, EQUALITY, and FRATERNITY,–liberty regulated by law; equality of rights in the eye of the law; brotherhood with its duties and obligations as well as its benefits.

You will hear shortly of the Rough ASHLAR and the Perfect ASHLAR, as part of the jewels of the Lodge. The rough Ashlar is said to be “a stone, as taken from the quarry, in its rude and natural state.” The perfect Ashlar is said to be “a stone made ready by the hands of the workmen, to be adjusted by the working-tools of the Fellow-Craft.” We shall not repeat the explanations of these symbols given by the York Rite. You may read them in its printed monitors. They are declared to allude to the self-improvement of the individual craftsman,–a continuation of the same superficial interpretation.

The rough Ashlar is the PEOPLE, as a mass, rude and unorganized. The perfect Ashlar, or cubical stone, symbol of perfection, is the STATE, the rulers deriving their powers from the con-sent of the governed; the constitution and laws speaking the will of the people; the government harmonious, symmetrical, efficient,–its powers properly distributed and duly adjusted in equilibrium.

If we delineate a cube on a plane surface thus:

we have visible three faces, and nine external lines, drawn between seven points. The complete cube has three more faces, making six; three more lines, making twelve; and one more point, making eight. As the number 12 includes the sacred numbers, 3, 5, 7, and 3 times 3, or 9, and is produced by adding the sacred number 3 to 9; while its own two figures, 1, 2, the unit or monad, and duad, added together, make the same sacred number 3; it was called the perfect number; and the cube became the symbol of perfection.

Produced by FORCE, acting by RULE; hammered in accordance

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with lines measured by the Gauge, out of the rough Ashlar, it is an appropriate symbol of the Force of the people, expressed as the constitution and law of the State; and of the State itself the three visible faces represent the three departments,–the Executive, which executes the laws; the Legislative, which makes the laws; the Judiciary, which interprets the laws, applies and enforces them, between man and man, between the State and the citizens. The three invisible faces, are Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity,–the threefold soul of the State–its vitality, spirit, and intellect.

*      *      *      *      *      *

Though Masonry neither usurps the place of, nor apes religion, prayer is an essential part of our ceremonies. It is the aspiration of the soul toward the Absolute and Infinite Intelligence, which is the One Supreme Deity, most feebly and misunderstandingly characterized as an “ARCHITECT.” Certain faculties of man are directed toward the Unknown–thought, meditation, prayer. The unknown is an ocean, of which conscience is the compass. Thought, meditation, prayer, are the great mysterious pointings of the needle. It is a spiritual magnetism that thus connects the human soul with the Deity. These majestic irradiations of the soul pierce through the shadow toward the light.

It is but a shallow scoff to say that prayer is absurd, because it is not possible for us, by means of it, to persuade God to change His plans. He produces foreknown and foreintended effects, by the instrumentality of the forces of nature, all of which are His forces. Our own are part of these. Our free agency and our will are forces. We do not absurdly cease to make efforts to attain wealth or happiness, prolong life, and continue health, because we cannot by any effort change what is predestined. If the effort also is predestined, it is not the less our effort, made of our free will. So, likewise, we pray. Will is a force. Thought is a force. Prayer is a force. Why should it not be of the law of God, that prayer, like Faith and Love, should have its effects? Man is not to be comprehended as a starting-point, or progress as a goal, without those two great forces, Faith and Love. Prayer is sublime. Orisons that beg and clamor are pitiful. To deny the efficacy of prayer, is to deny that of Faith, Love, and Effort. Yet the effects produced, when our hand, moved by our will, launches a pebble into the ocean, never cease; and every uttered word is registered for eternity upon the invisible air.

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Every Lodge is a Temple, and as a whole, and in its details symbolic. The Universe itself supplied man with the model for the first temples reared to the Divinity. The arrangement of the Temple of Solomon, the symbolic ornaments which formed its chief decorations, and the dress of the High-Priest, all had reference to the order of the Universe, as then understood. The Temple contained many emblems of the seasons–the sun, the moon, the planets, the constellations Ursa Major and Minor, the zodiac, the elements, and the other parts of the world. It is the Master of this Lodge, of the Universe, Hermes, of whom Khu_ru_m is the representative, that is one of the lights of the Lodge.

For further instruction as to the symbolism of the heavenly bodies, and of the sacred numbers, and of the temple and its details, you must wait patiently until you advance in Masonry, in the mean time exercising your intellect in studying them for yourself. To study and seek to interpret correctly the symbols of the Universe, is the work of the sage and philosopher. It is to de-cipher the writing of God, and penetrate into His thoughts.

This is what is asked and answered in our catechism, in regard to the Lodge.

*      *      *      *      *      *

A “Lodge” is defined to be “an assemblage of Freemasons, duly congregated, having the sacred writings, square, and compass, and a charter, or warrant of constitution, authorizing them to work.” The room or place in which they meet, representing some part of King Solomon’s Temple, is also called the Lodge; and it is that we are now considering.

It is said to be supported by three great columns, WISDOM, FORCE or STRENGTH, and BEAUTY, represented by the Master, the Senior Warden, and the Junior Warden; and these are said to be the columns that support the Lodge, “because Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty, are the perfections of everything, and nothing can endure without them.” “Because,” the York Rite says, “it is necessary that there should be Wisdom to conceive, Strength to support, and Beauty to adorn, all great and important undertakings.” “Know ye not,” says the Apostle Paul, “that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man desecrate the temple of God, him shall God destroy, for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”

The Wisdom and Power of the Deity are in equilibrium. The

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laws of nature and the moral laws are not the mere despotic man-dates of His Omnipotent will; for, then they might be changed by Him, and order become disorder, and good and right become evil and wrong; honesty and loyalty, vices; and fraud, ingratitude, and vice, virtues. Omnipotent power, infinite, and existing alone, would necessarily not be constrained to consistency. Its decrees and laws could not be immutable. The laws of God are not obligatory on us because they are the enactments of His POWER, or the expression of His WILL; but because they express His infinite WISDOM. They are not right because they are His laws, but His laws because they are right. From the equilibrium of infinite wisdom and infinite force, results perfect harmony, in physics and in the moral universe. Wisdom, Power, and Harmony constitute one Masonic triad. They have other and profounder meanings, that may at some time be unveiled to you.

As to the ordinary and commonplace explanation, it may be added, that the wisdom of the Architect is displayed in combining, as only a skillful Architect can do, and as God has done everywhere,–for example, in the tree, the human frame, the egg, the cells of the honeycomb–strength, with grace, beauty, symmetry, proportion, lightness, ornamentation. That, too, is the perfection of the orator and poet–to combine force, strength, energy, with grace of style, musical cadences, the beauty of figures, the play and irradiation of imagination and fancy; and so, in a State, the warlike and industrial force of the people, and their Titanic strength, must be combined with the beauty of the arts, the sciences, and the intellect, if the State would scale the heights of excellence, and the people be really free. Harmony in this, as in all the Divine, the material, and the human, is the result of equilibrium, of the sympathy and opposite action of contraries; a single Wisdom above them holding the beam of the scales. To reconcile the moral law, human responsibility, free-will, with the absolute power of God; and the existence of evil with His absolute wisdom, and goodness, and mercy,–these are the great enigmas of the Sphynx.

 

You entered the Lodge between two columns. They represent the two which stood in the porch of the Temple, on each side of the great eastern gateway. These pillars, of bronze, four fingers breadth in thickness, were, according to the most authentic

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account–that in the First and that in the Second Book of Kings, confirmed in Jeremiah–eighteen cubits high, with a capital five cubits high. The shaft of each was four cubits in diameter. A cubit is one foot and 707/1000. That is, the shaft of each was a little over thirty feet eight inches in height, the capital of each a little over eight feet six inches in height, and the diameter of the shaft six feet ten inches. The capitals were enriched by pomegranates of bronze, covered by bronze net-work, and ornamented with wreaths of bronze; and appear to have imitated the shape of the seed-vessel of the lotus or Egyptian lily, a sacred symbol to the Hindus and Egyptians. The pillar or column on the right, or in the south, was named, as the Hebrew word is rendered in our translation of the Bible, JACHIN: and that on the left BOAZ. Our translators say that the first word means, “He shall establish;” and the second, “in it is strength.”

These columns were imitations, by Khu_ru_m, the Tyrian artist, of the great columns consecrated to the Winds and Fire, at the entrance to the famous Temple of Malkarth, in the city of Tyre. It is customary, in Lodges of the York Rite, to see a celestial globe on one, and a terrestrial globe on the other; but these are not warranted, if the object be to imitate the original two columns of the Temple. The symbolic meaning of these columns we shall leave for the present unexplained, only adding that Entered Apprentices keep their working-tools in the column JACHIN; and giving you the etymology and literal meaning of the two names.

The word Jachin, in Hebrew, is ‏ו ?Yך?Yנ‎, It was probably pronounced Ya-kayan, and meant, as a verbal noun, He that strengthens; and thence, firm, stable, upright.

The word Boaz is ‏ו ?B?O?Z‎, Baaz. ‏ו ?O?Z‎ means Strong, Strength, Power, Might, Refuge, Source of Strength, a Fort. The ‏ו ?B‎ prefixed means “with” or “in,” and gives the word the force of the Latin gerund, roborandoStrengthening.

The former word also means he will establish, or plant in an erect position–from the verb ‏ו ך?Wנ‎, Ku_n, he stood erect. It probably meant Active and Vivifying Energy and Force; and Boaz, Stability, Permanence, in the passive sense.

The Dimensions of the Lodge, our Brethren of the York Rite say, “are unlimited, and its covering no less than the canopy of Heaven.” “To this object,” they say, “the mason’s mind is continually

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directed, and thither he hopes at last to arrive by the aid of the theological ladder which Jacob in his vision saw ascending from earth to Heaven; the three principal rounds of which are denominated Faith, Hope, and Charity; and which admonish us to have Faith in God, Hope in Immortality, and Charity to all mankind.” Accordingly a ladder, sometimes with nine rounds, is seen on the chart, resting at the bottom on the earth, its top in the clouds, the stars shining above it; and this is deemed to represent that mystic ladder, which Jacob saw in his dream, set up on the earth, and the top of it reaching to Heaven, with the angels of God ascending and descending on it. The addition of the three principal rounds to the symbolism, is wholly modern and incongruous.

The ancients counted seven planets, thus arranged: the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. There were seven heavens and seven spheres of these planets; on all the monuments of Mithras are seven altars or pyres, consecrated to the seven planets, as were the seven lamps of the golden candelabrum in the Temple. That these represented the planets, we are assured by Clemens of Alexandria, in his Stromata, and by Philo Judæus.

To return to its source in the Infinite, the human soul, the ancients held, had to ascend, as it had descended, through the seven spheres. The Ladder by which it reascends, has, according to Marsilius Ficinus, in his Commentary on the Ennead of Plotinus, seven degrees or steps; and in the Mysteries of Mithras, carried to Rome under the Emperors, the ladder, with its seven rounds, was a symbol referring to this ascent through the spheres of the seven planets. Jacob saw the Spirits of God ascending and descending on it; and above it the Deity Himself. The Mithraic Mysteries were celebrated in caves, where gates were marked at the four equinoctial and solstitial points of the zodiac; and the seven planetary spheres were represented, which souls needs must traverse in descending from the heaven of the fixed stars to the elements that envelop the earth; and seven gates were marked, one for each planet, through which they pass, in descending or returning.

We learn this from Celsus, in Origen, who says that the symbolic image of this passage among the stars, used in the Mithraic Mysteries, was a ladder reaching from earth to Heaven, divided

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into seven steps or stages, to each of which was a gate, and at the summit an eighth one, that of the fixed stars. The symbol was the same as that of the seven stages of Borsippa, the Pyramid of vitrified brick, near Babylon, built of seven stages, and each of a different color. In the Mithraic ceremonies, the candidate went through seven stages of initiation, passing through many fearful trials–and of these the high ladder with seven rounds or steps was the symbol.

You see the Lodge, its details and ornaments, by its Lights. You have already heard what these Lights, the greater and lesser, are said to be, and how they are spoken of by our Brethren of the York Rite.

The Holy Bible, Square, and Compasses, are not only styled the Great Lights in Masonry, but they are also technically called the Furniture of the Lodge; and, as you have seen, it is held that there is no Lodge without them. This has sometimes been made a pretext for excluding Jews from our Lodges, because they cannot regard the New Testament as a holy book. The Bible is an indispensable part of the furniture of a Christian Lodge, only because it is the sacred book of the Christian religion. The Hebrew Pentateuch in a Hebrew Lodge, and the Koran in a Mohammedan one, belong on the Altar; and one of these, and the Square and Compass, properly understood, are the Great Lights by which a Mason must walk and work.

The obligation of the candidate is always to be taken on the sacred book or books of his religion, that he may deem it more solemn and binding; and therefore it was that you were asked of what religion you were. We have no other concern with your religious creed.

The Square is a right angle, formed by two right lines. It is adapted only to a plane surface, and belongs only to geometry, earth-measurement, that trigonometry which deals only with planes, and with the earth, which the ancients supposed to be a plane. The Compass describes circles, and deals with spherical trigonometry, the science of the spheres and heavens. The former, therefore, is an emblem of what concerns the earth and the body; the latter of what concerns the heavens and the soul. Yet the Compass is also used in plane trigonometry, as in erecting perpendiculars; and, therefore, you are reminded that, although in this Degree both points of the Compass are under the Square, and

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you are now dealing only with the moral and political meaning of the symbols, and not with their philosophical and spiritual meanings, still the divine ever mingles with the human; with the earthly the spiritual intermixes; and there is something spiritual in the commonest duties of life. The nations are not bodies-politic alone, but also souls-politic; and woe to that people which, seeking the material only, forgets that it has a soul. Then we have a race, petrified in dogma, which presupposes the absence of a soul and the presence only of memory and instinct, or demoralized by lucre. Such a nature can never lead civilization. Genuflexion before the idol or the dollar atrophies the muscle which walks and the will which moves. Hieratic or mercantile absorption diminishes the radiance of a people, lowers its horizon by lowering its level, and deprives it of that understanding of the universal aim, at the same time human and divine, which makes the missionary nations. A free people, forgetting that it has a soul to be cared for, devotes all its energies to its material advancement. If it makes war, it is to subserve its commercial interests. The citizens copy after the State, and regard wealth, pomp, and luxury as the great goods of life. Such a nation creates wealth rapidly, and distributes it badly. Thence the two extremes, of monstrous opulence and monstrous misery; all the enjoyment to a few, all the privations to the rest, that is to say, to the people; Privilege, Exception, Monopoly, Feudality, springing up from Labor itself: a false and dangerous situation, which, making Labor a blinded and chained Cyclops, in the mine, at the forge, in the workshop, at the loom, in the field, over poisonous fumes, in miasmatic cells, in unventilated factories, founds public power upon private misery, and plants the greatness of the State in the suffering of the individual. It is a greatness ill constituted, in which all the material elements are combined, and into which no moral element enters. If a people, like a star, has the right of eclipse, the light ought to return. The eclipse should not degenerate into night.

The three lesser, or the Sublime Lights, you have heard, are the Sun, the Moon, and the Master of the Lodge; and you have heard what our Brethren of the York Rite say in regard to them, and why they hold them to be Lights of the Lodge. But the Sun and Moon do in no sense light the Lodge, unless it be symbolically, and then the lights are not they, but those things of which they are the symbols. Of what they are the symbols the Mason in that

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[paragraph continues]Rite is not told. Nor does the Moon in any sense rule the night with regularity.

The Sun is the ancient symbol of the life-giving and generative power of the Deity. To the ancients, light was the cause of life; and God was the source from which all light flowed; the essence of Light, the Invisible Fire, developed as flamemanifested as light and splendor. The Sun was His manifestation and visible image; and the Sabæans worshipping the Light–God, seemed to worship the Sun, in whom they saw the manifestation of the Deity.

The Moon was the symbol of the passive capacity of nature to produce, the female, of which the life-giving power and energy was the male. It was the symbol of Isis, Astarte, and Artemis, or Diana. The “Master of Life” was the Supreme Deity, above both, and manifested through both; Zeus, the Son of Saturn, become King of the Gods; Horus, son of Osiris and Isis, become the Master of Life; Dionusos or Bacchus, like Mithras, become the author of Light and Life and Truth.

*      *      *      *      *      *

The Master of Light and Life, the Sun and the Moon, are symbolized in every Lodge by the Master and Wardens: and this makes it the duty of the Master to dispense light to the Brethren, by himself, and through the Wardens, who are his ministers.

“Thy sun,” says ISAIAH to Jerusalem, “shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw itself; for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever.” Such is the type of a free people.

Our northern ancestors worshipped this tri-une Deity; ODIN, the Almighty FATHER; FREA, his wife, emblem of universal matter; and THOR, his son, the mediator. But above all these was the Supreme God, “the author of everything that existeth, the Eternal, the Ancient, the Living and Awful Being, the Searcher into concealed things, the Being that never changeth.” In the Temple of Eleusis (a sanctuary lighted only by a window in the roof, and representing the Universe), the images of the Sun, Moon, and Mercury, were represented.

“The Sun and Moon,” says the learned Bro∴ DELAUNAY, “represent the two grand principles of all generations, the active and passive, the male and the female. The Sun represents the

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actual light. He pours upon the Moon his fecundating rays; both shed their light upon their offspring, the Blazing Star, or HORUS, and the three form the great Equilateral Triangle, in the centre of which is the omnific letter of the Kabalah, by which creation is said to have been effected.”

The ORNAMENTS of a Lodge are said to be “the Mosaic Pavement, the Indented Tessel, and the Blazing Star.” The Mosaic Pavement, chequered in squares or lozenges, is said to represent the ground-floor of King Solomon’s Temple; and the Indented Tessel “that beautiful tesselated border which surrounded it.” The Blazing Star in the centre is said to be “an emblem of Divine Providence, and commemorative of the star which appeared to guide the wise men of the East to the place of our Saviour’s nativity.” But “there was no stone seen” within the Temple. The walls were covered with planks of cedar, and the floor was covered with planks of fir. There is no evidence that there was such a pavement or floor in the Temple, or such a bordering. In England, anciently, the Tracing-Board was surrounded with an indented border; and it is only in America that such a border is put around the Mosaic pavement. The tesseræ, indeed, are the squares or lozenges of the pavement. In England, also, “the indented or denticulated border” is called “tesselated,” because it has four “tassels,” said to represent Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice. It was termed the Indented Trassel; but this is a misuse of words. It is atesserated pavement, with an indented border round it.

The pavement, alternately black and white, symbolizes, whether so intended or not, the Good and Evil Principles of the Egyptian and Persian creed. It is the warfare of Michael and Satan, of the Gods and Titans, of Balder and Lok; between light and shadow, which is darkness; Day and Night; Freedom and Despotism; Religious Liberty and the Arbitrary Dogmas of a Church that thinks for its votaries, and whose Pontiff claims to be infallible, and the decretals of its Councils to constitute a gospel.

The edges of this pavement, if in lozenges, will necessarily be indented or denticulated, toothed like a saw; and to complete and finish it a bordering is necessary. It is completed by tassels as ornaments at the corners. If these and the bordering have any symbolic meaning, it is fanciful and arbitrary.

To find in the BLAZING STAR of five points an allusion to the

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[paragraph continues]Divine Providence, is also fanciful; and to make it commemorative of the Star that is said to have guided the Magi, is to give it a meaning comparatively modern. Originally it represented SIRIUS, or the Dog-star, the forerunner of the inundation of the Nile; the God ANUBIS, companion of Isis in her search for the body of OSIRIS, her brother and husband. Then it became the image of HORUS, the son of OSIRIS, himself symbolized also by the Sun, the author of the Seasons, and the God of Time; Son of Isis, who was the universal nature, himself the primitive matter, inexhaustible source of Life, spark of uncreated fire, universal seed of all beings. It was HERMES, also, the Master of Learning, whose name in Greek is that of the God Mercury. It became the sacred and potent sign or character of the Magi, the PENTALPHA, and is the significant emblem of Liberty and Freedom, blazing with a steady radiance amid the weltering elements of good and evil of Revolutions, and promising serene skies and fertile seasons to the nations, after the storms of change and tumult.

In the East of the Lodge, over the Master, inclosed in a triangle, is the Hebrew letter YO_D [‏ו ?Y‎ or ]. In the English and American Lodges the Letter G∴ is substituted for this, as the initial of the word GOD, with as little reason as if the letter D., initial of DIEU, were used in French Lodges instead of the proper letter. YO_D is, in the Kabalah, the symbol of Unity, of the Supreme Deity, the first letter of the Holy Name; and also a symbol of the Great Kabalistic Triads. To understand its mystic meanings, you must open the pages of the Sohar and Siphra de Zeniutha, and other kabalistic books, and ponder deeply on their meaning. It must suffice to say, that it is the Creative Energy of the Deity, is represented as a point, and that point in the centre of the Circle of immensity. It is to us in this Degree, the symbol of that unmanifested Deity, the Absolute, who has no name.

Our French Brethren place this letter YO_D in the centre of the Blazing Star. And in the old Lectures, our ancient English Brethren said, “The Blazing Star or Glory in the centre refers us to that grand luminary, the Sun, which enlightens the earth, and by its genial influence dispenses blessings to mankind.” They called it also in the same lectures, an emblem of PRUDENCE. The word Prudentia means, in its original and fullest signification, Foresight; and, accordingly, the Blazing Star has been regarded as an emblem of Omniscience, or the All-seeing Eye, which to the

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Egyptian Initiates was the emblem of Osiris, the Creator. With the YO_D in the centre, it has the kabalistic meaning of the Divine Energy, manifested as Light, creating the Universe.

 

The Jewels of the Lodge are said to be six in number. Three are called “Movable,” and three “Immovable.” The SQUARE, the LEVEL, and the PLUMB were anciently and properly called the Movable Jewels, because they pass from one Brother to another. It is a modern innovation to call them immovable, because they must always be present in the Lodge. The immovable jewels are the ROUGH ASHLAR, the PERFECT ASHLAR or CUBICAL STONE, or, in some Rituals, the DOUBLE CUBE, and the TRACING-BOARD, or TRESTLE-BOARD.

Of these jewels our Brethren of the York Rite say: “The Square inculcates Morality; the Level, Equality; and the Plumb, Rectitude of Conduct.” Their explanation of the immovable Jewels may be read in their monitors.

*      *      *      *      *      *

Our Brethren of the York Rite say that “there is represented in every well-governed Lodge, a certain point, within a circle; the point representing an individual Brother; the Circle, the boundary line of his conduct, beyond which he is never to suffer his prejudices or passions to betray him.”

This is not to interpret the symbols of Masonry. It is said by some, with a nearer approach to interpretation, that the point within the circle represents God in the centre of the Universe. It is a common Egyptian sign for the Sun and Osiris, and is still used as the astronomical sign of the great luminary. In the Kabalah the point is YO_D, the Creative Energy of God, irradiating with light the circular space which God, the universal Light, left vacant, wherein to create the worlds, by withdrawing His substance of Light back on all sides from one point.

Our Brethren add that, “this circle is embordered by two perpendicular parallel lines, representing Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist, and upon the top rest the Holy Scriptures” (an open book). “In going round this circle,” they say, “we necessarily touch upon these two lines as well as upon the Holy Scriptures; and while a Mason keeps himself circumscribed within their precepts, it is impossible that he should materially err.”

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It would be a waste of time to comment upon this. Some writers have imagined that the parallel lines represent the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, which the Sun alternately touches upon at the Summer and Winter solstices. But the tropics are not perpendicular lines, and the idea is merely fanciful. If the parallel lines ever belonged to the ancient symbol, they had some more recondite and more fruitful meaning. They probably had the same meaning as the twin columns Jachin and Boaz. That meaning is not for the Apprentice. The adept may find it in the Kabalah. The JUSTICE and MERCY of God are in equilibrium, and the result is HARMONY, because a Single and Perfect Wisdom presides over both.

The Holy Scriptures are an entirely modern addition to the symbol, like the terrestrial and celestial globes on the columns of the portico. Thus the ancient symbol has been denaturalized by incongruous additions, like that of Isis weeping over the broken column containing the remains of Osiris at Byblos.

*      *      *      *      *      *

Masonry has its decalogue, which is a law to its Initiates. These are its Ten Commandments:

I. ⊕∴ God is the Eternal, Omnipotent, Immutable WISDOM and Supreme INTELLIGENCE and Exhaustless LOVE.
Thou shalt adore, revere, and love Him!
Thou shalt honor Him by practising the virtues!
II. ○∴ Thy religion shall be, to do good because it is a pleasure to thee, and not merely because it is a duty.
That thou mayest become the friend of the wise man, thou shalt obey his precepts!
Thy soul is immortal! Thou shalt do nothing to degrade it!
III. ⊕∴ Thou shalt unceasingly war against vice!
Thou shalt not do unto others that which thou wouldst not wish them to do unto thee!
Thou shalt be submissive to thy fortunes, and keep burning the light of wisdom!
IV. ○∴ Thou shalt honor thy parents!
Thou shalt pay respect and homage to the aged!
Thou shalt instruct the young!
Thou shalt protect and defend infancy and innocence!
V. ⊕∴ Thou shalt cherish thy wife and thy children!
Thou shalt love thy country, and obey its laws! p. 18
VI. ○∴ Thy friend shall be to thee a second self!
Misfortune shall not estrange thee from him!
Thou shalt do for his memory whatever thou wouldst do for him, if he were living!
VII. ⊕∴ Thou shalt avoid and flee from insincere friendships!
Thou shalt in everything refrain from excess.
Thou shalt fear to be the cause of a stain on thy memory!
VIII. ○∴ Thou shalt allow no passions to become thy master!
Thou shalt make the passions of others profitable lessons to thyself!
Thou shalt be indulgent to error!
IX. ⊕∴ Thou shalt hear much: Thou shalt speak little: Thou shalt act well!
Thou shalt forget injuries!
Thou shalt render good for evil!
Thou shalt not misuse either thy strength or thy superiority!
X. ○∴ Thou shalt study to know men; that thereby thou mayest learn to know thyself!
Thou shalt ever seek after virtue!
Thou shalt be just!
Thou shalt avoid idleness!

But the great commandment of Masonry is this: “A new commandment give I unto you: that ye love one another! He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, remaineth still in the darkness.”

Such are the moral duties of a Mason. But it is also the duty of Masonry to assist in elevating the moral and intellectual level of society; in coining knowledge, bringing ideas into circulation, and causing the mind of youth to grow; and in putting, gradually, by the teachings of axioms and the promulgation of positive laws, the human race in harmony with its destinies.

To this duty and work the Initiate is apprenticed. He must not imagine that he can effect nothing, and, therefore, despairing, become inert. It is in this, as in a man’s daily life. Many great deeds are done in the small struggles of life. There is, we are told, a determined though unseen bravery, which defends itself, foot to foot, in the darkness, against the fatal invasion of necessity and of baseness. There are noble and mysterious triumphs, which no eye sees, which no renown rewards, which no flourish of trumpets salutes. Life, misfortune, isolation, abandonment, poverty, are

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battle-fields, which have their heroes,–heroes obscure, but sometimes greater than those who become illustrious. The Mason should struggle in the same manner, and with the same bravery, against those invasions of necessity and baseness, which come to nations as well as to men. He should meet them, too, foot to foot, even in the darkness, and protest against the national wrongs and follies; against usurpation and the first inroads of that hydra, Tyranny. There is no more sovereign eloquence than the truth in indignation. It is more difficult for a people to keep than to gain their freedom. The Protests of Truth are always needed. Continually, the right must protest against the fact. There is, in fact, Eternity in the Right. The Mason should be the Priest and Soldier of that Right. If his country should be robbed of her liberties, he should still not despair. The protest of the Right against the Fact persists forever. The robbery of a people never becomes prescriptive. Reclamation of its rights is barred by no length of time. Warsaw can no more be Tartar than Venice can be Teutonic. A people may endure military usurpation, and subjugated States kneel to States and wear the yoke, while under the stress of necessity; but when the necessity disappears, if the people is fit to be free, the submerged country will float to the surface and reappear, and Tyranny be adjudged by History to have murdered its victims.

Whatever occurs, we should have Faith in the Justice and over-ruling Wisdom of God, and Hope for the Future, and Loving-kindness for those who are in error. God makes visible to men His will in events; an obscure text, written in a mysterious language. Men make their translations of it forthwith, hasty, incorrect, full of faults, omissions, and misreadings. We see so short a way along the arc of the great circle! Few minds comprehend the Divine tongue. The most sagacious, the most calm, the most profound, decipher the hieroglyphs slowly; and when they arrive with their text, perhaps the need has long gone by; there are already twenty translations in the public square–the most incorrect being, as of course, the most accepted and popular. From each translation, a party is born; and from each misreading, a faction. Each party believes or pretends that it has the only true text, and each faction believes or pretends that it alone possesses the light. Moreover, factions are blind men, who aim straight, errors are excellent projectiles, striking skillfully, and with all the violence that springs from false reasoning, wherever a want of

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logic in those who defend the right, like a defect in a cuirass, makes them vulnerable.

Therefore it is that we shall often be discomfited in combating error before the people. Antæus long resisted Hercules; and the heads of the Hydra grew as fast as they were cut off. It is absurd to say that Error, wounded, writhes in pain, and dies amid her worshippers. Truth conquers slowly. There is a wondrous vitality in Error. Truth, indeed, for the most part, shoots over the heads of the masses; or if an error is prostrated for a moment, it is up again in a moment, and as vigorous as ever. It will not die when the brains are out, and the most stupid and irrational errors are the longest-lived.

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.

And Masonry, like History and Philosophy, has eternal duties–eternal, and, at the same time, simple–to oppose Caiaphas as Bishop, Draco or Jefferies as Judge, Trimalcion as Legislator, and Tiberius as Emperor. These are the symbols of the tyranny that

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degrades and crushes, and the corruption that defiles and infests. in the works published for the use of the Craft we are told that the three great tenets of a Mason’s profession, are Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. And it is true that a Brotherly affection and kindness should govern us in all our intercourse and relations with our brethren; and a generous and liberal philanthropy actuate us in regard to all men. To relieve the distressed is peculiarly the duty of Masons–a sacred duty, not to be omitted, neglected, or coldly or inefficiently complied with. It is also most true, that Truth is a Divine attribute and the foundation of every virtue. To be true, and to seek to find and learn the Truth, are the great objects of every good Mason.

As the Ancients did, Masonry styles Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice, the four cardinal virtues. They are as necessary to nations as to individuals. The people that would be Free and Independent, must possess Sagacity, Forethought, Fore-sight, and careful Circumspection, all which are included in the meaning of the word Prudence. It must be temperate in asserting its rights, temperate in its councils, economical in its expenses; it must be bold, brave, courageous, patient under reverses, undismayed by disasters, hopeful amid calamities, like Rome when she sold the field at which Hannibal had his camp. No Cannæ or Pharsalia or Pavia or Agincourt or Waterloo must discourage her. Let her Senate sit in their seats until the Gauls pluck them by the beard. She must, above all things, be just, not truckling to the strong and warring on or plundering the weak; she must act on the square with all nations, and the feeblest tribes; always keeping her faith, honest in her legislation, upright in all her dealings. Whenever such a Republic exists, it will be immortal: for rashness, injustice, intemperance and luxury in prosperity, and despair and disorder in adversity, are the causes of the decay and dilapidation of nations.

————–

Below are some articles about the Beginning or Force.

 

Good bye, old friend. May the Force be with you.
―Obi-Wan Kenobi, to Anakin Skywalker, before traveling to Utapau[src]

“May the Force be with you” was a phrase used to wish an individual or group good luck or good will, one that expressed the speaker’s wish that the Force work in favor of the addressee. The phrase was often used as individuals parted ways or in the face of an impending challenge.

Qui-Gon Jinn wished Anakin Skywalker “may the Force be with you” shortly before the start of the Boonta Eve Classic.[1] Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobiused the phrase throughout his life, including at the end of his message sent through the Jedi beacon, warning any possible survivors of Order 66 that the Galactic Republic had turned against the Jedi and that those who remained should not return to the Jedi Temple.[2] He later told Luke Skywalker, “The Force will be with you. Always.” during the Battle of Yavin.[3

Non-Jedi

Shortly before the Battle of Yavin, while overviewing the plan to destroy the Death Star, General Jan Dodonnatold the Rebel pilots, “May the Force be with you.” Similarly, Han Solo said “May the Force be with you” to Skywalker while preparing to leave Yavin 4, despite not being a strong believer in the Force. The phrase was later used by Admiral Gial Ackbar before the Battle of Endor, saying “May the Force be with us.[4] Prior to her departure in the Millennium Falcon to seek out Luke Skywalker, General Leia Organa told ReyMay the Force be with you.[5]

Behind the scenes

The phrase “May the Force be with you” originated in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope[3] and has continued to be part of Star Wars stories ever since. In his introduction for Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide, Dave Filoni told readers that “The Force will be with you, always.[6] In his introduction for A New Dawn, he stated that “Because of fans like you around the world, the Force will be with us, always.[7] The final page of The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight features the phrase “May the force be with you!” against a backdrop of stars, echoing the final lines of the story: “Luke Skywalker fulfilled his destiny. He became a Jedi Knight and saved the galaxy. More important, he saved his father and found his family. The Force was with him.” The final line of The Rebellion Begins reads “May the Force be with them all.”

From the Stars Wars Movie Series, Author George Lucas centered on the principle of “ May the Force be with You”.

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The Star Wars Series was started in 1977 by the creator George Lucas

According to George Lucas on the cosmological principle, something had to cause the beginning.  That something, the ‘First Cause‘, had to be timeless and eternal.  Since its actions created time, it had to exist outside of time… before time began.

A long time ago, in a movie multiplex not so far away, a child looked up and asked: “Mom, Dad, is the Force the same thing as God?”

Children have been asking that question for 20 years. The simple answer is “yes.” But this raises another question: Which god or God is at the center of the “Star Wars” universe?

The trilogy’s creator was well aware that his work invaded turf traditionally reserved for parents, priests and preachers. George Lucas wrote “Star Wars” shortly after the cultural revolution of the ’60s. He sensed a spiritual void.

“I wanted it to be a traditional moral study, to have some sort of palpable precepts in it that children could understand,” said Lucas, in a recent New Yorker interview. “There is always a lesson to be learned. … Traditionally, we get them from church, the family, art and in the modern world we get them from the media — from movies.”

Lucas set out to create a modern mythology to teach right and wrong. The result was a fusion of “Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe” and Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero with a Thousand Faces,” of Arthurian legends and Japanese samurai epics, of Carlos Castaneda’s “Tales of Power” and the Narnia tales of C.S. Lewis. Along the way, Lucas sold $1.3 billion worth of tickets and “Star Wars” merchandise sales have topped $4 billion. Now, a revamped “Star Wars” is back in theaters, to be followed by its sequels, “The Empire Strikes Back” and “The Return of the Jedi.” A trilogy of “prequels” is set to begin in 1999.

The impact of Lucas’ work has led some researchers to speak in terms of a “Star Wars” generation. A modern preacher who wants to discuss self sacrifice will be understood by more people if he refers to the death of Jedi knight Obi Wan Kenobi, rather than that of St. Stephen.

“It was natural that my generation would latch on to these stories,” said Jason Ruspini, webmaster of the unofficial “Star Wars Home Page,” one of nearly 1,000 “Star Wars” Internet sites. “They were much more attractive and appropriate than the ancient myths of Judeo-Christian theology. How could these draconian and antiquated stories possibly compete with the majesty and scope of the Star Wars universe?”

Lucas grew up in the 1950s in Modesto, Calif., reading comics, escaping to movies and watching TV. Although he attended a Methodist church with his family, biographer Dale Pollock notes that he was turned off by the “self-serving piety” of Sunday school. Lucas also visited the housekeeper’s German Lutheran congregation, where he was impressed by the elaborate rituals.

Traces of these experiences are woven into his work. “The message of `Star Wars’ is religious: God isn’t dead, he’s there if you want him to be,” writes Pollock, in his book “Skywalking.” Lucas puts it this way: “The laws really are in yourself.”

The faith in “Star Wars” is hard to label. The Force is defined as “an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us.” It contains both good and evil. Jedi master Yoda clearly teaches a form of Buddhism. Yet the Lucas liturgy also proclaims “May the Force be with you,” a variation on the Christian phrase “May the Lord be with you.” The plot includes other symbols and themes from biblical faith. Lucas has embraced both “passive Oriental philosophies and the Judeo- Christian ethic of responsibility and self-sacrifice,” according to Pollock.

Thus, some Christians hail “Star Wars” as evidence of a cultural search for moral absolutes. On the World Wide Web, others use the films as glowing icons that teach Eastern philosophy.

By Terry Mattingly

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THE FORCE AWAKENS, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erLk59H86ww   to be released for showing on December 2015

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Ang artikulong ito ay isang sensitibong panulat na kinakailangan ang malalim na kaisipan at malawak ng pagsusuri ayon sa kanyang paniniwala sa relihiyon na kanyang nakagisnan. Maaring tama ito o hindi.  Hindi ito basehan ng duality principle of good or evil. .. Gabcomia