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Article # 248
The Lost Keys of Freemasonry-Chapter-6.

Author: Manly Palmer Hall    Posted on: Thursday, May 24, 2007
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[Manly Palmer Hall, the learned Author, was a seeker and lover of wisdom, and a great philosopher and mystic. He had the courage and the raw intellectual energy to look for wisdom in places most men had long since forgotten about, or never knew existed. Manly P. Hall spoke and wrote extensively, of the wisdom found in all ancient traditions. In an age when serious study of "other religions" was anathema to most, he found deep cross cultural  threads and revealed many interconnected roots of modern religious expression.  His works are exceedingly rare in its grand scope, detail and synthesis. He embraced the wisdom of every tradition and with a fluid command of their obscure and complex contents, worked to express their unifying truths. This book was written very early in his career, even though , he had not been initiated in Freemasonry. It is a very absorbing book, kindling our thinking and requiring a careful and serious study. Chapter-6 and the concluding portion of The Lost Keys of Freemasonry are posted herein. This concludes the book.   Please read on . .] 

 

The Qualifications Of A True Mason

Chapter 6

 

Every true Mason has come into the realization, that there is but one Lodge, that is, the Universe and  but one Brotherhood, composed of everything that moves or exists in any of the planes of Nature. He realizes that the Temple of Solomon is really the Temple of the Solar Man (Sol-Om-On ) the King of the Universe manifesting through his three primordial builders. He realizes, that his vow of brotherhood and fraternity is universal and that mineral, plant, animal and man are all included in the true Masonic Craft. His duty as an elder brother to all the kingdoms of Nature beneath him is well understood by the true Craftsman, who would rather die than fail in this, his great obligation. He has dedicated his life upon the altar of his God and is willing and glad to serve the lesser through the powers he has gained from the greater. The mystic Mason, in building the eyes that see behind the apparent ritual, recognizes the oneness of life manifesting through the diversity of form.

 

The true disciple of ancient Masonry has given up forever the worship of personalities. With his greater insight, he realizes, that all forms and their position in material affairs are of no importance to him compared to the life, which is evolving within. Those who allow appearances or worldly expressions to deter them from their self appointed tasks are failures in Masonry, for Masonry is an abstract science of spiritual unfoldment. Material prosperity is not the measure of soul growth. The true Mason realizes that behind these diverse forms there is one connected Life Principle, the spark of God in all living things. It is this Life, which he considers when measuring the worth of a brother. It is to this Life that he appeals for a recognition of spiritual Unity. He realizes that it is the discovery of this spark of Unity, which makes him a conscious member of the Cosmic Lodge. Most of all, he must learn to understand that this divine spark shines out as brightly from the body of a foe as it does from the dearest friend. The true Mason has learned to be divinely impersonal in thought, action, and desire.

 

 The true Mason is not creed bound. He realizes with the divine illumination of his lodge that as Mason his religion must be universal. Christ, Buddha or Mohammed, the name means little, for he recognizes only the light and not the bearer. He worships at every shrine, bows before every altar, whether in temple, mosque or cathedral, realizing with his truer understanding the oneness of all spiritual truth. All true Masons know that they only are heathen, who having great ideals, do not live up to them. They know that all religions are but one story told in divers ways for peoples whose ideals differ, but whose great purpose is in harmony with Masonic ideals. North, east, south and west stretch the diversities of human thought, and while the ideals of man apparently differ, when all is said and the crystallization of form with its false concepts is swept away, one basic truth remains. All existing things are Temple Builders, laboring for a single end. No true Mason can be narrow, for his Lodge is the divine expression of all broadness. There is no place for little minds in a great work.

 

The true Mason must develop the powers of observation. He must seek eternally in all the manifestations of Nature for the things, which he has lost, because he failed to work for them. He must become a student of human nature and see in those around him the unfolding and varying expressions of one connected spiritual Intelligence. The great spiritual ritual of his lodge is enacted before him in every action of his fellow man. The entire Masonic initiation is an open secret, for anyone can see it played out on the city street corners as well as in the untracked wilderness. The Mason has sworn that every day he will extract from life its message for him and build it into the temple of his God. He seeks to learn the things which will make him of greater service in the Divine Plan, a better instrument in the hands of the Great Architect, who is laboring eternally to unfold life through the medium of  living things. The Mason realizes, moreover, that his vows, taken of his own free will and accord, give him the divine opportunity of being a living tool in the hands of a Master Workman.

 

The true Master Mason enters his lodge with one thought uppermost in his mind: "How can I, as an individual, be of greater use in the Universal Plan? What can I do to be worthy to comprehend the mysteries, which are unfolded here? How can I build the eyes to see the things, which are concealed from those who lack spiritual understanding?"  The true Mason is supremely unselfish in every expression and application of the powers that have been entrusted to him. No true Brother seeks anything for himself, but unselfishly labors for the good of all. No person who assumes a spiritual obligation for what he can get out of it is worthy of applying for the position even of water carrier. The true Light can come only to those who, asking nothing, gladly give all to it.

 

The true brother of the Craft, while constantly striving to improve himself, mentally, physically, and spiritually through the days of his life, never makes his own desires the goal for his works. He has a duty and that duty is to fit into the plans of another. He must be ready at any hour of the day or night to drop his own ideals at the call of the Builder. The work must be done and he has dedicated his life to the service of those who know the bonds of neither time nor space. He must be ready at any moment's notice and his life should be turned into preparing himself for that call which may come when he least expects it. The Master Mason knows that those most useful to the Plan are those who have gained the most from the practical experiences of life. It is not what goes on within the tiled lodge, which is the basis of his greatness, but rather the way in which he meets the problems of daily life. The true Masonic student is known by his brotherly actions and common sense.

 

Every Mason knows that a broken vow brings with it a terrible penalty. Let him also realize that failure to live mentally, spiritually and morally up to one's highest ideals constitutes the greatest of all broken oaths. When a Mason swears that he will devote his life to the building of his Father's house and then defiles his living temple through the perversion of  mental power, emotional force and active energy, he is breaking a vow, which imposes not hours, but ages of misery. If he is worthy to be a Mason, he must be great enough to restrain the lower side of his own nature, which is daily murdering his Grand Master. He must realize that a misdirected life is a broken vow and that daily service, purification, and the constructive application of energy is a living invocation, which builds within and draws to him the power of the Creator. His life is the only prayer acceptable in the eyes of the Most High. An impure life is a broken trust; a destructive action is a living curse and a narrow mind is a strangle cord around the throat of God.

 

All true Masons know that their work is not secret, but they realize that it must remain unknown to all, who do not live the true Masonic life. Yet if the so-called secrets of Freemasonry were shouted from the housetops, the Fraternity would be absolutely safe. For certain spiritual qualities are necessary before the real  Masonic secrets can be understood by the brethren themselves. Hence it is that the alleged "exposures" of Freemasonry, printed by the thousands and tens of thousands since 1730 down to the present hour, cannot injure the Fraternity. They reveal merely the outward forms and ceremonies of Freemasonry. Only those who have been weighed in the balance and found to be true, upright, and square have prepared themselves by their own growth to appreciate the inner meanings of their Craft. To the rest of their brethren within or without the lodge their sacred rituals must remain, as Shakespeare might have said, "Words, words, words." Within the Mason's own being is concealed the Power, which, blazing forth from his purified being, constitutes the Builder's Word. His life is the sole password, which admits him to the true Masonic Lodge. His spiritual urge is the sprig of acacia which, through the darkness of  ignorance, still proves that the spiritual fire is alight. Within himself he must build those qualities, which will make possible his true understanding of the Craft. He can show the world only forms which mean nothing, the life within is forever concealed until the eye of Spirit reveals it.

 

The Master Mason realizes charity to be one of the greatest traits which the Elder Brothers have unfolded, which means not only properly regulated charity of the purse, but charity in thought and action. He realizes that all the workmen are not on the same step, but wherever each may be, he is doing the best he can according to his light. Each is laboring with the tools, that he has and he, as a Master Mason, does not spend his time in criticizing, but in helping them to improve their tools. Instead of blaming poor tools, let us always blame ourselves for having them. The Master Mason does not find fault; he does not criticize nor does he complain, but with malice towards none and charity towards all he seeks to be worthy of his Father's trust. In silence he labors, with compassion he suffers, and if the builders strike him as he seeks to work with them, his last word will be a prayer for them. The greater the Mason, the more advanced in his Craft, the more fatherly he grows, the walls of his Lodge broadening out until all living things are sheltered and guarded within the blue folds of his cape. From laboring with the few he seeks to assist all, realizing with his broader understanding the weaknesses of others but the strength of right.

 

A Mason is not proud of his position. He is not puffed up by his honor, but with a sinking heart is eternally ashamed of his own place, realizing that it is far below the standard of his Craft. The farther he goes, the more he realizes that he is standing on slippery places and if he allows himself for one moment to lose his simplicity and humility, a fall is inevitable. A true Mason never feels himself worthy of his Craft. A student may stand on the top of Fool's Mountain self-satisfied in his position , but the true Brother is always noted for his simplicity.

 

A Mason cannot be ordained or elected by ballot. He is evolved through ages of self-purification and spiritual transmutation. There are thousands of Masons who are brethren in name only, for their failure to exemplify the ideals of their Craft makes them unresponsive to the teachings and purpose of Freemasonry. The Masonic life forms the first key of the Temple and without this key, none of the doors can be opened. When this fact is better realized and lived, Freemasonry will awake and speak the Word so long withheld. The speculative Craft will then become operative and the Ancient Wisdom so long concealed will rise from the ruins of its temple as the greatest spiritual truth yet revealed to man.

 

The true Master Mason recognizes the value of seeking for truth wherever he can find it. It makes no difference if it be in the enemy's camp. If it be truth, he will go there gladly to secure it. The Masonic Lodge is universal; therefore all true Masons will seek through the extremities of creation for their Light. The true brother of the Craft knows and applies one great paradox. He must search for the high things in lowly places and find the lowly things in high places. The Mason who feels holier than his fellow man has raised a barrier around himself through which no light can pass, for the one who in truth is the greatest is the servant of all. Many brethren make a great mistake in building a wall around their secrets, for they succeed only in shutting out their own light. Their divine

opportunity is at hand. The time has come when the world needs the Ancient Wisdom as never before. Let the Mason stand forth and by living the doctrines, which he preaches show to his brother man the glory of his work. He holds the keys to truth. Let him unlock the door and with his life and not his words preach the doctrine, which he has so long professed.

 

The Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man were united in the completion of the Eternal Temple, the Great Work, for which all things came into being and through which all shall glorify their Creator.

 

Masons Awake !

 

Your creed and your Craft demand the best that is in you. They demand the sanctifying of your life, the regeneration of your body, the purification of your soul and the ordination of your spirit. Yours is the glorious opportunity; yours is the divine responsibility. Accept your task and follow in the footsteps of the Master Masons of the past, who with the flaming spirit of the Craft have illumined the world. You have a great privilege,  the privilege of illumined labor. You may know the ends to which you work, while others must struggle in darkness. Your labors are not to be confined to the tiled Lodge alone, for a Mason must radiate the qualities of his Craft. Its light must shine in his home and in his business, glorifying his association with his fellow men. In the Lodge and out of the Lodge, the Mason must represent the highest fruitage of sincere endeavor.

 

Epilogue

The Priest of RA

 

What words are there in modern language to describe the great temple of Ammon Ra? It now stands amidst the sands of Egypt a pile of broken ruins, but in the heyday of its glory, it rose a forest of plumed pillars holding up roofs of solid sandstone, carved by hands long laid to rest into friezes of  lotus blossoms and papyrus and colored lifelike by pigments the secrets of which were lost with the civilization that discovered them. A checkerboard floor of black and white blocks stretched out until it was lost among the wilderness of pillars. From the massive walls the impassive faces of gods unnamed looked down upon the silent files of priests who kept alight the altar fires, whose feeble glow alone alighted the massive chambers throughout the darkness of an Egyptian night. It was a weird, impressive scene and the flickering lights sent strange, ghostly forms scurrying among the piles of granite which rose like mighty altars from the darkness below to be lost in the shadows above.

 

Suddenly a figure emerged from the shadows, carrying in his hand a small oil lamp which pierced the darkness like some distant star, bringing into strange relief the figure of him who bore it. He appeared to be old, for his long beard and braided hair were quite gray, but his large black eyes shone with a fire seldom seen even in youth. He was robed from head to foot in blue and gold, and around his forehead was coiled a snake of precious metal, set with jewelled eyes that gave out flashes of light. Never had the light of Ra's chamber shone on a grander head or a form more powerful than that of the high priest of the temple. He was the mouthpiece of the gods and the sacred wisdom of ancient Egypt was impressed in fiery letters upon his soul. As he crossed the great room - in one hand the sceptre of their priest craft, in the other the tiny lamp - he was more like a spirit visitor from beyond the environs of death than a physical being, for his jewelled sandals made no sound and the sheen from his robes formed a halo of light around his stately form.

 

Down through the silent passageways, lined with their massive pillars, passed the phantom figure - down steps lined with kneeling sphinxes and through avenues of crouching lions the priest picked his way until at last he reached a vaulted chamber whose marble floor bore strange designs traced in some language long forgotten. Each angle of the many-sided and dimly lighted room was filled by a seated figure carved in stone, so massive that its head and shoulders were lost in shadows no eye could pierce.

 

 In the center of this mystic chamber stood a great chest of some black stone carved with serpents and strange winged dragons. The lid was a solid slab, weighing hundreds of pounds, without handle of any kind and the chest apparently had no means of being opened without the aid of some Herculean power.

 

 The high priest leaned over and from the lamp he carried lighted the fire upon an altar that stood near, sending the shadows of that weird chamber scurrying into the most distant corners. As the flame rose, it was reflected from the great stone faces above, which seemed to stare at the black coffer in the center of the room with their strange, sightless eyes.

 

Raising his serpent wound staff and facing the chest of sombre marble, the priest called out in a voice that echoed and reechoed from every nook and corner of the ancient temple.

 

"Aradamas, come forth!"

 

Then a strange thing happened. The heavy slab that formed the cover of the great coffer slowly raised as though lifted by unseen hands and there emerged from its dark recesses a slim, white-clad figure with his forearms crossed on his breast-the figure of a man perhaps thirty years old, his long, black hair hanging down upon his white-robed shoulders in strange contrast to the seamless garment that he wore. His face, devoid of emotion, was as handsome and serene as the great face of Ammon Ra himself that gazed down upon the scene. Silently Aradamas stepped from the ancient tomb and advanced slowly toward the high priest. When about ten paces from the earthly representative of the gods, he paused, unfolded his arms, and extended them across his chest in salutation. In one hand he carried a cross with a ring as the upper arm and this he proffered to the priest. Aradamas stood in silence as the high priest, raising his sceptre to one of the great stone figures, addressed an invocation to the Sun God of the universe. This finished, he then addressed the youthful figure as follows, "Aradamas, you seek to know the mystery of creation, you ask that the divine illumination of the Thrice-Greatest and the wisdom that for ages has been the one gift the gods would shower upon mankind, be entrusted to you. Little you understand of the thing you ask, but those who know have said that he who proves worthy may receive the truth. Therefore, stand you here today to prove your divine birthright to the teaching that you ask."

 

The priest pronounced these words slowly and solemnly and then pointed with his sceptre to a great dim archway surmounted by a winged globe of gleaming gold.

 

"Before thee, up those steps and through those passageways, lies the path that leads to the eye of judgment and the feet of Ammon Ra. Go, and if thy heart be pure, as pure as the garment that thou wearest, and if thy motive be unselfish, thy feet shall not stumble and thy being shall be filled with light. But remember that Typhon and his hosts of death lurk in every shadow and that death is the result of failure."

 

Aradamas turned and again folded his arms over his breast in the sign of the cross. As he walked slowly through the somber arch, the shadows of the great Unknown closed over him who had dedicated his life to the search for the Eternal. The priest watched him until he was lost to sight among the massive pillars beyond the span that divided the living from the dead. Then slowly falling on his knees before the gigantic statue of Ra and raising his eyes to the shadows that through the long night concealed the face of the Sun God, he prayed that the youth might pass from the darkness of the temple pillars to the light he sought.

 

It seemed that for a second a glow played around the face of the enormous statue and a strange hush of peace filled the ancient temple. The high priest sensed this, for rising, he relighted his lamp and walked slowly away. His beacon of light shone fainter and fainter in the distance and finally was lost to view among the papyrus blooms of the temple pillars. All that remained were the dying flames on the altar, which sent strange flickering glows over the great stone coffer and the twelve judges of

the Egyptian dead.

 

In the meantime, Aradamas, his hands still crossed on his breast, walked slowly onward and upward until the last ray from the burning altar fire was lost to view among the shadows far behind. Through years of purification he had prepared himself for the great ordeal, and with a purified body and a balanced mind, he wended his way in and out among the pillars that loomed about him. As he walked along, there seemed to radiate from his being a faint golden glow, which illuminated the pillars as he passed them. He seemed a ghostly form amid a grove of ancient trees.

 

Suddenly the pillars widened out to form another vaulted room, dimly lit by a reddish haze. As Aradamas proceeded, there appeared around him swirling wisps of this scarlet light. First they appeared as swiftly moving clouds, but slowly they took form, and strange misty figures in flowing draperies hovered in the air and held out long swaying arms to stay his progress. Wraiths of ruddy mist hovered about him and whispered soft words into his ears, while weird music, like the voice of the storm and the cries of night birds, resounded through the lofty halls. Still Aradamas walked on calm and masterful, his fine, spiritual face outlined by his raven locks in strange contrast to the sinuous forms that gathered around and tried to lure him from his purpose. Unmindful of strange forms that beckoned from ghostly archways and the pleading of soft voices, he passed steadily on his way with but one thought in his mind:

 

"Fiat Lux!" (Let there be light.)

 

The ghastly music grew louder and louder, terminating at last in a mighty roar. The very walls shook, the dancing forms swayed like flickering candle shadows and, still pleading and beckoning, vanished among the pillars of the temple.

 

As the temple walls tottered, Aradamas paused; then with slow measured step he resumed his search for some ray of light, finding always darkness deeper than before. Suddenly before him loomed another doorway, flanked on either side by an obelisk of carved marble, one black and the other white. Through the doorway glowed a dim light, concealed by a gossamer veil of blue silk.

 

As Aradamas slowly climbed the flight of steps leading to the doorway, there materialized upon the ground at his feet a swirl of lurid mist. In the faint glow that it cast, it twisted like some oily gas, filling the entire chamber with a loathsome miasma. Then out of this cloud issued a gigantic form , half human, half reptile. In its bloodshot eyes burned ruddy pods of demon fire, while great claw-like hands reached out to enfold and crush the slender figure that confronted it. Aradamas wavered for a single instant as the horrible apparition lunged forward, its size doubly magnified in the iridescent fog. Then the white-robed neophyte again slowly advanced, his arms still crossed on his breast. He raised his fine face, illumined by a divine light, and courageously faced the hideous specter. As he confronted the menacing form, for an instant it loomed over him like a towering demon. Suddenly Aradamas raised the cross he carried and held it u p before the monster. As he did so, the Crux Ansata gleamed with a wondrous golden light, which, striking the oily, scaly monster, seemed to dissolve its every particle into golden sparks. As the last of the demon guardians vanished before the rays of the cross, a bolt of lightning flashed through the ancient hallways and, striking the veil that hung between the obelisks, rent it down the center and disclosed a vaulted chamber with a circular dome, dimly lighted by invisible lamps.

 

 Bearing his now flaming cross, Aradamas entered the room and instinctively gazed upward to the lofty dome. There, floating in space, far above his head, he saw a great closed eye surrounded by fleecy clouds and rainbow colors. Long Aradamas gazed upon the wonderful sight, for he knew that it was the Eye of  Horus, the All-Seeing Eye of the gods.

 

 As he stood there, he prayed that the will of the gods might be made known unto him and that in some way he might be found worthy to open that closed eye in the temple of the living God.

 

As he stood there gazing upward, the eyelid flickered. As the great orb slowly opened, the chamber was filled with a dazzling, blinding light that seemed to consume the very stones with fire. Aradamas staggered. It seemed as if every atom of his being was scorched by the effulgence of that glow. He instinctively closed his eyes and now he feared to open them, for in that terrific blaze of splendor it seemed that only blindness would follow his action. Little by little, a strange feeling of peace and calm descended upon him and at length he dared to open his eyes to find that the glare was gone, the entire chamber was bathed in a soft, wondrous glow from the mighty Eye in the ceiling. The white robe he had worn had also given place to one of living fire which blazed as though with the reflection of thousands of lesser eyes from the divine orb above. As his eyes became accustomed to the glow, he saw that he was no longer alone. He was surrounded by twelve white-robed figures who, bowing before him, held up strange insignia wrought from living gold.

 

As Aradamas looked, all the figures pointed, and as he followed the direction of their hands, he saw a staircase of living light that led far up into the dome and passed the Eye in the ceiling.

 

With one voice, the twelve said: "Yonder lies the way of liberation."

 

Without a moment's hesitation, Aradamas mounted the staircase, and with feet that seemed to barely touch the steps, climbed upward into the dawn of a great unknown. At last, after climbing many steps, he reached a doorway that opened as he neared it. The breath of morning air fanned his cheek and a golden ray of sunshine played among the waves of his dark hair. He stood on the top of a mighty pyramid, before him a blazing altar. In the distance, far over the horizon, the rolling sands of the Egyptian desert reflected the first rays of the morning sun which, like a globe of golden fire, rose again out of the eternal East. As Aradamus stood there, a voice that seemed to issue from the very heavens chanted a strange song, and a hand, reaching out as it were from the globe of day itself, placed a serpent wrought of gold upon the brow of the new initiate.

 

 "Behold Khepera, the rising sun! For as he brings the mighty globe of day out of the darkness of night, between his claws, so for thee the Sun of Spirit has risen from the darkness of night and in the name of the living God, we hail thee Priest of Ra."     So Mote It Be.

 

Addenda

The Robe of Blue and Gold

 

Hidden in the depths of the unknown, three silent beings weave the endless thread of human fate. They are called the Sisters, known to mythology as the Norns or Fates who incessantly twist between their fingers a tiny cord, which one day is to be woven into a living garment - the coronation robe of  the priest-king.

 

To the mystics and philosophers of the world this garment is known under many names. To some it is the simple yellow robe of Buddahood. By the ancient Jews it was symbolized as the robe of the high priest, the Garment of Glory unto the Lord. To the Masonic brethren, it is the robe of Blue and Gold - the Star of Bethlehem - the Wedding Garment of the Spirit.

 

Three Fates weave the threads of this living garment, and man himself is the creator of his Fates. The triple thread of thought, action, and desire binds him when he enters the sacred place or seeks admittance into the tiled lodge, but later this same cord is woven into a splendid garment whose purified folds clothe the sacred spark of his being.

 

We all like to be well dressed. Robes of velvet and ermine stand for symbols of rank and glory; but too many ermine capes have covered empty hearts, too many crowns have rested on the brows of tyrants. These are symbols of earthly things and in the world of matter are too often misplaced. The true coronation robe - the garment molded after the pattern of heaven, the robe of glory of the Master Mason - is not of the earth; for it tells of his spiritual growth, his deeper understanding, and his consecrated life. The garments of the high priest of the tabernacle were but symbols of his own body, which, purified and transfigured, glorified the life within. The notes of the tiny silver bells that tinkled with never-ending music from the fringe of his vestments told of a life harmonious, while the breastplate which rested amid the folds of the ephod reflected the gleams of heavenly truth from the facets of its gems.

 

There is another garment without a seam which we are told was often worn by the ancient brethren in the days of the Essenes, when the monastery of the lowly Nazarenes rose in silent grandeur from the steep sides of Mt. Tabor, to be reflected in the inscrutable waters of the Dead Sea. This one-piece garment is the spiral thread of human life which, when purified by right motive and right living, becomes a tiny thread of golden light, eternally weaving the purified garment of regenerated bodies. Like the white of the lambskin apron, it stands for the simple, the pure, and the harmless. These are the requirements of the Master Mason, who must renounce forever this world's pomp and vanity and seek to weave that simple one piece robe of the soul which  marks the Master, consecrated and consummated.

 

 With the eye of the mind we still can see the lowly Nazarene in his spotless robe of  white,  a garment no king's ransom could buy. This robe is woven out of the actions of our daily lives, each deed weaving into the endless pattern a thread, black or white, according to the motives, which inspired our actions. As the Master Mason labors in accordance with his vows, he slowly weaves this spotless robe out of the transmuted energy of his efforts. It is this white robe which must be worn under the vestments of state, and whose spotless surface sanctifies him for the robes of glory, which can be worn only over the stainless, seamless garment of his purified life.

 

When this moment arrives and the candidate has completed his task,  when he comes purified and regenerated to the altar of wisdom, he is truly baptized of the fire and its flame blazes up within himself. From him pour forth streams of light, and a great aura of multicolored fire bathes him with its radiance. The sacred flame of the gods has found its resting place in him, and through him renews its covenant with man. He is then truly a Freemason, a child of light. This wonderful garment, of which all earthly robes are but symbols, is built of the highest qualities of human nature, the noblest of ideals, and the purest of aspirations. Its coming is made possible only through the purification of body and unselfish service to others in the name of the Creator.

 

When the Mason has built all these powers into himself, there radiates from him a wonderful body of living fire, like that which surrounded the Master Jesus, at the moment of His transfiguration. This is the Robe of Glory, the garment of Blue and Gold which, shining forth as a  five pointed star of light, heralds the birth of the Christ within. Man is then indeed, a son of God, pouring forth from the depths of his own being the light rays which are the life of man.

 

Striking hearts that have long been cold, this spiritual ray raises them from the dead. It is the living light, which illuminates those still buried in the darkness of materiality. It is the power, which raises by the strong grip of the lion's paw. It is the Great Light which, seeking forever the spark of itself within all living things, reawakens dead ideals and smothered aspirations with the power of the Master's Eternal Word. Then the Master Mason becomes indeed the Sun in Leo and reaching downward into the tomb of crystallization, raises the murdered Builder from the dead by the grip of the Master Mason.

 

As the sun awakens the seedlings in the ground, so this Son of Man, glowing with the light divine, radiates from his own purified being the mystic shafts of redeeming light, which awaken the seeds of hope and truth and a nobler life. Discouragement and suffering too often brings down the temple, burying under its debris the true reason for being and the higher motives for living.

 

As the glorious robe of the sun, the symbol of all life - bathes and warms creation with its glow, this same robe, enfolding all things, warms them and preserves them with its light and life. Man is a god in the making, and as in the mystic myths of Egypt, on the potter's wheel he is being molded. When his light shines out to lift and preserve all things, he receives the triple crown of godhood, and joins that throng of Master Masons who, in their robes of Blue and Gold, are seeking to dispel the darkness of night with the triple light of the Masonic Lodge.

 

Ceaselessly the Norms spin the thread of human fate. Age in and age out, upon the looms of destiny are woven the living garments of God. Some are rich in glorious colors and wondrous fabrics, while others are broken and frayed before they leave the loom. All, however, are woven by these three Sisters,  thought, action and desire,  with which the ignorant build walls of mud and bricks of  lime between themselves and truth, while the pure of heart weave from these radiant threads garments of celestial beauty.

 

Do what we will, we cannot stop those nimble fingers, which twist the threads, but we may change the quality of the thread they use. We should give these three eternal weavers only the noble and the true. Then the work of their hands will be perfect. The thread they twist may be red with the blood of others, or dark with the uncertainties of life. But if we resolve to be true, we may restore its purity and weave from it the seamless garment of a perfect life. This is man's most acceptable gift upon the altar of the Most High, his supreme sacrifice to the Creator.

 

Friendship

 

What nobler relationship than that of friend? What nobler compliment can man bestow than friendship? The bonds and ties of the life we know break easily, but through eternity one bond remains, the bond of  fellowship,  the fellowship of atoms, of star dust in its endless flight, of suns and worlds, of gods and men. The clasped hands of comradeship unite in a bond eternal, the fellowship of spirit. Who is more desolate than the friendless one? Who is more honored than one whose virtues have given him a friend? To have a friend is good, but to be a friend is better. The noblest title ever given man, the highest title bestowed by the gods, was when the great Jove gazed down upon Prometheus and said, "Behold, a friend of man!" Who serves man, serves God. This is the symbol of the fellowship of your Craft, for the plan of God is upheld by the clasped hands of friends. The bonds of relationship must pass, but the friend remains. Serve God by being a friend, - a friend of the soul of man, serving his needs, lighting his steps, smoothing his way. Let the world of its own accord say of  the Mason, "Behold the friend of all." Let the world say of the Lodge, "This is indeed a fraternity of brothers, comrades in spirit  and in truth."

 

The Emerald Tablet of Hermes  ( Tabula Smaragdina )

 

The Emerald Tablet of Hermes, introduces us to Hiram, the hero of the Masonic legend. The name Hiram is taken from the Chaldean Chiram. The first two words in large print mean the secret work. The second line in large letters--(CHIRAM TELAT MECHASOT - means Chiram, the Universal Agent, one in Essence, but three in aspect. Translated, the body of the Tablet reads as follows.

 

It is true and no lie, certain, and to be depended upon, that the superior agrees with the inferior, and the inferior with the superior, to effect that one truly wonderful work. As all things owe their existence to the will of the Only One, so all things owe their origin to One Only Thing, the most hidden, by the arrangement of the Only God. The father of that One Only Thing is the Suit; its mother is the Moon; the wind carries it in its wings; but its nurse is a Spirituous  Earth. That One Only Thing (after God) is the father of all things in the universe. Its power is perfect, after it has been united to a spirituous earth. Separate that spirituous earth from the dense or crude earth by means of a gentle heat, with much attention. In great measure it ascends from the earth up to heaven, and descends again, new born, on the earth, and the superior and inferior are increased in power.

* * * By this thou wilt partake of the honors of the whole world and darkness will fly from thee. This is the strength of all

powers; with this thou wilt be able to overcome all things and to transmute all that is fine and all that is coarse. In this manner the world was created, but the arrangements to follow this road are hidden. For this reason I am called CHIRAM TELAT MECHASOT, one in Essence, but three in aspect. In this Trinity is hidden the wisdom of the whole world. It is ended now, what I have said concerning the effects of the Sun.

 

Finish of the Tabula Smaragdina

 

In a rare, unpublished old manuscript dealing with early Masonic and Hermetic mysteries, we find the following information concerning the mysterious Universal Agent referred to as "Chiram" (Hiram)

 

The sense of this Emerald Tablet can sufficiently convince us that the author was well acquainted with the secret operations of Nature and with the secret work of the philosophers (alchemists and Hermetists). He likewise well knew and believed in the true God.

 

It has been believed for several ages that Cham, one of the sons of Noah, is the author of this monument of antiquity. A very ancient author, whose name is not known, who lived several centuries before Christ, mentions this tablet, and says that he had seen it in Egypt, at the court, that it was a precious stone, an emerald, whereon these characters were represented in bas relief, not engraved.

 

He states that it was in his time esteemed over two thousand years old, and that the matter of this emerald had once been in a fluidic state like melted glass, and had been cast in a mold, and that to this flux the artist had given the hardness of a natural and genuine emerald, by (alchemical) art.

 

The Canaanites were called the Phoenicians by the Greeks, who have told us that they had Hermes for one of their kings. There is a definite relation between Chiram and Hermes.

 

Chiram is a word composed of three words, denoting the Universal Spirit, the essence whereof the whole creation does consist, and the object of Chaldean, Egyptian, and  genuine natural philosophy, according to its inner principles or properties. The three Hebrew words Chamah, Rusch, and Majim, mean respectively Fire, Air, and Water, while their initial consonants, Ch, R, M, give us Chiram, that invisible essence which is the father of earth, fire, air and water, because, although immaterial in its own invisible nature as the unmoved and electrical fire, when moved it becomes light and visible and when collected and agitated, becomes heat and visible and tangible fire; and when associated with humidity it becomes material. The word Chiram has been metamorphosed into Hermes and also into Herman, and the translators of the Bible have made Chiram by changing Chet into He; both of these Hebrew word signs being very similar.

 

In the word Hermaphrodite, (a word invented by the old philosophers), we find Hermes changed to Herm, signifying Chiram, or the Universal Agent, and Aphrodite, the passive principle of humidity, who is also called Venus, and is said to have been produced and generated by the sea.

 

We also read that Hiram (Chiram), or the Universal Agent, assisted King Solomon to build the temple. No doubt as Solomon possessed wisdom, he understood what to do with the corporealized Universal Agent. The Talmud of the Jews says that King Solomon built the temple by the assistance of Shamir. Now this word signifies the sun, which is perpetually collecting the omnipresent, surrounding, electrical fire, or Spiritus  Mundi, and sending it to us in the planets, in a visible manner called light.

 

This electrical flame, corporealized and regenerated into the Stone of the Philosophers, enabled King Solomon to produce the immense quantities of gold and silver used to build and decorate his temple.

 

These paragraphs from an ancient philosopher may assist the Masonic student of today to realize the tremendous and undreamed of shire of knowledge that lies behind the allegory, which he often hears but seldom analyzes. Hiram, the Universal Agent, might be translated Vita, the power eternally building and unfolding the bodies of man. The use and abuse of energy is the keynote to the Masonic legend; in fact, it is the key to all things in Nature. Hiram, as the triple energy, one in source but three in aspect, can almost be called ether, that unknown  hypothetical element which carries the impulses of the gods through the macrocosmic nervous system of the Infinite; for like Hermes, or Mercury, who was the messenger of the gods, ether carries impulses upon its wings. The solving of the mystery of ether or, if you prefer to call it vibrant space is the great problem of Masonry. This ether, as a hypothetical medium, brings energy to the three bodies of thought, emotion, and action, in this manner Chiram, the one in essence, becoming three in aspect - mental, emotional, and vital. The work, which follows is an effort to bring to light other forgotten and neglected elements of the Masonic rites, and to emphasize the spirit of Hiram as the Universal Agent.

 

Freemasonry is essentially mysterious, ritualistic, and ceremonial, representing abstract truth in concrete form. Earth (or substance) smothering energy (or vitality) is the mystery behind the murder of the Builder.

 

Motive

What motive leads the Masonic candidate out of the world and up the winding stairway to the light? He alone can truly know, for in his heart is hidden the motive of his works. Is he seeking the light of the East? Is he seeking wisdom eternal? Does he bring his life and offer it upon the altar of the Most high? Of all things, motive is most important. Though we fail again and again, it our motive be true, we are victorious. Though time after time we succeed, if our motive be unworthy, we have failed. Enter the temple in reverence, for it is in truth the dwelling place of a Great Spirit, the Spirit of Masonry. Masonry is an ordainer of kings. Its hand has shaped the destinies of worlds, and the perfect fruitage of its molding is an honest man. What nobler thing can be accomplished than the illumination of ignorance? What greater task is there than the joyous labor of service? And what nobler man can there be than that Mason who serves his Lights, and is himself a light unto his fellow men?

 

 

Please peruse Article No.245 for the write up about the learned Author.


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