Freemasons Secrets: Meditations on Masonic Symbolism
In each of the three degrees of Blue Lodge Masonry the candidate acknowledges his obligation not to reveal the manner and method used by Masons to impart knowledge of the hidden mysteries of Freemasonry to anyone who is not entitled to receive them. Throughout history that “Masonic obligation” has been the source of scathing accusations hurled at the fraternity that it is a dangerous secret society, or in the alternative, that it has heretical secrets known only to its members.
Those accusations have resulted in attempts by non-Masons to marginalize the Craft and attribute devil-worship to its followers. So-called holy men and kings have even been prompted to hunt down, burn, torture and kill Freemasons. Yet, if the world had known then what is known today – that Freemasonry conceals nothing that is not wholly available to every man, woman and child – perhaps such ruthlessness would not have occurred.
During the journey toward discovering the masonic gifts of hidden mysteries valued by Freemasons, one inevitably encounters that mystical sect known as the Essenes. Since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947, even though much of that information has not yet been made publicly available, a great deal of material about this sect is now in the public domain.
For example, we now understand that the Essenes were of the eclectic sect of philosophers and held Plato in the highest esteem. They believed that true philosophy, the greatest gift of God to man, was scattered throughout all sects and that it was man’s duty to gather it together and present it as the unified word of the Almighty.
The passage of scripture taken from the Gospel of Luke at the head of this article makes it abundantly clear that the public teachings attributed to Jesus were different from the private teachings he imparted to his inner circle of Apostles. Even within that inner circle, it is reputed that some received a light not otherwise given to other Apostles.
That light represents what the world now refers to as the hidden mysteries, because it is not freely meted out to those in the outer circle; those who are left to decipher the kingdom of God for themselves from the several allegories, stories and parables set forth in the Holy Writings.
Jesus did participate in the baptism of Saint John the Baptist, who is regarded by Masons as a patron of the fraternity. While he often criticized the Pharisees and Sadducees, Jesus never once mentioned the Essenes, whose doctrines bear a striking resemblance to Jesus’ teachings, as well as to the teachings of Freemasonry.
It is also asserted that at the time of his arrest Jesus was then in the process of conferring a Masonic degree upon a candidate. “Now a young man followed him and fled wearing nothing but a linen cloth about his body.” Mark 14:50-51.
The forms and ceremonies used by the Essenes were symbolical, just as they are today in Freemasonry. According to Philo, they had four degrees; were Jews by birth; and held a greater affection for each other than was true of members of any other sect. Before there was a Christian religion, they fulfilled the Christian law, “Love one another.”
They despised riches and made certain that no single member had more material goods than any other member, all of which were held in common. Their piety toward the one living God was without compare, which they ritualized in mysterious ceremonies and initiations about which very little is known. However, like Freemasonry, it was within the symbolism of those ceremonies that the hidden mysteries could be revealed.
When the relationship of the Essenes to Freemasonry is so understood, it is also easier to understand why the manner, sequence and method of Masonic ritual is only explained to those who are initiated into the fraternity.
In other words, while the hidden mysteries are not held private, the manner Masons employ to know and study them is something that can only be learned by a member of the Craft. But what are those hidden mysteries? Why should any man, woman, or child care to know and understand them? The best way to answer both of those questions is to begin with an explanation of what it takes for any person to fully comprehend the Mysteries.
However, the cultivation of intellectual insight is not enough. There remains a step to be taken during which the cautionary scripture tale about the Tower of Babel should be kept in mind. Man builds his intellectual powers at the hands of human workmen until he reaches the top story of that tower.
Here, communion with the Supreme Architect of the Universe takes over, for no man can peer behind the veil concealing the hidden mysteries unless permitted to do so by God. Thus the steps for any person to take include educating the mind about all that God has created and then clearing the mind for direct instructions from the Deity through meditative prayer, as opposed to petitioning prayer.
Learn More of the Secrets of Freemasons at the Masonic Book Store There you can find the works of John R. Heisner including Meditations on Masonic Symbolism. Mr. Heisner is a Freemason and scholar of the ancient history and mysteries of this fraternal order.
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