Freimaurer-Wiki

Druckversion | Impressum | Datenschutz

En:Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma 17

Aus Freimaurer-Wiki

Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry , prepared for the Supreme Council of the Thirty Third Degree for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States: Charleston, 1871.

AlbertPikeC.jpg

XVII. KNIGHT ROSE CROIX. ( Part 1 of 2 )

[Prince Rose Croix.]

Each of us makes such applications to his own faith and creed, of the symbols and ceremonies of this Degree, as seems to him proper. With these special interpretations we have here nothing to do. Like the legend of the Master Khurum, in which some see figured the condemnation and sufferings of Christ; others those of the unfortunate Grand Master of the Templars; others those of the first Charles, King of England; and others still the annual descent of the Sun at the winter Solstice to the regions of darkness, the basis of many an ancient legend; so the ceremonies of this Degree receive different explanations; each interpreting them for himself, and being offended at the interpretation of no other.
In no other way could Masonry possess its character of Universality; that character which has ever been peculiar to it from its origin; and which enables two Kings, worshippers of different Deities, to sit together as Masters, while the walls of the first temple arose; and the men of Gebal, bowing down to the Phoenician Gods, to work by the side of the Hebrews to whom those Gods were abomination; and to sit with them in the same Lodge as brethren.
You have already learned that these ceremonies have one general significance, to every one, of every faith, who believes in God, and the soul's immortality. The primitive men met in no Temples made with human hands. "God," said Sthe existence of a single uncreated God, in whose bosom everything grows, is developed and transformed. The worship of this God reposed upon the obedience of all the beings He created. His feasts were those of the Solstices. The doctrines of Buddha pervaded India, China, and Japan. The Priests of Brahma, professing a dark and bloody creed, brutalized by Superstition, united together against Buddhism, and with the aid of Despotism, exterminated its followers.
But their blood fertilized the new docfirst falling themselves, and plunged in misery and darkness, tempted man to his fall, and brought sin into the world. All believed in a future life, to be attained by purification and trials; in a state or successive states of reward and punishment; and in a Mediator or Redeemer, by whom the Evil Principle was to be overcome, and the Supreme Deity reconciled to His creatures. The belief was general, that He was to be born of a Virgin, and suffer a painful death. The Indians called him Chrishna; the Chinese, Kioun-tse;the Persians, Sosiosch; the Chaldeans, Dhou- vanai; the Egyptians, Har-Oeri; Plato, Love; and the Scandinavians, Balder.
Chrishna,the Hindoo Redeemer, was cradled and educated among Shepherds. A Tyrant, at the time of his birth, ordered all male children to be slain. He performed miracles, say his legends, even raising the dead. He washed the feet of the Brahmins, and was meek and lowly of spirit. He was born of a Virgin; descended to Hell, rose again, ascended to Heaven, charged his disciples to teach his doctrines, and gave them the gift of miracles.
The first Masonic Legislator whose memory is preserved to us by history, was Buddha, who, about a thousand years before the Christian era, reformed the religion of Manous. He called to the Priesthood all men, without distinction of caste, who felt themselves inspired by God to instruct men. Those who so associated themselves formed a Society of Prophets under the name of Samaneans. They recognized the existence of a single uncreated God, in whose bosom everything grows, is developed and transformed. The worship of this God reposed upon the obedience of all the beings He created. His feasts were those of the Solstices. The doctrines of Buddha pervaded India, China, and Japan. The Priests of Brahma, professing a dark and bloody creed, brutalized by Superstition, united together against Buddhism, and with the aid of Despotism, exterminated its followers. But their blood fertilized the new doctrine, which produced a new Society under the name of Gymnosophists; and a large number, fleeing to Ireland, planted their doctrines there, and there erected the round towers, some of which still stand, solid and unshaken as at first, visible monuments of the remotest ages.
The Phoenician Cosmogony, like all others in Asia, was the Word of God, written in astral characters, by the planetary Divinities, and communicated by the Demi-gods, as a profound mystery, to the brighter intelligences of Humanity, to be propagated by them among men. Their doctrines resembled the Ancient Sabeism, and being the faith of Hiram the King and his namesake the Artist, are of interest to all Masons. With them, the First Principle was half material, half spiritual, a dark air, animated and impregnated by the spirit; and a disordered chaos, covered with thick darkness. From this came the Word, and thence creation and generation; and thence a race of men, children of light, who adored Heaven and its Stars as the Supreme Being; and whose different gods were but incarnations of the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, and the Ether. Chrysor was the great igneous power of Nature, and Baal and Malakarth representations of the Sun and Moon, the latter word, in Hebrew, meaning Queen. Man had fallen, but not by the tempting of the serpent. For, with the Phoenicians, the serpent was deemed to partake of the Divine Nature, and was sacred, as he was in Egypt. He was deemed to be immortal, unless slain by violence, becoming young again in his old age, by entering into and consuming himself. Hence the Serpent in a circle, holding his tail in his mouth, was an emblem of eternity. With the head of a hawk he was of a Divine Nature, and a symbol of the sun. Hence one Sect of the Gnostics took him for their good genius, and hence the brazen serpent reared by Moses in the Desert, on which the Israelites looked and lived.
"Before the chaos, that preceded the birth of Heaven and Earth," said the Chinese Lao-Tseu, "a single Being existed, immense and silent, immutable and always acting;the mother of the Universe. I know not the name of that Being, but I designate it by the word Reason. Man has his model in the earth, the earth in Heaven, Heaven in Reason, and Reason in itself." "I am," says Isis, "Nature;parent of all things, the sovereign of the Elements, the primitive progeny of Time, the most exalted of the Deities, the first of the Heavenly Gods and Goddesses, the Queen of the Shades, the uniform countenance; who dispose with my rod the numerous lights of Heaven, the salubrious breezes of the sea, and the mournful silence of the dead; whose single Divinity the whole world venerates in many forms, with various rites and by many names. The Egyptians, skilled in ancient lore, worship me with proper ceremonies, and call me by my true name, Isis the Queen."
The Hindu Vedas thus define the Deity: "He who surpasses speech, and through whose power speech is expressed, know thou that He is Brahma; and not these perishable things that man adores. "He whom Intelligence cannot comprehend, and He alone, say the sages, through whose Power the nature of Intelligence can be understood, know thou that He is Brahma; and not these perishable things that man adores. "He who cannot be seen by the organ of sight, and through whose power the organ of seeing sees, know thou that He is Brahma; and not these perishable things that man adores. "He who cannot be heard by the organ of hearing, and through whose power the organ of hearing hears, know thou that He is Brahma; and not these perishable things that man adores. "He who cannot be perceived by the organ of smelling, and through whose power the organ of smelling smells, know thou that He is Brahma; and not these perishable things that man adores." "When God resolved to create the human race," said Arius, "He made a Being that He called The WORD, The Son, Wisdom, to the end that this Being might give existence to men." This WORD is the Ormuzd of Zoroaster, the Ainsoph of the Kabalah, the Nous of Plato and Philo, the Wisdom or Demiourgos of the Gnostics.
That is the True Word, the knowledge of which our ancient brethren sought as the priceless reward of their labors on the Holy Temple: the Word of Life, the Divine Reason, "in whom was Life, and that Life the Light of men";"which long shone in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not;" the Infinite Reason that is the Soul of Nature, immortal, of which the Word of this Degree reminds us; and to believe wherein and revere it, is the peculiar duty of every Mason. "In the beginning," says the extract from some older work, with which John commences his Gospel, "was the Word, and the Word was near to God, and the Word was God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was Life, and the life was the Light of man; and the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not contain it." It is an old tradition that this passage was from an older work. And Philostorgius and Nicephorus state, that when the Emperor Julian undertook to rebuild the Temple, a stone was taken up, that covered the mouth of a deep square cave, into which one of the laborers, being let down by a rope, found in the centre of the floor a cubical pillar, on which lay a roll or book, wrapped in a fine linen cloth, in which, in capital letters, was the foregoing passage. However this may have been, it is plain that John's Gospel is a polemic against the Gnostics; and, stating at the outset the current doctrine in regard to the creation by the Word, he then addresses himself to show and urge that this Word was Jesus Christ. And the first sentence, fully rendered into our language, would read thus:"When the process of emanation, of creation or evolution of existences inferior to the Supreme God began, the Word came into existence and was: and this word was near to God; i.e. the immediate or first emanation from God:and it was God Himself, developed or manifested in that particular mode, and in action. And by that Word everything that is was created."-And thus Tertullian says that God made the World out of nothing, by means of His Word, Wisdom, or Power. To Philo the Jew, as to the Gnostics, the Supreme Being was the Primitive Light, or Archetype of Light,-Source whence the rays emanate that illuminate Souls. He is the Soul of the World, and as such acts everywhere. He himself fills and bounds his whole existence, and his forces fill and penetrate everything. His Image is the WORD [LOGOS], a form more brilliant than fire, which is not pure light. This WORD dwells in God; for it is within His Intelligence that the Supreme Being frames for Himself the Types of Ideas of all that is to assume reality in the Universe. The WORD is the Vehicle by which God acts on the Universe; the World of Ideas by means whereof God has created visible things; the more Ancient God, as compared with the Material World; Chief and General Representative of all Intelligences; the Archangel and representative of all spirits, even those of Mortals; the type of Man; the primitive man himself. These ideas are borrowed from Plato. And this Word is not only the Creator ["by Him was everything made that was made"], but acts in the place of God and through him act all the Powers and Attributes of God. And also, as first representative of the human race, he is the protector of Men and their Shepherd, the "Ben H'Adam," or Son of Man.
The actual condition of Man is not his primitive condition, that in which he was the image of the Word. His unruly passions have caused him to fall from his original lofty estate. But he may rise again, by following the teachings of Heavenly Wisdom, and the Angels whom God commissions to aid him in escaping from the entanglements of the body; and by fighting bravely against Evil, the existence of which God has allowed solely to furnish him with the means of exercising his free will. The Supreme Being of the Egyptians was Amun, a secret and concealed God, the Unknown Father of the Gnostics, the Source of Divine Life, and of all force, the Plenitude of all, comprehending all things in Himself, the original Light. He creates nothing; but everything emanates from Him: and all other Gods are but his manifestations. From Him, by the utterance of a Word, emanated Neith, the Divine Mother of all things, the Primitive THOUGHT, the FORCE that puts everything in movement, the SPIRIT everywhere extended, the Deity of Light and Mother of the Sun. Of this Supreme Being, Osiris was the image, Source of all Good in the moral and physical world, and constant foe of Typhon, the Genius of Evil, the Satan of Gnosticism, brute matter, deemed to be always at feud with the spirit that flowed from the Deity; and over whom Har-Oeri, the Redeemer, Son of Isis and Osiris, is finally to prevail. In the Zend-Avesta of the Persians the Supreme Being is Time without limit, ZERUANE AKHERENE.--No origin could be assigned to Him; for He was enveloped in His own Glory, and His Nature and Attributes were so inaccessible to human Intelli- gence, that He was but the object of a silent veneration. The commencement of Creation was by emanation from Him. The first emanation was the Primitive Light, and from this Light emerged Ormuzd, the King of Light, who, by the WORD, created the World in its purity, is its Preserver and Judge, a Holy and Sacred Being, Intelligence and Knowledge, Himself Time without limit, and wielding all the powers of the Supreme Being. In this Persian faith, as taught many centuries before our era, and embodied in the Zend-Avesta, there was in man a pure Principle, proceeding from the Supreme Being, produced by the Will and Word of Ormuzd. To that was united an impure principle, proceeding from a foreign influence, that of Ahriman, the Dragon, or principle of Evil. Tempted by Ahriman, the first man and woman had fallen; and for twelve thousand years there was to be war between Ormuzd and the Good Spirits created by him, and Ahrirnan and the Evil ones whom he had called into existence. But pure souls are assisted by the Good Spirits, the Triumph of the Good Principle is determined upon in the decrees of the Supreme Being, and the period of that triumph will infallibly arrive. At the moment when the earth shall be most afflicted with the evils brought upon it by the Spirits of perdition, three Prophets will appear to bring assistance to mortals. Sosiosch, Chief of the Three, will regenerate the world, and restore to it its primitive Beauty, Strength, and Purity. He will judge the good and the wicked. After the universal resurrection of the Good, the pure Spirits will conduct them to an abode of eternal happiness. Ahri- man, his evil Demons, and all the world, will be purified in a torrent of liquid burning metal. The Law of Ormuzd will rule everywhere: all men will be happy: all, enjoying an unalterable bliss, will unite with Sosiosch in singing the praises of the Supreme Being.
These doctrines, with some modifications, were adopted by the Kabalists and afterward by the Gnostics. Apollonius of Tyana says:"We shall render the most appropri- ate worship to the Deity, when to that God whom we call the First, who is One, and separate from all, and after whom we recognize the others, we present no offerings whatever, kindle to Him no fire, dedicate to Him no sensible thing; for he needs nothing, even of all that natures more exalted than ours could give. The earth produces no plant, the air nourishes no animal, there is in short nothing, which would not be impure in his sight. In addressing ourselves to Him, we must use only the higher word, that, I mean, which is not expressed by the mouth,--the silent inner word of the spirit ..... From the most Glorious of all Beings, we must seek for blessings, by that which is most glorious in ourselves; and that is the spirit, which needs no organ." Strabo says: "This one Supreme Essence is that which embraces us all, the water and the land, that which we call the Heavens, the World, the Nature of things. This Highest Being should be worshipped, without any visible image, in sacred groves. In such retreats the devout should lay themselves down to sleep, and expect signs from God in dreams." Aristolte says: "It has been handed down in a mythical form, from the earliest times to posterity, that there are Gods, and that The Divine compasses entire nature. All besides this has been added, after the mythical style, for the purpose of persuading the multitude, and for the interest of the laws and the advantage of the State. Thus men have given to the Gods human forms, and have even represented them under the figure of other beings, in the train of which fictions followed many more of the same sort. But if, from all this, we separate the original principle, and consider it alone, namely, that the first Essences are Gods, we shall find that this has been divinely said; and since it is probable that philosophy and the arts have been several times, so far as that is possible, found and lost, such doctrines may have been preserved to our times as the remains of ancient wisdom."
Porphyry says: "By images addressed to sense, the ancients represented God and his powers--by the visible they typified the invisible for those who had learned to read, in these types, as in a book, a treatise on the Gods. We need not wonder if the ignorant consider the images to be nothing more than wood or stone; for just so, they who are ignorant of writing see nothing in monuments but stone, nothing in tablets but wood, and in books but a tissue of papyrus." Apollonius of Tyana held, that birth and death are only in appearance; that which separates itself from the one substance (the one Divine essence), and is caught up by matter, seems to be born; that, again, which releases itself from the bonds of matter, and is reunited with the one Divine Essence, seems to die. There is, at most, an alteration between becoming visible and becoming invisible. In all there is, properly speaking, but the one essence, which alone acts and suffers, by becoming all things to all;the Eternal God, whom men wrong, when they deprive Him of what properly can be attributed to Him only, and transfer it to other names and persons.
The New Platonists substituted the idea of the Absolute, for the Supreme Essence itself;--as the first, simplest principle, anterior to all existence; of which nothing determinate can be predicated; to which no consciousness, no self-contemplation can be ascribed; inasmuch as to do so, would immediately imply a qual- ity, a distinction of subject and object. This Supreme Entity can be known only by an intellectual intuition of the Spirit, transscending itself, and emancipating itself from its own limits. This mere logical tendency, by means of which men thought to arrive at the conception of such an absolute, the ov, was united with a certain mysticism, which, by a transcendent state of feeling, communicated, as it were, to this abstraction what the mind would receive as a reality. The absorption of the Spirit into that superexistence, so as to be entirely identified with it, or such a revelation of the latter to the spirit raised above itself, was regarded as the highest end which the spiritual life could reach. The New Platonists' idea of God, was that of One Simple Original Essence, exalted akes a distinction between those who are in the proper sense Sons of God, having by means of contemplation raised themselves to the highest Being, or attained to a knowledge of Him, in His immediate self-manifestation, and those who know God only in his mediate revelation through his operation--such as He declares Himself in creation--in the revelation still veiled in the letter of Scripture -- those, in short, who attach themselves simply to the Logos, and consider this to be the Supreme God; who aren; and after it has rid itself from all that pertains to sense-from all manifoldness. They are the mediators between man (amazed and stupefied by manifoldness) and the Supreme Unity.
Philo says:"He who disbelieves the miraculous, simply as the miraculous, neither knows God, nor has he ever sought after Him; for otherwise he would have understood, by looking at that truly great and awe-inspiring sight, the miracle of the Universe, that these miracles (in God's providential guidance of His people) are but child's play for the Divine Power. But the truly miraculous has become despised through familiarity. The universal, on the contrary, although in itself insignificant, yet, through our love of novelty, transports us with amazement." In opposition to the anthropopathism of the Jewish Scriptures, the Alexandrian Jews endeavored to purify the idea of God from all admixture of the Human. By the exclusion of every human passion, it was sublimated to a something devoid of all attributes, and wholly transcendental; and the mere Being, the Good, in and by itself, the Absolute of Platonism, was substituted for the personal Deity of the Old Testament. By soaring upward, beyond all created existence, the mind, disengaging itself from the Sensible, attains to the intellectual intuition of this Absolute Being; of whom, however, it can predicate nothing but existence, and sets aside all other determinations as not answering to the exalted nature of the Supreme Essence.
Thus Philo makes a distinction between those who are in the proper sense Sons of God, having by means of contemplation raised themselves to the highest Being, or attained to a knowledge of Him, in His immediate self-manifestation, and those who know God only in his mediate revelation through his operation--such as He declares Himself in creation -- in the revelation still veiled in the letter of Scripture -- those, in short, who attach themselves simply to the Logos, and consider this to be the Supreme God; who are the sons of the Logos, rather than of the True Being. "God," says Pythagoras, "is neither the object of sense, nor subject to passion, but invisible, only intelligible, and supremely intelligent. In His body He is like the light, and in His soul He resembles truth. He is the universal spirit that pervades and diffuseth itself over all nature. All beings receive their life from Him. There is but one only God, who is not, as some are apt to imagine, seated above the world, beyond the orb of the Universe; but being Himself all in all, He sees all the beings that fill His immensity; the only Principle, the Light of Heaven, the Father of all. He produces everything; He orders and disposes everything; He is the REASON, the LIFE, and the MOTION of all being." "I am the LIGHT of the world;he that followeth Me shall not walk in DARKNESS, but shall have the LIGHT of LIFE." So said the Founder of the Christian Religion, as His words are reported by John the Apostle.
God, say the sacred writings of the Jews, appeared to Moses in a FLAME OF FIRE, in the midst of a bush, which was not consumed. He descended upon Mount Sinai, as the smoke of a furnace; He went before the children of Israel, by day, in a pillar of cloud, and, by night, in a pillar of fire, to give them light. "Call you on the name of your Gods," said Elijah the Prophet to the Priests of Baal, "and I will call upon the name of ADONAI; and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God." According to the Kabalah, as according to the doctrines of Zoroaster, everything that exists has emanated from a source of infinite light. Before all things, existed the Primitive Being, THE ANCIENT OF DAYS, the Ancient King of Light; a title the more remarkable, because it is frequently given to the Creator in the Zend-Avesta, and in the Code of the Sabeans, and occurs in the Jewish Scriptures. The world was His Revelation, God revealed; and subsisted only in Him. His attributes were there reproduced with various modifications and in different degrees; so that the Universe was His Holy Splendor, His Mantle. He was to be adored in silence; and perfection consisted in a nearer approach to Him. Before the creation of worlds, the PRIMITIVE LIGHT filled all space, so that there was no void. When the Supreme Being, existing in this Light, resolved to display His perfections, or manifest them in worlds, He withdrew within Himself, formed around Him a void space, and shot forth His first emanation, a ray of light; the cause and principle of everything that exists, uniting both the generative and conceptive power, which penetrates everything, and without which nothing could subsist for an instant. Man fell, seduced by the Evil Spirits most remote from the Great King of Light; those of the fourth world of spirits, Asiah, whose chief was Belial. They wage incessant war against the pure Intelligences of the other worlds, who, like the Amshaspands, Izeds, and Ferouers of the Persians are the tutelary guardians of man. In the beginning, all was unison and harmony; full of the same divine light and perfect purity. The Seven Kings of Evil fell, and the Universe was troubled. Then the Creator took from the Seven Kings the principles of Good and of Light, and divided them among the four worlds of Spirits, giving to the first three the Pure Intelligences, united in love and harmony, while to the fourth were vouchsafed only some feeble glimmerings of light. When the strife between these and the good angels shall have continued the appointed time, and these Spirits enveloped in darkness shall long and in vain have endeavored to absorb the Divine light and life, then will the Eternal Himself come to correct them. He will deliver them from the gross envelopes of matter that hold them captive, will re-animate and strengthen the ray of light or spiritual nature which they have preserved, and re-establish throughout the Universe that primitive Harmony which was its bliss.
Marcion, the Gnostic, said, "The Soul of the True Christian, adopted as a child by the Supreme Being, to whom it has long been a stranger, receives from Him the Spirit and Divine life. It is led and confirmed, by this gift, in a pure and holy life, like that of God; and if it so completes its earthly career, in charity, chastity, and sanctity, it will one day be disengaged from its material envelope, as the ripe grain is detached from the straw, and as the young bird escapes from its shell. Like the angels, it will share in the bliss of the Good and Perfect Father, re-clothed in an aerial body or organ, and made like unto the Angels in Heaven." You see, my brother, what is the meaning of Masonic "Light." You see why the EAST of the Lodge, where the initial letter of the Name of the Deity overhangs the Master, is the place of Light. Light, as contradistinguished from darkness, is Good, as contradistinguished from Evil: and it is that Light, the true knowledge of Deity, the Eternal Good, for which Masons in all ages have sought. Still Masonry marches steadily onward toward that Light that shines in the great distance, the Light of that day when Evil, overcome and vanquished, shall fade away and disappear forever, and Life and Light be the one law of the Universe, and its eternal Harmony. The Degree of Rose Croix teaches three things;--the unity, immutability and goodness of God; the immortality of the Soul; and the ultimate defeat and extinction of evil and wrong and sorrow, by a Redeemer or Messiah, yet to come, if he has not already appeared.
It replaces the three pillars of the old Temple, with three that have already been explained to you,--Faith [in God, mankind, and man's self], Hope [in the victory over evil, the advancement of Humanity, and a hereafter], and Charity [relieving the wants, and tolerant of the errors and faults of others]. To be trustful, to be hopeful, to be indulgent; these, in an age of selfishness, of ill opinion of human nature, of harsh and bitter judgment, are the most important Masonic Virtues, and the true supports of every Masonic Temple. And they are the old pillars of the Temple under different names. For he only is wise who judges others charitably; he only is strong who is hopeful; and there is no beauty like a firm faith in God, our fellows and ourself. The second apartment, clothed in mourning, the columns of the Temple shattered and prostrate, and the brethren bowed down in the deepest dejection, represents the world under the tyranny of the Principle of Evil; where virtue is persecuted and vice rewarded; where the righteous starve for bread, and the wicked live sumptuously and dress in purple and fine linen; where insolent ignorance rules, and learning and genius serve; where King and Priest trample on liberty and the rights of conscience; where freedom hides in caves and mountains, and sycophancy and servility fawn and thrive; where the cry of the widow and the orphan starving for want of food, and shivering with cold, rises ever to Heaven, from a million miserable hovels; where men, willing to labor, and starving, they and their children and the wives of their bosoms, beg plaintively for work, when the pampered capitalist stops his mills; where the law punishes her who, starving, steals a loaf, and lets the seducer go free; where the success of a party justifies murder, and violence and rapine go unpunished; and where he who with many years' cheating and grinding the faces of the poor grows rich, receives office and honor in life, and after death brave funeral and a splendid mausoleum:--this world, where, since its making, war has never ceased, nor man paused in the sad task of torturing and murdering his brother; and of which ambition, avarice, envy, hatred, lust, and the rest of Ahriman's and Typhon's army make a Pandemonium: this world, sunk in sin, reeking with baseness, clamorous with sorrow and misery. If any see in it also a type of the sorrow of the Craft for the death of Hiram, the grief of the Jews at the fall of Jerusalem, the misery of the Templars at the ruin of their order and the death of De Molay, or the world's agony and pangs of woe at the death of the Redeemer, it is the right of each to do so.
The third apartment represents the consequences of sin and vice, and the hell made of the human heart, by its fiery passions. If any see in it also a type of the Hades of the Greeks, the Gehenna of the Hebrews, the Tartarus of the Romans, or the Hell of the Christians, or only of the agonies of remorse and the tortures of an upbraiding conscience, it is the right of each to do so. The fourth apartment represents the Universe, freed from the insolent dominion and tyranny of the Principle of Evil, and bril- liant with the true Light that flows from the Supreme Deity; when sin and wrong, and pain and sorrow, remorse and misery shall be no more forever; when the great plans of Infinite Eternal Wisdom shall be fully developed; and all God's creatures, seeing that all apparent evil and individual suffering and wrong were but the drops that went to swell the great river of infinite goodness, shall know that vast as is the power of Deity, His goodness and beneficence are infinite as His power. If any see in it a type of the peculiar mysteries of any faith or creed, or an allusion to any past occurrences, it is their right to do so. Let each apply its symbols as he pleases. To all of us they typify the universal rule of Masonry,-- of its three chief virtues, Faith, Hope and Charity; of brotherly love and universal benevolence. We labor here to no other end. These symbols need no other interpretation. The obligations of our Ancient Brethren of the Rose Croix were to fulfill all the duties of friendship, cheerfulness, charity, peace, liberality, temperance and chastity: and scrupulously to avoid impurity, haughtiness, hatred, anger, and every other kind of vice. They took their philosophy from the old Theology of the Egyptians, as Moses and Solomon had done, and borrowed its hieroglyphics and the ciphers of the Hebrews. Their principal rules were to exercise the profession of medicine charitably and without fee, to advance the cause of virtue, enlarge the sciences, and induce men to live as in the primitive times of the world. When this Degree had its origin, it is not important to inquire; nor with what different rites it has been practised in different countries and at various times. It is of very high antiquity. Its ceremonies differ with the degrees of latitude and longitude, and it receives variant interpretations. If we were to examine all the different ceremonials, their emblems, and their formulas, we should see that all that belongs to the primitive and essential elements of the order, is respected in every sanctuary. All alike practise virtue, that it may produce fruit. All labor, like us, for the extirpation of vice, the purification of man, the development of the arts and sciences, and the relief of humanity.
None admit an adept to their lofty philosophical knowledge, and mysterious sciences, until he has been purified at the altar of the symbolic Degrees. Of what importance are differences of opinion as to the age and genealogy of the Degree, or variance in the practice, ceremonial and liturgy, or the shade of color of the banner under which each tribe of Israel marched, if all revere 'the Holy Arch of the symbolic Degrees, first and unalterable source of FreeMasonry; if all revere our conservative principles, and are with us in the great purposes of our organization ? If, anywhere, brethren of a particular religious belief have been excluded from this Degree, it merely shows how gravely the purposes and plan of Masonry may be misunderstood. For whenever the door of any Degree is closed against him who believes in one God and the soul's immortality, on account of the other tenets of his faith, that Degree is Masonry no longer. No Mason has the right to interpret the symbols of this Degree for another, or to refuse him its mysteries, if he will not take them with the explanation and commentary superadded. Listen, my brother, to our explanation of the symbols of the Degree, and then give them such further interpretation as you think fit.
The Cross has been a sacred symbol from the earliest Antiquity. It is found upon all the enduring monuments of the world, in Egypt, in Assyria, in Hindostan, in Persia, and on the Buddhist towers of Ireland. Buddha was said to have died upon it. The Druids cut an oak into its shape and held it sacred, and built their temples in that form. Pointing to the four quarters of the world, it was the symbol of universal nature. It was on a cruciform tree, that Chrishna was said to have expired, pierced with arrows. It was revered in Mexico. But its peculiar meaning in this Degree, is that given to it by the Ancient Egyptians. Tltoth or Phika is represented on the oldest monuments carrying in his hand the Crux Ansata, or Ankh, [a Tau cross, with a ring or circle over it]. He is so seen on the double tablet of Shufu and Nob Shufu, builders of the greatest of the Pyramids, at Wady Meghara, in the peninsula of Sinai. It was the hieroglyphic for life, and with a triangle prefixed meant life- giving. To us therefore it is the symbol of Life--of that life that emanated from the Deity, and of that Eternal Life for which we all hope; through our faith in God's infinite goodness. The ROSE was anciently sacred to Aurora and the Sun. It is a symbol of Dawn, of the resurrection of Light and the renewal of life, and therefore of the dawn of the first day, and more particularly of the resurrection: and the Cross and Rose together are therefore hieroglyphically to be read, the Dawn of Eternal Life which all Nations have hoped for by the advent of a Redeemer.
The Pelican feeding her young is an emblem of the large and bountiful beneficence of Nature, of the Redeemer of fallen man, and of that humanity and charity that ought to distinguish a Knight of this Degree. The Eagle was the living Symbol of the Egyptian God Mendes or Menthra, whom Sesostris-Ramses made one with Amun-Re, the God of Thebes and Upper Egypt, and the representative of the Sun, the word RE meaning Sun or King. The Compass surmounted with a crown signifies that notwith- standing the high rank attained in Masonry by a Knight of the Rose Croix, equity and impartiality are invariably to govern his conduct.
To the word INRI, inscribed on the Crux Ansata over the Master's Seat, many meanings have been assigned. The Christian Initiate reverentially sees in it the initials of the inscription upon the cross on which Christ suffered---Iesus Nazarenus Rex ludceorum. The sages of Antiquity connected it with one of the greatest secrets of Nature, that of universal regeneration. They inter- preted it thus, Igne Natura renovatur integra; [entire nature is renovated by fire]: The Alchemical or Hermetic Masons framed for it this aphorism, Igne nitrum roris invenitur. And the Jesuits are charged with having applied to it this odious axiom, Justum necare reges impios. The four letters are the initials of the Hebrew words that represent the four elements--lammim, the seas or water; Nour, fire; Rouach, the air, and Iebeschah, the dry earth. How we read it, I need not repeat to you. The CROSS, X, was the Sign of the Creative Wisdom or Logos, the Son of God. Plato says, "He expressed him upon the Universe in the figure of the letter X. The next Power to the Su- preme God was decussated or figured in the shape of a Cross on the Universe." Mithras signed his soldiers on the forehead with a Cross. X is the mark of 600, the mysterious cycle of the Incarnations.
We constantly see the Tau and the Resh united thus P . These -|- | two letters, in the old Samaritan, as found in Arius, stand, the first for 400, the second for 200=600. This is the Staff of Osiris, also, and his monogram, and was adopted by the Christians as a Sign. On a medal P of Constanius is this inscription, "In hoc X | signo victor eris." An inscription in the Duomo at Milan reads, "X. et P. Christi. Nomina. Sancta. Tenei." The Egyptians used as a Sign of their God Canobus, a T or a -l- indifferently. The Vaishnavas of India have also the same Sacred Tau, which they also mark with crosses, and with triangles. The vestments of the ptiests of Horus were covered with these crosses. So was the dress of the Lama of Thibet. The Sectarian marks of the Jains are similar. The distinctive badge of the Sect of Xac Jaonicus is the swastica. It is the Sign of Fo, identical with the Cross of Christ. On the ruins of Mandore, in India, among other mystic emblems, are the mystic triangle, and the interlaced triangle. This is also found on ancient coins and medals, excavated from the ruins of Oojein and other ancient cities of India.
You entered here amid gloom and into shadow, and are clad in the apparel of sorrow. Lament, with us, the sad condition of the Human race, in this vale of tears! the calamities of men and the agonies of nations! the darkness of the bewildered soul, oppressed by doubt and apprehension! There is no human soul that is not sad at times. There is no thoughtful soul that does not at times despair. There is perhaps none, of all that think at all of anything beyond the needs and interests of the body, that is not at times startled and terrified by the awful questions which, feeling as though it were a guilty thing for doing so, it whispers to itself in its inmost depths. Some Demon seems to torture it with doubts, and to crush it with despair, asking whether, after all, it is certain that its convictions are true, and its faith well rounded: whether it is indeed sure that a God of Infinite Love and Beneficence rules the Universe, or only some great remorseless Fate and iron Necessity, hid in impenetrable gloom, and to which men and their sufferings and sorrows. their hopes and joys, their ambitions and deeds, are of no more interest or importance than the motes that dance in the sunshine; or a Being that amuses Himself with the incredible vanity and folly, the writings and contortions of the insignificant insects that compose Humanity, and idly imagine that they resemble the Omnipotent. "What are we," the Tempter asks, "but puppets in a show-box ? O Omnipotent destiny, pull our strings gently ! Dance us mercifully off our miserable little stage !"
"Is it not," the Demon whispers, "merely the inordinate vanity of man that causes him now to pretend to himself that he is like unto God in intellect, sympathies and passions, as it was that which, at the beginning, made him believe that he was, in his bodily shape and organs, the very image of the Deity ? Is not his God merely his own shadow, projected in gigantic outlines upon the clouds? Does he not create for himself a God out of himself, by merely adding indefinite extension to his own faculties, powers, and passions?" "Who," the Voice that will not be always silent whispers, "has ever thoroughly satisfied himself with his own arguments in respect to his own nature ? Who ever demonstrated to himself, with a conclusiveness that elevated the belief to certainty, that he was an immortal spirit, dwelling only temporarily in the house and envelope of the body, and to live on forever after that shall have decayed? Who ever has demonstrated or ever can demonstrate that the intellect of Man differs from that of the wiser animals, otherwise than in degree ? Who has ever done more than to utter nonsense and incoherencies in regard to the difference between the instincts of the dog and the reason of Man ? The horse, the dog, the elephant, are as conscious of their identity as we are. They think, dream, remember, argue with themselves, devise, plan, and reason. What is the intellect and intelligence of the man but the intellect of the animal in a higher degree or larger quantity ?" In the real explanation of a single thought of a dog, all metaphysics will be condensed.
And with still more terrible significance, the Voice asks, in what respect the masses of men, the vast swarms of the human race, have proven themselves either wiser or better than the animals in whose eyes a higher intelligence shines than in their dull, unintellectural orbs; in what respect they have proven themselves worthy of or suited for an immortal life. Would that be a prize of any value to the vast majority? Do they show, here upon earth, any capacity to improve, any fitness for a state of existence in which they could not crouch to power, like hounds dreading the lash, or tyrannize over defenceless weakness;in which they could not hate, and persecute, and torture, and exterminate; in which they could not trade, and speculate, and over-reach, and entrap the-unwary and cheat the confiding and gamble and thrive, and sniff with self- righteousness at the shortcomings of others, and thank God that they were not like other men? What, to immense numbers of men, would be the value of a Heaven where they could not lie and libel, and ply base avocations for profitable returns ? Sadly we look around us, and read the gloomy and dreary records of the old dead and rotten ages. More than eighteen centuries have staggered away into the spectral realm of the Past, since Christ, teaching the Religion of Love, was crucified, that it might become a Religion of Hate; and His Doctrines are not yet even nominally accepted as true by a fourth of mankind. Since His death, what incalculable swarms of human beings have lived and died in total unbelief of all that we deem essential to Salvation! What multitudinous myriads of souls, since the darkness of idolatrous superstition settled down, thick and impenetrable, upon the earth, have flocked up toward the eternal Throne of God, to receive His judgment ?

( Part 1 of 2 ) end

See also


Finden

Durchsuchen
Hauptseite
FINANZIERUNG
Gemeinschaftsportal
Nutzungsbedingungen
Aktuelle Ereignisse
Letzte Änderungen
Alle Seiten
Kategorien
Hilfe
Bearbeiten
Quelltext anzeigen
Bearbeitungshilfe
Seitenoptionen
Diese Seite diskutieren
Neuer Abschnitt
Druckversion
Kontext
Versionen
Links auf diese Seite
Änderungen an verlinkten Seiten
Meine Seiten
Anmelden / Benutzerkonto anlegen
Spezialseiten
Neue Seiten
Dateiliste
Statistik
Mehr …









Wie wird man Freimaurer?
Kooperationen: