Chapter 2
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This webpage -- and all others that start with http://bessel.org/russo/ -- were written entirely by Jason C. Russo 32°, as his personal summary of the book, Morals and Dogma, written by Albert Pike in the 1800s. The credit for the content of these summaries belongs exclusively to Bro. Russo, and compliments, comments, and questions can be emailed to him at ssgrusso@earthlink.net 

 


Picture of Albert Pike A SUMMARY OF THE MORALS AND DOGMA OF ALBERT PIKE

BY JASON C. RUSSO 32° 

Chapter Two: The Fellow-Craft

This chapter of Albert Pike’s work should more appropriately be named the Political philosophy and ideologies of Albert Pike. The symbolisms of the degree of Fellow Craft are absent almost in their entirety and if not for the name of this chapter it would never be known nor associated with the degree. This chapter of Pike’s work outlines the political ideology of Scottish Rite Masonry as speculated by Albert Pike. 

Pike begins this chapter with an explanation of the learning processes usually associated with religious experiences throughout history. In ancient mythology personification for worldly events and actions were given names, personalities and accounts to spin a believable tale for creation and to answer the questions of nature.  These fanciful legends failed to satisfy the deeper aspect of the human psyche and deeper longings for logic and reason. Symbolisms were introduced into the learning process and their vagueness gave speculative interpretation the individual could expound upon. These symbols were capable of eliciting a feeling even if it could not provide an adequate explanation. Sages crafted exhibitions and displays to perpetuate the meanings of these symbols—becoming attractive to the eye and allowing the mind to grope and feel for their meaning.

Masonry follows this method to teaching or conveyance of meanings through the use of symbolism and the presentation and conferral of degrees—they present to the candidate degrees that induce the initiate to explore philosophy and research the meanings and symbolisms of Freemasonry. The Symbols of the craft become the instruction; then the candidate is given a rudimentary explanation of the symbols—but it is up to the individual candidate to apply his own meanings to what they were presented and given in the lecture. The Mason must not simply be content to listen or even understand the lecture presented for him—the candidate must find a means of applying these symbols and find a way to develop their meanings to become an integral part of his life.

With this method of teaching Pike likens the degree conferral system to that of a Roman Palace of the middle ages, improved by modern architecture yet constructed on a foundation predating the Roman empire and it’s architectural systems. Pike credits Christianity with blossoming the idea of Fraternity, however I disagree, and believe rather the Ancient Jews first began the principles of Fraternity—being tossed as the sands of the sea in conquest, enslavement, wondering, war, and living under the encroachment of foreign governments, it was the Jews who first developed the system of Fraternity as a method of banding together by a system of belief for mutual support. Pike does not credit Christianity with the principles of Equality due to bowing to the political tyranny of Cesar. Pike credits Masonry as being the premier juggernaut of Equality and Liberty—Liberty being an alien concept for religious groups.

Man, in his history had created government and institutions to be the servant of humanity, however it was soon realized man could be made the servant to religious institutions and oppressive governments. It is the duty of man to be free and to preserve that freedom of religion and country. Free men had soon realized tyrants and despots existed who wish to usurp that freedom creating an entirely new definition of Patriotism—striving to maintain Free Government, Free Thought, Free Conscience, and Free Speech. These truths were soon over applied and abused as the servants of anarchy who espoused ultimate falsehood and the antithesis of Freedom. Anarchy though it espouses Freedom does not enforce the common Freedom and common Equality of rights only a Lawful Government can enforce.

Masonry, under the mask and guise of Stone Masonry, together with the symbols and tools of the craft were used as the spearhead of Freedom, Equality and Liberty. It was this political philosophy that launched the French and American Revolutions. The principles of Freedom, Equality and Liberty are those which when possessed by a lawful and legitimate government committed to these principles invokes the blessings of the Great Architect of the Universe. It is Masonry which bestows universal Truth that is unattainable by denominationalism and bestows the greatest benefit and gift a man can possibly receive—manhood.

Pike next defines Philosophy as the knowledge of God through the observation of his manifestations and analogies, which becomes the intellectual and moral application in which religion tries to emulate. “Philosophy is that intellectual and moral progress, which the religious sentiment inspires and ennobles” (Pike 25). Pike next identifies science and nature as the manifestation of God’s Omnipotence—by studying nature in all of its glory we can better comprehend the nature of God’s will on the Earth.

Knowledge Pike asserts can be transformed into Power—but by itself knowledge cannot be utilized or become Power. Only through the proper use and application of Wisdom and Justice can Knowledge be transformed into the Power of Truth. The purpose of Education and Science is to create Wisdom. Pike next attacks the York Rite system of memorizing the Catechism for proficiency—asserting that, “…knowledge doest not make him so, it is wasted, like water poured on the sands. To know the formulas of Masonry, is of little value, by itself, as to know so many words and sentences in some barbarous African or Australian dialect…” (Pike 26). If our knowledge of the meaning of Masonic symbols does not produce wisdom, charity and justice—it then becomes of no use whatsoever. The true goal to Masonic education and study is Wisdom, and not merely knowledge. If we study simply meanings and the memorization of only words our efforts will be wasted, the effects will be useless and no wisdom will be gleaned from its effort.

The fruits of Wisdom are incredulity where the wise man will not allow himself to be enslaved. A wise man knows his rights and values them, possessing the sentience of his own value and worth. He then asserts independence and assists others and his country to maintain freedom. Knowledge does not make a person wise, and without Wisdom independence is a foreign concept, making the knowledgeable person a useful pawn for the demagogue. The need for Masonry to impose political as well as moral duties on the initiate can be plainly seen by observing the annals of history. Each chapter in human history is rife with horrors of despotism, tyranny, rape, massacre, and genocide. All throughout history, while these acts of violence were being committed upon humanity the blessings of the Church were bestowed upon the tyrant and their regime.

It is the endeavor of the true Mason to work diligently to enforce the principles of Masonry—Masonry is morally and duty bound to aid and assist society and humanity. The force and power of Masonry needs to assert itself upon society to make the necessary sacrifices for the betterment of mankind. Masonry cannot stop the pursuit of effecting Truth and Wisdom upon governmental powers until, “nations gravitate about the Truth, like stars about the light, each in its own orbit, without clashing or collision; and everywhere Freedom, cinctured with stars, crowned with the celestial splendors, and with wisdom and justice on either hand will reign supreme” (Pike 28).

The path of the Fellow Craft is to follow the rule of reason, love and faith. Humanity as a whole is driven by a system of belief and not always by what is known—thus we are governed by faith and analogy, which is not necessarily by the force of reason. To enthrone reason by itself is folly—for reason cannot fathom the infinite—for in belief we find faith in the eternal; faith in the Great Architect of the Universe as a just and loving God—Faith is a necessity for man to live.

Each person makes presuppositions or prejudges another on the basis of a hunch, a feeling or even a notion where we continue as though they are true without truly knowing or coming to an informed decision based upon fact. We place our trust and finances in a market economy by wagering our finances on trust; we trust the business to be run properly which will in turn profit our shares—yet we have never met the corporate executive or their staff. We have faith and trust in their capabilities based upon the assertions of others. At the same time there are those instances where our senses revolt and recoil without reason. We are bound by faith to obey our senses despite the lack of factual evidence to base our decision.

Every human being must possess their own faith based upon their own reason. No king, government, tyrant, despot or zealot can force free will or faith. Faith is the right of every human born to this earth and endowed by the Supreme Creator of the Universe. Faith cannot be forced; a man must be capable of applying knowledge and reason to decide his own faith. “No man or body of men can be infallible and authorized to decide what other men shall believe, as to any tenet of faith…Each man must necessarily have the right to judge of their truth for himself; because no one man can have any higher or better right to judge than another for equal information and intelligence” (Pike 29).

Reason must have love to exclude fanaticism, intolerance and persecution. Without love, reason bears extreme political principles. Reason interwoven with love, together with faith in ourselves and also faith in others is necessary to prevent us from being easily discouraged and distracted by the ever-present difficulties life presents to us. The force created by reason, faith and love, is the force necessary for us to achieve greatness, and to achieve the impossible. Reason must be in the forefront of these other principles to guide and focus our direction in life. Enthusiasm is the raw power of faith and love without the restraint of reason. It is enthusiasm that gives birth to the patriot whose name is written and is remembered immortally. Enthusiasm produces the martyr for other men to follow and revere—without the restraint of reason, faith and love can overcome the senses in blind pursuit of truth. This truth singularly challenges the despot and is willing to do so alone for principle. 

Force and reason coupled with genius create power! It is this combination that molds men to follow behind a singular person or ideal. It is genius that stands unopposed and conquers in pursuit of truth. Genius can accomplish great feats for the forces of good and the just. The Genius begotten power is the force that allows man to influence other men. A free country that is ruled by genius, knowledge, reason, wisdom, love and intellect will endure. A Constitutional government that rules without the benefit of genius is doomed to decay and rot. Those in political power must be moral leaders of society, avoiding self-abasement and vulgar pleasures. By providing moral guidance the legislature can teach loving kindness, and wisdom, thus molding them from the anarchy of the rough ashlar—It is this example Masonry seeks to make by transforming the people into the three faced cube. It is the duty of all men to raise and elevate the moral consciousness of the state and society at large.

Light is the combination of wisdom, reason, virtue, masculinity, intelligence, and liberty. Light is the principle by which God dispenses information to mankind through the use of his holy word; he dispenses light in accordance with the truth that is time for use to receive. Masonry requires diligence in pursuit of light and the pursuit of truth. At every turn we are in danger of lapsing into servitude—it is Masonry that must stir the coals of liberty. War is fatal to the Republic; it consolidates power that feeds the tyrant. War consolidates power that rests on the lap of one individual who is prone to demagoguery. The tyrants of the past are the same mold as those to come in the future—the baseness of man is unchanging over time. It is the way of the world for man to sell himself into bondage on the word of the tyrant’s plea. The tyrant will make the cry of necessity causing men to toss their rights away for the necessity of the state. Once in power the tyrant becomes a beast in pursuit of his own security. The tyrant seeks to control religion, and by religion the sanctuaries attempt to control the hearts of men. Those who possess knowledge without wisdom are blind to this control and willingly toss themselves as to the fire in support of the state and state sanctioned religion. The temples that remain uncontrolled by the state and the despot are attacked through the use of the media. They are vilified for their beliefs, attacked for their staunch and unwavering positions. The cry of racism, homophobia, and intolerance are the battle cries of the despots who wish to tear down the battlements of the church where God is worshipped in accordance with the words of his divine law.

Religion is a Power the despotic state must try to control in order to control the people. Liberty is destroyed as factions seek to disembowel truth and wisdom from religion. The bastions of moral law are attacked by the debased and the debauched, for they seek not only acceptance but also elevation. The Tyrant is all to eager to placate base desires and call moral that which is immoral. The social and moral fabric of society then becomes ready and ripe for the despot to step in and remove the last vestiges of freedom—the possession of arms.

The rulers brought to power by such abuse of liberty are doomed to fail; fools and charlatans will be elected to office who are unfit to rule their own roost; they will seek to create and enact laws as foolhardy as their own reasoning—causing the state to fall inward and collapse. The desires for liberty that have remained dormant in the psyche of the people will be reawakened by the insolence of the fool in office. Foolish reasoning that is enforced without the benefit of love, wisdom, and truth are as good for the cause of liberty as is the force of arms. 

Liberty and religious freedom are interwoven. There are those who are content to be blindly led like sheep by false religion and a despotic government. These individuals are apathetic; they are willing to allow themselves to be lead like lambs who grope for any master to provide them direction—they are resigned to a hypnotic state whereby false religion and the usurper state force them more deeply into their role of servitude.  These individuals are then utilized as zombie soldiers to accomplish the will of the zealot going door to door to succor others to join their legion of servile bliss. On occasion the zombie will awaken for a brief time and work himself into a furious lather. The zombie will wrestle furiously into exhaustion and hopelessness because the servile state is an anathema to the soul; they soon quietly go back to sleep and resume their trance and forget.

As generations pass despotism is the only form of government the people know; they embrace it for in ignorance it is their parent. As time goes on it becomes more difficult to make the people believe the power behind governmental authority, faith and government resides within themselves. To cause a person to claim responsibility for himself and not rest his faith in government is a difficult prospect for those of American Leftist or Humanist thought. They wish to provide the government with all forms of responsibility—so that they have no responsibility of their own. Freedom of thought takes time and grows as slowly as the oldest trees in the forest.  Liberty is robbed from the people as much by misuse as by neglect, apathy and absentmindedness. 

There remains free people in even the most despotic and tyrannical regime. It is they who will stand against villainy with staunch self and mutual reliance. In times of calamity the enslaved will bow before their master and submit to further indignations to their liberties. The free individuals will stand in open defiance with a united front to oppose the newest tyranny. The enslaved will continue to soldier and rally against the free, seeking to sup at the feet of their master as a dog wishes attention while its master sits at the table. The free must maintain and continue to exercise their freedoms if they are to maintain their vigilance. In order for the free to endure, they must continually exercise the rights of freedom for as the maxim states, “eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” There is a universal commonality to tyranny—the demagogue continues to enact laws that revoke freedom and liberty under the guise of benefiting society. The people in great blindness hand over their personal freedoms under the guise of safety and willingly place shackles upon their feet.

The despot will clamor to take away the arms of the people—and claim it is to protect children. The zombie blindly follows the despot truly believing this statement and hands over their only means of preserving personal liberty and freedom. What more, the enslaved person vilifies the patriot and seeks to enact laws restricting their rights to arms; one firearm at a time is singled out with new laws that are an affront to liberty.  Arms that have never been a danger to any child or society are restricted. Firearms, which have never been used in any crime against society will be targeted for confiscation. The inexpensive arms readily available to the people are called a danger and are thus targeted. The ultimate goal of the despot is to revoke all rights so that the patriot and free possess no means of resisting unlawful usurpation of liberty. The blind fools of the demagogue who possess knowledge without wisdom are integral pawns to their own demise.

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The Compasses trace figures in mathematical planes of Geometry and Trigonometry. Geometry signifies the measurement of the earthly qualities, where Trigonometry measures triangles and is used to measure the infinite or heavenly.

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Pike here defines Virtue as, “heroic bravery, to do the thing thought to be true, in spite of all enemies of flesh or spirit, in despite of all temptations or menaces” (Pike 35). Masonic Virtue then is to utilize the principles of Masonry to do what is right, just, true and wise, regardless of what the consequences may be.  Government may ridicule the right; false religion and the fanatic may decry Masonry for not ascribing to their brand of zealotry. Despite all oppositions we are required to adhere to the principles of virtue no matter what difficulties may find us in performing our duty of the right. 

Every man when applying himself to a creed must apply the philosophy in application and ethic. These two are necessary for harmony to take place. Each man may possess the philosophy of religion or the philosophy of government or even the philosophy of Masonry, but without the application ascribing oneself to a creed and not supporting it by ethical actions that support it is hypocrisy. There are many who profess to be Christians and many who profess to be Masons, but the ethics of their actions prove themselves to be to be ethical heathens and practical atheists. At the same time there are men who profess neither the adherence to a denomination or to Masonry, yet the application of their faith and logic are without question. Their are many men who are practical Masons and have never petitioned a Lodge—it is up to us to find these individuals and endear ourselves to them in the hope they may petition our craft to become a Mason. “…there are many Masons who have never undergone initiation; and as the ethics are the end and purpose of religion, so are ethical believers the most worthy. He who does right is better than he who thinks right” (Pike 35).

Pike believes the creeds by which we ascribed to have very little effect upon our actions, whether it is our religion, our personal philosophies, or our political party. We are human and as such suffer the vices of human nature. Masonry cannot change that which is born into us. The vices of human nature are at times beyond our control.   Having been initiated, passed and raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason does not and will not change our minds and hearts from the nature of our birth. As Masons we must continue to apply faith by works and deeds as a continual reminder of actions supporting the tongue. If we merely profess the tenets of Masonry and do not apply them we have done a disservice to the craft and humanity. Rather, if we continue to apply the truth of wisdom to our lives and actions, we will have exemplified the tenets of Freemasonry as just and upright Masons.

A lavish tongue will beguile an entire population; the people are quick to flock to the individual who makes grandiose claims and verbose promises. The charlatan is closer to the baseness of the common man than the wise sage. The crooked politician will be sought even in perilous times leaving behind the wise man.  The hearts of men have a difficult time accepting truth, and in times of imminent peril truth scares the common people. They would rather cling to the whispers of the self-righteous knave who promises the world rather than the intellectual who outlines the difficult road in the spirit of truth.

Truth is subjective and is not a permanent fixture in nature. Truth is only applicable for the time and people who are meant to receive it—neither does truth remain truth for all time. To offer truth to those not ready or capable of receiving it is wasted and will be scorned by the ignorant as well as the learned. There have always been individuals whose learning and comprehensions transcend the time in which they live. Their lives are cursed with knowledge unaccepted by their counterparts only to be understood well after their death. In each time and period of history truth rises to the surface and the enlightened individual must suffer the curse of his own perception.

To try and convince people of truth who are not ready to receive it is a waste of time and effort. No amount of argument and conviction can open deaf ears. It is difficult to get several people to agree on what to have for dinner and it is even more difficult when Masons are together; if you have five Masons together in a room their will invariably be seven different opinions. Since men cannot even begin to agree on the things that do not matter at all in life—to get men to agree on matters esoteric and spiritual in nature is impossible. “Ask the small sea-waves what they murmur among the pebbles! How many of those words that come from the invisible shore are lost, like the birds, in the long passage? How vainly do we strain the eyes across the long Infinite! We must be content, as the children are, with the pebbles that have been stranded, since it is forbidden us to explore the hidden depths” (Pike 38).

It is because no man can know the infinite and the mysterious nature of Deity, the Fellow Craft is admonished not to become overly confident in his own knowledge. An individual who espouses ignorant and unsound reasoning is worse than the fool! As Masons we must espouse the principles of humility and sound judgment; we should never become haughty in our own (mis)understandings. If we become proud and boastful of our limited comprehensions it will be our downfall. “Humility should dwell with frailty, and atone for ignorance, error and imperfection” (Pike 39).

As part of the lessons of humility we should never strive for tittles and offices if we are to be mislead in pursuit of power and authority. We should submit to office placed upon us by others; when in office it is our duty to do so with humble work. We should never seek any higher title than Brother—that indeed is the highest title and office we as men and Mason’s can achieve. We should not be likened to glory seekers, rather our highest intentions should be to the service of the craft for its betterment and not our own. The proudest achievements we can possibly ever hope to obtain are those seen only by the immortal and Omnipresent Creator. The quiet deeds we perform unbeknownst to other men are fully known by God; what is the approval of man when we can achieve the approval of the eternal living God? He knows our deeds; He alone sees the hidden and unseen actions of charity.

The symbols of truth surround us in nature; it is with humility we should pursue knowledge, truth and wisdom. The moral and ethical lessons of nature surround us in all of God’s creations. If we pause and give time to quiet reflection we can discern the moral and ethical lessons nature has to offer. If we allow ourselves to stand humbled by the creator and glory in his unfathomable works of creation we will be more receptive to the divine lessons of truth. It is these divine lessons we should ever pursue with a pure heart and not empty titles.

To learn we must first be responsive to the divine lessons of creation. We cannot learn anything from knowledge and science if they are absent of moral truth; what benefit is the memorization of useless factual knowledge if we have no means of applying it to our lives? We first must let go of preconceived notions and shift our focus away from earthly pursuits and material gain.  

Greed for wealth and greed for office are the two pillars for the antithesis of Masonry and are the columns dedicated to destruction. Greed for wealth and power are two poisons which rot the soul, “The two greeds are twin plagues of the leprosy, and make the man unclean; and whenever they break out they spread until “they cover all the skin of him that hath the plague, from his head to his foot.” Even the raw flesh of the heart becomes unclean with it” (Pike 40). As in our day and age men are constantly pursuing these goals and grovel after these two columns of damnation. The pursuit of wealth drives men mad—it destroys the principles of morality and ethic by its very nature. Greed for power is equally rotten—it breeds corruption and abuse. Once power and wealth are achieved it belies liberty by creating oppression to further empower ill begotten authority.

Only by hard work and dedication can we achieve legitimacy. Work is the effort that produces respectability and virtue. Work is an honest labor; wages produced via work is respectable, the rest following honest labor is refreshing, whereas any other refreshment is empty and void of pleasure. The Fellow Craft should never discount his labor—no matter how menial or uneventful it may be. Even the smallest and seemingly insignificant labor can change the course of history. It becomes a small piece of a greater whole; it is the small cog which helps turn the great turbines. Each small piece fits together for a greater and common goal, no job and no endeavor could truly be complete if not for the sum of the parts to bring the finished product to fruition. Even the simple tasks completed by the Fellow Craft are significant and imperative to the end result. “Let no Fellow-Craft imagine that the work of the lowly and uninfluential is not worth the doing. There is no legal limit to the possible influences of a good deed or a wise word or a generous effort. Nothing is really small” (Pike 41). 

Even in nature the smallest action by the inconsequential animal has great impact on the environment and the world as a whole. No piece of nature can be complete without affecting the whole; whole ecosystems can be destroyed with the removal of a simple and seemingly insignificant organism. “Every bird which flies has the thread of the Infinite in its claw. Germination includes the hatching of a meteor, and the tap of a swallow’s bill, breaking the egg; and it leads forward the birth of an earth-worm and the advent of a Socrates” (Pike 41). The most negligible action in nature can have the most profound and drastic impacts. Even the smallest action can be employed by God to change the course of history. The smallest actions which can be acclaimed to luck or providence are not really small at all—they profoundly impact nations, are the deciding factor in battles and allows the Holy Spirit to perform God’s will.

The simplest power possessed by every human being can influence the course of history. Thought, or an idea begun singularly and spread through media can topple an entire nation. Ideas that have spread and ground themselves into the collective consciousness of the people can fuel revolutions. The idea begun by the singular individual, even the most seemingly insignificant member of society can have everlasting results.  There is no mathematical equation that can calculate the basis and outcome of thought. The eloquent speech, or the simple good deed may have lasting and lingering effects, whereby one single individual can alter the tides of history.

Every individual possesses self-determination and self will. The sovereignty a man possesses over his own spirit is the birth of liberty. The association and collection of individual sovereigns form the state where each individual divests himself of certain rights that translate into respect for the rights of others—or common law. This equitable concession to common law or universal principle of rights is Equality. When each individual is willing to enforce and protect the universal and common law the product is Fraternity. Where liberty is the zenith, equality is the foundation whereby each man is found equal with political, moral, social and spiritual rights and freedoms.

The educational system should be the tool to perpetuate equality, whereby all are taught to read and reason. One school for all produces one common and equal society. This is only the case when the school system is unbiased and neutral in dispensing this equality. Should political thought and indoctrination enter into the public school system the end result is the reverse of equality, whereby the school becomes the propaganda machine for one political party’s advantage towards the indoctrination of youth. Should factions utilize the school system for the purpose of molding and shaping young minds to accept debased and immoral practices, revoke the law and spirit of God’s presence, and program children into a national socialist mindset—the foundation of society will crumble and the state will collapse.

Our democratic constitutional republic has its strengths and weaknesses. The legislative process is lengthy; bills are bogged down in discussion and revisions, where committees deliberate on a solution that must be voted upon. Where legislation is stuck in a quagmire and consent cannot be obtained—the enemy of the state can work its evil designs. “The difficulty lies in discovering the right path through the chaos of confusion” (Pike 44).

There are also those in the legislature who will blindly follow the will of their constituents leading to inevitable failure. At times the legislator must follow the inward and common sense of honest law that lies within, without fear of retribution or reprisal. The ability to trust another person is universally lacking unless an emergency forces cohesion. The longer the span without an emergency the greater the mistrust becomes. The greater the suspicion people have for their legislators the greater the inefficiency in the legislative process.

In a constitutional republic, free speech is generally and universally abused; the greater the freedom the greater the abuse—for in this freedom of speech masters in double-talk have arisen to hide their words and laws in an epic of babble and nonsense. Freedom of speech is the most precious and important aspect of liberty; the abuse of that speech is the most contemptible abuse of freedom imaginable. This freedom is wasted on the congress that spews nonsense and gibberish in double-talk. They are like vipers with forked tongues whose flowery words are only meant to deceive and corrupt.

Thought pursues its end in deeds that translate into actions; too much talking destroys the ability of accomplishment. Silence produces great thought and even greater actions. Those who perform great deeds are usually the ones who quietly contemplate their plans and translate them into deeds; they do not prattle with grandiose speeches. “Too much talking, like too much thinking, destroys the power of action. In human nature, the thought is only made perfect by deed” (Pike 45).

The oppressor usually makes his way into the congress through the use of deceptive speeches and a lying tongue. The demagogue climbs to office on false pretenses and once there they use their mastery of deception to rescind one unalienable right and freedom at a time. They will clamor for safety with the innocent pictures of children and puppies—but their designs are not honest. They seek to remove and revoke the Liberty each of us possess and is guaranteed. Like the snake-oil salesmen, they will use their forked tongues to convince the weak-minded populace to buy into their scam thereby enslaving themselves.

It is only on the rarest occasion the most capable individual is elected to office. If a worthy and well-qualified individual runs for office they will be spurned and scorned with contempt. Only on seldom occasions and never in a time of calamity will the people choose a wise man that will pursue truth. The trickster and charlatan will tell the people what they want to hear, impressing the masses with smoke and mirrors. The wise man does not demean himself with such superfluous acts. The human species is attracted to superfluous displays like a moth to the flame. They become so bedazzled by words they are enthralled and soon find themselves in the fire.

The persecutor does not need a well or elaborately conceived plan to lay the trap of deception—the people are all too willing to deceive themselves into destroying the very fabric of their republic. The masses will offer up their liberties and freedoms for the guise of public safety. Let the charlatan invoke the innocent or the child and the people will toss their personal sovereignty and liberty to the wind. The honest fool will come to office with sincere intentions for what they perceive to be the common good while the tyrant patiently waits to reap the spoils of their ignorance and injustice.

It should be a treasonous act to bar or prevent any qualified individual from running for, or holding office.  Any person who is so qualified to do so should have the full faith and confidence in their ability to run for political office regardless of their financial status. When political office becomes a status of only the rich and affluent members of society, those individuals who run for office fail to represent their constituents in the least manner.  Should personal wealth and affluence become a precursor to political office the nation has denigrated itself into an economic fiefdom. Should an individual climb to office by means of personal wealth and the employment of unethical or disreputable smear campaigns and then proves to be a miserable failure in office—he should be scorned as an enemy of the state for having purchased his office on the premise of lies.

When the unfit and unjust rise to power through whatever means, be it personal wealth, deception or ignorant folly the power of promotion and appointment will likely always be abused. Despite the ease and presence of qualified individuals to fulfill positions; the weak-minded knave will invariably attain the highest appointments, so as not to appear more learned than the individual making the appointment or promotion.  Whenever these spurious appointments take place the public and media must criticize and denounce such actions and appointments.

The tools of the Fellow Craft are the written word and printed media—no other means exist to right the wrongs of a republic. The difference between liberty and tyranny is as great a span as the distance between the highest heaven and the furthest depths of hell. The printed media and public paper with its political satire wields a terrible swift justice. It is up to the Freemason to utilize and employ these tools to set the path liberty and justice aright. The effects of the printed media are lingering; they can and will voice the opinions of history for future generations to judge. Each period of history is known for its literature, written works detailing political and social commentary for all time’s sake detailing any injustice brought upon the people.

Authoritarians and despots are the enlightenment to free thinkers and are the morning sun to an apathetic populace. All of the immoral and oppressive laws do more to affect public awareness of the written word then any other time in a society’s history. When government attempts to restrict thought and speech by controlling the written word a veritable fountain of thoughts bubbles forth as from the ground in illegal printed media. When the tyrant seeks to repress free speech history will have found the printed word will have flourished; by those words historians will judge the past.

The demagogue will be the precursor for the tyrannical leader; they will clamor for laws of safety, “disbar the gun for they can kill children.” The ignorant populace will toss away their rights to freedom. As crime soars ever higher the tyrant will come to power and revoke even more rights. At first it will be a continuation of the pretext of safety, but gradually and over time each liberty is revoked; the tyrant will be fully in power and the people will have found themselves without the means or ability to resist.

There are those who will bow like cowards before the tyrant, and those who will lay prostrate like a dog offering its belly seeking titles, honors and positions. These dogs are likened to the Judas’ of a republic—they betray truth and enslave their neighbor for personal gain. They will sell their neighbors into enslavement under tyrannical and oppressive laws; they will seek to get fat off the table scraps of the dictator in power. Those who love truth and right should publicly ostracize these denizens of society; they are the dogs and scourge of humanity.

During the birth of rule those in office seek out the best and most qualified personnel to fill positions of authority and strive diligently to find those who are just to fill public office. Time breeds decay, apathetic feelings and a general lethargy among the populace who have grown comfortable with the status quo. The ideals of those in office shift slowly and are no longer the pursuit of public good, truth and justice; they become positions to pursue lusts, envies, and riches. Moral decay will seat in office the self serving imbecile whose cruelties will grow as he begins to fear for the security of his office—the greater the knowledge of usurpation of rights and liberties, the greater the oppressiveness will become.

It is in the very nature and core of man to be cruel and base—the most cruel are employed in office by governments that have gone awry and strayed from their course of liberty. These barbarous individuals take sick delight in inflicting subjugation upon their neighbors. A tyrannical government becomes more abusive as their foul rule is brought out into the light of day. Fear of the enlightened citizen breeds even more harsh and unjust laws that further restrict the natural human and unalienable rights of man. The despot is cursed with the knowledge of his illegitimacy and conducts himself accordingly. In a just and free society all laws are enforced equally on all with only the common law-or natural law of nature as its guide.

There are remarked and contrasting differences between the American and French Masons when compared to those in England. The French and American Masons espouse the principles of Freemasonry as being Liberty and Equality. Where the French pursue Masonry as a source of Truth and Liberty, the English contrast this view as being peaceable subjects of even the most vile and oppressive government. The fruits of these differences are the manner in which they are brought to light. Where the French and American view of Masonry erupted into Revolution, the English have watered down their principles and purged from their mist those who would enforce the true tenets of Masonry. True Freemasonry challenges tyranny and exposes the demagogue. True Masonry is not placid, but rather proactive. It is the unwavering cause of justice that bore the French and American Revolutions. Following the American Revolution and as the relations grew and blossomed between England and America, American Masonry has diluted itself adhering to the passive nature of the English Mason. The tenacity against zealotry and tyranny true Masonry espouses is why monarchs and religious zealots have condemned the craft. As Americans continue to lose the freedoms they have fought so hard to establish they must reawaken the patriotic spirit and true nature of Masonry to decry the demagogue before they are once again enslaved.

Political appointments denigrate the state—appointees give way easily to factionalism that rots the body politic. The habit and policy of electioneering, the practice of begging for office equates to bribery with office that in turn is corruption in office. Election to office must be through honest means; only when an election is honestly won the chosen man has the blessing of God. We must choose the candidate wisely because the wise choice bears divine support. The fraud who obtains office through deceit and lies is contrary to the will of God. Their office will breed Injustice and Oppression, “…the fruitful parent of Deceit, Distrust, Hatred, Conspiracy, Treason and Unfaithfulness” (Pike 51). As true Masons it is our duty to charge the fiends of Oppression with truth and reason. The cause of justice, whose supports are truth and reason is the cause of the right; we should charge boldly the oppressor.

To perpetuate and continue upon a course of freedom it is up to each individual to exercise rights on a continuous basis. If the individual members of a state have failed to pursue their own freedoms, the state in turn cannot be expected to maintain freedom absent the will of the people to exert them. The citizen must be willing and able to exercise the smallest of their freedoms; without the ability to protect the insignificant freedoms the great freedoms will be as easily plucked from their hands as a child’s rattle. The free thinker should pursue public office and once there he must be prepared to pursue truth and reason at all times. Without this fortitude and forbearance it will be impossible to attain wisdom; law must be firmly grounded—without the anchors of reason truth cannot be maintained and the slightest current well carry them off course.

The class system will also deteriorate and destroy of a free people. Even in democratic states great families will arise creating a caste of wealthy administrators. With any rise to power there is a natural urge for centralization and consolidation of power. This consolidation of power will create greater bureaucracy whereby the powerful and rich families will always find a place in office by virtue of their names sake. Positions are often created out of thin air to reward the faithful servant and eventually there will be administrative red tape for every aspect of life. The more bureaucrats there are the more oppressive laws are crafted to torture the people.  Where one tyrant is bad—a plethora of bureaucrats multiply the misery exponentially.

Political truths are not universal principles; each country and each society has a different set of truths whereby political philosophy may govern—and these principles change over time. Only through living laws that may correct themselves over time can progress keep up with political offices. These policies can only come about through actual and practical experience. Instead of breeding adepts to change with the flow of time, individuals become lazy, placid and sluggish. It can become difficult to get these individuals to act even for their own benefit. At times a strong central government is necessary to promote action during times of necessity. “The central power must take the reins when the people drop them” (Pike 52). In all governments there still must be the wise and just central authority capable of intercession for the benefit of the people when the people become too lazy to react. The actions of the central government absent the energy of the people must act with wisdom and truth or else it too will become corrupt.

Sluggishness of the people can and will lead to an assertive central power. The apathy of the people is the very attitude that will allow them to be enslaved. When an entire generation has leaned on the government to provide for them and make their decisions the people are indeed slaves and have willingly shackled themselves. The last vestiges of freedom are gone when the central government begins effecting local policy.  The regulation of labor and wages completes their demise. Experience is the cruelest teacher and the lessons of calamity and foolishness will make men wise to their transgressions. Even when our neighbors have tossed their liberties aside and are lulled to sleep, we must keep the faith. Faith is what will save the individual, and collective faith can accomplish most anything to include freedom.

“The spoken discourse may roll on strongly as the great tidal wave; but, like the wave, it dies at last feebly on the sands. It is heard by few, remembered by still fewer, and fades away, like and echo in the mountains, leaving no token of power…. It was the written human speech, that gave power and permanence to human thought” (Pike 54). While we hold dear to faith we must act upon it; to act upon faith requires speech. Not the spoken word that rolls off the tongue and is lost on the wind—a feeble and fruitless gesture, but rather the written word. The written word is the power and testament that will endure, standing the test of time. The written word will become immortal when viewed in the pages of history.

There are many forms of the written word that may be employed and to various effects. The greatest written documents having the greatest amount of impact are those that are available to all men. When the written word is disseminated far and wide for all to read and hear it has the power of uniting men to a common and singular cause. This singular response has force of will behind it. Such prolific speech causes thought and action. A nation can unite to a singular purpose with a singular goal in mind. It is up to the Mason to be behind the power of the written word, to guide truth and reason to produce wisdom. Without the guiding force of wisdom the collective mob can easily become an anarchist mob—a worse fate than that of the despot.

When choosing those who will represent us we must ensure they are wise in thought and speech. All too often the wise individual is overlooked because of their quiet disposition. The shallow and superficial are often mistaken for wise sages because they are eloquent speakers. Flowery words and grandiose speeches deceive too many into believing there is substance of thought behind their words. The individual who is worth listening too is often quiet and slow to speech. Do not allow the infrequency of their words to disturb judgment—they have been listening intently; when they do speak they have made a valuable and formidable decision. The empty words of a swift talker are just that, the empty ramblings of a know nothing.

Truth is a double-edged sword; political truth cannot be conveyed solely on the basis of logic and reason, we can argue logic fruitlessly. In order to convey political truths one must possess logic and reason—but in order to convey truth it must be delivered with common sense so that it can be understood. The philosopher cannot rise to power because his words are not understood. Without the ability to convey meaning and truth to the common man, logic and reason is wasted because it cannot be digested and understood.  Truth must be presented in a clear and comprehensible manner necessary to promote faith. Faith in reason and logic is the glue binding the people together in pursuit of a common truth.

The philosopher cannot rise to a leadership position because his reasoning is beyond the people; his thought possesses truth incomprehensible by the commoner and is useless to the foundation of faith. Truth, if not reasoned for comprehension cannot be communicated effectively. Without the ability to communicate reason, knowledge, and logic, truth cannot invoke faith necessary for a man to lead others. Faith is the glue that binds truth; faith is the great motivator of people in pursuit of the unseen spirit. Truth cannot always be explained in a perfect manner, but with the proper reasoning ability the correct amount of knowledge and the ability to utilize logic to solidify a foundation the people can generate faith—the force common and necessary to shape and control nations.

Communication is the foundation by which faith, reason, truth and logic are communicated—it is for this reason Speech must remain free and unregulated by government. At times freedom of speech will be used and abused by those who squawk and shrill like little children; we must listen to all of this squabbling to also hear the profound words of the wise sage. Even the fool can possess profound moments of intellect; the wise person can discern the profound from folly and decipher hidden truths from foolish ramblings. There is some truth in all men and even the fool will at times hit the mark. We need to read and filter to find the truths covered in nonsense.

A people must also learn to forget and let go of outmoded truths in order to receive new truths in its time of revelation. If we cannot forget the old longer applicable truths we cannot receive the new truth God has seen fit to deliver. It is difficult to let go of what has been held as true. Even when we know times have changed it is difficult part with long held ideals and traditions—but to let go is a must. We must always search and criticize our beliefs. Like the stone Mason we need to acquire our materials, sit down and think before we begin construction; old methods of building may no longer be prudent and new methods may need to be developed.  These new developments are like new truths; we would not today utilize a cart and wagon to haul a load when a truck is available. 

Human thought is highly capable to produce new ideas, but all too often new ideas are fruitless. Every foolish notion conceivable has been dreamt and seriously considered. As Masons we must control our foolish notions with the use of our Masonic working tools. Each tool has a specific purpose and use. In addition to the working tools we have been provided--the two-handed hammer is utilized to combat wild thoughts and foolish ideas. The sword, an emblem of soldierly combat is utilized to cleanse the stagnation pervading our lodges and must be used judiciously to restore the brotherhood. The sword is the tool that cleanses the Lodge of lethargy; it purifies the seats of those who sit in high and pleasant places of knowledge without wisdom. The sword wields truth and wisdom that cuts unreasoned knowledge to shreds. Pray for the brother who is wounded by this sword of wisdom—that his wound may be healed with this cleansing blow fulfilling our requirement to duty to Fraternity.


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