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 firstname.lastname@example.org
In this, the third chapter of Morals and Dogma, Albert Pike explores the relationship between humanity, nature, symbolism, government and the Divine. Pike provides for the reader an understanding that Pike himself had come to in his comprehension of the nature of God and the relationship we each should strive to achieve. Pike believes God veils all truths in symbolism so truth may be communicated to those meant to receive it. He has kept hidden information from those not capable of receiving it.
There are several powers and forces that we must understand and comprehend for the knowledge and nature of man and government. The Master Mason must utilize knowledge of all of the aspects and nature of man to anticipate action and reaction for the purpose of influencing the moral virtues of Freemasonry upon humanity—and thereby being a beacon of enlightenment to an otherwise unenlightened people.
The symbols of Masonry cannot be understood or communicated in a literal sense. Each symbol must produce an independent and personal application. Each Mason must then apply his own understanding to these symbols thereby deriving an independent meaning known only to the individual. These are the secrets of Freemasonry—It is these secrets that can only be deciphered by the individual Mason. No application can be universal and there are very few universal truths.
There are Masons who will receive the lecture of the symbolisms in Masonry and contemplate them no further; their meanings will be lost through neglect. There are also those who will remember and recall the ritual by rote memory. They may recite the paltry meaning provided in the ritual but derive no further benefit from their application. The presentation of the symbols in each degree does not adequately convey the personal meaning and application owed to our own knowledge and understanding of God, his creations and Masonry. To be presented a Masonic symbol and then given the lecture concerning the base meaning is only just the beginning of understanding the deeper application and meaning we must find for ourselves. Truth is subjective to the individual perceiving truth. Masonic truths are equally subjective with only few landmarks and universal applications.
Language itself is a barrier to understanding. Within the ritual is found, “I hail,” but the correct usage is “hele” which is synonymous with conceal. This simple barrier caused by language confuses the candidate and Master Mason alike. What is heard is not what is implied; deeper study and application must be made to derive the correct terms and usages found within the ritual. Rote memory does not convey exact meanings. Some of the terms and usages found in Masonry are of a dialect of the English language no longer in current use; over the centuries meanings of words have altered and thus the spoken word becomes fallible.
We utilize symbolism to aid us in understanding the divine nature of Deity. By aid of symbolism we attempt to gain an understanding of our Creator, whom we are not near capable of comprehending. With our limited mental faculty the mysteries and explanations of God is a puzzle we will never complete. We can simply look around the earth and piece together a rudimentary understanding to guide our relationship with God. Nature is the great teacher that provides us insights through the use of allegory and symbolism. Nature provides symbols—but no explanation. We must conclude for ourselves what we perceive in nature.
The earth and all the laws of nature are the product of divine creation. By viewing the creations of God we can look for the clues each of us may utilize to piece together our own understanding of the Divine. Nature provides us with symbols but does not offer any explanation and translates no information into our language. Nature does not communicate directly with the sage or with the simpleton—but rather nature discloses its secrets in exact proportion to the understanding capability of the individual and his power to comprehend. In this manner nature communicates to all men and is above no ones level of comprehension.
To attempt to provide an entire explanation of symbolism detracts from its meaning. Symbols are of an individual nature and individual interpretation—anyone who affixes to symbolism specific meaning is creating his own dogma. Dogma, like religion can lead to intolerance when the process of personal application is removed. When dogma produces a fixed and unwavering position it leads to intolerance and attempts to restrict others from coming to any conclusion that may be different from the outlined doctrine. The transition from symbolism to dogma is fatalistic to independent thought and free will.
There are two forms of government which are ripe for abuse; the first is where the State is controlled by the select few or the one. Where political appointments are made solely on the basis of personal political agenda the ignorant crony will be set in office with no other capability than blind loyalty to the government. In a republic, a candidate will lie, steal and cheat his way into political position thus empowering those unfit to hold office and those with a self-serving agenda for personal wealth and power. These individuals will do nothing for the people except attempt to secure their own re-election by any and all means. The legislation they seek to pass is foolishness in application—they are detractors to liberty by failing to enforce the most basic applications of justice. These individuals are as fake and shallow in private as they are in all public forums. Personal ambition strangles the people and any manner of injustice will be committed to secure their reign of authority.
When every person has the ability to run for political office it is very rare an honorable man will seek to attain it. The honest man will not run for office for fear of being lumped in the same category with the rat and weasel. Political office is often the seat of the charlatan whose desire for personal ambition is the single most destructive force to liberty. With false promises the voting process becomes flawed and fraudulent, thereby allowing corruption to run rampant.
The people may clamor for liberty and truth, and at times they may attain it for a few short years. Where freedom is screamed from the ramparts, greed, business, the media and the crooked politician corrupt government with the pursuit of their own ends. The politician attempts to mold government to suit his own financial gain—nobility and Godliness are forgotten with the glitter of gold and silver. When the republic has denigrated itself to its lowest form of perversion there will be no wise counselor when needed most. Fools will abound everywhere greedily greasing their palms in corruption; their outstretched hands ever seeking yet more money. When lies, deceit, and half-truths rule a republic there is no force—it is gone. The legislators do not struggle for justice and the executive officer becomes the most unworthy lesser of two evils.
When the republic has vanished from all forms of noble principles first conceived the principle of greed will come to power through manipulating currency and the economy. The greedy politician will line his pockets as he plays the stock-market like a fiddle, gambling on the prosperity and demise of businesses that employ families. The shrewd speculator will be the first to file for bankruptcy and afterwards prey upon the distressed farm, purchasing it for pennies on the dollar. They will take the pristine agrarian landscape and pollute it with subdivisions and markets for a profit—while the farmer’s family has no place to live, no livelihood and no means of support.
In reality, the republic and the monarch are equally searching to broaden their empire through the use of finances. When a nation becomes ruled by greed it becomes a nation lorded by demonic influences. Greed is more base and primal than ambition; greed is a hunger and passion so much more detestable than ambition because greed is hateful, spiteful and unscrupulous—it is a scourge of the people. For greed a nation will suffer itself to all manners of indignity and dishonor if it is profitable. When a nation is ruled by greed it is an eventuality it will go to war for financial aid and profit. It will murder its soldiers for profit and thrust them against another force so government contractors can kick-back profits from war material to the politician.
“The soul of the avaricious nation petrifies, like the soul of the individual who makes gold his god. The Despot will occasionally act upon the noble and generous impulses, and help the weak against the strong, the right against the wrong. But commercial avarice is essentially egotistic, grasping, faithless, overreaching, crafty, cold, ungenerous, selfish, and calculating, controlled by considerations of self-interest alone. Heartless and merciless, it has no sentiments of pity, sympathy, or honor, to make it pause in its remorseless career; and it crushes down all that is of impediment in its way as its keels of commerce crush under them murmuring and unheeded waves (Pike p.70).
Just as the heathen can attempt to make gold his god, so too can a nation pursue its selfish and perverse pleasures. When greed perverts upon a nation—it is not national wealth bestowed upon the constituency that is sought, but rather the political bureaucrats who seek to line their pockets with funding for their programs. Also, a rich nation can dole out subsidies to the populace thus making them dependent upon the government for their livelihood. When the government controls the finances of the populous the people are bound to it for good or evil. No man will rise against the bread for his child’s table and no man with family will rise against a government that provides his sustenance. Governmental greed is greed for power unrestrained; it is greed to control the soul of the masses. It is destructive, evil and cancerous. Its power will last as long as its funds provide; when the funds are gone so too is the loyalty given it by the people.
When a war is declared for no higher purpose than economical means it is the most despicable murder of a nations sons. It is the exemplification to what shallow and debauched depths some will go for greed. The greed of a nation unrestrained does not value the lives of its people nor the lives of its soldiers. Money and economy rule and pervade economic consciousness; the value of human life does not carry real monetary value so it is not valued at all.
Justice is not simply an attribute it is relevant to the context to which it is place and perceived. Justice when imposed by a nation is different from the justice enacted by an individual enforcing common law. Parents exercise justice when raising and disciplining an errant child. This is a spectrum apart from the Justice God delivers upon the souls of man on judgment day. When man executes justice there is some measure of revenge and retribution. When God delivers justice it is always enforced without malice. We as Masons must divorce ourselves from the basal justice enshrouded by revenge and retribution. We should not demean ourselves by calling it justice when our desire is simply to get even. Our God is a God of vengeance who vindicates through divine retribution; we should leave revenge in his hands as did the blood Able when it cried to God for vengeance upon Cain. Retaliation is not ours to dole out and deliver in an evil spirit. Such emotion negates the equitability of justice when enforced. We as Masons must seek true justice devoid of emotion for the injustice done to us. We must denounce spite and avarice if we are to maintain the moral high ground.
This sense of justice is not only a human trait but is found in all of nature. When the nest of the hornet is molested it attacks and stings its attacker without malice—but as a function. It is a reaction to enforce what it perceives to be right. In our bodies, when an infection rears itself our white blood cells attack it; there is no malice, no animosity. It is enforcing the justice of nature.
As we are human and above the beasts, when we pursue justice it must be coupled with sympathy. Without sympathy justice is no more than selfish indifference. Just as the ant and bee will rush to the aid of its sister, so too must humans rush to the aid of the victim and violated. As man is codependent upon others from infancy we are codependent upon each other to enforce justice. Even though one-man is an insignificant part of the whole of humanity he still maintains a connection with the rest of our species.
Every action of society is dependent upon the consensus of public sympathies. When deciding factors are removed from public will the fabric of society will decay and decline into destruction. The principles of collective identity are the same as those of a collective sense of Justice. How we define justice for ourselves is based upon our societal norms. We are bound by the society in which we live to enforce the social and moral laws. Those who violate those laws must suffer the consequence of their decided action against society. When this justice is enforced—without animosity and without avarice it is divine justice in action.
Justice to others as well as to self is the same. We cannot define ourselves as fixed and immoveable by the square because we are human. We do not possess the perfection found within the plane and level surface. As such we must continually circumscribe ourselves within the circle formed by the compasses. Where humanity is this great circle formed by the eternal compasses we are but the point in the center from our own perspective. There are varied sizes of circles created by the compasses, and these varied circles represent the varied elements of society and humanity. Each country, people, and society produces a different plane or level that will be applied differently. Every sub-atomic particle has a different attraction in accordance to its place on the periodic chart. Each atomic cell exists in sympathy with all other atomic cells to form a mass or whole.
Personal application dictates every human being is held in relationship to their place in social order and is affected by the attraction of public consciousness at large. Public ignorance, financial disparity, social and moral decay are the diseases of society no matter how hard the just and upright Mason tries to rise above these contagions. One man can rise only so high above the base level of society where he is held as though by a tether. Each society maintains its own degree of social normal and acceptance of practices.
The precept of justice is required for a nation to survive and be blessed by God. History will forever judge a nation by its adherence to the principles of justice. The nation that erects and enforces fraudulent laws designed to prey upon the weaker members of society; the country that breaks its treatise and obligations and is ruled by the motivating principle of greed for wealth and power is doomed to failure and destruction and as such the historian will record it justly.
Without justice a nation does not possess the providence God bestows upon countries of the earth. The failure of these nations is mandated by the natural laws God provides in nature. No wrong can for long triumph and excel. Every ill begotten benefit obtained through injustice will be lost; there will be no pleasure in ill begotten gains. The fruits of the unjust tree are bitter poisonous fruits. The tree of injustice may for a time seem to grow, flourish and produce fruit—do not be deceived. Its life is short lasting for only a season. Its fruit is poison and will cause any who eat it to fall victim to its venom. It is the nature of God to reward iniquity and injustice with anguish and misery. There are those who believe they can deceive and cheat God—do not give them any credence; they are doomed to destruction under the authority of the Creator of all that is good and just.
Hypocrisy is as vile as the devil clothing himself in light to deceive. When hypocrisy is found in an individual morals, politics or religion it is an anathema to God and man—even more so when it pervades a nation. When an individual performs an injustice under the false pretense of equity and fairness; the individual who is quick to admonish wrong doing in public but commits all forms of folly in private; when the individual puts on the false face of charity and then condemns those in need; when a Mason proclaims Masonic benefits and charity yet is too proud to raise funds for those in distress. To eulogize those in possession of knowledge who have died but are quick to condemn by plots and deceptions those showing future prospect and prowess; to claim to love purity and honor, and then abandon principle at the first perception of difficulty. To be disinterested and sell a vote for a place of power or even to sell ones convictions for personal revenge; and to appear outwardly righteous with the investiture of time and offices but within full of iniquity, pettiness and hypocrisy—these are the common hypocrisies that pervade and demoralize a society and crumble the very foundation of our Masonic Lodges.
“Hypocrisy is the homage that vice and wrong pay to virtue and justice” (Pike p. 73). Where the hypocrite is present the presence of God is far removed; when hypocrisy is present in the lodge we cannot expect our noble craft to reap the reward of blessing for the nobility of our tenets. A dead and dying lodge must search inwardly long and hard to purge itself of those who push away the grace of God and bereft the lodge room of the favor of our Supreme Architect of the Universe.
In every age and every generation the State has ruled with hypocrisy; though a nation may claim for itself justice it will seek to redouble its borders through expansion, conquest, and subjugation. Power is the ultimate corruptor; the lust for power is never contented—it is an insatiable thirst, neither men nor nations can ever be content. There is always more power to grasp—the ultimate power of subjugation is the control of the very soul of the people. To control the souls of men is ultimate power and demonic in nature. “To seek to subjugated the will of others and take the soul captive, because it is the exercise of the highest power, seems to be the highest object of human ambition” (Pike p. 74). Power is intolerance to free will and free thought; Masonry must enforce the principle of tolerance and is duty bound to be the fort that stands against megalomania. Masonry is the great teacher of tolerance for political and religious views, self-will, freedom of thought and the principles of self-government. Masonry must never hesitate to rebuke the government bent upon conquest and the church that preaches intolerance and more especially the Mason who has fallen victim to hypocrisy!
The subjugation of free will is ultimate power—it removes from the individual all forms of self-will and personal thoughts and beliefs. It is the enslavement of the soul when a person is no longer defined by their personal interpretations and belief system, but is entrapped by the propaganda of the state or the dogma of a particular cult-like denomination. Because Masonry is the champion of individual thought and beliefs the state and religion that seeks to control the mind and will of the individual have grown to loathe Masonry.
When we are grieved by another it is only natural to desire retribution, but the manner and spirit by which we enforce justice determines whether it is justice or revenge. Justice and punishment deters crime; if crime went unpunished the criminal would conclude there is profit from their deviant behavior thus encouraging them to increase their activities along the evil path. Vigilante justice is performed with anger and hate; these two emotions are base and unworthy of enforcing divine justice through punishment. While we should not become complacent towards injustice it should not eat at us either. Injustice should be viewed as biting gnats—an annoyance we endure but swat them away without any form of animosity. When we enforce justice through law by punishment as prescribed it should be done without anger or animosity; but rather divorce ourselves of personal prejudices as the agent and force of law. We should make ourselves sterile and devoid of emotion while inflicting punishment.
Light—it is the symbol of truth and knowledge by which we become enlightened or achieve a state of enlightenment. Pike provides historical references to where the term may have been derived and early usages of the term. The possibilities include the sun being an unchanging attribute of God, denoting the changeless nature of our Creator who provides the sun in its regular cycle. Thus to obtain light or enlightenment we are to obtain universal truths endowed by our Creator. Light being an integral part of creation—through light all other life has been able to grow and flourish.
Faith, politics and religion are aspects of the mind each individual must conclude for himself based upon possessed knowledge and reason. No amount of argument can change or convince another to change their views or opinion. False logic and false reasoning too often are more readily accepted then truth. Even those given higher education and degrees of learning do not automatically produce truth and are still incapable of perceiving the logic of reason. Each person perceives truth individually and in accordance with his own knowledge and understanding. Truth seems to have an evasive effect; no matter how it presents itself, and no matter how forthright it becomes—the mind will not see it. Like Pharaoh, some men are blinded so as not to receive truth; some are blinded because they are not meant to receive it, while others cannot see it because it is not yet their time for God to give them enlightenment.
All manner of prophesy has been provided by God and canonized in the Holy Bible. The visions of the prophet Ezekiel and the visions of John in his book of Revelation are similar, and we possess them within our own homes and study them frequently—yet the truths contained within these visions though present in our own homes are a mystery to us. This is not because the truths therein contained are not present, but because the clarity and understanding of truth has not been granted to us. There are and have always been men who seek to interpret false truths in order to lead others astray; they will provide reasonable explanations to tickle the mind and provide a satisfactory understanding of there own limited reasoning. These are deceptions that will lead even the most educated individual down an incorrect and untrue path. Light and truth are provided by means of understanding only through the Creator. He alone can disseminate understanding for those meant to receive it. Those who offer understanding through human means are practicing the art of deception—watch out and do not be deceived by their false understandings and misinterpretations of prophesy.
Truth, to most men, is like matter in the spheroidal state. Like a drop of cold water on the surface of a red-hot metal plate, it dances, trembles, and spins, and never comes into contact with it…” (Pike p. 78).
As the period and time of a nation progresses, it is only a matter of time before a cycle is begun for those greedy for profit to come into office. In this cycle of government those who seek personal profit and political gain will obtain office. When political action committees seek to propose legislation and influence the enactment of laws for personal profit—equality of the people is dead. The only members of society who will be free are those who can afford to compete monetarily for equality. Companies who manufacture war material will clamor for war—not for ethical reasons, but to line their pockets with the purchase of materials necessary to wage war making the corporation rich at the expense of the lives of its soldiers. When the nation provides monetary wealth to the select few while the army goes off to war and die for an undefined purpose, the money obtained is worth no more than thirty-pieces of silver. An unholy amount of silver begot by the blood of the innocent. When a nation has denigrated itself to the point of murdering its defenders for profit—the people must revolt in pursuit of liberty and reinstate ethics and morality in office.
In a republic as in the Lodge men and brothers will polarize themselves on a particular issue either for or against. Those who have won the majority are hardly ever content to have obtained the majority view—they will seek to squash any opinion that may manifest itself contrary to their position. Despite the claim each individual is entitled to formulate his own opinion, in practice to voice a claim in contrast to the current level of orthodoxy equates to the vilification and denunciation of the individual espousing such views. Verbal and slanderous attacks are common even among brothers against the individual who may present a dissenting ideal. To receive acceptance, an individual must suffer the will and whim of the powers that be. This form of acceptance by flattery of authority breeds a rotten form of corruption. Enlightenment will cease and progress will be diminished.
The republic must maintain equality in the enforcement of the common law. No man or body of men can be held to a lesser standard than the whole. The politician should never seek office for any benefit or privilege not offered to his constituent and never should heredity be a consideration for the position of office. This is a universal truth for all time, being one of the few great universal truths common to all men in every generation.
A complimentary universal truth is that office, titles and position should never be granted solely as a reward for some service of loyalty. All office needs to employ the most capable individual to perform the duties of that position—regardless of any other factor or consideration. All individuals are to be equally judged on the basis of their ability, character, and competence. Anytime an unqualified individual is given a position of authority based upon race or other factor of affirmative action, then it is impossible to maintain the liberty of the state; you cannot maintain liberty and equality while enforcing legislation granting preferences to any group not based upon capability and effectiveness.
Those who are presented office through preferential treatment are not generally the most qualified and have thus not earned their place by hard work, wit and the skill to set them apart and above their peers. Mediocre individuals will not become great statesmen and will likely bring with them a bigotry and intolerance for equality. To adjust any standard to accommodate the lowest denominator’s ability to compete in the selection process reduces the effectiveness of the individual in office or authority. To employ an individual with mediocre skill and ability on the sole basis or race, color or creed is a gross injustice. Despite a claim of equality—this form of corruption breeds not only inequality but also belies the principles of justice!
Those aspiring to political office have become in general, shallow, self-possessed, self-righteous and self-important. Their highest regard and noblest duty is performed solely for selfish pursuits and personal gain. These hollow sots seek to attack and discredit the wise and knowledgeable person in office. They do not desire to see a good leader in office—where their inexperience, and mediocrity may be exposed. They will seek to empower a knave of their own caliber who may easily be upstaged and out performed to benefit their own personal advancement. Thus the poorest quality individual rises to the top and is unfit to endeavor even the most menial clerical task. The result of the incompetent in office is that those who are truly qualified will not suffer themselves to the indignity of running for office and associating themselves with such unscrupulous individuals. Those who are truly capable of performing well in office distance themselves from any connection with politics or the politicians who sell their values for votes. Those who are capable will serve humanity without the indignity of public office.
The corrupt and greedy government is doomed to destruction despite the outward appearance of prosperity and wealth. The doomed country will become plagued by factionalism, political parties whose agenda is to succor the immoral and debauched members of society. When skin color becomes a political agenda; when pacifists seek to halt industrial production; when feminists seek to remove all masculinity from men; when political parties value emotional ideals more than human life-decay and rot have already pervaded every level of a nations existence. No government can be run on emotions and feelings—all true government must be ruled by logic, reason and wisdom to be legitimate. Oppression comes about by trusting the eloquent knave, but oppression can never co-exist with logic, reason, and truth. Reason, logic and wisdom must be possessed in their entirety and never in part; to compromise any principle to unite different factions is a fraud and folly.
We must stand by our personal convictions and not allow ourselves to question or betray our system of beliefs for expediency or for some temporary benefit. We should always hold firm to the truth regardless of what others may say, do, or believe. If defeated by might or by finances—never lose sight of those convictions. To ally or join any group that causes a person to betray what he knows be true would be to sell his soul. Without personal beliefs or convictions a person has no identity and is defined by the party to which he is aligned.
The person in office who proves to be incompetent will continue to fail in the performance of his duties regardless of how many second chances they receive. These failures will progress and prove damaging and detrimental to all those to whom the individual is associated with. These persons should be viewed as criminals corrupted by incompetence. When the people are lazy they will not stir to move against the incompetent individual in office. To find someone deserving of office requires effort; effort requires motivation and where the people have no sense of motivation the incompetent will come to office to fulfill personal ambition as a compensation for their own self-realized inadequacies.
The Forty-seventh problem of Euclid was credited to Pythagoras—though the truth of this object is as old as creation itself. The ritual simply asserts that Pythagoras deciphered the object and cried, “Eureka!” and afterwards sacrificed a hecatomb. The significance of the Forty-seventh problem is worthy of such a great sacrifice. To understand the significance is to understand the process by which God produces all manner of creation.
“In every right-angled triangle, the sum of the squares of the base and perpendicular is equal to the square of the hypotenuse” (Pike p. 86). The square of a number is a number multiplied by itself; thus the square of 6 is 36.
Numbers: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Squares: 1 4 9 16 25 36 49 64 81 100
Differences: 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19
It is from this the sacred numbers of 3, 5, and 7 are derived. When a right angle is constructed where the base is 6 and the perpendicular is 8 the hypotenuse will be 10. Thus A squared multiplied by B squared is equivalent to C squared. A² X B ²= C². The significance of this equation transcends the simple application of finding the hypotenuse of a triangle—it is the exact process by which God creates all things! Three is a holy number found within the nature of God, and the triangle is a symbol of this holy nature and process of creation. In the Holy bible, and found at the very beginning in Genesis 1:1, we see that Adonai (base²) by means of the Ruach Chodesh or Holy Spirit (perpendicular ²) produces creation (hypotenuse²) or A² X B² = C². The triad is used in all manner of creation and communication with the earth. Where God chooses to communicate with man again, God is the Base, Moses is the mediator or perpendicular and the law is communicated to man. Whether God is utilizing the process of creation, communication, or intercession there will be three aspects in the nature of God to produce the action or reaction. Where God’s will is the base, the amount of Holy Spirit is the perpendicular—the sum of the square of the will of God and the Holy Spirit produces all manner and forms of creation. The number 10 is symbolic of completeness—all other numbers precede this number and it is a symbol of culmination. The Tetractys found within the Kabalah emphasizes this belief with the ineffable name of God;
V H Y
H V H Y
Additionally, the Hebrew Yod, is the smallest letter, approximately the size of a comma and is representative of something small and or insignificant. When applied to the Tetractys, it symbolizes where God is the base or foundation, all manner of creation is possible from the smallest part of nature to the grandest and most complex human life and conscious thought. The triangle formed by arranging the ineffable name of Deity or Tetractys, shows that God is the Alpha and the Omega; he is the beginning and the end; the greatest and smallest. Where God exists so does everything exist—the sum of the number of letters found in the Tetractys is equal to ten, the complete number and culmination of all things.
The working tools man has at his disposal are the laws or forces of nature. Friendship, brotherly love and empathy are the forces upon the heart that unit a people together. These forces bind humanity and are fundamental requirements of sentience. If these forces were removed from the human heart, humanity would revert to its lowest form as predatory beasts of the field. We as men have the benefit of brotherly love and affection that unites us into one common family or whole, interdependent upon each other for mutual welfare and safety.
The force of Morality attracts men towards truth and virtue; morality is the conscience and guide to our actions and conduct. It is the magnetic needle that places us on the course of a heavenly calling. When our lives are guided by the principles of morality we will have found ourselves on course towards that spiritual building—that house not made by hands, eternal in the heavens. Should we betray our conscience and veer off the true and moral course we fail in our higher pursuits without the confidence of grace—without morality the soul becomes restless and lost.
Honor and duty keep a Mason firmly on track—these should be in the forefront of the mind as a focus for all our conduct. Without honor and duty a Mason ceases to live up to his obligations; to betray honor and duty is to betray the very fundamental foundations of Freemasonry.
The force of empathy is a conductor that can unite a people and nation. This force is the living spark that serves as the life-blood of humanity. A people collectively united as a nation who are not empathetic toward the needs of the populace—a people who are unable to feel empathy for their neighbor, will befall calamity and further decay every other principle endowed by God. Without empathy decay and rot will occur in the collective consciousness—as will the body decay and rot without life’s blood.
Public opinion is an immense force so great it can transcend national boundaries. In a free country the perception of the people is supreme; the will and force of the people are unpredictable. A statesman must find a way to harvest this great power in order to control popular opinion—the control of popular opinion is to control the consciousness of a people. This control can either be beneficial or adverse to humanity—but is a power so great that moral and empathetic men are duty bound to affect positive direction to the public views. People can force the hand of government; even the despots hand can be forced. By fear of the collective will of the people in the form of public opinion the despot will be forced to action for security of his office.
The force of habit is a strong force and can be used for good or ill. Habit creates second nature reactions in individuals and nations. Change is feared and is viewed warily even if change produces truth. Bad habits can strangle a nation and be the death to a lodge. The industrious Mason must pursue truth and encourage new and productive habits. Habits are prejudices and are very delicate and volatile; they can drive the passions of a people to action and are very hard to break. While very few truths are truth for all time, habits and patterns may not be beneficial to a people for all time. Good habits are generally difficult to develop and more difficult to change; once in place we should use caution and wisdom when dealing with this force. In ourselves we should pursue reason, logic and truth to guide our habits and passions.
The force of patriotism and love of home is as powerful as public opinion. The force of patriotic fervor should be encouraged and developed. When a people hold dear the love and affection of their land and country where they reside, they become an irresistible force. So long as a patriotic people resist then can never be conquered. Even during occupation by a superior force a patriotic people will overcome their oppressor and maintain their national identity. You can conquer an army and topple its national buildings, but a people are never conquered until their hearts are won. A people patriotic even under foreign domination are still a powerful force, resistant to foreign power.
The soldier who is deployed constantly for purposes other than war and has no sense of permanency cannot develop a proper sense of patriotism. The military’s effectiveness and capability of being utilized as an effective fighting force will have been greatly diminished. When a great part of a nation’s forces and citizen soldiers are sent to the Balkans, Africa, the Mediterranean, West Indies and elsewhere strewn about the globe—they do not develop the sense of pride and love of home. The lack of permanence makes the term patriotism unrealized. Fanaticism for love of country for its defense is necessary in its armed forces; absent this hunger to defend home, family, and country, the effectiveness of a defense force is limp—having no real desire to resist. When against an opposing force enlivened by patriotic fervor they will be crushed.
The force of eloquent speech can be used for good or evil. Speech can influence others and should always be used to ennoble a people. Beware the corrupt individual who will use the mystery of speech to justify the destruction of public morals. The power of will is a power unlimited; will is the power of the divine. Men of will and action influence other men in leadership positions. Force of will can overthrow the oppressor—force of will gives the smaller force the ability to conquer the greater force. Faith, which is wisdom in application; Hope, which is strength in application, and Charity, which is beauty in application—these three are the three great moral forces attainable by all men.
Wisdom is the accounting and estimation of all these forces giving each of these their full appreciation, value and measure. The conqueror will accomplish little against the forces employing wisdom—the usurper who does not anticipate these forces will be short lived and the charlatan who plays these forces wrong will be exposed.
The social and moral values of a society is an estimable force because they provide the overall identity of a people, underlying the surface of moral consciousness is an unpredictable current of social impulsiveness, ever changing passions that can be stirred by fickle fancies and whims. The media has expertly mastered the marionette strings of the people’s unpredictability, making the populace dance to their agenda. Truth is not even necessary for the people to be excited by the words of the media to enrage the populace. Where the will of the media is, there is also the will of the people. The statesman who does not possess the blessing of the media is doomed, whereas the demagogue who has wood the media is ensured success.
Music is also a great motivator of the people. Where the media controls the mind of a people, music controls the heart. Every nation and people has a song or medley of songs that stir patriotic fervor. Where the Battle Hymn of the Republic played, brother marched against brother, and the brother was stirred by passions to the tune of Dixie. Where the Bonnie Blue Flag stirred the heart to secession, the tune of Johns Brown’s Body spurned troops to conquest and subjugation. The value of peace is another force that cannot be calculated. What man desires to leave his wife and children to go off to war? What wife wishes to see her family fractured by the absence or loss of her husband? Peace is an element that must be accounted for.
The government ruled by intelligence has three aspects for her defense—the military, the state and religion. When all three are in harmony all great things in society can be achieved. Free government will prevail by virtue and the intelligence of an informed populace. An informed and educated society is required for freedom. When an injustice is removed from a people, they are more sensitive to it and more vigilant in guarding against it in the future. When moral law enlightens a people to revolt and throw off the yoke of bondage, they are sensitive to political oppression, and review laws to ensure the law is equitable to the common good and equality is enforced. Freedom cannot be handed to people who are not ready or are unwilling to lift their own yoke. When freedom is simply granted and not realized, those freed expect more to be given to them. When freedom is granted to those not able to grasp the concept of personal responsibility they expect the government not only to provide the lifting of their yoke, but also desire all manner of governmental programs and benefits to be handed to them. Beware of these individuals when in governmental office—wherever they hold office injustice will follow. The handouts to their constituents will be supplied by the hard work of those taxed to excess.
Social redistribution of wealth to the unworthy will breed hostile feelings and there can be no peace. One expects something for nothing, and the other is bereft the fruit of their hard labor. Animosity will ferment and become foul. Both will perceive a violation of their rights; where one perceives the right of entitlement, the other will perceive the right to the wages of their honest labor. No man is entitled to unearned wages and the pot will simmer and boil. Woe to the statesman who solicits entitlements for votes. This sort of politician is a forked tongued serpent selling false truths for votes.
Large cities breed social cancer and poverty; in cities the poor who already cannot sustain themselves continue to propagate and produce children contrary to all laws of logic and reason. They belie providence; how can the poor be cared for if they keep having more children they cannot support? Intelligence is beyond the city pauper mentality and when intelligence rears its head it is perceived as some social injustice. This is where Masonry is needed most, to help aid and assist—not as handouts, but to provide social consciousness, reason, logic and truth. It is up to Masonry to provide social enlightenment to revive the conscious thought in a people turned blue from asphyxia.
Where men must work and toil in unceasing labor, he will not stop to cultivate intelligence; he will not slow the single simple pleasures despite possible consequences. Where sex is the only simple pleasure men and women can afford, it will be enhanced and elevated causing the birth of yet more children already a burden to the city economy. Reason and intelligence must be cultivated in such a culture; when there are a plethora of methods for birth control readily available control measures should be employed.
Masonry must improve society by provoking intelligent thought; where a child cannot be brought into the world to a loving family able to support and raise him, intelligence must be invoked to employ birth control measures—not to revoke the pleasures of human sexuality, but to instill responsibility and accountability for actions. A man will become free only when he learns to control his passions and can be in control of his actions, not driven by his lusts.
Nothing is nature is lost; thought and action are often equal where the single though can spark a revolution. Thought and action are tied together by a tether; linked closely one to another. All wise thoughts produces great and well reasoned actions. Knowledge and the acquisition of information generates thought; the problem is sound thought and reason are beyond the grasp of most men. Where there is one well reasoned and well thought individual, there are thousands of erroneous thinkers wasting their labors. There will always be more people who remain ignorant than those who will acquire wisdom. Although I don’t believe the ratio to be calculable, Pike asserts the ratio to be a thousand to one. A collective opinion is generated by the thousands of individuals who accept the word of the one as gospel.
When a man begins to reason he will begin to formulate his own opinions. When individuals formulate opinions differences will arise. When a man comes to understanding and can reason his thoughts intelligently he then can influence others. Caution must be exercised not to attempt to utilize knowledge for unwholesome gains. All too often the benefits of knowledge and reason are utilized without wisdom for deceitful purposes. Masonry is the moral high ground seeking the benefit of humanity without the underlying motive of personal gain. It is Masonry that teaches us to place our trust and faith in God, and to look to our brother for support. Masonry requires the hope in immortality of the soul and a brighter prospect for the future. It teaches us always to deal with loving kindness towards our brothers. It is this higher goal and aim Masonry must always endeavor to teach and practice. Each man and Mason is equal, each fulfills a part of the whole; each Mason must perform the duty he is best suited to accomplish. The fruit’s of Masonry’s labor is self evident in a free society.
Where Masonry is hard at work and diligently pursuing its goals, men are free to express their views and opinions without scorn or persecution. Religious freedom prevails, and an individual is free to study scripture for his own understanding and comprehension. Where Masonry is at work to accomplish its goals, freedom of thought and expression are manifest. Religious and political freedom is Masonry in action.
Pike references Pythagoras when describing the nature of God. Pythagoras asserts God is absolute, all encompassing and clothed in brilliance; He is the manifestation of all law and science. All of creation emanates from his supreme and eternal laws of mathematics. All manner of creation is in perfect harmony with his laws. The laws we perceive on earth are merely a fraction and simple portion by which all may be explained. Certain truths can be perceived; three is the number of perfection, by which God executes his will. By three’s he communicates to man and by three’s we may decipher what God provides for our knowledge.
There are three manners by which we may perceive knowledge through communication. There is the word simple, provided by God and canonized in biblical text. This word we may read and recognize, but we may not always perceive its meaning. There is word hieroglyphic that must be studied deciphered to gain a deeper understanding, and there is the word symbolic that contains a deeper and more profound meaning and application. The word in the expression format was given to man as the basic form of communication for man to perceive. The word that conceals truths and hidden meanings must be perceived only through revelation, that the word symbolic provides the significant attributes perceived by allegory and divine inspiration as truth.
God can be found as the absolute and highest practice and form of Faith; God is reason absolute. When God revealed himself to Moses as the Great, “I am,” God’s revelation to Moses was absolute; only our limited ability to perceive and understand makes the simple statement seem cryptic. God is; the reason and nature of being is His being. The cause and effect of being is the essence of God. I am, being, existence; cause and effect—all encompassing.
Science, logic and reason mandate the existence of a supreme being. The hierarchy of being and existence culminates in the Divine Architect of the Universe, who is all encompassing in the statement, “I am that I am.” Nothing else needs to be said. The silent communication that transcends these simple words allows us to place our eternal hope and faith in Him. Our faith in God is the highest form of sentience; our ability to comprehend self and being. Our perception of being and perception of the highest being is a fundamental science. Life begets life, our consciousness is derived from a higher consciousness—a higher being and Grand Architect of the Universe. Sentience is being—which is also the reason why we are beings able to perceive self and others. This ability separates us from beasts; our being and sentience begets the formation of word thereby creating speech and language—the spoken form of reason.
The Supreme Deity is incomprehensible—we cannot begin to define or comprehend the scope and sphere of God. What we can perceive is only a small fraction, a minute portion of his grandeur, wisdom, and entirety. We perceive the world and the products of his creation. His Divine thought created the multitudes of creatures and plants, each in their place and in perfect harmony. To doubt the presence of God would be to deny every law of science and mathematics. The laws and sciences of his divine creations are manifested everywhere. Denial of God would be denial of existence; without God nothing would be present. Without his laws the planets would not be fixed in their revolutions.
Human thought proves the existence of Deity. By thought humans put their designs into action. All of creation is the manifestation of Supreme and Divine thought. Matter does not possess thought or design; matter cannot by itself cause its existence. Without thought matter cannot direct itself and without thought matter cannot create force. All of nature is manifestation of Divine Intelligence.
The mystery of death is found within life itself; salvation begins on our earthly plane. Virtue will always be rewarded on earth and in heaven; where virtue is given reward, vice will always be punished—here or in the afterlife. Even when the evil person is granted material wealth and pleasure on earth, his profits are only temporary and will add to his tribulations in the next realm. Suffering and toil builds our heavenly treasures. The labor of virtue, though not always rewarded in this life will be granted praise and wealth in heaven.
The nature of death is unexplainable to mortal man and known only to those who have crossed the mortal barrier. God has arranged all things according to his laws and nature. That there are laws of science and nature on this earth is proof of God’s divine nature to direct the laws of science and nature in heaven.
Truth is found in all things created in nature and creation offers us a glimpse of the nature of God, who must sometimes be disguised in order to be accepted. There are those capable of following truth and are able to live by his precepts—but are not capable of understanding his true brilliance. Those not capable of comprehending truth undisguised may become confused and turned away. What does perfection have in common with imperfect humanity? Humanity requires that truth be veiled so as to be received in accordance with our limited reasoning capability, thus we have many different denominations differently worshiping the same God in different manners and utilizing the same book of Holy Scripture.
Masonry incorporates symbols not to be perceived or understood by the non-Mason. Should the non-Mason read a ritual monitor the truths found in the ritual explaining the symbols are only rudimentary explanations and are not fully comprehensible. The elementary explanation of each symbol is only the beginning point for deeper secrets contained within the symbolisms utilized in Masonry. Through application of knowledge, reason and logic, the true meanings contained within the symbols are revealed to us in accordance with our level of understanding and comprehension ability. Ritual can only explain so much—but its words are veiled. Some through ritual comprehend meaning right off; others find a deeper and hidden meaning veiled within the symbols of ritual. Others never perceive these symbols even in the elementary form of ritual.
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