Here we will be comparing the teachings of masonry namely the antient form or the more spiritual aspects of the masonik system with the gnostik equivalent. So we will not be going any where near any of the conspiracy theorys associated with masonry as we can can clearly see that these accusations if true are directly associated with the psychic aggregates and not any teaching in itself. In all events we will see that the masonik system is in fact directed towards the understanding of the human predicament and of course the evolution and enlightenment of the being, or as the gnostiks would say the revolution of conciousness and self mastery/the liberation of the being. Seeing as this little lecture is directed to a gnostik audience we will only be refering to gnostik terminology and not giving any great definitions there.
Naturally while we are comparing the two systems we will come across a lot of different terminology but you will see that the definitions given to these different terms are indeed the same. Or at least have the same intent. I have of course tried to smooth out these different terms in the course of preparation,
The masonik system is a hands on working ritual envrinment that comes from as they say obviously egypt and the atlanteans etc before that . it utilises a degree approach whereby the initiate or candidate actually plays a physicle role in the ritualistik drama as the prime method of instruction which is further suplemented with lectures , tracing boards,( a specifik lecture peculier to a degree) and of testing. All work in the masonik lodge is done from memory thus truly grinding the work into the awareness/conciousness of the individual. Or at least contributing to the mental body, as the gnostiks know to be one of our existential bodys in the septenery system.
It is very interesting to note that the main body of the work is culminated in the 33rd degree , that of the fabled sun king. Gnostiks will of course recognise the smbolism here of the spinal cord and the raising of the kundalini. Naturally though in true masonik fashion the degrees do go on beyond that of the 33rd.
Symbol and allegory as we can see are favourites of both freemasonry and gnosis. Two chickens out of the same egg , so to speak. Naturally these symbols are universal and can not be restricted or copyrighted to any one order or fraternity.
Craft masonry or the blue lodges as they are known are bound to the first three degrees where the candidate is given an overview to the great work and its symbols. This is the level where a great deal of masons keep their masonik careers , of course as the system is, there is a great deal of information to be exposed to . Then comes the royal arch degrees or those of the red lodge and beyond, which basikly go into all the workings of the first 3 degrees in greater detail.
Being a freemason as well as a gnostik obviously implies that one is at least aware that he is supposed to be free of something , the egos and attachment etc, and that he is on the path of self liberation / responsibility. Free to be responsible for himself and built the existential bodys , thus the superman, and thereby of course on the material plane a higher focused society.
The modern gnostik body of course also utilises the triune system too along with its rituals , in the form of it’s 3 chambers.
Broadly speaking these first 3 degrees illustrate the journey first from the purely material sleepwalker level of being , to the second state of conciousness or degree where we are aware of the numinous yet are still at least half restricted to the lower material or animalistik egos and then on to the third level of being or degree which is that of the spiritual or higher realms. For example in the older days when freemasonry was perhaps a little purer than what it is today it is written that to attain the second degree the “ fellow craft “ mason was expected to demonstrate a working mastery of the astral realm . In masonik symbol this is illustrated with the three levels of king solomons temple , and the restrictions placed on entry to said levels/conciouscness. The three levels, or more appropriately the degrees of the journey to the true being . The solar man. King sol.
For example a first degree mason cannot enter a second degree lodge, and a second cannot enter a third etc.
The lodge room is set out in specifik fashions according to the degree being worked , the lodge itself being a representation of an intermediary representation between the micro and macrocosmos. A further illustration of the degree of attainment of self realisation being expressed in the working.
In accordance with this the lodge does of course require different furnishings and “officers” peculier to the point in question, along with the tools which are drawn from the craft of stonemasonry and given occult definitions for further instruction of the candidate.
Each lodge of a specifik degree also corresponds to a card of the tarot and hopes to illustrate this point.
One obvious role of the masonik lodge is that of the tyler, the armed gent standing guard to prevent the lodge being compromised . Gnostikly we will see how important this function is when we draw our attention to such tecniques as the SOL tecnique and the awareness of the trans formation of impressions . With regard to the internal being this function is reinforced masonikly with the “ inner guard “ the gent standing to the interior of the lodge entry. Gnostik ritual has the guardian of course as well as many day to day tekniques and practices.
The focus of Gnostik work is the attainment of the higher vibratory dimensions by the eradication of the egos. In the process of this we become a being of angelik stature. The egos in gnostik terminology being the bhuddist psychik aggregates, or, pluralised “I” . Freemasonry also works on the energetik principles, whereby it ascertains that the human is incorrectly subservient to incorrect energy patterns within, that must be corrected to also reach the angelik realms. Utilising the will power towards this end the masons use the “common gavel “ to indicate that the great work requires “will” to be utilised and focused towards the correction of these energetik patterns and the creation of something finer from the gross material / energy available. The gavel or mallet as symbol also is representative of virility and the sexual potency that must be mastered by the will and put to good use. This is even more evident when we come to the 4th degree , or Mark Master Mason degree . In this degree the mark master mason is directed towards what the gnostiks know as “ the perfect matrimoney “ .
Numerically the number 4 indicates realisation . The masons use this as the realisation of and utilisation of the powers conferred in the first 3 degrees, thus the 4th major arcanum in the tarot is also the masons work of the fourth degree in the language of symbolik pictograph.
In opening a mark master lodge eight officers are necessary but usually ten are present, corresponding to the seven planets of mans seven-fold constituion, plus the three upper-octave orbs, or overseers Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Gnostiks will have their attention drawn to the septenery system of the chakras and existential bodys at this point.
Uranus Neptune and Pluto are truly overseers in the sense that when injustice and tyranny become rampant on earth, the factors within the unconscious minds of men are responsible, this is the masonik view. Gnosis says the EGO’S, here we are talking about the same thing. Furthermore the masons state that the proper course of action is that of a revolutionery change through the use of the high frequency electromagnetik radiations of the nervous system, which is very interesting as this is exactly what all the old art forms of tai chi and yoga etc not to mention the art of alchemy all state. All sound very gnostik ?. the masons say that these energys are to be directed by the inner plane energys of man which should in fact effectively reach and direct the physical brain. Obviously they refer to the 'intimus' here the true being of the interior.
In this degree it is also pointed out or instructed the importance of the correct use of energys in day to day life emphasizing the focus to be on constructive purposes both physicly and esoterikly. This is shown with the masonik sign known as the “ heave ho” where the hands are gripped with fingers interlocked by the right groin then lifted up over the left shoulder , indicating that the energys associated with scorpio are usually thrown on the scrap heap, that is wasted. These are the sexual energys they refer to. In fact this puts a whole new light on why the masons put so much care and importance into their “ handshakes” and such . They are in themselves important teaching aids with deep astrologikle and symbolik importance and lessons. One can see the need to keep such things secret , especially in times of persecution and intolerance not to mention gross ignorance of which man seems to specialise in. All masonik grips do indeed have such occult symbolism attached to them, there are grips to show the interplay of polarities between husband and wife for example and also to show that the correct use or direction of energys generated between husband and wife has been passed on to the mason .
Sounds a little like the gnostik “ perfect matrimoney” dosen’t it ?.
The keystone which also is associated with the mark master mason degree is indicative of the necessary interplay between male and female. The straight lines being male and the curved female. So too with all tools and furnishings in the lodge, they all have deep symbolik meaning and geometrikal associations. But I think this may be a little beyond the scope of this little piece of information.
Masons are known for keeping a strict formal dress code. This can also be seen as drawing attention to the seriousness of the work and the need to create these superior bodys and facultys.
Another masonik grip which is quite interesting is that of the “provost and judge” degree where it is based on the seventh major arcanum of the tarot, symbolising the star of hope. The first sign is to place the first two fingers of the right hand to the side of the nose with the thumb under the chin, sybbolising the will to use the energy of mars, signified by the chin; to vitalise the etheric body , signified by the jupiter finger; in the process of breathing , indicated by the nose. The physikal body is also to be considered in this process as the finger of saturn is used as well as that of jupiter. The second sign is like that of the first except that one finger only is used, to signify the use of mars’ energy to vitalise the etherik body. The candidate is also given along with a password a key to a small ebony box which contains the plans for building the temple, and a key for opening the ebony box containing all the temple keys.
Of course we immediately think of the Egyptian pranayama here that gnostiks do practice for the elimination of the egos and creation of the existential bodys.
We can also see this style of instruction in the Shingon sect of bhuddism, which is renown for its mysticism and extra-ordinary feats.
This school interptrets all deities and demons as manifestations of the Dainichi bhudda , whose body comprises the whole universe. The postures of the body , the movements of the hands , and the utterances of elaborate rituals evoke mystical powers in Shingons followers. The mysteries of the cosmos are graphed in various hand formations and diagrams called mudra and mandala. These symbolise the two aspects of the universe: it’s ideal or potential entity and it’s vital or dynamik manifestation.. numericly it is interesting to note that there are 9 of these hand signs to be mastered along with their esoterik fasets. The nine are rin, pyo,to,sho,kai,jin,ritsu,zai and zen. Upon mastery the praticioner is able to insert a tenth character into the matrix, that of man.
Well I think we’ll leave it here for just now. But certainly we should be able to see from this cursory overview of the masonik system that it did indeed once have a lot to offer and still does if you know what to look for. Whether todays practicioners have a full understanding of the great work and the search for the lost word I guess we’ll never know considering they have the vow of silence regarding lodge activitys, though I am told Freemasonry is opening up to the publik now.
I hope you found this interesting as we did only just scrape the top of the iceberg here to show some parallels between the two and establish a link between the two traditions that do obviously have the same essence in teachings and source of wisdom, being gnostik in the true sense of the word. Probably if you could combine the two you would be doing well.