The attentive reader may here note that we do not say, “Masonry as a Religion” but that we say, “Masonry as Religion”; thus we endeavour to keep all things simple and within the realms of universality and approachability.
Well may it be said that the thread of our Masonic continuity will be found stretching back into a dim, distant and most ancient past, having subsisted from time immemorial. This latter phrase pertains to a period beyond the reach of conventional views as having existed from a time whereof the “memory of man runneth not to the contrary.” Thus it may be said of Masonry, or that of which it is a remnant, that it is of such antiquity that neither memory nor conventional history can reach.
The evidence, linking our Masonic labours with the builders of the ancient days, will be found in a study of our rituals and symbols and in the allegories of initiation.
Our Masonic lineage is the descendant of a divinely imparted religion, which long antedates any known religion or prime dates for the emergence of humanity. Our rituals, symbols and numbers are all that remain to us of that first unified religion that flourished in an antiquity so old that it is impossible to fix a date; then came an era for many millions of years, of separation, of many religions and of sectarianism. At this unique time in the evolving spiritual awakening of humanity’s consciousness, however, we are poised upon the dayspring of a new era in which that of which Masonry is a remnant will arise again.
The birth of that universal primordial religion was imparted to our ancestors (who were but the former aggregates of our reincarnated selves) by the Initiate-Priests of those ancient civilisations, Who are perhaps beyond the ken or recognition of conventional historians, and about which conventional history probably knows absolutely nothing, in spite of the attempts of many luminaries throughout the ages to bring such knowledge to our attention.
Many millions of years ago, according to the Teachings of the Ageless Universal Wisdom, and far beyond the calculations of conventional history or conventional science, a certain number of Lords of the Flame came to our Earth, and—together with the Lord of the World, the Ancient of Days—established the Grand Lodge on High, the Spiritual Hierarchy and true inner and spiritual government of our planet, and were the custodians of the revelation from The Most High and gave it to mankind.
They laid down those landmarks which could and would lead the infant race—groping in the darkness of ignorance—out into the light of knowledge, and guide them towards an eventually glorious resurrection.
Thus may it be said that Masonry is as old as humanity itself, and religion as old as Masonry.
There has never been a time in the long history of humanity when the Lodge on High has left itself without an earthly witness, and thus, the current Masonic Lodges on earth bear witness to that greater Brotherhood of Supernal Light.
The Mysteries of past ages are all a part of that ancient thread which had its origin in that primeval religion, and which today terminates in modern Masonry.
It has been said that “religion is the name given to the invocative appeal of humanity and the evocative response of the greater Life to that cry.”
The moment that any idea enters the religious field, it gains immediate momentum from the fact that the outstanding characteristics of the human consciousness are the sense of the innermost or the Real, a recognition of a subjective destiny, and an innate knowledge of reaching out to the Unknown God. Therefore, any truth or presentation of truth or method that has within it the possibility of producing a nearer approach to divinity, or a more rapid understanding of the “deeper Being,” evokes an immediate response and reaction.
The religious spirit of humanity is today more definitely focussed upon Reality, in spite of what the conventional and superficial media may try to present as an opposition to that fact in their attempt to be what they erroneously perceive as “modern” and secular. This spiritual and religious factor on the part of humanity makes possible and potential a vision of a new and vital world religion, a genuine spiritual approach to Reality, a universal faith which has its roots in the past, but which also clarifies the new and dawning beauty and revelation hovering over mankind.
The fundamentals of all true religious faith remain, upon which a newer and universal religion is to be built, and for this emergence it is unnecessary to destroy that which has met its spiritual demand because only the conventional non-essentials of so-called religious forms need surely to disappear. The foundations will be laid upon those truths which have stood the test of ages and which have brought assurance and comfort to men and women everywhere.
These foundations are:
- The fact of Deity.
- The fact of humanity’s essential and intrinsic relationship to the divine Source.
- The fact of immortality and eternal persistence, involving necessarily the recognition of two great natural laws: The Law of Rebirth and the Law of Cause and Effect, i.e. the Law of Karma, or Ethical Causation.
- The fact of the continuity of revelation and divine approaches, leading necessarily to the recognition that never—in the long history of humanity—has Deity left Itself at any time or world period without witness.
To these facts must be added:
- The fact of the assured, innate knowledge of man of the existence of the Path to Deity (by whatever Name) and his ability to tread it.
All of these facts have been preserved in Masonry since time immemorial.
The unique factor of Masonry in this regard is that, having preserved these fundamental facts pertaining to the truer nature of ‘religion’ there is no particular spiritual Identity or Divine Personality in Masonry around which conventional religions for the masses are gathered and devoted to. This is not to belittle such things, nor to attempt to present Masonry as a new world religion, for the major world religions have ever followed in the Path set forth by some divine Personality Who has set His seal and exemplified in His Life a Path or a Way by which others may follow. Thus, such divine Personalities, through their exemplary Lives and Livingness, have set Their Seal upon the efflorescence of subsequent world cultures and civilisations that have followed in their Footsteps. One would have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to acknowledge the vast and far-reaching impacts of the Seal of the magnitude of a Life such as that of a Krishna, Buddha or Christ upon succeeding generations of cultures and civilisations, for those immensely far-reaching divinely lived Lives have spawned cultures and civilisations and swayed hemispheres in comparison to us mere mortals who are quickly forgotten shortly after our demise. Let us keep everything in perspective.
But let us also seek to preserve Masonry in perspective. Masonry is the custodian of a spiritual mystery and a beautiful secret that has captivated the imagination of millions of men and women over the ages and to which—even to this day—many millions of spiritually-minded persons still look with a sense of expectation for spiritual revelation. It still remains as the custodian of something so beautiful spiritually, and this is sensed, even if unconsciously, by sensitive and religiously inclined persons, as a continuing source of revelation pertaining to man’s essential divine nature, because it pertains to that most intimate of relationships between a person and his or her own soul, beyond the dogmatism of any conventional religion, and has basically preserved that inherent truth that all true spiritual emissaries from the Grand Lodge on High or Spiritual Hierarchy (whether it be a Buddha or a Christ), have ever sought to convey.
The creed of antiquity or the religion of a Mason has basically only two fundamental or basic tenets. They sum up and embody all that we need to know essentially, and all lesser doctrines and dogmas are only expansions and interpretations of these two fundamental truths.
First, The Most High, as the Source of all Light, lives and IS. He expresses himself, in Masonic nomenclature, as The Great Architect of the Universe, Who founded the worlds on number and on the Word, and by, in and through Whom the worlds were built. “All things came into being through Him, within Whose Light we walk.” This is a statement of immense spiritual significance to Masons everywhere, and particularly to the Masons of AUM.
Second, that man (meaning the product of manas or mind, or the soul’s spiritual spark of ignition which “individualised” the spiritual entity, which of course includes both men and women), is a son of light and therefore immortal.
The use of the term, “man,” may here be submitted and accepted by those of an open and impersonal mind beyond the illusion of gender, if it is realised and accepted that humanity, or mankind esoterically considered as a whole (being a product of individualisation as it pertains to the soul in form and therefore regarding a “personality,” as being the product of mind) and with all due recognition that the soul dwells—esoterically speaking—on the higher planes of mind in its “Temple of Solomon” (which is an esoteric reference and symbol of the egoic or “causal body,” as it is referred to in the current esoteric nomenclature), and is thereby to be understood as the positive or “masculine” aspect of the expression of the Logoic Life (when considering things impersonally and macrocosmically in the light of the law of correspondences), whilst the paralleling deva evolution is the “feminine” aspect within that Logoic Whole. On the Buddhic plane, “men and angels” meet; but until such an achievement in consciousness is gained and mastered, then it must be realised that “men and angels” are paralleling evolutions and eventually must learn to work cooperatively and consciously together.
“Man” is therefore a Son of Light, yet wandering in the darkness of his own ignorance pertaining to his truer nature as a Soul essentially. Eventually he will find his way “home” from whence he came, which is to say from whence he came originally as a divine Monad or spiritual / divine being.
A Third tenet may be presented here in the form of a keynote of the relationship existing between the first and second, and sounded forth in Masonry as: “The Soul is one Soul and the basis of all fraternal relations,” considering our essential relationship as kin of the One Father, or One Divine Life from which we have all emanated.
Therefore, it may be said that Light, Brotherhood and Immortality are the essential spiritual keynotes of the Masonic Creed.
Thus, it will eventually be realised that the fundamental spiritual tenets of Masonry lie at the heart of all true religion, and that for a Mason to regard his participation in Masonry as equal to that of any other form of religious or spiritual observation or expression are sound and pure, and that he need not ‘apologise or seek to justify it in any way whatsoever.’ A true Mason is always a spiritual asset to his community, wherever he may find himself.