Question:  It is sometimes said that FreeMasons do not need to make changes to their rituals, but that they need to change their understanding of them. What are your views on this?

It is not really a question of “either, or” but that both points of the question are valid.

It is true that the essential meanings of the rituals already exist within them, for those who can see.  But the essential rituals as they currently exist are largely composed in a Jewish rhetoric and illustrated and dramatically enacted through what is sometimes a convoluted and contrived Jewish history which has little meaning or relevance to the modern mind.  It is true, that those wise Jewish Seers of old took what they learned from the Egyptian Mysteries and clothed their esoteric learning and understanding in a dramatic enactment and allegorical forms of some of the history of their “new nation,” veiling the esoteric truths within.  But, whilst preserving the esoteric facts and detail and structure of the Masonic symbolism intact, the Jewish nomenclature now has to go, not because it is Jewish, but because it is old and reactionary, and, on the one hand, has served its purpose, and on the other, has not followed the evolutionary path of the sun through the zodiacal Ages, nor incorporated the subsequent spiritual revelations given forth to mankind by either the Buddha or the Christ.  In this area alone (of wording and nomenclature) the rituals need to be recomposed in a nomenclature and rhetoric that expresses and evokes a more universal understanding and one that is not derived from any particular portion of humanity, for it is now humanity as a whole who are the “chosen.”  The universal language of symbolism must remain, however, and is absolutely intrinsic to Masonry as an expression of the Ancient Mysteries.  But the nomenclature needs now to be clothed in the universal rhetoric of the Ageless Wisdom.

Also, it might be mentioned, that over the passage of time, various additions and deletions have already been made to the rituals, and during that process very important parts were deleted and other superfluous things were added, perhaps because the minds involved either did not possess the esoteric knowledge to know what they were doing, or introduced their own religious conditionings, or simply did not understand the spiritual or esoteric significance of either what they were deleting or the triviality of what they were adding.

Masonry, like much else in the Piscean Age, became crystallised and the emphasis on the material form obscured the meaning of the form of the symbol and what it was intended to symbolise.  The whole edifice demands the attention of those with a newer outlook and a fresh vision to life and livingness, together with a spiritual understanding.

The rituals do need re-arranging and the present forms and formulas need adapting in such a manner that the spiritual possibilities, symbolically indicated, will again emerge with greater clarity and a deepened spiritual potency.  That is what we have been attempting to do, attending to, and what we have actually done in AUM over these past 20-plus years.

The Need for a Masonic Unity of Thought

Of course, it goes without saying that Masons also need to “change

[or deepen] their understanding” of the meanings of the rituals and their work upon the Temple floor.  But this can only be done initially by those with a fresh vision and a spiritual understanding.  For this, the members of the Lodges have to be prepared to work together towards achieving a unity of thought and understanding pertaining to the deeper meanings of the work they are performing together, and for this it will also require a background in esoteric study, training and discipline, with the objective of attaining unity of thought between them as a group.

In conventional Masonry this will perhaps take a long time because they have become too crystallised and their institutions have become vast bureaucracies.  It will therefore require much courage on the part of the more enlightened Masons scattered here and there throughout the conventional Masonic Orders and a determined effort.

In AUM we have already established a Masonry in which the rituals have been re-arranged, recomposed and adapted in such a manner so as to cause the spiritual potentialities to emerge with greater clarity, whilst preserving the esoteric facts and detail and structure of the Masonic symbolism intact.  One of the requirements for applicants to AUM is that he or she already has a background in esoteric training, study and discipline.  Thus, a form of Masonry now exists for the esoterically inclined students of the world and for those who are inclined towards a spiritual understanding of Masonry.

But we must also state that our work, our existence, and our efforts have never been conducted with a view to supplanting any of the existing Masonic Orders, but that we have always viewed the world-wide Masonic movement as one Movement, and that we are simply a part of that movement.  Thus, we extend the hand of brotherhood to all Masons and have often had the great pleasure of welcoming visiting Masons from other Masonic Orders to our meetings.

AUM has been in the making for the past 30+ years, and so now, after much labour, (conducted quietly and patiently), and an actual self-applied “de-conditioning” of ourselves—being that the charter group of this enterprise all began their Masonic careers in more conventional Masonic Orders, for which we are all thankful—and in the early part of this century, we are now ready to extend our work to all Masons with an open and enquiring mind, and:  “Open the door to all the sons of men who come from all the darkened valleys of the land, and let them seek the Temple of the Lord.  Give them the Light!”