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The Hidden Life in Freemasonry


  The three articles of furniture were also regarded as intended to help men on their way; theV.S.L. drew attention to the value of tradition, the triangle spoke of the importance of inspiration, and the square emphasized the high use of facts, with also in the background the idea of the value of common sense. The tradition was handed down by the forefathers, the inspiration came from the higher self, and the facts were to be studied and used with common sense.  




  The business of the E.A. is to take himself in hand morally and conquer the physical body, so that its impulses will not stand in the way of his rapid progress or evolution. The E.A. of Egypt used to remain seven years in the First Degree, because he had to fit himself thoroughly for the illumination which could come only to one who had his emotions under control and sufficiently purified to reflect and serve the higher self. That being done, the smooth ashlar was to be perfected until it was ready to be used as a living stone in the temple of T.G.A.O.T.U., fit to form part of the heavenly Man of the future.  





...the seven principles in man, the planes of nature on which they exist, and the corresponding officers in the Masonic Lodge.

The upper triangle, containing the first, second and third principles, represents the ego or higher self in man, commonly called the soul, who in the course of his long pilgrimage or evolution towards human perfection, takes many incarnations, each of which is called a personality. The lower triangle is a reflection of that higher one in the matter of the lower planes, and it forms with the dense physical body the lower quaternary, which constitutes the personality, and lasts through one incarnation. The evolution of man is really the development of the ego or higher self, but in most people at the present stage of human progress that ego may be described as still in his infancy; he has not yet fully awakened to the positive and purposeful life of a man on his own planes, nor has he realized what can be learnt through incarnation in the lower planes. In course of time and many incarnations the three higher principles gradually unfold themselves, and the man realizes more and more of the divinity which is truly his.





  He is engaged in making his astral body into a perfect instrument for the expression of high emotion, and is at the same time learning to gain control of his mind. In this stage a Mason should be making every day some advances in Masonic knowledge, till presently the mind will no longer be wayward and fickle, but controlled. At this point he will pass on to the Third Degree, and then the k … s indicate that he has but one plane to conquer, has but to perfect the mind as an instrument in the service of the higher self. This work will go on for as many years as are necessary before he passes through the Chair.  




  The square here mentioned is the quadrilateral of the personality. Two things must happen with reference to that: it has been brought into subjection, as is implied in his treading upon it on entering the Lodge, but it has not lost its strength and activity thereby; it is as active as ever, but now all its energy is turned to the service of the real man, the higher self. That higher self incarnated in a personality for the sake of acquiring definiteness; the ego on his own plane is magnificent, but vague in his magnificence, except in the case of men far advanced on the road of evolution. Now, in the symbolism of this degree, the personality has seen with all clearness that the purpose of life is to serve the higher; he throws himself into the task with vigour and so gives some of his definiteness to make the purpose of the ego clear to himself; he makes a call to the Warrior within, to use the symbology of Light on the Path.  





The Brn. are then called to order as Craftsmen, and the R.W.M. turns to the W.J.W. again, with the question: “Are you a M.M.?” On his replying that he is, the Master asks him by what instrument in architecture he will be proved, and he replies: “By the square and compasses.”

This means that a M.M. may be tested and known by the fact that both the higher self and the lower self are in working order, are functioning together and in harmony. The M.M. is symbolical of the Initiate of the fourth degree, whom the Buddhists call the Arhat; at that stage of attainment on the occult path the battle against the lower quaternary is practically over, and the latter has become an obedient instrument in the hands of the higher triad, which is awake and active in all its three parts.





  In earlier degrees his consciousness had to be raised from the s … to the c …, that is, from the quadrilateral to the triangle, from the lower to the higher self; but now it has to be raised from the triangle to the point, from the higher self to the Monad. The Monad is now beginning to work its will in the higher self, as before the higher self worked its will in the lower.  




  To conquer and organize the physical nature for the use of the higher self the E.A. must use his will, the power of Shiva, the First Person, reflected by his Devi Girija. To transmute the passions of the astral body the F.C. must use his intuitional love that comes from Vishnu, the Second Person, through Lakshmi. To conquer the wavering mind and make it a perfect instrument for the higher self, the M.M. must use the power of his thought, the divine activity of Brahma, the Third Person, reflected by Saraswati. Madame Blavatsky said that the aspirant should make a bundle of the lower things and nail them up to the higher self; when he has done this he will have fulfilled the destiny which is indicated for him - he will have stepped with t … s … over his o … g …  




  The path of the moon is said to typify the life of the ordinary man, who clings to objects of desire and parts with them reluctantly at death. After a period in the astral and heavenly worlds he returns to earth, to repeat the process. It is the path of rebirth after intervals. The path of the sun is that of the occult aspirant, the man of spiritual desires, who values life only for what it can give to the higher self in others as well as himself. He also is reborn, but usually without an interval, or after a very short one. The path of fire is the path of ascension, from which there is no longer any rebirth under the law of necessity, but only at the choice of the ego - only for the helping of the world.