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freemasonry: Its hidden meaning
George H. STEINMETZ
"The archetypal image of the wise man, the saviour or redeemer, lies buried and dormant in man's unconscious since the dawn of culture; it is awakened whenever the times are out of joint and a human society is committed to a serious error" *
In the present era, when indeed, "the times are of joint," Freemasonry should eagerly embrace the sacred opportunity of awakening the torpid consciousness of the leaders of the masses to the real truths of Masonic Wisdom. This is my prayer and my hope; and this desire has inspired me to present in this treatise the illucidation of those Masonic truths as I have been given the light to see them.
* C. G. Jung Modern Man in Search of a Soul. Harcourt, Brace & Co.
"A younger Brother shall be instructed in working, to prevent spoiling the material, for want of judgement, and for increasing and continuing of Brotherly Love."
A good man and true makes known to a friend his desire to become a Mason. He is given a petition for the degrees of Masonry, which he fills out and presents to the Lodge. It is received; a committee of investigation is appointed and functions, efficiently or otherwise, and if elected, the degrees are conferred in due course. The newly-made Master Mason sits among the brethren, is present at the conferring of a few degrees, becomes wearied of the same routine repeated over and over again and soon fails to attend Lodge, except, perhaps, on some special occasion such as a Past Master's night, a banquet, or possibly not at all.
Over twenty-five years of experience in Masonry has forced the conclusion that this lack of interest of Masons in Masonry is largely due to failure on the part of the Lodge to teach the science and philosophy of Masonry, especially to the younger members, at the time when their curiosity is aroused and their interest is flaming. Masonry has been defined as a "system of morals, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols." The ritual nowhere adequately explains these symbols and allegories, and not only conceals the true explanations but also often actually misleads. To transform rough ashlars into perfect ashlars, reading, study and instruction are required. It should not be forgotten that only stones capable of being fashioned should be admitted to our Venerable Institution, and that the INTERNAL QUALIFICATIONS should be carefully scrutinized.
Masters of Lodges, officers and coaches are continually being asked questions by those of inquiring minds which they are all too often unable to answer. The necessary information can be obtained only from the continual and persistent study of the writings of those Masonic students who have placed their thoughts and researches upon the written page, thus conforming to the admonition to the "well informed brethren" to impart knowledge to the lesser informed.
In this book Brother Steinmetz has created an elementary textbook and guide for the study and understanding of the esoteric meanings of Masonry. He is enanently well qualified to undertake this task, being well versed in the Mysteries, a student of Hebrew, a clear, logical thinker, realizing the necessity for continued Masonic education. Since it is intended for the use of the beginner rather than for the advanced Masonic Scholar there are many quotations from the monitorial work to facilitate its use. S ome students of Masonry may not agree entirely with the interpretations herein set forth. Even these, however, will benefit as they will need arrive logically at a better explanation, and in so doing advance themselves.
A careful study of this book will implement the student with proper and plausible explanations of many of the symbols and allegories contained in the three degrees, and will stimulate him further to pursue the study of the deeper esoteric meanings of our exceedingly rich ritual. It must not be forgotten that although the Grand Lodge system dates from the year 1717, Masonry or the thing called "Masonry" has existed from the beginning of man.
This instructive, thought-provoking book should be in the hands of every English speaking Mason. The study and possession of the knowledge contained in it will bring about greater understanding, fellowship and brotherhood among those who are privileged to be members of this Honourable Institution.
HERBERT H. SCHULTZ MD., P.M., 32ø
"Most holy and glorious Lord God, the Great Architect of the Universe, giver of all good gifts and graces; in Thy name we have assembled, and in Thy name we desire to proceed in all our doings. Grant that the sublime principles of Masonry may so subdue every discordant passion within us, so harmonize and enrich our hearts with Thine own love and goodness, that the Lodge at this time may humbly reflect that order and beauty which reign for ever before Thy throne."
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Last modified: March 22, 2014