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EGO AND SPIRIT

(PART 2)

Foster Bailey, in his book The Spirit of Masonry, relates the three

Degrees to Revelation,

Inspiration and Prophetic Information, and in quoting a prayer from

the ancient Hindu scripture well known to Theosophists: "Lead me

from darkness to light (the work of the first degree), from the

unreal to the real (the work of the second degree), and from death

to immortality (the work of the sublime third degree)," then goes

on to the three great dramatic episodes related to the life of

Christ on earth: Birth, Transfiguration and Resurrection,

demonstrating yet again the fundamental universality of the

principles, irrespective of race or religion, substanding our

Brotherhood.

The last progression we will consider is that of Freemasonry

itself. Many brethren, ever mindful of an Installed Master's

obligation never to "permit or suffer any deviation from the

Ancient Customs and established Landmarks of the order", refuse to

entertain the idea that any change could, or should, occur. But

this attitude is not supported by many writers who have delved deep

into our history and others who are actively engaged in trying to

bring about changes at the present time, and although the Ancient

Customs may not be understood and the Landmarks not officially

established, Freemasonry is an evolving system based, according to


the major esoteric fraternities who freely acknowledge that we are

the custodians of the Ancient Wisdom, on universal principles that

can never themselves change.

Of the changes already made to the expression of these unchangeable

principles, and they are legion, only two that are relevant to this

Paper will be quoted. It is the opinion of some writers that the

First and Second Degrees were at one point transposed, and the

Third Degree of the Craft Lodge is an addition. One of the changes

that will surely come about in the near future is the transposing

of the penalty clauses, and we will consider some possible reason

for this too. Many have, and will continue, to decry these changes,

usually on the grounds that the changes were brought about by well-

meaning brethren who were ill-informed on the true meaning of the

ceremonies and the underlying significance of the sequences

involved. Be that as it may, Reg Harland, our President for 26

years, was often heard to say that "Nothing ever happens by chance,

there is a reason for everything". Another way of looking at such

changes is by faith in the prescience and wise guidance of Divine

Providence who will, when the occasion demands it, achieve her ends

by working through the most unlikely channels: it is a matter of

common experience that the leaders in any profession are likely to

be the most conservative where innovation is concerned, yielding to

a radical approach only when necessity demands it. The words

conservative and radical are used in their philosophical sense to

denote preservation or limiting and proceeding from a principle or

root, between which there is a constant ebb and flow as between a


circumference and its centre, and this interaction produces a

dynamic equilibrium, or stability, that eventually becomes the

stepping stone or thrust block for further progression to the next

stage of the evolutionary plan.

It can quite justly be said that the Masonic system as it is today

contains within its framework the essential ingredients for

spiritual advancement over and above sectarian and political

issues, and that it provides a setting embued with a spirit of

brotherly love wherein those who would other wise be kept apart can

"meet on the square and part on the level" with mutual trust and

respect --that "satisfaction and delight which disinterested

friendship can afford". If this is so, why pander to the opinions

of those who do not sojourn among us but criticise through

ignorance, and by ignorance fear, and by fear seek to destroy? This

sequence is a very common one.

That every action has a reaction that is equal and opposite is an

accepted law opposition breeds resistance until a new stability is

resolved. How, then, should we react, and above all, by our own

understanding, convert enemies to friends, and adapt any situation

to our own advantage?

Joshua, when he fought the battles of the Lord, prayed fervently to

the Almighty that He would continue the light of day until he had

completed
the overthrow of his enemies. Esoterically the Light of Day refers

to the spiritual mind or nous, the Light of God in the deeps of

every Soul depicted as a symbol in the Middle Chamber. His enemies

were aspects of the secondary principles of the Soul who, during

the process of evolution had established an identity and autonomy

in the realm of Nature which they were loathe to relinquish. In

reading the Book of Joshua we find many references to the Twelve

Tribes of Israel, the seven trumpets of the priests, the six

circuits of Jericho etc., which again is considered to be numerical

symbolism, Jesus, according to Luke ch.6 v.42, said " . . . cast

out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then thou shall see

clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye" - we

have moved into the mysteries of Nature, an appreciation of which

will allow a progression to the realm of Heavenly Science, the

realm which rules over Nature. But let us not fool ourselves, for

according to many earnest students of the Mysteries such as our

former President Reg Harland, referred to previously, the Second

Degree may be the shortest one in length, but it is the most

important one of all. Why? Because at the present stage of

evolvement it is considered to be beyond the capacity of most of

us to maintain and uphold the high standard of mental equilibrium

required while we are under the constant duress of flashing lights

and continual noise occasioned by the mode of present-day living

which does not know of, and therefore pays scant heed to, the

cicadian rhythms in which we participate but flagrantly disregard,

effectively preventing us from acquiring that permanent inner

silence so essential for us to become entitled to be raised to a


higher level of consciousness as a normal everyday experience.

Let us now briefly consider the Temple as the setting in which the

three degrees are worked, what it represents, and the basis on

which the degrees rest, so that we have a common understanding of

the terms of reference used in this Paper, for there are many

correlations each of which are correct in their own particular

context. Firstly we will assume that ideally we presented our

personality, persona or mask as a man of the popular world to the

ante-chamber of the Lodge in which we sought Initiation; entered

the Lodge as a human ego the ego representing the unit of

consciousness capable of ascending and descending to different

levels of consciousness. planes, or worlds in order to know itself

as Soul and actualise her potentiality; and as a human Soul

presented herself to the Holy Royal Arch Chapter to know herself

as Spirit.

Secondly, the Temple represents an analogical pattern of the Soul

and its principles, both subjective (spiritual) and objective

(secondary Soul principles) with the W.M. personifying Being or

will, the S.W. Life, the J.W. Intellect, the S.D. Epithumia,

irrational or instinctual and the J.D. Thumas, vital and

appetitive, both rooted in the astral body, and the I.G. Eidolon or

etheric mould or mesh on which the physical body or O.G. or Tyler

is formed. (Many of you will be more used to the concept of God

through His Transcendent and Immanent aspects being regnant over

and within the Temple with the W.M. personifying Spirit, and the
S.W. Soul. This one must agree with as background knowledge, but

requires the ability to raise the consciousness in actual fact to

that of HRA Scribe or Principal to work on that level in a Lodge

as one of the brethren between the columns to enable the Master and

his Wardens to "raise great weights to certain heights with little

encumbrance". . . "Who is there among you of all His people? The

Lord his God be with him and let him go up."'.)