Mystic Masonry or The Symbols of Freemasonry and the Greater Mysteries of Antiquity
By J. D. Buck M.D.
The spirit of unrest is in the air. On the surface of things today, Commercialism most often and most loudly claims attention. Great combinations of capital and the massing of millions seem the order of the day.
Within the body politic organization and cooperation is being tried on a scale never before recorded in the history of man, and economic problems are being tested in a way that cannot help adding immensely to the combined experience of mankind.
What the final outcome may be, only the wisest could now say, and perhaps only the foolish would venture to predict.
But human nature is essentially a stable product, and can be relied on in any event.
Deep in the heart of man lies the principle of justice and equity, and no abuse that selfishness and greed can devise can long have any permanency.
We may be far from the universal reign of Brotherhood, but there is something deep down in the heart of man that continually strives toward it.
Potent as is all this commercial unrest and economic strife, other problems are equally up for solution. Using the term in its broadest sense, the Psychic problem keeps pace with the economic.
Ethics and Economics are inseparable. The conduct of the individual, and the use of the resources of life and the distribution of wealth, always involve both ethics and economics; in short, constitute them.
Outside the churches and religious literature we hear less about religion nowadays.
Indeed, many otherwise good people seem to think religion obsolete ; a thing of the past; a survival — where, indeed, it is admitted to have survived at all — of the dark ages. No greater mistake could possibly be made.
The surface problems may have changed; organizations may have broken up or disappeared, but the vital issues not only remain, but were never more in evidence than today.
Nor can it be otherwise so long as the essential nature of man remains unchanged.
J. D. Buck M.D.
Only the imbecile or the degenerate can really ignore the religious element in his own nature if he tries.
Just as inevitably as water seeks its level, and ultimately finds its way to the sea, does man feel after that Power — called by whatsoever name — whose divine ray makes him Man, and whose indwelling presence lifts him, at rare moments, beyond sordid self, and beckons his soul toward the higher, the larger, the better, as by the touch of wings.
This is a universal experience, equally known to the savage and the civilized, and entirely independent of theologies or ecclesiasticism.
Theologians in all ages have seized hold of this common human experience and formulated and endeavored to guide it, and have often exploited it, just as capitalists have dealt with economic problems in the resources of nature and the distribution
This is, broadly speaking, the psychic problem, constituting the religious element in the life of man.
It was never more manifest than it is today. This it is that now runs pari passu with commercialism; and while, as already said, it may make less noise, it is everywhere in evidence.
Every problem in the life of man, and every movement that affects society, is, in the last analysis, a psychic problem. One and all they concern the body and its environments incidentally, and the soul essentially.
The progress made in physical science in the last half century is so remarkable that it is difficult to find an adjective suitable with which to designate it.
Hence the economic problems already referred to are necessarily to be revised.
While the psychic problems have come into equal prominence, no such organized results can be pointed out as in economic experiments.
The race, as a whole, has been gathering facts and making experiments.
The working hypothesis in psychology has seldom been suggested. At any rate, there is no large or general agreement as to any theorems.
There seem to be no designs on the trestle-board, and the workmen, the legions, are in confusion.
The great majority of people, even among the educated and intelligent, will make haste to deny that this psychic theorem has ever been known to man.
That it could ever have been discovered and then* lost, or concealed, is to them preposterous; yet the whole of the traditions and symbolism of Masonry cluster around this theorem , this working hypothesis in the psychical life of man.
It is the one thing needed to bring order out of confusion in the psychic problems that interest so many at the present time.
This Great Secret, this Masters Word, was known to and preserved in the Mysteries of Antiquity, and is embodied and preserved in the traditions and symbols of Masonry today.
This fact has been stated repeatedly in the body of this little book, the real purpose of which was to set students, and particularly masonic students, to searching for the real secret.
It is the reward of study and devotion, and has never been obtained on any other terms.
It has never been conferred in the ritualistic degrees of the Lodge, and never will or can be.
It is the establishment of understanding in the soul of man between that higher self in him, and the More, and the Beyond self from which he draws his life, and from which his intuitions spring.
This is real Initiation: Becoming: At-one-ment. The author is both gratified and encouraged at the reception accorded and the interest manifested in this little book, and the commendations received from many quarters.
That, it could become, in any broad sense, popular, he never for a moment imagined.
It is too serious and void of sensationalism for that. In entering now on its third thousand, it has already exceeded any expectation of the author, who will be profoundly gratified if he may aid, though it be but a little, in increasing the respect entertained by the community at large for the Order of Freemasonry, and encourage his brother Masons in seeking More Light.
I believe that nowhere amongst men today can there be found so near an approach to an Ideal Brotherhood of Man as in the Masonic Lodges.
Perfect it is not, and cannot be till human evolution is completed. Among the hundreds of thousands of Masons today in the United States it would be difficult to find one who does not strive his best to exercise charity and loving-kindness, particularly toward his brothers in the Lodge.
There are thousands of Masons, moreover, who realize that Masonry contains and implies far more than appears in the ritual and ceremonies of the Lodge.
There is a very widespread and growing interest in this direction, and it is this that Mystic Masonry, above all else, is designed to foster, encourage, and help.
Indeed, the growth of this feeling in the past decade is remarkable, and the present writer has not a shadow of a doubt as to the result.
It is the ethical precepts inculcated in the Lodge and so largely practiced by the craft, more than all else, that open the higher intuitions of man, and so enable him to grasp and finally comprehend the higher problems concealed in the profound symbolism of Masonry.
Modern Masonry is thus fast becoming, like its ancient prototype, a School of the Mysteries; the real Mystery being the origin and nature of the human soul, and the transcendent and immortal destiny of Man.
The Masonic organization is so large, so widespread, so strong; its spirit so fraternal; its teaching so helpful and inspiring, that it seems destined to achieve the most glorious results in the encouragement and uplifting of the whole human race.
The hard and fast lines that have heretofore segregated mankind are rapidly disappearing.
Creed and dogma have lost their hold since the State no longer protects them, and the anathemas of ecclesiastics are no longer feared.
Men and women of all classes are coming into closer touch with the avowed purpose of understanding, in order that they may help each other.
It is more and more recognized that the good of one is the welfare of all. The “sin of separateness” is thus slowly being undermined.
Hence the ethical, the religious, the economic, and the political problems are seen to be practically inseparable, and all definitely related in the one problem of the higher evolution of man.
This recognized unity of knowledge and community of interests is the prelude to the Universal Brother- hood of man that is the ideal state and the dream of every true philanthropist throughout the ages.
Masonry stands for just this, and all this, just as for ages the Great Mysteries clearly defined and promulgated the philosophy which makes such an ideal state, such a Great Republic of Nations and
It must be founded on a knowledge of man’s entire nature, and cemented by loving- kindness toward each and all, then only can it exist and endure.
To promote this glorious result is the sole purpose of this little book.
This is indeed the Work of the Lodge, as it should be of every Frater throughout the world, till in the end it is the work of every individual.
Cincinnati, January, 1903
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