Philosophy in the Life of the Freemason

To lift such a heavy weight,
Sisyphus, it would take your courage!
Although we have our hearts at work,
Art is long and Time is short.

– Le Guignon – Charles Baudelaire

In Greek mythology Sisyphus or Sisyphos was the founder and king of Ephyra. He was punished for cheating death twice by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill only for it to roll down every time it neared the top, repeating this action for eternity [wikipedia]

Before the dark night of dogmatic thought, philosophy is the dawn of man, and the light for the Mason in his search for truth.

Philosophy for a Freemason is an activity of human intelligence inspired by free thought and guided by the humility of the intellect;

It is the art of thinking that is inspired by the exercise of reason taken to the limit of its critical possibilities, free from any dogma that conditions reason in the search and knowledge of the first cause – or causes – whose effects take place in the world of phenomena and impress our senses.

Philosophy —from the ancient Greek φιλοσοφία: “love of wisdom” – invites us to philosophize (from the Latin philosopharis,philosophor); that is, to think in order to know and, based on knowledge, to express an opinion of reality that has been contemplated and interpreted in the light of reason. 

– wikipedia


A woman representing philosophy. Etching by B. Audran the elder, c. 1700, after Raphael..
IMAGE LINKED:  Wellcome Collection Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Philosophizing is thinking, and thinking is reigning. This is how categorical are the words of the disciple of Stanislas de Guaita, Oswald Wirth:

“To think is to rise above the mass of beings who think nothing.

Not thinking is consenting to be dominated, led, directed, and commonly treated like a beast of burden.

It is by his intellectual faculties that man is distinguished from the brute.

Thought makes him free and gives him the rule of the world”.


Left: Stanislas de Guaita (1861–1897), philosopher and poet. By Unknown author
Right: Oswald Wirth (1860-1943) By Unknown author –,
IMAGE LINKED:  Wellcome Collection Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

If by antithesis we understand “thing or person that has the opposite qualities of another or represents the opposite of another”, then thinking is the antithesis of dogma, for this reason Freemasonry is light in a world in which ignorance reigns because of dogma.

Dogma – from ancient Greek δόγμα, belief or precept – and dogmas are tinsel formulas of false knowledge; it is a blind exercise of reason that claims to be in possession of the truth.

A dogmatic thought is a pseudo thought, it is not a proper philosophical thought, since it lacks the principle of freedom, a condition sine que non to be a thinker.

Thinking should not be conditioned by opinions held as unquestionable truths that do not allow discussion and that, therefore, do not allow philosophizing, that is, thinking. 

Adherence to a dogma is a free act of the will, however, it nullifies all possibility of logical thought since, a dogmatic thought, does not successfully overcome, for example, the paradox of Epicurus in relation to the problem of evil in the world: There is evil in the world.

If there is an omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent deity, then evil does not exist. But evil exists.

Therefore, an omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent deity does not exist.


Bertrand Russell, 1957
IMAGE LINKED: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Philosophy is the light before dogma and, there, lies its importance in the life of every Mason, since as Bertrand Russell points out: 

“The man who does not have any veneer of philosophy, goes through life a prisoner of the prejudices that derive of common sense, of the habitual beliefs in his time and in his country, and of those that have developed in his spirit without the cooperation or the deliberate consent of his reason .”


“Aristoteles” (1811) by Francesco Hayez (1791–1882)
IMAGE LINKED:  wikimedia. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Aristotle in his work Metaphysics points out:

 “All men naturally have the desire to know.

Animals receive from nature the faculty of knowing through the senses.

But this knowledge in some does not produce memory, while in others it produces it.

And so, the former are simply intelligent; and the others are more capable of learning than those who do not have the power to remember.

In men, experience comes from memory.

Indeed, men of experience know well that such a thing exists, but they do not know why it exists; men of art, on the other hand, know why and why.”

Aristotle’s words express the undoubted need for and importance of philosophy in the life of every human being, and especially in the life of every initiate in the Masonic light, since philosophy is an art that makes men of art, those who They seek to know the why and the cause. 

Every Mason, as initiated in the art of thinking, is a potential philosopher who has a moral and intellectual duty to educate his brothers and, as far as possible the profane world, in the art of philosophical reflection, since everything Mason knows that in public education that forms – or deforms? – the new generations, the sincere teaching of philosophical reflection is excluded.

A Freemason is fully aware that the ignorance that conditions the profane world is of little or no importance to awakening in the human being the light of philosophical reflection, particularly in matters such as politics, economics and especially philosophy.

Educating in politics – or in civic education – would mean giving the profane world tools to know the phenomenon of power and understand its process, that is, how it is accessed, how it is acquired, how it is exercised, how it is controlled and how power is influenced.

Educating in economics and finance would mean giving the profane world tools to know and understand the production process and the financial system, both nationally and internationally and, therefore, the human being would feel empowered in the production process.

Educating in philosophy would simply mean teaching the profane world to think, which is dangerous for those who hold the power and control of ignorance in the profane world.

Therefore, politics, economics and philosophy are knowledge that is strategically forbidden to the profane world.

Faced with such obscurantism – in philosophy, economics and politics, the Freemason has the intellectual and moral obligation, to be light in the formation of thinkers before the scenario of intellectual obscurantism in which the profane mass lives, prey to fanaticism, dogma and ignorance.

That condition and limit the possibility of knowing themselves, since they live and die as a simple “productive fungible mass”, without reaching the consciousness of thinking beings during their existence.

The importance of philosophy in the life of each Freemason lies in the need to deliver light and dignity to each individual of the human species, since the dignity of the human being is in his freedom of thought, since thought builds worlds, an example this is why, without the freedom of philosophical thought, DescartesCogito ergo sum  [I think, therefore I am] – a fundamental principle of modern philosophy – was not born:

“But I immediately noticed that while in this way I wanted to think that everything was false, it was necessary that I, who thought it, was something.

And noting that this truth: I think, therefore, I am, was so firm and true that it could not be broken by even the most outlandish assumptions of the sceptics, I judged that I could admit it, unscrupulously, as the first principle of philosophy that I was looking for.”


René Descartes – By Gérard Edelinck – This file comes from Gallica Digital Library and is available under the digital ID btv1b8404199s/f1.item, Public Domain
IMAGE LINKED:  wikimedia. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Consequently, dear Freemasons, if philosophy were to be lacking in the life of the human being, and particularly in the life of every Freemason, we would become a blind, deaf and mute species.

Article by: Carlos Francisco Ortiz

Carlos  was initiated in 2015 in Equality Lodge No. 88.  Joined Fraternal Action Lodge No. 42 in 2018. (under the regular Grand Lodge of Chile)

During his university life, and before receiving Masonic light, he participated in the reorganization and foundation of Clans of the Youth Fraternity. Alpha Pi Epsilon.


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