What is an Egregore?

In connection with a recent article about Freemasonry in the metaverse, we look at how an Egregore applies to Freemasonry in a digital world

The meaning of the word “egregore” may not be commonly known, but it holds great importance when it comes to initiation, group work, and ritual practice.

An egregore is a type of non-physical entity. This may be a new concept for some Freemasons, so this article will explore the deeper meanings of the term, how egregores shape organisations and their members, and their possible place related to the digital realm of the new world ahead.

While non-physical entities may sound only relevant to esoteric thinking, an everyday example is central to business activities in the modern world.

[Author: Please note the viewpoints and concepts in this article present just one approach of looking at subjects we have inadequate language or concrete thought processes to describe with complete accuracy.

Others may hold viewpoints which might appear to conflict with ideas outlined in this article, but that doesn’t mean either approach is entirely wrong.

Rather than taking what you read to be a solid and undeniable truth, or completely dismissing it, take for yourself that which you feel could be true or useful through either direct experience, intuition, or unexplored potential.

Written words with esoteric meaning are merely signposts to point you in a helpful direction to find and experience answers for yourself, potentially opening you up to ideas you may not have previously considered.]

The Corporate Entity

To form a company, the process of incorporation is necessary.

From the Marriam-Webster dictionary: “From its roots, incorporate means basically “add into a body” or “form into a body”.

Once the body of a company has been formed, legally it is known as an entity:

Definition of entity – “Something that has separate and distinct existence and objective or conceptual reality”

– Marriam-Webster Dictionary

The incorporated entity is an egregore. It is built, shaped, fed and powered by the directors who incorporated it, and those working under them in the corporation.

As the entity or egregore grows in power, it is fashioned by everyone within the company and soon takes on a life of its own.

The egregore then becomes autonomous, existing as something far more than the directors responsible for forming it.

The egregore then holds the power to shape the individuals who have chosen to work under it.

Below are some visible examples of how this takes place in a corporation:

• Uniform
• Branding
• Company vision
• Company ethos
• Moral code of the company and its staff
• Language, terminology, and tone
• Attitude

Have you noticed how some companies ensure all their staff dress in a similar way, use the same vocabulary, and project a similar attitude when dealing with customers?

This is of course down to initial training, but the egregore works continually to hold everything in place.

In companies where an egregore is formed and empowered by a team without a clear vision and an aligned intent between all members, the entity will become weak.

It will have no clear direction in which to act. The same applies if inadequate staff are taken on – poor activity of staff or directors will lead to a weakening of the corporate entity/egregore.

It will become unstable, unsuccessful, and be in danger of getting struck off or liquidated. New egregores stand a high chance of failure to be brought into continuing living activity because they have not become powerful enough to become autonomous.

Egregores can be positive or negative, often a mix of both with the balance being tipped in either direction depending on the intentions and actions of those who created it.

They are also directly affected by the morals and activities of those who unknowingly feed and draw from the egregore daily.

A corrupt organisation requires team members – at least at certain levels – without a good moral code.

Thus, a negative egregore will be formed – it can still hold power, but will influence those working under it negatively, eventuating in undesirable consequences for all involved and the world in general.

“Every group, congregation, society, or party, has an egregore, a group consciousness, which may be weak or strong. Before joining any organization, it is important to have awareness that affiliation makes one subject to the egregore of that group.”

 

– Theosophy Wiki

How do Egregores work?

Any group of people will form an egregore, from a business partnership to a football match crowd.

The former will take time to grow and stand a chance of becoming powerful, whereas the latter will be built rapidly due to the sheer amount of energy from the large number of people in the stadium.

The intense energy of an egregore formed at a football stadium is partly responsible for the electric atmosphere generated at a match. Everyone can feel it but will not necessarily understand exactly what they are experiencing.

There are dangers with egregores built rapidly from such a mass of people in an energised state. How many times has a high energy football match resulted in mass violence?

If a group of people feeding and creating the egregore become angry, that anger will shape the egregore and spread instantly, affecting the energy of everyone present.

Some will be more easily swayed by it than others but there will still be those becoming violent who would not normally behave in this way. Why? Because of the immense power of the egregore in its volatile state.

Thankfully, such an egregore will dissipate as quickly as it was formed. In addition to the above example, every football team has its own egregore which shapes the way the players and fans dress, think, speak, and behave.

This is a longer lasting egregore which is ultimately shaped by the team management, members, and all their fans.

So, if a particular team has a fan base who start behaving badly on a regular basis, this will affect the egregore and has potential to influence other fans.

Why is a moral code so important in Freemasonry?

Freemasonry has a strict moral code which all members must follow. The reasons for this are multiple:

 

• Freemasonry works to make better citizens of the world, and help make the world a better place

• Acting with proper morals ensures that you make more of a positive impact on others and the world than a negative one

• Due to the laws of cause and effect on all levels, acting in an immoral manner will cause you problems somewhere down the line. It will also have cumulatively negative effects on your mental and emotional state and those around you

• The egregore of Freemasonry has been formed and maintained over centuries in a deliberate and exact manner. This has ensured its impact and influence over Freemasons worldwide and their worldly activities is as positive as possible

Although the Masonic egregore may not generally be mentioned in Freemasonry, other initiatory systems place high importance on egregores. The following is a Rosicrucian definition:

The egregore of the Order extends beyond the usual limits of space/time to include the mystics, philosophers, and traditions of the past, including those in the Mystery Schools of ancient Egypt and Greece,… our Gnostic, Kabbalist, and Alchemist forebears; the Rosicrucians of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; and all members of the Rosicrucian Order…”

– Rosicrucian Digest 93.1

What is the purpose of physical ceremonies?

Do the initiation rituals somehow have a direct effect on the candidate’s mind, body, and emotions, or are they merely a symbolic

When considering the full extent of ways ritual practice may be able to affect the individual, it’s essential to take the triple form of the human being as the microcosm into consideration:

• Physical
• Emotional/astral
• Mental

The above have their correspondences to macrocosmic planes or dimensions of the same names which exists outside of the individual as well as within him.

These three planes or dimensions are often collectively referred to as the;

 

“lower three worlds”

The physical and mental bodies of every human emit their own light. The emotional body – also known as the astral body – does not, for it is a product of the meeting of the light of matter and the light of mind.

The word astral comes from the Latin word astralis meaning “starry”.

The astral/emotional nature of every human is not solid as is the physical form, nor does it have its own clarity and light that the higher mental faculties do.

The above three aspects of the worldly human being are interconnected and affect each other directly and indirectly.

The same triple form applies to the macrocosm which exists before each human is born, during his entire lifespan, and will continue to exist when his life has ended. Each plane or dimension can be further divided into the following:

Physical

1. Dense physical
2. Etheric (the invisible electrical aspect of matter which keeps all life-forms alive)

Astral / Emotional

1. Lower astral
2. Upper astral

Further details of the above will be provided in a later course module.

Mental

1. Lower mental/concrete mind
2. Higher mental/abstract mind

Humans are not the only beings that exist within the lower three worlds.

On the dense physical level, the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms are all visible.

On the less visible astral and mental planes exist other beings, some sentient like humans, with others being synthetic creations of human activity. Egregores are an example of the latter.

Rituals and Gnosis

Freemasonry, along with many Western Esoteric traditions, places a high importance on rituals and ceremonies.

Physical plane rituals are designed in such a way to affect the etheric, astral and mental aspects of the candidate and also to attract particular non-physical entities such as egregores.

Some people may or may not have experienced noticeable effects in group rituals – those who have would probably not have been given an explanation of what they experienced or why.

A beautiful performance of the Masonic initiation rituals, when carried out with precision and vigour, should induce an altered state often referred to as gnosis within the candidate.

Gnosis is a Greek word translating as “to know”, and is used in esoteric practices with the following deeper meaning: “Direct knowledge and experience of the Divine.”

Initiation ceremonies are not unique to Freemasonry, or even to recent centuries in the Western world.

For thousands of years, rituals of initiation or rites of passages have been used in many cultures for the same purpose: to place the candidate for initiation in a state of gnosis, so that he may be receptive to specific changes within himself that ensure he comes out of the ceremony a different person to the one who entered it.

In some shamanic traditions of the past, an adolescent would be initiated into adulthood through a rite of passage ceremony.

Such initiations are very different to present day Masonic initiations, but they held the same goal of providing a life changing experience relating to death and rebirth.

Activities designed to bring about gnosis are not unique to initiation ceremonies.

All religions and esoteric systems provide methods for attaining this expanded state to one degree or another. Below are some examples:

• Prayer
• Ritual practice
• Singing
• Meditation
• Chanting
• Dancing, including the Sufi Whirling Dervishes
• Drumming
• Physical exercise including yoga

Although the purpose and effects of an initiation are very different to singing and praying in a church, all the above examples have a definite mental, emotional, and even physical effect on the individuals involved. The science of ritual practice is a precise one.

The allegory and symbolism present in Masonic initiations, and similar initiations which may be used in covens and certain occult orders, are extremely important.

But what is equally important are the less obvious effects of performing such rituals. By putting the candidate into a state of gnosis during the ceremony, certain latent forces within him can be awakened in a controlled manner.

The group work of an initiation combined with unified intent and precise activity also brings into play the egregore of Freemasonry.

This egregore will work through all members of the group to directly affect the candidate, who is now in a suitably receptive yet positive state.

This state of awareness is very different to the negative trance state used by mediums and great care is taken to ensure the candidate is protected from any potentially negative influences, unlike the trance medium.

At the end of the ceremony, the initiate may feel that something has definitely happened within him but will not be provided with an explanation as to what exactly just occurred.

Evolution – Past, Present, and Future

Humanity has advanced greatly since it first appeared on this planet.

The progress of humanity has been paralleled and accelerated by the advancement of technology and spiritual, religious, and occult practices.

It is the “fire of mind” that has propelled us out of the animal kingdom into the advancing race we have become today.

It is this inner fire and light the initiatory processes within Freemasonry and Western Mystery Traditions seek to further ignite and illuminate.

As the human race has evolved over the millennia, the tools to assist with our evolution have also advanced and adapted.

The initiation ceremonies used in Freemasonry and Western Esoteric Systems are just one example of methods used to accelerate the evolution of an individual or group.

The tools to accelerate and guide a man’s growth and unfoldment today are necessarily different to those used a very long time ago.

And the approach to initiation, group work, and religion in the future will necessarily differ to what it is today.This is evolution.

Some factors will remain constant, but details will evolve as we do. For wherever humanity is sat on the ladder of evolution at any given moment, new tools and technologies will appear to assist our development further.

For example, certain practices employed to awaken the inner fire of humanity many thousands of years ago were suitable and effective at that time, but if attempted now, would only lead in the opposite direction.

Just like the techniques taught to a four year old child to learn new skills would have a negative impact if employed by a 30 year old.

The 30 year old must seek and find new methods if he wishes to gain further skills and knowledge. The same applies to humanity as a whole in every aspect of life.

The world today would be unrecognisable to someone from just 200 years ago. They could not have foreseen how information technology would completely change the way humans interact, or how easy it would be to quickly reach any part of the planet.

Likewise, the new world which lies ahead in the near future will be quite different to the one we live in right now.

The world has changed dramatically over the last 100 years, and especially the past two years. The momentum will continue as rapid shifts in technology will further shape our lives.

Digital Egregores

Two previous articles written regarding the so called “metaverse”, raised questions on how the coming metaverse could potentially be embraced by Freemasonry, and if there is any room for change and improvement in modern day Freemasonry to ensure that younger and future generations find it appealing.

The metaverse being more of a concept than a reality right now, it is a term for the digital realm’s imminent evolution.

It is down to us to shape it as positively as we can, ensuring Freemasonry has a presence, to ensure the metaverse’s impact on humanity will be as positive as possible.

The digital realm has been present and evolving for decades. Egregores now work through this digital dimension, especially via social media, with just as much power as where people physically gather such as football matches.

The same comparison might apply to digital rituals and physical rituals. In fact, egregores related to social media are formed incredibly quickly and gain power and influence so rapidly to the extent that sometimes, millions of people all over the world are influenced overnight.

Everyone wants to be a social media “influencer” these days. It’s not just people alone who are the influencers though.

The egregores that are constantly being created and fed – although often dissipating as quickly as those created somewhere like a football stadium – have vast power to influence how people worldwide think, feel, speak, and behave.

Each social media network has its own egregore which has evolved over time and will continue to shape the platform and its users’ activity to a degree.

For example, the style of posts on Instagram and TikTok are very different to those on Twitter and Facebook.

The activity shapes the egregore and the egregore shapes the users’ activity.

“As it is above, so it is below. As it is below, so it is above.”

This famous law of HermesEmerald Tablet applies to all that is seen and unseen within ourselves, and in our solar system and beyond.

This includes egregores along with who created them and the people the egregore’s influence.

Each trend or cause that spreads around the internet like wildfire has its own egregore.

Most of these burn out just as rapidly as they come into existence, but not before they’ve first made an impact on sometimes millions of people.  

The digital realm is the evolution of what can be termed the active intelligence aspect, contained in every particle within us and outside of us.

Egregores are also of this active intelligence aspect, as is the physical world.

As egregores are not dense physical beings, it becomes obvious how they can be formed so rapidly and can gain power and influence almost instantly worldwide through the internet.

Egregores created or evoked by groups of people within the same physical space have a definitely real presence, power and effect – just as those appearing and acting in the digital realm now. The methods may be different, but the outcome is the same.

Group work

When it comes to group work and initiation ceremonies, there are definite advantages to the group members being present in one space.

There is far more than just allegory and egregores at play when it comes to ritual practice, more than this article will cover.

However, the physical congregation of group members is not the only way to stimulate the required effects within the candidate for initiation or attract the attention of non-physical entities such as egregores.

With rituals that hold an intent for a purpose other than initiation, the same rules apply. The magnetism of group work can give an advantage similar to joining multiple batteries together in an electrical circuit to make a light shine more brightly.

Magnetism is of the physical body, comprised of its dense and etheric counterparts, and has great use in ritual practice.

It is not, however, the be all and end all of attaining the end goal of a specific ritual. When tapped and directed correctly and effectively, such magnetism will work to affect change on the astral/emotional and mental levels of the candidate or those taking part in the ritual.

These are the levels where the true changes set about by a ritual begin – for it is by affecting change on the mental and astral planes with a one pointed focus that the purpose of a ritual may be successfully attained.

For some purposes other than the initiation of a candidate, an experienced Master acting with accuracy and power from and upon the subtle planes without a physical ritual can bring even greater results than a lesser experienced group working physical rituals together.

This is all well and good for some, but what about the neophyte or entered apprentice facing their first initiation?

The point of the physical initiation ceremony is to not only stimulate changes within the candidate and attract attention of egregores etc. but to act as a safeguard to protect the candidate.

Left alone with occult techniques that may be able to produce an effect of self-initiation similar to the physical ceremonies, the candidate could potentially cause himself more harm than good without the guidance and protection the group and Lodge offer.

To summarise:

• There will always be a need for group work

• Group work can be effective in the same physical space or in some situations, remotely

• The initiation ceremony stimulates changes within the candidate’s “sphere of sensation”

• There are also exercises which don’t rely on physical group ceremonies that can effectively stimulate similar changes within the candidate’s sphere of sensation

The World Ahead

The new world which lies ahead for us is not the same world that we live in right now, and nor is it the one that lies behind.

Can people be moved emotionally while at home by watching an evocative movie, listening to music that can lift and transport the soul, or looking at beautiful artwork?

Yes.

 

Can one’s mental and emotional state also be altered in a similar way by going to the cinema, a concert, or art exhibition?

Yes.

Each approach is valid yet different. It doesn’t mean that you should choose to do only one of the above instead of the other though.

The same applies to physical rituals and non-physical rituals, whether metaverse based or more traditional.

As we and our technologies evolve, it will become clearer to us as to how the metaverse can be usefully incorporated into Masonic practices.

The potential for positive stimulation of the candidate’s mind and emotions using fully immersive interfaces will be tremendous if carried out correctly.

The big question is this – just how effective can distance, immersive technology based ritual practice become in the future?

Whatever your own views may be, the possibility must be explored as the answer is currently unknown.

The approach, however, could possibly use a more esoteric angle considering that remote group work is already carried out in some Western Mystery Traditions…and without the aid of virtual reality to assist with a unified focus.

It is essential that despite how technology may evolve, we do not allow the future to become one where everyone is shut away at home living in the metaverse as a REPLACEMENT for the physical world and real human interaction.

The past two years have assisted in speeding up the evolution of technology while giving a glimpse of what can be done remotely.

They have also proved how damaging it is to the human psyche and body to be locked at home living life through digital interfaces alone.

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Augmentation technologies must be used to AUGMENT the experience of the physical world in which we live, not fully REPLACE it.

This applies to Freemasonry just as much as it does to interaction with friends and family.

It may be a while until right balance is found so it is down to us all to play our part in ensuring the next phase of our evolution heads in a positive direction, in line with the plans of the Great Architect of the Universe.

Remember – whether the content of this article is symbolic, literal, or somewhere in between, is less relevant than how useful the line of thinking might be for you if embraced even as merely conceptual.

Article by: Anonymous

The author is a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, outer order of the Alpha Ωmega Rosicrucian Mystery School®.

He is also a long term student of Western esoteric traditions based largely on Lucis Trust, which was co-founded by the 33rd degree Freemason Foster Bailey.

 

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