The journey towards ’light’ in Freemasonry is said to be experienced by each individual differently. Using the masonic teachings, each individual brings their own traditions, conditioning and programming, all of which influence their journey. Seekers outside Freemasonry find the “light” through a teacher that guides their ‘transcendence’. Most importantly, such a teacher must be one who wishes nothing more than to help others become self-realized and experience true spiritual bliss.
The danger is when one comes across teachers and programs that are designed to empty the bank account while claiming to offer a sure path to enlightenment. There is an abundance of self-proclaimed enlightenment gurus who “sell” self-help programs and by doing so, have amassed incredible fortunes without any lasting effect to the unsuspecting seeker; one well known Guru is reported to be worth over $500 Million dollars today!
On a lesser scale, and in our own beloved Lebanon, we have witnessed similar cases of individuals who established self-help programs and masonic Grand Lodges with their own creation of ‘off-the-shelf’ teachings, proclaiming themselves as the ultimate Sages and Rulers of these entities with titles that astound and impress.
Ancient and accepted Freemasonry, in its purist form, has been promoting the transmission of Masonic “Light”, since its earliest documented existence in the 12th century, as is the case of Lodge Mother Kilwinning, under the auspices of the Grand Lodge of Scotland. Mother Kilwinning Lodge No.0 is reputed to be the oldest Lodge not only in Scotland, but in the world.
Freemasonry promotes the ancient sciences in its teachings and uses the ‘7 liberal arts and sciences’ to present the principles of morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols.
The 7 liberal arts and sciences enable the self to transcend to a higher state and are found in two distinct groups:
• The Trivium: Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric. The Trivium combines the use of the senses with knowledge to lay the foundation for further study.
• The Quadrivium: Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, and Astronomy.
The Quadrivium is considered to be the higher level education for the philosopher, and employed the use of the Trivium to be able to compose higher ideas and thereby, expand the knowledge of the human condition. Freemasons the world over have expounded on the Seven Liberal Arts ad infinitum.
The challenge has always been that to achieve enlightenment, one has to deal with bringing ‘Light’ to ‘Dark’ places, knowledge to the ignorant, and with that comes the difficulty of dealing with those who promote “the illusion of knowledge”; and as Plato said “no one is hated as much as he who speaks the truth.”
Throughout history, Freemasons have used the knowledge they gained to impact society by building themselves up to become modern day warriors, equipped with the ideal and understanding of a true universality of man – an ideal that unites Men across every race, culture and creed. And in doing so, Freemasons become “men of action”, impacting all those around them with that love and harmony that they are taught in it.
Finding light, therefore, is understanding your own true nature – Nosce te ipsum.
May the Light of Freemasonry continue to unite us all.