Friday, 10 December 2010

Morals and Dogma - Chapter 1 Entered Apprentice

Lets get this out of the way - Pike wasn't anti-relgious, any anti-mason worth his or her salt, would pick up Morals and Dogma, read at least the first chapter and come away with the fact that Pike was a Deist.

Pike (and Mackey) were geniuses, they lived in a time were little was known about the craft and no reliable historical information was available.  They were both serious researchers into the craft, and Pike could be credited with expanding the Scottish Rite in the Southern Juristiction.

This Chapter looks first at the use of the Gavel and Rule within the individual and society itself, Taking the operative mason could not just bang away at the stone with brute force, hoping that the statue would take form, he applies this in a broader speculative sense to society

"The force of the people, or the popular will, in action and exerted , symbolised by the gavel , regulated and guided by and acting within the limits of law and order; symbolised by the 24-inch rule; has for it's fruit Liberty, Equality and Fraternity - liberty regulated by law; equality for rights in the eye of the law; brotherhood with its duties and obligations as well as its benefits ."

Looking at the moral message of the ashlar stone in the context of politics he states:

"The rough ashlar is the people, as a mass, rude and unorganised.  The perfect ashlar is the state, the rulers derived their powers from the consent of the governed; the constitution and the laws speaking the will of the people; the government harmonious, symmetrical, efficient"

Pike also addresses the point that Freemasonry is not a religion, but has religious aspects, or perhaps more properly seemingly religious aspects -

"Though Freemasonry neither usurps the place of , nor apes religion, prayer is an essential part of our ceremonies.  It is the aspiration of the soul of the soul towards the Absolute and Infinite intellegence, which is the one supreme deity"

Why do I say that prayer is 'seemingly' religious?, let me share something personal with you.  I at times, have great difficultly reconciling my personally held 'religious' beliefs with the events that happen in my life, however even a times of this doubt, I still direct my thoughts to God - leaving theology aside, I simply ask for his help.  Therefore prayer to me, as an individual is not a 'religious trapping' but a deeply personal point of contact with the Architect.

Pike continues:

"To deny the efficacy of prayer is to deny that of Faith, Love and Effort.  Yet these effects produced, when our hand, moved by our will, launches a pebble into the ocean, never cease; and every uttered word is registered for eternity upon the invisible air"

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