Freemasonry is a curious phenomenon. It is also one of the best known fraternal organisations and a lot of information is available on freemasonry. It can be seen as practical philosophy or a living encyclopaedia of religious, philosophical and historical myths and legends. As such it is interesting to use it as a framework to study some philosophical principles. The self-declared principal idea of Freemasonry as a fraternal organisation is to take a good man and make him a better man by developing his morality. Although legend has it that it was founded at the building of Solomon's temple, it is known that during the building of cathedrals in the 1200's, the stoneworkers of the British Isles and Western Europe were organized into guilds which had the usual three degrees of master, journeyman, and apprentice. The beginning of the modern Masonic Order dates from the year 1717 when the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster was founded.
Studying freemasonry as a layperson seems to pose some challenges, but at least it will be fun and interesting. Something must be possible with the help of available literature and other public sources. Freemasons describe Freemasonry as "a peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols". Ethics, morality or moral philosophy refer to rules provided by an external source such as codes of conduct or principles put forward in religions or philosophical systems. Morality is ultimately a personal compass of right and wrong. As a system of morality which developed in the 18th century, freemasonry most likely applies concepts and ideas derived from traditional virtue ethics, which goes back to Aristotle (384-322 BCE) and his Nicomachean Ethics. How to study the allegories and symbols of freemasonry? We need some instruments to study allegories, symbols and the morality of freemasonry. Hermeneutics as the theory and methodology of interpretation can be used to study the rituals and symbols of freemasonry. Semiotics as the study of meaning-making, the study of sign processes and meaningful communication can be applied to the symbols of freemasonry. Hermeneutics and semiotics can be used to find the deeper sense or underlying meaning, hidden under the surface, which the Greeks called hypónoia. Hermeneutics has a long tradition but it also changed over time in its methods and goals. Johann Conrad Dannhauer (1603-1666 CE) wrote the first systematic textbook on general hermeneutics. Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (1768-1834 CE) can be considered to be the father of modern hermeneutics as a general study. For Schleiermacher interpreting a text deals with the inner thoughts of the author and the language that the author used in writing the text. Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900-2002) CE) in his Wahrheit und Methode (1960) deployed the concept of "philosophical hermeneutics" and abandoned the idea of being able to find a connection with an author's thoughts that led to the creation of a text. On can also study the rituals (texts) of freemasonry by taking into account their historic context as in historicism or take another approach such as structuralism or both. Freemasonry makes extensive use of myths in its rituals, which requires studying mythology in order to understand the deeper meaning of its message. Joseph Campbell (1904-1987 CE) and his work in comparative mythology and comparative religion provides inspiration to connect the allegories and symbols of freemasonry with Indo-European and Semitic mythological traditions. The concept of the monomyth or hero's journey from The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) can be applied to the rituals of freemasonry. For the study of the topological relations of the masonic temple and masonic rituals as techniques for remembering images for words, the concept of the memory temple can be used in the tradition of the 'ars memorandi'. Frances Yates (1899-1981 CE) wrote about memory temples in The Art of Memory (1966). (Hermeneutics, Richard E. Palmer, Northwestern University Press, 1969 and The Disciplines of Interpretation: Lessing, Herder, Schlegel and Hermeneutics in Germany, 1750-1800, Robert Scott Leventhal, Walter de Gruyter, 1994, p. 82 and The Problem of Objectivity in Gadamer's Hermeneutics in Light of McDowell's Empiricism, Morten S. Thaning, Springer, 2015, p. 16 and The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell, New World Library, 2008 and The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, Christopher Vogler, Michael Wiese Productions, 2007 and The philosophy of freemasonry: It's Mythical Structure, Ronald Paul Ng, First presented at Fidelity Lodge No. 8469 UGLE, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 2nd October, 2006 and Ancient and Medieval Memories: Studies in the Reconstruction of the Past, Janet Coleman, Cambridge University Press, 1992, p. 417 and Art and Magic in the Court of the Stuarts, Vaughan Hart, Routledge, 2002, p. 81 and Three uses of memory in freemasonry, J. Scott Kenney, Burns Lodge No. 10, Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia, Canada).
The rituals and symbols of freemasonry have both a literary meaning and a hidden meaning. How to find out what is meant by a symbol and an allegory? A symbol is "something that stands for, represents, or denotes something else (not by exact resemblance, but by vague suggestion, or by some accidental or conventional relation)". Understanding the meaning of a symbol is part of studying a certain tradition and culture in its historic context. The ancient Greek Doric order of architecture symbolizes strength, while the sprig of acacia reminds of immortality. In order to express a complex idea or image, freemasonry uses a figurative language to express its message. Allegories are narratives with an underlying message. An allegory is a story that can be understood both literally and as referring to some external already know situation and requires additional knowledge in order to understand its meaning. An allegory is also concerned with the exposition of theoretical truths rather than practical exhortation. The word "allegory," is derived from the Greek "ἄλλος", meaning "other," and "ἀγορεύω," meaning "proclaim.", which means 'to speak something different'. An allegory expresses a concept using a different word, similar to a metaphor. Contrary to a metaphor, the shift of meaning is often deep and hidden. It originally referred to a figure of speech that Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BCE) defined as a "continuous stream of metaphors." According to Augustine of Hippo (354-430 CE), allegory is a mode of speech in which one thing is understood by another. Allegory in the Middle Ages distinguished four types of interpretation or allēgoria: figurative allegory, narrative allegory, moral (or tropological) allegory and typological allegory each with its own hidden layer of meaning. Figurative allegory serves to make specific typological connections between representations in the ritual and its participants. Narrative allegory uses the narrative's temporal shape and the temporal and causal development of a story or ritual. Moral (or tropological) allegory deals with how one should act in the present, the "moral of the story". Typological allegory deals with interpretation which is concerned with the links between subjects referred to in texts or rituals. Several types interpretation point to a different meaning which can all be present at the same time in the same text or ritual. The literal/historical meaning points backwards to the past, the allegoric points forwards to the future, the moral (tropological) points downwards to the moral/human, and the anagogic (ἀναγωγή) interpretation points upwards to the spiritual/heavenly. There are several types of allegory or layers of meaning which can be hidden in the rituals of freemasonry. Allegory and symbolism makes freemasonry resemble an onion with several layers of meaning or a matryoshka doll. Allegory hides the truth from the ignorant, who are prevented from the knowledge of the truth. At the same time it always reveals what is new to the renewed eyes of those who are initiated and grow in its mysteries. The sequence of the three degrees of freemasonry is allegorical, and most likely represents the course of human existence. The building of the Temple in freemasonry prefigures the erection of man's moral edifice, etc. . (see also The allegorical interpretation of the scriptures and Literary Criticism: A New History: A New History, Gary Day, Edinburgh University Press, 2008, p. 85 and Routledge Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory, David Herman, Manfred Jahn, Marie-Laure Ryan, Routledge, 2010, p. 11 and The Symbolism of Freemasonry,Albert G. Mackey, 1882).
Information about freemasonry is freely avaiable on the Internet, in books and other publication, but of course we cannot known if this contains also the so-called secrets of freemasonry. Although some information seems more or less reliable a lot seems to be based on legends and myths. Weeding out the myth and trying to distinguish historical facts from fiction and fantasy is not easy. For a lot of information about freemasonry it can be said that "Se non è vero, è ben trovato" (If it is not true, it is well imagined). The goal is to study freemasonry like any other historical and philosophical subject and to refrain from uncritical adoration or vitriolic demonization. Adoration and demonization may satisfy emotions, but leave the mind unsatisfied. Neither masonophobia nor masonophilia has its place in the study of freemasonry.
Encyclopedia of Freemasonry
Freemasonry - Catholic Encyclopedia
Duncan's Masonic Ritual and Monitor
Web of Hiram - University of Bradford
The Origins of Freemasonry - Dr Robert Lomas
The Centre for Research into Freemasonry - University of Sheffield
Encyclopedia of freemasonry and its kindred science
The foundation of the first Grand Lodge in context
Freemasonry - Wikipedia
Craft, Trade or Mystery
Masonic Research Societies
Freemasons for Freemasonry - Pietre -Stones
Morals and Dogma - Albert Pike (1871)
The Builders - Joseph Fort Newton (1914)
The Principles of Masonic Law - Albert G. Mackey
Several legends state that the origin of Freemasonry starts in ancient Egypt
(FWIW). There are two accounts, one in the Egyptian-Graeco-Roman
tradition, the other one in the Egyptian-Semitic tradition. Some relate Freemasonry to the mysteries of
(see also Stolen Legacy,
Ch. VII: The Curriculum of the Egyptian Mystery System, George G. M. James, 1954 and
The Hidden Life In Freemasonry, Introduction,
C. W. Leadbeater, Cornerstone Book Publishers, 2007). Some relate its origins to the
Greco-Roman mysteries or the
Associations in Ancient Rome, such as the
'collegia opificum' (trade guilds) with the 'Collegia Fabrorum', which were believed to have been instituted by
Numa Pompilius (753-673 BCE)
Another legend has it that Freemasonry was founded at the building of Solomon's temple by King Solomon (ca. 970-ca. 931 BCE), which itself was inspired by Egyptian Temples. During the early medieval period, the Magistri Comacini were stonemasons organized in guilds (see also Chapters of Masonic History, Part VI. Freemasonry and the Comacine Masters, H.L. Haywood, The Builder Magazine, October 1923 - Volume IX - Number 10). Other legends relate Freemasonry to the Knights Templar or the Rosicrucians (see also The Rosicrucian Enlightenment, Frances Yates, Routledge, 2001). Most probably its way of organizing itself was inspired by earlier assocations, but its content does not seem to be related to the associations which Freemasonry claims to be its predecessors. In other words its physics (accident) may be derived from guilds and mystery cults, but its metaphysics (essence) is derived from other sources.
Early traces of movements related to freemasonry already existed in England during the Elizabethan era (1558-1603 CE), the rule of the Roman Catholic House of Stuart (1603-1649 and 1660-1688 CE) and the Commonwealth of England (1649 to 1660 CE) (see also The Occult Philosophy in the Elizabethan Age, Frances Yates, Routledge, 1979). Relations developed between masons and nascent democratic movements, as each lodge set up a polity where an individual's standing was meant to be based on merit, rather than on birth or wealth. Freemasonry also became part of the rising cosmopolitan movement of the 17th century and its claim of universal brotherhood (The Origins of Freemasonry, Facts and Fictions, Margaret C. Jacob, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007 and Strangers Nowhere in the World, The Rise of Cosmopolitanism in Early Modern Europe, Margaret C. Jacob, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006).Several philosophical and political movements which were active around this time would influence the establishment of speculative freemasonry. Supporters of both the Roman Catholic House of Stuart and the Protestant House of Hannover, were involved in the development of early freemasonry. The adherents of the House of Stuart would be moved into the background by the supporters of the House of Hannover. The philosophical and political ideas associated with the Protestant Hannoverians would dominate the establishment of the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster in 1717. The Grand Lodge of London and Westminster was founded after the protestant George Louis, elector of Hanover (1660-1727 CE), succeeded to the British crown, as George I on 1 August 1714 and the end of the Jacobite Rising of 1715 by Tory rebels. The first group of "Hannoverian" freemasons were mostly Whigs and Newtonians. The Whigs' origin lay in constitutional monarchism (see also Aristotle on Politeia in his Athenaion Politeia and Politics) and opposition to the absolute rule of the House of Stuart (divine-right theory of kingship). The Whigs took full control of the government in 1715, and the "Whig Supremacy" would last from 1715 until 1760. It was enabled by the Hanoverian succession of George I in 1714 and the failed Jacobite rising of 1715.
During the early 17th century Rosicrucianism, associated with Lutheranism and Neoplatonism, was believed to be a a philosophical secret society resembling an early predecessor of freemasonry. Although most historical documents of 17th century freemasonry are lost, it was most likely associated with the Catholic House of Stuart in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The members of the House of Stuart tended to be carriers of Freemasonry which would develop into Ecossais freemasonry during their exile after the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Another element was the role of the new educated urban classes of urban England in public affairs and government. Among the founders of the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster were members of the Royal Society, and Huguenot emigres, who flocked to England after the Revocation of the Edicts of Nantes by Louis XIV (1638-1715 CE) in 1685 CE (see also The Rosicrucian Enlightenment, Frances Yates, Routledge; 2nd edition, 2001 and Restoring the Temple of Vision: Cabalistic Freemasonry and Stuart Culture, Marsha Keith Schuchard, BRILL, 2002 and Freemasonry and the House of Stuart, Albert Gallatin Mackey, William R. Singleton, Lightning Source, 2005 and The History of Freemasonry: Its Legendary Origins, Albert Gallatin Mackey, Courier Corporation, 2012, p. 279 and The articulate citizen and the English Renaissance, Arthur B. Ferguson, Duke University Press, 1965, pp. 402-409).
Robert Moray (1608 or 1609-1673 CE) was initiated into Freemasonry on 20 May 1641. Elias Ashmole (1617-1692 CE) on 16 October 1646 was admitted as a Freemason. Robert Moray and Elias Ashmole, both supporting the Roman Catholic House of Stuart, were part of the founding members of the Royal Society (see also Restoring the temple of vision: Cabalistic freemasonry and Stuart culture, Marsha Keith Schuchard, p. 581, 2002). Sir Robert Moray (1608 or 1609-1673 CE) was the first acting president of the Royal Society from its first meeting on 28 November 1660 to its incorporation on 15 July 1662. He presented the Charter of the Society to Charles II (1630-1685 CE) and obtained his approval (see also Freemasonry and the Birth of Modern Science, Robert Lomas, Fair Winds Press, 2003 and Sir Robert Moray, F.R.S. (1608?-1673), D. C. Martin, Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London Vol. 15, (Jul., 1960), pp. 239-250). The defeat of the protestants in Bohemia in the Thirty Years' War would cause an influx of refugees into England. People like Amos Johannes Comenius (1529-1670 CE) and Samuel Hartlib (ca. 1600-1662 CE) would bring new ideas to England (The Crisis of the Seventeenth Century: Religion, the Reformation and Social Change, Hugh Trevor-Roper, 1967 and From Counter-Reformation to Glorious Revolution, Hugh Trevor-Roper, 1992). Amos Johannes Comenius (1529-1670 CE) in his Via Lucis, Vestigata & Vestiganda (The Way of Light) (1641) put forward the pursuit of higher learning and spiritual enlightenment bound together. He referred to reading three books: liber homo, liber mundi, liber Theos. His magnum opus was De Rerum Humanarum Emendatione Consultatio Catholica (General discourse on the emendation of human affairs, or Consultatio) (1670) contained a plan for the creation of a Christian society. Comenius discussed the universal education for all men and the art of teaching was intended to be the core of pansophy (Jan Amos Comenius, Jean Piaget, UNESCO, International Bureau of Education, vol. XXIII, no. 1/2, 1993, p. 173-96 and Pansophiae prodromus, Jan Amos Comenius, 1639 and Pansophiae diatyposis, Jan Amos Comenius, 1643).
In the seventeenth century philosophy and theology would undergo profound changes. Edward Herbert of Cherbury (1583-1648 CE) wrote De Veritate, prout distinguitur a revelatione, a verisimili, a possibili, et a falso (1624 CE) in which he put forward the common notions of religion in five articles, which became the charter of the English deists. These five articles contained the whole doctrine of the religion of reason, which also formed the primitive (original) religion. What is contrary to these five articles was also contrary to reason. Although there exists revelation beyond reason, the record of a revelation is not itself revelation but only tradition and therefore can never be more than probable. (see also The life of Edward lord Herbert, of Cherbury, written by himself [ed. by H. Walpole]. With a prefatory memoir, Edward Herbert (1st baron.) 1847, pp. 7-8). Anthony Collins (1676-1729 CE) and John Toland (1670-1722 CE) were part of a group of radical free thinkers. Collins put forward the autonomy of reason, religious freedom and an aversion to religious persecution. John Toland (1670-1722 CE) was a philosopher most famous for his book Christianity Not Mysterious; or, A treatise Shewing That There Is Nothing in the Gospel Contrary to Reason, nor above It, and That No Christian Doctrine Can Be Properly Call'd a Mystery (1696) in which, as a deist, Toland opposed the subordination of reason to revelation. In Christianity Not Mysterious, Toland applied John Locke's (1632-1704 CE) philosophy of common sense to religion. Whereas Locke suggested that Christianity is reasonable, Toland took a decisive step in arguing that reasonable meant not mysterious. The implicit, heretical conclusion is that revelation cannot contradict reason, since "whoever tells us something we did not know before must insure that his words are intelligible, and the matter possible. This holds good, let God or man be the revealer". Toland attributed theological mysteries to scriptural misinterpretations of priests, and in this he anticipates 18th-century exponents of natural religion (see also English Deism: Its Roots and Fruits, John Orr, 1934). Toland also wrote the Pantheisticon, sive formula celebrandae sodalitatis socraticae (1751), which is a script for a liturgy of a Pantheist club or Socratic Society (see also John Toland: His Methods, Manners, and Mind, Stephen H. Daniel, 1984). The concept of "pantheism" was used by Toland to describe the philosophy of Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677 CE). Toland in his Pantheisticon refers to 'l'honnête homme' who will be 'l'homme parfait'. Thomas Kuhn (1922-1996 CE) would put forward his view on 'l'honnête homme' in his Tradition mathématique et tradition expérimentale dans le développement de la physique (1975). Toland also translated the work of the Renaissance scholar Giordano Bruno (1548-1600 CE). Giordano Bruno had visited England in 1583-1584 and he influenced the intellectually and spiritually minded Englishmen (Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition, Francis A. Yates, The University of Chicago Press and London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1964, pp. 275 ff.). Bruno had been the first major Renaissance figure to call for a broad, tolerant international ethic of world peace and universal brotherhood for which he referred to Egyptian mythology and philosophy (see also Egyptian elements in Die Zauberflöte (K. 620) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791 CE)). In Socinianism Truly Stated, by a pantheist (1705), Toland was the first to use the word pantheism: "The sun is my father, the earth my mother, the world is my country and all men are my family" (see also Elements of Pantheism, Paul A. Harrison, 2004, p. 29).
The 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury (1671-1713 CE) wrote The Moralists a Philosophical Rhapsody a recital of certain conversations on natural and moral subjects and attempted to motivate people to become better by showing them the goodness of human nature (see also The British Moralists on Human Nature and the Birth of Secular Ethics). The French Huguenot Pierre des Maizeaux (1666/1673-1745 CE), who lived in exile in London, was involved with the Huguenot information centre based at the Rainbow Coffee House, which provided a meeting place for freemasons and French refugee Huguenots. Newtonianism stood for the search for a "first cause" through natural philosophy and scientific work, which laid the groundwork for the great scientific revolutions and discoveries during the Enlightenment. It was Isaac Newton"s (1642-1727 CE) idea of a quest for moral science through natural philosophy that became the theme of the Enlightenment and freemasonry and which he put forward in his Opticks (book 3): "And if natural philosophy in all its Parts, by pursuing this Methods, shall at length be perfected, the Bounds of Moral Philosophy will also be enlarged. For so far as we can know by natural Philosophy what is the first Cause, what Power he has over us, and what Benefits we receive from him, so far our Duty towards him, as well as that towards one another, will appear to us by the Light of Nature". The nature of freemasonry was influenced by these new ideas, which would change the nature of freemasonry from a Roman Catholic to a Protestant and Newtonian movement. At the time of the founding of the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster, the Leibnizian-Newtonian controversy (relationist versus absolutist) was going on between their different philosophical world views on the nature of God (intellectualist versus voluntarist), matter (mechanistic versus a vitalistic view of the relationship between matter and force), and force (force versus vis viva or anima mundi). Most of the debate went on between Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716 CE) and Samuel Clarke (1675-1729 CE), a friend of Newton and became known as the Leibniz-Clarke correspondence. Clarke also wrote The Scripture doctrine of the Trinity (1712) concerning the doctrine of the Trinity. John Theophilus Desaguliers (1683-1744 CE), a Huguenot émigré, became Isaac Newton's experimental assistant in 1713, and a fellow of the Royal Society in 1714. He wrote Physico-mechanical lectures, or, An account of what is explain'd and demonstrated in the course of mechanical and experimental philosophy (1734). The Grand Lodge of London and Westminster would be founded in 1717, during the Presidency of the Royal Society by Isaac Newton from 1703 until 1727 CE and Desaguliers would be elected as the third Grand Master of the 'Premier Grand Lodge of England' in 1719 (see also Aux origines de la franc-maçonnerie: Newton et les newtoniens, Alain Bauer, Éditions Dervy, 2003).
The foundation of the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster in 1717 took place during the era which witnessed the end of the Aristotelian dominance of philosophy in Europe, the rise and fall of Cartesianism, the emergence of "experimental philosophy" (later called "empiricism" in the nineteenth century) in Great Britain, and the development of numerous experimental and mathematical methods for the study of nature. The early eighteenth century marked the final transition of absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy in Great Britain after the Glorious Revolution of 1688. It also coincided with the development of the Protestant Christian view of natural law in the Bill of Rights of 1689. The Act of Settlement of 1701, disqualified anyone who becomes a Roman Catholic, or who marries one, to inherit the throne of England and Ireland. The Acts of Union of 1707 joined the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland into Great Britain. Newtonianism and the ascent to the throne of Great Britain of the House of Hanover with George I of Great Britain (1660-1727 CE) provided the philosophical and political background for the creation of the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster. Besides being king of Great Britain, George I was also ruler of the continental Herzogtum Braunschweig-Lüneburg, which was part of the Sacrum Romanum Imperium. The foundation of the new Grand Lodge was an attempt to get rid of the old Jacobite Scottish Masonic heritage and to become acceptable for the new Hanoverian rulers. Freemasonry had to shed its Stuart heritage and re-emerge as a loyal Hanoverian fraternity. The rise of the new type of freemasonry would be closely related to the triumph of Newtonianism and Hanoverian and Whig politics (see also Builders of Empire: Freemasons and British Imperialism, 1717-1927, Jessica L. Harland-Jacobs, UNC Press Books, 2012 and Freemasonry and the Birth of Modern Science, Robert Lomas, Fair Winds Press, p. 265-270).
The new Grand Lodge and its concept of Freemasonry, together with the Royal Society, would become a political, scientific and philosophical instrument to spread the ideas of Newtonianism and constitutional monarchy throughout Great Britain and Europe. The principles of freemasonry would become an inspiration for philosophical, political and religious reform in Great Britain, America and Europe. Besides the Royal Society there were close connections with other learned societies such as the Royal College of Physicians; the Society of Apothecaries; the Society of Antiquaries; and the Spalding Society (see also Newtonianism, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, Isaac Newton, 5 July 1687 and The Concise History of Freemasonry, Robert Freke Gould, Courier Corporation, 2012, p. 207 and The Foundations of Modern Freemasonry: The Grand Architects: Political Change and the Scientific Enlightenment, 1714-1740, Ric Berman, Sussex Academic Press, 2012, p. 112).
Officially, the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster, the first Grand Lodge of the modern era was founded on St. John the Baptist's day (symbolizing faith), Thursday 24 June 1717, in London, when 4 Craft Lodges, gathered at the Apple Tree Tavern in London and "constituted themselves a Grand Lodge pro Tempore in Due Form". The four existing Lodges were accustomed to meeting at the Goose and Gridiron Ale-house in St. Paul's Church-yard; Crown Ale-house in Parker's Lane near Drury's Lane; Apple Tree Tavern in Charles Street, Covent Garden; and Rummer and Grapes Tavern in Channel Row, Westminster. The "Rummer and Grapes", appears to have been a lodge of accepted and speculative masons, while the other three lodges were still mainly operative lodges. John Theophilus Desaguliers (1683-1744 CE) was a member of the "Rummer and Grapes" Lodge. There seems to be some symbolic meaning related to the day when the Grand Lodge was founded. The year 1717 is composed of twice 17, a number with a special meaning, as it combines the celestial perfection of 10 (e.g. Pythagorean Tetraktys) with the worldly perfection (achievable by man) symbolized by 7, meaning completeness which is gained only from true insight. St. John the Baptist also stands for faith as opposed to St. John the Evangelist who stands for reason (logos). Faith also refers to the Ladder of Divine Ascent (ca. 600 CE), which Saint John Climacus (ca. 7th century CE) called the "Ladder to Perfection" (see also The Genesis of Freemasonry, Douglas Knoop, Manchester University Press, 1947).
John Theophilus Desaguliers (1683-1744 CE), jointly with colleagues within the orbit of the Grand Lodge, fundamentally altered English Freemasonry to produce an organisation that reflected and reinforced the intellectual and economic transformations then in progress within early eighteenth century English society. The pro-Hanoverian political characteristic of the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster was fundamental to its success: demonstrating to the government that Freemasons were now reliable partners in the promotion of the Hanoverian succession and safeguarding of its Whig administration. Several influential Freemasons also held senior office at the Royal Society. It was decided to create a new Charter, which would no longer refer to the Stuart type of freemasonry, but embrace the new Hanoverian rulers. A group of Masons forestalled the new Grand Lodge by having J. Roberts print a Constitution, now called the Roberts Constitutions, dated 1722. They refer to the Seven Liberal Sciences of the classical curriculum (trivium and quadrivium) and the importance of Geometry, which would return in the General Ahiman Rezon of the Antients. George Payne (ca. 1685-1757 CE), in his second term as Grand Master in 1720, wrote the General Regulations of a Freemason (1722). The General Regulations of George Payne would be included in the new Constitutions mainly written by Revd. Dr. James Anderson (1680-1739 CE) in the years 1721-22, under the guidance of Newtonians, such as John Theophilus Desaguliers (1683-1744 CE) and Martin Folkes (1690-1754 CE). Six years after its formation in 1717, on Sunday 17 January 1723, the Grand Lodge of England approved The Constitutions of the Free-Masons containing the History, Charges, Regulations, & of that most Ancient and Right Worshipful Fraternity: For use of the Lodges, written by the Revd. Dr. James Anderson (1680-1739 CE). Some of his inspiration he may have got from his father (see also James Anderson: Man & Mason, James Stevenson, Heredom, Volume 10, 2000, p. 94). His father, James Anderson senior (1649-1722 CE), had been a member of the Lodge of Aberdeen, where he had compiled the elaborate Mark Book ('Lockit Buik', 27 December 1670 CE) of the lodge while he was serving as its secretary, and in the 1690s he had served as its Master. The Constitutions of the Free-Masons were published in the USA by Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790 CE) in 1734 (see also The Constitutions of the Free-Masons containing the History, Charges, Regulations, & of that most Ancient and Right Worshipful Fraternity: For use of the Lodges, Anderson, Senex and Hooke, 1723)
The Frontispiece to James Anderson's Constitutions (1723 edition) is full of symbolic meaning. The scene on the Frontispiece, engraved by John Pine (1690-1756 CE), depicts John Montagu, Duke of Montagu (1690-1749 CE) presenting the scroll to Philip, Duke of Wharton (1698-1731 CE), who was the next Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster. John Montagu is wearing the robes of the Order of the Garter, while presenting the Constitutional scroll and a set of compasses to Philip Wharton, dressed in his ducal robes. Both Grand Masters of the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster are surrounded by their respective Deputy Grand Master and Grand Wardens: John Beale, doctor of physic, Josias Villeneau and Thomas Morrice are to the left, with white aprons and gloves; and William Hawkins and Joshua Timson, stand next to John Theophilus Desaguliers (1683-1744 CE), dressed in clerical robes, on the far right. Both Villeneau and Desaguliers were French Huguenots, who fled France after the proclamation of the Edict of Fontainebleau (22 October 1685) by Louis XIV of France (1638-1715 CE). The Edict revoked the Edict of Nantes (1598 CE) on religious tolerance. The resulting persecution of French protestants made many of them leave France for protestant England. In the background of the scene there is a depiction of the parting of the Red Sea (Old Testament, Exodus 14:21), recalling the successful flight of the Israelites from the Egyptians to the promised land. The reference to the parting of the Red Sea might signify here the survival of a Judeo-Christian tradition that had been in danger, but was now entering a time of security. The symbolic meaning of the parting of the Red Sea is that this one event is the final act in God's delivering His people from slavery in Egypt. The exodus from Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea is the single greatest act of salvation in the Old Testament, and it is continually recalled to represent God's saving power. In Christianity the passing through the Red Sea is also symbolic of the believer's identification with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (Paul, 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 and Romans 6:4). The pillars on both sides depict the five noble orders of architecture introduced to England by Inigo Jones (1573-1652 CE), namely the Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite. The frontispiece shows a pavement or arcade with the Five Orders, coupled, on each side; the Composite Order (first) in the foreground, receding to the Tuscan (fifth) in the background. Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (ca. 80-70 BCE, died after ca. 15 BCE) mentioned the five noble orders of architecture in his work de Architectura. Three of the Classic Orders, the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian, were used by the Greeks. The Romans adopted these three and added the Tuscan and the Composite, so making the Five Orders of Architecture. The five pillars may also allude to the monarchs who supported the rebuilding of St Paul's Cathedral by Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723 CE) between 1675 and 1708 CE. The five monarchs were: Charles I of England (1600-1649 CE, ruled 1625-1649 CE), Charles II of England (1630-1685 CE, ruled 1649-1651 CE and 1660-1685 CE), James II of England (1633-1701 CE, ruled 1685-1688 CE), William III of England (1650-1702, ruled 1689-1702 CE) and Anne, Queen of Great Britain (1665-1714 CE, ruled 1702-1714 CE). In the foreground is the Greek word εuρηκα (Archimedes' famous exclamation "I have found it!") below a representation of the 47th proposition of Euclid of Alexandria or Pythagorean theorem, a symbol which is traditionally associated with Past Masters in freemasonry ( see also The Foundations of Modern Freemasonry: The Grand Architects: Political Change and the Scientific Enlightenment, 1714-1740, Ric Berman, Sussex Academic Press, 2012, p. 136 and Huguenot Heritage: The History and Contribution of the Huguenots in Britain, Robin D. Gwynn, Sussex Academic Press, 2001, p. 116 and The Regular Architect, Or, The General Rule of the Five Orders of Architecture by Giacomo Barozzio Da Vignola, John Leeke (transl.), D. Newman, 1682 and Canon of the Five Orders of Architecture, Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola, Courier Corporation, 2013 and The Merging of Two Worlds: The Convergence of Scientific and Religious Thought, Roy E. Bourque, WestBow Press, 2011, p. 147-148).
The charioteer in the sky which is depicted in the Frontispiece is an Indo-European symbol for the Sun God and also a symbol for the mystical ascent of the soul. A "sun chariot" is a mythological representation of the sun riding in a chariot. The concept is younger than that of the Egyptian solar barge, and typically Indo-European, corresponding with the Indo-European expansion after the invention of the chariot in the 2nd millennium BCE. In the sky directly overhead the sun approaching its meridian height is allegorized in the figure of Apollo Helios, Greek God of the Sun. The image of the Sun also refers to the Analogy of the Sun in the Platonic system of philosophy, where Socrates compares the "Good" with the sun (The Republic VI, 507b-509c). The Roman deity Sol Invictus was also depicted riding a quadriga. The Vedic Sun God Surya is also depicted riding a chariot drawn by seven horses. Interestingly Krishna is the guide and charioteer of Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, which is part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata. In Chinese mythology the Lotus Tree of Life, the Celestial Horse from ancient China, traditionally is seen pulling the Chariot of the Emperor Archer Sun-God. The warhorses (cerigyn nojan) of the Mongols were called "Celestial Horses" by the Chinese. The chariot also refers to the charioteer as a symbol for mystical ascent of the soul. The Eleatic monist Parmenides (early 5th century BCE) in his poem On Nature refers to a visionary chariot ride up through the gates of night and day. Pindar (ca. 522-ca. 443 BCE) in his First Olympian Ode also refers to a golden chariot given by the gods: "Honoring him, the god gave him a golden chariot, and horses with untiring wings". Socrates (469-399 BCE) refers to the chariot as the aeterial vehicle of the soul in Plato's (424/423-348/347 BCE) Phaedrus. The soul is portrayed as a charioteer (Reason), and two winged steeds: one white ('spiritedness', the irascible, boldness;) and one black (concupiscence, the appetitive, desire). The Neoplatonists Plotinus (204/5-270 CE) and Iamblichus (ca. 245-ca. 325 CE) refer to the soul's struggle to ascend as a unified being to the vision of immutable reality. In the Old Testament we also find references to chariots in Kings 2:11-12 where a chariot takes the prophet Elijah up to the heavens in a whirlwind and the four-wheeled chariot of the Cherubim in Ezek 1:15-25and 10:8-22. Christians adopted the image of the Sun (Helios or Sol Invictus) to represent Christ. In this portrayal he is a beardless figure with a flowing cloak in a chariot drawn by four white horses, as in the mosaic in Mausoleum M or 'Tomb of the Julii', discovered under Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome. In the book Revelation 6:2-8 and 19:11 of John on the opening of the seven seals the rider on the white horse is called "faithful and true". The references to Archimedes, Pythagoras and Plato in the Frontispiece put freemasonry within the anti-Aristotelian tradition. The overall impression of the frontispiece is one of great triumph on many levels: the philosophical and scientific, organisational and traditional, and the spiritual and transcendent. These various elements combine to present Anderson's view of history as the careful unfolding of a divine plan (see also Phaedrus, Plato in Twelve Volumes, Vol. 9, Plato, William Heinemann Ltd. 1925, 253c-254e and Pindar's First Olympian Ode, Pindar, 86-87 and Marsilio Ficino and the Phaedrian Charioteer Ed. and trans. Michael J. B. Allen, Publications of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, UCLA, no. 14. Univ. of California Press, 1981, p. 3-4 and Die Mosaiken der Juliergruft im Vatikan, Othmar Perler, 1953, Universitätsverlag, 1953, p. 34-36, Theurgy in Late Antiquity: The Invention of a Ritual Tradition, Ilinca Tanaseanu-Döbler, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2013, p. 214 and God's Steed- Key to World Peace, Daryl Breese, Gerald D'Aoust, Lulu.com, 2011, p. 55 and Chinese and Indo-Europeans, E.G. Pulleyblank, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1966, p. 9-39).
The key 'constitutional' features of the Constitutions were the reworked Charges and Regulations. The Charges occupy seven pages (pp. 49-56); and the Regulations, compiled by Payne, fourteen pages (pp. 58-72). The new Constitutions put forward an 'ethos of education and religious tolerance'. In addition Anderson compiled an artificial history (faux history) which was designed to set a literary context for Freemasonry. The constitution supported the state and its legitimate authority and, at the same time, encouraged, if not demanded, religious tolerance and moral integrity. Freemasonry was designed to be above political and social censure, admitting only 'good and true Men, free-born, and of mature and discreet Age, no Bondmen, no Women, no immoral or scandalous men, but of good Report'. Bondman refers to the Hebrew word עֶבֶד (ebhedh) for slave in the Torah, either foreign (Genesis 43:18; 44:9,33; Leviticus 25:44,46) or Hebrew (Leviticus 25:42; 2 Kings 4:1). In the New Testament (Revelation 6:15) it is used as a translation of δοῦλος, meaning someone who belongs to another (bond-slave) in contrast with a freeman. The Hanoverian freemasons created a new structure which combined latitudinarian religious tolerance with support for the parliamentary establishment (Whigs), sociability and entertainment, and the quest for and disbursement of scientific and general knowledge (Newtonianism): ideas that can be considered to be at the core of the English Enlightenment. For the new freemasons Newton's theories demonstrated not only scientific and physical truths, but also revealed a deeper moral truth. In Newtonianism a new connection developed between religion, science and morality. Newton came to be the leader of the so-called 'scientific revolution' and had spent a great deal of his 'time and energy using his mathematical , physical, and celestial theories to uncover patterns of Biblical revelation'. Freemasonry was being rebuilt in part on the intellectual foundations of freedom of the person, property and constitutional government: themes that were embraced and reinforced by the Whig aristocrats, magistracy and learned professionals at the helm of the new Grand Lodge (see also The Foundations of Modern Freemasonry: The Grand Architects: Political Change and the Scientific Enlightenment, 1714-1740, Ric Berman, Sussex Academic Press, 2012, Chapter three and The Constitutions of the Free-Masons containing the History, Charges, Regulations, & of that most Ancient and Right Worshipful Fraternity: For use of the Lodges, Anderson, Senex and Hooke, 1723 and Efflorescences and economic growth in world history: rethinking the"Rise of the West" and the Industrial Revolution, J. Goldstone, University of Californa, Davis, 2002, p. 372).
The new Constitutions of the Free-Masons (1723 CE) was based on the concept of a natural religion read from the Book of Nature, apprehended by human reason and binding all men who rejected stupid atheists and irreligious Libertines: "A Mason is oblig'd, by his Tenure, to obey the moral Law; and if he rightly understands the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist, nor an irregular Libertine." The main elements in the opening of the constitution are the moral law, the art, stupid atheism and irregular libertinism. The Moral Law refers to moral absolutism, the ethical view that particular actions are intrinsically right or wrong. Moral absolutism teaches that there are universal moral principles by which all actions are to be judged. It is the duty of a freemason to learn the universal moral principles and to act accordingly. One example of a universal moral principle is the golden rule or regula aurea (law of reciprocity), the principle of treating others as one would wish to be treated. The art may refer to the ancient Greek τέχνη (technê), which is translated as either craft or art (see Epistēmē and Technê). Technê is related to ἐπιστήμη (epistēmē) in the implication of knowledge of principles, but in addition technê means practice. We could relate understanding of the moral law to ἐπιστήμη and τέχνη to an art or craft. Freemasonry deals with the ἄσκησις (training or exercise) in order to develop the morality of the freemason and mastering the λόγοι (principles) behind the art and developing into a τεχνίτης (artificer, craftsman, master mason). Being a freemason is a matter of moral practice rather than just words (έργα ού λόγοι) (see also Moral Theory: An Introduction, Mark Timmons, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2012, p. 91 and The Art of Living: The Stoics on the Nature and Function of Philosophy, John Sellars, Routledge, 2011, p. 20, 25 and 27 and The Freemasons: What They Are, what They Do, what They are Aiming at, Louis Gaston de Ségur, P. Donahoe, 1869, p. 90)
The constitutions were written a a moment when two conflicting philosophical systems existed in Britain, one was a deepening alliance between philosophy and theology and the other was a skeptical tradition which lead to anti-clericalism, biblical criticism, skepticism about miracles, materialism and necessitarianism. Thomas Hobbes ((1588-1679 CE) and Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677 CE) were considered to be the major representatives of the skeptical tradition. The defenders of Christian theology wrote treatises against the "atheistic" doctrines of Hobbes and Spinoza. Natural religion or Deism was one element which they believed provided Christian theology with a rational defense against skepticism and atheism (a pitfall like Aristotelianism in the Scholastic tradition, Thomism and creationism). The concept of natural religion or Deism goes back to Edward Herbert of Cherbury (1583-1648 CE), who wrote De Veritate, prout distinguitur a revelatione, a verisimili, a possibili, et a falso (1624 CE) in which he put forward the common notions of religion in five articles, which became the charter of the English deists. These five articles contained the whole doctrine of the religion of reason or natural religion. He accepted the creatorship of God, but rejected revelatory religion and the continued involvement of the divine in the created world. The constitutions also dealt with atheism. The definition of a "stupid" atheist was inspired by A Treatise of the Foure Degenerate Sonnes, Viz. The Atheist, the Magician, the Idolater, and the Jew (1663, pp. 5-7) of John Weemes, who distinguished between the contradicting, skeptical, physical and stupid atheist. The stupid atheist is situated in between the contradicting (disputing) and the skeptical atheist. Samuel Clarke (1675-1729 CE) in his A Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God: More Particularly in Answer to Mr. Hobbs, Spinoza and Their Followers (1705 CE) also dealt with "stupid" atheists. It was based on his first Boyle lecture (1704 CE), which was an attempt to prove the existence of God, along with all divine attributes against atheistic systems of philosophy. Ralph Cudworth (1617-1688 CE) in his The True Intellectual System of the Universe: the First Part wherein All the Reason and Philosophy of Atheism is Confuted and Its Impossibility Demonstrated (1678 CE) put forward his Platonist world-view and rejected four types of atheism: atomistic, hylopathian, cosmoplastic and hylozoistic. Atomical atheism meant that creation came about by chance, hylozoic atheism meant that life comes from matter, for hylopathian atheism there was a hierarchy of intelligent matter and while cosmoplastic atheism accepted the existence of a divine soul it denied a ruling principle in creation. Cudworth wrote against the materialism of Thomas Hobbes, which in his view defended not only hylozoic atheism, but also hylopathian atheism. Cosmoplastic atheism refers to late Stoicism, which according to Cudworth 'supposes one plastic or spermatic nature, one plantal or vegetative life in the whle world, as the highest priciple'. Atheism therefore was not considered a homogeneous group when modern freemasonry was founded and some of the early members adhered to some form of extreme Deism, but avoiding "stupid" atheism. Deism could have two meanings, deism that rationalized religion or deism that abandoned religion and deified reason. It ranged from extreme Protestantism and a belief in God, Christ, and a future life, while the other form focused on human reason and leaned towards atheism. Beside the "stupid" atheist, the "irreligious" libertine was also to be excluded from freemasonry. A libertine is one devoid of most moral restraints, which are seen as unnecessary or undesirable, especially one who ignores or even spurns accepted morals and forms of behavior sanctified by the larger society. Libertinism was associated with religious freedom and sometimes used as a metaphor for Catholicism and the absolutism and hedonism of Charles II of England (1630-1685 CE). In 1649 Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661 CE), a Scottish Presbyterian theologian, had written A Free Disputation against pretended Liberty of Conscience against libertinism. The viewpoint against libertinism goes back to the writings of Paul of Tarsus (ca. 5-ca. 67 CE) in Philippians and 1 Corinthians (1 Cor. 3-6). In Philippians (3:18-19) Paul warns not only against Judaizers but also against libertines: "multi enim ambulant quos saepe dicebam vobis nunc autem et flens dico inimicos crucis Christi quorum finis interitus quorum deus venter et gloria in confusione ipsorum qui terrena sapiunt" (see also The Freemasons: What They Are, what They Do, what They are Aiming at, Louis Gaston de Ségur, P. Donahoe, 1869, p. 90 and Essays on the Context, Nature, and Influence of Isaac Newton’s Theology, J.E. Force, R.H. Popkin, Springer Science & Business Media, 2012, p. 43 and Theists and Atheists: A Typology of Non-belief, Thomas Steven Molnar, Walter de Gruyter, 1980, p. 45 and Early Modern Philosophy of Religion: The History of Western Philosophy of Religion, Volume 3, Graham Oppy, N. N. Trakakis, Routledge, 2014, Ch.8 and John Locke, Toleration and Early Enlightenment Culture, John Marshall, Cambridge University Press, 2006, p. 707 and Theological Lying and Religious Radicalism in Anderson's Constitutions, Pauline Chakmakjian, Aries 8 (2008), pp. 167-190 and Spinoza and Spinozism, Stuart Hampshire, Clarendon Press, 2005, p. 32 and Performing Libertinism in Charles II's Court: Politics, Drama, Sexuality, J. Webster, Springer, 2005, p. 182 and Libertines? (1 Cor. 5-6), Michael D. Goulder, Novum Testamentum, Vol. 41, Fasc. 4 (Oct., 1999), pp. 334-348 and The Letter to the Philippians, G. Walter Hansen, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2009, p. 24).
Calvinists, Presbyterians (Scottish Calvinists) and Newtonians played an important role in defining the ethical foundations and moral principles of the new Grand Lodge type of freemasonry. Freemasonry was to be a 'Center of Union and the Means of conciliating true Friendship among Persons that must have remain'd at a perpetual Distance', bringing together people from different religions and denominations. This was put forward in the first chapter 'Concerning God and religion'. Natural religion and Deism provided the theological basis of early 18th century freemasonry. Natural religion was to be the common denominator and served the same goal as the 'philosophia perennis' which could unite mankind above and beyond different religious denominations (see also Freemasonry and the idea of natural religion, Douglas Knoop and G.P. Jones, London, 1942 and The life of Edward lord Herbert, of Cherbury, written by himself [ed. by H. Walpole]. With a prefatory memoir, Edward Herbert (1st baron.) 1847, pp. 7-8 and Handbook of Freemasonry, BRILL, 2014, p. 111 and A History of the University in Europe: Volume 2, Universities in Early Modern Europe (1500-1800), Hilde de Ridder-Symoens, Walter Rüegg, Cambridge University Press, 2003, pp. 507-509 and Constructing Tradition: Means and Myths of Transmission in Western Esotericism, Andreas Kilcher, BRILL, 2010, p. 225 and Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Religion, Chad Meister, Paul Copan, Routledge, 2013, p. 277 and Free Masonry: Its Pretensions Exposed in Faithful Extracts of Its Standard Authors, Henry Dana Ward, 1828, p. 227-235 and The Freemasons' quarterly (magazine and) review [afterw.] The Freemasons' monthly magazine. [Continued as] The Freemasons' magazine and masonic mirror, Freemasons' magazine, 25 Jan. 1868, p. 67 and Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Albert Pike, publ. Supreme Council, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, 1871, p. 708).
The Constitutions would lay the foundations for the development of both the Semitic (religious) and Indo-European (philosophical) symbols in freemasonry. The Constitutions laid the foundation of the legend of Hiram Abiff, King Solomon's Master Builder of the First Temple in Jerusalem, along with the pyramid style organisational model of Freemasonry. The myth of the Temple also refers to the spiritual Third Temple of Ezekiel. The references to Archimedes (ca.287-ca.212 BCE) and Pythagoras (ca. 570-ca. 495 BCE) place freemasonry in the mathematical & geometric tradition of Athens and Alexandria. Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St. Alban (1561-1626 CE) in his New Atlantis had written about Solomon's House (i.e., the recovery of natural philosophy) as the complement to the rebuilding of Solomon's Temple (i.e., the restoration of true religion). In this view one might consider the Royal Society to be the implementation of Francis Bacon's 'Solomon's House' and the freemason's lodge to be the symbolic reconstruction of 'Solomon's Temple'. The philosophical and mathematical traditions of Alexandria and Athens had converged in the Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica of Isaac Newton (1642-1726 CE) and Newtonianism which developed from it. The Archimedean-Pythagorean philosophy would not only play an important symbolic role in freemasonry ('Solomon's Temple'), but would also play an important practical role in science ('Solomon's House'). In this regard, one could nowadays consider the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the Centre Européen de Recherche Nucléaire (CERN) to be a gigantic magnifying glass for reading the Book of Nature in the Archimedean-Pythagorean (Alexandrian) and Newtonian tradition of mathematical physics. Even Einstein's (1879-1955 CE) theory of Special Relativity comes right out of the Pythagorean Theorem. In this regard there seems to be no contradiction between 'Solomon's House' and 'Solomon's Temple' as long as Plato and Pythagoras are capable to unite them both (see also Regole generali di architettura sopra le cinque maniere de gli edifici, Sebastiano Serlio, 1537 and Freemasonry: Rituals, Symbols & History of the Secret Society, Mark Stavish, Llewellyn Worldwide, 2007, p.11 and Living the Enlightenment: Freemasonry and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Europe, Margaret C. Jacob, Oxford University Press, 1991, note 91 and Francis Bacon's New Atlantis: New Interdisciplinary Essays, Bronwen Price, Manchester University Press, 2002, p. 15 and The Badlands of Modernity: Heterotopia and Social Ordering, Kevin Hetherington, Routledge, 2002, pp. 72-76 and Newton and the culture of Newtonianism, Betty Jo Teeter Dobbs, Margaret C. Jacob, Humanities Press, 1995 and The History of Freemasonry: Its Legendary Origins, Albert Gallatin Mackey, Courier Corporation, 2012, p. 367 and A view of Sir Isaac Newton's philosophy, Henry Pemberton, S. Palmer, 1728 and Emergence: contemporary readings in philosophy and science, Mark Bedau, Paul Humphreys, MIT Press, 2008, p. 347 and History of CERN, III, J. Krige, Elsevier, 1996, p. 305 and Number theory as the ultimate physical theory, I. V. Volovich, CERN theory preprint CERN-TH 4781/87, 1987 Getting its from bits, Frank Wilczek, Nature, Volume 397, 28 January 1999, p. 303-306 and Beauty, Lauren Arrington, Zoe Leinhardt, Philip Dawid, Cambridge University Press, 2013, p. 43-50 and Soaring on the Wings of Genius A Chronic, Book 3, Andrew Worsley, Universal-Publishers, 2006, p. 66).
A second, reworked, version of the Constitutions was published in 1738 (by Anderson), to carry a Protestant meaning. The beginning of the first article "On God and Religion" now read "A Mason is obliged by his tenure to observe the moral law as a true Noachite; and if he rightly understands the Craft, he will never be neither a stupid Atheist nor an irreligious Libertine, nor act against conscience". This referred to the Seven Laws of Noah. The Seven Laws of Noah, which are a list of seven moral imperatives which, according to the Talmud, were given by God to Noah as a binding set of laws for all mankind. They apply to all the "children of Noah" - that is, all of humanity, both Jews and gentiles. Laurence Dermott (1720-1791 CE), the Irishman, who wrote the Ahiman rezon in 1756 for the Antients, would copy for instance the first charge from Anderson's 1738 Constitutions and also copied from Spratt's Irish Constitutions. The original Constitution of Ireland was a re-writing of the 1723 Edition by John Pennell, Grand Secretary of the Irish Grand Lodge, published in 1730. One might wonder if the 1738 Constitutions were a failed attempt to reconcile the two factions which would become to be called the 'Moderns' and the 'Antients'. A third edition of the Constitutions of the Free-Masons, was published in 1756, in which a return was made to the wording in the first edition concerning God and Religion. The Constitutions were also modified in 1813 at the union of Antients and Moderns as a compromise between the original Deistic Constitutions of the Free-Masons of the Hanoverian "Moderns" (Protestant, Whigs, Newtonians) and the Theistic Ahiman Rezon of the Jacobite Antients (Tories, Roman Catholic) (see also Anderson's Constitutions Of 1738, James Anderson, W. J. Hughan, Kessinger Publishing, 2004 and The Constitutions of the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons, Containing Their History, Charges, Regulations, Etc., Collected and Digested by Order of the Grand Lodge, James Anderson, Entick, Brother J. Scott, 1756 and Ahiman rezon, Laurence Dermott, 1764 and Builders of Empire: Freemasons and British Imperialism, 1717-1927, Jessica Harland-Jacobs, Univ of North Carolina Press, 2007, p. 30 and United Grand Lodge of England Constitutions of the Free and Accepted Masons 1911, Sir Edward Letchworth, Kessinger Publishing, 2003).
Philip, Duke of Wharton (1698-1731 CE) was well-born, and he had the benefit of living in a time when the fact of his being the son of Philip, Duke of Wharton (1648-1715 CE), a prominent nobleman of Hanoverian sympathies. So, he seemed to be a good choice as a Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of London and Westminster. He was the choice of the conservative faction, which preferred him over the (Whig) Duke of Montagu. Nevertheless his Jacobite sympathies and massive debt would in the end force him to leave England for the continent, where he died. His Jacobite sympathies would also cause trouble for the new Grand Lodge, which Desaguliers and his circle would have to deal with (see also Schism: The Battle That Forged Freemasonry, Ric Berman, Sussex Academic Press, 2013, p. 214 and William Hogarth: A Life and a World, Jenny Uglow, Faber & Faber, 2011, p. 192 and Shakespeare Survey, Nummer 51, Stanley Wells, Cambridge University Press, 2003, p. 55 and The Living Age ..., Volume 103, Eliakim Littell, Robert S. Littell, Littell, Son, 1869, p. 470).
There is a lot of discussion regarding the astronomer and architect Christopher Wren (1632-1723 CE) being a free mason. His membership was mentioned in Anderson's Constitutions. The career of Christopher Wren flourished under the Stuart kings and he is regarded to be a member of the 'London Company of Masons'. It is not very likely Christopher Wren joined the new 'Grand Lodge of London and Westminster' as he was a freemason in the old Stuart-tradition. Wren displayed a lifelong loyalty to the memory of his father's master and benefactor, the "martyred king", Charles I of England (1600-1649 CE). "In 1666 Wren was nominated deputy Grand Master under Thomas Savage, 3rd Earl Rivers (1628-1694 CE), and distinguished himself above all his predecessors in legislating for the body at large, and in promoting the interests of the lodges under his immediate care. He was Master of the St. Paul's Lodge, which, during the building of the Cathedral, assembled at the Goose and Gridiron in St. Paul's Churchyard' (see also Sir Christopher Wren and his Times, Elmes, 1852). The 'Free and Accepted Masonry' tried to shed its Jacobite past and to move closer to the new protestant rulers. However, Desaguliers, Anderson and the new Grand Lodge were striving for historical legitimacy and so they tried to connect their new Newtonian and protestant type of freemasonry to its (Stuart) predecessor. Therefore they included Wren in their own history of freemasonry. (see also The Foundations of Modern Freemasonry: The Grand Architects: Political Change and the Scientific Enlightenment, 1714-1740, Ric Berman, Sussex Academic Press, 2012, p. 28 and Inigo: The Troubled Life of Inigo Jones, Architect of the English Renaissance, Michael Leapman, 2003, pp. 124-125 and Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, Volume 38, W.J. Songhurst, 1928, p. 88 and The Magus of Freemasonry: The Mysterious Life of Elias Ashmole-Scientist, Alchemist, and Founder of the Royal Society, Tobias Churton, Inner Traditions/Bear & Co, 2006 and Anderson's Freemasonry: The true daughter of the British Enlightenment, Cécile Révauger, Cercles, 18 (2008), pp. 1-9 and The Constitutions of the Free-Masons containing the History, Charges, Regulations, & of that most Ancient and Right Worshipful Fraternity: For use of the Lodges, Anderson, 1723, Senex and Hooke, p. 82 and The use and abuse of free-masonry, G. Smith, 1783, p. 25 and Parentalia Or Memoirs of the Family of the Wrens, Christopher Wren, Osborn, 1750, p. 293).
With the accession of the Elector of Hanover as George I of Great Britain (1660-1727 CE) in 1714, Masonic supporters of the House of Stuart mounted a decades long, clandestine campaign to regain the British throne. The actual schism developed during the time when William Byron, 5th Baron Byron (1722-1798 CE) was Grand Master from 1747 until 1752. These were turbulent times, with the Jacobite rising of 1745, which had much Irish support. The Roman Catholic Irish were second-class citizens in the United Kingdom, which explains their loyalty to the House of Stuart. Penal Laws against the Irish Roman Catholics and the Dissenters made life harder for the Roman Catholic Irish. Ireland had its Freemasons, who were mainly Roman Catholic and working class or in the lower ranks of the army. Since 1725 the Irish had their own Grand Lodge of Ireland, which made them members of a foreign Grand Lodge when in England. English Masonry boasted the Hanoverian and protestant elite of society, including wealthy businessmen and members of the professions, so in a stratified society like England it is not surprising that the Irish were not particularly welcome in English lodges. London has always attracted members of the Irish community. Work was readily available, and it was natural that those who were freemasons would wish to join with their fellow masons of the English lodges, but they were not always treated as equals. Under the Premier Grand Lodge of England, masonry was changing as a new third degree was being created, and secret signs were being altered, probably out of fear for infiltration by loyalists to the House of Stuart. The Grand Lodge of England made changes in the ritual by transposing certain significant words in the first two degrees and inventing a new one for the third degree. Irish Roman Catholic freemasons from London Irish lodges became increasingly dissatisfied with the way of working of the predominantly protestant and pro-Hanoverian aristocratic London lodges (see also Schism: The Battle That Forged Freemasonry, Ric Berman, Sussex Academic Press, 2013).
On 17 July 1751, about eighty Masons, nearly all Irish Catholics held a meeting to discuss their problems at the Turks Head Inn, Greek Street, Soho. They decided that the only course of action would be to form their own Grand Lodge, using the original passwords, under which they could form lodges which they could visit as frequently as they liked, without fear of rejection. The group formed themselves into five private lodges, each meeting at a different locality in London. They formed a Grand Committee which became the Grand Lodge of the Antients and they named the competing system the Moderns. The Antients Grand Committee lasted for two years until 1753, when Robert Turner was appointed Grand Master. Finally the lodges formed a fully functional rival Grand Lodge on 27 December 1753 (day of St. John the Evangelist), the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of England, according to the Old Constitutions. September 1756 Laurence Dermott (1720-1791 CE) published a Constitution for the Antients, the Ahiman Rezon. Laurence Dermott opened the higher degrees for merchants and other non-aristocrats from the aspiring middle and working class. In 1771 with the appointment as Grand Master of the John Murray, 3rd Duke of Atholl (1729-1774 CE), the Antients had a senior member of the royal family as their Grand Master. He was a a Scottish peer and Tory politician. Due to this appointment the Antients Grand Lodge also became known as Atholl Grand Lodge. The Antients provided mutually funded welfare and an accessible social infrastructure for its members. They also claimed to adhere to a seemingly superior and more traditional and historically legitimate tradition than the 'Moderns'. The "Antients" adhered to the pre-Hannoverian Roman Catholic House of Stuart, which were of Scottish descent. The Antient Grand Lodge would exist until 1813 when it united with the Premier Grand Lodge to create the United Grand Lodge of England. Their last Grand Master was Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn (1767-1820 CE) (see also Schism: The Battle That Forged Freemasonry, Ric Berman, Sussex Academic Press, 2013 and Grand Lodge Bulletin, Freemasons, Volumes 36-37, Grand Lodge of Iowa, 1936, p. 468 and Ars Quatuor Coronatorum: Being the Transactions of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge No. 2076, London, Volume 29, W. J. Parre H, Limited, 1916, p. 14)
The coat of arms of the Antients, with the motto "Kodes la Adonai" or "Holiness to the Lord", was a design of Judah Leon Templo (1603-died after 1675 CE). Judah Leon Templo had exhibited in London his model of King Solomon's Temple which attracted considerable notice. Laurence Dermott, the secretary of the "Antients", examined this model about ninety years after its first exhibition, and in connexion with it he saw at the same time a strange coat-of arms, of which he promptly availed himself in settling the Arms of his Grand Lodge (see also Transactions, Volumes 25-27, Jewish Historical Society of England, 1977, p. 154 and The rise and development of organised freemasonry, Roy A. Wells, Lewis Masonic, 1986, p. 65). In 1813 the coat of arms of the "Antients" and the "Moderns" would be merged into the coat of arms of the UGLE.
This conflict between Moderns and Antients resembled the querelle des Anciens et des Modernes in France in the 1690s, where the "Modernes" had supported the idea of Progress and the "Anciens" had supported tradition and Authority. As such is can be seen in a broader context of the conflict between tradition and modernity. Freemasons were known either as the Free and Accepted Masons (Moderns, Newtonian, Geomatic or Gentleman masons, Whigs, Hanoverian, Protestant), or Ancient Free and Accepted Masons (Antients or Athol Masons, Tories, Jacobites, Irish, Roman Catholic) (see also Histoire de la querelle des anciens et des modernes, Hippolyte Rigault, L. Hachette et cie., 1856 and Ancients and Moderns: A Study of the Rise of the Scientific Movement in Seventeenth-century England, Richard Foster Jones, Courier Corporation, 1961 and The Foundations of Modern Freemasonry: The Grand Architects : Political Change and the Scientific Enlightenment, 1714-1740, Ric Berman, Sussex Academic Press, 2012, p. 119).
Besides the craft degrees, systems of higher and esoteric degrees also developed during the 18th century. Several myths and legends would be introduced into freemasonry in continental Europe, mainly based on Egyptian myths and those about the Knights Templar. The story goes that a group of templars escaped the persecution of 1307 and set course to Scotland. Here they are supposed to have established a Templar type of freemasonry of which the House of Stuart became Grand Master. From this legend would so-called Ecossais freemasonry develop during the exile of the Stuarts after the Glorious Revolution of 1688. A multitude of higher degrees would develop in France. One of the influences on French freemasonry was the novel Séthos, histoire, ou Vie tirée des monumens anecdotes de l'ancienne Egypte, published in 1731 by Jean Terrasson (1670-1750 CE). This story elided freemasonry with ancient Egyptian ritual, and served as an inspiration for Mozart and Schikaneder's Magic Flute. It also became the blueprint for Cagliostro's Egyptian rite. Esoteric freemasonry would draw its inspiration from Jewish Kabbalah, Illuminism, Theosophy, chivalry, Templar and Egyptian legends. Illuminism, which relates to the mystical belief in personal enlightenment, is often confused with the Illuminati movement of Adam Weishaupt (1748-1830 CE). The development of higher degrees and 'Ecossais' freemasonry can be seen as a reaction against the increasing rationalism of the Age of Reason. Ecossais freemasonry would become a political instrument and a pan-European network of Jacobite espionage uniting Jacobites and other opponents of the Hanoverian rulers of Great Britain. Freemasonry in general was a political instrument both for the protestant Hanoverians and the Roman Catholic Stuarts. Its nature and organisation would give rise to a multitude of conspiracy theories (see also Ancient Egypt in the Popular Imagination, David Huckvale, McFarland, 2012, p. 89 and The Masonic Magician, Philippa Faulks and Robert L.D. Cooper, Watkins, 2008, pp. 41-42 and Emanuel Swedenborg, Secret Agent on Earth and in Heaven: Jacobites, Jews, and Freemasons in Early Modern Sweden, Marsha Keith Schuchard, Leiden, Brill, 2011 and Secret Texts: The Literature of Secret Societies, Marie Mulvey Roberts, Hugh Ormsby-Lennon, AMS Press, 1995, p. 127 and Restoring the Temple of Vision: Cabalistic Freemasonry and Stuart Culture, Marsha Keith Schuchard, BRILL, 2002, p. 72 and Selected Papers, Consortium on Revolutionary Europe, 1750-1850, Institute on Napoleon and the French Revolution, Florida State University, 1994, p. 364 and The Dublin University Magazine, Volume 81, 1873, p. 75 and Leibniz, Mysticism and Religion, A.P. Coudert, R.H. Popkin, G.M. Weiner, Springer Science & Business Media, 2013, p. 84).
It is supposed that the higher, 'Ecossais', degrees of freemasonry have been invented by the adherents of the exiled House of Stuart for the purpose of being used as a political means of restoring, first, James II of England (1633-1701 CE), and afterward his son and grandson, James Francis Edward Stuart (1688-1766 CE) and Charles Edward Stuart (1720-1788 CE), respectively known in history as the Chevalier Saint George and the Young Pretender. The Battle of Culloden of 16 April 1746, which ended in defeat for the troops of Charles Edward Stuart, effectively ended the Jacobite cause. Most of the conclusions to which Masonic writers have arrived on the subject of this connection of the Stuarts with the advanced Degrees of Freemasonry are based on conjecture; but in the opinion of Albert Mackey (1807-1881 CE) there is sufficient internal evidence in the character of some of these Degrees, as well as in the known history of their organisation, to establish the fact that some connection did actually exist (see also he History of Freemasonry: It's Legends and Traditions, Albert Mackey, 1906)With the expulsion of James II of England (1633-1701 CE) from the British throne in 1688, political exiles carried (Scottish) Masonic traditions throughout the 'Jacobite' diaspora, where they attracted a variety of monarchs, philosophers, scientists, and artists to their supposedly defeated creed and culture. James II, after his flight from England in 1688 resided at the Jesuit College of Clermont in Paris, until his removal to St. Germain. James II saw in the Jesuit morality plays of the College of Clermont a vessel for passing on a set of moral lessons. The Jesuit morality plays blended with the masques of the Stuart court, which reappeared in the elaborately theatrical ceremonies developed by Jacobite exiles and their local supporters in the so-called 'Scottish' lodges (see also Jacobite Freemasonry, Arthur Edward Waite, Kessinger Publishing, 2010 and Restoring the Temple of Vision: Cabalistic Freemasonry and Stuart Culture, Marsha Keith Schuchar, BRILL, 2002, p. 5 and The Perfection of Eloquence, Richard Curry, S.J.).
Chevalier Andrew M. Ramsay (1686-1743 CE) Grand Orator of the Stuart freemasonry with his Oration of 21 March 1737 (or 'Discourse of le Chevalier Ramsay given at the St.John's Lodge on 27th December 1736') would be influential in setting up the Scottish Rite on behalf of the exiled Stuarts (see also Gould's History of Freemasonry Throughout the World, Robert Freke Gould, Dudley Wright, Melvin Maynard Johnson, John Edward Allen, C. Scribner's sons, 1936 and Andrew Michael Ramsay G. van Veen,, Thoth 28, n. 2, 1977). In his oration, Ramsay referred to Masonry as having been founded in remote antiquity, but said that it was renewed in the Holy Land by the Crusaders who had united in Palestine for a noble purpose and to whom he referred to as our Ancestors. According to legend the Knights Templar had continued in Scotland after the death of Jacques de Molay (ca. 1244-1314 CE) on 18 March 1314. The myth that freemasonry was related to the Knights Templar is based on the life of Robert the Bruce (1274-1329 CE) and the legend of the Scottish Knights Templar at the Battle of Bannockburn of 24 June 1314. According to the d'Aumont legend it is said that in order to escape from the persecution that followed the suppression of the Knights Templar by the King of France, a certain Templar, named d'Aumont, accompanied by seven others, disguised as operative masons, fled into Scotland and there secretly founded another order which was the forerunner of freemasonry (see also Histoire pittoresque de la Franc-Maçonnerie et des Sociétés Secrétes Anciennes et Modernes, François-Timoléon Bègue Clavel, 1842).
In 1754, the Chevalier de Bonneville established a Chapter of the advanced Degrees at Paris, in the Jesuit College of Clermont and honoring Louis, Count of Clermont (1709-1771 CE), hence called the Chapter of Clermont or Clermont System. The system of Freemasonry of Chevalier de Bonneville received the name of the Rite of Perfection or Rite of Heredom. The Order of the Royal Secret, founded by Étienne Morin (1717-1771 CE), would consist of 25 Degrees under the Constitutions of 1762 (see also History of freemasonry. Tr. from the 2nd Germ. ed, Gottfried Joseph G. Findel, 1869, p. 688 and La franc-maçonnerie en France des origines a 1815. Tome premier, Gustave Bord, Editorial MAXTOR, 2011, p. 243 and The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry, Arthur Edward Waite, Lulu.com, 1937, p. 312 and The Francken Manuscript 1783, Henry Andrew Francken, Kessinger Publishing, 2010 and Etienne Morin (Stephen Morin): A Patriarch of the Scottish Rite, Léon H. Depas, 1995).
Karl Gotthelf von Hund (1722-1776 CE) and Jean-Baptiste Willermoz (1730-1824 CE) were involved in the development of the esotheric Rite of Strict Observance and the Rectified Scottish Rite. These higher grade systems were part of the revival of illuminism in the 18th century as a response to the rationalism of the Enlightenment. (see also Teresa of Avila and the Rhetoric of Femininity, Alison Weber, Princeton University Press, 1996, p. 34 and Erasmus in the Twentieth Century: Interpretations C 1920-2000, Volume 3, Bruce Mansfield, University of Toronto Press, 2003, p. 44 and Access to Western Esotericism, Antoine Faivre, SUNY Press, 1994, p. 78 and The Western Esoteric Traditions : A Historical Introduction, Nicholas Goodrick, Oxford University Press, 2008, p. 145).
From December 1742 till September 1743 Karl Gotthelf von Hund had visited Paris, where he was told the story that the Knights Templar had secretly joined lodges of stonemasons in Scotland so that they could remain in hiding for centuries, and that Freemasons were actually the surviving Knights Templar. Von Hund believed this story, and returned to Germany, eager to share his new knowledge with his fellow Freemasons. He pretended that the exiled Charles Edward Stuart (1720-1788 CE) was behind the Order of the Knights Templar. Although von Hund did not found the Rite of Strict Observance, he became its most prominent member, and it was through this rite that he propagated his "secret knowledge" that Freemasons were actually the surviving Knights Templar. The name "Strict Observance" came from the fact that Masons who belonged to this rite had to swear allegiance to "unknown superiors" - presumably the secret leaders of the Templars (Superiores Incogniti) that had purportedly contacted and initiated von Hund in Paris. Although the Rite of Strict Observance quickly rose to prominence in Germany and became very popular, it also quickly subsided into obscurity. Torn apart by quarrels amongst its leaders, it did not survive the death of von Hund in 1776 - at least, it did not survive as the large and popular Masonic rite it had been. That same year, the "Young Pretender", Charles Edward Stuart (1720-1788 CE), was finally asked if he was the founder of the rite, but he denied any knowledge of it. By this time it was evident that von Hund had been taken in by charlatans, and that all the claims of his rite were bogus. Only his death in 1776 saved him from disgrace (see also The Order of the Solar Temple, James R. Lewis, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2006, p.137 and Western Esotericism and Rituals of Initiation, Henrik Bogdan, SUNY Press, 2012, p. 97).
The advanced Degrees of Freemasonry, known as the Scottish Rite or the Rite of Strict Observance, were incorporated into French Freemasonry under the name of the Clermont System, in reference to their original construction at that place. The Grand Constitutions of 1786 (USA) provided for an extension of the Rite to thirty-three Degrees, governed in each country under a Supreme Council of the Thirty-third and Last Degree. The name Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (AASR) first appeared in an 1804 agreement between the Supreme Council of France and the Grand Orient of France (see also Gould's History of Freemasonry Throughout the World, Volume 4, Robert Freke Gould, Dudley Wright, Melvin Maynard Johnson, John Edward Allen, C. Scribner's sons, 1936, p. 321 and A Historical Inquiry in Regard to the Grand Constitutions Of 1786, BiblioBazaar, 2010 and Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Freemasonry, Albert Pike, Kessinger Publishing, 2004 and The Sion Revelation, Lynn Picknett, Clive Prince, Simon and Schuster, 2006, p. 322).
The 18th century would bring a revival of Hermeticism, Christian mysticism, Christian Kabbalah and Mesmerism as a reaction against the rationalism of the Enlightenment. This movement, which can also be found in freemasonry, was part of the Counter-Enlightenment as a proto-Romantic movement. In continental freemasonry several esotheric movements would influence its development, mainly in the development of higher degree systems, such as 'Ecossais' or Scottish Rite Freemasonry which originated in France. Freemasonry would increasingly incorporate contradictory strains of thought from Newtonian rational egalitarian deism to occultist hierarchical theism (see also Heresy in the Roman Catholic Church: A History, Michael C. Thomsett, McFarland, 2011, p. 220 and Dialogues and Natural History of Religion, David Hume, Oxford University Press, 1998, p. xiii and Living the Enlightenment : Freemasonry and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Europe, Margaret C. Jacob, Oxford University Press, 1991, p. 196 and Freemasonry, secret societies, and the continuity of the occult traditions in English literature, Vol. 1, M. K. Manatt Schuchard, Ph.D Dissertation, University of Texas, Austin, 1975, p. v).
Freemasonry would not be spared from movements which used it as a scaffold to develop mystical principles linked with initations into mystical secrets. Christian mysticism has its roots in the Neoplatonic work of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (5th century). Christian mysticism shows influences from both Kabbalah (going back to the Merkabah tradition, Chariot or throne mysticism) and Neoplatonism. Christian mysticism is also part of the apophatic theology or negative theology (see also Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, IE Philosophy and The Relationship between Neoplatonism and Christianity, Finan, Thomas; Twaney, Vincent (eds.), Four Courts Press, 1992). Rhineland mysticism, was a late medieval Christian mystical movement and contrasted with Scholasticism. Spanish mysticism, part of the Catholic Reformation, attempted to express in words the experience of a mystical communion with Christ. The English The Cloude of Unknowyng of the latter half of the 14th century is also a work in the Christian mystical tradtition. The underlying message of this work proposes that the only way to truly "know" God is to abandon all preconceived notions and beliefs or "knowledge" about God and be courageous enough to surrender your mind and ego to the realm of "unknowingness", at which point, you begin to glimpse the true nature of God. Sequential or dialectic rasoning has to give way first to geometric and then to intuitive thinking with the heart, in order to comprehend "nowhere" or "nothing": Summa Scientia, nihil scire. Or also "Deus est sphaera infinita cuius centrum est ubique, circumferentia nusquam" (God is an infinite sphere, the center of which is everywhere (encompassing the created universe), the circumference (is in the) nowhere, see also Liber XXIV philosophorum and Ancient Mystic Rites, Charles Webster Leadbeater, Quest Books, 1986 and The enigma of the freemasons: their history and mystical connections, Tim Wallace-Murphy, Disinformation Co., 2006 and Geschiedenis Van de Occulte En Mystieke Broederschappen, Marcel Roggemans, Lulu.com, 2010, p. 4).
Martinez de Pasqually (1727-1774 CE) founded the l'Ordre de Chevaliers Maçons Élus Coëns de l'Univers or 'Elus Cohens' in 1761 in Bordeaux. Pasqually claimed that English freemasonry did not know all the ancient secrets of freemasonry. He is believed to be of Jewish-Portuguese descent. His mysticism shows similarities with the Christian mysticism of the Alumbrados or Spanish Quietists. The ideas behind Quietism are to be found in many religions of the world. In the West, they influenced the mysticism of the Christian Middle Ages, notably that of the devotio moderna (modern devotion) movement. The De Imitatione Christi of Thomas à Kempis (c. 1380-1471 CE) emphasises the interior life and withdrawal from the world. Quietist ideas reappeared during the sixteenth century in the alumbrados (illuminism) movement, which greatly worried the Spanish authorities. The Alumbrados (The Enlightened) movement grew out of the Jewish Marranos or conversos who converted to Catholicism in Spain or Portugal, particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries, and their descendents (see also Histoire secrète de Lyon et du Lyonnais, Jean Louis Bernard, Editions Albin Michel, 1977, p. 225). The alumbrados held that the human soul can reach such a degree of perfection that it can even in the present life contemplate the essence of God and comprehend the mystery of the Trinity. The alumbrados were influenced by the Enchiridion militis Christiani (1501 CE, Handbook of a Christian Knight) of Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536 CE) in which he makes an appeal on Christians to act in accordance with the Christian faith rather than merely performing the necessary rites. Erasmus humself was influenced by his visit to England where he had met with John Colet (1467-1519 CE) and Thomas More (1478-1535 CE). The Enchiridion militis Christiani was also inspired by the Enchiridion to Laurentius on Faith, Hope, and Charity of Augustine of Hippo (354-430 CE) (see also Are You Alone Wise? : The Search for Certainty in the Early Modern Era, Susan Schreiner, Oxford University Press, 2010, p. 216 and The Radical Reformation, George Huntston Williams, Truman State Univ Press, 2000, p. 38).
Teresa of Ávila (1515-1582 CE), a desendant of Marranos, wrote El Castillo Interior in the Spanish mystical tradition (see also Teresa of Avila, Rowan Williams, Continuum, 2004, p. 43). She viewed the soul as a crystal globe in the shape of a castle containing seven mansions, which she interpreted as the journey of faith through seven stages, ending with union with God. The mystic's search for union with God ("The One" of Neoplatonism) had traditionally been symbolized by a journey or passage through seven interior chambers - expressed as mansions, stations, palaces or halls - which have always been part of a more comprehensive pattern of religious symbolism embraced by Christians, Jews and and Muslims throughout history. Teresa of Ávila describes spiritual progress between the seven mansions which, in summary, represent three main stages in the life of interiorization and prayer. The first three mansions concentrate on what we can do to move towards the interior mansions where God dwells - growth in love for others, renunciation of judgment of others, self-knowledge, humility, the process of interiorizing and activating the longing for God. This self-knowledge also refers to the classical Know thyself. The fourth mansion is the transitional stage where the soul is beginning to respond to His Touch and God begins to take over. The most interior mansions are where God increasingly purifies the soul to His Likeness in the state of spiritual marriage or "unio mystica". John of the Cross (1542-1591 CE) another Spanish mystic, who joined the reform of Teresa of Ávila, wrote his poetry and his studies on the growth of the soul. His Subida del Monte Carmelo is a systematic study of the ascetical endeavour of a soul looking for perfect union, God and the mystical events happening along the way. It deals with the so-called La noche oscura del alma, when the individual Soul undergoes earthly and spiritual privations in search of union with God (see also The Principles of Existence & Beyond, L. A. Michael, Lulu.com, 2007, p. 24 and Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews, James Carroll, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002, p. 359). In 1632, religious refugees from Seville, Spain, known as the 'illuministes' tried to establish themselves in Saint-Georges de Roye, France. Pierre Guérin (1596-1654 CE), curé of Saint-Georges de Roye was converted and himself created many disciples, called "les Guérinistes" or "Guerients". The "Guerients" were suppressed in 1635. (see also Towards the Romantic Age, R. Neuhauser, Springer, 1974, p. 17).
Quetism reemerged in Italy in the 1680s when religious groups, self-proclaimed quietisti, promoted transformation in God and total spiritual passivity. Miguel de Molinos (ca. 1628-1697 CE), a Spanish mystic, who wrote La guia espiritual (1675), was the chief representative of the religious revival known as Quietism. The Quietist ideas were soon condemned because they seemed not only to call into question the hierarchy, authority, and dogma of the Roman Catholic Church but also to tolerate a dangerous moral bent toward sin-for committing sin could not trouble Quietism's intimate relationship with God. Quietism, devoted to the 'prayer of quiet' or 'dejamiento', would find its way into France. In France Benet Canfield (1562-1610 CE) and Pierre de Bérulle (1575-1629 CE) would be part of the mystical movement, which emphasized 'annétissement', 'foi nue' and 'amour pur' leading to the 'mort mystique' and the 'union d'unité. François Fénelon (1651-1715 CE) and Jeanne-Marie Bouvier de la Motte-Guyon (1648-1717 CE) would also play an important role in the development of Quietism in France. Guyon actively promoted the mysticism of Miguel de Molinos based on the annihilation of the soul in Les torrents spirituels (1682) and in Moyen court et très facile pour l'oraison (1685). Fénelon would publish his Explication des maximes des Saints sur la vie interieure in her defence, but in the end both Fénelon and Guyon would be condemned for their heretical ideas. Chevalier Andrew M. Ramsay (1686-1743 CE) would be close friends with both François Fénelon and Mme. Guyon (see also History of the life of Fénelon (archbishop of Cambray), Andrew M. Ramsay, J. & R. Parlane, 1897 and Institutes of Ecclesiastical History, Ancient and Modern, Volume 3, Johann Lorenz Mosheim, Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, & Green, 1863). Mystic freemasons would search for the 'union d'unité or mystical union (unio mystica) through their intiations and rituals as alchemists would try to achieve with their magnum opus and hieros gamos (see also Traces of a Hidden Tradition in Masonry and Medieval Mysticism, Isabel Cooper-Oakley, 1900 and Mystic Masonry Or the Symbols of Freemasonry and the Greater Mysteries of Antiquity, J. D. Buck, Kessinger Publishing, 2010 and Isaac Newton's Freemasonry: The Alchemy of Science and Mysticism, Alain Bauer, Inner Traditions/Bear, 2007).
Martinez de Pasqually (1727-1774 CE) claimed to have a patent granting him the right to found lodges, which had been given to his father on 20 May 1738 by Charles Edward Stuart (1720-1788 CE). This patent, and the powers it confered, were transmissable at death to his son. The Élus Coëns used theurgical rites, which refers to the De mysteriis Aegyptiorum of the Syrian Neoplatonist Iamblichus (ca. 245-ca. 325 CE) and the Alumbrados. The goal of the ritual was the return of man to the divine source, and the process of his return, was called 'Reintegration' or illumination. Martinez de Pasqually put forward his doctrine in his work Traité sur la réintégration des êtres dans leur première propriété, vertu et puissance spirituelle divine (1770-1772 CE). His order would influence Louis Claude de Saint-Martin (1743-1803 CE) and Jean-Baptiste Willermoz (1730-1824 CE). A Temple of the Élus Coëns opened in Lyons and the city would become the spiritual capital of the Order for many years. Jean-Baptiste Willermoz, a French Freemason of Lyons, would develop various systems of Masonic high-degrees. He played and important role in the reform of the German Masonic Order of Strict Observance. At the Convent of Wilhelmsbad (opened 16 July 1782) the Order of Strict Observance was reorganised along the principles of the 'Elus Cohens' and became the Rite écossais rectifié (RER), but without the theurgical aspect of the original ritual (see also La franc-maçonnerie en France des origines a 1815, G. Bord, Editorial MAXTOR, 2011). They also had to renounce the myth of the Templar origin of freemasonry and of the Unknown Superiors. Martinez de Pasqually and Louis Claude de Saint-Martin were the founders of Martinism, a form of mystical and esoteric Christianity. de Saint-Martin was also influenced by the teachings of Jacob Boehme (1575-1624 CE) (the Theosopher of Görlitz) and of Johann Georg Gichtel (1638-1710 CE) (the Theosopher of Amsterdam). He added a mystical dimension to the theurgical practices and his teaching became known as the Way of the Heart (see also Saint-Martin, the French Mystic, and the Story of Modern Martinism, A. E. Waite, Dyson Press, 2013 and Review of the progress of religious opinions during the nineteenth century, tr. by T.B.R., Jean Charles L. Simonde de Sismondi, 1826, p. 66 and Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment, Michel Delon, Routledge, 2013, p. 686).
The former Benedictine monk Antoine-Joseph Pernety (1716-1796 CE) would found the the secret society of the 'Rite hermétique' or Illuminés d'Avignon or Illuminés du Mont-Thabor in Avignon in 1784. At this time Avignon was still part of the Papal States. In 1791 Avignon was annexed by France. The principles of the Illuminés d'Avignon were based upon the Hermetic philosophy which he read about in the library of the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés in 1757. He fled to Berlin in order to escape the Inquisition in Avignon. Pernety was also influenced by the Christian mysticism of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772 CE) and founded, together with the Polish Count Tadeusz Grabianka (1740-1807 CE), the Illuminés de Berlin. The principles of the Illuminés d'Avignon were based on the Christian mysticism of Emanuel Swedenborg, Guillaume Postel (1510-1581 CE) and millenarianism (see also Dom Pernety et les Illuminés d'Avignon, M. Meillassoux-Le Cerf, Archè, 1992, p. 168, 332 and Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism, Wouter J. Hanegraaff et al. (eds.), Brill, 2005, pp. 597-600 and The Second Coming: Popular Millenarianism, 1780-1850, J. F. C. Harrison, Routledge, 2013).
The basis of the Asiatic Brethren, also known as the Fratres Lucis, or the Brotherhood of Light, was to be found in Jewish Illuminism, Rosicrucianism, Martinism and the Illuminati. They purportedly represented a survival of the Sabians, though they were comprised chiefly of Jews, Turks, Persians, and Armenians. The full title of the organisation was The Knights and Brethren of St. John the Evangelist (see also Secret Societies and Subversive Movements, Nesta H. Webster, Book Tree, 2000, p. 169). Moses Dobruška (1753-1794 CE), nephew and successor of Jacob Frank (1726-1791 CE), who converted to Christianity, entered the Habsburg nobility with the name of Franz Thomas von Schoenfeld. As Franz, he entered into Austrian Freemasonry, and became involved with Hans Heinrich von Ecker und Eckhoffen (1750-1790 CE). During the early 1780s, Eckhoffen became disgruntled with the Gold and Rosy Cross of 1777, and, with Dobruška and members of the Habsburg nobility, formed what became known as the Asiatic Brethren. The Grand Master of the Asiatic Brethren, and leading member of the Illuminati, was Prince Karl of Hesse-Kassel (1744-1836 CE), the brother of Wilhelm I of Hessen-Kassel ( 1743-1821 CE). Another member of the Asiatic Brethren was the Count of St. Germain (1712-1784 CE), who continues to be regarded by many as one of the leading figures of Western occult history. Leading illuminists like Louis Claude de Saint-Martin (1743-1803 CE), Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772 CE) and Alessandro Cagliostro (1743-1795 CE), were all members of the Asiatic Brethren. (see also Theosophical Enlightenment, Joscelyn Godwin, SUNY 1994, p. 220 and Secret Rituals of the Men in Black, Allen Greenfield, Lulu.com, 2005, p. xiv). In 1771, an amalgamation of all the Masonic groups was effected at the new lodge of the Amis Réunis in Paris. A further development of the Amis Réunis was the Rite of the Philalethes, formed by Charles-Pierre-Paul Savalette de Langes (1745-1797 CE) in 1773, out of Swedenborgian, Martinist, and Rosicrucian mysteries
After Pope Clement XIV's (1705-1774 CE) suppression of the Society of Jesus in 1773, Adam Weishaupt (1748-1830 CE) became the first lay professor of canon law at the University of Ingolstadt. Educated in a Jesuit school, he admired the discipline of the Jesuits but deplored the content of their teachings; he thus resolved to create an organisation along similar lines for the defense of the very principles they attacked. Weishaupt was familiar with the mysticism of the Jesuits, such as the teachings of Ignatius of Loyola and Jerónimo Nadal. . The founder of the Jesuit order, Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556 CE), while studying at Salamanca in 1527, was brought before an ecclesiastical commission on a charge of sympathy with the Alumbrados, but escaped with an admonition. The Jesuit Jerónimo Nadal (1507-1580 CE) put forward "Seek God in the intimate activity of your own heart. There, He is found in placid tranquility and in the sweet union of infinite virtue. If you seek Him only intellectually, you will uncover many difficulties and you will not find Him. Mystical theology resides in the heart." (see also ...The special grace of this [arduous and difficult] vocation..., Fr. Jerome Nadal, SJ, CF # 185, p. 12 and The First Jesuits, John W. O'Malley, SJ, Cambridge MA: Harvard, 1993 and Quaerere Deum. Atti della XXV settimana biblica., Associazione Biblica Italiana. Brescia: Paideia 1980; and Parola Spirito e vita. Quaderni di lettura biblica. gennaio-giugno 1997. Vol. I, Cercare Dio). Adam Weishaupt opposed the philosophy of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804 CE) and wrote several books against his philosophy: Ueber die Gründe und Gewissheit der menschlichen Erkenntnis zur Prüfung der Kantschen Critik der reinen Vernunft (1788), Ueber die Kantischen Anschauungen und Erscheinungen (1788) and Zweifel über die Kantischen Begriffe von Zeit und Raum (1788). The political ideas of Weishaupt were influenced by Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527 CE) and Baltasar Gracián (1601-1658 CE) (see also Wissen und Geheimnis: Das Experiment des Illuminatenordens, Stephan Gregory, Stroemfeld-Verlag, 2009, p. 234 and Geheimbund und Utopie: Illuminaten, Freimaurer und deutsche Spätaufklärung, Manfred Agethen, Oldenbourg R. Verlag GmbH, 1987, p. 2010 and Zeitschrift für internationale Freimaurerforschung: IF., Volume 5, Nummers 9-10, Böhlau, 2003, p. 52).
Weishaupt would found the Order of Illuminati on 1 May 1776, a secret society with origins in Bavaria. The order sought to promote the doctrines of equality and freedom throughout society and to oppose superstition, prejudice, religious influence over public life, abuses of state power, and to support women's education and gender equality. The Illuminati would develop branches in most European countries: it reportedly had around 2,000 members over the span of ten years. Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria (1724-1799 CE), who became ruler of Bavariain 1777, banned all secret societies including the Illuminati. Weishaupt went into exile in Gotha under the protection of Ernest II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (1745-1804 CE), who was also a freemason. Internal rupture and panic over succession preceded the downfall of the organisation. In Gotha, Weishaupt was visited by Henry Crabb Robinson (1775-1867 CE) in 1804, whom he told that his work Pythagoras, oder Betrachtungen über die geheime Welt- und Regierungskunst (1790) "contained all the statistics of the movement". He also told Robinson that the Illuminati-movement had failed and so was no longer active. Weishaupt thought human society unimprovable as he himself had failed as a reformer (see also Diary, Reminiscences, and Correspondence, Vol. I, Henry Crabb Robinson, Fields, Osgood, & Co. 1869, p. 124-125). The Illuminati as part of the "Order of Infidels" were believed to be responsible for the French Revolution of 1789 and nowadays they are supposed to be behind every Masonic conspiracy. The Bavarian Illuminati, the Illuminés d'Avignon, and other similar groups, would all become linked together and influence the view on freemasonry in Roman Catholic regions (see also Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies For Dummies, C. Hodapp, A. Von Kannon, John Wiley & Sons, 2011, p. 209 and Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire du Jacobinisme, Augustin Barruel, 1797-1798 and Proofs of a Conspiracy, John Robison, 1797 and De l'influence attribuée aux philosophes, aux francs-maçons et aux illuminés sur la Révolution de France, Jean-Joseph Mounier, 1801).
The mysticism of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772 CE) and illuminism would also reach England. Swedenborg's teaching became the main substance of the occult revival in the late eighteenth century. His central (Neoplatonic and Kabbalistic) idea of "Correspondences", which linked all things material to a spiritual source was used to back up notions of unusual rapport with other realities. Emmanuel Swedenborg became interested in the teachings of the Sabbatian mystic Samuel Jacob Falk (ca. 1710-1782 CE), known as the 'Baal Shem' of London, who was reputed to exercise miraculous powers through his supposed mastery of the magical names of God. Immanuel Kant (1724-1804 CE) even felt compelled to respond to Swedenborg in his Träume eines Geistersehers, erläutert durch Träume der Metaphysik (1766). The Swedenborgian idea of the renewal of faith and the creation of a New Jerusalem would find its way to freemasonry in France and in England (see also Doctrine de la nouvelle Jérusalem; touchant Le Seigneur, Emanuel Swedenborg, Bénédict Chastanier, De l'imprimerie de T. Spilsbury, Snow-hill., 1787 and The doctrine of the New Jerusalem concerning the Sacred Scripture, Emanuel Swedenborg, New-Church Board of Publication, 1880). The occult tradition of seeking spiritual illumination of the seventeenth century had gone underground, marginalised by the progress of rationalist and empiricist modes of thinking, but it was preserved most fully and systematically in clandestine "irregular" Freemasonry. A Swedenborg Rite, modeled on freemasonry, would be founded in Avignon in 1773 and was based upon the teachings of Emanuel Swedenborg. (see also Theosophical Enlightenment, Joscelyn Godwin, SUNY Press, 1994, p. 95 and Swedenborg: An Introduction to His Life and Ideas, Gary Lachman, Penguin, 2012 and William Blake and the Radical Swedenborgians, Robert Rix).
During the 1780s organisations such as the Universal Society and the Theosophical Society (1783) spread the principles of Swedenborg in London. The Theosophical Society was established in 1783 by a printer with a Methodist background, Robert Hindmarsh (1759-1835 CE). Benedict Chastanier (1739-ca. 1816 CE) a French pharmacist and surgeon, high-ranking mason and huguenot founded the 'Masonic system of Theosophic Illuminati' (Illuminés theosophes) in France. Chastanier had been in contact with the Masons at Avignon and introduced their teaching to England. He went into exile to London where he founded the "London Universal Society" in 1776. Chastanier, like other radicals of the time, would see spiritual and political liberty as complementary. Swedenborg's claims that the old churches had kept man in spiritual bondage, imposing on him false doctrines, were connected with anticlericalism and anti-institutionalism. (see also William Blake and the Cultures of Radical Christianity, Robert Rix, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2007, p. 87 and Emanuel Swedenborg, Secret Agent on Earth and in Heaven, Marsha Keith Schuchard, BRILL, 2011, p. 688 and Benedict Chastanier and the Illuminati of Avignon, James Hyde, New-Church Review 14, 1907, p. 181-205).
Another Swedenborgian gathering in London was the Sunday morning meetings held at Jacob Duché's (1737-1798 CE) flat at the Lambeth Asylum for orphans. The members of Chastanier's Universal Society were regular guests at the Sunday morning meetings held at Duché's asylum, and they also attended the meetings of the Theosophical Society. While in London, Louis Claude de Saint-Martin (1743-1803 CE) also visited the Theosophical Society. The activities in London meant a revival of an occult tradition of seeking spiritual illumination. In 1785 the Theosophical Society was renamed as The British Society for the Propagation of the Doctrines of the New Church, which was a New Church built upon Swedenborgian teachings. When the First General Conference in the Swedenborgian New Jerusalem Church was held in 1789, the backbone of Swedenborgianism in London was still the Universal Society. The set of Resolutions of 16 April 1789, which came out of the first General Conference, was the work of Chastanier's Universal Society, its members signing the resolutions "on behalf of this Conference". Later on the Swedenborgian New Jerusalem Church would distanciate itself from its radical "irregular" masonic members (see also The Dream of an Absolute Language, Lynn Rosellen Wilkinson, SUNY Press, 1996 and Freemasonry, secret societies, and the continuity of the occult traditions in English literature, Vol. 1, M. K. Manatt Schuchard, Ph.D Dissertation, University of Texas, Austin, 1975 and Secret Masonic History and Blake and the Grand Masters (1791-1794), Marsha Keith Schuchard, in Blake in the Nineties, S. Clark and D. Worrall, Macmillan, 1999, p. 173-93).
The continental secret societies would make a lasting impression on the image of continental freemasonry. Freemasons were being accused to be the hidden force behind the French Revolution of 1789 by authors such as Augustin Barruel (1741-1820 CE) and John Robison (1739-1805 CE). Augustin Barruel (1741-1820 CE), who lived in exile in England, in his Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire du Jacobinisme wrote about "the brethren of Avignon", Grabianka, Alessandro Cagliostro (1743-1795 CE) and Saint-Martin, who were welcome visitors to Chastanier and the Swedenborgians in London during the 1780s. Barruel claims, "one could see their disciples thirsting after that celestial Jerusalem, that purifying fire (for these are the expressions I have heard them make use of) that was to kindle into general conflagration throughout the earth by means of the French Revolution - and thus Jacobin Equality and Liberty was to be universally triumphant in the streets of London". The meetings in London were given a revolutionary meaning and were deemed part of a wider conspiracy leading to the French Revolution of 1789 (see also Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire du Jacobinisme, Augustin Barruel, 1797-1798 and Proofs of a Conspiracy, John Robison, 1797 and De l'influence attribuée aux philosophes, aux francs-maçons et aux illuminés sur la Révolution de France, Jean-Joseph Mounier, 1801)
The Hannoveran and Jacobite Lodges of England would unite when the danger of a Jacobite invasion was gone as France was no longer supporting the Jacobite cause after the French Revolution. The Roman Catholic Cardinal Henry Benedict Stuart (1725-1807 CE) was the fourth and final Jacobite heir to claim the thrones of England, Scotland, France and Ireland. But at the time of the French Revolution, Henry Benedict Stuart lost his French Royal benefices. The last three members of the Royal House of Stuart are commemorated at the Monument to the Royal Stuarts in St. Peter's Basilica, in the Vatican in Rome. In 1797 a first move was made looking toward union between the Atients and Moderns but the project fell through. Two years afterwards, however, the two Grand Masters, the Earl of Moira Francis Rawdon-Hastings, Earl of Moira and 1st Marquess of Hastings (1754-1826 CE) for the Moderns and John Murray, 4th Duke of Atholl (1755-1830 CE) for the Antients, acted together to have the Craft specifically exempted from the Unlawful Societies Act of 1799 in England. In the wake of the French Revolution (1789) and the Napoleonic Wars, the Unlawful Societies Act of 1799 banned any meetings of groups that required their members to take an oath or obligation. The Unlawful Societies Act was operational from 1799 to 1965, although in later years the Act fell into disuse. The Act forced freemasons to register organisations and the names of members with the Clerk of the Peace and local Quarter Sessions (see also Unlawful Societies Act 1799: Printers' Registrations in West Yorkshire, 1799-1867, Allenholme, 1994 and The History of Freemasonry (3 vols), Robert Freke Gould, London 1887 and A History of British Freemasonry 1425-2000, Andrew Prescott, University of Sheffield Centre for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism, 2008).
As early as 1809 committees met to consider the "propriety and practicability of union". To pave the way for the union of the two Grand Lodges, a "Special Lodge of Promulgation" was formed on 26 October 1809 by the Francis Rawdon-Hastings, Earl of Moira (1754-1826 CE), for the Moderns, to serve as a means for bringing about a merger; this lodge held its first meeting on 21 Nov. 1809 and then resolved to call itself "The Special Lodge of Promulgation" (see also The Special Lodge of Promulgation: 1809-1811, W. B. Hextall, Freemasons. Lodge of Promulgation, Freemasons, Quatuor Coronati Lodge, 1910). On 10 April 10 1810, the Earl of Moira informed his Grand Lodge that both he and the Grand Master of the Ancients "were both fully of opinion, that it would be an event truly desirable, to consolidate under one head the two Societies of Masons that existed in this country". These proceedings were transmitted to the Grand Lodge of Ancients, where this frank avowal of a desire for union was met with unfeigned cordiality, so that after concessions were made by both sides, though more heartily by the Moderns, it was agreed all the way around that differences should be ironed out, and a union be made. The "Act of Union" united the two Grand Lodges of Freemasons (Moderns and Antients), and formed the new United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE). The Grand Assembly of Freemasons for the Union of the Two Grand Lodges of England was held on 27 December 1813 (day of Saint John the Evangelist, symbolizing logos or reason). The Antients prevailed in the forms and working of the degrees, yielding to the abandonment of their Book of Constitutions and the position of Grand Master to Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex (1773-1843 CE) (see also The European Magazine, and London Review, Volume 65, Philological Society of London, 1814, pp. 6-12). The Duke of Sussex launched a campaign to suppress the Rosicrucian elements and to impose a deistic, "Unitarian" doctrine of natural religion on the London lodges (see also Freemasonry, secret societies, and the continuity of the occult traditions in English literature, Vol. 2, M. K. Manatt Schuchard, Ph.D Dissertation, University of Texas, Austin, 1975, p. 474 and A New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Volume 1, Arthur Edward Waite, Cosimo, Inc., 2013, p. 278). William Henry White (1777-?), Grand Secretary from 1813 to 1858 and author of General Regulations for the Government of the Order of Royal Arch Masons of England (1843), discovered Rosicrucian documents at Freemasons Hall, which would lead to a renewed interest in the Rosicrucian tradition (see also Theosophical Enlightenment, Joscelyn Godwin, SUNY Press, 1994, p. 216 and Arena, Issue 14, Gordon davie, Autumn 2013, p. 20-21 and Freemasonry, secret societies, and the continuity of the occult traditions in English literature, Vol. 2, M. K. Manatt Schuchard, Ph.D Dissertation, University of Texas, Austin, 1975, 486). The union of "Antients" and "Moderns" meant the union of Newtonian Deism with Roman Catholic Theism within Anglo-American freemasonry. The natural concept of religion of the Moderns was complemented by the revealed concept of religion of the Antients. Nature's God of the Moderns was united with the Biblical God of the Antients.
The work of preparing a new Code of Regulations for the United Grand Lodge was referred to a Board of General Purposes; its work was approved by a Special Grand Lodge 23 August 1815. The new Constitution was a compromise between the Ahiman Rezon of the Antients and the Constitution of Anderson of the Moderns. Each of the two Grand Lodges participating appointed a committee of nine expert Master Masons or Past Masters and these were then formed into a Lodge of Promulgation on 27 December 1813, the purpose of which was to work out a form of ritual acceptable to all. This lodge continued its work from 1813 to 1816, often against opposition; but while its work was of consequence and official, the real fusing of the two systems went on according to circumstances in the private lodges, so that the influence of the Lodge of Reconciliation was more academic than real. An Emulation Lodge of Improvement, which first met on 2 October 1823, preserves the Emulation Ritual (Entered Apprentice Ritual) which was established at the foundation of the UGLE (see also Emulation - A Ritual to Remember, Colin F.W. Dyer, 1973 and Illustrated History of the Emulation Lodge of Improvement 1904, Henry Sadler, Kessinger Publishing, 2003).
The conflict and schism between Anglo-Saxon and Continental freemasonry is mainly related to the concept of the Grand Architect of the Universe (GAOTU). The idea about religion and God changed over the years and it evolved differently in Anglo-Saxon and Continental freemasonry. Major turning points were the union of Moderns and Antients on 27 December 1813, which created the UGLE and the convention of the GOdF in 1877. A new Code of Regulations for the United Grand Lodge, after the union of Moderns and Antients, was referred to a Board of General Purposes; its work was approved by a Special Grand Lodge on 23 August 1815. The new constitution moved away from the original Constitution of Anderson of 1723 on religion as a compromise between Moderns and Antients. The Moderns (Whigs, Newtonians) used the concept of "natural religion" (e.g. Deism) and "prisca theologia" or "prisca philosophia", while the Antients (Jacobites) had used the concept of a "revealed religion" (e.g. Theism). Deism reduced God to a mere creative principle who simply creates the world and lets it play itself out. The Moderns used the more abstract philosophical and impersonal concept of God like the one of classical Greek philosophy, while the Antients used the more personal and anthropomorphic Hebrew concept of God. The conflict was also on the agenda of the Lausanne Congress of Supreme Councils of 1875 for the reform of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite (AASR) of 1786. The discussion went on the Deistic approach (natural religion) of a belief in a Creative Principle on the one hand and the Theistic approach (revealed religion) of a belief in a Supreme Being on the other hand. A Creative Principle can be understood as a force from which everything emanates, which as a concept seems somewhat related to "The One" or "The Good" of Plato (424/423-348/347 BCE) and Neoplatonists such as Proclus (412-485 CE) or even the primum movens of Aristotle (384-322 BCE). Creation by emanation is a different concept than creation 'ex nihilo'. Creation of the world by emanation is a 'creatio ex deo' which means creation out of the essence or being of God. The two concepts of creation have different theological and philosophical consequences. The Grand Architect of the Universe (GAOTU) as a Creative Principle also resembles the Deistic concept of God and the clockwork universe of Isaac Newton (1642-1727 CE). The Grand Architect of the Universe (GAOTU) would be at the heart of the conflict which separated French from the Anglo-Saxon Masonry. Lausanne maintained the Christian tradition of the A.A.S.R. in its various degrees, but in terms of principles went towards a conciliating position between Deism and Theism. Strangely enough Buddhists can be initiated as Freemasons and were never prohibited to become masons, while Buddhism dispenses with the concept of a Supreme Being (see also Omnibus II: Church Fathers Through the Reformation, Douglas Wilson, Ty Fischer, Veritas Press, 2005, p. 59 and When God Calls a Man, Pastor Stephen Kyeyune, AuthorHouse, 2010, p. 5 and Theologies of Creation: Creatio Ex Nihilo and Its New Rivals, Thomas Jay Oord, Routledge, 2014, p. 83 and Drama of the Divine Economy: Creator and Creation in Early Christian Theology and Piety, Paul M. Blowers, OUP Oxford, 2012, p. 167 and Panentheism--The Other God of the Philosophers: From Plato to the Present, John W. Cooper, Baker Academic, 2006, p. 63 and Does God Roll Dice?: Divine Providence for a World in the Making, Joseph A. Bracken, Liturgical Press, 2012, p. 144 and Lodge of the Double-headed Eagle, William L. Fox, University of Arkansas Press, 1197, p.97 and Christianity and American Freemasonry, William Joseph Whalen, Ignatius Press, 1998, p. 101 and Proclus' Commentary on Plato's Parmenides, Proclus, Glenn R. Morrow, John M. Dillon, Princeton University Press, 1992, p. 268 and A New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Arthur Edward Waite, Cosimo, Inc., 2013, p. 118 and God in Buddhism).
Pastor Frédéric Desmons (1832-1910 CE), one of the leading member of the liberal protestants, was admitted to the lodge L"Echo du Grand Orient on 8 March 1861 and, after having left the ministry became Grand Master of the Grand Lodge in France in 1887, then he went on to be a member of parliament for the Gard, and later a senator. In 1877, at their convention, the Grand Orient de France (GOdF) at the instigation of the Calvinist pastor Frédéric Desmons removed the obligation to work for the Glory of the Grand Architect of the Universe (GAOTU), which lead to a schism between the Grand Orient de France and the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE). The Grand Orient de France (GOdF) thereby returned to the original meaning of the "stupid" atheist and the "irreligious libertine" as the ones not allowed to be a Freemason, as it was understood in the original Deistic Constitution of Anderson of 1723. The definition of a "stupid" atheist was inspired by A Treatise of the Foure Degenerate Sonnes, Viz. The Atheist, the Magician, the Idolater, and the Jew (1663) of John Weemes and A Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God (1705) by Samuel Clarke (1675-1729 CE). A libertine is one devoid of most moral restraints, which are seen as unnecessary or undesirable, especially one who ignores or even spurns accepted morals and forms of behaviour sanctified by the larger society. In 1649 Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661 CE), a Scottish Presbyterian theologian, had written A Free Disputation against pretended Liberty of Conscience against libertinism. Calvinists, Presbyterians (Scottish Calvinists) and Newtonians played an important role in defining the ethical foundations and moral principles of the Modern type of freemasonry as opposed to Roman Catholics and Jacobites for the Antients.
The principles of the GOdF assert that whether God is seen as a personal God or as a Creator Principle or Force is an individual choice. The UGLE, as a merger of Moderns and Antients, under patronage of the Royal family and the King/Queen as head of the Anglican Church, has to comply with the more theistic Antient tradition, the more protestant Constitution of Anderson of 1738 and the Constitution of the UGLE of 1815. The conflict is similar to the general conflict between faith and rationality. Another reason for the divergence of the two systems of freemasonry is that the Protestant and Anglican churches succeeded in creating a synthesis with the Newtonianism of freemasonry, which was not possible with the Thomistic doctrines and dogma's of Roman Catholicism. (see also The Enlightenment as Lived:Late Eighteenth Century European Masonic Reformers, Margaret Jacob, EHMLAC ISSN 1659-4223, Vol. 3, Nr 1, May 2011-Nov. 2011). Continental Freemasons take Roman Catholicism as a 'pars pro toto' for Christianity and in the process alienated from their Anglo-Saxon and Protestant brethren and vice versa (see also Isaac Newton's Freemasonry: The Alchemy of Science and Mysticism, Alain Bauer, Inner Traditions, 2007). Since the great schism of 1877 freemasonry is divided in two branches, "Continental", "liberal" or "irregular" freemasonry and the "Anglo-Saxon", "dogmatic" or "regular" type of freemasonry, not in mutual regular amity. The Grand Orient de France (GOdF, Grand Orients, Continental) and the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE, Grand Lodges, Anglo-Saxon) are the basic models for both varieties of freemasonry. Over the years several new organizations appeared and a wide variety of Masonic and para-Masonic fraternities were founded.
The conflict between the UGLE and the GOdF shows some similarities between the differences between continental rationalism and British empiricism. It would also be interesting to investigate the influence of continental philosophy and analytic philosophy on the enduring conflict between Continental and Anglo-Saxon Freemasonry. The Enlightenment (le Siècle des Lumières) in France evolved into a more radical atheism than the Deism of the British Enlightenment, which could explain the diverging evolution in the UK and France. The difference between France and the UK would result in different profiles of membership between French and British freemasonry. The influence of modernism on the Grand Orient de France may also been an element in the dispute as many modernists rejected religious belief. In the end Masonic organizations are a mirror of the society from which they recruit their members and they follow the trends in society with regard to social, philosophical and religious evolution. The controversy between Anglo-Saxon and Continental freemasonry also somewhat resembles the conflict on realism of universals and Conceptualism and Nominalism or the Problem of Universals. Realism states that Universals have real existence as opposed to Nominalism, which stated that an "idea" is only an image. What the continental freemasons mean by dogmatism is another word for rationalism as opposed to empiricism. Since Immanuel Kant (1724-1804 CE), modern philosophy would reject the dogmatic metaphysics of the Rationalists that promised supersensible knowledge and try to deal with the limitations of Empiricism (see also Immanuel Kant: Key Concepts, Will Dudley, Kristina Engelhard, Routledge, 2014, p. 3 and Catholicism Contending with Modernity: Roman Catholic Modernism and Anti-Modernism in Historical Context, Darrell Jodock, Cambridge University Press, 2000, p. 164 Histoire de la franc-maçonnerie en France: lettre liminaire de Me Richard Dupuy, Achille Ricker, Nouvelles Editions Latines, 1978, p. 404).
The oldest masonic texts try to connect masonry with antiquity, both the Platonic and Greek-Alexandrian as well as the prelapsarian and antediluvian Judeo-Christian tradition. The oldest manuscripts are known as the Old Charges, which consist of about 80 documents. The earliest British masonic texts each contain some sort of a history of the craft, or mystery, of masonry. The oldest known work of this kind is the Halliwell Manuscript, or Regius Poem, dating from somewhere between 1390 and 1425. It has a brief history in its introduction, stating that the "craft of masonry" began with Euclid of Alexandria in Egypt, and came to England in the reign of King Athelstan (8931895-939 CE). Alexandria, where Euclid worked, had been one of the cultural centers of antiquity, where Eastern, Egyptian, Greek and Jewish syncretism would merge the Platonic-Pythagorean tradition with Judaism, most notably by Philo of Alexandria (ca. 20 BCE-ca. 50 CE). Shortly after the Regius Poem, the Matthew Cooke Manuscript (1450) traces masonry to Jabal son of Lamech (Genesis 4: 20-22), and tells how this knowledge came to Euclid, from him to the Children of Israel (while they were in Egypt), and so on through an elaborate path to Athelstan. This myth formed the basis for subsequent manuscript constitutions, all tracing British masonry back to biblical times, and fixing its mythical establishment in England during the reign of Athelstan (927-939 CE). The Kirkwall Scroll, depicting secrets of the Knights Templar, dating from the 15th Century, has been hanging in Kilwinning Masonic Lodge in the Orkney Islands. It is believed to connect freemasonry to the Knights Templar (see also Turning the Hiram Key: Rituals of Freemasonry Revealed, Robert Lomas, Fair Winds, 2006, P; 317). The Incorporation of Wrights and Masons in Edinburgh in 1475, known as the United Incorporation of Mary's Chapel became the Lodge of Edinburgh (Mary's Chapel). (see also The Secrets of Freemasonry, Robert Lomas, Constable & Robinson Ltd, 2011). In France we find the Les statuts de Ratisbonne of 1498 and les ordonances de Strasbourg (1563) (see also Dictionnaire universel de la Franc-Maçonnerie, Monique Cara, Jean-Marc Cara, Marc de Jode, Larousse, 2011).
Shortly after the formation of the Premier Grand Lodge of England, James Anderson (ca. 1679/1680-1739 CE) was commissioned to digest these "Gothic Constitutions" and create a new constitution. The resulting Anderson's Constitutions are prefaced by a history more extensive than any before, again tracing the history of what was now freemasonry back to biblical roots, again forging Euclid into the chain. True to his material, Anderson fixes the first grand assembly of English Masons at York, under Athelstan's son, Edwin, who is otherwise unknown to history. The historical Athelstan never married, and was succeeded by his half-brother, Edmund. Expanded, revised, and republished, Anderson's 1738 constitutions listed the Grand Masters since Augustine of Canterbury (circa first third of the 6th century-604 CE). The Irishman Laurence Dermott (1720-1791 CE) wrote a new constitution, the Ahiman Rezon (1756) for the Antient Grand Lodge of England.
In France, the Oration of 21 March 1737 of Chevalier Andrew M. Ramsay (1686-1743 CE), Grand Orator of the Stuart freemasonry, added the crusaders to the lineage. He maintained that Crusader Masons had revived the craft with secrets recovered in the Holy Land, under the patronage of the Knights Hospitaller. The lecture would be influential in setting up the Scottish Rite on behalf of the exiled Stuarts (see also Gould's History of Freemasonry Throughout the World, Robert Freke Gould, Dudley Wright, Melvin Maynard Johnson, John Edward Allen, C. Scribner's sons, 1936 and Andrew Michael Ramsay G. van Veen,, Thoth 28, n. 2, 1977).
William Preston's (1742-1818 CE) Illustrations of Freemasonry (1812) enlarged and expanded on the masonic creation myth. William Hutchinson (1732-1814 CE) wrote The Spirit of Masonry (1775). It deals with the religious, philosophical, spiritual; the purpose and the depth of significance of Freemasonry. Albert Pike (1809-1891 CE) wrote Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in 1872, which is a collection of thirty-two essays which provide a philosophical rationale for the 1st tot 33rd degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
The Old Charges of Freemasonry
The Kirkwall Scroll
Regius Manuscript - about 1390
Regius Manuscript - The Halliwell Manuscript
The Matthew Cooke Manuscript - about 1450
Les statuts de Ratisbonne - 1498
The Sloane Manuscripts
General Regulations of a Freemason - George Payne (1721)
Anderson's Constitutions - (1723)
Anderson's Constitutions - (1723, French)
Anderson's Constitutions - (1723, 1734 Franklin edition)
Dundee Manuscript - 1727
The Constitutions of the Free-Masons - Benjamin Franklin (1734)
Ramsay's Oration - 1737
Ahiman Rezon - Laurence Dermott (1756)
Convent of Wilhelmsbad - 1782
Unlawful Oaths Act (1797)
Unlawful Societies Act (1799)
Manifest of the Lausanne Convent - 1875
Freemasonry spread to the European continent and America, and would influence philosophers, scientists and poets. Several historical people were freemasons of which George Washington (1732-1799 CE), first President of the United States of America (USA), and the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791 CE) are propably the most well-known. Freemasons played ther role in the historical development on several occasions, just like non-masons. Of some people the masonic membership can be established, but the secrecy surrounding freemasonry makes it difficult to separate truth from fiction or fantasy.
In the United Kingdom the Royal Family has close relations with freemasonry since the seventeenth century. Several princes have been Grand Master of the English Grand Lodges (see also The Temple And The Lodge, Richard Leigh, Michael Baigent, Random House, 2013, p. 17). Sir Robert Moray (1608 or 1609-1673 CE) and Elias Ashmole (1617-1692 CE) were closely involved in the creation of the Royal Society in 1660. The British writer and freemason Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936 CE) wrote the short story The Man Who Would Be King in which he refers to masonic symbols. It was also Rudyard Kipling who wrote the poem The White Man's Burden as a command and burden to white men to colonise and rule other nations for the benefit of those people. (see also Irony, Freemasonry, and Humane Ethics in Kipling's "The Man Who Would be King", Paul Fussell, Jr., ELH, Vol. 25, No. 3 (Sep., 1958), pp. 216-233 and Builders of Empire: Freemasons and British Imperialism, 1717-1927, Harl, -Jacobs, Jessica L., UNC Press Books, 2007)
Montesquieu (1689-1755 CE) wrote De l'esprit des lois (1748) a treatise on political theory. In De l'esprit des lois he put forward a constitutional system of government and the separation of powers (trias politica), which is the basis of modern democracy. Montesquieu was a member of the Royal Society and a freemason (see also The Political Theory of Montesquieu, Charles de Secondat Montesquieu (baron de), CUP Archive, 1977, p. 10). In France during the period of the French Revolution several people were members of masonic lodges and Jacobin clubs. Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans (1747-1793 CE) or Philippe Égalité was Grand Master of the Grand Orient de France. Philippe's inheritance of the Palais-Royal allowed him the ability to house a massive number of Jacobins during the period leading to the revolution. The involvement of freemasons in the French Revolution would inspire the Jesuit priest Augustin Barruel (1741-1820 CE) for his Mémoires pour servir à l'Histoire du Jacobinisme in which he stated that the French Revolution was planned and executed by the secret societies (see also On the influence attributed to philosophers, free-masons, and to the illuminati: on the revolution of France, Jean Joseph Mounier, W. and C. Spilsbury, 1801).
The French philosopher Voltaire (1694-1778 CE) was initiated into Freemasonry the month before his death. On 4 April 1778, Voltaire accompanied his American friend and freemason Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790 CE) and was initiated into the Loge des Neuf Soeurs. In Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin would print The Constitutions of the Free-Masons of Anderson (1734). George Washington (1732-1799 CE), first President of the United States, was initiated into Freemasonry in 1752. Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834 CE) was a general in the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783 CE) and a leader of the Garde nationale during the French Revolution (see also Lafayette, Harlow G. Unger, John Wiley & Sons, 2002, p. 15). Paul Revere (1734-1818 CE) a patriot in the American Revolution became most famous for for alerting the American Colonial militia to the approach of British forces before the battles of Lexington and Concord (sse also Paul Revere and Freemasonry, Edith J. Steblecki, Boston: Paul Revere Memorial Association (PRMA), 1985).
Frederick the Great (1712-1786 CE) King of Prussia (1740-1786 CE) was a freemason (see also The Rise of the Public in Enlightenment Europe, James Van Horn Melton, Cambridge University Press, 2001 , p. 267). Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781 CE) would write his dialogue Ernst und Falk - Gespräche für Freymäurer (1776-1778) in which he defended modernism and in Nathan der Weise he wrote about friendship, tolerance, relativism of God, a rejection of miracles and a need for communication (see also The Rebirth of Classical Political Rationalism: An Introduction to the Thought of Leo Strauss, Leo Strauss, University of Chicago Press, 1989, p. 64). Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791 CE) would create his masonic opera Die Zauberflöte (K. 620) together with his fellow freemason Emanuel Schikaneder (1751-1812 CE).
Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882 CE) was an Italian general and politician, who played an important role in the Italian Risorgimento in the 19th century. Simón Bolívar (1783-1830 CE) was a military and political leader who played a key role in Latin America's successful struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire. Bolívar was initiated in 1803 in the Masonic Lodge Lautaro which operated in Cadiz, Spain. Mexican president Benito Juárez (1806-1872 CE) was a progressive reformer dedicated to democracy and equal rights for his nation's indigenous peoples. His policy was part of La Reforma, characterized by liberal reforms designed to modernize Mexico and make it into a nation state.
More recently, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (1874-1965 CE) and US President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945 CE) were freemasons. Political views differ amongst freemasons as was shown in Chili in 1973. Although both Augusto Pinochet (1915-2006 CE) and Salvador Allende (1908-1973 CE) were freemasons, Pinochet lead the Chilean coup d'état of 1973 against the government of Allende. Buzz Aldrin (born 1930 CE), the second person to walk on the Moon is a Freemason. Anders Behring Breivik (born 1979 CE), a Norwegian far-right terrorist and the perpetrator of the 2011 Norway attacks, was a member of the Lodge of St. Olaf at the Three Columns in Oslo.
James VI of Scotland (1566-1625)
Gresham College - 1597
Sir Robert Moray (1608-1673)
John Wilkins (1614-1672)
Elias Ashmole (1617-1692)
The Royal Society - "Nullius in Verba"
The Royal Society - History
Royal Society - 1660
The Age of Faith Collides With the Age of Reason
The Spalding Gentlemen's Society - 1710
Christopher Wren (1632-1723)
Isaac Newton - (1643-1727)
Newton, the Man - John Maynard Keynes (1946)
John Theophilus Desaguliers - (1683-1744)
Freemasonry, the Royal Society, and the Age of Discovery
Andrew Michael Ramsay - (1686-1743)
Jean-Baptiste Willermoz - (1730-1824)
William Saint Clair of Roslin - (d. 1778)
Laurence Dermott - (1720-1791)
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing - (1729-1781)
Ernst und Falk - G.E. Lessing
Freemasonry is a peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols (see also Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Albert G. MacKey, Harry LeRoy Haywood, 1909, p. 1004 and Semiotics and Medieval Semiotics). Symbols are derived from the Greek "sun-balein", literally "throwing together". The symbolic approach of every philosophical system is based on mutual recognition by people who have never met and helps an organisation to become a center of union. The classic symbol is the password, which enables members of the same group to recognise each other even if they have never seen each other. This approach leads to the foundation for good actions through the experience of otherness. By using symbols man becomes aware that human laws, however necessary they may be in order to curb violence, fail to take proper account of the individual's singularity. Rather than appealing to universal principles the symbolic approach tests universality through the risks of uncertain relationships between individual players who each have their own unique features and travel their own unique paths. With the symbolic approach man perceives the distance that is essential to all human intercourse and becomes capable to bridge the mental divide between himself and his fellow man (see also The Veil of Allegory: Some Notes Toward a Theory of Allegorical Rhetoric in the English Renaissance, Michael Murrin, Modern Language Quarterly June 1972 33(2), pp. 190-191 and The Three Voices: Or Light and Truth Through a Thin Veil of Allegory, Hodges Reed, 1854).
Freemasonry combines several aspects of the Semitic (Bible, word, faith) tradition and Ancient Greek (Indo-European, reason) philosophy. Both traditions come together in the Greek word λογος , meaning both word (verbum) and reason (ratio). The basic principles of speculative freemasonry are founded upon the Bible, the Hermetic philosophy of the Neoplatonists of the Renaissance, Pythagorean philosophy, Euclidean geometry, and Vitruvian architecture. In addition to these philosophical principles Freemasonry was inspired by the tolerance and universal understanding of the Enlightenment, Protestantism and by the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century (Age of Reason).
Freemasonry refers to itself as the "Royal Art", which seems to refer to the art of philosophy as in The Republic of Plato and its use by the philosopher king. In The Republic, Plato refers to the Liberal Arts and the four cardinal virtues which are required for the development of the skills of the Philosopher King. Its reference to mathematics and number in its rituals seems to refer to the Via Mathesis of Pythagoreanism, Neoplatonism and the spiritual path of self-knowledge gained through mathematical principles. For Neoplatonists mathematical theorems reside in the soul, but the soul develops these reason-principles (logoi) through discursive thinking (dianoia) and projects them onto the screen of imagination (see also An Introduction to the Dissoi Logoi). If drawn diagrams are used, it is only to assist the soul in grasping the primary Forms (see also The Art of Memory, Frances A. Yates, University Of Chicago Press, 2001). The goal of mathesis is to be able to perceive and work with the reason-principles of the soul, and thereby gain a measure of self-knowledge that could not be attained otherwise (see the commentary of Syrianus (died ca. 437 CE) on Aristotle's Metaphysics books III-IV and XIII-XIV and Proclus (412-485 CE) in his Commentary on the First Book of Euclid's Elements). Freemasonry uses references to ancient Greek philosophical symbols such as the Star, Sun, Moon and the Platonic elements, Christian symbols such as the Temple of Solomon and the Bible, Euclidean and Pythagorean symbols such as geometry and number. The "Royal Art" may also refer to Alchemy, which is also called the Royal Art (Ars Regia) or the Art of Transformations (see also The Royal Art of Alchemy, Reinhard Federmann, Chilton Book Company, 1964 and Psychology and Alchemy, Carl Jung, Collected Works Vol. 12, 1968).
Rituals and symbols are ways and tools to organize the inner transformation which is to be achieved. The outward appearance only shows the symbols of the ritual, while at the same moment hiding its deeper meaning. Like in the Biblical parables told by Jesus of Nazareth (7-2 BCE to 30-33 CE), the treasures of the ritual are hidden, indicating that spiritual truth is missed by many and cannot be found by intelligence or power or worldly wisdom (see also Bible, Matthew 13:10-17). Rituals and symbols only support or facilitate the process of spiritual transformation, but only for those capable of 'understanding' its meaning. Also in Buddhism we find references to rituals and symbols (parables) as tools supporting the spiritual ascent. Once the traveller reaches his destiny, the tools are left behind. The same goes for the visible and invisible Tao. The famous first lines of the Tao Te Ching state that the Tao is ineffable, i.e., the Tao is nameless, goes beyond distinctions, and transcends language (see also The Parables of Jesus, Vincent Cheung, Lulu Press, Inc, 2014 and The Hermeneutical Spiral: A Comprehensive Introduction to Biblical Interpretation, Grant R. Osborne, InterVarsity Press, 1991, p. 228 and The Lost Teachings of Jesus, Volume 1, Mark L. Prophet, Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Summit University Press, 1986, p. xlv and The History of Freemasonry: Its Legendary Origins, Albert Gallatin Mackey, Courier Corporation, 2012, p. 194 and The Hiram Key: Pharoahs,Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Christ, Christopher Knight, Robert Lomas, Random House, 2011, p. 92 and The Secret Oral Teachings in Tibetan Buddhist Sects, Alexandra David-Neel, City Lights Books, 1967, p. 85 and Mastering Your Hidden Self: A Guide to the Huna Way, Serge Kahili King, Quest Books, 2012, p. 2 and Tao Te Jing in Plain English, Thomas Z. Zhang, Jackie X. Zhang, AuthorHouse, 2004, p. 1).
The allegorical veils of freemasonry may refer to the veil of Isis between exoteric and esoteric knowledge as in "I am all that hath been, and is, and shall be; and my veil no mortal has hitherto raised". Another meaning is given by Athanasius Kircher S.J. (1602-1680 CE), who refers to the Veil of Isis as a symbol of Nature's Mysteries in his Oedipus Aegypticus. Both refer to either the Promethean/Faustian view, or experimental-questing, approach, which embraces science and technology as a means of tearing the veil from nature and revealing her secrets; and the Orphic/mystical, or contemplative-poetic, approach, according to which such a denuding of Nature is a grave trespass (see also On Isis and Osiris, Plutarch, Ch. 9, 354C and Jean Delville: Art between Nature and the Absolute, Brendan Cole, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014, p. 243 and The Genius of Masonry, Samuel Lorenzo Knapp, Cranston & Marshall, Printers, 1828, p. 99 and Classical and Christian Ideas in English Renaissance Poetry, Isabel Rivers, Routledge, 2003, p. 161 and Veil of Isis, Pierre Hadot, Harvard University Press, 2006, pp. 267-268 and Isis Has No Veils, Pierre Hadot, Michael Chase, Common Knowledge, Volume 12, Issue 3, Fall 2006, pp. 349-353).
A freemason is given "light" by the Worshipful Master (WM) during his initiation, which symbolizes mental and moral illumination. Freemasons for this reason call themselves 'Sons of Light' (see also Encyclopedia of Freemasonry 1909, Albert G. MacKey,Harry LeRoy Haywood, Kessinger Publishing, 2003, p. 954). Freemasonry also refers to Three Greater (Bible, square and compass) and Lesser Lights (sun, moon, worshipful master) in its ritual, which will be discussed later. The masonic calendar also uses the Anno Lucis (AL), which is similar to the Anno Mundi (AM).
Light (Gr. phôs, Lat. lux) and logos (Hebrew davar, E. word, reason, Gr. λογοσ, Lat. verbum, ratio) play an important role in the symbolism of freemasonry. Light symbolizes knowledge and understanding, as opposed to ignorance which is symbolized by Darkness. Logos means the "ultimate explanation" for the way things are (see also Heraclitus on the Logos). We find references to light and logos in Greek Philosophy, with Plato (424/423-348/347 BCE) and Plotinus (204/5-270 CE). In the sixth and seventh books of The Republic (380 BCE), Platorefers to light with regard to the Divided Line model and the Allegory of the Cave manifest the central idea of Plato concerning the structure of reality and how to achieve true knowledge. In the Analogy of the Divided Line, Plato refers to an ascending order in the degrees of knowing both in terms of the human faculty that is being used in knowing and the object which is being known or perceived. At the conclusion of the analogy Plato even suggests a highest order of knowing which relates to the analogy of the sun. This highest level of knowing is the direct perception of the source of light itself, that is, the Good. The Form of the Good is for Plato the first principle. In the Allegory of the Cave, Plato refers to the philosopher as an individual who breaks his chains, leaves the darkness of the cave, and emerges into the full light of the sun, finally able to see the true realities and greater dimensions of the actual world as it is (see also The Symbolism of the Sun and Light in the Republic of Plato, James Anastasios Notopoulos, University of Chicago Press, 1944). In his Theaetetus, Plato by means of Theaetetus puts forward that true judgement 'with an account (logos) equates to knowledge (201d). Things without an account are 'unknowable', while things with an account are 'knowable'. (see also Knowledge and Logos in the Theaetetus, G.J. Fine, Philosophical Review 88, 1979, pp. 366-397). Plotinus in the Enneads (V.6.4) compared the One to "light", the Divine Nous (first will towards Good, Intellectual-principle) to the "Sun", and lastly the Soul to the "Moon" whose light is merely a "derivative conglomeration of light from the 'Sun'". For Plotinus everything emanates from 'te One' and the goal of life is to reunite with 'the One'. This Ascent, which is a return to the One, reverses the process of emanation. (see also The Dying God: The Hidden History of Western Civilization, David Livingstone, Writers Club Press, 2002, P. 205). Plotinus' "One" is a light amidst the darkness of nothingness. Plotinus compared the One to "light", the Divine Nous (first will towards Good) to the "Sun", and lastly the Soul to the "Moon" whose light is merely a "derivative conglomeration of light from the 'Sun'". The jew Philo of Alexandria (ca. 20 BCE-40 CE) developed a link between Hebrew and Greek philosophy such as in his De Somniis. Philo of Alexandria had interpreted Plato's eternal forms as being the very thoughts of God Himself in his doctrine of the logos. For Philo wisdom flows from the Divine Logos (see De Fuga et Inventione, Philo of Alexandria, 137-138 CE).
The Abrahamic religions also developed their light symbolism. We find several references to light in the Bible (Genesis 1:3, Proverbs 20:27, Ephesians 5:8, John 3:19-21, John 8:12, 1 Peter 2:9 and 1 John 2:9-10, ...) and the Qur'an (Qur'an, Surat Al-Nur)
In the Jewish tradition the Menorah or seven-lamp (six branches) lampstand symbolized the ideal of universal enlightenment (see also Gold from the Land of Israel: A New Light on the Weekly Torah Portion - From the Writings of Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaKohen Kook, C. Morrison, A. I. Kook, Urim Publications, 2006, p. 239). The seven lamps allude to the branches of human knowledge, represented by the six lamps inclined inwards towards, and symbolically guided by, the light of God represented by the central lamp (Exodus 25:31-40) (see also The Menorah, the Ancient Seven-armed Candelabrum, Rahel Haklili, BRILL, 2001) and The Tabernacle Menorah, Carol L. Meyers, Gorgias Press LLC, 2003). The Menorah is also a symbol closely associated with the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah or 'Festival of Lights'. Light as a symbol also plays an important role in the Kabbalistic tradition, where the essence of God is referred to in its teachings as Light. In the De Porta Lucis R. Josephi Gecatilia (Augsburg, 1516), Paolo Riccio translated the Sha'are Orah (Gates of Light) of Rabbi Joseph Gikatilla (1248-after 1305 CE), which provides a systematic and comprehensive explanation of the Names of God and their mystical applications. In Jewish Kabbalah what we can't see is perceived as darkness, and what we can see is perceived as light. The light which we percieve with our senses, by concealing the infinity beneath it, is actually darkness, and the darkness, which is too vast to be perceived, is actually light. The ultimate fulfillment as human beings lies in revealing our own inner light, the power and potential of our concealed essence, thus creating a life illuminated with the light of our truer self (see also Kabbalah: The Way of Light, Lawrence Kushner, Peter Pauper Press, 1999).
In the Christian tradition, in the Gospel of John, we also find references to light, which refers to the ancient use of light as a symbol of divinity (see also Jesus Christ, Sun of God: Ancient Cosmology and Early Christian Symbolism, David Fideler, Quest Books, 1993). The Prologue to the Gospel of John (John 1:1-18) associates Jesus of Nazareth (7/2 BCE-30/36 CE) with the Greek philosophical concepts of Logos and light, and declares the advent of the Logos, as in John 1:1 εν αρχη ην ο λογοσ και ο λογοσ ην προσ τον θεον και θεον ην ο λογοσ, John 1:5: "et lux in tenebris lucet et tenebrae eam non conprehenderunt" and in John 8:12: "iterum ergo locutus est eis Iesus dicens ego sum lux mundi qui sequitur me non ambulabit in tenebris sed habebit lucem vitae". Jesus of Nazareth is the revealer of spiritual truth or 'light' which is another way of saying that as the 'logos' he reveals things as they really are (see also The Gospel of John Introduction, Exposition and Notes, Frank Bruce, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1994, p.274). In the First Epistle to Timothy (1 Timothy 6:16) Paul (ca. 5-ca. 67 CE) refers to God as "who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see". In the Book of Revelation (Apocalypse 4:3,5,6) God is described a radiating light.
In Islam, Allah has characterized the Qur'an as the manifest light (Qur'an 4:174) which is an absolute truth. The Surat Al-Nur (The Light) is the 24th sura of the Qur'an with 64 ayat in which "Allah is considered the light of the heavens and the earth" and he guides to his light whoever he wills and makes metaphors for mankind and has knowledge of all things (Qur'an, 24:35). It's the absence of visible light that is called darkness (see also Out of Darkness Into Light, J. Rahman, A. Holmes Redding, Church Publishing Inc., 2009).
The symbol of divine light was also being used by both Protestants and Roman Catholics in their theology. Hilary of Poitiers (ca. 300-ca. 368 CE) wrote the Hymn for Matins, Lucis Largitor splendide, where he refers to Christ as the world's "true morning star". Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (late 5th to early 6th century) refers to the divine light in his mystical and Neoplatonic De Coelesti Hierarchia (Ch. 3). The closer a hierarchy is to the source of divine light, the greater the degree of purity and simplicity and resemblance to the source. (see also Divine light: the theology of Denys the Areopagite, William K. Riordan, Ignatius Press, 2008). Symeon the New Theologian (949-1022 CE) in The Discourses and Gregory Palamas (1296-1359 CE) stated that the highest point of the spiritual life is in perceiving the divine light (see also A Theology for the Church, Daniel L. Akin (Ed.), B&H Academic, 2007, p. 641). Christian mystics and Quakers refer to the inner light as metaphors for Christ's light shining on or in man (see also Light from Light: An Anthology of Christian Mysticism, Louis Dupre (Aut., Ed.), James A. Wiseman (Ed.), Paulist Press, 2001 and That of God in every man: What did George Fox mean by it?, Benson, Lewis, 1969). Jakob Böhme (1575-1624 CE) in his work Aurora (1612) put forward that in the "spirit of man there is hidden therein a spark of the light and power of God" (see also The Divine Light ). Adriaan Koerbagh (1633-1669 CE) in his Een Ligt schynende in duystere plaatsen, om te verligten de voornaamste saaken der Godsgeleerdtheyd en Godsdienst refers to a light shining in darkness, and applied a Socinian argument against the Trinity by means of a 'geometrical' proof in the tradition of Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677 CE) (see also Adriaan Koerbagh. A light shining in dark places, to illuminate the main questions of theology and religion, M. Wielema (Ed.), BRILL, 2011, p.24). In The Christian Faith, Asserted Against Deists, Arians, and Socinians in Eight Sermons (p. XXV, 1732) by Henry Felton (1679-1740 CE), we read about the 'Light and Law of Nature': "In Natural Truth this Light directeth us to all the Principles and Conclusions in Arithmetic and Geometry, and the several Parts of Natural Philosophy".
Amos Johannes Comenius (1529-1670 CE) in his Via Lucis, Vestigata & Vestiganda (The Way of Light) (1641), dedicated to the Royal Society, put forward the pursuit of higher learning and spiritual enlightenment bound together (see also The teacher of nations : addresses and essays in commemoration of the visit to England of the great Czech educationalist Jan Amos Komensky, Joseph Needham (Ed.), Cambridge University Press, 1942).
The freemason Andrew Michael Ramsay (1686-1743 CE) refers to the light we receive from the deity in his Philosophical Principles of Natural and Revealed Religion (1749, p.100). In The Entered Apprentice Handbook (p. 21) JSM Ward refers to "The light of the sun itself is but a faint similitude of the Divine Light of God's love, through which, and in which, we have our being". Freemasonry is believed to be involved in the quest for the lost logos of Plato (see also The mysteries of freemasonry, John Fellows, Reeves and Turner, 1860, p. 308).
The concept of the first principle as an architect of the universe can be traced back to ancient philosophy. The Grand Architect of the Universe (GATOU) refers to the Platonic principle of the Form of the Good (το καλο) and the Demiurge in Plato's Timaeus and the Aristotelian principle of the Primum movens or unmoved mover in his Metaphysics. For Aristotle (384-322 BCE) the world had been eternal as his unmoved mover was only the first cause of eternal movement. For Plato (424/423-348/347 BCE) in the Timaeus, the Good was the highest Form from which everything else emanates. In Neoplatonism the primeval Source of Being is 'The One' and the Infinite, as opposed to the many and the finite. In Neoplatonism, the source of everything, the highest divinity and ultimate reality, is 'the One', a formless, infinite, simple unity. For Neoplatonists, like Plotinus (204/5-270 CE), creation of the universe is by emanation from 'the One'. They believed that everything emanated from the One and also returned to the One (see also Enneads, Plotinus and Four Faces of the Universe: An Integrated View of the Cosmos, Robert Kleinman, 2007, p. 186). In the Hindu Rig Veda, Vishwakarman is the "Principal Universal Architect", the architect who fabricated and designed the divine architecture of the Universe, the Lord of Creation. Interestingly we find in the Veda the text "In the beginning was Prajapati [God the Creator], with him was the Word (Om), and the Word (Om) was truly the Supreme Brahman" (Prajapati vai idam agra asit, Tasya vak dvitiya asit, Vag vai paramam Brahman) (see also The Continuum Companion to Plato, Gerald A. Press, A&C Black, 2012, p. 217 and Studies on Plato, Aristotle and Proclus: The Collected Essays on Ancient Philosophy of John Cleary, John J. Cleary, BRILL, 2013, p. 9 and Freemasonry - Unabridged Guide, Raymond Jennifer, Emereo Publishing, 2012, p. 183 and Neoplatonism and Western Aesthetics, Aphrodite Alexandrakis, Nicholas J. Moutafakis, SUNY Press, 2002, p. 114 and Krishna Yajurveda, Kathaka Samhita, 12.5, 27.1, Krishna Yajurveda, Kathakapisthala Samhita 42.1; Jaiminiya Brahmana II, Samaveda, 2244 and Upanishad-Commentary-full, Swami Nirmanalanda Giri, Atam Jyoti Ashram, p. 276).
The concept of the "Architect of the Universe" and Natural Theology can also be traced back to ancient Greek philosophy. Plato (424/423-348/347 BCE) gave the earliest surviving account of a "natural theology" in Western philosophy, around 360 BCE, in his dialogue Timaeus. The concept of the "Architect of the Universe" is closely related to the view that laws of geometry underlay reality. Viewing the world as being created by a Divine Architect also leads to the idea that geometry as the basic science of architecture may lead to uncovering the divine laws underlying reality. Plutarch (ca. 45-120 CE) in his Quaestiones conviviales (VIII, 2, 1, 718c) wrote: "God always practices geometry". Proclus (412-485 CE) in his Elements of Theology proceeds 'more geometrico' in order to elaborate the conceptual metaphysics of Neoplatonism. To medieval scholars the great architect was God, who in His role as creator of the universe was depicted encircling the globe with giant compasses. God created the universe in an organized and intelligent manner, endowing it with an orderly, harmonious, and rational structure. As in Wisdom 11:21: "sed et sine his uno spiritu occidi poterant persecutionem passi ab ipsis factis suis et dispersi per spiritum virtutis tuae sed omnia mensura et numero et pondere disposuisti". Dante Alighieri (ca. 1265-1321 CE) in Canto 19 (40-45) of the Divina Commedia wrote on the Divine Architect: "Poi cominciò: "Colui che volse il sesto a lo stremo del mondo... ". Johannes Kepler (1571-1630 CE) in the dedication of his Mysterium Cosmographicum refers to God as an architect. On several occasions Kepler also relates God and geometry. In his Harmonice Mundi (4.1, GW 6:31) he states: "Geometria ante rerum ortum Menti divinae coaeterna, Deus ipse (quid enim in Deo, quod non sit Ipse Deus?), exempla Deo creandi mundi superditavit". Also in his Epitome Astronomiae Copernicanae (4.1.3, GW 7:267) Kepler wrote: "Deo co aeternae fuerunt sau geometriae rationes Deo aeternae sunt.". Also in his Harmonice Mundi (5.3, GW 6:299) he wrote: "Non errat enim ab Archetype suo Creator, Geometriae fons ipsissimus, et ut Plato scripsit, aeternam exercesn geometricam". Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677 CE) in his Ethica, ordine geometrico demonstrata addresses the relationship between God and the universe and applies geometric reasoning. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716 CE) in his Principia Philosophiæ, More Geometrico Demonstrata presented his ideas 'more geometrico', in the fashion of the Elements (Στοιχεῖα) of Euclid of Alexandria (fl. 300 BCE). Isaac Newton in his Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica applied Euclidean geometric reasoning. The vision of a "perfect" clockwork universe created by a Divine Architect and ruled by geometric laws became popular with Deists as opposed to Theists. The concept of a clockwork universe would lead to the controversy between the intellectualists on the continent and the English voluntarists. The discussion was between the concept of God being omnisdent (all-knowing) or omnipotent (all-powerful). The discussion centered around the argument from design and the watchmaker argument. This argument is closely associated with the concept of Natural Theology, which provides arguments for the existence of God based on reason and ordinary experience of nature as opposed to revealed theology. The concept of a clockwork universe most probably provided the basis for the Grand Architect of the Universe (GATOU). One could say that freemasonry retained the medieval Platonic view of God as an architect. This view of course can create theological problems as it may lead to the concept of nihil fit ex nihilo, which contradicts the required Divine creatio ex nihilo in Christianity as in Genesis 1:1. From the concept of a distant 'Divine Architect' it is only a small step from Deism towards atheism, which of course is not acceptable from a religious perspective (see also Studies on Plato, Aristotle and Proclus: The Collected Essays on Ancient Philosophy of John Cleary, John J. Cleary, BRILL, 2013, p. 9 and Plato: a critical biography, Jenő Platthy, Federation of International Poetry Associations of UNESCO, 1990 and Flavors of Geometry, Silvio Levy, Cambridge University Press, 1997, p. vii and Medieval Architecture, Nicola Coldstream, Oxford University Press, 2002 and Medieval Science and Technology, Elspeth Whitney, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004, p. 18 and Western Civilization, A Brief History, Marvin Perry, Cengage Learning, 2015, p. 157 and The Cambridge Companion to Dante, Rachel Jacoff, Cambridge University Press, 2007, p. 224 and Metaphysics and Philosophy of Science in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries: Essays in honour of Gerd Buchdahl, R.S. Woolhouse, Springer Science & Business Media, 2012, p. 27 and Il secolo geometrico: la questione del metodo matematico in filosofia da Spinoza a Kant, Paola Basso, Le lettere, 2004 and Proclus on human reality, Douglass McFerran, MA, Thesis, 1959 and Principia Philosophiæ, More Geometrico Demonstrata, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Michael Gottlieb Hansch, Monath, 1728 and Encyclopedia of the Scientific Revolution: From Copernicus to Newton, Wilbur Applebaum, Routledge, 2003 The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World, Edward Dolnick, Harper Collins, 2011, Ch. Clockwork Universe and The Discovery of Kepler's laws: the interaction of science, philosophy, and religion, Job Kozhamthadam, University of Notre Dame Press, 1994, p. 20 and Kepler, Max Caspar, Courier Corporation, 2012, p. 271 and Mathematicians and their Gods: Interactions between mathematics and religious beliefs, Snezana Lawrence, Mark McCartney, OUP, 2015, Ch. 9)
The concept of the "Architect of the Universe" and the orderly, harmonious, and rational structure would finds its way in Christian theology. Aurelius Augustinus (354-430 CE) in De Genesi ad Litteram (The Literal Meaning of Genesis) writes that the religious should defer to natural philosophers on questions of demonstrable fact. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274 CE) wrote in the Summa Theologica contra Aurelius Augustinus (354-430 CE): "Deus autem per suam sapientiam conditor est universarum rerum, ad quas comparatur sicut artifex ad artificiata, ut in primo habitum est" (Summa Theologica Quaestio 93; Ia-IIae q. 93 a. 1 co) (God, Who is the first principle of all things, may be compared to things created as the architect is to things designed). In Psalm 19:1, with "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork", Scripture refers to God as a architect. John Calvin (1509-1564 CE) repeatedly refers to "the Architect of the Universe" in his Institutio Christianae religionis (1536 CE). The Calvinistic concept of the Great Architect of the Universe was used in The Constitutions of the Free-Masons containing the History, Charges, Regulations, & of that most Ancient and Right Worshipful Fraternity: For use of the Lodges, written by the Presbyterian Revd. Dr. James Anderson (1680-1739 CE). The Antients, which were Jacobites supporting the Roman Catholic House of Stuart, in their Ahiman Rezon adhered to the Theistic and Aristotelian principles of Roman Catholicism as opposed to the Deistic, Newtonian and Protestant principles of the Moderns. This would lead to a new definition of the GAOTU and religion at the union of Antients and Moderns in 1813 and the foundation of the United Grand Lodge of England (see also A Companion to the Summa I: The Architect of the Universe, Walter Farrell, Sheed & Ward, 1953, p. 159).
The Grand Architect of the Universe or 'Great Architect of the Universe' (GAOTU) of freemasonry refers to the view of God as the architect of the universe, which is the view held by the Deists of the Enlightenment. The Universe is considered to be a clockwork set in motion by the 'Great Architect of the Universe' (see also The Clockwork Universe:Isaac Newton, Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World, Edward Dolnick, HarperCollins, 2011). Deism or physicotheology supported the view that evidence and sound arguments for God's existence can be derived from a study of the natural world; a study of the natural world intended to provide such evidence. Isaac Newton (1642-1727 CE) put forward the idea in his Opticks (book 3). For deists there is no need for faith, nor organized religion in order to come to these conclusions. Most deists don't see holy books and divine revelation as an authoritative source, but rather as interpretations by other humans. Deists refer to the Supreme Being as the Divine Watchmaker, The Grand Architect of the Universe, Father of Lights and Nature's God. At the end of the 18th century Liberal Christianity developed as a method of biblical hermeneutics, an undogmatic method of understanding God through the use of scripture by applying the same modern hermeneutics used to understand any ancient writings. The relation between natural religion or deism, which arose from experimental science, and Freemasonry remains a subject of further study, mainly due to the secrecy surrounding Freemasonry. There is also a difference between the approach to religion of the 'Moderns' (Protestant, Deism) and the 'Antients' (Roman Catholic, Theism). (see also Religion of Early Freemasonry, Charles Harold Lyttle, University of Chicago Press, 1939, Europe in the Eighteenth Century, 1713-83, M.S. Anderson, Holt, 1961).
The beginnings of English Deism appear in the 17th century, its main principles can be found in the writings of Lord Herbert of Cherbury (1583-1648 CE). In De Veritate (Paris, 1624), he advanced a theory of knowledge based upon the recognition of innate universal characteristics on the object perceived, and rigidly opposed to knowledge supernatural in its origin. In De religions Gentilium errorumque apud eos causes (London, 1645), he set out the five common marks by which religious truth is recognized. These so-called "Five Articles" of the English Deists constitute the nucleus of all religions and of Christianity in its primitive, uncorrupted form. John Locke (1632-1704 CE) would put forward his views on religion in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1689) and The Reasonableness of Christianity (1695). For Locke revealed truths, which rested on indirect proofs from reports in Scripture and tradition, were less certain than things known directly by reason. John Locke would influence other philosophers such as John Toland (1670-1722 CE), Isaac Newton (1642-1727 CE), Samuel Clarke (1675-1729 CE), Anthony Collins (1676-1729 CE), Matthew Tindal (1657-1733 CE) and Voltaire (1694-1778 CE).
In Christianity Not Mysterious; or, A treatise Shewing That There Is Nothing in the Gospel Contrary to Reason, nor above It, and That No Christian Doctrine Can Be Properly Call'd a Mystery, John Toland (1670-1722 CE) applied John Locke's philosophy of common sense to religion. Whereas Locke suggested that Christianity is reasonable, Toland took a decisive step in arguing that reasonable meant not mysterious. The implicit, heretical conclusion is that revelation cannot contradict reason, since "whoever tells us something we did not know before must insure that his words are intelligible, and the matter possible. This holds good, let God or man be the revealer". Toland attributed theological mysteries to scriptural misinterpretations of priests, and in this he anticipates 18th-century exponents of natural religion. Isaac Newton (1642-1727 CE) saw God as the masterful creator of the universe, whose existence could not be denied in the face of the grandeur of all creation (see also Essays on the Context, Nature, and Influence of Isaac Newton's Theology, Ed. J.E. Force, R.H. Popkin, University of California, 1990, p. 27-42). Isaac Newton was also secretly an anti-Trinitarian. (see also Newton, the Man (1946) by John Maynard Keynes). William Whiston (1667-1752 CE), who succeeded Newton as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, in 1710 was deprived of his professorship and expelled from the university for his Arianism. Samuel Clarke (1675-1729 CE), a close friend of Isaac Newton, put forward the Newtonian concepts of natural philosophy and religion in his Boyle Lectures: A Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God (1704) and The Evidences of Natural and Revealed Religion (1705). In his lectures Clarke defended natural religion against naturalism (the view that nature constitutes a self-sufficient system of which we are but a part) and revealed religion against deism. Clarke wanted to provide a decisive argument for the necessity of a universal self-existent Being whose attributes are eternity, infinity, and unity against the inherently active character of matter (materialism) of John Toland. (see also Newtonianism - Religion And Politics). In A Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God (1704), Samuel Clarke presents the metaphysical or "argument a priori" for God's existence as a necessary being who stands as the cause of the chain of natural causes and effects (Aristotle's 'primum movens'). In A Discourse Concerning the Unchangeable Obligations of Natural Religion (1706), derived from his Boyle lectures, Clarke argues that natural philosophy in a broad sense grounds the central doctrines of a universal religion. For Clarke human morality still requires requires the existence of a divine legislator and an afterlife, in which the supreme being rewards virtue and punishes vice (which is why an immortal soul is required for morality). In 1706 Queen Anne (1665-1714 CE) appointed him one of her chaplains in ordinary. Clarke also wrote The Scripture doctrine of the Trinity (1712) concerning the doctrine of the Trinity in which his Arianism became evident. He was nearly defrocked by Convocation, based on the Blasphemy Act of 1697, until he recanted and agreed to remain silent on the question. In the course of the debate against materialism Clarke came to entertain serious doubts about the validity of the doctrine of Trinity. Thus, what initially was an argument against materialism led him to a radical reinterpretation of the Bible in favor of Divine unity. By 1711, in the third edition of his Boyle lectures, Clarke had made this interpretation quite explicit, and one year later he culminated his scriptural investigations with the publication of the The Scripture doctrine of the Trinity. The outcome of his analysis confirmed the distinction between the attributes of God and those of the Son; the former belonged to the eternal being and thus were absolute, whereas the latter belonged to a product of the divine will, and therefore were relative (see also Newtonianism - Religion And Politics).
The Deist Anthony Collins (1676-1729 CE), in A Discourse of Freethinking (1713) would put forward 'Freethinking' as a right which cannot and must not be limited, for it is the only means of attaining a knowledge of truth. Matthew Tindal (1657-1733 CE) with Christianity as Old as the Creation; or, the Gospel a Republication of the Religion of Nature (1730) wrote the 'Bible of Deism', based on the empirical principles of Locke. His Deism assumed the traditional deistic antitheses of external and internal, positive and natural, revealed and natural religions. It starts from the assumptions that true religion must, from the nature of God and things, be eternal, universal, simple and perfect. True religion can consist of nothing but the simple and universal duties towards God and man, the first consisting in the fulfilment of the second or in other words, the practice of morality.
Revd. Dr. James Anderson (1680-1739 CE). in the Constitutions of the Free-Masons put forward "that religion in which all men agree, leaving their particular opinions to themselves", which meant that the denominational churches could interpret theological doctrine but not impose its dogmas on anyone. James Anderson however was not a Deist as he opposed Deism in a sermon in which he warned against "Contagion of Scepticism and Deism" and "too many, that either think God is an idle Spectator of the Affairs of the World, and will allow him no further Superintendency over it than a Clockmaker or an Architect" (see also A sermon preach'd in Swallow-street, St James's, on Wednesday, Jan. 16 1711/12, being the national fast-day, J. Anderson, London, 1712, pp. 5, 8, 9, 11 and James Anderson: Man & Mason, James Stevenson, Heredom, Volume 10, 2000, p. 97). The freemason John Theophilus Desaguliers (1683-1744 CE), was a leading supporter of Newton and the Royal Society (see also The Newtonian System of the World, the Best Model of Government: An Allegorical Poem. With a Plain and Intelligible Account of the System of the World, by Way of Annotations ... To Which is added, Cambria's Complaint Against the Intercalary Day in the Leap-Year, John Theophilus Desaguliers, Westminster: Printed by A. Campbell for J. Roberts, 1717). William Jones (1675-1749 CE) and Desaguliers, both friends of Isaac Newton, influenced the spread of Deism in both the Royal Society and Freemasonry. These Deists adapted their theology to the new science. God was the creator, but there was no room for the supernatural in the machine. Religion was a system of divinely ordained moral laws that were a counterpoint to the physical laws of the universe. (see also English Spirituality, vol. 2, Gordon Mursell, SPCK, 2001 and The Enlightenment and religion, S. J. Barnett, Manchester University Press, 2003). Martin Folkes (1690-1754 CE), a radical Deist and a friend of Newton, became President of the Royal Society in 1741 and would establish an "infidel club" which would also gain influence in the Royal Society (see also Essays on the Context, Nature, and Influence of Isaac Newton's Theology, Ed. J.E. Force, R.H. Popkin, University of California, 1990, p. 143).
Drawing on Newton's description of the universe as a great clock built by the Creator and then set in motion, the French 'philosophes' would develop their Deistic view on religion. Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis (1698-1759 CE) introduced Newtonianism in France. Voltaire (1694-1778 CE) was initiated into Freemasonry the month before his death. On 4 April 1778 Voltaire accompanied Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790 CE) and was initiated into the Loge des Neuf Soeurs. The Deism of Voltaire was inspired by John Locke (1632-1704 CE), Isaac Newton (1642-1727 CE) and Samuel Clarke (1675-1729 CE) (see also Lettres philosophiques nr. XIII and XIV). Voltaire published his Éléments de la Philosophie de Newton (1738-1745) devoted to Newton's metaphysics and against the French Cartesian establishment. In his Sermon des Cinquante (1749) he would oppose the traditional revealed religion in favor of a natural religion compatible with reason which unites people, instead of a dogmatic religion which divides them: "Mes frères, la religion est la voix secrète de Dieu qui parle à tous les hommes; elle doit tous les réunir et non les diviser". Voltaire in his letters used the words "écrasez l'infâme", or "crush the infamous" at several occasions, referring to abuses of the people by royalty and the clergy that Voltaire saw around him, and the superstition and intolerance that the clergy bred within the people. (see also Voltaire: A Life, Ian Davidson, Profile books, 2010, p. 305). In his Questions sur les miracles (1765) he opposed miracles as not being compatible with reason. In his Lettres philosophiques Voltaire would state: "Adorons Dieu sans vouloir percer dans l'obscurité de ses mystères" (see Lettres philosophiques nr. XXV). In his Lettres philosophiques nr. VII, Voltaire would refer to the Unitarianism of Newton and Clarke and its relation to Geometry: "Quoi qu'il en soit, le parti d'Arius commence à revivre en Angleterre, aussi bien qu'en Hollande et en Pologne. Le grand monsieur Newton faisait à cette opinion l'honneur de la favoriser; ce philosophe pensait que les unitaires raisonnaient plus géométriquement que nous. Mais le plus ferme patron de la arienne est l'illustre docteur Clarke". Here Voltaire also refers to the complete reign of rationalism and geometric reasoning in the theology of the Socinians and of Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677 CE) (see also Between Reform Scholasticism and Pan-Protestantism: Jean-Alphonse Turretin (1671-1737) and Enlightened Orthodoxy at the Academy of Geneva, Martin I Klauber, Susquehanna University Press, 1996, p. 70 and Philosophy, Theology, and Hegel's Berlin: Philosophy of Religion, 1821-1827, Philip M. Merklinger, State University of New York Press, 1993, p. 2 and God and Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounter between Christianity and Science, David C. Lindberg (Ed.), Ronald L. Numbers (Ed.), University of California Press, 1986, p.62). In his poem La Henriade (1730) Voltaire would write about the "géomètre éternel". In Dieu: réponse au Système de la nature Voltaire would also oppose the atheism of Baron d'Holbach (1723-1789 CE) in favor of Deism. Applying the principles of geometric reasoning to theology would divide Christianity into 'Moderns', who embraced geometric reasoning and natural theology, and 'Ancients', who adhered to Scholastic, Thomistic and revealed religion (see also Old Testament Theology: Its History and Development, Frederick C. Prussner, John Knox Press, 1985, p. 37 and The Eighteenth Century Background: Studies on the Idea of Nature in the Thought of the Period, Basil Willey, Beacon Press, 1964). The 'Moderns' preferred the 'Book of Nature' which was written by God himself, instead of the 'Book of Revelation', which was written by man.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790 CE), who was a freemason, was also a Deist as he wrote in his Autobiography (see also Benjamin Franklin: Autobiography, Poor Richard, and Later Writings, Benjamin Franklin, Library of America. p. 619). Thomas Paine (1737-1809 CE) in his work The Age of Reason; Being an Investigation of True and Fabulous Theology applied reason to establish a belief in Nature's Designer who man calls God. In his work he challenged institutionalized religion and the legitimacy of the Bible.
The Eye of Providence (Oculus providencia) or the all-seeing eye of God is a symbol showing an eye often surrounded by rays of light or a glory and usually enclosed by a triangle. The symbol is sometimes interpreted as representing the eye of God watching over humankind (or divine providence). In Deistic (Anglosaxon) lodges it is shown above the Worshipful Master, while in Continental (Latin) lodges it is often replaced by the Flaming Star symbol. In freemasonry it is a reminder that a Mason's thoughts and deeds are always observed by the Great Architect of the Universe (see also Hidden Religion: The Greatest Mysteries and Symbols of the World's Religious Beliefs, Micah Issitt, Carlyn Main, ABC-CLIO, 2014, p. 49 and Kabbala Denudata seu Doctrina Hebraeorum Tanscendentalis, Volume 2, Joannis Davidis Zunneri, 1684, p. 126 and De theologia gentili physiologia christiana, Gerardus Joannes Vossius, Balev, 1668, p;182).
The symbol is well known in Christianity, but the concept of "All-seeing eye" can be found in several other religions and cultures. Buddhists refer to it as the "Eye of the World" (Oculus mundi), while in Caodaism, it represents image of God. The Egyptians revered the Eye of Horus as a symbol of power and protection. The most notable modern depiction of the eye is the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States, which appears on the United States one-dollar bill. As a Christian symbol we find the Eye of Providence in an equilateral triangle (Delta) in Jacopo Pontormo's (1494-1557 CE) 1525 painting Supper at Emmaus (Gospel of Luke 24: 30-31). In this painting the figure of Christ forms an equilateral triangle, with a radiant triangle with a single eye hovering above his head. This symbolizes the all-seeing Eye of God, with the triangle itself representing the Christian Trinity of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit (see also The All-seeing Eye: Teachings of the Rose Cross College, R. Swinburne Clymer, Kessinger Publishing, 2006 and The Quest: Christ amidst the Quest, Lyman C.D. Kulathungam, Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2012, p. 24 and Christian Platonists of Alexandria, Charles Bigg, 1886, p. 249).
The zodiac is often shown on the ceiling or the walls of a masonic temple. The division of the ecliptic into the zodiacal signs originates in Babylonian ("Chaldean") astronomy during the first half of the 1st millennium BCE. In freemasonry it symbolizes the fact that the temple is a symbol of the universe which dimensions reach from east to west, from south to north and from zenith to nadir. As the universe is the macrocosm, the temple can be regarded as a mesocosm and man as a microcosm. The twelve signs may also symbolize the 12 tribes of Israel and therefore mankind or the universal brotherhood of man which spans the earth (see also Isaac Newton's Temple of Solomon and his Reconstruction of Sacred Architecture, Tessa Morrison, Springer Science & Business Media, 2010, p. 48 and Architecture and Mathematics from Antiquity to the Future: Volume II: The 1500s to the Future, Kim Williams, Michael J. Ostwald, Birkhäuser, 2015, p. 189 and African Origin Found in Religion and Freemasonry, Kedar Griffo, Michael Berkley, Lulu.com, 2010, p. 36 and Secret Sects Of Syria, Springett, Routledge, 2014, p. 334 and
The three Great Lights of Masonry, are the Volume of Sacred Law, the Compass and the Square. The Great Lights of Masonry refer to practical reason or morality (heart, Volume of Sacred Law) and theoretical reason (mind, Greek geometry), both delicately inter-related as revealed knowledge (revelation) versus rational knowledge. As Johannes Kepler (1571-1630 CE) wrote in his Harmonices Mundi: "Geometria ante rerum ortum menti divinae coseterna, Deus ipse (quid enim in Deo, quod non sit ipse Deus)." In this regard it is also interesting to think of the words of the French philosopher Simone Weil (1909-1943 CE) in her Lettre à un religieux: "Combien notre vie changerait si on voyait que la géométrie grecque et la foi chrétienne ont jailli de la même source!" (see also Freemasonry:Rituals, Symbols & History of the Secret Society, Mark Stavish, Llewellyn Worldwide, 2007, p.14 and Standard Freemasonry Illustrated, J. Blanchard, Kessinger Publishing, 2003, p. 112 and Harmonices Mundi, Johannes Kepler, lib. iv., p. 119 and Ultramontanism: Or, The Roman Church and Modern Society, Edgar Quinet, J. Chapman, 1845, p. 73 and Lettre à un religieux, Simone Weil, Gallimard, 1951, p. 92 and L'évolution spirituelle de Simone Weil, Bernard Halda, Editions Beauchesne, 1964, p. 104).
The Volume of Sacred Law is most often the Protestant King James Version of the Bible, which contains in its symbolism the knowledge gained by investigating nature's laws in the remote past (stepping in the footsteps of nature). It represents moral absolutism or the "Sittengesetz". For freemasonry human thought in the phenomenal or empirical world may be free, but morality is not. The Volume of Sacred Law is one of the landmarks of freemasonry. The Volume of Sacred Law refers to the "outer Word" or the written Word of God as opposed to the "inner Word" (verbum interius) which is to be found within the soul of man (see also Wahrheit und Methode, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Mohr, 1960 and The Inner Word in Gadamer's Hermeneutics, John Arthos, U of Notre Dame Press, 2009). The most famous Volume of Sacred Law is the George Washington Inaugural Bible. The King James Version of the Bible is based upon the Geneva Bible (1599), the Tyndale Bible and the Greek Textus Receptus (1550 CE) of Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam (1467-1536 CE). Protestant Bibles were derived directly from Hebrew and Greek texts instead of the Latin Vulgate. By putting the Bible as the highest autority, freemasons refer to the Protestant doctrine of Sola scriptura ("by Scripture alone") that the Bible contains all knowledge necessary for salvation and holiness. Sola scriptura demands only those doctrines are to be admitted or confessed that are found directly within or indirectly by using valid logical deduction or valid deductive reasoning from scripture. It opposes the Roman Catholic principle of sacred tradition. Other Sacred Books such as the Noble Qur'an, the Upanishads or Vedas, etc., are also being used, as every freemason is exhorted to practise his religion and to regard its holy book as the unerring standard of truth.
When the Bible is being used as the Volume of Sacred Law it is opened at an appropriate passage related to each degree. In the first degree the text is Psalm 133, "How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity!", referring the brotherly love. In the second degree the passage is Amos 7:7-8, "Vision of the Plumb Line", which is being used as the plumb line is an important symbol of the second degree. In the third degree the passage is Ecclesiastes 12:1-7, which refers to old age and death (see also Masonry Defined, Part 2, E. R. Johnston, Kessinger Publishing, 2002, p.474 and Freemasonry: Rituals, Symbols & History of the Secret Society, Mark Stavish, Llewellyn Worldwide, 2007, p. 14). In some traditions the opening page of the Gospel of John is being used. By putting the Bible open on the prologue of the Gospel of John freemasons refer to Christ as the Light and Logos and themselves as the "sons of light" (see also Encyclopedia of Freemasonry 1909, Volume 2, A. G. Mackey, H. L. Haywood, Kessinger Publishing, 2003, p. 954 and A Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels: Volume II, James Hastings, The Minerva Group, Inc., 2004, p. 34). With the Gospel of John freemasons also refer to the Protestant doctrine of Solus Christus or Solo Christo ("Christ alone"). This refers to the basic belief that salvation is through Christ alone and that Christ as the "Logos" and the "Light of the World" is the only mediator between God and man. It resembles the principle that the true church is the "invisible" church, and that the church is wherever true Christians meet together around the word of God. This principle opposes the Roman Catholic principle of salvation through the Roman Catholic Curch and its hierarchy (see also History of Freemasonry, Volume 2, R. F. Gould, Kessinger Publishing, 2003, p. 119 and Jesus "The Way, the Truth and the Life", Thd Dr Ronald Bish, Xulon Press, 2011, p. 440 and The Roman Catholic Church: A Critical Appraisal, H. Park, Xulon Press, 2008, p. 251).
Continental-style freemasons, mainly active in Roman Catholic regions, also use Anderson's Constitutions (1723), The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (10 December 1948) or even a Blank Book for their Volume of Sacred Law in orde to symbolize the freedom of conscience (see also Legenda and Readings of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, A. Pike, Kessinger Publishing, 1993, p. 27 and Annals of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, Volume 28, Grand Lodge of Iowa, The Grand Secretary, 1920, p. 25 and Women's Agency and Rituals in Mixed and Female Masonic Orders, A. Heidle, J. A. M. Snoek, BRILL, 2008, p. 405).
- Rebis (fifth woodcut) -
Azoth, Basilius Valentinus (1613 CE)
- The Grand Architect of the Universe, Bible moralisée -
Codex Vindobonensis, Paris (ca. 1220-1230 CE)
- Figure of Cabala
Cabala Chymica, Franz Kieser, Mulhausen (1606 CE)
The compass and and square are being used as symbols throughout history. We can find the divine hermaphrodite (Rebis), a reconciliation of spirit and matter, resulting from the unity of opposites holding a square and compass in the Azoth (1613) of Basilius Valentinus (15th-century). In the Bible moralisée or Codex Vindobonensis of ca. 1220-1230 CE, we see God depicted as the Grand Architect of the Universe holding a compass while creating the world, according to "Thou has ordered all things in measure, and number, and weight" (Wisdom 11:21 and see also Genesis 1:1 and Genesi Ad Litteram, Saint Augustine, Paulist Press, 1982, pp. 110-111). In the Cabala Chymica (1606) of Franz Kieser we see a person holding a square and compass (see also The Jewish Alchemists: A History and Source Book, Raphael Patai, Princeton University Press, 1994).
The compass and and square are being used as symbols in several ways. They may represent the actual forces of nature or also the Square symbolizes Morality and the Compass symbolizes Boundaries. A compass can be used to draw a circle which represents pure, unmanifest spirit-space, while the square represents the manifest and comprehensible world. When a near equality is drawn between the circle and the square, the infinite is able to express its dimensions or qualities through the finite. This was one of the reasons for trying to square the circle (see also Sacred Geometry: Philosophy & Practice (Art and Imagination), Robert Lawlor, Thames & Hudson, 1982, p. 74). The Compass and Square also refer to a circle and a rectangle like in the Egyptian cross or ankh, the key of life. The Egyptian ankh consists of a tau (or T) cross topped by a circle, it combines the meanings of the T-square and the circle. The T-square is also an instrument used by draftsmen and architects to draw parallel lines (symbolically, to recognize parallelisms and analogies) and as a support for triangles in drawing angles (symbolically, for serving as the basis for all the triplicities of spirit and matter). Like all square forms, it also represents matter. The circle represents spirit. The T-square and circle combined are thus another representation of spirit and matter interacting and producing life by their interaction. Matter and spirit are considered to be the two sides of one coin. Life consists of the interaction of spirit or consciousness (the upward triangle of the compass) and matter or substance (the downward triangle of the square). This is also represented in their relative position through the first three degrees in the Blue Lodges of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason. In every person, the mundane or earthly elements are represented by the square, while the divine or spiritual elements are represented by the compass (cfr. the Aristotelian cosmology with the square representing the earth and the circle the perfect and eternal movement in the heavens). In De Caelo et Mundo, Aristotle (384-322 BCE) put forward that "What is eternal is circular and what is circular is eternal". The relation between the Compass and Square also resembles the 'Figura paradigmatica' or intersecting pyramids in De Coniecturis of Nicolaus Cusanus (1401-1464 CE). In the Entered Apprentice degree the square is support by the compass. In the Fellow Craft degree, the freemason is half way to achieve spirituality, so only one point of the compass is elevated above the square. In the Master Mason degree, spirituality has conquered the mundane in the man. This is represented in the degree by having both points of the compass elevated above the square (see also The symbolism of the square and compass, Eduardo Casas, 2009).
The Square and Compass also represent a complete square and a triangle. The triangle represents the triad of the spiritual will, intuitional love and higher intelligence in man. The square symbolizes the lower quaternary or the human body with the visible, the emotional nature of man and his lower mind. The triangle stands for the individuality or soul of man, while the square stands for personality. Together they constitute the septenary man (see also Septenary Man, Jerome A. Anderson, Lotus Publishing Company, 1895 and The Key to Theosophy, H.P. Blavatsky, 1889, pp. 90-93). The triangle and square we also find in the Masonic Apron.
The Square and Compass can be looked at as triangles. The Compass can be configured as an isosceles triangle or an equilateral triangle, which symbolizes the divine trinity. The equilateral triangle is a mathematical symbol of ideal proportions. In Plato's cosmology (Timaeus, 54a1), he puts forward the isosceles right triangle as one of the geometric atoms of his cosmology where each particle is a regular geometrical solid. There are four kinds of particles (platonic solids), one for each of the four kinds of matter (earth, water, air, fire) and a fifth for the ether which cannot be derived (transformed) from the other four. Each particle is composed of elementary right triangles, either isosceles right triangles (45°/45°/90° triangle) or Pythagorean scalene triangles (30°/60°/90° triangle). The particles are like the molecules of Plato's cosmos and the triangles are its atoms. All these triangles are present in a Masonic lodge (see also Cosmology in Antiquity, Rosemary Wright, Routledge, 2013, p. 102 and Signs & Symbols: An Illustrated Guide to Their Origins and Meanings, Dorling Kindersley Ltd, 2008, p. 99 and The Theocratic Philosophy of Freemasonry, in Twelve Lectures: On Its Speculative, Operative, and Spurious Branches, George Oliver, Masonic publishing and manufacturing Company, 1866, p. 84 and Freemason's Monthly Magazine, Volume 22, Charles Whitlock Moore, Tuttle & Bennett., 1863, p. 364 and Freemasonry: Rituals, Symbols & History of the Secret Society, Mark Stavish, Llewellyn Worldwide, 2007, p. 14).
The square is an isosceles triangle, which in ancient Greek geometry caused the problem of the irrational square root of 2 (√2). One of the sacred meanings associated with the symbolism of the triangle is the fiery aspiration of the human soul towards higher unity. Psychologically it represents the urge to escape from duality or the extension represented by the base of the triangle, a movement towards an origin or an irradiating point at the apex. The triangle is the geometric image of the ternary and the myriad concepts of an archetypal trinity which crowns the mystical endeavour. The Grand Architect of the Universe can be symbolized by the letter G, the equilateral triangle, and the All-Seeing Eye. In Pythagorean thought the first point is the monad from which essence all proceeds. Beneath this is the duad of two points creating a line. It is a line which separates the Unmanifest from that which will manifest and which is symbolized in the three points underlying the duad. These three points represent the surface or superficies and they, in turn, are supported by the four points that mark the bottom line of the Pythagorean decad and the manifestation of solids. It is suggested that the three sides of the triangular decad are the barriers of phenomenal matter that separate it from the world of thought or noumenal world. Hence we may imagine a point momentarily emerging in a great darkness (or light) from which, even as it withdraws, angled boundaries emerge marking the two, the three and the four. Pure subjectivity has been divided and then made capable of multiplication and, finally, solidification. The isosceles triangle is only one of three triangles being used in freemasonry. An equilateral triangle is created by the Compass of the Square and Compass when that symbol is opened to the extent of sixty degrees. It is also created with three burning tapers around the altar. The equilateral triangle is a symbol of the (Triune) Deity, in some of his forms or emanations, and hence, probably, the prevailing influence of this symbol was carried into the Jewish system, where the Yod (י) within the triangle was made to represent the Tetragrammaton, or sacred name of God. A Pythagorean triangle is the symbol of the Worshipful Master. So here are three types of triangles: equilateral, isosceles and scalene. The equilateral triangle has 3 equal sides; the isosceles has 2 equal sides, and the scalene triangle has no equal sides. Scalene means "uneven"; it also means "limping". Of all the infinite scalene triangles, the one thought of by the ancients as special was the 3,4,5 unit triangle or Pythagorean triangle (right-angled triangle). Among the Egyptians, the right-angled triangle was the symbol of universal nature; the base representing Osiris, or the male principle; the perpendicular, Isis, or the female principle; and the hypotenuse, Horus, their son, or the product of the male and female principle (see also The Theocratic Philosophy of Freemasonry, in Twelve Lectures: On Its Speculative, Operative, and Spurious Branches, George Oliver, Masonic publishing and manufacturing Company, 1866, p. 84 and Signs & Symbols: An Illustrated Guide to Their Origins and Meanings, Dorling Kindersley Ltd, 2008, p. 99 and Triangle, Theosophy Trust and Our Ancient Friend and Brother, the Great Pythagoras, Thomas D. Worrel, VII, The Builder, February 1919).
With a Compass and Square many geometric constructions can be made and they were the primary tools in Euclidean geometry. The compass also became an element in the dispute between Aristotelian and Neoplatonic views of the infinite. Fabrizio Mordente (1532-ca 1608 CE) invented a special model of eight-point proportional compasses, designed to measure the smallest fraction of a degree. In 1578, Mordente went to Prague to work for Emperor Rudolf II (1552-1612 CE), to whom he dedicated the treatise on the Compasses published in Antwerp in 1584. On the new compass of Mordente Giordano Bruno (1548-1600 CE) would write several dialogues such as Idiota Tiumphans (1586) in which he explains his approach towards mathematics in relation to the infinite (see also G. Bruno, Il Dio dei geometri. Quattro Dialoghi, G. Del Giudice Ed., Di Renzo, 2009). Bruno focused on the method of partition of straight lines and curves. Mordente's invention, which was supposed to measure all the way down to the infinite fractions of matter, provided Bruno with the idea of refuting Aristotle's theory on the infinite (see also Numerus quodammodo infinitus: per un approccio storico-teorico al dilemma matematico nella filosofia di Giordano Bruno, L. De Bernart, Ed. di Storia e Letteratura, 2002). Bruno explained how the compass should be mystically interpreted by "mathesis" after the manner of the Pythagoreans and Cabalists instead of the Aristotelian way. Bruno in his work envisages a role for the philosopher, thus for thinking, that can relate to scientific practice not as a threat to himself but as a possibility for opening up new horizons (see also The Ethics of Thinking in Heidegger, Bruno & Spinoza, Riccardo Finozzi, PhD Thesis, University of Warwick, 2013, p.63). The interpretation by Bruno of the mystical compass would become an emblem among anti-Catholic secret societies in the early seventeenth century and in later Freemasonry (see also Freemasonry, secret societies, and the continuity of the occult traditions in English literature, Vol. 1, M. K. Manatt Schuchard, Ph.D Dissertation, University of Texas, Austin, 1975, p. 79). Albert Einstein (1879-1955 CE) would say "The supreme task of the physicist is to arrive at universal elementary laws. There is no logical path to these laws, only intuition" (Physics and Reality, A. Einstein, 1936). Intuition therefore, is the mystical compass by which man determines a clear sense of direction and focus in his life.
With a square and a compass the golden ratio or divine proportion can be constructed (see also De divina proportione, Luca Pacioli, 1509). Plato (424/423-348/347 BCE) refers to the golden ration in his Divided Line analogy, which begins at section 509 d of Book VI of The Republic (380 BCE) and ends at 511e of Book VI. Plato in his Timaeus, describes five possible regular solids (the Platonic solids: the tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, and icosahedron), some of which are related to the golden ratio. The only tools required to make the divine proportion are the square and compasses. These are the emblems of Freemasonry, where the science of mathematics and the standard of morality are being connected. The square also relates to the physical world, to the realm of effects, and the compass relates to the inner planes, the realm of causes. Together they embrace all natural law, and exemplify the Classical Greek or Hermetic Axiom which is found on the Emerald Tablet of Hermes: 'As it is above, so it is below', meaning the macrocosmos is the same as microcosmos. The laws of the macrocosm are the same as the laws of the microcosm and and through understanding one (usually the microcosm) you can understand the other. The oldest reference to the Emerald Tablet of Hermes can be found in the 12the century Kitab sirr al-asrar or Liber secretorum (Book of the science of government: on the good ordering of statecraft) which contains supposed letters from Aristotle (384-322 BCE) to Alexander the Great (356-323 BCE). The jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher (1601 or 1602-1680 CE) in his Prodromus coptus sive aegyptiacus also stated "Heaven above, heaven below; stars above, stars below; all that is above, thus also below; understand this and be blessed". On the School of Athens painting of Raphael (1483-1520 CE), Plato (424/423-348/347 BCE) the realist (philosophical) points upwards, in reference to the Heavens, whilst Aristotle (384-322 BCE), ever the empiricist, beckons downwards. Raphaels inference has analogies with that line in the Lords Prayer: 'On Earth As It Is In Heaven'. Isaac Newton (1642-1727 CE) also wrote a translation of the Emerald Tablet of Hermes. In the Upanishads the Universe is also being described as having a micro- macrocosmic relation with itself on all levels. The Cosmic Man, Parusha, resides in one's heart "smaller than a grain of rice...this Soul of mine within the heart is greater than the earth, greater than the atmosphere, greater than the sky, greater than these worlds".
The Square and Compass has also been held to represent the alchemical joining of fire (male) and water (female). Note also that there are two different squares in use in freemasonry, one is with arms of equal length (straightedge) and the other one is the Pytagorean square with dimensions 3 and 4 of its arms. Geometric construction of the square root can be done with a compass and straightedge. In his Elements, Euclid (fl. 300 BCE) gave the construction of the geometric mean of two quantities in two different places: Proposition II.14 and Proposition VI.13. In his proof he uses Thales of Miletus's (ca. 624-ca. 546 BCE) theorem, which is a special case of the inscribed angle theorem. The Pythagorean school used only the square and the compass to draw their geometric figures. The combination of the Indo-European Pythagorean symbols (geometry, reason) with the Semitic or Abrahamic Bible (word, faith) brings together both symbols of the logos which means both reason and word (faith). Since the Bible teaches that man is made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27, Genesis 9:6, 1 Corinthians 11:7), freemasons conclude that human beings are rational and logical, and that the channel of communication between God and man proceeds in a logical and rational manner. When God speaks to man (faith, revelation) it will follow rational and logical means. Logos thereby meaning both word and reason united.
The Lesser Lights are the Sun, Moon and Worshipful Master (see also Symbolical Masonry, H.L. Haywood, 1923, Chapter XVI and Standard Freemasonry Illustrated, J. Blanchard, Kessinger Publishing, 2003, p. 112). The three lesser lights in the east (heaven) are reflected by three lesser lights on earth (candles). The interior of a masonic temple seems to show some variation depending on the type of freemasonry. This section describes a continental style, which seems to be somewhat different from the Anglo-Saxon (UGLE) style. The Moon, Sun and the Pentagram are being used in the French Rite. In the east of a Masonic Temple, the Sun, Moon and a Pentagram or Flaming Star (Star of the East) or a Delta (Eye of Providence) are displayed, which refer to ancient religious and philosophical symbols (see also The Symbolism of Freemasonry, Albert G. Mackey, 1882, Chapter XXIV-The Ineffable Name). The Pentagram or Delta is placed above the seat of the Worshipful Master. The Delta is in the first degree placed between sun and moon and behind the seat of the Worshipful Master, while in the second degree it is replaced by a flaming star. The Delta symbolizes the Trinity (see also The typical character of nature, or, All nature a divine symbol, T. A. G. Balfour, James Nisbet and Co., 1860, p. 117). Depending on the rite of freemasonry, a Pentagram is located on the ceilin, and a square and compass with the letter G inside, the Eye of Providence or a delta is placed above the head of the Worshipful Master. The equilateral triangle surrounding the eye is a common symbol for Deity in any culture that has worshipped the triune nature of God. The all-seeing eye of God is a reminder that a Mason's thoughts and deeds are always observed by God (see also The Sacred Pentagram).
These masonic symbols are being used in other cultures also, sometimes with a similar and sometimes with a different meaning. One can read these symbols as a philosophical journey of mankind, with different meanings but all somewhat related to fundamental principles of human existence. As such it should be possible to construct a 'masonic system', based on almost any set of principles and symbols which allow to build a system of moral improvement. Most mystical and spiritual traditions provide for the creation of a set of rituals which support the moral improvement of man towards his spiritual destiny. The pentagram may refer to the five-pointed star of Pythagoreanism or the Pentalpha of Christianity. The pentagram was used in ancient times as a Christian symbol for the five senses, or of the five wounds of Christ. The pentagram was also the official seal of the city of Jerusalem during the period of 300-150 BCE. The Pentacle also represents the five primary religions: Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. In Jewish Kabbalah, the sun represents the completely righteous whose light shines consistently, without interruption or fluctuation. The moon represents the penitents who have done wrong but change their ways and return to G-d. Much like the moon, penitents are in a perpetual process of rise and fall, diminished light and increased light (sse also Sefer ha-Bahir, 197). In Islam the spiritual meaning of the moon and star can vary. The Holy Quran includes a chapter titled the "The Moon" (Sura 54 "Al-Qamar"), in which the split or crescent moon is a harbinger of the day of judgment. The Holy Quran also has a chapter called "The Star" (Sura 53 "An-Najm"), which refers to God as the lord of the day star Sirius worshipped by pagans. Moreover, the moon is associated with Muhammad in Muslim poetry, and the mystical tradition known as Sufism uses the moon as a symbol of the heart responsive to the light of truth. In addition, one popular interpretation of the five-pointed star is that it represents the five pillars of Islam, which are the five foundational obligations of the obedient Muslim life. Surya ("the Supreme Light"), also known as Aditya, Bhanu or Ravi, is the chief solar deity in Hinduism and generally refers to the Sun. Chandra ("shining") is a lunar deity in Hinduism. Chandra is also identified with the Vedic Lunar deity Soma. The Hindu god Shiva, 'lord of the universe', has a crescent moon (Chandra) as an adornment on his head, representing his eternal union with the goddess Shakti within, thus allowing him to maintain the supreme state. The Hindu Trinity consists of Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva as the quintessential destroyer In Chinese culture, the pentagram refers to Wu Xing also known as the Five Elements or Five Processes. Taoism conceived of a five element system which governed the natural world which they called the Wu Xing. This five element system was normally depicted as a pentagram ringed by a circle. Yin Yang is a philosophical concept expressing the dualism of existence. The Chinese characters of Yin Yang are related to the characters for sun and moon. In Japanese culture, the pentagram (gobōsei) is a symbol of magical power, associated with the 'onmyoji Abe no Seimei'; it is a diagram of the "overcoming cycle" of the five Chinese elements. On virtually every stupa (Buddhist shrine) in Nepal, there are giant pairs of eyes staring out from the four sides of the main tower. These are Buddha Eyes (otherwise known as Wisdom Eyes), and they look out in the four directions to symbolize the omniscience (all-seeing) of a Buddha. (see also The Migration of Symbols, comte Eugène Goblet d'Alviella, Library of Alexandria, 1956 and Mechanics of Demonology, G.P. Haggart, Lulu.com, p. 71 and Thought Signs: The Semiotics of Symbols-- Western Non-pictorial Ideograms, Carl G. Liungman, IOS Press, 1995 and The Mythologie of the Hindus: With Plates, Charles Coleman, Parbury, 1832, p. 131 and "Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen": Nature, Knowledge, Imagery in an Ancient Chinese Medical Text: With an Appendix: The Doctrine of the Five Periods and Six Qi in the Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen, Paul U. Unschuld, University of California Press, 2003, p. 83-84).
The sun and the moon are referred to in Genesis 1:14-19 as on the fourth day of creation "God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night". In the Qur'an, Sura 7:54 (The Heights), we find "Allah is He, who created the sun, the moon, and the stars (all) governed by laws under His commandment". In Revelation, Jesus of Nazareth (7/2 BCE-30/36 CE) referred to himself as the bright and morning star (Rev 22:16): "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star". The sun and moon are often represented in scenes of the Crucifixion to indicate the sorrow of all creation at the death of Christ (see also Signs & Symbols in Christian Art, George Wells Ferguson, Oxford University Press, 1961, p. 45). In his Confessiones (Book X, Ch. VI) Aurelius Augustinus (354-430 CE) refers to the sun, moon and the stars as not being Gods, but were created by God. Both sun and moon are signs of creation and with their light refer to the reflection of the divine in the world. They not only shine a material light upon the world, but also refer to the spiritual universe above (see also The Perennial Tradition of Neoplatonism, John J. Cleary, Leuven University Press, 1997, p. 407).
Francis of Assisi (1181-1226 CE) wrote a Laudes Creaturarum (Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon), in which he praises God and thanks Him for his creation. In this song Francis of Assisi refers to 'my lord Brother Sun' and 'Sister Moon and the stars'. In addition he thanks God for 'Brothers Wind and Air', 'Sister Water', 'Brother Fire' and 'sister Mother Earth' thereby referring to the four classical elements. Francis of Assisi refers to the gift of the mystic union with God or the One, and as a mystic Francis could then see his Creator in all of creation. In beautyful things he found Beauty itself (see also Francis and Clare: The Complete Works, Saint Francis of Assisi, Paulist Press, 1982, p. 37 and Love Burning in the Soul: The Story of the Christian Mystics, from Saint Paul to Thomas Merton, James Harpur, Shambhala Publications, 2005, p. 76).
In Egypt, the five-pointed star ("seba") or pentagram within a circle (see also Seba) represented Duat or the land of the afterlife. The five-pointed flaming star also referred to Sopdet (Greek: Sothis) or Sirius or dog-star, which was called the flaming or burning star in Greek astronomy (see also Sirius: Brightest Diamond in the Night Sky, Holberg, J.B., Praxis Publishing, 2007). Sothis was identified with the Egyptian goddess Isis, who formed a part of a triad with her husband Osiris (moon) and their son Horus (sun). The sun and moon were also believed to represent the eyes of Horus. Horus was also associated with the sun god, Ra. The flaming star symbol would find its way into Hermeticism (see also Hermes and Plato, Health Research Books, 1996, p. 29 and Finishing the Mysteries of Gods and Symbols: Volume 0, Seven Star Hand, Seven Star Hand, 2010, p. 89).
The pentagram is also related to the orbit of Venus, the morning star or stella matutina, as seen from the earth. As Venus orbits the Sun, it follows an elliptical orbit, but only from the point of view of the Sun. Because the Earth also orbits the Sun, the two motions are combined, giving a different shape. The orbits of Venus and Earth are almost a perfect 13:8 resonance, meaning that Venus does 13 orbits for every 8 of Earth. 13:8 is a succession in the Fibonacci Sequence, and the previous one is 8:5. Because of the time it takes for Earth to complete this orbit (8 years), Venus has moved in a sufficient manner to trace a pentagram with curved sides. In Christianity, Venus the morning star, the bringer of light, is associated with Christ himself in the New Testament. In the Vulgate version of the Book of Revelation 22:16, Jesus refers to himself as the morning star 'ego sum radix et genus David stella splendida et matutina'. In 2 Peter 1:19 we find another reference to the morning star as lucifer the bringer of light: 'donec dies inlucescat et lucifer oriatur in cordibus vestris'. On the other hand Lucifer is also associated with the fallen angel in the Old Testament book Isaiah 14:12: 'Quomodo cecidisti de caelo lucifer qui mane oriebaris corruisti in terram qui vulnerabas gentes'. All this makes Venus or the morning star and her pentagram cycle an ambiguous symbol in the Christian tradition. Besides Christ, Maria is also referred to as morning star. Stella matutina is also the title of a pilgrim Marian hymn (see also The Shape of God: Secrets, Tales, and Legends of the Dawn Warriors, Terry David Silvercloud, David Silvercloud, 2007, p. 198 and The Biblical Basis for Modern Science, Dr. Henry M. Morris, New Leaf Publishing Group, 2002, p. and Legends of the Madonna as Represented in the Fine Arts by Mrs. Jameson, Anna Brownell Jameson, Longmans, Green and Company, 1872, p. xiiv).
We find references to the sun and the moon in classical Greek philosophy such as on the orgin of man in Aristophanes's speech from Plato's (424/423-348/347 BCE) Συμπόσιον (Symposium): "Now the sexes were three, and such as I have described them; because the sun, moon, and earth are three; and the man was originally the child of the sun, the woman of the earth, and the man-woman of the moon, which is made up of sun and earth, and they were all round and moved round and round because they resembled their parents.". Man descends from the sun, while woman descends from the earth. Plato also conjectured that man at first worshiped the sun and moon as a contemplation of the sky and the heavenly bodies which is part of the evolution of a natural theology. Plato asserted that the sun, moon, and other celestial bodies were gods. Aristotle (384-322 BCE) also linked the observation of the sun, moon and the stars to the origin of religion (see also Collected Works of Plato, 4th Edition, Oxford U. Press, 1953 (189c-189d) p 520 to (193d-193e) p 525 and The True Intellectual System of the Universe: With a Treatise Concerning Eternal and Immutable Morality, Volume 2, Ralph Cudworth, London, 1845, p. 368 and Homer Or Moses?: Early Christian Interpretations of the History of Culture, Arthur J. Droge, Mohr Siebeck, 1989, p. 128 and Ancient Philosophy of Religion: The History of Western Philosophy of Religion, Volume 0,Graham Oppy, N. N. Trakakis, Routledge, 2014, p. 80).
The symbol of the sun and the moon also played a role in hermetic philosophy and alchemy. In Heinrich Khunrath's (ca. 1560-1605 CE) Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Aeternae (1609 CE) the words sun (sol) and the moon (luna) are below two columns of the frontispiece. At the base of the two columns left and right is engraved the quintessential line from the hermetic tabula smaragdina: 'id quod inferius, sicut quod superius' (That which is below is like that which is above). Engraved within a medallion on the two columns are the words 'orando' and 'laborando' ('By praying, by working' or' prayer and work'). The motto 'Ora et Labora' is also part of the Regula Benedicti (Rule of Saint Benedict). The sun and the moon, 'ora et labora' refer to the marriage of intellect and intuition or the marriage of Sun and Moon (see also The Teachings of Modern Protestantism on Law, Politics, and Human Nature, John Witte, Frank S. Alexander, Columbia University Press, 2007, p. 75 and Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Aeternae, webinar, Peter J. Forshaw).
References to the sun and the moon in architecture are also present in Chartres Cathedral, a Gothic Catholic cathedral in France. The cathedral is fronted by two towers, one representing the sun and the other the moon. The sun tower fits exactly the length of the body of the cathedral representing 365 feet which is also the number of days in a solar year. The moon tower falls 28 feet short of the end of the aisle, and these 28 feet represents the 28 days in a moon cycle. Here we have a sun an moon tower instead of a sun and moon pillar (see also Access to Western Esotericism, Antoine Faivre, SUNY Press, 1994, p. 56).
For Pythagoras (ca. 570-ca. 490 BCE) the cosmos consisted of a series of spheres within spheres. Among Pythagoreans, the pentagram was a symbol of health and knowledge; the pentagram is consequently associated with initiation. The five points of the Pythagorean pentagram represent the four elements of Empedocles (ca. 495-435 BCE), earth, water, air, fire, and spirit, aether or quintessence. Plato (424/423-348/347 BCE) associates the Five Elements with the Five Platonic Solids in the Timaeus (55c-65c), and Johannes Kepler (1571-1630 CE) made a similar association between the Planets and the Platonic Solids in his Mysterium cosmographicum (1596). The pentagram or flaming star can also be considered as the "One" (Monad) and the sun and the moon as the "dyad" in the Pythagorean Tetraktys. The flaming star can also be considered as the central Fire in the cosmology of Philolaus of Croton (ca. 470-ca. 385 BCE), with the Ten Celestial Bodies arranged concentrically around it. The earth, which is one of the stars, rotates around a fire or 'flaming star' at the center. This is "Zeus' guardhouse", the fire-protected center of the universe. Day and night are caused by earth 's rotation around this fire, not by the sun or moon. Around the center rotate earth, 'counter-earth', the moon, the sun, the stars, and outside this another sphere of fire. Gnosticism considered the Pentagram to be the Microcosmic Star, or the Word of God made flesh. Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961 CE) discussed the meaning of the pentagram (microcosmos) and hexagram (macrocosmos) in his Septem Sermones ad Mortuos (1916 CE). The pentagram is seen as the symbol of the microcosm, the symbol of man. Carl Gustav Jung also puts foward: "Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens" (see also The Gnostic Jung and The Seven Sermons to the Dead, Stephan A. Hoeller, Quest Books, 1982, p. 179 and Memories, Dreams, Reflections, C. G.Jung, ed. Aniela Jaffe, Vintage Books, 1961, p. 378).
The quintessence became associated with the faming star (see also Problems of Mysticism and Its Symbolism, H. Silberer, Kessinger Publishing, 2003, p. 195 and 400 and Annotations on Milton's Paradise Lost, 1695, P. Hume, Kessinger Publishing, 2003, p. 129). The flaming star was also present as the seventeenth key in the Enochian system of John Dee (1527-1608 or 1609 CE) and in alchemy. The flaming star, sun and moon, for example, represented alchemical elements, such as white matter (wisdom), black matter (strength) and beauty and alchemical processes such as putrefaction and calcination Platonist Magazine: An Exponent of Philosophic Truth, January to December 1887, T. M. Johnson, Kessinger Publishing, 2003, p; 574 and History of western astrology, N. Campion, Continuum, 2009, p. 194 and Eliphas Lévi and the French Occult Revival, C. McIntosh, SUNY Press, 2011, p. 27 and The Aurora of the Philosophers, Theophrastus Paracelsus, Chapter XVI).
Plotinus (204/5-270 CE) compared the One to "light", the Divine Nous (Intellect or first will towards Good) to the "Sun", and lastly the Soul to the "Moon" whose light is merely a "derivative conglomeration of light from the 'Sun'". For Plotinus the 'Nous' is manifested in the world as 'logoi spermatikoi' (productive forms). The 'logoi spermatikoi' ('seminal reasons') serve as the productive power or essence of the Nous, which is the active or generative principle within Being. These 'logoi spermatikoi' reflect the Platonic Ideal World (Forms) and every man has a spark of this within himself. Individual souls are fragments of the cosmic self (world soul), and so by understanding ourselves, man understands the World Soul (see also Forms and Concepts: Concept Formation in the Platonic Tradition, C. Helmig,, Walter de Gruyter, 2012, p. 194 and Neoplatonism and Jewish Thought, L. E. Goodman, SUNY Press, 1992, p.367). The Renaissance Neoplatonist Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499 CE) in De vita coelitus comparanda developed his correspondence theory of medicine, based on Neoplatonic theories of the Universe and the relation of the cosmos (stars, planets, macrocosm) to man (microcosm) (see also Philosophia Perennis: Historical Outlines of Western Spirituality In Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Thougt, W. Schmidt-Biggemann, Springer, 2004, p.261). Another interesting explanation is found with Giordano Bruno (1548-1600 CE) in his work Lampas triginta statuarum (Wittenberg, 1587), where he mentions the Figurae Mentis nota (Father, Sun), Figurae Intellectus (Son, Moon), Figurae Amoris (Spirit, anima mundi, spiritus universorum, Light, fulgor, Star) as the Hermetic Trinity: "pater, mens; filium verbum; et per verbum, universa sunt product". The Figurae Amoris (Star) harmonises the opposites and unifies the multiplicity in one, such as The One or Monad in Pythagorean and Neoplatonic philosophy.
The pentagram is part of the flaming star symbol and it expresses the dominion of the spirit over the elements of nature, the union of the opposites (hieros gamos), or the spiritual ascent of man towards the macrocosm. In alchemy man is transfigured into the hieros gamos of the Sun and the Moon through the rubedo or fire stage. The pentagram is born out of the flames of the alchemical fire or rubedo and resembles the Stone of the Philosophers. The colors white (moon), yellow (sun) and red (fire) refer to the three stages of the Alchemical Great Work, with rubedo, or redness, being the last one. When rubedo has been realized man has accepted his spiritual inheritance. He has become what he always has been, but never knew he was. He has realized his divine essence while still in his physical body. When rubedo has been manifested, man is master over both the physical as the spiritual world. He has become a King master over himself in his 'corpus glorificationis', a body that is the vehicle of the highest states of consciousness. In Christianity, rubedo corresponds with the resurrection of Christ. Jesus has left behind the old body and brought his inner divine self, the Christ body, into his consciousness, and made it his own reality. The pentagram symbolizes the makeup of man: his inner spiritual side and his outer physical side. It refers to the number five and is the number of man in the shape of a pentagram. The number five symbolizes man and his potential. This relates the ancient teaching that man is a star, an eternal soul that shines; that deep down beneath the physical, corporeal body, man is powerful beyond ways we've never imagined (see also The Complete Idiot's Guide to Alchemy, Dennis Hauck, Penguin, 2008, p. 128 and The Magic Flute, M. F. M. Van Den Berk, BRILL, 2004, p. 344 and Science and Key of Life Vols. 5, 6 and 7, Alvidas, Henry Clay Hodges, Kessinger Publishing, 2004, p. 181-182 and In the presence of the Creator: Isaac Newton and his times, Gale E. Christianson, Free Press, 1984, p. 190 and A Dictionary of Symbols, Juan Eduardo Cirlot,Courier Dover Publications, 2002, p. 310).
Pentagram in the Gothic Church of St. Ouen in Rouen, France
Rose Window of the Cathedral of Exeter in England
The pentagram was also used in the architecture of the Gothic cathedrals, such as in the stained glass window of the Church of Saint Ouen in Rouen in France. The north window of the Cathedral of Amiens in France shows an inverted Pentagram in a huge stained glass window. The Rose Window of the Cathedral of Exeter in England also refers to the pentagram. The Templar Church of Santa Maria do Olival in Portugal has a small rose window in the Eastern wall of the nave which has the shape of a pentagram. This also brings us to the relation of the rose to the pentagram and the pentacle. The pentacle as a symbol of the feminine principle was embodied by the rose. The flowers of most species of roses have five petals, with the exception of Rosa sericea, which usually has only four. The small, five petaled dog rose (Rosa canina) can be found in many gothic cathedral ornamentation (see also Notre-Dame, Cathedral of Amiens: The Power of Change in Gothic, Stephen Murray, Cambridge University Press, 1996 and RERUM FONTIS Lectures on Esoteric Symbology, William Stephen Jackson, Lulu.com, 2012, p. 255).
The pentagram is associated with the rose, symbolically attached to the Five Holy Wounds of Christ, as well as the idea of Christ being the Alpha and the Omega, since one can draw a pentagram from beginning to end in one continuous (and perpetuous) movement, thus symbolising both eternity and rebirth. The pentagram symbolizes the five wounds of Christ: his punctured hands and feet, plus the puncture in his side by the soldier's spear. This concept is reflected in a 16th century image created by Piero Valeriano Bolzani (1477-1558 CE) in his Hieroglyphica sive de sacris Aegyptiorum litteris commentarii (see also Hieroglyphica sive de sacris Aegyptiorum litteris commentarii, Piero Valeriano Bolzani, Basel, 1556). The pentagram was a symbol of Christ the Saviour (see also Christ Consciousness: A Path of Inner Development, Danielle Van Dijk, Temple Lodge Publishing, 2010, p. 9 and Stories of the Rose: The Making of the Rosary in the Middle Ages, Anne Winston-Allen, Penn State Press, 2010, p. 98). The Star of Jacob (Numbers 24:17) finds it fulfillment in the "manifestation" of Jesus to the Gentiles (Matt. 2:1,2), which is being celebrated as the Feast of the Epiphany. The Star of Bethlehem, also called the Christmas Star, revealed the birth of Jesus to the Biblical Magi, and later led them to Bethlehem (Matthew 2:17-12).
The pentacle or pentagram is associated with man as the microcosm (see also Edgar Cayce's Story of the Soul, W. H. Church, ARE Press, 1991, p. 128 and Life of Anna Kingsford 1913, Part 2, E. Maitland, Kessinger Publishing, 2003, p.178). The relation between macrocosm and microcosm has a long tradition in Western philosophy and theology (see also The Continuum Encyclopedia of Symbols, U. Becker, Continuum, 2000, p. 195 and The Macrocosm and Microcosm, Or, the Universe Without and the Universe Within, W. Fishbough, BiblioBazaar, 2011).
Microcosm and macrocosm are two aspects of a theory developed by ancient Greek philosophers to describe human beings and their place in the universe. They viewed the individual human being as a little world (mikros kosmos) whose composition and structure correspond to that of the universe, or great world (makros kosmos). The concept of microcosm and macrocosm ant theirs relation goes back to Plato (424/423-348/347 BCE). In his Philebus dialogue (28d-30d), Plato argued that human beings and the universe are both composed of an elemental body and a rational soul, and that just as the human body derives from the universe's body, the human soul must derive from the universe's soul (anima mundi). The universe is, therefore, not only an orderly system but an intelligent organism as well. Plato expounded this theme at greater length in the Timaeus (29d-47e), where he explained how the structure of the human being parallels that of the universe through certain correspondences in body and soul. When man observes the heavens, he sees there the orderly motions of the planets following the orbits of the macrocosmic soul. With the aid of philosophical study, man becomes aware of the correspondence between itself (microcosm) and its great counterpart (macrocosm). Having attained this insight, man realizes that just as the universe employs reason to govern the planets, it too should employ reason to govern its emotions. In this way man (microcosm) prepares its soul for a return to the heavens from which he came. (see also Microcosm and Macrocosm - Plato). The Neoplatonist Plotinus (205-270 C.E.) refined this idea and called the human being "an intelligible world" (Enneads 3.4.3) who, like the universe, is an intellect that governs a soul that animates a material body in ther sensible world. The sensible world consists of images (shades of the Platonic cave) of the intelligible world. (see also Theories of macrocosms and microcosms in the history of philosophy, G. P. Conger, Columbia university press, 1922 and Microcosm and Macrocosm - Hellenism And Late Antiquity).
During the Middle Ages the concept was treated by a few (Latin) Christian authors, besides in Islam and Eastern Christianity (see also Microcosm and Macrocosm - Latin Christian Theories). In De Operatione Dei (Liber divinorum operum, Book of Divine Works, with Letters and Songs, between 1170 and 1173 CE) of Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179 CE), the image of Vitruvian man in the Liber Divinorum Operum depicts the coexistence of the macrocosm and the microcosm. The Liber divinorum operum consists of ten separate visions, which result in Hildegard's attempt to demonstrate sense and regularity in humanity and the cosmos. In the second vision Hildegard uses the symbol of a disc to represent the constant co-existence between the microcosm and the macrocosm (see also Hildegard of Bingen: A Visionary Life, S. Flanagan, Routledge, 1989, p. 142-143). The most central point in the image is the human body, or the microcosm. This body is contained in a circle. Surrounding the human body are illustrations of animals, hearts, and stars. These illustrations are then surrounded by a God-like image, whose entire body envelops the other pictures, thus completing the macrocosm. Hildegard von Bingen creates an analogy between the relationship between man and the universe, and the relationship between the microcosm and the macrocosm (see also Hildegard de Bingen's view of the Cosmos: Macrocosm/Microcosm, Janay Miller and Celestial Treasury: From the Music of the Spheres to the Conquest of Space, Marc Lachièze-Rey, Jean-Pierre Luminet, Cambridge University Press, 2001, p. 170).
In Western (Latin) Europe it was not until the Platonic revival of the Renaissance that the microcosm and macrocosm concept was revived. Man with the proportions of a pentagram is also shown in the drawings of the Vitruvian man by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519 CE) and Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (1486-1535 CE). In the drawing of Leonardo da Vinci, he uses the circle, square and the golden ratio in order to draw the perfect man according to Vitruvian principles (see also Signs and Symbols: An Illustrated Guide to Their Origins and Meanings, Dorling Kindersley Ltd, 2008, p.113). The square and circle shapes are related to the problem of "Squaring The Circle" by using a straightedge and compass (Euclid's Elements, Book II, Proposition 14). Squaring the circle is a spiritual reference to man's instinctive quest to harmonize its physical and spiritual natures. The square represents the physical body, while the circle represented the soul. The Vitruvian Man within the pentagram has achieved the unthinkable and lives in a perfect state of balance (see also Da Vinci's Ghost: The untold story of Vitruvian Man, T. Lester, Profile Books, 2011, p. 32). Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa (1486-1535 CE) used a pentagram resembling the Vitruvian man in his work De occulta philosophia libri tres. It displays man as a microcosm, reflecting the influences of the wider macrocosm as indicated by the seven planetary symbols. The five planets at the points of the pentagram are placed in order of their orbits: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The points of the Pentagram also correspond to the Stages of the Great Work in Alchemy. Robert Fludd (1574-1637 CE) in his Utriusque cosmi Historia (1617 CE) depicted man as the microcosm within the universal macrocosm. Here the macrocosm and microcosm are shown separate from each other, one inside the other, a sun and moon for each. The known planets are positioned within each as well (see also Celestial Treasury: From the Music of the Spheres to the Conquest of Space, Marc Lachièze-Rey, Jean-Pierre Luminet, Cambridge University Press, 2001, p. 170). The concept of the pentagram as the symbol of the microcosm would also return in Jungian psychology (see also The Gnostic Jung and The Seven Sermons to the Dead, Stephan A. Hoeller, Quest Books, 1982, p. 179).
The letter "G" within the pentagram or the star seems to have several symbolic meanings, branching out like the branches and leaves of a tree. Like all masonic symbols, its meaning unfolds like a flower (good enough as a poetic introduction). The central G can be related to God, The Good (το καλο) of Plotinus (Enneads VI, 9), Gamos (Greek for marriage, see also Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion: L-Z, D. A. Leeming, K. Wood Madden, S. Marlan, Springer, 2010, p. 398-401), the Grand Architect of the Universe (GAOTU), the Grand Geometer, Euclidean Geometry, or Gnosis. The central G can also be related to the 'γνομον' (Gnomon), a pair of recurring figures produced by moving regularly spaced points, enables all the geometric figures to be represented. The central G can also refer to γνώμη (gnome), the Greek word for thought as the agency that mediates true experience. To know something is to have brought that experience inside and to have fashioned the experience according to one's cognitive reach and versatility. The letter "G", which is the seventh letter in the Latin alphabet, was derived from older signs, such as the Greek "Γ", or the "ג", the third letter of the Semitic alphabet. The Greek letter gamma looks like an upside-down "L" as it consists of two perpendicular lines forming the angle of a square. The structure of the Greek letter "Γ" is related to the ancient square which is a symbol of morality, truthfulness, and honesty. The Greek "Γ" was also associated with Dionysus, son of the moon goddess, and resurrection. The Masonic oath, with one hand on the volume of sacred law, the square and compass, and various rituals which involve the 'cut throat' sign, also resemble the ancient square or "Γ". The "G" also represents the Kabalistic meaning of "Gnosis" and "Generation". The letter "G" is also being used in the system of philosophical letter-number interpretation known as Gematria (see also the Baraita of the Thirty-Two Rules 200 CE of Rabbi Eliezer ben Jose (2nd century). The letter "G" may also refer to the "Grand Architect of the Universe" (GAOTU) or Grand Geometer, the Euclidean (fl. 300 BCE) Elements (see also A lesson in Applied Geometry and Euclidean Geometry). Johannes Kepler (1571-1630 CE) in the dedication of his Mysterium Cosmographicum refers to God as an architect. On several occasions Kepler also relates God and geometry. In his Harmonice Mundi (4.1, GW 6:31) he states: "Geometria ante rerum ortum Menti divinae coaeterna, Deus ipse (quid enim in Deo, quod non sit Ipse Deus?), exempla Deo creandi mundi superditavit". Also in his Epitome Astronomiae Copernicanae (4.1.3, GW 7:267) Kepler wrote: "Deo co aeternae fuerunt sau geometriae rationes Deo aeternae sunt.". Also in his Harmonice Mundi (5.3, GW 6:299) he wrote: "Non errat enim ab Archetype suo Creator, Geometriae fons ipsissimus, et ut Plato scripsit, aeternam exercesn geometricam". It may also refer to the Pythagorean or Vitruvian Gnomon. The letter "G" was also used as a symbol for Venus or as an alchemical symbol (see also The Discovery of Kepler's laws: the interaction of science, philosophy, and religion, Job Kozhamthadam, University of Notre Dame Press, 1994, p. 20 and Kepler, Max Caspar, Courier Corporation, 2012, p. 271).
Venus is also called the "morning star" and Hesperus the evening star. The "morning star" which was called Lucifer (light-bearer) in Roman astronomy in Christianity became associated with the Devil or Satan. In Revelation 22:16 however, the morning star is associated with Jesus: "ego Iesus misi angelum meum testificari vobis haec in ecclesiis ego sum radix et genus David stella splendida et matutina". Venus was considered to be the god of the dawn who opened the gates of heaven for the sun to pass through. The Ancient Egyptians believed Venus to be two separate bodies and knew the morning star as "Tioumoutiri" and the evening star as "Ouaiti". The Ancient Greeks called the morning star Phosphoros (Latinized Phosphorus), the "Bringer of Light" or Eosphoros (Latinized Eosphorus), the "Bringer of Dawn". By Hellenistic times, the ancient Greeks realized the two were the same planet, which they named after their goddess of love, Aphrodite (Phoenician Astarte) Sometimes the Flaming Star contains the Hebrew letter י (Yod), which represents the number ten in gematria and the decimal nature of reality. The initial point, the essential power of the י, is the "little that holds much".
In the book Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (1871) by Albert Pike (1809-1891 CE), we also find another meaning for the "G". "The secret knowledge of the Grand Scottish Master relates to the combination and transmutation of different substances; where of that you may obtain a clear idea and proper understanding, you are to know that all matter and all material substances are composed of combinations of three several substances, extracted from the four elements, which three substances in combination are, Salt, Sulphur, and Spirit. The first of these produces Solidity, the second Softness, and the third the Spiritual, vaporous particles. These three compound substances work potently together; and therein consists the true process for the transmutation of metals. To these three substances allude the three golden basins, in the first of which was engraved the letter M, in the second, the letter G, and in the third nothing. The first, M, is the initial letter of the Hebrew word Malakh, which signifies Salt; and the second, G, of the Hebrew word Geparaith, which signifies Sulphur; and as there is no word in Hebrew to express the vaporous and intangible Spirit, there is no letter in the third basin". Underneath the pentagram sits the Worshipful Master (M) with the pentagram above his head (G) with at its highest point the Pythagorean "spirit". In Alchemy and Kabbala the Platonic elements of the Pythagorean pentagram are combined with the three parts which constitute man (body, soul and spirit) into Mercury (water and spirit), Sulphur (fire and soul) and Salt (earth and body). The number four of the elements and three of the principles combines to seven.
The three lesser lights are (also) three burning tapers (thin candles) representing the sun, moon, and Master of the lodge (Worshipful Master). These "lesser lights" are represented by three burning tapers, which form an equilateral triangle or a Pythagorean triangle about the masonic altar, with the Volume of Sacred Law, the Compass and the Square or about the tracing-board. The lesser lights or burning tapers illuminate the altar to focus attention on what is displayed on the altar. They are part of the symbolism of the three Greek orders of architecture as the candle-holders are on Ionic, Doric, and Corinthian columns. Of the five ancient and original, orders of architecture, the three Greek orders are being used for instance in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (AASR) of Freemasonry: the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. They are also being referred to as Three Great Pillars, the emblematic supports of a mason's lodge. On the Tracing Board of the first degree the three great pillars are called Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty which are referred to as the Ionic, Doric, and Corinthian pillar. The Ionic, Doric and Corinthian columns representing Wisdom, Strength and Beauty are standing alongside the pedestals of the principal officers of the lodge. The Master's pillar is the Ionic, representing wisdom; the Senior Warden's, the Doric, representing strength; and the Junior Warden's, the Corinthian, representing beauty. Whereas the generally accepted sequence of the three Classic Orders of Greece is the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian, in the masonic use of the three, the sequence is changed; the Ionic is placed before the Doric. If we translate Wisdom, Strength and Beauty into Hebrew and use the first letter of each we have: Dabar (דָּבָר) meaning Wisdom (speech, word), Oz (עֹז) meaning Strength (might) and Gomer (גמר) meaning Beauty (derived form 'gamar' meaning to end or complete). Gomer, Oz and Dabar are the initial consonants of the Hebrew words for Beauty, Strength and Wisdom or G.O.D.. In the Rite français moderne the "pillars" are placed around the 'tableau' or 'tracing-board' in a Pythagorean triangle, where the Junior Warden's pillar with its candle represents wisdom, the Senior Warden's represents strength and the Master's pillar represents beauty (see also Freemasonry: An Interpretation 1912, Martin L. Wagner, Kessinger Publishing, 2003, p.34 and Standard Freemasonry Illustrated, J. Blanchard, Kessinger Publishing, 2003, p. 112 and Pythagorean Triangle and The Freemason's Manual: A Companion for the Initiated Through All the Degrees of Freemasonry, from the Entered Apprentice to the Higher Degrees of Knighthood, Kensey Johns Stewart, E. H. Butler, 1860, p. 40 and The Book of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Charles Thompson McClenachan, Masonic Pub. & Manufacturing, 1868, p. 247 and Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, L.H. Jenkins, 1871, p. 202).
Freemasonry teaches a moral code based on virtue ethics, which believes in honor and that a man has a responsibility to behave honorably in everything he does. In addition it teaches social responsibility. This brings us to another view on Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty. The triad of Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty can also be viewed upon from a classical Greek point of view. These concepts play an important role in classical virtue ethics theories which take their inspiration from Aristotle (384-322 BCE) who declared in his ethics that a virtuous person is someone who has ideal character traits. Aristotle wrote two works on virtue ethics, his Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια (Nicomachean Ethics) and his Ἠθικὰ Εὐδήμεια (Eudemian Ethics). In Greek philosophy and ethics the goal or end (telos) of life was εὐδαιμονία (eudaimonia) meaning happiness or human flourishing which could be achieved by living a virtuous life based on wisdom and strength. The path to eudaimonia is paved with decisions made with practical wisdom. The basic concepts in traditional Greek virtue ethics were ἀρετή (virtue), εὐδαιμονία, and φρόνησις. Wisdom in Greek can be φρόνησις (phronesis, prudence, common-sense) or σοφία. φρόνησις stands for practical reason which is the practical wisdom to do the right thing, while σοφία means theoretical reason. Phronesis is a type of wisdom relevant to practical things, requiring an ability to discern how or why to act virtuously and encourage practical virtue. The φρόνιμος (phronimos) who is the bearer of φρόνησις is able to develop excellences characteristic of the good life, and use these for the benefit of others in the community (κοινωνία, koinônia). Strength can be translated into ἀνδρεία (courage, fortitude) and beauty can be translated into καλός. Both φρόνησις and ἀνδρεία are part of the cardinal virtues or Stoic virtues, which consist of prudence (φρόνησις), justice (δικαιοσύνη), temperance (σωφροσύνη) and courage, fortitude or strength (ἀνδρεία). Beauty in this context relates to καλός and to the καλὸς κἀγαθός, which means the ideal or perfect man. For Aristotle a virtuous person feels pleasure at the most beautiful or noble (kalos) actions (Nicomachean Ethics, II). Practical wisdom combined with strength leads to a beautiful life orεὐδαιμονία (eudaimonia). The concept of καλοκαγαθία refers to the Platonic teaching based on a philosophy of a bodily, moral and spiritual whole. In the Nicomachean Ethics (VIII,3, 1248b) Aristotle discusses καλοκαγαθία which for him is perfect virtue (αρετή τέλος). The concept of the καλοκαγαθία also relates to Aristotle's discussion of magnanimity (megalopsuchia) and the magnanimous person or great-souled man (μεγᾰλόψῡχος, megalopsuchos) in his Nicomachean Ethics (IV, 3). Aristotle defines φρόνησις as "a true and reasoned state of capacity to act with regard to the things that are good or bad for men" (Nicomachean Ethics Book VI, 5). For Aristotle φρόνησις was the master-virtue. It is also the only intellectual virtue amongst the cardinal virtues as the others are moral virtues. Morality for Aristotle begins with an intellectual act. The end of φρόνησις is πρᾶξις (praxis, action, realization) leading to Eudaimonia, which means realizing a fulfilling and virtuous life, lived socially. Genuine virtue (ἀρετή) or moral excellence is dependent on and begins with phronesis and grows through moral education and habit. By nature man is able to receive the virtues, but he is completed (τελειουµένοις) through habit (Nicomachean Ethics 1103a25-6). Praxis referred to activity engaged in by free men, which may relate to the idea that freemasons need to be free and honest men and men of honor and integrity. For Aristotle an excellent human will be a person good at living life, who does it well and beautifully (καλός, kalos) as the telos (goal, τέλος) of virtue is "the noble" kalos (Nicomachean Ethics 1115b11-13). Aristotle in his Nicomachean Ethics (II, 8) contrasts ἀνδρεία (andreia) with the excess of thrasutes (rashness, recklessness,shameless boldness) and the deficiency of dielia (cowardice). In the Nicomachean Ethics and Eudemian Ethics Aristotle discusses virtues as being based on the golden mean between extremes. Andreia is strength used wisely and it is an optimal level between the extremes of too little courage (cowardliness) and too much courage (rashness). Andreia involves an attitude of 'taking the fight to the enemy', where the enemy is ones own foolishness, vice and ignorance. The Greek demigod Heracles (Hercules) is the prime example of 'andreia'. Marcus Tullius Cicero ((106-43 BCE) in De Officiis (III, 25) refers to Heracles and shows that andreia has a social as well as a personal dimension: "Itemque magis est secundum naturam, pro omnibus gentibus, si fieri possit, conservandis aut iuvandis, maximos labores molestiasque suscipere imitantem Herculem illum, quem hominum fama beneficiorum memor in concilio caelestium conlocavit quam vivere in solitudine non modo sine ullis molestiis sed etiam in maximis voluptatibus, abundantem omnibus copiis, ut excellas etiam pulchritudine et viribus." When we take φρόνησις and ἀνδρεία they are the two basic characteristics which an ideal king or hero unites within himself. The tradition goes back to Mesopotamia with the Epic of Gilgamesh and is part of the Indo-European literary tradition. In the Epic of Gilgamesh the citizens of Uruk admire the great strength, wisdom and beauty of their ruler, the demigod Gilgamesh. Besides in the Indo-European tradition we also find references to the Greek concept of virtue in Biblical and apocryphal texts. Moses who, according to the Book of Exodus, lead the Jews out of Egypt is being described as a leader outstanding in his wisdom and courage as in Acts 7:22: "And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds." In the book Wisdom of Solomon (8:7) the author refers to the cardinal virtues: "And if a man love righteousness her labours are virtues: for she teacheth temperance and prudence, justice and fortitude: which are such things, as men can have nothing more profitable in their life." The book of 4 Maccabees is an example of syncretism between Jewish and Hellenistic thought in which the concept of pious reason, which relates to φρόνησις is being discussed. We find references to phronesis in the Biblical books Luke 1:17 and Ephesians 1:8. In Proverbs 12:4 and Ecclesiastes 5:11 we find references to andreia in the Greek version of the text. References to virtue ethics can be found in various other philosophical and religious traditions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Judaism, and Islam. One can build a symbolic triad of wisdom, strength and beauty upon Indo-European, Semitic and other traditions or a combination of them. In modern philosophy we find a somewhat similar concept like the Aristotelian 'μεγᾰλόψῡχος' in the Übermensch in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900 CE), which he wrote about in Also sprach Zarathustra (1183 CE). Virtue ethics moved to the margins of Western philosophy since Immanuel Kant (1724-1804 CE) and his Kantian deontology, which made virtue ethics look outdated until the middle of the twentieth century. According to Kant deontology was all about following absolute rules (categorical imperative); to do one's duty, which of course also plays a role in freemasonry. The philosopher Gertrude E. M; Anscombe (1919-2001 CE) played an important role in the revival of virtue ethics around the middle of the twentieth century. Modern Christian ethics also draws inspiration from virtue ethics, partly due to the influence of After Virtue (1981) written by Alasdair C. MacIntyre (b. 1929 CE). Another important element in masonic ethics is the relation between contemplation while in his temple and praxis when in daily life. In The Human Condition Hannah Arendt (1906-1975 CE) puts the vita activa (active life) against and above the vita contemplativa (contemplative life). The vita contemplativa is opposed to the ancient notion of praxis, which comprises the combination of reflection and action. A freemason has to combine contemplation or practical moral thinking (φρόνησις) with strength (ἀνδρεία). When we take the concepts of φρόνησις and ἀνδρεία as the prerequisites to live as a καλὸς κἀγαθός we can see their place in the moral path which a freemason has to follow in life to live the life of a καλὸς κἀγαθός. Virtue ethics within the masonic context runs on the idea that man learns to perfect himself, keeping himself within due bounds and defining himself through his chosen actions based on practical reason as symbolized by wisdom, strength and beauty. A commitment to live a life marked by virtue must come from personal dedication (see also Paideia, The Ideals of Greek Culture, Werner Jaeger, trans. By Gilbert Highet, Oxford University Press, NY, 1945, p. 13 and Plato and the Hero: Courage, Manliness and the Impersonal Good, Angela Hobbs, Cambridge University Press, 2006, p. 233 and Plato and the Stoics, A. G. Long, Cambridge University Press, 2013, p. 12 and Aristotle's Great-Souled Man, Jacob Howland, The Review of Politics, Vol. 64, No. 1 (Winter, 2002), pp. 27-56 and European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages, Ernst Robert Curtius, Princeton University Press, 1952, pp. 171-172 and Peace Education: Exploring Ethical and Philosophical Foundations, James Page, James Smith Page, IAP, 2008, p. 31 and Playing the Man: Performing Masculinities in the Ancient Greek Novel, Meriel Jones, OUP Oxford, 2012, p. 103 and Gilgamesh: A Reader, John R. Maier, Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 1997, p. 244 and Moral Formation According to Paul: The Context and Coherence of Pauline Ethics, James Thompson, Baker Academic, 2011, pp. 23 and 89 and The Construct of Identity in Hellenistic Judaism: Essays on Early Jewish Literature and History, Erich S. Gruen, Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG, 2016, p. 210 and Signs and Symbols of Primordial Man, Albert Churchward, Cosimo, Inc., 2007, p. 40 and The Image of the Jews in Greek Literature: The Hellenistic Period, Bezalel Bar-Kochva, University of California Press, 2010, p. 117 and On Becoming Virtuous: A Life Examined Through the Prism of Aristotle and Aquinas, Prudence M Francis, PhD Tesis, Curtin University, October 2013, p. 23).
In many lodges the three lesser lights (three burning tapers) form an equilateral triangle. The points of the triangle are orientated so that one is located in the south, one in the west, and one in the east. The southern point represents the sun. It gives light and warmth to the day and shares its beauty when it is in the south at midday. Our health, mentally and physically, relies on the sun. Man cannot survive without the light generated by the sun. Sustenance for our survival comes from the energy of the sun. The position of the taper in the south is in the Junior Warden's place (in the AASR). As the sun brings life to our planet, he also symbolically brings nourishment to the Craft as he superintends them during the hour of refreshment. The point in the west represents the moon. The moon is not constant like the sun, but it does govern the night. Its light is dependent upon the sun. The moon is always present to illuminate the night, but it is only visible when the sun can shine its ever-present light on it. The position of the taper in the west in the Senior Warden's place (in the AASR). The Senior Warden's duty is to assist the Master when needed. Like the moon, he is basically invisible to the craft until the Master calls on him for assistance. He receives his light from the Master of the Lodge. The last point of the triangle is in the east and represents the Master of the Lodge. The Worshipful Master does rule and govern the Lodge as the sun and moon rule and govern the day and night. He is admonished to govern his Lodge with regularity, which also symbolizes mimicking the regularity of the sun and moon. The Master's duty is to shine his light on his lodge (see also Notes From The Grand Lecturer Kenneth C. Gorgen, Grand Lecturer, 5 and Freemasonry Illustrated 1879, Jacob O. Doesburg, J. Blanchard, Kessinger Publishing, 2003).
Like the three colmumns of the temple, the three burning tapers placed on candlesticks are also called wisdom, strength, and beauty after the Vitruvian or Intellectual virtues or the Vitruvian Triad: 'ratio firmitatis, utilitatis, venistatis' (see also Illustrations of the Symbols of Masonry, Scripturally & Morally Considered 1868, Jacob Ernst, Kessinger Publishing, 2003, p. 159, Early History and Antiquities of Freemasonry, 1884, George F. Fort, Kessinger Publishing, 1998, p. 475 and Symbolism of the Three Degrees, 1924, Oliver Day Street, Kessinger Publishing, 1998, p. 57). The Vitruvian Triad is derived from De Architectura libri decem (De Architectura, I Ch. 3:2) by the Roman Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (born ca. 80-70 BCE, died after ca. 15 BCE) (see also The Power of Limits: Proportional Harmonies in Nature, Art, and Architecture, György Doczi, Taylor & Francis, 1981, p.110 and Masonic Eclectic Or Gleanings from the Harvest Field of Masonic Literature 1865, Volume 1, John W. Simons, Kessinger Publishing, 2003, p. 354). The three lesser lights here typify man's physical senses (strength), his psychic senses (wisdom) and reason (synthesis, beauty). Man perceives with his physical senses the physical universe. With his psychic senses he perceives the inner worlds. With his reason he gathers together the separate strands of experience, outer and inner, and thus gains knowledge of both exoteric and esoteric law. Wisdom and strength/prudence may also refer to the Scholastic concept of "Sapientia" ("cognitio rerum omnium per altissimas causas" or knowledge of all things by the highest causes) and "Prudentia" ("recta ratio agibilium" or the right reason of things to be done (operations)) (see also Summa Theologiae: Volume 23, Virtue: 1a2ae. 55-67, Thomas Aquinas, Cambridge University Press, 2006, p. 50 and In Primam D. Thomae Partem Commentaria, Volume 1, Franciscus Cumel, Pratus, 1597, p. 249). Wisdom and strength may also refer to "Prudentia" and "Fortitudine" as part of the cardinal virtues as in The Republic (380 BCE) (427e; see also 435b) of Plato (424/423-348/347 BCE). Plato assigned "Prudentia" to the ruling class and to reason, while "Fortitudine" was assgined to the warrior class and to the spirited element in man.
We find references to wisdom, strength, and beauty (Sagesse, Force, Beauté) in the Rite Français Moderne Rétabli Rituel du Premier Grade. Aristotle (384-322 BCE) deals with the human intellect in his work De Anima (E: On the Soul). Aristotle in De Anima distinguished between the active and passive part of the intellect. The three Lesser Lights of Masonry also reflect the different parts of the Platonic soul (see also Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion: L-Z, D. A. Leeming, K. Wood Madden, S. Marlan, Springer, 2010, p.658) and Allegory and Philosophy in Avicenna (Ibn Sina), Peter Heath, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011, p.58). The Platonic soul comprises three parts: logos, or logistikon (wisdom, mind, nous, or reason), the thymos, or thumetikon (will, emotion, or spiritedness, or masculine), and the eros, or epithumetikon (appetitive, or desire, or feminine). These Three Parts of the human Soul are discussed in Plato's Republic and Phaedrus. References to wisdom, strength, and beauty can also be found in Tommaso Campanella's (1568-1639 CE) philosophical system centered on his doctrine of the "three primalities" (primalitates): power, wisdom, and love, which he explained in his Metaphysica. God, the first infinite cause, has his essence in the principles of Power, Wisdom and Love in an infinite manner. Every finite being is composed of these same primalities but in ways and proportions that are limited and differentiated. Both the Great Lights and the Lesser Lights of Masonry refer to the Triadic Principle. The triad is the key to all ancient metaphysics because it is the structure or form which naturally unites duality into harmonious union. Thomas Sprat (1635-1713 CE) in his work The History of the Royal Society (1667) writes 'As for the First, they meddle no otherwise with Divine things, than onely as the Power, and Wisdom, and Goodness of the Creator, is display'd in the admirable order, and workmanship of the Creatures' (Second Part, Sect. XI., Their matter).
The triplets of the three great lights (Bible, Square, Compass), the three lesser lights (Senior Warden/Sun, Junior Warden/Moon, Worshipful Master) and the three pillars of the lodge (Jachin/Doric, Boaz/Ionic and Mahabone/Corinthian)) are closely interrelated as they reflect one another on different (philosophical/spiritual) levels and they all refer to the Triadic Principle and the harmony which it represents as a unity in distinction. They also refer to the unification of the divine with man and the cosmos. The Triadic Principle or Trinity is pure relationship and we find the triadic mythos in the Chaldean oracles, Egyptian thought, the Vedic tradition, the Upanishads, Buddhism, Parmenides, Valentinus, Lao Tzu and up to modern thinkers such as Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961 CE) and Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983 CE) (see also Homage to Pythagoras: Rediscovering Sacred Science, C. Bamford, SteinerBooks, 1994, p. 157, Harmony, Perspective, and Triadic Cognition, Norman D. Cook, Cambridge University Press, 2011, p.314, Origin(s) of Design in Nature, L. Swan, R. Gordon, J. Seckbach, Springer, 2012, p. 80 and The Concise Encyclopedia of Western Philosophy and Philosophers, J. Ree, J.O. Urmson, Routledge, 2013, p. and Refounding Political Governance: The Metaphysics of Public Administration, Alexander Kouzmin, Bentham Science Publishers, 2011, p. 17-18 and History of Philosophy Volume 1: Greece and Rome, Frederick Copleston, A&C Black, 2003, p. 479 and The Rhythm of Being, Raimon Panikkar, Orbis Books, 2013 and Synergetics 2, Fuller, R. Buckminster, MacMillan, 1979, Figure 542.02).
A Masonic Lodge has six jewels; three movable and three immovable. The immovable jewels are the square, level, and plumb. These symbols are deemed immovable because they belong to fixed positions in the lodge, the East, West, and South. The three principal officers of the lodge who sit in these positions wear replicas of these operative tools. The Master wears the square as a symbol of morality. The Senior Warden wears the level as a symbol of equality while the Junior Warden wears the plumb as an emblem of upright living. The Square inculcates morality; the Level, equality; and the Plumb, rectitude of conduct. The square as an isosceles right triangle combines both the level (horizontal) with the plumb line (vertical) and has √2 as its hypotenuse. The square root of 2 is also known as Pythagoras' constant and is an irrational number. (see also General Ahiman Rezon, Daniel Sickels, 1868, Ch. The Lights of the Lodge and Duncan's Ritual of Freemasonry, Malcolm A. Duncan, Courier Corporation, 2012, p.52 and 101 Secrets of the Freemasons: The Truth Behind the World's Most Mysterious Society, Barb Karg, Jon K. Young, Adams Media, 2009, p. 71-72).
Freemasons meet on the level, act on the plumb and part on the square (POTS, Parting on the Square). Meeting on the level in a group of Freemasons, means no man is better than another. The plumb-rule signifies uprightness and reminds the Freemason to use justice and equity in all his dealings. The symbol of the square teaches man to live his life as moral and ethical as he can. Freemasons part on the square, so when they leave each other they are reminded to continue being the best person they can be. (see also American Freemason, J.F. Brennan, 1859, p. 373 and Revised Freemasonry Illustrated: A Complete Exposition of the First Three Masonic Degrees, Jacob O. Doesburg, Jonathan Blanchard, E.A. Cook, 1922, p. 164 and The Historical Landmarks and Other Evidences of Freemasonry, Explained: In a Series of Practical Lectures, with Copious Notes, Volume 1, George Oliver, J.W. Leonard & Company, 1855, p. 128).
The movable jewels are the rough ashlar, the perfect ashlar, and the trestle-board. The Rough Ashlar is a stone as taken from the quarry in its rude and natural state. The Perfect Ashlar is a stone made ready by the hands of the workmen, to be adjusted by the working-tools of the Fellow Craft. An ashlar is the finest stone masonry unit, generally cuboid or less frequently trapezoidal, mentioned by Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (born ca. 80-70 BCE-after ca. 15 BCE) in De architectura (2nd book, 8th chapter) as 'opus isodomum'. The word 'isodomum' is derived from the ancient Greek words 'ἴσος' (equal) and 'δόμος' (house). By the Rough Ashlar Freemasons are reminded of their rude and imperfect state by nature; by the Perfect Ashlar, of that state of perfection at which Freemasons hope to arrive by a virtuous education, his own endeavors, and the Divine blessing. By the Trestle-board they are also reminded that, as the operative workman erects his temporal building agreeably to the rules and designs laid down by the Master on his Trestle-board. The purpose of Freemasonry is supposed to take good men and make them better. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to say that the purpose of Freemasonry is to take good men who have the potential to be better and help them cultivate that moral and spiritual portion of themselves so they become better members of society. The rough ashlar is that stone taken from the quarry in an unfinished state, but the stone must be of good quality, without defects or cracks, with the potential to be worked into a perfect, smooth ashlar. That is why Masonry seems to accept only those who come under the tongue of good report without scandalous or immoral backgrounds. As an Entered Apprentice, the new initiate is just beginning his Masonic journey. As such he represents that rough stone taken from the quarry, a person who desires to improve himself morally and intellectually. While rough in his rudimentary form, he possesses moral and personal qualities that recommend him to the Fraternity and he has expressed the desire to pursue personal growth through education and enlightenment. As the Entered Apprentice proceeds through his Masonic initiation, he is exposed to many lessons and symbols to expand his intellect and encourage his personal development. These lessons and symbols represent a wholesome influence to assist the initiate in strengthening his moral and spiritual self. Masons constantly seem to strive to perfect that which is good and noble in their lives so they become the Perfect Ashlar, which under the skillful hands of the workman has been smoothed and squared for the Builder's use. A freemason constructs a spiritual building; his stone is his mind; mentally, not physically, chipped by the common gavel to a perfect ashlar. The transformation of the rough ashlar into the beauty of the perfect ashlar may also refer to the text 'On Beauty' (Gr. kalon) in Ennead I.6.9 of the Neoplatonic philosopher Plotinus (204/5-270 CE): "Withdraw into yourself and look. And if you do not find yourself beautiful yet, act as does the creator of a statue that is to be made beautiful: he cuts away here, he smoothes there, he makes this line lighter, the other purer, until a lovely face has grown upon his work. So do you also: cut away all that is excessive, straighten all that is crooked, bring light to all that is overcast, labour to make one glow of beauty, and never cease chiseling your statue, until there shine out on you from it the godlike splendor of virtue, until you shall see the perfect goodness surely established in the stainless shrine." The process of moral improvement also refers to the process which Aristotle (384-322 BCE) describes in his Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια (Nicomachean Ethics). Aristotle in his Nicomachean Ethics discusses virtue ethics and teaches it is not enough to merely have an understanding of what is right and wrong, but one must also must do the right thing, at the right time, and in the right way. Creating a perfect ashlar is one thing, what to do with it is another issue. In his Πολιτικά (Politics) Aristotle deals with the destiny of man in society and the "philosophy of human affairs". For Aristotle moral perfection comes through applying reason in the sphere of action and in society. As man is a 'ζῷον πολιτικόν' (zoon politikon) his place is in society. For Aristotle a human being has the tendency to come together with other human beings to form a community (a polis). Only through this polis a human being can fully flourish. Therefore the perfect ashlar has to contribute to the 'Temple of Humanity' which is society. Building the 'Temple of Humanity' is a praxis with the (symbolic) ashlars as its building blocks. The goal of moral improvement also refers to stoicism, which involves improving the individual's ethical and moral well-being where good lies in the state of the soul itself; in wisdom and self-control (see also General Ahiman Rezon, Daniel Sickels, 1868, Ch. The Lights of the Lodge and 101 Secrets of the Freemasons: The Truth Behind the World's Most Mysterious Society, Barb Karg, Jon K. Young, Adams Media, 2009, p. 71-72, The Enneads, Plotinus, Penguin UK, 2005 and The Heart of Plotinus: The Essential Eneads Including Porphyry's On the Cave of the Nymphs, Algis Uždavinys, World Wisdom, Inc, 2009, p. 64 and The Reception of Aristotle's Ethics, Jon Miller, Cambridge University Press, 2012, p. 257 and Reason and Human Good in Aristotle, John M. Cooper, John Madison Cooper, Hackett Publishing, 1975, p. 36 and Aristotle's Moral Realism Reconsidered: Phenomenological Ethics, Pavlos Kontos, Routledge, 2013, p. 12).
A trestle board or easel is a framework consisting of (usually 3) vertical, slanted supports (or legs) with one or more horizontal crosspieces on which to hang or display an item. Today, a trestle board is better known as an "easel". The Trestle-board or easel is for the Master-workman to draw his designs upon. In some traditions of freemasonry no distinction is being made between the Trestle-Board and the Tracing Board. The Trestle-Board as 'easel' is being used only in the Entered Apprentice's Degree of Anglo-Saxon freemasonry (as it seems from available sources). In operative masonry, the trestle-board was important as an instrument upon which the ancient masters laid out the plans for building and worked out the problems of architecture. Hiram Abiff's trestle board is believed to have been made of wood, covered with a coating of wax. Each day he would draw his Master architect's measurements and symbols into the wax in order to instruct his Master Masons of the work that was to be accomplished. At the end of the day, he would simply scrape off the wax and pour a new layer of hot wax onto the board to ready it for the next day's work. According to legend in the days where lodge was believed to be held in secret areas and on hills and vales, (valleys) once lodge was in session, the Tiler (or Tyler) would draw an oblong (rectangular) or oblong square depiction (image) into the dirt that represented the form of the lodge. Through the years, the Masonic Tracing Board progressed to charcoal or chalk on the floor of taverns where lodges were held back in the 1700s. After the lecture, the Stewards or the Entered Apprentice, as a lesson in secrecy, would get a mop and bucket and remove all trace of these drawings. This, obviously, was a somewhat tedious and messy procedure, so cloths or rugs were created which could be laid onto the floor and simply folded up when the lecture was complete. As a symbol the Trestle-Board represents (moral) perfection. Masonically, the Trestle-Board may be applied to the individual Mason in his labors to construct his earthly moral and spiritual Temple following the designs laid out in the Book of Sacred Law. It is symbolically a spiritual board upon which the Mason pursues the development of his spiritual relationship to the Divine. The divine laws, the highest ethical standards of conduct, and love for his fellow man should guide his actions. The pursuit represents his efforts to transform himself from the Rough Ashlar to the Perfect Ashlar (see also General Ahiman Rezon, Daniel Sickels, 1868, Ch. The Lights of the Lodge and 101 Secrets of the Freemasons: The Truth Behind the World's Most Mysterious Society, Barb Karg, Jon K. Young, Adams Media, 2009, p. 71-72).
Freemasonry frequently refers to the Temple of Solomon. The combination of Biblical and Greco-Roman geometric and architectural principles would lead to the Masonic view on Solomon's Temple. The First Temple of Solomon was built by King Solomon (1 Kings 6:1-38, 1 Kings Chapter 7, and Chapter 8), who was the archetype of the Philosopher King as described in The Republic (380 BCE) of Plato (424/423-348/347 BCE) and in I Kings 3. After the First Temple was destroyed in 586 BCE, a Second Temple was built by Zerubbabel, but the Second Temple would be destroyed in 70 CE. The Third Temple or Ezekiel's Temple, is the future Jewish Holy Temple architecturally described in the Book of Ezekiel.
Solomon's Temple was built during the 10th century BCE (secular estimates) and was destroyed in 586 BCE. It stood for about 410 years according to Rabbinic sources, such as in the Seder Olam Rabbah (The Great Order of the World). The general form of Solomon's Temple is reminiscent of Egyptian sanctuaries and closely matches that of other ancient Syro-Phoenician, Egyptian, and Mesopotamian temples in the region. The Masonic legend of Hiram is derived from the building of the First Temple.
According to Biblical sources King Solomon asked King Hiram I of Tyre for assistance in building the First Temple (1 Kings 5) with materials and skilled workers. King Hiram sends Hiram, a Tyrian metal (bronze) worker, whose mother was a widow from the tribe of Naphtali and whose father was a man of Tyre and a craftsman in bronze. Hiram was employed by King Solomon for technical assistance in the ornamentation of the First Temple (1 Kings 7:13-45). Finally King Hiram sends Hiram Abi, the son of a woman of the daughters of Dan, and his father was a man of Tyre, for the decoration of the interior of the First Temple (1 Chronicles 2:7-14). The more it came to working on the interior (of the First Temple), the more precious the material became and the higher the skills of the builders. Titus Flavius Josephus (37-ca. 100 CE) in his Antiquitates Judaicae (Chapter 8:76) refers to Hiram as an artificer or craftsman. In the Yalkut Shimoni (Parshat Lec Lecha 247) of Rabbi Shimon Ashkenazi HaDarshan of Frankfurt (ca. 1260 CE) Hiram is being mentioned as one of nine people who entered into Paradise alive (see also Tussen de zichtbare en de onzichtbare wereld of R. Commers, p. 155).
King Solomon was also married to a daughter of the Pharaoh of Egypt. Both the Egyptian and Babylonian (ca. 597-538 BCE) captivity left their traces in the First and Second Temple. The Ésagila was a temple dedicated to Marduk, the protector god of Babylon. In the Temple of Esagila, the sacred vessels of Solomon were stored during the Babylonian captivity.
In some legends the Temple of Solomon was preceded by the antediluvian Temple of Enoch on Mount Moriah. The majority view in Judaism and Christianity is that Mount Moriah is identical with the Temple Mount of Jerusalem. The legend of this antediluvian Temple begins with Enoch, sixth in descent from Adam, who was given the True Name of God in a vision. In rabbinical tradition Enoch is known as being the first human soul to become the Messiah or Anointed One (i.e. the Christ), the Great Teacher and Initiator, from whom all our wisdom teachings are derived and who initiates us into the mysteries of life. The Book of Enoch recounts that Enoch had been a cobbler (i.e. a mender of souls) who, because of his life of piety, was taken up into heaven and raised to the first rank of angels, where he was transformed into the great archangel Metatron. With the help of his son Methuselah, he excavated and built nine "apartments" in Canaan, "one above the other, and each roofed with an arch". Over the upper arch Enoch built a Temple. Enoch then caused a triangular plate of gold to be made, each side of which was a cubit long; he enriched it with the most precious stones, and encrusted the plate upon a stone of agate of the same form. On the grave he engraved, in ineffable characters, the true name of Deity, and, placing it on a cubical pedestal of white marble, he deposited the whole within the deepest arch. Ineffable is something that is not able to be expressed, so it is something which cannot be communicated and as such a secret which cannot be betrayed. This plate became the "Enochian delta" (hexagram with inscribed Tetragrammaton). Enoch also knew of the upcoming Deluge, and he covered his Temple with stone, closing it with a great ring of iron. He also placed two columns on a high hill: a granite one engraved with a description of the subterranean vaults, and a brass one engraved with the "rudiments of the arts and sciences". The brass column was found by Noah, but the granite column was washed away by the Flood, thus concealing the Name until God told it to Moses (who again engraved it in gold and placed it in the Ark of the Covenant. Later, the Ark was lost in a battle with the Syrians, but the men of Israel were led to it by the roar of a lion, which had guarded it with the golden key in its mouth. The Treasurer's Key thus has the words "in ore leonis verbum inveni" (in the lion's mouth I found the word). Still later, Solomon planned to build his Temple on Mount Moriah. Under it's Holy of Holies, a secret vault was built which could only be accessed via eight other underground vaults. In masonic legend the ninth arch, or Sacred Vault, was used by King Solomon, King Hiram I of Tyre, and Hiram Abiff, in which they held private conferences. The Ark was placed in this vault, under the "ninth arch", and upon a twisted "Pillar of Beauty" made from white marble. Solomon also began to build a "Temple of Justice", and he selected the site of Enoch's original Temple. The Greek Christians supposed Enoch to have been identical with the first Egyptian Hermes, who dwelt at Sais. In freemasonry the story of Enoch lead to the legend of the Royal Arch and the system of the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch and the 13th degree of the AASR (Royal Arch of Enoch, or Master of the Ninth Arch) (see also Book of Enoch and The Early Enoch Literature, Gabriele Boccaccini, John John Joseph Collins, BRILL, 2007 and The Enoch-Metatron Tradition, Andrei A. Orlov, Mohr Siebeck, 2005, p. 73 and The Shekhinah is Coming: Secrets of the Divine, Valjean Tchakirides, Trafford Publishing, 2011, p. 136 and Freemasonry in Context: History, Ritual, Controversy, Art DeHoyos, S. Brent Morris, Lexington Books, 2004, p. 47).
The development of Medieval Christian architecture would influence the view on the architecture of Solomon's Temple. While the Romanesque builders had liked the symbolism of numbers that referred directly to the biblical message and its interpretation, Gothic masons and carpenters, of the high and late medieval period, revered above all, the geometry of Euclid of Alexandria (fl. 300 BCE) from compass and straight edge and the architecture of Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (born ca. 80-70 BCE, died after ca. 15 BCE). The Elements of Euclid was lost to Western Europe until about 1120, when the English monk Adelard of Bath (ca. 1080-ca. 1152) translated it into Latin from an Arabic translation. The De Architectura of Virtuvius was rediscovered in 1414 by the Florentine humanist Poggio Bracciolini (1380-1459 CE). Maimonides (1138-1204 CE) in his Laws of the Beis Hamikdash (Laws of the Holy Temple; chapter one, halacha four), writes about the Third Temple of Solomon that will be built in the future and which is written about in the Book of Ezekiel. Villard de Honnecourt (13th century) in his works on architecture refers to Euclidean Geometry (see also Villard de Honnecourt and Euclidean Geometry). Matthäus Roritzer (ca. 1435-1495 CE) a 15th century German architect would publish the Büchlein von der Fialen Gerechtigkeit. He discussed the 'ad quadratum' method of building, which was besides the 'ad triangulum' method a way of building Gothic churches based on a geometric approach. 'Ad quadratum' means by the square, and 'ad triangulum' means by the triangle. The Spanish Jesuit Juan Bautista Villalpando (1552-1608 CE) in his Ezechielem Explanationes (Commentary on Book of Ezekiel) presented reconstructions of Ezekiel's Third Temple of Solomon (Chapters 40 to 47) and depictions of Jerusalem. According to Villalpando the buildings of Jerusalem were designed using the laws of geometry, and they were drawn in parallel or orthographic projection, which is a form of image Villalpando likened to God's vision. Villalpando tried to reconcile the Bible with the antique architecture described in Vitruvius' De Architectura libri decem, and finding classical architecture's origins in God (e.g. concept of GAOTU). The architecture of the Temple of Solomon (microcosm) was linked with the divine architecture of the Universe (macrocosm) (see also History of Engineering and Technology: Artful Methods, Ervan G. Garrison, CRC Press, 1998, p. 120 and An History of the Origin and Establishment of Gothic Architecture, John Sidney Hawkins, J. Taylor, 1813).
Philibert De l'Orme (ca. 1514-1570 CE) in Le premier tome de l'Architecture (1567) developed his architecture based on Vitruvian architecture by combining geometry 'Ad Triangulum' (Equilateral, Hexagonal base) and 'Ad Quadratum' (Rotated Squares, Octagonal based). Vitruvius in De Architectura (Book III, Chap. 1) related man and a temple to the circle and square of 'Ad Quadratum' geometry. A square (homo ad quadratum), that is placed in a circle (homo ad circulum): "Without symmetry and proportion there can be no principles in the design of any temple; that is, if there is no precise relation between its members, as in the case of those of a well shaped man ". The "architecture" of the Vitruvian Man was linked with the architecture of a Temple. Heinrich Bünting (1545-1606 CE) in his Itinerarium Sacrae Scripturae also provided illustrations of the Temple of Solomon. Benito Arias Montano (1527-1598 CE) in his Antiquitatum judaicarum libri IX (1593) would also refer to Solomon's Temple and its divine architecture. Samuel Lee (1625-1691 CE) wrote about a more practicable plan for building Solomon's Temple on earth in his Orbis miraculum; or, the Temple of Solomon Pourtrayed by Scripture-Light London (1659). For Lee, Solomon's Temple offered spiritual lessons about the Gospel and the new covenant. Francis Bacon (1561-1626 CE) in his Neoplatonic Nova Atlantis conceives of Solomon's House (i.e., the recovery of natural philosophy) as the complement to the rebuilding of Solomon's Temple (i.e., the restoration of true religion). These ideas of rebuilding Solomon's Temple would inspire the founding of the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge on 2 November 1660. Thomas Sprat (1635-1713 CE) in his work The History of the Royal Society (1667) would also write about Solomon's Temple "This is a Religion, which is confirm'd, by the unanimous agreement of all sorts of Worships: and may serve in respect to Christianity, as Solomon's Porch to the Temple; into the one the Heathens themselvs did also enter; but into the other, onely God's peculiar People" (Second Part, Sect. XI., Their matter). Judah Leon Templo (1603-1675 CE) wrote a treatise Retrato del Templo de Selomoh and built a scale model of Solomon's Temple. Johann Sandhagen (1608-1664 CE) wrote the Oratio de templo Hierosolymitano (1683). Isaac Newton (1642-1727 CE) dedicated an entire chapter of The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms (1728) to Solomon's Temple and referred to the "sacred geometry" and the "prisca sapientia" (sacred wisdom) of its design (see also A Portrait of Isaac Newton, Frank E. Manuel, Belknap Press, 1968 and The Religion of Isaac Newton, Frank E. Manuel, Clarendon Press, 1974). Rev. Dr. George Oliver in his Revelations of the Square (1801) referred to the symbolism of Solomon's Temple in freemasonry.
Juan de Herrera (1530-1597 CE), the architect of the escorial, had written Discurso sobre la figura cúbica (Discussion of the Cubic form) about geometry and mathematics. His work was based on the Liber de geometria nova of Ramon Llull (ca. 1232-ca. 1315 CE). Both Juan de Herrera and king Philip II of Spain 1527-1598 CE) shared an interest in hermeticism, which they expressed in a huge hermetic library and the architecture of El Escorial. Benito Arias Montano (1527-1598 CE) who was responsible for the libray of El Escorial acquired a generous number of Neoplatonic and hermetic texts (see also An Astronomical Observatory for the Escorial of Philip II: an Exercise in Historical Inference, María M. Portuondo The Colorado Review of Hispanic Studies, Vol. 7, Fall 2009, p. 109 and Sor Juana's Dream, Sister Juana Inés de la Cruz, Luis Harss, Lumen Books, 1986, p. 18). King Philip II of Spain had also met John Dee ( 1527-1608 or 1609 CE) during his short marriage with Mary I of England and had a copy of his Monas Hieroglyphica. A Spanish edition of Marcus Vitruvius Pollio's (ca. 80-70 BC-after ca. 15 BCE) work De architectura published in 1582 was dedicated to Philip II of Spain as the 'second Solomon and prince of Architects' (see also Architecture and magic, René Taylor, Selbstverl., 1967, p. 81, 90 and Terra Nostra, Carlos Fuente, 1975 and Juan de Herrera: arquitecto de Felipe II, Catherine Wilkinson Zerner, Ediciones AKAL, 1996, p. 187 and Selected Works of Ramón Llull (1232-1316): The book of the Gentile and the three wise men. Ars demonstrativa. Ars brevis, Ramon Llull, Princeton University Press, 1985, p. 621).
The freemasons refer in the architecture of their temples to the Temple of Solomon and they hold their meetings in the so-called middle story of the temple. They also use architectural elements which refer to Solomon's Temple. The orientation of the temples at Jerusalem was the reverse of the present orientation of Christian churches. A worshipper in the Holy Place of the temple looked west to the Holy of Holies or east through the entrance to see the rising sun. The orientation of lodges of speculative Freemasons is also the reverse of Solomon's Temple, adhering to the Christian orientation.
The architectural concepts of freemasonry are mainly based on Vitruvius and the "Augustan style". Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (ca. 80-70 BCE, died after ca. 15 BCE) in De Architectura libri decem related the three classical orders of Greece (Doric, Ionic and Corinthian) to three virtues: 'ratio firmitas' (firmness, robustness, structural strength), 'utilitas' (usefulness or commodity) and 'venustas' (beauty or delight) (see also Treatise on Architecture, A. Ashpitel, A. and C. Black, 1867, p. 2 and Architectural Theory: From the Renaissance to the Present, B. Evers, Taschen, 2003, p. 6). The "Augustan style" was being used during the Julio-Claudian era of the Roman Empire and was introduced in England by Inigo Jones (1573-1652 CE) and developed further by Christopher Wren (1632-1723 CE). Inigo Jones was the first in England to employ Vitruvian rules of proportion and symmetry in his buildings. (see also Dictionary of Symbolic Masonry 1853, Rev George Oliver, Kessinger Publishing, 2003, p. 37 and The Rosicrucian Enlightenment, F. A. Yates, Routledge, 1972, p. 271 and Living the Enlightenment : Freemasonry and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Europe, Margaret C. Jacob, Oxford University Press, 1991, p.57 and History of Freemasonry and Masonic Digest, Part 1, J. W. S. Mitchell, Kessinger Publishing, 2003, p. 234).
Freemasons gather in a Temple and build a spiritual 'Temple of Humanity' with Wisdom, Strength and Beauty. Wisdom, Strength and Beauty are represented in the temple by three pillars, Jachin (Doric), Boaz (Ionic) and Mahabone (Corinthian), referring both to pillars in Solomon's Temple and the classical orders of Greece. Wisdom, Strength and Beauty and the three pillars can also be related to the classical Greek concepts of phronesis (φρόνησις, practical wisdom), andreia (ἀνδρεία, courage or strength) and beauty (kalos, καλός) which constitute the Aristotelian system of virtue ethics. The Doric pillar symbolizes Strength (andreia), the Ionic pillar Wisdom (phronesis) and the Corinthian pillar Beauty (kalos). (see also Commentary on Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, Pietro Martire Vermigli, Emidio Campi, Joseph C. McLelland, Truman State Univ Press, 2006, p. 53).
Boaz (name) also refers to the grandfather of King David in the Book of Ruth (Ruth 2:1, 4:13 and 4:17). Jachin was also a son of Simeon according to Genesis 46:10, Exodus 6:15, and Numbers 26:12, one of the 70 souls to migrate to Egypt with Jacob. The Masonic ritual also contains references to the Vitruvian virtues or the Vitruvian Triad which are found in De Architectura libri decem (De Architectura) by the Roman Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (born ca. 80-70 BCE, died after ca. 15 BCE). According to Vitruvius a structure must exhibit the three qualities of 'firmitas, utilitas, venustas', that is, it must be solid (strength), useful (wisdom), and beautiful (De Architectura, I Ch. 3:2). These are sometimes termed the Vitruvian virtues or the Vitruvian Triad: 'ratio firmitatis, utilitatis, venistatis'. 'Utilitas' addresses the function of a building as it must be appropriately designed for its intended use. 'Firmitas' means that a building must maintain its structural integrity. 'Venustas'refers to the aesthetic qualities of the structure and refers to the harmony of the parts. Also according to Vitruvius, architecture is an imitation of nature. Wisdom, Strength and Beauty also refer to ancient Hebrew words and the Kabbalistic Tree of Kife, where the word referring to wisdom is "Daath". The word for strength is "Oz", also a jewish name for boys. The ancient Hebrew word for a well-hewn stone, the perfect Ashlar meaning beauty, is "Gazith" (e.g. 1 Chronicles 22:2, Ezekiel 40:42, 1 Kings 6:36, 1 Kings 7:9, 1 Kings 7:12).
In the Books of Enoch, Enoch is known as being the first human soul to become the Anointed One, the Great Teacher and Initiator, from whom all our wisdom teachings are derived and who initiates man into the mysteries of life (Genesis 5:21-24, Jude 14-15, Hebrews 11:5). The Hebraic-Christian bible refers to Enoch as the seventh from Adam and son of Lamed, a member of the line of descent through Seth, the fourth son of Adam and Eve, by which the knowledge of God was preserved. In the Sefer Hekhalot (3 Enoch) he receives a revelation of cosmological secrets of creation (3 Enoch 13:1-2). Enoch became the archangel Metatron, taking the place of the fallen Lucifer. He is the highest of the angels and serves as the celestial scribe. Metatron is also identified with the term "lesser YHVH", which is the Lesser Tetragrammaton,
The twin pillars Jachin and Boaz standing at the entrance of a Masonic Lodge can be regarded to represent two poles and opposing principles of the universe. As a symbol derived from Solomon's Temple, Jachin the right-hand sun pillar represents the power which establishes or imprints form upon the formless matter, while Boaz, the left-hand moon pillar symbolizes that which gives strength and power. Jachin ('I will establish') can also be linked with Ἴακχος (Iacchus) which is another name for Dionysus as the "the light-bringing star" of the Eleusinian Mysteries or word of God. Boaz ('In strength') can be linked to Boue, the 'primeval chaos' or 'primeval mud'. The twin pillars symbolize wisdom (sun) and intelligence (moon) or mercy and severity or the polarities of life and the universe (see also The Merchant of Venice: The Wisdom of Shakespeare, Peter Dawkins, BookBaby, 2015 and Alma Parens Originalis?: The Receptions of Classical Literature and Thought in Africa, Europe, the United States, and Cuba, John Hilton, Anne Gosling, Peter Lang, 2007, p. 147).
The two pillars are also known as the Antediluvian Pillars or Pillars of Enoch standing at the entrance of a Masonic Lodge. The pillars formed respectively the right (south) and left-hand (north) pillars of the entrance to the Temple of Solomon, which temple is emblematic of the human soul or psyche (mesocosmos). The whole universe is upheld in its manifestation by these twin pillars, which represent the polarity or duality of life. Jachin (celestial globe, He shall establish) is the creative sun pillar, associated with the divine Wisdom (nous), while Boaz (terrestrial globe, In it is strength) is the reflective moon pillar, associated with the divine Intelligence or Understanding (logos) (see also Genesis 1:16). These two pillars respectively connote also the active (male) and the passive (female) expressions of Divine Energy, the sun and the moon, sulphur and salt, good and bad, light and darkness. The pillars signify the summer and the winter solstices, known to Freemasons as the "two St. Johns" namely St. John the Baptist (faith, feast day 24 June) and Saint John the Evangelist (reason, feast day 27 December).
These two pillars refer to the two pillars which were designed to house al knowledgde of mankind in the case of a natural catastrophe, caused either by fire or by water. The knowledge inscribed on the two pillars were the Liberal Arts and sciences. Upon these pillars Enoch is said to have inscribed the antediluvian arts and sciences, and laws of the universe. Titus Flavius Josephus (ca. 37-ca. 100 CE) in his Antiquitates Judaicae (ca. 94 CE) writes about two pillars which were made by the descendants of Seth, one made of stone and one of brick in which they engraved their knowledge. This story would be used in later Masonic manuscripts such as the Matthew Cooke Manuscript (ca. 1450 CE), William Watson manuscript (1687 CE) and the Constitutions of Anderson (1723 CE) (see also Le Temple ésotérique des Francs-Maçons, Dominique Jardin, Jean-Cyrille Godefroy, 2012, pp. 110-116). In the Matthew Cooke Manuscript the three sons of Noah devised to write all the sciences they had found before the flood on two pillars consisting of two kinds of stone of such virtue that the one would not burn, called marble, and the other named "Lacerus" would not sink in water, so that if God took vengeance by fire the marble would not burn, and if by water the other would not drown, and they asked their elder brother Jabal to make two pillars of these two stones, that is of marble and of "Lacerus", and to write on the two pillars all the sciences and crafts which they had found and he did so. Solomon had his great pillars cast in bronze by his chief architect and master craftsman, Hiram Abiff, in which the sacred words and symbols were moulded. In other myths the antediluvian knowledge was hidden inside the hollow pillars. Legend has that Pythagoras (ca. 570-ca. 490 BCE) discovered one of the pillars, and Hermes Trismegistus found the other (see also Polychronicon, Ranulf Higden, 1364 and The Arcane Schools, John Yarker, Cosimo Inc., 2007, p. 523). Pythagoras used the pillar to discover all of the secrets of Geometry and Hermes Trismegistus became the "Father of wise men" (philosophers). Pythagoras is believed to have passed the knowledge of to his disciples. Book III of Émile, ou De l'éducation by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778 CE) shows Hermes engraving elements of his science on columns of a temple to preserve his teachings in case of a flood. In the Jewish mystical Kabbalah, Joachim and Boaz are the left and rightmost pillars of the tree of life- mercy and severity, or strength. Jachim represents the male polarity of the universe, light, motion, activity, the electron. Boaz represents the female polarity of the universe, darkness, passivity, receptivity, and silence (see also A Kabbalah for the modern world, Migene González-Wippler, Llewellyn Publications, 1987, p. 139 and Aesthetic Cognition and Symbolism, B. Marie Brady-Whitcanack, ProQuest, 2006, pp. 65-66).
A third pillar, Mahabone (Macbenach), is set up in the centre or heart of a Masonic temple and is represented in Solomon's Temple by the altar of incense (see also The Realities of Freemasonry, Edith (Osborne) Blake, Chapman and Hall, 1879, p. 202). The third pillar is symbolic in particular of the heart of Enoch (beauty, love, agape). The pillar of beauty is the symbol of an inward loveliness; a beauty of the mind, of the heart; a beauty of idea and ideal; a beauty of the spirit. The third pillar also symbolizes the synthesis or union of the other two (see also The Shakespeare Enigma, Peter Dawkins, Cambridge University Press, 2004, pp.349-350) The word Mahabone may have been derived from the Egyptian Maa(t) Kheru meaning "the acclaim given to him is 'right' " (see also Freemasonry: An Interpretation 1912, Martin L. Wagner, Kessinger Publishing, 2003, p. 424 and The Original Meaning of M HRW, Rudolf Anthes, Journal of Near Eastern Studies. Vol. 13, No. 1 (Jan. 1954), p. 50). The three pillars together symbolize wisdom, intelligence and beauty on earth, which reflects the lights in the heavens: sun, moon and the flaming star, according to the Hermetic principle "As above, so below". "As above, so below" is part of the principles of belief about the Neoplatonic relation between the macrocosm and microcosm (see also The Macrocosm and Microcosm, Or The Universe Without and the Universe Within, William Fishbough, Fowler and Wells, 1852 and Theories of Macrocosms and Microcosms in the History of Philosophy, G. P. Conger, New York, 1922 and and Three Master Masons, Milton A. Pottenger, Health Research Books, 1998, p. 270 and Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning, Thomas Troward, Digireads.com Publishing, 2010, p.54). One could also consider the universe to be the macrocosm, the Temple and its attributes as the mesocosm symbolizing the presence of the macrocosm on earth or a reflection of the universe and man to be the microcosm.
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