Saturday, October 20, 2007

Magic In Masonry

by Rudy Olano
Lincoln Lodge No. 34

Magic comes from the word magi meaning learned persons. Most famous of these individuals where the three magi of the traditional Christmas story or legend to some who often times depicted as the “three kings.” There is a book about a magus or magician in modern English term named Jesus who learned these skills while growing up in the land of Pharaohs/Egypt but that’s a different subject. My guess of the subject/ magick that the unknown author was referring is the unseen forces that makes something appear or perform without physical/visual or rational explanation of the occurrence--- in a most simplest way, being unable to explain the phenomena due to human limited understanding of the issue--- its easy to explain it as magic.

Our unknown author is expecting a magick after his initiation “into the mysteries of freemasonry.” My feeling is that he will forget the magick issue and he will start asking about the “mysteries of Freemasonry.” Exactly what is/are the “mysteries of Freemasonry?” Maybe someone could start with explanation of , “Why 4th or 32nd degree or Knights Templar is not higher than 3rd Degree?” Why in the Sublime Degree of Master Mason, he will receive the substitute and not the real word of the Master Mason. If it is the highest degree, why does he need to take” side degrees” to “receive further lights in freemasonry?” In his journey through the Symbolic Masonry, he will be Charged that” Masonry is a progressive moral science divided by different degrees., as its principles and mystic ceremonies are regularly developed and illustrated, it is intended and hoped that it will leave deep and lasting impression upon your mind…” That the “ impressive ceremonies is calculated to inculcate to the mind of novitiate the importance of the study of liberal arts and sciences, especially the noble science of Geometry, which forms the basis of Freemasonry….” There was once upon a time when only the magi know the formula on how to calculate the longest leg of the right triangle---square root of a+b. For unlearned persons, that was a magic, for learned person that formula can only be taught to a worthy individual.

So going back to the article “Magick in Masonry,” sorry to disappoint our unknown author, there is no magic formula in Masonry or as we called it in the Craft. I often cautioned the candidates I interviewed for the very same reason that our unknown author/candidate expressed. There are no magic words, formulas or proceedings that he will discover or receive in Masonry. He will find that there are more questions than answers for a curious/inquiring mind in our Craft. Often times, the answer is readily available, the real challenge is to know the question. What we are really looking for? It could be as mundane as which is higher, number 3 or number 32? Or it could be interesting as what is the difference of organized religion and freemasonry in relation to man's obligation to Deity, maybe to a nebulous aspiration to find the justification of man existence in this corner of Universe. Attentive ears will find that Masonry is “a progressive moral science” designed to teach each one of us that building our own Temple is not an easy job, it will need tools, materials, plans and most of all, a favorable design worthy of approval by the Great Architect of the Universe.


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