No. 5 -- The newsletter of The Freemasons Chamber -- January 2000

Hinduism and Zoroastrianism reveal basic truths

in highest degree working. Part-3.

In recent researches, the editorial board of this newsletter discovered that the highest degree worked by the Supreme Council, 33° , Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Southern Jurisdiction, United States of America, is based on Hindu and Zoroastrian scriptures. Why and how? We are grateful to Bro Rex Hutchens 32° for the material which follows, from his dissertation "A Bridge to Light", which has been edited considerably due to space restrictions. However, the areas of interest to local Brethren, will be completed over three issues, Nos. 3, 4 and 5. Bro Hutchens is an anthropologist, a famed Scottish Rite researcher, has travelled extensively, and lived in Karachi and Kabul for some years. In recognition of his services to Freemasonry, Bro Hutchens has been decorated with the rank of Knight Commander of the Court of Honour.

Finally, the Royal Secret of the 32°

To the Magi the first three Tetractys rows included the previous row and then added one more; the final row representing the four male emanations, thus:

· Ahura Mazda

· · Ahura Mazda and Spenta Mainyu

· · · Ahura Mazda, Spenta Mainyu and Vohu-Mano

· · · · Spenta Mainyu and Vohu-Mano, Asha, Khshathra

The Greater Tetractys was used to elaborate this idea to include all of the ‘Bountiful Immortals’ in the design:

· Ahura Mazda

· · A-M, SM

· · · A-M, S-M, V-M

· · · · A-M, S-M, V-M, A

· · · · · A-M, S-M, V-M, A, Kh

· · · · · · A-M, S-M, V-M, A, Kh, A

· · · · · · · A-M, S-M, V-M, A, Kh, A, H

· · · · · · · · A-M, S-M,V-M, A,Kh,A,H,Ameretat

The three-faced bust is a symbol of the Trinity of Zarathustra and Pythagoras. Its Hindu character reminds us of the Trimurti; the expression of Deity in a three-fold manifestation. In recent Hindu thought they are called Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva and represent the cyclical concepts of creation, preservation and destruction. You will remember that anciently this trinity was called as Agni, Usha and Mitra; the anagram for which, AUM, is seen in the triple interlaced triangle. Again it should be stressed that these concepts are here to remind us of the universality of the great religious truths of man.

The Great symbol, not seen in previous degrees, hangs in the East; it is a seven pointed star containing within the points the three lower and four higher colors within a ray of light and visible when the light is passed through a prism. The seven points of this star represent the seven Amesha Spenta or ‘Bountiful Immortals’ of the Persian Creed, said to have been the source of the emanations of deity termed by the Kabalists the Sephiroth. Their origin may have been the seven stars of the constellation Ursa Major which naturally divide into the four which form the body and the three which form the tail. Three are female and four are male and they answer to following qualities.

Ahura Mazda: The Creator

Male:

Spenta Mainyu, the Beneficent;

Vohu-mano, Divine Wisdom or the Word;

Asha, strength, & Power; Visible, the Fire;

Khshathra, Sovereignty and Dominion;

Female

Armaiti, the Fruitful;

Haurvat, brings healing, happiness & rejoicing to men;

Ameretat, the Giver of life.

The candidate enters this resplendent scene for his consecration as a Master of the Royal Secret in the attire of a Knight Kadosh. He is described as a lover of knowledge and a coveter of wisdom in order to be a benefactor of men. He must affirm his interest in the ancient symbols of Masonry which represents the great truths in philosophy and religion. He declares that the law of his daily life is the exalted morality of Masonry. To understand these truths, the candidate is reminded;

You are here to think, if you can think;

And to learn, if you can learn.

The first instruction concerns the Deity and his relationship to men. We learn that the Deity created the universe by wisdom and a thought, that the universe consists of contraries and opposing forces, that God is the one light that fills all spaces and that He is man’s protector. These statement are among the principle ideas in the religions of the world and come from early Hindu and Persian religions about 6000 B.C. through the religion of Islam about 600 A.D., encompassing ideas from other major religions.

As the dawn appears the special symbols of this degree becomes clearly visible. We hear again the need for study and thought because Masonry is not only a sphynx, but a sphynx buried in the sand which the centuries have heaped around it.

As the full light of the day encompasses the Consistory, the candidate replaces the uniform of a Knight Kadosh, itself a symbol of the practical nature of Masonry, with the white robe of the Magus, or sage, the seeker of knowledge.

To become both priest and king, like all those who before have been entrusted with the Holy Doctrine and the Royal Secret, is to learn to exercise dominion over ourselves with wisdom. The priest is a symbol of divine wisdom, and the King, of divine sovereignty. Wisdom is attainable through knowledge, not of the sciences, but of the great truths of religion and philosophy revealed in the stars and in nature, for nature is the Book of the Deity Himself.

In man is a minute part of the divine intelligence which we call the intellect. The intellect, conscious of its origin, always instinctively turns to its origin, making man a religious being. To be a soldier of the True Religion is to recognize the corruption of the true religion given to man. Thus, we must combat, with reason and truth, all spiritual tyranny over the souls and consciences of men. Finally, we war against all who would, with superstition, bigotry and fanaticism, prescribe what men may believe.

A Soldier of the People is one who protects the people from the unfit and incompetent who seek to gain power and become the leaders of the people by unworthy means. Since people everywhere desire a leader, they are often deceived by those unworthy and incapable of true leadership. To encourage men to be self-reliant and independent to such an extent that they will not blindly follow any leader is the duty of a loyal Soldier of the People.

As Master of the Royal Secret we must: perform our duties to God, our country, our family, our brethren and ourselves; achieve equilibrium in our lives and attitudes, always recognizing that within all men is a minute ray of that Divine Intellect which created the universe; remember that in man is God, and that man is indestructible and immortal. Such are the great lessons of Scottish Rite Freemasonry!

To be consecrated to these great lessons is to become a sage, to be welcomed among the Masters of the Royal Secret who,

let not the ray of divine light within be darkened by vice, indulgence and the passions, prefer exertion over ease, self denial for the good of others over luxury, knowledge and truth over wealth, and seek the approval of their own conscience over place and honors bestowed by others;

and to join the great Masonic fraternity in which we all teach, incite, encourage, defend and protect our brethren from evil ways.

Lecture: The Royal Secret, of which the holder of the 32nd Degree is a Prince, is no secret in the normal sense of the word; that is, it is not something to be hidden from the rest of the world. Here the word "Secret" should be understood as synonymous with the word "Mystery," hidden only because we do not completely understand it. We are Princes of this Secret in the sense that the search for it is (or should be) a major goal in our lives. It is not a search distinct from the rest of our activities and therefore a distraction or a burden. Rather it is a search that is part of our life. We search for it in our relationship with God, our family, our vocation, and our brethren. It is not a vague ephemeral quest but a realizable goal which can, and should, be made the activity of our lives.

THIS ROYAL SECRET IS ‘EQUILIBRIUM’

By the word ‘equilibrium’ we mean the harmony or balance which all of nature demonstrates to us and which is a guide for right living. We must respect others but must also have self-respect; we must give time to our families but preserve a portion for solitude; we must live this life but prepare for another.

The Royal Secret:

Of that Equilibrium in the Deity, between the Infinite Divine WISDOM and the Infinite Divine POWER, from which results the Stability of the Universe, the unchangeableness of the divine law, and the Principle of Truth, Justice, and Right which are part of it: and the Supreme Obligation of the Divine Law upon all men, as superior to all other law, and forming a part of all the laws of men and nations.

Of that Equilibrium also, between the Infinite Divine JUSTICE and the Infinite Divine MERCY, the result of which is the infinite Divine EQUITY, and the Moral Harmony or Beauty of the Universe. By it the endurance of created and imperfect nature in the presence of a Perfect Deity is made possible; and for Him, also, as for us, to love is better than to hate, and Forgiveness is wiser than Revenge or Punishment.

Of that Equilibrium between NECESSITY and LIBERTY, between the action of the DIVINE Omnipotence and the Free-will of man, by which vices and base actions, and ungenerous thoughts and words are crimes and wrongs, justly punished by the law of cause and consequence, though nothing in the universe can happen or be done contrary to the will of God; and without which co-existence of Liberty and Necessity, of Free-will in the creature and Omnipotence in the Creator, there could be no religion, nor any law of right and wrong.

Of that Equilibrium between Good and Evil, and Light and Darkness in the world, which assures us that all is the work of the infinite Wisdom and of an Infinite Love; and that there is no rebellious demon of evil, or Principle of Darkness co-existent and in eternal controversy with God, or the Principle of Light and of Good; by attaining to the knowledge of which equilibrium we can, through faith, see that the existence of Evil, Sin, Suffering, and Sorrow in the world, is consistent with the Infinite Goodness as well as with the Infinite Wisdom of the Almighty.

Of that Equilibrium between Authority and Individual Action which constitutes Free Government, by setting on immutable foundations Liberty with Obedience to Law, Equality with Subjection to Authority, and Fraternity with Subordination to the Wisest and the Best: and of that Equilibrium between the Active people, and the Passive Stability and Permanence of the Will of the Past, expressed in constitutions of government, written of unwritten, and in the laws and customs, gray with age and sanctified by time, as precedents and authority; which is represented by the arch resting on the two columns, Jachin and Boaz, that stands at the portals of the Temple builded by Wisdom, on one of which Masonry sets the celestial Globe, symbol of the spiritual part of our composite nature and on the other the terrestrial Globe, symbol of the material part.

And, finally, of that Equilibrium, possible in ourselves, and which Masonry incessantly labors to accomplish in its Initiates, and demands of its Adepts and Princes(else unworthy of their titles), between the Spiritual and Divine and the Material and Human in Man; between the Intellect, Reason, and Moral Sense on one side, and the Appetites and Passions on the other, from which result the Harmony and Beauty of a well-regulated life.

Which possible Equilibrium proves to us that our Appetites and Senses also are Forces given unto us by God, for purposes of good, and not the fruits of the malignancy of the Devil, to be detested, mortified, and, if possible, rendered inert and dead: that they are given us to be the means by which we shall be strengthened and incited to great and good deeds, and are to be wisely used, and not abused; to be controlled and kept within due bounds by the Reason and the Moral Sense.

And this Equilibrium teaches us, above all, to reverence ourselves as immortal souls, and to have respect and charity for others, who are even such as we are, partakers with us of the Divine Nature, lighted by a ray of the Divine Intelligence, Struggling, like us, toward the light, capable, like us, of progress upward towards perfection, and deserving to be loved and pitied, but never to be hated nor despised; to be aided and encouraged in this life-struggle, and not to be trampled upon in our own efforts to ascend.

Such, my Brother, is the TRUE WORD of a Master Mason; such the true Royal Secret, which makes possible, and shall at length make real, the Holy Empire of true Masonic Brotherhood.

GLORIA DEI EST CELARE VERBUM. AMEN

Editorial Board: Bro Tofique Fatehi, Bro Ahmed Bharucha, Bro Larry Grant.
Published for The Freemasons Chamber by Larry Grant, Post Box 1610, Mumbai 400001, India
Phone 91-22-2151001. E-mail
larry@vsnl.com.
Master Masons are welcome to request free copies. Please send full name, name and number of lodge, and address. Copies also available by e-mail.
FOR PRIVATE CIRCULATION ONLY


Previous Issue Newsletter Page Next Issue


Home