The lost Essence of Freemasonry
Freemasonry is an esoteric teaching which probably goes back to antiquity and which had a bloom as the philosophic and the psychological background of alchemy. In contrary to what folk usually believe, alchemy was not about making the metal gold but about transforming the plumb part of men symbolized by lead (plumbum in Latin) to something noble - symbolized by gold. In other words alchemy dealt with transforming the plumb man to a noble man just like the goal of freemasonry.
Around the year 1700 there was a shift in paradigm concerning worldview, which changed the world, and which almost killed the profound esoteric freemasonry. Before this period the worldview was mythical. You saw the world through mythical eyeglasses, and what was experienced, was a world, which was full of angels, devils, fairies, elves, trolls and other special forces, and you believed that these forces in a miraculous way could repeal the laws of nature. Alchemy was part of this mythical view of the world. It contained the science of that time but at the same time it contained profound philosophy and psychology, which was only partly characterized as mythical.
Around 1700 happened then the shift in paradigm to what has been called the Enlightenment or the Rationalistic Age. The Enlightenment and the rationalistic worldview was in diametrical opposition to the mythical view of the world, and the men of the Enlightenment fought obstinately against the mythical worldview. This fight against all that was not rational, crossed threads, because at that time people did not know that man has both a rational left half of the brain and an irrational right half of the brain. The left half of the brain works digitally, while the right half of the brain works analogically. Without the use of the analogically working half of the brain there is a lot in our lives, which you cannot get knowledge of including the secrets of freemasonry. As the secrets of freemasonry can only be grasped with the right half of the brain, a system of freemasonry, which does not speak to the analogically working right half of the brain, is not freemasonry, regardless of its name of freemasonry. In the rationalistic age the only, which could be accepted as real, was that which could be perceived with the rational left part of the brain i.e. the rational, the logic and that which can be measured or weighted or the reality of which can be found with the help of the senses or by help of instruments. This led to a situation, where all, which was calculated to be perceived with the right half of the brain including the esoteric part of freemasonry, was rejected. What was left of freemasonry was only that, which could be understood with the left half of the brain, while the part of freemasonry, which should talk to the right half of the brain slipped more or less out of freemasonry. And as you during the storm of Enlightenment felt ashamed if you had anything with alchemy to do, the freemasons of that age concealed and repressed their alchemistic inheritance. Instead they invented a canard saying that freemasonry originated from the huts of the medieval stonemasons. But if you look into the right old books, the close connection between freemasonry and alchemy is evident. It is first after the publishing of books like CG Jungs "Psychology and Alchemy" and "Mysterium Conjunctionis" as well as Emma Jung and ML von Franzs "The Grail Legend "that the valuable content in alchemy has been brought back to light.
Particulary the English freemasonry was so razed by the rationalists, that English freemasonry today has lost almost all of its esoteric contents, and actually it is nearly only a system of morality which should not be called freemasonry. It did not go quite so wrong on the European continent, and therefore there has for centuries been a divergence between English and continental freemasonry. The English freemasons have wanted to be seen as benchmark for world freemasonry, while freemasons on the European continent have had difficulty in accepting English freemasonry as proper freemasonry.
If today you should judge what that is good freemasonry and what that is bad freemasonry, it will be a question of investigating, how much of the landmarks from the alchemistic philosophy, is still to be found in the rituals of the freemasonic system. It is not easy, for although very much from the mythical age rightly is considered as superstition there are other items from that age, which the rational half of the brain wants us to consider as superstition, but which in reality is esoteric wisdom, wisdom which can be perceived by the right half of the brain, but which the left half of the brain cannot understand and valuate, and which therefore is rejected by people, who in their conscious life only use their left half of the brain, It is by the judgment of a system of freemasonry also crucial to see, if the ceremonies only consist in words, which only speak to the rational left half of the brain, or if it also consists of strong symbols, which by the help of analogies tell the analogically working right half of the brain something, which cannot be perceived by the rational half of the brain. Another problem in freemasonry is, that many lodges are so eager to get new members, that they accept members, who are completely unable to grasp the esoteric part of freemasonry. When these members advance in freemasonry they get the power to determine, but do not have the wisdom to make the right decisions.
There are many different systems of freemasonry in the world. Do not think that you can choose by choosing the biggest, for the biggest may be the worst, and the smallest may be the most profound. The most widespread systems in Great Britain and former colonies of Great Britain are those working with the Emulation Rite, but this rite is so thinned and void of contents talking to the right half of the brain, that it has little to do with freemasonry. All Masonic rituals, which does not contain the voyage through the four elements in their initiation ritual contain only half of Freemasonry.
It is not easy to choose the right freemasonry because everything is so hidden, but one thing you can do is to ask if the freemasonic organization, which you want to join, will forbid you to visit lodges from other freemasonic organizations.
If they will, you will know that it is inferior freemasonry you will meet in that organization. Only inferior freemasonry has a reason to keep you away from seeing different and better freemasonry. Good freemasonry has no reason to fear that you will disappear to another lodge.
This picture from "Philosophia Naturalis" 1560 shows many usual freemasonic symbols and man consisting of the four elements: earth which symbolizes the physical part of man, air which symbolizes the intellectual part of man, water which symbolizes the emotional part of man, and fire which symbolizes spirit and consciousness.
The picture with square and compasses symbolizes the union of male and female characteristics (animus and anima in CG Jung's terminology), The united man rests on the dragon, which again rests on "the round" (the philosophers stone with the squaring of the circle and the union of the male triangle with the female square) . The picture is from "Viatorium Spagiricum 1625 and an even older woodcut in" De Occulta Philosophia "from 1531.
The picture is from "Philosophia Reformata 1622. Notice the hands of the men, who surround the person who shows" The Royal Art ". This picture shows freemasonry in the Middle Ages and has no relation at all to huts of medieval stone masons. It was people, who could read and write the international language Latin, who dealt with these subjects. The stone masons of this age could probably neither read nor write their own native language.
If you want admittance to a collection of Freemasonic lectures, you can click on the degree to which you want admittance. The lectures are only available for freemasons. Your username will be Freemason with a capital F. The passwords are known by all freemasons and are written in lowercase. As the passwords are spelt differently in different countries I must give you a little advice:
In the first degree the first letter is b. Do not use the letters h and s.
In the second degree the first letter is j. Do not spell it with the letters ch.
In the third degree the first letter is t. The password is written in one word and is not spelled with the letter c. It has some relationship to a metal artist.