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The Meaning of Masonry by W. L. Wilmshurst

The Meaning of Masonry

by W. L. Wilmshurst

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Wilmshurst's Meaning of Masonry provides deeper insight into the meaning of Freemasonry's degrees. He fits his understanding of the degrees offered in modern Freemasonry into the context of what ancient mystery religions revealed. It is one of those dense books that will provide new insights every time it is read. If you are looking for a deeper discussion of what Freemasonry means, is designed to instill in its members, and its historical context, this is a great book to read. ( )
  chellinsky | Feb 2, 2010 |
A collection of erudite insightful essays about Masonic philosophy in which the author argues that Freemasonry is a revival of the ancient Mystery Schools: a way to spiritual enlightenment that has been obscured by the charitable and social aspects of the Craft. He postlates that Masonic rituals are mere symbolic recreations of the real physical and mental challenges overcome by ancient seekers of philosophical truths.

From his mystical understanding, Wilmshurst believed that secular modern society had robbed modern Masons of an appreciation of the gnostic value of the three degree rituals. With many applicants lacking this spiritual insight,. Wilmhurst wanted the fraternity to rediscover its mystic origins.

As a non-Mason, it is difficult for me to appreciate the subtleties of some of the author's points but there is a great wisdom underpinning his analysis, which is compelling even for the mundane. I imagine that my appreciation of the book would be greatly blunted did I not share some of his knowledge of the Mystic traditions. I cannot therefore recommend the book to anyone who does not have access to such information and a knowledge of the texts of the Masonic rituals. Nor will it appeal to those who see Christianity as an overt faith or, indeed, at the other extreme, anyone uncomfortable with Christian faith. This is an exploration of Masonic ritual as a Christian Mystery. ( )
1 vote TheoClarke | Nov 23, 2009 |
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Valter Lesli Vilmšurst rođen je 22. juna 1867. godine u Hadersfildu, u Engleskoj, gde je proveo i ceo svoj vek, radeći kao pravni zastupnik. U masoneriju je iniciran 11.decembra 1889.godine. Napisao je i objavio brojna dela, prevashodno za potrebe članova masonskog bratstva u Engleskoj, među kojima su: Slobodno zidarstvo i religija, Slobodnozidarska inicijacija, Slobodno zidarstvo kao filozofija, Skrivena crkva Svetog Grala, Reinkarnacija u svetlu hrišćanstva, Vrhovni duhovni spis Indije (Bhagavat Gita) i njen odnos sa današnjicom itd. Preminuo je 22. jula 1939. godine. Stekao je najviše masonske titule. Njegove knjige spadaju u najčitanija dela masonske literature.
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"We must, then, demonstrate that ours is a Hierarchy of inspired, divine and deifying science, of efficacy and of consecration for those initiated with the initiation of the revelation derived from the hierarchical mysteries
Head of this Hierarchy is the Fountain of Life, the essence of Goodness, the one Triad, Cause of things that be, .... assimilation to and union with Whom, as far as attainable, is deification.
And this is the common goal of every Hierarchy, -persistent devotion towards God and divine things divinely and uniformly ministered; prior to which there must be a complete and unswerving removal of things contrary; a knowledge of things as they are in themselves; the vision and science of sacred truth; the inspired communication of the uniform perfection of the One itself, as far as attainable; the banquet of contemplation, nourishing intelligibly and deifying every man elevated towards it."
----Dionysius Areopagiticus, DE ECCLES HIERARCH., 1, 1-3.
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A candidate proposing to enter Freemasonry has seldom formed any definite idea of the nature of what he is engaging in.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0517331942, Hardcover)

Although the Freemasons number over six million members worldwide, they are a very secretive organization. the general public today thinks of them as a social fraternity like the Rotary Club, but that is hardly the whole truth. By mysterious coincidence, it seems, many Masons have been major figures in modern history. many of the Founding Fathers of the United States—including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Paul Revere—were Freemasons. Giuseppe Garibaldi, the Italian freedom fighter, was also one, as were the composers Franz Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and writers François Marie Arouet de Voltaire and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The Meaning of Masonry explores the beliefs behind the order, its cryptic rites and symbols, and uncovers its ultimate purpose.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:49 -0400)

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