Sunday, September 28, 2008

Treason of the Mind

When we are brought to the light, we are enjoined to seek further light. Among the sources for this light are included the Seven Liberal Arts. We are told to study and discuss. Another primary source is the Great Light of Masonry, and other VSLs. Each of these books are of value to a person seeking more light.

One of the stumbling blocks to a search for enlightenment or any other pursuit of knowledge, is the voice in our head. We come to any study or discussion with a full blown picture, complete with sound and color, of the issue at hand. It's more than opinion. It is full blown knowledge. It is worth noting that the type of knowledge spoken of here is that which is in the book of Genesis in the King James Translation of the Bible. It isn't an intellectual agreement or construct, but an intimate joining with, such as the way Adam Knew Eve. No one dies for intellectual constructs, but many martyrs have died for this second type of knowledge.

Unfortunately, this knowledge isn't necessarily accurate. It is colored by our experiences and our level of intellectual attainment. This isn't a hierarchy of one person being more advanced than another due to education, but a quantifiable pile of information. Some people have a bigger pile than others, particularly in areas they are interested in.

Freemasonry enjoins us to seek knowledge and enlightenment in areas that are not in vogue these days. I know many men with advanced degrees who don't recognize the scriptural references in our rituals. They are well educated, but haven't looked into these windows. For many, the Bible is one area that the window is truly one of colored glass. Many have read through it, and can quote it extensively, and still see it, as through a glass darkly.

The question of Evil, what is the nature of it, what is the source of it, who is the agent of it and what is to be done about it is discussed freely among us, and in the Bible. It just isn't as easily answered as many of us think. We bring our own hearing and reading to the material, and often it isn't in touch with what's there in the words.

Satan isn't some horned devil in the Bible. Lucifer isn't synonymous with Satan. Evil is not a substance that is poured over us, and certainly Satan isn't the source or agent of it. Biblically speaking, that is.

Dealing with the simplest of these statements first, Lucifer isn't Satan, or the source of evil: Lucifer is referred to only in the King James translation. The name isn't used in any other English translation. Lucifer is the title of the King of Babylon, and his fall is given as a sign by Isaiah. Later, in Revelations, the real translation of this name, as Light Bearer is given to Christ.

But anyone can tell you that Lucifer is the Devil! It just isnt so.

Satan is a bit harder to pin down. If you're a Mormon, Satan is a brother to Jesus and a son of Heavenly Father, who rebelled. Biblically, Satan is a being who tempts man to do that which man by nature wants to do: choose the wrong path. In the Book of Job, Satan is on the same plain with God, and they have a discussion about the faith and fate of mankind as exemplified by Job. Satan doesn't do the bad things to Job.

To cut this short, and save bandwidth, Evil is the otherside of good. The Supreme Architect designed and created only good in this universe, and yet the universe is finite. That which wasn't created is what we call evil. It is manifested and made real by our own disobedience, a tendency we inherited, according to the Bible, from our original ancestors. This tendency to choose evil, or nothingness, or lack of life, is the original sin we inherit. In it we choose nothingness, death, or "the outer darkness."

We are the agents of evil. Mankind brought evil into this world. Disobedience is its source. Free will, or Free Agency, absolute freedom of conscience, is the mechanism by which it works. And all of these are what makes us actually superior to the angels. As Jesus told Thomas, blessed are those who believe without having seen. The angels live in the presence of the Ultimate Good at all times, and can thus easily choose good. We are constantly tested and tempted, and often choose the wrong. Without that choice, the Great Architect would be the Great Dictator.

Don't believe anything I've said. Test it for yourself. Look in the sources, but first try, with all your might, to let go of your preconceived notions and pictures. That's the challenge of Freemasonry. To let go, and take the leap in the darkness that can lead to light, or maybe just to more darkness.


Anonymous said...

Evil is a destructive force, not generally conducive to life, but very necessary. Violence and discord are not human creations. When lightning strikes a tree, knocks it down and sparks a conflagration, that is an act of violence to behold.

But we can't have creation without destruction. That destructive fire nourishes the soil. There's little/no place for destructive forces in a lodge, a place of construction. We aim to remain cemented in brotherly love. The sledge hammer (setting mall) doesn't get much play as a tool in masonry, but it has it's purpose in the world.

Gingerman said...

We define as evil that which we don't like. We don't like sickness and death, and we don't (generally) like destruction. That all of this is necessary is true. I don't believe that any of these are inherently evil, but they can be puzzling. They are part of creation, and partake of the love of the Great Architect of the Universe. We put the definition on them.

Without darkness we can't see light; without not-hand, we can't see hand; without destruction there is no room or nurture for life.

Thank you for your comment.

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This blog is the thoughts of a Freemason. It's not affiliated with any Masonic body, and doesn't speak for Freemasonry in any sense of the word. My purpose is to raise questions, not dictate answers. If you read this blog, please comment; please subscribe, so we can look for answers to these questions together.