The Apocalypse of Freemasonry
F. de P. Castells
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An interpretation of the symbolism of the Masonic Lodge. Contains considerations of the sources of these symbols. Underlying the ceremonies practiced by the Freemasons of the present day, there is a system of philosophy which is based on the lofty conception of the Most High God as a Being who indwells the Light, and is Himself "light."
This book has 134 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1924.
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Excerpt from 'The Apocalypse of Freemasonry'
THE early expositors of Freemasonry regarded the Latin word LVX, " Light," as synonymous with their science, and they dwelt on the fact that by dividing the Circle into four equal parts they produced a Cross from which they got the outline of the three Roman letters needed to spell this word - LVX.
The Circle thus divided contained four right angles, that is, angles of 90°, the angles which we call "squares," as corresponding to the tool by which the operative Mason tries and adjusts rectangular corners of buildings. The lines drawn to do this is a cross, indicating the four directions, the four quarters of the globe, N.E.S.W. And this figure was actually used as a cryptogram for the mystic light which was imparted to the Candidate in Masonic Lodges.
Mosheim, writing some 200 years ago, confirmed this fact by the most interesting statement that in the secret writing of the Alchemists and Rosicrucians the said sign stood for the word " Light." For we should bear in mind that the Rosicrucians had drunk deep in Masonic fountains, and they, like the Masons, understood by the term light, " the knowledge of their science."
As a matter of fact, underlying the Ceremonies practised by the Freemasons of the present day, there is a system of philosophy which is based on the lofty conception of the Most High God as a Being who indwells the Light (compare the classic epithet of Jupiter Inlustris), and is Himself " light," as is declared in the V. of the S.L. Masons are taught to think of Him as not only Omnipresent and Omnipotent but Omniscient, and because of the last we speak of " His all-seeing Eye," an expression that we shall see conveys a world of meaning. All things are open to Him, nothing is dark, nothing is hid. And those who are in fellowship with Him, enjoy His light, even in the dark.
If, therefore, we would grasp the meaning and purpose of what is said and done in the Lodge, we must keep this fundamental thought
uppermost in our mind. In His light shall we see light, wherever and however we may be placed, while by tracing back this thought historically, we shall see ourselves brought into partnership with the seers and saints of every age, and we shall find that Masonry does indeed elucidate and clear up many of the problems that have agitated the minds of all great thinkers in the Past.
Opening the V. of the S.L. at its first page, we read of the earth as " formless and void." The G.A.O.T.U. was engaged in laying the foundations of His creation in the gloom of the primeval Chaos, when suddenly there issued forth from the Throne, the mighty fiat, " Let there be light ! " and then, lo, a great wonder: what has been done in the darkness is made manifest.
Then, three periods of time are said to elapse, and on the fourth the material Sun and Moon are made to appear in the firmament, which the Masonic Ritual says were created " to rule the day and govern the night."
This raises the question as to the nature of the original light, for evidently it was not dependent on the Sun and Moon.
The R.A. Companion finds the above record in the mysterious scroll of vellum or parchment which he knows of, and our Ancient Brethren read it in former times in their Lodges as an allegory of what was done at every initiation.
Indeed, we may note that from time immemorial it has been customary to make every Initiate to mark these three introductory periods or stages with his feet, after which the W.M. re-echoes from the chair the same creative fiat, which then becomes the signal for two distinct things: the restoration of " the material blessing," and the communication of certain secrets.
By this simple explanation of an impressive ceremony, we are able to understand how it is that our Masonic era has always been styled Anno Lucis, " the Year of the Light," which suggests that our science had its starting point in the first dawning of the light.
It was because our ancient Brethren took this view that they referred to all the masterminds that have helped to mould the world, from Adam downwards. as so many Freemasons and Brothers. One may smile at it when perusing the Old Charges, but what they had in their mind was substantially true. What is all culture but a diffusion of the light in the sphere of the intellect? And what is the aim of our Fraternity but to promote the world's progress and to guide men through the paths of heavenly science up to the Throne of God, the highest source of light, and so most aptly symbolised by the flame of Fire in the Burning Bush that was ever ablaze but never consumed?