Dormer Index

The Raising of the Dead 3

Freemasonry and the Pauline Doctrine of the Great Work

Conclusion: The Superphysical World

..... figuratively speaking, an ethereal mansion, veiled from mortal eyes by the starry firmament.... (Masonic Ritual)

In my Father's house are many mansions. (St. John 14-2)

We learn from a study of the Mystery systems of antiquity that a most important part of the curriculum was instruction in Cosmology, the science of the Universe. The intention of such instruction was to disclose to candidates seeking initiation the physical and metaphysical constitution of the world, and to illustrate to them the place and destiny of man in it. They were enlightened not only upon the visible aspect of the Universe and of themselves, but also upon the physically unseen and impalpable aspect, and were shown how the complex human organism reproduces the Macrocosm or Great World and summarises it in small. They learned of the continual flux of matter, of the transiency of all bodily forms, and of the abiding permanence of the one Life or Spirit which, they were taught, has descended and embodied itself in an endless but progressive variety of forms from the mineral up to the human, with the purpose of generating eventually a finished produce as the result of the mighty process. As an essential part of their education they were taught of the different levels and graduations of the Universe, the planes and sub-planes of it, upon which the great scheme is being carried out; which levels and planes, all progressively linked together, constitute, as it were, one vast ladder comprised of many rounds, staves, or rungs. Candidates in the old systems were instructed in these matters before being admitted to Initiation, and the knowledge served to explain to them their own nature and constitution, as well as their place in the World-system. The modern Freemason, however, is left entirely without any cosmologic instruction, with the result that Brethren nowadays may, or may not, discern for themselves that the symbol of a simple Ladder displayed on the Lodge Tracing Board in the First degree is intended to covertly emphasis the old cosmological teaching. We need not in this plane attempt to justify this interpretation of a familiar Masonic symbol; it should be sufficient for the purpose of students to note that 'Jacob's Ladder' is a well known symbol of the Universe, and of its succession of step-like planes reaching from the depths to the heights. It is written elsewhere that the Father s House has many mansions; many levels and resting places for His creatures in their different conditions and degrees of progress, and it is these levels, these planes and subplanes, that are denoted by the rungs and staves of the ladder. And of these there are, for us in our present stage of evolutionary unfoldment, three principal ones; the physical plane, the plane of desire and emotion, and the mental plane or that of the abstract intelligence which links up to the still higher plane of the spirit. These three levels of the world are reproduced in man. The first corresponds with his material physique, his sense-body; the second with his desire and emotional nature, which is a mixed element resulting from the interaction of his physical senses and his ultra-physical mind; the third with his mentality, which is still farther removed from his physical nature and forms the link between the physical nature and his spiritual being. The ladder, and its three principal staves, may be seen everywhere in Nature. It appears in the septenary scale of musical sound with its three dominants; in the prismatic scale of light with its three primary colours; in the septenary physiological changes or our bodily organism, and in the similar periodicities known to physics and indeed to every branch of physical science. Thus the Universe and man himself are constructed ladder-wise, in an orderly organised sequence of steps. The one universal substance composing the differentiated parts of the Universe "descends" from a state of the utmost ethereality by successive steps of increasing densification until gross materialisation is reached; and thence "ascends" through a similarly ordered gradation of planes to its original plane, but enriched by the experience gained by its activities during the process. It was this cosmic process which was the subject of the dream or vision of Jacob, a prototype of real Initiation, and which accounts for "Jacob's Ladder" being given prominence in our Masonic symbolism. The Initiate is able to "see the angels of God ascending and descending ; that is, he can directly behold the great stairway of the Universe and watch the intricate but orderly mechanism of involution, differentiation, evolution, and re-synthesis, constituting the Life- process. He can witness the descent of human souls through planes of increasing density and decreasing vibratory rate, gathering around them as they come veils of matter from each, until finally this lowest level of complete materialisation is reached, where the struggle for supremacy between the spirit and the flesh, between the real self and the unreal selves and veils built around it, has to be fought out on the chequer-work floor of our present existence, among the black and white opposites of good and evil, light and darkness, prosperity and adversity. And he can watch the upward return of those who conquer in the strife and, attaining their regeneration and casting off or transmuting the "worldly possessions" acquired during their descent, ascend to their Source, pure and unpolluted from the stains of this imperfect world. Jacob's vision and ladder, therefore, exemplify the attainment of Initiation, the expansion of consciousness that comes when the Light of the centre is found, and the cosmic vision that then becomes possible. But the privilege of being able to ascend and descend upon the ladder of the Universe at will is one that is restricted to those who are "well skilled in the science", and since we ourselves cannot claim to be more than novices we must proceed cautiously in our attempt to portray what our system terms "the hidden mysteries of nature and science."

The ancient maxim "Know thyself" was coupled with another, "Ne quid nimis", 'Nothing in excess"; for the science can only be learned and applied gradually; it will unfold itself more and more as it is diligently studied and pursued. Along what lines, then, should our studies be directed? For the purpose of the subject now before us this question is not difficult to answer, for on the strength of many accredited authorities we learn that there are two methods, and only two methods, by means of which the superphysical world may become apprehended by the human mind. The first method, which is relatively swift, immediate, and self-convincing, is by the development of the spiritual consciousness; the second, which is slow, gradual, laborious, and tantalising, is along the line of scientific research and intellectual investigation. It will be found that all the great religions, and especially the Vedanta philosophy, emphasis this conclusion. The Vedanta inculcates that the superphysical world may be apprehended by the methods of:

SANKEYA: Intellectual discernment.

YOGA: Mystical devotion to the Supreme, and it is made quite clear that the greater of these methods is YOGA. Moreover, the "Logia" or all the Wisdom-teachers or the past inculcate self-knowledge, or the development of the spiritual self, as the infallible method of cognition of a world other and higher than the physical world. And in all ages the witness of the Wisdom- teachers has been round to be faithful and true, for in all ages there have been strenuous seekers of "the Kingdom within" to whom a transcendental world has been opened and proved as objective a reality as the physical. Meditative mystics, introspective saints, simple men, often unlettered but pure in heart, in moments of exalted consciousness, have been, in St. Paul's graphic symbolism, "caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter" (2nd. Corinthians, 12-4), or undergone remarkable experiences of a like character. The most valuable achievement of modern psychology is that it has silenced those who alleged such experiences to be the hallucinations of deranged visionaries, and has formulated the inductions that the mind has a reality of its own independent of the physical order; that a noumenal world is positively as existent as the phenomenal, and is one whence there perpetually issue streams of life and light and inspiration to the soul of man, whether he be conscious of the fact or not. But those who have followed the true "principia" of knowledge, and in any age have become spiritually conscious of a superphysical world are an almost infinitesimal minority; humanity in the mass has consistently ignored their methods and denied the validity of their results. Indeed, men have become so utterly sceptical of all but material phenomena, that when psychical phenomena demand consideration, they promptly refuse to make an investigation on the grounds that such phenomena can only be classed as fraudulent. Certain scientific leaders of world-wide repute, however, have investigated, and, what is more, have certified the genuineness of the phenomena. They are now discovering, one by one, a number of other facts with which the world, today weary of materialism, may refresh itself and enlarge its aspect of the Cosmos.

The representatives of our modern school of physical research are prone to remind us that the last four centuries have been centuries of unprecedented scientific discovery. Undoubtedly they have; but we might also, in justification of the psychological aspect, remind them that so far the attempt to explain the Universe in the terms of physical energy has brought us into an impasse, for this suggests the question whether we may not have fared better had we reversed the process and taken as our starting-point, instead of the atomic structure of matter and the law of the conservation of energy, the structure of our own wills and the system of ends of which consciousness in its essence consists. Time is ill spent in bemoaning lost opportunities, but we can scarcely refrain from reflecting what our knowledge of the Universe might have been today, and how our sociological conditions might have stood at present, had psychology rather than physics been our chief study. Rightly viewed, then, the epoch of scientific investigation which began four centuries ago, and the end of which is not yet, should be classed as one not so much of discovery as of disillusionment. Let us consider for a moment, not as discoveries but as disillusionings, a few of the chief conclusions or scientific thought in regard to the material Universe. To do so will serve two purposes of great advantage to us as Masonic students:

(1)..It will assist us in formulating on an intellectual and scientific basis an apprehension of the superphysical world

(2)..It will also make clear to us how essential to formulating such an apprehension it is to beware of trusting too implicitly in ordinary utilitarian sense perceptions.

The first step in the process of disillusionment was the recognition of the crude fact that the earth is not flat but globular. Then the geocentric theory of the earth's position proved to be illusory, and from a position of supposed paramountly in the Universe, our world became degraded to an insignificant, ephemeral mite, floating in a void. Under the development of astronomical science, man and his habitation appeared to be- of no account, so infinitely small were he and it as compared with the cosmic bulk. Turning his attention away from the abysses of space the scientist centred his thought on the material constitution of his own world, only to meet with further surprises. Matter which had been reduced to a number of elements, elements which had been resolved to primal atoms, became "explained away" into the abstract substance known as ether. The atom was found capable of being split; scientists had been deceived in their conception of the ultimate constituents of physical matter; the very name atom became obsolete and a misnomer, for whole universes or invisible corpuscles were now conceived as swinging, freely and roomily as sidereal systems in the heavens above. And lastly, the void our world seemed to float in has proved to be the greatest illusion of all. The postulation of the interstellar ether, and of the fact that the gross matter is but a modification of that supersensuous substance, necessitates the corollary that we ourselves are placed and safely packed away within a Cosmos of which we are an integral factor, and one whose remotest parts must needs be fashioned of the same raw material as ourselves, to whatever modification of form that material may, at any given place, be subject. Thus the physicist who- not long ago believed himself to be dealing with ponderable ultimates, and who was constrained, almost against his will, to become a materialistic philosopher, is today aware that, as regards his ordinary sense-perceptions, he might almost as well be a blind man; for he knows himself to be concerned with material so attenuated, subtle, and elusive as, of itself to afford him no philosophic foothold, and to be engaged in abstractions so refined as to necessitate the use of faculties that transcend the utilitarian. Moreover, if to the conclusions of inorganic physics we add those of biology (or organic physics), we are met by some further significant facts. It is acknowledged that in our brains, the organs through which our consciousness operates, there is found to be a surplusage of cerebral development beyond the needs of a material struggle for life - a fact which leaves a door open for the possible solution of many psychical phenomena whose reality is already established, as well as giving promise of the maturing of other faculties latent within us; for another induction of biology is that Nature's method is to create the organ long in advance of the owner's capacity to use it.

At this juncture we may perhaps legitimately enquire, what is the place and destiny of man amid this everlasting flux of matter, this kaleidoscopic world of illusion? What guarantee has man that his present knowledge of the physical world is not illusory; that even primordial ether and the inferences to be drawn from it will not in turn prove to be illusions that will give way under further research? - To answer truly we must admit - there is no guarantee: it is more likely than not that we shall still continue to be undeceived. Already mathematical analysis of the ether suggests that, abstraction though it be, more remote and refined physical substrata must be imagined in order to make good even our present conception of it, for its assumed rigidity must be secured by the hypothetical motion of some still more primal material. There are, indeed, ethers within the ether, and it should be borne in mind that by Hindu philosophers five ethers, and their respective vibratory qualities, are recognised, of which only one, the luminiferous, is at present apprehended by us. Yet, despite this bewildering thought, we must bear witness to the dictum of the psychologist, that notwithstanding this shadow- lay of unrealities, and the exposed trickeries of sense, the revelation of fresh and possibly equally fallacious aspects of the material world, human consciousness may stand firm and unblenched. The mind has a reality of its own quite outside the physical order - a mental plane, from the security of which it may contemplate, without fear of being overwhelmed, the shadow - dance of matter, and watch the wondrous unfolding of world upon world without end. We would also call attention to the fact that physics, in first of all postulating the presence of an all pervading medium, and then resolving gross matter into that medium as its primal constituent, has opened up to us some of the most extraordinary mental pictures it-has ever been the fortune of the human intellect to contemplate. It invites us, as Hegel once said of the study of philosophy, to stand on our heads, and our amazement increases as we behold the abstruse technicalities of science to be invested with an undreamed-of moral value. Indeed, we have not yet become habituated to the conception, so utterly subversive of all preconceptions based on the evidence of our sense faculties that we live and move, not in a void but in a solid, not in a "vacuum" but in a "plenum". We are, however, beginning to perceive that by the intellectual investigation of the remoter parts and more secret laws of Nature, physical science has come at last to those eternal principles which have been proclaimed throughout the ages. Like the harmless, necessary phagocytes that swarm within our bodies, microscopic beings to which the confines of our blood- vessels constitute all their universe, we human mites and all the stellar systems are conceived as ranging about within the stupendous organism of some vast Being for whose well-being, we too are necessary. The words of St. Paul: "In Him we live and move and have our being" take on a new significance, deeper and more profound. From the latest scientific mental picture of the material Cosmos two consolatory certainties emerge clearly: First, it is a unity; whether finite or infinite in magnitude, and despite its myriad modifications of form, it is a true "Unun-versum", in which (except relatively to sense perceptions) there is no up of down, no near of far, no past of future; in which no part can be intrinsically greater of less than another, and the inherent energy and/of material substance of which, however gross or rare for the time being, must be eternally conserved, as physical science indeed claims that they are. Secondly: if, by the displacement of the geocentric theory, our world be deemed to have lost dignity, that seeming loss is restored by the knowledge that it is also one knit in a community of constitution and material with the rest. Admittedly, the mechanical laws of that all-pervading entity postulated by physical science are not yet known, but something of its potentialities is obvious from the phenomena of light and of the waves of electro-magnetic force artificially generated-for the purpose of wireless telegraphy. When, however, these laws of the ether come to be understood and it is possible to link up the further knowledge thence derived with that of psycho-physics, there will doubtless be at our disposal an intelligible- explanation of those complex inter-actions of-mind and matter classified as telepathy, clairvoyance, clairaudience, and psychometry, which at present rest outside the pale of official science through the absence of any known principle co-ordinating them with other recognised phenomena. In other words, our relation to the psychic, and the difference which exists for us between the physical and the psychic, will be more correctly defined when we clearly understand the extremely intricate connection and interdependence of physical and superphysical matter. This brings us to another consideration; concurrently with this advance into the "penetralia" of the Cosmos along the lines of physics, an auxiliary road of approach has been opened for us by mental science. The main problem of modern psychology is: given an Ego with an imperishable reality of its own, independent of the physical order, and functioning through the limitations of the mortal brain, what does it perceive and how far are its perceptions likely to be true of false to other fundamental realities? Psychologists find that the two chief obstacles to right thinking and larger mental vision are our ideas of Space and Time, which although useful enough conceptions for our present utilitarian purposes, have in reality no existence in themselves. Space has been defined as "room to move about", but we must accord to this definition the utmost liberty of interpretation, for we must conceive of space not alone as room to move ponderable bodies in; we must extend this to include room to think, to feel, to overtake felicities and knowledges unguessed by experience and preposterous to common sense. Space is not measurable: we attribute dimensionality to space because such is the method of the mind; and that dimensionality we attribute to space is progressive because progression is a law of the mind. Here a further question arises: is it not possible to suppose that the physical is separated from the psychic by four-dimensional space, i.e., that a physiological process, passing into the domain of a fourth dimension, produces there effects which we call feeling of thought? Our conception of space is called three dimensional because it takes three numbers measurement in three mutually perpendicular directions - to determine and mark out any particular point from the totality of points. Time also, as the individual experiences it, is called one- dimensional for an analogous reason: one number is all that is required to determine and mark out any particular event of a series from all the rest. Space and Time, therefore, are instruments of the mind, and despite appearances to the contrary they are not realities; they only afford us the possibility of a comprehensive co-ordination of sense elements, of time- ing and space-ing physical things. Dimensionality is the mind's method of mounting to the idea of the infinity of space, and when we speak of the fourth dimension what we mean is the fourth stage in the apprehension of that infinity. We might as legitimately speak of a fifth dimensions but the profitlessness of any discussion of a fifth and higher stages lies in the fact that they can be intelligently approached only through the fourth, which is still largely unintelligible.

To return again to physics; in the domain of physics more than in any other, scientific theories differ- from ordinary life conceptions, and this is because of a direct orientation in the world of phenomena it is necessary to distinguish matter from energy. In ordinary life the three generally accepted states of physical matter - solid, liquid; and gaseous - can be distinguished indisputably only when they appear in their "classical" forms; for example: a piece of iron, the water-in a river, the air we breathe. Very often, therefore, we do not know exactly when one state passes into the other, and we cannot draw a definite line of demarcation between them. We presume that different states of matter are dependent upon the speed and properties of molecular motion, but we distinguish these states solely by their external traits, which are inconstant and often become intermixed. We have, then, to learn to discriminate between appearances and realities; and on regarding a given object, not to say, "This is so and so because it so appears to me", but to ask, "What are the limitations of my mind which make me thus perceive this?"; and so gradually to clarity our minds of seeing things in their true selves and not merely their outward forms. If we do not-understand the true methods of perception of physical things, how shall we be able to judge of the transcendental and the superphysical? The ordinary man, equipped of the material struggle in the arena of life, and unconscious of any but utilitarian ends, is as a rule satisfied with the world as it appears to him; the world is real to him since he lives in it; he knows, and wants to know, no more. But, if he be constrained to take consciousness to pieces and examine its content, he finds it adjusted to rudimentary purposes, and that what he has regarded as real and objective is so only upon its own plane; from the higher plane, to which "ex hypothesi" he-truly belongs, the three-dimensional world is unreal and subjective. And to him may come an experience which an echo of the voice of the Wisdom- teacher bidding him, Renounce; rid yourself of deceptive preconceptions if you would be born again and look with larger vision. The change in intellectual outlook intimated here has been well called a process of "casting out the self", for it- is by the removal of obstructing factors from our thought, and by seeing things in their abstract essence, that we learn to see them-as they really are, while in doing so we lose sight of self and develop inevitable altruism. True knowledge, however, comes only to those who are fitted and willing to receive it, and our Initiation into "the hidden mysteries of nature and science" demands a progressive obedience to the fundamental law of self sacrifice. In-the Mystery systems of antiquity there existed a consecutive and graduated order of initiation. The candidate in order to be advanced to a higher degree had to pass through a certain definite course of preparation; he was then subjected to the required tests, and- only after he had satisfactorily passed all the tests, and had proved that his preparation had been on the right lines, was he allowed to proceed.

One of the first things that the candidate in the old systems learned was the impossibility of following a path of his own choice; he was warned of the danger which awaited him in he did not carry out all the preparatory rituals and ceremonies prescribed before the actual initiation was conferred. The ancients understood far better than we do today that the reception of a new idea requires special preparation; they also understood perfectly that an idea caught in passing can easily be seen in a wrong light, of received in a wrong way, and they were aware that a wrongly received idea can produce undesirable and even disastrous results. We may observe the same system of gradual preparation of the reception of new ideas in the rituals of magic; indeed, a strict and unswerving observance of various small rules, which often appear incomprehensible, is uniformly demanded by all the rituals of ceremonial magic. There are many accounts of the penalties imposed of the violating of the secrets of the Mysteries, and many legends of magicians who invoked a spirit but lacked the power to control it. All these instances, of men who broke the ritual of initiation in the Mysteries, or of magicians who invoked spirits stronger than themselves, equally represent, in allegorical form, the position of a man in relation to new ideas which are too strong of him, and which he cannot handle because he has not the required preparation. The old psychology understood that the mind is incapable of receiving ideas of different kinds simultaneously or out of the right order, and that it cannot pass without preparation from ideas of one order-to ideas of another order. Modern thought does not recognise this at all; existing psychology and the theory of knowledge fails to discriminate between different orders of ideas, and neglects to point out that some ideas are very dangerous and cannot be approached without long and complicated preparation. Yet in other domains we moderns understand this perfectly; we concede that it is impossible to handle a complicated machine without adequate knowledge; that it is impossible without knowledge and practice to drive an express railway engine; that it is impossible without knowing all the details to touch the numerous parts of a high powered electric machine. An idea is also a machine of enormous power, but this is exactly what modern thought does not realise; every idea is a complicated and delicate machine, and in order to know how to handle it, we must first of all possess a great amount of purely theoretical knowledge combined with a large amount of experience and practical training.

Now, the greatest riddle that humanity has ever had to face is the problem of time; religious revelation, philosophical thought, scientific investigation, and occult knowledge, all converge at one point, that is, on the problem of time, and all come to the same view of it. Time does not exist; Everything exists always! There is only one eternal present, the Eternal Now, which the weak and limited human mind can neither grasp nor conceive. The world is a world of infinite possibilities; our mind follows the development of possibilities in one direction only; but in fact every moment contains a very large number of possibilities and all of them are actualised, only we do not see it and do not know it. We always see only one of the actualisations, and in this lies the poverty and limitation of the typically human mind. Where, then, are we to seek of a true understanding of "time" and infinity? This is a- question to which modern thought gives-no answer; but human thought has not always been helpless in the face of the problem; the idea of the "higher self" is one that belongs to the Mystery systems, and is admissible only in relation to the "higher consciousness" connected with the degrees of Initiation. The answer of the ancient teachings is that "time" and "infinity" are to be found in the soul of man; everything is within man, and there is; nothing outside him. How are we to understand this? Time is not a condition of the Universe, but only a condition of the perception of the world by our psychic apparatus, which imposes on the world conditions of time, since otherwise the psychic apparatus would be unable to conceive it. We are, however, unable to conceive infinity without relation to space and-time; therefore, if space and time are forms of our perception and lie in our soul, it follows that the roots of infinity are to be sought also within us, and we may perhaps define it as an infinite possibility of the expansion of our consciousness. Nevertheless, there is a very necessary condition of approach to ideas which seek to express in symbolism the "kingdom within"; the peculiarity and distinctive feature of ideas of the "real" world (i.e., of the "world as it is"), are that, viewed in the light of materialism, they appear to be absurd. This condition, and the necessity of it, is seldom properly understood, with the result that ideas of a "world of many dimensions" frequently produces on students a bad, of even a nightmare, effect, and of this reason an intellectual approach to the idea of the superphysical world is possible only after a long and persistent training of the mind. Ability to think is declared to be the first stage of initiation, but this means to be able-to think differently from the way in which we are accustomed to think, to enable us to conceive the world in new categories. We may revert-of a moment to what physical science has learned from the discovery of the ether and all that it implies. From the precipitation of inorganic nature from a supersensuous abstraction into gross matter, liable at any moment to resolution again into its primal state, are we not justified in drawing an analogy in regard to ourselves? May we not imagine a pre-natal, post-mortal, humanity, which, as it moves through the seen and unseen spheres along the mighty spiral of evolutionary development, is, in-the persons of its microcosmic units, fulfilling the same macrocosmic law? The secret fundamental verities of the Universe reveal themselves in startling parallels. "Natural religion", said Emerson, "supplies all the facts which are disguised under the dogmas of popular creeds", and since the most important verity ever established by science is the fact that the material world is a projection from a spiritual plane, is not the inevitable inference that the human spirit (like its Divine prototype and exponent, the Word-made- flesh), came down from heaven, and in the course of evolution was "made man" - a process still in operation and not yet perfected; that it suffers constriction and crucifixion in the refining fire, the conditioning- house, of earth life, buried as it is in dense matter and physical limitations; and that at length it, too, shall rise again to its true and pristine place of being?

We are apt to regard evolution as a discovery of modern science, but such a view is not strictly correct as it was perfectly well known to antiquity. Evolution, indeed, was a basic feature of the arcane science of the Mystery Schools, although the teaching of the Mysteries was that there can be no evolution without previous involution; "no rise without an antedecent fall"; and this truth is again clearly emphasised in the formula concerning regeneration which is given in the V. of the S.L., - "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven" (St, John 3- 13). The evolutionary process consists, as Freemasonry so ably demonstrates, in the development of the higher and spiritual at the expense of the lower and physical, and its purpose, the "far off divine event", will be gradually accomplished by the harmonising of the seen and the unseen portions of the Universe. Today there seems clear proof that we are at the End of the Age through which purely physical evolution has extended. Faced with this conclusion many have decided that man is decadent; that there is no further evolution possible of him, and he will either fall into degeneracy of rapidly destroy himself the latter seeming the more probable. Yet man can be saved and will be saved, as Life has saved itself before, by a sudden and radical mutation. We know that over a vast period of time, and with constantly accelerated skill and advanced mental power, man has developed his powers by technical progress. Thus it may be shown that man advances mentally or technically by modifying his environment to suit his needs, and by this means wins himself a new span of evolutionary life and development, but one involving a change with increasing speed and increasingly psychological. In support of this theory, it can be demonstrated that whereas every other animal species seems to have entered on a decline, man alone is seen capable of change, and, of the carrying out of that change he alone has an immense store of still unused, undifferentiated vital energy. We know this through the fact of man's capacity of pain, indicating a high degree of sensitiveness and nervous tension, and also his enormous sexual capacity - a capacity in itself, as sexual energy "per se", quite necessary to slow breeding and careful rearing. It can further be demonstrated that this store of vital energy can have appropriate advanced mental channels of expression. The highly developed intellectual type of man tends to find when in complete intellectual absorption that he becomes indifferent to sex, while the development of additional psychological powers, such as extra-sensory perception leave him free of all acute physical sensation. Western man must, then, resume the task of enlarging consciousness, which in retrospect, will be seen to have been interrupted by the triumph of the analytic method and the rise of mechanism. After four centuries, during which the most active communities of mankind have worked with a profound and increasingly deadly misapprehension of reality, we must go back picking up once again the true line of advance. This is, however, no blind reaction nor need we regard as wasted all the devoted labour of physical and; analytic research. The knowledge at our disposal nowadays, imperfect as it is, leads up at all events to an outlook upon the Universe that is juster and steadier, more comprehensive and satisfying, than has at any previous time -been possible to the intellect of man, of the great analytic method had taught mankind the value of detached experiment and careful comparative record.

We see now a self-contained and self-conserving Cosmos, one in essence; dual, even multiple, in aspect; a fraction of it, finite and conditioned, is perceptible to human sense organs; the remainder of its immeasurable bulk is eternal, unconditioned, and unmanifest to sense perception, but is lying close at hand, waiting to be still further perceived by faculties of consciousness the seeds of which are latent in us and are destined to mature in the patient course of evolution. Separate and wholly different sets of laws are seen to prevail in Nature's manifested and unmanifested planes; "that which is flesh is flesh and that which is spirit is spirit"; and through the intermixture in man of a physical nature, subject to laws applicable to the physical plane, and a spirituality whose true home is the unconditioned, where other laws obtain, there is, and must needs be, perpetual illusion and conflict - conflict which is the concomitant of growth, and which becomes apparent in all forms of individual and social unrest. The evolutionary process is an alternating current, and accordingly there occur stages of racial growth when the higher and spiritual tends to predominate markedly over the lower and physical. Such a stage seems now to have been reached, of we are,- as a race, and despite many appearances to the contrary, definitely on our way towards some new knowledge; indeed, the world expectancy today shows that we stand on the verge of a new revelation. It is because a new condition, a new quality of social life is gradually coming into existence; one more homogeneous; one in which the parts are more closely interdependent, and more responsive than ever before to spiritual currents infused into it. We do not overlook the fact that at present we are still passing through a "state of darkness" - "the dark night of the soul" of humanity; but, nevertheless, out of this night "the morning cometh", and must come: the morning of a larger, clearer day of the cosmic week of human re-creation. In the eternal rhythm of life, every morning is succeeded by its complemental night, wherein the works of the morning are tried and tested, either as now - by war, of in some other crucible adapted to the age; until at length comes that last night of all, "the Night of Brahm" when the manifested Universe with all its ingarnered works will sink into its Sabbath of rest in the incomprehensible Abyss of God, and the incomparable splendour of that supreme darkness which is His Uncreated Light. Before that last night comes, however, much remains to be perfected, much raising to be accomplished of what is now dead, much consciousness to be evolved and sublimated out of what is now, refractory and torpid. The function of the morning about to dawn is the purification and co-ordination of the divers kingdoms of this world preparatory to their synthetisation in that higher unity which we call the Kingdom of God. For coming of this we may all aspire, and whose labours, those thinks even, towards this great consummation is already unconsciously praying and helping the fulfilment of his prayer: "As above, so below"; "In earth as it is in heaven."


All the multiform prayers of a new heaven and a new earth, all the abounding heart-cries which, these years past, have been rising like a fountain night and day of alleviation from the tyranny of our mechanical civilisation and the sores and sorrows of the social conditions of our age, all these formulations of some Ideal worth struggling of and dimly felt to be realisable, have not been wasted, ineffectual energy. On the contrary, they have had an effect, a compelling effect, upon that plane of life to which all true prayer travels; and the present universal break up is, strange as to some it may appear, an answer to those prayers. It is significant that in the past the very Heart of movements towards human betterment, the spiritual centre from which the creative forces have flowed, has been found in the Mystic Brotherhoods of which Freemasonry is the modern representative. In the years immediately preceding the birth of the Christian dispensation, we find tremendous activity in the inner Schools in all countries; the Mysteries, into which only selected candidates were admitted, thrilled with currents of spiritual vitality, thus energising the creative movements in the outer world. Similarly, the Heart of the Renaissance, the centre of its creative life, seems to have been the mysterious Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, which cryptically announced its existence just before the commencement of the revival in literature and art, spread from Germany and Austria into France, Italy and England, and disappeared from sight only after the New Learning had been firmly established in the West. Early in the 18th. century there emerged Speculative Freemasonry to form the centre and living Heart of the West; today from every Masonic Lodge throughout the world streams of spiritual force should be radiating, and the Brethren, because they have received the Light, should be in the forefront of the new movement, leading, guiding, directing, from within the Temple, the birth of the Ideals which are to change the world. Those who realise this will watch the signs of the times and be ready against the day when the tumult subsides, of many will be needed to serve as focus-points and media through which will permeate and pour forth the fertilising streams of Life that are waiting to invigorate the world. Herein, then, are justified the dedications to the Masonic inward life often regarded as so unpractical; yet those who lead it are true Builders, of they are engaged upon a work which of all other is truly constructive - the Great Work from which the wall-builder of the-Mystic City said, "I cannot come down" (Neh. 6-3).

"At thy fair shrine, O Masonry! Shall admiring nations bend: In future times thy sons shall see Thy fame from pole to pole extend. To worlds unknown thy heav'n-born light dispense! And systems own thy sacred influence."

(An Ode to Masonry),