His father, also named John, was a legal clerk and served with the Parliamentary forces in the English Civil War. His family was well-to-do, but not of particularly high social or economic standing. Locke spent his childhood in the West Country and as a teenager was sent to Westminster School in London. Locke was successful at Westminster and earned a place at Christ Church, Oxford.
Before it is possible to intelligently discuss the origin of the Craft, it is necessary, therefore, to establish the existence of these two separate yet interdependent orders, the one visible and the other invisible.
The visible society is a splendid camaraderie of "free and accepted" men enjoined to devote themselves to ethical, educational, fraternal, patriotic, and humanitarian concerns. The invisible society is a secret and most august fraternity whose members are dedicated to the service of a mysterious arcanum arcanorum.
Those Brethren who have essayed to write the history of their Craft have not included in their disquisitions the story of that truly secret inner society which is to the body Freemasonic what the heart is to the body human.
In each generation only a few are accepted into the inner sanctuary of the Work, but these are veritable Princes of the Truth and their sainted names shall be remembered in future ages together with the seers and prophets of the elder world.
Though the great initiate-philosophers of Freemasonry can be counted upon Secret doctrine essay fingers, yet their power is not to be measured by the achievements of ordinary men.
They are dwellers upon the Threshold of the Innermost, Masters of that secret doctrine which forms the invisible foundation of every great theological and rational institution.
The outer history of the Masonic order is one of noble endeavor, altruism, and splendid enterprise; the inner history, one of silent conquest, persecution, and heroic martyrdom.
The body of Masonry rose from the guilds of workmen who wandered the face of medieval Europe, but the spirit of Masonry walked with God before the universe was spread out or the scroll of the Secret doctrine essay unrolled.
The enthusiasm of the young Mason is the effervescence of a pardonable pride. Let him extol the merits of his Craft, reciting its steady growth, its fraternal spirit, and its worthy undertakings.
Let him boast of splendid buildings and an ever-increasing sphere of influence. These are the tangible evidence of power and should rightly set a-flutter the heart of the Apprentice who does not fully comprehend as yet that great strength which abides in silence or that unutterable dignity to be sensed only by those who.
Paul, so we are told, kicked against the "pricks" of conversion, so the rank and file of present-day Masons strenuously oppose any effort put forth to interpret Masonic symbols in the light of philosophy.
They are seemingly obsessed by the fear that from their ritualism may be extracted a meaning more profound than is actually contained therein. For years it has been a mooted question whether Freemasonry is actually a religious organization.
It teaches what it deems to be the truth in respect to the nature and attributes of God. The all-too-prominent younger members of the Fraternity, however, if not openly skeptical, are at least indifferent to these weightier issues. The champions of philosophic Masonry, alas, are a weak, small voice which grows weaker and smaller as time goes by.
In fact, there are actual blocs among the Brethren who would divorce Masonry from both philosophy and religion at any and all cost. If, however, we search the writings of eminent Masons ,we find a unanimity of viewpoint: Every effort initiated to elevate Masonic thought to its true position has thus invariably emphasized the metaphysical and ethical aspects of the Craft.
But a superficial perusal of available documents will demonstrate that the modern Masonic order is not united respecting the true purpose for its own existence. Nor will this factor of doubt be dispelled until the origin of the Craft is established beyond all quibbling.
The elements of Masonic history are strangely elusive; there are gaps which apparently cannot be bridged. But it is enveloped in obscurity, and lies far outside the domain of authentic history. That Masonry is a body of ancient lore is self-evident, but the tangible "link" necessary to convince the recalcitrant Brethren that their order is the direct successor of the pagan Mysteries has unfortunately not been adduced to date.
Of such problems as these is composed the "angel" with which the Masonic Jacob must wrestle throughout the night. Dimly silhouetted in the mists that becloud these tangled issues are such figures as Cagliostro, Comte de St.
Martin, but even the connection between these individuals and the Craft has never been clearly defined. The writings of early Masonic history is involved in such obvious hazard as to provoke the widespread conclusion that further search is futile.
The average Masonic student is content, therefore, to trace his Craft back to the workmen's guilds who chipped and chiseled the cathedrals and public buildings of medieval Europe.
While such men as Albert Pike have realized this attitude to be ridiculous, it is one thing to declare it insufficient and quite another to prove the fallacy to an adamantine mind. So much has been lot and forgotten, so much ruled in and out by those unfitted for such legislative revision that the modern rituals do not in every case represent the original rites of the Craft.THE SECRET DOCTRINE: THE SYNTHESIS OF SCIENCE, RELIGION, AND PHILOSOPHY.
by H. P. BLAVATSKY, Author of "ISIS UNVEILED." "There is no Religion higher than Truth.". The Secret Doctrine establishes three fundamental propositions: (a) An Omnipresent, Eternal, Boundless, and Immutable P RINCIPLE on which all speculation is impossible, since it transcends the power of human conception and could only be dwarfed by any human expression or similitude.
THE FALSE ALLURE OF GROUP SELECTION. Human beings live in groups, are affected by the fortunes of their groups, and sometimes make sacrifices that benefit their groups. Along with The Secret Doctrine I suggest reading the closely related work A Treatise on Cosmic Fire which, like The Secret Doctrine, is available free online: A Treatise on Cosmic Fire - Online Books.
Treatise on Cosmic Fire is the next phase of the same teaching initiated by Blavatsky and is more up to date and better organized. Preface. In regard to literature pertaining to the Biblical doctrine of Heaven, it is strange that the latter part of the nineteenth century saw a flood of books on various aspects of this subject while the twentieth century has witnessed comparatively few.
About a decade ago, I happened to be talking with an eminent academic scholar who had become known for his sharp criticism of Israeli policies in the Middle East and America’s strong support for them.