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THE INITIATORY FREEMASONRY


The Masonic key to squaring the circle

Men of free will and high moral standing

For quite some time now, the Italian Freemasonry has been unable to maintain a significant role and identity. This is because, when selecting its Initiates, it focuses more on their increase in number rather than on the moral and ethical values an initiatory Institution is supposed to draw inspiration from.

Unfortunately, the Grand Orient of Italy (GOI) and the Italian Freemasonry in general are contaminated with structural and cultural pathogens that have completely distorted the nature of Masons and drifted them away from the initiatory path.

As a result of the Enlightenment and of the social influence of England and France (to whom we pledge protection and recognition that are not justified by our true and certainly non-alleged origins) a purely intellectual, philosophical and social search is now prevailing inside Masonic Temples and has led to affiliation criteria and wage increases typical of the uninitiated world.

Social status, education and often occupation – all key elements for the uninitiated – matter much more than initiatory qualification, real inner growth and thorough understanding of the values and tools necessary to erect the mystic Temple.

Freemasonry should help the individual and the community improve their own abilities and sensitivities. Unfortunately, most Brethren are in no position to help anyone, since they have nothing to transmit.

Our Order features a full acculturation of initiatory sciences and “true Masonry”.

Unluckily (or maybe luckily), Ars Regia still remains unknown to most, above all to those who have reached the highest Masonic degrees.

Today, there is a dearth of experienced Masonic teachers and above all a general “ignorance” about the correct application of techniques that are no longer shared. Brethren are not properly trained and instructed in Freemasonry - a practice they should gradually feel comfortable with and consider fit for them. It is indeed a Tradition that has selected and tested learning methods for every possible situation, taking into account individual needs and specific situations and contexts.

The results of that testing, preserved and passed down by Masonic symbolism, make up the doctrine and Tradition that encapsulate a wealth of values, as well as practical - not just theoretical - recommendations.

As a matter of fact, rules and practical recommendations aiming to liberate our conscience lie at the core of initiatory teaching (in the Masonic jargon, to rough-hew stone means to search for Light, namely mental and spiritual Light), and we can liberate our conscience in more ways than one.

As indicated in the Rituals, Ars Regia is the essence of the Masonic path, and Symbols, Rituals, legends, Sacred words, Passwords and “mouth-to-ear Communication” refer specifically to this path.

Freemasonry should return to the task of helping individuals and the community as a whole improve their skills and sensitivities.

In ritual chambers, under the expert guidance of a Master, the members of the Craft should test and develop the individual and social skills necessary to attain increasingly higher intensity and promote ethical behaviours in keeping with shared values like loyalty, honesty, consistency of thought, words and deeds, which means that they undertake to do no harm to others through thoughts, words, or deeds.

It is also important to get to know and respect our body and try to keep it healthy, by not eating junk food, or smoking or drinking or, if we are unable to quit, by limiting at least alcohol and cigarette consumption.

We must learn how to take control of our emotions and senses, in order to develop and master the sense we use less consciously and directly: intuition.

This psycho-physical and ethical approach is no longer considered necessary. There was a time when the initiated Freemason was recognized as such because of his behavior. His distinctive feature was uprightness of life, arising from the fulfillment of the principle of “Righteous Deed”, not based on philosophical tenets or intellectual speculations but rather on practice – i.e. on the path followed within the Temples, sacred venues made fit for Rite participants to experience a progressive and more and more intense exchange of energy.

Any improper behavior inside and outside the Lodge should be avoided, not for philosophical or aesthetic reasons, but because it leads to regression and blocks our energies, thus preventing our psycho-physical system from reaching its Inner Core.

Before the Lodge opening, every Brother should examine his conscience carefully and assess whether he is spiritually and physically ready to participate in a Rite during which his biochemical and atomic systems communicate directly with the other Brethren, who, in turn, will transmit and receive the good and bad experienced in the preceding days.

All those who decide to be part of this Microcosm characterized by a high biatomic concentration, should be aware (the conditional tense is necessary, because such an awareness does not exist any longer) of the importance of purifying their nervous, circulatory and breathing systems completely. Joined together in an indissoluble Egregore until the end of the Lodge meeting, Rite participants are subject to the energies that modify and accelerate the natural rhythms of their respiratory, circulatory and nervous system vital centres, so that they can get rid of selfishness and be connected to the telluric energy.

This different approach explains why participants are required to arrive to the Temple clean and purified, both in their bodies and in their spirits – as is customary for those who attend ritual and sacred ceremonies (e.g. the Sunday mass).

The metaphorical invitation to all Brethren to be divested of all metals before entering the Temple does not mean that they have to leave objects or money outside, as most freemasons erroneously believe since the true meaning of this invitation has been forgotten. It rather means that they must shake off all the negative energies accumulated during the week.

They attend a sacred ceremony that requires a healthy body and possibly a toxin and residue-free energy system.

A correct individual approach and psychophysical training are indispensable prerequisites to work effectively on ourselves and on others. In this way, the silent symbols of the Masonic Temple reveal themselves and speak to us as we move along our initiatory path correctly and consistently.

Conversely, when a Freemason overlooks the initiatory aspects, these concepts lose their true meaning and become plain and empty statements.

He starts his journey going downhill, that is in the opposite direction of the initiatory path, and consequently he produces the opposite of the desired effect. Few people are aware of the effects generated by attending Masonic Lodge meetings. Many believe it is just a playact, an “improvised performance”, with an exclusively symbolic meaning and educational purpose. If deep-rooted prejudices were dispelled and the prevailing mindset changed, people would start to realize that the work performed by our “past brothers” has scientific foundations confirmed by the most advanced research in the field.

In an article published in Hiram magazine (no.1/2008) under the title “The Masonic Temple as a Metatemporal Venue between Construction And Deconstruction” a Brother with a long track record pointed out:

Whenever any deeply spiritual, sacrificial and esoteric ceremony starts according to set rules, a new temporal, or more precisely, metatemporal dimension unfolds, since the ritual time is no longer the same as the time outside the Temple. With the dismantling of mundane space, even time loses, or rather acquires a new direction –or maybe many directions, including immobility

It is a well-known fact that if we traveled at the speed of light, our watches might seem to have almost stopped. During the meeting of the Lodge, time and space are subject to a number of variables. With the interruption of profane time, the Lodge sets a collective time - since it is arranged according to the Rite - and an interior time, because it is beaten by the Initiate (and the Candidate) who at this point sets to work.

It is a backward journey, in the opposite direction of real time: following the movement of celestial spheres, the Temple turns into a living and pulsating Planetarium. We move from day to night and from equinox to solstice, through constellations ,with zodiac symbols that show us the way.

A symbolic and at the same time real journey around the world, going eastward; a journey that does not last 80 days, but a few seconds only, giving us just enough time to “deconstruct” ourselves, so that we can open up to a “different temporal dimension”, where time and our thoughts and feelings stop completely and a different awareness unfolds. Through its movement against the current, this seemingly unreal journey helps our biatomic system endure – albeit fully unconsciously – increasingly high energy levels, produced by the mutual exchanges among the various members of the Craft, joined together into the Egregore of the Lodge. The Egregore readjusts and stabilizes the respiratory, circulatory and primarily the neurovegetative systems of all Brethren, whose participation intensifies as they join to form the energizing Chain of Union.

Each Brother moves according to his own rhythm and speed and reaches a “spatial-temporal rendezvous” with all the other Brethren, when they connect like space capsules and form a new and more powerful living organism.

The members of the Craft should always generate a harmonious exchange of energy and be aware of the importance of sharing and using that energy. This exchange is one of the key functions of the members of the Craft, whose energy plays a very special role, in that it provides fuel to the meetings. Each experience is different, depending on the involvement of each participant. It gives them the chance to store up the energy produced during the Masonic works and disseminate it when they make it back to the profane world.

In the Lodge-rooms, under the expert guidance of a Master, members of the Craft should measure and develop their individual and collective abilities if they want to strengthen and make them qualitatively better, and thus use and highlight such abilities inside society, in the workplace, and primarily within their own families.

It is important to emphasize that this energy must be carefully portioned, because its impact has to be subtle, yet deep. If too much energy is used or induced, the group and individual energy is liable to be depleted and blocked, as has already happened in quite a number of cases.

Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of Brethren think that such potential does not exist, hence it should not be monitored nor developed, while others feel that they are able to unleash an extremely high potential and, worse still, master it both individually and collectively.

Such a sophisticated doctrinal formulation reached the Western world only in ancient Egyptian times. Most unfortunately, the heritage and teachings of that time went lost and reprehensibly that culture and ongoing exchange of ideas do not exist any more. This holds especially true for modern Freemasonry, which, in contrast with its tradition, is no longer capable of integrating > energetics, psychosomatics and spiritual growth in a single corpus, in order to instruct Brethren in all three degrees through a personal and specific training, so that eventually they will see, hear, smell, taste, and touch the human heart, and will become “knowledgeable beings”.

This training requires well-qualified and experienced tutors, who have received and are pursuing, together with other Masters, the individual and collective teachings that were formulated by Sumerians, Babylonians and Egyptians in far-off times, reached early Christianity through the Essenes and were embraced by the Jews through the holy Kabbalah, by the Greeks (Plato and Pythagoras), by the Romans, and in more recent times, by the Christian military order of the Knights Templar, who were helped substantially by the patronage of Bernard of Clairvaux. As a matter of fact, St. Bernard considered the Earth more alive and pulsating than any other living being, and his love and respect for the Earth are worth mentioning:

"You will find more in woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you what you cannot learn from masters”.

• Do you expect to suck honey from the rock and oil from the flinty stone?

• Don’t you know that wisdom is distilled from our mountains?

• That milk and honey flow from our hills?

• That our valleys are full of wheat?

“I have plenty of things to tell you, but I must stop here!”

( Epistle 106)

These very ancient practices have been deliberately kept so secret that this methodological and practical approach is no longer accepted, nor shared by the majority of operative Masons. Hence, it is not passed on to those who decide to become members of a Brotherhood that considers itself esoteric and composed of “True Initiates into the Mastery and practice of the royal Art. ".

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After these preliminary remarks, it is no wonder that such heritage has been lost and has become totally incomprehensible to most Masons.

When did we embark on this dead-end path?

Going back into history, we could easily assert that 1717 was not the date of birth of an institution whose teachings can be traced back to time immemorial and which have touched all civilizations as well as leading esoteric groups.

Due to confused and shifting presumptions of knowledge, inconsistencies, muddle, disorganization and historical lies, amateurism and dull ignorance, and most of all to the high number of Brethren who lack the qualities, or the skills or the resolve to embark on an inner journey uncontaminated by profane goals, we must humbly and realistically admit that it is quite hard - if even possible - to pass on this ancient teaching.

We are well aware that we are moving on untilled ground that has remained dormant for too long and whose seeds have withered away, but we do believe that there are people who could contribute to an initiatory rebirth. Unfortunately, either they are not prepared to act for the good of the institution, or they are not interested in doing so, because of the environment they are expected to operate in.

In a country where we are despised because of misinformation about the rituals and the historic and initiatory role of Freemasonry, the true foe lies within the Grand Orient of Italy, which is affected by an apparently incurable and irreversible disease. It is difficult to change mindsets and working tools, when they are so deeply rooted

It would be advisable to call off all appointments, and, most of all, without infringing upon the autonomy and freedom of the Lodge, change the selection criteria of the Worshipped Masters radically, so that they can again be well-qualified and experienced tutors having the necessary knowledge to use the initiatory tools correctly; mentor the Lodge Brethren; teach them the true meaning of symbols and rituals; correct wrong approaches, and rebalance, with the help of the Lodge Dignitaries and Officials (equally well-qualified and trained in their respective roles) the energy of Craft members. As a matter of fact, individual and collective experiences intensify as we complete the three degrees of the Craft. This training is both individual and collective.

Therefore, a refocus of Ars Muratoria on three levels (physical, psychic, and spiritual) is a must and can be put off no longer. Each Brother should be aware of the importance to direct all his attention and energies on his perceptive, physical, and sensorial domains (Entered Apprentice degree), his psychical conscience (Fellow Craft Degree) and his mental sphere (Master Mason Degree), in order to master the different working levels individually and collectively and hence perform a transmutation.

Talking proudly of the Sufi tradition, the Sufi Master Omar Ali-Shah used to say that “There are no ‘spirituality trains’ you can get on and off at will, in order to reach any given level”.

The Freemasonry station is closed and has fallen into disuse. Nowadays, not even a spirituality steam locomotive goes past this station, but there are still engines and plenty of carriages left abandoned on blind tracks. Old engine drivers must be reinstated to teach their young counterparts how to drive a train. If they do so, the station will reopen, to welcome passengers waiting faithfully in the departure lounge.

We believe that we all need to examine our inner self honestly, and decide whether we want to be passive viewers who will never leave, or active workers, who will reopen the station and hop at last on the ultra-modern high speed train.

Giovanni Salvati Master Mason .'.