From the Master of Kadosh (November, 2008)

posted May 13, 2015, 1:45 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 13, 2015, 1:45 PM ]
While browsing in our Scottish Rite Library I found the book “The Meaning of Masonry” written by Brother W. L. Wilmshurst.  I highly recommend this collection of writings as a part of your on-going Masonic self-education.
The last chapter or paper in the book goes into a somewhat abbreviated discussion of the relationship of Freemasonry to the ancient mysteries. He chooses to concentrate on the Greek Eleusinian mystery system. To wet your appetite, I am including just a small part of his introduction into how Freemasonry relates to the Eleusinian.
The Eleusinian was for several centuries the focus point of religion and philosophy for the then civilized portion of Europe. Eleusis means light and the initiation into the mysteries of Eleusis, therefore, meant a search by the aspirant for light, in the same, but a far more real, sense as the modern Mason declares light to be the main wish of his heart.
In that time it meant, as it ought to mean today but does not, not merely light in the sense of being given some secret information not obtainable elsewhere or about any matter of worldly interest, but the opening up of the candidate’s whole intellectual and spiritual nature in the super-sensual light of the Divine world and raising him to God consciousness. The ordinary and uninitiated man knows nothing of that super-sensual light by his merely natural reason or existence. He is conscious only of the outer world and things perceptible by his own natural faculties. In the words of St. Paul, “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
Initiation, therefore, meant a process whereby natural man became transformed into spiritual or ultra-natural man, and to effect this it was necessary to change his consciousness, to gear it to a new and higher principle, and so, as it were, make him a new man in the sense of attaining a new method of life and a new outlook upon the universe.
So, I ask that you consider Brother Wilmshurst's words the next time a candidate or aspirant is being initiated or moved to the next degree in your Blue Lodge or in the Scottish Rite Degrees.
Thanks to the Brothers who participated in our first Scottish Rite Night of Instruction and Festive Agape Dinner on September 29. Special thanks to Brother Daniel Doornbos, 32°, KCCH for his excellent paper and presentation on the symbolism of the new Fourth Degree. There was a lively and interesting discussion of the paper and other Masonic subjects during the Agape dinner. I also wish to express my thanks to Brother Bob Rowan, 32°, KCCH, Mary Lou Johnson, Brother Joseph DaSilva, 32° and Oscar and Felipe, for their contributions the success of the evening. We plan to do this again soon and hope that those of you who missed this night of instruction and brotherhood will join us at the next such event. Watch the Rite Word for the announcement.

Chuck Cowden, 32 ° Master of Kadosh