From the Wise Master (February 2018)

posted Feb 8, 2018, 3:02 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

This is my first article and month as your Wise Master and I thank all the Brethren for allowing me to serve in this important leadership position. It is my hope and intention to serve you well and with my strong line of officers to aid me I have high confidence to do so.

In my articles, I will strive to present a bit of Masonic and other philosophical “Light” for your consideration.  This month I want to share some thoughts on the subject of Alchemy and its’ relation to Freemasonry.

Brothers Russell Donathan and Roger Davis in their paper published by the High Council of Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis in 2009 had this in part to say about Masonry and Alchemy. “The ancient art of Alchemy almost certainly had an influence on the development of Freemasonry. Both are disciplines seeking how the Divine potential within the human being is unveiled and manifested. Both represent paths to the greater mysteries which lead to enlightenment. Both are focused on the process by which knowledge or illumination (gold) conquers ignorance (lead) within the human psyche. Alchemy holds that the physical body is product of consciousness and the mind is the creator and sustainer of form. Indeed one of the main ideas of Hermetic philosophy is “the All is Mind; the Universe is mental.” This suggests that all creation is a result of the Mind of God. And since Man is made in the image of God (the root word for “man” is “mano” = mind), this means the Mind of God is within Man. The implication of this unworldly connection is that the mind can become a force whenever the energy of right thought and action becomes the focused will of humanity. Consciousness begets will, which becomes the bellows for global consciousness.

The goal of alchemy is transformation. To the alchemist, to change lead into gold means to change the slumber of consciousness into awareness. It is the change that is the key of Alchemy. “ We must be aware that although change is possible from a global or universal perspective, as well as within our own mind and character, such change can represent change for the better or for the worse.

“Perhaps ,then, much of humanity are Alchemists. Every good man and women, and especially each Brother of the craft, desires to change, or develop, into a better person. This is the very essence of Freemasonry. Man needs to change from his state of ignorance and darkness into knowledge and light. The ancient science of Alchemy is the allegorical furnace for such a transformation. Employed as a principle for good in the world, Alchemy can be considered the operative art of Freemasonry.”

I recommend to you the teachings of the Kabbalah, Noetic Science, String Theory and Alchemy. The four are interrelated and can combine to activate Man’s Potential . The secret one might learn in these circles of ancient knowledge is not in how to die but in how we choose to live.

     “…. and when at last the evening shadows fall, and wearied hands lay down the working tools of life, may you so have lived and labored that you may pass with serene, unwavering confidence through the sunset gates.”

The officers of the San Jose Chapter of Knights Rose Croix plan to offer some interesting and fun - filled events during 2018. We are already planning a college football game/tailgate party for this Fall. Both Stanford and San Jose State have attractive home games to choose from. We are considering a visit to the Steinbeck Museum in Salinas, and a wine tasting trip in the Gilroy/San Martin part of the Santa Clara Appellation. We encourage your ideas for other activities for the Chapter to conduct. Just let us know.

Finally, I ask that all of you put the Maundy Thursday celebration of Renewal and Remembrance on your calendars. It would be great to fill the Temple and have this special time together to contemplate what this occasion means to Freemasons and millions of others.  The date is March 29. I will see you in Chapter.

Fraternally,  Chuck Cowden, Wise Master