Tuesday, June 28, 2011
June 29, 2011
A MUSLIM, a Jew and an Orthodox Greek walk into a Masonic Lodge. Does it sound like the start of a joke? It's not - it is said to be the start of a trend.
Just as the once powerful, esoteric society of Freemasonry seemed to be on its deathbed, with Victorian numbers down from 120,000 in 1970 to just 13,000 in 2009, it has received an injection of new blood - some of it from previously unexpected sources."
Read full article here: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/freemasons-saving-faith-by-encouraging-diversity-20110628-1gp5u.html
Thursday, June 23, 2011
More recently, reading about how King James having the Bible translated into common language, and the creation of the Royal Academy of science, at the same time as the creation of the first Grand Lodge, gives insight into the origins of our modern times, democracy and liberal and egalitarian values.
ISAAC NEWTON'S FREEMASONRY
In this valuable book Alain Bauer has been firmly established that the myths relating to the directly operative origins of Freemasonry, seeing the cathedral builders as the true forerunners of speculative Masons and viewing these latter as legitimate heirs of the former, can no longer be considered as anything more than what they are: myths, stories that are significant but are in no way historical facts.
The Author presents the swirl of historical, sociological, and religious influences that sparked the spiritual ferment and transformation of that time. His research shows that Freemasonry represented a crossroads between science and spirituality and became the vehicle for promoting spiritual and intellectual egalitarianism.
Ceasing to search for the key to understanding itself in mysterious and abstruse geometry and in the fabulous architectonic legacy of the pyramids, speculative Masonry must redirect its attention to what, after almost three centuries, defines it and gives it structure: an intellectual and moral adventure.
Editor, PS Review of Freemasonry.
ISAAC NEWTON'S FREEMASONRY
Book Excerpt - from Chapter 3
The strange relationship between Newton and the complex fringes of the Hermeticism of the epoch has long been unknown, and even concealed. The official biographies have mostly kept silent about this side of Newton.
Loup Verlet writes of the conditions of the “miraculous” discovery of Newton’s unpublished manuscripts. Put in a stack in 1696 when he was leaving the directorship of the mint in London, they escaped the burning of his personal documents arranged just after his death. They were discovered two centuries later and put up at auction in 1936. John Maynard Keynes won the manuscripts and revealed that Newton was not only the “first physicist” but also the “last magician.” The haul included several alchemical works, the bulk of them now at Cambridge, some at the University of Jerusalem, and others in private collections. According to Verlet, Newton’s known work comprises 1.4 million words relating to theology, 550,000 on alchemy, 150,000 on monetary affairs, and one million on scientific problems.
Verlet considers Newton, from a scientific point of view, to have been a coincidence. If he had not lived, the development of the sciences would surely have been delayed, and the work begun by Galileo and Descartes would have been slowed down. But by hiding his secrets away, Newton the magus also hid the alchemical, Hermetic, and esoteric dimensions which elucidated his research. From this point of view, victorious Science made its complex matrix disappear.
Alexandre Koyré writes that Newton senselessly brought his most technical work into the realm of questioning regarding “methodological, epistemological, and metaphysical problems.” He explains that historians often neglect this development, getting mixed up over the various editions of Newton’s works, especially his Optics.
Bishop Berkeley soon saw the danger, and vigorously attacked Newton’s ideas starting in 1710. Leibniz, for his part, accused Newton of philosophical occultism. Newton reacted by publishing his “General Scholium” in a new edition of his Principia. He wrote: “The true God is a living, intelligent, and powerful Being; . . . his duration reaches from eternity to eternity; his presence from infinity to infinity; he governs all things.”
Was Newton cautious, or truly a heretic? He refuted the purely mechanist positions of Descartes and Leibniz, always remaining at the edge of what was tolerated in religious matters, even attacking his contemporaries for “impiety.” Leibniz reacted on the same terrain, writing in 1715 to the Princess of Wales--who would later be Queen of England--that “Sir Isaac Newton, and his followers, have also a very odd opinion concerning the work of God. According to their doctrine, God Almighty wants to wind up his watch from time to time: otherwise it would cease to move. He had not, it seems, sufficient foresight to make it a perpetual motion. Nay, the machine of God’s making is so imperfect, according to these gentlemen, that he is obliged to clean it now and then by an extraordinary concourse, and even to mend it, as a clockmaker mends his work.” The controversy continued for a long time, mingling theological and scientific arguments in a surprising mixture, often subtle, sometimes of an absolute intellectual perversity.
Isabelle Stengers writes that Newton affirmed: “I do not feign hypotheses, I stick to phenomena.” This did not hinder his speculative theories, and placed him in contrast with the “contemplative” Galileo.
In his work on the history of zero, Charles Seife highlights the will of Newton, like Leibniz, to use a “dangerous idea,” the idea of zero, to invent differential calculus. Accepting the idea of a number that is nothing and infinite--a strange and terrifying concept emerging before the time of Christ, rejected by all the thinkers of the ancient world, except for the Babylonians who invented this empty space and the Mayans who placed it before 1--the scientists of the eighteenth century used the nothing and gave it substance. Another revolution was in progress: “mystic calculus” appeared.
In 1669, according to Richard Westfall, Newton immersed himself in alchemical literature. Betty Jo Teeter Dobbs affirms that “Newton read virtually everything alchemical that had ever been published, and a good many things that had not.” Numerous manuscripts from Hartlib’s circle were copied by Newton himself. His friend Robert Boyle served him as a link to other circles of Rosicrucians and alchemists. Elias Ashmole did the same in writing his Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum (published in 1652).
Newton even devised an anagram of his name as a pseudonym (Isaacus Neuutonus becoming Jeova sanctus unus), which allowed him to exchange manuscripts with his correspondents while remaining anonymous, despite widespread speculation. In Newton’s personal archives, a great many manuscripts have been found with lengthy annotations: Philalethes’ Secrets Reveal’d from 1669, Sendivogius’ Novum Lumen Chymicum, Espagnet’s Arcanum hermeticae philosophiae, Maier’s Symbola aureae mensae duodecim, the Opera of George Ripley (the great English alchemist), Basil Valentine’s Triumphal Chariot of Antimony. Most of these are preserved at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Newton was fascinated by the transmutation of metals. “Far from seeking to make gold, he sought to understand nature,” writes Jacques Blamont. Newton sought to isolate mercury, a fundamental element. This was probably the cause of his death.
Outside this dimension, Newton developed truly heretical ideas. Fascinated by the trinity, he was impassioned by the conflict between the orthodox, led by Athanasius in the fourth century, and the disciples of Arius. Arius believed that God was one, and that the trinity could not be. Newton, according to Richard Westfall, became convinced bit by bit “that a massive fraud had perverted the legacy of the early church.” Newton considered the worship of Christ, in place of God, to be idolatrous. But living in a completely orthodox Cambridge where his own master, Barrow, defended the trinity, Newton did not express his views publicly.
David Brewster, in his 1855 biography, wrote, “uniting philosophy and religion, Newton dissolved the alliance that genius had formed with skepticism, and added to the myriad witnesses the most brilliant name of ancient and modern times.”
Sunday, June 19, 2011
On Father's Day (From My Other Favorite Living Poet/Writer) What Does Inheritance Mean? --Wendell Berry
"The obligation is very great and moves two ways. The old have an obligation to be exemplary, if they can–and since nobody can be completely exemplary, they also have an obligation to be intelligent about their failings. They’re going to be remembered in one way or another, so they have an obligation to see that they’re remembered not as a liability or a great burden, but as a help. And of course the young, the inheritors, have an obligation to remember these people and live up to them–be worthy of them. So it’s an obligation that goes both ways, and it’s inescapable. Once you become involved in this sequence of lives, there is no way to escape the responsibility. You inherit, and in turn you bequeath an inheritance of some kind."- Wendell Berry
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
Knights Templar heirs demand apology from Vatican - Telegraph
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Friday, June 10, 2011
Monday, June 6, 2011
Where crimson-blank the windows flare.
By my own work before the night,
Great Overseer, I make my prayer.
Thy Hand compelled it, Master, Thine--
Where I have failed to meet Thy Thought
I know, through Thee, the blame was mine.
Stands all Eternity’s offence.
Of that I did with Thee to guide,
To Thee, through Thee, be excellence.
The bitter paths wherein I stray--
Thou knowest Who has made the Fire,
Thou knowest Who has made the Clay.
Bring’st Eden to the craftsman’s brain--
Godlike to muse o'er his own Trade
And manlike to stand with God again!
In that dread Temple of Thy worth.
It is enough that, through Thy Grace,
I saw nought common on Thy Earth.
Oh, whatsoe'er may spoil or speed,
Help me to need no aid from men
That I many help such men as need!
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Off to hangout with the Brits!
Atlantic Brotherhood Summit - June 2 - June 5
All are welcome to this weekend's events with our British Lodge friends: the candidate-friendly boat cruise, the English-style 3rd Degree, and the entertaining Festive Board. See the Events pages for details, here.
Pardon me, is that seat reserved?
We are already close to full for both our June Festive Board with the brothers from Internet Lodge, and for the Emulation Degree with approximately 200 already planning to attend. Please brethren, make every effort to RSVP via the ABS event page. We do not wish to turn a member away at the door.
Have you purchased your Pin and Tie?
Churchill Lodge members and supporters may be recognized by their distinctive, formal lodge pins and tie. These and other items are available at our Supply Depot...
A warm welcome is extended to you all...
“We must not lose our faculty to dare, especially in dark days.” - Churchill in March, 1942.
Sir Winston Churchill Lodge, #351, of Minneapolis, chartered in 2009 (as was Gen. Douglas MacArthur Lodge #352 of St. Paul), is Minnesota's first of two new evening lodges to have been founded in over 25 years. Why Churchill? Why form a new lodge?
Find out more...