from my notes on Masonry:
Benjamin Franklin and his broad Deist Enlightenment perspective led him to speak a language more symbolic / poetic than today's--yet it was perfectly understood in his time. I keep thinking of Walter Isaacson's description of Franklin's funeral... all the clergy from the entire city marched at the front with his coffin--the Rabbi with them. It says everything about Franklin, and everything about what our current leaders and their castrati of press would like us to lose.
In every town I drive through, I look for and often find the Masonic emblem. I understand what an important role they played in carrying Enlightenment views though this nation. They were long the civic backbone, a place where all the clergy could 'walk together' and meet as men, all dogma realized as symbol and ritual. Too often written out of serious history, what a great loss to lose this perspective.
Seems to me that FreeMasonry was sometimes the one place in this commercialgodobsessed nation where different denominations and parties might come together, seeing we are really all made alike, hands, feet, head, soul, notions, fears, hopes, failings... Why not enlighten each other's way?
Anyone interested in Masonry and its history will find the articles in the Eighteenth-Century Studies Journal vol 33 number 2 , Johns Hopkins Univ Press, helpful. To paint all masonry as diabolical -- some NWO -- is absurd. The US Constitution is essentially a Masonic document. Separation of religion and state (the original wording) was the very core of Masonry in that age.
Masonry and its history: Eighteenth-Century Studies Journal vol 33 number 2 , Johns Hopkins Univ Press.
Jacob,Margaret C. Living the Enlightenment: Freemasonry and Politics in Eighteen-Century Europe . Oxford University Press: New York, 1991.
Jacob provides an insight into how Freemasons, in their private sociability, reconstituted polity and established a constitutional form of self-government complete with laws, elections and representatives. Moral, ethical and political prescriptions permeating Masonic rituals and discourse is thoroughly examined. Freemasonry wove Enlightened ideas into a tapestry of rituals and oaths; rules of conduct intended to induce loyalty and civility for its dedicated followers—promoting socially acceptable virtues. Also mentioned are Freemason utopian, reforming and free-thinking tendencies (Benjamin Franklin among a few). Jacob explains the exclusion of women in Freemasonry and the anti-masonic trends.
Pedicord, Harry W. “Masonic Theatre Pieces in London 1730-1780.” Theatre Survey. 25 (1984), 153-166. Freemasonry as a vital force in the theatrical scene both before and behind the stage curtain; 18th century. Pedicord gives a compilation of plays, operas and song that were predominately Masonic in theme. Among the pieces are an Opera, “The Generous Free- Mason,” a tragedy, “The London Merchant,” and a drama, “Harlequin Freemason.” Each reflect the traditions and teachings of Freemasonry. All pieces are broken down scene by scene and explained. Samples of reviews in magazines and newspapers are also included.
Roberts, Marie. British Poets and Secret Societies. Barnes and Noble Books: Totowa New Jersey, 1986. A compilation of works of 18th century poetry on the subject of Freemasonry. This book investigates the relationship between poets and secret societies; mainly Freemasonry. Included in the compilation are writings by Rudyard Kipling. The involvement of the poets with the Freemason Brotherhood is also examined. The poems include all aspects of Freemasonry; from their philosophy and practice to their rituals and dress. Each poem is broken down and interpreted, making this interesting reading even for those unfamiliar with Freemasory.
"The Library of the University of Poznan possess an exceptional collection of Masonic books amounting to about 80,000 volumes. This collection was originally formed during World War II when Heinrich Himmler's SS under the Nazi regime in Germany confiscated the libraries of Masonic libraries in Germany, and stored this archive in Poland. After the war this collection remained in Poland, and only since the fall of the communist regime has its existence been known or it been given any publicity.
It is the largest Masonic collection in continental Europe and second only to that of the Grand Lodge in London. Some of the items are housed in Poznan and others at the Chateau de Ciazen about 80 kilometers from Poznan. The University Library and some Masonic bodies from Poland and Western Europe agreed to make Ciazen the centre of Masonic research. The palace has long been a place for conferences and seminars, so it has hotel-like facilities. It is a beautiful place and was formerly the residence of bishops.
The older part of the collection has many Rosicrucian books of the 17th and 18th Centuries, but the most substantial part of the collection is of 19th and 20th century works. The greater part of the collection is in German, but there are many English and French works. There are many Masonic encyclopaedias, monographs, Masonic manuals, and polemical and works of Masonic instruction. 70% of the titles are in the form of journals and magazines in a number of languages. There are a number of membership list and other internal documents of various Masonic orders, Constitutions and Statutes, and works on the symbolism, the catechism, instructions, grade rituals and ceremonies of the different Masonic orders. The manuscripts are at present being catalogued. There are both alchemical and magical items."
A catalogue of the collection is available on Microfiche (30 microfiches) from:-
George Olms (Division III Microform)
[Some scholarly institutions may already have copies of this microfiche.]
The address of the curator is:-
Mgr A. Karpowicz
Samodzielna Sekcja Zbiorow Masonskich
Biblioteka Glowna UAM
ul. Ratajczaka 38/40
So what is this with Sir Philip Wharton as a source for Richardson's Lovelace? These "malcontent masons": from J.L.Carr, Gorgons, Gormogons, Medusists and Masons, Modern Language Review, LVIII (Jan. 1963), pp.73-8. "The Gormogons were a body of malcontent Masons who formed themselves into a society in order to mimic and disparage the parent society. The Order was founded by Sir Philip Wharton who had also established the society for the advancement of flirtation. Wharton, who had been Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of England, may have been the model for Lovelace in Richardson's Clarissa Harlowe (1747-8). See T.C. Duncan Eaves and Ben D. Kimpel, Samuel Richardson: A Biography (Oxford, 1971), p.267."
"What has destroyed liberty and the rights of man in every government which has ever existed under the sun? The generalizing and concentrating all cares and powers into one body, no matter whether of the autocrats of Russia or France, or of the aristocrats of a Venetian Senate."
~Thomas Jefferson to Joseph C. Cabell, 1816.
The Carbonari and the independence movements in Greece and Italy, the Red Circle Conan Doyle writes about, the current twists... well, speculative indeed.. Sadly, any group is subject to following agenda, thus the ever-present crap detector is all. (Update: the Breivik Psychosis)
At the end of the Gnosis article on Freemasonry [No. 44, Summer 97] by the author of The Hiram Key (actually, that Jerusalem Community Hiram Key speaks of is an area of current academic immersion -- if we can keep the region from being completely blown up, agenda again, ever the real conspiracy... ), he talks about the rites being hijacked and rewritten:
Freemasonry as it's practiced today has lost its way to large degree, partly because of people's living patterns and the way times have changed, but also because it was deliberately changed around 1717 and again in the next century. (Note: He looks to the Scottish as the authentic, as well as the Masonry of the US Founding Fathers.) Christian degrees were invented, and old degrees were pushed back into the background. It's hard to understand, because it's all been carved up so much. We are still continuing to piece it all back together again.*********
bleetings from when times were less dark and my prose a bit more purple...
My personal interest in Masonry and other esoteric off-shoots came from studying various artists from the 19th C. Was for me a worthy journey.
The Rosicrucian Enlightenment (Routledge Classics) (Routledge Classics (Paperback)) (Paperback)
by Frances Yates
"In the old Europe, a royal wedding was a diplomatic event of the first importance, and royal wedding festivities were a statement of policy..." (more)
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The Rosicrucian Enlightenment Revisited (Paperback)
by Paul Bembridge, Joscelyn Godwin, Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, Claire Goodrick-Clarke, Christopher McIntosh,Robert Sardello, Christopher Bamford, John Matthews (Editor), Ralph White (Introduction) "THE GRAIL AND THE ROSE: two streams of wisdom flowing side by side, sometimes entering the same channel and flowing together, sometimes separating again to..." (more)
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