PATHS OF HEAVENLY SCIENCE

Part One

And He summoneth all the Hosts of Heaven, and all the Holy Ones above the Seraphim, the Kerubim, the Auphanim, all the Spirits of Power, the Blessed Ones, and all the Spirits of Principalities, the Angek, and the Powers on earth and over the water. . .

(Book of Enoch)

Freemasonry, we are told in the Second Degree, is a progressive science, and this is a statement with which no Master Mason could reasonably disagree with, for do we not progress through the three formal degrees; do we not progress through the offices of the Lodge and, happily, having passed through the Chair, finally settle down in one of the secondary offices suited to our own peculiar talents firstly as an assistant, then as principal, to eventually relinquish the office to make way for a "younger" brother to enable him, in his turn, to further develop his capacity for service to his Lodge?

This progression is clearly stated in the Craft Lectures (First Lecture, Seventh Section) in relation to the word Lewis, which denotes strength, and is depicted in our Lodges by certain pieces of metal dovetailed into a stone, forming a cramp, which, in combination with some mechanical powers, enables great weights to be raised to certain heights with little encumbrance whilst fixing them on their proper bases. The word Lewis also denotes the son of a Mason, whose duty is to bear the heat and burden of the day, from which they, by reason of their age, should be exempt. It is an exoteric explanation on the natural level, but esoterically is not the "dead end" it suggests, forit frees the "older" brother who presumably is holding office in another degree to perform vitally necessary work "between the columns" another progression not immediate apparent, but one of great significance.

Other progressions within the system can also be identified, but due caution has to be observed not merely because we have blindly undertaken to observe a certain amount of secrecy, fidelity and obedience, but because of an increasing knowledge of the underlying reasons that led to the restrictions being imposed. All the way through our progression we "learn by doing", it is indigenous to the system as a whole for otherwise we would be full of theory but without the practical ability to "exercise those talents wherewith God has blessed us" (basically the reason for the human Soul coming into incarnation). Put another way, anything we hear or read goes into automatic memory from whence it is capable of being recalled a facility that has been demonstrated time and again by hypnosis. By pondering or reflecting upon things, seeing their relationship to other objects of knowledge together with their application, we make information our own property, which we are then able to express in our own particular way. Obversely, by rashly attempting to rush forward we may become accessories to our own spiritual death during this lifetime, for information presented to us to which we are unable to relate, causes a rejection of the idea, or the presenter of it, or of the system he represents, causing a blockage to our progression. But in this realm of duality in which we live, so aptly depicted by the black and white flooring of our Lodges, there is always a third, or synthesising aspect by means of which we are enabled to preserve a due medium between extremes; in this case credulity on the one hand by accepting anything presented to the consciousness and stored in our automatic memory withoutconsidering its relevance, and rejection on the other hand because we are unable to relate the new information to fixed beliefs already held; the third aspect is that of keeping an open mind pending the acquisition of further knowledge. We have all experienced, at one time or another, that peculiar combination of circumstances when a "new" insight has been gained through having an open mind, and having it confirmed from different quarters in a remarkably short space of time.

This is relevant to the next progression we will consider: that of the questions leading to each Degree. At our Initiation, questions were answered on our behalf ideal answers of a profound nature. The questions leading to the Second and Third Degree were "formal", meaning that the answers had to be given to us beforehand because we did not, at that stage, have the requisite knowledge to answer of our own accord. Our ready acquiescence in presenting ourselves for advancement was an earnest of an open mind capable of receiving a fresh impetus, but one, in these instances, where the answers could be related to the prior degree without them necessarily being understood, while at the same time creating a sense of achievement and maintaining the "openness" or receptive condition of mind so necessary for us to receive that which was then, outside the scope of our normal public or private avocations.

During the course of the Third Degree our attention was directed to a retrospect of the degrees through which we had already passed that we may be the better enabled to distinguished and appreciate the connection of our whole system, and the relative dependence of its several parts. This reevaluation is a facility of the mind which should be indulged during all processes of learning, and is one which, unfortunately, is easily glossed over, many brethren relying completely on memory, and habit patterns built during their earlier formative years without any realisation that they should have outgrown them, for, to quote from 1 Cor. ch. 13, v. 11; "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things." This is a progressionfollowingthe evolutionary pattern of the human race laid down for our pursuit from the dawn of time which has a clear analogy with various species within Nature showing clear demarcation lines, some remaining precisely at the level achieved by their forebears millions of years ago while others especially those who have a close contact with mankind show an increase in intelligence, moving them by association, slowly from darkness to light, even as we are assisted by association albeit by

prayer and meditation (a daily advancement) with those great Past Masters who have preceeded us on the Path. But the animal kingdom cannot progress to the heights preordained for the individualized human soul, for the animal kingdom is limited to the realm of the lower mind, or estimation, commensurate with survival and the propagation of its own species under the control of Nature herself. And we are, ourselves, animal in our lower nature -that part of ourselves symbolically covered by a white lambskin apron that we have to outgrow, and which is referred to in esoteric writings as our "childish" nature, and, we should often remind ourselves of the key already placed in our hand to open the way to our higher estate; moral truth and virtue.

In the Craft, or "Blue" Lodge, this particular progression is not emphasised for a good and sufficient reason; that the Third Degree is completed in the Holy Royal Arch, and the progression is given there in its entirety. But that does not prevent us from considering a brief resume of the basic principles unfolded by all the great teachings of the world; the threefold heading under which all knowledge may be classified consisting of God, the Cosmos, and Man; and the threefold constitution of Man consisting of Spirit, Soul, and Body. Basically through Body or Bodies, physical and spiritual, man is related to the prototypal man or Adam with His septenary correspondence with the seven worlds or conditions of existence, through Soul and its five gnostic powers with the Cosmos, and through spirit with the Triple Logos or Trinity one of whom presides over each degree in a Lodge but work as a unity in Chapter. It is as a man of the popular world, or "child," that we presented ourselves at the door of the Lodge in order to learn to know ourselves as a human Soul, and we presented ourselves as a human Soul at the door of the Chapter in order to learn to know ourselves as Spirit -- the journey to God culminating in the journey in God. Was it by chance, we must ask ourselves, that the Craft Lectures have seven sections to the First Degree, five sections to the Second Degree, and three sections to the Third Degree?

However, the progression alluded to is, I would suggest, related to these three stages and their relevant levels of consciousness, i.e., the historical, the symbolical, and the mystical, each of which is correct in its own time, place and circumstances, each equally essential on the path of progress. Let us consider this premise a little deeper, and endeavour to relate it to pragmatic experience.

History is related to tradition, and tradition consists of the fundamental knowledge on which civilizations are built, fossilise, and give way to new knowledge brought in by an emergent power. No one race has had the monopoly beyond its useful span, each epoch making a contribution of a specific nature, and although the victor writes the history we find the salient features of the past civilisation are sooner or later absorbed into the new dispensation, as witness the pagan influence behind the teachings of some of the greatest leaders of the Christian religion. History and tradition occupy that part of our mind that deals with empirical knowledge derived from the physical world in which we live and is available to us through the avenues of our senses. We must all have observed that when brethren have become settled in in their Lodge that their reading is usually concerned with the historical aspect of Freemasonry, and that it is in the First Degree we are told about our affinity with the Ancient Egyptians and one of their pupils, Pythagoras.

Symbols can be defined as "an outward visible sign of an inward spiritual grace." The word "grace" has many meanings that depend on the context in which it is used, but in general it implies a relationship in which the inferior receives from the superior something that is magnanimously given, such as the divine unmerited favour towards man. A symbol combines a tangible object with an intangible idea which may also be expressed as the precipitation of an inner cause or that which veils mysterious forces which, once handled, can more readily be reproduced in the mind, such as the movable and immovable jewels referred to in the First Tracing Board (First Lecture, Fifth Section), and using the Greek definition of symbolum to mean to put or throw together, indicates the recombination of old forms in a new way, which is the action of the lower mind; our apron is a symbol of reintegration or regeneration the successive embellishments representing the outworking of our inward spiritual nature; we use images taken from nature to symbolise qualities, such as the dove of peace carried by the Deacons, the emblem of the lion surmounted by a crown indicating the king of beasts representing regal dignity and power, which characterises the picture-making ability of our astral mind with its capability to identify with such qualities and project them through our sensorioum; and finally, geometrical forms, which substand so many symbols, reputed to be the abstract alphabet of the higher mind. This outer and inner combination of symbolism may justly be equated to the realm of Soul, the mediator between Spirit and Matter, the more hidden mysteries of nature and science, and, even as in the First Degree we were given the key to advancement as the practice of moral truth and virtue in order to purify our heart from every baneful and malignant passion without which entry into the Second Degree would spiritually prove an unwitting bondage so in the Second Degree we were given the key to further advancement by the practice of the seven liberal (or liberating) arts and sciences to enable us to safely steer our way through the paths of heavenly science. This is following the age-old path laid down by the seers, sages, and saints of by-gone days, now embedded in the subconscious mind. It requires the development of the intellectual powers to understand the idea or quality behind the symbol and its expression through the art concerned, and is the obvious progression from the study of the historical basis of our Order.

The final stage, the apprehension of the spiritual verities through the mystical faculty the unity of all the gnostic powers of the Soul is deemed to commence when we are Raised in the Sublime Degree to a level of consciousness of such a quality and so far removed from that which we are used to as to leave us virtually groping in the dark, only to realist from our higher unity that some of the essential working tools of the Lodge (two of the movable jewels) had been responsible for the imprisonment of our consciousness on the lower level until our use of them was more fully developed and thereby entitling us to demand advancement. Seen from the higher level of consciousness they are a priceless possession that eventually enables us to break free from the necessary imprisoning form of that stage so that when we rule instead of being ruled we find that we are re-united with the companions of our former toil, and then have the capacity to work, still with the same basic implements but with greater understanding of their use, leading to greater precision and skill the paradoxical situation we meet so often in life, usually without realising it, of our partaking of the Divine Nature on a lesser scale but uniform in principle, of the annihilative, creative, and preservative aspects of creation whereby it is essential to destroy that which is outgrown in order to build the new while at the same time discovering that the plans and designs were concealed in the innermost recesses of the old from the inception of time. The analogy we use in Freemasonry is that of the destruction and rebuilding of Temples in valleys, plains, hills and mountains (rising levels of consciousness) always under the control of a threefold power comparable with the level on which it manifests but derived from the three first principles of the trinity of Being, Life and Intellect (the Kether, Chokmah and Binah of the Qabalists and the Atma, Buddhi and Manas of the Theosophists), ever remembering we are really dealing with the psyche or Soul and not its outermost physical vehicle of expression, for the Soul has often been described as the Temple of the Most High God.

Foster Bailey, in his book The Spirit of Masonry, relates the three Degrees to Revelation, Inspiration and Prophetic Information, and in quoting a prayer from the ancient Hindu scripture well known to Theosophists: "Lead me from darkness to light (the work of the first degree), from the unreal to the real (the work of the second degree), and from death to immortality (the work of the sublime third degree)," then goes on to the three great dramatic episodes related to the life of Christ on earth: Birth, Transfiguration and Resurrection, demonstrating yet again the fundamental universality of the principles, irrespective of race or religion, substanding our Brotherhood.

The last progression we will consider is that of Freemasonry itself. Many brethren, ever mindful of an Installed Master's obligation never to "permit or suffer any deviation from the Ancient Customs and established Landmarks of the order", refuse to entertain the idea that any change could, or should, occur. But this attitude is not supported by many writers who have delved deep into our history and others who are actively engaged in trying to bring about changes at the present time, and although the Ancient Customs may not be understood and the Landmarks not officially established, Freemasonry is an evolving system based, according to the major esoteric fraternities who freely acknowledge that we are the custodians of the Ancient Wisdom, on universal principles that can never themselves change.

Of the changes already made to the expression of these unchangeable principles, and they are legion, only two that are relevant to this Paper will be quoted. It is the opinion of some writers that the First and Second Degrees were at one point transposed, and the Third Degree of the Craft Lodge is an addition. One of the changes that will surely come about in the near future is the transposing of the penalty clauses, and we will consider some possible reason for this too. Many have, and will continue, to decry these changes, usually on the grounds that the changes were brought about by well- meaning brethren who were ill-informed on the true meaning of the ceremonies and the underlying significance of the sequences involved. Be that as it may, Reg Harland, our President for 26 years, was often heard to say that "Nothing ever happens by chance, there is a reason for everything". Another way of looking at such changes is by faith in the prescience and wise guidance of Divine Providence who will, when the occasion demands it, achieve her ends by working through the most unlikely channels: it is a matter of common experience that the leaders in any profession are likely to be the most conservative where innovation is concerned, yielding to a radical approach only when necessity demands it. The words conservative and radical are used in their philosophical sense to denote preservation or limiting and proceeding from a principle or root, between which there is a constant ebb and flow as between a circumference and its centre, and this interaction produces a dynamic equilibrium, or stability, that eventually becomes the stepping stone or thrust block for further progression to the next stage of the evolutionary plan.

It can quite justly be said that the Masonic system as it is today contains within its framework the essential ingredients for spiritual advancement over and above sectarian and political issues, and that it provides a setting embued with a spirit of brotherly love wherein those who would other wise be kept apart can "meet on the square and part on the level" with mutual trust and respect --that "satisfaction and delight which disinterested friendship can afford". If this is so, why pander to the opinions of those who do not sojourn among us but criticise through ignorance, and by ignorance fear, and by fear seek to destroy? This sequence is a very common one.

That every action has a reaction that is equal and opposite is an accepted law opposition breeds resistance until a new stability is resolved. How, then, should we react, and above all, by our own understanding, convert enemies to friends, and adapt any situation to our own advantage?

Joshua, when he fought the battles of the Lord, prayed fervently to the Almighty that He would continue the light of day until he had completed

the overthrow of his enemies. Esoterically the Light of Day refers to the spiritual mind or nous, the Light of God in the deeps of every Soul depicted as a symbol in the Middle Chamber. His enemies were aspects of the secondary principles of the Soul who, during the process of evolution had established an identity and autonomy in the realm of Nature which they were loathe to relinquish. In reading the Book of Joshua we find many references to the Twelve Tribes of Israel, the seven trumpets of the priests, the six circuits of Jericho etc., which again is considered to be numerical symbolism, Jesus, according to Luke ch.6 v.42, said " . . . cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then thou shall see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye" - we have moved into the mysteries of Nature, an appreciation of which will allow a progression to the realm of Heavenly Science, the realm which rules over Nature. But let us not fool ourselves, for according to many earnest students of the Mysteries such as our former President Reg Harland, referred to previously, the Second Degree may be the shortest one in length, but it is the most important one of all. Why? Because at the present stage of evolvement it is considered to be beyond the capacity of most of us to maintain and uphold the high standard of mental equilibrium required while we are under the constant duress of flashing lights and continual noise occasioned by the mode of present-day living which does not know of, and therefore pays scant heed to, the cicadian rhythms in which we participate but flagrantly disregard, effectively preventing us from acquiring that permanent inner silence so essential for us to become entitled to be raised to a higher level of consciousness as a normal everyday experience.

Let us now briefly consider the Temple as the setting in which the three degrees are worked, what it represents, and the basis on which the degrees rest, so that we have a common understanding of the terms of reference used in this Paper, for there are many correlations each of which are correct in their own particular context. Firstly we will assume that ideally we presented our personality, persona or mask as a man of the popular world to the ante-chamber of the Lodge in which we sought Initiation; entered the Lodge as a human ego the ego representing the unit of consciousness capable of ascending and descending to different levels of consciousness. planes, or worlds in order to know itself as Soul and actualise her potentiality; and as a human Soul presented herself to the Holy Royal Arch Chapter to know herself as Spirit.

Secondly, the Temple represents an analogical pattern of the Soul and its principles, both subjective (spiritual) and objective (secondary Soul principles) with the W.M. personifying Being or will, the S.W. Life, the J.W. Intellect, the S.D. Epithumia, irrational or instinctual and the J.D. Thumas, vital and appetitive, both rooted in the astral body, and the I.G. Eidolon or etheric mould or mesh on which the physical body or O.G. or Tyler is formed. (Many of you will be more used to the concept of God through His Transcendent and Immanent aspects being regnant over and within the Temple with the W.M. personifying Spirit, and the S.W. Soul. This one must agree with as background knowledge, but requires the ability to raise the consciousness in actual fact to that of HRA Scribe or Principal to work on that level in a Lodge as one of the brethren between the columns to enable the Master and his Wardens to "raise great weights to certain heights with little encumbrance". . . "Who is there among you of all His people? The Lord his God be with him and let him go up."'.)

Thirdly, the First Degree is rooted in the Moral Faculty, conscience and will; the Second Degree is rooted in the Aesthetic Faculty, inner taste and beauty; the Third Degree is rooted in the Illative Faculty, wisdom or the spiritual mind as nous. Usually the J.W. is considered to be the regent of the First Degree, the S.W. of the Second Degree, and the W.M. of the Third Degree, which doesn't appear to correlate and so it needs looking into. A basic fact is that although we separate or differentiate unities into their constituent parts

in order to render them intelligible to our minds, in reality they cannot be separated, each part being dependent upon the other parts of the wholeness even when a part or parts predominate. Further, under the Hermetic law of correspondence "As above, so below, but in a different manner", we find that the subjective spritual world is not projected, but reflected, into the objective mundane world, and as such is a reverse image. Hence we are told "that the first shall be last, and the last shall be first" (more of this later), and will is the primal power working through moral truth in the First Degree, life is the primal power in the Second Degree working through beauty but verging towards the degree below and the degree above infuses both -- the beauty of moral truth and the beauty of intellectual truth, and intellectual truth is the primal power in the Third Degree working through will to eventually lead us, in the Holy Royal Arch, to spiritual insight and grace in conformity with His Divine Will.

But Man is a much more complex being than is disclosed to him by his senses those five modes of communication with the outside world in which he lives and the unravelling of this complexity unveils to our view the secrets of Nature, the knowledge of which in regard to their source and operation constitutes the paths of heavenly science. This knowledge has been known to mankind for many millenia, has been taught in secret to those deemed worthy after many trials and tribulations as is said in our ritual "to worthy men, and worthy men alone" for a good and sufficient reason: Knowledge breeds power, and power to those who have not achieved stability corrupts. A classic yoga aphorism also states this very clearly: Knowledge gives liberation to wise men, but proves bondage to fools. Over the last half-century this arcane knowledge has, to put it crudely, been hawked in the market-place with a spontaneous outpouring from all sources, and has gained steadily in momentum and acceptance from year to year through spiritualism, healing groups, meditation groups, esoteric fraternities, occult schools, yoga classes, a multitude of books, and records and tapes many of which deal with ritual as practised by certain persuasions and auto-hypnosis for a variety of purposes.

This heightening interest in the hidden side of our nature has produced a sympathetic reaction to out environment along with an increase of our understanding in the inter- relatedness of all living things, known as ecology an understanding that was instinctive and superstitious until man became more established in his emergent rational faculty and it is running a parallel course to the rapid advance in technical knowledge. In order to create the correct perspective, and more importantly relate it to our Masonic system so that we can the better be enabled to distinguish and appreciate the connection of our whole system and the relative dependence of its several parts, it is necessary to consider the human mind, or that "knowing" part of ourselves by which we become self-conscious integers in the Divine Plan.

Not a great deal is known about the workings of the brain in its specific detail, but there are basic facts that have been handed down to us that are being confirmed as our scientific knowledge increases. It is estimated that we use less than 5 per cent, of the brain's capacity, which is an indication of the wonderful potential that will be ours to command in the proportion that we are raised from darkness to light. It is known that the brain generates or responds to several different wave forms, one of which is peculiar to advanced stages of meditation and mystical states of consciousness. And it has a three-fold structure (cerebrum, cerebellum, and medula oblongata) with inter-connecting links. The main brain is divided into two halves, or hemispheres, the left half said to be related to logical thinking and the right half to creative thinking but with a strange facility, in the case of damage to one side, for the other side to develop "that which was lost," It also has a "middle chamber" or cavity.

But the brain is only the physical organ through which the mind is held to work in the

same way that life courses through our physical vehicle but is not the vehicle itself, both mind and life having a threefold classification that go hand-inhand to distinguish three levels of consciousness: the sensuous life of the sentient being, the aesthetic life leading from outward to inward beauty, and an intellectual life above the realm of the senses. These three levels are related to the conscious, subconscious, and superconscious mind the superconscious mind being consciously active in only a very few advanced souls. Yet intellect itself is a unity, the apparent diversity being caused by the limitation of the veiling forms of the conditions of existence encountered in the descent of the Soul into manifestation.

The classification of the gnostic powers of the Soul are those of the senses, instincts, estimation, reason and intuition. The first three man shares with the animal kingdom, for man is animal in his lower nature. There is nothing to be ashamed of in having an animal nature for man could not exist in the phvsical world without his "body of flesh" the "shame" (a stage in the process of learning) comes about when man is forced into action by instinct when the moral law or his conscience tells him his conduct is wrong. We will come back to reason and intuition later.

The five senses, those doorways through which we contact the physical world of sensation, constantly pass information to the brain to be evaluated far more information than we are consciously aware of and this is stored away in our near perfect automatic memory. This record in our memory has been demonstrated time ancl again by the use of hypnosis, under the influence of which people have recalled events and situations buried below the threshold of consciousness that they were not themselves conscious of at the timc they occured because the attention was occupied elsewhere, or because the ability to recall had not been cultivated. There is a barrier or dividing line between these two levels of consciousness that is the conscious and subconscious which can be dangerous to erode if the attention is allowed to move backward and forward from one to the other without the control of the will, and indeed, some of those who do possess an apparently infallible memory tell of how the mind will race through chains of associated memories without reference to what is going on in the world around them, which can prove to be a very dangerous situation. Even with hypnosis -- the control of one mind by another there is the danger of the weakening of the will and the increase in suggestibility. This dichotomy is not so difficult to deal with as it first seems, the problem being that we are habituated to function in a way that is perfectly normal to us, and until we realise that we can change our habit patterns of thought and that there is a need to do so we will not make the effort.

The conscious mind is man'slatest acquisition and it is, at present, in its infancy. By its use man can use discrimination and his God-given birthright of freewill to exercise control over his own affairs. Initially it is used purely for self-assertion, selfpreservation, and self- expression with the controlling aspect the nature will. At this stage man is a member of the "popular world" in Masonic terminology or "the herd" to use the Platonic, and his acceptance as a member of society depends on his conformity to the moral law. The Platonic analogy of "the herd" is a very apt one, for one of the secrets of Nature is the difference between the human animal and the rest of the animal kingdom. To unravel this secret of Nature it is necessary to consider concepts of a basic, but very high order, by the use of words. Words are symbols of ideas which, by assimilation (to bring to a likeness or to conformity; to cause a resemblance between) on the mental plane (which in itself involves the use of the mental vehicle) descend through the desire nature or astral plane with its associated level of mind or estimation to trigger off the appropriate emotion (a function of the astral vehicle) which in turn stimulates the physical body (through thc etheric vehicle) to be expressed through sound. It is a matter of common experience how, in reverse order, the subtle nuances of the human

voice can stir the emotions and stimulate the imagination.

The concepts to be considered depend very much on the content of the mental vehicle itself and the plane of the astral worldon which they are received by the hearer. This simple statement in itself requires explanation as the word "hearer" denotes a stage on the path of spiritual progression: we enter the Temple by virtue of the tongue of good report, meaning that the feeling tone or vibration we emanate is deemed sufficiently refined so as not to disrupt the harmony of the Lodge, and then, after a prayer given to attune the Lodge to the correct level, pass in view before the brethren to show that we are properly prepared, which serves two purposes, that of "showing our colours" to clairvoyant perception and receiving the individual linkage with brethren as we pass by in order to render the ceremony more effective. A prominent part of the ceremony then dealt with the virtue of "silence", the three- fold silence of heart, mind and will in their lower aspects and the practice of virtue. This silence continues in the Second Degree where we continue to learn to listen on a higher level of consciousness. It is only after we have had the principles of intellectual truth presented to us as a hearer, meaning not only acoustically but also to gain knowledge or cognizance of (hearer also means disciple) we were told in the Charge after Passing that "in our private assemblies we may offer our sentiments and opinions on such subjects as are regularly introduced in the Lecture under the superintendence of an experienced Master who will guard the Landmarks against encroachment. By this privilege you may improve your intellectual powers . . . " Sentiments and opinions are of the astral world level of the lower mind as estimation and automatic memory.

To make the process involved a little clearer, the lower mind takes information from automatic memory and joins the "bits" together like a variable jig-saw puzzle of particularised incidents. The higher mind, which is independent of the senses, dwells upon ideas to slowly build up an alphabet of con cepts which are universal principles and, as a result of the process of assimilation, draws into them the light of ideas from above -- this is the true daily advancement in Masonic knowledge that should, nay must if we wish to advance spiritually, accompany the process of memorising the ritual through which the real knowledge is expressed in the Lodge.

As said earlier in the Paper, if a brother does not have any concepts to relate to, the rejection principle immediately comes into action that is, unless an open mind is deliberately maintained pending the acquisition of the intermediary knowledge that will act as a catalyst. Fortunately for us, such is the action of Divine Providence that if we do maintain this attitude of mind with faith, then surely the knowledge we need will come sometimes from most unexpected quarters. But that statement to members of Dormer is preaching to the converted!

The concepts to be considered are those of Spirit, Soul and Body, and are man's three-fold nature by which he is made in the likeness of, and can therefore communicate with, God, the Cosmos, and Matter. The theoretical knowledge of these concepts is a precursor to the attainment of a certitude of their truth by personal experience or mystical insight, and the open mind, which as we will see later, includes the intellect of the heart. This information has been open to our view for a long time on the Tracing Board of the First Degree: Jacobs Ladder leading from the Below to the Above but resting on God's revealed will. On the Tracing Board are angels or symbols emblematical of the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity-the open heart and mind and sometimes a fourth symbol, a key, which, we are told in the Lectures, represents the tongue of good report.

The angels are a much neglected facet of our existence, often held to be a superstitious and childish figment of the imagination, but in the childhood of time man was very conscious of their presence for they are the rulers of the realm of Nature, and as we are an individualised natural

being we have a personal angel who preceeded us in evolution and is a perfected intelligence whose will conforms to the Divine Law.

Of Spirit all that need be said at this juncture is that it is a unity in which all living beings partake, it is eternally perfect, outside time and space, substands the whole of creation and is the Light of God within the Soul. When man knows himself as Soul, and through Soul knows himself as Spirit, he can then communicate with God. Without wishing to give offence to those who believe they communicate through prayer with God, it was always taught that until that exalted stage is achieved our prayers and oblations of praise are taken up by our personal angel and the angelic hosts who mediate on our behalf until the day arrives when, as a self- conscious Soul, we can then communicate direct with our own Holy Guardian Angel. Nevertheless, no prayer is ever uttered in vain.

Soul is much more relevant to our Paper, for it is with Soul and her secondary principles we are dealing. It is referred to as the great mystery of man, for it is paradoxical as far as our limited finite intelligence is concerned, and requires a detailed understanding of principles that can only be garnered slowly as the consciousness expands to embrace the higher conditions of existence. She is the mediating principle between Spirit and Matter, and although not a body herself is the creator of bodies, or secondary principles, hence the feminine gender. Being without form her circumference is nowhere and her centre everywhere, yet within herself she contains all the principles of the Cosmos. She embraces all the worlds, yet never moves from her own world. This is not said with the intention of creating confusion, but in the hope of stimulating an interest for personal research, for it is one of the Hermatic Laws of Correspondence that "only like can know like" as Plotinus said "Unless the eye be sunlike it cannot see the sun" which, I would venture to suggest, is a reference to the all-seeing "eye of the Soul"(ananalogicalreference

10 to the gnostic power of the Soul when her potentiality is actualised) and the Sun (the irradiating Light) of all Souls. Nevertheless, the Soul is part of the World Soul and as such is a unity and is united with all other human Souls; the World Soul is the Divine Mother, or Widow (another mystery), and all Master Masons are sons of the Widow.

The human Soul moves from unity to diversity as it descends through the worlds and the planes within the worlds on its involutionary journey, as does any living thing, but in the descent she never really loses the memory of her true home, or of the purpose which it is her destiny to fulfil, even though it may temporarily be obscured by too close an identification with the realm in which she is incarcerated. This condition is known as drinking too deeply of the waters of Lethe, or forgetfulness; of being Osirified; of being cabined, cribbed and confined in the Tomb of Transgression. But the human Soul has one essential difference to the rest of the lower creation inasmuch that she is an individual Soul not a part of a group Soul as is the rest of the vegetative and animal kingdom although she partakes of their nature in some measure, for otherwise we would be unable to communicate and therefore be unable to rule over, the kingdoms of Nature on their evolutionary journey, which she is destined to do as the Crown of Creation the returning to God all that she has supernally received from Him.

Each human Soul has a purpose which is unique to it, which it alone can fulfil when it becomes a positive integer in the Divine Plan. This is the reason why human beings were given free will to consciously utilise their God-given divine powers when they are realised or unfolded, so that they may become conscious participants instead of remaining blind reactants. Thus the human Soul begins its diversification in the World of Soul and creates a secondary principle in the World of Nature, more commonly known as the Astral World, this secondary principle therefore being known as the Astral Soul. This is the realm of the Garden of Eden and innocency; but here again the word innocency is not quite so innocent as it would at first appear as it has two meanings, firstly the innocence of purity which cannot be affected by its interaction with other principles as it is a source and a catalyst to that which is below it, secondly, there is the innocence of ignorance which can be devastating.

This Astral Soul is a necessity on the downward involutionary path, a descent that the Soul has to undertake in order to actualise her potentiality in the worlds of form and in the process learn to exercise her authority. The Hermetic Law of Correspondence "As above so below, but in a different manner" is valid on all levels of existence. The principles of Being, Life and Intellect express themselves in terms appropriate to the density of the matter of any world and its vibratory rate which are characterised by a graduated scale of octaves of sound and colour in conformity with numerical progression. This hypothesis is now upheld by scientists in many specialist fields.

The Astral World, or World Six in the septenary scale, is the World of Nature. It is a direct reflection of the Archetypal World of the Great Mother as projected into the worlds of form by the Creator Lord these two being known in Masonic terminology as the Geometrician and the Architect. It is often referred to as the Astral Sea as it appears to be fluidic in nature on account of its ever-changing forms and colours which are immediately influenced by thought and emotion against a background of the constant ebb and flow of the diurnal and seasonal tides. It is the realm of desire, basically that primordial urge implanted in the Astral Soul by the Soul herself, and indigenous in the Soul of Nature, as a thirst for the waters of life by existence (ex7stere; to step out or forth, to emerge) on another level of being once stability has been achieved at any particular level. This desire permeates all realms in one form or another on both the descending or involutionary journey in manifestation and the ascending or evolutionary journey back to our source. The motive power of the Astral Planes is instinctive, plastic, and downward tending, and works through a threefold appetency: positive, the attraction of that which is goods useful, and upbuilding; negative, the rejection of that which is bad, useless, and deleterious; and communicative, whereby we receive that which is from above, are unitive on our own level and transmit to that which is below us.

Its function is that of being formative and distributive, for being the reflection of the archetypes, the Sixth World contains all the types in Nature required for manifestation in the Seventh World, or world of matter. This is a difficult concept initially, but one which becomes clearer as we realise its application. Take, for instance, a tree: In the archetypal world would be the prototypal idea of "treeness"; in the natural world would be the ideas of genus and species with their germinal essences; and in the material world are trees of all sorts, no two of which are exactly alike.

If the Astral World preceeded our physcial world in manifestation, then it follows that we must have achieved a relative perfection in that realm before being enabled to proceed. That story is graphically portrayed by the myth of Adam and Eve, which raises the question of polarity on the one hand, and the assertion that Soul, as the form builder, is feminine on the other. Where does Man fit into the picture? All things (and things are manifested thought) go in threes. Soul has a companion: Mind and mind is always considered to be a masculine energy. In the creation story God first created Man, and Woman was formed from him. The third aspect of the Soul triad? An angelic being, or perfected celestial intelligence. The triadic nature of all creation follows a basic pattern, for it abides causally in itself, proceeds dynamically into expression, and returns with actualised potentiality, and in the case of the Human Soul to a higher level when it is fully enlightened than that from which it pr,oceeded initially.

The parable of the Prodigal Son follows this pattern, the father representing the Astral Soul, the elder brother who stays at home the abiding principle, the younger son who asks for his inheritance -- the acquired characteristics of former incarnations to Journey into a 'far country", and the "best robe" with which he was invested on his return signifying the spiritual body we are building (1 Cor. ch.15, v.44: "There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body") by progression through obedience to the moral law, the practice of moral truth and virtue, the development of intellectual truth, and comformity to the laws governing the science and art of the perfect life.

Masonically speaking we parallel this journey, travelling from East to West where we find only substituted secrets, and then retracting our footsteps to the East by a different route or higher faculty but the East is relative only, for on the completion of this phase of the journey we enter another western door on the Path of Return: "Who is there among you of all His people. Let him go UP". Our reward for our zeal and fidelity is to be clothed in the "robe" of innocence the one of purity, not ignorance -- only to realist that there is still a long journey ahead and other "robes" to be aspired to.

The way in which we trek backward and forward between East and West before we arrive at the position of Master of a Lodge has another interesting parallel in one of the reincarnation theories which takes into account the infinite justice and mercy of the Almighty, Who, surely, would not condemn an immortal Soul to an eternal heaven or hell because of mistakes made due to faulty understanding or control in just one day, or incarnation, in school. Neither would we as Freemasons, for our rule of progress is by merit and ability with due regard being paid to the temperament of a brother who may require more time to master the techniques required. At school we stay in a class until such time as sufficient progress is made to entitle us to be raised to the next grade. It is therefore held that the incarnating ego moves backward and forward between the Astral Soul and physical manifestation, constantly adding to and modifying his mental vehicle and causal vehicle until such time that he does not have to return by necessity, but may do so by choice. We will now collate some of the beliefs, opinions, or facts we have been dealing with, and try and arrange them in a coherant pattern.

The Astral Soul preceeded us in the involutionary scale, it required a relative perfection in that realm before it was possible to incarnate here for evolution on earth, and it is the realm to which we return for refreshment after labour. During that period we digest the experience gained which is amalgamated with that of prior incarnations and forms the individuality, the totality of the qualities already developed, and which, time, place and circumstances permitting, will overlay the personality of the next incarnation.

Even as the Soul has to use a secondary principles through which to manifest in the Astral World, so too does the Astral Soul have to use a secondary principle to manifest in the Mundane World, the Eidolon or Etheric Body, which is the mesh or mould, inherited from our parents, on which the physical body is formed. The etheric is the vital body, or body of power, through which forces, energies and powers flow to the physical world, and is depicted in our Lodge by the Inner Guard, the physical body being outside as the Outer Guard or personality, the persona or mask between the outside physical world and our inner being, for our journey is from the circumference to the centre. We will leave the two guards at their post for the moment, but later we will be considering the chakras, or centres of force, in the etheric vehicle, and their relationship to the penal clauses. One point in passing: some older books refer to the astral body as the vital body.

Just to refresh our memories, it is the ego or unit of consciousness represented by the Candidate that is capable of moving about in the psyche, represented by the Temple, and the two Deacons are representing the Thumos and Epithumia, the older and younger brother, who represent the life and lower mind principles of the Astral Soul and their communicative power between the three higher principles of the Soul of will, life (heart), and mind who supercede the Deacons in their relationship with the Ego during the course of the Third Degree although they are subsequently reunited, and with the Inner Guard who represents the etheric elemental from whom they receive the Ego at its entrance to the three degrees.

The Astral and Etheric Soul are deemed to have an intelligence of their own, consonant with their particular duties, so that they can perform their allotted task without let or hindrance. Even in the present day we would not survive if we had to consciously attend to processes such as the assimilation and elimination of food, the regulation of body temperature and so on; or think through every move normally controlled by conditioned reflex and habit pattern when handling a car at speed on a motorway. Quite naturally these intelligent entities, whether deemed rational of irrational, resent any attempt to interfere with their autonomy even when outer circumstances demand changes should be made. By delving into the secrets of their operations we go a long way towards understanding the motivations, and knowing that every action causes a reaction that is equal in energy and opposite in direction, we can then look with "fresh eyes" at the guidelines laid down for our pursuit and gauge for ourselves the relevance of the instruction, which, if accepted through knowledge of the "plans and designs" will enable us to employ an exceptionally important working tool: selfdetermination by the use of our own free will and accord (any imposition of will on us causes a reaction (unless we accept the validity of the authority concerned) and accord means "harmony of minds").

Our minds store information, whether it be of an emotive or intelligent disposition; records show that in certain situations, such as drowning, a complete life sequence flashes through the mind; it is believed by those who claim to possess the faculty to penetrate the akashic realm that therein are deposited a record of the whole history of each individual of the human race. In the Third Degree we are told that our words and action are observed and recorded by the Almighty Architect; and our endeavour is, or will be when we have made sufficient progress, to unite our minds to the spiritual mind as nous in the eternal subjective realm where everything knowable is already known. How this happens, or is, is beyond my comprehension, but it is an hypothesis from which we can work and which gives practical results. In passing, the micro computer scientists can record on and read from a square centimetre the name and address of every living person on this planet but at the moment only in the laboratory.

There would be no purpose in storing all knowledge and events unless there was a practical need to do so. Psychologists, exoteric and esoteric, acknowledge several levels of mind which are not accessible to our everyday consciousness, but are considered to be the basis from which our consciousness emerged. We are shielded from these levels because at our present stage of development we would not be able to cope with the inrush of power and retain our sanity, and this is one of the functions of our personal angel, who tempers the winds of the four Elements of Air, Fire, Water and Earth to our capacity to deal with them according to the seasonal ebb and flow of these elemental powers. It is for our protection that these secrets of Nature have been concealed for so long except to those who were deemed worthy to receive them. That they are now being revealed through the popular media is an indication that the time is right for some of them to be made available to the world at large in my view to form a synthesis of the various facets taught by particular systems to form a unitive pool of human arcane knowledge -- who will not realise the dedication needed to pass the tests which will open the door to the higher worlds. To those who do accidentally stumble upon the keys, beware of the penalties attached to their misuse, which are automatic not man made for the reflection of the seven worlds is the seven hells, from which the climb back takes the equivalent of many lives.

The planet is said to have a collective unconscious mind from which all the planetary consciousness has emerged; there is the collective human unconscious mind; a racial unconscious mind with which the individual unconscious mind is linked; there is the personal subconscious and preconscious levels; lastly, the personal consciousness. This incomplete list shows quite clearly that our everyday consciousness is but the tip of the iceberg, or to use another but more apt simile the apex of the volcano. A little quiet reflection each day will soon demonstrate quite clearly that most of our so- called actions are not actions at all, but re-actions generated by emotional responses; that the major part of our so-called thinking is emotionally motivated or irrational; that the chatter-box of a mind is constantly "making accounts" about how we feel we have been wronged, slighted, overlooked, not been given a fair chance, and mentally re-adjusting events to put ourselves in the best possible light. This inner talking is completely negative and is a constant drain on our energy. The realisation of what is going on inside ourselves can be very disturbing, even to the extent of shaking the very foundations on which our life is built, unless the remedial training is given before such information is revealed so that our life may remain stable and secure and increase in quality. As Freemasons we have been pointed in the right direction, and all through our ritual are signposts for us to follow these signposts will reveal themselves to us in the sequence most relevant to our personal progression, for although we are Brethren of the Mystic Tie, the more we unfold our potentiality the more individual do we become, the better to enable us to fulfil our destiny, which requires unity in diversity.

As Members of Dormer, may I be presumptuous and ask you to carefully go through your book of ritual and reflect on the counsels given regarding virtues and your conduct through life with a key thought at the back of your mind: Energy Follows Thought.

The following extract in reference to the sensorium, mentioned earlier, taken in conjunction with what has been said of the levels of consciousness, makes clear a relationship between the First and Second Degree as dealing with the conscious and subconscious mind, with sensation and emotion. Wherever our attention is directed, our thoughts follow; wherever our thoughts settle, emotional energy is directed. The extract is taken from Gnostic Scriptures Interpreted by G. A. Gaskell: "I may usefully cite here a statement by Dr. J. Porter Mills (From Existence to Life) 'We know there are five senses; five physical avenues through which the mind takes cognizance of objects and transactions within the envelope of the universe; hearing, sight, taste, smell, and touch, all functioned by feeling in its two departments of emotion and sensation interacting with each other; emotion being translated into sensation, and sensation into emotion, appearing either separately or together. The special bodily mechanism of the senses, spoken of collectively, constitutes the sensorium. Through this special apparatus prepared by the Intelligence-entity (man) within, before birth, the self-conscious mind awakens to the consciousness of objects . . . situated deep within the centre of the middle portion of the brain, is a centre, the function of which is to preside over the departments of emotion and sensation in the soul, and to interpret external violence of any kind to the body, first into its proper correspondence in emotion, second into its equivalent in sensation, pain; more or less of each, according to the nature of the individual and the condition of the reflexes'."

This extract shows clearly that the interaction between these two levels of consciousness is a completely automatic function, and although we have no direct conscious control over our personal subconscious mind we can, and do, modify our responses to its and with patience and assiduity we can in strength establish our nature on a higher level of stability where our reflex responses conform more and more "to cheerfully embrace opportunities of practising those virtues we profess to admire".

This barrier between the two levels of consciousness is placed there for our own good, and we have a saying which, like so many of the sayings that have persisted for many generations is based on subconscious knowledge: As one door closes another door opens. It is a device used by the Soul on her journeyings, to assist in the development of a faculty or gnostic power by focussing the attention on the task to be accomplished, while relegating other functions to habit patterns or controlled reflexes. We do it ourselves all the time as, for instance, when walking we concentrate on where we are going but step over small obstacles or adjust the length of our stride to step up or down from the kerb when crossing a road without any conscious awareness of having done so, or when driving a car we change gear automatically without consciously registering the need to do so.

The word "concentrate" is one which is often misunderstood and misapplied, leading to tension in all departments of our being with its consequent blocking of the flow of energy. We have all, at one time or another, encountered the situation of trying hard to remember something that is "on the tip of the tongue" to no avail, and having had it flash into the- memory the moment we cease trying so hard. To concentrate means to gather in harmony round a centre, and the word harmony is a key word, even if it is, in the main, ideal more than actual, for when harmony is achieved on any particular level individually and collectively we then open the door to move onward and upward to the next level. This gathering in harmony round a centre is typified in the Opening of the Lodge by the review of the Officers and their functions, who represent Soul powers, the subsequent Opening in higher degrees being dependent on the base or column provided by the former degree. This review and synthesis of the sensorium, the delineation of the gnostic powers of the Soul, the tranquilizing and alignment of the various vehicles, and the energising of the antahkarana, cord, or magnetic link between the various vehicles and their formative principle, is not peculiar to Freemasonry alone as it is universally recognised as a prerequisite, when working with knowledge, to any form of moving the consciousness from the circumference to the centre or from the below to the above, be it an apparently simple act of devotional prayer, the technique of rising on the planes, or a full-scale ritual invocation of higher powers.

The perennial tension between the conservative and radical aspects of our being mentioned earlier, always arises when we travel into a new area of endeavour -- but once the synthesis has been achieved harmony between them is a permanent possession on the particular level on which it was obtained always providing that due regard is paid to cosmic law: one would not celebrate as equinox ritual on a solstice. We can see this process quite clearly in our ritual once we know what to look for: the man of the popular world sandwiched between the cable tow and the poniard having entered the Lodge through a blind obedience to moral law and as an initiate learning the principles of moral truth; the initiate praying between the columns for the continuance of the light of truth while as a fellow of the craft he learns the principles of intellectual truth; the fellowcraft voluntarily moving into a new area of darkness above the processes of discursive thought while suffering at the hands of the intellectual and life principles which, though still attending upon him, appear to be his greatest opposition and powerless to help him until he is raised into the light of mystical insight. But we have digressed.

To get back to the main theme of this talk let us gather together some of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle at which we have been looking and try and fit them into a coherent pattern, which though necessarily incomplete and therefore leaving gaps, nevertheless gives an outline capable of being filled in as the overall pattern takes shape in our consciousness. This is in accordance with the general scheme of any system of spiritual training for the simple reason that although we are, at the centre, identical in principle, at the circumference we are diverse in expression, and need the superintendence of an experienced Master who is aware of our particular deficiencies and can guide us in our endeavuors according to our individual needs.

To be continued

This paper 'The Paths of Heavenly Science' by W.Bro. Basil Pottinger LGR, PM 5676. PP Dep. G. Reg. (RA) President of the Circle, is in two parts. The second part will be published as Transaction 161. The Editorial Secretary apoligizes for this omission from the heading of the paper.