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Chapter 4
Numbers and Opening the Lodge
ODERN FREEMASONRY is the traditional remnants of Ancient
Masonry. It retains the older forms of the ritual imperfectly; yet in
spite of the modifying influence of time, and the alterations that are
inevitably the outcome of passing through countless generations, it
still presents to our vision the essential elements of truth as they were found when
first gleaned from the starlit realms of Urania.
Following the modern ritual we learn that the Master--representing, as we have
found, the sun in the solar system and the ego of man--ascertains that all present are
E.A. Masons, and thus duly qualified for the work to be done. He next instructs the
Junior Deacon--representing the planet Venus, and the astral body of man--to have
the lodge properly tyled, or guarded; and then commands the brethren to be clothed,
to don their aprons and jewels.
Within the astral body of man, corresponding to the Junior Deacon, reside
thought-cells, the mental elements of which embrace all the experiences the soul has
had. These mental elements, built into the thought-cells and thought
structures,constitute his unconscious mind. All his external perceptions, actions, and
thoughts are recorded here, and when raised into the region of objective
consciousness constitute memory. And there are other trains of thought, and
perceptions relating to the astral world, also here residing that never reach the level of
objective consciousness. The astral body, therefore, is the great reservoir of
consciousness.
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The Important Duty of the Tyler
--The duty of the Tyler is said to be to keep off all cowans and eavesdroppers, and to
see that none pass and repass except such as are duly qualified and have permission
from the Master. This Tyler represents objective consciousness, chiefly the reason,
that guards the threshold of the mind and determines what thoughts shall, and what
thoughts shall not, be allowed entrance to man's domain. Reason only becomes alert
to its duties when there is a determination on the part of the unconscious mind, in
other words a strong desire, that it shall do so. Such desire, as explained in detail in
Course 5, Esoteric Psychology, Chapter 4, arises from the astral form, the Junior
Deacon.
Very few people realize how very important this work of the Tyler is. As the
thought-cells which comprise the unconscious mind, or character, are derived from
experiences and the thinking that is done about them, it is the Tyler who determines
what is added to the character and what alterations in the character are made.
These thought-cells, constituting the membership of the unconscious mind, in turn
determine what the individual does, and what events are attracted into his life. It is
only when certain groups of them acquire unusual additional energy that events of a
specific nature come to pass. And not only do these thought-cells, which are thought
formed, determine when the events in his life come to pass, but they also determine to
what extent these events are such as he desires, or such as he deems to be misfortunes.
Thus is it, that the only way man can change his destiny, and make it better than it
otherwise would be, is through cultivating appropriate thoughts and emotions, which
implies that he must be able effectively to guard his domain and prevent the entrance
of those thoughts and emotions which he has decided are inimical to the life and
fortune which he desires to attain.
But effectively to tyle his lodge, to prevent the eavesdroppers and cowans, which are
the unworthy thoughts and inharmonious attitudes toward life, from entering his
constitution, requires much more than merely desiring to prevent their entrance.
They have a most insistent way of forcing themselves on the attention of
consciousness, and to prevent them from so doing requires a proper technique and
much practice. In fact, it is one of the most difficult and important tasks which man is
called upon to undertake.
One first, of course should determine just which thoughts are worthy of entrance to
his constitution, or lodgeroom, and then keep alert to note the approach of those
which it has been decided should be excluded.
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That which gains the attention of objective consciousness must do so through the use
of electric energies generated within the body, chiefly by the nervous system. How
these energies are generated is explained in Course 5, Esoteric Psychology, Chapter
9. And there also is explained that the thoughts which hold the attention, and thus
shoulder all other thoughts from the consciousness, are those which can command
the highest electrical potential. Thus if an individual is to predetermine the kind of
thoughts which are to gain the attention of his objective consciousness and
consequently enter his lodgeroom, the gray thought-cells of his brain must be able to
command a higher voltage of electric energy than can be commanded by the
thought-cells of his unconscious mind which have insistent desires, and higher than
those generated by other portions of his body, such as by portions of his sympathetic
nervous system.
Constant training to use his brain thus to control his thoughts is essential to this work
of guarding the lodgeroom. But in spite of such Conditioning of the brain cells to
develop high potential electricity and direct it into channels of control, various
factors may lower the output of electrical energy upon the part of his body in such a
way as to make thought control difficult. These things he should understand.
Overwork may lead to physical exhaustion. And physical exhaustion normally is
accompanied by a decrease in the amount of electrical energy available for the use of
control. That is, vitality is electrical in nature, and lowered vitality indicates a low
generation of electrical forces.
High tensions of the nervous system, on the other hand, or over stimulation of any
kind, such as through the release of adrenalin in the blood stream in response to a real
or imagined emergency, may so increase the voltage of the nerves other than the
brain that these are able to dictate to the brain and control the thinking.
Also, especially when they receive great volumes of astral energy from the planets
forming progressed aspects, certain groups of thought-cells within the unconscious
mind may be able to impart their energy so strongly through the ether to the brain or
nervous system, as temporarily to dominate the mind. Their desires, or the images
which they project on the objective consciousness, may be able to generate so much
electrical potential as to hold the attention in spite of previous resolves that they shall
not.
And the thoughts of others, incarnate or discarnate, through impinging powerfully
upon the unconscious mind, and through etheric forces imparting energies to the
brain or nervous system, may become insistent or at times almost obsessive, in the
same way.
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Under such conditions one should not become introspective, but have something
outside of oneself, something which in itself is very pleasant, to think about. The
consciousness then should be extended to this thing--not directed to how it causes
one to feel. This will result in the energies being radiated outward toward that which
is the object of attention. Under this process, unless the electrical power has been
permitted to get too low, any thought or emotion--eavesdropper or cowan--can be
excluded.
These eavesdroppers and cowans that should thus be kept from the lodgeroom, or
human constitution, are all unworthy thoughts and inharmonious attitudes toward
life. Only thoughts that are constructive in quality, and emotions that are
harmonious, are duly qualified, and only to such does the Master, the human ego, if
he performs his duties properly, grant permission to enter.
When the brethren don their aprons and jewels they consistently represent the Grand
Man of the skies. The apron indicates them to be virile and in full possession of their
natural functions. The jewels show them to be in full possession of their mental and
moral faculties, even as the jewels, the plumb, the level, and the square were shown
in chapter 1 to be the methods by which the mandates of Deity are carried out. Each
congregated Mason, then, when so clothed, as well as the lodge as a whole,
represents both the Temple of King Solomon, the home of the glorious orb of day,
and the mansion of the indwelling human ego.
Function of the Junior Deacon
--When the brethren are clothed the Worshipful Master asks the Junior
Deacon--Venus, and the astral body--his place in the lodge and his business. The
Junior Deacon answers that his function is to wait on the Worshipful Master and
Wardens, act as their proxy in the active duties of the lodge, and take care of the door.
As the astral body functions there, it is quite evident why it should be placed in charge
of the door to the inner recesses of man's constitution. As a matter of fact, the astral
body does have charge, not merely of what enters the mind, but through its direction
of the involuntary functions of the body, also of what enters the physical makeup.
The astral governs the whole human constitution, physical and mental, in regard to
what shall enter it.
The Worshipful Master and the Wardens, as has been explained, represent the human
ego, the divine soul, and the spiritual body--the trinity that survives even after the
second death on the astral plane. It seems, then, that the Ancient Masons considered
it the duty of the astral body to serve this higher trinity of man's constitution. That is,
instead of serving the animal soul, or pandering to the physical senses, as it so
commonly does, it was thought that the astral form should serve and act as proxy for
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the noble, immortal part of man, and thus assist in the work of successful initiation.
Likewise in the Grand Man of the skies, and in the individual birth-chart, we find
Venus, the planet of love, the most useful assistant to the Sun, the Moon, and
Mercury; for love is the refining influence, and lies at the foundation of all true
progress.
Function of the Senior Deacon
--The Senior Deacon's place in the lodge being ascertained, the Master asks him his
duties there. The Senior Deacon--Mars, and the animal soul--replies that he must
wait on the Worshipful Master and Wardens, act as their proxy in the active duties of
the lodge, attend to the preparation and introduction of candidates, and welcome and
clothe all visiting brethren. The proper function of the animal soul, as well as that of
the astral body, is to serve the higher trinity of man. Some would have it that the
animal soul should be killed; but the Ancient Masons clearly held that it has a very
useful function in man's constitution, and that instead of ruling the lodge, as it
sometimes does, and instead of being chained and crushed, or killed as some
advocate, it should be taught to serve man's immortal nature.
Certainly the animal soul prepares the candidate for its human initiation; for the soul
evolving upward through mineral, vegetable, and animal is under the dominance of it
and builds it up through struggle and strife. The animal soul thus developed gives the
initiative to work for that which is still higher, until finally the soul is introduced
through the animal kingdom, which is the preparatory stage next below, to the human
plane of existence.
The welcoming and clothing of visiting brethren refers to the circumstance that while
man occupies a physical body he must subsist to an extent on other forms of organic
life. Man's animal soul and physical requirements demand the co-operation of these
cosmic brethren, and they are welcomed as food to build up the physique of man.
This organic life is itself undergoing a cycle of development, evolving toward greater
perfection. But this ruthless sacrifice is not without compensation; for while these
entities form the conditions necessary for the progress of the human soul, they are
given additional opportunities for progression. They partake, by their association, of
the qualities and experiences of the organisms they inhabit temporarily, and thus are
hastened in their evolutionary development.
Function of the Secretary
--The Secretary's place in the lodge being ascertained, he is required to explain his
duties there. He replies that he must observe the Worshipful Master's will and
pleasure, record the proceedings of the lodge, transmit a copy of the same to the
Grand Lodge if required; receive all moneys and money bills from the hands of the
brethren, pay them over to the Treasurer, and take receipts for the same. The
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Secretary--Jupiter, and the etheric body--should ever be ready to obey the
commands of the Master, or ego. It is also the etheric body that transmits all states of
consciousness from the physical to the astral form. The record of every experience of
life, every thought, every sensation, every emotion, is retained in the astral body as
modes of motion in astral substance. It is the etheric part of man's constitution that
makes this record. And when anything thus recorded--a memory, a resolve, or an
emotion--is to be brought up into the region of objective consciousness and
expressed either in thought or physical action, it is through electricity (ether
vibrations) that the energies constituting the astral record are transmitted to the
physical, and thus to the Grand Lodge, or universe, by which man is surrounded.
The moneys and money bills represent values, and the only values in life are our
attitudes toward events. Our attitude toward any given event may be constructive or
destructive, and thus according to the mental attitude taken, each event is recorded in
the astral body either as a credit or debit. And as every thought and emotion is
accompanied by a change in the physical body, these values, either as assets or as
liabilities, are actually turned over to the Treasurer, or physical body. The physical
body then gives a receipt for these harmonies and discords; for in turn the condition
of the physical body reacts upon the nerve currents and other portions of the etheric
form.
Function of the Treasurer
--The Treasurer's place in the lodge being ascertained, he is requested by the Master
to tell his duties there. His duty is to observe the Worshipful Master's will and
pleasure; receive all moneys and money bills from the hands of the Secretary, keep a
just and true account of the same, and pay them out by order of the Worshipful Master
and the consent of the brethren. Of course the Treasurer--Saturn, and the physical
body--should serve the will and pleasure of the ego. Likewise the chemical and
other changes that occur in the physical body as accompaniments of all thoughts and
emotions constitute a true account of the harmonies and discords--the moneys and
money bills--transmitted by the etheric body. These values so received are then paid
out, that is, they are transformed into mental and physical actions; for all actions
depend upon what has first been received from the environment. They should be paid
out, that is, action should be taken, only on orders from the ego and with the consent
of the brethren. In fact, action to be effective, must have the support of all the various
portions of man's complex constitution.
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Function of the Junior Warden
--The business of the Junior Warden--Mercury, and the spiritual body--is said to
be observing time, calling the craft from labor to refreshment, watching them
through this period that they may not give way to intemperance and excess, and
calling them at the right time, that the Worshipful Master may have honor, and that
they may have profit and pleasure.
Man's most vital refreshment is the period of sleep. As explained in detail in Course
5, Esoteric Psychology, Chapter 9, the cells of the gray matter of the brain are the
most effective batteries of the body. And like any electric battery if the circuit is kept
closed, as it is by thinking, it tends to run down. But if, before the battery is dead, the
circuit is broken, as it is in sleep, the battery recharges itself. Furthermore, in sleep
the soul carries on exploration in the inner plane. And if the spiritual body has had
proper growth, it will guard the consciousness from entering lower astral realms
where dwell excess and dissipation; and at the proper time it will cause the
consciousness, to whatever region extended, to return to the physical, and awaken to
commence another day of activity on the material plane.
Function of the Senior Warden
--The duties of the Senior Warden are to assist the Worshipful Master in opening his
lodge, to take care of the implements and jewels that none may be lost, to pay the craft
their wages if any be due; and to see that none go away dissatisfied. The Senior
Warden--Moon and divine soul--does assist the ego in its work, even as the moon
assists the sun in bringing forth life on earth, or as in a birth-chart she assists him in
governing the life forces. As the seat of the higher, imperishable consciousness, the
divine soul has charge of the jewels and implements, that is, of man's mental and
moral faculties and natural functions. Some have taught that man would be more
perfect without some of his natural functions, but if the still small voice of the divine
soul be heeded, she will direct that none should be misplaced or lost. The divine soul
also recognizes, if its admonitions be but heeded, that there are physical necessities
and spiritual necessities. It is thus able to mete out just compensation unto all,
permitting no part of man's constitution to be neglected, or underpaid, but rendering
unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's.
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Function of the Master
--The duties of the Master in the lodge are to open and adorn it and to set the craft to
work with good and wholesome instructions, or to cause it to be done. As the sun is
the center and controlling power of the solar system, so the ego is the inward source
of power, and should be the controlling power of man. It should direct all his efforts.
Through devout aspirations its promptings may be recognized. The Master adorns
the lodge as the sun adorns the day, and the temple of man is glorified only when
dominated by, and under the instructions of, the indwelling spiritual ego.
The Lodge Opens
--After the duties of the seven officers in the lodge have been stated the Master gives
three raps with his gavel, indicating that the will is to be exercised on all three planes.
He then states that in opening the lodge he forbids the use of all profane language, or
any disorderly conduct whereby peace and harmony may be interrupted.
Language refers not only to man's utterances but also to his thoughts. The temple in
which he dwells must not be profaned by vicious thoughts or unseemly fantasies.
Constructive work in the human edifice demands only pure and elevated thinking. In
this edifice there are many workmen--organs, cells, and thought-cells. Little
progress can be made if there is antagonism between them. Disorderly conduct upon
the part of one of these is like a small rebellion. All must perform their tasks in
harmony, and in obedience to the true Master, the deific ego.
The Master, declaring it his will and pleasure that a lodge of E.A. Masons be opened
for the dispatch of business asks the Senior Warden to communicate his pleasure to
the Junior Warden, who gives three raps with his gavel and communicates the will of
the Master to the brethren. This signifies that the dictates of the ego are transmitted
through the divine soul to the spiritual body, and from thence, through the medium of
astral vibrations to other sections of man's constitution. In a similar manner natal
astrology teaches that the influence of the sun, ruling the individuality, is transmitted
to the moon, ruling the mentality, and thence to find expression is directed by
Mercury, the messenger of the gods.
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The Sign of Distress
--Next, the signs of this degree are attended to. They consist of right angles,
horizontals, and perpendiculars. The horizontal sign is made at the level of the neck,
that part of man ruled by the feminine planet Venus, the planet of love. It is a quick
horizontal motion from left to right with the five fingers open. These five open
fingers indicate humanity, and the horizontal line that section of it represented by
woman. At the same time as this motion, the left hand drops vertically at the side,
giving the perpendicular sign. This perpendicular sign with the five open fingers
represents man. The hand is then at the level of the region of the body ruled by the
masculine planet Mars, the planet of desire and strife.
The horizontal and perpendicular signs thus given simultaneously indicate woman's
pure and unsullied affections, represented by Venus; which have been violated by
man's inconsiderate passions, represented by Mars. The result is that woman, instead
of embracing, shrinks from him, as pantomimed by the due-guard or horizontal
motion.
That there may be no mistaking the teachings of this degree that the nuptial union is
recognized as commonly abused, it is still further portrayed in terms of universal
symbolism by the right angle. This is made by holding open the left hand and
crossing the palm of it with the open palm of the right hand at right angles. Here the
lower, or negative, five fingers represent woman, and the superimposed, or
dominant, five represent man. In astrology all the discordant aspects are portions, or
multiples, of right angles. The right angle, therefore, is the universal symbol of
discord; and the two hands are crossed at this angle to indicate the all too prevalent
discord arising out of the nuptial union. To still further emphasize the significance of
the sign, in the E.A. degree it is termed the sign of distress. This sign of distress is
called the first sign of a Mason.
It would seem from this, that the Ancient Masons placed much importance upon the
relations between husband and wife. Such relations might be considered, by the
unthinking, to be not merely a matter which good taste forbids should be discussed;
but of so little moment in the more important effort of soul development as to entirely
unwarrant being given so much attention. But the Ancient Masons knew that soul
development consists of transforming existing mental factors, and adding new
constructive mental factors to the astral and spiritual bodies. The development of the
soul to a state of Self-Conscious Immortality is the work of the Masonic candidate;
and his building is not fictitious. He builds with thoughts which are vitalized by
emotion. And not only does his marital partner stimulate the thoughts with which he
builds, in a considerable measure, but the emotions aroused through their association
build these thoughts into his finer bodies, either as harmonious, or as discordant,
thought-cells.
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A thought to be effective, from a magical standpoint, must be clear cut and strongly
energized. The carrying power of a thought and the amount of work it can
accomplish depend upon the energy associated with it. A thought which is associated
with any emotion whatever has considerable ability to perform work. It has, as one
might say, horsepower. A thought associated with a very strong emotion has a very
high horsepower. Ordinarily, strong emotions habitually aroused are those of the
nuptial relations. That is, whether man is aware of it or not, in this relation he is giving
his thoughts a tremendous energy to go forth and accomplish, either constructively or
destructively.
Under such circumstances, however, we have not one set of thoughts and emotions,
but two. And because the astral bodies at this time tend to become fused, whatever
thoughts and emotions are held by one finds unusually ready access to the astral body
of the other. In other words, not only are the dynamic powers of thought raised to the
highest degree, but due to their vibratory proximity, each is particularly open to
receive the thoughts of the other. Thus the thoughts held at this time, more than any
other thoughts that may be held--the emotions of intense religious fervor being next
in dynamic strength--tend, because of their unusual dynamic strength, to build their
harmonies or discords both into the astral body of the thinker and into the astral body
of the other.
The Ancient Masons were well versed in magic; and here is a very real and extremely
potent form of magic that husband and wife constantly, and usually unwittingly,
practice on each other. If this relation, therefore, be discordant, the participating
parties are practicing upon each other a very destructive form of magic. For that
which is attracted from the outside world is determined by the activities of the
thought-cells built into the astral form. If discordant thoughts are built into the astral
body, discordant events will be attracted. Disease, financial failure, and all the evils
that may befall man, may very well be attracted if through the years he forces his
attentions upon an unwilling and loathing wife. Is it to be wondered, then, that the
symbol of such an unfortunate state of affairs should, by the Ancient Masons, be
called the sign of distress?
The laws of the land may demand that husband and wife must yield even unwillingly
to the desire of the other. But such yielding, if thought has any power to heal or injure,
if such a thing as mental magic exists, must inevitably bring to both a train of physical
woes. And because the soul itself is built by states of consciousness--is, in fact, the
sum total of the states of consciousness organized in the finer forms--such relations
have a powerful influence over the soul's progress. If degrading thoughts, thoughts
of loathing, thoughts that are associated in any manner with decidedly strong
inharmonious emotions, are being engendered by oneself, or being received from
another through such close association, the power of the soul for progress is lessened.
To remedy a fault, it must first be recognized to exist. The first sign of a Mason,
therefore, is a recognition of the state and the cause of distress.
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These signs being given, the Master, Senior Warden, and Junior Warden, each give
one rap with the gavel; indicating that there is complete unity of the higher trinity of
man's constitution in exercising the will to overcome the problems of the physical
plane. The Master then declares the lodge open.
In Course 2, Astrological Signatures,Chapter 2, I have explained at length the
Written Law and the Oral Law. The Oral Law in general is traditional knowledge,
and as applied to individual man is his knowledge of natural law. The Written Law is
that law written in the stars; it is in general, astronomy, and as applied to individual
man is the various vibrations that reach him from celestial sources as mapped by his
birth-chart and progressed chart. I mention these two laws here because both are a
part of any correct Masonic lodge.
Having declared the lodge open, the Master reads from a book, representing the Oral
Law, the following passages:
"Behold how good and pleasant it is for the brethren to dwell together in unity! It is
like the precious ointment upon the head that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's
beard, that went down to the skirts of his garments; as the dew of Hermon, as the dew
that descended upon the mountain of Zion, for there the Lord commanded the
blessing, evermore. Amen. So mote it be."
This passage following immediately after the sign of distress, which calls the
attention to the cause of a great amount of misery and failure in the world, is evidently
intended to call the attention to the great benefits that may be derived from harmony
in marriage. And right here is a good place to emphasize that I do not find in Ancient
Masonry any teaching which upholds the tendency repeatedly to divorce simply
because for some reason the ideals are not at once realized. I do find that the Ancient
Masons emphasized the importance of selecting a mate that is physically, mentally,
and spiritually harmonious, when entering into marriage. That is, marriage was
considered to be worthy of careful thought, and not to be entered into haphazard. But
once the marriage took place, it seems to have been their belief that no stone should
be left unturned by either to make it a successful, constructive, and harmonious
union.
While there is a higher phase of marriage to be striven for, as will be noticed in detail
later, the Ancient Masons did not view the physical relations between husband and
wife as something abhorrent. On the contrary, while recognizing the existence of still
higher phases, they taught that even the physical relation within moderation could be
made an instrument of soul growth and physical construction.
In this doctrine sensualism played no part. For it was with the unconscious magic
exercised by the participating parties that they were concerned, and not with physical
gratification. These Ancient Masons were Master Magicians, and they recognized
that even the physical relation between husband and wife, in addition to being the
means by which superior offspring could be brought into the world, might also be the
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means for the highest form of white magic. A thought associated with the emotion of
love is the most powerful constructive agent known. The more intense the emotion
the greater the volume of constructive energy with which the thought is empowered.
And where there is perfect agreement and sympathy between the two, the united
thoughts are energized manifold.
That such ideal conditions might obtain, according to this ancient teaching, it is first
necessary that there be the utmost harmony of desire and sympathy of understanding.
Little acts of consideration and kindness in the daily life prepare for this. Both should
have their energies aroused to the highest degree, and both should find complete
expression. And above all, each should feel toward the other the loftiest, kindest, and
most sympathetic emotions. The rapport established through mutual desires, fuses
the astral bodies, and as the thoughts and feelings are all harmonious, hence
constructive, each builds in himself, and in the other, thought-cells in the astral form
that are constructive. And because the emotions are so intense, these constructive
energies are given a powerful dynamic force, entering permanently into the makeup
of the astral and spiritual bodies of each, thus becoming powerful harmonious
thought structures that build up the soul's power for progression, and tend to attract
harmonious conditions, hence success, in the environment.
At a further stage a still higher union is advisable because the power of a thought
depends not merely upon the volume of energy with which it is energized, but also
upon the quality of the energy. Physical relations, although they may be emotionally
spiritualized and refined to a degree, yet usually retain enough of physical desire to
lower their vibratory rate. They have not, therefore, the power to produce results in
the physical world, nor the power to affect the constitution of the spiritual body, that
strong emotions have that spring from a still loftier plane. However, it is
evident--judging from the vast literature on psychoanalysis that has recently come
into existence, and the cure of so many patients by releasing their repressions--most
without some training, are not ready for regeneration.
Such a harmonious marriage as has been suggested in the ritual is first referred to as
ointment--which is the symbol of sanctity--being upon the head. In other words, in
such a holy union the thoughts--for the head is where thinking is done--are lifted up
to God and sanctified. The beard is typically an emblem of masculinity, and the
priestly robe, or garment, is purposely feminine. Its enfolding form suggests woman.
Aaron typifies those who have consecrated their lives to higher service, who know
the law, and who enter into marriage with the object of endeavoring to assist each
other evolve their divine attributes. The ointment running down upon both the beard
and the skirts of the garment symbolizes the opening of the doors of the inner spaces
upon such a man and woman.
The next comparison is to the dew of Hermon that descended upon the mountain of
Zion. Water is the symbol of the emotions, air is the symbol of aspiration, fire is the
symbol of creative energy, and earth is the symbol of practical results. Dew is the
product of heat--creative energy--acting upon water--the emotions. Carried up by
the air--aspirations--it is finally precipitated on the mountain of Zion; that is, yields
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the very highest practical results. This dew that falls on Zion, therefore, indicates
those unusual spiritual energies that are only contacted when intense love enables the
soul to soar to the heights; and even as mountains are the highest portions of the earth,
these energies enable work of the highest type for the benefit of mankind to be
accomplished.
The ideas meant to be conveyed by the verses quoted were given in the 7th, and
further explained in the 14th degree. In this system of degrees of Ancient Masonry
the 7th degree revealed the mysteries of generation, the 14th degree revealed the
mysteries of regeneration, and the 21st degree revealed the mysteries of the great
work. David, no doubt was a high degree Mason.
Therefore, we need not be surprised to find the original of these verses to be the
133rd--1 plus 3 plus 3 equals 7--Psalm. This Psalm is The Song of Degrees, being
the 14th song. The number 7 in the Hermetic System of Names and Numbers (see
Course 6, The Sacred Tarot), relates to perfect physical union, and the number 14 to
complete regeneration, as revealed by the Major Arcana of the tarot.
After the recital of the 133rd Psalm as a prayer, the Master raps once with his gavel,
indicating that the will must dominate the first, or physical, plane; whereupon the
members are seated.
And now, before taking up the work of a lodge after it has been opened, let us
complete our brief survey of the 32 primitive ideas that form the counters of universal
language by considering the numerals.
Origin of Arabic Numerals
--The Arabic numerals which we commonly employ bear a rough correspondence
to cell division after the union of sperm and germ. If this resemblance is more than
accidental, it may be questioned how those who originated them, without the aid of a
microscope, could know about cell division. The same query arises in reference to
their knowledge of the attributes of the planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, in the
absence of telescopes. They had ESP (Extra-Sensory Perception) well enough
developed accurately to describe the influence of these planets, as we now find
through research. This being the case, there is no inconsistency involved in believing
they might have known, through ESP, of cell division and many other things.
The fertilized cell is itself unity. But a cell possesses polarity, possesses a positive
and a negative portion, this constitutes a duality; even as a duality results from the
first cell division.
Now in all things possessing life there is a trinity; substance, energy, intelligence.
The cell itself may well be represented by a circle; for the circle is the most perfect
form, containing within its circumference the greatest possible area within a
boundary of a given length. The trinity may be expressed diagrammatically by a
triangle inscribed within the half circle representing the dominant polarity. Thus if
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the sperm is represented, instead of the fertilized cell, the triangle will be found in the
positive, or light half; while if the germ is represented, the triangle will be found in
the shaded, or negative, half. Reproduction is thus seen to be the union of a positive
trinity, the sperm, with a negative trinity, the germ. Where the two trines have their
point of contact gives the 7th factor, 7 being perfection of form. But at this point of
contact a new trinity, the offspring, is developed, which may be expressed
diagrammatically as three trines, or the number 9, the highest digit, the perfect
number. The new trinity of substance, energy, and intelligence may then separate
itself from its parents to commence an independent cycle or existence. This cycle, or
orbit, is expressed by a cypher, which enclosing the whole group as a unity, adds the
thought of a new era to the whole unity, giving the number 10.
I shall not go further into these symbolic diagrams, nor shall I try to trace in detail, for
they have been greatly conventionalized, the axial divisions and other processes of
cell development that may have suggested to the unconscious minds of the Arabian
Sages the numerals we now use. Instead I shall now consider the functions of the
numbers themselves:
One
--The number One expresses the absolute, and suggests infinite possibilities. It is
that from which all proceed, which contains all, and to which all finally return. It is
evidently a synthesis; for nothing can be imagined not composed of parts. It
represents the universal principle, the creative intelligence of Deity, that force which
is the motive power of the universe and in man becomes intellect and will. In science
it is the law of conservation of energy. In the macrocosm it indicates unlimited
potentiality, in man it indicates relative potentiality.
Two
--The number Two expresses polarity. It suggests night and day, inhalation and
exhalation, heat and cold. The most evident of all things is duality, even truth being
dual, esoteric and exoteric, the real and the appearance. Two represents the universal
law of sex; attraction and repulsion, love and hate, centripetal force and centrifugal
force. In science it is the law that every action is accompanied by an equal and
opposite reaction. In the macrocosm it is the positive and the negative; and in man it
is represented by reason and intuition, and by his differentiation into the polar
opposites, man and woman.
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Three
--The number Three expresses the union of polar opposites. It is the reaction
between forces generating vibration and change. It represents the universal agent,
action, or word, and is typical of fecundity. It is the union of forces that is the basis of
all life and motion. There is no such thing as freedom from change; for all existence is
in motion. In science three represents the laws of dynamics, those that pertain to the
generation and control of energy. In the macrocosm it is action, and in humanity it is
generation.
Four
--The number Four expresses the result of action, the fruit of two interacting forces.
It thus represents the practical, the concrete, that which has form and substance;
hence is typical of the universal truth of reality. In science it represents the laws of
statics, those that pertain to bodies at rest or in equilibrium. In the macrocosm it is the
result of action; and in man it is the offspring of experience.
Five
--The number Five unites the first four digits, or principles, into a harmonious unity,
and thus explains the apparent contradictions in nature. The One Principle, One Law,
One Agent, and One Truth do not contradict each other, but imply each other's
existence. These four factors are pictured in the sky by the four animals that
symbolize the four quadrants of the zodiac. All were synthesized as a fifth in the
ancient four fold sphinx; which explains all nature to converge in man. Man has
passed through the four elemental realms of life, has triumphed over all submundane
degrees of existence, and by virtue of his spiritual supremacy gained their allegiance
as obedient servitors. Man, symbolized by five, maintains his health when his
magnetic forces are radiated equally by each of the five main points of projection: the
hands, feet, and head. In man, and as composed of one and four, it represents the
realization that is the outcome of intelligently directed willpower. In the macrocosm,
and as composed of two and three, it signifies polarity in action.
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Six
--The number Six signifies two actions: two times three. But as such it does not
represent forces in equilibrium, but forces in a state of vacillation, in a state of action
and reaction. It is thus typical of virtue that may be misapplied. As such it signifies
weakness and indecision, hesitancy and timidity. As composed of two and four it
signifies the realization of polarity. As composed of one and five it represents man
dominated by the will of another. In the macrocosm six is force uncontrolled, and in
man it is temptation.
Seven
--The number Seven as composed of three and four expresses action and realization,
and is thus the number of completion of form. Things on the physical plane which
have perfection of form are constituted of three active elements and four passive, or
formative elements. Seven as composed of two and five signifies man having within
his power the law of polarity. As composed of one and six, it signifies indecision
overcome, and hitherto uncontrolled forces dominated by intelligent will. As
composed of twice three plus one it denotes body, soul, and spirit, united to body,
soul, and spirit, guided by intelligence and controlled by will. In the macrocosm it
indicates the seven principles of nature, and in man those whom, "God hath joined
together," as well as the dominion of intelligence over action, hence victory over
temptation.
Eight
--The number Eight as composed of two fours expresses two opposite realizations,
hence equilibrium, crystallization, stagnation, and possibly death. It is thus the
antithesis of progress. It is ultra-conservatism. As composed of three and five it
represents man succumbing to action. As composed of two and six it signifies
temptation polarized. As consisting of seven and one it denotes the victory over
intelligence and will. In the macrocosm eight is the number of inertia, in man it is the
number of justice, and also the number of dissolution.
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Nine
--The number Nine is the Deific number. It is the highest digit, and has many
unusual properties. Thus it may be multiplied by any number and the digits
repeatedly added together will give 9 as their sum. All numbers above 9, in their last
analysis, consist of a root number to which multiples of nine have been added, this
root number being always the sum of the digits repeatedly added together. Because
of its extraordinary properties, nine was held sacred by the ancients, and is the key by
which all their cryptic cycles may be unlocked. As composed of five and four it
signifies man realizing all that earth can teach. As consisting of three and six it
indicates temptation overcome by action. As composed of two and seven it indicates
intuition and reason added to perfectly united body, soul, and spirit with body, soul,
and spirit. As being one and eight it signifies that inertia has been overcome by
intelligently directed will. In the macrocosm it signifies, by being three times three,
action on all three planes, and in man it becomes the number of wisdom.
Ten
--The number Ten expresses the same as number one, except that a cypher,
symbolizing a complete cycle, has been added. It therefore shows that one round of
experience has been completed, and that another cycle of experience is being
commenced. Vibrations on the inner plane repeat their chief characteristics in
decaves, instead of in octaves. One shows infinite possibilities only, nine shows that
all the possibilities of one plane have been experienced, and ten indicates the
transition to a new plane where other possibilities await. Ten, then, in the macrocosm
indicates the commencement of a new cycle, and in man, as composed of two fives, it
indicates man and woman together, humanity at large.