An Introduction to Albert Pike’s Morals and Dogma
by Jay Halpern, 32
Masonic Lodge of Research (CT)
My acquaintance with Pike’s work, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and AcceptedScottish Rite of Freemasonry, was a matter of chance, although I’m often reminded of the fact that,in truth, there is no such thing as a coincidence. I happened upon it in an antique center and wasimmediately drawn to its erudition, its scope and its willingness to portray the sort of symbolismand arcana that drew me to Freemasonry in the first place. Sitting down with its small print and itsgreat bulk clutched warmly in my hands, I began what continues to be a great adventure inphilosophical, historical, symbological and political investigation. I tentatively explored whatinformation lurked on the Internet about Albert Pike, but soon abandoned those resources becauseof their evident partisanship either for or against the man and the Masons he is assumed torepresent. I determined to let his words speak for themselves, and play upon my own knowledgeof American and world history, philosophy and political theory to make their point. What I found,much to my delight, was how far Pike’s work took me beyond the parameters of pure Masonic loreand into the realm of political and economic theory that had been trod by the greatest minds of thepast, like Plato, Plutarch, and the philosophical synthesizers of all ages.
I was amused by the fact that the poor, unsuspecting owner before me, one Archie Stone of Los Angeles, abandoned his well-meaning attempt to annotate the book before completing chapter I also sympathized. Somebody must have told him that Pike’s book was an explication of Masonicprinciples and symbols, and, understandably, he left off reading out of confusion and, quite likely,disappointment.
It became clear to me, in this regard, that M&D was far more than a Masonic tract. Pike