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Wilmshurst W L - The Ceremony of Initiation

Wilmshurst W L - The Ceremony of Initiation

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Published by: HiramSecret on Oct 03, 2011
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11/21/2011

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The Ceremony of Initiation.
Analysis and Commentary.
W. L. WILMSHURST,
P.M., P.A.G.D.C. (England) and P.P.G.W. (West Yorks.)
Published by  J. M. WATKINS, 21 Cecil Court, Charing Cross Road, London,W.C 2.
 
INTRODUCTION.
I.
 These notes are intended as a Manual of Instruction for thebenefit of Masons who have recently taken their First Degree,and for that of other Brethren wishful to understand thepurpose and the meaning of the Initiation Ceremony. Theendeavour to indicate the reason for the existence of theMasonic system, to draw aside the veil of allegory andsymbolism in which the Initiation Ceremony is clothed, andto reveal its spirit and subsurface significance. The First Degree Ceremony used on the reception of aCandidate into the Craft is designed to introduce him to thefirst stage of a system of knowledge and self-discipline which,if faithfully followed up and lived out in his personal life, willclarify and transform his mind from its natural state of darkness to one of Light, i.e., expanded clear-seeing spiritualconsciousness raised far beyond and existing independently of the perceptions of the natural senses. It is, therefore calleda Ceremony of Initiation from
in ire 
to go inwards, i.e.,beyond the merely material surfaces of things), and becauseit is meant to mark the beginning (initium) of a new order of personal life and consciousness. It might equally well becalled one of Regeneration or Rebirth; indeed its parallel inReligion is the sacrament of Baptism, which is the initial
 
incident of the religious life and is performed at the West endof a Church, just as a Masonic Candidate enters the Lodgeand begins his Masonic career in the symbolic West. It is aceremony provided to give an answer to what the Candidateprofesses to be the predominant wish of his heart — a wishwell expressed by probably the oldest prayer in the world,which is still used daily by millions of our fellowmen in theEast:— 
From the unreal lead me to the Real; 
 
From the darkness lead me to Light; 
 
From the mortal bring me to Immortality! 
  The presence or absence of this aspiration in a Candidateshould be the test of his fitness for Initiation. Any lessexalted motive for seeking Initiation falls short of the trueintention. The Candidate's attitude should be one of definiteintelligent expectation of spiritual good to come to him, andof positive aspiration and heart-hunger for it; equally definitely it must not be for any material or social advantage,nor a merely negative state of curiosity or uncertainty as towhat is to be found in the Craft.
II.
For every Candidate the Initiation Ceremony implies thatwhatever academic or scientific learning he possesses,

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