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Charles W. Lead Beater - The Hidden Life in Freemasonry

Charles W. Lead Beater - The Hidden Life in Freemasonry

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Published by: jrod on Jan 06, 2012
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The Hidden Life in Freemasonry
C. W. Leadbeater 33°
IT is once more my privilege to usher into the world, for the helping of thethoughtful, another volume of the series on the hidden side of things written byBishop Charles W. Leadbeater. True Mason that he is, he is ever trying to spread theLight which he has received, so that it may chase away the darkness of Chaos. Tolook for the Light, to see the Light, to follow the Light, were duties familiar to allEgyptian Masons, though the darkness in that Ancient Land never approached thedensity which shrouds the West today.This book will be welcomed by all Freemasons who feel the beauty of their ancientRite, and desire to add knowledge to their zeal. The inner History of Masonry is leftaside for the present, and the apprentice is led by a trustworthy guide through thelabyrinth which protects the central Shrine from careless and idle inquirers. Placesthat were obscure become illuminated; dark allusions are changed to crystal clarity;walls which seem solid melt away; confidence replaces doubt; glimpses of the goalare caught through rifts in the clouds; and the earth-born mists vanish before the raysof the rising sun. Instead of fragments of half-understood traditions, confused anduninterpreted, we find in our hands a splendid science and a reservoir of power which we can use for the uplifting of the world. We no longer ask: “What is theGreat Work? We see “that it is nothing less than a concerted effort to carry out theduty that is laid upon us, as those who possess the Light, to spread that Light abroadthrough the World, and actually to become fellow-labourers with T.G.A.O.T.U. inHis great Plan for the evolution of our Brn”.The detailed explanations of the ceremonies are profoundly interesting andilluminative, and I commend them very heartily to all true Freemasons. Our V .·.·. I.·.·. Brother has added a heavy debt of gratitude by this book to the many we alreadyowe him. Let us be honest debtors.
 ANNIE BESANTDecember 25, 1925
THE Masonic fellowship differs from all other societies in that candidates for membership have to join it blindfold, and cannot receive much information about ituntil they actually enter its ranks. Even then the majority of Masons usually obtainonly the most general idea of the meaning of its ceremonies, and seldom penetratefurther than an elementary moral interpretation of its principal symbols. In this book it is my object, while preserving due secrecy upon those matters which must be keptsecret, to explain something of the deeper meaning and purpose of Freemasonry, inthe hope of arousing among the Brn. a more profound reverence for that of whichthey are the custodians and a fuller understanding of the mysteries of the Craft.Although the book is primarily intended for the instruction of members of the Co-Masonic Order, whose desire, as is expressed in their ritual, is to pour the waters of esoteric knowledge into the Masonic vessels, I hope nevertheless that it may appealto a wider circle, and may perhaps be of use to some of those many Brn. in themasculine Craft who are seeking for a deeper interpretation of Masonic symbolismthan is given in the majority of their Lodges, showing them that in the ritual whichthey know and love so well are enshrined splendid ideals and deep spiritualteachings which are of the most absorbing interest to the student of the inner side of life.Before we can gain this fuller understanding we must have at least some slightacquaintance with certain facts concerning the world in which we live - a world onlyhalf of which we see or understand. Indeed, undignified as the statement sounds, it isquite true that our position resembles very closely that of a caterpillar feeding upon aleaf, whose vision and perception extend but very little beyond the leaf upon whichhe crawls. How difficult it would be for such a caterpillar to transcend hislimitations, to take a wider view, to understand that his leaf is part of a huge treewith millions of such leaves, a tree with a life of its own - a life outlasting athousand generations of lives such as his; and that tree in turn only a unit in a vastforest of dimensions incalculable to his tiny brain! And if by some unusualdevelopment one caterpillar did catch a glimpse of the great world around him andtried to explain his vision to his fellows, how those other caterpillars woulddisbelieve and ridicule him, how they would adjure him to waste no time on suchunprofitable imaginings, but to realize that the one purpose of life is to find a good position on succulent leaf, and to assimilate as much of it as he can!When later on he becomes a butterfly, his view widens, and he comes into touchwith a beauty, a glory and a poetry in life of which he had no conception before. It isthe same world, and yet so different, merely because he can see more of it, and moveabout in it in a new way. Every caterpillar is a potential butterfly; and we have theadvantage over these creatures in that we can anticipate the butterfly stage, and solearn much more about our world, come much nearer to the truth, enjoy life muchmore, and do much more good. We should study the hidden side of every-day life,for in that way we shall get so much more out of it. The same truth applies to higher things - to religion, for example. Religion has always spoken to mankind of unseenthings above - not only far away in the future, but close around us here and now. Our 

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