“It is the oldest association of which we know anything at all in the world. In the mists of antiquity so far back that we have no certain knowledge as to when it began, this ritual has been performed, and though the language was different and the costumes were different thousands of years ago, yet in essence and even down to a very considerable elaboration of detail it is absolutely the same as you see. A very interesting archaic ceremony and yet with meanings which are entirely up-to-date, which are in accordance with all the teachings of modern science and are just as useful and as applicable in our life here in the 20th century or 30 centuries away before the Christian era. How old this may be we do not know. Some of the writers in the masculine Craft have attributed to it an age carrying it back far before any history of which we know anything. The symbols are found in the huts of the Lake Dwellers of Switzerland; we do not know exactly when they lived, but it cannot be less than 20,000 years ago, and even then Masonic symbols were used. Traces of these appear in all parts of the world.”
V. Ills. Bro.C. W. Leadbeater 33°
"The Order of International Co-Freemasonry affirms the essential equality of man and woman. It is of the same line of tradition, works the same ceremonials and is inspired by the same ideals as those of all regular Masonic Orders. Composed as it is of Freemasons of both sexes, fraternally united without distinction of race, religion or philosophy, in order to attain its end the Order prescribes a ceremonial and symbolic method, by which its members raise their Temple to the perfecting of humanity and the glory of God. The origin of Masonic tradition can be traced to the Ancient Mysteries of bygone civilizations, including those of Egypt and Greece, and can be recognized as the fount of subsequent religious, philosophical and ethical teachings.
Co-Freemasonry, free as it is from outside influence, from concern with politics, commerce and other subjects which divide opinion, and having a deeply spiritual aim and principles, should prove to be one of the main instruments for the establishment and maintenance of peace.
The Masons say that the Logos, as “Architect of the Universe”, conceives the totality of all things at all phases of their existence, in one inconceivably complex group of potencies called by Plato “the Archetype”. It is a Greek word and means literally “first moulded”. It is the idea in abstract, the essential idea, the divine conceiving from which arises the divine Idea of the whole Universe in time and space – the governing power in creation.
What then is the ultimate object of the Mysteries? The Mysteries were designed and performed in order to hasten the natural processes of spiritual, psychological and cultural unfoldment, to increase the speed of the evolution of Initiates. This is achieved by the three processes of physical, moral and cultural preparations, successive degrees of Initiation and the training by which these are accompanied. In terms of consciousness it is realized oneness with the Divine Presence throughout all nature and within the bodily personality of every human being. Whether by purely mystical or ceremonial means, or an intelligent blend of both of these, this extremely lofty state of awareness can indeed be achieved. Because of its paramount importance, Freemasonry refers to it as “the lost Word”. Realization of this unity is the consummation of all spiritual endeavour, the summit of all human achievement.
It should be remembered that in symbology, entrances, doors, porches etc. (to King Solomon’s Temple) refer to both time and space. A porch, for example, symbolizes the beginning of an enterprise. It is the passage whence the creative mind, symbolised by the Candidate, enters the Temple of the Universe-to-be. The candidate is the builder in that, although he little realizes it, he is building the temple of his own inner vehicles.
The opportunity for the individual aspirant is even greater now than in olden days, if only because the grievous condition of humanity in certain respects, creates a very great need for the appearance and activity in the world of truly illumined and selflessly dedicated human beings: those men and women in whom – solely for the welfare of mankind – there has awakened an ardent aspiration to tread the Ancient Way."
The Ills. Bro. Geoffrey Hodson 32°