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  • Magali Aimé

News from Magali - FIL-INFOS N°8




The different chapters :


I - The profane's voice


Why is Freemasonry not in "good odor" with the Church?, asks Bruno.

•    Le fil-Line :   Prejudices, dogmas, and preconceived ideas have continued to cultivate this misunderstanding. Let's talk about it in a few lines to end these thoughts.


Why "so much hate" when Masonic rituals have drawn from all religions, all philosophical writings, and sacred books? Let us start with the premise that religions advocate living together.


The word religion originates from the Latin Religio. In the Gaffiot, we find relego, relegére, which means to gather, to connect, to collect. On Cicero's side, we find the sense of religion as religious scruple. FM (Freemasonry) constantly connects, unifies, tries to gather what is scattered, creating harmony and Beauty in the way religions advocate. If we read the rituals attentively, whatever they are, the entire Masonic method is oriented towards living together, towards social, philosophical, and moral values. Masonry also relies on theological virtues and ethics.


If I say Faith, Hope, and Charity, does that not ring a bell? Words close to all religions found in the Epistle to the Corinthians, 1, Co, 13. From the Quran to the Torah, and the Bible, it is evident that the same commandments preside over the behaviors that every human being should have, regardless of their religion. The same is true in Freemasonry, all obediences included.


Twice, the same instructions are given in the Pentateuch and Deuteronomy. "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth."

In Freemasonry at the AASR (Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite), we find: "You shall not make human idols."


A small example or reminder from the book of Exodus with its rabbinic translation in italics:

•    20.13 You shall not murder. - Do not commit homicide.

•    20.14 You shall not commit adultery. - Do not commit adultery.

•    20.15 You shall not steal.- Do not commit theft.

•    20.16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. - Do not give false testimony against your neighbor.


Here is the demonstration that the three monotheistic religions, like Freemasonry, promote the same values. Certainly formulated differently. So when will this refusal to look objectively at things and not try to form one's own idea through a few books end?


So why not invite church people to read the Masonic rituals?



•    A friend invited me to a conference, well, rather a White Meeting. Strange evening.


Le fil-Line: Obediences and lodges occasionally organize meetings called Open White Meetings or Closed White Meetings. Open White Meetings welcome the profane, they are open to everyone, Masons or not.

To simplify, the Open White Meeting is for everyone to come and listen to a Masonic lecturer.


Closed White Meetings are held inside a Temple, only initiates attend, the only profane being the lecturer.


These meetings are not there to do propaganda but simply to demystify FM (Freemasonry) and define the contours of the method that allows living together in harmony and set the tone for the work done in the lodge.


The only problem with Open White Meetings is that the profane are very few and are already well aware of what FM (Freemasonry) is. They are always invited by Masons. So they are accompanied by Masons who have been talking to them about Masonry since they have known each other.


An experience during a conference given at a Masonic book fair in Lyon, in a room of 120 silent and attentive people. At the end of the conference, a question was asked to the audience: Profane present, can you raise your hands? There, 8 hands were raised... No comment. So what is it for?



•    Is it true that Masonic symbols are found in all cities and on a large number of buildings?


Le fil-Line : First, if you really want to know more, you need to buy the book by Emmanuel Pierrat, co-author of "Paris of the Freemasons," and also that of Raphaël Aurillac, "Guide to Masonic Paris."


When walking around the capital, look up and you will discover, here a star, there a beehive, there a square, or a compass. From Square Langevin to Quai Malaquais, from 12 rue de Buci to rue Cadet, FM (Freemasonry) is almost everywhere in Paris, Bordeaux, and other cities. Note that every time a Masonic sign is discovered on a building, it is found that all were created by renowned artists of their respective eras.


The monument erected for the bicentennial of human rights, attributed to sculptor Ivan Theimer and architect Michel Jantzen, is a monument that celebrates Liberty, the Enlightenment, and human rights. It can be discovered during a walk in the Champ-de-Mars gardens. A building commissioned by the city of Paris and its mayor Jacques Chirac in 1989. There is a delta, a sun... and a triangle, a Masonic symbol signifying the elevation of the spirit. Certainly, you will say that these symbols can be not only secular but also philosophical or religious, depending on the case. So, isn't all this a blatant demonstration of Masonic quality and the values it conveys?


Bordeaux? A city with architecture undeniably influenced by Masonry. For example, the Grand Théâtre bears an evident imprint! Its architect was a Freemason, Victor Louis, and he was recommended by an illustrious brother named Richelieu, then governor of Guyenne.


Who says better? So try and dare Masonic tourism!



II - Freemasons on the Path


The Imagery of the Middle Ages


How can one not think of Oswald Wirth when talking about Tarot? And even attribute this work to him. However, Oswald Wirth never considered the Tarot as a card game but rather as a "silent book" that can serve as a guide on the esoteric, symbolic, and initiatory path.


For him, only the 22 Major Arcana were useful. Nevertheless, he composed two Tarots which he never called games!


He created the first tarot between 1887 and 1889, each card bearing a letter of the Hebrew alphabet and lending itself to Kabbalistic interpretations.


If one has read Wirth's works carefully, one would understand that his vision of the Masonic method is close to almost all initiatory paths whose objective is: "Walking on two legs: intuition and reason."


For enthusiasts, Wirth's followers, and symbolism enthusiasts, there is "The Tarot of the Imagery of the Middle Ages" by Oswald Wirth, just one small regret, its price of 186€. Too bad. Fortunately, there are less expensive editions available. Why be interested in Tarot? Simply because the symbolism of the 22 Major Arcana is a magical mirror. Because this Tarot, at least this Tarot, is not meant to be predictive nor does it claim to foresee anything! NO, not at all, just because it helps each person to discover themselves differently, to discover things they are unaware of about themselves, a kind of initiatory path that leads one's own interiority towards depth and perhaps towards the darkest shadows that each person carries within themselves. The Tarot should be our plumb line.


The famous Tarot of Marseille is a collective work to which no one has ever claimed authorship. It is a group of men who worked for decades and succeeded in gathering the scattered knowledge of each to put it at the service of all. As Marianne Leconte writes in "Psycho Tarot."


The Tarot of Marseille, with no specific author, no geographical, historical, or ideological roots, lies in the infinite freedom of conscience, rejects religions and temples that one might raise in its name. It is only a "humble and grandiose instrument at the service of the cosmos." It is clear that the mirror proposed by the Tarot cards could be considered a precursor to psychoanalysis. If these 22 Major Arcana allowed dialogue with the unconscious, to liberate the mind, to awaken to the world of symbols, it would already be a great step on the path that leads to oneself, wouldn't it?

And why not decode each card as part of our Fil-Line-Info? If you agree, of course.



The ROS (Operative Rite of Solomon)



You might wonder, why the Operative Rite of Solomon? Simply because there are several rites and one must start with one of them and as this one appears to be one of the youngest since it is only 50 years old, and it is little known. So let's discover it. So let's talk about the Operative Rite of Solomon. A rite that can be said to be "young" since it was born in the 1960s/70s at the initiative of 9 brothers of the GO (Grand Orient) and notably Jacques de La Personne, who at the time was Deputy Grand Orator of the Grand Orient of France.


Some basic principles about this Rite:

•    The just and perfect lodge chooses who it initiates, who it affiliates, who it expels or excludes.

•    It establishes the rhythm and quality of the work.

•    It welcomes all recognized and regular Freemasons.

•    It manages its finances without any external intervention.

•    This means and affirms loudly that the lodges are free and sovereign.


"The Operative Rite of Solomon draws from the companion tradition but also from the alchemical heritage." (A phrase extracted from Robert Klein's article in "La Chaîne d’Union No. 45.")


For those attending a meeting of the Operative Rite of Solomon for the first time, the surprise is immense. The foundation, the values, the fundamentals are the same but the operative side is very present, its strength is imposing. The lodge carpet is installed by the apprentices at the first degree, by the companions at the second, and by the masters at the third. Each tool, each symbol is placed by the initiates of the degree. Initiates in the AASR (Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite) will have to start with the right foot and momentarily forget the left foot to walk differently.


These just and perfect lodges, called "Solomon lodges," refer to the Temple of Solomon and their essential vocation is: to contribute to building the Temple of a better humanity.


The style is strong, the traditional and ritual vocabulary has a particular rhythm.


Another surprise for the visitor is the oral expression. A way of presenting one's work with heart, emotion, hesitations, and sincerity. Not reading puts one in a state of awakening and more attentive listening.


Another subject of surprise: the degrees to be passed, if one wishes.

•    For example, blue lodges, regardless of the rite, have 3 degrees. Then everything changes.

•    The French Rite: 7 degrees, 4 philosophical, plus one administrative, outside degrees.

•    The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite: 33 degrees;

•    The Rectified Scottish Rite: 6 degrees;

•    The Operative Rite of Solomon: 9 degrees.

•    The Egyptian rites: 33, 90, or 99 degrees.


The ROS (Operative Rite of Solomon) likes to talk about the Wisdom of operation, the Strength of the method, and the Beauty of the Work.


Everything that needs to be voted on in the lodge must be done unanimously. No balls, neither white nor black! A show of hands! Unanimity being one of the pillars of the Rite, a test of Fraternity, fairness, and respect.


In a few words:

 

L’OITAR (Initiatic Order of the Royal Art)

Proposes an initiatory path through a spiritual and adogmatic quest

Of course, Freemasonry is Universal and in all obediences, under all latitudes, in any rite, FM (Freemasonry)

proposes an initiatory path through a spiritual and adogmatic quest.

 

 

 

 

III - Mag's Mood Swings


You Said Adogmatism

Given the number of lodges, obediences, and chosen themes, it is easy to decide and make a choice. Choose? Without knowing much about what awaits the one who knocks on the door of the Temple, one must know that choosing is possible. Choosing what? Moving towards a deistic, Christian, progressive societal, philosophical, or symbolic lodge. The presence or absence of the Universal Book. One must also know that political and religious debates are forbidden, or at least strongly discouraged, within lodges.

This means that everyone can find their happiness there, provided that their "guide, godfather or godmother" is honest with them and finds what suits them best. The essential remains Adogmatism and this cannot be emphasized enough. Claude Delbos has very well defined the duties, almost the commandments of the adogmatic initiate:

•    Fight for absolute freedom of conscience.

•    No sacred book imposed in the lodge.

•    Debate on all subjects, except politics and religion, which belong to the intimate and private sphere.

•    Place the good of Man and Humanity at the center of moral and social references.

•    Work for the progress of oneself and humanity.

•    Fight for secularism.

•    Defend and respect the Republic.


The Masonic method teaches and places itself above all ideologies, beliefs, cultural, religious, or social differences. It pushes and helps through its method towards personal reflection, self-improvement, and respect for others.


And yet all Freemasons have noticed that, depending on the periods, ideologies appear, timidly but still. A lodge was created about thirty years ago with a handful of sisters belonging to the League of Human Rights and supporting the leader of a political party. As a result, from recruitment to recruitment, the lodge lost its momentum, its splendor, and shrank like a skin of sorrow. Proof that profane life, religions, and politics should not enter lodges.


In some lodges, if not all, members do not form a Unity as Freemasonry would wish! One sees the affinities that form during agapes. But that is not the problem because friendships form and dissolve naturally. Where one must absolutely remain cautious is in not letting politics or religions rear their heads. A group of Sisters recently experienced a strange situation, leading to resignations in a lodge in the southwest. This group is witnessing the disintegration of this lodge, which for some is their mother lodge. All this because of bias and involvement in a political cause. The rot is in the fruit...



And Benevolence?


In the last issue, I talked to you about the word Tolerance, which annoys me. Today, I will talk about the word benevolence. A word rather trendy these days.

A word "on the move" undeniably for some time. So what is this benevolence applied to all kinds of situations? Incidentally, there is talk of introducing empathy courses in schools!!!!


Let’s return to benevolence.


A catch-all word that can be used as a junk drawer. Yet if one asks Mr. "Gaffiot" it is clear that it comes from: benevolentia and also bona vigilantia. There is also the Latin phrase "captatio benevolentiae."


Which could be translated as: good vigilance, good will.


Today, benevolence is in fashion. So business leaders and politicians are starting to talk about benevolence.


A lexical field that calls for attention to others, to emotional intelligence, even calculating emotional IQ in HR. Going back in time to the 12th century, the word benevolence is used to speak of a favorable disposition towards others, attention paid to others. In the 17th century, the meaning is the same with a slight condescending connotation. The superior person will be benevolent towards their inferiors. Who is the superior, who is the inferior? To know!


What criteria for categorizing them? That is the question!!! This is where benevolence becomes condescension!


In the 18th century, the so-called Age of Enlightenment, what remains of this word? Always this little feeling of superiority of the privileged towards those who are not.

Since the 20th century, benevolence wants to meddle in everything: well-being, good reception, respect for differences, it wants to be soothing, calm social tensions, tend towards the quality of living together. This leads us to philosophy and positive psychology, as with "Carrefour je positive."


Companies today talk about benevolence, the boss must create the right atmosphere for his teams to feel good, HR must reveal each person's qualities and value them. To ultimately achieve greater productivity.


It is necessary to share social values, living together, let emotions speak, and why not ask for the position that would best suit one's temperament to feel good in mind and body?


The boss, practicing this new benevolence, will have to take into account the desires, trends, needs of human beings to give the group all the strength necessary for the project.


What to say about these new behaviors? Children, yes at 11 and 13 years old, they are children, and they go out with knives, with weapons. Have we been too benevolent, too lax?

Dictatorship? No, not possible, so what?


Quite simply education, respect for others, for laws, for the Republic. A bit of spontaneity and sincerity with listening and attention. Never forget that respect for others begins with respect for oneself.


Magali

 

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