The best and most commonly used description of what Freemasonry is, is that it is “a peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols”. The reason that this is the most popular descriptions, is because it is the most accurate description that can be given for it. What does this mean, exactly? There is no simple way to describe the degree system that the initiate goes through as part of the Masonic system. The reason for this is that the experience is meant to be trans-formative for the individual and no one person will find the same path to illumination. Freemasonry holds the keys in it’s ritual, but it is up to the individual to truly find the “light”. In the following lecture, distinguished Brother W. Kirk MacNulty discusses the philosophy in Masonic symbolism and it’s connection to other philosophical systems, such as Hermeticism and Neo-Platonism.
Hypatia of Alexandria was the greatest female philosopher of her time and one of the greatest of all time. Little is known about her and she is often overlooked in comparison to her male contemporaries. In a field dominated by men, women are often looked at as inferior. Hypatia however, was so prolific that she was put in charge of the Platonist School in Alexandria around 400 AD. She was a master of mathematics and astronomy and was loyal to the Platonic teachings. She lived a life of virtue and celibacy and was well admired by her peers. Unfortunately, she was murdered by religious zealots who accused her of being evil for having incorporated some pagan religious philosophies into her teaching. Her mystique is mostly lost to antiquity, but she was a maverick in a field dominated by patriarchy. Please check out the linked article below for more information on this beautiful soul and human being.
In the fourth and final installment in the Manly P. Hall series, a lecture on Hermeticism, Gnosticism and Neoplatonism is explored. Yet again, we see Manly’s ability to take complex topics and lay them out in a comprehensive manner to be easily understood. There is a wealth of knowledge to be gained by listening to his lectures, and I encourage anyone interested in religion, philosophy, or the esoteric to take the time to listen to them. Hope you enjoy!