Our modern science owes a great bit of gratitude to Freemasonry and the Hermetic Arts. It was common throughout history, for any new scientific ideas to be censored or destroyed by the mainstream. We know today that this type of research is necessary for our advancement as a culture, but in ancient times it was frowned upon by the clergy and the monarchy. Organized Societies that had an interest in alchemical practices and the Hermetic Arts acted as safe havens for people with progressive ideas. Groups such as the Rosicrucian’s and the Royal Society were among these champions of science. People within these groups were experimenting with astronomy, physics, and alchemy, which was to become the basis for our modern chemistry. They allowed these people to express new ideas without the fear of being burnt at the stake!
In the excellent: The Shadow of Solomon by Laurence Gardner,the origins of Speculative, or symbolic Freemasonry are explored in detail. Where the rituals and practices used in modern Masonry originated from is still up to debate, but we know at some point, Masonry went from being an artisan trade group to being the philanthropic and philosophic society that it is today. Early Masonic and Hermetic luminaries in the scientific fields such as Francis Bacon and Isaac Newton were members of these societies. Gardner points out that the Royal Society, which was a scientific-based organization, was formed by early speculative Freemasons. One of which was the enigmatic Robert Boyle. Boyle, along with Christopher Wren helped found the Royal Society. Boyle was an alchemist who was searching for The Philosopher’s Stone (and just may have found it!). He is most well known for his scientific works of studying the volumes of gases and the elasticity of air. Boyle’s Law according the Wikipedia article, states that the absolute pressure and volume of a given mass of confined gas is inversely proportional, if the temperature remains the same. Boyle was able to discuss his findings with other members of the Royal Society and to advance his ideas.
Sir Isaac Newton was another Renaissance luminary that championed Freemasonry, and the Royal Society. Garnder points out that Newton was highly involved in alchemical and hermetic works. He was an early translator of the Hermetic Emerald Tablet that was the basis of Alchemy. He also became obsessed later in life, with the proportions and dimensions of Solomon’s Temple as referred to in the Bible and in Masonic ritual. In the scientific field, Newton explained the laws of gravitation and confirmed with Kepler’s beliefs that the Sun was the center of our solar system. These principles were to start a new scientific revolution.
These scientists were able to work and prosper, while being hidden from the almighty fist of the monarchy. We have these tolerant societies to thank for this. They understood the importance of this ancient wisdom, passed through time to us from the Mystery Schools. They knew that by looking back at the works of the great minds of antiquity, advances could be made in the current day. This is something that we have seemed to have lost a grasp of until very recently. We are slowly dissolving this amnesia of ancient wisdom, to make our own advances in science and technology today. Science wouldn’t be what it is today without these brave pioneers who kept up their work, even though it could have gotten them executed. They were Alchemists, Hermeticists, and Freemasons.