MASONIC INITIATION  by W.L. Wilmshurst

Chapter II

THE WIND


The Instruction Lectures of the First Degree (unfortunately not used in
some Lodges), contain a curious reference to the blowing of the wind, which
must puzzle a good many minds.  What has the wind to do with Masonic work,
and why should it be particularly favourable to that work when blowing from
East to West or vice versa?

Again we must look below the letter of the reference. The subject has not
been introduced without purpose and instructiveness, to discern which will
once more reveal the wisdom of the compilers and the crypticism with which
they purposely shielded it when preparing our system for more or less
promiscuous use .

The wind referred to is not the atmospheric breeze. It is that Wind
(Pneuma) which "bloweth where it listeth" ; the Wind of the Spirit ; the
currents of Divine Energy.

The "East" and the "West" are not our ordinary geographical directions of
space. In Initiate and Biblical language, as in the quarters of the Lodge,
the East is the realm of Spirit and Light ; the West that of Matter and
Darkness, the place of the disappearing sun . Man partakes of both ; he is
polarised east-west, as Spirit-Matter in one .

When, mystically, the wind blows east-west, a current of Divine Energy has
set in towards the west, stimulating,, vitalizing and enlightening it.  When
it blows west-east, man has himself directed a current of aspiration from
his own spirit eastwards to God.

The wind is therefore said to be specially favourable to Masonic work when
blowing from either of those points of the mystical compass. When the Mason
sends up his aspirations to the heights, as he should perpetually be doing,
he is as a dynamo generating and transmitting an electric current upwards ;
that is, eastwards . When the Divine Fire descends upon himself, a similar
current has set in westwards . It is written elsewhere and in the same
sense, "As the lightning shineth from the east unto the west, so is the
coming of the Son of Man" into the personal consciousness .

Prayer, upward aspiration in the above sense, is a practical scientific
necessity for the work of the spiritual Craftsman. He himself is but as the
leaden weight swinging at the lower end of the string of the plumb-rule.
The string itself is as the connecting wire between that weight and the top
of the plumb rule, a wire through which a current may pass up or down. Until
that instrument is held erect, and the leaden weight brought to stillness
and steadiness, it is ineffective for any form of work . So long as man is
spiritually unaligned and out of plumb with his The spiritual pole,
directness of current between them Wind is impossible. When that current is
established the lead of darkness and ignorance may become transmuted into
the gold of conscious light and wisdom by the alchemy of the Spirit .

Real Initiates have always known there to be both special times and
seasons, and special localities favourable to inducing the flow of currents
of Divine Energy ; but of these the modem Mason has not yet come to learn,
though there are references to them in his system. The two solstices and
equinoxes are such times, and others are known in the greater Churches
whose calendar of feasts and fasts have been based upon this principle .
The Festivals of the two Masonic patron-saints, St. John Baptist at
midsummer, and St. John the Divine at mid-winter, have special bearing upon
favourable times for spiritual Craftsmanship, but the former is now
ignored, and the latter profaned. The matter may be left to the' reflection
of Brethren . When the Craft comes better to realize its purpose and
science, these times and seasons will be taken advantage of for the
furtherance of both individual and collective Masonic work .

The teaching in the Instruction Lecture upon the wind is supplemented by a
reference to the escape of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage under their
Master Moses, who caused a mighty east wind to blow, dividing the waters of
the Red Sea to permit of their safe passage, which waters then rolled back
and overwhelmed Pharaoh and his pursuing army . Again, the bearing of this
episode is lost upon the average Brother, who for want of a key fails to
see its relevance to any form of Masonry . And, indeed, it carries us into
much deeper water than the average mind bathes in, although to those versed
in Initiation science, the striking biblical incident masks and prefigures
an equally momentous one in the individual life of everyone who seeks to
fulfill his own spiritual evolution .

The allusion is to the important crisis which occurs when the personal soul
of the aspirant ardently aspires for complete liberation from the tyranny
of the flesh . It is then possible, in proper cases,-and this was part of
the office of the old Mysteries-for one who is a real Master so to act upon
and separate his disciple's interior organic structures as to effect a
permanent liberation of the latter's consciousness from sensual bondage.
The "waters" that are then "divided" are what have previously been
explained as those of the fluidic subtle body of desire and emotion, which
normally constitute an untraversable barrier between the highest and the
lowest elements in our nature. "Wretched man that I am, who shall deliver
me from this body of death ?" exclaimed one who afterwards attained
delivery. For the "body of death" is made up of all those lower natures in
us which inhibit consciousness in the spirit ; and, as we have elsewhere
stated, it is dissociable by a competent adept Master, who holds the keys
of life and death (i.e., consciousness and unconsciousness in the spirit) .
The higher nature of the disciple is then liberated from the bondage of the
lower ; his waters are divided ; he passes through them into permanent
safety from the Pharaoh-like tyranny of his material vesture; the still
pursuing tendencies Seeking of which are checked, overwhelmed and shut off
a when the temporarily held up waters are permitted Master to roll back to
their former channel, to the extreme joy of the now liberated disciple.

This is an incident of real Initiation, and it is achievable only under the
guidance of the equivalent of a Moses, a real Master.  To those unversed in
the deeper aspects of Initiation science, what cannot here be more than
briefly explained may appear incredible, as would much more that lies
concealed beneath the symbols and the text of the Masonic system. But those
responsible for compiling or inspiring that system were clearly deeply
versed in much that they permitted themselves to do no more than hint at,
and it remains for reflective Masons to penetrate their disguises by their
own research, intuition and perspicacity.

 

 

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