The Sympathy & Opposite Action of Contraries, by Albert Pike

The Sympathy & Opposite Action of Contraries, by Albert Pike

Postby admin » Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:55 pm

MORALS AND DOGMA OF THE ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE OF FREEMASONRY
by Albert Pike

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The rough Ashlar is the PEOPLE, as a mass, rude and unorganized. The perfect Ashlar, or cubical stone, symbol of perfection, is the STATE, the rulers deriving their powers from the consent of the governed; the constitution and laws speaking the will of the people; the government harmonious, symmetrical, efficient, -- its powers properly distributed and duly adjusted in equilibrium.
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Re: The Sympathy & Opposite Action of Contraries, by Albert

Postby admin » Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:58 pm

The Wisdom and Power of the Deity are in equilibrium. The laws of nature and the moral laws are not the mere despotic mandates of His Omnipotent will; for, then they might be changed by Him, and order become disorder, and good and right become evil and wrong; honesty and loyalty, vices; and fraud, ingratitude, and vice, virtues. Omnipotent power, infinite, and existing alone, would necessarily not be constrained to consistency. Its decrees and laws could not be immutable. The laws of God are not obligatory on us because they are the enactments of His POWER, or the expression of His WILL; but because they express His infinite WISDOM. They are not right because they are His laws, but His laws because they are right. From the equilibrium of infinite wisdom and infinite force, results perfect harmony, in physics and in the moral universe. Wisdom, Power, and Harmony constitute one Masonic triad. They have other and profounder meanings, that may at some time be unveiled to you.

As to the ordinary and commonplace explanation, it may be added, that the wisdom of the Architect is displayed in combining, as only a skillful Architect can do, and as God has done everywhere, -- for example, in the tree, the human frame, the egg, the cells of the honeycomb -- strength, with grace, beauty, symmetry, proportion, lightness, ornamentation. That, too, is the perfection of the orator and poet -- to combine force, strength, energy, with grace of style, musical cadences, the beauty of figures, the play and irradiation of imagination and fancy; and so, in a State, the warlike and industrial force of the people, and their Titanic strength, must be combined with the beauty of the arts, the sciences, and the intellect, if the State would scale the heights of excellence, and the people be really free. Harmony in this, as in all the Divine, the material, and the human, is the result of equilibrium, of the sympathy and opposite action of contraries; a single Wisdom above them holding the beam of the scales. To reconcile the moral law, human responsibility, free-will, with the absolute power of God; and the existence of evil with His absolute wisdom, and goodness, and mercy, -- these are the great enigmas of the Sphynx.
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Re: The Sympathy & Opposite Action of Contraries, by Albert

Postby admin » Fri Oct 16, 2015 12:00 am

The SWORD is also the symbol of war and of the soldier. Wars, like thunderstorms, are often necessary to purify the stagnant atmosphere. War is not a demon, without remorse or reward. It restores the brotherhood in letters of fire. When men are seated in their pleasant places, sunken in ease and indolence, with Pretence and Incapacity and Littleness usurping all the high places of State, war is the baptism of blood and fire, by which alone they can be renovated. It is the hurricane that brings the elemental equilibrium, the concord of Power and Wisdom. So long as these continue obstinately divorced, it will continue to chasten.

In the mutual appeal of nations to God, there is the acknowledgment of His might. It lights the beacons of Faith and Freedom, and heats the furnace through which the earnest and loyal pass to immortal glory. There is in war the doom of defeat, the quenchless sense of Duty, the stirring sense of Honor, the measureless solemn sacrifice of devotedness, and the incense of success. Even in the flame and smoke of battle, the Mason discovers his brother, and fulfills the sacred obligations of Fraternity.
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Re: The Sympathy & Opposite Action of Contraries, by Albert

Postby admin » Fri Oct 16, 2015 12:20 am

Reason and science demonstrate to us that the modes of Existence and Being balance each other in equilibrium according to harmonious and hierarchic laws. But a hierarchy is synthetized, in ascending, and becomes ever more and more monarchial. Yet the reason cannot pause at a single chief, without being alarmed at the abysses which it seems to leave above this Supreme Monarch. Therefore it is silent, and gives place to the Faith it adores.
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Re: The Sympathy & Opposite Action of Contraries, by Albert

Postby admin » Fri Oct 16, 2015 12:24 am

The Sohar declares that everything in the Universe proceeds by the mystery of "the Balance," that is, of Equilibrium. Of the Sephiroth, or Divine Emanations, Wisdom and Understanding, Severity and Benignity, or Justice and Mercy, and Victory and Glory, constitute pairs.

Wisdom, or the Intellectual Generative Energy, and Understanding, or the Capacity to be impregnated by the Active Energy and produce intellection or thought, are represented symbolically in the Kabalah as male and female. So also are Justice and Mercy. Strength is the intellectual Energy or Activity; Establishment or Stability is the intellectual Capacity to produce, a passivity. They are the POWER of generation and the CAPACITY of production. By WISDOM, it is said, God creates, and by UNDERSTANDING establishes. These are the two Columns of the Temple, contraries like the Man and Woman, like Reason and Faith, Omnipotence and Liberty, Infinite Justice and Infinite Mercy, Absolute Power or Strength to do even what is most unjust and unwise, and Absolute Wisdom that makes it impossible to do it; Right and Duty. They were the columns of the intellectual and moral world, the monumental hieroglyph of the antinomy necessary to the grand law of creation.

There must be for every Force a Resistance to support it, to every light a shadow, for every Royalty a Realm to govern, for every affirmative a negative.

For the Kabalists, Light represents the Active Principle, and Darkness or Shadow is analogous to the Passive Principle. Therefore it was that they made of the Sun and Moon emblems of the two Divine Sexes and the two creative forces; therefore, that they ascribed to woman the Temptation and the first sin, and then the first labor, the maternal labor of the redemption, because it is from the bosom of the darkness itself that we see the Light born again. The Void attracts the Full; and so it is that the abyss of poverty and misery, the Seeming Evil, the seeming empty nothingness of life, the temporary rebellion of the creatures, eternally attracts the overflowing ocean of being, of riches, of pity, and of love. Christ completed the Atonement on the Cross by descending into Hell.

Justice and Mercy are contraries. If each be infinite, their co-existence seems impossible, and being equal, one cannot even annihilate the other and reign alone. The mysteries of the Divine Nature are beyond our finite comprehension; but so indeed are the mysteries of our own finite nature; and it is certain that in all nature harmony and movement are the result of the equilibrium of opposing or contrary forces.

The analogy of contraries gives the solution of the most interesting and most difficult problem of modern philosophy, -- the definite and permanent accord of Reason and Faith, of Authority and Liberty of examination, of Science and Belief, of Perfection in God and Imperfection in Man. If science or knowledge is the Sun, Belief is the Man; it is a reflection of the day in the night. Faith is the veiled Isis, the Supplement of Reason, in the shadows which precede or follow Reason. It emanates from the Reason, but can never confound it nor be confounded with it. The encroachments of Reason upon Faith, or of Faith on Reason, are eclipses of the Sun or Moon; when they occur, they make useless both the Source of Light and its reflection, at once.

Science perishes by systems that are nothing but beliefs; and Faith succumbs to reasoning. For the two Columns of the Temple to uphold the edifice, they must remain separated and be parallel to each other. As soon as it is attempted by violence to bring them together, as Samson did, they are overturned, and the whole edifice falls upon the head of the rash blind man or the revolutionist whose personal or national resentments have in advance devoted to death.

Harmony is the result of an alternating preponderance of forces. Whenever this is wanting in government, government is a failure, because it is either Despotism or Anarchy. All theoretical governments, however plausible the theory, end in one or the other. Governments that are to endure are not made in the closet of Locke or Shaftesbury, or in a Congress or a Convention. In a Republic, forces that seem contraries, that indeed are contraries, alone give movement and life. The Spheres are held in their orbits and made to revolve harmoniously and unerringly, by the concurrence, which seems to be the opposition, of two contrary forces. If the centripetal force should overcome the centrifugal, and the equilibrium of forces cease, the rush of the Spheres to the Central Sun would annihilate the system. Instead of consolidation, the whole would be shattered into fragments.

Man is a free agent, though Omnipotence is above and all around him. To be free to do good, he must be free to do evil. The Light necessitates the Shadow. A State is free like an individual in any government worthy of the name. The State is less potent than the Deity, and therefore the freedom of the individual citizen is consistent with its Sovereignty. These are opposites, but not antagonistic. So, in a union of States, the freedom of the States is consistent with the Supremacy of the Nation. When either obtains the permanent mastery over the other, and they cease to be in equilibrio, the encroachment continues with a velocity that is accelerated like that of a falling body, until the feebler is annihilated, and then, there being no resistance to support the stronger, it rushes into ruin.

So, when the equipoise of Reason and Faith, in the individual or the Nation, and the alternating preponderance cease, the result is, according as one or the other is permanent victor, Atheism or Superstition, disbelief or blind credulity; and the Priests either of Unfaith or of Faith become despotic.

"Whomsoever God loveth, him he chasteneth," is an expression that formulates a whole dogma. The trials of life are the blessings of life, to the individual or the Nation, if either has a Soul that is truly worthy of salvation. "Light and darkness," said ZOROASTER, "are the world's eternal ways." The Light and the Shadow are everywhere and always in proportion; the Light being the reason of being of the Shadow. It is by trials only, by the agonies of sorrow and the sharp discipline of adversities, that men and Nations attain initiation. The agonies of the garden of Gethsemane and those of the Cross on Calvary preceded the Resurrection and were the means of Redemption. It is with prosperity that God afflicts Humanity.

The Degree of Rose Image is devoted to and symbolizes the final triumph of truth over falsehood, of liberty over slavery, of light over darkness, of life over death, and of good over evil. The great truth it inculcates is, that notwithstanding the existence of Evil, God is infinitely wise, just, and good: that though the affairs of the world proceed by no rule of right and wrong known to us in the narrowness of our views, yet all is right, for it is the work of God; and all evils, all miseries, all misfortunes, are but as drops in the vast current that is sweeping onward, guided by Him, to a great and magnificent result: that, at the appointed time, He will redeem and regenerate the world, and the Principle, the Power, and the existence of Evil will then cease; that this will be brought about by such means and instruments as He chooses to employ; whether by the merits of a Redeemer that has already appeared, or a Messiah that is yet waited for, by an incarnation of Himself, or by an inspired prophet, it does not belong to us as Masons to decide. Let each judge and believe for himself.

In the mean time, we labor to hasten the coming of that day. The morals of antiquity, of the law of Moses and of Christianity, are ours. We recognize every teacher of Morality, every Reformer, as a brother in this great work. The Eagle is to us the symbol of Liberty, the Compasses of Equality, the Pelican of Humanity, and our order of Fraternity. Laboring for these, with Faith, Hope, and Charity as our armor, we will wait with patience for the final triumph of Good and the complete manifestation of the Word of God.
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Re: The Sympathy & Opposite Action of Contraries, by Albert

Postby admin » Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:02 am

Nothing surpasses and nothing equals, as a Summary of all the doctrines of the Old World, those brief words engraven by HERMES on a Stone, and known under the name of "The Tablet of Emerald:" the Unity of Being and the Unity of the Harmonies, ascending and descending, the progressive and proportional scale of the Word; the immutable law of the Equilibrium, and the proportioned progress of the universal analogies; the relation of the Idea to the Word, giving the measure of the relation between the Creator and the Created, the necessary mathematics of the Infinite, proved by the measures of a single corner of the Finite; -- all this is expressed by this single proposition of the Great Egyptian Hierophant:

"What is Superior is as that which is Inferior, and what is Below is as that which is Above, to form the Marvels of the Unity."
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Re: The Sympathy & Opposite Action of Contraries, by Albert

Postby admin » Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:21 am

In the narrative of the Fall we have the Hebrew mode of explaining the great moral mystery, the origin of evil and the apparent estrangement from Heaven; and a similar idea, variously modified, obtained in all the ancient creeds. Everywhere, man had at the beginning been innocent and happy, and had lapsed, by temptation and his own weakness, from his first estate. Thus was accounted for the presumed connection of increase of knowledge with increase of misery, and, in particular, the great penalty of death was reconciled with Divine Justice. Subordinate to these greater points were the questions, Why is the earth covered with thorns and weeds? whence the origin of clothing, of sexual shame and passion? whence the infliction of labor, and how to justify the degraded condition of woman in the East, or account for the loathing so generally felt toward the Serpent Tribe?

The hypothesis of a fall, required under some of its modifications in all systems, to account for the apparent imperfection in the work of a Perfect Being, was, in Eastern philosophy, the unavoidable accompaniment and condition of limited or individual existence; since the Soul, considered as a fragment of the Universal Mind, might be said to have lapsed from its pre-eminence when parted from its source, and ceasing to form part of integral perfection. The theory of its reunion was correspondent to the assumed cause of its degradation. To reach its prior condition, its individuality must cease; it must be emancipated by re-absorption into the Infinite, the consummation of all things in God, to be promoted by human effort in spiritual meditation or self-mortification, and completed in the magical transformation of death.

And as man had fallen, so it was held that the Angels of Evil had, from their first estate, to which, like men, they were, in God's good time, to be restored, and the reign of evil was then to cease forever. To this great result all the Ancient Theologies point; and thus they all endeavored to reconcile the existence of Sin and Evil with the perfect and undeniable wisdom and beneficence of God.

With man's exercise of thought are inseparably connected freedom and responsibility. Man assumes his proper rank as a moral agent, when with a sense of the limitations of his nature arise the consciousness of freedom, and of the obligations accompanying its exercise, the sense of duty and of the capacity to perform it. To suppose that man ever imagined himself not to be a free agent until he had argued himself into that belief, would be to suppose that he was in that below the brutes; for he, like them, is conscious of his freedom to act. Experience alone teaches him that this freedom of action is limited and controlled; and when what is outward to him restrains and limits this freedom of action, he instinctively rebels against it as a wrong. The rule of duty and the materials of experience are derived from an acquaintance with the conditions of the external world, in which the faculties are exerted; and thus the problem of man involves those of Nature and God. Our freedom, we learn by experience, is determined by an agency external to us; our happiness is intimately dependent on the relations of the outward World, and on the moral character of its Ruler.

Then at once arises this problem: The God of Nature must be One, and His character cannot be suspected to be other than good. Whence, then, came the evil, the consciousness of which must invariably have preceded or accompanied man's moral development? On this subject human opinion has ebbed and flowed between two contradictory extremes, one of which seems inconsistent with God's Omnipotence, and the other with His beneficence. If God, it was said, is perfectly wise and good, evil must arise from some independent and hostile principle: if, on the other hand, all agencies are subordinate to One, it is difficult, if evil does indeed exist, if there is any such thing as Evil, to avoid the impiety of making God the Author of it.

The recognition of a moral and physical dualism in nature was adverse to the doctrine of Divine Unity. Many of the Ancients thought it absurd to imagine one Supreme Being, like Homer's Jove, distributing good and evil out of two urns. They therefore substituted, as we have seen, the doctrine of two distinct and eternal principles; some making the cause of evil to be the inherent imperfection of matter and the flesh, without explaining how God was not the cause of that; while others personified the required agency, and fancifully invented an Evil Principle, the question of whose origin indeed involved all the difficulty of the original problem, but whose existence, if once taken for granted, was sufficient as a popular solution of the mystery; the difficulty being supposed no longer to exist when pushed a step further off, as the difficulty of conceiving the world upheld by an elephant was supposed to be got rid of when it was said that the elephant was supported by a tortoise.

The simpler, and probably the older, notion, treated the one only God as the Author of all things. "I form the light," says Jehovah, "and create darkness; I cause prosperity and create evil; I, the Lord, do all these things." "All mankind," says Maximus Tyrius, "are agreed that there exists one only Universal King and Father, and that the many gods are His Children." There is nothing improbable in the supposition that the primitive idea was that there was but one God. A vague sense of Nature's Unity, blended with a dim perception of an all-pervading Spiritual Essence, has been remarked among the earliest manifestations of the Human Mind. Everywhere it was the dim remembrance, uncertain and indefinite, of the original truth taught by God to the first men.

The Deity of the Old Testament is everywhere represented as the direct author of Evil, commissioning evil and lying spirits to men, hardening the heart of Pharaoh, and visiting the iniquity of the individual sinner on the whole people. The rude conception of sternness predominating over mercy in the Deity, can alone account for the human sacrifices, purposed, if not executed, by Abraham and Jephthah. It has not been uncommon, in any age or country of the world, for men to recognize the existence of one God, without forming any becoming estimate of His dignity. The causes of both good and ill are referred to a mysterious centre, to which each assigns such attributes as correspond with his own intellect and advance in civilization. Hence the assignment to the Deity of the feelings of envy and jealousy. Hence the provocation given by the healing skill of Æsculapius and the humane theft of fire by Prometheus. The very spirit of Nature, personified in Orpheus, Tantalus, or Phineus was supposed to have been killed, confined, or blinded, for having too freely divulged the Divine Mysteries to mankind. This Divine Envy still exists in a modified form, and varies according to circumstances. In Hesiod it appears in the lowest type of human malignity. In the God of Moses, it is jealousy of the infringement of the autocratic power, the check to political treason; and even the penalties denounced for worshipping other gods often seem dictated rather by a jealous regard for His own greatness in Deity, than by the immorality and degraded nature of the worship itself. In Herodotus and other writers it assumes a more philosophical shape, as a strict adherence to a moral equilibrium in the government of the world, in the punishment of pride, arrogance, and insolent pretension.
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Re: The Sympathy & Opposite Action of Contraries, by Albert

Postby admin » Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:50 am

The Kabalah is the primitive tradition, and its entirety rests on the single dogma of Magism, "the visible is for us the proportional measure of the invisible." The Ancients, observing that equilibrium is in physics the universal law, and that it results from the apparent opposition of two forces, concluded from the physical to the metaphysical equilibrium, and thought that in God, that is to say, in the first living and active cause, two properties necessary to each other, should be recognized; stability and movement, necessity and liberty, order dictated by reason and the self-rule of Supreme Will, Justice, and Love, and consequently Severity and Grace, Mercy or Benignity.

The idea of equilibrium among all the impersonations; of the male on one side, and the female on the other, with the Supreme Will, which is also the Absolute Reason, above each two, holding the balance, is, according to the Kabalah, the foundation of all religions and all sciences, the primary and immutable idea of things.
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Re: The Sympathy & Opposite Action of Contraries, by Albert

Postby admin » Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:55 am

Two primary laws exist in nature, two essential laws, which produce, by counterbalancing each other, the universal equilibrium of things. These are fixedness and movement, analogous, in philosophy, to Truth and Fiction, and, in Absolute Conception, to Necessity and Liberty, which are the very essence of Deity. The Hermetic philosophers gave the name fixed to everything ponderable, to everything that tends by its natural to central repose and immobility; they term volatile everything that more naturally and more readily obeys the law of movement; and they form their stone by analysis, that is to say, by the volatilization of the Fixed, and then by synthesis, that is, by fixing the volatile, which they effect by applying to the fixed, which they call their salt, the sulphurated Mercury, or the light of life, directed and made omnipotent by a Sovereign Will. Thus they master entire Nature, and their stone is found wherever there is salt, which is the reason for saying that no substance is foreign to the Great Work, and that even the most despicable and apparently vile matters may be changed into gold, which is true in this sense, that they all contain the original salt-principle, represented in our emblems by the cubical stone.
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Re: The Sympathy & Opposite Action of Contraries, by Albert

Postby admin » Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:58 am

Alchemy has its Symbolic Triad of Salt, Sulphur, and Mercury, -- man consisting, according to the Hermetic philosophers, of Body, Soul, and Spirit. The Dove, the Raven, and the Phœnix are striking Symbols of Good and Evil, Light and Darkness, and the Beauty resulting from the equilibrium of the two.
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