If, anywhere, brethren of a particular religious belief have been excluded from this Degree [18 ° Knight Rose Croix], it merely shows how gravely the purposes and plan of Masonry may be misunderstood. For whenever the door of any Degree is closed against him who believes in one God and the soul's immortality, on account of the other tenets of his faith, that Degree is Masonry no longer.
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If the Soul sees, after death , what passes on this earth , and watches over the welfare of those it loves, then must its greatest happiness consist in seeing the current of its beneficent influences widening out from age to age, as rivulets widen into rivers, and aiding to shape the destinies of individuals, families, States, the World; and its bitterest punishment, in seeing its evil influences causing mischief and misery , and cursing and afflicting men, long after the frame it dwelt in has become dust, and when both name and memory are forgotten.
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The Universe should be deemed an immense Being, always living, always moved and always moving in an eternal activity inherent in itself, and which, subordinate to no foreign cause, is communicated to all its parts, connects them together, and makes the world of things a complete and perfect whole.
Toleration, holding that every other man has the same right to his opinion and faith that we have to ours; and liberality, holding that as no human being can with certainty say, in the clash and conflict of hostile faiths and creeds, what is truth, or that he is surely in possession of it, so everyone should feel that it is quite possible that another equally honest and sincere with himself, and yet holding the contrary opinion, may himself be in possession of the truth.
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That which causes us trials shall yield us triumph: and that which make our hearts ache shall fill us with gladness. The only true happiness is to learn, to advance, and to improve: which could not happen unless we had commenced with error, ignorance, and imperfection. We must pass through the darkness, to reach the light.
The freest people, like the freest man, is always in danger of re-lapsing into servitude. Wars are almost always fatal to Republics. They create tyrants, and consolidate their power. They spring, for the most part, from evil counsels. When the small and the base are intrusted with power, legislation and administration become but two parallel series of errors and blunders, ending in war, calamity, and the necessity for a tyrant. When the nation feels its feet sliding backward, as if it walked on the ice, the time has come for a supreme effort. The magnificent tyrants of the past are but the types of those of the future. Men and nations will always sell themselves into slavery, to gratify their passions and obtain revenge. The tyrant's plea, necessity, is always available; and the tyrant once in power, the necessity of providing for his safety makes him savage. Religion is a power, and he must control that. Independent, its sanctuaries might rebel. Then it becomes unlawful for the people to worship God in their own way, and the old spiritual despotisms revive.
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The sources of our knowledge of the kabalistic doctrines are the books of Yetzirah and Zohar, the former drawn up in the second century, and the latter a little later; but they contain materials much older than themselves...In them, as in the teachings of Zoroaster, everything that exists emanates from a source of infinite Light.
Two forms of government are favorable to the prevalence of falsehood and deceit. Under a Despotism, men are false, treacherous, and deceitful through fear, like slaves dreading the lash. Under a Democracy they are so as a means of attaining popularity and office, and because of the greed for wealth.
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The Second World War must be fomented by taking advantage of the differences between the Fascists and the political Zionists. This war must be brought about so that Nazism is destroyed and that the political Zionism be strong enough to institute a sovereign state of Israel in Palestine. During the Second World War, International Communism must become strong enough in order to balance Christendom, which would be then restrained and held in check until the time when we would need it for the final social cataclysm.
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To sow, that others may reap; to work and plant for those that are to occupy the earth when we are dead; to project our influences far into the future, and live beyond our time; to rule as the Kings of Thought, over men who are yet unborn; to bless with the glorious gifts of Truth and Light and Liberty those who will neither know the name of the giver, nor care in what grave his unregarded ashes repose, is the true office of a Mason and the proudest destiny of a man.
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There are great truths at the foundation of Freemasonry, truths which it is its mission to teach and which is constituting the very essence of, that sublime system which gives the venerable institution its peculiar identity as a science of morality, and it behooves every disciple diligently to ponder and inwardly digest.
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We are all naturally seekers of wonders. We travel far to see the majesty of old ruins, the venerable forms of the hoary mountains, great waterfalls, and galleries of art. And yet the world's wonder is all around us; the wonder of setting suns, and evening stars, of the magic spring-time, the blossoming of the trees, the strange transformations of the moth..
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What is the purpose for which Masonry exists? Its ultimate purpose is the perfection of humanity. Mankind it self is still in a period of youth. We are only now beginning to acquire a consciousness of the social aim of civilization, which is man's perfection. Such perfection can never end with physical perfection, which is only the means to the end or spiritual perfection.
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Know thou the self (spirit) as riding in a chariot, The body as the chariot. Know thou the intellect as the chariot-driver, And the mind as the reins. The senses, they say, are the horses; The objects of sense, what they range over. The self combined with senses and mind Wise men call "the enjoyer.
Nothing excites men's curiosity so much as Mystery, concealing things which they desire to know; and nothing so much increases curiosity as obstacles that interpose to prevent them from indulging in the gratification of their desires. Of this the Legislators and Hierophants took advantage, to attract the people to their sanctuaries, and to induce them to seek to obtain lessons from which they would perhaps have turned away with indifference if they had been pressed upon them.
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