Monday, September 30, 2013

The French Rite: A Great Unknown For Some

I recognize the complexities that result from trying to find answers to the multiple unknowns that our Order poses for us on various levels - historical,  symbolic,  philosophical,  social ... I am amazed at how unknown the Modern Rite is for some.
We ignore or forget that they are one of most ancient of the Rites that were used by the "moderns" and I always try to avoid the contagion of titles that resulted from the anxious maelstrom of fashion in the last quarter of the eighteenth century.

Developing the " fons et origo " of our Masonic ritual inheritance in four lines, is almost a mission impossible in the context of communicating within a framework which mixes history, fantasy, reality, fiction, legends, fables and feelings. Screening all this objectively, pulling strings,  and drinking from the source,  has been the object of many highly qualified Brethren, thanks to whom we now have more light than 100 years ago.

By way of reflection, today we better understand that at the
time it became imperative, in the view of the Grand Orient of France, to regulate the existing ritualistic 'chaos' caused by the appearance of the higher mysteries that (perhaps) sought to maintain hegemonic dominance in certain groups, factors that contributed to a real and new initiatory experience.

Returning to the structural (not symbolic) simplicity of speculative Freemasonry (and I modestly think that adjective is valid also for the operative), the brothers of the Grand Orient of France at the time created an 'ordination' of existing procedural forms as well as by practicality, those other parallel processes of development in the Third Degree, or ways of working after reaching the Magisterium. And I say parallel in the fullest sense - not superior, although I "like" the term.

Maybe the key is to look - once again - in the proper sense of the Sublime degree as was raised at the time in French interpretation, in which the former Master's Word was replaced, but known, being the key of the degree of "mystical" experience "  (or psychic, conscience, mental, or call it what you will), thus completing the full progression without therefore needing further degrees, since everything has been said.

Some might argue the issue of the "Rule of Three ",  the divergence with the "Antient " (more modern), although we could always resort to collating the essence of English, Scottish, Irish and French Rites in bibliographical sources, minutes of Lodges, and rituals that we have today, surprising us with their very "great" similarities or connection points (as can not be otherwise).

Another step forward decided upon from the platform created through this rite,  was the "natural" and progressive acceptance of female initiation and recognition in our Order.

To this day, still entrenched in positions surprising for supposed freethinkers,  some are engaged in the defense of an outdated issue of the "male" initiatory ritual. So what if there are solar, active, phallic elements ... where's the "goodness " of enlightenment and initiatory reorganization"? Who measures the quality of individual personal life? How does one view  another's initiatory experience as pure or impure? How effective is the feminine procedure?

I only need raise these questions in the XXI century and I generate chill and discomfort from certain quarters.

Gràcies a Joaquim Villalta

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