Sunday, March 1, 2015

Como No Ser Masón - How Not to be a Mason

Cómo no ser masón: Una guía iniciática para pasajeros en tránsito
How Not to Mason: An initiatory guide for transit passengers

Author: Abdel Basit, Abunnur
ISBN: 978-84-938704-7-8
Price without VAT: € 14.41
Price with VAT: € 14.99
VAT only in Spain and the EU

It is a law of Apprenticeship that learning is gained by dint of repetition, which in fact reduces its effectiveness. This work proposes that Masonry look in the mirror of other forms of Initiation in order to recover lost meanings, clarify some of its own misunderstandings, invigorate what it has weakened and underline the strength of the indelible.

An indispensable tool for understanding ourselves through other's work.

As Ibn 'Arabi taught, toleration of the other not only overcomes our discomfort with difference, but helps us understand the other's need to know the One. For the One alone is known from multiplicity.

From the introduction:

If someone trained in Masonry were to say that the Mason should aim to stop being a Mason, any sensible reader would think this was an expression born of disappointment or disillusionment.
And they'd be right. However, throughout these pages you will discover that the object of that disappointment was not what it might initially be assumed and, moreover, that statement is the only one possible: the Mason should aspire to not be a Mason...

Some critics reproach Masonry for its heterogeneity, its deep disunity, its irreconcilable schisms,
paradoxical points of view, apparent anachronisms and flagrant injustices. These reproaches are also accurate, but again for very different reasons than those that one might assume. It is true that there are as many understandings of Freemasonry as there are Masons, this too could not be otherwise...

However, if you were to ask the author if he would recommend his best friend consider joinging
Masonry, the answer would be yes, beyond doubt, but with some prior information about
what to expect and what not to expect.

Anyone with curiosity or interest in the literature on Freemasonry will come across the statement that in the XXI century we can no longer speak of Freemasonry but Freemasonries, in the plural. However, once you have understood the essence of initiatory experience, that statement will become nonsense that only contributes to spreading misunderstanding...

Many sincere Masons have devoted years of their lives to try to reconstruct Masonic history, from the guilds of medieval builders and further back until the successive refoundation in London pubs and the halls of Versailles; their schisms, alliances and all the details of their respective lineages. Hundreds of thousands of Masons were formed in one or other Obedience to which they have been transformed in turn a reflection of their own abilities and skills their different contexts and aspirations. Some of these Lodges have been exemplary in exercise of solidarity and charity among equals. Others in study and perseverance. Yet others, for their implementation of Human Rights. Others, too, are not worthy of fame. As different as the companies from which they emerge, all Lodges are perfect and equally legitimate provided that they put virtue and law above any other interest. But that does not mean that all are capable of providing training in a genuine initiatory sense. Consequently the differences between them are reduced to a mere disparity  of subjective criteria of debatable merit. They are nothing more than the banks of the same river.  Initiation consists precisely in avoiding such banks and peripheries, and dive into that river, merge into it and get carried away by the Original Source...

There are even Obediences claiming to not provide initiation but reception. And although their sincerity in openly dismantling their own rules should be appreciated they fall short of their goal, creating a Freemasonry which does not understood the full extent of what it is. Yes, there Initiation can be received without understanding, not because it does not have substance, but because they have no true masters to instruct them in its meaning. Or because, the initiate has not been prepared for it, just as one cannot learn to reason mathematically, or master weightlifting or chess, without proper preparation. There are other Obediences, however, proclaiming to guarantee an Orthodox Initiation
and regularity of practice who are unable to transmit a legitimate initiation for very similar reasons...

For anyone who is curious there are excellent studies on the development of all Masonic lines, in
detail, that amply satisfy such desires. But for those who wish to approach the initiatory experience, the real estate and uniqueness of Freemasonry as a Traditional Way, these studies will be of much profit as the Census of Beirut, because man learns from the man, not from books...

This text is about Initiation. And how Initiation is served in the Western cultural context of a
ritual form called Freemasonry. Try Masonry without adjectives. Because only from the lower plane
of reality can one speak of "masonries." Talk of "masonries"means to have resigned oneself to the relative vision of multiplicity and deny access to the Absolute Oneness...

There is no other way to say it. As recalled by Cervantes, "Nature has a law which states that everything engenders its like." Hence Freemasonry can only be one because Initiation is only one, though their multiple external languages ​​are necessary. There is a natural hierarchy of things and Masonry is a consequence of Initiation, not the opposite. Pretending to ignore the initiatory nature of Freemasonry is as vain as denying our own liver. And equally impossible, no matter whether or not we are aware of it.

Ah, if only we had the funding to do the necessary work of translation. There is a wealth of information available, in Spanish, French, and Portuguese which would provide North Americans with greater insight into Continental Freemasonry. Even those who are steadfastly committed to UGLE derived Freemasonry have so much to learn from this literature.

No comments: