Sunday, August 7, 2016

Alchemically Stoned: The Psychedelic Freemasonry of PD Newman

I have for a good number of years now harped on the subject of the need within contemporary Freemasonry for something dynamic to happen. The fraternity isn't dying, it's lying on the gurney waiting for the ER doctor to confirm that the corpse has already died. The surviving brothers, variously bemoaning its demise or recalling fondly its better days as if in preparation for the final burial. What none of them seem willing to do is to consider trying something new. God forbid!

So, esoteric studies are out, experimenting with different rituals is out, most certainly admitting women is out, and a number of states still resist allowing people of color in, as if it were still 75 years ago. What none of them want is to explore any option that might make the institution of Freemason, horror of horrors, remotely interesting. Indeed, Freemasonry must remain milk toast or vanilla, and given what I said about the racial issues still rife in US masonry, the metaphors are not unintentional.

Well, leaving all that aside, one young mason has done something quite radical and quite interesting. No, we're not talking about changing the membership of the lodge or even expanding the rituals of US Freemasonry. P.D. Newman has done the unforgivable. He has used his imagination, and has explored in detail a subject relating to the esoteric foundations of Freemasonry that probably no other modern Freemason has even considered. He has researched the subject in depth and is now on route to publishing a book on his findings. They are highly controversial. They will shock, stun, disturb, and annoy many. It is just the sort of work that might resuscitate the corpse, and he needs your help!

Back in 2012 I wrote a brief article for this blog concerning my own intuitive awareness that the
acacia, that significant symbol in Freemason was an entheogenic plant, one of our plant guides that can open the human psyche to religious visions, and that it quite likely was responsible for doing exactly that in some historically and culturally significant occasions. It may well be argued, as I suggested, based upon other sources, that it was responsible for the story of the burning bush in the old testament bible. In that entry, linked here, I drew associations within the myths of Freemason, and the story of Hiram.

That article, perhaps more than anything else, stimulated my subsequent contacts with P.D. Newman. Bro. Newman has been for some time fascinated with the subject of entheogen use and has for no doubt longer than our communications been exploring the subject in relation to his study of esoteric foundations of Freemasonry.

My own thought at the time was that Freemasonry may have inadvertently retained older spiritual knowledge that the brethren were unaware of, buried within the inscrutable legends of the craft, faithfully retained but never having been understood. Bro. Newman would disagree with that assessment, and has set out to prove that the early Freemasons most certainly did know what they
were talking about.,

Bro. Newman has started a gofundme campaign to publish his book. I have to share this here because apart from anything else, it proves me wrong - there are some people with brains in mainstream masonry. (For those of you with the famous freemason disability of having no sense of humor - that's called hyperbole!) Really, this is exciting stuff, and whether you approve of his interests or disagree with his findings, you should still support it because it represents perhaps the first example of really creative, outside of the box scholarship among North American Freemasons in a long time. Really. It's just the sort of thing that might actually lead to more young people joining the local lodge! And yes, like it or not, esoteric freemasonry is back!

From the gofundme page:

The sprig of acacia is an important symbol within Freemasonry, but unbeknownst even to the fraternity's own initiates, the acacia is rich is more than just symbolism. "Alchemically Stoned: The Sprig of Acacia and the Psychedelic Secret of Freemasonry" explores the actual use of acacia-produced DMT by early Freemasons as early as 1762. It challenges everything we think we know about the origin and nature of the Masonic fraternity.

With a foreword from Clark Heinrich and an introduction by Dr. David Harrison, "Alchemically Stoned: The Sprig of Acacia and the Psychedelic Secret of Freemasonry" will be an essential addition to the libraries of psychedelic enthusiasts and Freemasons alike.

To check out Bro. Newman's Gofundme site click on the link below: