The Meaning of Masonry W. L. Wilmshurst Wilmshurst (1867-1939) was a mystic with a practical knowledge and profound understanding of the religions of the world. In this book, he explores the roots of Freemasonry and its meaning for today.
"The human soul was generated out of the Divine Word which underlies it."
"At the secret centre of individual human life exists a vital, immortal principle, the spirit and the spiritual will of man. This is the faculty, by using which we can never err. It is a point within the circle of our own nature."
"A greatly educative means employed in the [Ancient] Mysteries was that of instructing, enlarging and purifying the imagination by means of myths, expressing…truths of the Divine world and of the soul's history."
"However separated from others by time or distance, however intellectualized or primitive, however elaborated or simple their religion or morals, and however wide their differences in important respects, each people is found to have employed and still to be employing certain ideas, symbols and practices in common with every other."
"The Vital and Immortal Principle – the Kingdom of Heaven – is within you."
"There are innumerable ways of developing one's consciousness to higher degrees, and in fact every common-place incident of daily experience may contribute to that end if it be rightly interpreted and its purpose in the general pattern of our life-scheme be discerned."
"The Divine Presence and Providence surrounds and embraces our temporal organisms."
"There are innumerable paths or methods by means of which we are led to the spiritual Light encircling us all, and in which we live and move and have our being, but the greatest of these, the one that comprehends them all and brings us nearest heaven, is Love."
"Divine Wisdom is the basis of our being."
"Human life itself and the world we live in, are themselves allegories and symbols of another life and the veils of another world."
"Wisdom, Strength and Beauty have been employed by the Creator, like three grand supporting pillars, in the structure of his own organism."
"Since Deity is as a circle whose centre is everywhere, it follows that a divine centre, a vital and immortal principle, exists within ourselves."
"Geometry (in Masonry) is synonymous with self-knowledge, the understanding of the basic substance of our being, its properties and potentialities."
"'Know thyself!' was the injunction inscribed over the portals of ancient temples of Initiation, for with that knowledge was promised the knowledge of all secrets and all mysteries."
"The outward Universe is the externalized projection of an indwelling immanent Deity."
"Everything in nature is dual and can only be known in contrast with its opposite, while the two in combination produce a metaphysical third which is their synthesis and perfect balance."
"The Divine Life and Will is the centre of the whole universe."
"The study of humanity leads to knowledge of God, by revealing the ultimate divinity at the base of human nature."
"At the centre of ourselves, deeper than any dissecting knife can reach or than any physical investigation can fathom, lies buried the vital and immortal principle, the glimmering ray that affiliates us to the Divine Centre of all life, and that is never wholly extinguished however…imperfect our lives may be."
"In that hour of greatest darkness the light of the primal divine spark within us is never wholly extinguished, and by loyalty to that light, by patience and by perseverance, time and circumstances will restore to us the…ultimate truths and realities of our own nature."
"All great symbols are shadowed forth in the person of man himself."
"Over the old temples of the Mysteries was written the injunction, 'Man, know thyself, and thou shalt know the universe and God."