Masonic psychology, any advice ?

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Masonic psychology, any advice ?

Postby Juan » Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:01 pm

I am looking for the materials (books, articles, videos) which would be focused on interpreting Masonry as psychotechnique (or, as someone says, psychology, or method). The clearest examples of this type of approach is Kirk MacNulty (overall in his The way of Craftsman, also in some of his articles such as Kabbalah and Freemasonry, etc; Cliff Porter's The secret psychology of Freemasonry (although I differ from him a lot); and the other one is anonymous Contemplative Masonry book (easy to find online).

That's all I was able to find...
One brother advised me a Wilmhurst's The meaning of masonry - and yes, apparently it gives some clues also...
But, is that all?

What I am looking for is an interpretation of the ritual and symbology which would directly allude to the psychological, identifiable within the initiate's psyche, realities. The aforementioned authors are near to this goal, trying to ascribe to the ritual objects/spaces meanings within the mason's psyche.
I hope I could explain myself and hope to have your opinions here...
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Re: Masonic psychology, any advice ?

Postby Trouillogan » Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:46 pm

If you want to interpret Freemasonic symbolism in that way, then feel free to do so but that doesn't seem to be related to the core purposes and landmarks. It looks as if you want to follow the routes trodden by Waite, Ward and Wilmshurst. Perhaps you might find a home with The Lodge of Living Stones No. 4957 (E.C.).
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Re: Masonic psychology, any advice ?

Postby russellholland » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:03 pm

> focused on interpreting Masonry as psychotechnique

There are various esoteric techniques concealed within or referred to by Masonic ritual. Some are internal to the brother. The most powerful is "rising on the planes" - fortunately veiled by Jacob's Ladder.

Other techniques are directed outside the individual Mason, e.g. the knocks.

Other techniques result from components of some of the craft signs. Signs in the higher degrees are less useful.

The crossing of the wands is a particularly significant technique.

Generally the term symbolism is confused with emblem. An emblem is arbitrary while a symbol is active. A TV antenna is a symbol of the TV signal - it is geometrically structured to resonate with the signal. Similarly the symbols in primitive Masonry.

Modern Masonic ritual has been edited for centuries by brethren that admit to not having the genuine secrets. That takes a certain chutzpah.
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Re: Masonic psychology, any advice ?

Postby Peter Taylor » Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:45 pm

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Re: Masonic psychology, any advice ?

Postby Juan » Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:59 pm

Trouillogan wrote:If you want to interpret Freemasonic symbolism in that way, then feel free to do so but that doesn't seem to be related to the core purposes and landmarks. It looks as if you want to follow the routes trodden by Waite, Ward and Wilmshurst. Perhaps you might find a home with The Lodge of Living Stones No. 4957 (E.C.).

I fail to see how psychology doesn't seem to be related to FM core purposes and landmarks.
I also feel that you condemn my search beforehand just because I mentioned Wilmshurst. He and his legacy (together with the rest if the authors you mention) doesn't define the direction of my investigation. Thanks for the The Lodge of Living Stones tip, quite curious detail !
(27)
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Re: Masonic psychology, any advice ?

Postby Juan » Sat Dec 17, 2016 6:03 pm

Peter Taylor wrote:This may be useful to you:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Secret-Psychol ... 0615497705

Image


Thank you Peter, I have this book and I mentioned this author in my initial post. It's a valid and interesting approach, but some of his arguments seem to me a bit forced. One of the very few, though, so far....
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Re: Masonic psychology, any advice ?

Postby Trouillogan » Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:34 pm

Juan wrote:
Trouillogan wrote:If you want to interpret Freemasonic symbolism in that way, then feel free to do so but that doesn't seem to be related to the core purposes and landmarks. It looks as if you want to follow the routes trodden by Waite, Ward and Wilmshurst. Perhaps you might find a home with The Lodge of Living Stones No. 4957 (E.C.).

I fail to see how psychology doesn't seem to be related to FM core purposes and landmarks.
I also feel that you condemn my search beforehand just because I mentioned Wilmshurst. He and his legacy (together with the rest if the authors you mention) doesn't define the direction of my investigation. Thanks for the The Lodge of Living Stones tip, quite curious detail !
(27)

I'm condemning nothing, Juan. I'm sorry if my words have caused you to think otherwise. I've given my honest personal opinion, that's all. I've also given you the names of three authors whose writings I think might interest you. There are, of course, others but I have not read their works, so I'm not able to offer further recommendations.
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Re: Masonic psychology, any advice ?

Postby MrBenn » Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:44 pm

It's not a well explored area of masonic research
You may find more fruitful avenues by exploring Jung and Archetypes and how that theoretically maps to the stages of the masonic journey
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Re: Masonic psychology, any advice ?

Postby mindmagic » Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:33 am

You have to be a bit careful about inferring symbolism where none was originally intended. MacNulty, for example, attributes Jungian symbolism to the six officers of a lodge - but lodges didn't always have six officers. The deacons and IG were introduced for practical reasons, not symbolic ones. See Jones's Freemasons' Guide and Compendium for details.
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Re: Masonic psychology, any advice ?

Postby middlepillar » Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:49 pm

Hi Juan

This a small title which leads to a vast array of pathways!

I can suggest some authors that I would think can help, A E Waite has written over 100 titles so don't take it that every Waite book can assist but some definitely will. The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry and perhaps the Secret Tradition in Alchemy are but two of his that may assist.

Yarker and Blavatsky are two authors that you could find useful as well as reading some of Bacon's thoughts in books such as Francis Bacon and his Secret Society

For myself I have spent several years investigating Willermoz, Pasquallez and Louis Claude de St Martin (His Red Book may be of particular interest to you) along with Jacob Boheme as well as Emanuel Swedenborg and others from that period.

I wish you all the best in your endeavours
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Re: Masonic psychology, any advice ?

Postby Juan » Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:56 pm

Trouillogan wrote:
Juan wrote:
Trouillogan wrote:If you want to interpret Freemasonic symbolism in that way, then feel free to do so but that doesn't seem to be related to the core purposes and landmarks. It looks as if you want to follow the routes trodden by Waite, Ward and Wilmshurst. Perhaps you might find a home with The Lodge of Living Stones No. 4957 (E.C.).

I fail to see how psychology doesn't seem to be related to FM core purposes and landmarks.
I also feel that you condemn my search beforehand just because I mentioned Wilmshurst. He and his legacy (together with the rest if the authors you mention) doesn't define the direction of my investigation. Thanks for the The Lodge of Living Stones tip, quite curious detail !
(27)

I'm condemning nothing, Juan. I'm sorry if my words have caused you to think otherwise. I've given my honest personal opinion, that's all. I've also given you the names of three authors whose writings I think might interest you. There are, of course, others but I have not read their works, so I'm not able to offer further recommendations.

No offence taken, dear Bro. Trouillogan, thank you for your answer !
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Re: Masonic psychology, any advice ?

Postby Juan » Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:04 pm

MrBenn wrote:It's not a well explored area of masonic research
You may find more fruitful avenues by exploring Jung and Archetypes and how that theoretically maps to the stages of the masonic journey

Yes, it was him who actually pushed me to explore this area. One of the best non-masonic definitions of Light, in my opinion is his: "“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
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Re: Masonic psychology, any advice ?

Postby Juan » Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:10 pm

mindmagic wrote:You have to be a bit careful about inferring symbolism where none was originally intended. MacNulty, for example, attributes Jungian symbolism to the six officers of a lodge - but lodges didn't always have six officers. The deacons and IG were introduced for practical reasons, not symbolic ones. See Jones's Freemasons' Guide and Compendium for details.

Absolutely true. His is shoehorning it a bit, and tries to fit it all into York rite's frame, as far as I understand. We work in SAAR, and obviously many details differ (we don't have any deacons at all, for example), but the general vision of him is very correct, IMO.
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Re: Masonic psychology, any advice ?

Postby Juan » Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:15 pm

middlepillar wrote:Hi Juan

This a small title which leads to a vast array of pathways!

I can suggest some authors that I would think can help, A E Waite has written over 100 titles so don't take it that every Waite book can assist but some definitely will. The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry and perhaps the Secret Tradition in Alchemy are but two of his that may assist.

Yarker and Blavatsky are two authors that you could find useful as well as reading some of Bacon's thoughts in books such as Francis Bacon and his Secret Society

For myself I have spent several years investigating Willermoz, Pasquallez and Louis Claude de St Martin (His Red Book may be of particular interest to you) along with Jacob Boheme as well as Emanuel Swedenborg and others from that period.

I wish you all the best in your endeavours

Thank you very much indeed for your recommendations !
Any specific Yarker's book you'd recommend ?
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Re: Masonic psychology, any advice ?

Postby middlepillar » Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:57 pm

Yarker was interested in many masonic rituals and often modernised stuff to suit his own personal beliefs, if you looked into some of the rites he claimed Sovereignty over you might find out quite a lot of his own personal psychology, he produced a book called The Arcane Schools which is quite a read!

I notice your signature! Mentioning Russian, there is a wonderful man who wrote an extremely interesting book and also a wonderful ritual, the book is called Some Characteristics of The Interior Church by Ivan Vladimirovich Lopuchin, I believe you can if your lucky still get hold of this. He was also responsible for a wonderful Order called The Hermetic Order of The Spiritual Knight.

Good luck
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Re: Masonic psychology, any advice ?

Postby Juan » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:11 pm

russellholland wrote:> focused on interpreting Masonry as psychotechnique

There are various esoteric techniques concealed within or referred to by Masonic ritual. Some are internal to the brother. The most powerful is "rising on the planes" - fortunately veiled by Jacob's Ladder.

Other techniques are directed outside the individual Mason, e.g. the knocks.

Other techniques result from components of some of the craft signs. Signs in the higher degrees are less useful.

The crossing of the wands is a particularly significant technique.

Generally the term symbolism is confused with emblem. An emblem is arbitrary while a symbol is active. A TV antenna is a symbol of the TV signal - it is geometrically structured to resonate with the signal. Similarly the symbols in primitive Masonry.

Modern Masonic ritual has been edited for centuries by brethren that admit to not having the genuine secrets. That takes a certain chutzpah.


Hi Russell,

I tried to intuit what exactly you might mean but in most cases I have to recognise that I don't understand you. (30)
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Re: Masonic psychology, any advice ?

Postby Juan » Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:33 pm

middlepillar wrote: Mentioning Russian, there is a wonderful man who wrote an extremely interesting book and also a wonderful ritual, the book is called Some Characteristics of The Interior Church by Ivan Vladimirovich Lopuchin, I believe you can if your lucky still get hold of this. He was also responsible for a wonderful Order called The Hermetic Order of The Spiritual Knight.

Yes, I have this book, it's an interesting read. Whenever I take a look on it, though, I can't but think that it's a flagrant extrapolation of the Oriental Church' mysticism (Philokalia etc) into masonic field. All in all, nevertheless, the principle might be the same for everyone, of course...
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Re: Masonic psychology, any advice ?

Postby Sarastro » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:47 pm

Contemplative Masonry has recently been published as a paperback by C. R. Dunning Jr, who is the original anonymous author
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Re: Masonic psychology, any advice ?

Postby Sarastro » Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:58 pm

Otherwise, I can only suggest works not directly related to Freemasonry, but certainly dealing with the archetypes of Initiation and Rites of Passage

- Gods in Everyman: Archetypes That Shape Men's Lives by Jean Shinoda
- The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
- The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell
- Personal Mythology: Using Ritual, Dreams, and Imagination to Discover Your Inner Story by David Feinstein, Stanley Krippner
- Personal Mythology: The Psychology of Your Evolving Self by David Feinstein, Stanley Krippner
- The Archetype of Initiation by Robert L. Moore
- Embodying Osiris: The Secrets of Alchemical Transformation by Thom F Cavalli

Basically, the mentioned titles are Jungian Analytical Psychology
Likewise, I have recently come across Roberto Assagioli, who was also a Jungian psychologist, however he has created his own school called Psychosynthesis
- Psychosynthesis: A Collection of Basic Writings by Roberto Assagioli

What is interesting about Psychosynthesis is that its Map of the Mind resembles one's progression through the Tree of Life which can be found in systems like the Golden Dawn
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Re: Masonic psychology, any advice ?

Postby Juan » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:28 pm

Thank you Sarastro, I read a couple of books of Campbell and heard a lot about Assagioli, but I didn't know any other of the authors. Will check it up !
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