At last an easy-to-read guide to the path of self-knowledge and self-improvementthat is Freemasonry. This volume takes the reader through each of the three degrees of Craft Freemasonry, explaining how best to gain insight from the study and application of the allegories, symbols and teachings. For the newly made Mason, this book provides an explanation of the ceremony and a glossary of Masonic terminology. It also provides a similar guide for future degrees of Masonic progression. For the experienced Freemason it illustrates interesting and largely unknown aspects of the symbolism of the three degrees. To discover the true Masonic secret, we have to work to bring it forth; this book is the manual for that great work.
Julian Rees takes but one paragraph to come to the point: Freemasonry is a journey towards the discovery of ‘the true masonic secret.’ It is integral to our rituals yet we appear to have forgotten it. His book, he explains, is a kind of ‘road-map.’ He is in the vanguard of the movement which is seeking to renew Freemasonry’s focus upon the deep wisdom it carries. One which is rediscovering the spiritual heart of our Craft; a heart which was never lost but whose beating has become muffled beneath layers of displacement activity – now being peeled back. For many masons, in particular those younger men who have been joining us, are interested in touching that heart and drawing from its insights and wisdom.
The deeper meaning of the three Craft degrees is carefully explored: the relationship of the degrees with one another; the progression in insight and wisdom; the spiritual source from which Freemasonry emerges; the meaning of the ‘regular steps’ to the East; the reason behind the ritual opening and closing ceremonies; and the importance of the symbol of ‘Light’ in its many manifestations, to give but a few examples. The book is particularly informative in the way it reveals the interrelationship of the symbolism used in the three degrees during the progression from Initiate to Master Mason.
Rees explains that there is no single way to make the journey and there is no rigid interpretation of the various symbols, but there is a method. And that method involves the use of our rich and ancient symbolism to enable us to discover the way forward, to mark our progress, and to stimulate our curiosity for things more profound in the knowledge that, in due time, we will see beyond our ‘perishable frame’ and ‘lift our eyes to that bright Morning Star’ – one clear expression of the central secret of Freemasonry which for certain is not one of handshakes and bare knees but one of spiritual import; one to be experienced, not simply studied intellectually.
Julian Rees reveals simply and elegantly that which is so often hidden, ignored or forgotten: nothing less than the path leading ultimately to the secret heartland of Freemasonry. This book should be read by every Freemason. It should be given to every Master Mason upon his being raised.