To become wise, they would have to learn the true meaning of their own doctrines, symbols, and books, of which they at present merely know the outward form and the dead letter. They would have to form a much higher and nobler conception of God than to invest Him with the attributes of semi-animal man.
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- “This,” I said, “is contrary to all the doctrines of our science, which teaches that we can see nothing whatever unless it has a shape of some kind.” “The eye of science sees only the outward form,” answered Adalga; “but the eye of wisdom sees the reality itself.”
- “The supreme spirit which pervades, embraces, and penetrates everything, being the very essence, soul, and life of all things in the universe, from the atom up to the whole solar system, is beyond all mental conception.”
- “An unhealthy life of thought and feeling will not fail to obstruct the path to higher knowledge. Clear, calm thinking, with stability of feeling and emotion, form here the basis of all work. Nothing should be further removed from the student than an inclination toward a fantastical, excitable life, toward nervousness, exaggeration, and fanaticism.”
- “The Order is a semi-secret, semi-public institution; secret in respect of its activities intra moenia, but otherwise of full public notoriety, with its doors open to any applicant for admission who is of ordinary good character and repute. Those who enter it, as the majority do, entirely ignorant of what they will find there, usually because they have friends there or know Masonry to be an institution devoted to high ideals and benevolence and with which it may be socially desirable to be connected, may or may not be attracted and profit by what is disclosed to them, and may or may not see anything beyond the bare form of the symbol or hear anything beyond the mere letter of the word.”
- ‘I am not out of breath,’ I said between gasps. ‘I appear to be out of breath because you assume that I should be but in fact I have no breath to be out of. You see, although you imagine my form, I exist independently from it. Although I appear to be a postman, I am not a postman. I have taken a form that is appropriate for this meeting but I can take any form. My form is meaningful; it is symbolic of my nature. Like a postman, I am a messenger.