What we will do in the Lodge
The question that I would like us to
think together tonight is this : « What we
will do in the Lodge ? »
Not one of us, after years of
practice, escaped of this.
Who did not asked for a day or
another what fly had well have prick that he finds himself dressed in
gaudy tinsel, evolving in a setting of cardboard ?
And I already invite you already a debate on this subject just now, not
asking me questions, but each expressing your vis-à-vis
personal feeling on this issue.
The system of questions and answers ritual that we know comes from a
dialectic and the dialectic is a key.
This system is used since the times of night by any initiatory said
Society, Frederick Tristan, I have known, who was a former speaker of
the Lodge of Research Villard and former editor of the eponymous
magazine, has written a book on Houng company in China where he shows
that this system was already in use at the time of Lao Tzu. We have not
To this question, therefore, certain rituals have naturally given an
answer. EBITDA in the ritual words of 1802, practiced in some lodges in
the GLNB the answer is this : « Conquer
our passions, submit our will and make new progress BM ».
Very inadequate response to me. Indeed, the term «
submit our will » ready to bail. I will come back.
But this answer can vary. Thus in the ritual practiced at G\L\
is : « Seek the Light ». But
then again what light ?
Is it from that discussed in the Prologue of John's Gospel, this
« light of men » of which the
evangelist was testified, that « true light that
enlightens the world and that the world does not known »,
but which, I remind you « was
given to those who have the power to become children of God ».
So we are children of God ? I do not venture to give you an answer RER
Willermoz, is the question of the economy, which naturally calls for a
But there is a ritual response or not does not change the problem. The
question we are asked : « what
the devil do we come to the Lodge ? ».
And the ritual answer to this question is not, contrary to what one
might think, the use of « wooden language ».
It opens in effect that pose a wide field of reflection, because every
answer is never final since it induces personal reflection of the
person who enters the dialectic which it proceeds.
When I decided there almost 27
years, to « knock on the door of the Temple »,
I do not have asked me that question.
Over time, I allowed myself to drift slowly in the course of the
experience that I lived, gradually becoming aware of a slow
transformation of myself attended the men with whom I worked, but not
really me question.
And it was only later, much later, I made a step backwards.
I then tried to analyze as objectively as possible what had, at one
point in my life, take me to make that decision and, then, proved to me
gradually after much thought, much as would the negative of a
photograph in an acid bath, obvious.
« I still know nothing ! »
Or sooner if !...
There are some years Sigmund Freud coined the term : libido.
What is it ?
Pascale Marson, in a little work extension to psychology, libido
compares to « a raw piece of wood compared to the
masterpiece fashioned by a fellow craftsman ».
Libido is an unconscious force, we are told, who lives in each of us
distinct from the conscious ego, that is to say, of our personality,
that is what we built deliberately to introduce us to the middle where
we live and we comply.
This personality is itself distinct from our instinctive essence, but
complementary to it.
So libido is perhaps the desire that reflects the energy that is in us.
And the word energy has a major
significance in the initiation phenomenon.
Freud, as we know, sees libido all unconscious impulses generated by
But Jung, which I am an admirer, he goes much further. He does not deny
the importance of sexuality, but back to a fairer measure. Putting
aside the sexual aspect of libido so it's just considered a «
life force ».
It was then that seems to appear filigree another concept, that of
sublimation. Sublimation strict sense is not only the «
passage from a solid state to a gaseous state without passing through a
liquid state », as everyone knows, but - depending
on Litter - « a mechanism through which impulses
Primary unconsciously diverted from their original purpose and carried
on more socially useful and noble destinations ».
Sublimation is a mental process, a psychic mechanism, and it is this
aspect that I intend to remember...to finally know what I came to do in
Sublimation proceeds from a desire, certainly... ...But a desire to
What is a desire ? I will remember the definition in Spinoza :
« This is the appetite, the fact of trying to
achieve with self-consciousness. This is the essence of man ».
So we go to the state of unconscious drive to that of a conscious state
Desire is a conscious energy that lives in us and will allow us to free
indeed what there is in us creative forces, like a detonator. This
produces a kind of substitution, transfer of our instinctive impulses
to the higher levels of the soul towards an idealized goal (noblest
Thus the artist or scientist will create. And creating, it will create
itself, it will sublimate.
A painter, a composer, a writer will express the unconscious energy
that inhabits as an artifact of a work, which in itself had little
importance, the important thing is the phenomenon dynamic creativity.
Artist and if there is, it is indeed an art, and in Freemasonry, this
art we call the Royal Art.
The scientist, he can manifest creativity in the form of an intuition
expressed as equations.
At the top athlete, it will be a record.
But in any case, it is a form of sublimation, that is to say the
intuition that something that is in us than us, and we feel the need to
In the individual seeking an initiation occur simultaneously in the
creative phenomenon intellectual activity and a spiritual quest desire.
It is this aspect - one being the vector, the other purpose - which
manifests itself in the initiate as we seek to become never be certain
of achieving completely.
This process - essentially individual - can only be achieved if we work
in groups, because it proceeds from a form of capillarity between the
members of this group.
At this point, my brethren, I would remind you of the thesis
psychiatrist Jacob Moreno on the importance he gives to the collective
psychodrama. Because obviously we're not only spectators but also
actors in the psychodrama of the death of Hiram.
Moreno, who died in 1974, offers the « social or
psychological group » in order to introduce us to
ourselves, to understand ourselves by bringing an « interaction
» between man and permanent society.
Here the Lodge is in this case a microcosm of society. Individual
living space is melted in an interactive set, whose members are in
constant interaction. In a Loge, drank the difficulties of his own
individual research, torn between aspirations, requirements blows his
desire for freedom, and the mold of the societal norm, the Mason is
trying, through its adaptation to group to find the right balance.
Psychodrama of the death of Hiram lived in Lodge aims to research
yourself. This psychodrama played Lodge by actors such as Brothers, as
we have seen, has a liberating effect on them. Playing the third
degree, we enter into the skin of the characters.
We are living a tragedy.
Aristotle saw the tragedy a « catharsis
» or deliverance notion that Racine resume to as « purging
», that is to say a « cleansing »
of the passions, instincts watching a fictional character played by
In psychodrama, the actor must become the creator of his own role. His
commitment is thereby deepened. He wakes up « the
kid in him » as each member of the group.
Certainly, we are not all equal before this. Freud is emphatic on this
point : « sublimation is reserved only for the elite
». This can be understood by « elite
» those predisposed naturally to this type of experience.
Simply put, everyone can not be started, everyone can not become a
Freemason. This is not desirable.
The answer to the question posed earlier ritual becomes clear :
What were we doing in
the Lodge ? Searching our own sublimation.
This initiation by our individual
sublimation in a community of men pursuing the same goal : « hidden
stone find in us, correcting », is an alchemical
process of turning lead into gold.
That of the emergence of the « new man
» as we seek to be invitation that appears in all its clarity
from the Reflection Cabinet where VITRIOL acronym us whispered in the
ear without that no one of us then do understand the meaning. This is
what we call « self-knowledge
However do in passing some reservations : the birth of the « new
man » is not always correspond to the death and
disappearance of unconditional « old man »,
which also has the qualities and we must remain vigilant not to
« throw the baby with the bath water
« Knowledge of ourselves » is
the knowledge of our subconscious, our inner being with power of its
own immanent in nature.
We're down to « submit our will »
as we saw in the beginning, but to affirm this commitment in the
mastering, and that's exactly where lies the concept of «
But let us also remember that this sublimation, the alchemy of
ourselves, this slow transformation also stems from our work. All this
does not occur after a single snap.
The completion of the work takes years we know. Again, everything is
provided: The word perseverance joined to V\I\T\R\I\O\L\.
We breath the road will be long...
The presentation process is not
Indeed, the Masonic Institution, which is only part of the expected
initiation embodiment is diverse.
And I come to the diversity of paths available to us, diversity
manifested in the form of different rites. This diversity is naturally
influenced by the collective unconscious of those who are engaged in
the practice of this « Royal Art ».
Thus we see often profiled in our secular institutions in countries
where Freemasonry is practiced.
Swiss Masonic practice, for example, is not the same as the French
practice, because Switzerland is not France, even though Geneva is
culturally closer to France than it is in Zürich. Moreover, we
see an evolution of the spirit of Freemasonry in years.
Originally Freemasonry, that of the eighteenth century, is
aristocratic. Otherwise, it would no royal Art.
This is a form of « initiation pure
» as conceived by Rene Guenon, something not to « put
all hands ».
And to clarify this point, I would like to read an excerpt from
« Foucault's Pendulum ».
I am far from unconditionally share the design of Umberto Eco, as well
to understand, read the watermark, you realize that it is heavily
inspired by Julius Evola's ideas, which, as everyone knows adhered to
Mussolini's fascist ideal.
realized my discomfort and asked me to go sit in an open Copa-Cabana
bar all night. I kept silent. Aglié waited until I began to
enjoy my batida and then broke the silence and embarrassment. Race or
culture, if you are a part of our unconscious. And another part is
inhabited by archetypal figures, equal for all men and for all ages.
Tonight, the climate, the atmosphere, have weakened our vigilance at
all ; you felt about yourself. Amparo discovered that
orixàs, she thought she had destroyed his heart still lived
in her womb. Do not believe that this fact is positive for me. You have
heard me speak respectfully of these supernatural energies that vibrate
around us in this country. But do not think that I see with particular
sympathy of possession practices. Being an insider and be a mystic is
not the same thing. Initiation intuitive understanding of the mysteries
that reason can not explain, is an abysmal process, a slow
transformation of the mind and the body, which can lead to the exercise
of superior quality and up to the conquest immortality, but it's
something intimate, secret. It does not show on the outside, she is
modest, and above all it is made of lucidity and detachment. This is
why the World Lords are insiders, but they do not abandon the mystic.
The mystic is a slave to them, place a demonstration of the numinous,
through which one watches the symptoms of a secret. The initiate
encourages the mystic, he uses it as you are using a phone, to
establish remote contact, such as the chemist uses litmus paper to know
that a certain place is a substance. The mystic is useful because it is
theatrical, it exhibits. Insiders, for against, recognize only among
themselves. The insider control the forces suffers the mystical. In
this sense, there is no difference between Teresa of Avila and San Juan
de la Cruz. Mysticism is a degraded form of contact with the divine.
Initiation is the fruit of a long asceticism of mind and heart.
Mysticism is a democratic phenomenon, if not demagogic, initiation is
Duly noted. You think what you want.
So if the original Freemasonry is hierarchical, it has to be
centralized around an authority than obedience. And the word obedience,
there is the word obey.
The sublimation as we have seen can not be achieved only within a
community, which has its rules.
This notion of obedience is not peculiar to the so-called speculative
Masonry. It existed in Fellow Guilds where hierarchy was based on
experience, knowledge of the business and trust them devoted themselves
masons and carpenters grouped around the architect. Now it is clear
that the notion of obedience is not the same in Switzerland than in
France or England, and the historical and political institutions of
these countries have had an influence on that of their national
Freemasonry. This obedience, this discipline is practiced here rather
than at the Lodges of the Obedience.
France is a centralized country, Switzerland is not.
And it is interesting to look at how these two institutional modes
diametrically opposed relative to the other, could affect the operation
of the Masonic Institutions respectively in Switzerland and France.
I said at the time, the English Freemasonry, at the base, is
aristocratic in the mind as in form. Let us remember the composition of
the Lodges in London in the early eighteenth century when rubbed is
noble and learned.
The choice of French for the Republic - insidiously supported by a
famous Geneva I will not mention the name of discretion since one of
the most illustrious of his followers took up tonight on your columns -
so this choice will color the French Freemasonry a republican tone.
Therefore, the Lodges will become, in the role that is theirs, vectors
of new ideas, republican and democratic. I'm not saying that it is bad,
but I'm not sure that this is their first destination.
For if every builder is free to express his opinions, it does not seem
useful Freemasonry as an institution to be mixed.
Atheism will also find its place because it is fashionable to
« eat the priest ». And so
until you delete the GODF the main Masonic lights : the VDLS
We are moving there more of sublimation.
The French Freemasonry will then be
ostracized heretics by London until is is under the influence of
another Switzerland - a Vaudois this time, the brother of Edward
Ribaucourt - which contributes significantly the recognition of the
GLNF by the English authorities in 1911 allowed that he was recognized
« regularity », a word which
changes still a lot.
Switzerland, during that time, respects his credo as a sentence without
appeal : « free Mason in a free lodge
» where applying the highly ambiguous concept of freedom that
continues forever to tickle the subconscious of peoples.
Indeed, what Liberty ?
Freedom seemingly implies the notion of free will and free will is
ultimately an illusion of freedom. Let me explain : To act according to
our pleasure or according to our will is not freedom. Also according to
Spinoza, « the impossibility of free will is that
everything producing any effect is necessarily determined by an
immanent God in nature ».
In the fourth century BC Democritus stated : «
Everything in the universe is the result of chance or necessity ».
(Jacques Monod). No room at Liberty. Duly noted. Nothing has changed.
Understanding the chain of causes and effects can sometimes change
their estate and to initiate the sequence of events in a direction that
nature would not have spontaneously followed. Nothing more. If you look
for a moment on particle physics for example, you soon realize that our
individual wills of human beings are reduced to the absolute need our
immediate survival. Let us have no illusions.
But if Democritus establishes a
polarity Chance Need Epicurus, he - I love - it introduces the concept
We are saved from the horrors of the restlessness of the soul and
distressing conjectures about why chance and of necessity.
This epicurean initiative has nothing to do with free will, but the
virtue of giving humans the means to intervene in their destiny, giving
him hope. And sought sublimation invites us in this initiative. Some
may say that Hope is the poetry of utopia.
Why not ?
Indeed, there are not a form of
poetry in the glare of the researcher who after years of work is the
key to the problem he is studying at the same time feels a form of
vertigo when he discerns behind the answer he brings...another question
he must answer ?
The initiation, the way to Knowledge, is a form of poetry and, to quote
Leopold Senghor : « Poetry should not die, then
where would the world be ? »
Kabbalah in its many allegories also takes the form of a poem when it
states, for example, this parable : « the ultimate
knowledge is like a house to the ten thousand doors each possess their
key. All are for the human being, but a lifetime is not enough for him
to find the right key to every door ».
Self-sublimation is the major concern of the human being. There is
nothing worse than being nobody. There is nothing worse than the
failure of the human person. Everyone is entitled to his own
sublimation, but in return, everyone has a duty of responsibility to
The philosopher Hans Jonas, a disciple of Husserl, in his book
« The Principle Responsibility
» draws our attention to the futility of eternally renewed
sermons that invite humanity to become aware of his blindness and
invites us to « take responsibility ».
Suburban youth burning cars only express the despair of their
marginalization. Their crime is worthy of our indifference. What are
they looking, these young people but their own sublimation, but
unfortunately in the wrong.
« What are you doing else, I ask you, than making
yourself thieves then hang you ». I invite you, my
brethren, to consider this phrase from the Utopia of Thomas Moore.
Our responsibility, I would even say our mission, we, Freemasons, is to
participate in the construction of a world that would not be a utopia,
but a reality, that of a company that we would offer the values we
soaked for a lifetime and that have been handed down to us by our
« Our lodges are laboratories in which we make of
Here the answer to the question : « What did we
just do in the Lodge ». I tell you this because I
sincerely believe. I speak here of course apprentices but also to
Master Masons who reasoned within themselves can ask these questions.
The pessimists who fear the end of Freemasonry, I want me encouraging.
Freemasonry, that's life. And life is eternal palingenesis, a
succession of cycles which follow and reproduce, permanent and
appropriate progression. Tradition - Progress - Adaptation. John
Steinbeck wrote : It is in the nature of the aging man...to resist
change, especially those leading to progress.
Remain attentive, Brothers !