Friday, May 04, 2007


Last weekend, the New York College of the Masonic Societas Rosicruciana in Civitabus Foederatus (MSRICF) met in Liverpool, NY to begin the process of rebuilding the organization. The MSRICF is really the only organization that I belong to that doesn't ignore the Esoteric side of the Craft.
I expressed my disappointment in the lack of symbolic education within the symbolic lodges of modern Freemasonry. Grand Lodges seem to have adopted the attitude of "if we ignore the esoteric symbolism and promote business management education, then the public will stop asking about it and we won't look silly trying to explain it."
This group really gets me going. When someone mentioned the "raising of energy" during the opening of Lodge, I really got psyched! Yes, there are others that want to experience the same as me. This very same person suggested that perhaps it was time for Freemasonry to have an Inner and an Outer Order. The Outer would deal with the Public, raise money for charities and keep the Lodges organized properly. The Inner Order would attend to the Esoteric/Spiritual Heart of Freemasonry. I think he may be onto something.
All this talk can't last though. I am preparing to head to New York this weekend for the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of New York. It's time to get back to business.


Traveling Man said...

I'm right there with you Brother.

There are more than a few of us in my Lodge who would at least like to discuss this!

Good luck with to their efforts!


Mark Koltko-Rivera said...

Consider this idea: There already _are_ an Outer and an Inner Order. The Inner Order has the following characteristics: (1) Membership is totally elective with the candidate--you want in, you're in; (2) initiation into the Innner Order is identical with the first three degrees of Masonry, if the candidate wishes to construe it as such; (3) membership in the Inner Order is something of an elective secret: members are left to discover each other. (Did anyone ever think that this is how the original Rosicrucians actually functioned?)

I am saying this more than half serioously. If we want our Lodges to consider more seriously the esoteric content of the ritual, then we must take it upon ourselves to make our Lodges bastions of Masonic Education, which, in my opinion, should be the centerpiece of the Lodge meeting. I have an article on this in-press at my local Lodge of Research; I shall send a .pdf of it to any interested party, e-mailing me at . The new generations of Masons can make this happen.

Incidentally, what happened with the MSRICF College of New York? Why is a 'reorganization' necessary?

ArsMasonica said...

Nothing really "happened" with the NY College - which was the problem - nothing was happening. The Supreme Magus appointed a new Chief Adept for the College & he has been trying to re-energize the group for nearly 2 years. On of the stumbling blocks is the fact that the membership is spread throughout New York State. The majority of the active members were from the Syracuse area so many of the well attended meetings were in the Central New York area. Meetings scheduled in other parts of the State have received smaller or no attendance. Another issue is that most members of the MSRICF are very involved with many of the Concordant Bodies and we often have conflicts with any date that a meeting is scheduled. I do think that we are on the right track now though -- Rick (Ars Masonica)

Mark Koltko-Rivera said...

As an interesting synchronicity, the day after I posted my first blog comment above, I received the April issue of _The Philalethes Magazine_, subtitled "The Journal of Masonic Research and Letters" founded 1928. The magazine is published bi-monthly by the Philalethes Society (website: I noticed the following on page 27, in the report of their Executive Board Meeting, Feb. 2007 at Masonic Week in Washington, DC: "The Editor noted that the quality of the articles being submitted was not as high as they used to be, and most of them are not of a historical nature. ... Our membership continues to decrease ...".

I wonder what the outcome would be of the following: a number of Masons with interests in the esoteric symbolism of the fraternity begins to subscribe to this great old journal, _and_ begins to submit esoterically oriented articles (perhaps with historical perspectives). This is a win-win for Masonry: knowledge of the esoteric symbolism is spread to the (somewhat inter-)national readership of the Philalethes magazine, the magazine gets healthier, and Masonic esotericists get some exposure.

Like I said in my earlier comment: We can do this.

FD2L said...

Thank you for posting this, it has inspired me in my Masonic journey to look into organizations like the one you mention here. We have one in Texas, but I am still trying to make contact.

Bro. Ken said...

Wonderful post Brother. One of my personal gripes with my own lodge is the lack of esoteric discussion. I've recently traveled to lodges in numerous different countries and have discovered the wondrous beauty that can take place when the Brethren explore the craft more than superficially. I hope that I can take some of these lessons learned and inspire some of the Brethren back home to adopt them. My GL does support a masonic education program on their website, however at the lodge level you hardly see anything at all about it.

Bro Ken