Some Ritual makers, especially when they have been ignorant and uneducated, have often committed anachronisms or errors as to periods of time or dates by the introduction into Masonic ceremonies of matters entirely out of time. Thus, the use of a bell to indicate the hour of the night, practiced in the Third Degree; the placing of a celestial and a terrestrial globe on the summit of the pillars of the porch, in the Second Degree; and quotations from the New Testament and references to the teachings of Christ, in the Mark Degree, are all anachronisms But, although it were to be wished that these disturbances of the order of time had been avoided, the fault is not really of much importance.
The object of the ritualist was simply to convey an idea, and this he has done in the way which he supposed would be most readily comprehended by those for whom the ritual was made.
The idea itself is old, although the mode of conveying it may be new. Thus, the bell is used to indicate a specific point of time, the globes to symbolize the universality of Freemasonry, and passages from the New Testament to teach the practice of duties whose obligations are older than Christianity.
The Encyclopedia Masonica exists to preserve the wealth of information that has been generated over the centuries by numerous Masonic authors. As Freemasonry is now Speculative and not Operative, the work of a Mason is now conducted in the quarries of symbolism, literature, history and scholasticism. Freemasonry encourages intellectual exploration and academic achievement in its members and many Masons over the years have taken up this calling. The result has been that an incredible amount of philosophy, symbolic speculation and academic insights have been created. However, as Freemasonry teaches, human knowledge is frail and fragile. It is easily lost in the turnings of the ages and unforeseen catastrophes can result in great setbacks to human knowledge.
For too long these great works have sat on forgotten shelves, gathering dust and concealing the light that could be shed on the darkness of our ignorance. The Encyclopedia Masonica has been created to act as an ark, sailing through time, to ensure that future generations of Freemasons have access to the same knowledge that inspired the Brethren that came before them. It will contain the works of such Masonic Luminaries as Albert G. Mackey, Manly Palmer Hall, G.S.M. Ward, Albert Pike and many others. The Encyclopedia Masonica is a living work and the volunteers of Universal Co-Masonry will continue to labor until the most comprehensive Masonic reference work the world has ever seen has been created. The Encyclopedia Masonica is open to any who wish to use it and will remain open so that the treasures contained within may increase the wealth of all those who seek its wisdom.
- BROTHER ISAAC NEWTON
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Larkspur CO 80118
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