Greek, . The holy things in the Ancient Mysteries which were known only to the initiates, and were not to be disclosed to the profane, were called the aporrheta.
What are the aporrheta of Freemasonry? What are the arcana of which there can be no disclosure? These are questions that for years past have given rise to much discussion among the disciples of the Institution. If the sphere and number of these aporrheta be very considerably extended, it is evident that much valuable investigation by public discussion of the science of Freemasonry will be prohibited. On the other hand, if the aporrheta are restricted to only a few points, much of the beauty, the permanency, and the efficacy of Freemasonry which are dependent on its organization as a secret and mystical association will be lost.
We move between Scylia and Charybdis, between ' the rock and the whirlpool, and it is difficult for a Masonic writer to know how to steer so as, in avoiding too frank an exposition of the principies of the Order, not to fall by too much reticence, into obscurity. The European Freemasons are far more liberal in their views of the obligation of secrecy than the English or the American. There are few things, indeed, which a French or German Masonic writer will refuse to discuss with the utmost frankness. It is now beginning to be very generally admitted, and English and American writers are acting on the admission, that the only real aporrheta of Freemasonry are the modes of recognition, and the peculiar and distinctive ceremonies of the Order; and to these last it is claimed that reference may be publicly made for the purpose of scientific investigation, provided that the reference be so made as to be obscure to the profane, and intelligible only to the initiated.
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.
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