I came across something that Albert Pike penned in the mid 1800’s. It’s timeless in its wisdom and relevance, and I thought I would share it for our benefit.
Masonry has a history and literature. Its allegories and its traditions teach you much; but much is sought elsewhere. The streams of learning that now flow broad and wide must be followed to their heads in springs that well up in the far distance Past, and there you will find the meaning and the origin of Masonry.
A few trite lessons upon the rudiments of architecture, a few ordinary maximums of morality, a few unimportant and unsubstantiated traditions will no longer satisfy the earnest inquirer after masonic truth. Let him who is satisfied and content with them, remain where he is, and seek to ascend no higher. But let him who desires to understand the harmonious and beautiful proportions of Masonry, read, study, reflect, digest and discriminate. The true Mason is an ardent seeker after knowledge; and he knows that books are vessels which come down to us full-freighted with the intellectual riches of the past; and that in the lading of these Argosies (an opulent supply) is much that sheds light upon the history of Masonry, and proves its claims to be regarded as the great benefactor of mankind.
Knowledge is the most genuine and real of human treasures; for it is Light, as Ignorance is Darkness. It is the development of the human soul, and its acquisition of growth of the soul, which at the birth of man knows nothing, and therefore, in one sense, may be said to be nothing.
To attain Truth, and to serve mankind, our country and our fellows. This is the noblest destiny of man, your object henceforth and forever.
Masons, who have continued their studies after passing through the required rituals, will often find that masonry provides the superstructure and framework on which to hang pervious knowledge and experience, and provides a blue print for further discovery.
The treasures we find, the new horizons we experience, are often meant for only the individual seeker and we find it difficult, if not impossible to share. So we are left with the simple admonition to our friends and brothers, to be seekers themselves.
After all ... it is the journey, not the destination, which brings us pleasure in the moment ... and in truth provides the light that guides us to our destination. As we go dark in the months of July and August, let’s take the time form our busy activities to continue in our search for divine truths.
Ken Noorlander, WM