Morals and Dogma has been described as "a collection of thirty-two essays which provide a philosophical rationale for the degrees (membership levels) of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. The lectures provided a backdrop for the degrees by giving lessons in comparative religion, history, and philosophy."
The very first book i ever read on Magick, finding my Paternal Grandfather's copy in the garage when I was 12. The metaphysics and Sacred Geometry in this book is so intricate as to be very nearly impossible to read for anyone not already deeply familiar with the subject. Meant to only be owned by 32nd degree Scottish Rite Masons, copies can be found on ebay and in used book stores around the world. If anyone doubts that Ceremonial Magick is a part of Freemasonry, a brief look at this book should put all questions to rest.
7/16/13 Rereading this book, for the first time since I was 12, is an awe-inspiring experience. Every professed "Thelemite" should be forced to read this book, as Crowley was a Master Mason, 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Head of England's Grand Lodge for some time and Albert Pike is full of the type of Kaballah and Mystical History that Crowley Loved. Deeply facinating... a "magickal book" besides being a "book about Magick..."
If MORE MASONS took this book as SERIOUSLY as Pike INTENDED; The Entire WORLD Would Simply Be A Much Better, Safer, Funner, and More Just One. Worshipful Master Pike paints a Picture of Humility, Power, Charity, Responsibility, Mercy, Compassion, and the type of Brilliant Structured Application of Reason and Logic and FAITH, in Practical Application, in all areas of a Masons Life. The bar he sets is Impossibly High for any man to reach, IMHO, but it is the Striving that ever makes us Great!
Morals & Dogma is over 860 pages, it is a long & difficult read. As a pastor I wanted to read it for myself as I am doing a lot of research & thinking about the Masons. I wanted to go directly to their books (this being one that many said they revered) myself & read in their own words what they are about & what they have to say about themselves.
My question is “Can one be a true/devout Christian be a part of or joined to the Masons? From reading this the answer is a clear “NO.”
Here is a quote from page 11, 2nd paragraph, “The Hebrew Pentateuch in a Hebrew Lodge, & the Koran in a Mohammedan one, belong on the Altar; & one of these, & the Square & Compass, properly understood, are the Great Lights by which a Mason must walk & work.”
One of the great problems with this statement is it makes no distinction between the Koran, & the OT Bible & calls them equally both great lights. This for a Christian then is to deny the truth of the Bible as being uniquely God’s revelation to man & is in all things truthful & is the standard by which we judge all things, especially other truth claims. There is just no way to get around this or to justify this.
There are many quotes from the Kabala; it is used in an authoritative way. The Kabala is incompatible with Christianity.
On page 38, 1st paragraph, “The doctrines of Zoroaster were the best which the ancient Persians were fitted to receive; those of Confucius were fitted for the Chinese; those of Mohammed for the idolatrous Arabs of his age. Each was Truth for the time. Each was a Gospel, preached by a Reformer.”
A Christian must disagree, his faith demands it. He cannot agree that these doctrines are The Truth, then or now, how can things which contradict each other be The Truth? The subtly here is that when you continue to read the point is that all these various doctrines, philosophies, & religions are all true in some way & that Christianity is among them. No more true or false than the others & to insist that it is, is prideful.
Page 53, 1st paragraph, “Faith is the Saviour and Redeemer of nations.” This statement is a blatant denial of what the Bible says, read John 4:42; Acts 13:23; 2 Timothy 1:10; Isaiah 47:4 & 60:16. God is our savior & redeemer, Jesus is our Savior, it is always faith in, not just faith, faith must have an object.
Page 100 in paragraph 2, this book refers to “The Fall of Man as a Hebrew allegory & that it is just a variation of a universal legend.” For the Christian this is intolerable, can a Christian be a supporting member of a group that says the sin of Adam was a legend & not truth?
The more you read the worse it gets. One more thing. On page 161, 4th paragraph, “But Masonry teaches, & has preserved in their purity, the cardinal tenets of the old primitive faith, which underlie & are the foundation of all religions. All that ever existed had a basis of truth; & all have overlaid that truth with errors.” So then for the Christian, the Bible is not the communication of the One True God to men. Masonry has preserved the cardinal tenets. Christianity is filled with error, we have overlaid the truth with error & Masonry is claiming here to be the corrector, because it has preserved those tenets.
I could easily go one but that is not necessary. This book is enlightening, it clearly reveals that Masonry is anti-Christian, that does not mean that all who join hate Christ for many join in ignorance. But once the truth is revealed a choice must be made. Where is our allegiance? Is it Christ or is it elsewhere?
Life defining text, one that requires dedicated and open-minded study. This book called to me from a box of old books at an estate sale; a 1928 edition in beautiful condition. It took much longer to study than most texts due to the depth of symbolic meaning, but I found it to be spiritually exciting, enlightening and life-defining to some degree. I began reading this before my initiation into a co-masonic obedience, and though we are encouraged to study books at our level of masonic degree, I found myself hungry for the enlightenment found within its pages and did not refrain from further study. Long before entering the craft, I've felt drawn to freemasonry and open study of all things spiritual. This book certainly expanded my capacity to think and helped to solidify a deep desire to square my actions. I'm sure another study of this text as I approach higher degrees of masonry will open my understanding to new levels not conceived prior to that moment in time. Highly recommended to seekers of light and lovers of the universal laws of TGAOTU. The opinions expressed by Pike are definitely thought provoking.
This is a truly excellent book. It is a great insight to Freemasonry, and uses the degrees to illustrate the works. This is NOT the work of A Pike. He is not the author so much as the editor. Nevertheless, it is insightful and thought provoking in the lessons it confers.
It is a very long book, which took me a long time to read, due to all the extra research it invoked from me. Some chapters are better than others, and some become repetitive. that said, a great deal of work and lots of different paths are melded together to maybe sugges one source of the Freemasons, and how those other sources may have been seperated at some early epoch.
Do not read this if you are just a Dan brown fan looking for some clues, this is so much more. There are useful references and clues as to further reading. And if you look closely enough may see similarities to H. P Blavatsky.....read on...
People who say they can't read this book haven't really tried to read this book....if *I* can do it, then anyone can. He did a great job of bringing together philosophies and belief systems of all sorts (which were ADMITTEDLY borrowed....he never claimed to have written the whole thing!!) and integrating them with his own views (which everyone is free to accept or reject; stated on one of the first pages). A masterpiece of 1800's victorian prose : )
Although this is mostly plagiarized it is a look into "real" masonic beliefs. There are techically 2 kinds of Freemasonry, the one that's out in open and the secret society that believes secrets are a kind of power and the lower level masons (under 14) barely know anything about the Freemasons in general, some also deny there's a 33rd degree, but that's because it's only attainable through the secret society. Albert Pike was Luciferian Freemason (secret) and this book used to be given to masons that reached the 14th degree during their rituals. He was also a member the Order of Stars & Stripes and the original Weishaupt Illuminati. If you want to read more about him, this book, or Freemasons Check Out My Collection of eBooks Free.
I found this book to be extremely interesting. Some stuff was so esoteric it made no sense but some was very informative. The book is divided into the chapters that correlate to the respective degrees. So chapter one is information and rhetoric applied to the first degree. This book is filled with sacred geometry, Kabbalah, linguistics, history from the Greeks and Arabs and just about everyone else from the ancient world.
My favorite degree was The Knight of The Brazen Serpent. Really cool and mystical stuff that kept my attention.
Albert Pike was a genius and an man of so many passions and adventures that all Americans should be familiar with his life and work. This book is attributed to the subject of masonry - the fraternal organization of ancient origin and international influence - yet it covers so much territory it is difficult to put it in any one category. This is a densely packed volume of immeasurable scope and will take some time to digest but is truly a national treasure.
Extremely dry as any piece of pre-1900s nonfiction is. While I was amazed at how educated and full of wisdom Mr. Pike is; I will say that he writing style is atrocious. There are many times he will start to build on a mystical doctrine and then change course all of a sudden for a 20 page ramble. I had to read this book like I was taken medicine. Small forced doses that I did not enjoy; but, thought in the long term it would be worth it.
For those who are Masons, they will obviously find more value in this than I have. At times it felt as if I was reading a work that resembles Jehovahs Witness or FLDS philosophical propaganda. For those who are wrapped up in the conspiracy theories and tie ins with the illuminati thanks to Dan Browns hollywoodizing of the subject matter, you will most likely be dissappointed. Pike obviously on many occassions talks in circles incorporating symbolism, massaged historical interpretations, established definitions intended to prove the writers point or agenda etc. The real "dirt" is intentionally left out and what is left consists of essentially of brainwashing filler which is used to convince or allow the reader who should be either and existing or new applicant to the Freemasons to help them open their mind and to think outside their already existing box. On many occassions I can see it going 2 ways, they jump in feet first and buy into everything or they take everything with a grain of salt and buy into more or less the modern day casual thinking processes of the social group. With all that said, I wouldnt recommend this to the casual reader unless they are doing either some academic research or are looking for a little bit more depth to what they already know of the Masons through movies, books, or documentaries, or of course the masonic community in general. Just dont expect to turn over anything groundbreaking if that is what you are looking for.
This is a very tedious book to read. It is highly repetitive and not well organized. The good part of the book is that if you want to find out more about what free masonry is, this is a book written from the inside. I do not know if it represents the current reality of the organization, but with so much mention of the "secret society" in movies and books, I felt I needed to slog through the book.
I felt I learned a lot from it, BUT it is not well written.
I would rather struggle with better writers such as Joyce.
One of the most (if not THE most) prolific writers on Freemasonry. It is deep, and I recommend that you read a page at a time and meditate on what you have read before you move on. This is how I read the entire book and it worked great for me.
Near completion of the audible edition of this massive screed. It's quite phenomenal. There is at least as much arcana here as in Manly P. Hall or anything by A.E. Waite. He writes from a masonic perspective, but very subtly. It seems the metaphysical concepts he expounds upon and chooses to personify each grade of masonry are more important than talking about the external rituals. In a sense the reader is initiated to many truths just by listening or reading. It's taken me 3 years to get through this.
I think my grandfather was a freemason but I’m not entirely sure. This book I did not inherit however, but rather I came across it while working in a used bookstore – the owner said I could have it if I promised to read it. It took me almost 15 years. I read it in bits and pieces when I had the time. I agree with some of the other reviews that it can be repetitive and also I am doubtful it is strictly in accordance with Christian dogma in that my understanding is the only path to salvation is through Jesus Christ and the grace of God – one cannot (as I understand it) will oneself to enlightenment, paradise or salvation through one’s own limited human efforts and faculties. This I think could be the ultimate heresy of this book (and other books advocating ‘magic’ as a path to God) – this applies equally to bomb throwers and magicians, they both are equally deluded so far as I can tell in thinking that their actions can bring heaven to earth. That said I enjoyed reading a lot of this book. It was in the least entertaining and enlightening even in a kind of ‘secular’ or ‘self-help’ kind of way. Come to think of it, I found this to be a bit like a 19th century version of a self-help book. (I must confess as I write these words many thoughts are coming to me about the last novel I tried to write, and how a self-help author was cast as a villain.) So when they say “we are unconscious of the intensity and the awfulness of the life within us” (p. 737) and “we are enfolded by Infinity” (p. 190) I can’t say I would entirely disagree. I have some other notes I will share. Some of these may be my own paraphrases. Discussing the gnostics – the soul drunk on matter… the soul intoxicated with matter… or ‘seduced’ – the dragon (or serpent) stands in the way of heaven. (p. 441) They spend a fair amount of time on the gnostics including the idea of ‘THE SERPENT … as the author of the fate of Souls.’ I must admit that Leo Taxil accusation against the freemasons (and Pike in particular) I have read is a hoax (google ‘Leo Taxil Harvard’ and read the Houghton Library Blog post about it), but given some of the language herein, and the hints of secret meaning, I can see why the freemasons are easy targets or scapegoats for many conspiracy minded people. There is a great deal of concern here with ‘the initiated’ so you can see how there may be some confusion. (How does one know whether one is initiated? I wonder if here the saying from Lao Tzu applies – ‘he who speaks does not know and he who knows does not speak.’) Only if you are initiated can you decipher the code, otherwise ‘much of it seems at first like jargon.’ (p. 758) This strikes me as common to any profession. I again cannot disagree with the point that it ‘is impossible to speak clearly of the Divinity. … We satisfy ourselves with negativing in the Deity everything that constitutes existence, so far as we are capable of conceiving of existence. Thus he becomes to us logically nothing …” (p. 743) C. S. Lewis also makes a similar point in his book Miracles, though Lewis does not hold out much hope for magicians I would say based on my reading of The Screwtape Letters. On page 721 of my copy of Morals & Dogma I find a note written to myself in the margin, perhaps ill-considered but nonetheless I will share: ‘It’s true I like books in many ways better than people.’ On page 720 I am advised to ‘renounce … that eternal anxiety as to what we are to have, and what men think of us.’ Sound advice I suppose if at all possible. I also agree with this book on page 645 when the author describes how atheism cannot satisfy the needs of human nature. Perhaps I will write more on this but for now this is enough.
terrific insights into myth, ancient literature, star lore...
i was specifically drawn to the books as the liberation of novorossiya commenced on 22/02/2022. interestingly, novorossiya was a major masonic center (after moscow and st petersburg) in the russian empire.
This work is for adepts and all who have delved into the deeper mysteries...a life time study and must be explored manfully and understanding of what I call pragmatic absolutes. this is an enigma wrapped in paradox and shrouded in mystery...but be mindful that things cease to be a mystery once they are explained and understood...but if you truly want to know the royal secret, exhume our nation of people from the shallow grave of the 14th & 15th amendment which is the rubbish that Hiram has been buried. YEAH! the rabbit hole goes that deep. So what pill will you take or better yet, let you diligent study, labor and attention be the pilot that conducts you into the portal of knowledge. It is an exhaustive read and many will start, but only the thorough will finish. Having studied this work for numerous years, I still consider myself a neophyte understanding that the little bit I know is not enough to fill the corner of a mustard seed, but what I don't know will fill a library. And that's a mouthful from one who comes from the Adept Chamber Of The Moorish Science Temple Of America Inc. 3rd Heaven...my pedigree. It is beyond the shadow of doubt that there are but few who know what the truth is about man, yet also know it is foolish to impart it to the ignorant. Never-the-less, communicate it to the ignorant for their instruction, but communicate it to the wise for your own self improvement. Be patient, but most importantly, be persistant.
A book full of wisdom and knowledge but very, very disorganized. To find something of value you have to endure dozens and dozens of pages full of ambiguous verbosity. When you finally find something valuable this appears without any apparent order. The part of the book that is worthwhile begins from grade 28 onwards; most of the previous part could be regarded as superfluous and tediously repetitive.
From the degree or chapter 28 onwards, the cosmogony of the world, the Kabbalah and alchemy are described in a reliable and thoroughful manner. All the previous 500 pages are full moral foundations written in a style that might have been suitable for the 19th century but is now obsolete.
This book is widely read by scottish rite freemasons. While im not a mason myself, ive been researching them for a long time. Masonry is a mystery school and fraternity. Most masons aren't particularly christian in a traditonal sense and most of them are knowledgeable about other cultures and religions. Many times islam and zoroastrians are mentioned. While masons emphasize equality, they are selective in who they initiate. And they keep their business secret.
I hope to use this info to become a successful mason some day.
An extremely interesting book. Many take aspects of this work and employ it as reasoning for why Mason's are to be feared. I hold that they are misreading the work.
Some of the insights into the rites and teachings of Freemasonry discussed here by Pike are enlightening to read and represent an acknowledge syncretisation of a wider array of thought and teachings from numerous sources. It is worth your time if you have ever wished to know more about the Mason's or as a primer to wider questions.
Albert Pike did his homework! A General in the U.S. Civil War, he was well versed in Science(especially plant and animal life), Kabbala, History, Some Eastern Mysticism, Cultural Superstitions, Western Upper class Mysticism etc... Pike ties together the meaning of the degree without giving away the actual initiation procedure. Symbols from dead and living religions all find a home in the degrees.
It spent the first several chapters reiterating the characteristics Pike thought should be inherently masonic. Although in the later chapters, he begins to delve into his own personal views on mysticism and kabalic history. It was actually pretty repetitive and a little more boring than I thought it would be.
Certainly agreeable, as I do not agree much with anything I read as the last time I found something agreeable it was the bible, and even that had to grow on me, therefore that I think it agreeable is the greatest praise I can give, most excellent by far undervalued by people who cannot discern wisdom.
Very difficult to understand sometimes because the phrases were from long ago and what may have been said then translates somewhat differently now. Best to have a good contact to clarify information as not to interpret incorrectly. But very interesting book and so far a good read.