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The Scottish Rite and its importance to anti-Masons

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posted on Jul, 14 2011 @ 01:37 PM
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reply to post by FurvusRexCaeli
 


It is not only Jerusalem and Judah that are warned in the Book of Isaiah concerning the wrath of God. The surrounding heathen nations are also warned of doom, and first in line is Babylon.

It is easy to suspect that chapters 13 and 14, in which the doom of Babylon is foretold with savage imagery, is not really Isaianic. In Isiah's time, it was Assyria that was the conquering nation and Babylon lay under its thumb in more devastating fashion than Judah did. The paean of hatred and scorn should, it would be expected, be turned against Assyria and the new capital that Sennacherib had built at Nineveh.

On the other hand, a century after Isaiah's time, it was Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar that was the oppressor. It is reasonably likely, then, that this passage is of later origin and was possibly composed during the Exile at a time when Babylon seemed doomed to fall before the conquering armies of Cyrus the Persian.

Picturing Babylon as already fallen, the writer recites a taunting poem of sarcastic contempt for the mighty Babylonian monarch now brought low. In part, it goes:

Isaiah 14:12. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! ...
Isaiah 14:13. For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven ...
Isaiah 14:14. ... I will be like the most High.
Isaiah 14:15. Yet though shalt be brought down to hell ...

The Hebrew word here translated as "Lucifer" is helel. Literally, it means "The Shining One," and is thought to refer to the planetary body we call Venus.

Venus is the brightest of the planets in our sky and, next to the sun and the moon, the brightest object in the heavens. Because of the position of its orbit between the earth's orbit and the sun, it is always seen (from earth) to be fairly close to the sun. When it is in that part of it's orbit that puts it to the east of the sun, it shines out most clearly after sunset, and sets never more than three hours afterward. It is then visible only in the evening and is called the evening star.

On the other side of its orbit, when Venus is to the west of the sun, the planet rises first and for a short period of time (never more than three hours), it shines in the eastern sky as dawn gradually breaks. It is then the morning star.

It is only natural that cultures unlearned in astronomy and not particularly observant of the heavens would consider the evening star and the morning star to be two separate bodies. In Isaiah's time, even the clever Greeks were of this opinion. It was not until two centuries after Isaiah's time that the Greek philosopher Pythagoras discovered the two to be the single body that the Greeks then came to call Aphrodite and the Romans (and ourselves) Venus. It is very likely that Pythagoras discovered this in the course of his travels in the East (tradition says he visited Babylonia and it was the Babylonians who were the great astronomers of ancient times).

Venus, in its morning star aspect, could be called the "daystar" for its rising heralds the coming of day. It is also the "son of the morning" for it is only as morning approaches that it is possible to see it. Thus, the Revised Standard Version translates verse 14:12 as "How art thou fallen from heaven, O day-star, son of the morning."

The Greeks, in the period when they thought Venus to be two bodies, called the evening star "Hesperos" and the morning star "Phosphoros." Hesperos means "west" and it is always in the west that the evening star appears. Phosphoros means "light-bringer" and it is therefore the essential equivalent of "daystar." By the Romans, the Greek terms were translated directly into Latin. The evening star became "Vesper" ("west") and the morning star became "Lucifer" ("lightbringer").

The Hebrew helel is therefore translated as Phosphoros in Greek versions of the Bible; and as Lucifer in Latin versions.

The use of the term "Lucifer" in connection with the overweening pride of the Babylonian king is an ironic thrust at the habit of applying fulsome metaphors for royalty. Flattering courtiers would think nothing of naming their king the Morning Star, as though to imply that the sight of him was as welcome as that of the morning star heralding the dawn after a long, cold winter's night. This habit of flattery is confined neither to the East nor to ancient times. Louis XIV of France, two and a half centuries ago, was well known as the Sun King.

The writer of the verses concerning Lucifer ironically described his fall from absolute power to captivity and death as the fall of the morning star from the heavens to Hell.

With time, however, these verses came to gain a more esoteric meaning. By New Testament times, the Jews had developed, in full detail, the legend that Satan had been the leader of the "fallen angels." These were angels who rebelled against God by refusing to bow down before Adam when that first man was created, using as their argument that they were made of light and man only of clay. Satan, the leader of the rebels, thought, in his pride, to supplant God. The rebelling angels were, however, hurled out of Heaven and into Hell. By the time this legend was developed the Jews had come under Greek influence and they may have perhaps been swayed by Greek myths concerning the attempts by the Titans, and later the Giants, to defeat Zeus and assume mastery of the universe. Both Titans and Giants were defeated and imprisoned underground.

But whether Greek-inspired or not, the legend came to be firmly fixed in Jewish consciousness. Jesus refers to it at one point in the Gospel of St. Luke:

Luke 10.18. And he [Jesus] said ... I beheld Satan as lightning fall from Heaven.

It seemed natural to associate the legend with the Isaianic statement; indeed, that statement about Lucifer may have even helped give rise to the legend. In any case, the early Church fathers considered Isaiah's statement to be a reference to the eviction of the devil from Heaven, and supposed Lucifer to be the angelic name of the creature who, after his fall, became known as Satan. It is from this line of argument that our common simile "proud as Lucifer" arose.


—Isaac Asimov's Guide to the Bible, pp538-540

Sorry for the long quote, but a fascinating academic take by a prolific author. (Yeah, Asimov wrote a LOT more than the sci-fi he's famous for...)




posted on Jul, 16 2011 @ 12:45 AM
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reply to post by AugustusMasonicus
 


Interesting post AugustusMasonicus,

I would challenge the Brothers and all others to obtain, read and study De Hoyos books on masonic subjects. He would be considered predjudiced for sure because of his status as Grand Archivist and Grand Historian of the Scottish Rite, so I'm sure the skepticts will discount his work, nevertheless I encourage all comers to read his work. He is an excellent masonic scholar.

The Scottish Rite brothers here from the Southern Jurisdiction are probably familiar with the Master Craftsman I and MC II study programs and the text used in that course is De Hoyos Scottish Rite Ritual Monitor and Guide. This text is an awesome reference but is by no means all that should be studied. My personal feeling is that this text is a good supplement to Morals and Dogma and is easier to navigate and digest.

The study of comparative religions and philosophy is not for the faint of heart and should be undertaken with a sense of the seriousness that classical education and teaching was once presented. The current condition of public education does not lend itself to the study of classical rhetoric and logic and for most students it is never even breached in the classroom. So it is no surprise that most of the serious posts on this site concerning the Craft devolve into junior high school invectives and gibberish.

Searching for Further Light is a deeply personal experience and we all bring different ideas and experiences into the quest. Some dig deep and others seem only to scratch the surface, but for each person there is a seperate and meaningful journey.

I'm glad you posted something a little more interesting than the usual "we are a bunch of nice guys" nonsense. We already know that about ourselves and don't have anything to prove to the doubters and trolls.

I've have been spending a lot of hours lately rereading Thomas Moore, Hume, Plato and I'm working on the MCI course and I can't describe how important it is to bring and open mind to these serious writers and the concepts they propose.

I love to hear a good argument, so let's keep it coming and fight clean!



posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 02:58 AM
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reply to post by AugustusMasonicus
 


Good points brother! I'm happy in the blue lodge. If I go on when I'm old it will be to the York anyway. Maybe Tall cedars, because they meet at my lodge.



posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 08:38 AM
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reply to post by sharkman
 

I'm currently in the depths of some of Stephen Dafoe's books on Knights Templars and Masonic Templars, but I do have some of Bro. De Hoyos books on order. I've seen him in some TV interviews and I do look forward to his writings.

I had a few amazing professors for my philosophy classes and compartive religion classes. These guys were very blunt atheists, but man could they argue both sides and being in Idaho, they could stir up the classroom of primarily conservative students (myself included), but I delighted in the arguments.

In the last year, due to military duty, I have been absent from the Masonic scene. I have missed it much and have much to remember, but I have been studying like mad and will start an education program in the York Rite and Blue Lodge.



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