When, in the course of events it becomes necessary for the members of a Fraternity to reaffirm the principles upon which their Ancient and Honourable Institution has been established, a decent respect for the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the cause which impels them to affirm these principles and to protect and defend the underlying basis for their Charter. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all human beings are created from an equality of divine origin, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights of Freedom under the jurisdiction of Divine Law, and that among these Rights are Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, these being: The Liberty of soul and conscience; the Equality of divine origin; and the Fraternity of that true fellowship which characterises humanity’s eternal purpose, which is ‘to love one another,’ and that to secure these essential Rights of Freedom in the spiritual life of all peoples and their quest in the pursuit of Wisdom and of Truth, the Ancient and Honourable Institution of Masonry (Free-Masonry) has been established upon the Earth by The Most High (and the Grand Lodge on High) to be a custodian of the Ancient Mysteries (and therefore a custodian of the divine Plan) within the bosom of Humanity, in order to secure and establish these Mysteries within the program of human living, and to guide the members of the Craft in their Lodges at Labour upon the Earth to assist in and cooperate with the divine Plans of The Most High and His Lodge—the Grand Lodge on High—in building and raising the Temple of Humanity (as a Temple of Light) to the Glory of the Great Architect of the Universe for the welfare and betterment of all peoples; that through establishing the perpetuation of these Mysteries (pertaining to humanity’s divine purpose), the divine rights and spiritual life of mankind may be protected and preserved.
In order to secure these Rights among the peoples of the world, Governments of Masonic Fraternities are instituted among them, deriving their just powers from adhering to the Ancient Landmarks and the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of Masonic Government becomes obstructive, unfaithful or crystallised to these objectives, it is the Right of regularly constituted Master Masons to alter or remove themselves from it, and to institute and constitute new Masonic Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organising its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect and continue the ancient and spiritual lineage for which its original Dispensation from the Lodge on High empowered it thus to work. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Masonic Governments long established, should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly, experience has shown that some brethren are more disposed to cling to old and outworn traditions of form—even when they no longer serve the original spiritual purposes for which they were intended—and to suffer moral cowardice and spiritual poverty, than to right themselves to the precepts of their original Dispensation by abolishing or changing the crystallised forms to which they are accustomed when they have become obstructive to meeting the spiritual needs and demands of the changing and evolutionary times in the consciousness of humanity.
But when a long train of abuses and expurgations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them to comply with the preservation of a crystallised distortion of the principle Dispensation, it is their right, it is their duty, to constitute a form of new Masonic Government, and to provide for new protections for the security and preservation thereof. Such has been the patient sufferance of many Masons, and such is now the necessity which constrained them to establish a more enlightened system of Masonic Government. To the fulfillment of the principal purposes of the Dispensation from the Lodge on High, and granting recognition that international world order is based upon establishing and preserving certain inalienable Rights to which all peoples are entitled, among them being the Right to Education on all levels, the Grand Lodge, Ancient Universal Mysteries protects and preserves the Rights of its Member Lodges to be centers of higher learning in the spiritual arts and sciences according to the principles, practices and ritualistic forms of the Temple Builders under The Great Architect of the Universe. To affirm an unbroken lineage in the pursuit of these Rights, it has been determined that Masonry must preserve the seven most important aphorisms which express the work of a Lodge as being “properly and duly Constituted” from the Lodge on High, and which are:
- Let that which is below be as that which is above.
- There is a pattern laid down in the Heavens to which humanity must eventually conform.
- Three M.MM. rule a Lodge.
- Five Masons give form to a Lodge.
- Seven Masons constitute a Lodge of Masons.
- Seven Masons make it perfect.
- Let us enter into Light; pass from the unreal to the Real; and be raised unto Life.
. . . and that in order to work true to the pattern of divine Order and Architecture expressed in these seven aphorisms it is incumbent upon all regular Lodges to preserve the Ancient Landmarks of the Order of Temple Builders, the fourteen most important of which are here set forth in their order of significance:
- Belief in God (by whatever Name) or Deity, as T.G.A.O.T.U.
- Deity expresses Itself in Its Universe as Strength, Wisdom and Beauty.
- Belief in Immortality.
- The Legend expressed through the Third Degree.
- The Three Degrees of the Blue Lodge.
- All the various Modes of Recognition.
- The Three Great Lights.
- The fact that all men are of an equality of divine origin.
- Seven Masons constitute a Lodge of Masons.
- The carefully preserved Secrets of Masonry.
- The requirement that each Lodge should have a Tyler and be “close tyled.”
- Government of the Masonic Fraternity by a V. Grand Master, and a Lodge by a V. Master.
- The necessity for Masons to work in group formation in Lodges.
- That none of these Landmarks can ever be changed, which is to state that Masons should not, nor can they, alter the purposes, the pattern, the plan, the procedures, and the principles to which the practicing Lodges should conform in order to express and establish, seek conformity with and obedience to, four dominating influences, the effects of which are expressed as Four Divine Laws, and which may be considered as the four sides of the Temple of the Lord, and thus the Temple of Humanity, and for which a new Dispensation to the Craft is issued forth. These four Laws are expressed in, but not limited to, the wording of the following ideas: 1. The Law of Love. 2. The Law of Rhythm. 3. The Law of Recognition. 4. The Law of the Builders. Another most important edict to this Landmark is that the principles and requirements for Initiation cannot be changed, to which all the previous Landmarks testify.
Let the word go forth from this day, to all Masons throughout the four corners of the globe, that we seek no enmity with, nor do we seek to subvert nor supplant any regular and duly constituted Grand Lodge or Supreme Council, but that we seek only fraternal cooperation with all duly qualified brethren and recognised Masonic Orders in the cause of the Great Work.
We, therefore, being Master Masons in Grand Lodge assembled, appealing to The Most High as the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions and actions, do, in the Name and by the authority of our Grand Officers, Charter Members, and Representatives, and under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge, Ancient Universal Mysteries, Grand Orient of S......., formally publish and declare, establish and promulgate the following Declarations, Definitions, Laws, By-Laws, Rules, Regulations and Edicts, which collectively and in accordance with ancient and traditional Masonic usage shall be known and referred to as The Constitutions.
Given under our hand and Seal this 26th Day of October, 1992, in Grand Lodge, Ancient Universal Mysteries, assembled.
Signed and Sealed by the Grand Lodge Officers