The word, Constitution, carries two vital Masonic inferences. This word is a compound of two Latin words: statuere, and con. The first of these, statuere, means, “to set up, fix, or establish.” Masonically, this meaning links it with the name of one of the Pillars at the portal or entrance to the Temple of the Lord, the significance of which is, “He shall Establish.” The idea therefore emerges of a predetermination in the Mind of T.M.H. of that which is intended to be established through the constitution of a Lodge.
The other word, con, means “with” or “together.” The inferred consequence is therefore that of an extension of the idea of this predetermined divine purpose to call forth the cooperation of the builders—the members of the Craft assembled in Lodge—in order to establish together this predetermined purpose of T.M.H., formulated under the guided Plans of the Assistant Architects (the Masters of Wisdom), by which the builders (the Masons) are set to work.
The purpose of a Constitution, as it is set forth and symbolised in Masonry, should therefore be understood to call forth the willing cooperation of the Lodge members for that joint formation which is necessary in order to establish, fix, and materialise the Plan in conformity to Divine Order.
The Ancient Landmarks
Humanity is now ready for the G.M. of the Grand Lodge on High (known to many as either the Christ, the Maitreya, the Imam Mahdi, etc.) to work actively again upon the earth, and to re-establish the Mysteries as a definite part of the program of human living. The Call has gone forth into the world of Masons—and we are thus called from refreshment to labour—to assist in preparing the way for the restoration of the Mysteries and to re-establish the Ancient Landmarks. There is a divine purpose to be worked out through humanity; it is implemented by the spiritual will, formulated by the Assistant Architects and Custodians of the Plan (the Masters of Wisdom or the Grand Lodge on High), and calls forth the cooperation of the spiritual builders—the Masons, as souls, i.e., the inner builders of the spiritual man to actualise.
The Ancient Landmarks might be defined as a reflection, externalisation and symbolic form of those principles, practices and purposes that govern the hierarchical activities of the Grand Lodge on High (of which exoteric Masonry is but a symbol). The recognised Landmarks therefore must have a relation to a subjective reality. They are unalterable, of universal recognition, and have remained unchanged down the centuries—subsisting from “time immemorial.” They are the basic fundamental edicts that should govern Masonic procedures, and those principles that determine and govern Masonic conduct. They constitute a body of truth, veiled in allegory, which all Masons recognise as binding upon them; not in the sense of limitation, but as spiritual edicts and values to live by. They can be known through the synthesis of their interrelation and by the intuitive response they evoke in all Masons of unbiased mind, who recognise their blindness and ignorance, face the light, undergo the demanded tests, work as builders and earn a Master’s wages, and then proceed—in the fulfillment of duty—even unto death and to a joyful resurrection.
The Landmarks are also defined as representing the basic principles of initiation. The phrase, “preservation of the Ancient Landmarks,” therefore refers to the fidelity of Masons to the requirements for initiation; to “follow in the steps of those who have gone this way before us” by virtue of the principles set forth in the symbolism of the Masonic ceremonial dramas of the Three Degrees—the principles of which are common to all systems of the Mysteries, though perhaps differently expressed in each in superficial and unimportant details.
It is necessary when defining a landmark to discriminate between a landmark and a symbol. A landmark is basic and unchanging, whereas a symbol is secondary and subject to modification according to race (i.e., root or branch race) and time.
The main Landmarks peculiar to AUM have been listed under our Statement of Purpose.
The Laws Embodying the Underlying Constitution
That which we call law is, in reality, the effect of the impact of a greater life upon the lesser lives within its corporate being. A Law, spiritually speaking, embodies the energy of divine intent of a greater Life, working itself out through the units of the lesser lives within its Being.
There are different types of laws emanating from the impacts of varied lives. Among them are those that specifically have significance for mankind and demand his cooperation. These are: Cosmic Laws, (Solar) Systemic Laws, Planetary Laws, and that which we call the Laws of Nature.
The Law of Karma—or the Law of Cause and Effect—is binding and accurate through the entire System of planetary lives and on all levels. It is the Law of Forms. This Law is particularly evident in Masonry, and is illustrated or demonstrated at every turn of the ritualistic experience during the ceremonial dramatic enactments in each Degree. It begins with the first knock upon the I.D.; the candidate for light is immediately taught that if he rightly knocks then, and only then, the door (symbolic of a phase of conscious realisation) will open. Subsequently, the edicts of this basic Law are continually reinforced through the entire system of Workings. They continually instruct the candidate that if he does this then that will happen; and thus the way of progress upon the lighted way is symbolised as a series of interdependent effects of causes. Under this Law, motive underlies all judiciary verdicts until purpose supervenes.
Spiritually speaking, a law, from the angle of nature itself, can be regarded as the divine intent that works itself out in much the same way that the basic life intention of any human being registers itself in the brain consciousness. This intent constitutes the motivating power of every bodily act, and upon this basic life intention will be the colouring of all major activities and the quality and motive of the character. This is equally true for man with regard to the qualities of the energies and forces directed from his basic life intention, and for the Grand Master of the Lodge on High, Whose body of expression may be that of a planetary Scheme or solar System.
A Law embodies the energy of a life. Macrocosmically speaking, a law carries into manifestation the divine intent embodying the essential purpose of T.M.H.; it is implemented by the energy of the divine Will. It impacts human consciousness and eventually—through reciprocity and synchronicity of vibratory response—brings all life expression into line with that divine Will and Intent.
The Laws of the Universe are to be understood simply as the modes of expression, the life impulses and the way of existence or activity of the “One in Whom we live and move and have our being.” There is no avoiding these laws in the last analysis, and there is no point in denying them, for we are eternally swept into activity by them and they govern and control (from the angle of the Eternal Now) all that happens in time and space.
A law is an expression or manifestation of force, applied under the power of thought by a thinker or group of thinkers.
The key for Masons to grasp in the right speculative understanding of law, (particularly divine Law), as it is expressed through operative Masonry, lies in the right understanding of the word cooperation. It is incumbent upon all brethren to understand the distinction between laws and rules. Laws are to be cooperated with and have a group significance and implication; rules are to be applied to oneself in the effort of self-discipline in order to cooperate with laws, and therefore group purposes.
In order to clarify the cyclic impacts of the divine Life, an Avatar appears from time to time and focuses or anchors a dynamic truth within His Being, or a potent thoughtform or vortex of magnetic energy. This focal point acts increasingly as a transmitter of spiritual energy. It thus enables humanity to grasp or understand and express some divine idea (such as the Buddha pertaining to Wisdom or the Christ pertaining to Love), and this, in time, produces a civilisation founded upon such presented ideas with its accompanying culture, religion, politics, governments and educational processes. Thus, is history more truly made! In the final analysis, history is merely the record of humanity’s cyclic reactions to some inflowing divine energy (and not necessarily upon the views of whoever wrote it), to some inspired leader (many of whom are inscribed in the ledgers of history), or to some Avatar (such as the Buddha or the Christ) from Whom the impacts and effects of Their stupendous Lives sway hemispheres for thousands of years.