Esoterika: The Symbolism of the Blue Degrees of Freemasonry by Albert Pike
Esoterika is a book by Albert Pike, one of the most influential and controversial figures in the history of Freemasonry. It was published posthumously in 2008 by the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite, based on Pike's manuscripts and notes. The book explores the symbolism and meaning of the first three degrees of Freemasonry, also known as the Blue Degrees or the Craft Degrees. These degrees are Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason.
Pike was a 19th-century American lawyer, soldier, poet, and Masonic scholar who wrote extensively on various aspects of Freemasonry, including its history, philosophy, rituals, and degrees. He is best known for his magnum opus, Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, which was first published in 1871 and revised several times until his death in 1891. Morals and Dogma is a collection of lectures on the 33 degrees of the Scottish Rite, a branch of Freemasonry that originated in France and spread to other countries, including the United States.
Esoterika is considered to be Pike's last work on Freemasonry, and one that he intended to publish but never did. It was discovered by Arturo de Hoyos, a Masonic historian and Grand Archivist of the Supreme Council, among Pike's papers in the House of the Temple in Washington, D.C. De Hoyos edited and annotated the book, adding references, illustrations, and appendices to clarify and supplement Pike's text. He also wrote an introduction that provides biographical information on Pike and an overview of his Masonic writings.
The book is divided into three parts, corresponding to the three Blue Degrees. Each part consists of several chapters that explain the symbols, allegories, ceremonies, and teachings of each degree. Pike draws on various sources, such as ancient myths, religions, philosophies, sciences, arts, and languages, to illustrate his interpretations. He also compares and contrasts the rituals and symbols of different Masonic jurisdictions and traditions, such as the York Rite, the Scottish Rite, the French Rite, and the Egyptian Rite. He reveals some of the hidden meanings and secrets of Freemasonry that are not usually disclosed to initiates or outsiders.
Esoterika is a valuable resource for anyone who is interested in learning more about the symbolism and esotericism of Freemasonry. It is also a testament to Pike's erudition and passion for Masonic knowledge. The book offers a glimpse into the mind of one of the most influential and controversial Masons of all time.
One of the main themes that Pike explores in Esoterika is the relationship between Freemasonry and religion. He argues that Freemasonry is not a religion, but a system of morality and ethics that is compatible with any religion. He also claims that Freemasonry is based on the ancient wisdom and teachings of the original religion that existed before the division of mankind into different races, languages, and creeds. He traces the origin of Freemasonry to the ancient mysteries and initiations that were practiced in Egypt, India, Persia, Greece, Rome, and other civilizations.
Pike also discusses the role and purpose of Freemasonry in the modern world. He believes that Freemasonry is a force for good and progress, and that it aims to improve the individual and society. He emphasizes the importance of education, enlightenment, tolerance, charity, and brotherhood among Masons and all human beings. He also warns against the dangers of ignorance, superstition, fanaticism, tyranny, and corruption that threaten the freedom and happiness of mankind. He urges Masons to be loyal to their country, their order, and their principles.
Esoterika is not only a book about Freemasonry, but also a book about Pike himself. It reflects his personal views and opinions on various topics, such as history, politics, science, literature, art, and culture. It also reveals his struggles and challenges as a Mason and as a human being. He admits his mistakes and shortcomings, and expresses his hopes and fears. He also shares his joys and sorrows, his loves and losses. He writes with honesty and sincerity, as well as with eloquence and wit. 0efd9a6b88