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Albert Pike's quotes

by Bro. Trevor McKeown

His standing as a Masonic author and historian, and withal as a poet, was most distinguished, and his untiring zeal was without a parallel.
---Mackey, Albert G.."Encyclopedia of Freemasonry". Revised by Robert I Clegg. Richmond, Virginia: Macoy Publishing, 1966, p. 774.

For, contrary to the impression Masons have had, Pike's time, thought, and writing were not absorbed by the Fraternity.
--Haywood, H.L.. "Supplement to Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry". Richmond, Virginia: Macoy Publishing, 1966, p. 1334.

I am...neither Democrat nor Republican. Above all...I am a Mason....I have written for an Order, that extends over the world. In its Rituals, Lectures and various offices, I have endeavored to `stir up' the Brethren now living `and those that may follow us, to an earnest endeavor of noble actions' and the practice of morality and virtue, the faithful performance of life's duties, the faithful observance every where, in the market and the forum, at home and among men, of the laws of Truth,
Justice, Right and Toleration. --Albert Pike

Pike's influence on contemporary Freemasonry is the topic of some debate both within and outside the Craft. His "Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry" has often been quoted, misquoted and taken out of context by anti-masons and misled non-masons. Pike's extensive references to the symbolism, practices and beliefs of religious schools through history and around the world can, unfortunately, lead the careless reader into a mistaken idea of what constitutes Freemasonry. He is not always consistent in his use of some terms and he is, of course, a product of his time and place in history. Pike cannot act as representative of Freemasonry but this text is a valid and valuable introduction to the symbolic values that history placed on the metaphors and allegories of Masonic teachings.

The following quotes do not include any of his more obscure and esoteric references. They will, though, show that Pike did not view Freemasonry as a religion, luciferian or otherwise. He also does not set himself up as an authority as will be shown by the first quote.

Pike, Albert. "Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry" prepared for the Supreme Council of the Thirty Third Degree for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States: Charleston, 1871. (861 pages) page numbers noted in brackets.

The teachings of these Readings are not sacramental, so far as they go beyond the realm of Morality into those of other domains of Thought and Truth. Every one is entirely free to reject and dissent from whatsoever herein may seem to him to be untrue or unsound. Of course, the ancient theosophic and philosophic speculations are not embodied as part of the doctrines of the Rite. (p.iv)

The obligation of the candidate is always to be taken on the sacred book or books of his religion, that he may deem it more solemn and binding; and therefore it was that you were asked of what religion you were. We have no other concern with your religious creed. (p. 11)

Truths are the springs from which duty flows; and it is but a few hundred years since a new Truth began to be distinctly seen; that man is supreme over institutions, and not they over him. (p. 23)

The rule may be regarded as universal, that, where there is a choice to be made, a Mason will give his vote and influence, in politics and business, to the less qualified profane in preference to the better qualified Mason. (p. 36)

It means this, -- that all truths are Truths of Period and not truths for eternity; that whatever great fact has had strength and vitality enough to make itself real, whether of religion, morals, government, or of whatever else, and to find place in this world, has been a truth for the time, and as good as men were capable of receiving. (p. 37)

Always, also, it remains true, that it is more noble to forgive than to take revenge; and that, in general, we ought too much to despise those who wrong us, to feel the emotion of anger, or to desire revenge. (p. 76)

The true name for Satan, the Kabalists say, is that of Yahveh reversed; for Satan is not a black god, but the negation of God. The Devil is the personification of Atheism or Idolatry. For the Initiates, this is not a Person, but a Force, created for good but which may serve for evil. It is the instrument of Liberty or Free Will. (p. 102)

There is no sight under the sun more pitiful and ludicrous at once, than the spectacle of the Prestons and the Webbs, not to mention the later incarnations of Dullness and Commonplace, undertaking to explain the old symbols of Masonry, and adding to and improving them, or inventing new ones. (p. 105)

Learn, that you may be enabled to do good; and do so because it is right, finding in the act itself ample reward and recompense. (p. 109)

A Freemason, therefore, should be a man of honor and of conscience, preferring his duty to everything beside, even to his life; independent in his opinions, and of good morals, submissive to the laws, devoted to humanity, to his country, to his family; kind and indulgent to his brethren, friend of all virtuous men, and ready to assist his fellows by all means in his power. (p. 113)

It is not the mission of Masonry to engage in plots and conspiracies against the civil government. It is not the fanatical propagandist of any creed or theory; nor does it proclaim itself the enemy of kings. It is the apostle of liberty, equality, and fraternity; but it is no more the high-priest of republicanism than of constitutional monarchy. (p. 153)

Masonry teaches that all power is delegated for the good, and not for the injury of the People; and that, when it is perverted from the original purpose, the compact is broken, and the right ought to be resumed; that resistance to power usurped is not merely a duty which man owes to himself and to his neighbor, but a duty which he owes to his God, in asserting and maintaining the rank which He gave him in the creation. (P. 155)

Masonry is not a religion. He who makes of it a religious belief, falsifies and denaturalizes it. (p. 161)

No man, it holds, has any right in any way to interfere with the religious belief of another. To that great Judge, Masonry refers the matter; and opening wide its portals, it invites to enter there and live in peace and harmony, the Protestant, the Catholic, the Jew, the Moslem; every man who will lead a truly virtuous and moral life, love his brethren, minister to the sick and distressed, and believe in the One, All-Powerful, All-Wise, everywhere-Present God, Architect, Creator and Preserver of all things.... (p. 167)

The great distinguishing characteristic of a Mason is a sympathy with his kind, He recognizes in the human race one great family, all connected with himself by those invisible links, and that mighty network of circumstance, forged and woven by God. (p. 176)

Masonry will do all in its power, by direct exertion and co-operation, to improve and inform as well as to protect the people; to better their physical condition, revive their miseries, supply their wants, and minister to their necessities. (p. 180)

Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion and its teachings are instructions in religion. For here are inculcated disinterestedness, affection, toleration, devotedness, patriotism, truth, a generous sympathy with those who suffer and mourn, pity for the fallen, mercy for the erring, relief for those in want, Faith, Hope, and Charity. (p. 213)

The practical object of Masonry is the physical and moral amelioration and the intellectual and spiritual improvement of individuals and society. (p. 218)

Masonry represents the Good Principle and constantly wars against the evil one,... at everlasting and deadly feud with the demons of ignorance, brutality, baseness, falsehood, slavishness of soul, intolerance, superstition, tyranny, meanness, the insolence of wealth, and bigotry. (p. 221)

We no longer expect to rebuild the Temple at Jerusalem. To us it has become but a symbol. To us the whole world is GodŐs Temple, as is every upright heart. (p. 241)

Paul, in the 4th chapter of his Epistle to the Galatians, speaking of the simplest facts of the Old Testament, asserts that they are an allegory. In the 3rd chapter of the second letter to the Corinthians, he declares himself a minister of the New Testament, appointed by God; "Not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter killith." Origen and St. Gregory held that the Gospels were not to be taken in their literal sense; and Athanasius admonishes us that "Should we understand sacred writ according to the letter, we should fall into the most enormous blasphemies." (p. 266)

That God is One, immutable, unchangeable, infinitely just and good; that Light will finally overcome Darkness, -- Good conquer Evil, and Truth be victor over Error; -- these, rejecting all the wild and useless speculations of the Zend-Avesta, the Kabalah, the Gnostics. and the Schools, are the religion and Philosophy of Masonry. (p. 275)

No one Mason has the right to measure for another, within the walls of a Masonic Temple, the degree of veneration which he shall feel for any Reformer or the Founder of any Religion. We teach a belief in no particular creed, as we teach unbelief in none. (p. 308)

The true Mason labors for the benefit of those who are to come after him, and for the advancement and improvement of his race.

We teach the truth of none of the legends we recite. They are to us but parables and allegories, involving and enveloping Masonic instruction; and vehicles of useful and interesting information. (p. 329)

We do not undervalue the importance of any Truth. We utter no word that can be deemed irreverent by any of any faith. Masonry, of no one age, belongs to all time; of no one religion, it finds its great truths in all. (p. 524)

Thus Masonry disbelieves no truth, and teaches unbelief in no creed, except so far as such creed may lower its lofty estimate of the Diety, degrade Him to the level of the passions of humanity, deny the high destiny of man, impugn the goodness and benevolence of the Supreme God, strike at those great columns of Masonry, Faith, Hope, and Charity, or inculcate immorality, and disregard of the active duties of the Order. (p. 525)

There is no pretense to infallibility in Masonry. It is not for us to dictate to any man what he shall believe. (p. 642)

Masonry propagates no creed except its own most simple and Sublime One; that universal religion, taught by Nature and by Reason. It reiterates the precepts of morality of all religions. It venerates the character and commends the teachings of the great and good of all ages and of all countries. It extracts the good and not the evil, the truth, and not the error, from all creeds; and acknowledges that there is much that is good and true in all. (p. 718)

We must do justice to all, and demand it of all; it is a universal human debt, a universal human claim. (p. 833)

And this Equilibrium teaches us, above all, to reverence ourselves as immortal souls, and to have respect and charity for others, who are even such as we are, partakers with us of the Divine Nature, lighted by a ray of the Divine Intelligence, struggling, like us, toward the light; capable, like us, of progress upward toward toward perfection, and deserving to be loved and pitied, but never to be hated or despised; to be aided and encouraged in this life-struggle, and not to be abandoned nor left to wander in the darkness alone, still less to be trampled upon in our efforts to ascend. (p. 861)

The above quotes have been gleaned from Albert Pike's. "Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry" by Bro. Trevor McKeown, S.W of Centennial-King George Lodge No. 171, B.C.R.

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