In the quote below, 33rd Degree Freemason and Gnostic philosopher, Manly P. Hall talks about the rank and file of present-masonic symbolsday Masons who strenuously oppose any effort put forth to interpret Masonic symbols in the light of philosophy. He also states that Masonry is a religious and philosophic body.
These simple facts are only known by the wise Masonic philosophers who have taken the time to study the true history and symbols of the craft.
The word philosophy simply means the lover of wisdom. So essentially what Hall is saying is that most Masons oppose wisdom in the interpretation of the Craft’s symbols, and many of their teachings. They instead choose ignorance and intellectual apathy over the wise truth.
These words by Hall were written well over 50 years ago, and they still ring true today. As it has been said by a wise philosopher, “there is nothing new under the sun…”
Manly P. Hall had said, “An obstacle well-nigh insurmountable is to convince the Mason himself that the secrets of his Craft are worthy of his profound consideration. As St. Paul, so we are told, kicked against the “pricks” of conversion, so the rank and file of present-day Masons strenuously oppose any effort put forth to interpret Masonic symbols in the light of philosophy.
They are seemingly obsessed by the fear that from their ritualism may be extracted a meaning more profound than is actually contained therein. For years it has been a mooted question whether Freemasonry is actually a religious organization.
“Masonry,” writes Pike, however, in the Legend for the Nineteenth Degree, “has and always had a religious creed. It teaches what it deems to be the truth in respect to the nature and attributes of God.”
The more studiously-minded Mason regards the Craft as an aggregation of thinkers concerned with the deeper mysteries of life. The all-too-prominent younger members of the Fraternity, however, if not openly skeptical, are at least indifferent to these weightier issues.
The champions of philosophic Masonry, alas, are a weak, small voice which grows weaker and smaller as time goes by. In fact, there are actual blocs among the Brethren who would divorce Masonry from both philosophy and religion at any and all cost. If, however, we search the writings of eminent Masons ,we find a unanimity of viewpoint: namely, that Masonry is a religious and philosophic body.
Every effort initiated to elevate Masonic thought to its true position has thus invariably emphasized the metaphysical and ethical aspects of the Craft.”