The Vibration of the Whole

As I’m sure you know, there have been a number of official statements, issued by various Orthodox jurisdictions, stating that Orthodoxy and Masonry are not compatible. I think we may, and must, treat these as authoritative, and non-negotiable.

Even so, I understand and respect your interest in finding a traditional Christian framework within which it is possible to be an esotericist. But as an Orthodox Christian myself, as well as an esotericist––as you have defined that term––I must tell you that I feel no need whatsoever for a “double membership” (your phrase) embracing some other initiatic society, whether Masonic or otherwise.

As you know, I’m a scholar of Western esoteric schools and teachings, and I also have some knowledge of spiritual traditions grounded in other religions, including Yoga, Zen, and Sufism. In my opinion, these traditions offer nothing that is not already available within the heart of Orthodoxy Christianity, which is to say within Hesychasm.

The problem with any and all forms of syncretism, especially at the level of ritual, is their neglect of the fact that a tradition’s doctrines, symbols, rites, and mysteries (sacraments) are woven of a single cloth; an invisible link and underlying resonance exist among them, and any alteration, or extrinsic addition, cannot but destroy the “vibration” of the whole. And this vibration is the key to a religion’s salvific power.

In my opinion, therefore, you have a decision: to be a Mason or to be an Orthodox Christian. For many reasons, the latter is the far superior choice. It is not for nothing that Schuon regarded Christianity as an eso-exoteric tradition––that is, a religion in which the esotericism is itself an explicit part of the whole––nor that he believed Orthodoxy to be the most complete and purest form of this faith.

2 Responses to “The Vibration of the Whole”

  1. Hermit says:

    Despite being Catholic I’ve been in contact with freemasons for a short period of time, and my advice is to avoid them. As Guénon wrote, the symbols are all there together with their traditional meaning intact, but masonry itself is completely untraditional: it’s only a virtual initiation.

    Here in Italy I know a very small group of freemasons who were inspired by Guénon’s writings and try to support a traditional freemasonry, but they are just few individuals. What you are most likely to find are modernists, pantheists, and sometimes weird occultists, and more often than not people who believe in modern progress and follow subverted anti-traditional parodies of the traditional principles that were part of true freemasonry in the past.

    In the best case scenario, it’s just a waste of time.

  2. Hernan says:

    You write that “Yoga, Zen, and Sufism offer nothing that is not already available within the heart of Orthodoxy Christianity, which is to say within Hesychasm”. But I think it is important to clarify what possibilities exist in the West for the effective practice of Hesychasm. According to Seraphim Rose, there are no authentic startsi today, and this, if true, is obviously a serious impediment to the practice of Hesychasm. In Argentina, where I live, I have found no references to Hesychasm in any of the Greek, Russian, Serbian, or Antiochian Orthodox communities.

Leave a Reply