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V. Organisations


Krishnamurti is at least consistent in one respect – his general and trenchant condemnation of organisations for the dissemination of doctrines, of societies, orders, ceremonials.

The sweeping nature of this condemnation of all organisations for the spreading of spiritual ideas and spiritual life cannot, in my opinion, be justified. The Solar System itself is such an organisation. The Solar Logos must be regarded both as a great Organiser and as a great Ceremonialist.

Just as a wireless receiving set is essential for the receipt of broadcasts or a brain to receive thought, so are world religions essential to the general physical receipt and dissemination of spiritual teachings. Granted, any individual sufficiently advanced, can receive these teachings direct, can, in fact, discover them for himself. The masses, however, cannot as yet do so; hence the need for their guidance of organised methods of teaching. Krishnamurti is himself the centre and the light of an organisation which collects and publishes his authentic teachings concerning self-illumination and the "pathless Reality."

The fact that the organisation itself – or rather its human constituents – tends to become more important than the revealed truths, to be used for the benefit of its officers rather than for humanity, and eventually crystallises the truths and changes them until they are almost unrecognisable – all these evidences of human limitation and error do not do away with the value of such vehicles in the beginning.

Every movement which comes into existence as a vehicle for truth in any aspect does some


good, leads some souls to light, serves as a starting place from which some minds set forth on the great search. If only one mind receives illumination the organisation has been worthwhile. For the true illumination of a single mind is of incalculable value to the whole of humanity.

In this chapter I propose to examine and discuss in detail Krishnamurti's condemnation of organisations. I have chosen Freemasonry as my subject, looking carefully into it in the light of such condemnation. First let us examine the setting of modern Freemasonry, which is chiefly the Western World. The picture which the modern world presents is not one which encourages optimism. Human life is lived to-day under conditions of the greatest financial uncertainty, of grave national danger and, therefore, of perpetual fear. The great nations are divided into armed camps and appear to some thinkers to be rushing headlong to their self-created doom. One of the most depressing phenomena of our days is the abject failure either of orthodox religion or of any spirit of idealism to influence world affairs.

What is the solution of the great problem presented by international hatred, fear and greed, and the ever-growing and already colossal armaments which national selfishness and national fear have produced?

Is there a guiding principle, an Ariadne's thread, which can lead individuals and nations out of the maze in which humanity appears to be lost into the freedom and happiness which at heart all men are seeking?

Yes, I personally believe that there is. The modern Ariadne's thread consists of certain age-old, unchanging, basic truths, ignorance and


neglect of which are the cause of all sorrow. Recognition of them is the cure and the sole cure of all human ills.

What are these truths?They are five in number.

First: the fact that in his real Self man is a spiritual being. His body is a temple in which he is incarnate. The body is not the man himself; it is but a garment of flesh which he dons at birth.

Second: the purpose of human life is spiritual unfoldment and this is gradually being achieved as a result of life's experiences.

Third: this unfoldment is made possible by two great natural laws: One is that of re-birth by means of which infinite time and opportunity are available to the ever-living soul. The other law is that of cause and effect, or karma, which, by its operation, is the perpetually active teacher of man. Good deeds bring happiness. Evil deeds bring pain. The inner Self of man, ever aware of this process, constantly linking cause and effect, grows in power, wisdom and knowledge as a result of life's experiences.

Fourth: The great truth of the oneness of life, which in humanity manifests as the unity and solidarity of the human race – the fact of the Brotherhood of Man. This is perhaps the greatest contribution made by Freemasonry to the solution of the present world problems. For Freemasonry aims at the federation of the world into one great universal brotherhood.

Fifth of the basic truths, despite its denial by Krishnamurti, is the sublime purpose of the whole process of creation. This is evolution, and for man its goal is to become "perfect as your father which is in Heaven is perfect." In Masonic terms, the apprentice in life's great workshop is trained


as a craftsman, and later becomes a master of men. Eventually, he becomes a Master-Builder – a conscious co-worker with the Great Architect of the Universe.

Such are the precious truths of life which, though grievously neglected and ignored, are to be found in two places. One is the realm of world religions and world philosophies, the other is that splendid synthesis of both which is Ancient Freemasonry.

What is the convinced and enthusiastic Freemason to say, therefore, when Krishnamurti informs him that it is absolutely impossible for him to acquire true discernment as long as he associates himself with societies or ceremonials?

Is it possible that if Krishnamurti really knew anything about the great realities behind Freemasonry, he would include it in his sweeping condemnations?

At the risk of apparent digression, let us examine this question:

What is Freemasonry? It is at least twofold. It is first: A unique and remarkable method of studying and presenting the above mentioned truths concerning life, death and the "perfection" of the soul of man.

These truths themselves are not unique; they are, indeed, universal. The method of teaching and portraying them in Freemasonry is, however, entirely unique – is, indeed, most remarkable.

Naturally, since Freemasonry is a secret Order, I can do no more than hint that the method consists, in part, of the performance of extremely beautiful and powerful rituals, almost every word and certainly every act of which are pregnant with profound significance and full of power.

True, this significance is largely lost to the


modern Mason. The Co-Masonic Order, however, which admits women to the secrets and rites of Freemasonry, is regarded by many of its members as being especially concerned with the re-discovery of the inner significance and hidden meanings of the ancient rites, symbols and words, and their re-delivery to a world so sorely in need of them.

In its second aspect, Freemasonry, as we shall see later, is a scientific method of spiritual, cultural, and physical self-training. In both of these aspects the influence of Freemasonry extends far beyond the walls of the Masonic Temple. It affects every aspect of human conduct, leads its brethren to the truly Masonic life, inculcates the development of every moral and civic virtue. For the Masonic life consists of putting into practice in thought and word and deed the grand truths for which Freemasonry stands and upon which from remotest ages it has been founded.

The Craft is indeed a great training ground. Let us look at this aspect of Masonic work. It is of extraordinary interest, for Masonic training is quite unlike and distinct from that to be gained by any other means. In addition to the perfect enactment of ceremonial by voice, gesture and movement, the Mason is called upon to convey through his work both sublime truths and spiritual forces. He gradually learns the art of using the voice effectively. He also acquires great control of the body, develops a certain power and dignity of person, trains and enlarges his mental capacity, gradually attaining mastery of the great powers of the mind. For mental development can be greatly quickened in Freemasonry, especially in Lodges devoted to mindtraining, study and research.


This reference to research brings me to a personal opinion concerning the peculiar significance of Freemasonry and particularly of Co-Freemasonry at this time. Very soon after becoming a Mason – a very great privilege – it becomes evident to the new initiate that the Order has its own unique contribution to make to the advance of modern science, so closely do the two human activities resemble each other.

Modern science is now penetrating through the illusory appearance of the solidity of matter. Scientific investigation has led the modern physicist to the concept accepted by some scientists of a Directive Mind or Universal Intelligence. Many great scientists of our day have affirmed their belief in the existence of the Major Mind and of an evolutionary purpose behind the slow development of the forms and beings of Nature. Sir James Jeans, in his book, "The Mysterious Universe," says that to him the Universe looks less like a great machine than a great thought, the Thinker behind having a mathematical mind. In summing up his findings, he goes back to the immortal phrase of Plato: "God geometrises." I betray no secrets when I say that this is pure Masonry; for Masonic Science leads its adherents along precisely the same road, teaches them by means of physical sounds, symbols and signs to discover, to tap and release the hidden forces within themselves and within Nature. By contact and co-operation with the Intelligences associated with the great streams of natural energy and by the ritual employment of the will, advanced Masons are able in full consciousness to evoke and release upon the world potent and beneficent spiritual powers. The Mason, if he chooses, can become highly proficient in the science of the spirit.


Profound anatomical, physiological and psychological truths chiefly concerning man, physical and super-physical, are contained within the Masonic Temple, its appointments, officiants, ceremonials and instructions. The human body itself, with its indwelling spiritual ego, is known as a temple, a microcosm, reproducing in miniature the Macrocosmic Temple of the Universe with its material sun and planets and its indwelling Logos or Creative Word.

This, in my opinion, is one of the great secrets of Freemasonry. I am, however, guilty of no betrayal, since the self-same teaching is to be found in the most ancient philosophical literature, much of it written by Initiates of those mystery-temples of ancient civilisations of which modern Freemasonry is the direct descendant.

Freemasonry in its scientific and theurgic aspect may, therefore, be regarded as a bridge between the splendid, though inevitably blind, researches of material science on the one hand, and on the other, discovery and practical application of the great Truths discovered by occult research and revealed in part through religion and philosophy. The building of this bridge is all-important at this critical epoch in world affairs. For to-day moral evolution and ethical and social wisdom lag far behind scientific progress. Everywhere is being recognised the great danger arising from the fact that man is ethically unprepared for so great a bounty of power as the modern chemist and physicist is placing in his hands. Morally and spiritually unawakened, man to-day tends to turn every new scientific discovery to destructive purposes. As a result, we live from day to day under the dread menace of a cataclysmic war, which, if it breaks out, will destroy modern civilisation.


Freemasonry stands for world brotherhood, inculcates the highest private and public morality. It must, therefore, be one of the great bulwarks against the forces of evil and destruction which threaten the modern world. All who join the Order and work for its great ideals become workers in the cause of human progress, human happiness and world peace.

I am aware that whilst interest in ceremonial, both private as in Masonry and public as in religion, pageantry and military displays, is on the increase, there are large numbers of people who instinctively dislike ritual, especially in association with the approach of man to God. Apparently Krishnamurti is one of them.

I sympathise with and believe that I understand this natural dislike of ritual which some people experience. I realise that for certain temperaments approach to the great spiritual realities is best made in silence. I agree with those who think that the Psalmist did not so much utter an injunction as propound a law in his words: "Be still, and know that I am God."

Nevertheless, it must be remembered that even such an approach, to be successful, demands a certain mental mechanism and certain physical conditions – is, in fact, governed by certain laws. These laws would also appear to govern the response from Divinity to the aspiring soul of man. Thus the whole process of prayer is in essence a science. It is, indeed, the greatest and most ancient of all sciences, the science of the soul of man.

Freemasonry, I here affirm – though the majority of masculine Masons would probably demur – is a branch of that ancient science. For Freemasonry is one of the means whereby the


soul is trained to unfold and use its mental and intuitional wings, to make the great flight "from the alone, to the Alone."

The wise man does not, therefore, turn away from or condemn the ritual method of approach to God. If he is truly wise he will recognise that both the Solar System and his own body are temples of an indwelling God. He will see in the creation and ordered evolutionary progression of the Universe a solemn ritual, and in all life the performance of a great ceremonial. When he realises that the great creative rituals of Freemasonry are founded upon the basic principles which govern the creation of a Universe, are, indeed, re-enactments by man of the Divine drama of creation, then he no longer turns away too hastily either from the ceremonial road to communion with the Great Architect of the Universe, whether as Being or Principle, or from the ceremonial method of serving "Him."

In the light of these concepts of Freemasonry, all Masons are seen as master-builders in the making – co-workers with the Great Architect of the Universe. One day, by virtue of the training and spiritual quickening received in Freemasonry, they will become master-builders – an attainment which is symbolically referred to and actually mentioned in certain Masonic Rites. Indeed, in one degree the Mason is referred to as having symbolically attained perfection.

At this point it is necessary for me to stress the fact that there is no obligation placed upon any Freemason to accept this mystical concept of the Craft. Even without it the Order remains one of the greatest, if not the greatest, of all earthly institutions; for is it not founded upon the sublime ideals of brotherly love, relief and


truth, which imply both a recognition of the Brotherhood of Life and the Masonic ideal of brotherly love and brotherly service to all men, especially to those in need?

Not only is a great field of charitable ministration opened up to every Mason, but in addition, the artist in every man is evoked and developed by the stately beauty of Masonic ceremonial. Similarly, the scientist in man responds to the order and exactitude of all Masonic labours and of the truly Masonic life.

Thus, seeing how wide is the appeal and how great the opportunity offered by membership in the Freemasonic Order, I personally cannot assent to Krishnamurti's condemnations.

I am, of course, not blind to the fact that there are abuses of Masonic position and misuses of Masonic office and method. Man at this stage of his evolution is prone to error. Human weakness and blindness are to be found in the Masonic Order as everywhere else. If it were not so, there would be no need for religious and moral instruction of any kind; everyone would be completely enlightened; Krishnamurti's mission itself would have no point. A sweeping condemnation on this account must proceed either from a narrow intolerance or a profound ignorance of the subject.

Is it possible for a great reformer such as Krishnamurti to display tolerance? May it not be necessary for him to be so one-pointed in the inculcation and practice of the particular aspect of truth and particular method of self-illumination which he promulgates, that he denies the existence and validity of every other aspect and every other method?

Perhaps so. But the ordinary individual who has to take life as he finds it, who is constantly


faced with innumerable practical problems, physical, emotional and intellectual – such a person is surely to be both understood and encouraged if he accepts help and guidance from every available source. His inner light, his inner strength and his courage may be best evoked by the sacraments and rituals of a church, by the ceremonials and ideals of the Freemasonic Order or by a life of service to the world. Yet Krishnamurti would appear to condemn, lock, stock and barrel, such an individual, the movements which assist him and the mode of life to which they have led him.

Nevertheless, a man can only use such intelligence as he has at the moment developed. For myself, I prefer carefully to examine the various aids available to the human being in the confusion and stress of life as it is lived to-day. Even if I find faults in all of them, I would not destroy one single one of them which has brought light and strength and courage if only to one human being. I cannot believe that there is only one way to that light – Krishnamurti's way.

I prefer to found my life and thought upon the statement attributed to the Lord Shri Krishna: "Mankind comes to Me along many roads, and upon whatsoever road a man approacheth Me, on that road do I welcome him; for all roads are Mine." *

Lastly, if it is urged that ceremonials and orders are not essential to the fulfilment of life, I reply: "No intelligent person ever said they were."

* Bhagavad Gita.







Copyright © 2001 - G.W. Schüller