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