“The Art and Science of Initiation” by Jedediah French is available for sale on Lewis Masonic.
Freemasonry is the largest and most public of the philosophical fraternal orders, and at its heart lies the process of initiation for instructing new members. What exactly is the process of initiation? How did it originate? What changes does it seek to bring about in the candidate? How does it work? More importantly, why is it so integral to Freemasonry?
Through essays written by Freemasons, scholars of history, and mainstream authors and practitioners, The Art and Science of Initiation illuminates the theory and practice of various mystical/philosophical traditions and their processes of initiation. This book takes the reader into the heart of the initiatic experience. The method by which to enter into communion with spiritual worlds and reach higher levels of consciousness and soul maturationi.e., initiationremains as relevant for us today as it was for the people of antiquity. The Art and Science of Initiation brings together thirteen all-new essays from some of the biggest established and upcoming authors of Freemasonry, spirituality, and esotericism, featuring work by Angel Millar, Joscelyn Godwin, Mark Booth, Richard Smoley, Donald Tyson, Susanna Åkerman, Herbie Brennan, Richard Kaczynski, C.R. Dunning, Jr., Greg Kaminsky, Jeffrey S. Kupperman, Adam Kendall, and Timothy Scott.
Here’s an excerpt from Chuck’s chapter of the book:
“Every Mason spends some amount of time in contemplation of the tradition’s tenets and customs. At the very least, one does so because the ritual itself is designed to focus attention on its symbolic words, actions, and images. In the process, the ritual explains how these things serve as allegories for social and moral development and urges participants to continue seeking insight and understanding. Even outside of ritual, a Mason naturally slips into contemplation during any pause to think about the meaning of the symbols.
“Our present concern is not about bringing something new into Masonic experience but rather about intentionally and comprehensively practicing contemplation to make the most of Masonic initiation.”