|The Meaning of Masonry. W.L. Wilmshurst. Masonic Symbolism and Philosophy|
The new Masonic year is right around the corner and I'm trying to put myself in a proper mindset. I figured I'd revisit one of the Classics. "The Meaning of Masonry" by W.L. Wilmshurst was one of the first books I acquired after being initiated. I wouldn't say that it's my all-time favorite Masonic book, but it's probably in the Top Ten.
The papers here collected are written solely for members of the Masonic Order, constituted under the United Grand Lodge of England. To all such they are offered in the best spirit of fraternity and goodwill and with the wish to render to the Order some small return for the profit the author has received from his association with it extending over thirty-two years. They have been written with a view to promoting the deeper understanding of the meaning of Masonry; to providing the explanation of it that one constantly hears called for and that becomes all the more necessary in view of the unprecedented increase of interest in, and membership of, the Order at the present day.
W. L. Wilmshurst's powerful vision of the rites and rituals of Freemasonry as a spiritual philosophy begins with this book. Here, Masonry is presented as "a sacramental system," represented not only by the ceremonies as experienced in the initiations, but also by an internal and mystical side, hidden behind the visible symbolism, "available only to the Mason who has learned to use his spiritual imagination and who can appreciate the reality that lies behind the veil."