The Meaning of Masonry

by W. L. Wilmshurst

Paper Book, 1995




Gramercy (1995), Edition: New edition, 224 pages


Discusses the various orders of Masons, the relationship between Freemasonry and ancient mystery cults, and the rituals, traditions, symbolism, philosophy, historical origins, and spiritual and intellectual doctrines of the Masonic Order.

Original publication date

1927-03 (facimile copy 5th ed.)



0517331942 / 9780517331941

Local notes

Given by Br. Jeff Troccoli, 2018


½ (38 ratings; 3.9)

Media reviews
Valter Lesli Vilmšurst rođen je 22. juna 1867. godine u Hadersfildu, u Engleskoj, gde je proveo i ceo svoj vek, radeći kao pravni zastupnik. U masoneriju je iniciran 11.decembra 1889.godine. Napisao je i objavio brojna dela, prevashodno za potrebe članova masonskog bratstva u Engleskoj, među
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kojima su: Slobodno zidarstvo i religija, Slobodnozidarska inicijacija, Slobodno zidarstvo kao filozofija, Skrivena crkva Svetog Grala, Reinkarnacija u svetlu hrišćanstva, Vrhovni duhovni spis Indije (Bhagavat Gita) i njen odnos sa današnjicom itd. Preminuo je 22. jula 1939. godine. Stekao je najviše masonske titule. Njegove knjige spadaju u najčitanija dela masonske literature.
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User reviews

LibraryThing member TheoClarke
A collection of erudite insightful essays about Masonic philosophy in which the author argues that Freemasonry is a revival of the ancient Mystery Schools: a way to spiritual enlightenment that has been obscured by the charitable and social aspects of the Craft. He postlates that Masonic rituals
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are mere symbolic recreations of the real physical and mental challenges overcome by ancient seekers of philosophical truths.

From his mystical understanding, Wilmshurst believed that secular modern society had robbed modern Masons of an appreciation of the gnostic value of the three degree rituals. With many applicants lacking this spiritual insight,. Wilmhurst wanted the fraternity to rediscover its mystic origins.

As a non-Mason, it is difficult for me to appreciate the subtleties of some of the author's points but there is a great wisdom underpinning his analysis, which is compelling even for the mundane. I imagine that my appreciation of the book would be greatly blunted did I not share some of his knowledge of the Mystic traditions. I cannot therefore recommend the book to anyone who does not have access to such information and a knowledge of the texts of the Masonic rituals. Nor will it appeal to those who see Christianity as an overt faith or, indeed, at the other extreme, anyone uncomfortable with Christian faith. This is an exploration of Masonic ritual as a Christian Mystery.
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LibraryThing member chellinsky
Wilmshurst's Meaning of Masonry provides deeper insight into the meaning of Freemasonry's degrees. He fits his understanding of the degrees offered in modern Freemasonry into the context of what ancient mystery religions revealed. It is one of those dense books that will provide new insights every
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time it is read. If you are looking for a deeper discussion of what Freemasonry means, is designed to instill in its members, and its historical context, this is a great book to read.
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