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Hysteria In Freemasonry


                                               Wm. F. Kuhn. PGHP (Missouri)
                                   T  e Builder Magazine, April 1915 Volume I – Number 4

             T  ere is a certain mental condition, as set forth  profound system of metaphysics, that only the Ancient
          frequently in our Masonic literature, especially in  wise men understood and could explain; a philosophy
          that great forum, the Masonic press, that gives strong  so obstruse that the average Mason, and, possible, a
          evidence of what may be termed Hysteria. It has not  Past Grand Master, is a mere babe and suckling in the
          attained to that solidarity that we can characterize it  comprehension of it. I once met a man in a lunatic
          as hysterical Freemasonry; it has such a spasmodic,  asylum, who came to me with crude geometrical
          fantastic and grotesque manifestation, that the term  f gures of a sphere, a cube, an equilateral triangle,
          hysteria in Freemasonry is more suggestive, and at  and a right angle triangle, drawn on the bottom of a
          the same time relieves the fraternity of the onus of the  paste board box. He explained to me that the three
          disease and places it on the individual.             sides of the equilateral triangle represented the
                                                               three great forces of Nature, namely, the upsideness,
             Freemasonry must not be held responsible for  the downsideness and the downupsideness or the
          it, either by heredity or by environment; it is purely  upsidedownness; as long as the upsideness and
          an exotic growth. Hysteria has been def ned  as,  downsideness maintain their proper relation and
          "Repressed Desire"; hence it is purely a mental state.  were greater in power than the third side represented
          We f nd hysteria in medicine, in religion, in law, in  by the downupsideness or the upsidedownness,
          Pedagogics, in philosophy, in fact it abounds in all  everything would be harmonious; but should these
          systems of thought. It should not, therefore, be thought  three great forces ever become projected, so as to
          strange that this mental quirk, this cerebration cut on  form a right angle triangle, so that the square of the
          the bias, should manifest itself in Freemasonry. T e  downsideupness or the upsidedownness becomes
          disease is not contagious in the accepted sense of the  equal to the sum of the squares of the upsideness
          word, but it is transmitted by mimicry. If a circus  and downsideness, then chaos and evil would reign,
          comes to town and the boys succeed in attending  and as the cube, representing the universe, consists
          it, the barns and woodsheds are f lled for months,  of many right angle triangles, there would be an
          thereaf er, by embryo rope walkers, contortionists  endless disturbance in the cosmogony of the world.
          and bare back riders. A transmission by imitation. It  I admired his vast learning and profundity, and I was
          is equally true in Freemasonry; let some one expound  mere suckling to his theme and theory. I advised him
          something that looks, tastes, smells and sounds  to write it out in full and that I would give him the
          profound, imitators will spring up from all quarters.  names of several Masonic papers which would be
          T  e more incomprehensible the seeming profundity,  more than delighted to publish it. T  is man had been
          the greater the number of gymnasts in the Masonic  judged insane, he was not a hysteric..
          barns and woodsheds.
                                                                  A Masonic hysteric is a man with a wild
             I have always believed that Freemasonry was a  imagination plus a symbol. T  e beauty about a
          very practical thing; a something that manifests  symbol, is its f exibility; you can see more things in it
          itself, chief y, in a man's life; that it is a life and not  and through it than were ever dreamed of by mortal
          a theory; practical living and doing, not dreaming  man, and no man can say to you, nay. It is said that a
          and philosophizing. T  at it was a beautiful, everyday,  Masonic hysteric one day saw some rabbit tracks in
          practical system of morality veiled in allegory, and  the snow and he immediately began to demonstrate
          illustrated by symbols; not veiled to confuse or hide,  the fact that the rabbit had a working knowledge of
          but to make plain; not buried in symbols to obscure,  the Omniscience, Omnipresence and Omnipitence of
          but to f x indelibly some plain, possibly homely, truth.  Diety, because the tracks were triangular in outline.
          I have believed that the allegory and the symbol
          in Freemasonry stood in the same relation to the        What I may have said may sound jestingly, but
          candidate that the parables of the "Great Teacher"    we need not go far to see the convulsions of these
          stood in relation to the multitudes who heard Him. T e   hysterics. I quote one from a leading Masonic
          allegory, the symbol and the parable are but dif erent   Journal; listen to its profoundity:--"Therefore
          modes of expression to make clear the thought. But    when we consider the profound truths, marvelous
          now comes the Masonic Philosopher and the Masonic     philosophy, and exact sciences upon which
          Symbologist with eyes in f ery frenzy rolling, actuated   Freemasonry is founded, and which bear the ear
          and inf uenced by this "Repressed desire" and says:   marks of centuries of scientific research, such as
          "It is all a mistake, Freemasonry is not such a simple   the careful observer must admit is contained in the
          thing, as everyday living and doing; no it is a sublime,   work, we must banish for all time the thought that
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