The Hiram Key

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by JMartinez, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. JMartinez

    JMartinez Registered User

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    Has any Brother read Christopher knight and Robert Lom'as "the hiram key" ? What do you think about it? Where the authors masons? Where the "facts" masonicaly correct?
     
  2. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Haven't read it but will check with my library.
     
  3. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    I have it and skimmed it, but haven't read it cover to cover yet.
     
  4. MarkR

    MarkR Premium Member

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    I read it, but so long ago that I don't remember much about it. Lomas is definitely a Mason.
     
  5. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Is that the one that gives a source of our ritual as events in Egypt having to do with initiating a Pharoh and some smelly mummy gets called Hiram?

    Any one step makes sense but there are so many guesswork steps that we can tell almost any story using the free method. Interesting as conjecture.
     
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  6. Mike Martin

    Mike Martin Eternal Apprentice Premium Member

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    My review of the book:

    The Hiram Key, by Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, ISBN 0 7126 8579 0 published 1996, 384 inc. Index & Appendices. Cost £can’t remember.

    Both of the authors were Freemasons although they don’t mention their lodges, it was funny reading this book again as it reminded me that I had come to the conclusion that they probably weren’t first time around. This was due, in part, to their amazing claim to have only heard of the Royal Arch whilst researching the book, this in spite of the fact that they had both been masons for 10 and 20 years respectively. This was their first book in this vein.

    If not taken seriously, this book is a fantastic read. It succeeds in demonstrating that the founders of Freemasonry, did indeed weave into it elements of ancient practises, unfortunately the authors try to claim this as proof and as some form of a “concrete” line of descent.

    The part dealing with the basis of the Craft Degrees being based on an ancient Egyptian “King Making Rite” element is very interesting (although it is difficult to see where the evidence ends and the speculation begins). However, it seems strange (to me at least) that if this was such an “earth shatteringly” important ritual that anyone would change the names and places then just forget all about it.

    The book seems to take on a pretty “anti Christianity” flavour during the Chapters dealing with the life and times of Christ and the Jerusalem Church. However, I am sure that it is unintentional, especially it is only based on the Authors’ speculation as to what happened in those times. Again these parts of the book are very interesting but as ever are very speculative, I personally doubt that Jesus was a Freemason. I also remember reading this book and thinking that the Qumran/Nag Hammadi Scrolls must all be intact, so I went and bought a book about them. Unfortunately that book told me that most of them are in fragments, rarely more than a 1 or 2 Centimetres in size and that they are on the whole pretty unreadable.

    It is very important to read this book carefully, as the authors have the terrible habit of throwing in some fantastic speculation then later in the book referring to it as if it has now become accepted fact. The book seems to be an attempt to find things that could possibly be retrospectively labelled as “masonic” then do so, along with overlaying masonic imports on things that are totally unrelated.

    The Chapters dealing with the Sinclairs and Rosslyn Chapel are definitely the best chapters in the book. However, their conclusions are generally pretty fantastic and it is somewhat surprising to note that the catacombs of Rosslyn Chapel have still not been excavated 8 years after the book, although I suspect that its visitor figures have increased considerably.

    My Overall Rating: 6/10

    Conclusion: Medium difficulty to read but packed full of interesting history, clearly illustrating the basis of the authors’ speculations. The book is a great read but falls over when it tries to claim a definite basis for Freemasonry and its Ritual in a little heard of Egyptian King called Sequenenre Tao.
     
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  7. BroBill

    BroBill Site Benefactor Site Benefactor

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    I like your analysis and tend to agree with your conclusions- "a good read, however. ..."
     
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  8. Ressam

    Ressam Registered User

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    Dear Gentlemen!

    Can I, please, ask a question?
    I've understand that -- "what's happening in The Lodge" -- type of questions should not be asked!
    My question is different:
    Is that right that -- many Masonic Writers have been given The Astronomical Interpretation of Hiram Legend &
    Hiram was represented as -- Sun?

    Thank You!
     
  9. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    That book does bring to mind that Jesus baptized no one but raised at least one person. Oddly Christianity baptizes but does not raise anyone.

    As for ancient Egyptian ritual, I once saw the remains of an Egyptian apron - a little longer than ours but quite recognizable. When I saw it, I had a glimpse of the 3rd degree at that time. The modern 3rd degree now appears to me as play-acting.
     
  10. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    No doubt some have, but it does not help very much.

    It is better to track the HR root of the word Hiram.

    Thus: Heru/Horus (the Elder and the Younger), Hermes, Hercules, Hera, Hiram (Abiff and King of Tyre) - all Heroes.

    As far as I have found the HR root means "high born"
     
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  11. Ressam

    Ressam Registered User

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    "HR" means -- Human Resources?
    Human Resources Specialists are -- High Born?
    And, they are all -- Heroes(except Hera)?
     
  12. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    In the English tradition the royalty are designated by HR e.g. HRH Prince of Wales

    The HR word root can be found in ancient Egyptian and I have no doubt that the gods of those times largely regarded humans as resources to be used and discarded without too much thought. The same premise can be seen in the transition from Personnel Management to Human Resource management.

    I dare say there are 2 sides to the stories about Hera. "The Ancient Greeks said that Hera is the most beautiful goddess, even prettier than Aphrodite. Her own special signs are the peacock, the pomegranate. and the cow"
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2016
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  13. Mike Martin

    Mike Martin Eternal Apprentice Premium Member

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    Quite wrong you know.
    HRH. is the pre-nominal of a member of the Royal Family and is the abbreviation of His or Her Royal Highness, Royal Highness being the bit that designates them as Royalty with the first H merely showing their gender, you would address them as "Your Royal Highness". It is the same with H.E. for His or Her Excellency when dealing with an Ambassador who you would address as "Your Excellency".
     
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  14. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    I've spent a lot of time evaluating our rituals throughout history and particularly what parts have stayed constant, what parts have changed, and when. My conclusion is that there is almost no part of the ritual or our teachings that has remained constant over the last several hundred years. So, to claim some kind of concrete line of descent as you put it, is not something I view as possible.
    If one were so inclined to believe that our rituals have ancient origins, there are only 3 possible explanations.
    1) There is some sort of secret, inner core that holds the original teachings and periodically steers the larger Craft in the right direction when it gets too far off course. This is because the ritual, our symbols, and their meanings have changed so much over time that one must either accept that what we currently teach is completely different from the original intent (and therefore wrong on an ancient mystery school line of thinking) or that it WAS wrong and has somehow been corrected by some invisible hand. Tinfoil hats not included.
    2) That every single Masonic record we have up until about 1800 was intentionally wrong and that people were actually practicing the ritual the same way we do today. Tinfoil hats only included in the collector's edition.
    3) Whatever the source of the ancient origin, that it existed in parallel with Freemasonry and over time, either gradually had some small bleed-over and/or had a more direct effect during the Enlightenment Era. I personally think that this is the most likely case. We see small glimmers of very old philosophical systems within Freemasonry from the beginning, but nothing close to the complexity that we have now. The question of course is, was it Masons who had an interest in older systems and brought those teachings in, or was it some other organization who came into Freemasonry and brought their ideas with them?
     
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  15. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    I have found it useful to look at rituals more broadly than Masonry. For example, it is common in the 18th degree to use a ladder that is an almost exact copy of the ladder used in Mithraic ritual. The difference is that the 3 working tools associated with each rung (degree) are replaced by 3 roses.

    It is necessary of course to read widely outside of Masonic literature. Sumerian mythology appears frequently in the higher degrees of Masonry.
     
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  16. Classical

    Classical Premium Member

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    As a casual scholar of Ancient Near East culture, I can affirm that many ancient symbols, philosophies and rituals are still alive and well today all over our world. That is why I appreciate Albert Pike and Umberto Eco, as teachers of semiotic lore. Although the two men come to completely different conclusions about where those symbols come from and what they mean for humanity. Do you have a copy of J. E. Cirlot's "A Dictionary of Symbols"? I just acquired one and it's fascinating!
     
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  17. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    I will look for a copy. Thanks
     
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