Troward:The Hidden Power - Part 1

by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor
Bro. Mark St. Cyr

The following is my attempt to apply contemporary verbiage to one of the most unsung heroes of this modern age, Thomas Troward. (1846 -1916)  If the name sounds vaguely familiar, there’s a reason. Freemasons might recall his thoughts as a Masonic scholar, along with Albert G. Mackey, William Harvey,  H.L. Haywood, W.L. Fawcette from the book “The Two Great Pillars of Boaz and  Jachin”. 

Whether or not Judge Troward was a Freemason, I am not sure, for the more I researched the more I found works of his relating to the topic, but none showing initiation or affiliation.  

However, his name and work go far beyond the Craft and are foundational for many ideas practiced today, such as… 

AA (e.g., Alcoholics Anonymous), New Thought Movement (e.g., accumulated wisdom and philosophy from a variety of origins, such as Ancient Greek,  Roman, Egyptian, Chinese, Taoist, Hindu, and Buddhist cultures), right through to today’s “Positive Thinking” movement. (e.g., Bob Proctor of “The Secret”  fame credits Troward’s work in much of his own. This is just a sampling, it’s far deeper and far more consuming than one may judge at first glance. But, his influence is everywhere, it’s just most have no idea.  

I’d like to change that. 

So what I’m offering starting with this sample below is to take chapter by chapter, point by point while keeping his original intent and examples in tact i.e.,  not adding or changing things into what I think, but what he said directly as succinctly as possible with more contemporary verbiage and phrasing.  

I will footnote the book using the APA 7th edition method or similar. The heading titles are not changed unless noted, for those that want to see read the original text. You can find it across the web, for free (for it is all in the Public  Domain), or, you can easily download a digital version on services like Kindle®  (for a cost) or others, or simply get a hardcopy at many booksellers. 

Now, when it comes to this subject matter, it’s not as if I’m some wide-eyed “Holy Moly! I’ve found the holy grail!” type. I’ve been at this, and doing this, for a very long time. I have many first editions, first printings from the likes of Andrew Carnegie (Empire of Business 1902) through Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” and more. So it’s not like I’m not literally invested in such topics or I don’t know what is being professed and its intent, or the profound meanings encapsulated that so many are looking for today but just can’t seem to find. 

Everywhere you turn today, someone’s coming up with ancient wisdom is some  “new and improved” version, taking the original expressions, and trying to turn them into some soundbite or quote on social media with no understanding of what truly is at the root and why. 

This project I’m starting here on the Midnight Freemasons is to try and alleviate just that making it understandable, relatable, and more importantly - applicable to one’s daily life. 

I hope you agree. 

Now let’s begin…

The Hidden Power: Chapter 1, Section 1  

To truly understand how much of our daily lives are influenced by symbols, we need to answer the age-old question: What is Truth? As we start to recognize this, we begin to approach Truth. Realizing Truth means being able to interpret symbols, whether they are natural or conventional, and not just dismissing them as meaningless. The main responsibility of those who have attained this knowledge is to help others understand this connection. 

Everything has an inner and outer aspect; a superficial mind fails to grasp the deeper truth because it only focuses on the outer appearance. As long as this is the case, a person cannot comprehend their connection to the universal, and thus cannot make progress in understanding. Denying the principle of "Growth,"  which is fundamental to all aspects of life, whether spiritual, intellectual, or material, leads to stagnation. 

Growth and expansion from within, in alignment with the natural order, is the  Law of Life. This principle unlocks the mysteries of existence. Without this  understanding, we cannot move from the superficial to the deeper aspects of life. Recognizing this inner truth allows us to see that life is richer and more meaningful when we look beyond the surface.

In a broad sense, everything is a symbol of the deeper truth within it, and Nature is a gallery of hidden meanings for those who can interpret them. Our lives are shaped by how we understand these symbols, especially in relation to the  Divine. A person's beliefs about the Divine influence their entire life, not just their formal adherence to a specific creed. 

Has a person's mind truly reached a point where they know God or understand the knowledge they possess about the Divine? Without inner clarity, one's mind remains in chaos, with elements of being disordered and conflicting. Progressing further means realizing that there is a governing power within, even if initially obscured. Otherwise, life becomes a constant struggle to reconcile inner chaos. Every step towards understanding, from the lowest levels of ignorance to the highest peaks of intelligence, must reflect the deeper realization of one's connection to the Divine. This realization dissolves old limitations and leads to freedom, power, and light. True understanding is not merely theoretical but involves a deep, conscious experience of life within ourselves. 

The closer we get to this inner understanding, the clearer our perception of symbols becomes. However, this journey is not easy, as each step involves convincing ourselves that the symbols are not the truth itself but representations of a deeper reality. The difficulty lies in moving beyond mere symbols to grasp the Truth they point to. 

Many may fear the changes that this deeper understanding brings, preferring the familiar over the unknown. Yet, the true power of the universe continually pushes forward, encouraging growth and overcoming limitations. Realizing the hidden power within leads to ultimate Truth, beyond any superficial understanding. True inner Truth is not an excuse for inaction or fear. Those lacking the energy to seek deeper meaning remain in the superficial aspects of life. True realization involves pushing forward with confidence, trusting that the inner power of the universe will guide us to greater understanding and fulfillment.

Mark St. Cyr - Freemason

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