credit: Bro. Antonio Biella
Without a doubt, Leo Tolstoy knew everything there was to know about Freemasonry. His portrayals of Masonic ceremonies in War and Peace were realistic and detailed. Tolstoy was so familiar with Freemasonry that he categorized its members into four groups. His descriptions are still accurate now. However, why would someone like Tolstoy be interested in learning about Freemasonry? Especially as one of history’s most recognized authors. Unfortunately, Leo Tolstoy became engulfed in despair, struggling to find meaning in his existence on this sublunary habitation. Tolstoy’s life bore a striking resemblance to his work War and Peace, in which he attempted to express his beliefs on life, death, and hope. Tolstoy despised a fixed existence, choosing instead to live in the moment.
His book War and Peace was not a straightforward historical novel but had its basis in historical literature. Tolstoy’s search for the truth of life relied upon much on the historical work he attained writing War and Peace.
Some of Tolstoy’s masonic types did not participate in lodge social activity. More attracted to the order’s mystical rites or the meaning of the square and Solomon’s numerous metaphorical elements. Among Tolstoy’s four masonic types, those in the second category were still observing and uncertain. Not yet found their proper route through Freemasonry but planned to do so someday? He categorised those Brothers who solely identified with Freemasonry because of its exterior look and ceremonies into the third and largest category. They also emphasized the ceremonies’ unique application while remaining unconcerned about their meaning or purpose. Finally, many Brothers, particularly those who had recently joined, fell into the fourth type. Rossi, L. (2016)
We all go through periods of uncertainty in our lives, unsure how to live or what to do. That feeling lost. This psychosocial response can affect us at any time in our lives and emerge as sadness, prompting many people to question their own identities. These are not trivial or insignificant issues; they are serious problems addressing to halt the downward trend. This nagging feeling that one’s objectivity and equilibrium are deteriorating. Senior members of the lodge, who are more educated and intelligent, deliver specific information based on proper knowledge and trust.
Each degree’s knowledge transfer focuses on its essential moral and ethical standards. Freemasonry symbolizes a never-ending quest for knowledge. Masonic degrees help people shift their inner psyches from darkness to light, symbolizing a higher level of moral perfection in humanity. The ultimate goal of life after death is to transport us to the “celestial lodge above,” or spiritual immortality. One of the primary purposes of Masonic initiation is to divert the initiates perception away from actual redemption and toward the improvement of his moral character. It is not easy to label Freemasonry an esoteric or religious perspective, despite finding examples conclusively.
Certain people wish to join Freemasonry after realizing that their lives are full of contradictions. They may have become Irrational by the rejection of reason; for some, it can be even more complex. The rejection of actuality can be a step on the path to understanding. On the other hand, Masonic learning offers a mind to see rational comprehension. Life can be harsh at times. To grasp existence, one must abandon reason as the significant source of meaning and re-create one’s inner self with a new sense of purpose and involvement. A small number of people believe that Freemasonry permits them to express their perfectionist urges. The ceremonial texts and ritual discipline certainly reflect this. To understand why a perfectionist could suppose their life inconsequential, we need to examine the fundamental beliefs and attitudes of the perfectionist mentality. Errors are never allowed, and the expectation of greatness follows them like a shadow all the time. This conceptualization of imperfection can and does wreak havoc on people’s lives. Some obsessives cannot accept anything less than perfection because they view everything as a competition and losing to someone else in a hypothetical or real competition is too much to bear for them.
Tolstoy was a perfectionist who suffered from sickness and died due to it. His yearning flamed Tolstoy’s dilemma to author a successful novel. In terms of life’s purpose, this leads to the perfectionist syndrome, which argues that meaningful lives necessitate some level of perfection. Opinions that lead some people to wonder if their lives can ever be significant? Alternatively, believe they cannot account for this lack of meaning. Several may contend that our efforts are insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Nothing is definite in life; consequently, it cannot be significant. Some people think life is pointless.
Tolstoy illustrates four views one could adopt regarding this dilemma of our tortured soul in perpetual ignorance. He is deeming mental pleasure more highly than physical. The ultimate joy would be free of anxiety and mental discomfort caused by an irrational fear of one mortality. Finally, selecting the ultimate state of simply enjoying one’s existence and refusing to accept a life devoid of purpose is doomed to an eternity of atheistic emptiness. After failing to achieve any definitive conclusion within ordinary philosophical logic, Tolstoy turns to a more mystical, intuitive confirmation of God’s existence, which he discovers in the presence of nature. Tolstoy’s autobiography Confession illustrates how he considers his life as worthless. Tolstoy was well aware of his status as Russia’s most prominent writer and one of history’s most well-known authors. Takeda, A. (2021)
Leo Tolstoy had a healthy estate, as well as a solid reputation. However, at some point, he began to ponder the meaning of life and began to question his mere existence and its value.
He searches for solutions to help improve the situation and revisit his goals. These issues of worth plagued Tolstoy. The conviction that nothing he had done or planned was adequate. He did not think life was meaningless as long as he appreciated everything in his portfolio of life. Furthermore, if he could see his work, family, and friends again, he would have returned to seeing life as significant. During his moment of self-loathing, he would reason and then consider what his own hands had accomplished and how much effort he had put into achieving what he had. Some brethren may feel that self-realization or realizing one’s full potential gives life purpose. Individuals who use these concepts in this context seek to grasp what is valuable in life as a whole rather than simply a part of their potential.
Life might become more meaningful when we are a part of something “bigger than us. Life can become more significant. We are on the lookout for something better since we do not think it is adequate. On the other hand, the greater must be seen as valuable to serve its purpose. Being more significant is worthless if we do not see the mortal coil as not equally valuable. (Clark L (1980).
It is alienation when we do not feel like we are a part of something bigger than ourselves—a sense of worthlessness links to the kind of alienation that leads to a sense of meaninglessness. When alienated in this way, the value of materiality does not reach out to them in the same way it does to others. Possession or success are not entering the mental arena.
A lack of conscience paired with a keen sense of insignificance may lead to being unaware of the truth of the situation for assorted reasons. Boredom brought on by a lack of stimulation differs from boredom brought on by a lack of things to do. Because of a limited vision of one’s condition, limited mental tools can cause this condition—a lack of understanding of one’s circumstance an inability to determine one’s absolute values. They are losing sight of actual or perceived significance in their own lives. For example, an immigrant arrives in a new area or meets different civilizations. They may suffer if the motivation is merely financial gain. This approach tends to stunt our psychological and philosophical growth.
(Holmes, J. (2014).
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