Much (too much perhaps) has been written on the "hidden" side of Masonry, and most of that has been relegated to this physical plane of existence, bringing only partial light to humanity - and that filtered through crystalized thought.
Many believe that masonry dates back to pre-history and the ancient Schools of Initiation. The popular thought of a singular purpose - i.e., that of making good men better - is only a part of the intention. One form of this intent, according to Ancient Wisdom teachings, may be the Initiatic schools which are believed to have been created to help humanity evolve as spiritual beings with the intent and purpose of providing advanced souls training and knowledge, to use as tools for serving humanity, and thus, preparing for the next round of civilization.
An extremely relevant and important restoration of the teachings of these mystery schools has re-materialized during this current cycle in the form of a Masonic organization called Grand Lodge, Ancient Universal Mysteries. Rather than attempt to reiterate their important work on this page, the reader is strongly encouraged to visit the web page links below and study these important resources:
Architecture was, perhaps, humankind's first attempt to create beauty upon the planet. The Five Orders of Architecture are an intregal and fundamental study of Freemasonry.
Geometry is considered to be at the core of Freemasonry. Geometry is the basis upon which the superstructure of masonry is erected. By Geometry we trace nature. We may also discover the power, the wisdom, and the goodness of the Grand Architect of the universe. We also study how the planets move in their different orbits, and demonstrate their revolutions. We can aslo study nature and the cycles of seasons.
Geometry also demonstrates properties of structures - i.e., length, breadth, and thickness. The architect is thus enabled to construct his plans and execute his designs; even a general can arrange his soldiers, and a geographer can demonstrate the dimensions of the world. The astronomer is enabled to make observations and measure the expanse of our universe. In Masonry, Geometry is the foundation of Architecture.
To elucidate these teachings symbolic representations of universal truths were necessary. This entailed representing universal laws and concepts that fundamentally expressed properties on the Physical Plane that reflect the properties from above (As Above, So Below). Thus, knowledge of our physical universe, the second plane of expression in the cosmos, could be obtained through the study of special geometric forms - Sacred Geometry.
Sacred Geometry is not simply a matter of ancient knowledge. The most important and powerful scientific breakthroughs of the modern world have come about through scientists re-discovering the same secrets of divine pattern taught in the spiritual schools. An amazing example of this comes from the Greek Mystery schools of 2500 years ago, which taught that there were five perfect 3-dimensional forms—the Platonic Solids—that were the foundation of everything in the physical world. Modern scholars ridiculed this idea until the 1980's, when Professor Emeritus Robert Moon at the University of Chicago demonstrated that the entire Periodic Table of Elements—literally everything in the physical world—is based on these same 5 forms! In fact, throughout modern Physics, Chemistry, and Biology the sacred geometric patterns of creation are being rediscovered, but tragically without the greater context of spiritual understanding which protects against the misuse of this knowledge.