“Freemasonry began to shape itself into something more imposing and majestic, solemnly mysterious and grand. It seemed to me like the Pyramids in their loneliness, in whose yet undiscovered chambers may be hidden, for the enlightenment of coming generations, the sacred books of the Egyptians, so long lost to the world; like the Sphynx half buried in the desert.

In its symbolism, and its spirit of brotherhood which are its essence, Freemasonry is more ancient than any of the world’s living religions. The true greatness and majesty of Freemasonry consist in its proprietorship of these and its other symbols; and that its symbolism is its soul.”

– Albert Pike from a letter to Robert Freke Gould