“Solomon’s temple was, to be sure, a wholly symbolical edifice. Its plan, its construction, its ornaments, its vessels, all represented a synthesis of aIl sciences. It was the universe, it was philosophy, it was the heavens. Solomon laid down the plans. Hiram executed them with perfect understanding, the directors of work were well-versed in the science of detail, the workers followed closely the plans of the masters. This hierarchy, so rational and just, is taken in Freemasonry to represent the model of a perfect society. Freemasonry is eclectic, independent Judaism. The Freemasons wish to rebuild the temple, in other words, to re-establish a primitive society based on this meaningful hierarchy and on progressive initiation, without the obstacles of priests and kings: it is for this reason they calI themselves Freemasons, free builders.”

– Eliphas Levi: The Book of Splendours