The term "Illuminati" comes from the root word "illume", which means to "give light" or "one who is enlightened". It is a term used by Occultists, because Lucifer, whom they worship, has a name which means "Light-Bearer" and "Enlightened One", and Illuminati is derived from the idea of having one's eyes opened of "being enlightened" by Lucifer's light.
In modern Masonry today, an emphasis is put upon the idea of "Spiritual Illumination": "Every candidate for the Mysteries of Masonry, at the proper time and in an appropriate manner, should be taught the truth that the rite of initiation means much more than a formal ceremonial progress through the degrees. Initiation is to be attained only after real labor, deep study, profound meditation, extensive research and a constant practice of those virtues which will open a true path to moral, intellectual, and spiritual illumination." -Grand Lodge of Texas, A.F. and A. M., Monitor of the Lodge: Monitorial Instructions in the Three Degrees of Symbolic Masonry, (Grand Lodge of Texas, 1982) pg. XV-XVI
And so, the question is, What exactly is this so-called "Spiritual Illumination" that Masons aspire to attain? And the answer is: This illumination of Masonry is that same "Cosmic Consciousness" that New Agers seek to obtain... the same New Age "cosmic consciousness one with the Universe" illumination that we have been talking about all along!
Several books have been published on the subject of Masonic Mysticism, including Arthur Ward's book "Masonic Symbolism and the Mystic Way", and J.D. Buck's book "Mystic Masonry". Albert Pike, esteemed Mason, was referred to as "The greatest of all Masons as he was the greatest of all mystics." -Carl Claudy, "Foreign Countries: a Gateway to the Interpretation and Development of Certain Symbols of Freemasonry." pg. IX.
Masonic authorities H.L. Haywood and A. E. Waite say: "...there is a class of religious practices called mysticism; Freemasonry is a religious mysticism; whatever may be the place belonging to the religious mysticism in the world is a place belonging to Freemasonry." -Haywood, pg. 211, "The Newly made Mason: What he and every Mason should know about Masonry."
In Occultism, "mysticism" involves trying to make a direct contact with a spiritual entity, which is achieved by first entering into an altered state of Consciousness. This is why Masons, who believe in mysticism, also talk of the importance of going into Altered States of Consciousness. - "Clausen's Commentaries on Morals and Dogma", pg. 210 Foster Bailey, a 32nd degree Mason refers to: "the necessity for complete self-mastery and expansion of consciousness before the achieving of the Degree of Master (Mason)." -Foster Bailey, "The Spirit of Masonry," pg. 127.
*Just as a side note, 32nd Degree Mason, Foster Bailey, who I just quoted from, was the husband of Alice Bailey, the once devoted Christian Sunday School teacher became renowned as a prolific author of occult writings, and the Mother, along with Helena Blavatsky, of the New Age Movement. In 1915, Alice Bailey was introduced to Madame Helena Blavatsky and the evil teachings of Theosophy, which began the modern New Age Movement, as we know it today.
Masonic authority W.L. Wilmhurst and other Masons say that each degree of the Blue Lodge of Masonry is designed to open up the consciousness to progressively higher levels of being. This involves "getting in touch with your "Higher Self" or your "psychic nature", and "finding the divinity (God) within." -Wilmhurst, "The meaning of Masonry." Pg. 11,112 cf. pg. 74,75, 174-185. Wilmhurst says: "The second purpose of the Craft (Mason's) doctrine is to declare the way by which that (divine) centre may be found within ourselves, and this teaching is embodied in the discipline and ordeals delineated in the three degrees. No higher level of attainment is possible than that in which the human merges in the divine consciousness and knows as God knows." -W.L. Wilmhurst, "The Meaning of Masonry", pg. 75,140
The ancient Mystery Religions, which were based on Nature worship, taught that man was supposed to "get in touch with Nature." Getting in touch with nature also involves getting in touch with your higher self, because supposedly, you and all of nature- fragmented off from the Universal All, and your so-called higher self is nature's most evolved form. If you will recall, Masons really worship the "Great Architect of the Universe" who represents the God of nature or pantheism. And mankind is a part of nature and supposedly has "The Force" of nature running through its collective body.
In Occultism, Illumination or Enlightenment means to get a completely different or new outlook on your relation to the Universe, and to become "Cosmically Conscious" means to realize that you were once one with the All, but that you fragmented off from it and now you need to get back in touch with the Universal All. Masonic Author, W.L. Wilmhurst tells us, concerning the initiations of ancient pagans and their connection with modern Masonry: "Initiation therefore, meant a process whereby natural man, became transformed into spiritual or ultra-natural man, and to effect this it was necessary to change his consciousness, to gear it to a new and higher principle, and so, as it were, make of him a new man in the sense of attaining a new method of life and a new outlook upon the universe." -Wilmhurst, The Meaning of Masonry. pg. 185
The belief of Witches is that: "At the exact moment when the fasting (for inner purity) has produced its purpose- that is, inner illumination, a secret, ecstatic sensation of total unity with the Universe (occurs)." -Witchcraft and the Mysteries, pg. 77. Founder of the Jesuits, Ignatius Loyola was involved in "Illumination", and the real purpose of reaching this illuminated state was to be able to talk to dead saints and angels. John Fergusen tells us that a state of voluntary spirit possession is "the core of mystical experience." -Fergusen, An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Mysticism and the Mystery Religions, pg. 148 Carl Claudy, Mason, said: "The Spiritualist (Medium) who feels that unseen friends are waiting to receive and carry him forward can be a good Master Mason." -Claudy, Foreign Countries, pg. 102
And of course, as we would expect, this "illumination" that Masons ascribe to involves also the typical Occultists idea of "harmonizing all opposites", such as one's "dual nature of good and evil". -Jim Shaw and Tom McKenney, "The Deadly Deception: Freemasonry exposed by one of its Top Leaders," pg. 157 ...you can see in this picture of a typical Masonic Hall that the floor is decorated with the black and white tiles. These of course, symbolize the positive and negative forces of their pantheistic "God"!
This sheds light on what type of "Spirits" that Masons are getting in touch with when they go into their altered states of consciousness! Only an evil spirit would want you to harmonize the "good and evil within". This is the foundation of what "The Illuminati" groups stood for, who were known as "Ghost Seers". And now we will discuss the most well known Illuminati Group, headed by Dr. Adam Weishaupt... a Group that fused together with the Freemasonry Society.