This quote is by Bro.' Albert Pike (33°) from his Gnostic Masonic masterpiece, Morals and Dogma. Pike explains that the cradle of Gnosticism is probably to be looked for in Syria, and even in Palestine which I have said before was originally located on the Holy Gnostic Island of Crete. He also states that these teachings form a part of Masonry; in which, in the present mutilated condition of the symbolic Degrees, they are disguised and overlaid with fiction and absurdity, or present themselves as casual hints that are passed by wholly unnoticed.
Pike had said, "It is admitted that the cradle of Gnosticism is probably to be looked for in Syria, and even in Palestine. Most of its expounders wrote in that corrupted form of the Greek used by the Hellenistic Jews, and in the Septuagint and the New Testament; and there was a striking analogy between their doctrines and those of the Judeo-Egyptian Philo, of Alexandria; itself the seat of three schools, at once philosophic and religious--the Greek, the Egyptian, and the Jewish.
Pythagoras and Plato, the most mystical of the Grecian Philosophers (the latter heir to the doctrines of the former), and who had travelled, the latter in Egypt, and the former in Phœnicia, India, and Persia, also taught the esoteric doctrine and the distinction between the initiated and the profane.
The dominant doctrines of Platonism were found in Gnosticism.
Emanation of Intelligences from the bosom of the Deity; the going astray in error and the sufferings of spirits, so long as they are remote from God, and imprisoned in matter; vain and long-continued efforts to arrive at the knowledge of the Truth, and re-enter into their primitive union with the Supreme Being; alliance of a pure and divine soul with an irrational soul, the seat of evil desires; angels or demons who dwell in and govern the planets, having but an imperfect knowledge of the ideas that presided at the creation;
regeneration of all beings by their return to the κόσμος νοητός, [kosmos noe_tos], the world of Intelligences, and its Chief, the Supreme Being; sole possible mode of re-establishing that primitive harmony of the creation, of which the music of the spheres of Pythagoras was the image; these were the analogies of the two systems; and we discover in them some of the ideas that form a part of Masonry; in which, in the present mutilated condition of the symbolic Degrees, they are disguised and overlaid with fiction and absurdity, or present themselves as casual hints that are passed by wholly unnoticed."