Three circumambulations, three great lights, three elected
offices, three degrees, and so on. Our ritual is built around
the Hebrew tradition. Everything from the first question
asked of the candidate to his raising, points to the God of
Symbolically, we travel west to east in search of Masonic light.
As such, we slowly master our natural selves, by developing our
moral and spiritual natures. We are told that we seek the Master’s word so that we can “earn master’s wages and be thereby
the better enabled to support ourselves and families, and contribute to the relief of distressed brother Masons, their widows
and orphans.” But do we? If we were medieval stone masons
this might be true.
We are told that we cannot receive the Master’s word until
the Temple is completed. And all three must be present. We
know that Master Hiram is dead so how can we receive the
word? The good news is that we will receive it as a reward for a
well spent life. The Temple is not made by hands in Jerusalem;
it is symbol of our lives.
In the Hebrew, the ineffable name of God is composed of three Hebrew characters. They are yud, (which
is also on the 14th ring worn
by Scottish Rite Masons),
heh, and vav. The ineffable
name of God is Yehovah,
comprised of the three characters with heh duplicated.
You cannot receive the Master’s word if one of the three is missing. If one of the characters is missing, we no longer have the
name or presence of God.
As Brother Pike explains:
The Masonic legend that Wisdom, Power and Order (or beauty),
represented by the two kings and the artificer, had agreed that all
must be present to give the word the name— that is, to express
by the Name the triune nature of the Deity, meant that to omit a
letter of the name would be to mutilate it so that it would be no
Name, as no longer expressing the entire Trinity; and that when
Solomon, King Hiram and Hiram the architect were together
they were the name, precisely as letters or hieroglyphics are; one
of them being away, the name would no longer be there.
The greatest symbolic lesson and purpose of each of us as
Masons is the attainment of Masonic knowledge (light), in
search of which, we ever travel from west to east. Before a Ma-
son goes to the East, as Master of the Lodge, he should be able
to say, as espoused in the French ritual, “I am, I have gone from
the square to the compasses.”
If he is not master of himself, Brother Pike says,” he is a living
lie, and should turn his back on the symbols and his brethren
and go mournfully away.”
When our lives close out on this mortal plane, our symbolic
Temples will be complete. It is envisioned and hoped, that they
will be quality structures and we will be ushered into the pres-
ence of God, and at last, receive the Master’s word.
Bro. David J. Rowson is a member of the Valley of Raleigh, NC. He
originally presented the above as a lecture to J.J. Crowder Lodge, No. 743
AF&AM, Raleigh, NC, on August 3, 2017.
"Vitruvian Man" by Leonardo da Vinci
In Hebrew, the ineffable name of God
is composed of yud (י), heh (ה), and vav (ו).
The letter yud (י) appears on the
Scottish Rite’s 14th Degree ring.
Symbolically, we travel west to east in search of
Masonic light. As such, we slowly master
our natural selves, by developing
our moral and spiritual natures.