Masonic Articles and Essays
What Freemasonry Offers
The Very Ills..... Bro... Magdalena I. Cumsille 33o
What is the "Light" of Freemasonry, and what is its importance in our ritual and daily lives?
Light is the only benefit that Freemasonry offers any applicant. Although many other good things may be added, anyone who walks through the door of Freemasonry with the metallic hope of some lesser treasure concealed on his person will inevitably be disappointed. The ceremony of Initiation will have to be repeated, in another cycle, if he ever finds a desire for Light growing in him again.
The first Chapter of Genesis describes how two kinds of Light were created. The first out of the Darkness by movement on the water of Chaos, and the second, reflected on the Fourth Day when the Sun, Moon, and Stars appeared. Light was derived from Darkness on the First Day; thereafter, it was said, "the evening and the morning" were the Days of Creation. This is a curious statement, for we tend to think of day as being from morning to evening. Time as we know it could not begin until the "Fourth Day," for our time is measured by observing the relationship of the Sun and Moon and Stars. So, what was created on the first three days was apparently out of time, whatever that may mean. Or, perhaps time did not begin until a receptor was created to be conscious of it, to observe its consecutive patterns, and to "see" with the eyes of Man, which were created on the evening and morning of the Sixth Day.
While Mankind is passing through this present era, the stages of development from Normal Man to Initiated Man and then to Perfect Man need to be quickened. It is for this that the mysteries termed “Ancient,” - "of which Masonry is a survival" - have been perpetuated and maintained in their ceremonial functions right down the centuries to modern days.
This may appear to be a self-contradictory or paradoxical statement. Why, in this "modern age," in our world of activity, motion, and change, do we use ancient formulae to accelerate a process? Why are these rigorous methods: dictated by a symbolic philosophy, spread throughout the world?
Time is a system of those relationships that any event has to any other: as past, present, or future. It is measured by motion. At each instant, a movement starts or is about to be completed (we consider everything within a specific duration). It cannot be otherwise, as it cannot be past and future simultaneously in this realm.
Past and future are integral parts of our world of duality: the external world of discontinuity. In this pattern, the Present cannot be situated, because it is outside of time: immeasurable, subjective, and eternal. It presents the conditions of the Absolute, invisible within our esoteric world, which is constant, "at its meridian." In every function or action, there is a moment that cannot be located in time ... the present moment ... said to be when the sun is at its meridian, at its point or period of highest development. Every candidate is Initiated when the sun is at its meridian.
When we are told that the sun is ever at its meridian with respect to Freemasonry, this alludes to the Reality which is ever present in the truth that our Arts embody. This truth is unaltered by time, customs, circumstances, or location. It touches the heart (the inner Sun) of the Initiate of today as it did those of eras long gone. Freemasonry is a way, a path in the present, where there is no darkness and The Great Architect of the Universe is ever the Light.
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