Ritual Things we Say!!
There are a great number of things we SAY in our Rituals, and in and about Freemasonry, that seem to mean many different things to many different people, and in fact may even have been heard once or twice and never thought of again. With this thought in mind I have decided to tackle some of these words and phrases and with your help, by way of feedback, try to cast some light as to what I think was the intent when written by our forefathers
This I intend to approach from both an Exoteric (outward & apparent) and Esoteric (inward & hidden) perspective
To begin. Very early in our Masonic lives, we are asked “What is Masonry” and we are instructed to state:-
“It is a System of Morality, Veiled in Allegory and Illustrated by Symbols”
Lovely words indeed, but what do they mean, and what is expected from all of us who call ourselves Freemasons??? Let me begin by tackling the word “Morality” which we can see comes from the word MORAL
Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary gives the following definition,
(a) Of, or relating to principles of right and wrong in behaviour (b) expressing or teaching a conception of right behaviour, conforming to a standard of right behaviour (d) sanctioned by or operative on one’s conscience or ethical judgment.
This sounds very easy to understand, as from our family upbringing and personal everyday life experiences we have been taught the difference between right and wrong. Right behaviour and conforming to what society perceives to be RIGHT behaviour is a little trickier, but generally speaking, as intelligent mature adults, we can be expected to act and behave in an appropriate manner in keeping with the circumstances. Then we have the matter of operating within our own conscience and ethical judgment. This tends to get in the way of doing something where we feel “ the end justifies the means.” But we know from the outset that our conscience is telling us otherwise.
But in the end, we as individuals and, specifically as Freemasons, have taken an obligation to live Moral lives, and as such the greatest judge should be our personal selves, realizing that we are ever under the watchful eye of the G.A.O.T.U.
A THOUGHT TO PONDER (Nelson Mandela)
The following is taken from a speech given by Nelson Mandela in 1994 and is addressed to those people who have a Skill or Talent to share and for some reason are afraid to do so.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves “ Who am I to be brilliant, Gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of GOD. Your playing small doesn’t serve the World.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking, so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the Glory of GOD that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; It’s in Everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously
Give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear.
Our presence automatically liberates others”