THE COMPLETION OF THE TRILOGY
A PATH THROUGH LIFE
By: W. Bro. C. B. Lawless, P.S.G.D. – U.G.L.E.
P.M. Albion 196 and Union 7551 English Constitution Member Brant 663 & Lodge Pelican 1750 S.C.
Having taken the 3rd or Master Mason’s Degree, a Mason has completed the Trilogy of degrees which marks the progress he has made in the science. It is appropriate that a Master Mason review in his mind the three degrees through which he has passed and how they relate to him as a person.
When we joined Freemasonry we were told that it is a beautiful system of morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols. As we pass through our three degrees in Craft Masonry, we are instructed in many aspects of these truths as they are revealed, in our ceremonies. However it is left for the individual Mason to seek out for himself some of the parallels between our Masonic journey and our daily lives.
The three degrees in Masonry are a guide and inspiration to us as men of honour and goodwill. They provide signposts in our journey through life, and are depicted in the Tracing Boards of each of the degrees if you know where to look for them.
Intrinsically, each of us who is a Mason is a good man. Our system ensures that this is so. Being human, we sometimes do make mistakes, but the number of these mistakes is negligible, and the system ensures that they are corrected, or correct themselves, long before they can do any harm to our Order.
Having selected a good man, he may be regarded as a rough ashlar of good quality stone fit for the hands of the expert workman. So we start him on his Masonic journey by initiating him into our Order.
We immediately tell him of the high standards we expect of him in his conduct as a man and a Mason. So, in the First Degree we let him know that Masonry expects him to exemplify moral truth and virtue in his daily life.
Proceeding onward, in the Second Degree he learns that he is expected to extend his endeavours to better apply the excellent qualities of moral truth and virtue into the hidden mysteries of nature and science. He is presented with a symbolical obstacle in the form of a winding staircase which he has to climb to receive his reward. Ostensibly he is climbing the stair to receive his wages. However, when he is in the place where his wages are to be paid, his attention is peculiarly drawn to certain Hebrew characters, denoting G.., the G.G.O.T.U.
The real moral lesson of the Second Degree is to impress upon the candidate an awareness of God, and that He is the One to Whom we must all submit, and Whom we ought humbly to adore.
And so we come to the Third Degree. Our further progress in Masonry and through life is depicted in the symbols of the 3rd Degree Tracing Board.
Having been exhorted in the 1st Degree to be good men and true, and in the 2nd Degree being reminded of the important part God must play in our passage through life, we now come in the 3rd Degree to traverse the mosaic or chequered pavement representing our passage through life.
The chequered squares of black and white represent the ups and downs of our daily lives. When we have reached the end of the chequered pavement, we have reached the end of our mortal lives and stand at the Gateway of Death.
When we pass through the Gateway into the Sanctum Sanctorum, we stand in the Court of Life, bathed with the full revelation of Divine Truth emanating from the Dormer.
This allegory is valid whatever the personal spiritual belief of the Mason may be, for all major Faiths believe in a life after death.
I see this paper as being succinct & to the point making it exceptional especially to the newly made Master Mason.
Having said that I would gladly recommend that it be added to whatever material is shared with the brother as he commences his Personal Journey,
Have a wonderful Day & God Bless