Category: H


Hiram and the Priest

Hiram and the Priest

Grand Master Hiram Abif was traveling through the borderlands of Tyre, trying to recruit more workmen for the Temple. In one town there lived a priest of Baal who was uncomfortable with his king’s fraternal bonds with the men of Israel, and was particularly doubtful of the wisdom of Masonry. He called upon Hiram so that he might test the illumination of this renowned Master Mason.

When Hiram arrived, the priest demanded, “Tell me of the Masonic light.”

Hiram replied, “You see it right now.”

The priest closed his eyes. “And now?” he asked.

“Yes, even now,” said Hiram.

“Then where is this light?” asked the priest.

“Where is it not?” replied Hiram.

The priest thought Hiram was playing him for a fool, and in that moment he imagined slapping Hiram for his insolence. When he opened his eyes, he saw that Hiram had already stepped back out of reach, and he was amazed.

Hiram said, “As we stand here speaking of the light, a dove is perched in the entryway, dogs run in the street, a merchant calls passersby to come see his goods. All of these things are happening in the light and can be seen by the mind, just like your desire and thought of violence.”

“Why then did I not see all these things when my eyes were closed?” the priest demanded.

Hiram replied, “Not only your eyes, but your mind was closed. Thinking light and darkness, right and wrong, imagining struggle and conflict, you put up walls and build a house in the midst of a beautiful garden, leaving yourself only one window through which to see.”

The priest thought he understood, and so he praised Hiram. “You are a wise man indeed, and I have learned something of the light from you. But how can a man of Tyre bind himself to those Israelites who do not worship Baal?”

“If I would not divide my mind into dark little rooms and say ‘I am in this room and not the others,’ then how much more foolish would it be for me to try dismembering the One God and say ‘He is here and not there,’ or ‘He is with me and not them?’ Is my mind worthy of more reverence and love than I would give to God?”

The priest was so taken by Hiram’s instruction that he too joined the mystic band of Masonry, became a workman on the Temple, and remained a faithful priest of Baal.

How Will You See?

In the days of the great cathedral builders, a student of Masonic philosophy came to study under a renowned master architect. When he was departing a few years later, the master warned him: “Studying the truth speculatively is useful as a way of collecting material for books and lectures. But unless you meditate constantly your Masonic light may go out, and then how will you see that which you are studying?”

A Harsh Prescription

A newly made Master Mason repeatedly questioned the Worshipful Master about the meaning of Masonic light and about the Lost Word, but the Worshipful Master always seemed to him to be speaking in riddles.

MM: “I still don’t get it! Why don’t you just clearly describe what you mean?”

WM: “Describing a sunrise to a blind man will not help him see it, and writing about the song of a nightingale to a deaf man will not help him hear it. Blind eyes and deaf ears must first be healed.”

MM: “Then how might my eyes be healed so that I might see the Masonic light, my ears be healed so that I might hear the Lost Word?”

WM: “That is the best question you have asked me yet. Now listen carefully to my prescription: Poke them all out with a sharp instrument and seal them up with mortar.”

How the Temple was Raised

It is said that Peter Gower studied geometry in Greece for seven years, then studied Masonry for five years in Egypt, and then he was taken to Babylon where he contemplated Masonry for three more years.

Later, when he lived in Italy, many desired to meet with him and ask questions. But when Peter Gower received visitors, which wasn’t often, he seldom answered their questions.

One day a fifty-year-old craftsman said to Peter Gower: “I have studied Masonry since I was a young man, but there is one thing I still cannot understand. Masonry claims that the Temple was raised without the sound of axe, hammer or any tool of metal. To me this seems very unlikely.”

“Of what use is it to speculate how the Temple was raised?” asked Peter Gower. “The question is how you yourself can become so. Did you ever consider that?”

“I never thought of it in that way,” marveled the old craftsman.

“Then go to your lodge and get to work,” finished Peter Gower.

Hoodwinked

Hoodwinked

A new Entered Apprentice asked the lodge instructor, “What is the light of Masonry?”

The instructor replied, “What? Are you still hoodwinked?”

EA: “No sir, but I heard a Fellow Craft say that the Masonic light cannot be seen with the eyes.”

Instructor: “Whoever says Masonic light cannot be seen with the eyes is asleep. Whoever says the light can be seen with the eyes is ignorant.”

EA: “Evidently I am still hoodwinked!”

The instructor smiled: “There is hope for you yet.”

Hiram Abif’s New Student

Grand Master Hiram Abif’s lectures were attended not only by Masons but also by persons of all crafts and trades. He never quoted scripture at length or went on and on with sophisticated arguments. Instead, his words were spoken directly from his heart to the hearts of his listeners.

His large audience angered a young teacher of woodcraft because his students had left to hear about Masonry. The self-centered teacher came to the lodge, determined to have a debate with Hiram.

“Hey, Master Mason!” he called out. “Wait a minute. Whoever respects you will obey what you say, but a man like myself does not respect you. Can you make me obey you?”

“Come up beside me and I will show you,” said Hiram.

Proudly the teacher pushed his way through the crowd.

Hiram said. “And please come over to my left side.”

The teacher did just that.

“No,” said Hiram, “perhaps we could talk better if you are on the right. Please step over here.”

The teacher resolutely strode over to Hiram’s right side.

“Well now,” said Hiram, “you are obeying me after all, and I think you are really a very good person. Now please sit down and listen.”

Hiram Abif’s Flower

When Grand Master Hiram Abif was in Joppa, he was asked by the workmen there to give a lecture. He picked up a flower, turned it in his fingers and then held it before his listeners. Everyone was silent. Only one worker smiled at this revelation, although he tried to control the lines of his face.

Hiram said to him: “I have the True Word, the light of Masonry, the geometry of the immeasurable, and the ineffable treasures of wisdom, strength and beauty. None of it is expressed by words, but especially
communicated beyond teaching. This teaching I have given to you.”

How Will You See?

How Will You See?

In the days of the great cathedral builders, a student of Masonic philosophy came to study under a renowned master architect. When he was departing a few years later, the master warned him: “Studying the truth speculatively is useful as a way of collecting material for books and lectures. But unless you meditate constantly your Masonic light may go out, and then how will you see that which you are studying?”