Category: M

The Meeting Place

The Meeting Place

An old craftsman approached King Hiram of Tyre and said, “Right Worshipful King Hiram, I have studied the rituals of our craft for many years, meditated on light, contemplated the Lost Word, and though I have had many speculations about their meanings, I don’t really know anymore than I did when I was newly raised. Is there no more?”

King Hiram picked up a wooden setting maul and struck a stone forcefully. He then held the maul up to the craftsman. “What do you see?”

The craftsman observed that there were tiny grains of stone embedded in the maul.

King Hiram asked, “When the maul meets the stone, where does one begin and the other end?”

Myriad of Stones

Myriad of Stones

Hiram King of Tyre was walking through the Temple on his way to a meeting with King Solomon. Along the way, he passed through a
particular hallway and noticed all the stones in the walls.

“What are you?” King Hiram asked of the stones as he walked by.

“I am a perfect Ashlar, of course!” a myriad of stones answered, and there was surprise and indignation in their voices as he passed.

But, here and there, a lonely stone answered, “We are this Temple.”

And there was neither surprise nor indignation in their voices, but just a quiet certitude.

More Confused Than Before

A newly raised Master Mason approached his Worshipful Master after a lodge meeting. He was very agitated and confused.

MM: “Worshipful Master, now that I have been raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason, I am more confused than before. I do not understand the meaning of the words you spoke in my ear when I was raised. Will you explain them to me?”

WM: “Brother, when you joined this lodge did I tell you that I would explain the Master’s Word to you?”

MM: “No, Worshipful Master.”

WM: “Brother, when you petitioned this lodge did I tell you that I would communicate the Master’s Word to you?”

MM: “No, Worshipful Master.”

WM: “Brother, did you petition this lodge to learn the Master’s Word?”

MM: “How could I have done so? When I petitioned the lodge, I didn’t know the Master’s Word existed. Now I know about the Master’s Word, even though I don’t understand it. But before, I didn’t know something was missing.”

WM: “Do you remember where you were first prepared to be made a Mason?”

MM: “Yes, in my heart.”

And the new Master Mason was brought to light.

Mirrors and Light

Peter Gower told the following story to his apprentices and craftsmen.

Once the Master of a lodge was using a mirror to illuminate a dark corner of the temple he was building. A traveling Master Mason remarked, “The nature of light is constant, and it is always and everywhere present. Why do you use that mirror, brother?”

The lodge Master replied: “Though you know the nature of light is constant, you do not know why it is always and everywhere present.”

The traveling Master Mason asked, “Why then is the light always and everywhere present?”

The lodge Master just kept working, and the traveling Master Mason bowed to him.

About this story Peter Gower said, “Being brought to light through true experience and communicating our mysteries through symbols and allegories are like this. Those who deny the need for mirrors because the nature of light is constant and because it is sensed without the use of a mirror understand neither the eternal presence of the light nor its nature. Because the nature of light is eternally present, the light of Masonry turns rough stones to polished gold bars and common tools to precious jewels.”

The Mysteries of Freemasonry

The new Immediate Past Master of a lodge, the Master Mason who had just stepped down from his term as Worshipful Master, sat alone in the dining hall, looking pensive as he stirred his coffee. The lodge’s old Chaplain noticed this and went to ask what was on his mind.

The Past Master said: “Brother, I have spent the last several years working my way through all the chairs of our lodge. As the Worshipful Master, I did my duties and, if I may say so, I executed them well and with honor. I’ve joined the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, and a few research bodies, and listened to and read everything I could, and I strive to live a life of virtue and faith. But after all this time, I don’t feel like I really know much more about Masonry than I did after completing my proficiency as a Master Mason. I feel like I’m missing something. Is this all there is?”

The old Chaplain asked, “What do you think you are missing?”

The Past Master answered: “I don’t know, it’s just a feeling I have. It’s really a mystery to me.”

The Chaplain replied: “Ah, a mystery! Well, isn’t it interesting that our ritual talks about the “mysteries of Freemasonry”?

“What do you mean?” asked the Past Master.

“Brother,” responded the old Chaplain, “what are the secrets of Freemasonry?”

“We only keep our ritual and our means of recognition as secrets,” said the Past Master.

The Chaplain said: “And yet there are many books that reveal these things, so isn’t it foolish that we call them secrets? What is a secret, really, if it isn’t something that you know but cannot tell anyone else? And yet we tell each other these so-called secrets all the time. What, then, might be our real secrets.”

The Past Master looked down with a puzzled expression on his face.

“There! That’s it!” announced the old Chaplain, looking sincerely into the Past Master’s eyes and pointing at his forehead. “Pass through that veil, enter that temple, and you will find the true secrets of our Craft.”

“You’re not making much sense,” replied the Past Master.

The Chaplain smiled and said, “Isn’t it wonderful?”

A Master Mason in the Quarry

Peter Gower used to tell his craftsmen: “If you meet a Master Mason in the quarry, kill him.”