Category: W


What Are You Saying?

What Are You Saying?

In modern times, a great deal is made of finding old books,  and adhering to this ancient tradition, or that traditional custom. Naturally, Masonry is learned in one’s heart, and in the past, Master Masons often worked quietly and intentionally, and it was often not until they had passed on to the Celestial Temple that others truly understood their teachings.

The Past Master of a small lodge was on his deathbed, and called a Junior Warden into his chambers.

“I expect to be passing into the Celestial Lodge any time now, and you are the only one I think will be able to carry on our teachings,” he said. “Here is a book of all the rituals, traditions, and customs; I have even made some notes in the margins that you may follow them better. I’m passing it along to you because you will soon be the Maser of this lodge, and this will symbolize your successorship.”

The Junior Warden pushed the book back into the Past Master’s hands. “This book sounds as if it’s very important to you; perhaps you should hang on to it,” he said. “I received the teachings of a Master Mason a little bit at a time, from mouth to ear, and I am satisfied to have done so.”

“Yes, but even so,” replied the Past Master, “this book has been passed on from Master to Master for generations. Please take it.”

At that, the Junior Warden took the book from the Past Master’s hands and shoved it into the fireplace. He had no desire for such representations.

The Past Master, who had always been known for his patience, yelled “What are you doing?”

The Junior Warden shouted back at him “What are you saying?”

The Wind, Earthquake, and Fire

The Wind, Earthquake, and Fire

In the building of one of the great cathedrals, an apprentice raced to his master about a powerful experience he had while in prayer.

“Master!” he exclaimed, “I believe the True Word has come to me in my prayers! My body shook and trembled as if the foundations of the world were quaking. Many words of wisdom are now racing through my mind, and my soul burns with passion to serve my fellow man.”

“Oh, is that all?” the master casually asked.

The apprentice was surprised by his response. “Is that all?! What do you mean?”

The master replied, “Do you recall the story of Elijah in the cave?”

“Yes, of course. Why do you ask?”

“Tell me the story.”

“It is written that Elijah was hiding in a cave on a mountain and Jehovah passed by, and a great wind rent the mountains, and the rocks were broken into pieces before Him. After the wind there came an earthquake and then a fire. But Jehovah was not in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire. Jehovah spoke to him as a still small voice, and then Elijah came out of his cave to be instructed by God.”

“Today you have felt the wind in your mind, the earthquake in your body, and the fire in your passion, but you came out of your cave and down from the mountain without having heard the still small voice that speaks the True Word.”

Waves, Spray, and Foam

Having found passage on a boat delivering goods from Tyre, a craftsman sat pensively at the bow, the eyes under his furrowed brow looking out over the indigo waves and into the blue sky beyond the clouds. The captain approached him and asked, “Brother, what is that so occupies your mind?”

The craftsman looked at him and said, “Once when I was in the forests of Lebanon I met an old hermit who taught me that all things are illusions, that the only reality is oneness, and that two-ness is the foundation of all illusions. He said that we must strip away all these illusions by meditation and only then could we see this one truth as a great light shining within. It reminded me of the light of Masonry.”

The captain asked, “Is there something that troubles you about this?”

“Yes,” replied the craftsman. “How can I reject all I experience as nothing but illusions? Does seeking more light, as we are taught to do in Masonry, mean that I must reject the world, and even my own life? I have meditated as he taught, and there have been times when the world and my thoughts seemed to slip away. There was no thought of past or future, no thought of this or that, or even of myself, yet I know there was still a singular awareness of some kind. But it troubles me that even after accepting the truth of oneness, I cannot deny that here I still am in a world of too many things to count. Am I just too weak? Should I become a hermit like him?”

The captain pointed out over the surface of the water. “What do you see on the surface of the water?”

“Waves,” said the craftsman.

“And coming up from the bow of the boat?”

“The spray.”

“And when we get to the port, if you look where the water meets the rough sands of the shore, what will you see?”

“Foam.”

“Yes. Waves, spray, and foam. Each of them is here and then soon gone, and yet the sea remains.”

At these words the craftsman’s face relaxed, and he nodded, chuckling to himself, “Today this sea is the light of Masonry.”

The Way to Hiram Abif

A hopeful young apprentice went looking for Grand Master Hiram Abif, and unexpectedly found him working in a quarry. The apprentice asked him, “What is the way that leads to Hiram Abif?”

Hiram raised his gavel and said, “I bought this gavel at a very good price.”

The apprentice said, “I’m not asking about the gavel you bought. What is the way that leads to Hiram Abif?”

Hiram said, “It feels good when I use it.”

What is Your Light?

Peter Gower instructed his craftsmen, saying: “Everyone has their own light. If you want to see it you can’t. The darkness is dark. Now what is your light?”

Before anyone could speak, he answered himself: “The storeroom. The gate.”

Then he said, “It would be better to have nothing than to have something good.”

Why?

Why?

A new Entered Apprentice asked the lodge instructor, “Why did Grand Master Hiram Abif come from Tyre?”

The instructor replied, “Go ask that column over there.”

EA: “I don’t understand you.”

Instructor: “I don’t understand me either!”

Dissatisfied, the EA went to the Worshipful Master and reported what had transpired. Then he said, “Was he just being mean? What shall I do?”

The Worhsipful Master replied, “Go ask that column over there.”

Why Divided?

Why Divided?

A temple workman approached Hiram, King of Tyre, and asked, “If harmony is so important, why have we been divided?”

“How have you been divided?” responded the King.

“We have been separated into lodges of Apprentices, Fellowcrafts and Masters.” answered the workman.

“How does one progress from Apprentice to Fellowcraft to Master?” asked the King.

The workman thought for a moment and said, “He studies, practices and eventually proves proficiency at his current grade.”

“So who has divided you?” asked the King.

And the workman was brought to light.

Wearing Hiram’s Apron

Some time after the death of Grand Master Hiram Abif, King Solomon asked Adoniram: “What is the light of Masonry?”

Adoniram said: “This mind is the light of Masonry.”

King Solomon responded: “If anyone fully understands this, he is wearing Hiram’s apron, he is working with Hiram’s tools, he is speaking Hiram’s words, he is behaving as Hiram, he is Hiram.”

Where Have They Gone?

A craftsman asked Peter Gower, “Where have all the Past Masters and the ancient three Grand Masters gone?”

Peter Gower responded, “What did you say?”

The craftsman said, “I commanded an exceedingly fine racehorse to spring forth, but only a lame tortoise appeared.”

Peter Gower said nothing. The next day when he emerged from his bath, the craftsman served him a plate of fruit. Peter Gower gave the craftsman a pat on the shoulder.

The craftsman said, “Oh, the old boss has noticed for the first time.”

Peter Gower again said nothing.

Where is Your Home?

A Worshipful Master asked a new Master Mason, “Where is your home?”

The MM said, “The capital city of this state, Worshipful Master.”

The WM asked, “Do you think of that place?”

The MM said, “I think of it all the time, Worshipful.”

The WM said, “The ‘thinker’ is the mind, and the ‘thought of’ is the environment. Therein are mountains, valleys, rivers, buildings, lodges and temples, people, animals, and so on. Turn your thought to think of the mind that thinks. Are there so many things there?”

The MM said, “When I get here, I don’t see any existence at all.”

The WM said, “That’s appropriate for the stage of craftsmanship, but not yet right for the stage of mastery.”

The MM said, “Don’t you have some other particular way to teach?”

The WM said, “To say that I have anything particular is not accurate. Based on your insight, you only get one mystery. You can put on your apron and take a seat. After this, see on your own.”