Tag Archive: Mason

A Discourse Among Masters

A Discourse Among Masters

Once in ancient times, the Master of a lodge called all his neighboring Worshipful Masters together for discourse on the highest truth. Once they had arrived, he stood and spoke: “Welcome, dear brothers! I have called you all here so that I might explain to you what it means to be brought to light.”

Immediately all the brothers burst into laughter, and for the remainder of the time they sat around telling such jokes and poking fun at each other.

Body of Reality

Body of Reality

A new Master Mason asked his lodge instructor, “Flesh, sinews and even bones rot away. What is the hard and fast body of reality?”

The instructor said, “The mountain flowers bloom like a tapestry. The valley streams sparkle like amethyst.”

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.”

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.”

Peter Gower Brought to Light

Peter Gower was studying Masonry in Babylon. One night he came to the master and asked many questions. The master said: “The night is getting old. Why don’t you retire?”

So Peter Gower bowed and opened the screen to go out, observing: “It is very dark outside.”

The master offered him a lighted candle to find his way. Just as Peter Gower received it, the master blew it out. At that moment Peter Gower was brought to light.

“What have you attained?” asked the master.

“From now on,” said Peter Gower, “I will not doubt the master’s words.”

The next day the master told the other craftsmen and apprentices at his lecture: “I see one Mason among you. His teeth are like chisels, and his tongue is like a gavel. If you hit him hard with a setting maul, he will not even so much as look back at you. Someday he will travel to the farthest lands and carry the light of Masonry there.”

On that day, in front of the lodge, Peter Gower burned to ashes all of his notes on geometry and architecture. He said: “However abstruse the teachings are, in comparison with this light they are like a speck of dust in a great quarry. However profound the complicated knowledge of the world, compared to this light it is like one drop of water to the great ocean.” Then he left the lodge.

A Good Man Better

The Worshipful Master asked a lodge of Entered Apprentices, “What is the purpose of Masonry?

One of the EAs stood and said, “To make a good man better, Worshipful Master.”

Just then an old Master Mason sat up in his chair, looking around with a painful expression on his face, and asked, “What is that infernal noise???”

The Worshipful Master ignored him and asked the EA, “What, then, is a ‘good man’ and how do we make him ‘better’?”

The EA thought for a second and then began, “Well, a good man is one who…”

Before the EA could finish the old Master Mason suddenly jumped from his seat, covering his ears, and headed for the door shouting, “Oh no! Oh no! It’s the gates of Hell opening right here and now!”

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?”

Open Your Own Lodge!

Open Your Own Lodge!

A craftsman left his master’s lodge and went to visit Grand Master Hiram Abif in Tyre. Hiram asked: “What do you seek?”

“Light!” replied the craftsman.

“You have your own lodge. Why did you come here?” Hiram asked.

The craftsman replied: “I left my master’s lodge, so where is my lodge now?”

Hiram answered: “What you are asking is your lodge.”

The craftsman was brought to light. Ever since he has urged his brothers: “Open your own lodge and see the light!”

Seven Pounds!

Seven Pounds!

A craftsman asked Peter Gower, “The myriad things return to one. Where does the one return to?”

Peter Gower relpied, “When I was in Egypt, I made a cloth shirt. It weighed seven pounds!”

Light in Extension

Over the door of an ancient lodge is carved “Light in Extension”. The letters are unusually artistic, and those who appreciate the art of engraving always admire them as a masterpiece. It is said that a Master Mason drew them on paper, from which the apprentices would trace them onto the stone so that the fellowcraft could then carve them out before the master finished them.

A young apprentice attended the master as he sketched the letters. The apprentice was charged with keeping the quills sharp and ensuring there was plenty of ink and paper. But the apprentice was also a little cocky and often criticized his master’s work. “That’s not very good,” he told the master after his first effort.

“How is this one?”

“Poor. Worse than before,” pronounced the apprentice.

The master patiently wrote one sheet after another until thirty-two copies of “Light in Extension” had accumulated, still without the approval of the apprentice.

Then, when the young man stepped outside for a few moments, the master thought: “Now this is my chance to escape his sharp eye,” and he wrote hurriedly, with a mind free from distraction, “Light in Extension”.

When the apprentice returned he nodded confidently, “Now that is a masterpiece!”