- About Us
- Royal Arch
This is written to celebrate the Installation of W Bro Des Morgan as Master of his Mother Lodge, The Lodge of Upright Intentions No 9200
It would be difficult to name another organisation in which symbolism plays such a prominent role as it does in Freemasonry., in which a fundamental requirement is ‘that every Freemason should know the meaning of the ritual that is practised in his lodge’
Originally, long before the formation of the first Grand Lodge of England in 1717, the ritual was handed down by word of mouth. In the ritual, one of the key things which happens is that there are transformations taking place, objects, such as working tools are each transformed into symbols, then operators mapping to a qualitative set, having an infinite number of elements.
At the Second Degree, presentation of the three tools, they are transformed into symbols each mapping respectively to either Morality, Justness, Equality and Uprightness of lives and actions.
The prime importance of these Masonic symbols is emphasised in the Questions and Answers in the Passing Ceremony. Consider question seven, which is of succinct form and has deep implications, justifying the use of transformations and is the Genesis of Freemasonry.
There are endless levels of meaning in our symbols both alone and when seen in conjunction with each other and every Freemason is allowed, and encouraged to read that symbolism in his own way.
Symbols are used in masonry to illustrate spiritual truths. The working tools of a Freemason are an excellent example of symbolism, for although they can be put into practical use they are also in the lodge to illustrate moral virtues.
The working tools of an Entered apprentice are the 24”Gauge which is a symbol of time. The 24”Guge is a practical instrument, it also symbolizes the necessity of the importance of allotting our time to the various activities of life. With this working tool our ancient brethren were trying to integrate time and space as a form of measurement in a single entity. During the late years of the nineteen century a series of scientific breakthroughs forced physicists to re-examine the simple pictures of space and time. By the early years of the twentieth century Albert Einstein’s colleague and tutor Hermann Minkowski was moved to write : “from henceforth space by itself and time by itself have vanished into the merest shadows and only a kind of blend of the two exists in its own right”. Confirming the conjectures of our ancient brethren of the integration and equivalence of space and time.
The Gavel is a light, setting mallet, one end has a head of which has a cutting head to trim off the work. It symbolises the force of conscience and is also an emblem of power in the lodge
The Chisel is used to smooth and prepare stone and symbolises the importance of education
In the Second degree Tracing Board lecture the seven liberal arts and sciences are listed as Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music and Astronomy
Arithmetic, has four basic symbols which transform into the operators; addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
Consider the “expression”: 2+3 =5. Now, the addition symbol has been transformed into an operator. It tells you to do something; the operation is to add the two numbers together and write down the result. The result is always the same if the operation is done correctly!
In the Address to the Brethren at the Installation importance is attached to the following moral actions:
No longer do we have the working tools, specifically stated, but their transformed symbolic operations have already been implied in the three points above. You can now directly conduct these operations on your journey to the centre
The same strategy is being applied here as with the addition, subtraction, multiplication & division of numbers. The symbols now take on their true roles as operators and in the Arithmetical example there is only one correct result, because the operators are “measurable” and the operations result is always quantitative.
In conclusion, this explains the use of working tools in the lodge in to illustrate moral virtues and then transforming the tools into symbols and then to operators who produce actions.in the subsets of the set defined .Hence, likewise each brother can select and action and each choice they make is correct! As he moves towards the centre (a point from which a Master Mason cannot err) every Mason will always be on his own unique and individual path on their respective journeys.
Finally, always remember that, mathematics is the only method of representing and explaining the universe in a symbolic manner and understanding it!
Dr Tony Milsom
Provincial Grand Orator
Thanks for the new website, it looks like a great improvement, much easier to use and much more informative.