View Single Post
Old 11-12-2013, 10:51 PM   #157
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Inactive
Posts: 36,483
Likes: 237 (190 Posts)
Arrow Chequers

The mosaic pavement of the lodge is discussed in the lecture of the first degree..

This is commonly described as the checkered carpet which covers the floor of the lodge. The lecture says that the mosaic pavement “is a representation of the ground floor of King Solomon’s Temple” and is “emblematic of human life, checkered with good and evil.”

In the account of King Solomon’s Temple in the Bible, the ground floor is said to be made of pine or fir, depending on which translation of the Bible that you read (1 Ki 6:15). It is hard to imagine that pine or fir flooring would be particularly mosaic in nature. However, it can be agreed that the mosaic pavement represents the ground floor of King Solomon’s Temple in the Entered Apprentice degree because that ceremony symbolically takes place in that location.

While these facts may not be particularly intriguing, the symbolism of the checkered carpeting presents some interesting concepts.

Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry discusses the symbol of the the mosaic pavement.

“The mosaic pavement in an old symbol of the Order. It is met with in the earliest rituals of the last century. It is classed among the ornaments of the lodge along with the indented tessel and the blazing star. Its party-colored stones of black and white have been readily and appropriately interpreted as symbols of the evil and good of human life.”

The lecture pertaining to the 15th Degree, Knight of the East and West, discusses the idea of duality or good and evil as a conflict. Pike writes “God is great, and good, and wise. Evil and pain and sorrow are temporary, and for wise and beneficent purposes…Ultimately, Good will prevail, and Evil be overthrown”..

So from this information, it can be understood that the concept of duality has played a part in Masonic symbolism since the early days of the fraternity. While duality is not often discussed in the ritual of the Blue Lodge, the Scottish Rite mentions this concept numerous times. The Rite makes the ideas of dualism, or opposition, in the universe an important part of its theme. Indeed, the ideas of the Kabbala and the Alchemists are used in the Scottish Rite to discuss this concept in several of the degrees...
Lecturer.: This, my brother, is the first of the Philosophical degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Rite, and the beginning of a course of instruction which will fully unveil the heart and inner mysteries of Masonry. Do not despair because you have often seemed on the point of attaining the inmost light, and have as often been disappointed. In all time truth has been hidden under symbols, and often under a succession of allegories - where veil after veil had to be penetrated before the true light was reached and the essential truth stood revealed.

We are about to approach those ancient religions which once ruled the minds of men, and whose ruins encumber the plains of the great Past, as the broken columns of Palmyra and Tadmor lie bleaching on the sands of the desert. They rise before us - those old, strange, mysterious creeds and faiths - shrouded in the mists of antiquity, and stalk dimly and undefinedly along the line that divides time from eternity, and forms of strange, wild, startling beauty mingle in the vast throng of figures with shapes monstrous, grotesque, and hideous.

The religion taught by Moses, which, like the laws of Egypt, enunciated the principle of exclusion, borrowed at every period of its existence from all the creeds with which it came in contact. . While by the study of the learned and wise, it enriched itself with the most admirable principles of the religions of Egypt and Asia, it was changed in the wanderings of the people, by everything that was impure or seductive in the pagan manners and superstitions. It was one thing in the time of Aaron and Moses, another in that of David and Solomon, and still another in that of Daniel and Philo.

At the time when John the Baptist made his appearance in the desert, near the shores of the Dead Sea, all the old philosophical and religious systems were approximating to each other, while the philosophers of Greece, all (except the disciples of Epicurus) more or less Platonicians, seized eagerly upon the beliefs and doctrines of the East. The Jews and Egyptians, before then the most exclusive of all people, yielded to that eclectism which prevailed among their masters, the Greeks and Romans. It was held by a vast number, even during the preachings of Paul, that the writings of the Apostles were incomplete, that they contained only the germs of another doctrine, which must receive from the hands of philosophy not only the systematic arrangement which was wanting, but all the developments which lay concealed therein-mysteries handed down from generation to generation in esoteric tradition...’ll have you know that a soldier is the most holy of all humans because he is the most tested—most tested of all. I’ll try to tell you. Look now—in all of history men have been taught that killing of men is an evil thing not to be countenanced. Any man who kills must be destroyed because this is a great sin, maybe the worst sin we know. And then we take a soldier and put murder in his hands and we say to him, “Use it well, use it wisely.” We put no checks on him. Go out and kill as many of a certain kind or classification of your brothers as you can. And we will reward you for it because it is a violation of your early training...
lightgiver is offline   Reply With Quote