AKA Information you probably didn't hear about in popular fiction

  Chaplain's Corner


The institution of Freemasonry rests upon three essential propositions:


  1. The existence of the Supreme Being;
  2. The immortality of the Soul;
  3. The brotherhood of man


The lodge neither theologizes nor dogmatizes on these propositions. Loyalty to these principles, traditions, and usages is the bond of union and the basis of perpetuity.  Masonry recognizes the “intrinsic”character of a man.


The ritual of initiation is the basic curriculum of the school of Masonry.  The education of the candidate occurs through appeal to his reason, his understanding, and his conscience.  He is not indoctrinated.  There is no dogmatizing.  He is urged to use all his faculties, capacities, and powers to test all that he sees and hears by his own judgment in the light of his own conscience.  In that sense my Brethren we are “forever” all candidates in Freemasonry! 


So let us consider the following:

  1. What is the basis for suggesting Freemasonry can be applied to practical living?
  2. How successfully Freemasonry been applied to living?


What is the basis for suggesting Freemasonry can be applied to practical living?


We have all developed our own codes by which we live.  These have evolved as a mixture of ethical rules and values, adjusted and fashioned according to each person’s individual background, experience, environment, conscience, hopes and expectations.  Can our Masonic involvement have relevance?


For its part, Freemasonry is described as a special system of moral instruction passed down in a unique manner from the ancient stonemason’s tools of whose craft have been used to illustrate principles of life. 


Under the guidance of the Volume of the Sacred Law, which is held up as the greatest light and example for a man to follow in his daily living, Freemasons have prescribed for themselves three grand principles, namely, brotherly love, relief and truth.


In our ceremonies, we are reminded of the need to adhere to the four cardinal virtues: prudence, fortitude, temperance, and justice. We are also to respect the important principles of benevolence, charity, mercy, honor, fidelity, loyalty, obedience and others.  Indeed, Brethren are enjoined to engage in the practice of every moral and social virtue.  We are instructed that the principles and tenets of the Craft should motivate us to act at all times with rectitude and decorum.  It is recommended to us that when we see faults in others, we judge with candor, admonish with friendship and reprehend with mercy.


In relation to three of the stonemason’s tools of craft, the square is used in a symbolic way to teach morality, the level equality, and the plumb rule integrity. 


We are exhorted to be ever mindful of our duty to the Supreme Being, to our neighbors, and to ourselves, to regard all men as brothers, to turn away from all thoughts of unkindness, malice or revenge in our dealings with others, and in everything we do to have eternity in mind.


We are told that, leading up to our inevitable destiny, we should positively aim to develop our minds and bodies to the utmost during our earthly sojourn. 


This short exposition of our philosophy leaves no doubt that Freemasonry, based as it is on the hallowed principles of piety and virtue, can provide for its members a behavioral framework of the highest quality, a code of morality that “can” be applied to daily living.



How successfully has Freemasonry been applied to living?


Many Brethren have spoken of the way in which their lives have been enriched by their Masonic association.  Living in accordance with the Masonic philosophy has, without doubt, helped in the development of personality and the strengthening of character and has caused many brethren to endeavor to base their conduct in life on the principles of integrity and honor. 


Freemasonry has brought a variety of benefits to its members.  Many have found a sense of peace and contentment, others have found a new courage which has helped them in times of adversity.  Some have increased in understanding  the virtues of patience and tolerance, others have gradually built up a degree of confidence in themselves which was missing previously.  Others still have found in Freemasonry a theme which complements their religious beliefs. ( Again, remembering Freemasonry does NOT theologize, or dogmatize) 


Many have profited from the simple pleasure of joining with other men in an atmosphere of social togetherness.  This opportunity to develop an ability to mix has assisted them in their daily dealings with other people outside the Craft. 


Speculative Freemasonry formally arrived on the scene 294 years ago.  Surely it was in existence before, as it was not born out of nothing overnight.  Exactly when and where we will most probably never know.  Any organization with such an unbroken record is surely soundly based.  The principles and virtues underlying Masonic philosophy have succeeded in capturing the imagination and attention of thousands, indeed, millions, of brethren over this long period.  While Freemasons constitute only a relatively small group in the community, the picture becomes larger when we add family members and others who associate with brethren and come in contact with Freemasonry to some extent, and who may be influenced to some extent by its pure principles.  The presence of a Masonic influence must surly have had a stabilizing effect on society standards.


Problems change continually.  True ethical and moral principles are eternal.


As Chaplain allow me to close with this thought, “In as much as ye have done it unto the least of  them, ye have done it unto me.”  That quote fits our overall Masonic philosophy well.





In the years following the formal establishment of the “Grand Lodge of England” copious publications have been written and circulated concerning “Freemasonry”.

Currently such publications along with many inter-net web sites are appearing with increasing frequency.

Said publications and web sites can be defined into two (2) main categories. They are either written by Freemasons or non-Freemasons. Each of these categories can then be further sub divided.

Masonic writers publish: 1. True documented research

2. Plausible speculation based on documented fact

3. Pure conjecture and sometimes-wishful thought

4. Unscrupulous work by masons with private agendas.

Non-Masonic writers tend to do the same with differing agendas.

  1. First as true researchers

  2. Second, with only personal financial gain as their objective

  3. Third, with anti-masonry as their objective

  4. Fourth, a combination agenda by means of two and three

The following is shared with you from my limited reading. Where it appears to me as speculative, conjecture, or pure fancy I shall so state.

Quite possibly the most devastating loss of “primary” manuscripts in regard to ancient philosophical thought was the burning of the Library of Alexandria (Egypt) in 391 A.D. Along with that fact numerous other records and documents were destroyed throughout the Roman Empire.

It is speculated the Knights Templar possibly made some significant discoveries. Just what these discoveries were is unknown. However, suggestions range from plausible, to speculation, to conjecture. These statements are always followed by, much if not all of their discoveries were seized, and or destroyed by the Inquisition against them. What did remain in Templar possession were hidden and yet to be rediscovered. A theory is also advanced that the Rosicrucian’s, which came into being some time after the demise of the Knights Templar, rediscovered some ancient mysteries. Various other groups during the middle ages have also have been purported to be associated with mysteries. In practical opposition to this, statements in regard to the Templars have been made speculating remnants of documents were preserved outside of the Papal States. It is further speculated such remnants were preserved in Scotland and with the philosophers of the subsequently emergent “Royal Society”. Exactly all and what documents we shall never know.

The “Great Fire of London” caused the loss of even more documents. Sadly, again we shall never know what. Document loss was further exacerbated by a change in reigning royal dynasties, their philosophies, decrees, and enforcements. This of course also caused a shift in parliamentary affiliations and documents again being sidelined or at worst destroyed. Another deeply harmful affect because of the previous conditions was, the dispersing of many erudite researches and scholars throughout Europe into exile, and in the worst-case obscurity. Having delivered the preceding qualifying background statements, I suggest the following.

Freemasonry as established in 1717 in England was a questing fraternity. (I say in England, because it was introduced from Scotland into England. I have addressed this matter in a previous short paper.) It was endeavoring to retrieve and collate whatever could be salvaged from the then scant and scattered documents of erudite and adept scholars and philosopher/scientists of the past. This endeavor was short lived. The earthly mind set and practices of the majority of those in position of social rank, wealth, and power aspiring to become members of the “fraternity” had already begun to shift to worldly pursuits and gains. The original goal of “Freemasonry” was beginning to become corrupted.

Freemasonry as we know it today has evolved into a modern “charity” based social institution. It retains just enough of the aspects of ritual, which marginally satisfy the original philosophical ideals, although in greatly manipulated and diluted form.

Freemasonry has been manipulated into a form, which has caused its original precepts to become, in the main, forgotten.

Freemasonry is not a social club, but a sphere for social endeavor, combined with training towards the perfection of the individual. Until the tenents of the Craft are demonstrated in one’s life one is but a member of the Craft only and not a real Mason. The nature of the word Craft itself defines it is something that has to be practiced.

“The Fraternity has some of the best minds available, however, many times those minds are not in tune with the needs and aims of the Fraternity. More especially those same individuals do not even have a clue to the true purpose of the Fraternity”. (Dudley Wright) The key reason one is “supposed to” attain a suitable proficiency before advancing is not to prove they are a diligent disciple of memory (although quite useful), but that they may translate their intellectual knowledge into practical application. Freemasonry is not a compulsory idealism. It impels, but does not compel.

The original purpose of Freemasonry *[Its “Prime Objective”] is to be found in the definitive, not the superficial, explanation given in the “Standard Work” meaning of “The Point Within the Circle”. (Addressed in a separate paper – “The Point Within the Circle”)

The “Royal Art”, the “Gentle Craft”, is to research, study, and pursue that path to the end! The effort of which is to awaken the intuitive faculty of perception and understanding. This is to be accomplished by the individual brother, rather than by being subjected to dogma and argument dictated by the Craft. The “Ritual” is not the “Alpha and Omega” of freemasonry. It is the means to one’s, or rather what should be one’s, end Goal. The means or philosophical tool is the ritual. The pracitioner of that tool is the individual. The individual, who through his studies will hopefully awaken and enhance his “intutive faculties of perecption”. This should cause one to reflect on the prayer for the candidate on the occasion of his first degree! In its entierity it is asking for this on his behalf!

To accomplish this one (I must again emphize it is an individual quest and attainment) must progress beyond the philosophy of the Craft, which is a superficial interlectual tool, and enter into the psychology of self, which is the study of the principles, laws, and facts of one’s possible evolution. Then one will truly practice the True “Royal Art”.

The true psychology of self not being what I am now, but to what I can progress and evolve to! You, know as well as I, man is a “Self-Conscious Individualized Intelligence”. It is a matter of Individual experience, from which the whole tide of life flowes and the whole range of man’s varied experiences proceed.

Self-recognition in man enables him to also recognize the existence, relations, and behavior of life. Next to man’s Self-Conscious Intelligence there presents his Rational Volition, the power to act and the power to choose. Next in line of normal action and progressive” evolution arrives the necessity and the “duty” of self-control, and finally there dawns and develops in him the sence and “obligation” of Personal Responsibility! Man has Self-Conscious Intelligence, endowed with the power of Rational Volition or freewill, with the “Duty” of Self-Control and the recognition of Personal Responsibility. Herein lie the essential elements, the foundation of psychology and all true philosophy of the nature and potential of man!

All knowledge for man proceeds from knowledge of self, an experience of his relation to other individuals and other things; the Self and the Non-Self.

In reality that is the original form of psychology. It alone explains the original form of the discipline or “art”! Psychologist Carl Jung equated it with turning from a will-less person to a selfactualized individual. I must say that statement being the worst condition in relation to this paper. This demonstrates the important reason Freemasonry only accepts freemen, etc, etc, none in nonage or dotage, and of their own freewill and accord.

Traveling this path of course means abandoning the “material I”, or what I seem to be and my “worldly ego”! The goal of which is a reconnection to that which has been lost!

To define it further, it is to reconnect to the Point Within the Circle. In Fine and in time to reconnect with the “Alpha and the Omega”, the ONE and only Great Creator of all that ever was, is, or shall be!!! If and while this is being practiced and strived for, one becomes of immeasurable benefit to society as a whole.

Once again, because it cannot be stressed enough, all this is accomplished by a diligent focus on the psychology of self in its “original” form. The philosophical lessons of freemasonry are one’s tools with to work toward that end. This is your key to unlock the true secrets of the mysteries of all ages. Without intending any insult whatsoever to any Brother, I have become convinced to many Brethren this is a foreign concept. I too am learing every day and have a long way to travel. However, I am also convinced the “Prime Objective” of Freemasonry is to awaken the intuitive faculties of perception and understanding, and by it a reunion with the “Alpha and the Omega”, “which nothing earthly gives or can destroy, the Soul’s sunshine and the heartfelt joy”.

R.W.B. Karl S. Reith,

Henry A. Green Lodge #250

F. & A. M., WA.

P.S. “To handle ourselves use our heads, to handle others use our hearts.”

“Love people and use things, do not love things and use people.”

“Treasure is love given or received.”




One circumambulation of the second degree teaches judgment of responsibilities to actions.  The other circumambulation teaches responsible actions of charity, and or love. 

Let us reflect on some aspects of charity and love.  True charity is love.  Allow me to quote just two examples of such.


Every good act is charity.

Your smiling in your Brother's face is charity;

An exhortation of your fellowman to virtuous deeds, is equal to Alms-giving;

Your putting a wanderer on the right road, is charity;

Your removing stones and thorns, and other obstructions from the road is charity;

Your giving water to the thirsty, is charity;

A man's true wealth hereafter, is the good he does in this world to His fellow-man.

When he dies, people will say, "what property has he left behind?"

But the angels will ask, "what good deeds has he sent before him?"



Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.  Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.  O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; for it is in the giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. 

                                                            St. Francis of Assisi




Modified excerpts from:
Worshipful Brother (and Chief) Ranami Abah
P.M. Lodge Faith 1271, Nigeria
District Grand Lodge of Scotland

“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify God.” Matt. 5.16

The concept of light or the word itself has always, from time immemorial, occupied a dominant position in the philosophies of all ancient religions and mystery orders. In ordinary language the word is given several definitions, which on reflection tend to lead to a realization of deeper meanings, which have adorned the philosophies of ancient mystery orders including Freemasonry.

Some of the most common definitions are as follows:

  1. It is the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible.

  2. It is also defined as the amount of illumination in a place or a person’s share of it.

  3. It is described as the object from which light emanates such as sun, a lamp, a candle, fire, etc.

  4. It can be defined as the quality of brightening with animation.

All of those definitions relate to sight, which is the faculty of seeing by response of the brain to the actions of light on the eyes in all things that relate to the gross material world limited to time and space in accordance with the capacity of the brain, which governs the intellect.

In all ancient philosophies man has always contended with the doctrine of the two antagonistic principles of light and darkness, wisdom and ignorance, good and evil. Indeed there is hardly any ancient system that did not possess the basic recognition of light with the reverence as being emblematically representative of the eternal principles of goodness and wisdom as against evil and ignorance. These ancient systems of religion and esoteric sciences went further to exhibit prominently an emblematic relation between material light and mental illumination, primordial knowledge or the ever active primordial energy. Examples of these philosophies can be found in the Jewish Kabalistic doctrine, those of the Egyptians, Persians, the dogma of Zoroaster and Brahmans, to name a few. It is a reflection of these doctrines that leads us also to a conscious contemplation of the true meaning of the great phrase “Let there be light, and there was light.” It is significant to note even man in his material existence in reacting to his own surroundings is filled with sentiments of fear when he is face to face with darkness while his reaction to light is that of joy and happiness.

All Freemasons know or ought to know that “light” is one of the cardinal words that form the main fabric of Speculative Freemasonry. It is not only one the first symbol that is ceremonially introduced to the initiate, but continues all through his progress in the Craft. Truth and Wisdom constitute part of light, that which pervades the whole basis of Freemasonry to the extent that Freemasons are even called the Sons of Light. In the First Degree alone the word is introduced to the candidate in three different perspectives. Those perspectives being, the material light, or the lesser lights, the emblematic light or the Volume of the Sacred Law, and the spiritual light or the creative will of the Supreme Being. These concepts and others that follow after the First Degree are amply enshrouded in illuminating phraseology remembered by every Freemason. Their full import may not be perceived by all but they are constantly there in the rituals of our ceremonies. There are other references to light that are still worthy of note. “To bring to light” or “to see the light” technically means initiation. From the foregoing it is obvious that to the mason light has a deeper meaning which is darkness to the uninitiated or possibly even the newly made Mason, but visible to the worthy Mason and only to the worthy Mason.

What therefore is the light that is darkness visible?
The first and most important qualification for becoming a mason is a “belief in a Supreme Being”. From this belief arises a second belief that all things were made at the creative spark (WILL) of the SUPREME BEING. What therefore is the creative spark at which all things were first made? The VSL bears testimony that in the beginning God created Heaven and earth, and the earth was without form and void. Then came the great spark of creation, and God said, “let there be light and there was light”. From this record in the VSL, the transformation of voids into forms such as the firmament, the sea, land and all living creatures, etc took place after the creation or issuing forth light which was the animating force. Indeed it was not until the fourth day that the sun to rule the day and give light to the earth, and the moon to govern the night and the stars were created. What was therefore the first light created on the first day? This light has been described as the unsubstantiated primordial light, the driving force throughout creation, the primordial seed, the ever active primordial energy.

What light does the Freemason seek to see? The light given in the great creative spark can therefore be equated with the WILL of God, the creative WILL of GOD, from which all forms emanate in perfection and from which also the spirit core of man emanates in subsequent creation. This is the beginning of creation and the understanding of the place of man in creation, which Masonic science strives to teach. The VSL bears further testimony in the following manner:

1.     In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. (St John 1.1)

2.     All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. (St John 1.3)

3.     In Him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehended it not. (St John 1.4,5)

The awareness and understanding of the interconnecting cycle in creation is the knowledge that constitutes the Masonic light which is darkness to the neophyte but visible to the initiated. As has been mentioned earlier, all ancient religions and esoteric sciences tend to have a relationship between illumination and the creative WILL of God. These point towards the understanding of creation, which is darkness to the uninitiated. Freemasonry is a science that seeks to understand creation, particularly man in relation to creation. (More especially man’s relation to God from that creation.)

If man fails it is always his own fault, and never because of the strength or weakness of his particular gifts. The fundamental gift, the actual power, the strongest part of man, which is the bearer and center of all life and immortal is given to all men alike. This fundamental gift is never dimmed or tarnished. It remains pure even among the greatest debasement and filth. Man only need remove the veil he has created, or discover the center. It is believed man shut himself off from the center by no longer heeding its perceptive intuition. If he removes this veil it was flare up again pure and unsullied as it was in the beginning when he received it.

From the foregoing it is evident that true knowledge is light; wisdom is light, ignorance is darkness.

My brethren as stated at the beginning, the foregoing is a modified excerpt of W.B. Abah. I encourage you to explore his work in its entirety and contemplate what you find therein. If interested obtain a copy of:

“Light after Darkness”
Chief Ranami Abah
Lewis Masonic Pub.
London, England

Thank you for your kind attention: Bro. Karl S. Reith/Henry A. Greene, #250


From the Chaplain’s Station

You may ask:  What makes a Nation Great?  Is it the vast number of people? No, otherwise China would be the greatest nation.  Is it great riches?  No, in our early days we were puny and poor.  Is it military prowess?  No, else Rome would have continued as the greatest nation on earth.  Is it intellectual genius?  No, otherwise Greece would have remained the greatest nation.  The thing that makes a nation great, that builds and upholds a nation, and lengthens and strengthens the path of its glory is the morality and patriotism of a law-abiding people, and a faith in the Supreme Architect of the Universe!

“ Henry C. Clausen” 

I do not choose to be a common man.  It is my right to be uncommon if I can.  This is a quote from Dean Alfange’s famous poem entitled “My Creed”

How appropriate those sentiments are to Freemasonry!  We are taught as Freemasons that we should constantly strive to improve ourselves, that we can never achieve perfection in our human lives, but we can always improve upon what we presently are.

The image of Freemasonry is created by the lives and conduct of its members.  It calls for uncommon men.  Freemasons are charged to be good citizens, serving their God, defending their Country, providing for their families, helping their communities, and extending brotherhood to their fellow men.  In general, living their lives in a manner so consistent with their consciences that they will not fear to die.

Too often, common men do not meet these qualifications.  Too often common men have discarded these values to conform to the practices of our modern times.  Some disavow religion, denigrate patriotism, and sneer at morality and work to tear down all previous standards.  Many others are simply too apathetic to defend the right, and prefer the easy way of moral permissiveness.

Freemasonry has passed through numerous cycles over the years, depending upon the public’s appreciation of moral values.  It (Freemasonry) has remained faithful to its mission of improving men.  It has been said that mediocrity is a condition to which few men aspire, but yet few escape.  If Freemasonry is to enjoy a resurgence of popularity it will depend upon the success of individual Freemasons in living their lives in a manner that will reawaken the public awareness of and appreciation for a belief in a Supreme Being, morals, family, patriotism, and good citizenship, thereby establishing the fact that Freemasons are indeed “Uncommon Men”.

Taken from J.J. Murchison
Past M.W. Grand Master


The Point Within The Circle

The study of “The Point Within the Circle” must first commence with the symbolism and lesson from the monitorial lecture of the First Degree. Wherein we are presented with the following explanations, which have been excised from the entire passage:  “--- a certain Point within a Circle ---“.  “The point represents an individual Brother; the Circle is the boundary line, beyond which he is never to suffer his passions, prejudices or interests to betray him ---.”   However, what is not quoted as part of the lecture although additionally presented at the end of the standard quote is: “This is a symbol of great interest and importance, and brings us into close connection with the early symbolism of the solar orb and the universe, which was predominant in the ancient sun-worship.”  This shall be addressed later in the paper.

This monitorial explanation, trite and meager as it is, may well be satisfactory for a Brother.  It may be as far as he wishes to contemplate the matter.  If a Brother does choose to contemplate beyond the explanation given, I humbly offer some suggestions to consider in reference to the philosophical system, which constitutes the essence and character of freemasonry.

The point signifies unity, the Origin and the center.  It also represents the principles of manifestation and emanation.  The circle represents the boundary of the perfect whole.

Contained within the “Gothic Constitutions” are (15) fifteen points for the Master and (15) fifteen points for the Craftmen.   I believe it can be said without argument these points should be at the center of those individuals, and our being.  These points are then to be practiced within the bounds of their, and our whole or entire actions.

In the English working we find:

* Freemasons are taught in the ritual that the compasses remind them of God’s unerring and impartial justice, which, having defined for their instruction the limits of good and evil, which will reward or punish according as they have obeyed or disregarded his divine commands.  The freemason, also is taught to “keep within compass,” (“keep his passions within due bounds”) a phrase which we find in general literature as early as 1619, and probably could find much earlier.

* In the Irish workings the compasses are regarded as an instrument for drawing the prefect figure, the circle, which teaches us to place a curb upon our passions, (“keep his passions within due bounds”) while the point within denotes to us the eternal source of life.

* A truly remarkable verse in Milton’s Paradise Lost, written in the middle years of the 1600’s at the very time when symbolic freemasonry was seeking the inspiration of word and phrase is, as quoted: “Then stayed the fervid wheels, and in his hand

He took the golden compasses, prepared
In God’s eternal store, to circumscribe
This universe, and all created things,
One foot He centered, and the other turned
Round through the vast profundity obscure
And said, “Thus far extended, thus far thy bounds,
This be thy just circumference, O World!”

Many students, scholars, and writers describe “the Point Within the Circle” as God in the center of his universe.  Many philosophers have hypothesized and expounded on and from this definition.

A quote from Albert Pike is as fellows:
* “Masonry to the Masonic Brethren is a search  after, and a journeying towards, Light.”  All things considered therefore, the Masons’ Word is undoubtedly related to Light, in perfect accord with the “point within the Circle”.

* In ancient Egypt the Sun symbol was represented by a point within the circle. 

Later it (the Point Within the Circle) also became the alchemical symbol for gold. 

The Heliopolis bird of enlightenment, the Phoenix, was known to the Egyptians as the ‘benu bird’, which came from the east as a physical manifestation of Ra.  (Ra of course, being the light or Sun God.) (Therefore associated with “Light or “The” source of creation, the “All”.)

* Newton believed that the dimensions and geometry of the Jerusalem Temple floor plan contained clues to timescales, and he used these mathematics in his calculations when developing his theory of gravitation.  The Temple, he said, was the perfect micro-cosm of existence, and his diagrammatic Description of the Temple of Solomon is held at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.  At the center of the Temple, in the Sanctum Santorum (Holy of Holies) was kept the Ark of the Covenant, and Newton likened his heart of the Temple to a perpetual fire, with light radiating outwards in circles, while also being constantly attracted back to the center. (Not unlike the Egyptian consept of the Pheniox when studied in depth.)   In line with this thinking, a point within a circle was indeed a symbol for light in ancient Egypt, and in the lodge ritual of Freemasonry, there is a related conversation, which takes place between the Worshipful Master and his Wardens concerning the lost secrets.  ( An old English ritual that has been exposed and published. There are Not any secrets being divulged at this point.)  The Master asks the Question: ‘How do you hope to find them?’  Answer: ‘By the center’.  Question: ‘What is a center?’  Answer: ‘That point within a circle from which every point is equidistant’.

The Light being pursued by Freemasons is the light which is both emanating from and vanishing into the Point Within the Circle!  It is his being.  It is the perfect self, that which was created and given by the Almighty Creator of the Universe.  

* It is said by some, with a nearer approach to interpretation, that the Point Within the Circle represents God in the center of the universe.  In fact in the Kaballah the point is Yod.  So, it may also symbolize His “image and likeness” man, in the center of his universe, the vast expanse of which is the only “boundary” or “limitation” placed upon him.  From this man may learn that the possibilities of human evolution are as boundless as infinity, the Universe itself.

* Geometry is half of the science, the other half is the geometer.  Geometry deals with only one of the tools, namely the square, which is used to draw straight lines, horizontals and perpendiculars, and to prove corners.  The other tool, the compass draws curved lines between two points and describes a circle which is one continuous line without end, each part of which is equally distant from the center.  Within the bounds of the circle all true building must be erected on the square.

We as Freemasons are to act upon the square.  Acting upon the square takes us back to the two sets of fifteen points mentioned early on in this paper.  It also reminds us of our own monitorial explanation.  A square is constructed from a center point!  *Our ancient brethren used the point within the circle as a test for the rectitude of the tools by which they squared their work and built their buildings.  In the Speculative sense, we use it as a test for the rectitude of our intentions and our conduct, by which we square our actions with the square of virtue. They erected cathedrals we build a house not made with hands but with intent and actions.  Their point within the circle was operative, ours is speculative and esoteric.

*Just as the operative renews the square by relying on the central point, so is the regeneration of the soul to be found by faith on the Divine Center.  The secret is lost, not destroyed, It can be found.  The universe is built on mathematical lines.  As Plato puts it, “God is always geometrising.”  The master secret of true building, physically and mentally, is only to be found on the Center,  and the symbol of  “the Point Within the Circle” contains the secret by which we may find that right angle to which all our building must conform, if is to be upheld by the infinite central forces in the material and moral world.

Do not regard the Point Within the Circle lightly my Brethren.  Regard it with the due reverence it truly deserves, for it is the greatest symbol of freemasonry.  On the surface it is revealed, its inner recesses concealed! 

My Brethren there have been many writings produced in regard to the meaning and possible origins of the “Point Within the Circle”.  It can be found in many ancient cultures and religions.  It appears in many works of symbolism, philosophy, and mythology.  No matter what form or methodology a particular philosophy exercises they all ultimately conclude, the “Point Within the Circle” is the original source, the “Absolute”.  All there is originates, emanates from and returns to, and re-emanates from the source point.  It is both finite and boundless.  It is everything in and of its self. It is the “Alpha and the Omega”!  If you so choose, I encourage you to pursue your own investigation and study in the matter, and reach your own conclusions.  Every Freemason is entitled to do so --- as long as he stays within due bounds. 

We may individually proceed on different paths of thought and yet be equally true to the same great Truth.  Our views and creeds may not proceed on parallel paths, yet our hearts can all be true to “THE” one Great Center.

We can only know in part and must believe in part.  Therefore Faith, through the very limitations and conditions of our individual knowledge, becomes the great factor that enables us to move forward and ever closer to the eternal Center of all Light and Truth.

I do hope my short and incomplete offerings have been of some interest and worth.

Thank you for your kind attention and indulgence.

R.W.B. Karl S. Reith, Henry A.Green Lodge #250, F&AM, WA.


What Makes A Mason?

What makes you a Mason, O brother of mine?
It isn’t the due guard, nor is it the sign,
It isn’t the jewel which hangs on your breast,
It isn’t the apron in which you are dressed,
It isn’t the step, nor the token, nor grip,
Nor lectures that fluently flow from the lip,
Nor yet the possession of that mystic word,
On five points of fellowship duly conferred.
Though these are essential, desirable, fine,
They don’t make you a Mason O brother of mine.

That you to your sworn obligation are true-
“Tis that, brother mine, makes a Mason of you.
Secure in your heart you must safeguard your trust,
With lodge and with brother be honest and just,
Assist the deserving who cry in their need,
Be chaste in your thought, in your word and your deed,
Support him who falters, with hope banish fear,
And whisper advice in an erring one’s ear.
Then will the Great Lights on your path brightly shine,
And you’ll be a Mason,  o brother of mine.

Your use of life’s hours by the gauge you must try,
The gavel to vices with courage apply;
Your walk must be upright, as shown by the plumb,
On the level, to bourn whence no traveler come;
The Book of your faith be the rule and guide,
The compass your passions shut safely inside;
The stone which the Architect placed in your care
Must pass the strict test of His unerring square,
And then you will meet with approval divine,
And you’ll be a Mason, O brother of mine.

Direct copy from George H. Free
Taken from “A Masonic thought for each Day of the Year” (Alphonse Ceria) 1972



Many diverse opinions have been expressed on this question down through the years.  There are even some who advance the position that a man can actually become a Mason in his heart without petitioning Masonry, by simply leading a life consistent with all Masonic principles.  While we recognize there are many good men outside Masonry, merely living an exemplary life does not make a man a Mason.  Something else is required.

Some Masons suggest that a man becomes a Mason when he assumes the obligation of the E.A. Degree.  Others require he complete the degree.  Still others adhere to the belief one becomes a Mason only when one has fully satisfied the E.A. Degree requirements by passing one’s proficiency in that degree.  It is clear by this point one is a Mason of some description.

This, however, is not a satisfactory answer to some of our scholars.  The same arguments are presented relating to the M.M. Degree.  Some favor the obligation stage, some the completion of the degree by raising, and still others require completion of all details by passing the proficiency exam.  Some reasonable argument may be made in support of each and all of these positions, when considered from legal and technical viewpoints.

Philosophically, however, it seems likely none of the above considerations fully answer the question.  We must remember Masonry is a philosophical moral science, and all Masonic questions should be approached from that viewpoint.  Probably a deeper significance was intended when the question was first propounded.  A man may become a Mason at any stage in his particular Masonic career.  It occurs when the teachings of masonry make a lasting impression upon his mind and soul.  It causes him to see himself in a new light.  It brings a profound change in his priorities in life and he learns that the things of true value are spiritual rather than material.

At this stage the Mason puts the good of the Lodge ahead of his own honors and advancement.  He becomes impressed with value of such virtues as justice, right and truth.  He learns no man can enjoy peace of mind or serenity of soul unless he can be convinced in his own mind and conscience he is doing that, which is right, rather than that which is convenient.

He is in fact a Mason when the Masonic teachings have caused him to have a comfortable relationship with his God and sees himself as a spiritual being, able to look at his present life from an eternal point of view.  He can live with confidence when he has considered his ultimate destiny.

When a man has become a Mason he will live a life outside the Lodge a life, which exemplifies the lessons he has learned within, he will give to the world a true and favorable impression of our beloved Order.  By his life’s actions you will know when a man has become a Mason.

M.W.B.: J.J. Murchison (Oregon) May 1988