The Fellowcraft journeys

On the Initiation's ceremony, the neophyte makes three journeys, which contains learnings but most of all represent exams. In the Fellowcraft ceremony, journeys have as principal objective, the learning.

First one is made by the Entered Apprentice with a pair of tools that are specially known for him: the mallet and the chisel, symbols of the intelligence and the will.

Mallet and chisel, is applied here over the senses, in order to obtain a correct appreciation of the exterior world. The idea is to work on the development, modification and improvement of his faculties, taking into account that these organs are the ones that let him interact with the outside, and for that reason, it is necessary to make them ready for the task of knowing Nature and himself as part of it.

This appreciation should be made, like the Worshipful Master says; considering the building from its foundation to its top, from a grain of sand till the infinity of the sky, because as it is above, is below and because every being reveals the divine blow in their selves.

It is possible to admit that senses are to man, what a keyboard, monitor or speakers are to a personal computer. This so called peripherical accomplish a bidirectional task, because they serve to input data and express or show the information that is inside its hard drive, making possible a phenomena named interaction.

So, man with no senses is like a PC with no such devices, with no chance to receive or give in the physical world.

There is a job to de done, to assure that the devices works properly, because returning to the example, if you try to enter some data with a broken keyboard, the results will not be the one that you pretend, and if the printer is out of toner, the hard copy will not represent what the saved information contains. Likewise, any problem with senses will produce an incapacity or limitation to man's perception and/or physical reproduction of a mental image.

Regarding our senses, it comes to our attention the existence of pairs usually located on the right and left side of the human body, circumstance that recalls that duality is present in everything, the opposites pair, which on the correspondence in the microcosm of the Tree of Life's spheres are the second and third Sephirah, Kjokmah and Binah, the left and right side of the face, the wisdom and the understanding, respectively.

Considering that in the first journey the goal was to be able to see and interact with the world, in the second one the purpose is to understand how it functions, among other things, the learning of the development and behavior of civilizations.

Science establishes repeated facts, converting them in laws, which are the ones that are to be dominated by a mason, using the square and the compass, tools that constitute symbols of the material and spiritual world, and let him comprehend that such laws rule and support both of them. Besides, the layout of these tools in the Volume of the Sacred Law in the second degree shows that these two worlds are more linked now. The importance of science, which constitutes the issue in this journey, may be summarized in what Eliphas Levi said on his "Elements of the Qabalah"

"Without faith, science leads to doubt; without science, faith leads to superstition"

In the third journey, the still Entered Apprentice has the ruler and the lever, and read the five architectural orders, which main difference is based in the evolution of the column's capitals ranging from the simple one to the most elaborated one.

Each column represents different stages of the human being in his transit through arts, from rudimentary to abstract, beginning in a stage in which he manage the same basic functions that others beings have, as he belongs to the animal kingdom, until he reach step by step, and maintaining his essence, to the beauty that its revealed through the perfection of forms and details, showed in the Corinthian and Compound style.

The ruler, one of the three instruments of the Entered Apprentice, symbolizes the correct administration of the brand new knowledge and virtues recently acquired or refreshed. The sum of this two is represented in the lever, as a new tool, the one that will allow him to make great progress in Masonry.

This new tool could be seen under another approach too. In the opening of the second grade meeting, when the Worshipful Master asks the First Warden, are you a Fellowcraft? He replies: "I know letter G"

This constitute part of a new wisdom, is the lever, which empowers his growth, in a geometrical manner, because he was told a hundred times in the profane world that he is a God's son, but from now on, he knows and feel with the reason and the heart, that his own being, his soul, share the divine's nature, and identify the mission as a need to reach perfection in order to meet again with his Father.

This knowing of letter G, reminds him during the present existence, that his immortal soul is walking from long ago trying to leave behind all the elements that cast him out from his inner genius.

The fourth journey begins reading the names of antique wise men, which in the past intensified their senses, acquired the knowledge through science, discovered the arts and contributed with all this, on the name of wisdom. The ruler, as the Fellowcraft ritual indicates, is representative of the arts (beauty and perfection), which is to be used and applied to everybody on an equal basis, and here is where the level appears, because it is man's job -and specially to the mason- to teach the ignorant and teach each person's own place in life.

With this purpose, he learned to see how things work, the laws that rules them, in the way to discover the place that everybody has to have, their destiny, including himself. The Masonic ideal is reflected here in the possibility to live in society, in order to know when to talk and when to keep silent, when to act and when to stop.

Finally, in the fourth journey's end, the Worshipful Master told him the name of the five steps that he must climb in order to enter the temple, that represents the necessary conditions to get the entrance. After that he starts the fifth journey with no tools in his hands, because he posses inside himself, the elements that under his freewill, will come along and serve him till the end of the road, following the Flaming Star that is going to lead him to other more elevated worlds that are still to be known.

April 9, 2004

Q:.H:. Miguel de Pomar