Dedicated to Athos A. Altomonte’s work of instruction
Index: Seven Masters make a regular Lodge - Of the Sun and the Moon - The Book on the altar
The three great Rays of Synthesis (1st, 2nd and 3rd Ray) make the whole of the Divine manifestation (see The Science of the Rays). These three greater Rays or Rays of Aspect make the manifested Divinity, the embodied Word, the expression of the creative Proposition and the Synthesis of life in quality and appearance.
These three fundamental Aspects or Rays are at the basis of the manifestation of the cosmos. They are the 1st Ray, the Will Aspect, the 2nd Ray, the Love-Wisdom Aspect and the 3rd Ray, the Intelligent Activity Aspect.
When the Entity, which we can improperly say it’s “behind” the universe, meaning outside the manifestation, decided to appear, it expressed it as a ‘centrifugal” Will. The Big Bang of actual science gives a significant representation of it. The emanation of this Will is geometrically represented by the dot. This energy obviously crosses every dimension and reaches the physical plane, continuing in its expansion motion. At the same time, if there wasn’t a centripetal Will, that centrifugal energy would disperse. This second Aspect is expressed as Magnetism and it represents the energy able to contain, so much so that geometry expresses it as a circumference around a dot.
This is the symbol of the Logos. The dot is what we recognize as the Father and the circumference as the Mother, the Space. The interaction of these two Energies, esoterically called the Two Origins, gives life to a qualified space that we recognize as the Son, the third Aspect, the manifestation expressed by Motion. Here appears the form.
The third Ray of Aspect is the ray that synthesizes the four Rays of Attribution (IV, V, VI, VII) as they are called; it appears as the result of the action of the One and the Two. If we need three Rays (which are energies) to create a form (I, II and III), we need five to manifest it (III, IV, V, VI and VII) and seven to give it full expression. This should sound familiar to the many people who know the masonic foundations and who will be able to understand its esoteric meaning.
Let’s see how this concept referred to the three forms of energy is represented in the masonic Temple.
Each Temple is dedicated To The Glory Of The Great Architect Of The Universe, from which the acronym T.G.O.T.G.A.O.T.U is derived. This is done not to give a name to the divinity which the Templar works are inspired and dedicated to.
The first symbol that we find under this acronym usually present in every temple is the eye inscribed in a triangle, representation of the human Monad, viz. the “divine fragment in every man”, where the eye represents the Logos and the triangle represents the Monad.
There is also the flaming Pentalpha with the letter G inscribed into it. It is not a simple pentalpha, but it has the attribute of being flaming like the initiatory fire, as a testimony of the power of the soul that veils the brothers in that Temple, recognized as Masters. The power to Illuminate the form belongs to the soul and this symbol reminds us of it. Since the pentalpha represents man, this figure under the monadic triangle, in its turn under the acronym which the work is dedicated to, T.G.O.T.G.A.O.T.U., and also flaming with the spiritual fire, expresses man in the microcosm enhanced by the energy of the Father, saturated with the macrocosmic energy, viz. the Initiated man. In short, the work in the Temple is carried out by an assembly of souls, rather than personalities.
Further down we find the Worshipful Master, who, together with the 1st and 2nd Wardens makes a triangle, called of the Three Lights, expression of the three energies, the three Aspects on the physical plane.
Here it is necessary to make a digression in order to understand the attributions that the rituals give the three functions, respectively of the W.M, of the 1st and of the 2nd Wardens: Wisdom, Strength and Beauty.
The ancient Wisdom reminds us that the present Solar System, made by Entities such as our Planetary Logos together with other Planetary Logoi, at present works on the Energy of the Second Aspect or Ray, that Energy known as Love-Wisdom. An idea of this quality was testified to the Humankind by two front rank figures, exemplary with their lives, qualities that together manifest the II Ray; they were the Buddha (for the Wisdom aspect) and the Christ (for the Love aspect).
We know that each Ray manifests in a seven-fold manner, respecting the law that is true for any living organism in nature.
Therefore when we refer to the three functions of the Three Lights, we must keep in mind that the energy under which we work is that of the II Ray, of Love-Wisdom, and the three express the first three aspects of that energy. In particular the W.M. embodies the Wisdom with which he manages the works of the lodge, expressing a Will for good useful to indicate the proposition, expressing the 1st aspect of the II Ray; the 1st Warden expresses the Strength, meant as ability to contain with tenacity the cohesion of the Lodge, coordinating its work and expressing the 2nd aspect of the II Ray. The 2nd Warden expresses Beauty, meant as loving activity, illuminating with his work the consciences just introduced to the temple, orienting them towards the future work and expressing the 3rd aspect of the II Ray. Therefore the first Light manages, the second contains and the third illuminates.
At the beginning we said that each manifestation is characterized by these three Rays of Aspect, therefore the individual as well.
Each organism in evolution is by definition imperfect; indeed once reached the level of perfection (relatively to this plane) the need to physically manifest itself fails; this happens with the abandonment of the cyclic incarnation on the physical plane (the cycle of rebirths), going on other planes of conscience, esoterically indicated as other Worlds of manifestation.
Evolving therefore imperfect consciencesare also those belonging to the officers expressing the Three Lights. This awareness should guide them in the effort to synthesize this three-fold aspect (Will, Love and Intelligence) in their own work, which will be calibrated to the plane of conscience indicated by the Lodge Picture, which as we know can be in the degree of Apprentice, Fellow and Master.
The symbolic content of the Lodge Picture expresses a state of conscience, also called the mirror, where the model which the works are inspired to is reflected (we already mentioned this in a previous work, see The Lodge Picture).
“I know, therefore I am” says the catechism; therefore if I don’t know I cannot be.
Seven Masters make a regular Lodge
In each Temple we have Three Lights; each person called to represent that function enters the Temple wearing a collar with a symbolic jewel. We always find the collar in the paraments of the great priests, great dignitaries, kings and princes, magistrates and all the people qualified for certain functions. Why this constant in the use of the collar?
The collar with its jewel shows that the symbol of that degree, which is the conscience of that function, must start and be ruled by the heart. The brother that at that moment wears the collar with its jewel symbol of the function must know that his action must start from the heart and not from the head. If we had to indicate the head we would have used other paraments, such as the crowns of kings or the crown with the snake on the pharaohs’ forehead. The tradition gives the paraments the task of indicating the energetic center that the officer will have to use.
Freemasons aspiring to the real initiation should work mostly with the center of the heart, the cardiac center, therefore with the Love-Wisdom aspect. It supports the reason by which the guide of a lodge represented by the W. M. is symbolically representative of the II Aspect in its first quality.
Each individual brother aspiring to the real Initiation must work for the achievement of his triplicity. He will have to be able to manage his part of Love-Wisdom that shows itself on the intuitive plane (in the East indicated as the buddhic plane), his part of Will for good, meant as work aimed at the achievement of the Common Good, which implies a decentralization of the conscience; we are not referring to the concrete mental plane (plane of reason) but to the abstract plane of the mind where it is possible to touch the plane of ideas thanks to the medium of intuition. He will also need to manage his part of Intelligent Activity, therefore the creative aspect manifested in doing as a result of the correct use of the other two Aspects.
The three jewels of the three lights are three ways of moving with mind and conscience. The jewel of the W.M., the team, expresses what we could synthesize in the “criterion” moved by the heart, by which he manages (1st aspect) the works of the Lodge.
The jewel of the 1st Warden, the level, expresses the horizontal plane where the work of the Fellows is manifested; he defines their scope (2nd aspect).
The jewel of the 2nd Warden, the perpendicular or plumb line, expresses the work of reorientation on the vertical plane where he is called to instruct the Apprentices on the alignment, necessary condition to be able to connect one’s own “earth” (the lunar aspect, the form) with one’s own “heaven” (the solar aspect, the subtle Presence or Soul) the source of “illumination” (3rd Aspect).
It is worth highlighting how the square, jewel of the W. M. is the synthesis of the horizontal arm, operative direction of the 1st Warden and of the vertical arm, operative direction of the 2nd Warden, viz. the essential conditions for the Work in the Temple dedicated to the G.A.O.T.U.
After the first triangle represented by the Three Lights, the second in order of importance is represented by the Orator, the Secretary and the Inner Guard.
They obviously correspond to three further Ray energies, respectively the V Ray for the Orator, the VI Ray for the Secretary and the VII Ray for the Inner Guard. The energy of the IV ray is expressed by the Master of Ceremonies, which at the center expresses “the eye of the heart” of the lodge.
For the Man of the Temple the Master of Ceremonies is representative of the center that the East indicates as the “third eye”, with the faculty to reflect the outside on the inside, but also the inside in the outside. On its great mobility, which is the mercurial activity of the thought, depends the balance between inside and outside, harmony and evaluation of his actions. It is as necessary as the heart, so much so that it can be indicated as the contemplating Eye of the heart.
From its action the modelis composed, inspired by the Three Lights (respectively representative of the centers of head, heart and throat), which the fifth power expressed by the Orator, the sacral center, will precipitate in the concreteness with his oratory art; also which the Secretary will be able to “read” and synthesize as solar plexus. There is also the Inner Guard, who expresses the energy of the center of the Base, the center of the vital energy of the Lodge, symbolically represented by the sword, the only dignitary inside the Temple to hold it, as well as being “the door” with other systems external to the Lodge; therefore he rules and sets the exteriorization of the Lodge.
The Lodge is called “just” when there are seven Masters making it, because seven energetic centers are necessary to vivify a form, be it an idea, a man, a planet or a solar system.
Of the Sun and the Moon
We talked about the jewels of the Secretary and the Master of Ceremonies in another article (see The esotericism of certain masonic jewels and paraments).
The Secretary’s jewel is represented by two crossed pens and indeed he is the one who writes. By writing he also reads and knows what he writes. What he writes is what it is said in the Lodge, even things that do not concern certain brothers; his function is to keep secrets.
In the symbology of the Masonic Temple the two stars, sun and moon, are usually present at the East, where the W.M. seats. The representation of the two Luminaries is often reversed. Suffice it to say that by expressing at the first level the two aspects of energy, the dynamic-active and the receptive-passive, visualizing the man lying in the Temple with his head towards the East, the sun will preside over his right side and the Moon over his left one.
This arrangement finds another interesting correspondence with the functions of the Secretary and the Orator.
The symbol of the Moon overlooking the bench of the secretary efficiently recalls the action of that function that doesn’t emit anything of its own in its work, but it perceives all that is reflected by the Lodge; therefore it is a receptor, just like the Moon. It receives and reflects as if it was a satellite dish. It receives from all with its activity and its ability for synthesis in writing.
The brother Orator has a book as a jewel. The Orator in his activity produces the sound of the word and we know that the sound (vibration) is at the origin of everything in order for it to be manifested. The Logos of our Solar System is represented by the Sun, the Entity that rules the activity of all the Planetary Logoi, among which ours as well, therefore it represents the manifestaspect of the divinity, the highest we can perceive and that all the ancient mysterial traditions worshipped. Therefore it represents the source of life of everything in manifestation – of the Sound that made it possible. Here we find a correspondence between Sun, Sound and the expression of the function of the Orator.
When the secretary writes, he causes the precipitation on paper of psychic matter as a reflection of what he receives from the lodge; the Orator in his activity causes the precipitation of his thought, therefore it is an active rather than receptive precipitation, which justifies the solar aspect associated with him.
The Orator who is an initiate emits a sound that creates vibrations, therefore images in the various conscience planes depending on the degree where the receiver is polarized (emotional, mental, concrete or abstract). He can determine through his oratory will precise effects on the listener. These are the famous “ideas” that listeners take away from the temple. Therefore we face a proper creative– thus solar - event. It represents one of the absolute foundations of the work in the Temple. The true Hierophant in the Temple is the Orator. He is the one that unleashes the emotions of the apprentice, the ideas of the fellow and creates the spiritual aspirations of the masters.
It is necessary to understand the function of the dignitaries in order to interpret the symbols they use.
The Book on the altar
We know that the Orator’s jewel is a book. Usually many Masons are convinced that it represents the “book of Constitutions and Statutes of the Order”. Clearly such a reductive interpretation is the result of ignorance or malice.
The Temple, as we know, is dedicated to the G.A.O.T.U., therefore it is the representation of the house of the Father. On the altar we have the Bible. Already these two observations give an idea of the inadequacy of this symbolic attribution to the jewel of the Orator. Therefore he is the guarantor of the Law. We know that the Hebraic heritage dominates in the symbology of the Temple; the Book of Law for that people is the Torah (made of the five books of the Pentateuch: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy). At a first level, then, the law we refer to is that of the Bible.
The Temple is a place that is by choice dedicated to the Father, the G.A.O.T.U., the divinity, whatever we want to call it. As far as the Catholic Christians are concerned, the reference book is the Bible, made of Old and New Testament. As mentioned above, the book for the Hebrews is the Torah. It is obvious, though, that a temple dedicated to the Planetary Logos, the Father, cannot have as a reference a law that is not universally recognized by all men.
Therefore for the Mason at the first level, the moral one, the book is the Bible; the Orator must be the man of the law, the law of the Father. In masonic Communions with different religious awareness other sacred books will be the ethical reference, such as the Coran, the Bagavad Gita, etc.
The Bible, just like the other sacred texts, is intended for the brother working on the floor, swinging between all black and all white, all good and all bad, identifying with one of the poles of the duality; every intelligent person gifted with common sense understands that in life this doesn’t exist. The east passed on to us the wonderful symbol of Yin and Yang, expression of balance in the polarities, a quality deficient or completely lacking in the vision described above.
For the second level, where everything is much more sophisticated, the book of the law is the Great Book of Nature, compendium of the main laws that rule the life on this planet.
On the third level, the “Book of the Law” is the Book of the Seven Seals, which arranges the Laws of Nature according to the energies of the Seven Rays; it also gathers the laws that rule the motion of our Solar System and its Planets, supporting the universal harmony that mystics call “the Hand or Action of God”. Thus the Seven Seals are the Systemic planetary Laws that rule the 7 sacred Planets known to esoteric Astrology (preserved in the Temple in the symbol of the Menorah), media of the Seven fundamental energies, whose central atom is the Sun. In the latter as well, like for any other physical body, we can recognize both the material and the metaphysical elements. What is most interesting for the initiate is the spiritual element of the whole cosmic and universal system.
Finally we must mention the White Book which, placed on the altar of the Last Initiation, looks empty to the eyes of the Initiate, showing him that in order to continue on the Path of Knowledge and Wisdom, he must from that moment on embark on the inner Path (viz. to the techniques of the inner Path) working subjectively. He is now a living Temple.
In short, any researcher, in the attribution and recognition of the symbolic meanings, must understand and remember that the Temple is dedicated to the G.A.O.T.U. and therefore everything must be compared to that meaning.