Q: It has been said that the rule ‘By recognizing you will be recognized'... ‘must be understood for what it is, not for what we would like to see in it'...and also that ‘in the initiatory field we never choose, but we are always chosen'. These two statements appear to be in contrast...is it possible to tear the veil and let a better understanding come through?
A: These two statements are not in contrast; indeed they agree in the principle of attraction that the greater simile exerts on the lesser simile (‘Similes cum similibus').
For a better understanding of the Initiate-Candidate relationship we might find another aphorism useful: ‘ When the Disciple is ready the Master appears '. This precept contains both the thoughts you mention.
Only when the lesser being becomes aware of the similitude with the greater simile, the greater being, recognizing this awareness, joins with empathy the attracting relationship that joins two centers of the same unity, which is greater than both of them.
It is the direction of the journey shared by two travelers; perhaps the most experienced will guide the younger traveler in the journey to come.
By reflecting himself into a model, which on its turn reflects an even greater model, a process of inner transmutation starts, which determines a metamorphosis of the part of impulsive nature most involved with the physical-animal form.
Therefore the recognition of the lesser simile is followed by the reaction of the greater simile that causes a reciprocal approach between two entities that recognize themselves in the same principles.
Finally, despite the initial recognition, it is not the Candidate to the real initiation who chooses his Master, but the Master will be able to accept him, after carefully evaluating his dedication, ability and determination.
In a relationship of this kind the emotional drive doesn't produce any effect. This should be useful to review the excesses of some aspirants who fall in the cult of personality, idolizing the Masters, which are not idols but instruments at the service of progress.
An example of relationship, although negative, is represented in the Masonic psycho-drama of Hiram's legend. It is a legend on the killing of Master Hiram. It is told that three Fellows, not happy for the pay (knowledge) received for their degree, thought they could obtain the ‘sacred word' of the Master through violence. They ambushed Master Hiram, who regularly visited the Temple to make sure that the works were carried out properly; the three Fellows placed themselves at the three doors of the Temple , preventing him from exiting. When he refused to tell them what they asked for, one of them hit Master Hiram at the throat with the ruler; he tried to escape from another exit and the second Fellow hit him at the heart with the square. Finally he was killed by the third Fellow who hit him on the head with the mallet.
This allegorical tale is very significant and useful for our considerations.