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Rocky Mountain Mason Vol. 2, Issue 2

Craft • Capitular • Cryptic • Templary • AASR • Masonic Family


Rocky Mountain Mason

Recommended!


Put the “G� back in

Geometry by H.P. Bromwell

No Lodge should be without this important book. Sacred Geometry and Masonry by one of the most learned Masons of the 19th Century. Full-color, fold out plates. A

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foremost Masonic thinker of his

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No small statement. His contemporaries included:

Albert Mackey & Albert Pike. When Bromwell died, 29 P.G.M.s attended his funeral from across the nation

Every Master Mason should read this book!

Beautiful hardback edition with full-color reproduced plates of sacred geometry, as drawn by Bromwell. A must for any Masonic Library

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Rocky Mountain Mason EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Ben Williams

ben@rockymountainmason.com AD SALES Lyle Wilkes ads@rockymountainmason.com

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Write to us at: 6104 S Taft Way Littleton, CO 80127 (720) 328-5343

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COPY EDITOR

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Rocky Mountain Mason is a trademark publication of Laughing Lion, LLC. All rights reserved. All articles used with permission. First publishing rights. No articles, pictures, content, or parts of this magazine useable without the express permission of the author. Contact the Editor for inquiries.

© 2015 Laughing Lion All rights reserved Title is protected by a Trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Printed in the U.S.A. Rocky Mountain Mason

From the Editor W

elcome to Volume II, Issue II, of the Rocky Mountain Mason. Thank your for taking time to read this issue cover to cover. We have some great content, with contributions from three Past Grand Masters, a Right Eminent Past Grand Commander of Knights Templar, various Grand Officers, and Brothers who diligently pick up the pen in service to the Craft.

We try to blend an interesting mix of material for you, to cover the diverse backgrounds and interests that comprise our Fraternity. We have a good amount of history (see, for example, M.W.Bro John Palmer’s article discussing the many supposed origins of the Speculative Craft, Pg. 8, or the History of Longitude by the Editor, Pg. 52), philosophy (Nigel Jackson’s article re. the Sacred heart and the Uncreated Logos, Pg. 14), entertainment (Masonic Cartoon page 30), current events (Delta Commandery No. 34 Celebrates 100 Years, Pg. 70) and opinion (What Should We Do With Embezzlers? Pg. 64).

We continue to solicit your input, photos, and contributions. We now have a permanent address at: 6104 S Taft Way Littleton, CO 80127

Please feel free to write to us and share your Masonic journey with your Brothers. Or you can email me at ben@rockymountainmason. com. Please also consider supporting our advertisers. We’re still fairly new; these Brothers have done a lot to support us. We’d like to return the favor by showing them advertising in the Rocky Mountain Mason pays off. It’s not just a quality publication to showcase your brand. It’s an efficacious way to reach discerning Brethren seeking quality in product and design. We’re pleased to report that we’ll be upgrading our website in the coming months, so check us out online. And you can follow us on facebook – we have more than 5,500 followers today, and we’re growing fast! Just search for the Rocky Mountain Mason on facebook, and “like” us. Our posts will then show up in your facebook news feed. Lastly, if you like what you read here, please tell a friend about this magazine! Share these pages with those seeking more light in masonry. And ask them to subscribe. It’s our honor to do this magazine, but we need your support. With best wishes for the coming season, sincerely and fraternally,

Ben Williams Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Rocky Mountain Mason

5


....Table of Contents Origins of Speculative Freemasonry, by M.W.Bro. John Palmer, P.G.M., Pg. 8. Bro. John outlines the many theories supposing the origins of Craft Masonry.

The Sacred Heart and the Uncreated Logos, by Nigel Jackson. Pg. 14.

British author Nigel Jackson discusses the importance of that place where you were first prepared to be made a Mason.

How Well Do You Know Your Brother? By M.W.Bro. Rodney Johnson P.G.M. Pg. 18. Bro. Rodney

sketches biographical on W. Bro. George McCollum, revealing the many depths to the everyday members of our Brotherhood.

A Western Mason’s Perspective, Masonic Time Pieces, by W.Bro. Michael Moore, S.G.S. Pg. 20.

Senior Grand Deacon, W.Bro. Mike Moore, gives perspectives on time keeping as sands continue to slip through the hourglass.

Know Thy Body, Dietary Science for the 21st Century, by Bro. Brian Conrad. Pg. 26. Bro. Brian outlines the growing body of evidence suggesting we are more than what we eat.

Squarely Level, Masonic Cartoon, Page 30.

Give the Lie to the Devi! Masonic Poetry, Pg. 31

Knights Templar Christmas Observance with the Knights of Columbus, by M.W.Bro. Rodeny Johnson, P.G.M. Pg. 32. There’s only one place in the world where the Catholic Knights of Columbus and the Knights Templar

get together, and that’s Leadville, Colroado, around Christmastime.

They’re Just Minute Books, by W.Bro. Bill Hickey. Pg. 36. A surprising amount of history lies buried in the Craft’s minute books. A discovery in Scotland drove this point home for a traveling Brother while stationed overseas. Simple Question, Simple Answer, By W. Bro. John Warren. Pg. 38.

Bro. John confronts a frequent problem among zealous lovers of the Craft. How to say no to doing more....

Grand Master’s Address, by M.W. Bro. Michael McMillan, P.G.M. Pg. 43. A moving address given by the Grand Master at the 154th Session.

Grand Oration, by W.Bro. Kevin Townley, P.G.O. Pg. 47.

Thought-provoking commentary by the 2014 Grand Orator regarding the mysteries of Masonry.

Ante Meridian, and the History of Longitude, by W. Bro. Ben Williams. Pg. 52. The history of the discovery of Longitude is a fascinating story. The Sun at high meridian, indeed.

One Hand in the Honey Pot, Editorial. Pg. 64.

What should we do with embezzlers, a seemingly frequent situation of late?

“Esoteric” is now... esoteric! Editorial. Pg. 68.

Expounding on a frequently misunderstood term. By definition, Masonry must be “esoteric”.

Smoke Signals, Cigar Review. Pg. 66.

The RMM reviews the ever-so-pricey Gran Solomon, by Fraternitas Cigars, and Don Pepin Garcia’s well-rounded Cuban Classic.

Delta Commandery Celebrates 100 years! By S.K. Ross Allen, R.E.P.G.C. Pg. 70.

Centenary Celebration for Delta Commandery No. 34 brings Knights Templar together from arond the State.

Rocky Mountain Views, photos from around the State. Pg. 74. Our photo section of Masonic activities from around the State.

Officers of the M.W. Grand Lodge of Colorado A.F. & A.M. Pg. 78. Get to know your Grand Lodge Officers in this nice photo spread.

6

Rocky Mountain Mason


Tales of a Traveling Past Grand Master

I

25 Years Experience

can Dream If You Can It We Can Do It!!

by M.W.Bro. Charlie Johnson, P.G.M.

was asked by a neighboring Lodge to organize a cast for degree work that they were unable to provide. Members of their Lodge had moved away or passed away and some of the work was lost as well. I was able to find Brethren for all of the work but one major lecture.

I contacted the Brother in our Lodge who last delivered the lecture knowing that he had earned the right to sit on the ‘side lines’ rather than continue with ritual work. He listened to my request and I could tell that he was not psyched about traveling at night for this degree, but he responded with “Charlie, I can’t tell you no”. I was thankful for his help and he delivered the lecture in exemplary fashion on the appointed evening.

After all my masonic travels, both with the Grand Lodge and locally, I feel that way now, too. I want to help but realize that I don’t drive well at night and I don’t always remember like I did in past years. Consequently, I have encouraged younger Brethren to fill that void that I was once eager to complete. Recently, I was contacted by a Brother from the Denver area who I know from my many travels. He said he wanted to interview me so he could write some thoughts about Masonry. He shared with me the fact that his Uncle was a big influence on his life and was certainly ‘his hero’. Then he said, “and you’re next.” I was somewhat awestruck, I didn’t see that coming. I have always been aware of the influence we have on others but it did not resonate like it did when he indicated that I might be his hero. Needless to say I am honored and will no doubt provide an interview but just for the record…”Don, I can’t tell you no.”

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Theories of the Origin of

Speculative Freemasonry by Most Worshipful Brother John Palmer Past Grand Master of Tennessee

“Freemasonry is a beautiful system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols. Although its origin is covered with darkness and its history is, to a great extent obscure, I assure you that it is the most ancient society in the world.� 8

Rocky Mountain Mason


S

uch is the sum total of instruction given to new Masons concerning the actual origin and history of our brotherhood. In any discussion of the history of Freemasonry we must necessarily touch upon its origins, but if they are “covered in darkness” how can we discover them?

The answer to that question is that we may never discover them. The entire allegory of our ritual is riddled with references to things which were lost and are later found; the secret word, the assassins, the body; all these went missing and most are rediscovered in the three degrees of Craft masonry.

It is interesting to explore the several theories of the lost origin of our brotherhood. Some of the oldest written references to the society of Freemasons date back only to the 12th century A.D., although reference is made to much earlier dates as far back as the 8th century A.D. Are these references allegory or are they written records of the long kept secrets of our Craft? It is up to you to decide for yourself. How has Freemasonry survived all these many centuries? I credit this incredible preservation to a simple list of rules we know as the “Ancient Landmarks of the Craft.” Although there is much debate over exactly which rules compose the ancient landmarks, and although the list differs slightly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, all have in common the single most important landmark of all, that these landmarks shall not be changed. Freemasonry, therefore, has changed less over a longer period of time than any other existent institution, I quote: “and thus are preserved through a succession of ages the most excellent tenants of our institution.” What wise men designed our institution so that it has survived these many centuries? Who originally composed our rituals which conceal layer after of layer of hidden meaning? The night I was raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason, I believed – Rocky Mountain Mason

and I think that every Mason present believed – that Speculative Freemasonry was conceived of, and founded by, King Solomon himself, about the year 832 B.C., and had been transmitted to us, generation to generation, unchanged by time until the present day. I was soon informed that this story was only allegorical and that the fraternity had actually evolved from the European or British stonemason’s guilds of the middle ages. I also learned that many believed that Speculative Freemasonry was much older than King Solomon and had originated with the pyramid-building Egyptians around 2500 B.C. The Scottish Rite degrees seem to intimate that it originated in the Indo-Iranian world nearly 2000 B.C. Then a book was published supporting the theory that instead, Speculative Freemasonry was really a resurrection of the suppressed Knights Templar, who changed their public image after they were condemned by the King of France and the church of Rome in the 14th Century. About the same time, another similar theory was advanced that the Blue Lodge is simply a front for a vast conspiracy to protect the Holy bloodline of Jesus of Nazareth. More recently, a theory has been advanced that the concept of speculative Freemasonry originated during a cultural movement of intellectuals beginning in late 17th Century Europe called the “Age of Enlightenment.” Are you confused yet? One of the most ubiquitous debates within and about Speculative Freemasonry concerns its origin. Where did it begin? Who “invented” it? Was it conceived by one man or a group of men? Did it evolve into being or was it essentially conceived as it is, right from the beginning? Was it initially Christian in nature, or have elements of Christianity crept into its rituals? Was it ever, or was it ever intended to be, a religion? There are dozens – if not hundreds – of theories attempting to answer these questions, but no agreed upon history exists. This article will be an attempt to identify some of the most popular theories, examine the possible origin of these theories, and present the

evidence either for or against the validity of each theory identified.  Let’s begin our survey of these various theories by realizing that Freemasonry has at least three different kinds of legitimate history. The first of these I call an Allegorical History.

• Allegorical History Freemasonry itself says that it is a system of morality veiled in allegory. I learned what an allegory was when I was a young student. At that time, I couldn’t understand why anyone would express themselves in allegory. Why didn’t they just say what they meant, just spit it out and be done with it? You can probably tell I was never much of a fan of poetry. I had been exposed to the parables of Jesus in Sunday School; which people say are not really allegories, although I don’t see much difference. I understood the principle of an allegory, if not the reason why allegory was used. Then, as I began to undergo the experiential educational process we call Speculative Freemasonry, I began to understand that reading facts out of a book or listening to a college lecture is nowhere near as effective as witnessing or, even better, participating in an allegorical portrayal. In fact, before there was widespread literacy, allegory was the predominant way the human race passed its experiences from one generation to another so that we could move to a higher level of civilization. In a large measure, this function (or service) is what the Masonic experience is designed to do; not only in the symbolic Lodge, but in the appendant bodies as well. Allegorical portrayal, as in our degrees, combines the intellectual learning process with an emotional learning process which is fine-tuned to engage the emotional and intellectual faculties of the candidate. The allegorical history of Freemasonry is therefore extremely important to the institution as a mode of engaging its members and perpetuating its teachings. By far, the most prevalent allegorical history of Freemasonry is based on the 9


Biblical history of the Jewish nation from the time they invaded the Holy Land, Canaan, until the building of Zerubabbel’s Temple sometime after 520 B.C. This setting is used in the three symbolic degrees, most of the York Rite degrees, and many of the Scottish Rite degrees as well as in other appendant bodies. The Hiramic Legend, as this is sometimes called, is however by no means the only allegorical history used by the craft. There are rites and bodies that allegorically trace their origins back to Enoch, Noah, Athelstan, Adam, Constantine, the Knights Templar, Zarathustra, the Essenes, and the Rosicrucians, just to name a few. Some of these have some evidence to back up their theories, such as the Athelstan story of Prince Edwin as told in the York Rite College, so it is difficult to say that just because a Masonic body has an allegorical history that this allegorical history can be automatically eliminated from consideration as the factual history of the craft. I think this Allegorical History of Freemasonry is legitimate, if not factually accurate, because of the great value it adds to the functional purpose of the Fraternity. In today’s world, Freemasonry is an almost unique experience because of the use of allegory and what we call the “initiatory experience” and it’s certainly a most enjoyable way to learn.

• Philosphical History The second type of history belonging to Freemasonry is what I call the Philosophical History. Freemasonry has, throughout the ages, become the repository of a collection of ideas taken from some of the most profound thinkers the world has ever known. This information is certainly available in other places, such as libraries or in curricula taught at university for those who major in philosophy or comparative religion, but nowhere outside the Masonic Lodge is it taught in a more effective manner to plain, ordinary men who are simply trying to learn how to make the world a better place and live a better way. It has been said that he who is ignorant of history is doomed to repeat it. Put in more vernacular terms, Will Rogers once said that there are three kinds of men: “some learn from books, others learn from the experiences of others, and some just have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” This universe of ours is so vast and so complex; – I believe it has thus far been impossible 10

for one generation of humans to fully understand it. That’s another way of saying that we are all ignorant – just about different subjects. Freemasonry makes an attempt to sift through all this information and offer to its initiates a distilled version of the wisdom required for the human race to live together in peace and harmony. I know of no other institution which has this as its primary mission, and Freemasonry has certainly not yet succeeded in civilizing humanity as is evidenced by tonight’s evening news. Freemasonry, as an institution, is still learning and evolving. I hope it doesn’t lose sight of its own definition of its mission; an ever-present possibility as in some cases our own initiates seem to be barely aware of our purpose! Sometimes this is caused by wellmeaning efforts, such as the popularity in the 20th century of Masonic charities which threaten to refocus the fraternity wholly on the support of these charities and, as a result, on the number of our members rather than the improvement of men who desire to be of service to their fellows. Political correctness is also beginning to cause our members to think that we can discard some of the wisdom we have inherited, wisdom that is based on years – if not centuries – of men observing the cause and effect of human behavior. I sincerely hope that neither of these influences will cause us to forget our mission or to discard those Divine and Immutable truths that our forbearers have labored for ages to discover, document, and communicate. If lost, I believe that all three histories presented here in this article will soon end, much to the loss of humanity in general and to future generations in particular. This Philosophical History is, in my opinion, the most important of the three, but I will dismount my soap box and move on to the discussion about the third type of history we have as Freemasons, the Factual History.

• Factual History This kind of history is the one people usually mean when they use the term “history.” It would normally include facts about when things happened, who did what, who originated the institution, and how it was influenced by its environment. I don’t believe you came here to listen to a recitation of the known facts about the history of Freemasonry subsequent to the formation of the Grand Lodge of England

in 1717; and there are historians far more capable than me to present it to you. What we will try to do today is look at several of the many theories about the origin of Speculative Freemasonry and look at the evidence put forth in support of each. The material here is by no means comprehensive, and if I have left out your favorite theory, accept my apologies. I am by no means an expert on any of these theories. I am simply trying to save you some research time by summarizing a few of them. A few of the questions I have always had are: • Was Freemasonry the invention of one brilliant person, a collaboration of several brilliant people, or a gradual evolution or compilation accomplished by very bright people over a long period of time? • Was Freemasonry once a religion that has learned to minimize the religious side in order to survive as a philosophical society? • Was Freemasonry originally Christian in nature or did the many obviously Christian inferences in the ritual and lectures creep in because of the Christian environment in which it evolved? • Was the origin of Freemasonry deliberately concealed or was it simply lost in time? Unfortunately, I do not have satisfactory answers to any of these questions, but all are wide open fields for further research by enterprising minds such as yours.  

• Founded by King Solomon We have already mentioned the theory that symbolic Masonry was founded by King Solomon. This theory, no doubt, evolved because of the allegory used in the three degrees and a possible misunderstanding on the part of many members who became brothers during the 19th and 20th Centuries in America. There is little evidence beyond the use of the allegory in our ceremonies and the story told in the Bible that this theory is, in reality, the true origin of the fraternity.

• Evolved from Operative Masonry The theory that Speculative Freemasonry occurred as an evolution of craft guilds of operative Masons is still popular in many Rocky Mountain Mason


circles and has much evidence to support it. One particularly learned proponent of this theory is Robert Cooper, the Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, who wrote a book entitled The Rosslyn Hoax? in defense of this position. In reality, there is some basis for this assumption because of the custom during the middle ages of the various guilds to produce miracle plays or morality plays. A miracle play, also called a Saint’s Play, is one of three principal kinds of vernacular drama of the European Middle Ages (along with the mystery play and the morality play). A miracle play presents a real or fictitious account of the life, miracles, or martyrdom of a saint. They evolved from liturgical offices developed during the 10th and 11th Centuries to enhance calendar festivals. By the 13th century they had become vernacularized and filled with secular elements. They were divorced from church services and performed at public festivals A morality play, is an allegorical drama popular in Europe especially during the 15th and 16th centuries, in which the characters personify moral qualities (such as charity or vice) or abstractions (such as death or youth) and in which moral lessons are principally taught. The mystery plays, usually representing Biblical subjects, developed from plays presented in Latin by churchmen on church premises and depicted such subjects as the Creation, Adam and Eve, the murder of Abel, and the Last Judgment. During the 13th century, various guilds began producing the plays in the vernacular at sites removed from the churches. Under these conditions, the strictly religious nature of the plays declined, and they became filled with irrelevancies and apocryphal elements. Two examples of the modern day remnants of this custom are the passion play held each ten years at Oberammergau, Germany, and the custom of joining “crews” who build and man the floats for Mardi Gras in New Orleans each year. It is easy to see how these productions may have been morphed into private ceremonies used to teach moral lessons to the initiates of a guild. It is not improbable that the stonemason’s guild experienced just such an evolution.

• The Templars Resurrected This theory certainly has romantic appeal and has been fodder for hundreds of novels and movies. Our fraternity has been Rocky Mountain Mason

the unwitting beneficiary of the proponents of this theory, as many of our younger members have been initially drawn to us by such works of fiction. Its genesis seems to have originated with an oration given by a Scotsman named Andrew Ramsay (c.1687-1743) or by someone else shortly before his time. Chevalier Ramsay was elected a member of the Royal Society in 1729 and actually delivered the said oration to the Grand Lodge of France in 1737, either orally or in writing. Although his remarks specifically referred to the Order of St. John or the Hospitallers and the “crusaders,” they have since been interpreted to mean the Knights Templar, which he did not specifically mention. Nevertheless, shortly after his oration, “high” grades of Freemasonry began to pop up all over France claiming to be the direct descendants of the Templars. A transcript of the oration can be found as an appendix in The Rosslyn Hoax?. To add fuel to this movement, The Royal Order of Scotland claims to possess one of the oldest existing Masonic rituals still being practiced, which is based in part on the legend of the Battle of Bannockburn where the exiled Templars were said to have saved the day for the Scottish rebels against the English army. The theme of Templar ancestry is deeply rooted in both the Scottish and York rites. An entire sub-cult of this movement is centered around the Sinclair family of Scotland and their Rosslyn Chapel. In 1738, Anderson in his New Constitutions lists William Sinclair as Grand Master of Scotland 14041484. Interestingly, Anderson lists the first Grand Master, Malcom III, to have presided from 1031-1093, a full 87 years before the Templars were founded in 1118. The Sovereign York Rite College is based on the legend of Athelstan, King of all England, who was supposed to have ruled in York, England, from 924 to 939 and to have formed the eponymous York Rite. Many Symbolic Lodge charters have a reference to either Athelstan or Edwin, another character in the legend. Interestingly, Athelstan also predated the ancient Templars by 194 years. William Preston, in his Illustrations of Masonry indicates that the Templars superintended the Masons in the building of their Temple in 1155 and that Masonry continued under the patronage of the Templars until 1199. A modern resurgence of this legend occurred in 1989 when historian John J. Robinson published his book, Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry.

• Kabbalism and/or Rosicrucianism One of the primary proponents that Freemasonry evolved from Kabbalism or Rosicrucianism was Worshipful Brother Reverend F. De P. Castells, a prolific writer on the subject who published in 1930, among many others, a work called Genuine Secrets in Freemasonry Prior to A. D. 1717. The Masonic Rosecrucians no doubt evolved from this theory, and I should also include in this theory the alchemists, although they might fit into some of the other theories just as well. Brother Castells was convinced that Speculative Freemasonry evolved directly from the societies of Spanish Kabbalists, both Jewish and Christian, which were popular in the 13th century and specifically attractive to a Raymond Lully, who became a Kabbalist after having originally set out to convert the Jews to Christianity. It was believed that the mysterious people known to history as the Illuminati, “who seemed to have derived their ideas from the works of Lully…were confounded with the Rosecrucians.” A group of Jews in 1450 published a summary of some Kabalistic writings with the purpose of showing how their philosophy harmonized with the Christian religion. In 1492, the Jews were expelled from Spain and carried with them their Kabalistic philosophies to Italy, Germany, and the Middle East. One Dr. Ginsburg spoke of what happened in the 15th century when “the learned” heard about the Kabbala: “Such was the interest that this newly revealed Kabbala created among Christians, that not only learned men but statesmen and warriors began to study the oriental languages in order to be able to fathom the mysteries of this Theosophy.” The Book of Constitutions of 1738 says: The Cabbalists, another sect, dealt in hidden and mysterious ceremonies. The Jews had a great regard for this science and thought that they made uncommon discoveries by means of it. They divided their knowledge into speculative and operative. Between 1607 and 1616, two anonymous manifestos were published, first in Germany and later throughout Europe. These were the Fama Fraternitatis R+C+ (The Fame of the Brotherhood of Rosy Cross) and the Confessio Fraternitatis (The Confession of the Brotherhood of Rosy Cross). The influence of these documents, presenting a “most laudable Order” of mystic-philosopher-doctors and 11


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promoting a “Universal Reformation of Mankind,” gave rise to an enthusiasm called by its historian, Dame Frances Yates, the “Rosicrucian Enlightenment.” Rosicrucianism was associated with Protestantism (Lutheranism in particular), and the manifestos opposed Roman Catholicism. They traced their philosophy and science to the Moors, asserting that it had been kept secret for 120 years until the intellectual climate might receive it. You will remember that the Moors invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 711 A.D. and called the territory Al-Andalus, an area which at its peak included what is today Gibraltar, most of Spain and Portugal, and parts of Southern France. We see that both the Kabbalists and the Moors had a strong presence in Spain. According to historian David Stevenson, Rosicrucianism was also influential to Freemasonry as it was emerging in Scotland. It is noteworthy that in some Masonic writings as early as the 18th century and even, I believe in the Regius Manuscript, reference is made to “Brethren of the Rosy Cross.”

• A Product of the “Enlightenment” The Enlightenment or Age of Reason was a cultural movement of intellectuals beginning in late 17th Century Western Europe emphasizing reason and individualism rather than tradition. It spread across Europe and to the United States, continuing to the end of the 18th Century. It was mainly sparked by philosophers such as Francis Bacon (15621626), René Descartes (1596-1650), Baruch Spinoza (1632–1677), John Locke (1632–1704), Voltaire (1694–1778), and Isaac Newton (1643–1727). It was later very successful in the United States, where its influence was manifested in the works of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. Margaret C. Jacob, in both her books, The Origins of Freemasonry: Fact and Fiction and The Radical Enlightenment: Pantheists, Freemasons, and Republicans, suggests that Speculative Freemasonry came about when the original Operative Lodges began to lose their corner on the building labor market. She theorizes that when this happened, the membership in the guilds began to decline until it became untenable to maintain the finances of the institution. Rocky Mountain Mason

They then invited gentlemen from the nobility and from the merchant classes to join the Lodges in order to maintain financial viability. These new “speculative” members soon took over and turned the lodges into a forum to discuss the ideas of the Enlightenment, both scientific and philosophical. An amazing number of these famous men were active in both Freemasonry and the Enlightenment and many were also members of the Royal Society. These include Sir Christopher Wren, Sir Robert Moray (who was associated with Bacon and Descartes), and Elias Ashmole, who dabbled in alchemy with Sir Isaac Newton. Certainly these men were of sufficient intellect and possessed the knowledge necessary to compose the rituals of some of our ceremonies. They also had a great interest in esoteric studies. Newton wrote more pieces on esoteric subjects than scientific ones, although that fact is not widely known. These four theories; that Freemasonry was founded by King Solomon of Israel, that it Evolved from Operative Masonry, that it resulted from the Templars Resurrected, and that it is A Product of the “Enlightenment,” are by far the most popular among the brethren today.

• Summary There are other theories and convolutions of the ones I have already mentioned. Some believe that Freemasonry originated with Adam, himself. Others are quite sure that it originated with the Egyptians and make a pretty good case for Moses being an exiled Pharaoh mentioned in ancient Egyptian texts. It is said that Moses carried the hidden traditions of the Egyptian Priestly cast into the land of Canaan where it was transmitted through the Essenes to Jesus Christ himself and that remnants of these secrets were rediscovered under the temple mound at Jerusalem by the Templars and then transmitted to the Freemasons with the assistance of the Saracens. There are those who trace our origin to the Egyptian legend of Hermes and still others who insist that our philosophy as well as our practices originated in the mystery religions of ancient Rome. Some believe that the knowledge encrypted by our ritual was transmitted

throughout the Mediterranean geography by the sailing Phoenicians. It has been suggested that Freemasonry is really only a front for a group established to preserve the Holy bloodline of Jesus Christ referred to as the true Holy Grail. Others connect our origins to the Druids and the builders of ancient marvels such as those at Newgrange or Stonehenge. It would seem to some that all the famous men in ancient history were indeed Freemasons! Certainly, if you consider Freemasonry a system of philosophy, as I do, it seems the institution has benefitted from most of the great thinking men of history, both ancient and modern. We tend to think of those who came before us as less sophisticated, less educated, and less intelligent than modern man, but I would point out to you that in our environment today, we are so distracted with furious activity and information overload, that we seldom take the time just to stop and think. In this respect, those who have come before us had a distinct advantage. Whoever founded our institution had a brilliant idea that if a group of like-minded men of goodwill were to set about in an organized way to discover and act upon the immutable and fundamental laws which govern the interaction of humans living together in a society; the causes and effects of human behavior; that great things could be accomplished for mankind. I truly believe that the very existence of our nation is a direct or an indirect result of this experiment. As the world’s population continues to increase and we are forced to live closer and closer to each other, the natural tendency is for man to become less and less civil. Whoever they were, do you think our ancient founding Brethren realized this and anticipated the need for the solutions which our institution offers? This explanation seems more likely to me than that of some random evolution of a labor union or military order into an institution which has such a potential beneficial impact upon mankind at large. I believe the more interesting question is not so much where we come from, but where we are going, and the answer to that question, my Brethren, is in your hands alone.

13


The

Sacred

Heart & the

Uncreated

Logos

by Nigel Jackson

14

Rocky Mountain Mason


“The Divine Heart was presented to me in a throne of flames, more resplendent than a sun, transparent as crystal, with this adorable wound.” St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, 1674.

T

he visions of the Sacred Heart experienced by the 17th century nun, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, present all the iconological elements of an esoteric Christian symbolism that the famed French symbologist, Louis Charbonneau-Lassay, described as “pre-history of the Sacred Heart”, for undoubtedly the manifestation of this emblem was more precisely a rediscovery or renewal of a primordial symbol of universal provenance.

It was St. Margaret’s visions that inaugurated the divine cultus at Parayle-Monial, the sacred commune in Burgundy, France. The revival of this symbol at Paray-le- Monial was a hierophany (a revelation of the Holy) which fulfilled the prophecy of the medieval mystic St. Gertrude of Helfta, who had foretold the coming revelation of the mysteries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the 13th Century.

The heart as the vital center of man’s integral being and locus of the Divine Principle, that eternal Word, is synonymous with the Logos existent at the Center, the Divine Intellect, the Atmanic Self – the uncreated and transcendent essence existent at the immutable center-point of the swastika, the ‘polar cross’. It’s envisaged as depicting the irresistible spiritual influence extended from the Principle to the circumference. Thus the heart contains “all the treasures of wisdom (sophia) and knowledge (gnosis)” which are inscribed within the luminous substance of the uncreated Intellect. The “adorable wound” is, as René Guénon has stated, the opened “eye of the heart” (ayn al-qalb) the “oculus cordis”, the heart as the theophanic organ Rocky Mountain Mason

of noetic vision and intra-kardial illumination, realized via the initiatory quest and attainment of the Center. The opening of the “eye of the heart” is alluded to in the Gospel text: “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8). The symbolic connections which prevail between the nativity of Christ in the cavern of the sacred polar mountain as recounted in certain Syriac apocrypha, and which form a motif in oriental Christian iconography and some medieval sacred art, indicates the realization of the Logos at the Centee – the cavern in this esoteric context is nothing less than the occulted and interiorized summit of the sacred mountain, the shining apex from whence in former cycles (during the Satya-Yuga, for example) irradiated the light of the Supreme Centre. Just so the Logos is born or realized within the cavern of the heart-space. Meister Eckhart in his sermon 5b, In hoc apparuit charitas dei in nobis, says: As truly as the Father in his simple nature gives his Son birth naturally, so truly does he give him birth in the most inward parts of the spirit, and that is the inner world. Here God’s ground is my ground and my ground is God’s ground. As Meister Eckhart reiterates concerning the Johannine text, God has sent his Only-Begotten Son into the world: You must not by this understand the external world in which the Son ate and drank with us, but understand it to apply to the inner world. This “innermost ground” of the spirit is the heart-center the cardial point, for the “kingdom of heaven is within.” The Mystery of the Incarnation is transcendent and supra-temporal for the Son, the Logos, is eternally being born and is ever coming into the world.

The metaphysic of Meister Eckhart’s Christology is founded upon the realization of the uncreated transcendent Intellect at the Center when he states (in his sermon 6: Justi vivent in aeternum): The Father gives birth to his Son in eternity... He has given birth to him in my soul... The Father gives his Son birth in the soul in the same way as he gives him birth in eternity... The Father gives birth to His Son without ceasing, and I say more: He gives me birth, me, his Son and the same Son. The uncreated Light of the Divine Logos is the eternal Intellect, the Self, in “whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge”. The Incarnation of the Logos, the “Word made Flesh” in the Christ-child within the cavern of the Nativity upon the polar Mons Victorialis is paralleled within Islam in the mystery of the Inlibration, the “Word made Book’ which took place within the Cave of Hira on the Mountain of Light (Jabal Al-Noor) upon the Night of Power. Louis Charbonneau-Lassay, in his researches into the pre-history of the sacred heart in its most universal context examines the symbolism of the Ab in ancient Egyptian symbolism, represented in the hieroglyphic ideograms as a vase, and thus cognate with the medieval iconography of the holy grail; he specifically describes the divinity Horus (identified by early Egyptian Christians with the Messiah) in The Bestiary of Christ as, “the comprehensive and affective Heart of the divinity, the spirit that animates all life.” The ritual placement of the green scarab upon the heart of the deceased during funereal ceremonies in ancient Egypt also indicates the esoteric themes centered within the cardial center and the symbolism of the seat of life, eternity and the Word. In Mesoamerica we also encounter the symbolism of the ‘deified heart’ (yolteotl) in the tradition of the Toltecs and 15


this co-equivalence of the cardial symbolism of the Heart with the “holy land” imaging the sacred Center is resumed in the numinous locus, the ancestral “place of the sun” called Tula or Tollan, mentioned as Tulan Zuyua in the Mayan Popol Vuh as the mysterious place of origins which is identical with the Hyperborean center known as Thule (and as the station of the Great Peace, Arabic As-Sakinah, Hebrew Shekinah, Egyptian htp), exemplifying perfect equilibrium, balance and resolution of antinomies at the center-point. We might recall that the Indian Sanskrit name for the zodiacal sign of Libra is Tula, for as René Guénon reminds us, the symbolism of the scales was originally assigned to the Boreal or Hyperboreal region which Chinese cosmology identifies with the “Jade Pivot” of the Pole-Star, the celestial ridgepole, Tai Chi. The Incarnation of the Word within the cavern of the nativity is mirrored within the Hesychastic method of the invocatory prayer of the Holy Name realized within the heart as preserved within the Orthodox Church (and which until the close of the Middle Ages was also transmitted within the initiatory esoterism of the Western Church with a possible link of transmission from the oriental tradition represented by John Cassian in the 5th Century). As St Hesychios the Priest put it: The sun rising over the earth creates the daylight; and the venerable and holy name of the Lord Jesus shining continually within the mind [i.e. the heartintellect], gives birth to countless intellections as radiant as the sun.’ Likewise we might note Ilias the Presbyter employing the esoteric symbolism of flowers, as in the lotuses of yogic sadhana, to describe the prayer of the heart and its interior theophanic manifestation: …then the heart like good soil begins to produce by itself various flowers: roses, the vision of incorporeal realities; lilies, the luminosity of corporeal realities; and violets, the many judgements of God…. Nikiphoros the Monk in the treatise On Watchfulness and the Guarding of the Heart teaches that: 16

…it is in the heart that God manifests himself to the intellect, first – according to St John Klimakos – as fire that purifies the lover and then as light that illumines the intellect and renders it godlike. St Philotheos of Sinai describes the initiatory method of intra-cardiac prayer as the way by which the spiritual worker may “enshrine perfectly the remembrance of God in his heart like some pearl or precious stone.” The “remembrance of God” via the invocation of the Holy Name within the heart dispels the veils of nescience and forgetfulness that have darkened the Intellect as the consequence of the Fall and this is the path of anamnesis. St. Maximos the Confessor taught, following the doctrine of St. Paul, that: If…Christ dwells in our hearts through faith, and all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in him, then all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in our hearts. They are revealed to the heart in proportion to our purification by means of the commandments. The remembrance of God through interior prayer of the Holy Name within the heart is reflected in Islamic esotericism in the practice of dhikr in Tasawwuf as expounded by Shaykh Abdul Qadir AlJilani in his Kitab Sirr al-Asrar wa Mazhar al-Anwar (Book of the Secret of Secrets, the Manifestation of Lights): The place of the sultan-soul, where it reigns, is the center of the heart, the heart of the heart. The business of this soul is divine wisdom. Its work is to know all of divine knowledge, which is the medium of true devotion recited in the language of the heart. Upon all planes the qalb corresponds with the eternal Center – as the Shaykh teaches, the “station where the holy spirit reigns is the secret place that Allah made for Himself in the center of the heart where He deposited His Secret for safekeeping.” This alludes to the heart as the point of the Nur Muhammadi, the seat of the Logos as the uncreated light of the Muhammadan Reality – from this center radiates the green light which is the

spiritual ambience of the heaven of divine sovereignty. Shaykh Nasm Kobra, the eminent founder of the Kubrawiyah Order in the 13th Century and master of the illuminist science of the mystic lights, taught concerning the qalb as the inward heavenly station of the emerald radiance: Its atmosphere is a green light, whose greenness is that of a vital light through which flow waves eternally in movement towards one another. This green color is so intense that human spirits are not strong enough to bear it, though it does not prevent them falling into mystic love with it. And on the surface of this heaven are to be seen points more intensely red than fire, ruby or cornelian… On seeing them the mystic experiences nostalgia and a burning desire; he aspires to unite with them. The green light of the heart in Kubrawiyah initiatory symbolism, the verdant hue of spiritual regeneration, is that of the holy grail conceived as a carven chalice of emerald which bears the Holy blood of Christ. The paradisiac “sacred kingdom” or “heart of the world” is mirrored in the archetypal grail-kingdom ruled by Prester John with his emerald scepter, personifying the office of the Pontiff-King wherein the functions of sacerdotium and regnum, or contemplation and action, intelligence and love, light and fire, are conjoined in their original unity in the Principle. The grail-castle thus images the heart, the sacred Center symbolized under the forms of the temple- sanctuary, palace or city. The Kabbalistic tradition terms the vital Centre, the “Inward Palace” and the “Holy of Holies” represented by the heart as the dwelling place of the Holy One just as the Divine Word, Jesus Christ, is “king and center of all hearts” according to the Catholic litany. Here in the “inmost ground” or vital Center of the being, as Meister Eckhart taught, dwells the “light in the soul, a light that is uncreated and uncreatable.”

Rocky Mountain Mason


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Photos by Rodney Johnson

by M.W. Bro. Rodney Johnson, P.G.M.

How Well Do You Know Your Brother?

George McCollum? Are you kidding,” say several, “He’s been around for years. Consummate ritualist! I think he’s a district lecturer. He is certainly a lover of bow ties!” As a matter of fact, George has been around for years, and he’s still quite active.

I saw George for the first time back in the late 80’s at a Grand Lodge session. It was lunchtime and he was at another table with a few brothers, speaking in his usual authoritative manner. I wondered who that was. It wasn’t but a few months later at a Grand Master ‘s Planning Conference that we did actually meet and talk a bit. I was impressed then and have been ever since.

George Armond McCollum Jr was born in Pueblo, Colorado in 1932. His dad George Sr was from Iowa, his mom from Missouri... they met in Greeley where George’s mom attended college to become a teacher. George Sr. became an electrician after serving in WWI in


Germany and France. George has a sister Peggy in California. George’s focus in college (Greeley) was math and chemistry... and Pat Cook. Pat’s focus was math and English... and eventually George. They met in a 1960 calculus class but he “didn’t invite her out because she was a red head.” Eventually though, George began to like the color red. “In January of 1961 our first date was for pizza.” They finished college in ‘63 and ‘64 respectively. They were married in 1964. Pat taught for 4 years at New Rayner, CO. George began teaching at Vim, a oneroom school in northeast Wells County, Colorado. In 1968 George & Pat moved to Eagle where George began teaching high school math and Pat became a full time homemaker. George’s multiple attempts at retiring finally seems to have stuck with his last one as of 2014. He taught school for 45 years! George and Pat have 3 children: George III, retired military & now a computer consultant who consults with people in and outside the U.S. He and his family live in Oregon. Heidi, lives close to George & Pat and is Asst District Attorney for several counties... Eagle, Lake, Summit & Clear Creek. James, retired military & now Brand Manager for Pet Foods. He and his family live in California. George’s dad was a Wyoming Mason (Rollins #5). George began his Masonic experience as a Demolay in 1947. He knew Dad Bundy. George became a Master Mason in June of 1954, Columbia #14, Boulder; he has been a Mason for just over 60 years! He later transferred his membership to Century 190 in Greeley and then went on to Castle 122 in Eagle. Most of his Masonic years have been with Castle 122 since his home and teaching career have been in Eagle since 1968. George has been Master 6 times for Castle #122 in Eagle and 2 times in Corinthian ##35 in Leadville. He has been District Lecturer for many years. In 2000 he became Colorado’s Grand Tiler. Pat and George were Matron and Patron of the Eastern Start Chapter in Eagle in 1973

Rocky Mountain Mountain Mason Mason Rocky

and again some five years later. George has been Patron for some of the other Eastern Star ladies as well; he indicates that he has been Patron 16 times! George is a Past Grand Warder of Colorado Eastern Star and has been Colorado’s Grand Representative to Mississippi; Pat is a Past Grand Esther of Eastern Star. Currently in Eastern Star, Pat is serving as Martha and George is Associate Patron and he is Senior Warden of the lodge. These positions are in conjunction with their current memberships which are in Leadville. George is truly a traveling man (or part of a traveling couple) making trips (1 hour each way, on good days) to Leadville for Blue Lodge, Eastern Star and York Rite. George is active in Leadville’s York Rite bodies: Past High Priest of Leadville Chapter 10, Past Illustrious Master of Alpha Council 13, Past Commander of Mt Holy Cross Commandery #5. He continues to serve those bodies where needed. This writer can tell you that George is an amazing ritualist... though his stature is not large, his voice is. He makes an impressive King Solomon! My feeling is that George, with his background in high school teaching always does a yeomen’s job when it comes to preparation. He knows his part! More accurately, he knows his parts!! Once in 2000 when George & I were to attend a blue lodge official visit in Montrose, we arose early that morning to first travel to Lake City to meet with the members of Crystal Lake #34 for a 1st degree. At the time Rob Morris #92 was actively involved with visiting each June and performing the degree work. This particular time the Master was not able to make it and since “the show must go on” the brothers were frantically looking for help to do the Master’s part. George was asked and did an amazing job with no warning or preparation... including the lecture that followed. The candidate was genuinely impressed and so was everyone else! The following includes a few of my standard questions.

A pet peeve of yours: Members in lodge reading parts; not properly dressed (ratty clothes). Something important to you to which you’re looking forward: (Was looking forward) just finished 60th anniversary celebration/trip to see kids & grandkids. Something few people know about you: I play the piano; I like riding motorcycles; I’m not afraid of a challenge at ping pong. Something you’ll never forget: First date with Pat; riding motorcycle for the first time on streets of Denver. Your favorite food (and least favorite): Biscuits & gravy; (least, cucumbers & turnips). An embarrassing moment: I like baked potatoes and when I took one without the skin from a buffet I later found out it was a turnip. I was embarrassed to think what I looked like upon my discovery. Pastimes other than Freemasonry: • President of Crime Stoppers in Eagle • Past President of Eagle Lions Club • Past President of Eagle County Education Assoc. • Past President of Eagle County Education Credit Union • Playing piano & clarinet The next time you’re at Grand Lodge (next January) or perhaps you’ll decide it’s “high” time you attend a Masonic function in Leadville, look up George McCollum Jr.; you’ll have a good conversation I’m sure, but if you’re a little unsure if it’s him, just listen to the voice... you’ll know.

19 19


A Western Mason’s Perspective

W

ith this first article and the time of the year we are in, I think it is fitting for us to discuss time. Not just time, but Masonic time. We find that time is referred to in much of our Masonic ritual; the Blue Lodges’ top three officers have duties associated to or related to a time of the day. In the first charge given to every new member, they are told how important time is and how to use it: …we as Free and Accepted Masons are taught to make use of it for the more noble and glorious purpose of dividing our time. It being divided into twenty four equal parts is emblematical of the twenty four hours of the day, which we are taught to divide into three equal parts; whereby are found eight hours in the day for service of God and a distressed worthy brother, eight for our usual vocations and eight for refreshment and sleep.

This passage above shows us a simple measuring instrument being linked to how we should live our lives and to spend our time. The flow in lighting the lesser lights around the altar mimics the flow of time during the day if you look at it from the North and Rocky Mountain Mason

our discussion. How did we get our modern calendar year and how do our Masonic calendar years differ? James Ussher (1581 - 1656), the Archbishop of the Church Ireland, presented the date for the beginning of Christian calendars at the birth of Jesus (which became year 1 A.D.) in 1658, and when that timeline was incorporated into the Bible printed in 1701, it stuck. His treatise on chronology was made on an intricate correlation of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean histories and Bible’s dating. He proclaimed that the world started in 4004 B.C. Bishop Ussher in his Annals commented:

when the lodge goes for lunch (or dinner) the first question asked is “What is the hour?”

Time should be a topic all Masons are familiar with. George Oliver writes in his Dictionary of Symbolical Masonry what time could represent: A central point [dot] is a symbol of time and the circle of eternity. The latter, like the universe being unlimited in its extent; for time is but a point compared to eternity and equal distant from all parts of its infinitely extended circumference...

As everyone has put up a new 2015 calendar on their walls and are starting to write in the various dates, places and times to be for the following twelve months, this might be a good place to continue

In the beginning, God created heaven and earth, which beginning of time, according to this chronology, occurred at the beginning of the night which proceeded the 23rd of October in the year 710 of the Julian period. He calculated the date in “Christian” time as 4004 B.C. The Hebrew calendar calls the date of creation as an autumn day, that the world began on Monday, October 7th, 3761 B.C.E. The Jewish celebration of Rosh Hashanah commemorates the creation of the world and ten days of “awe” and is one of the first days of their calendar year. I wonder if you noticed that the day written about by Ussher started at sunset? Both the Islamic and Hebrew world use a lunar calendar. The Moon – the marker of their month and year – arises after sunset, so the day starts at that time and 21


Organization

Add/subtract years

Blue Lodge

+ 4000 (not the 4004)

Scottish Rite

+ 3760

5775

Royal Arch

+530

2545

Royal and Select Masters

+1000

3015

Knights Templar

– 1118

897

Date using current year, 2015 6015

Table 1. Masonic Dates

not midway through the night or when the first sun rays are seen. We have histories of the world and archeological evidence of much earlier civilizations than 4004 B.C.E, but it was a good first try. How long have we been around? That depends on who you listen to and how you interpret “we.” Many nations and cultures like to be considered as the first civilization of mankind. Albert Mackey in his Masonic Encyclopedia writes: The error of the timing of the beginning of the world is too unimportant and too universal to expect it to ever be corrected…the phrase is altogether symbolic. And that could be true. To change this and correct all timelines to a more modern understanding of when our world began would

require major revisions of history books, our way of thinking and much trouble. It could be worse than trying to enact the metric system today in America. We do see a number of various time lines in use today both in the civil and Masonic world. Sometimes you see the letters A.D., B.C., A.H., or B.C.E. following a date. Jewish chronology uses the A.H. or “anno Hebraic.” The B.C. (Before Christ) or B.C.E. (Before Common Era) difference is political and religious in nature; some nonChristian nations did not want to be told to use a Christian (or Catholic) calendar and so decided to use the Before Common Era initials as their designation. If this sounds odd, interesting or unfamiliar, do you know that even in the Masonic world

you will see many different designations for the yearly time? You could see, for example, A.I., A.D, A.M. or A.L. following unusual dates on Masonic documents. Royal Arch Masons start their years dating from the commencement of the second temple in 530 B.C. and call it “Anno Inventionis” or Year of Discovery. Royal and Select Masters date years from the Year of the Deposit “Anno Depositionis” or the completion of Solomon’s temple (in 1,000 B.C.). Knights Templar start their calendar from founding of the medieval order of the temple (in 1118 A.D.) Not to be outdone, Blue Lodges start dating similar to Ussher’s time line with creation of the world (“Anno Mundi”) and add 4,000 years to the current year date to come up with their Mason designation for a year. Albert Mackey in his Masonic Encyclopedia writes that Masonic time is synonymous with year of light (“Anno Lucis” or A.L.). Even the Scottish Rite has their own slant on this and adds 3,760 years to the present year for their designation. Not only do each Masonic body differ in how they date the year, many have different starting times for their fiscal years and for each of their degrees. The

FIG. 1 – An Hourglass 22

Long the symbol of a man’s life

Rocky Mountain Mason


FIG. 3 – Sun Dagger FIG. 2 – Time Dial Petroglyph

At Boco Negra Canyon, just outside Albuguergue American York Rite year begins in January 1st. The Scottish Rite begins their year on September 17th. Even various degrees within our fraternity use different hours of starting. Most know of the hour of “High Twelve” for the Blue Lodge being a break in the day for refreshment; and the hour for reconvening is one hour later; but if you delve into older rituals you will see that each have their own starting time, symbolically linked to a theme within it. Check it out! The figuring of time has always been a problem for us humans. Throughout our history we have used various ways to divide and measure a period’s celestial events. The ancients built places like Stonehenge about 3000 B.C.E. which could demark the equinoxes and solstices accurately. Technology like this gave them a way to predict the regular seasons, times of planting and harvesting, and, for some, the solar and lunar eclipses. The Egyptians solved the solstice question by noting the rising of Sirius each year. For the Christian world, we had the Julian calendar that proved pretty effective until Easter in 1582; it proved to be 10 days off from the heavenly markers and had to be replaced by the Gregorian Calendar. This improved calendar works well, but is still about one day off every 3200 years or so. On a different theme involving time, do you know we have 24 different time zones around the world to mark Rocky Mountain Mason

This sun dagger at Fajada Butte, Chaco Canyon, demarks the solstices (outer lines) and the equinoxes (central line) in blades of sunlight filtered through well-placed rocks

the time of the day? (And I have heard that Newfoundland has a ½ hour time zone.) And, the International Date Line is an imaginary line that runs from pole to pole through the Pacific Ocean and marks either the start or finish of a day. The concept was adopted in 1884, using the 180th longitude, so if you are going east across the line, you are one day behind where you started; if going west over it, you go forward one day.

Albert Pike’s Comments on Time

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o the ancients, as yet inventors of no astronomical instruments, and looking at the heavens with the eye of children, this earth was a level plain of unknown extent. About its boundaries there was speculation, but no knowledge. The inequalities of its surface were the irregularities of a plane. That it was a globe, or that anything lived on its under surface, or on what it rested, they had no idea. Every twenty four hours the sun came up from beyond the Eastern rim of the world, but sometimes nearer and sometimes further from the point overhead; and sunk below the western rim. With him went light, and after him followed darkness.

Every twenty four hours appeared in the Heavens another body, visible chiefly at night, but sometimes even when the sun shone, which likewise, as if following the sun at a greater or less distance, travelled across the sky; sometimes as a thin crescent, and thence increasing to a full orb resplendent with silver light and sometimes more and sometimes less to the southward of the point overhead, within the same limits as the Sun… Thus, naturally and necessarily, time was divided, first into days, and then into moons or months and years; and with these divisions and movements of the Heavenly bodies that marked them were associated with and connected all men’s physical enjoyments and privations. Wholly agricultural, and in their frail habitations greatly at the mercy of the elements and the changing seasons, the primitive people of the Orient were deeply interested in the recurrence of the periodical phenomena presented by the two great luminaries of Heaven, on whose regularity all their prosperity depended. Time as we know it is but a symbol for how we comprehend the past, the present and the future. The snake reaching around 23


FIG. 4 – Stone Henge, an accurate timepiece

Megalithic monuments like stone henge demarked the corners of the year and heralded the changing of the seasons

and grabbing its tail, the Ouroboros, is a good symbol for us to consider when thinking of time. Other symbols associated with time include: the hourglass, the scythe, merging parallel lines, a pendulum, and the cycles of the earth. Time can be seen in Masonic circles as various forms of motion, cycles and regeneration. A famous Masonic symbol is an old man counting the locks of a young lady’s hair, never to get it all done; all the while viewing a broken column, symbolically showing an ever present and never ending event.

spoken into existence with the beginning of everything. It can be seen on a very large scale or in a space small enough to fit on your wrist, or be seen on the face of your cell phone.

The hour glass is an emblem to remind us by the quick passage of its sands of the transitory nature of human life.... No matter what we learn from all this, the main object to remember is to use time wisely. Time once wasted can never be replaced. We should make sure we have down time, take time for fun in our lives – but time is a steady flow that ages us and wears down all it touches. Time flies and is sometimes forgotten in our memories. It is a valuable commodity that most people put too little importance on. We need to consider that all we do should be thought of, not only what it costs us monetarily, but what time it costs us, too. The knowledge presented here is to teach that like everything else interesting in life, time can be easily measured, and divided; but it is largely glossed over and forgotten that time is complex and intricate. Our great Creator did a magnificent thing when this world was 24

FIG. 5 – An Old Man, Unfolding Her Ringlets and Counting Her Hairs A peculiar symbol well-known to all Master Masons

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Know Thy Body By Bro. Brian Conrad

Mind, Spirt, Body - Dietary Science for the 21st Centruy

A

n appetite for knowledge has induced many to the buffet of Freemasonry, which is an often found and shared table for hungry travelers. While there are choices to be made and further cuisines tried within the Masonic body, we are taught to gain a better knowledge of ourselves before we continue work within the temple. To do so without knowledge of the body may cause it to become ill and fail. Buddha says: To keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom, and keep our mind strong and clear.1 The physical body is defined as the entire structure of a human being, which at full maturity consists of approximately 100 trillion 26

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cells.2 However, the vast majority of cells in the human body are not human at all, but such objects as archaea, bacteria and methanogens.3 Like many different ashlars working to support a temple, these cells are optimal when they work in harmony while filling hollows and removing rough edges. Like the work upon the rough edges of an ashlar to remove the superfluous, the work to improve the functions of the cells in the body may be found through the conscious Rocky Mountain Mason

identification and removal of irritants consumed.4 The human gastrointestinal system contains all three domains of life; archaea, bacteria, and eukarya, which are critical to nutrient absorption and waste processing.5 Lita Proctor, of the National Institutes of Health and a leader in the Human Microbiome Project, said, “The human we see in the mirror is made up of more microbes than human.�6 These cells are distributed over 1,000 species in the different domains, but two-thirds of the species and population are unique in each person.7 While we may not often think of the human gut, it contains about as many

nerve cells as a cat brain and is an essential part of the body’s immune system.8 Archaea cells found in the body are the first living things found on earth, and have changed little or not at all in 3.5 billion years.9 Along with bacteria, archaea make up the majority of all life on earth and are often found in extreme environments. Archaea are the most abundant and diverse life organisms on earth, and from which all other life has evolved.10 However, while present in the gut, most archaea can be difficult to detect past the most dominant group found, which are methanogens. While there are ten times more bacteria in the gut alone than human cells in the entire body, most can be found in the gut and on the skin.11 Bacteria are thought to be over 3 billion years old, coming after and from archaea.12 Most bacteria are rendered harmless by the immune system, which puts them to work to assist in the function of the human body, while a minority can cause infectious and fatal diseases that may spread from one person to the next.13 However, bacteria are vital to life and aid in everything from providing sustaining nutrients, to the putrefaction process of the deceased body.14 Bacteria can assimilate the DNA of antibodies and antibiotics from one generation to another, may randomly turn their own genes on and off creating unique combinations in reaction to their environment, and can pass knowledge of gene combinations and reactions to other strains of bacteria through DNA.15 The microorganisms that produce methane as part of the metabolism in the gut are called methanogens. While they serve to transform one matter into another, and produce methane leading to higher absorption of fatty acids, methanogens are more often known for the methane content in human flatulence.16 Methanogenesis is the final step in the decay of organic matter consumed. Fermentation in the gut only allows the breakdown of larger organic 27


compounds, which result in smaller organic compounds. Methanogenesis effectively removes the semi-final products of decay; hydrogen, small organics, and carbon dioxide.17 Without methanogenesis, a great deal of carbon (in the form of fermentation products) would accumulate in anaerobic environments. This could lead to “worms” and other parasitic infestations of the gut.18 While it may be unpleasant to think of so many non-human cells in the body that can lead to variable outcomes, consider the role of these organisms in our health and vitality. An article published by the Gastrointestinal Health Foundation stated the following regarding the balance of these foreign cells in the human body: There is growing evidence that host/microbial interactions within the gut can have a profound impact on human health and disease; in fact, the intestinal microflora have been shown to influence the innate physiology, biochemistry, immunology, maturation of the vasculature, and gene expression in a host. Although most research has focused on gut bacteria, current evidence suggests that the Archaea—an ancient domain of single-celled organisms—are resident within the gut in high numbers, and have direct and indirect effects on the host. In particular, the methanogens are an essential component of luminal intestinal microbial ecosystems.19 The human body would not operate without the presence of the non-human cells and their functions. However, it is how those cells are put to work that determines their negative or positive affects on the body. Therefore, the consumption choices we make on the conscious level directly impact the outcome of unseen and often unknown forces on the body. This is referred to as the gut-brain axis.20 Research suggests that the gut–brain axis, a bidirectional neurohumoral (neuron) communication system in the human body, functions as a pathway for the gut microbiota to modulate the brain function of its host.21 Further, that the microbial colonization of the gastrointestinal tract results in a long-lasting impact on the neural processing of sensory information22.. As Doctor Heribert Watzke explained: Rocky Mountain Mason

The gut has a silent voice. It’s going more for feeling… it might surprise you that our gut has a full fledged brain… a gut feeling, and it is true because the gut is connected to our emotional limbic system. The two (brain and gut) speak to each other and make decisions… We have to learn to talk to the brain, and if there is a gut brain we should also learn to talk to this brain.23 Self analysis is critical to conscious awareness and examination. What may be taken as a genetic, hereditary, or “just the way it is” condition could be the result of what is consumed without conscious understanding, thus affecting the gutbrain axis. Positive and negative effects of balance and imbalance in the gut-brain axis may manifest in varying forms for each person.24 Such negative effects include chronic illness, degenerative diseases, flatulence, depression and acne, while positive effects manifest in more mental and physical energy, feelings of happiness and ease, and a healthier life.25 However, what provides positive results may not be what the conscious mind desires for satisfaction and fulfillment.26 It is here that we may see example of the work upon the ashlar. When the gut cells are unfitting and of no use, illness may prevent harmony and impact our work with others. Just as what we consume affects the body in unseen ways, what we remove from consumption impacts the potential and ultimate use of the gut’s varying cells.27 Therefore, understanding the unseen forces of the body and their role in gut function, or dysfunction, is vital to our knowledge of the human body’s health and disease.28 When the effects of unhealthy cells are found, we may consider the words of Brother John Nagy: Set your Sights upon the Wheat which shall nurture you into the future and Winnow away the Chafe that shall do nothing more than deplete you. Self analysis of the body is critical to conscious understanding and awareness of its condition.

When the body is burdened with the superfluous substances that we desire, it is unable to work or is hindered from working.29 In addition, when weighed down, the body is often unable to find what nutrients are still provided, and what is good for the body cannot be absorbed properly.30 Continued ignorance to the situation may lead to the body warring with itself, even when the conscious mind is unaware of the consequences it has created.31 The only way to utilize the non-human cells within the body is to be aware of your own body’s condition and weaknesses. If not, we will only utilize the gut bacteria to bring damage upon ourselves and potentially others.32 The physical body is designed to alert us when it cannot digest what is consumed, leading to varying forms of physical discomfort or unwanted appearance such as bloat, gas, acne, weight fluctuation, headaches, cramps, and diarrhea.33 If an honest and ethical observation is made to study the body’s digestion; how it feels, reacts, and processes substances, one may choose to make conscious dietary decisions for the selfless benefit and harmony within the body. As human genetics vary, when studying the body, it is critical to focus the investigation upon the self, and not the imitation of another’s behavior or diet.34 An example of what is fed the non-physical body may be seen in the behavior of a child when exposed to different conditions in life, and how those influences follow the child into adulthood.35 The matured effect is a direct result of the mental and emotional diet the child was fed.36 Similar to the physical body, a greater knowledge of self and a conscious choice for improving behavior and exposure can be made once a better understanding of the effects from the unseen functions are known. In consumption, taste and temporary reward on the conscious level balanced with emotional triggers and energy needs of the gut brain may work for the benefit of the body. Application and experimentation of this balance can be found in our most primordial of scientific operations: food preparation and consumption.37 Observation findings and consumption results may change over time, and new knowledge must also adapt for continued improvement. Therefore, as consumption choices are made, consider continued observation and evaluation of 29


the body, listen and understand, and seek out that which the gut brain requires to optimally fuel the body.38 In conclusion, as certain foods and substances damage the body through conflict with the unseen cellular domains of the gut, so too may selfish want and satisfaction block the body’s potential and optimal use. Hippocrates has been quoted as saying “death sits in the bowels” and that “bad digestion is the root of all evil” in 400 B.C.39. It is within us to find and consciously choose to act upon the best diet for our growth, health, and work. The better prepared to work upon the temple in harmony.

Endnotes 1.http://www.searchquotes.com/quotation/ To_keep_the_body_in_good_health_is_a_ duty,_for_otherwise_we_shall_not_be_able_ to_trim_the_lamp_of_wi/32207/ 2. http://www.npr.org/blogs/ health/2012/06/13/154913334/finally-a-mapof-all-the-microbes-on-your-body 3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_body 4 .http://www.todaysdietitian.com/ newarchives/021313p38.shtml 5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/ NBK57074/ 6 .http://www.npr.org/blogs/

health/2012/06/13/154913334/finally-a-mapof-all-the-microbes-on-your-body 7. http://www.gutmicrobiotawatch.org/gutmicrobiota-info/ 8. http://www.bbc.com/news/ health-18779997 9. http://paleobiology.si.edu/geotime/main/ htmlversion/archean3.html 10. http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/alllife/ threedomains.html 11. http://www.sciencedaily.com/ releases/2008/06/080603085914.htm 12. http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/bacteria/ bacteria.html 13. http://www.sciencedaily.com/ releases/2013/09/130916122214.htm 14. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacteria 15. http://cronodon.com/BioTech/Bacteria_ Growth.html 16. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methanogen 17. http://www.iwaponline.com/wst/05201/ wst052010013.htm 18. Microbes: A Source of Energy for 21st Century – 2007 by S.K. Soni 19. http://www.nature.com/ajgsup/journal/v1/ n1/abs/ajgsup20126a.html 20. http://www.nature.com/nrn/journal/v13/ n10/fig_tab/nrn3346_F3.html 21. http://www.ucsf.edu/ news/2014/08/116526/do-gut-bacteria-ruleour-minds 22. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/ archive/2012/06/27/probiotics-gut-healthimpact.aspx 23. http://www.ted.com/talks/heribert_ watzke_the_brain_in_your_gut?language=en 24. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/

archive/2011/07/31/dr-natasha-campbellmcbride-on-gaps-nutritional-program.aspx 25. http://www.sciencedaily.com/ releases/2013/09/130916122214.htm 26. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ gut-second-brain/ 27. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ gut-second-brain/ 28. http://www.nature.com/ajgsup/journal/v1/ n1/abs/ajgsup20126a.html 29. http://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/ connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/ healthy+living/is+your+health+at+risk/ the+risks+of+poor+nutrition 30. http://celiac.org/celiac-disease/what-isceliac-disease/ 31. http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/04/20/ autoimmune-disease-stop-your-body-fromattacking-itself/#close 32. http://physrev.physiology.org/ content/90/3/859 33. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/fast-foodaffects-negatively-1728.html 34. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_ genetic_variation 35. http://www.apa.org/pi/prevent-violence/ resources/tv-violence.aspx 36. http://www.apa.org/pi/prevent-violence/ resources/tv-violence.aspx 37. http://www.ted.com/talks/heribert_ watzke_the_brain_in_your_gut?language=en 38. http://psychologyofeating.com/the-brainin-the-belly/ 39. http://physrev.physiology.org/ content/90/3/859

Squarely

Level by ORION. 2015

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Rocky Mountain Mason


Upon the Square, and by the Level Give the lie to the Devil! Live in Light, by the Plumb – May thy Work be ever Winsome All in all a Holy Word Praiseworthy Holiness To the Lord

www.rockymountainmason.com

Rocky Mountain Mason

31


A Knights Templar Christmas in Observance the

T

he trip along I-70 went very well and as I turned south onto 24 at Minturn I glanced up at the sky for telltale signs of weather later in the evening. Not a cloud, and the blue was only slightly challenged by a long stream of pink at the horizon. It was truly a sailor’s delight... and mine too! There was no snow except in the distance as we drove along I-70, but immediately, as we turned onto highway 24 at Minturn there was white stuff on both sides of the road the rest of the way (but the road was completely bare).

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Rocky Mountain Mason


Highest Masonic

Lodge in

Colorado

By Most Worshipful Bro. Rodney Johnson, P.G.M.

Rocky Mountain Mason

33


It is a time to which many look forward, a time to meet with old and new friends in a museum-quality “house”, to eat good food, participate in some toasts, listen to good music, and raise some money for a worthwhile cause. Denver Commandery #1 has, for the last several years, chartered a bus to allow Denver area Knights Templar and wives to more easily make the trip; this year was no exception. One year in the not-too-distant past, a storm at Eisenhower tunnel caused the bus driver to take a different way home ¬– from Leadville through Buena Vista which added 57 miles to the usual 100 miles via the tunnel. The “house” is, of course, Leadville’s Masonic temple which is over 100 years old and looks as though it’s “as good as new.” When you gaze at the pictures on the wall and the frames holding them, the beautifully restored floors, the magnificent wainscotting, the furniture, the plaster ceiling (without a crack), sixpanel doors... even the door knockers, you will find yourself silently taking it all in and then like a slap in the face waking up to the realization that you have people to engage with. And so you reluctantly and temporarily detach yourself from the building and get back to new and old friends... knowing that you will be back to revisit and reaccaint yourself with the lodge hall and its contents as soon as the chance presents itself.

Photos by Rodney Johnson

It was Monday, December 8, 2014 the annual Christmas celebration of two of Leaville’s fraternities, Mount Holy Cross Commandery #5, Knights Templar (Robert Trezise, Emminent Commander, presiding) and Knights of Columbus Lake County Assembly #92 (Robert Dawson, Faithful Navigator, presiding). One could consider this an unsual or unlikely alliance or occasion, but “one” would be wrong. These two organizations have eagerly looked forward to this annual get-together for the last several years.

REGC Joe Summers (left) and, to his left, Rob Dawson, Faithful Navigator

SK Bob Trezise, EC of No. 5 greets Rob Dawson, Faithful Navigator

SK Bob Trezise escorts SK Joe though the Arch of Steel 34 34

Rocky RockyMountain MountainMason Mason


Dinner was scheduled for 6 p.m. and the astute visitors (who’ve been here before) know to arrive early, to meet and greet, and take time for plenty of looking around the building. Following dinner in the dining room (donations accepted) everyone headed for the adjacent large lodge room (there are 2 other small lodge rooms) where Right Emminent Grand Commander Joe W. Summers was received in due form. Introductions continued with the Knights of Columbus providing the honor guard reception. All Knights of Columbus attending were introduced, the Knights Templar Past Commanders introduced themselves from the sidelines, and all ladies were recognized. Sir Knight Robert Trezise was very busy as host for the evening. It was readily evident that he is the Colorado York Rite’s Grand Musician for all three bodies as he entertained all, playing the piano and organ. Mrs. Ray Dawson (Joan), sang Ave Maria for everyone’s enjoyment, afterwhich several Knights Templar and Knights of Columbus attended at the triangle to provide the toasts of the evening. All sideliners (and the sidelines were full) including the ladies were offered “toasting material” and thus everyone.

FROM TOP (CLOCKWISE): SK Bob Trezise plays the piano; a detail of the silver frame adorning one of the pictures in the historic Lodge room; good food and good company; the Arch of Steel for SK David L. Salberg REPGC, who taught in Leadville for more than 20 years; Mrs. Ray Dawson sings Ave Maria for the Knights of the Temple andthe Knights of Columbus.

Rocky RockyMountain MountainMason Mason

3535


“They’re Just Minute A

random encounter with some sloppily stored minute books reveal an entry of some historical interest, in Lodge St. Ninion #66, founded in 1714, in Scotland.

T

his story takes place in the late 1970’s when I was stationed with the U.S. Navy at the R.A.F. Edzell base on the east coast of Scotland, about half-way between Aberdeen and Dundee.

1714.” That caught me by surprise – again, the books were just sitting on the floor in a closet, stacked high without regard to their significance. I mentioned the dry rot and the books just abodoned, sitting on the floor, and he just said again, “They’re just minute books, Bill.” So, I asked Jimmy Kidd (the “Scribe E”) if I could look at one of them. I had been He said sure, and I went initiated, passed, and to the stacks and pulled “The Chapter shared the building with Lodge St. raised in Lodge North one of the books at Esk Marinus #1676, on Ninion #66... which was founded sometime around out random. Opening it up, the rolls of the Grand 1714.” I was startled to see what Lodge of Scotland were obviously entries in 1977-78 – a short time after our made with an ink quill, using those funny Bicentennial Celebration and Queen “ff” characters that we’ve all seen in some Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee celebration. of our Revolutionary War documents. It made reading the entries a little interesting I’d gone through the Royal Arch at – but the penmanship was elegant, so it Noah #7 in Brechin, a small town wasn’t all that hard once you got into about 5 miles from the base. The the “flow” of the words. chapter shared the building I turned a few pages, with Lodge St. Ninian, #66 and again at random, I stopped on (Forfarshire), which was a page where there was an entry founded sometime around that talked about three brothers 1714. The Royal Arch of the Lodge who would not be Chapter was started in 1774. at the meeting because they were One night, while helping all in the highlands with “The set up the Chapter for the Young Pretender” (the term for evening’s ceremonies, I happened Prince Charles Edward Stuart, to notice about four stacks of thin otherwise known to us as “Bonnie books four feet high sitting on the Prince Charlie”). The hair on the floor in the paraphernalia closet. I back of my neck prickled, just seeing turned to our “Scribe E” – who also the entry and knowing the significance happened to be my lodge secretary – of the Battle at Culloden Moor that and asked him what the books were, since would take place only a few days after that

36

they were just sitting on the floor and I had noticed some dry rot (common in that area of Scotland, especially in buildings as old as the one being used). He peeked over, shrugged his shoulders and said, “They’re just the minute books for the lodge, Bill.” I asked Jimmy how far back they went. He shrugged, and said “All the way back to the founding of the lodge, around

Rocky Mountain Mason


Books...” by Bro. Bill Hickey

entry was made. A brief snippet of history is in order here. Prince Charles was the head of the Jacobite forces (~7,000 strong) that were massing at Culloden, near Inverness. It was a time of great turmoil in Scotland, as it was Prince Charles’ intent to depose the current King (who was from the House of Hanover) and restore the House of Stuart as the ruling house for Great Britain. Eventually, on April 16, 1745, English forces (~8,000 strong) under the command of the Duke of Cumberland (House of Hanover) would win a decisive battle, killing nearly 2,000 of the Jacobites while losing around two-hundred of their own men, thus forcing Prince Charles to retreat into exile in France. (Side note: if you are ever in Scotland, you owe it to yourselves to visit Culloden – there is a newly built visitor’s center with interactive displays about the battle, and just walking around the area with the mass graves for the clans will remind you of some of the great cataclysmic battles of our own Civil War.) So, seeing that entry, and knowing the significance of the Battle at Culloden, I mentioned that to Jimmy – and again, he simply said: “They’re just minute books, Bill.” I commented that historians would probably kill to have access to things like this if they knew they were available because they were being written by a person who had no political ambitions whatsoever, and no reason to slant the comments. Basically we were being given a

Rocky Mountain Mason

snapshot of what life was like in that small village at that particular time in history. His concluding remarks? “They’re just minute books, Bill.” So, it makes me wonder, how many of our lodges have their minute books archived in a similar fashion, thinking that they are “just” minute books and perhaps only of interest to Masonic historians who might be looking for some arcane tidbit of information about that lodge? Have we become so “predictable” in our minutetaking – recording the time and date of the opening, the number of the meeting, members present, order of business, and so on – that we take our minutes for granted believing that they have no significance to contribute to the history of our country, state, and locality? There is probably very little in the way of more “social commentary” on what is happening in the nearby community anymore. But, it makes me wonder, has it always been that way? Did our brothers who brought Masonry to this country – and carried it westward as our expansion ensued – make similar comments about their times that I found in the minute books of Lodge St. Ninian? The only way to find out is to seek out the Secretaries and ask – but we’ll probably get the same comment that I got – “They’re just minute books.” REALLY?

B

ill Hickey was a naval officer stationed at the Naval Security Group Activity, Edzell (hosted by the RAF) from 1976-1979. While serving as the Electronics Materiel Officer, he noticed a number of his sailors walking around at lunch with little black books muttering to themselves. This precipitated the proverbial question: What are these guys doing? – which eventually led to his own knock at the door of Lodge North Esk Marinus #1676. That lodge was composed predominantly of navy personnel from the nearby base, with a small numbe of local Scots who were there to give it stability as the navy rotated people in and out for tours of duty. Eventually, somewhere between 1997-98, the lodge turned in its charter because the Navy had closed the base and there were no more US personnel to participate in the lodge. All life members of that lodge were eventually conveyed to the other lodge in Laurencekirk (St. Mark #1313) which shared the building where the two lodges met. Years later, after retiring from the U. S. Navy, Bill served as the Associate Grand Guardian for Colorado Job’s Daughters and is now the Prior in the Denver Consistory Officer line.

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SIMPLE QUESTION AND

SIMPLEANSWER

By W.Bro. John Warren, 33°

“To be yourself in a world that is doing it’s best, day and night, to make you like everyone else – is to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” – E. E. Cummings

A

s it sometimes happens to those who write articles for various Masonic publications, the idea for an article often comes to you right out of the blue.

When talking with a Brother and his wife after lunch several weeks ago, I commented on what a busy schedule I had, adding that I sometimes felt overwhelmed by it all. The Brother’s response, of course, was that I needed to slow down. He wasn’t suggesting I drop everything, but maybe think a little about why I sometimes have this feeling.

Some Brothers have busier Masonic lives than I do and some less, but I believe it is a safe bet to say everyone, at one time or another, feels overwhelmed and questions their reasons for staying so busy. Granted, we all had different reasons for becoming a Mason and even staying in the Fraternity. I think there is one over-riding factor involved for most of us. The “IT” (the WHY we all do what we do) that hit me after lunch that day was the first few words of a poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning titled, How Do I Love Thee?: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Yes, I know the how and why the poem was written (Google is a wonderful thing, after all) but I also believe those few

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words answer that question. We do what we do because of a love for the Fraternity. I have always discussed my growth in Masonry, from my “birth” (i.e. being initiated an Entered Apprentice in 1991) to my current station in Masonry and everything in between. I believe also that many, including myself, have been through that stage in our Masonic life, thinking that if Lodge is good, then more Masonic groups are better. Often times, we discover that this is not necessarily true. I’m sure that mental health professionals have fancy words for doing that sort of thing, but the truth is that there are still only 24 hours in a day. No Brother can keep up this hectic pace for long without suffering some sort of consequences, whether it be to your health, family, employment and so on. A former employer of mine strongly felt that thinking outside the box and going beyond our mostly self-imposed boundaries in life would makes us better, more productive employees, and scheduled the necessary training for this. Those same people training us to “think outside the box” reminded us that sometimes we had to step back and get away from that “more is better” attitude, even if that meant letting go of some things in order to maintain and/or regain our health and sanity. My way of dealing with this feeling of being overwhelmed was to concentrate more on fewer activities such as the ritualistic aspect of Masonry. I suppose that, while I may have an affinity for the Degrees, it is up to others to decide how

successful I am (and no, there is no truth to the comments some have made that I am in every degree during Reunions). Naturally, that is not the situation today. I tend to add to my schedule. Moreover, many of you do the same thing. For those who crave the praise and keep doing more to get it, remember what Albert Einstein once said: “The only way to escape the corruptible effect of praise is to keep on working.” Is there a solution to this dilemma for any of us? No one can really answer that. I know that if someone asks for my help, I will continue to give it. If I see something needing to be done, I will offer to help. It is not in my nature to be any other way. A while back, I asked the question: “Is Masonry all that I am about?” and I answered No. At the same time, I recognize the necessity of heeding my Brother’s advice that day about slowing down. I’m thinking that something as simple as readjusting my priorities will work and so I am. This is a tough dilemma, but one with an attainable goal. Sounds like good advice for all of us. The Dalai Lama once said: Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day. Food for thought!

Rocky Mountain Mason


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GRAND

Master’s

F

irst, I would like to tell you a story, a parable, that I think speaks to some of the issues facing this and other Grand Lodges. It’s about a King whose people had grown soft and entitled.

To do so, he placed a large boulder in the middle of the main road, blocking everyone’s entry in and out of the city. Curious to see how they would react, he hid in a nearby bush. The king watched as some of his wealthiest merchants and most opulent courtiers came to the boulder and... mostly with a huff... walked around it. Many of them cursed the king for this inconvenience. Some loudly blamed him

Rocky Mountain Mason

Photo by John Moreno

After watching his once-mighty empire backslide for years, the king couldn’t take it anymore. He decided he would teach his people a lesson.

and laid down his haul and tried to move the boulder from its spot. The king watched as the peasant tried to push, pull and heave the rock out of the road. It wouldn’t budge. When the peasant was certain that pushing, pulling or heaving wasn’t going to work, he disappeared into the bushes, leaving his vegetables in the road. Moments later he appeared again, this time carrying a large stick. He wedged the stick underneath the huge rock, pushed it down with all his might... and, finally, the boulder lifted off and rolled away. Satisfied with a job well done, the peasant dusted his hands clean and turned to grab his vegetables. Before he had the chance, though, something caught his eye. There, where the boulder had been, was a small, finely tailored purse. He picked it up, unraveled it open

for not keeping the roads clear. But, to the king’s upset, not one of them did a thing to get the large stone out of the way. After several days of this, the king watched as a lone peasant boy approached carrying a heavy load of vegetables. Upon reaching the boulder, the peasant stopped

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and couldn’t believe his good luck. His life was changed forever. Inside, he found an absolute fortune of gold coins and a note from the king, designating the gold for whoever removed the boulder from the road. So the parable goes, the peasant and the king’s people learned a valuable lesson... “Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve your condition.” Roman Emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius said as much when he wrote, “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” Despite what boulders the pundits of Washington... the plunderers of Wall Street...or any other bane of your existence drop in the road, there’s always a way to reposition it in your favor. There’s always an opportunity within every obstacle. In fact, we daresay, meeting the obstacle head on is the only way of getting what you truly want out of life. It’s difficult to do. Our primal reaction is to avoid pain and seek pleasure. So, when confronted, our natural inclination is to stay in bed and eat ice cream. But don’t succumb. Because once you get good at meeting obstacles head on, your life will never be the same. I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you as Grand Master for 2014. I came to the Grand Session last year not expecting to have this honor and was quite surprised at the outcome of our elections. The entire experience has been humbling and gratifying, and through the efforts of the Grand Lodge officers and others we have come a long way this year to resolving several issues that have faced this Grand Lodge. It is never easy to be the Grand Master, everyone who has served in this position has had problems to deal with which cause them considerable loss of sleep and discomfort in trying to find an equitable resolution to those problems. Frequently we have seen the same problems come up over and over, but there are always a few that are unique to each year. My year has 44

been no different, and I have done my best to deal with them all in a manner that takes the overall benefit for the Craft into consideration. Some of you may not have agreed with my decisions, but such is the nature of leadership. It is not about

popularity, but trying to do the right thing for the right reason if you truly care about the organization you are serving. The story I began with addresses a problem that has come up in recent years and in many places. I daresay it has come up before, and will almost certainly come back around later. That problem is working to keep Masonry relevant to the society in which it is presently living and making sure it is attractive to the generation of men that are its future by working individually to keep it in line with current mores without losing its core values and teachings. We are facing both old and new challenges in this day and age, some of

which have been with us for years, and others which are fairly recent developments. We still see a fairly large loss of Brothers each year due to death, which should not be unexpected given the average age of our membership, but there is nothing we can do about those losses. We are still seeing a large number of Brethren being lost due to suspensions and dimits which we can try to control by taking action ourselves in contacting the Brothers and finding out the reasons for their requests or inaction. It takes work, but even if we don’t manage to keep them we will have a better understanding of what is causing our losses and address the problem from an educated position. We have arrived at a time of generational divide in several issues concerning communication styles and methods as well as general outlook and expectations of life. These issues too can be resolved by understanding each other, but that can only happen through open and honest communication and a willingness to understand and accept the changes that are the normal process of human and societal growth. Contrary to popular belief, Freemasonry’s history is one of change and that is what has allowed us to not only survive, but thrive over several centuries. We must be relevant to the times in which we live or we will cease to exist. Those organizations of any type who spend more time reveling in the glories of their past, or thinking and acting the same way they have in the past have all failed or are failing now. I for one do not want to see this great fraternal organization fall into that category. There are those in our Fraternity who loudly denounce anything that deviates from their original and longstanding experience in their mother lodge. It is human nature to find comfort in things that are familiar and to believe that the way we learned to do things is the only correct way possible. A Brother’s practice of Freemasonry is no different in that respect, but I doubt that you would receive a warm welcome in, say, Arizona or Pennsylvania, let alone another country, if you stood up in a meeting and shouted “YOU ARE DOING IT ALL WRONG!” Rocky Mountain Mason


just because it was different from what you know. It is no different within the state of Colorado when in another lodge. Yes, we have a prescribed ritual which assures that the words we say and many of the actions we do during our degree conferrals and the opening and closing of the lodge are the same because we don’t want the message we are trying to impart getting muddled. But, there are those small differences in lodges and some of the things they do that give us strength. I think I speak for most of the men in this room when I say that if every Mason in every lodge I visited wore a black suit, white shirt, black tie, black socks, and black wingtips, Freemasonry probably would not have held my interest for very long. The same thing goes for lodge rooms. If every lodge I visited met in a pale green steel building that was 50 by 120 feet, the interiors were all the same color and decorated in the same way, and every set of working tools was identical because there was only one place to purchase them, most of us would have left the Craft long ago. Why do some insist that no lodge can dress differently, present programs that are different from those in other lodges, adorn their lodge in a different manner, and perhaps do some different things before and after the meetings than their own (Donuts and coffee anyone)? Should we allow ourselves as Freemasons, famously known as freethinkers who many consider to be dangerous, to become so closed minded and narrow in our beliefs that we see any deviation from what we personally know as a threat to the very existence of our great Craft? I say “Vive la Difference!” It makes us stronger and teaches tolerance which is lacking but sorely needed in the world today. I love going to our smaller and larger lodges. I enjoy being in the rural areas and experiencing the culture of their area as much as I enjoy going to some of the “big city” lodges and seeing what they have on offer. Each has its own charms, as is expounded in our famous poem “The Lodge Room over Simpkins’ Store”; in each I find good Brothers, working diligently to improve themselves, assist their Brothers, and help in their communities. Isn’t that what we are supposed to be doing? Does it really matter that they are doing it in

slightly different ways? There is a famous saying attributed to many different people and religions that states: “There are many roads that lead to the top of the mountain, but they all reach the top of the mountain.” Perhaps it would be good if we discussed that idea in our lodges. One recurring issue we need to address in our Grand Lodge is the tendency to file charges against a Brother for trivial reasons which often amount to no more than a difference of opinion while allowing others to commit grievous wrongs which are never brought up, or when addressed are then ignored and swept under the

as well hidden as you may believe. Rather than attack each other over personal issues we should be following the admonitions we are given on several occasions in our degrees and other rituals. We should always remember to apply the Masonic ABC’s: Aid, Befriend, and Comfort. We promised during our initiation into the Fraternity that when we saw a Brother who was straying from the path of proper behavior to take him aside and in a most friendly and kindly manner whisper wise counsel into his ear to aid a reformation. In our officers installation ceremony we say: “If, in the frailty of mortality, a Brother falls under the influence of unholy feelings and wanders into forbidden paths, seek the wanderer out, bring him back to the fold, and show him the superior loveliness of virtue. Much may be accomplished by the force of good example, and in offering good counsel in a friendly spirit, ever remembering that ‘To err is human, to forgive, divine’.” Instead of acting in such a manner we have gotten in the habit of attacking them, often in a most personal and destructive way, trying to assassinate their character no less that the ruffians attacked and took the life of Hiram Abiff. Is that really what we want to be? Aren’t we supposed to be builders and not destroyers? None of us have reached perfection. We are all working on that rough ashlar to smooth it as best as we can during this lifetime. We all have personal demons we are fighting and sometimes we lose the battle and fall. It is our job as Masons to pick that fallen Brother up and assist him. If he refuses to correct the problem we need to take further action, but not until we have done what we are obligated to do by our own words and promise. One of the lessons we should learn from our participation in and study of the teachings of Freemasonry is the subduing of the self. A few centuries ago a very wise man said “A man engrossed in himself is neither a Brother nor a kinsman”. None of us is perfect, has all the answers, or is invariably right. We all have our faults and foibles and should be rather hesitant to display them for all to see. This is why I chose the ancient motto, or rather

“One of the lessons we should learn from our participation in and study of the teachings of Freemasonry is the subduing of the self.”

Rocky Mountain Mason

rug. Sometimes we see attacks for what amount to personal failings that have no bearing upon the function of the Craft while others that involve acts which harm us all are ignored due to the Brothers involved. Sometimes the Grand Master is asked to settle issues that are actually the internal business of the individual lodge where his involvement would be uncalled for and not resolve the base causes of the issue but merely take it out of the hands of someone who doesn’t want to make a difficult decision. We must move past that type of “passing of the buck” and weak leadership. In my opinion it is not the Grand Master’s duty to resolve every issue facing individual lodges. The Grand Master is not all powerful since there are certain defined limitations on his power listed in our Book of Constitutions, nor is he immediately granted universal wisdom merely by being installed. To believe otherwise is a fallacy that has gone on for way too long. Then, there are the things that he can do or might be able to do depending on certain interpretations of our Constitutions, but maybe should not. It’s a delicate balancing act. It has become an unfortunate habit these days to go into attack mode whenever we see something we disagree with or don’t personally like. I believe some of this has come about due the seemingly impersonal nature of electronic communication methods wherein we often feel we can do such things anonymously, but you are never

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admonition, “Know Thyself ” to put on my Grand Master’s pin. We all need to step aside frequently and take a long and hard look at ourselves. Then we need to be honest about what we find, admit it, accept it, and if it displeases us we should work to change it. It’s called self-improvement. That, to me, is the heart of the teachings of the Craft. As many will testify to, and rightly so, I can go on at length about Masonry. It seems to be a common affliction among Grand Masters. There are several other issues I would like to discuss, but we have other things that must get done and a limited amount of time to take care of them, but there are several people I need to thank for this opportunity. In particular I want to thank MWB John Harrington, who saw something in me and offered me the chance to learn and grow through service to others. It’s kind of an inside joke with us so I must say “I’m still not mad at you”. I will never be able to thank sufficiently the Brothers who on very short notice agreed to serve you and assist me by becoming Grand Lodge officers. It was through our combined efforts that we accomplished all the things we have this past year and they deserve yours and my most heartfelt thanks for a job well

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done. Then there are the hundreds of you around Colorado, the country, and the world, who helped me get through a very difficult time while I was dealing with my cancer treatment and recovery a few years back. You helped me in ways you may not understand by simply talking to me, praying with and for me, and in general letting me know you cared and hadn’t forgotten about me when I wasn’t around. You got me through some dark times when it would have been easy to give up and quit treatment due to the misery it created, but I have never been a quitter and I certainly didn’t want to disappoint you. For that support and encouragement I will be forever grateful. There are also the Brothers who took the time to talk to me and offer opinions, support, and advice, and others who asked for the same. I tried to always take the time to listen to your concerns and answer openly and honestly when required and asked for an opinion or guidance. I will still be there for you if you ever want my help again. Most of all I must thank my wife Linda for all her support, love, and understanding. She has never complained through all the years about the money spent, the cars worn out, or the time spent away from home. She listened to

me, offered advice, and watched me lose sleep while I agonized over various issues, events, and decisions concerning myself and the Craft, and tried to help me keep things in perspective. She has seen up close the positive changes my participation in this Fraternity have made in me. She is a great supporter of the Craft, and seemingly thinks my involvement is a good investment in our future. Now she will have me underfoot a lot more, and I feel it is only a matter of time until she asks me, “Don’t you have a meeting to go to tonight?” just to get some peace and quiet occasionally. Again, thank you for allowing me to serve you and for all the support you have given me this past year, and in preceding ones. I look forward to seeing you at meetings of the various Masonic bodies and on other occasions for years to come. Fraternally submitted, MWB Michael L. McMillan Grand Master 2014 M.W. Grand Lodge of A.F. & A.M. of Colorado

Rocky Mountain Mason


GRAND ORATION Jan 24, 2015

Most worshipful Grand Master, Past Grand Masters, Distinguished visitors and Brethren all:

Kevin Townley

I

t has indeed been an honor to serve the Grand Lodge of Colorado for the past Masonic year and it is my great pleasure to offer the grand oration at this Grand Lodge assembly. In preparing this Oration I became painfully aware of the many grand orations given in the past. What could possibly be said that has not been said before, or even written about in great length over this amazing history of the Craft? Could something truly meaningful be presented that might speak to the entire body of the Craft’ and not merely the favorite subject of the presenter? Could the endless platitudes and inculcations be avoided and simply treat of some essence that has been set aside by most members of our Craft? A difficult dilemma indeed.

During many visitations over the past year with the Grand Master, as well as making several presentations instigating conversations on behalf of the Education Committee, it was observed that when asked what subject the Brethren would like to engage in, they would say, let’s get back to the basics.

Rocky Mountain Mason

47


The difficulty I have found in this request is that no one seems to agree on what these basics are. There is such a variety of opinions that it is well-nigh impossible to find agreement among the members of the Craft. In 2011, I attended the Grand Lodge session in Kansas. The then-Grand Orator, W.B. Fred Locknapp, of Olathe #19, shared a poem that speaks to the various opinions relative to the mysteries of the Craft. Hidden Mystery Revealed By Fred Lockapp Olathe #19 Grand Orator MWGL of Kansas I asked the Master of my Lodge What is the hidden secret? He Smiled and said, Just listen son And I will now reveal it It’s simple, see, The Golden Rule That’s all that you must do Do unto others every day As you would have them do to you That’s realty quite profound I thought And yet it is so plain It seems the hidden mystery Was not so hard to gain And then I heard a Brother say That’s just not it at all To really be a Mason true You must understand Kabbalah How can the Hidden Mystery Be different for each man Does not the Hidden Mystery Reveal to us the meaning of God’s plan? Another Brother joined the fray And offered his advice Be good and true and honest and to your neighbors, nice A wise Past Master Listening in Thought those ideas were fine But really, said he, the secret is You’re a ray of the Divine Balance said another voice That’s what it’s all about The secret is equilibrium He almost had to shout A final voice said listen son They’re all good thoughts you see But the hidden secret that you seek 48

Is buried in geometry How can the Hidden Mystery Be different for each man Does not the Hidden Mystery Reveal the meaning of God’s plan? How could it be I thought aloud That you each differ so Is there not a hidden mystery here That I’m allowed to know? And then the answer came to me As brilliant as the sun There is a mystery, yes indeed But maybe more than one Each Brother that had shared with me Their secret truth so bold Discovered it within themselves Not one of them was told So now I know the secret that The Masons hide yet share Each man must find within himself The mystery and the care If each new day reveals a truth That you can use to build A moral spiritual wholesome self Than you’ll improve the world Is there a hidden Mystery That is Different for each man Does not the hidden Mystery Reveal to us the meaning of God’s plan? During my last several conversations on behalf of the Education Committee, I asked this question of the Brethren, what do you think the basics of Masonry are? So what are the basics? What component of Masonry if removed from the Craft would render it something other than Masonry? In a flash I thought, the Landmarks! Well this may well be true enough as we are fundamentally governed by them. We are admonished in the M.M. degree as well as in the installation of the W.M. and M.W.G.M. that the ancient landmarks of Free Masonry, entrusted to your care, you are carefully to preserve; and never suffer them to be infringed, or countenance a deviation from the established usages and customs of the Fraternity. M.W.B. John M. Maxwell, Grand Master of Masons of Colorado in 1891,

writes in his paper on the landmarks: A true understanding of the landmarks may not be possible as not one of the 25 landmarks proposed by Brother Mackey can pass the test of Antiquity, Universality and Immutability. Yet this most mysterious and subjective of subjects of Freemasonry, upon which the Jurisprudence Committee makes many of its decisions, cannot be agreed upon by the Grand Lodges around the world. Few, if any, have ever taken on the burden of actually listing and adopting these most sacred and essential basics of the Craft. Greater minds than mine have tried, great historians, esotericists and men of law, have attempted to understand and explain the landmarks. Yet in the history of the Craft no conclusive list upon which the manifold Grand Lodges can agree has ever been formulated. We tip our hats to the landmarks in our ceremonials and in certain decisions of the Jurisprudence Committee yet withal there is no firm agreement on this subject. Since this most sublime aspect of Masonry remains yet a mystery, we will have to turn our attention to other basics as we must begin in a place of general agreement. As we have all come to understand, sometimes much to our frustration, there are many opinions as to what Masonry is and how we approach the craft. Perhaps the three principle tenants of a Mason’s profession are a good place to start: Brotherly Love, Relief of Suffering, and the Cultivation of Truth. Regarding this subject I have some good news and some bad news. At a conference of Grand Masters the issue of civility was a major focus and a committee was formed to create guidelines for civility. The bad news is that at the Conference of Grand Masters it was found necessary that a committee had to be formed on the issue of civility. How is it that an institution that inculcates the three tenants of a Mason should have to remind its members to be civil? My brothers the life and spirit of Masonry does not ask us to be civil, it does not ask us to practice the three principle tenants of the Masonry, nor does it ask us to employ the precious jewels of the F.C. and M.M. degree. It demands it of us. If Rocky Mountain Mason


that he is to hold sacred and inviolable the we are not willing to conform or at least highly revered Masons who have spoken secrets of the craft, and that the ceremonies, work toward its precepts then we have no of this deeply mysterious and spiritual fact. allegories, and symbols are of no trivial business in this institution. I will leave this I begin with W.B. William matter but are designed to implant upon aspect of the subject to rest as we all know Hutchinson, (1732-1814), who was the the mind wise and serious truths, are there in the deepest recesses of our hearts the first author to address the spiritual nature for a reason. The fact that the definition of veracity of the charges given to us. of Masonry after the creation of the Grand the Craft as mentioned earlier is given in Another aspect of the basics of Lodge of England. In his lectures which the preparation room is of great moment. Masonry, which are often overlooked or were given to Concord Lodge at Bernard This is perhaps one of the most important sadly denied, is the secrets and mysteries Castle in England, where he was master for pieces of information that a Mason will of the Craft. several years, he spoke of the relationship ever receive. It is the key to the progressive There are opinions stated by some to God and man with Masonry being of our most a model by revered members “As a fellow lover of the Craft, I have realized that there are indeed which we can of the institution deity. mysteries and these mysteries remain veiled to those who will not approach that there are no His book, seek them out.” secrets, and there The Spirit of are no mysteries in Masonry, was Masonry. a collection of Every time I hear this statement I his lectures published in 1775. Brother begin to feel a great deal of despair. As a Hutchinson made this comment of the fellow lover of the Craft I have realized Masonic Lodge: that there are indeed mysteries and The lodge, when revealed to an these mysteries remain veiled to entering Mason, discovers to those who will not seek them him a representation of the out. world; in which from the As an observer I have wonders of nature, we come to find that there is no are led to contemplate way to share a realization the Great Original, and of a minor or, even more, worship him for his a greater mystery with one mighty works; and who refuses to accept that we are thereby also the mystery exists. It is moved to exercise also impossible to share those moral and social these things with one who virtues, which become is either unprepared or mankind as the servants willing to receive them. of the Great Architect This simple truth of the world, in whose harkens back to one of our image we were formed in landmarks which, stated earlier, the beginning.1 have not all been agreed upon, “the M.W.B. H.P. Bromwell, who secrets of Freemasonry are carefully was Grand Orator of this Grand preserved.” They are not only carefully Lodge 140 years ago and Deputy Grand preserved from non-Masons but from Mater in 1881, approached Masonry Masons themselves who are unwilling to from the Geometrical and Astronomical look beyond the surface of appearance or point of view. In his masterful opus, science to the Craft. refuse to examine the meaning veiled in The Restorations of Masonic Geometry It prepares the mind of the candidate for allegory and revealed by the symbols of the and Symbolry, he examines the main what lies ahead, the progressive science that Craft. points of Masonry deriving the particulars reveals the mysteries if we but make the In the E.A. Degree, the words “secrets” geometrically. effort to discover them. If these statements and “mysteries” are used about a dozen Bromwell begins with this general in our ceremonials are of no value, or are times. Even the definition of Freemasonry definition of Masonry: not true, what then? The framers of our that we have heard so many times before is ceremonials, whoever they were, had given to the candidate in the preparation “Masonry is a system of morals, objectives in mind. It is incumbent on us room before he is conducted to the door veiled in allegory and illustrated to verify the veracity of these statements of the lodge: “Masonry is a beautiful by symbols of deep significance, for the very life and purpose of the Craft system of morality, veiled in allegory and and that the body of knowledge lies at the heart of them. illustrated by symbols.” 1. William Hutchinson, The Spirit of This opinion is one to which the The informing of the candidate that he Masonry, (New York: bell Publishing, Grand Orator ascribes but was not is about to enter the mysteries of Masonry, 1982 edition.), 102. generated by the same. There are several Rocky Mountain Mason

49


connected with and interwoven in its mystic teachings not only constitute a system of moral and intellectual science, but are of great importance and benefit to the Craftsmen and to society at large.”2

of the deep spiritual journey of initiation, which is the journey of the soul. The following is a summary of Foster Bailey’s definitions of Masonry in his work, The Spirit of Masonry, which interestingly has the same title as William Hutchinson work, published 182 years earlier.

He further states, Masonry is a system of sublime truths, including those of the natural universe, as well as of moral and intellectual science and philosophy, based on the accepted fact of one Almighty, infinite and perfect Deity, called by Masons ‘the Grand Architect of the Universe’ — the perfection and completeness of the order of W. L. Wilmshurst describes Masonry from a spiritual, philosophical, and esoteric point of view. He offers to the reader the elegant purpose of Masonry encouraging the reader to pursue the Masonic path from the point of view of the unfolding spiritual quest. Wilmshurst defines Masonry in the following manner:

Foster Bailey, a student and friend W. L. Wilmshurst, approaches Masonry from the point of view of law and initiation. He points out that the three degrees of the Blue Lodge are in fact outer manifestations 2. Henry Pelham Bromwell, Restoration of Masonic Geometry and Symbolry, (Bromwell Masonic Publishing, Denver, CO 1905), 21-22. 3. Ibid, 23. 4. Walter L. Wilmshurst, The Meaning of Masonry, (Gramercy Books, Londn,1980), 21. 50

The Masonic Movement when it can be divorced from politics and social ends and from its present paralyzing condition of inertia will meet the need of those who can, and should wield power. Masonry is the custodian of the law; it is the home of the Mysteries and the seat of initiation. It holds in symbolism the ritual of Deity, and the way of salvation is pictorially preserved in its work6 And finally Brother Albert Pike, perhaps the most influential Mason, writes abundantly about the spiritual purpose of Masonry. In his famous opus, Morals and Dogma can be found a treasure trove of revelation about the nature and spirit of Masonry. Our esteemed brother writes of Masonry:

the Universe.3

Masonry is a sacramental system, possessing sacraments, an outward and visible side consisting of its ceremonial, its doctrine and its symbols which we can see and hear, and an inward, intellectual and spiritual side, which is concealed behind the ceremonial, the doctrine and the symbols and which is available only to the Mason who has learned to use his spiritual imagination and who can appreciate the reality that lies behind the veil of outward symbol.4

Foster Bailey goes on to say,

It is the universal, eternal, immutable religion, such as God planted it in the heart of universal humanity. No creed has ever been long-lived that was not built on this foundation. It is the base, and they are the superstructure. “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and keep himself unspotted from the world.7

Masonry is a system of symbols and allegory which are intended to convey: • Revelation of the underlying purpose of T.G.A.O.T.U. • Inspiration to the individual Mason whereby he may contribute to the whole. • Prophetic Information relative to man’s past and present, which is the guarantee of the future. • Masonry is the embodying symbolically of the drama of human evolution, and as picturing for us the steps by which man reaches his goal of liberation.5 5. Foster Bailey, The Spirit of Masonry,

My dear Brethren I would like to add one more examination of the craft from a more personal revelation as to the nature of Masonry. Masonry is a fundamental existent, a divine life or spirit that encompasses the entire body of the cosmos. Within that Divine Life, which is referred to by Masons as T.G.A.O.T.U., we all exist and of that life we are all microcosmic expressions, seeking our way to the perception of the graded degrees of light. Masonry to date has yet to fulfill its (New York: Lucis Publishing, 1957), 18. 6. Alice Bailey, Externalization of the Hierarchy, (New York: Lucis Publishing, 1957), 511. 7. Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, (Washington, D.C. Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, 1871), 219. Rocky Mountain Mason


destiny. If the institution of Masonry is to survive past the early part of the 21st century Masons, Lodges, and Grand Lodges must make it their first care to work toward that fulfillment of that purpose with conscious intent. There is a beautiful poem written by Robert Browning that exemplifies the nature of the three degrees and the mysteries therein. THREE SOULS, ONE MAN Three souls which make up one soul: first, to wit, A soul of each and all the bodily parts, Seated therein, which works, and is what Does, And has the use of earth, and ends the man Downward: but, tending upward for advice, Grows into, and again is grown into By the next soul, which, seated in the brain, Useth the first with its collected use, And feeleth, thinketh, willeth, – it is what Knows: Which, duly trending upward in its turn, Grows into, and again is grown into By the last soul, that uses both the first, Subsisting whether they assist or no, And, constituting man’s self, is what Is – And leans upon the former, makes it play, As that played off the first: and, tending up, Holds, is upheld by, God, and ends the man Upward in that dread point of intercourse, Nor needs a place, for it returns to Him. What Does, what Knows, what Is; three souls, one man. From “Death in the Desert” by Robert Browning.

Rocky Mountain Mason

I bring these opinions from our esteemed Brethren not to bore you and fill the air with sound waves or with adulations, or with empty platitudes, but to support a vital understanding of the purpose and life of Masonry. The general approach to the craft has become one of casualness, an unwillingness to acknowledge the great mysterious and divine nature of Masonry. We are often too satisfied with the letter of the law, the outward appearance of things, the literal interpretation of the presented image of the Craft and the like, or we can become those few who have the access to the revelation of the mysteries and purpose held within the mind of the T.G.A.O.T.U. This is no trivial matter. There is no greater challenge before us than self- mastery. M.W.G.M. Michael McMillian presented us with the first step which is written on his G.M. pin, “Know Thyself.” This brethren is a vital first step. The consequence of knowing thyself is to know the self and the interdependent relationship of all selves with the one self, which the body of the Craft is but a symbol. Upon this state of awareness lays the foundational essence of brotherhood. We are interdependent on one another and live within one Great Life. From that point of view alone we are on the level and consequently brothers. This journey is fraught with difficulty and causes us to do what is hard. Masonry does not exist on our terms. It is a life that exists on its own terms. When we chose to enter into the life of Masonry we are accepting these terms as best we can understand them. A strict conformity will reveal the greater truths about ourselves, the interdependent nature of the world, yay, the cosmos in which we live, and eventually bring us to knowledge our relationship to Deity. In closing, my Brothers, we do not have to be historians, academic scholars, or deep esotericists. These are all great

paths of study and each will bear its own fruit. One can, however, have access to the mysteries right where you live and breathe. The mysteries of Masonry are the mysteries of life. They exists in the planting and harvesting of sugar beets in Wray, Yuma and Akron, in the growing of fruit and the making of wine in Hotchkiss, Palisades, and Panoia. They are found in crystal clear eyes and sweet breath of Anita Marie the newborn daughter to our Brother from Rocky Ford. They are found in our ranches in the birthing of livestock and observing the cycles of life and death and the changing of seasons in the high planes of Saguache and the San Luis Valley. They are found at the confluence of the Rio Grande River in South Fork. They can reveal themselves in our various vocations and in the hustle and bustle of Denver and Colorado Springs. They are found in the service to our country, or the taxi service we provide for our children as we support them in the fulfilling of their life purpose. Step by step, grade by grade, degree by degree are the secrets of Freemasonry revealed? Do not take my word, my Brethren, but prove it to yourself. Remain patient, but industrious. Make haste, slowly. Seek out the one who knows less and become his teacher. Work with your equals and create the culture in your Lodge that bests suits the present and future needs of your Brethren. Seek out the one who knows more and become his student. Be humble when seeking the Halls of Wisdom and, above all my Brethren, be humbler still when through the gates of Wisdom thou hast entered. Most Respectfully and Humbly Submitted by – W.B. Kevin Townley Grand Orator 2014

51


Ante Meridian On the History of Longitude

T

he discovery of longitude is one of humanity’s greatest achievements. For over half a millennium, people of all nations struggled with the question. A Brit, John Harrison, solved the problem in the late 18th Century, enabling Britain to become the world’s maritime superpower – but it wasn’t until three years before his death, after he had devoted more than 60 years to solving the problem, that he was formally recognized for his achievement.

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“T

he Sun in South, at High meridian, is the Glory and Beauty of the Day…”

“A

stronomy, geography, and navigation, and the arts dependent upon them, by which Society has been so much benefited”

I

n the Royal Navy, the calling of noon upon the deck of a ship was the Captain’s prerogative. He alone would adjudge the correct time, and thus supervise navigation, appropriately marking position of the vessel on the chart. If anyone else on board was found in possession of an unauthorized chart, or proposed a contrary measurement to challenge the supposed position, the charge was mutiny, and the sentence was death. At sea, many crewmen met their death this way.

Upon the flat, watery expanse of the Earth’s oceans, where the horizon splits the world in transverse section, pinpointing one’s position is increasingly difficult. There are no landmarks to orient by, no yardstick to adjudge. Just the empty expanse above, the unforgiving surface below; each impossibly infirm. Everything is orbited between the two hemispheres.

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these observations, if correctly articulated, Determination of the ship’s latitude (a location, then, could give inference to would reveal the distance between them northward or southward position relative Longitude – points East of the ship and, therefore, determine the Longitude the Equator) is a fairly simple task. A clear would experience noon earlier, points of the vessel in question. night presents the North Star to navigators West, later. The discrepancy between But this task is not as in the northern hemisphere, easy as it may at first sound. or the Southern Cross in the The problem is, of course, southern hemisphere, and knowing when the land-based the angle measured between observation would be made! one of these polar objects In that era before telephony, and the horizon gives a there was simply no way of fair approximation of one’s communicating this to ships latitude. at sea. Instead, observations The daily course of the of the Moon and planets Sun, too, is readily usable were considered, determined to determine latitude, when in relation to projected corrections for seasonal observations calculated in an variance in right ascension annual almanac predicted for are factored to observations of a prime meridian, where the local noon. Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Determining the Jupiter, and Saturn – those longitude (the ships Eastward visible planets that wander the or Westward position relative Bronze Sextant heavens – would be observable a certain point), on the other The sextant allowed an observer to measure the right ascention of in unique combinations at hand, is much more complex. a planetary body and thus determine local noon – the Sun at high determinable times – a perfect Because the rotation meridian. half-Moon, for example, at a of the Earth delimits the certain right-ascension on a passage of time in the familiar particular date. A proximity succession of days and nights, to conjunction between the raising the sun ante meridian, Moon and a planet or certain then descending it post star. An occultation. These meridian, navigation East and were the gnomons of celestial West is irrevocably wound up navigation, and for centuries in the passage of time. We still they guided men through use this terminology when we danger and deprivation. This tell time today – 10 a.m. , “Ten tactic of “dead reckoning” of the Clock, ante meridian”; became known as the lunar 3:30 p.m., “half-passed three distance method undergoing of the clock, post meridian”. standardized analysis by the Einstein famously sixth Astronomer Royal, the equated “space-time” in the Rev. Dr. Nevil Maskelyne, nineteenth century, but for and was one of the foremost centuries the inseparability of methods taught ships’ space and time was already captains and navigators for a well understood. It was just hundred years. never solved. This is one of the reasons A ship’s captain could why the captain’s log was position the sextant, and mark so important (and highly the Sun at local noon – the secret). And why Columbus, Sun would cease to appear to A Replica of H1 - Harrision’s First Sea Clock when beset by natives on the rise at the meridian, and would The casing has been removed to show the internal workings. Note Island of Jamaica, was able to begin its declination toward the two balnaces yoked together in counter-measure. The intent predict the lunar eclipse on the West. This zenith was was to compensate for the pitch and yaw of a vessel at sea. But March 1, 1504, that saved him perceptible – the sun at high Harrison could not correct for the torque applied during tacking from an otherwise unpleasant meridian. The arc subtended - the centrifugal force was enough to cost minutes on the maiden end. (He apparently used the to the horizon would provide voyage to Lisbon. H1, however, proved remarkably accurate for its Ephemeris of Regiomontanus, the latitude. “Thirty-Five time. the famous German astrologer, degrees of arc, North”, say. to make the prediction. Reading local noon Regiomontanus’s skill in relative a known land-based 54

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forecasting the position of the heavenly bodies indubitably served the explorer well when searching out new lands and the New World.) But there were problems with this astronomical method. Nights needed to be clear. The ocean, relatively calm. Days of cloudy skies required skilled corrections and continual estimations. Much relied on the projected observations themselves, and taking the measurements correctly on a clear night – when the boat is moving up, down, pitch and yaw. A mistake of half a minute of arc in rendering Longitude is a equivalent to an error of 15 nautical miles at the equator (larger at higher latitudes), meaning small errors in projections, readings, and subsequent calculations, could throw a vessel far off target – especially as the error became compounded over days, even weeks or months, at sea. Because of these difficulties, and the danger of mortal errors, common practice was to sail a safe, known distance from land, then turn the ship due North or South, to arrive at a desired Latitude (readily measured at any noon or on any clear night) and then maintain a direct line of Latitude to a desired destination across the ocean. This was called “Westing” or “Easting”, respectively. But it added time to the journey and required a fixed voyage that shifting tides and inclemency at sea often made impractical. And, of course, in nautical combat these Latitudes presented known routes of travel and commerce, readily selectable for a suitable ambush, should occasion require. No, something better needed to be done, and the world’s greatest thinkers turned their attention to it. In 1567, Philip II of Spain, monarch of a growing maritime power, offered a cash prize for the discovery of Longitude. Then, in 1598, still unsolved, Philip III of Spain increased the prize to 6,000 Ducats with a lifelong pension. In 1636, Holland offered another prize, 10,000 Florins. France joined the call, establishing the Royal Academy of Sciences in 1666 tasked (among other things) to determine the Longitude. But to no avail. Then, in 1707, during the war of the Spanish Succession, the British Royal Navy suffered an alarming tragedy. A fleet of British ships, returning from Gibraltar to Portsmouth wrecked, taking over 1,400 souls to the deep, including Rocky Mountain Mason

the unlikely named Sir Cloudsley Shovell, the Commander-in-Chief of the British Fleets. The fleet had left a supporting position in the Mediterranean on September 29th, 1707, and was returning home after unsuccessful attempts by the Dutch and Austrian navy to take the French port of Toulon. Under the direct Command of Sir Cloudsley Shovell were fifteen ships of the line – large, cannoned vessels each with multiple masts and large crews. They had passed the pillars of Hercules, and entered the Atlantic. But then bad weather concealed the skies and drove them off course. The navigator made his numbers, and had them safely west of the Scilly Isles as they finally passed Brittany on October 22nd. But the navigator was wrong. And four ships – including Sir Cloudsley’s flagship, HMS Association – wrecked on the rocks. It was one of the worst maritime defeats in history, and not a shot had been fired. Seven years later, the Longitude Act of 1714 was passed by the British government, establishing a Board of Longitude to administer a hefty cash prize of £20,000 (approximately $401.4 million in modern dollars)1 to any person or persons able to solve the determination of Longitude. They wrote: The discovery of the Longitude is of such Consequence to Great Britain for the safety of the Navy and Merchant Ships as well as for the improvement of Trade that for want thereof many Ships have been retarded in their voyages, and many lost… [that a Longitude 1. See Congressional Record, V. 146, Pt. 7, May 24, 2000 to June 12, 2000, How to Discover New Pharmaceutical Cures at Affordable Prices to the Pubic? 1714 Solution and Introduction of Legislation to Speed the Cure for Diseases, In the House of Representatives, by Hon. Fortney Pete Stark of California. Mr. Stark was heard to commend on the Longitude Prize in shoring up his argument, and gave this astronomical figure, the calculation for which he cites the Library of Congress. It does seem a little high. The website measuringworth.com puts the number somewhere between £2.5 million ($3.9 million) and £340 million ($518 million). Wikipedia appears only to give the lowest of these numbers.

Prize be awarded ] for such person or persons as shall discover the Longitude. Stimulated by this prize, two methods came to the fore. The lunar distance method, with reference made to a nautical almanac, and the chronometer method, determining local noon relative a timepiece set to the time at a prime meridian. These competing methods produced much to impact society. The need for accurate predictions of the positions of the heavenly bodies had already led to the construction of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich in 1675, and, ultimately, would lead to the adoption of Greenwich Mean Time by the world. The need of constructing accurate timepieces resulted in the invention of the bimetallic strip. But neither of these methods were easy, and neither was an obvious solution to the problem of determining Longitude. The solution would eventually be presented by a carpenter, John Harrison, who in the course of his inquiries would create the bimetallic strip and the most accurate timepiece in the world. This would give Great Britain a clear maritime advantage over her rivals and lead to British naval supremacy. But the Board of Longitude would not award Harrison the prize – perhaps the idea of a manmade timepiece in superposition to the prevailing method of celestial observations, which relied, one might imagine, on the hand of God rather than on hands contrived by man – was perhaps distasteful to them. Harrison eventually received the prize by a special act of Parliament, 3 years before his death, in 1773, after devoting the majority of his life to the discovery.

John Harrison (1693 – 1776) John Harrison was born on April 3, 1693, in Foulby, near Wakefield in the West Riding of Yorkshire, Northern England. His father was a carpenter at a nearby estate. John Harrison, mainly selfeducated, entered the trades in his father’s footsteps. He became a skilled joiner. In his spare time, he found enjoyment in building and repairing clocks – it is said, in common history, he suffered a bout of small pox in childhood; that during his convalescence he was given a watch, the 55


Royal Observatory by National Maritime Museum Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

The Royal Observatory at Greenwich, England

Designed by W.Bro. Christopher Wren in 1675, a laser beam now demarks the prime meridian from which Greenwich Mean Time is orchestrated.

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m s

fascination of which moving parts gave him great comfort. One year before the Longitude Prize was announced, John Harrison, at 20 years old, combined his skill as a carpenter with his love of timepieces and built his first longcase clock, made entirely of wood. Because wood is less conductive of heat it is less susceptible to expansion and contraction over the seasonal shifts in temperature that mark the year – a problem for clocks which rely on pendulums to maintain their intervals: they readily pick up seconds in summer, and speed up in winter. As a result, his wooden clock was very accurate relative the commonplace clocks of the time. Receiving some local renown, in 1720 he was commissioned to build the turret clock at Brocklesby Park, in North Lincolnshire. This clock, made entirely of wood, still keeps time today. It includes the famous “grasshopper escapement” of Harrison’s own, original design. Developed from the anchor escapement, Harrison’s “grasshopper” released the clock’s driving power almost without friction and, because the pallets were made from wood, the clock required no lubrication. Harrison also invented the gridiron pendulum, in which alternating series of metals, directionally connected at opposing, floating bridges, effectively cancel out the results of expansion and contraction of each row of metal – the expansion in one direction is met by equivalent expansion in the opposite direction, maintaining a constant distance between the bridges and a constant length of the pendulum overall. So the pendulum’s period remains unchanged. This was revolutionary at the time, but the era of timekeeping was various and multiform in its infancy, and Harrison’s true genius was likely underappreciated and overlooked by the masses. After all – a sundial casts an exact shadow at local noon. What is more accurate than a gnomon? It’s literally set in stone. The fact that local noon is different depending on one’s location hardly seemed to matter in those days of horse-drawn travel. But, against the backdrop of the Longitude problem, Harrison recognized the importance of accurate chronometers for keeping time at sea. An accurate clock set to local noon in London, say, would accurately mark the discrepancy between local noon subsequently observed aboard a Rocky Mountain Mason

vessel, and thus give an accurate rendering of the Longitude. All one needed was an accurate clock that could keep London’s time accurately for the duration of a voyage! But an accurate clock is not an easy device to make at all. It is said, “Time is the distance between two events”; something must be devised for time to work on. And the very materials themselves hinder the regularity required to maintain repeated intervals of exacting length. Differentsized sand grains slip through the pinch of the hourglass at varying speeds as friction impedes the action of gravity. Metals expand, increasing the period of the pendulum in warm weather, and contract in cold weather. Springs give out under the exertion applied them, and lose force. Metals rust in the damp. Even the rotation of the Earth is slowing perceptibly, adding a second to each day about every thousand years or so. Time itself is moving. And this clock had to be able to account for the pitch and yaw of a ship upon the ocean waves. A pendulum could not be used. Storms, which obscured the heavenly bodies, could not impede it. It had to withstand damp conditions which rust metals and swell woods. It had to retain accuracy to the second over months required of an ocean voyage. Every four seconds lost was equivalent to a mile off course on the sea. Probably the worst environment for any clock. This “Chronometer Method” was, as Newton apparently put it, “true in the Theory, but difficult to execute.”2 The first “maritime chronometer” was devised by Henry Sully in the 1720s, but, despite some innovations correcting for thermal expansion of the materials, Sully’s clock was accurate only on calm seas. He could not solve for the irregular forces applied the pitching vessel affecting his balances. Perhaps because of this, as well as the prevailing worldview of the heavenly bodies as, not just the markers of time, but the progenitors of time itself, the lunar distance method was chiefly favored by academia. It fit nicely into the philosophies of the old world, and seemed, at first glance, a more actionable solution – after all, anyone could observe the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars. To 2. See Law and Longitude, by Jonathan R. Siegel, Tulane Law Review, Vol. 84, No. 1, November 2009. Pg. 12.

understand those movements was a glimpse into destiny itself. For centuries the mathematics of the circle of heaven had been developed and passed down from culture to culture. The lunar distance method, then, was already undergoing development and had centuries of precedent. The science of horology, on the other hand, and the mechanics required, was in its infancy. Moreover the tractates written in predicting the movements of the heavenly bodies were the domain of scholars of all ages, of the greatest minds of the ancient world, and so academia – a far more philosophical institution back then – naturally found favor with it over the brute rote of the mechanical operations of a manmade machine. An accurate clock was simply outside the realm of commonplace experience. Undaunted, Harrison designed his first sea clock in 1730, and went to London where he presented the design to the Astronomer Royal, Edmond Halley. Halley referred him to George Graham, then Britain’s best known clockmaker, to whom Harrison showed the design. To counter the problem of thermal expansion and contraction, the need to open sealed areas to apply lubrication, and the impossibility of pendulums in a moving ship, Harrison proposed wooden wheels, roller pinions, a version of his grasshopper escapement, and two dumbbell balances linked together for angle and temperature compensation. Graham, intrigued by the design, lent Harrison the £200 he believed he needed to build it. Five years later, in 1735, after it had been constructed (it took Harrison 8 hours to disassemble and 8 hours to reassemble it every time an adjustment needed to be made), Harrison traveled back to London with the large device, and gave a demonstration to the Royal Society. They were impressed enough to take his proposal to the Board of Longitude. The Board assented to a trial at sea (the first time any proposal for the Longitude Prize had been granted such a trial) and in 1736 Harrison boarded the Centurion, bound for Lisbon. They had to remove the doors of the captain’s cabin to seat the clock before departure. The clock kept good time but, perplexing to Harrison, it lost four minutes on the initial day. He could not understand the peculiarity of this error, applied in so short and time, and 57


Photo by Racklever. Licensed under Creative Commons

Licensed under Creative Commons

seemingly only once. At first he his balance wheels and resist must have thought something had the action of centrifugal force, happened during the installation although during this period – that explained the error, but he succeeded in inventing the not the apparent correction once bimetallic strip and the caged out on the open water where the roller bearing. clock appeared to work as devised Around the year 1750 – losing less than one second each Harrison abandoned his sea week. clock design entirely, and On the return voyage the began focusing on a design for clock kept better time, and a watch instead. It had been Harrison correctly predicted their 33 years since the Board of landfall, despite the navigator’s Longitude was formed, and the own error of over 60 miles. On lunar distance method, having the basis of this testimony the received several improvements, Longitude Board granted Harrison was taking predominance at sea. £500 for further development towards a transatlantic voyage the prize required. The Royal Observatory The Lunar Distance Harrison began work on his Designed by W.Bro. Christopher Wren, the Royal second sea clock, now known as H2. Method Observatory would become the seat of the Prime Meridian, But in 1741 he discovered a design the line that initiates time to the world. The laying of the flaw, and the source of his previous cornerstone was ceremonially effected in 1675 by the first In 1675, forty-two years before error which lost the four minutes Astronomer Royal in a ceremony modern Freemasons the announcement of the Longitude on the Centurion’s maiden voyage. would recognize in intent, if not in execution. Prize, King Charles II commissioned He determined that, while his the construction of the yoked balances corrected Royal Observatory at for the up and down Greenwich to articulate and side to side motion observations of the of the ship upon the heavenly bodies sea, the centrifugal force and enable accurate applied when tacking predictions of the retarded the period. He planetary positions abandoned his design to to be supplied to the begin work on a circular Royal Navy in an balance in a new design, annual almanac. The H3. War had broken out cornerstone of the Royal with the Spanish again, Observatory was laid on and Harrison’s marine August 10 in a ceremony testing was delayed – presided over by the first perhaps for fear of his Astronomer Royal, John mechanism landing Flamsteed, who famously into enemy hands. elected the time for the Regardless, the Board ceremony by raising an issued him another £500 appropriate astrological to complete work on H3. chart. Harrison spent the The belief was that next 17 years working Harrison’s Chronometer H5 all things proceeded from on H3. But he failed to maintain isochronous In the possession of the Worshipful Comapny of Clockmakers. Captain their origin. Thus the manner oscillations to timing Cook extolled the virtues of Harrison’s design in accurately determining of beginning would effect the Longitude.

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10 00'

19°

02°

45'

12

08°

18'

º ¼

11

08° … 37' Œ 12° … 28'

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Royal Observatory Greenwich Natal Chart Aug 10 1675 NS 3:14 pm LMT +0:00 Greenwich, England 51°N29' 000°W00'

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Geocentric Tropical Regiomontanus Mean Node

09° ˆ 46'

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A Recreation of the astrological chart elected by the first Astronomer Royal, John Flamsteed, for the laying of the cornerstone of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich.

Although Flamsteed mocked the vanity of astrologers in an unpublished paper, he himself practiced astrology in his youth. And this chart is no mere fancy – Jupiter ascends fortified in sign ruership on the Ascendant. It is the hour of Jupiter. The Sun, ruler of the 9th House, is well dignified at the 9th cusp and Mercury is exalted in Virgo, also in the 9th. A strong chart using the Renaissance method for the initiating of an observatory. Over the next few centuries, Greenwich Mean Time would become the global standard, and the Prime Meridian, through Greenwich, would hold fast to 0º Longitude. duration and events of the continuing and ultimately dictate the ending. Electing times for propitious action, then, was a practice common to that day and John Flamsteed’s astrological chart forecasts an appropriate time for rendering longevity and success in building an observatory. There was precedent for this: in 1543 the Italian Astrologer, Luca Gaurico, had been commissioned to elect a propitious time for laying the foundation of the Franse Wing of the Vatican, and Tycho Brahe, the famed Danish astronomer who would Rocky Mountain Mason

influence Kepler’s discovery of the three laws of planetary motion, elected the time for the cornerstone for his own observatory on the island of Hven, in 1576. Brahe famously presided over the ceremony at the chosen moment, just as Flamsteed would preside over the laying of the stone at Greenwich in a ceremony modern Masons would recognize in intent, if not in execution. By Flamsteed’s time, it was the late 17th Century, astrological methods were in decline – the lack of empiricism to so

mystical an art frequently seized upon by charlatans and pretenders had readily succumbed to criticism in the growing age of reason – but Flamsteed was no slouch. Although he had criticized the “vanity of Astrology and the practices of Astrologers”3, Flamsteed was still versed 3. See A Preface to the Readers Concerning the Vanity of Astrology & the practices of Astrologers in the draft to his Ephemeris for 1674 – unpublished. Flamsteed had written in his autobiography (published 1865), however, that 59


a

r a n

st i D

Lu

Lunar Altitude

e c n

Regulus Altitude

Angle

A Lunar Distance Method of Determining Longitude

Reference would then be made to an almanac to adjudge the difference between the observed time and the predicted celestial positions at a determined time in Greenwich, England. 60

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in the practices of the art. He regularly supplied astronomical data from his observations to astrologers of the day (including William Ramasey, William Lilly, and John Gadbury) and had practiced astrology himself in his youth. He quoted Cicero on the chart, and circulated it among his friends. The time of the ceremony he chose was August 10, 1675, at 3:14 p.m. Local Mean Time. The quote said: Risum teneatis amici, meaning “Could my friends refrain from laughing?” Jupiter ascends fortified by sign rulership in Sagittarius. It is the hour of Jupiter. The Sun, well dignified by sign in Leo, casts a strengthening ray to the Ascendant from the 9th house, the house of higher learning, inspiration and long distance travel. Mercury, retrograde in the 9th house, is exalted in his own sign of Virgo, intercepted in the 9th. The Moon is in Ares, and links Ascending Jupiter with the Sun in a fire trine from the 4th house, the house of buildings and foundations. It is a chart that, all things considered, is accurately forecast with diligence and precision. The observatory was built, designed by none other than speculative Freemason, Christopher Wren. In the year 1761, Royal Society member Nevil Maskelyne was dispatched to the island of St. Helena to observe the transit of Venus. These calculations would enable an accurate determination of the Earth’s distance from the Sun. Unfortunately, inclement weather obviated acquisition of any useful data. However, Maskelyne devised a means of determining the Longintude from the position of the Moon, the so-called “lunar he found the practice of astrology to “give generally strong conjectural hint” but “not perfect declarations” reporting that he had studied the art. In a letter to his cousin he explains the apparent contradiction of opinion, stating that “I am vexed to see our Ephmeridists spend the pages of their almanacs in astrological whimseys tending only to abuse the people and disturb the public with anxious and jealous predictions, whilst the prediction of celestial appearances which ought to be their only concern is wholly scorned or neglected” – an apparent jibe more at charlatanism and the preeminence of spurious interpretations over factual predictions of planetary positions, rather than against the practice of astrology overall. Rocky Mountain Mason

distance method”. In 1763 he published The British Mariner’s Guide, and submitted a proposal for the annual printing of a Nautical Almanac, to be published each year, listing lunar distances appropriate for reference at sea. Starting in 1766, the Nautical Almanac was published annually by the Royal Observatory. It included predictions of the planetary bodies as viewed from the prime meridian at Greenwich. In retrospect, it would appear that the Royal Society, of which Flamsteed was a celebrated member, and whose members comprised a majority of the Board of Longitude, would henceforth have a vested interest in the lunar distance method.

The Sixth Astronomer Royal, The Rev. Dr. Nevil Maskelyne In 1758 John Harrison, now fully ensconced in research for marine chronometers, moved house to London. Advances in production of steel forwarded by Benjamin Huntsman enabled a tougher, more polished cylinder escapement, and relatively accurate watches of portable size had been devised. Harrision had already designed a watch for his own personal use, in the 1750s, made for him by watchmaker John Jeffries. Harrison devised a frictional rest escapement, novel temperature compensation, and incorporated his original “going fusee”, a winding mechanism that allowed the watch to keep running while being wound. Harrison incorporated these designs into a larger version for his H4 (called by Harrison “No. 1”) marine chronometer which, assembled by some of London’s best watchmakers, became the first marine timekeeper enabling accurate assessment of a ship’s Longitude in 1759. John Harrison was now 68 years old. H4 was placed in care of his son, William Harrison, for a transatlantic voyage in 1761. The watch had been calibrated as losing 29 seconds every 9 days. When HMS Deptford arrived in Jamaica, after calibration corrections, the watch was found to be 5 seconds slow – an error of only one nautical mile. This easily fulfilled the requirements of the Longitude Prize, but the Board was unconvinced the accuracy wasn’t the result of chance

and withheld the £20,000 prize. There were also questions as to the practicality of the watch, since it took 6 years to build, the Board was unsure of the possibility replicating the technology, which would mean the prize requirements of practicality had not been satisfied. John Harrison was understandably putout. Parliament offered him £5,000 for the design, but he refused. A second test voyage was arranged aboard HMS Tartar, this time to Bridgetown in Barbados, and Nevil Maskelyne was to accompany the watch to concurrently test his lunar distance method. Harrison’s watch lost 39 seconds, forecasting the Longitude of Bridgetown to within 10 miles. Maskelyne’s measurements, however, placed the Longitude to within 30 miles. Harrison had won by a factor of three, but the Board remained unconvinced. Upon their return to England, Maskelyne was appointed the sixth Astronomer Royal, and thus a member of the Board of Longitude. One imagines this did not find consolation with Harrison. Nonetheless, Parliament offered £10,000 in advance to Harrison, with the remainder of the prize due once the design had been successfully duplicated by other watchmakers. H4 would, in the meantime, be tested by the Astronomer Royal on land – it was thus turned over to the care of none other than the Rev. Dr. Nevil Maskelyne. Maskelyne, in line for the prize behind Harrison, returned an unfavorable report as to the watch’s accuracy, claiming that it’s going rate (the amount of time lost or gained per day) was in fact a product of manifold inaccuracies that effectively canceled each other out – the watch was therefore unreliable and subject only to chance. Of course, we might presume, that Maskelyne’s own lunar distance method, which used the regular periods of the planets, must therefore be preferable, despite the complexity of the calculations needed and the reliance on Maskelyne’s own tables producible every year for sale. H4 had effectively fulfilled the requirements of the Longitude Prize twice. But the Board was unrelenting. Harrison, “extremely ill used” set about building an improved model, H5, while Maskelyne was performing his tests. After three years, he approached King George III. The King, aware of the importance of the discovery, 61


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of banks – and the new law of empiricism would sweep the land. This turning point is significant – much good has resulted. But, divorced from the celestial magnificence that necessarily humbles man (the stars are much harder for the masses to see today, literally as well as figuratively), much unnecessary destruction, too. As we move forward into the coming era of technological mastery and increasing population, we suspect the pendulum to return to a more medial position once more, uniting the empirical with the causes that first inspired Pythagoras to hang his string to mark the ordering of the heavens in empirical demonstration of the harmonies of mathematical proportions. The qualitative, the unseen, the perceived, the subjective, will once again temper the love of the material with that unyielding question mark that leads to personal discovery in the nature of man. And, therefore, in the end, to God Himself. Photo of the Longitude Act by LiveRail. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Comons

tested H5 himself for ten weeks on land. Convinced of its accuracy, the King advised Harrison to petition Parliament for the full prize. Thus, in 1773, when Harrison was 80 years old, three years before his death, he was awarded £8,750 for his achievement. In total he had been paid £23,065 - £4,315 from the Board of Longitude over time for his clocks and marine chronometers, £10,000 from Parliament in 1765 for his work on H4, and £8,750 from Parliament in 1773. He never received formal recognition of the prize itself, though. H5, and it’s descendants rode with admirals and ship’s captains around the globe. England’s maritime prowess would never be greater. Harrison’s design rode with Captain Cook during his voyages to the Austral hemisphere. It increased the efficacy of trade between the island nation and the outreaches of her empire. Harrison’s contribution to the world, as a man of destiny, sweat, and hard work, should not be underestimated. In 2002, a poll by the BBC of the British public as to the 100 “Greatest Britons” of all time listed John Harrison at no. 39. John Lennon was number 8. Newton was 6th. Shakespeare, 5th. Darwin, 4th. Churchill took top honors. The story of the discovery of Longitude is perhaps also symbolic of the transfer of human attention from the natural world to the artificial contrivance of his own design. This fundamental shift in perspective is ineluctably wrapped up with the enlightenment – the move towards humanism relied primarily on the sovereignty of the individual. Thus the subduction of the attentions of man to the artificial, contrived world of his own expression would push aside the marvel of the mysterious windings and unwindings of nature. This would result in social change – the birth of the modern democracy, the humanist philosophers like Locke and Paine, steam power and the tempering of steel, manufacturing, division of labor, the industrial revolution and the ascension of material science and the empirical method over the speculative philosophies of ages passed. Intriguingly, the rise of Masonry would occur during this time as well; perhaps ironically, the genius of man would come to eclipse the Genii of the hidden worlds of legends past; God would lose center stage, the churches would be dwarfed by the superstructures

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TIMELINE of DISCOVERY of LOGITUDE 4th Century B.C. Aristarchus of Samos (c. 310 – c. 230 B.C.) entirely the result of errors in calculations of Longitude. presents the first known model of a heliocentric solar system. 1714 Board of Longitude is established by passage of the Longitude 3rd Century B.C. Eratosthenes of Cyrene ( c. 276 BC – c. 195 BC) Act. Longitude prize of £20,000 (a veritable fortune in the 18th first proposes a system of latitude and longitude for devising a map Century) is offered for a practicable solution. of the world with a system of coordinates for representing specific locations in planar space. 1714 Jeremy Thacker invents a clock sealable inside a vacuum chamber, compensating for errors induced by humidity and pressure. 2nd Century B.C. Hipparchus of Nicea (c. 190 – c. 120 B.C.) becomes the first known man to use a grid system to uniquely 1720 John Harrison invents the grasshopper escapement, enabling identify places in planar space. He proposes determining longitude channeling of the driving power of a clock in more regular, frictionless by observing variance in local times and, perhaps responding to increments. Babylonian influences, divides the zodiac into 360 degrees of 60 arc minutes each. 1725 John Harrison invents the gridiron pendulum, wherein expansion of metals attached at floating, opposing bridges effectively 11th Centruy A.D. The famous Persian astrologer, Al-Biruni (973 cancels out to maintain consistent length of the pendulum (and thus – 1048), alleges the Earth rotates upon its own axis. a regular period) despite fluctuations in temperature. 13th Century King Alfonso The Wise, of Castile (1221-1284), promotes interfaith dialogue and, setting up a scriptorium, translates many astronomical and astrological texts whereby to predict the ascending degree of the Zodiac.

1736 John Harrison sails to Lisbon on board HMS Centurion, returning on the HMS Orford, accompanying his first sea clock H1. The centrifugal force endured when tacking threw his balances off on the maiden voyage, but Harrison was still able to correctly predict landfall on the return voyage (the ship’s navigator was off by more 1465 Polymath Regiomontanus (1436-1476), who likely proposed than 60 miles). a heliocentric solar system, built a portable sundial for Pope Paul II. From 1465 – 1506 Regiomontanus publishes annual almanacs 1741 Harrison’s imporved H2 ready for testing, but marine tests illustrating the planetary positions, without which Columbus would preempted by War of Austrian Succession. never have set sail. 1750 Harrison abandons use of sea clocks, with large balances, 1478 Rabbi Zacuto (1452-1515), the Portuguese Astronomer focusing instead on handheld watches. “Huntsman” steel enables Royal to King John II, invents a new astrolabe usable to determine better escapement to be produced rendering more accurate, smaller latitude at sea. timepieces. 1492 Columbus raises the New World.

1761 Harrison’s first sea watch, H4, undergoes transatlantic tests with Harrison’s son, William (John Harrison is now 68 years old). 1502 Italian explorer of the New World, Amergio Vespucci (1454- After corrections for a determined going rate, use of the watch 1512) writes a letter stating that: “…the best clock to use for predicts the longitude of Kingston Jamaica within one nautical mile. reference is the stars.” Arguably, this fulfilled the specifications of the Longitude Prize. 1514 Johannes Werner publishes the first method of determining 1772 King George III, having tested H5 for ten weeks on land, time by Lunar position. finds this new incarnation of Harrison’s chronometer accurate and recommends Harrison petition parliament for the prize. 1524 Petrus Apianus elucidates Werner’s method. 1773 John Harrison, now 80 years old, receives £8,750 by special 1567 King Philip II of Spain offers first prize to discoverer of the act of parliament. Although, throughout his life, he received a total solution to the Longitude problem. of £23,05 for his work in increments, he never received formal recognition for winning the prize. He also funded all work himself. 1598 King Philip III of Spain increases the prize. 1772-3 Captain Cook uses K1, a copy of Harrison’s H5, on his 1657 Christaan Hyugens (1629-1695), noting irregularities to second voyage, praising its accuracy. He makes longitudinally pendulums due to temperature and centrifugal forces, invents the accurate charts of the South Pacific for the first time. spiral balance spring for marine chronometers 1789 Fletcher Christian, mutinying on HMS Bounty, purloins K2 1666 French Royal Academy of Sciences is established, and tasked (another copy of H5), forcing Captain William Bligh to use dead with (among other projects) determining Longitude. reckoning to sail a dinghy (with 18 men) to Timor after two months on the open sea – one of the greatest acts of marine navigation by the 1707 Sir Cloudsley Shovell, along with four ships of the line of the lunar distance method ever achieved. British Navy, goes down to Davy Jones’s locker in the Scilly Naval Disaster, the largest naval disaster in British maritime history –


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honey POT... O

...WHY

NOT? NOT?


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hat should we do with embezzlers? Seems these days embezzling from a Lodge is all the rage. As numbers dwindle, and the old guard ages out, some enthusiastic members find themselves in a position suddenly with control of Lodge finances and all too little oversight. Then, it seems, the temptation is just too great.

Perhaps not intentionally at first, but gradually, a few appropriations of Lodge funds are made without Lodge oversight. After all, with so few folks to help, expenses must be paid…. But then appropriations become misappropriations. These weak-willed Brothers are a sorry example of Masonry in decay. Think about it. Who would rob Lady Charity, who already gives all she has, when all you need do is ask? Who would take from a century or more of contributions of Brothers’ hard-earned dollars? And back then dues were relatively substantial, especially in these mountain Lodges where this criminality seems to have taken root. Those Master Masons of years past, who freely assemble even today at the sound of the gavel, as the familiar words ring out, must roll in their graves! The dead must be haunted by the living! Lodges work only because of the duties the Officers swear to uphold. Lodge funds belong to the Lodge. That means Lodge oversight is required to spend them, unless a budget is approved and line items adopted. Otherwise, Lodge approval and oversight is a must. It’s that simple. On top of keeping everyone honest (which is what the obligation is supposed to do), these functions in assembly maintain relevance – a Lodge should conduct business. It keeps the Brethren bonded in common interest. And Secretaries and Treasurers should freely share financial information to the fullest degree with all members according to some periodic reporting schedule, at a minimum. In this day and age of Quickbooks and automated accounting programs, it’s never been easier Rocky Mountain Mason

to maintain comprehensive books. Failure to provide immediate financial detail, and a real-time budget, is just inexcusable. It’s shocking, then, to discover that some Brothers think it’s their money, that payments to the Lodge, over the centuries, actually belong to them, to buy gas, hotel rooms, a few dinners – who will miss the extra turkey bought at Sam’s Club, shoved in with the dinners? – and a whole miscellany of purchases too rife and stickyfingered to count? It makes my face pale. Can you imagine buying a backhoe with Lodge funds? It’s deplorable. Brethren, it’s never been more important to live up to our obligations. We’re on the cusp of a revival. Hold the fort, Brethren! There are some Brothers out there, though, who seem to think that the end justifies the means. They’ll even tell you that and scoff at your idealism and naivety. But I’m here to say, gentlemen, if the end justifies the means, then that means the end! Masonry is an active discipline – not some future state to be attained by any means necessary. The death symbolism rife in our rituals impresses upon us the need to act, and to act now. The working tools should be applied consistently and continually – not set aside for some future time when the golden age of Masonry arrives. The Temple is unfinished, Brothers – the work must be done now! I implore you, if you are in a position where you could abscond with Lodge funds, remember your obligation. If you are using deceit to hide your uncommon agenda, wake up! Your accounting of the Lodge should be better than the accounting for your business. Every penny should match with bank statements, every penny! Books should be current. Receipts should be maintained. Every expense needs approval of the Lodge and oversight by the Master. There should always be at least two signatories on every bank account. This is not rocket science. But for those of you who still feel that sense of gross entitlement that, in my opinion, renders you unworthy of our gentle Craft (which is naturally pluralistic

and charitable, never some private slush fund for rampant lust) be warned – you will be found out. You will be expelled. And you will go to jail. You agree, of course, perhaps even condescendingly. “That’s not me or my Lodge,” you say. Good, so if a Grand Officer arrives at your Lodge and requests to see the books, you should be able to furnish real-time data verifiable with last month’s statement from your branch? Reflect for a minute. Do you know the balance of your Lodge’s checking account? Do you know how many accounts your Lodge even has? When was the last time you were given a full financial report from your Secretary and Treasurer? If you can’t answer these questions to the dollar, then it’s about time you raised a motion on the floor for the deliberation of the Lodge in assembly. You are a member and you deserve to know these things. If you are stifled, or something feels cagey, talk to a Grand Officer. It’s time to set the Craft back where it belongs: Under the auspices of heaven, for the satisfaction of the Brethren in Lodge assembled and the pleasure of the Grand Architect of the Universe. Thievery makes a mockery of the Brethren, and a liar of the thief. But the cabletow cannot hold to untruth. The Craft exacts from its members honesty, loyalty, duty, and integrity. A man’s integrity is exemplified in what he does when he thinks he is alone and unobserved. So act squarely, keep the columns level, and stand to the duty you have assumed. Be accountable. And get your Lodge accountable, too.

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his new, Masonically themed cigar from Fraternitas Cigars is a choice blend picked by Aging Room’s master blender, Rafael Nodal and aged for at least 15 months. At $33 per, it has a lot to live up to. And it delivers – an incredible smoke, despite it’s formidable size it remains mellow throughout, with a delicate, subtle vapor. Not piquant. 7.8 inches long by 63 ring, it easily lives up to its name. Handrolled San Andreas Maduro wrapper accents Dominican filler. The final third remains subtle throughout. Pleasing and higly satisfying. The packaging is equally well put together. Master Masons will appreciate each cigar comes individually packaged in a miniature coffin of African Ocume wood, complete with third degree symbolism in gold. A sublime smoke, well fitting the sublime degree. Box of five retails at $165 ($33 each). Downside, pricey.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

The Gran Solomon

Don Pepin Garcia’s Cuban Classic

A

light front end conceals a powerful blend. Pleasurable flavor with an easy draw and steady, even burn. A little fast, perhaps, but not disappointingly so. Flavor concentrates about halfway down. A tad heavy on the exhale. It’s got a lot of kick, but still maintains a mellow smoke somehow. Well cured stock. More earthy notes come to dominate.

The final third is a little bitter, with a sharp inhale and spikey exhale. Taste is a little tannic, strong nicotine lends slight accents of ammonia. Draw thickens. Maintains a tight ash throughout. After taste lingers. Strong on the lips. Box of 20, $125 for Robusto; $150, Gordo

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“Esoteric” is, T

he word “esoteric” appears to be undergoing a present day misunderstanding. It’s meaning is changing to something completely alien its etymology.

Such semantic drift occurred before when, in the 1970s, thanks to the popular “occult revival” and movies like Lucifer Rising and the Devil Rides Out” the word “occult” became associated with black magic and the “dark” arts. “Occult” actually means something hidden from the eyes (think of an occultation, the word occlude, or even occur – all of similar etymology). The Holy Spirit is, in essence, occult. But nowadays, popular usage – whether correct or not – merely colors the word as a sinister will to power through some sort of pact or libidinous ceremony with fallen angels.

Similarly, there is nothing inherently sinister in the meaning of the word esoteric. Coined from the Greek esoterikos, meaning literally “more within” (as in toward the inside), the term is applied to something that is understood by a few. Not because it is necessarily complex, mind you, or elitist, abstruse, or arcane, but because only a few have undertaken to pursue it. For example, the Bible is inherently esoteric. Think of the Sermon on the Mount, or the first verse of the Gospel

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according to John – or the entire book of Revelation. Certainly, in the volumes written about these small pieces of such a large and disquisitive book, it is fair to say that only a few (relative the entire human population) can lay even a remote claim to understand the Bible. And yet none of these books is taken to be sinister. So why is the word esoteric, when applied to Freemasonry, taken to allude to some sort of sinisterly agenda? And why do so many Brothers in the Craft seem to hold this misinference? Somewhere along the way, it seems to me, Brethren have come to interpret the term “esoteric” in the context of an arcane philosophy with which the word is all too commonly applied. It’s the only place they’ve seen the word used, and they assume it’s somehow connected with that philosophy. But such an interpretation is as limited as the word is misapplied. Just because there are books that claim “esoteric teachings” of “esoteric knowledge”, doesn’t mean the word esoteric is exclusive to such “teachings”, any more than the word religion is restricted to any particular creed when we talk about the “Christian” or “Jewish religions”. Clearly, the word is modifying the noun – the noun is not modifying the adjective. In its very nature, according to the literal meaning of the term, Masonry is esoteric. At the time of writing, there are less than 9,300 masons in Colorado. That’s

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now, esoteric! 0.18% of the 5.18 million people who call Colorado home. Masonry in Colorado, then, is certainly “esoteric”, according to the plain meaning of the term. Less than one-fifth of one-percent of the population in Colorado have undergone any Masonic ritual. Moreover, of the 0.18% that have, the majority of the Brethren themselves are most likely ignorant of the ritual in all its forms. Masonry is esoteric, indeed! There is no doubt that many who appropriate the term do it a disservice. They are surely equally to blame for the misunderstanding surrounding it. But it devolves upon all Brothers to see beyond myopic discursions of a particular term, to understand that Freemasonry is, first and foremost, an esoteric doctrine. It is only understood, as it is revealed, through a series of degrees, to a particular candidate who discerns to seek more light in Masonry. And this is as it should be. The opposite of esoteric is, of course, exoteric – meaning more without (as in toward the outside). Understood by a majority. The word exoteric does not mean simplified or streamlined, whitewashed, or somehow diluted for popular consumption, although that is often the case with “exoteric teachings”, because where more people agree to a single interpretation a common denominator is often revealed. Christ Himself gave “milk” to the multitude and “meat” to his disciples. And he taught in parables. Think of it this way, Masons “make

Rocky Mountain Mason

good men better”. That’s an exoteric statement – many people have likely heard it. But it’s still meaningful. “Masonry is a system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols” – that’s a more esoteric statement. Neither is better than the other, and both are correct. By nature of perception, any exoteric statement can be made esoteric by interpretation. This is why the four levels of interpreting any biblical verse, as practiced by the Rabbis, includes esoteric teachings of the same words to which a common understanding is more often applied. The same is certainly true of symbols. The presentation of the working tools in each degree readily springs to mind, where instruments of the operative Craft are given speculative meanings, meanings that continue to layer additionally with each degree. There can be no doubt, then, that Masonry is a journey toward a center. An inner journey. One understood (and undertaken) by a relative few. Masonry necessarily leads us to contemplate, with gratitude and admiration, the sacred source from whence all earthly comforts flow. This is the center of all creation – the sustenance of God Himself. Certainly, then, like the point within a circle between two parallel perpendicular lines, Freemasonry is, then, concerned with an inner circle. And thank God for that.

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Delta Commandery Centenary Celebration

By S.K. Ross Allen, R.E.P.G.C.

1. Sir Knights of Delta Commandery and visitors. Back Row (from left): Sim Ashlock, Kenneth Donathan, Ron Huddleston, Ron Franklin, Rodney Johnson P.G.M., Jeff Cyriacks, Greg Allen. Middle Row (from Left): Ben Williams G.C.G, Ben Schroeder, Chad Rilling, Christopher Pike, Joe Summers R.E.G.C., Don French E.C.. Delta Commandery No. 34, Peter Dumont GSW, Bob Elsloo GG, Ron Birely GSB. Front Row (from left): Ross Allen REPGC, H. Jack Ward REPGC, T.Thomas McKelvie REPGC, David Salberg REPGC, Steve Hubbard REPGC, Steven Munsinger S.G.I.G. for the AASR. 2. SK Joe Summers, REGC, presents SK Don French, EC of Delta Commandery, with a commemorative centenary plaque. 3. The colors are brought in by SK Ben Schroeder, PEC of Delta Commandery. 4. SK Ross Allen prepares to raffle a commemorative sword engraved in celebration of Delta Commandery’s centenary. 70

Rocky Mountain Mason


Photo by Tiffany Seybert

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n 1915 times were changing in Delta, Colorado, and Delta County. Most of the settlers who came here arrived after 1882. That was when the Denver and Rio Grande Narrow Gauge Train came, coming from Salida, over Marshall Pass to Gunnison, and then down Black Canyon to Montrose, to Delta, and on to Grand Junction. The World was changing. World War I was about to happen. Rocky Mountain Mason

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Ross Allen REPGC, Greg Allen PEC of Delta Commandery, with his lady Lacie and their young one, with Stephen Munsinger, SGIG for the Orient of Colorado

SK Steve Hubbard won the commemorative sword

Masonry was changing too. Already Delta County had four Masonic Lodges. Delta Lodge, established in 1885; Mount Lamborn Lodge in Hotchkiss, established in 1897; Paonia Lodge, 1906; and Eckert Lodge, in 1910. Delta had a Royal Arch Chapter that began in 1905. A couple Councils of Royal and Select Masters existed, one in Telluride and later one in Grand Junction. Telluride Council was chartered in 1899. Montrose, Grand Junction, and Gunnison already had Commanderies. What was more appropriate than a Commandery of Knights Templar in Delta?

By request, on May 12, 1915,Sir Knight John W. Wingate, Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Colorado, met with twenty Sir Knights of Montrose Commandery No. 19, at the Lodge Hall in Delta, for the purpose of creating a new 72

Commandery. Sir Knight George C. Vickery presented a petition to the Grand Commander with the required twenty signatures. In exchange, the Grand Commander presented a dispensation for a Commandery as prayed for. The designation authorized and empowered S.K. George Calvin Vickery to act as Eminent Commander and S.K. Charles Miles Hopson and S.K. Harry Vernon Williamson to act as Generalissimo and Captain General respectively. The dispensation further stipulated that the new Commandery should be known and designated as Delta Commandery U.D. (Under Dispensation) and be holden in Delta, county of Delta, and state of Colorado. Grand Commander Wingate offered some suggestions and advice relative to their work and method of procedure at this time. At a meeting called on May 18, 1915, some important matters were discussed. Commander Vickery appointed the following Sir Knights to officiate at their

several posts: William Parry Dale, Prelate; Porter Plumb, Treasurer; Howard K. Gibbs, Recorder; Robert Williams, Senior Warden; Warren N. Shelledy, Junior Warden; Arthur S. Harwood, Standard Bearer; Edward P. Barrow, Sword Bearer; Robert S. Kelso:,Warder; and William T. McMurray, Sentinel. The fees for conferring the Orders were set at $125 – $75 due with the petition, and $50 due prior to conferring the Orders. That’s approximately $2,262.50 adjusted for inflation. A committee was formed to purchase any necessary paraphernalia and other necessary equipment. By 1915, Delta Lodge was located where it is today. Date unknown, but the Lodge first rented the upstairs of the building and later made arrangements to buy the whole building. In the beginning, upstairs was one big room. Obviously later on, the Lodge partitioned it off and made a couple of meeting rooms and a dining hall. It was said to have a rear entrance from the alley. History has it that the Templars would Rocky Mountain Mason


A close up of the commemorative plaque and the obverse side of Delta commandery’s banner

Photos by Sue Summers

meet in the Lodge room while the Social Order of the Beauceant would meet in the front meeting room. In the summer of 1915, five meetings were held at which time the Commandery Orders were conferred on several new companions, the by-laws were drafted, an account and record book were procured and meeting dates were set at 1st and 3rd Fridays. 7:30 p.m. in fall and winter, 8:00 p.m. in spring and summer. Records show that several Companions was received, constituted and created Companions of the Illustrious Order of the Red Cross, then, received, dubbed and created a Knight of the Valiant and Magnanimous Order of the Temple, then, presented and made Knight Hospitaller of Saint John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta. This order of ritual seems unusual to our present day mode of conferral. It may have corresponded chronologically to the history of the Order; after the suppression of the Temple, the Knights infiltrated the Hospitallers. We cannot know. On November 26, 1915, Rocky Mountain Mason

Commandery was convened in Delta. Then the Right Eminent Grand Commander, S.K. Benjamin L. James, instituted Delta Commandery #34, Knights Templar, under the jurisdiction of the Grand Commandery of Colorado. S.K. James was assisted by Sir Knights Jermur H Gertig, Deputy Grand Commander; Christopher Henderson, Grand Captain General; Louis Stirpike, Grand Senior Warden; Charles Moynahan, Grand Junior Warden; John C. Bell, Grand Treasurer; Charles Jacobson, Grand Recorder; Frank Young, Grand Prelate; Aylurr Reeves, Grand Marshall; John Diehl, Grand Warder; George Stephan, Grand Standard Bearer; Chester Moore, Grand Sword Bearer; William McMurray, Grand Captain of the Guard. The Charter had the following names on it as it was signed prior to Sir Knight Benjamin James being elected Grand Commander. John W. Wingate: Grand Commander Ben James: Dept. Grand Commander

Thomas Rinker: Grand Generalissimo William Grisard: Grand Capt. General Charles Jacobson: Grand Recorder After the meeting was closed the Right Eminent Grand Commander was escorted to the Banquet Hall by the Fraters where supper was served and toasts were partaken. The first officers of Delta Commandery #34, Knights Templar were: George Vickery: Commander Charles Hopson: Generalissimo Harry V. Williamson: Captain General Karl Brown: Senior Warden Roy Ashley: Junior Warden Howard Gibbs: Treasurer Howard Bushnell: Recorder William Dale: Prelate George Stephen: Standard Bearer Clarence Emry: Sword Bearer Enice Bobbitt: Warder Robert Kelso: Sentinel

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1. Brethren of Pueblo Lodge No. 31 were pleased to open the Grand Lodge at the 154th Annual Communication in January. 2. M.W. Bro. Michael McMillan with the head of the DeMolay and Rainbow. 3. The Shrine band strikes up a tune in the Denver Consistory Cathedral Room, at the joint installation of officers, January 3, 2015. 4. Grand Musician, W.Bro. John Trainor, issued a pleasing yarn at the Grand Sessions. 5. Grand Orator, WBro. Kevin Townley and R.W. Bro. Hugh Ferdows, of the Grand Lodge of Iran in Exile, share jovial conversation at a Masonic banquet. 6. R.W. Bro. Scott Autry Grand Secretary, and his lovely wife. 7. Brethren of South Denver Lodge No. 93 strike a solemn pose for the invocation of the blessing of Deity. 8. S.K. Joe Summers, R.E.G.C. of Knights Templar in Colorado (right), and S.K. John Zeaphy, Grand Junior Warden of Knights Templar in Colorado(left), join the recipient of the 2015 Holy Land Pilgrimage recipient, Rev. Rebecca Kemper Poos of the United Church of Christ in Buena Vista, Colorado. 9. Social Order Of the Beaceant, Denver No. 1, welcomes a new President. Congratulations Debbie Kier! Rocky Mountain Mason

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10. DeMolays take their offices at the joint installation January 3. 11. W.Bro. Peter DeLaurier, 32º K.C.C.H., welcomes W.Bro. Michael Brewer, 32º K.C.C.H., to the East as the incoming Venerable Master of the Centennial Lodge of Perfection. 12. Illustrious Brother Tommy Thompson, 33º, welcomes Aaron Klostermeyer, 32º K.C.C.H., to the East as the incoming Wise Master of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Rose Croix. 13. W.Bro. Mike Moore, 32º K.C.C.H. welcomes W.Bro. Gregory Dominquez, 32º K.C.C.H., to the East as the incoming Commander of the Colorado Council of Kadosh. 14. Illustrious Brother John Trainor, 33º, welcomes Tim Hogan, 32º K.C.C.H. to the East as the new Master of Kadosh of the Denver Consistory. 15. Officers of Albert Pike Lodge No. 117 after the joint installation at the Denver Consistory. 16. Officers of East Denver Lodge No. 160 after the joint installation at the Denver Consistory. 17. Officers of Mosaic Lodge No. 184 after the joint installation at the Denver Consistory. 18. Officers of Lakewood Lodge No. 170 after the joint installation at the Denver Consistory. 19. Outgoing Almoner, Illustrious Brother M. Edward Johnson, 33º (center), after a decade of service to the Denver Consistory distributing alms to worthy distressed brethren, their widows, and orphans retires, with Hon Most Illustrious Brother Stephen Munsinger, S.G.I.G., 33º (left), and Illustrious Brother Doc Powell, 33º (right). Rocky Mountain Mason

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Most Worshipful Gra 1.

M.W.Bro. Dexter D. Koons, Grand Master Pictured with wife, Marie

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R.W.Bro. Robert D. Elsloo, D.G.M. Deputy Grand Master

R.W.Bro. Vernon R. Turner, P.M. Senior Grand Warden R.W.Bro. Phillip E. Moss, P.M. Junior Grand Warden

R.W.Bro. Jerry L. Fenimore, P.M. Grand Treasurer R.W.Bro. Scot M. Autry, P.M. Grand Secretary

R.W.Bro. David L. Salberg, P.M. Grand Lecturer

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Rocky Mountain Mason


rand Lodge of Colorado Officer Line 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

W.Bro. Ralph E. Newby, P.M. Senior Grand Deacon

W.Bro. David L. Coberly, P.M. Junior Grand Deacon

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W.Bro. Michael D. Moore, P.M. Senior Grand Steward W.Bro. Raymond H. Dunn, Jr., P.M. Junior Grand Steward W.Bro. Ross A. Allen, P.M. Grand Marshal W.Bro. Bill L. Kledas, P.M. Grand Chaplain

W.Bro. Sim S. Ashlock, P.M. Grand Tiler W.Bro. John P. Trainor, P.M. Grand Musician

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Rocky Mountain Mason

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Photo by John Moreno

W.Bro. Gary E. Mueller, P.M. Grand Orator

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Profile for Rocky Mountain Mason

Rocky Mountain Mason, Issue 6 [out of print]  

Issue 6 of the Rocky Mountain Mason, publishing "High Light" in masonry.

Rocky Mountain Mason, Issue 6 [out of print]  

Issue 6 of the Rocky Mountain Mason, publishing "High Light" in masonry.

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