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Craft ‡ Capitular ‡ Cryptic ‡ Templar ‡ AASR high light in masonry


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Rocky Mountain Mason


Rocky Mountain Mason EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Ben Williams

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Rodney Johnson Write to us at: 1560 Boulder Street # 302 Denver, CO 80211 (720) 328-5343

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Cover Photo by John Moreno

Laughing Lion 1560 Boulder Street # 302 Denver, CO 80211

From the Editor Welcome to Issue 3 of the Rocky Mountain Mason. By now some of you will have recognized the symbolism on the front cover – that of adding light unto light. Issue 1’s cover showed W.Bro. Jonan Vail lighting a single candle at Glenwood Springs Lodge and Issue 2’s cover showed Bro. Dusty Carlson seeking more light in Masonry by the light of two candles. Now, in Issue 3, Brethren of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite prepare the altar (and further light) with three candles visible. Can you guess how many candles will be on the cover of Issue 4? Then we will have rendered the Tetractys, so sacred to our titular Brother Pythagoras, in symbolic form. It is our earnest hope that you enjoy this magazine and what it has to offer the Craft. It is first a tool to inform our worthy Brethren around the state of the various Masonic activities occurring across Colorado. We hope that it might also provide interesting information of a historical nature relevant to the Craft. Lastly, it is a viable tool to showcase Masonry to the uninitiated and, perhaps, instill the necessary curiosity to inquire about Freemasonry. We have been working hard to bring this magazine to you. If you haven’t already done so, please consider subscribing. And please tell a friend about the magazine. Publishing this glossy magazine for your enjoyment is not an inexpensive endeavor. You can subscribe anytime by visiting our website, www.rockymountainmason.com, and clicking on the subscribe link. Alternatively, you can write to the Editor at our new address:

1560 Boulder Street # 302 Denver, CO 80211

Or send an email to me at ben@rockymountainmason.com, or simply give me a call at 720-328-5343. The Rocky Mountain Mason has moved to Denver. We are always happy to meet with Brethren or discuss the magazine. And we are soliciting letters to the Editor from you, our readers. You may mail your letter to the editor to the above address, or send an email to editor@rockymountainmason.com. There’s much to be gleaned between these pages. Take what you like. Leave the rest. Happy reading! All the best,

Ben Williams Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

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.

© 2013 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

Unless otherwise noted, all articles and photos are by the Editor. Copyright 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All others, see by-line. Used by permission. Articles do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of the M.W. Grand Lodge of Colorado A.F. &A.M., the Grand Chapter, Council, or Commandery of Colorado, or the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction. 5


Colorado Masons’ Benevolent Fund Association

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n the morning of Saturday, July 27, at the Double Tree Hotel at 4040 Quebec Street, Denver, Colorado, fourteen students assembled in the Aspen Room to receive formal recognition and receipt of their scholarships.

Each year the Grand Lodge selects fourteen students for a $28,000 scholarship to attend a Colorado university. Amongst the beam of proud parents, the gleam of Grand Officers’ jewels, and a widening horizon through which many futures appeared to glimpse, the crowd assembled around neatly laid tables to enjoy a lunch prepared in their honor. Something was disappearing – the trappings of the past, perhaps – and a new day was dawning. It shone brightly from youth coming of age, in the promise of dreams, and the sudden proximity of lives yet lived. After the meal was enjoyed, Grand Lodge Scholarship Committee Chairman W.Bro. Don French took to the podium to open the proceedings, describing the competitiveness of the award. “You have been chosen because you have a struggle,” he said. “With our help, you will overcome it. You were chosen because of your core character. We believe – no, we know – you will be successful.” Each of the students combined clear academic excellence with a moral character 6

Most Worshipful Brother Dana Speaks addresses the assembly befitting the support of the Fraternity. “In essence, you are now a subgroup of our Fraternity,” Bro. French said. “To access our resources all you must do is ask. We believe in you, and we believe you have destinies of serving in our communities.” M.W. Bro. Tom Cox, Executive Secretary of the Benevolent Fund, introduced the first featured speaker, a winner of a Grand Lodge scholarship in 2012. Dustin Burchett is currently a sophomore at the Colorado School of Mines, working on an Engineering Physics

degree. “I am definitely a mathematician,“ he said in opening his remarks, “so a lot of what I do comes with numbers, not words. So forewarning.” Yet he maintained eloquence, combining poignancy with humor in good rhetorical style, spoke with humility and confidence, and demonstrated leadership skills throughout his address. “College means a lot of things to a lot of different people,” he said. “College is about change and finding greatness A feeling of change swept into me immediately as soon as I arrived at Mines.” It was a hint of the change already growing in this room, perhaps. He went on to discuss the rhythm of college life, the adventure and discovery of academia, the required self-motivation and discipline to succeed amongst a myriad of new distractions, and the commitment to learning new skills. He described an international community, the accident and coincidence that bring new friends together as if by providence, and, of course, the fun. “Studying for finals can be really rough. That’s where you find greatness. You learn world class prioritizing techniques! Like reading a chemistry book on the toilet – but don’t mention that when you try to sell that book back,” he quipped. In true twenty-first century fashion, and befitting his major in engineering and physics, Dustin read from prepared notes scrolled on his iPhone. Next to the podium was R.W. Bro. Rocky Mountain Mason


Ernie Pyle, Grand Secretary of the M.W. Grand Lodge of Colorado, who, as an ex-educator himself, and liaison between the Grand Lodge and the Teacher of the Year Committee, was pleased to introduce the next speaker, recipient of the Grand Lodge’s Teacher of the Year award, Amanda Westenberg. She gave a lively address befitting the occasion – presenting needful self-management skills and planning for success – titled What would you do? “If you could do anything in this world and not fail, what would you do?” She asked the room. The question was rhetorical, but the silent pause that followed was pregnant with self-reflection. Her theme remained planning and visioning the future. Fresh back from Space Camp, she related an anecdote of an incident with an astronaut she’d met – in succeeding in his chosen profession, this man had laid out a ten year plan for his life and had, therefore, been able to chart his course toward an achievable objective through a series of intermediate goals that Rocky Mountain Mason

bore him in that long journey, one that would take him, literally, to the stars. “Take control,” she advised. “Take control of your life.” No one is going to be there to get you out of bed in the morning, she said. It’s up to you to be selfmotivated, to schedule, attend class, study and plan. And, “Ramen noodles are not nutritious,” she said good-humoredly. “Change your attention span,” she cautioned, recognizing the increasing speed of the modern world, amidst which hour-long lectures may appear foreign to the Internet generation. “Learn how to do stuff you don’t like,” she advised, “that’s a great mantra for life” – but most of all “have a great time… know that it’s OK to fail as long as you learn from your mistakes

and your failures. Take time to find out what you did wrong: the most important thing is that you reflected, and learned,” she said. She thanked the Freemasons for our support in her life, and admonished the students to be worthy of the award they had been honored to receive. To graduate in the present world, without a pile of student debt, is a gift that keeps

giving. The Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons of Colorado, Dana Speaks, was next to speak to present an Award of Excellence on Behalf of the M.W. Grand Lodge of Colorado to Margi Aguiar, the Outside Scholarship and Work Study Coordinator at the Colorado School of Mines. Her commitment to students, he said, is commended. Flashbulbs popped, and the award was received in good company. M.W. Bro. Charlie Johnson then took to the podium to introduce the final speaker for the afternoon, J.J. Ament. J.J. had been a recipient of a scholarship from the Colorado Masons Benevolent Fund in 1990, when he graduated from Caliche 7


High School. It had taken him from his family ranch in the small Colorado town of Prock to the heights of global finance. He exemplified the possibility, open to everyone in this great country, of success through hard work. “I challenge you,” he said to the students, “to be worthy of the award that you are receiving. For many, this scholarship is the difference between choosing the school you want to go to, and to graduate without a huge student loan debt.” “I have never forgotten the generosity of the Masons for helping me pay for school,” he said. “And I’m pleased to say that my wife and I will be returning all four years of my tuition to the Benevolent Fund so it may be used for future students.” His talk was diverse and apt. He discussed the rapid changes undergoing our country, as technological innovation and cultural decline combine in a dizzying array of the present age. The momentum of increasing communications, the corruption in the market system, change in American leadership and culture, were all issues that these graduates would have to face. “There were 12 billion voice mails left last year alone. There are 12 billion tweets every 60 days,” he said. The world, he said, is speeding up. “There’s a restaurant in Japan,” he said, “that charges its customers by the minute.” But is the quality of communications improving even as the speed increases? He asked rhetorically. It is the responsibility of the students, he said, to reintroduce truth and honor into our political discourse, to serve their communities with honor. “You have to decide, graduates, to behave this way,” he said. “It’s a choice. Character is not like some fashionable jacket that you can take off, it is the sum total of action. Thoughts become actions,

Clockwise, from left: Amanda Westenberg, Colorado Teacher of the Yeay; W. Bro. Don French, Scholarship Committee Chairman; Dustin Burchett, recipient of a 2012 CMBFA scholarship

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and actions become character,” he said. He went on to outline in contextual terms the growing size of the national debt. “Every dollar bill that Bill Gates has would fund our government for 15 days,” he said. “Entrepreneurship is the future solution to that problem,” he said. “What will you invent? What will be next for you?” “This is a great opportunity to receive a higher education,” he said. “Conduct yourself in a manner that is worthy of the award you are receiving. Begin thinking today how you’re going to use the skills you will learn to help not just you, but others,” he said. “Graduates,” he said, “it’s up to you to transform [this country]. Restore a culture of honor. Don’t do the right thing for the wrong reasons. There’s a difference

between wealth and values. If you believe that wealth creates values, you’re probably on the wrong track. If you believe that values create wealth, you’re probably on the right track.” He said. “Hundreds of people from across Colorado are investing in you. Congratulations to each of you, and God bless each of you as you embark on your new adventures.”

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Keynote speaker, J.J. Ament, graduate of Calliche High School in Rural Colorado in 1990, and recipient of a CMDFA scholarship that year. The Brethren’s investment in people cannot be overstated - J.J.’s scholarship took him to the heights of International Finance. “I have never forgotten the generosity of the Masons,” he said.

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”

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Rocky Mountain Mason

- Plutarch

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Taliesen Bennett Colorado Springs, CO

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his scholarship means a great deal to me, and I want to thank the Colorado Masonic Benevolent Fund for selecting me to receive it. By accepting this scholarship, it gives me the opportunity that many people do not get to have, that of being able to go to college and not have to worry on having a great amount of debt when I am done. With being able to focus more on school, it will mean I will be able to pay better attention and keep my eyes set on becoming a Certified Public Accountant. It is not every day that an opportunity likes this comes along, but I do promise that I will make the most of it. Once again, I would like to thank you for selecting me as a recipient of this scholarship.

Paige Bowling Delta, CO

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y educational goals include attending the Colorado School of Mines to earn a bachelor’s degree in biochemical engineering with a minor in business and economics. After receiving my degree, I would like to make and market all natural pharmaceuticals. Specifically, I hope to work on diseases like Dementia and Alzheimer’s as I have personally seen how it affects both those with these diseases and their families (my grandmother has severe Alzheimer’s). Next year my brother, Garrett, and myself will both be attending the Colorado School of Mines so the financial burden on our family will be heavy. As public school employees, my parents value education and have continually encouraged us to seek our dreams. I have endeavored to work hard towards my academic goals and have high expectations for myself. Education is important to me and the Colorado Masons’ Scholarship will help greatly to provide the opportunity to

continue onward. I am honored to receive this scholarship, and look forward to collaborating with the Masons over the next four years.

MOLLY BRANDT Holyoke, CO

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eceiving the Colorado Masons’ Benevolent Fund Scholarship means that I can pursue higher education in my dream school with much less financial burden and debt. At Colorado Christian University, I will be challenged academically and spiritually— urged to work my absolute hardest in all my classes and in my pursuit of God. Receiving this scholarship means that a group of individuals believes in me. This group believes that I have the power, leadership, dedication, and passion to succeed. They believe that I will be a Christian influence in the lives of others and I will take my schoolwork seriously. Receiving this scholarship means that I now hold a prestigious title, as a Colorado Masons’ scholar, and a duty to represent the organization and myself with absolute respect and Christian leadership.

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Rocky Mountain Mason


David Burch Cortez, CO

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hank you for giving me the opportunity to represent the Masons with this scholarship, I will not let you down. This scholarship means a lot to me, because it takes a large portion of the financial burden off of my family. It means that I can focus on schooling during my college experience and a lot less on trying to find money to attend the University of Colorado in Boulder. It has encouraged me to stay in Colorado for my college choice. It has made me highly curious to find out what kind of organization would take the opportunity to help someone like myself and who are invested in helping out the future workers of America. Lastly, this scholarship is going to give me the opportunity to become a pharmacist/medical researcher. Thank you for believing in me.

Brenna Crossley Montrose, CO

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he Colorado Masons’ Benevolent Fund scholarship is the greatest opportunity I could have received. I am so grateful to have been chosen for this award. This scholarship means that college will be more affordable and that I will be able to pursue an education that will allow me to be successful. I plan to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Colorado Mesa University followed by a Doctoral degree in pharmacy. I believe this scholarship will allow me to make significant contributions to and to serve the community in which I intend open my own pharmacy. This scholarship is an honor as my father and most of my ancestors were Masons. I also recognize that this scholarship is a privilege with which I have been blessed. It is a reminder that all good things come with hard work and dedication.

Victoria duke Lakewood, CO

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am truly honored to accept the Colorado Masons’ Benevolent Fund. This scholarship is the main difference between a college education that consists of working forty hours a week, struggling through classes, and sacrificing time I could spend with friends or in my community versus an almost loan-free college in which I can focus on schoolwork while volunteering or interning in Boulder. I am now ecstatic—and somewhat anxious—to begin my college experience rather than fearing the amount of stress and sleep deprivation I would have had to endure. Thank you so much to everyone who contributes to this fund; you all have inspired me to be continually dedicated throughout college while simultaneously enabling my success.

“Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.” - G. K. Chesterton

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ophelia Gonzalez Center, CO

NO ESSAY AVAILABLE AT TIME OF PRESS

kolton miller Moncos, CO

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eing selected to receive the Colorado Masons’ Benevolent Fund Scholarship is an honor that is beyond what I can express with words. This scholarship has provided me with the means to achieve my dream of going to college, and the means to achieve my long-term dream of becoming a career firefighter. Years ago when I decided that I wanted to become a firefighter, I took it upon myself to learn as much as possible about the road I will need to travel to become the best firefighter possible. I quickly discovered that career firefighting is a commonly sought after and competitive job field, and I would need a college degree

UNABLE TO ATTEND SCHOLARSHIP CEREMONY NO PICTURE AVAILABLE AT TIME OF PRESS

to have a competitive edge in this process. When I finally decided that Colorado State University was my desired school, I quickly learned that I would need financial assistance. Your scholarship has allotted me with the ability to go to CSU. I cannot thank you enough, and I am so grateful for this opportunity and your generosity.

Rachel murphy Westminster, CO

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am honored to accept the Colorado Masons’ Benevolent Fund Scholarship. Receiving this scholarship allowed me to make the final decision of attending rny dream university - the University of Denver. 1 cannot thank you enough for giving me the opportunity to further my education and attend my school of choice. With this scholarship, I will attend the University of Denver, majoring in biology or biochemistry, to prepare me for medical school. I will also be joining the figure skating team at the University of Denver to continue my status as a student athlete. 1 am excited to start a new chapter in my education and in my life, and will continue to strive for excellence as a Colorado Masons’ Benevolent Fund Scholar. Again, thank you for providing me with funding to pursue my educational dreams - I appreciate your generosity and support of higher education! I look forward to our relationship over the next four years.

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Rocky Mountain Mason


Josie Rossi Phippsburg, CO

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am honored to receive the Masonic Scholarship. I hope to graduate with honors from the University of Colorado Boulder in mechanical engineering with an emphasis in watershed sciences. This scholarship is encouragement to me it symbolizes the trust that my family as well as the Grand Lodge of Colorado and Egeria Lodge has in me. It also represents the expectations they have for me. The expectation from family is that I try my hardest in everything I do. I know the Lord has great plans for me and these next four years are in that plan. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11. This scholarship gives me confidence that I will be able to suceed in college at the Colorado Mesa University/University of Colorado Boulder mechanical engineering partnership program.

Jacob Solseth Olathe, CO

NO ESSAY AVAILABLE AT TIME OF PRESS

sidharth tripathi Aurora, CO

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aying for college is not something that is easy to do. As a result of my family’s hardships, I have grown up with a strong awareness of how valuable each penny we earn is. With my objectives of finishing an undergraduate degree and then continuing on to medical school, I can easily expect to be in a lot of debt. However, I feel comforted by the fact that I was fortunate enough to receive the Freemasons’ scholarship. This scholarship will not only help in paying for my college expenses, but it will aid in furthering my education and lessen the worry about my family’s financial problems. More importantly, I now stand a better chance of one day becoming a doctor and giving back to the wonderful community that I live in. This scholarship has opened many windows of opportunity for me and has created a wonderful platform to aid me in my college experience.

Rocky Mountain Mason

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heather turner

Rangley CO - [Excerpted from application essay]

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he only obstacle in my way, for reaching my dream of earning a degree in psychology and international relations, is a financial barrier. Even though I was granted a shot in life and my mother cured from cancer her health, through time, continued to decline. In 2005, my mother was disabled; ever since, my mother has been supporting my little brother and me with this money and food stamps. It has been hard to grow up with such a limited income. Though this has never stopped me from achieving my goals, it does worry me. I worry about where I will get the money to pay for college. I know I have what it takes to be college material and a successful person; I just need the financial support. That is the reason why I believe I should be considered for the Masonic Scholarship. I know I have the dedication, desire, and passion along with the academic knowledge to earn a college degree and would not disappoint you. I would be a wise investment for the future of tomorrow. Thank you for considering me for your scholarship.

colton witherell Glenwood Springs, CO

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am very grateful to have received the Colorado Mason’s Benevolent Fund. The Masonic Fraternity believes that everyone needs both faith and hope in order to make their arduous journey through life. I sincerely agree with this frame of mind. Throughout my high school days the words that were repeated to me were that once students get out of college, they are faced with thousands upon thousands of dollars in debt. Along with beginning their real career jobs, they are accompanied by this burden that will weigh them down for years to come. This has always been a great fear of mine; that I would not be able to go out and do what I love because I have to repay the expenses of college weighing on me. The Colorado Masons’ Benevolent Fund scholarship has helped lift part of this burden off my shoulders and will enable me to go out into my career field and begin my life without worrying about what could have been a tremendous amount of debt. This scholarship means so much to me in that it has given me the chance to chase my dreams. Thank you!

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

- Aristotle 14

Rocky Mountain Mason


Rocky Mountain Mason

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How Well Do You

Victor Sestokas? Oh sure I know Vic.” This is often the response I get from those of whom I ask if they know him. “He’s from Colorado Springs; I think he has some connection with the Air Force Academy. He walks with a cane. He seems to stay active, tho’ he’s gettin’ up there in years.” As we sat in his dining room watching the deer meander in his back yard, Vic told me that he has lived in his present home for over 40 years. He is 90 years old. Having that many years would provide anyone with quite a story to tell, Vic certainly has his. Soon after Vic’s military retirement, when Sam Berman became Grand Master (1983), Vic began a tradition of coffee and donuts every Thursday morning at the Grand Lodge office. It’s been going on ever since! I met Vic several years ago, one of those Thursday mornings. As I was traveling around Colorado to several Masonic functions, there would be Vic. I believe Vic is the original energizer bunny! One function I recall (he specifically asked if I could make it) was a baseball game between the Knights of Columbus and the Masons in Colorado Springs. Unfortunately, the Masons lost... but it was certainly a fun occasion just the same. Another time (or two) I traveled to Ramah Lodge’s annual fish fry. Vic and his lady Doris were the cooks and had done so for a number of years. The meal was very good and the camaraderie with others being served was just as good. But not much conversation with Vic; when he is serving others at the fish fry he is all business, he and Doris

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never wanted anyone to have to wait. Vic and Doris met at a dance organized for the servicemen... Mitchell Field, New York. Of course it was Vic who was helping the Chaplain organize the dance. Vic was busy making sure no

one was left without a partner. One girl kept wanting to dance with Vic. In one of her conversations at one of the dances she said, “I’m going to marry that man!” And she did. Vic and Doris, married by that same Chaplain, have been together for 71 years! They have a son - Victor Jr, 4 daughters - Janet, Nancy, Linda, DorisDiane, 10 grandchildren and 13 greatgrands. Vic’s wife, Doris, is not able to live at home any longer. She has Alzheimer’s and although she still recognizes Vic, she has trouble with others. Vic’s mom, Elizabeth, was born in Pennsylvania, his dad, Joseph, “in the old country.” Sestokas is a Lithuanian name. Vic was born in Pittston, Pennsylvania. Sadly, Vic’s father was killed working in a coal mine; Vic was 5 years old. The whole family then moved in with Vic’s grandparents. Vic has always been active. At 9 years old he was helping with truck farming - celery, beans, etc. He plowed behind “Jake,” the mule. At 9 years of age he would even drive a White truck with an electric shift. Somewhere in that timeframe he was even helping sack (burlap) dynamite for the mines. Enterprising at that age, he would then sell the discarded boxes for 10 cents apiece. In high school he took shorthand and typing which would later help him in his personnel/administration duties in the military. Upon high school graduation he turned down a football scholarship to Florida to pursue his quest to join the military. It was 1940 and everywhere he applied - Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force - they already had met their quota.

Rocky Mountain Mason


Know Your

Brother? Determined, Vic was about to seek out talent over more than 16 years... [which] Nam and was the Commander at what the Canadian military when he got word have produced the astonishing increase in was called Monkey Mountain, Viet Nam. that the Army Engineer Corps was about Chapter membership from 2,100 to 3660 Vic met and worked for General Wm to begin a new facility in Florida. He was making [this] Chapter TROA’s largest.” It Westmorland. At one time during his Viet accepted. He later transferred to Langley, goes on to state, “It isn’t possible for me to Nam tour he felt the sharpness of what VA. overstate the significance of [this and many he is sure was a heart attack, but without He was a sergeant when the U.S. other of your] enduring achievements.” telling anyone, he resigned himself to bed joined in World War II. Armed with a .45 So what about Masonry you say? rest and eventually went back to work. on his hip and a Thompson Submachine After all that active military life and then Throughout the years he spend a gun which also fired .45’s retiring with certain he went through the war physical problems and “Another certificate from Pike’s Peak Chapter reads, walking with a cane, advancing to the rank of Sergeant-Major... he was ‘Chairman’s Award for yout contributions of time and how active can he be in only 19. Freemasonry? talent over more than 16 years...’” A high point of By dealing with that action saw Vic get a military personnel files battlefield commission to 2nd Lieutenant it was easy for Vic to know who was a good portion of time based at Andrews by none other than General George S Mason and who was not. He was always Air Force base near Washington D.C. and Patton! His orders also had the signature impressed with how well the Masonic later he would be stationed at NORAD of General Dwight D Eisenhower. On a members presented themselves, so much and Air Defense Command, Colorado different occasion, when Vic was asleep in so that in 1962 Victor G Sestokas became Springs. He retired as an Air Force an Army hospital, General Patton came by one. His home lodge is Tejon #104 in Lieutenant-Colonel, not too bad... going to leave with him, a purple heart medal. Colorado Springs; he just recently received completely through the enlisted ranks to After the war large numbers of his 50 year certificate. He is also a member rise to Sergeant-Major and then go all the servicemen processed out, they wanted of Cripple Creek #96 and Ramah #165 way through to a Lt-Colonel in the officer out of the military, and the military didn’t and a Past Master of Centurion Daylight ranks with only a high-school education. need so many to remain active. Vic, at #195. Vic has been a York Rite member BUT not so; in his spare time while 95 pounds, spent 9 months in an African for over 25 years, a member of the Scottish stationed at Andrews, Vic went to night hospital before being processed out. He Rite for “30 plus” years, a member of the school and eventually received a bachelor’s held the rank of Captain. Then came the Shrine, and has served 9 times as president degree from the University of Maryland! Korean War. of the National Sojourners. He is also a And with a little spare time that was left, With serviceman numbers down, member and past president of the Grand Vic has collected stamps over the years - he and though Vic had lingering physical Master’s club. Many times Vic has hosted began at age 7. problems from the war just finished, he Masonic events at the Air Force Academy. Before Vic had to use a cane he played received a letter from the Air Force asking When asked how many applications golf and on his wall hangs a certificate him to join. He did. He didn’t physically he has signed for man to become a Mason of appreciation for being bowling league qualify to fly jets, but he did train for and he recalled a time a number of years ago secretary for 15 years. Another certificate become a navigator and rear observer. when he was at the commissary at the from the Pike’s Peak Chapter of the Then came Viet Nam. Academy buying groceries. He struck Retired Officer’s Assoc. reads,”Chairman’s He spent time in Thailand and Viet up a conversation with a young AfricanAward for your contributions of time and

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American cadet who was also getting groceries who said, “I don’t always like to eat at the mess hall; I kind of miss home cooking.” And so came Vic’s invitation for him to have some home cooking. After some good military and “home” conversation and cooking, the cadet asked about some of Vic’s framed certificates of Masonic events. So, the conversation changed to Freemasonry and the cadet indicated he would like to hear more. Vic recalls that later the cadet indicated he had been talking to a few more cadets about his conversation with the Lt-Colonel and they also would like to hear more. Vic set up a meeting to talk about Freemasonry and made sure that Prince Hall officers would be able to attend so that any African-American potential candidate could be informed of his option to join the Prince Hall (African-American roots) organization if he preferred. The meeting took place, the Prince Hall officers were in attendance as were the cadets: 5 AfricanAmerican, 2 Puerto Rican and 1 Pilipino, the rest being Caucasian. All desired to

join Vic’s lodge, petitions were signed, and a date scheduled for initiation. The total was 29!! Over the years Vic estimates that he has signed for more than 200 candidates! Vic won the T. Harvey Cox Award and became Colorado’s Mason of the Year for 1997 Something else he is proud of was proving that his Scottish Rite’s dinner service time could be substantially reduced. He organized the serving of 400 people in 15 minutes! And if you’re wondering if Vic really had a heart attack back in Viet Nam, when I got ready to leave he winced a bit and rather apologetically explained, “A week or so ago, I fell and broke 4 ribs. They wanted me to stay in the hospital but I’ve had enough of hospitals. I came home and stayed in bed for at least half the time that they asked of me. So I’m still getting over it.” As I left I asked Vic what was something important to him to which he is looking forward. He said, “Going to lodge. I love Freemasonry; they’re the best people in the world!”

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The Rocky Mountain Mason High Light in Masonry 18

How well do YOU know your Brother? is a column written by Rodney W Johnson. He was Colorado Freemasonry’s Grand Master in 2000 and Colorado York Rite Grand Chapter’s Grand High Priest in 2001. He is a 33 degree Scottish Rite Mason.

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Rocky Mountain Mason


Masonic Museum at Your Grand Lodge A Wealth of Masonic History Awaiting Rediscovery

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he Colorado Masonic Library and Museum is dedicated to supporting the education and research of Freemasonry in Colorado, around the country and around the world. The Library and Museum are open to the public and normal hours of visitation are 8 am. to 4 pm. Monday thru Friday. Admission is FREE, and there is plenty of FREE parking in the adjacent parking lot. The Masons established some of the first public libraries in the United States, and the Grand Lodge Library, formed in 1864, was among the first in the Colorado Territory. The Museum was founded in about 1950 with the mission to collect and preserve the history of Freemasonry in Colorado. Together the Library and Museum support Colorado Freemasonry and its associated fraternal organizations through research and education.

Colorado Masons. While the more rare and fragile items are available for in-house use only, the majority of the Library materials can be checked out by Masons and their families.

• Harold L. Johnson Museum

T The George B. Clark Library, open to all Masons seeking more light in Masonry.

• George B. Clark Library

he Masonic Museum is named for Brother Harold L. Johnson (1922-2007) who served enthusiastically as Curator of the Library and Museum for 54 years. It features permanent exhibits on the role of Masonry in United States history and on the beginnings of Masonry in Colorado as well as changing exhibits on other topics of Masonic interest. The Museum has over 5000 objects in its collection including a violin owned by Thomas Jefferson, a walking stick owned by Abraham Lincoln, and letters written by founding fathers George Washington and James Mercer. The Museum also houses a number of original works of art by and/or about Freemasons. Visit the Library and

The Harold L. Johnson Museum, open to all Masons, he Masonic Library is named family & friends, looking for a bit of history of Masonry in for Brother George B. Clark Colorado. You’ll be impressed by what you see here. (1879-1975), author and historian who served Colorado Freemasonry for over 66 years, much of that Museum time as the Library and Museum Curator. The Library contains The Colorado Masonic Library and Museum is located at over 5000 books and periodicals as well as audio and visual materials 1130 Panorama Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80904. To learn focused on the history and practice of Freemasonry in general and more, call us at (719) 623-5346 or e-mail us at colibmus@ within the State of Colorado in particular. There are also a number coloradofreemasons.org. Our website has recently been of items pertaining to Colorado history and numerous other works established at http://www.cmlm.org along with our online gift by Freemasons. The collection includes many rare books and first shop at http://store.cmlm.org. We hope to see or hear from you editions as well as photographs, manuscripts, personal papers, soon! and business records for the Grand Lodge of Colorado and other

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Not the Nicean Creed... it’s:

The Nuclaean...

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just got back from Norwood Lodge (which is in Nucla, Colorado), from a sparsely attended meeting. I was the first to arrive, and I immediately noticed the brown envelope stuck to the front door. The back was faded by the sun – it had been there for months.

I unlocked the front door to our small building, and carefully tore the envelope free. It was one of those big ones, you know, eight-and-a-half-by-eleven, big enough to fit unfolded paper in and, by the feel of it, there was paper in there about half-an-inch thick. It was addressed to “Masonic Members and Associates” in large, hand-drawn black letters. Here we go, I thought, this is not from the assessor or insurance company.

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Rocky Mountain Mason


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Screed

The religious rumblings of an anonymous Anti-Mason

I opened it up and drew out a carefully prepared packet. The title, in hand written print, read “CHRISTIANISM IN THE MASONIC LODGE”. Oh boy. Someone had clearly taken a lot of time to prepare this packet, which unequivocally proved, according to the bottom of the first page, that Masons were being “cunningly deceived and led by Satan, straight into hell!”. I decided to peruse the document a little. No one had arrived yet and, to be honest, this kind of stuff amuses me. So I read the first page. Apparently, “Long after one reaches the 32º, or is elected into the 33º are the first documents revealed to the initiate”. These “confidential” documents, intended only “for the inner circle” clearly prove that “Masonry is lifting up and exalting Satan as their light, lord and creator”. It gets better, because, you see, “Masonry glorifies all pagan and false gods, including the Muslems [sic] – Allah and Osiris – God of the underworld” (I didn’t know that Osiris was a Moslem, but I kept reading), “Masonry states the Muslems [sic] Koran ‘belongs’ on their altar and that the Holy Bible is nothing more than furniture in the Lodge.” That made me smile. So what was this fascinating secret document that revealed the grand plan of the 33º to lead all Masons “straight into Hell”? What was this confidential, Rocky Mountain Mason

well-hidden source, apparently revealing the true Masonry only to the paymasters and demonic puppeteers that secretly controlled every Masonic institution up there somewhere, at the lofty heights of the 33º ? I turned the page. Yep, you guessed it: Morals & Dogma, by our man Pike. For Pete’s sake, I thought, a wry smile curling my lips. There was a recreation of the frontispiece of this Masonic tome. The author had kindly highlighted relevant sections and pointed out long words, supplying definitions with underlining, just so I wouldn’t get lost. “Dogma” an arrow pointed out meant “A belief taught as true by AUTHORITY [underlined twice]. An opinion asserted in a positive manner as if authoritative.” And “Esoteric” meant “intended for an inner circle”, “secret”, and “confidential”. This was clearly a book “GIVEN TO THE INITIATE ONLY AFTER HE REACHES THE 32º, NOT BEFORE!!” Well Amazon is going to be miffed, I mused. They better take down all those copies they’ve got for sale, then. The rest of the packet included pages Xeroxed out of Morals & Dogma in a piecemeal hodge-podge of supposed damnation. It was covered in highlighted passages, arrows, sections of the Bible, and frenetic underlining. I paid close heed. But everywhere the error seemed to be on the author. I spent a good amount

“I felt compassion for this person. Desperate to save us poor, lost Masons from the damnation we were bringing upon ourselves, determined to zealously pounce on scripture, to deny any other opinion, and declaim us as witches led astray, they were somehow lost in their own graveyard. But these weren’t my bones they were digging up. Nor Masonry’s, neither.” 21


Commas are important. The author of the screen has erroneously interpolated a parenthetical where there isn’t one, to read a rhetorical superlative (“God is, above all, the Baalim”) over a juxtaposition of Supremecy of God (“God is above all the Baalim”). The difference is profound.

Among many other definitions, the author was kind enough to include a definition of “Baalim” for we hapless Masons, led into darkness in ignorance.

Pike is actually stating the opposite. The reader has been unable to fathom the subjunctive mood, the hypothetical, of Pike’s writing, that Pike is actually saying “if this were so” then “this absurdity will result”.

The favorite passage of all evangelical anti-Masons - the inevitable “Lucifer” clause. But Pike was not writing that Lucifer is God. The mistaken interpretation is two fold - one, a misunderstanding of the origin of the term “Lucifer” (as the Morning Star - an appelation given to Venus when rising before dawn - a title given to many people in the Bible, inlcuding Jesus) and, two, ignoring the context of the quote completely. 22

“Much of the screed highlighted serious philosophical underpinnings of the Judeo-Christian faiths, but the writer had interpreted them in a horribly inverted way.”

Rocky Mountain Mason


The Editor of the Rocky Mountain Mason magazine, and principal at the Laughing Lion press, comtemplates the Nuclean Screed in front of his modernist painting titled, “After the Apple: At the Gates of Eden”.

of time paging through it all, believe me, and besides, the author appeared sincere (if half-mad). So I thought I should at least try to understand their point of view. But it was everywhere skewed. Case in point: about 20 pages into it, page 226 of M&D had been copied, and the following sentences highlighted in yellow and pink highlighter (throughout this mess, the author used pink for the really incriminating stuff): “[yellow highlighter] Masonry, around whose altars the Christian [underlined twice], the Hebrew, the Moslem, the Brahmin, the followers of Confucius and Zoroaster, can assemble as brethren and unite in prayer to the [begin pink highlighted section] one God who is above all the Baalim, [end pink highlighted section]…” The author had kindly defined “Baalim” as “Hebrew-plural of Baal” and then, next to that, explained that Baal meant (in capital letters) “FALSE GOD!”, “SUN GOD”, “CHIEF GOD OF THE CANAANITES”, “GOD OF FERTILITY”. Thank goodness the one God is above all of these, I thought. But then I realized. The author had somehow inserted a parenthetical clause into the sentence which Rocky Mountain Mason

screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed I NCscreed screed OR R screed screed screed screed screed screed screed E screed screed screed screed screed screed screedCT !!!!! ! screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed screed

WRONG!!!!!

wasn’t actually there. He was projecting what he hoped to find, and subconsciously had twisted the logic around. The author had somehow read, “the one God who is, above all, the Baalim” interpreting “above all” as some sort of rhetorical interjection; a superlative of rhetorical fact, rather than a supremacy of position above all that is false. Commas are important. I felt compassion for this person. Desperate to save us poor, lost Masons, from the damnation we were bringing upon ourselves, determined to zealously pounce on scripture, to deny any other opinion, and declaim us as witches led astray, they were somehow lost in their own graveyard. But these weren’t my bones they were digging up. Nor Masonry’s, neither. Much of the screed highlighted serious philosophical underpinnings of the Judeo-Christian faiths, but the writer had interpreted them in a horribly inverted way. This screed was a mirror, not of Masonry, but of the person who wrote it. It just goes to show why secrecy is important, and why “Holiness” is “For the Holy”. Because it doesn’t matter what someone or something says. People of small minds (and heavy hearts) will quickly

! ! ! O

N

fill the letters with their own ink, and snatch ghosts of their own personalities from between the lines. Is it any wonder our system of morality is veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols? Awakening to an understanding of God is a personal journey and a received, personal experience. It’s an experience that transcends mere words. And it’s a secret that can be given only to one who already possesses it. Water from the purest well is readily stained, when drawn in a dirty bucket. I thought about sitting down with this person to explain some of this, and gently point out the erroneous interpretations in every instance (and I mean every instance), but they hadn’t left a name or contact. Probably a seventh-day Adventist from the church down the street, I supposed. There is really no one else in Nucla. But wait, weren’t the seventh-day Adventists shunned by the Catholic Church for not believing in the hypostasis of Trinity? I think so. Bloody heretics.

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Note to the sensitive reader - the Editor of this publication has no beef with seventh day Adventists. It’s a joke. One man’s savior is another man’s heretic. 23


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✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

God, Duty, Honor –

✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭✭ h “He was young, ardent, ambitious, of good judgment, and no man could have done better in life nor met death with more heroism...”

General Sherman’s Report

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he first shot startled both Major Thornburgh and his horse. The animal shied so suddenly that the White River Expedition Commander, though an excellent rider, nearly toppled from his saddle. Regaining control of the animal he quickly glanced at Captains Payne and Lawson for their reactions. Payne gazed back, mouth open, and jaw slack with incomprehension. Captain Scott Payne, Thornburgh’s second in command, though a capable West Point officer of good judgment, suffered from chronic ill health and lacked the battle experience and decisiveness of Captain Joe Lawson, an Irish immigrant who’d survived the Crimean War, the American Civil war and several battles of the Indian Wars. Lawson spurred his horse forward yelling and motioning to Lieutenant Sam Cherry, commanding one of the skirmish lines, to return. Cherry had waved his hat only moments earlier, so he later claimed, at the Indian cover to outflank and sever the troopers from the supply wagons and the security force of “D” Company 5th Cavalry a mile behind on a small plateau above the creek. Separation, he knew, meant annihilation. He immediately ordered Payne and Lawson to regroup the retreating skirmishers with their respective companies and begin a fighting retreat back to the wagons. The two captains divided and 24

galloped with the remaining men toward their embattled troopers. Thornburgh, though thoroughly shaken by his tactical blunders, and having underestimated the Ute’s overwhelming numbers and resolve, drew his revolver and spurred his horse toward the spot where the indomitable Lieutenant, Sam Cherry’s force struggled back and forth to keep from being rolled over by swarms of Ute warriors. His chosen path, however, disappeared into irregular thickets of tall sage brush, tall enough to hide the warriors seeking to surround the squad of troopers. Payne, having survived his horse being shot from beneath him remounted one missing its rider. As he clambered aboard, he saw Major Thornburgh disappear into a particularly dense copse of sage. In the next second his attention shifted suddenly to the searing impact of a bullet smashing into his left armpit. He would not see his commanding officer alive again. *****

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he verdant green hills around New Market in East Tennessee, where Thomas Tipton Thornburgh began life in December of 1843, were a far cry from the sage brush arroyos of Northwestern Colorado’s foot hills where it so suddenly ended. As Hugh de Payens, one of the

original Knights Templar from whom the chivalric order of Freemasonry to which he also belonged, received their name, might have counseled him – death even more savagely stalks those who take up the profession of arms and seek combat. Like many of the original Templars, he too descended from landed gentry. His father, Montgomery Thornburgh, had attended West Point briefly but left to marry a northerner, Olivia Ann Dyer, and resettle in Eastern Tennessee. Montgomery, a moderate unionist, aligned himself with the Andrew Johnson Democrats. He farmed and practiced law equally successfully – and began his Masonic journey in Hay Market Lodge #107. As civil war neared, sectarian politics divided Tennesseans nearly as much as Virginians. The western part of the state tilted toward the south and the easterners leaned more toward Kentucky to the north. Tennessee, instead of sub-dividing, as did Virginia, seceded. Montgomery had just won a seat in the state legislature, but entered into the clutches of a house full of secessionist Democrats who had him arrested. Olivia hastened to his side. His youngest son, sixteen year old “Tip”, seized the opportunity to join the Union Army as a private with the 6th East Tennessee Volunteers. Olivia had returned to the farmstead, Rocky Mountain Mason


“The Chief who shoots the stars”

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Sir Knight Major T. Thornburgh r r { 1843 - 1879 } by Sir Knight Richard Davis

to her eldest son, Jacob, with a heavy heart. The powers-to-be transported Montgomery to Andersonville Prison in Georgia and she learned her youngest son further imperiled the family and its property by siding with the Unionists. Her worries increased when Montgomery died while interred at Andersonville. Tip proved to be a natural soldier. His father had taught him how to ride and shoot, skills that would aid his rapid progress through the ranks. In three years time he vaulted from private to corporal, sergeant, sergeant major, lieutenant and adjutant. He survived a number of major battles; among them, the Battle of Stones River which recorded proportionately the highest total numbers of casualties of any Civil War battle, nearly twenty-five thousand. He entered West Point on July 1, 1863, just as the Battle of Gettysburg began. When he graduated, twenty-sixth in the1867 class, the Civil War had been over for two years but the opening of the west posed new military challenges for the young Second Lieutenant. The future for this widow’s son appeared bright. Upon commissioning, the army ordered him to his first duty station with the Second Artillery Regiment at the Presidio on the south San Francisco Bay. The fort combined the best parts of old world Spanish architecture, forests of Rocky Mountain Mason

Sir Knight Thomas Tipton Thornburgh

costal trees and cool Pacific breezes. He barely had time to take a breath. The army plucked him from this paradise and sent him to artillery school at Fort Monroe, Virginia. It turned out to be a providential move because there he met Lida, the petite daughter of Army Paymaster, and second cousin of General Sherman, Robert D. Clark. A romance and marriage ensued in Omaha, Nebraska, Major Clarke’s duty station. After a California honeymoon, the Thornburgh’s moved to San Diego. In 1871 they moved again, this time to Knoxville, Tennessee where Tip taught military science at East Tennessee University. In Knoxville he followed in Montgomery’s

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footsteps and began his own Masonic journey. Here he attained his Third Degree and rose quickly through the York Rite ranks to Knight Templar, a fitting path for the ambitious young cavalier. His time in Tennessee did not last long. He took a reassignment and a promotion to First Lieutenant and moved to Maryland. There he soon learned of an opening in his fatherin-law’s paymaster corps. The corps, however, allowed no officer beneath the rank of major to be in charge of a regional office. Major Clarke discussed the matter with Paymaster General Of The Army, General Alvord, and reached an agreement. Alvord promoted Tip to major, over one hundred lieutenants and two-hundred-fifty captains. But he also exacted a heavy price for this privilege. Major Thornburgh’s duty station lay smack dab in the middle of the West Texas deserts. Lida, used to army ways, lightly observed it was a far, far cry from San Diego and the wooded hills and green pastures of Tennessee and Maryland. She knew another change would not be long in coming. Within months the Texas sun and dust had worn the bloom from this particular rose, for the major now yearned for the excitement and prestige of commanding troops in battle as he had experienced during the Civil War. The tedium of 25


overseeing accounts and logistics from afterward General Crook asked him if he command, the Thornburgh’s three year a bake-oven office had little appeal, would take a field command under him. old son, George Washington Thornburgh, irrespective of rank. But by now he had two Thornburgh jumped at the chance and in died. The bad luck didn’t end there. small children and a kennel of Irish Setters the spring of 1878 he and his family packed General Crook ordered the Major to to support. Major Thornburgh spent to move to the new state of Colorado. intercept and return a band of Cheyenne many a suffocating sleepless hour every Because of his Civil War combat heading north toward a ford in the night fearing that his Platte. Thornburgh career would stall out assembled a cavalry and he would remain troop and ordered up a junior staff officer pack mules. Instead until retirement. He he received wagons would have slept and local ranchers as more easily if he scouts, neither were had known his life up to their tasks. The was about to change scouts had trouble dramatically due to finding a good ford a most surprising in the river and confluence of pastwhen they finally did learned skills and the wagons either current frontier stuck in the mud or events. But, he sank in the Platte might have awoke and floated away. anew again had he The Indians escaped known the ultimate north. Crook didn’t conclusion. directly attribute the Firearms and mission’s failure to shooting were as Tip but the unwritten much a part of his rules of war dictated past as thoroughbred field commanders are horses and pedigreed termed either winners dogs. His father or losers irrespective taught him to shoot of circumstances. and ride shortly after His ill-fated Captain J. Scott Payne, Company F, 5th Cavalry, took command of the he learned to walk. expedition did, expedition when he learned of Thornburgh’s death. Pictured here with While still in his however, provide Charger, the horse fatally shot during the battle of Milk Creek. From Theo. him with another teens he had acquired a reputation as one of F. Rodenbough, Uncle Sam’s Medal of Honor (G. P. Putnam’s Sons, New occasion to enhance Eastern Tennessee’s his reputation as a York, 1886, pag. 358.) leading marksmen. marksman. When He honed this skill chiefs Red Cloud and to a fine edge and Young Man Afraid amazed individuals and audiences with his record and his post war achievements, he Of His Horses criticized the quality of ability to shoot one inch diameter coins told his wife he expected another quantum the army issued Springfield .45-70, Tip from the air. leap in his rank. Within a few months the shouldered one and began shooting coins Sometimes a person’s fate rests upon opportunity arose; unfortunately he failed from the air. The chiefs may not have been the tiniest pinprick of time, space, and to exploit it. impressed with the rifle but they were antecedent conditions. Such was the case It began with Crook giving impressed enough with the Major that when Major Thornburgh visited his fatherThornburgh command of Fort Fred they applied the sobriquet, “The Chief in-law at Omaha Barracks in Nebraska. Steele, a small fort built in Southern Who Shoots The Stars”. General George Crook commanded the Wyoming in 1868 where the nation’s first On his return to Fort Steele, Military District of the Platte from this transcontinental railroad intersected with Thornburgh took the dilapidated post and fort. Purely by chance, another noted the Platte River. As the Indian Wars drew demoralized men in hand and reshaped marksman, Dr. Frank Carver, happened to a close in the spring of 1878, only a them as befitting a master operative to be visiting Omaha at the same time remnant remained of the command – not mason. Crumbling old buildings were and learned of Thornburgh’s rifle prowess. at all what Tip Thornburgh expected. renovated and new quarters built. He Carver challenged the young officer to a However, he immediately set to work outfitted the men in the best quality shooting match. Although the doctor repairing infrastructure, discipline and uniforms he could extract from the narrowly won the contest, it changed morale. quartermaster corps. The troops, mostly the course of Thornburgh’s life because That same spring, shortly after taking 4th Infantry, drilled incessantly. Trees, grass 26

Rocky Mountain Mason


and gardens replaced the weeds, cactus and perceived threat would so recklessly, on Department had no armed force to impose sage. He now had the opportunity to apply September 28th and the morning of the its will, Schurz called upon the War his West Point civil engineering education. 29th, ignore several prospective campsites Department. Fort Fred Steele happened to The new gardens flourished from irrigation and proceed into a nearly promised be the closest military outpost. water sucked up from the Platte by ram ambush remains profoundly perplexing. Major Thornburgh, in early August, pumps. The men could now actually bathe The record is almost silent on the issue. He had met Meeker on a train while daily and got passes confided nothing to go into Rawlins on to his scouts the train. But even as or subordinate the light of the new officers. He wrote command glimmered, no field notes or dark clouds gathered letters on point. on the southwestern The horizon. exigencies of By the purest battle ruled coincidence the man out a search for who would be the Thornburgh’s major causative factor body until after of the Milk Creek Battle Colonel Wesley and the simultaneous Merrill’s rescue Meeker Massacre had detachment also taken his job as arrived on Indian Agent in the October 5th. A spring of 1878. Nathan party of half Meeker, a journalist and a dozen or socialist theoretician, so, including The Thornburgh Battle with the Utes on Milk Creek. had plied his political officers, witnesses Painting by Robert Lindneux connections to obtain and a doctor, his job. Though having found his body written a moderately stripped bare successful treatise called Pity The Poor but remarkably well preserved for having traveling between Denver and Rawlins. Indian several years earlier, he had never lain there for five days. Descriptions of He commented to Lida afterward that the condition of the corpse regarding so much as spoken to one – much less he thought Meeker an unprincipled mutilation varied. All of the party worked with them. opportunist, a wild-eyed idealist and a witnessed several bullet wounds. Most The Utes, a nomadic horse culture, liar. Meeker had noticed Thornburgh’s considered the one nearest his heart to be were among the last of the western tribes to gold Masonic watch fob and claimed the initial shot and fatal wound. Other membership in the fraternity but upon suffer white American encroachment. The bullet holes lay at the centers of large close questioning knew nothing of Rocky Mountains divided Colorado down powder burns indicating close range, post substance about it. At best, the Major its middle and had served as a barrier to mortem infliction. Both written and oral said he thought the agent an insincere white interests until the discovery of their reports differ on the issue of mutilation. alarmist—at worst, a lying troublemaker. rich gold and silver veins. In 1868 and Most agree that the body was naked when Enroute to White River Agency, again in 1873, the whites forced treaties found and that it had been scalped. Some Thornburgh and his officers met several upon the tribe, and broke both. The hint at sexual and facial mutilation. The times with Chiefs Jack and Colorow who federal government formulated a program facts are elusive. gravely urged a cautious approach and of Indian relocation and pacification The army transported Thornburgh’s finally demanded that the expedition by herding them onto reservations and body to Fort Fred Steele and then by train camp somewhere north of Milk Creek. forcing them to bend to the plow. Meeker, to Omaha for burial. Eventually, he was From there, they said, Thornburgh and paternalistic and obdurate by nature, interred at Arlington National Cemetery. four other men could proceed onto the suffered no protest gladly. The Utes, who His son, Robert, and a nephew, Thomas reservation where they would meet Utes had nearly starved to death the previous who would escort them to the Agency. both attended West Point. Thomas died winter because the agent sold their food Meeker, the only party to the conflict who during World War II and is interred at allotments on the black market, fought to had never engaged in battle or even fired a Arlington. keep their nearly sacred pony heard intact weapon at an enemy, probably realized his so they could hunt in the fall. Secretary actions and letters might precipitate a war Of The Interior, Karl Schurz, paid close and he began sending mollifying messages attention to Meeker’s alarms of a pending to Thornburgh. That the man who had Ute insurgency. The massacre of Custer’s so carefully chosen to lead a relatively 7th Cavalry in Montana was fresh in everyone’s mind. But because the Interior miniscule force to Colorado to avoid a

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fffffffffffffffff

The Compasses also Inscribe Tolerence to Speak of Heavenly Perfections “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read but one page.” “This is the very perfection of man, to find out his own imperfections.” “Hear the other side.”

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he injunction against the discussion of religion in a Masonic Lodge is not meant to preclude discussion of religious and sacred things. Rather, it appears to be directed more against members proselyting for a particular creed. There is much to be gained from reviewing, with an open mind, the various tenets of religious doctrines, doctrines spawned from around the world and across all ages. Verily, through the intersections of many circles, a secret center may be revealed. The candidate, before his eyes behold even the forms and ceremonies of the Lodge, is specifically “I don’t instructed that Masonry is a system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols, to impress upon the mind wise and serious truths transmitted through a succession of ages. Wise and serious truths, this author presumes, cannot mean the inevitable paying of bills, guffawing from the sidelines, or mere quibbling over ritual. Albert Pike writes explicitly in his chapter on the Royal Arch of Solomon, in that great Masonic Tome, Morals & Dogma, that: Every Masonic Lodge is a temple of religion; and its teachings are instructions in religion. And where better to present manifold doctrines of faith which reveal, from a multitude of perspectives, the Inevitable Source from which all has sprung? Are Masons not couched in tolerance? Is not the Lodge a sacred space, divided among the Brethren united in Brotherly Love, to afford free and open discussion? Are not the Officers’ Stations situated to direct and administer peaceable discussion among the members of the Craft? Peace and harmony 28

Saint Augustine

prevailing? The fact is that Masonry is naturally a pluralistic and inclusive Fraternity. It is exclusive only in selecting quality in its members, but those members are taken to include men of all faiths who aspire to become better than themselves. The ability to entertain contrary opinions is a first step toward any lasting discovery. Education cannot be properly effected if everything approached is already agreeable to a particular student. Think about it, if you had been able to choose simply those classes you wished to study

believe in the God that you don’t either,” I say to the Atheist. in school, for your own sweet fun, your education would have been stilted by that which you already understood. One does not go to school to reinforce preexisting opinions, but to learn that which was previously unknown. Personally, I have consistently discovered the greatest lessons precisely where I never expected to find them. (Perhaps there is a reason for adversity and failure, here?) Regardless, an open mind remains a necessary first step in the journey to knowledge, and only by being open to contrary and differing perspectives can the whole horizon of human experience be even partially glimpsed. Then one may select the best view, with the foreknowledge that one is looking in the right direction, relative to where one has elected to stand. Look around Brother, and find God everywhere! Through tolerance comes understanding. Through understanding comes wisdom. Wisdom is not merely concerned with what is, but also with what is not.

In understanding comes peace – understanding another’s opinion reduces the unfamiliarity of that opinion, sheds new light where previously shadows were perceived, and creates in man the natural bonds of empathy. The unknown creates fear, and unfamiliarity attaches such fear (often erroneously) to our perception of another’s creed. We then see that other person as a projection of ourselves, of our fearful self, rather than a true reflection of what he may actually be. “I don’t believe in the God that you don’t believe in, either,” I say to the Atheist. Masons, as builders of a tolerant community, believe in, are uniquely positioned to entertain such discussion as to the nature of the sacred, in all its trappings, sewn and tailored among humanity’s mixed metaphor. Why argue over the clothing we make for God? Can’t we tease through each garment and find a common heart? If we take our obligations seriously, then the discussion of religion – absent specific proselytism – in any Lodge is not to be discounted. Rather, it should be encouraged. After all, exercising tolerance makes us more tolerant. And the ability to agreeably disagree is a necessary skill in any deliberation where the majority may rule over a minority opinion. We must be prepared to travel through new intellectual landscapes with open curiosity, and not be dismissive of alien or unfamiliar ideas. We must seek the world in every grain of sand, heaven in every wild flower, to quote William Blake. After all, everything adds up to One, anyway. In the meantime, we can at least check the math, together, as geometricians – revealing points from the intersections between the lines.

Q

Rocky Mountain Mason


k k A Page Magical Diary from the

Theophilus LVX

k

k

On the Omniprescence & Omniscience of God

I

wish to record an interesting revelation I had a couple of weeks ago. It concerns distance and perspective, locus, division, and thusly Unity. For if we attempt the following experiment, the purpose will become evident. To see three points in the mind is easy. We can readily conceive them, and count them. They create a line 1, 2, and 3. Also relatively easy is the square, 3 x 3, and we can readily imagine the nine dots that result from this square. Let us bring it to the cube: 27 dots. But the three dimensions are hard – one side of the cube appears to obfuscate the other. And thus the first principle is evinced: Placement. Now, we return to the line. Let us imagine 3 dots, then 4, then 5, each in a line. As the line gets longer, so it becomes harder to see the dots. By necessity they must become smaller for our conceptualization of their number, restricted by the delimit of the mind’s eye. To clearly see even ten dots in a line seems difficult, until we move the ends of the line they form beyond us. Do it now, stretch them passed the confines of the skull, where lies our habit of thinking. And yet, it remains difficult. How much harder, then, is it to see the square 10 x 10, and count each dot? The 3 x 3 square is intuitive: the nine dots are known in number without the need to count them. Not so for the larger numbers. (Although one must remove the familiarity of the squares from our experience with mathematics.) Thus the second point is revealed: Perspective.

Rocky Mountain Mason

That which contains more information must, to be conceived (and perceived), appear smaller Of course, this is the phenomenon. The noumenon remains constant in actuality. This is the secret of the locus – the position of the observer – and thus division – for you must be divided from a place to witness it. Thus, the larger an object is, the smaller it must become relative the observer to be viewed in its entirety. And while from this perceived image much can be known, so much remains hidden. A mountain, for example, can be seen in its entirety from afar, but only by climbing it, up close, can its nature be known and experienced. But upon the base of the mountain, the top is concealed. In like manner, although the infinite surrounds us, so it appears to be contained and made finite by our ignorance of it. This is how God conceals Himself, so that He may be revealed. For God, there is no perspective. For God, nothing appears smaller. In the imaginal matrix we discussed as pretext to this analogy, God knows every number, its square, its cube, without diminishing it via resolution, placement, or obfuscation. All number. Thus, the distant mountain appears to God (if such were possible, for God doubtless exists before and after perception) exactly the same, in all its detail, as if He were right up upon it. Yet it’s entirety is seen also, in perfect resolution. God is larger than all things. This is the meaning of OMNIPRESECE, and illustrates

how omnipresence is not separate from OMNISCEINCE, but dependent and indistinguishable from it. For to be all present is to be all knowing. OMNIPOTENCE is equally integral with omnipresence, because all that is known is known in God, and sustained within the immanence of God. In every place God shines in Creation. The Word of God is the same as the manifest principle contained in the word. So it is the three essential attributes of Deity are one attribute. This analogy also reveals the process and reason for the division of Man. For in it is described the reason for the body, as locus for the soul, and the limit of human nature, that moves to know all natures whereby God may be revealed.

Q

29


Freemasonry, By Bro. William S. Burkle

T

he phrase worldview has evolved into use as a specific term which refers to an individual’s perception of reality and how that person interacts with reality. Worldview is the result of the confluence of many aspects of reality; it is a complex blend of cultural, social, political, environmental, and other factors which are the sum total of an individual’s experiences in the physical world. It is rooted in a complex of core beliefs, beiefs which each of us have developed over (perhaps) many lifetimes. No two individuals share an identical existence, and thus worldview is a decidedly personal thing. An anonymous sage once wrote that: There are six billion people in the world and there are six billion worldviews. Nonetheless, there are certain commonalities of experience which we can share with others in organized groups. Individuals within these groups tend to have a worldview which is, more-or-less, a reflection of the beliefs of the group; Freemasonry is no exception. In their conference in 1980, the German Bishops used what they believed to be the Masonic worldview as their basis for forbidding Masonic membership to Roman Catholics1. (Ironically, it was their own worldview that would prevail at that meeting.) The concept of a “Masonic worldview” has, therefore, affected the perceptions of the Church towards the Craft throughout history, and will likely 1 Law, Bernard (Cardinal). Masonry and Naturalistic Religion: Pastoral Research and Practices Committee Report. in Letter of April 19, 1985 to U.S. Bishops Concerning Masonry. Retrieved January 16, 2013 from http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/ library/view. 30

continue to do so. This paper does not intend to revisit the issue of whether Freemasonry has a worldview which is compatible with any specific religious viewpoint; it is instead aimed at how Freemasonry, as one of the many influences upon the belief systems forming the worldview of an individual, affects members of the Craft. It further examines how the worldview of the Individual members of the Craft affect the overarching worldview of Freemasonry as a whole.

• Weltanschauung

he word worldview, as it is used in the context of this paper, first appeared in Immanuel Kant’s Kritik der Urteilskraft2 (Critique of Judgment) in the year 1790 as the German term Weltanschauung. Weltanschauung is loosely defined by Kant to be the subjective view man has of his world; its values, and the coherence of this view with his own experiences. The term also appears in a similar context in the early works of Goethe3. Hegel in his Phänomenologie des Geistes4 (The Phenomenology of Mind) expanded the term to have a more comprehensive and complex meaning by examining morality as a function of weltanschauung, giving the term the full philosophical connotation which it now carries. The term weltanschauung is listed by

T

2 Kant, Immanuel. (1818). Kritik Der Urteilskraft. Leipzig, J.F. Hartknoch. 1818. 3 Steiner, Rudolf. (1928). Goethes Weltanschauung. Harry Collison (Trans.). New York: Anthroposophical Publishing Co. 4 Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. (1807). Phänomenologie des Geistes. Berlin: Bamburg und Wurzburg.

the American Heritage Dictionary as5: Main Entry: welt•an•schau•ung Pronunciation: \’velt-än-shaű-ən\ Function: noun Inflected Form(s): plural weltanschauungs \-əŋz\ or welt•an•schau•ung•en \-əŋ-ən\ Usage: often capitalized Etymology: German, from Welt (world) + Anschauung (view) Date: 1868 1. The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world. 2. A collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group. Professor Hans-Joachim K. Schultz (Vanderbilt University) in his Etymology, Definition, and Analysis of Weltanschauung6 captures the essence of its meaning when he writes that: Weltanschauungen are not products of reflection. They are not the fruit of the mere will to know. The perception of reality is an important force in their formation, but only one. They arise from the process of life, from our experience of life, from the structure of our psychic totality. The ascendance of life to consciousness, in the knowledge of reality, the acceptance and appreciation of life, and the accomplishments of the will – this is the slow and difficult work that mankind has performed in the development of its 5 Weltanschauung (2009). The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company. 6 Schultz, Hans-Joachim K. WELTANSCHAUUNG. Retrieved January 16, 2013 from http://www.flsh.unilim.fr/ditl/ Fahey/WELTANSCHAUUNGGerman_n. html. Rocky Mountain Mason


Elements of

Belief & Worldview Weltanschauungen. Note that Professor Schultz specifically uses the inclusive word “mankind” in his description. This is important because, just as the individual has a worldview, each and every group, large or small, has a worldview which is the product of common cultural, social, and other collectively shared experiences of its members.

Teleology: beliefs about the meaning and purpose of the universe, its inanimate elements, and its inhabitants. Theology: beliefs about the existence and nature of God. Anthropology: beliefs about the nature and purpose of Man in general and, oneself in particular. Axiology: beliefs about the nature of value, what is good and bad, what is right and wrong.

• Belief Systems

W

e as individuals have only a single worldview. Our point of view on a given topic is not the same thing as a worldview. The worldview is the aggregate of our core belief systems. Worldview functions by continuously comparing our current interactions with reality to our past experiences and our existing knowledge about reality, to determine if the two are consistent. The worldview thereby informs our point of view by providing a rational system by which we evaluate reality and establish our core beliefs. The elements of one’s worldview are therefore formed by and reflect one’s system of core beliefs. These elements include7:

These elements interact to form a complex system which is the foundation for all of our conscious judgments, decisions, purposeful thoughts, and actions. Figure 1 illustrates this concept.

Epistemology: beliefs about the nature and sources of knowledge. Metaphysics: beliefs about the ultimate nature of Reality. Cosmology: beliefs about the origins and nature of the universe, life, and especially Man. 7 Funk, Ken. (2001). What is Worldview ? Retrieved January 22, 2013 from http:// web.engr.oregonstate.edu/~funkk/Personal/ worldview.html Rocky Mountain Mason

Figure 1 – Elements which influence individual and collective worldview. As previously stated, these elements are influenced by the individual’s experience of reality (i.e. through environment, culture, education, etc.), as well as the collective experience and knowledge of

mankind, both current and historical; for example, the historical period known as the Enlightenment exerted a major, permanent influence upon the perception of rationality – and therefore upon mankind as a whole. The rationality of a given worldview is extremely important. If one’s worldview is irrational, then all thoughts, decisions, and actions based upon that worldview will be wrong. A rational worldview promotes a successful life experience. It is interesting to note that research indicates that there is a higher level of insecurity and distrust among individuals who lack a religious or philosophical component in their worldview8. Similarly, worldviews incorporating positive religious and philosophical beliefs are linked to a sense of leading a meaningful life, engendering feelings of hope and trust, and a sense of community9. Our individual belief system begins to develop from the moment of our birth. Our earliest experience teaches us that when we are hungry we will be fed, that we won’t die of hunger or thirst. Consequently we develop a worldview that results in our trusting those who feed us. As we develop, we initially accept parental authority based upon an extension of this trust and develop the belief that our parent’s worldview is infallible. We therefore, to the extent possible, adopt the worldview of our parents. As we age further we continually expand our worldview acquiring new experiences and comparing what we learn from these experiences with our existing worldview. If our experiences contradict our worldview, we either reject 8 Elchardus, M. (ed.). (1998). Wantrouwen en Onbehagen. (Distrust and Uneasiness). Brussel VUBPress. 9 Myers, David G. (1993). The Pursuit of Happiness: Who is Happy, and Why? HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN-13: 9780380715220 . 31


the experiences as untypical or modify our beliefs and form a revised worldview. As we undergo education we increase our knowledge (based upon authoritative trust) and begin to include this knowledge in our evaluation of reality and the rationality of our worldview. Belief and trust are both largely experiential and develop in this manner, and as they do so, our worldview constantly evolves. Thus worldview is the sum total of our individual experiences with reality. All evaluations of reality preferentially employ those elements of the integrated worldview which are best adapted to the situation. Thus, when confronted with an event or issue involving (as an example) cosmology, our worldview is informed principally by our cosmological belief system, tempered by any other relevant beliefs which are an integral part of the evaluation based upon a rational process. The resulting evaluation of that event lodges in the cosmological belief system (see Figure 2). Note that in Figure 2, each of the elements is shown to be of equal size. In actuality the size of each element will vary depending upon the level of development which has occurred.

It should be noted that rationality is not dependent upon logic or critical thinking; rationality is instead manifested as a sort of “voting” system which occurs among various elements. In this system an event may be evaluated as “True”, “False”, or “Undecided”. In the case of indecision, the level of decisiveness may be represented as a fraction (or percentage). This fraction is based upon the number of relevant beliefs (from the various elements) employed in evaluating a given event in which the event is judged to be rational or true. The rational process is based largely upon a system of agreement, it is not necessarily logical; if the beliefs which comprise the elements are in substantial agreement, the rational process informs the viewpoint that the argument is true. In fact this rarely occurs and some element of indecision is inherent in all such rational evaluations. Figure 3 illustrates this concept using only two elements to simplify the diagram (although in reality all of the elements contribute to the process). The particular set of beliefs illustrated might represent the viewpoint of a Deist.

Figure 2 - All events such as experiences and questions concerning reality are evaluated from the standpoint of the center of the integrated worldview, selectively operating through the element best adapted to deal with the event. The result of that evaluation is received and added to the belief system associated with that element. By doing so it is added to the integrated worldview. The above illustrates evaluation of a question dealing with cosmology.

Figure 3 - The rational process is based largely upon a system of agreement and is not necessarily logical. If all of the beliefs which comprise the elements are in substantial agreement when evaluating a given event, then the rational process informs the viewpoint that the argument is true. In fact this rarely occurs and some element of indecision is inherent in all such rational evaluations. This figure illustrates this concept using only two elements to simplify the diagram. The

32

particular set of beliefs illustrated might represent the viewpoint of a Deist. When a query or new information creates a direct and overwhelming conflict with existing beliefs, it results in cognitive dissonance10. Cognitive dissonance is the tendency for individuals (or groups) to seek to preserve their existing beliefs when confronted with contradictory but plausible new information. The individual will typically reject or rationalize the new conflicting information, and avoid accepting the new information as a part of their belief system. This process is essentially a mechanism associated with denial. Cognitive dissonance, therefore, often results in the preservation of a paradigm, even if it is obviously flawed or simply wrong. To summarize, an individual possesses a worldview comprised of multiple elements, each formed by our core belief systems. These elements act together to form an integrated worldview. This integrated worldview functions as a whole when we evaluate any single area of reality. For example, a scientific, religious, and political belief system all coexist as components of the elements within the integrated worldview. These individual elements are interrelated and each must be viewed as fully rational within the framework of the others. It is exceedingly difficult to alter a specific element in a manner which conflicts with another11. For example, when we are presented with a situation which bears upon religion, we apply our theological element as the principle system used for our evaluation; however, it is inseparable from, and moderated by, all of the other elements. 10 Festinger, Leon. (1957). A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. Stanford University Press. ISBN-13: 9780804709118. 11 Naugle, David K. (2002). Worldview: The History of a Concept. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN-13: 9780802847614. Rocky Mountain Mason


• Masonic Worldview

reemasonry represents a series of collective belief systems (elements) which have developed based upon the shared worldviews of its founders, modified over time by the adaptive worldviews of its collective members. The same is true for any collective enterprise whether religious, political, social, or otherwise. As a collective (group) organization, Freemasonry is a construct – not a sentient entity capable of independent interaction with reality. It nonetheless is capable of developing a worldview of its own based upon those elements of worldview which its membership holds in common. According to Albert G. Mackey Freemasonry is12: “… a peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols”. Much has been written concerning the moral (belief ) system of Freemasonry and what specific beliefs are included within that system. Not everyone agrees on this matter, which further underscores that the practice of Freemasonry represents shared worldviews as opposed to a specific, unified dogma. It follows from our general discussion of the integrated worldview that a Masonic worldview would be comprised of elements identical to those of the integrated worldview illustrated by Figure 1, but which have a range of relevance limited to Freemasonry. These elements primarily reflect the Ancient Charges and Regulations of Freemasonry, the Landmarks of Freemasonry, the Rituals of Freemasonry, the Tenets of Freemasonry, and the Cardinal Virtues, all of which may be traced back to Operative Freemasonry13. The Ancient Charges and Regulations of Operative Freemasonry were formally instituted in 926 A.D. during the era of Athelstan14 and are documented by the historical manuscripts which preserve

F

the history of the Craft15 and which set rules of conduct for Freemasons16. A study conducted in 1886 by Dr. Wilhelm Begemann resulted in the classification of these manuscripts into eight distinct families17. The eight classifications are: • The Regius Manuscript Family (a family composed of two documents) • The Cooke Family (three documents) • The Plot Family (six documents) • The Tew Family (nine documents) • The Grand Lodge Family (fifty-three documents) • The Sloane Family (twenty-one documents) • The Roberts Family (six documents) • The Spencer family (six documents) • The Sundry family (eight documents) These manuscripts date from the period 643 A.D. (Edict of Rothari) to as late as 1875 A.D (The Albury Manuscript) 18 . There are thirteen manuscripts known to exist that are presumed missing19; the latest of these missing manuscripts, the Wren manuscript, dates to 1852 A.D. While the Ancient Charges are diverse, as can be recognized based upon the work of Begemann, the version which is most widely adopted is that provided in Anderson’s Constitutions of 172320. 15 Henderson, Kent. The Age of Masonic Tradition. In Masonic Education Course For the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason. Retrieved February 1, 2013 from the website of Pietre-Stones Review of Freemasonry at http://www.freemasonsfreemasonry.com/masonic-tradition.html. 16 Moore, Cornelius. (1855) Ancient Charges and Regulations of Freemasonry With Notes, Critical and Explanatory and a History of the Constitutions, and an Examination Into Their History and Authenticity. Cincinnati: Masonic Review.  17 Begemann, Wilhelm. An Attempt to Classify the Old Charges of the Briitish Masons. Ars Quatour Coronatorum. Vol.1, 1886 -1888.

12 Mackey, Albert Gallatin & Haywood, H.L. (1929). Encyclopedia of Freemasonry and Kindred Sciences. Volume 2. Masonic History Company.

18 Begemann, Georg Emil Wilhelm, Knoop, Douglas and Jones, Gwilyn Peredur. (1941). Begemann’s History of Freemasonry. Frome & London.

13 Poll, Michael R. (2009). Ancient Manuscripts of the Freemasons: The Transformation From Operative to Speculative Freemasonry. New Orleans: Cornerstone Book Publishers. ISBN13: 978-1-934935-60-6.

19 Harris, Thadeus Mason. (1798). Constitutions of the Ancient and Honrorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons. Grand Lodge of Massachusettes.

14 Mertz, Charles H. (1918). Guild Masonry in the Making. Louisville, Kentucky: Light Publishing Co. Rocky Mountain Mason

20 Anderson, James & Desaguliers, John Theophilus. (1723). Constitutions of the FreeMasons: Containing the History, Charges, Regulations, &c. of that most Ancient and Right

The reason that Anderson’s Constitutions is so highly regarded may be seen in the following excerpt from J.W.S. Mitchell’s The History of Freemasonry and Masonic Digest21 which describes the manner in which the Constitutions came to be published: At the revival of Masonry in the South of England in 1717, the brethren of four lodges, in the city of London, met and formed a Grand Lodge, which they styled the Grand Lodge of England. Soon after this organization, a resolution was adopted requesting the brethren everywhere, to bring forth any old manuscripts or records in their possession, which being complied with, the Grand Lodge appointed Dr. Anderson to a Committee to collect the Ancient Charges, or Usages of Masonry and the Ancient Constitutions. In 1721 Bro. Anderson reported that he had performed the duty assigned him, and a Committee of fourteen learned Masons was appointed to examine, and report upon the same; who, having performed that duty, the Grand Lodge, on the 25th of March, 1722, ordered Bro. Anderson to have the documents so collected and revised, printed in a book; and in 1723 Bro. Anderson furnished said book to the Grand Lodge, which was again examined and approved. Mitchell continues in his narrative by further describing the three resolutions which established Anderson’s Constitutions as the only authorized and valid version of the Ancient Charges: Resolved, That the Ancient Charges as published by the order of the Grand Lodge of England, in Anderson’s Constitution contain all, or nearly all the Ancient Landmarks and Usages of Masonry, Worshipful Fraternity. For the Use of the Lodges. London : William Hunter, for John Senex at the Globe, and John Hooke at the Flowerde-luce over-against St. Dunstan’s Church, in Fleet-street. 21 Mitchell, J.W.S. (1859.) History of Freemasonry and Masonic Digest: Embracing an Account of the Order From the Building of Solomon’s Temple. Its Progress Hence Throughout The Civilized World To 1858: The Introduction Of Modern Degrees Called Masonic; And The First Written History Of Masonry In The United States; To Which Are Added The Old Charges And Ancient Regulations. Marietta, Georgia. 33


proper to be published. Resolved, That no Grand Lodge has the right to alter, change, or amend any portion of said Ancient Charges. Resolved, That the Ancient Constitutions as contained in the first edition of Anderson’s Constitutions, is, or should be regarded as the highest Masonic authority, on which to found a code of laws for the government of the Craft. Anderson’s Constitutions consisted of a list of twenty-five Ancient Charges; those which pertain to the topic of this paper are paraphrased as follows: A Freemason is obliged, by his tenure, to obey the moral law. A Freemason will never be an atheist nor an irreligious libertine. A Freemason is bound never to act against the dictates of his conscience. Freemasons are taught to view the errors of mankind with compassion. A Mason is a peaceable subject to the civil powers. All preferment among Masons is grounded upon real worth and personal merit only. All Masons shall work honestly on working days, that they may live credibly on holy days. Masons shall avoid fatigue wrought by late night lodge meetings. Masons shall avoid gluttony or drunkenness that their families be not neglected or injured, nor the Mason disabled from working. If a Mason is in need, you must relieve him if you can, else direct him how he may be relieved. It is noteworthy to mention that the first American Masonic book was a reprint of Anderson’s Constitutions published in 34

Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin in 1734. Ironically, the call for all Lodges to furnish extant versions of the Ancient Charges and Regulations, issued in 1720, inadvertently caused some hasty burning of many such manuscripts by overzealous Lodge Masters who were determined to maintain the secrecy of the Craft! Another version of the Ancient Charges and Regulations entitled Ahiman Rezon was published in 175622 (just after Anderson’s Constitutions) by Laurence Dermott; this version was produced specifically as a result of the schism between the Antients and Moderns and included many new Charges not found in the Constitutions. Other significant versions of the Ancient Charges appeared as late as 1872 when W.J. Hughans published Old Charges of British Freemasons, With Valuable Appendices23. While it may appear that so many different versions of the Ancient Charges and Regulations would result in confusion, the fact is that there is a great deal of agreement among the various manuscripts. For the reader who wishes to view a complete listing of the various manuscripts, together with their believed dates of publication, the Masonic Lodge of Education website is one of the better places to start24. A splendid summary of the Ancient Charges, which appeared in 1560 in the Melrose 2 Manuscript, may be found in Frederick Crowe’s Scottish Master Mason’s Handbook published in 189425. Be aware that nearly all of the original Manuscripts are either encrypted or are written in very obscure “olde” English. Fortunately most of these manuscripts have been decrypted and transliterated into modern English. The specific Ancient Charges 22 Dermott, Laurence. (1756). Ahiman Rezon or, A Help To A Brother Showing the Excellency of Secrecy, the Principles of the Craft And the Benefits Arising From a Strict Observance Thereof. 23 Hughans, William James (1872). Old Charges of British Freemasons,  With Valuable Appendices. London: Simpkin, Marshall, and Co.  24 Old Charges: Freemasonry’s Masonic Charters. Retrieved February 2, 2013 from the Masonic Lodge of Education website at http:// www.masonic-lodge-of-education.com/oldcharges.html 25 Crowe, Frederick Joseph William. (1894). Scottish Master Mason’s Handbook. London: G. Kenning

and Regulations currently recognized and adopted by the various Masonic jurisdictions vary considerably26, and there is little modern agreement upon what exactly constitutes the Ancient Charges. Cornelius Moore, in his Ancient Charges and Regulations of Freemasonry (1855), writes: Masonry continues as an organization, yet there are probably not two Grand lodges in America who have furnished their members with a true copy of this important work [Anderson’s Constitutions]; and no three Grand Lodges in these United States have published the same as the Ancient Charges! They all differ from each other to a greater or less extent; and yet these Ancient Charges are the unalterable and universal laws of Masonry! Here again, we discover that differing worldviews within Freemasonry clash, making it impossible to standardize even the most basic of our precepts. It is interesting to note that the Masonic symbol of the “Point Within a Circle” was at one time taken to allude to the Ancient Charges and Regulations27. We find similar disagreement exists when identifying or defining the Masonic Landmarks; this is not surprising since the Landmarks are a derivation of the Ancient Charges. The term “Landmark” is very old and can be found in the Book of Proverbs 22:28: Remove not the ancient landmark which thy fathers have set. ccording to Jantz28, this is stated A slightly differently in the book of Jewish law: Thou

shalt

not

remove

thy

26 Ward, John Sebastian Marlowe. (1921). The Ancient Charges of Freemasonry And What They Tell Us. In Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods. London: Simpkins, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co. 27 Op. Cit. Moore, Cornelius. (1855) Ancient Charges and Regulations of Freemasonry. 28 Jantz, Percy. (2 004). The Landmarks of Freemasonry. Retrieved January 28, 2013 from the website of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon at http://freemasonry. bcy.ca/texts/landmarks.html. Rocky Mountain Mason


neighbours’ landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance. Used in this context a Landmark was regarded as marking the boundaries of one’s inheritance, and in the Masonic sense refers to the teachings and traditions which are the inheritance of Freemasonry. In 1924 Masonic author Silas Shepherd29 wrote: ...the Landmarks are those essentials of Freemasonry without any one of which it would no longer be Freemasonry. Each one of those essentials is a Landmark. The combination of all the Landmarks is the body of Freemasonry. Those parts of Freemasonry which are not essentials are not Landmarks. Shepherd further notes that the “Charges of a Freemason” were extracted by the Premier Grand Lodge in 1717, from old manuscript copies from which thirtynine “General Regulations” were adopted. The last of the thirty-nine regulations reads: Every Annual Grand Lodge has an inherent power and authority to make new Regulations, or to alter these, for the real benefit of this ancient Fraternity: Provided, always, that the old Land-Marks be carefully preserved. This, according to Shepherd is the earliest recorded mention of Landmarks in connection with Freemasonry. As stated, there is little agreement among the various Masonic Jurisdictions concerning the number of Landmarks, or even what constitutes a Landmark. This is not just a modern conundrum; this condition has historically existed and was specifically commented upon in 1869 by Albert Mackey in his Masonic Jurisprudence30. Currently the number of Landmarks adopted by the various Grand Lodges of the USA ranges from zero to fifty-four. The Landmarks which are most commonly adopted include those listed in 1858 by 29 Shepherd, Silas H. (1924). Landmarks of Freemasonry. Wisconsin Grand Lodge Committee on Masonic Research. 30 Mackey, Albert G. (1869). A Text Book of Masonic Jurisprudence. New York: Macoy Publishing and Masonic Supply Company. Rocky Mountain Mason

Albert Mackey in his The Foundation of Masonic Law31: That every Mason must believe in the existence of God. That every Mason must believe in a resurrection to a future life. That all men, in the sight of God are equal. The first two of these Landmarks are echoed by H.B. Grant in his article which was published in1889 in the Masonic Home Journal32. Grant’s corresponding Landmarks include: • Monotheism • Belief in immortality However, Mackey’s Landmark concerning the equality of all men before God, appears be contradicted by Grant, who specifies that “A Mason must be a freeborn adult”. It should also be noted that in Constitutions, Anderson appears to contradict this Landmark himself when he establishes preferential treatment in rank advancement for nobility and highly educated brethren. The “Tenets of Freemasonry” are somewhat less complex, and are tied directly to the Cardinal Virtues. According to Robert Macoy’s The Masonic Manual: A Pocket Companion for the Initiated33 they include: • Liberality • Brotherly Love • Charity Of these, the only tenet which may require some explanation is that of liberality. In the context employed by Macoy, this is directly related to the charge that any man during his leisure hours should study the arts and sciences with a diligent mind and should seek to acquire the virtues of meekness, self31 Mackey, Albert. (1856). The Principles of Masonic Law: A Treatise on the Constitutional Laws, Usages And Landmarks of Freemasonry. New York: Jno. W. Leonard and Co. 32 Grant, H.B. (1889). Masonic Home Journal. Vol. 7. Louisville, Kentucky. 33 Macoy, Robert. (1867). The Masonic Manual: A Pocket Companion for the Initiated: Containing the Rituals of Freemasonry, Embraced in the Degrees of the Lodge, Chapter, and Encampment. New York: Clark & Maynard.

denial, forbearance, avoiding all manner of intemperance and dishonor. As noted, the tenets are directly related to the four Cardinal Virtues of Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance. Table 1 below lists the worldview elements along with their summary definitions; for each element are listed typical corresponding Masonic beliefs based upon the Ancient Charges and Regulations, Rituals, Landmarks, Tenets, and Virtues. This table is in no way inclusive, but serves to underscore the notion that the Masonic Worldview exhibits the requisite belief elements. When examining Table 1 (see over) the reader should note that it reflects only the Charges, Landmarks, Tenets and Beliefs documented by regular Masonic sources (as referenced). No attempt has been made to extrapolate the meaning of these beliefs beyond those which are provided by such sources, although explanations and meanings of multiple sources have in some instances been combined. When selecting the Ancient Charges which bear upon our Masonic worldview for this paper, a purposeful attempt was made to provide a representative selection from the various sources. Likewise, in developing a list of Landmarks which might be pertinent as elements in the examination of the Masonic worldview the author has chosen to select from the diverse range of possibilities provided by multiple sources. The intent of doing so is to illustrate the complexity of the Masonic worldview and perhaps to bring to light the reason for divergent opinions on topics such as esotericism. The belief system represented by Table 1 is unique in that it reflects points of view which are overtly Christian and largely associated with the Enlightenment. This is, of course, because these beliefs are representative of the worldviews shared by the founders of the Craft at a time at which the enlightenment was in full bloom, and during which Christianity was a requirement for membership. It is somewhat remarkable that little change has occurred over the centuries to these core beliefs in spite of the pressures of modernization. This is not to say that Freemasonry hasn’t changed; changes to our ritual and our demographics, for example, are well documented. But these changes, however impactful, have not measurably altered the Masonic worldview. This is 35


Table 1 - Elements of an integrated worldview and correspondences to Masonic beliefs. Epistemology: beliefs about the nature and sources of knowledge. · The source of all moral knowledge is the Volume of Sacred Law Note 1. · The sources of learned knowledge are the seven Liberal Arts and Sciences (the Trivium and Quadrivium) Note 4. · Diligent study will lead to the acquisition of knowledge, and Wisdom in the east will provide Strength in the west, reflect Beauty from the south, and dispense Light and information throughout the Lodge Note 1. · When Masonry changed from an operative to a speculative undertaking, its science was that of ethics and its great business was to teach the moral precepts of the Holy Scriptures. Charity and hospitality were henceforth to be the distinguishing characteristics of the Craft, and its secret rituals, its emblems, its customs, laws, and usages were the instruments for imparting wisdom and improving the social condition of man Note 1. Metaphysics: beliefs about the ultimate nature of reality. · Reality is the end result of divine natural law in action, and is corroborated and confirmed by the material creation around us. The trees of the forest, the grass of the field, the running brook, and lofty mountain; bird and fish, the luminaries of heaven, and the great solar system are all confirmations of divine natural law Note 1. · Divine natural laws are enacted by God himself, and are imperative upon all things in the universe Note 1. · The liberal sciences of Arithmetic (Arithmetic numbereth, my dear brother, Arithmetic sheweth one thing that is another) Note 6 and Geometry reveal the nature of reality. (Geometry the seventh science it is, that can separate falsehood from truth) Note 6. Cosmology: beliefs about the origins and nature of the universe, life, and especially Man. · The universe is the result of intelligent design - references are made to God as the Great Architect of the Universe. · The liberal art of astronomy reveals the cosmology of the universe. · Three-dimensional space is represented using a combination of the cardinal directions and a celestial theme in the Lodge layout Note 5. · Time and motion are represented by the act of circumambulation Note 5. · Working tool allusions point to natural physical constants such as time and gravity (i.e. Gravity and the operation of the plumb; eight hour divisions of time by symbolic representation of the 24 inch gauge). Teleology: beliefs about the meaning and purpose of the universe, its inanimate elements, and its inhabitants · Masonic labors are directed to the moral and intellectual culture and the welfare of man Note 1. · Masonry breathes peace and desires its universal prevalence Note 1. Theology: beliefs about the existence and nature of God. · A Mason is obliged by his tenure to obey the moral law; and if he rightfully understands the Art, he will never be a stupid Atheist, nor an irreligious Libertine Note 4. · You shall be true men to God and the holy church, and to use no error or heresy by your understanding and by wise men’s teaching. Note 3. · God is active in the affairs of man - no endeavor should be undertaken without first offering prayer Note 5. · For He made all things to be subject and obedient to man. All things eatable of a wholesome nature he ordained for man’s sustenance. And moreover, he hath given to man wit and the knowledge of diverse things … Note 7. · Moral law is the rule and standard of human action. The basis of moral law is the Volume of Sacred Law. · And every Master shall on all fasts cause four masses to be said. And on St. Peter’s Day, when he was raised at Antioch, shall he also cause four masses to be said. And the first mass of the Holy Trinity, the other of our dear Lady, the third of the four crowned Martyrs, the fourth for all who have died in the Guild Note 9. · Oaths during obligations are made invoking the name of God, and breaking an oath is punishable by God. (Every man that is a Mason take good heed to these charges, that he may amend himself, or principally for dread of God, you that be charged to take good heed that you keep all these charges well, for it is a great evil for a man to forswear himself upon a book. Note 1) Anthropology: beliefs about the nature and purpose of Man in general and, oneself in particular. · It (Masonry) builds temples for peace and piety, where the God of Israel may be worshipped, and shrines by which may be offered the sincerest obligations of the heart. It constructs asylums for weakness and want, rather than prisons for the dangerous and depraved Note 1. 36

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· The Almighty God has graciously endowed with their (Freemasons) art and workmanship, to build houses of God and other costly edifices…that by gratitude their hearts be justly unto true Christian feelings, to promote divine worship, and to merit the salvation of their souls thereby Note 8. Axiology: beliefs about the nature of value, what is good and bad, what is right and wrong. · That no person hereafter shall be accepted a Freemason, but such are of able body, honest parentage, good reputation, and an observer of the laws of the land Note 2. · Rules governing the treatment of Brethren form the basis for Masonic values in dealing with all men. · The Cardinal Virtues represent aspirational goals for behavior. Notes to Table 1: 1.

Source: Critical notes of Cornelius Moore in Constitutions of Freemasonry, an exposition offering clarification of the Tenets of Anderson’s Constitutions.

2.

Source: General Assembly of 27th December, 1663 in which six regulations were proposed and adopted. This specific regulation was the second of six.

3.

Source: Charges adopted circa 1665 under Grand Master Christopher Wren. The quoted charge is the first of six listed.

4.

Source: Anderson’s Constitutions of 1723,

5.

Source: Rituals of Freemasonry from 936, written by The Rev. George Oliver.

6.

Source: The Regius Manuscript, found within the text of the fifteenth point.

7.

Source: The Cooke Manuscript of 1450.

8.

Source: The Strasburg Constitutions of 1459.

9.

Source: The Torgau Ordinances of 1462.

testimony to the inherently intractible nature of worldview.

higher and lower natures. Freemasonry, with its broad curriculum (which includes the Seven Liberal Arts (the Trivium and Quadrivium)) targets each of the seven elements of individual worldview. This is supplemented by rituals and symbolism which teach morality. The result is true and lasting improvement of the Individual.

• Influences

T

he stated purpose of this paper is to examine how the worldview of the individual members influences the worldview of the Craft, and vice-versa. One of the difficulties in making this determination is that the Membership and the Order of Freemasonry exhibit a looped behavior (Figure 4), and resemble the Ouroboros, an occult symbol of a serpent (usually depicted either as a dragon or a snake) which perpetually consumes its own tail. The membership of the Craft, which upholds Freemasonry to represent the highest ideals of moral conduct, aspires to conform to the principles of behavior espoused by the Craft; this desire to conduct oneself in a moral fashion results in “Making Good Men Better”. Conversely, Freemasonry is in a perpetual state of evolution in accordance with the higher moral achievement of its membership.

Rocky Mountain Mason

• Conclusion

Figure 4 - The members of Freemasonry and the Order of Freemasonry behave as a perpetual loop in which the worldviews of both continuously exert an influence upon one another. The tendancy is for members to strive to conform with the expectations of the Order; the Order is, in turn, in a state of perpetual evolution based upon the emerging worldview of the members. This dynamic resembles the figure of the tail eating serpent known as the Ouroboros. This relationship is very similar to the dynamic found in organized religions and represents a tension between man’s

he concept of worldview is complex. Worldview may be the lens through which man manifests conscious thought, even though much of one’s worldview functions subconsciously. The worldview of an organization is a direct reflection of shared portions of the worldview of its membership, and the worldview of the membership is changed by the worldview of the organization, and vice-versa, into a self-reinforcing evolution by which all experience is individually interpreted and collectively acculturated.

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More than Just a Flower: The Masonic Life of Joel Poinsett

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by Bro. Mike Moore

very Christmas season, a special flower shows up. It is called the poinsettia. The Mexicans, from whose land it originally came, called it “flor de noche Buena” (flower of the good night).

came to the Scottish Rite, but they were thoroughly hostile against the York Rite. And he was accused by the Catholic Church of interfering and working against them. At first, the York Rite bodies just performed their ritual, did charity work and other acts of beneficence. But then the Yorkinos, as the Mexican York Rite Masons were called, went far beyond what Poinsett taught them. It became a violent, political group that advocated democracy, Most people don’t realize liberalism, and independence in a that the flower’s American country where the Church ruled and where the government was headed by discoverer was a Freemason, a dictator. Poinsett withdrew from one who was very influential in the York Rite group he founded, but his day and well ahead of his was blamed for all that happened time. and became persona non grata to the Let me introduce you to this government. They even coined the man, who was educated in England, word poinsettismo to characterize his studied medicine at Edinburgh officious and intrusive behavior! University, and learned military He was not liked much by the science at Woolwich Academy. United States to Mexico (we did not call Mexican government even before this. Brother Joel Poinsett was a well-traveled them ambassadors until after 1896). There The 1820’s and 1830’s were a time when man; proficient in French, Spanish, Italian, seems to have been very little Masonic a small number of Americans did not and German. He was an early U.S. traveler activity at the time in the region. But when respect borders or foreign laws; and since to the Middle East, spent he was the American time in Europe, walked “Many believe he served as a ‘special agent’ in South representative, it fell through Switzerland, on him to represent and visited Italy before America when President Madison sent him to Brazil, Chile, them in their legal and Peru.” disputes. He sided seeing St. Petersburg. with them when We do not know he arrived in Mexico, he found five York possible, as his duty, but because of this he when Poinsett became a Mason, but he Rite bodies in a formative state, with no wasn’t well liked in many Mexican circles. is recorded as being a Past Master of two regular standing. Thirty-six Scottish Rite It does not get any better for our South Carolina Lodges: Recovery Lodge Masons requested him to get charters to brother Joel, for the modern day Grand #32 in Greenville and Solomon’s Lodge #1 form York Rite Lodges. Joel procured five Lodges of the South Western United in Charleston. Although he was elected as charters, granted through the jurisdiction States seem not to be interested in this Deputy Grand Master for South Carolina of New York. Besides having helped the time period, or our brother either, for that in 1821, he did not serve in that position. Royal Arch gain regular status, he assisted matter. Most Grand Lodges in the South Instead he was appointed Secretary of the formation of the Grand Lodge in West did not come into existence until the War by then President Martin Van Buren. Mexico. 1860’s or later. And they do not normally Brother Joel was also the Grand High It was Joel’s founding of the York recognize any Masonic activity before the Priest in his York Rite for the state (1821Rite lodges that caused the only legitimate inception of their Grand Lodges, since that 41). complaint that was made against him activity would be considered “irregular”. Besides these links to Freemasonry, as Minister to Mexico. The Mexican That is a shame, as Poinsett was one Poinsett had a side unknown to many. clergymen looked another way when it of the first Masons we know of in the Poinsett was the first Minister for the

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Southwest. In a time when there were hardly any Americans in that area, and no military lodges in the region until Kearny’s trip down the Santa Fe Trail till thirty years later (1846), Poinsett stands out not only as a person, but also as a Mason. He was recognized as one of the best educated and most traveled Americans of his day. Poinsett gave John Fremont his first jobs in governmental service. Bro. Joel took steps to have Fremont commissioned as a second lieutenant in the topographical corps and his travels for the government impacted our western history all over the upper Missouri and upper Mississippi Rivers. The effects of Fremont’s explorations, his connections with other Masons in the early West, and his relationships with other important and influential Brothers illustrate Poinsett’s choice was correct. There is one other part of Poinsett’s life we need to know about. Before he was Secretary of War or Ambassador to Mexico, he was appointed as the first American diplomat to Argentina and Chile, in 1810. It was a critical time for those countries and for the United States; a time when South American colonies were struggling to gain independence from Spain. Many believe he served as a “special agent” in South America when President Madison sent him to Brazil, Chile, and Peru. And if you are familiar with Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander character, Doctor Matcherin, you may have an idea of what type of man Poinsett was. While he was in Peru, American whaling ships were seized in the port of Talcahuano. Poinsett took command of a small force of men, put at his disposal by the Chilean government, and freed the ships and their prisoners. He had to cross the Andes afterwards to return home because a British commander would not let him return by sea on one of their boats (they did not like his participation in some recent activities and American/British relations). It was during this time, he Rocky Mountain Mason

became the friend and adviser to Carrera, also a Mason, and was invited to help write a constitution for the new Republic. Poinsett used the recently enacted U.S. Constitution as his model for this project. Later in life, he was elected to the South Carolina legislature and served three terms there. In January of 1816, he sponsored a revolutionary bill to limit the importation of slaves into the state, a step towards elimination of slavery altogether almost fifty years ahead of the wave of anti-slavery movements that helped fuel the Civil War. Bro. Poinsett was always interested in the progress of science and art. He was actively involved in the creation of the National Institute for the Promotion of Science, the forerunner of the Smithsonian Institution, and became its first president. He experimented with crop rotation when no one else was doing it, and increased yields of rice, peas and hemp. And in addition to the poinsettia plant that bears his name, his botany interest helped him to bring home a red and yellow Mimosa, the Mexican Rose, and an unusual hibiscus capable of changing colors overnight from white to pink. His 1824 book, Historical Sketch of the Revolution provides a rich resource of the culture, people, and land of Mexico, and is still a very good read today; as good as, or better than, the other journals I have in my eight-hundred-plus books comprising my early western history library. So, maybe you now see a man and Brother Mason who deserves to be recognized not just for a plant, but for his well -lived life. I hope you think of Masonry and your Borther Poinsett every time you see a poinsettia blooming around Christmastime and reflect on this great man. Joel Poinsett is just one of many individuals who helped shape America, while serving in the fraternity.

“ But when he arrived in Mexico, he found five York Rite bodies in a formative state, with no regular standing. Thirty-six Scottish Rite Masons requested him to get charters to form York Rite Lodges. Joel procured five charters, granted through the jurisdiction of New York. Besides having helped the Royal Arch gain regular status, he assisted the formation of the Grand Lodge in Mexico.”

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Problems

Theological Discussions

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esterday evening the Jehovah’s Witnesses stopped by. It was the third time they’d come – I had already strung them along twice – and this time I was ready. I asked them right out the gate about their views of the hypostatic union. The word hypostasis describes the quality of union in the Trinity, that God is one even while He is three. That God and Christ are co-equal, co-eternal, the Father is the Son is the Holy Ghost. Christ is both God and man, entirely. It’s a complex idea, not well defined throughout Christian history, and, in truth, its discussion has led to most of the early Christian Heresies (including Arianism, which almost became Church canon). Today, the Witnesses are considered “Arians”, that is, they believe what was first propounded by Arius of Alexandria nearly two thousand years ago, that Jesus was second to the Father, not His equal. In a short time we were firing off chapter and verse, paging through our Bibles in search of persuasion. I should state here that I hold no particular belief on this subject; in researching the early Christian heresies I have found, as surprising as it might sound, that all of them seem correct in their own way, even while they are considered mutually exclusive. (I believe each one has merits unto itself in explaining the curious nature of becoming and the persistent oddity, this miracle of being. To me everyone is always saying the same thing; they’re just busy killing each other over the most succinct,

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or the most acceptable way of saying it.) But I was enjoying playing Devil’s advocate. The Witness’s main point in support of Arius of Alexander was John 12: 28, which ends with Jesus’ statement, “For my father is greater than I.” This did seem to support his point. Of course, the Catholic canon counters with, “Christ was both entirely human and entirely divine” – this is, in fact, the meaning of hypostasis. He is therefore lesser, even while he is equal. I have to say this sort of inexplicable explanation does push me towards the Witness’s point of view. To think that people were burnt over this sort of semantic quibbling does get my goat. But let’s be

rational. The Catholics needed to have a trinity that included all interpretations.... Christ needed to be human, to suffer on the cross. And he needed to be Divine to redeem us all. I think all of this might grossly misinterpret the text, but we didn’t get into that. The Witness tried to convince me that Christ is not eternal, because there was a time when only the Father existed, even if the Christ exists now forever. Christ was created, he continued, and afterwards created everything there is. I sharpened my horns and made ready for the charge. Yes, I agreed, this may be the case. (I’m sure he had some scripture up his sleeve to support it.) However, in considering

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Proselytizing –

with a Man at the Door

the manifestation of the form of the glory of We moved back to the “Christ favorite is John 1, where they have “and the formless, which perhaps we can call the lesser than God” beef. Even while he the Word was a god.”) I tried to discuss “Son”, the reflection (the image) and the politely excused my New International contextual analysis, but here it was imageless can still be argued to be one in Translation’s inadequacies, he apparently dismissed, even while earlier it had been the same way that, although I can’t see my wanted me to use it. He made me turn to allowed in justifying his own argument face, I am not separate from the image I see 1 Corinthians 11: 3. I read: (more on that later). as my reflection in the mirror. Yes, I am I forwarded 1 Samuel 14: 9- 11, where not the reflection per se, yet the reflection Now I want you to realize that the Saul conjures the spirit of Samuel through could not exist without me. Indeed, it was head of every man is Christ, and the a medium. He explained, patiently, that there even while there was no mirror to head of the woman is man, and the the medium was under the influence of the capture it in. head of Christ is God. Devil and that the vision was not actually Does this mean that my face does not exist Yes, this seemed to “It was all leaning one way. He was playing with one fit with the computer simply because it is unseen? deck: his cards were all jacks, and they were all hearts.” I leaned toward the analogy I had used earlier idea of the emanation to discuss soul and spirit, of God. He quickly and that the Godhead changed the subject dismissing the “great and/or Christ informs everything – just Samuel. I observed that nowhere is there philosophers.” (This tickled me because like the root “C:” is in every name in a any indication of such subtext – subtext, I I was using my own words from my own computer. To access any file you must might add, that appears quite important. reasoning. Despite his dismissal, it was necessarily include the root directory: He disagreed. Apparently even when indeed flattering to be grouped with the C://my computer/my documents/the Moses and Elijah appeared to the Apostles likes of Plato. His error shone.) reluctant messiah. C = God (Atziluth); they didn’t exist: it was just a collective Somehow during all this the my computer = archangelic (Beriah); my vision. The apparitions were not really conversation turned to the mortality of the documents = angelic (Yetzirah); reluctant echoes of those great Prophets at all. They soul. This genuinely surprised me; I didn’t messiah = form (assiah). He disagreed. were the substance of dreams coming know the Witnesses believe there is nothing This clearly places Christ subordinate to from the Godhead to communicate to after death. They believe, apparently, that God, he said. I turned to his partner, a the assembled. I agreed with this. But it the resurrection occurs only in the body (strikingly attractive) young woman. seemed to support what I was saying all and that, aside from 144,000 happy folk “Do you agree with this?” I asked. She along: Aren’t we all, I thought? who essentially become angels, the rest of nodded. “So,” I continued, “you must (It’s also interesting to note that, the righteous are resurrected in the body then be subordinate to me.” seeing as Solomon went afoul of God in to live on Earth much like before – only No, she clarified, that’s not the case. the end, if we are to dismiss Saul’s medium there’s no death this time and somehow She struggled to explain, something about for being under the influence of the Devil, there’s enough room for everyone. a man who follows Christ must shouldn’t we likewise dismiss Ecclesiastes? OK, I thought, that’s a bit radical. No, necessarily be humble, and Of course not. Selective judgment solves no, he assured me, pointing to Ecclesiastes, that he would therefore dote for contradiction....) where his rendition of the truth (an erroron his wife. Her youthful I gave him my “glasses in the ocean” proof capturing of the infallible word) had innocence made words analogy. Here we are likened to glasses on recorded “the living know they will die, difficult for her, even while the bottom of the ocean. Yes, I explained, but the dead aren’t conscious of anything.” it enforced her certainty. I we are full of water. But we are not the Ergo, he pointed to the text, the soul does pointed out that using the ocean. And the ocean is still there long not exist outside the body. Witness’s logic to interpret after the glass has become sand. He didn’t Here, clearly, the Hebrew word Yada the first part of the verse understand what I meant. I was saddened “to know” had been mistranslated, as with necessarily required it by that – I thought the metaphor quite so much of his version of the Bible (my be uniformly applied eloquent. Rocky Mountain Mason

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enjoyed myself. I hadn’t tried to explain my beliefs to him, only ask him to question his own. Nothing is more dangerous than that type of certainty. Thank God he was harmless with his hands, I thought. I had learned a lot, contrary, I’m sure, to his expectations and teachings. Yet all the more true because of them. Jehovah’s Witnesses. The most tolerant intolerant people I know.

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throughout the verse. Here was another contextual reading that varied depending on, and in support of, their own beliefs. There was a lot more to this discussion. Suffice it to say we fell to the versions of the Bible we were hiding behind. I agreed the NIV is far from perfect, but pointed out that, as a translation effort goes, it certainly used the most interdenominational teams to reach a consensus on meaning and rendition, with plenty of footnotes for variant readings and sources. He seemed certain that his version was the most accurate. I pointed out several examples that are completely off the wall. Yes, they are arguably contextually accurate, but the liberty in translating in that context omitted other interpretations the literal words allowed. It was all leaning one way. He was playing with one deck: his cards were all jacks, and they were all hearts. He was no slouch. But he maintained that the books in his version were protected, as well as inspired, by God. It was, therefore, the Divine Truth alone. I said, “At most those words are but small cracks in the night sky, through which smidgens of light shine.” They were written by man, translated by man, redacted, edited, and transliterated by man. They could not contain the Truth (with a capital “t”) any more than I could keep a burning fire in a cardboard box. We discussed the Gospel of Thomas as the origin of the synoptic gospels. He was unconvinced. And convinced of his own. Throughout all this, despite some animated conversation and good-natured ribbing from my side of the table, he stayed patient and stolid in his certainty. It became clear that he didn’t need anything but his belief. That’s what made him believe. He believed because he believed. To change that, in any way, would unravel everything he had spent a lifetime defending. I let him keep it. He wouldn’t exist without it. (Then, I thought, knowing he knew nothing, he might find God.) He was patient and accommodating, yet equally dismissive. Passive but discriminatory. Lao Tse, for example, was explicating error with his Tao. I asked him if he had read any Lao Tse. No, he replied, confident that he didn’t need to. He left as the dinner plates came to the table. Somehow my girlfriend had managed to prepare food while all this was going on. We said our goodbyes. I had

The Master Craftsman

“Imagine not that you will become indeed a Mason by learning what is commonly called the “work,” or even by becoming familiar with our traditions. Masonry has a history, a literature, a philosophy. Its allegories and traditions will teach you much; but much is to be sought elsewhere.”

Albert Pike, 33º

Morals & Dogma, the 4th º

The Scottish Rite Master Craftsman (SRMC) program is an exciting by-mail correspondence course designed and administered by staff at the House of the Temple in Washington, D.C., under the guidance and leadership of the Supreme Council, 33°, of the A. & A. Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, U.S.A. Consisting of six lessons, it utilizes The Scottish Rite Ritual Monitor and Guide by Arturo de Hoyos, 33°, and A Bridge to Light by Rex Hutchens, 33°, Grand Cross, as its textbooks. As a participant of the Valley of Grand Junction, Orient of Colorado, Colorado West Bodies Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, 75th Reunion, we earnestly encourage your enrollment in this excellent program. We hope you will committ yourself to this program in further search of Masonic Light. Rocky Mountain Mason


The Secret of the World Spirit strikes between those states of love That resonate the very core Love is just such a potential difference Changing everything, itself unchanged at all

That Truth is better than Falsity

Love alone persists All else is transformed Love alone exists The rest is only born to work Into love Love precedes and ends all things It is the Great Equator Love evolves ways to know itself Because love must be bestowed Love becomes itself The participator Because love loves loving Is the secret of the world

Venus Occidental Your smile is of Aspen wood Luminescent, a vibration of the Moon You light up the world Like the Lily’s bloom Your heart sustains the Sun and casts the world in shadow It shines where rivers run whispering secrets of the meadow The woods they wait for you And part their leaves As the spirit of the evening Fills the void Your laughter makes the world breathe And keeps the world believing It is the ear of Wheat in Virgo’s sheath The toys of heaven’s giving Your limbs are like the raindrops Refreshed by day’s good labors You shine from the mountaintops And fill the valley with your favors It’s you the world savors Cross this bridge of earth Come! Commune up on the mountain! The fire you stole is yours As sparks that fell from counting But your gentleness restores The Ultimate to its beginning The serpent swallows all And the world keeps spinning.

Rocky Mountain Mason

The light Shineth in the darkness, But the darkness Comprehendeth it not...

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his seems an obvious statement. But why is it the case? In the material world we often see people using falsity to gain advantage; to deceive and connive is, sadly, seemingly business as usual in the modern age. Much material wealth is built on lies. But logically, truth must remain preeminent. For truth comes first. Falsity needs truth, even while truth does not require falsity. For something to be false, it must be rendered against something that is, ultimately, true. For something to be false, it must be subsequently rendered after a preexisting truth. Falsity, therefore, must counterfeit truth – but truth never counterfeits anything. It shines by itself. Falsity is less than truth. Truth is selfevident, while falsity must be disguised. Truth shines in resplendence, like the lamp atop the hill. Falsity is concocted in darkness, and hid from the world. Falsity is a move towards the self, for self-directed means. Truth is independent, above and beyond a single will, and cares not for the machinations of the small soul. Those who speak falsity concoct only confusion. But truth is a pure revelation. Those who believe they require falsity, require only themselves. Those who desire truth, change the world. Fear is the counterpart to falsity. Only the fearful lie. (Even a lie to advance oneself in the eyes of the world is based on fear, or the envy, of coming second.) Fulfillment is the product of truth.

Justice is founded upon it. But falsity only erects false monuments to pride. Many a man will appear to be honest, but his lies will be found out. A man who speaks truth is forgivable. A man who lies is contemptible. Speech is a creative act. Speech is a human act. False speech condemns the speaker, whereas, verily, truth sets him free. “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” The Psalmist said. Render Holy Speech, free from manipulations and falsehood, to the pleasing recitation of the Word. For, when the small world speaks, the large world hears. Nothing is lost! To bring to light is to uncover. The truth is the light. The covering is concealment. Knowing is a form of expression, sometimes words are not needed. When someone is truthful, forgive them. When they lie, be gentle. Waste no words. But never follow a man who lies. A liar can teach nothing beyond himself. As a Royal Arch Mason strive for pure speech and good works. Together, they bring understanding. Indeed, wisdom must be developed to be successful and considerate with truth. The Christ said, “I am the truth, the way, and the light.” This trinity, like the trinity of the Godhead, as symbolized by the perfect triangle, cannot be separate. They comprise the Only One. Strive for truth in thought, word, and deed. And know yourself – and “Thou shalt know the universe, and the gods.”

Q

43


W

hen I was growing up, I remember hearing teachers say to hyper teenagers, racing through the halls at school, “Hey! Slow Down. Where’s the Fire?” In the movies and cartoons of my childhood, it was almost predictable that, as the sardonic policeman strolled up to the lead-footed driver that had just been caught, he would crack, “Ok, bub, where’s the fire?” While you and I may not use this expression everyday, it is commonplace enough in our culture as a hackneyed alternative to “slow it down” or “what’s the rush?” One place where I don’t recall ever hearing this expression, and one place I think it should be asked more often, is in our Masonic lodges. When I became a Mason in 2006, I moved quickly through the three degrees, taking about three and a half

44

by Bro. Aaron Klostermeyer month’s from my Initiation as an Entered Apprentice in August to my raising as a Master Mason in November of the same year. That December I was appointed to the Junior Steward’s chair and began my five year journey through the officer’s chairs, culminating as Master of the Lodge in 2011. This fast-paced approach to advancing through the degrees seemed only natural for me at the time, because this was the example set for me by the culture of the lodge. It was not only “just the way it was done” in my lodge, it was the preferred path advised to me by the officers, by my mentors, and by well-informed brethren. It’s not that no one in the lodge thought, read, or discussed Masonry beyond the surface – it’s just that this deeper exploration was not part of the formal posting process of Masonic education. The focus was on the practical task of teaching to the test – enabling

Rocky Mountain Mason


if I were to do this all over again, would become full-fledged active members in brothers to pass the proficiencies and get I want to take the same fast plane from advanced to the next degree – to “get order to support the work of the lodge as point A to B to C, taking in as much as I the milk to market before it spoils,” in a junior officers and committee members. could see from my window seat at 30,000 manner of speaking. With this goal in mind, and within this feet as I hurtled toward my destination? The philosophy suited me well because framework, I set off to advance through Or would I rather take a slow boat pleasure I was eager to learn and able to memorize my degrees in the least time possible. cruise, savoring the journey as I read and present the traditional proficiencies However, not long after I had received and meditated quickly, while and really doing a little “Up to this point, I had been presented with only one model of how concentrated on reading and the contemplation of to progress in the Craft and that model proved successful for me, even in practicing lessons of the my own along the ways I did not recognize at the time...” current degree way. Further, I had before seeking joined Masonry to advancement to the next? become active in something that I cared my Master Mason degree and took my seat More importantly, even if the fast about and to become a better man through in the Junior Steward’s chair, I shifted my focus to assisting other brothers through path was perhaps correct for me and many my involvement with something that was others in the lodge, does that mean that their degrees, and I started reflecting on challenging, rewarding, and engaging. it was the best approach for every other my own whirlwind journey. Now that Becoming an officer appealed to this brother that knocked at our door? After the frenzy and excitement of the past few desire, and the lodge had a clear need all, if Freemasonry really initiates us into months had settled down, I wondered that for interested new initiates to quickly

Rocky Mountain Mason

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a lifetime journey of learning and selfagain. the conventional candidate experience of improvement, then what is the need to This idea reminded me of when I my lodge, I recognize that for a very serious speed through all of its various ceremonies? was probably seven or eight years old and student who seeks the fullest expression of “Where is the fire?” I would have ice cream for dessert with Masonic initiation and clearly palpable Up to this point, I had been presented my older brother. Over time, I noticed stages of incremental self-development with only one model of how to progress in that night after night he seemed to have and learning, a unique lodge culture and the Craft and that model proved successful a third of his ice cream remaining when educational structure solely devoted to this for me, even in ways I did not recognize at I had finished all of mine. “It’s not fair!” I purpose would be indispensable. Only in the time. However, I had noticed a number finally cried out at the injustice, “Why do this way could the discipline of rigorous of shortcomings with the abbreviated you always get more Ice cream than me?” learning be segregated and protected timetable method which bear mentioning. “Aaron”, he said, “Mom always gives from the common pressures for rapid Because I was advanced to each new us the same amount of ice cream. But you advancement found in most lodges. degree without much challenge or difficulty, scarf yours down and I eat mine slowly A shared expectation and explanation I remember feeling each time, while the so it lasts longer. That’s why it seems like regarding the benefits of taking one’s 2nd and 3rd degrees were conferred on I have more. You can do the same thing, time on this journey is needed to remind me, that I hadn’t really earned, and was you know. Eat slowly next time, take small the brethren to be patient, to bring their not truly prepared for, the additional bites and really enjoy each one, and then it attention into the moment, and to reap honor and recognition they carried. What will seem like you have more, too.” the most benefit from the process. Most had I done to demonstrate that I had used The next night, I skeptically tried out importantly, the support of recommended my new working tools to improve myself? his advice. To my surprise, he was right. study material for each degree and the What had I even intellectually understood Of course my brother’s advice doesn’t only guidance of proficient, capable, and the lessons intellectually presented in the “As helpful as my small efforts were for adding a bit more character and and spiritually previous degree? curious mentors depth to the conventional candidate experience of my lodge, I recognize is essential to Likewise, when I had first that for a very serious student who seeks the fullest expression of Masonic make the extra encountered spent initiation and clearly palpable stages of incremental self-development time the concept of serving on a “serving a proper and learning, a unique lodge culture and educational structure solely particular degree time” on a given profitable to the devoted to this purpose would be indispensable.” degree I wondered, brethren. “could I really Fortunately have ‘Served a proper time as such’ in apply to ice cream. But this was the first for those who believe in this approach just four short weeks?“ It seemed hardly time I remember realizing that a simple to Masonry, East Denver Lodge No. 160 worth mentioning. Certainly a span of a change in our behavior, by slowing down strives to provide these elements to likefew months or more would better befit and bringing more intention and awareness minded brethren in the Denver area. I a “proper” time duration. (When I later into a task, can have an immediate impact am thrilled to be a member and officer learned that in various other countries of on the quality and satisfaction we can of East Denver and I look forward to the world, it was typical for brethren to derive from an experience. discovering much more about the Craft, serve on a single degree for years before After reflecting on all of this, I and about myself, that I had overlooked being allowed to advance, I was extremely determined that when working with when I first traveled that three-fold path of humbled, yet I also felt fortunate not to any new brethren, I would try to bridge light from Entered Apprentice to Master be required to stand on a single degree for the gap by directing them towards more Mason. In truth, I was probably not ready that long.) of the meaning behind the ritual, while for the additional knowledge the first time Further, since I had received the simultaneously helping them learn the around. three foundational and potentially outward forms of the work. I would also To that point, I must note that not transformative ceremonial experiences reassure them that it was ok to take their all brothers will initially respond well in such rapid succession, I now had no time and to really think about the words to either the dual-focus or the deep-dive further ceremonial experiences to look in the exam lectures and try to really approach that I’ve described here. Some forward to in the blue lodge. It felt a understand what they were talking about have very limited time for their Masonic little like Christmas morning, after you before presenting the proficiency based studies. Their time may be inadequate had finished opening all of your presents. on the words alone. I found that this due to many competing priorities or Sure, you could go back and play with all approach usually worked well as it helped because they are not as comfortable with the toys that you received, but nothing to satisfy my fellow brothers’ desire for the memorization, or some combination bears that anticipation of wondering more philosophical aspects of the Craft as thereof. Regardless, they will at first what wonderful surprise is coming next. they memorized the exams and progressed naturally place more attention on meeting I would now have to seek membership alongside the other candidates. the outward proficiency requirements in in other appendant bodies to regain that As helpful as my small efforts were for order to advance. If they are not able to anticipatory excitement in Masonry once adding a bit more character and depth to focus all of their immediate posting time 46

Rocky Mountain Mason


on studying the proficiency materials, then chances are good that they could become disheartened, or other priorities in life could take over indefinitely, and then they may not complete their journey to light at all. Though with better communication of expectations and requirements from investigation committees, I would hope this situation could become the wellconsidered exception, born from necessity, rather than the prevailing rule, this doesn’t mean that the brothers in these situations are bad, incompetent or unqualified Masons – including those brothers who won’t commit to study – grow, benefit, support, advance, and contribute to Masonry at large or their lodge in particular. It does mean that their circumstances and their needs require a different approach to the staging of their Masonic education than what I might think is ideal. And this leads me to re-phrase that now familiar question in a whole new light. “Where is the fire?” So, “where is the fire?” The fire burns in the hearts and minds of our candidates searching for light in our ceremonies, of our fellow brethren seeking harmony and fellowship in our lodges, and in ourselves striving to become better men in our thoughts, words, and deeds. It is the burning desire for self-knowledge and self-improvement. Each flame burns a little differently, and we must seek to understand the nature of this fire that burns inside each one of us, that we may know how best to sustain it and help it grow. If carried too quickly, a flame may blow out; if fed too quickly, it may burn too hot and quickly consume itself; if neglected, it will slowly fade and die out; but if patiently fueled and carefully stoked, the fire within may bring light and warmth throughout our lives. Therefore, let us as Masons and mentors remember to ask of our candidates and fellow brethren – where is their fire? What lights it, fuels it, and sustains it? Let us seek to understand what is best for our brothers’ own unique needs in their ongoing Masonic education, that we may assist them in properly tending to that fire within.

No Thing Know nothing That knowledge may be revealed In the empty space you make for it Knowledge is received In this way, learning is only preparation a letting go of the steeled Habits of your own justification and relentless ego. Knowledge is not vengeful Neither does it stir up anger It does not harm, nor discriminate Knowledge remains peaceful Unattached, disinterested, for its own nourishment It is given away. When you know everything You know nothing. When you know nothing Everything is revealed In its essential Oneness Empty of all preconception Hollow as the void Knowledge joins eternally Only error makes separation in boundaries of ignorance Your error is what you think you know, The unerring is only One. Know nothing, so that you can become nothing Create the space you fill by hiding Realize your own absense Move out from your shadow And perceive the essential Light This is your chariot and Wisdom becomes it Thus creation knows It is moved It returns Judgment becomes adjustment A necessary learning, upward Where the soul goes

Q

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47


by W. B. John P. Trainor, Ph.D., G.Mus

A

s with most Masonic instruction, the lessons of the Tetragrammaton (the four Hebrew letters comprising the unpronounceable name of the Almighty) present both an overt message, which is comprehensible to the world at large or teachable to an initiate, coupled with a covert message delivered only to those who have evolved to a level capable of understanding and accepting its

upon a measuring device referent to the God and language of their slaves), the story points out that when we enter the realm of metaphysical study, we discover that esoteric information often contains occult keys necessary to an understanding of the mysteries. Gematria, or Hebrew numerology, is no exception and, while there are many avenues of exploration of metaphysical truths, in the case of the Tetragrammaton, Gematria serves us well. Gematria is one of the several

earthly or mundane and the spiritual or higher justice for which we must strive, and the chief symbol of that higher justice is the Hebrew Tetragrammaton, the four Hebrew letters referent to God. The outward message is a straightforward statement, as we would expect the overt to be, that mundane justice is reliant upon truth.  On Earth, our morality and correct action results in a favorable judgment of our deeds.  We expect that the truth will set secret meaning. us free. If we are accused of wrongdoing, Often pieces of the puzzle are omitted we hope that proof  of in order to conceal the true innocence will lead to our “Our ancient friend and brother, the great meaning of a great truth acquittal.    In our dealings from mundane society, and Pythagoras, saw immense meaning in the four-lettered with others, our kindness, to prevent the misuse of exemplary works, and unpronounceable name of God....” guarded knowledge. charity are demonstrative This is well described of our good character.  But, in the Speilberg film, “colleges” in the “university” of the for Albert Pike, spiritual justice speaks of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Indiana Jones takes Kabbalah. Some time ago, a brother in the a higher order of things, i.e., judgment of a map room head piece to an old scholar Consistory asked me how he could learn self. for advice on determining the correct about the Kabbalah. My answers seemed Symbols of the world’s justice are height of a staff that will allow the lens to confuse him and, after a good deal of commonly known to us. For example, the in the headpiece to illuminate the proper discussion, it became apparent that he was scales of justice are often seen near courts of location of the Ark of the Covenant. The seeking information regarding etz hayyim, law, and are readily understood to represent scholar reads the instructions, on the one the tree of life or the Tree of the Sephiroth. the sober examination of evidence with an side of the headpiece, to make the staff While etz hayyim is an important part of eye to determination of guilt, innocence, five kadam high, but the reverse side says Kabbalah, it is not the only element of or, perhaps, the degree of guilt and the that one must take back one kadam “to Kabbalah. Kabbalah is a body of sacred meeting out of fair retribution.    But honor the Hebrew God.” The antagonists and secret study that includes meditative what is Pike referring to in his comment have only the part of the information mysticism, astrology, incantation, and a that the Tetragrammaton is the symbol that was available to them from the one number of other mystical endeavors as well of God’s justice? To answer this question side of the headpiece, and are looking as the Tree of the Sephirot and Gematria. we must examine Pike’s symbol of higher in the wrong place. Parts of the puzzle        Albert Pike writes in Morals and justice, and its permutation through the were withheld. Although this example 1 that justice is of two forms, the Dogma is surely fiction, (I can find no reference to an Egyptian measurement of length referred to as a kadam, and it is doubtful that Egyptian builders would have relied 48

1 Pike, A. Morals and Dogma, L.H. Jenkins, Inc. printed under authorization

of the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction, A. A. S. R., U. S. A. Richmond, VA, 1925 ed., pp. 825-826. Rocky Mountain Mason


in the

Pythagorean Tetractys of the

Pythagorean Tetractys.   Our ancient friend and brother, the great Pythagoras, saw the immense meaning in the four-lettered unpronounceable name of God. When Hebrew letters are arranged in this pattern they cannot actually be pronounced. It is the ineffable name of God and for it we substitute “Adonai,” (roughly translated as “the Lord”) when it appears in Hebrew liturgy. Pythagoras saw this four-letter pattern (hence the Tetragrammaton,i.e., tetra, four; gramma, letter; ton, object) as analyzable through a triangle permutation used by many mathematicians throughout history, Newton, Gausse, and Pascal to mention a few.  Pascal’s triangle is perhaps the most famous example, see figure 1. Here the sum of the number pairs in one line creates the numbers in the next line. That is to say, in the second line from the top, 1+1=2 which generates the  1,2,1 of the third line where 1+2=3 and 2+1=3, which generates 1,3,3,1 in the fourth line, 1+3=4 in the fifth line, 3+3=6, 3+1=4 and so on.

1 121 1331 14641 1 5 10 10 5 1 1 6 15 20 15 6 1 Figure 1 Rocky Mountain Mason

The Pythagorean Tetractys, i.e., Pythagorus’ analysis of four elements, parses the four Hebrew letters, yod “‫”י‬, heh “‫”ה‬, vav “‫”ו‬, and heh adding one per row resulting in the triangle in Figure 2. Hebrew is read from right to left so we see yod on the top line, yod and heh on the second, and yod, heh, and vav on the third. The bottom line results in the Tetragrammaton, yod “‫”י‬, heh “‫”ה‬, vav “‫”ו‬, and heh “‫”ה‬.

‫י‬

‫י ה‬ ‫י ה ו‬ ‫י ה ו ה‬

Figure 3 pattern, we may make a number of intriguing observations. For instance, smaller triangles within the larger triangle:

Figure 2 Figure 4 One of the Kabbalistic techniques of metaphysical examination involves looking for alternative views in patterns of objects.2 To this end, we can generalize the pattern of Hebrew letters in the tetractys by replacing the letters with dots. See figure 3. Examining the tetractys dot 2 From interviews with Rabbi Chaim Gruber, Denver and New York, 2011.

A hexagon:

Figure 5 49


Triangles, within pointing to the center:

the

hexagon,

Figure 6

is, however, so extensive that it must await future discussion.       Yet, within these patterns, for those who peer deeper, lies hidden the answer to our fundamental question; what is the symbol of Divine Justice, the complement to the scales of earthly justice? If we examine the tetractys dot pattern again, this time with an eye prepared to glean hidden Kabbalistic wisdom, the figure of a cube is revealed, see figure 9.

figure 15 where the four letters yod, hey, vav, hey are clearly visible when starting with the yod in the upper right corner of the cube and reading clockwise around the upper face of the cube. Similarly, starting with the yod at the lower right and back corner of the cube, the Tetragrammaton can be read in a clockwise manner around the corners of the bottom face of the cube.

A hexagram (Star of David) inscribed within the hexagon:

‫ה‬ Figure 11 Figure 9

Figure 7

Extensions of the hexagon to create a Star of David formed from one tetractys pattern pointing upward, the symbol of man’s spiritual aspiration, and one tetractys pointing downward, the symbol of God’s willingness to provide us all that is necessary for our happiness in this life and perfection in the next. When the two are melded together, the result is a Star of David. No wonder King Solomon used it to seal the deepest secrets of his wisdom (see figure 8).

We can re-impose this cube upon the lettered tetractys rather than the dots we have used to focus the readers’ eyes on the various included geometric patterns, and observe the letters that are inscribed at its corners. Yod, hey, vav, hey are readily apparent on all except the hidden corner (see figure 10).

‫י‬

‫י ה‬ ‫י ה ו‬ ‫י ה ו ה‬

Let us now consider the Gematria of the Tetragrammaton. There are four main systems of Gematria and many lesser systems that have been developed by Kabbalistic scholars over the last millennium, but for our purposes, let us consider the system that is most familiar, Ragil, in which numerical values are ascribed to each Hebrew letter. In Ragil, aleph, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, has a value of one. Beth, the second letter, is two. Gimel is three, dalit, four and so on. Yod is the 10th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and is ascribed a value of 10, hey is the fifth letter and equals 5, vav, the sixth letter, is 6, and hey equals 5 again as in figure 12.

‫= י‬ ‫=ה‬ ‫= ו‬ ‫=ה‬

Figure 10

Figure 8 In each of these patterns it is possible to re-impose the Hebrew letters of the Tetragrammaton and inspect the many gematric implications.  That investigation 50

It is here that we enter deeply into the realm of the Kabbalah and the secret key to the understanding of the deeper wisdom which is withheld from the world at large. While the upper face is inscribed with the yod, hey, vav, hey, we see the reflection of the Tetragrammaton in the bottom face if we realize that the only remaining letter is the secret, hidden letter, hey (see figure 11). And, this is yet more meaningful when we realize that “hey” in Hebrew means, “Look here; Behold” i.e., if we look here we are shown that the name of God is written at the eight corners of the cube. Compare

10 5 6 5

Figure 12

26.3

Hence the Tetragrammaton sums to

As in most forms of numerology, we sum the digits to a single digit unless it is a

3 As an interesting aside, the sum of all of the letters of the Tetractys, (10x4)+(5x4)+(2x6)=72, the number of sacred names of God. Rocky Mountain Mason


‫ ה‬+ ‫ ו‬+ ‫ ה‬+ ‫ = י‬26 Figure 13 master number, such as 11, 22, 33, 44 and so on through all multiples of 11. Consequently, 2 + 6 sums to 8. In Gematria, 8 is equal to the letter Chet and, in Hebrew the word Chet means gateway, i.e., the gateway to understanding God himself and his Divine Wisdom; his Divine Justice.

SLIM TIES

‫ = ח‬8 Figure 14 Hence through knowledge of the holy name of God, the Tetragrammaton, we come to an understanding of the symbol for which we seek. The symbol of Divine Justice revealed to us is none other than one of the first symbols we are taught in Masonry, the Perfect Ashlar. The face placed solidly on the ground and the face pointing toward heaven are both inscribed with the name of the Lord and that name is the gateway of our revelation (see figure 15). The message that we are given is that of self justice; we must be certain that our personal ashlar is perfectly plum, square, and level, perfectly honed for fitting in that house not made with hands, before we dare to judge any of those around us.

Q

‫ה‬ ‫ה‬

‫ו‬

‫י‬

‫ה‬ ‫ו‬

‫י‬

‫ה‬ Figure 15

COMING THIS FALL WWW.FRATERNALTIES.COM

Rocky Mountain Mason

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AFTERMATH

......8 57 54 12 3 44 16 50 49 28 1 21 37 39 15 60 14...... ....37 39 15 60 14 50 49 28 1 21 12 3 8 57 54....

T

here are ten ways to key out the Tetragrammaton from the Tetractys. The number ten is symbolized in the kabbalah by the letter yod ‫י‬, the creative potency with which Creation was wrought. Yod ‫ י‬is the first letter of the Great and Sacred name. The number ten comprises a 1 and a 0; it collapses to 1, represetative of Unity. The 0 is like the letter Alef ‫ א‬- a silent letter, like the breath taken before speaking. So it is the yod ‫י‬ begins creation as creative potential.

1

‫י ה‬ ‫י ה ו‬ ‫י ה ו ה‬

‫י‬

‫י‬

Yea, God is found everywhere. There are ten permutations of the Tetragrammaton in the Tetracys, and each one is like the yod ‫ י‬made of yods. Ten yods create the first yod, and each of them is comprised of ten yods. Each of the ten yods is comprised of ten yods. And so it goes, disappearing into the illimitable. Adam Kadmon shines. There are ten permutations of the Tetragrammaton in the Tetractys. The first yod ‫ י‬makes two names, the second yod ‫י‬ makes four names, the third yod ‫ י‬makes two names, and the fourth yod ‫ י‬makes two names. 1 x 2 = 2; 2 x 4 = 8; 2 x 3 = 6; and 2 x 4 = 8. The creation of good and evil pivots Justice, balanced on either side of the world. The sum of the multiples is 24, reducing to 6. So it is the cubical stone is made, and the world is hung upon the 6 directions. When yod ‫ י‬is brought into the world, Eden ‫ אדן‬is in the world. ‫ = אדן‬70+4+50 = 124 =7 10+6 = 16 = 7 52

6

‫י‬

5

‫י ה‬ ‫י ה ו‬ ‫י ה ו ה‬ 10

‫י‬

9

‫י‬

2

‫י ה‬ ‫י ה ו‬ ‫י ה ו ה‬

‫י‬

There are ten permutations of the Tetragrammaton in the Tectractys. Each permutation is like an utterance that fills each letter in the single Tectracys. So it is the Tectracys contains itslef - in each letter is the whole represented.

‫י‬

3

For Aleph is made of Yod. ‫=א‬

‫י‬

‫י ה‬ ‫י ה ו‬ ‫י ה ו ה‬ ‫י‬

‫י ה‬ ‫י ה ו‬ ‫י ה ו ה‬ ‫י‬

‫י ה‬ ‫י ה‬ ‫י ה ו‬ ‫י ה ו‬ ‫י ה ו ה י ה ו ה‬ There are ten permutations of the Tetragrammaton in the Tetractys and each letter is expansible. When: Yod is 20 (‫ יוד‬: “d-u-y”: 4+6+10) Heh is 6 (‫ הא‬: “a-h” : 5+1) Vav is 13 (‫ ואו‬: “v-a-v” : 6+1+6) Heh is 6 (‫ הא‬: “a-h” : 5+1) Adam (‫ = אדם‬40+4+1=45) is revealed, the first man, who is concealed by the name of God. When the Yod ‫ י‬issues into creation through the Tetragrammaton, it moves first through Aleph ‫ א‬- that silence - and extending through vav ‫ו‬, into the blessing, Bet ‫ ב‬- the letter that follows Aleph ‫א‬, and the first letter of the Bible. And so love (“a-h-v-a”) is born.

8

‫י‬

4

‫י ה‬ ‫י ה ו‬ ‫י ה ו ה‬ ‫י‬

‫י‬

7

‫י ה‬ ‫י ה ו‬ ‫י ה ו ה‬

‫י ה‬ ‫י ה ו‬ ‫י ה ו ה‬

‫( יהוה‬5+6+5+10) >>> ‫( אהבה‬5+2+5+1) When we take the value of the Tetractys and find 72, we see Mercy, loving kindness, wrought in Chesed. ‫ = חסד‬d-s-ch = 4+60+8 = 72 See one for each letter in the Shem Haphoresh - that mighty name of the many letters.

Q

72 72

72 ‫י‬

72

72 Rocky Mountain Mason


Qibblings of Qabbalah

‫י‬ ‫ו‬ ‫ה‬ ‫ה‬ ‫יה וה‬ Rocky Mountain Mason

T

he four elements of tradition are not to be confused with the elements of the periodic table. They are four archetypal principalities by which the worlds come into being and are sustained. A good mix of fire, air, water and earth is what sustains the body as a vehicle for the transduction of spirit.

F

ire. Masculine. Yang. The least dense and most dynamic of the elements, fire is the spark of the synapse, the ghost of electricity, the secret of magnetism, the force to action, the idea to move, the initiator of movement, and the power of Nous. Represented by the Hebrew letter Shin, ‫ ש‬, it is emblematic of the world of Deity, the first forms as principles, or archetypes, after the Tzim Tzum. The world of Atziluth.

A

ir. Masculine. Yang. Air is denser than fire, but less dense than water. Air is the intellectual principle, logos, the knowledge of the images and the comprehension of them, the silent poem contained in the painting, the secret to symbols, the discernment of being, and communication between the powers. Represented by the letter Aleph, ‫א‬, it is emblematical of the archangelic world of Beriah.

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ater. Feminine. Yin. Water is air collected. It is the imaginative principle, the birth of symbols, the flesh of the thought, the colors of the mind’s palette. It is the magnetic principal, the attraction, the binding and holding together. It is the subconscious washing upon the beach of rationality. It is the landscape of dreams, the hidden essence, and the potential for form. It is the beginning of words. Represented by the letter Mem, ‫מ‬, water is emblematic of the world of formation, the angelic realm, of Yetzirah.

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arth. Feminine. Yin. The densest of the elements, earth contains all the others. It is the settling of the flesh, the gelling of shells, the matrix, the mediatrix, the transducer, the portal, the bones and the body. It is the swap and the start, the tail and the head. Beneath the Moon, all ends and begins here, like the raising of dust clouds set in motion to spin out their course. Represented by the letter Tau, ‫ ת‬, Earth is emblematic of the world of action, Assiah, the receptacles of motive being, where unity is divided amongst itself. A metaphor of the four elements in the world of action: Fire is the latent heat in the cloud; before the cloud forms, the invisible coalesces. Air is the coalescence, that invisible attraction that unites the latent heat and delimits it’s extent, perhaps colors it white. Water is the condensation that results, as droplets precipitate under their own gravity. Earth is the droplets, and the coming of rain which brings things out of the ground. Although the drop which lands on the ground is not the samea as that which first evaporated, it has within it the entire path of its recreation, and is the expression - and transduction - of the same latent heat.

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Cable Tow - Vinculum ad video Gädieke says that, “according to the ancient laws of Freemasonry, every brother must attend his Lodge if he is within the length of his cable tow.” The old writers define the length of a cable tow, which they sometimes called a cable’s length, to be three miles for an Entered Apprentice. But the expression is really symbolic, and as it was defined by the Baltimore Convention in 1842, means the scope of a man’s reasonable ability. Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry “I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love.” Hosea XI: 4

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here did the Cable Tow come from? How did it’s use in ritual originate? There are various hypotheses expounded by Masonic authors throughout the centuries. All are interesting. Some as various as the golden chain worn by Druids in Celtic rites, initiation to the Egyptian mysteries where it bespoke a tie to Amun, the hang man’s noose (and a mystical death and thus rebirth), to the mystery traditions of India and Asia where, we are told, ropes are used for similar purposes in ritual. Perhaps all or none of these ideas (as well as a great many others, no doubt) are true. But the origin hardly matters. Far more important is the symbolic meaning the cable tow imparts, and this is never disputed. Because, unlike facts themselves, symbols can have more than one meaning. Indeed, a good symbol has many meanings, resonating around a common center to converge understanding around a common idea. A competent symbol becomes like petals (plural intended) that lead inexorably through a series of comprehensions to a common center: The pistil, where the pollen alights and the seed is born. So it is that the cable tow leads us inexorably to the obligation. It is a bond, a binding, not just to the brethren of the 54

Lodge who witness the event and ratify it in their differing perceptions – the tree has fallen, and there was a sound – but also before God Himself. By wearing the cable tow I have become tied, ineluctably, to the promise to live a better life as an upright man and Mason. I have joined myself with the words I rendered in speech. They have touched the outside world. They have been heard. And the cable tow embodies them symbolically. And yet it does also bind the brethren together. This is, perhaps, the most common understanding of the symbol, as we promise to aid those in need, “if within the length of my cable tow.” We promise thereby to come to Lodge, to animate the Lodge with our own flesh and blood, our very breath. Without each member, the Lodge is dead ­– in this light the cable tow is like the sinews that connect the limbs of a larger being, of which each member is just a part. And we promise to be of service to our brothers, to assist them. After all, a Lodge is not the building itself. The building is just a temporary locus whereby the Lodge may be realized. The cable tow is the manifested result – the symbolic equivalent in the tangible world – of the intangible bonds of friendship and brotherly love that make our obligation real. We should never forget that.

We know, also, that cable tows come in varying lengths. The longer your cable tow the greater your spirit in service of Masonry. This length needn’t be restricted to the physical plane (although that is certainly part of it). As we progress in Masonry more is said of the cable tow, in some degrees it is given a definite length, but also certain conditions. How far would you walk, barefoot and broken, to relieve a brother suffering? Would you risk your very life? To wear the cable tow says “Yes, I will. You can rely on me.” It says, “I make Masonry, and my Brothers, a priority.” These things, then, are also part of this “length”. It is a type of commitment, as well as a journey. These rituals may seem hokey in the modern day, but we can conceive of a time when their message was imminently pertinent. Three miles without a car, in snow, with leather shoes not sealed to the elements such as we enjoy today, was a lot farther then. The road beset by bandits… The tyranny of the nobles…. The hypocrisy of the church…. Behind each corner on this road out of the past hid assemblies absolutely deadly to the aspirant. (Not so today, although the road is still beset by pitfalls perhaps all the more deadly because they appear so benign. Rocky Mountain Mason


...Bound to us by a stronger tie.... While not as imminent, perhaps, the ritual remains, at least in my mind, entirely relevant.) We learn in the EAº that the cable tow can be used by the conductor to lead the candidate out of the Lodge should he refuse to submit to the forms and ceremonies of the initiation. So there is also an important element of protection and secrecy in its symbolism. It almost says, only the pure of heart can survive the hangman’s noose. The mortality of its symbolism shouldn’t be neglected – the obligation is couched in mortal terms, breaking it means death. This “stronger tie” is what replaces the cable tow. Only then is it removed, with the former conditions noted by the Master. Now the invisible idea has been wrought. Its symbol here in the material world is no longer necessary, it is sloughed off like chaff from the seed. The cable tow, then, is obviously a symbol of bonding. Like the Vincula of the medieval sages, used to intend bonds that unite all things in the great chain of sympathies that connects all beings, the cable tow is a material representation of an archetypal process. In the older days people believed that to form correspondences in the archetypal world; the world without bodies, that subtle, invisible world, where the godforms blaze in firelight; it was Rocky Mountain Mason

necessary to use action (a combination of precedent will and physical form) to symbolically render, in time and space, a corresponding meaning. Thus, the power of images was heralded as the seeds of the magical arts. An intended arrangement of actions, that brings disparate objects to a common place to define a paramount meaning, clothe that meaning and birth it. They give it form. The gross bodies of the material world strike like strings; it’s from here the invisible music is wrung. Think of the material world as a vase. It merely partitions space. Air surrounds the vase. Air fills it. Yet the vase is what separates an outside from an inside. How else can the flowers be held up? All dissipates and merges in Oneness. But with form comes purpose. With purpose comes life. And with life comes meaning. The cable tow is this form. How long is your cable tow? There can be no honor without duty. The length of your cable tow is the sum total of your duty. By it alone is honor rendered to the Fraternity. Perhaps service is rendered in service to others. And yet it is this service that sets us free.

“It almost says, only the pure of heart can survive the hangman’s noose. The mortality of its symbolism shouldn’t be neglected – the obligation is couched in mortal terms, breaking it means death....”

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Babylon You

Festival of the Fort, Delta, Colorado, 2.

1.

3.

1. The prophet Jeremiah preaches the word of God.

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4.

2. Ezekiel upon the banks of the Jordan laments the Babylonian captivity, and the perfidy of the Jewish people.

Rocky Mountain Mason


Will Not See!

June 15, 2013

4.

3. The prophet Jeremiah is brought before the perfidious king, Zedekiah with an immanent vision.

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4. The royal court in session waits to hear Zedekiah’s teaching.

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5.

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5. Jeremiah speaks the Truth of God! 6. Again, Jeremiah speaks the Truth God! 7. The royal court of Judea remains unimpressed. 8. The perfidious King Zedekiah dresses Jeremiah down, “canst thou not” oh Priest, “prophesy pleasant things?” 9. King Zedekiah banishes Jeremiah back to the prisons.

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10.

12.

13. 11.

10. Geduliah appears worried.

14.

11. The high priest brings bad news – the Babylonian armies are at the gates, and all is hallowed rage and devestation. 12. The courtiers flee. 13. Zedekiah and his courtiers make a speedy escape through the Temple gates by the King’s garden. 14. The Babylonian army overtakes them upon plains. Rocky Mountain Mason

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15.

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15. Geduliah heeds the teaching of Jeremiah. 16. Geduliah accepts Jeremiah as a prophet, and bows before the Almighty words of Truth. 17. The armies of Nebuzaradan sack the Temple. 18. A guard awaits the captives. 60

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20.

21.

19. The Babylonian monarch Nebuchadnezzar anticipates his captive, the perfidious King Zedekiah, who has long remained untrue to his covenants, and readies his judgment. 20. Nebuzaradan leads his army to the Babylonian Court. 21. Nebuzaradan bows before his monarch and receives commendations for his performance upon the battlefield and bringing Zedekiah to justice. 22. Nebuchadnezzar orders the captive be brought before him.

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22.

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23. 23. Nebuchadnezzar prepares for his judgment. 24. Zedekiah is brought in to justice. 25. Nebuchadnezzar readies to address the captive. 26. Nebuchadnezzar considers a just punishment for the perfidious King, a judgment that will fulfill seemingly conflicting prophecies. So is the Almighty moves in mysterious ways...

24.

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25.

26.

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27.

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27. Zedekiah pleads for mercy. 28. But mercy will not be given. 29. Nebuchadnezzar pronounces a severe punishment, Zedekiah weeps. 30. Blinded Zedekiah is taken hence.

But Babylon You Will Not See!

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Bound in chains to Babylon!

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Silence as an Entity of Initiation Originally presented to the Colorado College of the Societas Rosicruciana In Civitatibus Foederatis

Aut stetit aut visa est inerant lunaria fronti cornua cum spicis nitido flaventibus auro et regale decus; cum qua latrator Anubis, sanctaque Bubastis, variusque coloribus Apis, quique premit vocem digitoque silentia suadet. (Upon her Isis’ brow stood the crescent moon-horns, garlanded with glittering heads of golden grain, and grace of royal dignity; and at her side the baying dog Anubis, dappled Apis, sacred Bubastis and the god who holds his finger to his lips for silence sake.”)1

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n ancient Alexandria, under the Ptolemaic Pharaohs, in the temples of Serapis and Isis, besides the images of the temples’ namesakes, another image was present: that of a young boy, holding his finger to his lips. This was Harpocrates, the god of Silence. Serapis, Isis, and Harpocrates were Hellenized forms of the Egyptian gods Osiris, Isis, and Horus, to whom mystery schools had been dedicated for millennia. In the temple of Osiris the “silence of initiation was meant to imply the profoundest revelation of the truth that was all embracing and the source of all teaching.”2 Silence is the first thing that is taught us at our initiation into sacred mysteries. - Broome3 Beyond the admonitions we receive as initiates to regard the secrets, lessons, identities of other initiates, and other aspects of our fraternity, with discretion – most commonly manifested through our silence – what role does silence play in our initiatic experience? How does silence affect the manner in which we approach and progress in the Great Work? There are different types of silence: the stillness of one’s sanctum, where one may sit in silence; there is the silencing of the mind during meditation; however, there is a Great Silence which opens one up to Light. This is not a silence assumed through retreating from the world; on

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the contrary, like the Rosicrucians, we are charged to be active in the world, as stated in the First, Second, and Fourth articles of the Fama Fraternatis.4 This particular silence is the isolation of our inner self from the external influences of our conscious mind. This silence is a tangible presence, a loud rushing wind from the Abyss – this silence allows a ray of Light to enter into one’s mind at the moment of Understanding; this silence enables us to focus inward: to reflect and analyze; to discern the Truth when asking questions of ourselves; to build, refine, and improve our spiritual temples, as that of Solomon; this silence serves as a cloak of security in the face of our greatest challenge: the Great Work. Yet how does silence help us in this effort? Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10 As Freemasons, our course of study includes many topics, but two are relevant to silence: Alchemy and Kabbalah. In the Kabbalah, we study and meditate on the Sephiroth, on the divine emanations of God. In Alchemy (Spiritual in this instance), Solve et Coagula (dissolve and coagulate) is one of the principles, whereby the substance acted upon passes through stages: nigredo or putrefactio, albedo, citrinitas, and rubedo. So, how is Kabbalah manifested in the Great Work and in what way is it tied to the nigredo or putrefactio

stage in alchemy? In best Hermetic fashion, as the Kabbalah has the Sefiroth – spheres representing the divine emanations of Deity – so, too, does it have spheres standing in opposition to the sefiroth: the qliphoth –“husks” or “shells” representing the impure or negative primeval forces, forces of imbalance. The qliphoth have many interpretations. They were made manifest after the contraction of Tzimtzum and are viewed as part of Creation itself. Thus, it is here that each of us must “dissolve” the impurity in us, to “coagulate” the balanced aspects we seek as part of the Great Work. The Kabbalah gives us a guide to follow with the Sefiroth and the Tree of Life, as well as providing representations of the negative, imbalanced aspects of our characters which serve to further separate us from the Divine Light – the Light of Knowledge, of Wisdom and Understanding. How can embracing the silence aid us in our efforts to gain Understanding? And understanding of what? In simplest terms, we seek understanding of ourselves – our souls. We seek self-awareness. We seek to “rise and take up the Great Work of recovering the lost knowledge of the Higher Self, none other than the source of the silent voice that speaks to us from within.” 5 Within the arena of kabbalistic study, there are three commonly discussed components of the human soul: the nefesh – the animal or lower part of the soul, Rocky Mountain Mason


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craving, instinct, animal desires; the ruach – virtues, knowledge of good and evil; and the neshamah – the higher soul, intellect, where we have awareness of the existence of God. There are, however, two additional ones related to even higher consciousness: the chayyah – allows awareness of the divine life force; and the yehida – the highest plane of the soul, where the fullest union with the Divine is possible. We exist tied to our nefesh and ruach. In some cases, we aspire to please our neshamah, but for many, it ends there. The acts of our daily lives – done by free will – go counter to the understanding in ruach and neshamah, and there are the selfinflicted stains – darkness. The journey of the Great Work is, in part, a quest for Light; Light in all its philosophic forms (knowledge, wisdom, self-abnegation, unity with Divine, etc.), but also in a practical, mechanical form: the destroyer of Darkness. Whether the stain on the neshamah from guilt for wrong-doing, whether the “dark night of the soul” referred to by St. John of the Cross (where he referred to ten steps on a ladder of mystical love towards the union with God, similar to the ten Sephiroth on the Tree of Life) or the negative characteristics of the qliphoth there is darkness to be overcome. Thus, it is in this “Inner Sanctuary” created by our silence where we achieve the Great Work, by listening to the silent voice that is within us all. Thus, it is through our acceptance of Rocky Mountain Mason

the need for silence, our embracing silence – and the discipline that entails – that we can begin to reflect, to take the first steps toward the Great Work. Silence allows us to remove distractions which could weaken us in our quest...the qliphoth stand as diversions, points of potential failure, and it is only through embracing silence, opening our hearts and minds to the Light of the All, our true selves will be revealed, thus allowing us to begin work to improve that inner being.

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1. Ovid. Metamorphoses. 9:688 – 9:692, tr. A.D. Melville. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986 2. Mojsov. Osiris: death and afterlife of a god. Blackwell Publishing, 2005. 3 . Homer. The Iliad, tr. by Mr. Pope. [With notes partly by W. Broome. Preceded by an essay on Homer by T. Parnell.], Oxford University, 1795. 4 . Fama fraternitatis Roseae Crucis oder Die Bruderschaft des Ordens der Rosenkreuzer., Kassel, 1614. 5 . Kabbalah, Magic, and the Great Work of Self-Transformation: A Complete Course. L.T. Christopher, Llewellyn Worldwide, 2006.

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“When beggars die, there are no comets seen; the heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.” – William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

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ate this October, star gazers are in for a treat. A sun-grazing comet, called C/2012 S1 (known as “ISON” by the laity, after its Russian founders at the International Scientific Optical Network), will make its appearance in the night sky, brightening as it moves to 0.125 AU from the sun. ISON is expected to be approximately 25 times brighter than the McNaught comet of 2006. In the old days, people believed comets heralded change - some new astronomical body appearing out of the darkness to symbolize a new idea or event coming to light in man. Nowadays astronomers get excited about comets especially sun grazers like ISON - because they herald messages from the past, not the future. As ISON gets close to the sun, debris ignited by the solar wind offers clues to the formation of our solar system. ISON is believed to come from the Ort cloud, a distant region at the reaches of our solar system where comets and other bodies are believed to have formed following the formation of our Sun. It’s therefore billions of years old, and may hold clues to the makeup of the early solar system. ISON shares similarities with the great comet of 1680, enough that some scientists believe ISON and the comet of 1680 may have been a single body thousands of years ago. One thing’s for sure, though, ISON is a separate body now - the comet of 1680 is not due back in our celestial neighborhood for another 9,000 years. Studies with NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope have already revealed ISON’s

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tail is approximately 186,400 miles long. “We estimate ISON is emitting about 2.2 million pounds of what is most likely carbon dioxide gas and about 120 million pounds of dust every day,” said Carey Lisse, leader of NASA’s Comet ISON Observatory Campaign, on a NASA website. ISON is less than 3 miles in diameter - about the size of a small mountain, according to NASA - and weighs somewhere between 7 billion and 7 trillion pounds. But distance has made these calculations inexact. Scientists estimate ISON will reach perihelion on November 28, within 724,000 miles of the Sun. Such proximity will place the comet under intense solar radiation and gravity. No one is entirely sure what will happen - the comet may dissipate, fizzle, or even survive it’s solar encounter, much scorched, to whisk away into space for thousands more years. But, no matter what, it should burn brightly along the way. ISON will brush close to Mars in October. Scientists hope that a picture of the comet in the Martian sky may be possible, captured by the Mars rover. If so, it will be the first time that an image of a comet, as seen from Mars, will be seen on Earth. In January, 2014, Earth will pass through the comet’s orbit. That may make for some great meteor showers as debris from the comet burns up in the Earth’s atmosphere. In medieval times, comets often were often taken as significant of war. A comet can be seen in the Bayeux tapestry depicting the Battle of Hastings, for

example when, in 1066, William the Conqueror decided to invade England. He may have actually used the comet in determining the rationale for the invasion, making the medieval divinatory worldview a self-fulfilling prophecy! Coming to visibility from Mars - like a spear lofted from the god of war – new age astrologers are rumbling about prophecies of war and the emergence of a new law… With increasing international tension in Syria, this prediction may not be as outlandish as it may first seem. Coincidently, the Hopi have a prophecy regarding the end of the world - that a “Blue Star Kachina” will appear as the ninth and final sign preceding the “great purification” when the world is destroyed and remade - this time by fire. In 1958, the following nine signs were related by White feather, a Hopi elder, and recorded by Bob Frissell in his book, Something in this Book is True: his is the first sign: We are told T of the coming of the white-skinned men, like Pahana, but not living like Pahana, men who took the land that was not theirs. And men who struck their enemies with thunder. This is the second sign: Our lands will see the coming of spinning wheels filled with voices. In his youth, my father saw this prophecy come true with his eyes. his is the third sign: A strange T beast like a buffalo but with great long horns, will overrun the land in large numbers. These White Rocky Mountain Mason


Bayeux Tapestry depicting the Norman invasion of England in 1066 depicts a comet as a herald of the coming invasion. Scientists believe the comet was likely Halley’s comet. The inscription, Isti Mirant Stella, means “they marvel at the star”. Feather saw with his eyes. his is the fourth sign: The land T will be crossed with snakes of iron. This is the fifth sign: The land shall be crisscrossed by a giant spider’s web. his is the sixth sign: The land T shall be crisscrossed with rivers of stone that make pictures in the sun. his is the seventh sign: You will T hear the sea turning black, and many living things dying because of it. his is the eighth sign: You will T see many youth, who wear their lair long like my people, come and join the tribal nations, to learn their ways and wisdom.

a blue star. Very soon after this, the ceremonies of my people will cease. That sounds to me more like the space station falling out of the sky than the appearance of a comet.... But who knows? One thing is for sure, though, ISON will make for a beautiful spectacle, and the Rocky Mountains offer some of the best celestial viewing in the U.S. The Rocky Mountain Mason suggests you consider taking the family somewhere removed from the urban vistas to take a moment’s pause and look up at the celestial sphere blazing its new punctuation mark. Such a statement is not made every day.

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The ISON comet may look something like this. it should be brighter than Venus, and some reports claim it will be visible in the daytime.

he ninth sign: You will hear of T a dwelling-place in the heavens, above the earth, that shall fall with a great crash. It will appear as Rocky Mountain Mason

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What Good Perspectives of a (relatively) young Master Mason

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the latest Grand Lodge Budget session and improvement of its members – and oming back to labor from the the rumors and reports of Brother Whozit’s resultantly, society as a whole – will be refreshment of summer darkness less than affectionate dealings with Brother among the first to be derided for failing to has always been a bit of an uphill So-and-so. After all, such conversations measure up to its ideals, for the very fact battle for me. As much as I love the and situations exist to some degree at every that the ideals it teaches are not typically fraternity and no matter how much I have lodge, and in every Masonic body that I practiced among society at large. After all, enjoyed the fellowship and activity of the am aware of. if these tenets and virtues came naturally first part of the year (and every year before Using these musings as ammunition, and easily to mankind, there would be this), a sort of Masonic inertia inevitably the voice then asks, “What good is no need for organizations and religious creeps into me over the summer break, Masonry, with all it’s talk of brotherly love systems devoted to instilling and realizing when everyday life re­asserts itself, and I and harmony, if all these inharmonious these ideals in us. There is no need to light a turn my attention toward all those things candle, I think, when the sun that tend to get short shrift is shining brightly. when lodge is in session. “Is it really worth all the time you spend doing that, Thus, as a human And thus, around every August, when designs begin when you could be doing all these other things instead?” institution, devoted to the betterment of man (and more to appear once more upon things continue to occur amongst our importantly, the betterment of ourselves), the trestle board, I find a voice inside brothers throughout this noble fraternity? we will inevitably disappoint – and be myself at first far more resistant than Look at the friction and petty personal disappointed by – each other’s thoughts, ebullient to pick up my Masonic tools and disputes that play out among individuals words, or actions at one time or another. resume what labors may come my way. To or even among lodges over differences of This is only natural. But what is more, it my surprise, this voice of complacency says opinion or matters of bruised egos, despite is actually necessary to the realization of to me, aww, its not time for all that again, all of the calls to harmony, brotherly love, Masonry’s purposes. is it? Is it really worth all the time you spend toleration, benevolence, understanding If we accept that the basic purpose doing that, when you could be doing all these and charitableness.” What is the point then, of Freemasonry is to improve ourselves other things instead? when the lessons of the craft seem to miss the and to build a better world through the It is at this time that I probably have mark on so many occasions? practice of brotherly love, relief, and truth, the most insight and understanding for It is here, when shaken from my as well as toleration, social harmony, those brothers and prospects who drift mental repose by these attacks, that my and charitableness, then we need to away and stop participating in the craft. pride and love for the institution come to understand what it takes to practice these Not a mere intellectual understanding of the defense, and launch a counterattack virtues. We must remember that Masonry the competing demands on our time and based on a more just and balanced is labor, not idleness; that growth comes the other options for entertainment and reflection on the totality of my experience from expansion, not contraction; and growth, but a true empathy that, were in Masonry. that harmony results from different notes things only a little different, I too could “Of course,” I say, “there is some resonating as one beautifully rich and find myself among that number of inactive disagreement and friction amongst our balanced sound, not from a single note masons. So, what keeps me active while members. We are all men before we simply echoed by many people. others drop away? become Masons.” Rather than drill down too deeply on Honestly, at first, I am sympathetic to As a human institution, we are subject this, suffice it to say that it seems to me this voice of complacency inside my head, to human shortcomings and to the vagaries the tenets of Freemasonry are essentially and I find myself commiserating with it and challenges of human interactions. Any about learning to demonstrate brotherly about the less than exciting minutia of institution which seeks the continuous love for our fellow man. It is easy to love meetings, and the distressed tales about

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Rocky Mountain Mason


is Masonry? by Bro. Aaron Klostermeyer

When there is little challenge in your brother when you think and act the seen examples of all of these reactions from something, when it comes easily without same, and are best friends. This requires certain brethren at one time or another. much thought or effort, then no growth is no labor to subdue one’s passions and But our duty and purpose in Masonry, achieved. Muscles which repeatedly work little, if any, self control to practice charity as I see it, is to make use of the structure against resistance grow strong. Those that and tolerance. and teachings of the craft to strive to mend, see little use, atrophy. Yet, constant toil The beauty of Masonry may lie in resolve, or overcome these challenges so alone, without results or encouragement, its ritual, its ideals, its pageantry and that we may continue to work together for is not growth, but drudgery. The will its fellowship. But the true opportunity the greater good of the Craft – that we may to continue engaging in the duty and in Masonry lies in providing a safe and learn and grow from these experiences. challenge of Masonry is encouraged by effective place to practice the trickier Isn’t that what the trowel, the chief working the fellowship of virtues of patience and understanding with our “But if we are not able to find a way through these trials our friends and the positive changes we brethren. The feel-good to labor together among our own sacred band of friends and notice in ourselves. Ultimately, virtues of service and brothers, how can we expect to accomplish this with the average it is the experience giving are vital; and of group of people in the world, who often feel much less affection and expression of course we find plenty and less connection towards each other?” this truth that I find of opportunity to in the Craft which practice these, both keeps me engaged in Masonry. When within the fraternity and without. But tool presented to any Master Mason, is for? times are dark, and that doubting voice no less important to our development as Getting past a bruised ego to recognize asks so, what good is Masonry?, I think individuals – and I submit, even more an opportunity for self-improvement, or to of my many friends and mentors whom important to the improvement of our see the truth from a different perspective, I know and love. I think of the fun and society as a whole – are the virtues of is not easy. Working closely with others fellowship we have shared. But most of all, tolerance, brotherly love, and good oldwho have a different vision of something I think of how very much I have grown as fashioned “stick­-to-­it-­iveness”. These are that we are passionate about can at times a man and Mason since the night of my practiced in those moments when we find be uncomfortable and frustrating. initiation – grown through the trials and ourselves in disagreement with a brother But if we are not able to find a way challenges that the Craft has thrown my (or brothers) over a decision affecting through these trials to labor together way, through the support and lessons of the direction of our lodge; or when we among our own sacred band of friends and my friends that helped me through those feel slighted or offended by something a brothers, how can we expect to accomplish challenges, and through the help and brother says or does; or we feel embarrassed this with the average group of people in the support that I have offered others during by something we did or failed to do; or world, who often feel much less affection their challenging times. for whatever reason we encounter conflict and less connection towards each other? I think of all of these things, and I say, – with our brethren, with a situation, or On the other hand, if we are able to The good is here. Then the doubting voice within ourselves – in Freemasonry. grasp, to learn, and to assimilate the skills, falls silent... at least for another year. The most natural response to these techniques and attitudes needed to work uncomfortable situations is to want to well with those brethren in Masonry when avoid that person and/or talk badly about our sense of harmony is sorely challenged, them to others; to stop going to that then we may begin to practice and share lodge, or to change lodges; or to stop these same lessons with our fellow man at participating in the Craft altogether. I’ve large in the world, outside of Masonry.

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State of the Craft

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Images from Around the State

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Sir Knight, Ross Allen, REPGC, of Colorado, knows where Hotchkiss is. Hugging a Rainbow at the Grand York Rite Sessions. Brothers enjoying the Banquet at the Grand York Rite Sessions. Enjoying the Banquet at the Grand York Rite Sessions. Enjoying the Banquet. Brian Betchler, General Grand Council, and Colorado’s own Bob Elsloo sporting suspenders and their membership in the Alaskan based, highly-top-secret “Order of the Galluses”. The price tag of the suspenders is a necessary jewel. 7. Sir Knight Michael Smith sings the National Anthem to open the Grand York Rite Sessions.

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8. Welcoming the Supreme Potentate of the Colorado Shrine. 9. Steven Guffy, Northwest Department Commander, Grand Encampment, Knights Templar, addresses the Sir Knights. 10. Officers of the Grand Lodge of Colorado A.F. & A.M. line up. 11. General Grand Master, Cryptic Masons International, Lawrence O. Weaver, takes to the mic.

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Photos by Rodney Johnson

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12. Imparted the 12. jewel of his Office as Grand Commander for Colorado by his daughter and son, Sir Knight David Salberg, REGC, is roped in to another year of service to Templary. 13. William Koon, Past Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar, addresses the Assembly. 14. At the banquet. 15. Brian Betchler , Regional Deputy General Grand Master, Cryptic Masons International (left), Edmund Harrison, General Grand High Priest of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International (center), and William H. Koon II, Past Grand Master of Knights Templar Grand Encampment (right) in a show of “Grand Unity�.

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16. Sir Knight David Salberg wields the traveling sword of the Colorado Knights Templar. 17. Excellent Grand High Priest Peter Dumont shakes hands with the future of masonry – the head of Colorado’s De Molay. 18. The oil lamp, from the Holy Land, auctioned off each year to raise funds for the Holy Land Pilgrimage, raises more money for a worthy cause. 19. Right Eminent Grand Captain General Michael B. Johnson, addresses the assembly. 20. Colorado’s new Grand High Priest is usurped by Judge “Waldo Roy Bean Whipsickle”.

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Photo by Ben Wiilliams

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Photo by Rodney Johnson

21. Most Excellent Companion Peter Dumont, MEPGHP, receives an award from the General Grand High Priest of Royal Arch Masons International. 22. Officers of Denver Lodge No. 5. 23. The real Officers of Denver No. 5. 24. The 2013 Class of A Masonic Journey into Light. 25. Fun times at the Shrine in Denver. 26. Future Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. 27. Supreme Potentate and Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Hon. Steven Munsinger. 28. Two good reasons the Editor of the Rocky Mountain Mason is considering joining the Shrine. 29. Two more good reasons the Editor of the Rocky Mountain Mason is considering joining the Shrine.

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Angel of

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eventeen Companions took the vows of Knighthood at the Angel of Shavano outside of Salida, July 13th.

A weary pilgrim readies for the trial of his life.

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Put on by Salida Commandery No. 17 each year, the Angel of Shavano offers the last Orders of the York Rite to Christian Brethren seeking more light in Masonry. At least five Commanderies participated this year, including several Past Grand Commanders, and a Past Grand Master of Masons of Colorado.

Storm clouds gathered above the mountain tops but the rain was short, just enough to cool the day. Standing in rows, the Companions readied to take their Vows of Knighthood. They listened intently as the words rang out. Thunder peeled in the distance. Flashes of lightning pierced the clouds. And then the sky opened, and sunlight illumined those about to seal their faith. Knights Templar gathered under tents and watched as pilgrims gave up the staff and, through the circuitous course of years, assumed the mantle of Knighthood. The words are serious, and solemnity filled the air. There is more than simple ritual here. Away from the ritual area, Knights busily attended the kitchen. Long tents had been set up alongside rows of tables between the trees. It was a Colorado summer day, dappled in forest sunshine. The

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Shavano 2013

grills were burning, steak sizzled. Groups had gathered to renew friendships. Always good humored, laughter could be heard as Sir Knights exchanged stories, a joke or two (or three). The Order of the Red Cross was put on before the sun reached the meridian. The Mediterranean Pass and the Order of Malta followed promptly. Then lunch. The Order of the Temple finished the day. Dinner was enjoyed early evening after the Ladies returned from their Luau at the Shrine in Salida. One of the best things about these festivals is seeing Brethren from across the State convening to perform topmost ritual in a stunning setting. You get to see old friends in high places…. Literally. Salida, the “Heart of the Rockies”, is 7080 feet above sea level. Founded on the banks of the Arkansas river in the 1880s as a railroad hub on the old Rio Grande Western Railroad, Salida (which means “exit” in Spanish) has a rich, Western history. It’s a popular destination in Summer. The author of this article knows – leaving hotel reservations until the last minute, he found one last room in the whole town through some random miracle (and lots of phone calls). Evidently, a beer festival in town, an antique show, and a golf tournament had placed lodging in high demand. If you’ve never been to an Angel of Shavano encampment, it comes highly recommended. But word to the wise. Make your reservations early! (Or bring your camper and stay onsite.)

Non nobis Domine, non nobis, sed Nomini Tuo da Gloriam!

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1. Sir Knight Burney Brandel, Grand Generalissimo of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Colorado checks out Issue 1 of the Rocky Mountain Mason. 2. An impressive array of steaks for the Sir Knights. 3. Newly knighted Templars discuss the Orders they recently received. 4. Dinner at the encampment. 5. Sir Knight M. Scott Wilson knows something perhaps best left unsaid.

8. Sir Knight Wally Cooley finds a novel use for the Rocky Mountain Mason.

6. Sir Knight David Reynolds, Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Colorado opens his homebrew cider.

9. Sir Knights ready for the Order of the Red Cross.

7. The Grand Commander is shown a beer stein inscribed with insignia of the York Rite, presented to a newly knighted Templar commemorating this day. 80

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3. 4. 1. R.W. Bro. Jery Fenniore shows off his award for exemplary service at the Denver Consistory. 2. Fifty Years in the A.A.S.R. 50 year members with their ladies and S.G.I.G. Stephen Munsinger. 3. New Knights of Saint Andrew arise from the heather. 4. Robert Burns day procession.

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Photos by John Moreno

5. Some music to inspire the evening.

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8. 6. Addressing the Haggis at Denver Consistory during the annual Robert Burns dinner. 7. Change of the guard, Officers exchange stations at the Denver Consistory. 8. Knights of St. Andrew. 9. Awards for a worthy Brother. 10. Esteemed Masonic author Rex Hutchens signs a Masonic Patent for a worthy Brother

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at East Denver No. 160.

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11. The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Denver. 12. A degree of the Ancient and Accepted Rite. 13. M.W. Bro. Rex Hutchens, P.G. M. of Arizona, answers questions at the Festive Board following his talk at East Denver No. 160 14. Students learn by degrees, at the Scottish Rite Reunion in Denver.

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15. Behind the scenes. 16. They’re giving red hats out to anyone, these days! 17. Jerry Fennimore does what treasurers do best – fill pockets. 18. “I think it’s in there somewhere,” getting ready for the degrees. 19. At the end of the day.

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square work from around masonic the state cornerstones

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1. Deputy Grand master, R.W. Bro. Daniel Gannon verifies the right angles at the cornerstone ceremony in Glenwood Springs.

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2. Officers of the M.W. Grand Lodge of Colorado A.F. & A.M. 3. M.W. Bro. Dana Speaks, Grand Master, meets with the Master of Ouray Lodge, W.Bro. Christopher Pike, before setting a stone in the Ouray Courthouse. 4. Don’t mess with this Brother. The Grand Tyler with the Grand Tyler’s sword.

Photos by Ben Williams

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Photo by Rodney Johnson

3. 5. The Grand Musician takes back his fiddle from a ‘Grand� Hedge Hog who, apparently, appropriated it. 6. Grand Marshall, R.W. Bro. Ralph Newby issues his Proclamation.

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Live By The

Numbers “When a man makes a vow to the LORD or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said.” Numbers 20: 2 “When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it; for He has no pleasure in fools. Fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it.” Ecclesiastes 5: 4-5

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hese are strong words by Moses (Numbers 20: 2) and our Grand Master Solomon (Ecclesiastes 5: 4-5). It is better not to make a vow, than to make a vow and break it. Think about the vows you made at the altar of Freemasonry, before God and your Brethren. Can you honestly say you have not broken even one part of any one of your obligations? Can you even remember them enough to be sure? True, each has an escape clause. But as we advance in Masonry, so our responsibilities and obligations become more and more extensive. It becomes easier to miss something, something we might not have noticed, but something we have sworn to. A man is as good as his Word. And whether you use an escape clause or not, you know in your heart if you have bent the rules just a little to accommodate some peccadillo on your part, some laziness or inconstancy. In many ways, becoming a Mason is a vow to be a better person. You know the context of the obligations, what they drive at, even if you 88

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twist the wording a little to excuse a minor shortcoming. If you are a good man, then denial displaces guilt. But this guilt redoubles unchecked, like a current gaining under ice. And your resentment at yourself exacerbates the shortcoming: You begin to do less in service of Masonry because then Masonry reminds you of your failure. Plenty of excuses come you your aid to help hide this fact. If you are a bad man, you have no guilt, or fail to notice it, and the obligation you took was empty and void of purpose. You should not have knelt before God, and, despite the ritual, your hoodwink has never been removed. You wander in your own darkness. This might seem a little strong, even hyperbolic. But let’s look at some examples. A simple, and common example, is aspersing a Brother’s good name. The Fellow Craft obligation necessitates our fealty to one another, and speaking badly about a brother is a supplanting of his laudable undertakings. It seems slight.

And perhaps to you his undertakings aren’t all that laudable. Perhaps he’s slightly kooky, or can’t get the opening right no matter how hard he tries. Nonetheless, he remains a Brother. Once a Mason always a Mason. To be a Mason is to want only the best for your Brothers. To want more for them than you want for yourself. Once a Mason, always a Mason. Think about what that means. If a Brother violates the law, he is still a Mason until he is expelled from the Institution. This means visiting him in prison, if necessary, caring for his estate and family in his absence. This means going the extra mile, in snow and hail, lightning and thunder, to meet him. Isn’t this the context of Innocent until proven Guilty, that Masonic tenet our Forefathers (or, perhaps better put, Forebrothers) wrote into the constitution of this great country? The effects of this are important. Guard the West Gate. Because any man you are not willing to stand in defense of, whose honor you would not protect at the expense of your own or, perhaps, even Rocky Mountain Mason


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“Itʼs better not to vow

than make a vow and not fulfill it” your very life, should not be joined with turn all but the most pious men.) But your is, to quote Hermes Trismegistus, “a good you by the vows of Brotherhood. shadow, it is said, which is always with you clear vision.” If meetings at your Lodge Masonry is a type of marriage: A throughout your mortal life, could only are dull or consist of perfunctorily paying ceremony, with vows of service and fealty. tell the truth when questioned, and would bills and nibbling stale bread and swigging You wouldn’t marry a woman you didn’t willingly testify against you. Don’t forget worse coffee, then your obligation to the love. Then why make a man a Mason who this allegory. What you willingly give up Craft is to come to meetings prepared, and you cannot honor? and disguise to yourself does remain extant share Light in Masonry. Your obligation Another easy thing to overlook, and and known. Deep inside – you, yourself, is to quarry and there, amidst the rubbish, perhaps the most common violation know it. It is no accident that the heart is find something integral to that spiritual of our obligations in my experience, weighed by Maat in the Chamber of Truth temple in which each Brother should is slack attendance at meetings. Of before the gods of the underworld in the stand as a shining stone. You can labor course, Masonry is for the benefit of your not meant to interfere Brothers, and you can “If you are a bad man, you have no guilt, or fail to notice it, and the with our necessary make the difference. vocations. And there obligation you took was empty and void of purpose. You should not have A Mason is a man of knelt before God, and, despite the ritual, your hoodwink has never been action, and that action are indubitably times when absence is is Craft. Craft is labor, removed. You wander in your own darkness.” understandable. But and labor duty. There that doesn’t mean Masonry shouldn’t is no honor without duty. Honor the Egyptian pantheon. Your heart knows all remain a priority. The choice between Fraternity. Do your duty. Keep your – indeed, perhaps it contains all. staying at home and drinking vodka to obligation, and set about a life of constant Your obligation when made a Mason unwind in front of the TV after a hard seeking. Seek self-improvement. Seek is more than simply swearing to keep the day’s work, or heading out to Lodge secrets of Masonry from the uninitiated. knowledge of the hidden things. Bring for a long meeting into the night, is no I believe it extends contextually to the conversation to the Lodge. Open up, choice at all. If the chilled bottle of Grey squaring of the ashlar, to the application of place your lamp on high, and let your light Goose in your freezer is more appealing the Working Tools of the degrees to slough fill the hearts of your Brothers. You will be to you than kindling the light of Masonry off vice and inculcate virtue. It means to surprised how much shines back. with your Brothers, you should resign walk by the plumb, stand on the level, act your membership. And only then stop by the square. If everyday is not a day of attending meetings. relentless self-improvement, you are failing But these examples are trivial. Being to keep your obligation. If you are not now a Mason is more than attending meetings reading something regarding philosophy, and honoring the Brethren. I use them religion, or the history of Masonry, you only as simple examples of ways Brothers should be think again. A Mason is more forget their obligations and, in so doing, than a man. Why? Because a man will demean themselves before God and follow his instincts. A Mason will master themselves. In Roman times, the soul was them. said to pass before Rhadamanthus, the Your obligation includes searching Judge before the underworld. He would and tending the Masonic light. What is it then ask your departed soul questions, you ask for at the altar, before God? and, of course, seeking preferment the Light necessarily shines out from soul might well lie. (The prospect of an the Lodge, into your study. It fills your eternity in the lap of Pluto is enough to bookshelves and informs your speech. It

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A Brief History of Ignatius of Loyola Founder of the Jesuits

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he word “Jesuit” was first applied to members of the Society of Jesus in the mid-16th century as a derogatory term implying, “one who used too frequently, or appropriated, the name of Jesus”. The founder of the order never used that term. But over time the name stuck, and the order itself is now better known by its popular cognomen, the “Jesuits”. The correct title of the order is the Society of Jesus. It was formed by one Ignatius of Loyola in the 16th Century, and was officially recognized in the Papal bull Regimini Militantis Ecclesiae, meaning “To the Government of the Church Militant”, issued in 1540 by Pope Paul III. A second bull, issued in 1550 by Pope Julius III cemented the order’s standing under the auspices of the Holy See. The Society of Jesus is sometimes known as the “soldiers of God”, due to the militaristic approach Ignatius used when defining the rule of the order, the hardship its members were set to endure, the ascetism they practiced, their unflagging self-discipline, and their uncompromising support of Church doctrine. Rule 13 of the Rules for Thinking with the Church, for example, written by Ignatius himself, espoused the famous order: That we may be altogether of the same mind and in conformity…, if [the Church] shall have defined anything to be black which to our eyes appears to be white, we ought in like manner to pronounce it to be black. This must have pleased the Popes from whom Ignatius sought ratification of his order. The Jesuits have long been a powerful force in the Catholic Church, fiercely loyal to Mother Church – contemptuous of corruption, evangelizing in inhospitable 90

places, educating their followers to the highest standards, mastering the sciences of medicine, astronomy, and navigation, and spreading the Catholic faith across six continents and 112 countries. They have, at turns, been suppressed by their own Mother Church, for fear of surreptitious agendas and increasing power. The Jesuits are now of even more interest as, for the first time in history, with the election of Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis I, a Jesuit now occupies St. Peter’s throne. This article will explore a brief history of the founder, Ignatius of Loyola, and the order he founded nearly 500 years ago. Ignatius of Loyola was born to aristocratic parents in 1491 in Basque country, in Northern Spain, the youngest of thirteen (the name “Loyola” is deemed a contraction of the Spanish Lobo y olla, meaning “Wolf and Pot”, a reference to the family’s coat of arms). He was raised by the local blacksmith’s wife after the death of his own mother. The steel and the forge must have made an impression on him; he took up arms at an early age and entered the service of Antonio Manrique de Lara, Duke of

Najera and Viceroy of Navarre. He was 17 years old. He had a ferocity and passion that would be remembered – history records him running a Muslim through for denouncing the divinity of Christ. Under questions of honor, he engaged in a number of duels to the death, and his behavior was somewhat vainglorious, until his conversion in 1521. At the battle of Pamplona, on May 20 of that year, Ignatius’s legs were smashed by a French cannonball. His recovery took months and many painful operations had to be endured. His military days were about to end, and an unflinching religiosity was about to begin. During his convalescence, to divert his attention from his own suffering, Ignatius read De Vita Christi, “The Life of Christ”, by Ludolph of Saxony – a book that had taken forty years to write, quoting from the Gospels and more than 60 of the Fathers of the Christian Church, to define the life of Christ – drawing on the likes of St. Gregory the Great, St. Basil, St. Augustine, and the Venerable Bede. The meditations therein, called “simple contemplation”, required visualizing scenes of Jesus’ life and made an impression on Ignatius – he would later incorporate the same methodology in his Spiritual Exercises that every Jesuit would be required to undertake in spiritual retreats when assuming the mantle of the order. Inspired by these and other writings, Ignatius traveled to the Benedictine Monastery, Santa Maria de Montserrat, ten months later. There, on March 25, 1522, in front of a Black Madonna, Our Lady of Montserrat, he had a vision of the Virgin Mary and the Infant Jesus. He hung his military vestments before the altar and left for Manresa, in Catalonia, where he began praying for upwards of seven hours each day, as a hermit living in a cave. He began to experience visions on a recurring basis. Rocky Mountain Mason


Santa Maria de Montserrat, where Ignatius de Loyola experienced his first vision of the Virgin Mary

In 1523 he undertook a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, arriving in September. But after 20 days the Franciscans sent him back. Perhaps they misunderstood his zeal. Or perhaps they thought it required focus and direction. We may never know. But Ignatius took up study at the University of Alcala in Madrid, learning theology and Latin, and was tasked under the orders of the Dominicans with conversion of female witnesses called by the Inquisition against heresy. He began public preaching in the square. When some of the female disciples under his charge became hysterical, swooning, and convulsing on the ground during some of these public speeches, Ignatius himself was investigated by the Inquisition under suspicion of being an alumbrados – an illuminati – who were believed to publicly orate and practice magic to draw bystanders under their influence. He was briefly detained and incarcerated, but later released. He settled at Paris, and devoted the next seven years to theology and Latin at College de Montaigu, obtaining a master’s degree at age 43. In 1534 he and six companions met in the crypt beneath St. Rocky Mountain Mason

Denis Church in Montmartre (now Saint Pierre de Montmartre), and took vows of fealty to Christ. They called themselves the Companions of Jesus – from the Latin cum, “with”, and pane, “bread”. In 1537, these seven companions traveled to Italy seeking an audience with the Pope for approval of their fledgling order. Pope Paul III commended them, and permitted their ordination as priests – thus beginning the Society of Jesus, which would be officially recognized in 1540. Ignatius and his six companions were ordained at Venice, on June 24 (Saint John the Baptist’s day), 1537, by the Bishop of Arbe. Unable to travel to Jerusalem (the Italian War of 1535-1538 between Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, Venice, the Pope, and the Ottoman Empire was still raging) they devoted themselves to charitable acts in Italy. They were a mendicant group, subsisting on alms. Ignatius drafted a constitution for the Order. After months of dispute, a congregation of cardinals reported favorably upon the constitution to Pope Paul III, and on September 27, 1540, the Pope confirmed the order in his bull. But, perhaps fearing the influence of zealous

ascetics against the luxury of the Church, he limited the total number of members to 60. Following further codification of the order, and writings by Ignatius that reiterated the Church’s authority over the Society, this membership limitation was revoked when Pope Julius III issued his bull, Exposcit debitum (meaning “The Duty Requires”), in 1550. Ignatius died in 1556, but the Jesuits had already established more than 70 colleges across three continents. Ignatius was Beatified in by Pope Paul V on July 27, in 1556 and Canonized March 12, in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV. The Society of Jesus remains well known for its colleges and education. The Jesuits are famous for their contributions to cartography, seismology, and astronomy, among other sciences, and have skillfully blended science and religion in a time when many practiced mutual exclusion of the two. It is, therefore, perhaps fitting that a Jesuit was elected to lead the Catholic Church into a new millennium when science and religion are beginning to converge once more.

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The Holy Saints John A Point within A Circle A discussion of:

The Masonic Symbolism Of

St. John the Baptist And

St. John the Evangelist By Theodore S. Jones, P.M

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uring the course of this last year we have discussed many things, including much symbolism from the Entered Apprentice degree. I have even gone so far as to state my belief that we are always Entered Apprentices throughout life, striving to work on our Rough Ashlars, seeking perfection, which may be unattainable. This paper will be a continuation on this theme, and will expand on some of those ideas. Specifically this paper will add to the idea of Balance being an underlying theme in Freemasonry, represented by the circumpunct, the point within a circle, embordered by two perpendicular parallel lines, representing St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist; and upon them rest the Holy Scriptures. We learn in the Entered Apprentice degree lecture that “Our ancient brethren dedicated their Lodges to King Solomon, because he was our first Most Worshipful Grand Master; but modern Masons dedicate theirs to St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, who were two eminent patrons of Masonry;…” Why was there a change in whom Masonic Lodges were dedicated? Our ancient Brethren dedicated their Lodges to King Solomon, as he was our first Grand Master. With the

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Legend of King Solomon’s Temple being at the heart of Ancient Craft Masonry, it makes sense that our original Grand Master would be an important figure in the Masonic Guilds. Another reason King Solomon is revered in Ancient Craft Freemasonry may be found in the meaning of the name Solomon or if spelled Kemetically as the neters or hieroglyphics of KMT (Egypt) as Sol-om-on. The Alchemical Keys to Masonic Ritual by W.B. Timothy Hogan makes this connection, “It is perhaps coincidental that Solomon’s name is composed of the word ‘sol,’ meaning sun, ‘om’ another word which in Egyptian and Vedic scriptures was associated with the sun and ‘on’ – the Egyptian city associated with the sun…and thus later called by the Greeks ‘Heliopolis’ – meaning ‘place of the sun.’ In fact, the Egyptian (Kemetian) sun God RA was sometimes called ‘Omon’ or ‘Amun’, and this was later used to end Christian prayers with ‘Amen.’ (pg. 23). There is that connection with the Sun to Masonic ritual that we are faced with time and time again. In a lecture by W.B. Kevin Townley, he informs the Brethren that even the circumambulation of the Senior Deacon follows the path of the Sun, from East to West by way of the South.

We are reminded of this every time we open Lodge in regards to the duties of the three principle officers in the East, West and South.

Returning to the Entered Apprentice degree lecture “…and since their time there is represented, in every regular and wellgoverned Lodge, a certain point within a circle, embordered by two perpendicular parallel lines…”. In conjunction with the name Solomon and the mention of the Sun in our opening & closing ritual, there is the point within the circle itself. We are told that the “point represents an individual brother; the circle is the boundary line, beyond which he is never to suffer his prejudices or passions to betray him.” That is perhaps the exoteric meaning we are given for the symbol but the symbol of the point within a circle is a symbol one can trace into antiquity and Rocky Mountain Mason


even Dan Brown knows that. As a matter of fact it is one of the oldest symbols known to man and spans multiple civilizations. Why did the Ancients worship the sun? If we closely examine the elder forms of religious worship, we will find in most of them that God is worshiped under the symbol of the sun. This is not only true of the nations called pagan, but we also find in the Bible itself the sun alluded to as the most perfect and appropriate symbol of the Creator. The sun is the most splendid and glorious object in nature. The regularity of its course knows no change. It is ‘the same yesterday, to-day and forever.’ It is the physical and magnetic source of all life and motion. Its light is a type of eternal truth; its warmth of universal benevolence. It is therefore not strange that man in all ages has selected the sun as the highest and most perfect emblem of God. Robert Hewitt Brown (taken from The Masonic Almanac for 2011 by W.B. Mike Moore). To the Abyssinians (Ancient Ethiopians) or Kemetians (Ancient “Egyptians”) the point within the circle represented the sun or the medu neter Amun Ra, which was the fifth element in their culture and represented by the solar disk above the head in their pictorial representations. The point within the circle was also thought to represent the Wadjet or Eye of Ra-Heru (Ra-Horus) or the eye of Odin/Woden in Norse or Scandinavian cultures. For them the point within the circle was associated with the pineal gland which is located at the base of the brain and regulates all of the organs during puberty. The ancient Kemetians believed the pineal gland was where the initiate received “light” or was the house of all knowledge which is ironic, since the pineal gland also has another unique function for the body: it regulates the amount of melanin one has in their skin. This is also the reason you receive a certain blow to the pineal gland “which felled you upon the spot,” to destroy your Rocky Mountain Mason

previous knowledge for the “light” you will receive. In the Hindi or the Aryan peoples of ancient India, the point within the circle was called the bindu, a point which was often and still is worn by men & women directly above the eyes in the center of the forehead representing the third eye or Anja chakra which is also associated with the pineal gland. To the ancient Israelite, Hebrew and Qabbalists, the point within a circle corresponded to the Hebrew letter “Yod”, the first letter in the Tetragrammaton or Hebrew Ineffable Name, which has its place in both the Appendant bodies of the York & Scottish Rites of Freemasonry. To the alchemist of the Middle Ages, from whom some historians equate the movement of Freemasonry from operative to speculative perspectives, the point within the circle was the symbol of gold or the sun. Here is the symbol for gold on an early alchemical periodic table:

To the alchemist, the pursuit of turning lead into gold was a “veiled” allegory to the transformation or perfection of the soul, which was the goal of their labor and ours as represented in Freemasonry with the symbolism of the Perfect Ashlar. Again our ritual states “…and since their time there is represented, in every regular and well-governed Lodge, a certain point within a circle, embordered by two perpendicular parallel lines, representing St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist; and upon the top rest the Holy Scriptures.”

of England was formed on June 24, 1717; June 24 being St. John the Baptist Day. Who was St. John the Baptist and why was he chosen as a Patron Saint of Operative Stone Masons? The answer to the latter portion of this question is blended in the tradition and legend of the Temple at Jerusalem. Legend and our ritual holds that from the building of the First Temple at Jerusalem, to the destruction of the Temple prior to the Babylonian Captivity, Masonic Lodges were consecrated to the Great Architect of the Universe and dedicated to King Solomon. From the Babylonian Captivity to the coming of Yeshua Ben Joseph, or Jesus Christ as he was later known, Lodges were dedicated to Zerubbabel, the builder of the Second Temple. Our Ancient Brethren of the operative Stone Guilds in Europe and more especially England were highly religious men, which would make sense why they would have a Patron Saint and St. John the Baptist was regarded as “…a forerunner of our Saviour, and, by preaching repentance and humiliation, drew the first parallel of the Gospel”, quoted from Encyclopedia of Freemasonry Part 1 by Brother Albert G. Mackey. When did St. John the Baptist come to importance in human & Masonic history? John the Baptist came from the purest blood of the Israelites, on both his father and mother’s lines. According to the Book of Luke 1:5: In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest of named Zachariah, of the division of Abi’jah; and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. John’s mother Elizabeth being from the priestly line of Aaron was a cousin of Mary, the mother that bore Yeshua into the world. The Gospel according to Luke states:

Sometime prior to the creation of the Grand Lodge of England, English operative Lodges started to dedicate themselves to St. John the Baptist. In fact, most of you know that the Grand Lodge

1:13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zachariah, for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call him John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth; 15 for he will be great before the Lord,…, and he will be filled with the Holy 93


Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared. Those of the Jewish faith during the time period of John & Yeshua were traditionally divided into three groups; the Pharisees, the Sadducees and a very secretive & spiritual group the Essenes. Tradition holds John was a member of the Essenes, as it was clear that he was not a Pharisee or Sadducee. The Essenes were very dogmatic in their version of Judaism and lived their daily lives strictly to the Mosaic law of the time. Due to their strict adherence to their faith, the Essenes formed their own separate community and were thought to have become an initiatic brotherhood. Little is known about their practices, though historians, including Josephus and Brother Albert G. Mackey, commonly believe that the Essenes’ initiatic society taught their symbolism in a series of degrees. The Essenes practiced baptism as a symbol of purification. The candidate for admission was required to place all of his worldly possessions into the community treasury. Once initiated, the candidate received an apron, a spade, and a white robe, which is where the word candidate comes from - the Latin word candidatus means, “clothed in white”. The candidate of the first grade, or degree if you will, was then placed in a probationary period of a year before being advanced to the second grade (if found worthy), on which second grade they remained for a period of two years before, if approved or elected, they were accepted as a full member of the community. Mackey maintains there was a third grade or rank in the Essenes called disciple or companion, in which there was a still closer union. Upon admission to this highest grade, the candidate was bound by a solemn oath to love God, to be just to all men, to practice charity, maintain truth, and to conceal the secrets of the society and the mysteries… 94

An Encyclopedia of Freemasonry and its Kindred Sciences by Albert G. Mackey. According to Luke 3:1-2, John the Baptist started his ministry in the “15th year of Tiberius” or around 28-29 A.D. (Tiberius was emperor of Rome from 1437 A.D.). John baptized Yeshua Ben Joseph in the River Jordan when Jesus was around age 30, which most Biblical scholars hold as the start of Jesus’ ministry. Josephus stated that John the Baptist was put to death by Herod in 32 A.D. by having him beheaded, which alchemists equate with the caput mortuum or deadhead. Do you see any connection between John’s death and the penalty associated with water in the first degree? Masonic scholars have noted that: Saint John the Baptist was the original Saint of Freemasonry and when a candidate was raised, he underwent a Masonic Baptism. This act was common in the operative Lodges before Speculative Lodges were formed. … As the years passed there was discussion on this practice of a heated nature. Many Masons claimed it was an imitation of the Christian sacrament, and because of their ignorance, that part of the ritual was struck out for all time. However, had they known the true origin and antiquity of purification by water, they would have realized that the act of baptism was in existence long before John the Baptist or Christianity. The same scholar wrote, “With the dropping of the ceremonies of baptism in Masonry, the symbolism of the White Apron was born and part of the Masonic baptism was transferred to the Apron.” A friend of mine, R.W. Brother Peter Taylor, Provincial Grand Secretary of Forfarshire under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Scotland had this to add to the matter in regards to Freemasonry in Scotland, “The St. John’s were and are the Patron Saints of Stonemasons. Freemasons in the UK typically hold their ‘AGM’ (Annual General Meeting) on or around the feast day of St. John the Baptist, the 24th of June but not in Scotland! Scottish Freemasonry derives itself directly from the stonemason’s Lodges (the Grand Lodge of Scotland owns the oldest Lodge records

in the world) and the Patron Saint of Scottish stonemasons, was and is, St. John the Evangelist. Scottish Lodges always held their annual Installation Meeting (at which the next Master of the Lodge was elected and installed into office) on the 27th of December.” We’ve discussed much about St. John the Baptist but what about the balance attained by the “other” Saint John, St. John the Evangelist? St. John the Evangelist was born in Bethsaida in Galilee to Zebedee & Salome and was the brother to another of Jesus’ disciples, St. James. We know that their father was a fisherman of financial means as Mark 1:20 states “Straightway he [Jesus] called them [James & John]; and they left their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants…” The New Testament does not provide us with the year of his birth, though if the year of his death being 100 or 101 A.D. at the old age of 94 is accurate, according to the historian Eusebius in the third year of Trajan, this would have made the date of John the Evangelist’s birth in 6 or 7 A.D. The 14th Century Greek Historian claims that John the Evangelist had been a disciple of John the Baptist prior to his meeting Yeshua Ben Joseph (John 1:37). St. John was the youngest of Yeshua Ben Joseph’s original twelve disciples. John the Evangelist was also the most cultured and learned of the disciples, educated in Greek and Hebrew. Mark 3:17 states that Yeshua named James & John, “…he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, the sons of thunder” to indicate the strength and zeal of their faith. The moniker of “thunder” has been specifically applied to St. John the Evangelist due to his fervency in proclaiming to all the message of Yeshua to any and all who would listen without fear of reprisal, as preaching ideas contrary to the Mosaic law could have been severely punished, even by death. Several religious & Gnostic scholars also state that John the Evangelist also was a member of the community of the Essenes. It may be for this reason that he was chosen as the Patron Saint of our modern fraternity. Brother Albert G. Mackey has this to say in An Encyclopedia of Freemasonry and its Kindred Sciences: “I see no reason why St. Matthew, St. Mark, or St. Luke might not be readily and appropriately have been selected as one of the ‘lines Rocky Mountain Mason


parallel.’ But the fact is that there is something, both in the life and writings of St. John the Evangelist, which closely connects him with our mystic Institution. He may not have been a Freemason in the sense in which we now use the term; but … that he was familiar with other mystical institution… Such a society was the Essenian Fraternity… Now there is little doubt that St. John was an Essene. [Augustin] Calmet positively asserts it; and the writings and life of St. John seem to furnish sufficient internal evidence that he was originally of that brotherhood.” (pg. 68) The connection, with the society of the Essenes, between John the Baptist, Yeshua Ben Joseph, and John the Evangelist forms another “trinity” and every member of the Lodge knows of the importance of the number three and ideas in triplicate within our ritual. Within the disciples of Jesus, the Bible portrays John the Evangelist, “the beloved disciple of Christ,” as Yeshua’s closest trusted companion and confidant. He alone of all of the disciples remained by Yeshua at the foot of the cross. This trust is evident when Jesus entrusted his mother, Mary, to John’s care after the crucifixion, a position that John faithfully served for fifteen years until Mary’s death. After Mary’s death, John continued the preaching work and according to Clement of Alexandria, John was a large part of the first Apostolic Council in Jerusalem in 51 A.D. where it was decided to what extent to spread Yeshua’s message to the outside world of the Gentiles. John the Evangelist preached throughout the region and well into Asia until 95 A.D. where he was arrested and taken to Rome where, according to the historians Tertullian & Jerome, the Emperor Domitian ordered his death by immersion in a vat of boiling oil but, similar to Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego, despite the fire he was miraculously unharmed. Two years later he was banished by Emperor Domitian to the island of Patmos where he was thought to have written the Book of Revelation. Rocky Mountain Mason

Returning to the symbolism of the point within the circle which is embordered by two perpendicular parallel lines, it has another meaning in connection to the Holy Saints John. As we discussed earlier, the day we celebrate St. John the Baptist is June 24th which coincides with the Summer Solstice or the longest day of the calendar year when the sun enters the sign of Cancer. The day we celebrate St. John the Evangelist is December 27th which coincides with the Winter Solstice and the return of the sun when the sun enters into the sign of Capricorn. This solar cycle, when we celebrate the return of “light”, is an important symbol to man throughout antiquity, and our ancient Brethren certainly knew & revered this practice. The balance attained by these two dates is important in the Masonic Calendar year, especially in jurisdictions like Colorado as most Masonic Lodges hold their election and installations around December or January and mark the end of the first half of the year in June, when we can rest and recharge our batteries or strengthen the mystic tie that binds us for the continuation of our great work in the second half of the Masonic year (see illustration below).

Let’s once again look at the parallel balance and duality created by the symbols of the Holy Saints John. St. John the Baptist, with his ministry, has always been associated with water. The alchemical symbol for water is a triangle pointed down:

St. John the Evangelist, with his passion, fervency and zeal, has been associated with fire. The alchemical

symbol for fire is a triangle pointed up: Combining the alchemical symbol for fire and water produces a hexagram of opposing elements, similar to the Taoist’s yin and yang. Just as the Taoist strives to find a balance between the opposing forces of yin and yang, so should the Freemason find a balance with the opposing forces within himself. Brother Albert Mackey has this to say about the hexagram in his Encyclopedia of Freemasonry: The interlacing triangles or deltas symbolize the union of the two principle forces, the active and passive, male and female, pervading the universe… The two triangles, one white and the other black, interlacing, typify the mingling of apparent opposites in nature, darkness and light, error and truth, ignorance and wisdom, evil and good, throughout human life. We are again, by this symbol, talking about the purpose of Freemasonry, especially the purpose of the Entered Apprentice degree, to strive to remove the baseness of man to find or strive to bring out the divinity or perfection inside us, illustrated by the equilateral triangle pointed toward the heavens or the flap of the apron of the Apprentice as he works on

his Rough Ashlar. This symbol is often known as the Star of David or the Seal of Solomon and should be known to all members of our Fraternity. This is from the book Born in

Blood by Brother John J. Robinson: Seen in this manner, it makes a strong argument to the origins of the square and 95


compasses which we are relating to the Holy Saints John in this paper. “…and upon the top rest the Holy Scriptures.” I spent several hours of contemplation and meditation on the reason for this last line of the ritual. Why would the Volume of Sacred Law be placed upon point within the circle embordered by two perpendicular parallel lines? The conclusion that I have come to is that the Holy Saints John embordered Yeshua Ben Joseph’s ministry; John the Baptist preceded and started Jesus’ ministry when he baptized him in the River Jordan and John the Evangelist continued his ministry, and was integral to starting the early Christian congregation and was responsible for writing the final prophesies in the Book of Revelation, which is among the few yet to be fulfilled. It is because of their dedication and their passion to the mystery systems of old that we have the Craft we practice today. The Holy Saints John are the Patron Saints of our operative and speculative Art, setting the example of balance for which every Mason should strive.

Under the Beauceant

Georgetown 4th of July Parade

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t was a beautiful day in Georgetown, Colorado for a parade. 10 blocks long and a wonderful crowd for Watchers yelling Thanks for being part of the Parade. There were 13 Sir Knights in the Parade, 8 were Marching and 5 were riding. What a great turn out for this parade, Military Color Guard, Fire Trucks, Antique Cars and the Knights Templar. I just doesn’t get any better than that for the 4th of July. Fraternally, Sir Knight Mark W. Ralston PEC

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Fun Times -

Presenting what was (best) left unsaid.... - by M.W. Bro. Rodney Johnson, P.G.M.

Rocky Mountain Mason

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Why Support the Rocky Mountain Mason? A Personal Appeal from the Publisher A magazine publishing “high light” in Masonry without your support the Rocky Mountain Mason cannot continue

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his magazine hopes to unite the Craft, across all appendent bodies, to provide relevant Masonic information to its readers. The Rocky Mountain Mason is a way to showcase Masonry to Brethren, friends, and family. It’s a tool for education, reporting, even recruitment. You can give it to prospective candidates. But in order for the magazine to succeed, we need your support! A subscription to the Rocky Mountain Mason is only $33 a year. Presently the publisher of the Rocky Mountain Mason has been printing the magazine out of his own pocket – and providing a high quality magazine like the Rocky Mountain Mason is expensive. Certainly, the Rocky Mountain Mason is not a profit-driven enterprise. That’s not why we started the magazine.

At a time when membership numbers continue to decline across the board, we wanted to give Masonry in Colorado a voice. We wanted to show Masonry’s good works in a quality spread and provide a relevant tool for communication among the Brethren, their families, and friends. We hope you can see the potential for such a tool, for the benefit of the Craft. But in order for the Rocky Mountain Mason to continue, to grow, and reach more members as a communication tool for the Brethren, it must at least be sustainable. Please consider supporting the Rocky Mountain Mason. If you are reading this and you haven’t subscribed, then please consider subscribing today. It’s easy, visit our website at www. rockymountainmason.com, or write to the publisher at the address in the front of

this issue. You can also call me personally, if you prefer. You can also support the magazine by sending us your pictures of Masonic events or submitting articles. More importantly, you can tell a friend about the magazine and recommend he subscribe as well. We offer advertising, too. We thank you for your support of the magazine, and most of all, for reading and enjoying it. We hope you will continue to support the Rocky Mountain Mason. SMIB,

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

www.rockymountainmason.com

Rocky Mountain Mason Vol. I Iss. 2. June 2013

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Craft • Capitular • Cryptic • Templar • AASR High Light in Freemasonry

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Rocky Mountain Mason


Where

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Do you recognize this place? If so, email your answer to editor@rockymountainmason.com to receive an honorable mention in the next issue of the Rocky Mountain Mason. Answer to last issue’s Where in Colorado? – The Ouray Alchemist, in Ouray, Colorado. Rocky Mountain Mason

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Rocky Mountain Mason – Issue 3  

Issue 3 of the Rocky Mountain Mason (September 2013), Light tripled. From Initiation, to study, to prayer and devotion.

Rocky Mountain Mason – Issue 3  

Issue 3 of the Rocky Mountain Mason (September 2013), Light tripled. From Initiation, to study, to prayer and devotion.

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