Let’s try an experiment. Close your eyes and imagine a different reality – a world where the words you speak immediately come into fruition. A reality where if you, for example, told a friend “to get wrecked” in jest at a party, he would be injured in a car crash leaving the event. How carefully would you guard your mouth? How much planning and forethought would you put in before public speaking, writing, or in just causal conversation?
Okay. Now open your eyes to the possibility that you already live in this sort of Universe, except that, perhaps, the chain of causality does not operate in the same time frame. Could it be true? Possibly. Improbable as it may seem, if there is even the slightest chance that it is, doesn’t the concept deserve your attention and consideration?
Freemasonry reminds us, consciously and unconsciously, that our words matter – that our verbal expressions reflect outwards, radiate with import, and display an image of who we are on the inside. Any Mason who has prepared for a degree examination knows what an arduous task it is to perform a “letter perfect” recitation. Masonic Ritual has remained virtually unchanged for centuries, despite archaic language and language patterns, for a reason. The words matter.
The introductory verses of the Gospel of St. John speak to this theme:
“In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God. And the Word was God.”
― The Gospel of St. John, 1:1
The Craft honors the power of the spoken word through the biblical lesson that it took God’s verbal assertion to create the Universe. God said, “Let there be light.” And Light was. God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over…” all the Earth and every living thing on it. And, it was thus, that Humanity began this great experiment known as incarnation into form and matter.
Founded upon the knowledge of universal truths, the Masonic Fraternity rightly admonishes it’s members to be cautious in communication – that the first lesson every human being should master is to be silent and still. Masonry instills in its initiates the vital purpose of “letter-perfect” speech, memorization of key information, and the great need for a hierarchy whereby those who “know” best, with the most experience and with the greatest self control, are put in places of authority to captain and guide our vessel through turbulent waters, tumultuous sounds, and tremendous darkness.
What distinguishes a Mason from the multitude?
Perhaps, it is simply the awareness of his own power to create with his thoughts, words, and actions. That he is aware that the words that come out of his mouth have the power to uplift as well as to level, to create, or to destroy. Thus, he is taught to be cautious and to use the tools given him with prudence and justice. His true identity – which shared with all Humanity – is shaped in the image of his Divine Creator. Could it be his willingness to employ the scientific method in his own life to uncover the Truth? To try knowledge by experience in order to attain unto Wisdom?
To this, you may retort, “Impossible! Absurd!” That is your right to choose with free will, however, consider these parting words:
“Every soul is engaged in a great work-the labor of personal liberation from the state of ignorance. The world is a great prison; its bars are the Unknown. And each is a prisoner until, at last, he earns the right to tear these bars from their moldering sockets, and pass, illuminated and inspired into the darkness, which becomes lighted by that presence.”
― Manly P Hall,