Tuesday, March 18, 2014
The Universal Symbol of Freemasonry and the Creation of Man W.B. John L. Hairston, Grand Chaplain (Reprint from the Working Tools Magazine Feb 2014 edition)
Ask any Freemason in any part of the world, from any race or creed, any culture or language, for the universal symbol of Freemasonry, and a vast majority, if not all, will proclaim the Square and Compasses as the most visible and commonly accepted symbol of Freemasonry. Dr. Samuel Hemming’s definition of Freemasonry is equally accepted among members of the Craft-Freemasonry is a beautiful system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated in symbols. And, when one delves into the symbolism of the Square, Compasses and the letter “G”, it will be readily concluded that the entire system of Freemasonry is embedded in this universal symbol of Freemasonry. Yet, what do they have to do with the creation and development of Man? Everything.
The Compasses are said to be used by Speculative Freemasons to “circumscribe our passions” or to keep us in “due bonds”. Operatively, they are used to draw circles, and can be intimately connected to the symbol of the point within a circle. The point identifying the resting place of one point of the compasses around which the other point will rotate around, creating the point within the circle. This symbol is commonly seen in addition to two parallel lines. The lines represent the Moral and Spiritual influencing our life cycle; the Circle itself being a spiritual symbol. This can allow us to conclude that the compasses symbolize the SPIRITUAL component of Man.
The Square is said to be an emblem of morality, but further a symbol of the PHYSICAL world. So, it can very well represent the PHYSICAL component of Man.
The Letter “G”
The Letter “G” is said to represent both God and Geometry, which is vitally important to the Universal symbol, opening up the understanding to the innate purpose of Freemasonry. Geometry is said to be the Study of the EARTH, or the MEASURING of the EARTH. God being the Supreme Architect of the Earth, Geometry can denote a science given to Man, by God, to view His signature in Creation. When man applies Geometry, he discovers the Wisdom and Design, the Order and Symmetry of the whole of Creation.
According to any VSL, God created man from the dust of the EARTH. More specifically, in the Holy Bible (a Great Light), Genesis 2:7 it states:
“And God formed Man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul”
Man’s body being physical is symbolized by the Square. If we lay the square on one side, it will actually represent the drawing of Humanity out of dust (level ground/horizontal), into a standing creature (perpendicular).
This is the base of the Universal symbol of Freemasonry. It represents the base foundation of Man’s existence (physical). All of Humanity is born into flesh and so have the base foundation of a physical life, and a potential for greatness. But this component alone doesn’t allow him to aspire to more than just being a GOOD person; he is still profane and closed off from the ability to tap into the wellspring of glory within him. We know there is more than just the physical existence, because it stated that Man needed something spiritual, so the Supreme Architect of the Universe breathed into him the breath of life.
The Compasses represent the Spiritual part of man; his consciousness and awareness of himself and his world. Within the compasses is the Will and freedom to decide and think which makes him the apex of creation and the true focus of the Grand Architect of the Universe in creation.
The Square and Compasses in this regard are the Spiritual and Physical part of man, and when brought together, they represent the WHOLE of MAN, the entirety of who he is and his existence in the earth. But there is still something missing…
The Letter “G” in the center of the Square and Compasses represent the divinity or GOD in Man, unifying in perfect symmetry, the Spiritual and Physical life of man. When the “G” is present, there is the ever present potential for Ascension and progression. So, the Universal symbol of Freemasonry is a symbol of God in Man.
Geometry speaks of man measuring himself, studying himself, knowing his dimensions, points and space. It is the IMPROVING of himself in Masonry. It begins to make perfect sense why one must have a belief in a Supreme Being (“G”) to enter the doors of Freemasonry. That God in him is birth by the Union of the Square and Compasses; this is why as a Master Mason BOTH POINTS ARE ABOVE THE SQUARE, because he learns to subdue the passions of the flesh (Square) by application and activation of the Spiritual portion (Compasses) of himself, his spiritual part is OVER (controlling and influencing) his Flesh (Square). This is only done when one can truly tap into the GOD (The Letter “G”) within (the Square and Compasses).
So, embedded within the universal symbol of Freemasonry is the true purpose and object of Freemasonry, which is to reveal the GOD WITHIN MAN or the recovery of the LOST WORD (divinity within).
Written by Companion John L. Hairston, The Eternal Chaplain
Sacred Pen of the Quill and the Sword