Saturday, September 29, 2007

Absolutely Relative

If the Sun in the south at meridian is the beauty and glory of the day what does that actually have to do with Freemasonry. The question of the Junior Wardens analogy for his position makes little sense as a thing of beauty. A Meridian is only a mark or a line by which another is measured from. Another word for such a thing is a datum. Meridian's are typically located to mark a passage of time, counting down days until the expected celestial event occurs. Such meridians can be found in a few renaissance cathedrals, Bologne having one of the more complex systems. These meridian systems set clocks into motion whereby we count days. The solar calendar gives us scheduling opportunities but what about the sun at meridian is it associated with a plumb line and a pillar of beauty? If we combine the solar calendar and the sundial the plumb-line becomes a clearer symbol known by masons. The vertical object on the face of a sundial is the datum necessary to tell both time of day and time of year simultaneously but relative to our geography.

As a Fellowcraft we are taught about the masonic use of three tools: the Square, Plumb and Level. Each is a relativity simple instrument that is absolutly nesessary to erect the most complex buildings. Niether one of the three tools can be used as a substitute for the other. To use one requires another that shows it's perpendicular to prove things are going straight, but what does straight have over curves to prove beauty? I think the station of beauty, or said in a more architecturally familiar way, Delight is just that, a proof or a constant, a Q.E.D. (quod erat demonstrandum) of sorts. It is the station our laboring brothers look to for refreshment after the toils or gravity of the day as well as the pillar of efficiency who stands in the masters place among the craft to moderate and maintain the freedom of the craft. The beauty is not in the object of the Junior Warden but in the distance or space perceived between the brethren and the Master's will. In other words the Junior Warden is the equalizer of the lodge. He stands not as static as the square but as a dynamic tool of guidance, fixed at one end to distant point but left free at it's opposite end relative to its position in the world. The craft sees the gravity of the master's orders through the pull of the Junior wardens weight among his brothers.

Our departed brother Carl Claudy used the comparison of the Washington Monument to the Eiffel Tower to demonstrate the ultimate purpose of the plumb-line relative to its position on earth, our space. He points out that both rise perpendicular from the earth into space but are not parallel do to their distance from each other and the curved surface on which they are built. They are both absolutely vertical but relatively crooked if compared directly from the same point in space. It is this relativity that is the beauty or delight of our fraternity. When we stand amoungst our neighbor in daily life do we promote delightful activity and enjoyment at where we are stationed in life without sabotaging equilibrium in various seasons of life.


Mark said...

Off-topic comment:

A Masonic cornerstone was laid (with Square and Compasses indicated) at the Orange County Courthouse, Orlando, Florida. (Sometime in the early 1990s, I think.)

You mentioned you wanted e-mail or comments on this kind of thing. I'm glad you are listing these, as well as the converted Temples. May each list inspire us to be more devoted to building the Craft.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jeff Day said...


Your atom/rss feed is broken -- it just goes to a feedburner login page instead of a feedburner (or blogger) feed. That is the reason you aren't listed yet in KingSolomonsLodge. If you can fix it, I'll happily list you!