Practice Paper

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by rhitland, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    Please let me know what you think, I need some critiques. I hope you enjoy though.

    Regaurdless of ethnicity or religion, no matter to our physical selves at all, good people have one common goal, to please God. Many religions, philosophies, rites, ceremonies, endless traditions have been handed to us from the dawn of time. One of the oldest known to us is the rite of circumambulation. Too often in our degrees it is believed that we walk in circles just for time filler or a chance to read scripture but the good Mason knows it has to go much deeper than that. What was the original purpose of circumambulation, when did this rite originate, how did circumambulating survive so long? Why do we incorporate it into our degrees in Masonry? This being one of the first acts we are made to perform and its tendency to be overlooked excited my curiosity and set me to research this subject.

    The word circumambulate is Latin meaning walk around anything. There are several basic points to circumambulating as we know it today that must be adhered to. First, people or person acting in unity, staying with the well laid plan, the objective foreshadows or portends the future. The objective is also of such enormity that the aid and approval of the Deity is required. Silence is observed at all times no chatter at all, unless there was a chant or scared ode, there should always be in your mind’s eye the intended outcome you aspire to. The procedure is then commemorated by depositing some object. The Symbolism of Freemasonry by Albert Mackey states circumambulation is the name given by sacred archaeologists to that religious rite in the ancient initiations which consisted in a formal procession around the altar, or other holy and consecrated object, I felt this definition vague and lacking the real purpose. The definition that really got my wheels turning is from the "The Jung Lexicon" it stated that circumambulation is a term used to describe the interpretation of an image by reflecting on it from different points of view. Circumambulation differs from free association in that it is circular, not linear. Where free association leads away from the original image, circumambulation stays close to it. From this definition Masonry is a constant circumambulation as is life, whether it be on a specific symbol or trying to align with another Brothers point of view, or just understanding the everyday mysteries of the Grand Architect of the Universe, we circumambulate our thoughts around the problem we know it better as pacing. I was enlightened by this definition but was still left with that feeling there is more to its original purpose.

    Researching further I ran across a book called "Introduction to Freemasonry" which answered the question why, "among first religions were sun and fire worship. Prehistoric man found God in nature, worship of the sun was done symbolically by worship of fire upon piles of stones which were the first altars. Imitating God's creation the sun, early man believed he could give light and heat by lighting fire upon the altar then further imitating Him by moving east to west as the sun dose." Circumambulations origins being rooted all the way to sun worship made sense, but how did it survive so long? Imitating the sun by moving east to west by way of south did catch on and took on new meanings throughout history amending itself to modern thought.

    Circumambulating was believed to be an act of humility toward God by imitation, attracting the Deity’s attention for blessings and getting one self in line with the movement of the universe. It was also believed to connect you to all those and their vibration power in the past that performed this rite. Brother Albert Mackey's book Masonic Ritualist states ancient poets and philosophers wrote circumambulation east to west was in reverence to heavenly bodies and produced a harmonies sound inaudible to mortal ears which was called "music of the spheres". Circumambulation was believed a submission to the Deity, an act of humility, an act of Love. Circumambulation like prayer, symbolizes the believer's entry into Divine presence, it assures us and consoles us there is an axis from which all is spun and created, connecting and strengthen us all. Circumambulating is also said to create angular momentum in your undertakings, giving you a perpetual energy to carry you through your journeys; as nature is perpetually turning with angular momentum adhering to the law of revolution so should we. I was amazed to learn that all we know of nature moves and creates in circles, Our Galaxy, solar system, planet, moon are constantly moving in a circular motion sea shells, flowers tend to grow round, tornadoes and hurricanes move in circular motions, even the very atoms that make up you and I are being circled by electrons at this very moment and oddly enough they all tend to move counter-clock wise motion coincidence or a law of the Supreme Grand Architect of the Universe?

    Revolving or circumambulating around a point obviously being such a big part of our very existence bled into every corner of the earth and became part of almost every religious ceremony, initiation and much more, circumambulation has been incorporated into everything that humans have deemed worthy to offer to God.

    Another interesting fact of the motion circumambulation is that it has been and still is conducted in the direction of moving east to west by way of south; the ancients being from the northern hemisphere observed the sun moving across the sky from east to west and it looked as if the sun leaned into the southern hemisphere hence the byway of south, this also consequently had the persons right side always to the altar which has been incorporated into a way of paying homage to God, in keeping and offering the right side of man, the stronger part of us for God. Oddly enough this motion of circumambulation east to west byway of south made the north a place of darkness.

    Masonry will lead the candidate first byway of north through darkness as we all travel in life not knowing what the future holds. Oliver Street in his book "Symbolism of the Three Degrees" put it best, We all grope in dark from birth to death, we are told to arise follow your leader and fear not, you are in the hands of a true and trusty friend. With all our boast and wisdom and foresight we cannot see an inch into the future. But every man is in the hands of a true and trusty friend. Doing his part then resting confident the All Father will take of the results in a manner befitting an all wise and all loving Creator. Circumambulating is not just for the candidate, it gives us all a chance to rid our minds and consciences of all ill thoughts that are not becoming of a proper initiation. The frame of mind of the Brothers performing the degree is of the utmost importance, if the demeanor is non-serious and a vibration of non-importance is in the air a candidate will no dought be shorted changed but worst of all we are shorting ourselves in what could be if all the Brothers where dully and truly prepared and in the right frame of mind, blessings and opportunities could be boundless.Circumambulation for the Mason alludes to dependence, submission, trust and Brotherly Love. Depending upon their guidance, submitting to their direction, trusting it is true and loving them for their efforts. It also again alludes to the lesson of a Higher power as a guide if we can shed our fear, make that leap and follow His lead the Lord is always willing to help and guide us. Brother H.L. Haywood in his book Symbolic Masonry put it very eloquently. Circumambulation allows you to walk in harmony with a greater power and the laws of nature, for to fight nature is suicide, to harmonize with it is true power. We all look for guidance in one way or another in every undertaking of life and when physical guidance is lost hope starts slipping away and fear quickly takes over, this is the moment we need to renew our faith, turn to God and remember when the strength and wisdom of man fails there is an inexhaustible source above.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
  2. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    This going to the Lodge of Research?
     
  3. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    no, it is not nearly to there standards of a research paper but I am working my way up to it. They have strict guidelines. I wrote this to help kick start a culture of education in my Lodge. We have been presenting papers we find online for sometime now and I thought it would be neat to present one written by a memeber of the Lodge, so I wrote this and presented last Monday at stated meeting. I began by reading out of the Bible in the book of Joshua chapter 6 vrs 1-20 about the fall of the walls of Jericho after 7 days of circumambulation. This story from the Bible and Brother Sonny (sirius) is what orginally inspired me to study circumambulation and as always I only thought I knew. The brothers seem to enjoy it and I will be presenting it at Mansfield Lodge #331 on the first Tuesday next month and would be honored to present it at others.
     
  4. nick1368

    nick1368 Registered User

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    Very good read Bro. Rhit. If you were a little closer I would love for you to come read it to our Lodge. Keep up the good work....:D
     
  5. RJS

    RJS Guest

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    I like it too.
     
  6. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Bro. Rhit and our Lodge has been doing some great things with these papers. In our Lodge for some time now we have been doing papers like these and it really adds something to the meetings. I think all Lodges should read a paper or article like this towards the end. It always alows you to leave thinking you accomplished something that night and perhaps gained just a smidge more light.

    Good Job Bro. Rhit. Can't wait to see what else you have.
     
  7. scottmh59

    scottmh59 Registered User

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    very nice:5:
     
  8. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    I like! One minor thing (a pet peeve of sorts) "Irregardless" is a non-standard word. Proper wording would be "Regardless". Another pet peeve is people using 'premise' to mean a customers home (Im in the telecom world)!
     
  9. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Man, I saw this post got revived of sort and thought you had witten another paper, Rhit. I was like this sounds like the one he wrote and presented a while back then figured out it was. Still just as good as I remembered.
     
  10. Griffin

    Griffin Brother of the R+C Premium Member

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    Nicely done, Rhit!
     
  11. Joey

    Joey Co-Founder Staff Member

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    Sweet!!! That's very nice Bro. Rhit
     

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