The Black Cube

Discussion in 'Masonic Education' started by Blake Bowden, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member


    Unfortunately, no hard and fast rule can be laid down on the use of a Black Cube when balloting. There is no way to explain "this is a good reason, but that is not a good reason" for casting a black cube. Each Mason has to judge the reason for himself. Yet some suggestions may be given.

    We know a man we dislike. He has different ideas from ours. He belongs to a different "set." He is not the type that we admire. Our dislike does not amount to hatred, nor is it predicated upon any evil in the man's character. He and we are antipathetic; we rub each other the wrong way. When he applies to our lodge we must decide this question: will the unpleasantness to us, in having him as a member, be greater than the good to him which may come from his reception of the Masonic teachings? Are we sure that we cannot accept him as a brother merely because we "have never liked him?"

    We all know cases like this; the president of the bank turns down Johnson's application for a second mortgage. Johnson makes the matter personal. He "has it in" for the president. The president applies for the degrees. Someone casts a black cube. It may or may not be Johnson. No one knows. But later perhaps we hear Johnson's boast "I got even with that son-of-a-gun who turned down my loan!" He doesn't say how he "got even," of course. But we are pretty sure we know. Such a use of the black cube is, of course, utterly un-Masonic. It is a misuse of a great power. We might as well turn down the minister of the Baptist church because he doesn't agree with our minister, who is a Methodist! Or turn down the automobile dealer because he refused to give us a larger allowance on our old car! To turn the Masonic black cube into a secret dagger for personal revenge is un-Masonic and indefensible.

    Freemasonry works some curious miracles. A self-made man applied five times for the degrees in a certain lodge. The man was rather uneducated, yet a commercial success. He had, literally, raised himself by his bootstraps from the poverty of the streets to a business position of some prominence. Yet he was rather raw, rough and ready, even uncouth. No shadow of personal unworthiness rested upon him; he was honest, upright, a good citizen. In this lodge a certain Past Master (as was discovered in after years) voted four times against this applicant. The Past Master left the city. On the fifth application the petitioner was elected. Something in Masonry took hold of his heart. Through Masonry he was led to acquire some of the education that he lacked; through Masonry he was led into the church. In time he made such a reputation for himself as a Mason that he was put in the officers line, and finally achieved the solemn distinction of being made Master of his lodge. He is still regarded as one of the best, most constructive and ablest Masters that lodge has ever had.

    In the course of ten or twelve years the absent Past Master returned. In the light of history, he confessed (which strictly speaking he should not have done!) that it was he who had kept this man out for what he really believed were good reasons. He thought the "rough neck" would detract from the dignity and honor of the Fraternity. Yet this same "rough neck," through Masonry, became educated, a good churchman, a fine Mason and an excellent officer.

    Had the Past Master, whose black cubes were cast with honest intention to benefit the Fraternity, not left town the blessings of Masonry might forever have been denied to a heart ready to receive them and society, the lodge and the church been prevented from having the services of a man who gave largely of himself to all three.

    The black cube is the great protection of the Fraternity; it permits the brother who does not desire to make public his secret knowledge, to use that knowledge for the benefit of the Craft. It gives to all members the right to say who shall not become members of their lodge family. But at the same time it puts to the test the Masonic heart, and the personal honesty of every brother who deliberates on its use.

    The black cube is a thorough test of our understanding of the Masonic teaching of the cardinal virtue, justice, which "enables us to render to every man his just due without distinction." We are taught of justice that "it should be the invariable practice of every Mason, never to deviate from the minutest principle thereof."

    Justice to the lodge requires us to cast the black cube on an applicant we believe to be unfit. Justice to ourselves requires that we cast the black cube on the application of the man we believe would destroy the reputation of our lodge.

    Through justice to the applicant we are taught to render justice to every man, not merely to Masons. To symbolically cast no black cube for little reasons, small reasons, mean reasons. And justice to justice requires that we think carefully, deliberate slowly, and act cautiously. No man will know what we do; no eye will see, save that All Seeing Eye that pervades the innermost recesses of our hearts, and will, so we are taught, reward us according to our merits.

    Shakespeare said, "O, it is excellent to have a giant's strength, but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant!"

    The black cube is a giant's strength to protect Freemasonry. Used thoughtlessly, carelessly, without Masonic reason, it crushes not only him at whom it is aimed but also him who casts it.

    A well-used black cube goes into the ballot box.
    Ill-used, it drops into the heart and blackens it.

    Remember: Always vote for the good of the Fraternity.

    Source: Unknown
    Bro Book and LK600 like this.
  2. David Duke

    David Duke Premium Member

    I cannot really add anything more to what was so well presented above other than to say to all my brothers..........use the black cube judiciously, while it is your duty to protect the lodge against those who you feel would bring dishonor to the fraternity, I honestly feel that more often than not it is used more as a tool to "get back" at someone than to truly keep someone out who may be undeserving.

    I have seen/heard of instances it was dropped because someone didn't like how someone looked or had issues with the petitioners grandfather or father and believe me when I say knowing that these things happen can cause strain on the peace and harmony in lodge. It will cause distrust and wariness in a place where brotherhood and unity should prevail.

    So please brothers search your heart when casting your ballot and be certain it is for the right reasons you cast your vote the way you do.
  3. FriendshipCube

    FriendshipCube Registered User

    In the year 2010, I did a presentation on the history of the Cosmic Ashlar, from Mecca.
    Present was the Grand Master of the Lodge of British Columbia & Yukon,
    As well as several visiting Grand Masters.

    The Cosmic Ashlar.jpeg

    Next time I do this 20-minute lecture, I will have more than just a​
    gold engraved granite Cosmic Ashlar to pass around.

    I will have original, priceless paintings and detailed artwork,
    With Masonic motifs painted by the Knights of the Temple of Solomon.
  4. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

    2 things....1)what does that have to do with the thread?....and 2) wth is the "cosmic ashlar"?

    Sent from my LG-H918 using My Freemasonry mobile app
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  5. FriendshipCube

    FriendshipCube Registered User

    In my Lodge, there is an investigative committee, that goes through monthly petitions and elects brethren to do investigations of character and file a report for the secretary. Then in Lodge, the WM announces the ballot, usually every three months, and we have a Balloting election. We line up before the ballot box, put forward the sign of fidelity to the Master of the Lodge, and cast ONE ball with the left hand, wearing white gloves. The Worshipful Master instructs us to cast one ball for each proposed candidate, and we are observed doing so, usually by the inner guard. The ballot box is then inspected in the East, South, and West. An announcement is made, often stating the ballot to be all clear, and the new candidate to be accepted and initiated into the craft.

    The Cosmic Ashlar is usually only regarded by Masons, in relation to the Scrolls of Abraham, and the Tablets of Moses, and then, only within the ritual. The fact is, Muslims hold the Ka'aba, that big black cube, to be a sacred Holy Shrine. For moral monotheists, the black cube from the religion of Islam holds a sacred place in our hearts.

    The Ka'aba.jpeg


    The Cosmic Ashlar painted.jpeg
  6. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    "Along with great power comes great responsibility."
  7. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

    Still doesnt answer either of my questions

    Sent from my LG-H918 using My Freemasonry mobile app
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  8. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    My interest is piqued. I would like to know the answer now myself.
  9. FriendshipCube

    FriendshipCube Registered User

    000 sword staff and song.jpeg

    There are Seven Lights surrounding the Cosmic Ashlar, representing:

    Filial Love

    Filial Love represents the love between parent and child. That love that existed before you were born, has remained with you all your life through, and will follow you even beyond the grave. The sages named this love AGAPE, love for no other reason than the sake of being.

    Reverence for Sacred Things

    A young man crossing the threshold of DeMolay for the first time professes a deep and abiding faith in one living and true God. Without this steadfast faith, and the grace of our Heavenly Father, our toil, would be for nothing.


    The courtesy we speak of is one that transcends friendships, a courtesy that reaches to the stranger, to the aged, to all men. It is this courtesy that brings a warm feeling and a smile and makes life more pleasant for others as it lights the pathway before us.


    Millions of young men have knelt at the symbolic altar and dedicated themselves to the high principles of good sonship and good citizenship. As long as we are faithful to these pledges, as long as there is an Order of DeMolay --- we are one.


    A DeMolay can never be justly false to his vows, his promises, his friends, his God. He is called upon daily to defend the bulwarks and precepts of the Order that he might never fail as a leader or as a man.


    Cleanness encompasses not only the bodily cleanness which we all practice, but the cleanness of every thought, word, and deed. Only in cleanness can DeMolay be rightly representative of the pureness of our teachings.


    Perhaps we shall never be called upon to defend our country on the field of battle, but each day affords us new opportunities to stand as good and upright citizens in defense of our beloved flag and our hallowed land.
  10. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

    Keith C and Warrior1256 like this.
  11. jwardl

    jwardl Registered User

    This is an EXCELLENT read and reminder, Bro. Blake. Thank you.
  12. FriendshipCube

    FriendshipCube Registered User

  13. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

    In which obedience?

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