Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Cracking Ritual

“The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.” 
– Obadiah 1:3-4 (AKJV)

How subtle Ritual truly is.  Its soft embrace cleverly disguises many nuances unseen by those who seek them not.  Returning its embrace often brings forth Light hidden by the Shadows of Ignorance.  Seek it and you shall Find wonders.


Sometimes it’s the little things that go unnoticed, until they begin to irritate you.  This occurred recently when I was tickled in a most annoying way by the phrase, “cleft of the rocks”.  I didn’t know why it kept fluttering under my nose, but it was clear that it was not going away on its own. 
After numerous unwanted assaults, I finally took a mindful notice of it and grabbed hold.  As I did, I was reminded that I was a Mason and I Work on Rocks.  This hard reminder compelled me to look up the word, “cleft[1] to obtain a more solid understanding. I’m glad I did!
Upon its examination, I connected further to subtle Allusions within Ritual. There was the obvious connection to the Ruffians that were found hiding in the cleft of the rocks.  There was another one to the hollows where our heels find solace as we progress from candidate to Master but no more once there!  There was also the not so common connection to the now obsolete meaning of the word, “cowan”, that meant at one time “hollow, gap, crevice, indent or hole”.
The matter continued to roll around within my mind as I found more associated Allusions and connections.    When I laid each of them out upon my working slab, I had a profound insight.  These Allusions point to Unfinished Work! 
Masons are told that specific Work must be Completed to Achieve Mastery.  That Work is clearly pointed toward by Ritual (but is not the Ritual itself.)  Even the Third Degree Allegory directs us back to Completing that Work.  This Allegory also warns us about making any effort to dismiss any of Work.  Ritual also tells us through Allusion that, when our Work remains unfinished, our Word’s Value is ripped from us, our Desires become fodder for beasts and fowl and our very Being is Torn in Two differing Directions; Allusions and Warnings that few Brothers glean initially.   
But do all Brothers heed such warnings?  Many don’t.  Ritual tells us how to recognize them though. Their very looks betray them!  How?  Let’s review this!
It tells us that we can Recognize Cowanistic Brothers[2] by their unfinished Work. 
1) The cowans of their feet are only used as resting places for heals that have yet to walk the path. 
2) You’ll always see gaps in their Work. 
It is not their concern though.  They remain complacent to Progress no further and to receive less for unfinished Work.
It also tells us that Ruffian Brothers are quite a different matter. 
1) They desperately want what they have yet to earn. 
2) They feel entitled to more and attempt to dishonestly receive it but are unwilling to legitimately Work for it. 
3) Their Ashlars are wholly divided.  Their entire being is “Severed in Twain!  Recognize them by their arrogance but more so by the cleft in their Ashlars, where you shall find their true selves hiding.
It’s truly amazing the insights you can glean when you take a crack at probing what irritates you.  Sometimes you get to view new holes.  Every time though, you get whole new views!

Points to Perpend:
  1. What have you yet to Pursue?
  2. How does this Affect you and others?
  3. What can you Do about this?

[1] Cleft (noun) – a fissure, rift, break or split; a deep division between two parts of the body.
[2] Brothers who remain complacent with their unsquared Ashlars and untempered Cement.

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