A Brother Asks: What relationship do Ashlars and Jacob's Ladder have?
My Response: Let's lay a foundation before we get to an answer.
Ashlars are symbolic for living stones and more specifically they represent within Ritual:
Men who are free, believe in God, are foundationally good and known as such, who have both the capacity and desire to improve themselves and have shown that they have done some Work already.
Most stones are bound as aggregate within the earth. Some of it is or gets free. Some of that free stone winds up being hewn into shape through specific and directed Work to become Useful to The Builder.
Masons do this shaping Work for The Builder's Use. I truly hope you know to what I am alluding.
Let's review all this on purpose:
The use of Ashlars within Ritual is to point out through metaphor and through allegory that men who desire more must qualify (be suitable) to become members. Additionally, they must aspire through their actions to become both better and a part of something bigger, grander and important to God.
This theological ladder both represents and is a connection between Heaven and Earth. It was created by God and it was provided by Him to mankind. It is means by which angels (God's Messengers) descend and ascend between the two.
Should a man desire to Strengthen this connection between Heaven and Earth and to have better communication between himself and God, Ritual tells and shows him that there is specific Work to which it directs him to do by way of its use.
Once again, let's review all this on purpose:
The ladder's purpose within Ritual is to point out metaphorically and allegorically the there is a connection and there is Work that men must do to strengthen that connection.Caveat: The Work Strengthens this connection only and does not guarantee anything more.
You are the Ashlar and the Ladder is a Connection. Both allude to the Work that improved your connection between
- Heaven and Earth
- With the Almighty.
For more information on the Ashlar, here is an early article I wrote that is worth reading: http://buildinghiram.blogspot.com/2009/04/ashlar-unfolded-is-published-again.html.
Admittedly, I would rewrite some of it due to what I have learned since it was first written, but I have far too many other things directing my attention these days. It should provide a nice overview however.
Brother John S. Nagy