posted on Nov, 15 2013 @ 07:34 PM
Here is the rub. If someone says 'tree' I may think of a Sequoia and you may think of a London Oak, who is right? Neither, since it was not fully
explained what the person meant by saying 'tree'. In Masonry, as you are admittedly not familiar with the symbolism, each one is explained in the
ritual as to its meaning. If an individual Mason chooses to add further meaning that is his prerogative. It does not however make his personal
interpretation anymore valid than another's.
Augustus -- And in the use of all well chosen symbols the same is true. I'd rather say both are right but both are too specific as well. Each type
of tree is merely an exemplar of the concept of "treeness." We can all look at a plant and say: this is a tree, that is not a tree, and there are
some plants that look tree-like (but may be merely a stately bush) that we do not know the meaning of the symbol "tree" well enough to truly state to
others that the plant is truly a tree. This is just an analogue drawn from Biology of the use of a symbol to which most can easily relate (and
carefully chosen for the ambiguity as the reply of exactness in the ritual was predictable).
I have no doubt that the "meaning" is explained in the ritual for the profane to begin their understanding. These are only exemplars of the concepts.
Only long experience and reflection in application can teach the true meaning of a well chosen symbol. As in most disciplines, I also have no doubt
that only a few will go on to incorporate the symbol in the ritual as something useful in their lives. Regardless of their ability to regurgitate the
wording in a ritual or on an exam, it is only those few who achieve the enlightenment intended. The rest will say: "It was explained that this is the
meaning." True, but specific exemplars are not the whole meaning. Those who believe that exemplars are the whole meaning are impoverished by their
ignorance and lack of insight but may still feel richly rewarded to have the secret revealed to them.
A partial revelation, unexplored and accepted as complete, is more blinding and deceiving than total ignorance. Perhaps this is the greater meaning,
the self-deception, alluded to by Pike (?) as mentioned earlier. A wise man IMHO and possibly one a Mason should give more deference to. In one's
getting, it is far better to achieve understanding than mere knowledge. The few who go on, only those few will become the adepts -- others may feel
they are enlightened, but are ignorant of their lack.
edit on 15-11-2013 by BayesLike because: (no reason given)