The Independent Magazine for Freemasons
By: Robert Lomas
For too long, Freemasons of all Obediences have paid scant attention to the symbols and allegories with which our Craft is surrounded, or paid attention to the outer forms without a realisation of their true import for each one of us. Yet a meditation on the power of masonic allegory is rarely to be found in lodges nowadays, a stark contrast to the practice in the 18thC.
Help is at hand. In his eloquently-written book, Dr. Robert Lomas, a member of the Lodge of Living Stones No. 4957 in Leeds, guides us gently along this path. A recent re-invention of the definition of Freemasonry is ‘Freemasonry contains the keys to the Ancient Mysteries. They are experienced through a series of mystery dramas designed to open up and deepen awareness and understanding’ and this bold assertion, much nearer the truth than the old-established description, is entirely in accord with what Lomas writes. For Lomas ‘… symbols speak to us at a level far deeper than writing …’ and his first chapter teaches us why symbols are more powerful than words.
Lomax explores symbols in their widest terrain – he quotes Jung in referring to symbols speaking to us of ‘things beyond the range of human understanding. They tap into a source of knowledge that is not normally accessible to our conscious minds’ Lomas leads us through the symbol of the Christian cross, Rosslyn Chapel and many more. Symbols, he tells us, ‘… can penetrate the mind of God’. He refers also to what he calls ‘the secret symbols of political stability’ – a strange landscape for Freemasons perhaps, but instructive.
For those of us who up to now regarded pillars as no more than the supports of the lodge or flanking the entrance to King Solomon’s temple, there is much more. And in part two he gives us a practical introduction to masonic ‘symbology’. Under each masonic symbol he gives the ritual statements made for each ‘about the purpose and function of each symbol so that the brother may learn how to apply the emotional import of the symbol to his own soul’.
But beneath that, Lomas gives us what he calls a personal view. A Freemason is encouraged to use the square to ‘shape the roughhewn stone of the soul into a smooth and perfect cube’ - and he goes on: ‘the cube is the three-dimensional representation of the soul in all its aspects.’ This is a long way from steak and kidney pie Freemasonry and ladies nights.
I have few reservations about this splendid book except to say that he perpetuates the myth that the letter G stands for God, whereas of course it stands as a reminder of Geometry.
Freemasonry teaches you to know yourself and helps you discover your purpose. This very valuable book will help you on that path and I thoroughly recommend it.
Publisher: Lewis Masonic