MW Bro. G. Roy Long
Past Grand Master of British Columbia
Long Centuries ago in a glowing moment of spiritual exaltation the
“Thou hast set my feet in a large room!”
This evening this ancient statement seems contemporary, and
singularly fitting and appropriate.
We are gathered in a vast amphitheater, hewn by the march and
the retreat of giant glaciers; molded by the melting flame of volcanic
fires; and sculptured by titanic and elemental forces of wind and
torrent, through countless centuries of time.
We are seated in a veritable Cathedral of Immensities, its roof fretted
with golden fire – the stars; “The forget-me-nots of the angels
sprinkled in the infinite meadows of hearve”; its walls the towering and
encompassing hills, rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun; its pillars
those massive limestone ledges whose shadows lean against the sky.
This is a time and place for high thinking, for reflection and for
meditation. We keep here a rendevous with Life, and, amid the
sublimity and majesty of our surroundings, we may, I hope, be
spiritually aware of:
“A presence that disturbs us with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man.”
Freemasonry speaks and teaches by symbols. Behind the thing is a
thought, an idea, an ideal. Behind the scene and the visible, is the
unseen and the invisible. In the beginning, this building was first a plan
and an idea in the builder’s mind, which is now objectified in terms of
wood and stone. A Freemason’s Lodge is a symbol of the World, Its
shape is an oblong square, representing the ancient Mediterranean
Basin, the world known to the ancients, and symbolizes the
universality of our Fraternity. Into this symbolic world, a candidate
enters, blind, destitute and helpless. He represents a pilgrim, on a
mystical journey, in quest of intangible and unseen values, symbolized
by Light, and the True word. Life is a Great Adventure. Man is the
Adventurer, a Pilgrim of the Infinite, “always roaming with a hungry
heart”, in quest of Knowledge, Beauty, Truth, Love and Life.
“Tis Life whereof our nerves are scant,
‘Tis Life, not death, for which we pant;
More Life, and fuller, that we want.”
In boyhood days we read, with kindling eye, the story of Ali Baba and
the Forty Thieves. We saw him standing before the robber’s cave. He
speaks two magical words: “Open, Sesame”. The door swings open at
this voice and the golden treasures are his for the taking. It is an
enchanting story but it fiction, not fact. The great and beloved Dr.
William Osler left a rich legacy to Canada and to the world. One of his
most popular addresses was given to the University of Toronto
entitled: “The Master Word in Medicine”. This master and potent word,
said he, is one of our letters: W-O-R-K. It is, in truth, one of the master
keys to the treasure rooms in the spacious House of Life.
Some time ago I found this tribute to a wise teacher: “He flung down
to his pupils a bunch of keys”. The doors of Life do not swing open in
response to any magical word or formula. The wise teacher Euclid was
obliged to remind his royal pupil that there was no royal road to
Geometry. Struggle and effort is the law of life, for, is it not written “In
the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread?”.
My Brethren, Freemasonry hands to those who enter her House of
Light a “Bunch of keys” – with the inspiring but imperative challenge,
“Ask, and it shall be given unto you. Seek, and ye shall find. Knock,
and it shall be opened unto you”.
Let us now for a moment retrace our steps along the highway of the
years to those climactic moments when, duly and truly prepared, we
stood in silent expectancy before the door of the Preparation Room.
We used our first key by giving three distinct knocks with our own
hands. The keywords are: Ask! Seek! Knock! Our first key is:
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To be continued