Welcome to the November issue of The Square
I always feel that November is a month of reflection – perhaps due to the fact that we are getting close to the years’ end – but also because Remembrance/Armistice Day (11 November) is a significant date in most countries’ diaries.
It is a date, with its associated meanings, we should never relinquish or extinguish from our memories, or our societies.
It makes me incredibly sad (and angry) that there are some who would deny, or distort, the history surrounding the two World Wars, not to mention all the other conflicts that came before and after.
We must remember – we must learn – we must not forget.
In the words of Robert Laurence Binyon, in his poignant poem For the Fallen (1914):
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
You can read the full poem at http://www.greatwar.co.uk/poems/laurence-binyon-for-the-fallen.htm
At present, in swathes of society around the world, we are experiencing the disturbing spread of cognitive bias with regards to history.
The most dangerous form being confirmation bias – ‘the tendency to interpret new information as confirmation of your pre-existing beliefs and opinions’.
This is a subject we have covered in The Square previously – and will again – but do check out this superb article on cognitive bias – it is something we should all be aware of: https://www.simplypsychology.org/cognitive-bias.html
Cicero stated that:
To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?
Freemasonry, with its own unique and fascinating history, has so often been maligned, misunderstood, and had that history endlessly reimagined.
But when swathes of people will not accept the recorded version of events due to unconscious bias’, then we are in trouble.
Not only are we products of our collective histories but we need to learn from them, not consign them to the melting pot of conspiracies, or the various ‘isms’ we construct.
It makes one wonder – what, or who are we or will be without our respective histories?
Memories, of course, can be unreliable but if the extant records of the past are to be denied or refuted, where do we go from there. Something to ponder…
This month we have lots of thought-provoking articles to ponder – including plenty of history, and mystery.
Who were the Élus Coëns?
To accompany our Meet the Author interview with Masonic scholar Stewart Clelland about ‘The Green Book of the Élus Coëns’, we find out Who were the Élus Coëns? – a.k.a The Order of Knight-Masons Elect Priests of the Universe – and why did they influence so many other Masonic Orders?
The Cable Tow Unbound
Chris Batty explains the origins, symbolism, and significance of the cable tow within Freemasonry.
Regular contributor Gerald Reilly offers us two very thought-provoking articles this month: in The Royal Arch – the fourth step in Freemasonry he expands on the connection between Craft Freemasonry and Royal Arch within the jurisdiction of UGLE Freemasons.
In Part 4 of The Christianising of British Freemasonries he continues the story of the battle for the ‘soul’ of Masonry.
The first chapter in a serialisation of Joseph Fort Newton’s ‘The Builders’. Explore an outstanding classic in Masonic literature – an exposition of the early history and symbolism of Freemasonry – from the foundations upwards.
Masons, Magus’, and Monks of St Giles
Who were the Birrell family of Scottish Freemasonry? Masonic historian Kenneth Jack, provides another fascinating profile of Scottish Masons and Masonry.
This month Craig Weightman’s regular column is a deep look at Coming to Terms with the Great War Within Ourselves – how understanding our ‘shadow’ can help make us better people and Freemasons.
Equality and Equity
Our valued contributor Carlos Francisco Ortiz demonstrates that “The first obligation of equality is equity” (Victor Hugo), and the important difference between the two.
Meet the Author
A superb interview with Stewart Clelland, an expert in Masonic and Esoteric studies, discussing his passion for the subjects, and his new translation of ‘The Green Book of the Élus Coëns’.
Brother Hogarth has another revealing feature for us this time following in the footsteps of ‘The Rake’s Progress’.
Hugh O’Neill has another handful of Ashlar Chippings, Stephen Goulding’s tutorial series II starts with Morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.
As always, we have our regular features – Masonic Blogs, News, Miscellanies, Podcasts and much more.
I hope you enjoy the issue. If you do, if you don’t, or if you want to send us something, you know where to email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time, stay well –
Article by: Philippa Lee. Editor
Philippa Lee (writes as Philippa Faulks) is the author of eight books, an editor and researcher.
Philippa was initiated into the Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons (HFAF) in 2014.
Her specialism is ancient Egypt, Freemasonry, comparative religions and social history. She has several books in progress on the subject of ancient and modern Egypt. Selection of Books Online at Amazon