Welcome to the June issue of The Square
I can’t believe we are nearly halfway through the year!
Just when we thought things might be returning to what was posited as the ‘new normal’, we have discovered that ‘normal’ is becoming somewhat subjective.
The human race is definitely experiencing exponential challenges and it appears we are under attack mentally, physically, and emotionally – be it the ongoing Pandemic, the existential threat of physical and psychological warfare, including a unilateral bombardment of threats, information and disinformation.
There are also some very strange and disturbing changes occurring within the realms of what we have long understand as objective empirical, or scientific reality.
No wonder we are all a bit shaken, and stirred. Hopefully, this era will be just another ‘blip’ in the rich tapestry of history.
Many years ago, I remember reading a quote attributed to Martin Luther King:
The arc of the moral universe is long,
but it bends toward justice.
It turns out that this quote did not entirely originate with King, who paraphrased the – like most ‘memes’ old and new, somewhere down the line they have been appropriated (or misappropriated).
The original quote has been very cleverly traced back by Quote Investigator to Theodore Parker, a Unitarian minister and prominent American Transcendentalist born in 1810.
Parker was a reformer and abolitionist, and it was his words that influenced King. He wrote :
I do not pretend to understand the moral universe, the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways. I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. But from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.
Interestingly, according to Quote Investigator:
The words of Parker’s sermon above foreshadowed the Civil War fought in the 1860s.
The passage was reprinted in later collections of Parker’s works. A similar statement using the same metaphor was printed in a book called “Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry” with a copyright date of 1871 and publication date of 1905. The author was not identified:
We cannot understand the moral Universe. The arc is a long one, and our eyes reach but a little way; we cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; but we can divine it by conscience, and we surely know that it bends toward justice.
Justice will not fail, though wickedness appears strong, and has on its side the armies and thrones of power, the riches and the glory of the world, and though poor men crouch down in despair.
Justice will not fail and perish out from the world of men, nor will what is really wrong and contrary to God’s real law of justice continually endure.
Then in 1918, version identical to King’s later quote, was included in a book entitled “Readings from Great Authors” and attributed to Theodore Parker.
The message within Parker’s words raises the age-old question: is justice (truth?) objective or subjective?
It really has to be objective to be effective and based in reality, but it becomes subjective when executed by the myriad societies around the world. So, perhaps inter-subjective would be a better description?
Anyway, the concept resonated strongly when I was putting together The Eight Schools of Freemasonry: Part 2, which explores Roscoe Pound’s exceptional ‘Lectures on the Philosophy of Freemasonry’ detailing the work of Karl Krause, a German philosopher, who like Pound, specialised in Jurisprudence – the theory or philosophy of law.
If you’ve been enjoying our series on the history of Stone Masons, we have another fascinating article exploring the possibilities that the identification marks of the ancient Egyptian artisans were also used by the medieval stone masons.
What is an Egregore? Read on…in connection with recent article about Freemasonry in the metaverse, we look at how an Egregore applies to Freemasonry in a digital world.
Due or Ample Form? What is ‘Ample’ form, when in lodges the term ‘Due’ form is used? Paul Gardner explains all.
Who are the CMI? Find out more about the Confederación Masónica Interamericana (CMI) founded in 1947, that groups together 92 Great Masonic Powers, admitted as members and distributed in 26 countries in South, Central, North, Caribbean and Europe.
Citizen Part 3 continues with more value propositions for Pure Ancient Masonry as defined in terms of Citizenship; the allegories, symbolism and lessons are a blueprint for all Freemasons to be a better citizen of the world.
Our regular contributors:
Kenneth Jack gives us his first part in the serialisation of “George Blackie’s History of the Knights Templar and the Sublime Teachings of the Order” – a fascinating exploration of the KT.
More extracts of wisdom from Craig Weightman’s book ‘A Journey in Stone’ – this month, we explore the Working Tools of the Second Degree.
Wayne’s Masonic World reminds us that ‘Freemasonry is a marathon not a sprint’.
This month, Stephen Goulding’s Tutorial Series offers a commentary on the Second Degree Charge.
A new feature is Mike’s Masonic Walks and Talks – Mike Neville is a Masonic author, lecturer, and retired Scotland Yard Detective. Each month we will feature one of his fascinating tours, replete with a tantalising bit of scandal or notorious history to whet your appetite.
As always, we also have the usual features of old books, new books, reviews of books, and a whole host of Masonic knowledge to keep you busy with your ‘daily advancement’.
We hope you enjoy this month’s issue. If you do – or if you don’t – drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time, stay safe and 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