Reflections on the Second Degree Work

Worshipful Master, Most Respected Brethren from the East, Respected Officers, dear Brethren in the columns, the theme of my Second-degree craft is the ‘WALL’.

A paper delivered by Bro. Draško Miletić, in Belgrade, 29 April, 6023, the year of true light.

As an introduction, let me hyphenate the name of my work and get W-and-ALL, which automatically summons the holistic approach.

The one present in Masonic principles – be one with yourself and others.

However, measurements of ‘Being’ are demanding and hard to do, so they must be considered with utmost care.

The ‘Wall’, in its bare purpose, is to protect us from the whims of nature, but more importantly, as the emanation of privacy, it also hides us from the gaze of others. However, the wall is also an obstacle that must be overcome.

Of course, some metaphorical walls have no justification for their existence and should be torn down, they are usually to be found under the skin.

Some walls should be approached very carefully since they have something hidden within themselves. Some walls require jumping from them because in circumstances of desolation and even stumbling, the only salvation is to jump.

Otherwise, a Freemason becomes devastated, or continues to falter endlessly. Some walls announce danger and should be avoided till a Freemason is prepared. Ultimately, there are walls of repentance and prayer. Walls that usually interweave together.

The choice of which wall to build or tear down, which one to approach or to move away from, depends on the relationship between the Whole and the Details. This discussion of Totality requires careful consideration and strict measurement.

As some would say, it is a pathway that seals the light within a Freemason, plunges into his darkness, and speaks most directly to him. As a result, the hesitation is dispelled, and a new chapter is created.

Over time, the pathway becomes burdensome as evil enlarges. It is not easy to find a way there: where we may act and where we are supposed to be silent, where there is a point of compression and where a spot of dissolution, where we are whole and where we are barely ourselves, and where we manage to resist.

That is why a Freemason strives for the best of himself. Daily and voluntary. The outcome should be as follows: the permanence of the Being and the wall is certain, the touch of an otherworldly or even esoteric principle is possible, and transformation is inevitable.

At the same time, I adhere to the ancient construction rule: For every three rows of bricks place one row of cedar boards, dry like gunpowder.

This is how the wall becomes more resistant, and the boards, after the rain, release an invigorating smell into the rooms. Finally, this is the way to achieve the metaphysics of construction.

To the holy trinity of Craft materials: vigorous, solid, and flexible is added finesse, and totality is gained.

Speaking of skills and rituals, something to illustrate the lessons of mindfulness and unity of spirit – the Chinese ‘tea ritual’. This is something we can all try:

Take some black tea leaves, break off a piece of no more than five grams. The movement, it is clear, must be carefully measured, the strength barely present.

Then put the pot on the stove and pour three cups of water. Stand next to the stove because the tea ritual calls for the water to be taken off the heat before boiling.

Occasionally look at the water, and do not allow a wavy surface to appear. When the stove is turned off, pour the water into a separate container, a dark brown teapot.

Wait for half a minute and then pour the tea into a transparent glass cup without a handle, using a light circular motion, along the very edge of the cup, up to half of the cup. Movement should not be too strict, spill a few drops of tea, catch it on a light brown cotton napkin. Wait half a minute again.

Then carefully look and smell the test amount that is not to be drunk. Fulfil the delicate task by carefully smelling and looking.

If the smell and the colour is anemic, repeat the entire ritual. If, on the other hand, everything is proper, you should pour the tea, wait for half a minute, take the cup with both hands, and take the first sip, then more.

Finally, open the teapot and scoop up the bits of the Chinese black tea. In the mouth, take the bits several times with the tongue between the lower and upper jaws, chew them very slowly and swallow.

Those pieces are not tasty, but they are an indispensable part of the ritual. They belong to the cognition of life secrets and even Masonic ones.

In short: Freemason should not allow prevailing what pleases, removes, and erases, what annihilates the Being. The procedure is quite the same with the ‘wall’. Construction requires all the senses to be used: to see, touch, listen, smell, and taste.

Finally, I want to devote a few words to the number 42 – the number that is equally dominant in mystical feats, as in religious and artistic ones.

It is the number of the demon who will judge the human soul, the number that YHVH used to create the world, the number of Jesus’ ancestors.

Also, it is the number employed by the artist to clarify everything that exists – evident and hidden, life and death, the atom, and the cosmos. That number guides us to be close to ourselves and others. The number is arduous but precious.

I have spoken!

Worshipful Master, even though I am far from the goal, even though I missed quite a bit, my second-degree work is over. May the Great Architect of All Worlds allow our construction to succeed.

Article by: Draško Miletić

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