Sacred Space 1

SACRED SPACE

Presentation to the Manitoba Study Group QCCC

By Bro. Ken Sweet, May 27th,1999

Sacred1 Space is a sanctuary within w here one can retreat and recharge during the changing

times; an oasis of peace amidst turmoil; a place of perfection amidst chaos. Angelus Silesius2

wrote "if that which thou seekest thou find not within thyself , thou wilt surely not find it without."

Sacred Space is an environment created where one can re-member 3 who he or she is, their

relationship to nature and purpose in this life.

Sacred Space is a place that allows one to understand his spirituality. It is a place that one

feels calm, trust, faith, and understands TRUTH.

The third degree in the Craft admonishes us; “to contemplate your inevitable destiny, and

guide your reflections to that most important of all human studies, the know ledge of yourself .”4

'Man Know Thyself ' was the injunction inscribed over the portals of Ancient temples of initiation

Sacred Space is created through the use of signs, symbols and invocations.  Sacred Space is

also created through the use of ritual, the preparation of a physical space, sound and colours.

All religious and spiritual orders use ritual as a preparation prior to the time of worship.

When entering a church or sacred building the spires ring with the sound of bells The music

chosen is not of rock or easy listening but that which w ill move us to reflective thought. Inside,

the spoken word is soft and one sits in silence. This is usually follow ed by an invocation and

song. In some cases bells w ill be rung and incense w ill be burnt. There may be stained glass

windows depicting the stories in V.O.T.S.L. and perhaps representative paintings on the w alls

These same religions have a ritual for birth, life, and death as evidenced by the Christian

baptismal, wedding and burial ceremonies. In Christian tradition Christmas and Easter services

using communion are a reminder of the life and teaching of Jesus. In other religions or spiritual

orders Jesus would be Buddha, Moses, Mohammed and long before that Pythagoras, Mevlana4

or Shernzi Tabrizi or any number of previous enlightened beings.

In Masonry a G. or the G and P.W. are required to gain entrance. The Lodge is opened in due

ritual form with the officers bearing the names and titles of ancient craftsmen with or without

song although it is proper form to do so. As the third degree teaches death5 as the grand

leveler so the Craft employs the use of the EA. degree to depict our entrance into the w orld and

representative of birth. The follow ing two degrees; as in the second, representative of a

commitment to gaining higher levels of know ledge, and the third is representative of the

acquisition of enlightenment so as to become one with the Creator. I have read enlightenment

described as being of this world but not of it.

All signs and symbols carry energy. The symbols are not sacred in themselves but the

feeling, the deep re-membering elicited within us is sacred. Therefore it follows that aprons and

jew els belonging to deceased members w ho gained respect during their various Masonic

earthly sojourns carry an energy which help establish Sacred Space. As an example, the cross,

a symbol central to all Christianity is not itself sacred, but the deep feeling it creates, the

re-membering of who we are is sacred. Numerological philosophy employed by Pythagoras

1 Sacred- of sacren to consecrate, or sacer holy, sancire to make sacred. 1) Dedicated or set apart for the

service or worship of deity. 2) Worthy of religious veneration... 3) Of or relating to religion. 4) Highly

valued or important... Excerpt from Webster’s 9th New Collegiate Dictionary.

2 Seventeenth century mystic Johann Scheffler (1624-1677) known as Angelus Silesius.

3 Re-member- to spiritually reflect upon oneself and connect with the whole.

4 The Work.

5 For more information refer to the The Heroes Journey by Joseph Campbell

Sacred Space 2

attempts to invoke within Masons an awareness of the sacred numbers three, five or seven.6

The letter G, the Star in the East, the circle, the V.O.T.S.L., altars, prayers and invocations all

invite the Almighty to preside over our proceedings. Embellishments such as colours and

numbers are all designed to assist in the sacredness of space and manifesting ethereal energy

The colour blue for example stimulates one to seek and attain inner truth, it also stimulates

spiritual understanding, faith and devotion. The sacred circle signifies the eternal cycle of birth,

death and rebirth, and ancient idea of no beginning and no end and that if one knows the end

one in turn knows the beginning. The V.O.T.S.L. is placed continually before us (just as the two

great pillars w ere placed at the entrance to the Temple for the children of Israel to remind them

of their deliverance of their forefathers) to remind us that w e are 'to consider those sacred

writings the unerring standard of truth and justice and to regulate our actions by those divine

precepts which it contains.”7 The compass is an instrument used to construct circles and

spheres thus symbolically it is linked to the heavens and spirit. The square is a geometrical

construct, which has application to surfaces and solids (as in arithmetic and geometry)

Symbolically it deals with fixed states: matter and the earth, it represents solidarity, symmetry

and proportion.

The placement of all symbols according to ancient tradition; the proper use of all signs by our

own awareness of their meaning are instrumental in the creation of Sacred Space. We know

that the most profound secrets of Freemasonry are not revealed in the Lodge room but must be

sought by the individual himself . To interpret there true meaning constitutes the synthesis of

science and metaphysical philosophy, the end, aim and design of Freemasonry.

Aboriginal communities have met in circles for centuries to conduct business and make

decisions. It is to be noted that an infant must be in the circle poor to any decisions to be made

so that all will know whom their decisions will affect. Through this method we now know that

making decisions for seven generations ahead is possible and done. The all-powerful healing

circle is now being respected as a proven method of healing spirit. The unique design of the

aboriginal teepee, a cone shape formed of a circle has numerous ribs each symbolic of a

particular meaning. The teepee entrance opens in the w ay a skirt opens-symbolic of entering

into the womb, a place of birth or renewal such as the sweat lodge representative of mother

earth.  Within the lodge, the heat generated from the stones or ‘grandfather rocks’ serves to

purify the spirit and the circular sweat lodge ‘gives birth’ to the individual as he exists into the

world purified and renewed.

The Masonic Lodge room itself is a parallelipidon8 not unlike a circle where all participants

face to the centre. Properly oriented lodges are designed so that they are situated due east and

west for the reasons explained in the J.W’s lecture that again brings us back to the beginning.

Sound such as the beating of drums, ringing of chimes and bells, or the use of mantras, song

and music will also assist in the creation of Sacred Space. The sound of the Tibetan crystal

bowls is a method of focusing.  Buddhists will not speak but will sit silently in meditation for

hours to reach that point of oneness. Not unlike the Arabic Sufi’s who will dance and play the

drums to induce a trance like state.

6 In Pythagorean philosophy three, the Triad, was symbol ic of the union between one, the Monad, or

Divine Unity, and two, the Duad, the duality of all things or the separation of the Monad Five or the

Pentad represented the marriage of two and three. Seven, or the Heptad, was the result of three, the

trinity and four, the manifestation of the four planes or the material world.

7 The Work

8 As in parallelepiped, a six-faced polyhedron all of whose faces are parallelograms lying in pairs of

parallel planes.

Sacred Space 3

The introduction of naturally occurring hallucinogens in ritual ceremony such mushrooms or

peyote in ancient South American and North American cultures are used to quieten the intellect

and connect the soul to higher planes.

In our Craft Lodge and the ritual of Masonic Concordant bodies the use of song and music is

prevalent. Hand clapping w ill also raise the energy and as the higher rank demands a higher

number of claps for Grand Honours so the energy rises accordingly.

The true philosophic or spiritual truth's of Masonry requires that one acknowledge something

higher than ritual. To facilitate this requires a space that must be properly prepared. Sacred

Space is created to enable each one of us w ho is unconsciously carrying the TRUTH to

reconnect to the spiritual and discover the nature of who he truly is.

Sacred Space is created within our Craft Lodge so that w hen we enter a Lodge room it is not

just an acknowledgment of the other Brethren attending, rather it is an affirmation of the

interdependence of all lie and our connection with the Creator. Sacred Space is the arena that

will allow us to raise our consciousness to a higher level w here we w ill experience a degree of

enlightenment which is to be free from ignorance, prejudice and superstition and w e are able to

understand and comprehend TRUTH.

Sacred Space is created to allow us to move from awareness to consciousness and ultimately

to Integration- to be consciously aw are. This means that we are not only aw are of the

philosophical teachings of Masonry; through actively working in the several stations or chairs in

a Lodge and performing the memory work; but w e have discovered a true understanding, w e

have gained consciousness- a knowing at the deepest level of our being w hat Masonry truly is

and of integrating this into our lives. Sacred Space properly created provides a means for us to

do this, to live in conscious awareness of the TRUTH.

If Sacred Space is w hat w e want to create then as King Solomon built the Temple to

prepare a place to worship and acknowledge the Most High w e must also, through conscious

awareness, copy his example by preparing our Lodges in a like manner Can you visualize a

gourmet six course meal served on chipped plates with mismatched cutlery and served by

poorly trained waiters? Can you ever recall entering a Lodge room w here the paraphernalia w as

in need of obvious repair, w here officers did not show up and the work was less than good?

What did the energy level feel like? Now visualize that same Lodge room w here the brethren

have attended the ritual objects with love and care and carried out their tasks w ith precision.

You feel a sense of awe and reverence. Their intention has already raised the energy level.

Ritual properly accomplished in a Church is described as holy. The Lodge represents a Sacred

Space and King Solomon created the Holy of Holies in the Temple in Jerusalem as the most

Sacred Space to 'house' the spirit of the Lord.

Sacred Space may be created anywhere. As an example, there are open air degrees

accomplished in the United States each year. You and I and every member of the Craft make

the Lodge sacred by our understanding, observing and treating all that is accomplished as

Sacred.

The aforementioned topic w as chosen to show the importance of preparing and performing

within a Lodge, according to and connected with ancient traditions, so that all those seeking the

truth will be afforded the best possible opportunity and space to do it in. We must bring

attention to the need to have all Lodge paraphernalia in optimum condition as everything carries

with it unique energy and this energy must be maintained. Most important w e must do this to

create a sanctuary or Sacred Space w here Brethren may inspire the sacred in other men Where

Brethren may learn more of w ho or what they have represented in the Work which in the end

will serve to convey to them divine TRUTH, ultimately, know ledge of self and of the Deity.

Bibliography

Sacred Space 4

The Symbolism of Freemasonry by A. Mackay

Morals and Dogma by A. Pike

Traces of a Hidden Tradition in Masonry

 

 

 

         

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