The wages of a Fellowcraft Mason — Corn, Wine, and Oil. We should all be relatively familiar with these concepts. But what are the wages of a Master Mason?
In almost every jurisdiction I’ve traveled to, there is a line spoken during the Opening and Closing ritual that passes by with little or no consequence. Outside of these two ceremonies, I’ve never heard the concept explored beyond what is spoken. The words are given by the Senior Warden.
The Master asks, in effect, why one would ever be compelled to become a Master Mason. The Senior Warden’s reply, which I am paraphrasing below, covers a few different reasons:
- To travel to far off and distant lands
- To earn wages
- To better help him support those in need
All of the above reasons make sense for an Operative Mason. Of course he would want to travel and seek out work. Of course he would want to receive his pay. Of course he would want to support his family and friends. But do these reasons make sense for Speculative Masons?
When the Senior Warden recites these particular lines, he’s telling everyone exactly what our purpose as Master Masons is, and it can never be emphasized enough.
As a Master Mason, you are to “travel.” Those far off and distant lands — those foreign countries — they’re foreign concepts. They’re unexplored and unexamined subjects. They’re others’ opinions and views — different from your own.
The wages of a Master Mason are knowledge. They’re the broadening of horizons. Light.
Envision yourself inside of a deeply dark maze. The walls are high, and the paths are narrow. You’re carrying a small lantern. It’s your only source of light. If you can stoke the embers — if you can grow the flame — more of the maze is revealed to you. In my view, “Light” — knowledge — helps us better understand how to navigate our way through this life.
As you grow as a person, with a broader perspective and a deeper understanding of the world, you are better suited to lend advice and share your insights with others.
I wanted to end this by stating that, if you will allow the world to shape you, in turn, you can shape the world. As I typed those words out, I realized that there’s a problem with that sentiment. It’s an incomplete thought. The world will shape you. It’s not your choice; change is inevitable. That broadening of perspective, though, helps us better understand how we should respond. If we should respond.
For an alternative view on what Light might be, here’s an interesting post from the Parking Lot Mason.
[Source: THE ROYAL ART – Observations of a Freemason]