“Allegory” as stated in our response to “What is Masonry” i.e.
“It is a System of Morality, Veiled in Allegory and Illustrated by Symbols
This I intend to approach from both an Exoteric (outward & apparent) and Esoteric (inward & hidden) perspective
Let me begin by giving you the definition of the word “Allegory”
Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary gives the following definition,
- the expression by means of symbolic fictional figures and actions of truths or generalizations about human existence
- a symbolic representation.
In the “Freemason’s Guide and Compendium by Bernard E. Jones, he states.
“Allegory has much the same meaning as parable. We may call it a word-figure having two meanings, one literal and the other spiritual”.
So what does this mean and why is it so important to us as human beings & Freemasons?
I recall a saying that states “ A picture is worth a thousand words” and if I follow that to be true then surely acting out a play conveys a much more vivid and memorable message than the reading of a book.
This becomes even more apparent if the story has not been written down or the audience does not have access to books or would be unable to read them even if they had them.
Now for what I consider to be my favourite allegory/parable from the Bible, which can be found in the Book of Luke Chapter 10 Verses 25-37 and is the story of the Good Samaritan. It is interesting to note that the characters in this story have no names and are simply identified as coming from various stations in life or race of people. I believe this to be incredibly significant as, we as Freemasons learn that charity does not need a name, as the act is significant of itself.
The Allegory in this case “ Love thy neighbour as thyself”
Other very familiar allegories are the stories told to small children teaching them the difference between Right and Wrong, Truth and Lies and all other sorts of meaningful messages. In Freemasonry, as we all know, Allegories are very heavily used in all Degrees, but most particularly in the Master Mason Degree.
Now for the message I wish to convey, it is this:
In telling a story to our child or grandchild, I believe we take great pains to make the story memorable and convey the correct message. With that thought in mind, does it not make sense for all of us to make that same effort in the preparation for and the delivery of Ritual within the Lodge. In my opinion, it would make a huge difference for both the candidate and ourselves.
Does God Exist?
A man went to a barbershop to have his hair cut and his beard trimmed. As the barber began to work, they began to have a good conversation. They talked about so many things and various subjects & when they eventually touched on the subject of God, the barber said.
“I don’t believe that God exists” Why do you say that? Asked the customer.
Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn’t exist. Tell me, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be so many sick children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can’t imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things.
The customer thought for a moment, but didn’t respond because he didn’t want to start an argument. The barber finished his job and the customer left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long stringy dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt.
The customer turned back and entered the barbershop again and said to the Barber. You know what “Barbers do not Exist” “How can you say that?” asked the surprised barber. “I am here, and I am a barber and I just worked on you”
“No” the customer exclaimed. “Barbers don’t exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like the man outside.
“Ah, but barbers DO exist! What happens is people do not come to me.”
“Exactly!” affirmed the customer. ”That’s the point! God too DOES exist.! What happens is, people don’t go to him and do not look for him. That’s why there’s so much pain and suffering in the World. Author unknown.