Masonic Symbolism in the Matrix Part 4 Conclusion

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Darrin A. Lahners



*Editors Note* WB Lahners originally sent this to me in one post. I thought it best to split this up into a few pieces. Deciding where to break it apart was difficult, however I feel that we accomplished this so that one can read a part and contiue the next one without a refresher. Just the same, there will be links to each previous piece as the come out. I hope you enjoy!

The next scene reveals the Agents, led by the sinister Agent Smith, torturing Morpheus. Agent Smith reveals that they attempted to make the first version of the Matrix as a perfect world for humans, but that we wouldn’t accept it. He goes on to call humanity a virus and a disease and that the machines are the cure. Neo, realizes that he has to go back into the Matrix in order to save Morpheus, instead of killing him to protect Zion. Trinity pulls rank on Neo and says she’s going with him. Meanwhile, Smith is alone with Morpheus. He states his desire to get out of the Matrix because of how much he abhors humanity.

Trinity and Neo break into a secure building in order to steal a helicopter. After some out of this world gymnastic tricks and gun play in the building’s lobby, they make it to the elevator which they take to the roof. Trinity gets to the helicopter and downloads the program to teach her how to fly it, while Neo dodges all of the bullets of an agent that shows up. As an aside, this bullet dodging scene is now repeated in some form as an homage in many movies that follow it. Trinity and Neo board the helicopter, and rescue Morpheus. They then make it to an exit in a subway, where Morpheus and Trinity are able to escape. Agent Smith shows up, and he and Neo battle. Neo defeats Smith, but Smith is able to change his form into another person nearby before getting killed. Smith then re-appears and Neo runs for his life.

Neo makes it to room ‘303’ at the ‘Heart o’ the City’ Motel, where he is ambushed and killed by Agent Smith. In the meantime, the machines have located the Nebuchadnezzar and have sent their Sentinels to destroy it. The Sentinels are cutting into the hull of the ship, and Trinity confesses that Neo can’t be dead. She was told by the Oracle that she would fall in love with the ‘One’, and that she loves Neo. With her confession, Neo arises from death. He now sees the Matrix in code, and he’s able to manipulate it at will. He stops bullets in midair, and dives into Agent Smith. Smith then starts to overload, and explodes with a scream. The other agents flee, and Neo escapes the Matrix, allowing the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar to employ the EMP device. The movie ends with Neo issuing a warning to the machines from a phone booth. He flies up into the camera which is placed overhead, and the movie ends.


Neo in essence becomes a Fellowcraft upon his second foray into the Matrix to rescue Morpheus. Fellowcraft masons during their degree are shown a representation of the Middle Chamber of the Temple of Solomon. They are taught about the liberal arts and sciences. They are given more responsibility. This is mimicked by Neo, who upon his second entry in the Matrix, is able to better manipulate his surroundings. He is still lead by a true and trusty guide in the form of Trinity, but he is able to perform superhuman feats like dodging bullets.

The end of the movie shows Neo as taking the place of Hiram Abiff. Like Hiram, Neo is confronted by 3 agents (ruffians). Agent Smith, who plays the role of Jubelum as the head agent, kills him. Like the phoenix however, Neo is reborn. Neo is raised from the grave by the utterance of a specific word or phrase, and he is now a Master of the Matrix. A brother who portrays Hiram Abiff in the 3rd Degree is raised as a Master Mason and given a specific word or phrase. Much like the newly raised Neo is able to go on to have further adventures inside the Matrix, the new Master Mason is now able to go on to have further Masonic opportunities by joining the York Rite, Scottish Rite, or any of the other appendant bodies.

There are many themes in the Matrix that are worth observing from an esoteric perspective, the movie is steeped in Gnostic themes. There is also philosophical theme regarding the nature of reality which is alluded to by the inclusion of Baudrillard’s Treatise, Simulacra & Simulation, in the movie. The work, which is best known for its discussion of symbols, signs and how they relate to simultaneous existences. There are also some odd coincidences like Neo’s passport expiring on 9/11/2001, even though the movie opened in theaters in 1999, and was filmed in 1998. I tried only to capture what I felt were some of the Masonic themes in the movie. I’m sure I may have missed some.   I’d welcome other’s opinions on the movie as well. What did I miss? What do you think I misinterpreted? Let me know.

-DAL
WB Darin A. Lahners is the Worshipful Master of St. Joseph Lodge No.970 in St. Joseph and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), and Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL). He’s a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Danville, a charter member of the new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter U.D. and is the current Secretary of the Illini High Twelve Club No. 768 in Champaign – Urbana (IL). He is also a member of the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. When he’s not busy enjoying Masonic fellowship, Darin spends his time as a DM for his children’s D&D campaign, reading, golfing, watching movies and listening to music. You can reach him by email at darin.lahners@gmail.com.

My Brother's Wife

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bill Hosler, PM


“Because she is my brother’s wife.” my dad said to my mother in a quiet, firm voice. “No, she isn’t.”, my mother said in the voice she used on me when I was in trouble “She is just the wife of some guy in that lodge of yours.”

The house was still except for the argument which my Mom and dad were having in the kitchen. I was sitting in our living room across from an elderly lady, who sat on our sofa. She looked like someone’s grandma except, she looked really tired and sickly. I wasn’t sure if she was crying into the handkerchief she held in her shaking hands over the words my mom and dad were saying or if it was something else that had this poor old lady upset. All I knew was at the tender age of ten, it was something that shook me to my very core and something I knew I would never forget.

~~~~

Earlier that day, I was in the car with my father as he was driving into town to buy my mother’s Christmas present. The inside of the car was toasty warm and comfortable as I snuggled into the leather car seat. Dad was busy streaming Christmas music through the car from his smartphone. The setting sun made the snow flurries look like they were magical elves dancing in the air as our car navigated the snowy roads to the local mall.

I was awakened by my Yuletide fantasy as I felt dad slowing the car as he made a turn down an unfamiliar long driveway. As Dad put the car in park, I looked at our destination. “I decided I need to make a stop before we get to the mall.”, he said as he started to remove his seat belt. I removed my seat belt and opened the door to follow him.

As we walked up to the house I began to get scared. This place we were at looked like a haunted house. The paint on the house was peeling off and I could hear the wind banging one of the houses shudders back and forth against a broken window. The wind was also blowing the limbs on the leafless trees surrounding this poor old house. I couldn’t understand why he stopped at some scary place like this. I mean, it was Christmas Eve, not Halloween. I took my dad’s hand and hid behind him as he knocked on the house’s door.

After several minutes the door opened slowly. Standing at the threshold was this little old lady. The poor lady had a confused look on her face and I’m sure if I was a little older I would have noticed she had a cautious look as she said in a frail voice “Can I help you, sir?”

“Mary, you may not remember me but my name is Lee Hamilton, I’m a member of Norman’s Masonic lodge.” Mary smiled frailly “Please come in.” I could feel the wind blowing through the house as we entered into the building.

“I’m sorry it’s so cold. I’m not used to having guests.” Mary said as I sat down on a broken chair. “The furnace went out about a year ago and I haven’ been able to afford a new one. Honestly, it doesn’t make sense to put one in any way. One of these days a good strong breeze will blow the house down anyway.” Mary said in a quiet voice. “It’s not too bad, I cover up with lots of blankets and it makes the place nice and cozy.” she said.

My father seemed shocked at the state of her home “I wish I knew you were having problems with your heating. Did you ever try to contact the lodge?” Mary looked down at her lap “I did a few years ago when I still had a telephone.” I tried, but no matter what time of day or night I tried to call I always got an answering machine. Sometimes I would leave a message but no one ever called me back. I figured it had been so many years since my Norman passed away the members didn’t remember him anymore so I gave up.” I read in the paper that the lodge was busy raising thousands of dollars to give scholarships to high school kids and other fundraisers to buy glasses for children. I just assumed they were too busy helping others in the community than to worry about me." Mary began to get choked up and reached for an old handkerchief.

Tears feel down the elderly ladies face as she continued “I get along ok. I get some money from Social Security every month and I have a part time job as a cashier at a small grocery store. The job is a blessing because my employee discount on groceries makes my food stamps last nearly the entire month. Luckily it’ Sonny’s about a mile away so it isn’t far to walk to get to work. I can’t drive anymore so I walk. Sometimes the manager of the store will drive me home. He also carries in my groceries.”

I was really getting nervous because I could see tears starting to fall from my Dads eyes. Dad always seemed like such a big, tough guy I never thought anything could make him cry.

In a quiet voice he said, “Mary, what are you doing for Christmas dinner?” Mary raised her head, trying to hide her emotions “Well the kids are so busy they can’t be here this year. They all have their own lives and my Grandchildren. They all live so far away I imagine they won’t make it. They haven’t been here for years now. I think they forgot about me.” Her hands were shaking as she continued “ I don’t need a lot. I have a brand new jar of peanut butter I’ve been saving and saltine crackers. At my age, you don’t need a lot to live on”. Mary began staring off into space. I’m not sure if she was trying to convince herself what she was saying was real or whether she was thinking about a Christmas time along ago and a time of happier memories.

Dad used the sleeve of his coat to wipe the tears from his eyes. You could tell he was trying to steady himself as he found his voice. “Mary, there is no way I’m leaving you here in this condition. Please gather some clothes together and come spend the holiday with us. I won’t take no for an answer. We have plenty, actually more than we really need. You are welcome to stay with us.”

~~~~~

I could hear my folks still discussing the current situation as Mary rose from our couch and slowly started walking toward my parents who were in the kitchen. “Please, Mister Hamilton, please take me home. The last thing I want to do is cause a family to fight, especially on Christmas Eve. I’ve lived in that house in its current condition for quite a few years. I want you to have a happy Christmas. One thing this old lady has learned through many years of living is once your family is gone all you have left is memories and they should be happy memories.”

I noticed my mom began to sob as my Dad said: “Mary there is no way. I could never have a happy memory of this Christmas if I knew you were freezing in an unheated house living on crackers.”

Dad continued “To be honest I’m actually ashamed of myself for waiting all these years to visit you and not upholding my Masonic obligation to you and now I wonder how many of our widows who we have allowed to live in such a state. Especially when we have raised tens of thousands of dollars to fund projects which have nothing to do with our Masonic obligations. You are going to stay here in our guest room until we can figure out what it will take to fix your house and make sure you never want for food or shelter ever again.”

Everyone in the room looked at my mother for her decision. Even at my young age, my mom felt bad at the thought of sending this woman back to her shack with no food. “Well,” mom said in a quiet voice, “I can see that this means a lot to Lee and we have plenty of room and definitely more than enough food for all of us. I have to say please stay.” Tears ran down the faces of both women as they embraced. “I bet you could use a nice warm bath and then we will get you some clean clothes. I hope you like roast chicken, I’ve been cooking all day.” The old lady smiled “I do and it would be an honor if you would let me help you cook tomorrow.”

Later that night I was hiding at the top of the stairs trying to stay awake long enough to get a glimpse of Santa Claus. Mom and dad were in the living room staring into a roaring fire in the fireplace. I saw Dad lean over and kiss my mother’s cheek. “What’s that for?” Mom said with a smile on her face My Dad smiled and said “For allowing Mary to stay here with us. I know that couldn’t be easy for you.” “It wasn’t but I could see if your face how important it was to you and I couldn’t, in good conscience send her back to a place that sounds so horrible. I just hope you can help her.” “I only have one regret.” Dad said.

“In all of this excitement with Mary I never got your Christmas gift.” He added with a slight hesitation. Mom just snuggled into Dads’ shoulder “That’s okay babe. I’m a lucky girl. I have everything I will ever need or want. Just having a good, caring man like you is gift enough.” Mom added “I do have one question. What made you stop by her house in the first place?” Dad took a deep breath “Honestly, I can’t tell you why. I was just driving down the road and then all of a sudden this voice told me to stop the car and pay a visit to Mary. Maybe it was Norman sending me a message from the Grand Lodge above.” my dad said with a chuckle.

Over the next few weeks the members of the lodge inspected Mary’s little home and sadly the place was so disheveled, it could not be saved. The lodge, with Mary’s consent, arranged for her to have a room at the Grand lodge’s Masonic home. Mary thrived in her new environment. She gained weight from the nutritious food served to her and she developed a glow as she met new friends and lived the rest of her life in a safe, warm environment with plenty of love and happiness.

Finding Mary living in such a disheveled condition acted as a wakeup call to Dad's little lodge. Dad used to the lodge’s next stated meeting as “The night the lodge quit making Masons and began to practice Freemasonry.”

Dad would always say, “There was a lot of apron gazing that night as the Brethren hung their heads in shame. Especially from the row of Past Masters who not only knew Mary’s husband but never thought to check on his widow, and all the other lodge widows for so many years. Needless to say, the Brethren worked hard and each took a solemn vow (Or reaffirmed their original Master Mason obligation) to care for each other’s widows and orphans.

~~~~~

“Johnny, were ready to start.” the Master of the lodge said to me as I heard the old tune “Solemn strikes the funeral chimes”. Standing here at my father’s coffin brought all those memories of that Christmas back to me from so long ago. I was told by the lodge I didn’t have to be a part of Dad's Masonic memorial service. I just felt like I should be there, following in his footsteps as a member of his lodge. Standing here holding Dad's apron and a sprig of evergreen reminded me of my new obligation to my own mother, as well as those other ladies. I just hope Dad is looking down and smiling at me, as the man that Freemasonry taught me to be.

~BH

WB Bill Hosler  was made a Master Mason in 2002 in Three Rivers Lodge #733 in Indiana. He served as Worshipful Master in 2007 and became a member of the internet committee for Indiana's Grand Lodge. Bill is currently a member of Roff Lodge No. 169 in Roff Oklahoma and Lebanon Lodge No. 837 in Frisco,Texas. Bill is also a member of the Valley of Fort Wayne Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in Indiana. A typical active Freemason, Bill also served as the High Priest of Fort Wayne's Chapter of the York Rite No. 19 and was commander of of the Fort Wayne Commandery No. 4 of the Knight Templar. During all this he also served as the webmaster and magazine editor for the Mizpah Shrine in Fort Wayne Indiana.

Admiration Royal Arch Chapter Meeting

by Senior Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Gregory J. Knott



On November 30, 2017 Admiration Chapter No. 282 held our first regular meeting since receiving our charter earlier this fall. This meeting was the first one in putting into action all the work that had been done over the last three years of working towards our goal of a charter.

At a time when so many other Masonic bodies are barely holding on, we seemed to have found a formula that is working. We provide members something of value and a reason to come to our meetings.

Sure, we must take care of the business at hand, but this is done quickly and efficiently. We didn’t start a new Chapter just for another opportunity to read the minutes. At our last meeting Brian Pettice, who was one of the key organizers of Admiration Chapter, reviewed the original mission, vision and goals for Admiration. Brian also read an email I had put together back in January 2015 with some of my thoughts on what new Royal Arch Chapter could be.

These are the points I listed in my original email to several brothers:

· I want to be part of an organization that has as its primary core values and seeks to exemplify, our core Masonic values, brotherly love, relief and truth.

· I have no interest in another organization that simply reads the minutes and pays the bills. We have plenty of these already. While the business matters of a Chapter are important, they shouldn't be the primary focus of meetings.

· Focus on quality meetings, not quantity of meetings.

· An organization that does not accept mediocrity, but rather strives for excellence in our relations with each other, our exemplification of degrees and our service to Freemasonry.

· A Chapter that has education as a primary means of sharing with its members, the lessons of Freemasonry, thus providing a means for its members to not only learn, but the opportunity to share in the educational opportunities as both student and teacher.

· An expectation that members of the Chapter will share in the obligations of Masonic Education.

· Utilizes the dining room for fellowship and gathering.

· Civility - I think much of our culture has lost the principal of civility. I see it in on-line forums, on the campuses where I spend time, in our government and elsewhere. We as Freemasons have a long history of exemplifying civility. I would challenge a new Chapter to not only exemplify civility within the Chapter, but provide leadership throughout Freemasonry and within our communities on the topic of civility. I think we have a real opportunity with this topic.

One area I am especially proud is our work in Masonic Education. Several Companions have given presentations and we have held facilitated discussions on topics such as civility and honor. It has been rewarding in listening to the Companions engage in these discussions. I have learned something on every topic we have had.

We are preparing for our second annual St. John’s celebration on December 27, where fellowship and education will be the focus, with the companions gathered in our dining room. If you have never held such an event, I encourage you to start one.
Admiration Chapter is just getting started.

~GJK

WB Gregory J. Knott is the Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 in St. Joseph (IL) and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL) and Naval Lodge No. 4 in Washington, DC.
















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