by Midnight Freemasons Contributor
James E Frey, 32°
Part One of Three: The Stone of Foundation
My Brethren, within the Masonic system the search for the Lost Word is at the root of individual transformation; both the York and Scottish Rites have together an extensive mythology surrounding this quest to utter the true name of God. This search is masonry’s quest for the Grail, its mythology stretches across biblical history, as every individual Mason must walk the steps to utter the ineffable word, which became lost.
The mythology of the Lost Word begins at the moment of creation itself. God declared the awe of light in the darkness and all came to Being. At this Moment God enacted the spark or creation which masons revere as the Stone of Foundation, the corner stone to which all creation was built. According to Albert Mackey, 33° the stone of foundation is “one of the most important and abstruse of all symbols of Freemasonry. It is referred to in numerous legends and traditions not only of the Freemasons, but also of Jewish Rabbis, the Talmudic writers, and even the mussulman doctors.” (Mackey, p.772) The stone of Foundation appears in numerous degrees, in both York, and Scottish Rite ritual as not only the presence of God but the foundation of his creation. Masonic Talmudists called it “eben shatijah” or the cornerstone laid by Jehovah at the moment of creation. The Stone is mentioned in the Biblical Book of Job 38, v. 4-7, in which the Almighty states “Where wast thou, when I laid the foundation of the Earth? Declare, since thou hast knowledge! Who fixed its dimensions, since thou knowest! Or who stretched out the line upon it? Upon what were its foundations fixed? And who laid its corner-stone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy.”
|Church of St. Germain|
The Stone of Foundation in legend was originally representative of God’s presence on Earth and was utilized as the first altar by Adam in the Garden of Eden. After their expulsion from paradise it was the only item Adam was able to carry out of paradise. It passed in succession from father to son passing through the lineage of man to Jared the Father of Enoch whom the apocryphal book is written. Book of Enoch speaks of the “stone which supports the corners of the Earth.”
This is central to Masonic myth especially in the Ineffable degrees, Cryptic, and Royal Arch Masonry, which alludes to Enoch and his journeys through heaven, of angels known as the watchers, and a race of giants known as the Nephilum, which terrorize the lands until being destroyed by the Flood.
Enoch, the son of Jared, was the sixth in descent from Adam. It is said that Enoch "walked with God: and he was not; for God took him," (Genesis 5:22-29). Enoch had a dream in which Supreme Deity appeared to him and said, “Enoch, thou hast longed to know My True Name. Arise and follow me, and thou shalt learn it”. Then Enoch ascended, to a mountain summit, which was high above the clouds, and the stars of the heavens. There he saw letters of brilliant light appear upon the clouds and form it mysterious and ineffable name, appeared in bright letters of the angelic alphabet. The pronunciation of the name was prohibited from being uttered by any man. This ineffable name would become the lost word of the ancient craft. Enoch then descended from the mountain summit down into the earth, passing through nine subterranean apartments, one below the other, going deeper into the earth. Each apartment was roofed with arches; in the ninth and lowest arch, he saw the Ineffable Name upon a triangular plate of gold, surrounded by brilliant rays of light, upon the stone of foundation, thereupon he awoke.
|Church of St. Merri at Paris|
Enoch awoke with divine inspiration to search for this sacred mountain and full fill God’s vision to construct the secret vault of nine arches which would survive the flood which God told him would soon overwhelm world in a vast sea of ruin to destroy the Nephilum who were the abominations of the fallen angels and mortal women. He journeyed to the land of Canaan, and discovered Mount Moriah as the place to build his secret vault with his son Methuselah. Canaan was then populated with the descendants of Adam; who Enoch enlisted as workmen for the construction his secret vault. At the base of the mountain they excavated a vault of nine apartments as he had seen in his dream. Down in the lowest of the Arches he placed the stone of foundation, upon the pillar of beauty, which was of white alabaster adorned with Enochian or the angelic language. The pillar was triangular and hollow, and into it flowed a stream of inflammable air that burned continually with a brilliant light. Upon the stone he placed a triangular plate of gold, inlaid with many precious gems, there he engraved the Ineffable Name of God, and sank the plate into one face of a cube, which he then placed upon a pedestal. There the precious treasure might remain undiscovered and remain to preserve the knowledge of God’s true name.
God feared that in the flood all knowledge of the arts and sciences would be lost. So Enoch was also commanded to build two great columns upon a high hill, one of brass, to resist water, and one of granite, to resist fire. So that one may withstand the End by water and the other to withstand the end by fire. Upon the granite column he engraved a description of the subterranean apartments and of the treasure that was deposited there. On the brass pillar were inscribed all the rudiments of the arts and sciences then known as the great truths of Masonry. During the flood the granite column was swept away by the waves and characters upon it lost to those who would seek to find the Ineffable Word, fragments of the granite Mizraim, (Gen. 10:6,13 and 1 Chron.1:8,11), afterwards was told to have carried into Egypt.
Only the brass pillar stood true and was afterwards found by Noah, who sought in vain for that of granite, which had the inscription upon which he knew from his Grand Father Methuselah, the son of Enoch. The true name of God remained lost.
Dr. Oliver wrote loosely of the Stone and the Word in his Historical Landmarks, “when he had placed the celebrated Stone of Foundation, on which the sacred name was mystically engraven, with solemn ceremonies, in that sacred depository on Mount Moriah, along with the foundations of Dan and Asher, the centre of the Most Holy Place.”
The word was lost until God spoke unto Moses, in the flaming bush:
“I am that which was and shall be. I am the God of thy Fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob. Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel, I am has sent me unto you. I am the Lord that appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob by my name Al Shedi, but my name I did not show them.”
James E Frey, 32° is a Past Sovereign Prince and current librarian of Valley of Danville AASR. Founder of the R.E.B.I.S Research Society he sits on two Blue Lodge Education committees as well as a guest lecturer on Occultism and Esoteric studies in masonry. He is also a Member of the Oak Lawn York Rite, Medinah Shriners, and Golden Dawn Collegium Spiritu Sancti. He also works as a counselor with emotionally and behaviorally challenged children.
I had to stop for a minute and look in the mirror to make sure I wasn't turning into Indiana Jones. Can't wait for the next installments!ReplyDelete