In Search Of The Lost Word: Part III
by Midnight Freemasons Contributor
James E Frey, 32°
Part 3 of 3: The Word Revealed
In a Secret Vault, deep beneath the ruins of the Temple there is a treasure. This treasure is not of gold, nor embedded with jewels, it is a word that no mortal tongue can speak, spoken only in silence and flame. It is a treasure of knowledge, the true name of God. This truth was hidden away from those unworthy to know it. For this word belongs to the master, which had fallen, this word hidden from those who have been taken into captivity.
After King Cyrus, founder of the Persian Empire, conquered Babylon and by means of a mysterious dreams he frees the captives to return back and rebuild their temple. This was achieved through the actions of a Prince Mason known as Zerubabel, who would lead his people back to the Promised Land. The Knight Masons, York, and Scottish Rites have degrees, which deal with the period in time in which Zerubabel led his people back to the Promised Land and the rebuilding the Temple. During the rebuilding the Samaritans kept attacking the builders causing them to labor with a trowel in one hand and a sword in the other. It was not until Zerubabel traveled to Persia to gain favor with King Darius, the new King of Persia after Cyrus, to send an order out to protect and aid in the building of the Temple. Zerubabel is challenged to a contest of philosophy in which he outwitted the wisest satraps from the furthest reaches of the empire winning favor with the King gaining his support for the construction efforts. (Ezra 6: 3-13)
It is soon after this time Zerubabel leads an excavation effort to rebuild the temple and upon clearing the ruins of the old Temple then discover a secret vault. Upon digging deeper they discover the lost word and revere its glory. In Royal Arch Masonry the Name is composed of the Hebrew Letters Yod Heh Vau Heh within a triangle encased by a secret codex to preserve its secrets from the uninitiated.
To seek the name of Divinity is to understand the ineffable. As Masons we strive as men of different religions, races, social statuses, to unite in the search for what unites us, our inner divinity. Upon receiving the word in this Pinnacle point of Masonic teaching, the seeker must pass through the veils of space and time itself. The Passing of the veils was first adopted in Scottish Royal Arch Masonry but was soon spread as a strong experience for the Royal Arch Mason who must pass through the veils of the temple. It is pointed as the way the Tabernacle in the wilderness was situated with different compartments. But this is rather symbolic of the nature of High Priesthood. The High Priest would have to purify himself with ritualistic ceremony before beholding the Ark of the Covenant in the Sanctum Sanctorum. These ceremonies involved the Priest passing through the various furniture of the temple.
The First veil is engraved with an Ox, which is representative of the Table of Shrew Bread, which the Priest would partake of. This is also representative of the element of Earth as found in part of the Cherubim found in Ezekiel’s vision. (Ezekiel 1) This also has a astrological correspondence with Taurus the bull. The Second Veil that of a man, which represented the Laver of Brass where the priest would ceremonially bath and purify himself. This represents the water element within the Cherubim, and has a strong astrological correspondence with Aquarius the water barer. The Third Veil is the Eagle and is associated with the Altar of incense the Priest would make a sacrifice on and burn the remains to smoke that would rise to the heavens. This is related to the Air element within the Cherubim and is associated with Scorpio the risen Eagle. The Forth veil bears the Lion representative of the Twelve Branch Candle Stick the Priest would meditate upon. This veil is associated with the Fire element of the Cherubim and is associated astrologically with Leo the Lion.
Each emblem is also representative of a dominant tribe of Israel, such as the Tweleve Branch Candle stick represents the Twelve Tribes of Israel. But astrologically this can be interpreted as the four astrological seasons and the twelve zodiacs. It is interesting to note that the what appeared on Mizram’s tablet taken from the ruin’s of Enoch’s Stone Pillar is the rule “As Above, So Below” which means that the material world is a reflection of the heavens primarily the astrological alignments to express an ancient connection to the divine. This spiritual journey of the Priest was to show his spiritual advancement to be worthy and balanced enough to behold the presence of God to pray for the sins of his people.
“But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.” (Hebrews 9:7)
Now the Priest stood before the Sanctum Sanctorum, to view with all connection to God the ineffable name and the Ark of the Covenant in its fullest glory. This process was used as a metaphor to show the divine connection we have through Jesus death this is representative to the spiritual purity of the Christ to die for our sins just as the High Priest would purify himself and pray for the sins of his people. “the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.” (Hebrews 6:19-20)
To behold the name of God in the climax of the Royal Arch is to follow in the steps of Christ, to balance one’s true self between heaven and earth, the material elements and the spiritual elements. As Christ is both man and God so must the Seeker of the word recognize his inner divinity is a connect to God.
“For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place” (Hebrews 9:24-26)
The unity the Seeker discovers is represented by the cherubim atop the Ark of the Covenant no long segmented into an ox, man, eagle, and Lion but unified and represented as one angelic being which represents spiritual ether. The Cherubim guard the Ark and the Word just as the Cherubim first guarded the entrance to the Garden of Eden the Pathway to the Tree of Life, which has a strong connection to Kabalistic principals. This unity of the spiritual and the material is a great awakening within the Seeker of the word, clearly he now he recognizes the unity of nature with God, now he sees the beauty of the living arch stretching from the earth to the heavens.
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.