...And Cast No Shadow.

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro. Robert Johnson 32°

Presented to Waukegan Lodge 78 on August 19th 2013 for Lodge Education

What is light? Of course we may think of it in the basic way, illuminations making things visible so that we may traverse lands, read and see the things around us, things that are necessary and some things which are just captivating, perhaps best described as those things which make us contemplate the glorious works of the creation. 
Original representation of the Sun.
The oldest pictograph for that of light is of course the sun. It is that which fixes the duration of seasons and years. Light brings us much joy and not just because it brings a bright and sunny day. We must consider the gifts that the sun brings; crops, a habitable planet even the gift of good mood. Exposure to the sun increases the body’s production of Vitamin D, which according to studies promotes a sense of mental well-being, a literal “sunny-disposition”.
It is no wonder our ancient ancestors including some brethren worshiped the sun. It only makes sense.  We as Freemasons may see light a different way; we think it synonymous with knowledge. To be illuminated is to know something, perhaps to be wise to something which is lost unto the rest. And this is the way of our craft, to illuminate brothers to a new way of living, a new way of seeing and a new way of hearing. 
The Circumpunct as
used in Freemasonry
To change direction but for only a moment, let us consider the space in our degrees in where we are taught the meaning of the circumpunct, the point within the circle. We are told that the point represents man and the circle; well that represents our boundary or our scope of concern. What about other areas in our Masonic system? In many Fellowcraft lectures, in countless jurisdictions the point is described and explained in the quote “A point is a figure without dimension.”
If a point is a representation of a man, then a man is without dimension. This is almost insulting. However, let us consider the following: the point represents a man indeed, who is without dimension, a mere spot on a piece of paper or indent in the sand or dirt, until that is, he grows.
Next let us look again at the circumpunct. A point or a man, surrounded by the circle, but again what does this circle represent? Perhaps not your boundary but instead its original meaning. The sun. 
The point within the circle can be described also as a seed. A man surrounded by the light of the sun, the sun having the effect on a man that it has on a seed or the point. Eventually the seed grows and becomes more than just a point, it becomes a sphere, growing exponentially feeding on the light of the sun or in this case the knowledge that surrounds him. 
Now we have come all the way around. The circumpunct, a point within a circle. A seed surrounded by the sun. A man surrounded by the light of knowledge. 
When the point in the center becomes so big that it lapses equally around the circle, the man (you) now becomes the light. It then becomes your duty to be that light which shines on the seedlings, or new brothers. You must shine bright, be there to comfort, to guide and to nourish the new brothers growth. Let that light, let your light be so bright that you illuminate all things, and from you, let no shadow be cast.

Bro. Robert Johnson, 32° is the Managing Editor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Freemason out of the First North-East District of Illinois. He belongs to Waukegan Lodge No. 78. He is also a member of the York Rite bodies Royal Arch, Cryptic Council, Knights Templar, AMD, The Illinois Lodge of Research and a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago as well as a charter member of the Society of King Solomon, a charity organization run by the Grand Lodge of Illinois. Brother Johnson currently produces and hosts a weekly Podcast (internet radio program) Whence Came You? which focuses on topics relating to Freemasonry. In addition, he produces video shorts focusing on driving interest in the Fraternity and writes original Masonic papers from time to time. He is a husband and father of three. He works full time in the safety industry and is also a photographer on the side as well as an avid home brewer. He is currently working on a book of Masonic essays.


  1. Brother Robert,

    I have quite a different feeling about the circumpunct, besides what was told us at a given point in the degrees. I've actually been contemplating the subject ever since you mentioned it in your podcast this past week.

    Maybe you and I can get into this later, whenever I make it through the third.

    1. You will have to regale me with your thoughts when you have time Brother. I look forward to listening!

  2. What about the way that those outside may view the "light"... As in "illuminati"...

    Commence conspiracy onslaught, in 3... 2.. 1...

  3. The land of all Here are thirty...


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