Individuation of the Craft Pt. 4

by Midnight Freemason Emeritus
WB James E. Frey

The first step in the process of individuation is realizing our own potential for darkness, to do this the Initiate must strip away his false sense of self and his idealized nature. In the past an Initiate would be placed in a chamber of reflection for this purpose. The reflection upon the grim reminders of death not only strips the ego of its self-assuring illusion but mentally prepares the candidate to begin to notice the existential dilemma within. The Chamber of reflection formulates the candidate to perceive their own doubts and fears in a constructive manner, to reject the illusion of the ego and accept one’s limitations.

Similar to this is metaphorical duty of the Entered Apprentice who is declared a barer of burden and must descend into the darkness of the quarries, down into the primordial earth of the unconscious mind. Here in this primal darkness he would break off pieces of rough stone and carry it painfully up to the light to be exposed for its imperfections as a rough ashlar. The Mason is given the privilege of labor toward a greater cause than himself. This labor is the lesson taught in every degree on the progression of the Initiate through the darkness toward the light of greater growth.

This is why the initiate must choose of his own free will and accord to knock three times and enter the lodge hoodwinked to strip himself of his ego’s mask and engage directly with his own personification of darkness. Facing this doubt of our own ignorance and inability to bring light into our own lives through the ambitions of the ego is the first stage of Individuation This is allowing society to form your mask so that you may break free from it. To become a whole individual we need to recognize our own doubts and weakness within ourselves and embrace them as a vital aspect of who we are as an individual.

Next week we'll talk about recognizing these "shadows". Until then, my Brothers...


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