Individuation of the Craft Pt. 5

by Midnight Freemason Emeritus
WB James E. Frey

Recognizing our shadow allows us identify what aspects of our self and which superfluities, we need to remove from our rough ashlar order to perfect our mind. This shows a desire to change and grow and also allows us to circumscribe our actions and keep them in due bounds. The progression of the Masonic system will often cause the initiate to re-evaluate themselves at a very introspective and personal manner. This stage of individuation, to accept ones doubts, fears, weaknesses, and primal capabilities is painful and may cause a conflict in beliefs in how we interact with the world. This embracing our inner shadow and accepting these aspects about ourselves makes us a whole individual and is the inevitably the starting point for the healing process, where we begin to accept ourselves.

It is revealed that the lack of confidence that we experienced growing up is now understood as illusion. The second stage of Individuation is a transition period where the archetype of the wise old teacher is given as a way for our consciousness to accept this darkness and embrace wholeness. This Wise Old Teacher in Entered Apprentice degree is the Senior Deacon. The guide upon the journey that finds the hero in his state of darkness and guides them toward the light to self-actualization. Jung states that the Wise Old Teacher is “...the principle that stands in opposition to matter… The archetype compensates this state of spiritual deficiency by the contents designed to fill this gap. ” (CW 7, pars 390)

The Wise Old Teacher Archetype is seen throughout mythology, he is the Wizard Gandalf, Merlin, Yoda, and any character that guides the hero of a tale toward greater spiritual revelation in rejection of material gain. This guide conducts you from darkness towards the light of the East, which is allegorical from a transition from material sense of self toward a sense of spirituality. This realization teaches us to balance our physical appetites with our higher intellect we gain a sense of inner balance.

This journey of traveling east can also be personified as a guide on the hero’s journey leading us to the path of realization. In the entered apprentice ritual this is the circumambulation that leads us toward the altar of obligation to solidify our dedication to self-improvement. This Guide or Teacher allows us to use the realization of our shadow to incorporate our desire into a sense of greater metaphysical unity. With taking the obligation we choose to embark on this process to individualize our consciousness and begin to transition it toward universal perception through balancing the conscious and unconscious self. “Conscious and unconscious do not make a whole when one of them is suppressed and injured by the other… Both are aspects of life. Consciousness should defend its reason and protect itself, and the chaotic life of the unconscious…” (CW 9 I, pars. 523)

Next week we talk about the absolute goal of individuation, Equilibrium. 


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