The Power of a Name

by Midnight Freemason Emeritus Contributor
Bro. Aaron R. Gardner
Guest Editor
WB Robert E. Jackson

The lost word in Freemasonry is a legend taught from the very moment that an initiate must learn the time he passes and is “brought to light”. This lost word, we are taught is the name of God. As you go through the first three degrees, you learn the word is lost, never to be spoken again. Alas, the newly made Mason feels like all is lost, and the point of going through the degrees is moot. However, we learn of yet another word that is to replace the lost word. Unfortunately, that word is not the word that any new Mason is looking for. After all, it is not what we came for. We feel cheated from the remaining story, as Shakespeare points out in Romeo and Juliet, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” So, we go on…

Some choose to find even further light in the different rites. In the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, we are promised the ineffable name. In which it is displayed. Alas, yet again, it cannot be said, for the term ineffable literally means “too great to be expressed in words”. So, there is, yet again, lost pronunciation in the word we look for.

This same search for the name of God has been demonstrated for centuries before. It has caused division amongst God’s people since the dawn of time. The Abrahamic traditions have created such division. There is a book that expresses these divisions and how they began titled: “Abraham, One God, Three Wives, Five Religions”.

In Judaism, the only person capable of pronouncing this ineffable name of God is the High Priest. Rooted in the belief that the whole world would be struck dumb if the word is spoken aloud. Instead, the Jewish traditions offer 72 different names in which to address God throughout the Torah. The most notable of those names are Abba or Father, Jehovah, and I AM. In which Christianity adopts these names when the religion adopted the Torah as the Old Testament. But, they are not the only Abrahamic tradition that recognizes a different name other than what is spoken for God.

Islam too, has adopted multiple names for the same deity. 99 different names to be exact. 99 names outside of the one Great Name, which cannot be spoken.

As you can see, these traditions are very like the traditions of Freemasonry, in which the great name for the almighty creator cannot be spoken in public. But, Freemasonry and these different forms of religion are not the only times that the power behind a name is demonstrated. Egyptian practices have offered up other names for the great creator, as well as fables and folklore. The tale of a gnome that weaves wheat into gold is a prime example of how knowing the name of Rumpelstiltskin has power over the creature. Even if that tale is still too old for anyone to relate, modern stories in pop culture offer the significance behind a name in Harry Potter. Just to speak the name of “He who shall name be named” causes wizards and witches alike to shake in their cloaks. The only exception are the wizards and witches that are not afraid of Voldemort.

These examples show the significance of a name. How a name can have such power over the world in which it is used. In this world, we are searching for the name of God, because to know the name of God is to know God, the goal of every God-fearing soul on Earth—to know God and to love God with all our might.

Just to say that Freemasonry is searching for the powerful name of God incites reasoning to believe that Freemasonry is a religion. However, it is not. It is a tool. It provides a drama, much like the stories given above in Rumpelstiltskin or Harry Potter. It provides a method of coming to know one’s own God, while in the reverence of others with the same goal, on different paths. It provides a method of God’s creation to unite as one and not allow the different paths to create division amongst one another.

It is true, what is being done in a Masonic lodge can be conducted in your choice of worship place. It is not just encouraged, but desired by Freemasons for you to practice your own faith and beliefs in whatever religious place of worship you call home. But, it is encouraged to join others of differing faiths on the same quest, so that you and they may come to know that we are all but one body of our Creator, regardless of the name you call it. We are all in this together, and we refuse to allow our differences to divide God’s creatures from knowing Him.

So, rather you call a sweet-smelling flower a rose, or call it an airtafae, Freemasonry offers the ability to know they are different versions of a flower, but defined the same.


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