The Rough and Perfect Ashlar

by Senior Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Gregory J. Knott

At our last meeting of Homer Lodge No. 199, fellow Midnight Freemason Darin Lahners led a fantastic discussion on the topic of the rough and perfect ashlar. That night the attendees ranged in age from 20 to 80. As I listened to my fellow lodge brothers talk about this topic, I was very impressed with the insight that each of them brought to the discussion.

As Freemasons we venture onward toward a goal of perfection that is not achievable. Yet as one of the reflection questions from the discussion asked, if we cannot obtain perfection, then why would we strive for it?

The discussion regarding this question focused around the need for continued individual growth, working towards constant self-improvement or one risks becoming stagnant in life. Several brothers spoke about the spiritual growth that is important along life’s journey. Self-improvement as a goal provides the motivation for continued learning, challenging oneself to try new experiences and looking inward to a deeper understanding of one’s self.

Metaphorically the rough ashlar represents the imperfect individual, it represents you the Freemason. But as a Freemason you have been given the tools towards chipping away at the rough ashlar in pursuit of the perfect ashlar. In order to do your work as the Freemason you must use these tools, or you risk not improving your ashlar.

So, I challenge you to pick up your working tools and begin chipping away towards your perfect ashlar. Your journey in life will be so much more rewarding!


Greg Knott is the Worshipful Master of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), a Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 in St. Joseph (IL) and a plural member of Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL) and Naval Lodge No. 4 in Washington, DC.

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