Friday, October 21, 2016

The Compasses

Thoughts on a Working Tool


You see them on the side of Masonic Lodges, Cornerstones of various buildings, bumper stickers, rings, and other various locations. It is one of three symbols that make up the classic ‘Square and Compasses’ known to the Freemasons. Did you know that the compasses carry two meanings for a Brother of the Craft?

In operative masonry the compasses are used to draw circles or parts of a circle, also known as arcs. The circles and arcs are some the simplest shapes, but essential forms,  required in geometry. Without a solid understanding and application of these (along with the square) the more complicated designs in geometry cannot be drawn.
In speculative (philosophical) masonry, the compasses are to remind a brother to keep his desires and passions within due bounds. 

Simple, like a circle or arc, right? 

Ponder the following: Can the mason be passionate about the honorable work, or career, that provides for his family? If the passions and time applied by the mason to his job starts to interfere with his family obligations is this a problem? The Mason should ask himself if these passions are within due bounds. In other words have these passions turn into vices? The mason should realize that almost anything that he is passionate about could at times be outside of due bounds and become a vice. (There is another working to assist a brother with vices.)

Still simple, ... Right?

It Fiat Lux & Scientia Es Potentia