“I’ll plant within the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle,
and the olive tree; I’ll set within the desert the fir tree, and the
pine, and the field tree collectively:”
The symbolism of the acacia, or evergreen is well-known as a Masonic Lodge Image all through Freemasonry. It was planted to mark the spot of the burial of a celebrated artist necessary to Masonic teachings. A sprig of evergreen is utilized by the Funeral Grasp throughout each Masonic funeral ceremony. The shittim-wood that was apparently utilized by the youngsters of Israel within the building of Moses’ Tabernacle, in addition to is the constructing of the Ark of the Covenant is a species of the acacia. Being a thorny tamarisk, it additionally grew across the useless physique of Osiris within the Egyptian legend and constituted the crown of thorns crushed to the forehead of the Christ throughout his Ardour. In all of these occasions, the acacia represented immortality, due to its tenacity of life. With out query, the tamarisk was terribly tough to kill.
The ancients recognized the acacia with the extra delicate plant referred to as the mimosa. A Coptic legend informs us that the mimosa was the to start with timber and shrubs to truly worship the Christ. Certainly, a few of the early fathers of Christianity used the tree to represent the Christ. As such, the ancients meant to convey the notion that timber, vegetation and shrubs had been residing, respiration life kinds that had been animated with the Divine Gentle.
Timber are sometimes talked about in each the Outdated and New Testaments, in addition to within the writings of the so-called pagans. As examples, we discover messages about creation hidden with such symbols because the Tree of Life, which represents the religious level of stability or equilibrium, and the Tree of Data, which represents polarity within the type of good and evil. Moses heard the voice of God emanating from a burning bush. Buddha acquired his illumination whereas below the bodhi tree and the consecrated rod of Hermes was nothing greater than a kind of tree.
Philosophers and monks had been steadily known as timber. The very identify of the Druids allegedly means “the boys of oak timber.” Initiates into sure Syrian mysteries had been referred to as “cedars.” In reality, the well-known “cedars of Lebanon” described within the First Diploma of Masonry had been initiated sages which constituted the true helps of King Solomon’s Temple. If one listens intently to the teachings within the First Diploma, he’ll hear that the three pillars within the lodge symbolically symbolize the Worshipful Grasp, Senior and Junior Wardens – initially thought to be three exceptionally clever and proficient males who spiritually led the Entered Apprentices, Fellowcrafts and Masters, or overseers of the work.
Versus symbolizing particular individuals, Freemasonry makes use of the acacia to symbolize sure rules of spirituality that each one individuals ought to aspire to realize. First, it’s the emblem of the vernal equinox, or annual resurrection of the solar from the dying of winter. Second, it signifies purity and innocence – traits additionally embodied within the legendary character Hiram Abif. Third, it typifies human immortality and the regeneration of life. The evergreen represents that immortal a part of man that survives the destruction of the bodily physique and which can by no means, by no means, by no means die. Lastly, it’s the revered emblem of the traditional Egyptian Mysteries, to which Masonry owes a lot of its basis.
The legend of Hiram Abif is liberally drawn from the Egyptian Thriller ritual of the homicide and resurrection of Osiris. As such, the sprig of acacia additionally represents to Hiram’s resurrection to all Masons. Within the Egyptian legend, the chest containing the physique of Osiris, who was viciously murdered by Typhon, was washed ashore and lodged within the roots of a tamarisk, or acacia. The tamarisk grew right into a mighty tree enclosing inside itself the physique of the murdered god. Some writers have theorized that this legend is the idea upon which the story was primarily based concerning the sprig of acacia left at Hiram’s grave. Others even have asserted that the present-day Christmas tree is a continuation of the thriller of the evergreen.
Amongst Freemasons the important lesson taught by the acacia pertains to the permanence of the human soul. The theme of permanence is bundled up into the assorted theologies and philosophies arising out of the notion of the resurrection. At this time, sure religions educate that when a human dies ultimately each his soul and materials physique proceed in a heavenly setting. Different religions maintain that solely the soul continues to dwell. Most settle for the competition that souls all the time had been and ever can be residing organisms. Whatever the interpretation one selects concerning an afterlife, Freemasonry attaches an equally necessary significance to this life.
For hundreds of years, males have requested the identical query: what’s the function of human life? Lots of of 1000’s have joined Freemasonry over time in hopes of studying a solution, however have realized that the Craft returns them to their church buildings, synagogues, mosques and different locations of worship to hunt extra data. As a candidate passes via the levels of Masonry, he’s knowledgeable that true data is rarely to be present in one place. A person should search all over the place there’s data to grasp his relationship with the Nice Architect.
Throughout that search, it’s like that the inquiring thoughts will, in the end, stumble throughout the teachings of Origen, who lived, wrote and instructed between 185 A.D. and 254 A.D. At one interval in Christian historical past, Origen was thought to be probably the most correct of all interpreters concerning the human soul. Though later discarded by the Church as a heretic, he initially taught that souls repeat themselves in materials incarnation – a instructing that now’s termed reincarnation. Origen believed that every human being contained a spark of the Creator that had no starting and no finish. In his literary work entitled De Principils, Origen wrote: “Each soul…comes into this world strengthened by the victories or weakened by the defeats of the earlier life. Its place on this world as a vessel appointed to honor or dishonor, is decided by its earlier deserves or demerits. Its work on this world determines its place on this planet which is to comply with.”
With out both accepting or rejecting reincarnation, Freemasonry makes an identical demand of its members about how every ought to dwell the life given them. Masons are referred to as to dwell spiritually sturdy lives; not lives weakened by self-centeredness. When Pike wrote that each man had a piece to do, he challenged each Mason to not solely make the very best of the circumstances through which he discovered himself, however to take action by serving others. Pray for others, feed the hungry, give to the poor, lavish love upon your neighbor and supply for the religious development of your loved ones – it’s these that Masonry inculcates into the hearts and souls of the honored members of the Craft.
The acacia reminds us that whereas our lives aren’t restricted by time, our materials existence is time-controlled. No man is aware of how a lot time he has, however he ought to know that point is working out. If a very good work is to be completed throughout this lifetime, it should be completed at present, for tomorrow is in God’s palms. Whereas we breathe, stand, stroll and speak we might do one thing that improves the lot of our brethren. When time shall be no extra, that work can be completed by these left behind and we ourselves shall give no extra. Although life shall all the time proceed past man’s earthly existence, man’s loving, giving and sharing with others will stop when he shall return to the earth and his soul to God, who gave it.