Page 18 - Education Programs
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Hiram Abiff is the acted symbol of the human soul, yours, mine, any man's. The work he was
engaged to supervise is the symbol of the work you and I have in the supervision, organization,
and direction of our lives from birth to death. The enemies he met are none other than the symbols
of those lusts and passions which in our own breasts, or in the breasts of others, make war on our
characters and our lives. His fate is the same fate that befalls every man who becomes a victim to
those enemies, to be interrupted in one's work, to be made outcast from the lordship (or mastership)
over one's own self, and, at the end, to become buried under all manner of rubbish--which means
defeat, disgrace, misery and scorn.

The manner in which he was raised from that dead level to that living perpendicular again is the
same manner by which any man, if it happens at all, rises from self-defeat to self-mastery. And the
Sovereign Great Architect, by the power of whose word Hiram Abiff was raised, is that same God
in whose arms we ourselves forever lie, and whose mighty help we also need to raise us out of the
graves of defeat, or evil, and death itself.

Did you wonder, while taking part in that drama, why you were personally made to participate in
it? Why you were not permitted to sit as a spectator? You were made to participate in order to
impress upon you that it was your drama, not another's, there being exemplified. No man can be a
mere spectator of that drama, because it takes place in his own soul. Likewise because it was
intended that your participation should itself be an experience to prepare you for becoming a
Master Mason, by teaching you the secret of a Master Mason, which is, that the soul must rise
above its own internal enemies if ever a man is to be a Mason in reality as well as in name. The
reality of being a Master mason is nothing other than to be the Master of one's self.

Did you wonder why it was that the three enemies of Hiram Abiff came from his own circle and
not from outside? It is because the enemies to be feared by the soul are always from within, and
are nothing other than its own ignorance, lust, passions, and sins. As the Volume of Sacred Law
reminds us, it is not that which has power to kill the body that we need most to shun, but that which
has power to destroy the spirit.

Did you wonder why it was that, after Hiram Abiff was slain, there was so much confusion in the
Temple? It was because the Temple is the symbol of a man's character, and therefore breaks and
falls when the soul, its architect, is rendered helpless. Because the Craftsmen are symbols of our
powers and faculties and they fall into anarchy when not directed and commanded by the will at
the center of our being.

And did you wonder why the lodge appeared to neglect to explain this ritualistic drama to you at
the end of the degree? It was because it is impossible for one man to explain the tragedy of Hiram
Abiff to another. Each must learn it for himself; and the most we can obtain from others is just
such hints and scattered suggestions as these I have given you. Print the story of Hiram Abiff
indelibly upon your mind; ponder upon it; when you yourself are at grips with your enemies recall
it and act accordingly to the light you find in it. By so doing you will find that your inner self will
give in the form of first-hand experience that which the drama gave you in the form of ritual. You
will be wiser and stronger for having the guidance and the light the drama can give you.

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