Ours is but a journey, some would call us a traveler, our path, a flight of winding stairs.
When we began out journey, we were entrenched in the lower aspects of the mind of our own creation, the realm of the Entered Apprentice.
At this level, as if blinded, we are ego driven individuals, but something in our heart causes us to knock.
“His soul pierces through the shadows of materialism and earthiness toward the Light for which his search has begun. He is prepared for his onward and upward course in Freemasonry.”
In the mind of the Entered Apprentice, the motivating forces, or first three stages of ego are:
Physical survival – meeting the individual’s basic physiological needs so that he or she can survive one more day.
Relationships – meeting the individual’s basic emotional need for love and belonging so that he or she can feel safe and protected.
Self-esteem – meeting the individual’s basic emotional need for respect so that he or she can feel as sense of self-worth.
From the ego’s perspective, all three of these needs are dependency-based. We satisfy them by trying to get what we want from the external world.
Why do so many remain ego driven, and in the dark? Our maps are very difficult to change because our ego is absolutely convinced that its own personal map is the correct view or understanding of reality. As a result, we often find ourselves passionately defending the maps and beliefs we learned in childhood from adults we trusted. We do not often remember how or where we learned a particular belief in childhood because we simply assumed that the adults in our lives knew what they were talking about. We just accepted their wisdom.
The human face of that ego is pride; is arrogant self-importance; is narcissistic self-infatuation; is the need to see oneself as being separate at all times, in all places, through all circumstances, the world of the uninitiated.
It is my belief that the Fellowcraft degree represents transformation, the purposeful move or transformation from ego centered consciousness to soul, or spirit, development. The Fellowcraft Degree addresses the mind and its faculties. We are instructed in the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences, which were formulated hundreds of years ago in order to develop and perfect the mental nature. The intention was to prepare the mind for spiritual truths. Light is now beginning to break through.
After one is raised (the symbolic death journey from ego to unity) as a Master Mason, the truth should become self evident of the pitfalls and shortcomings of the ego based consciousness. It is at this level the motivating forces that correspond to the first three stages in the unfolding of the human soul are understood:
Internal cohesion – finding personal meaning in life by uncovering and integrating the motivations of the soul.
Making a difference – acting out the soul’s motivations by making a difference in the lives of other individuals or the community through the expression of our unique abilities.
Service – when making a difference becomes a permanent way of life we enter the path of self-less service
To put it simply, Freemasonry is a path from mind to heart, love, relief, & truth.