Tonight, at my Lodge, is the installation of officers for the 2012 Masonic Year. This is a big night for me as I am being installed as Junior Warden. Obviously, taking the station of the Junior Warden is the beginning of the progressive journey through the chairs, but to me, it is an opportunity to relive the journey of becoming a Mason again. It is almost equivalent to renewing your vows in your marriage, where you get to relive that moment and begin a new journey...for the second time.
The officers of the Blue Lodge are symbolic on functions in the psyche of the human being, with the three main officers representing the three main mental faculties.
As each degree in Craft Masonry is supposed to teach the candidate about a specific part of himself, so should each of the three main officers correspond to those teachings.
The Entered Apprentice Mason's Degree teaches the candidate how to control his interaction with the world. No journey to the center can begin until the man has gotten his everyday faculties in check. This degree teaches that, in order to progress in Masonry, a man must take control of himself from his Ego. For his entire life, he has let the ego run the show. As he implements the teachings and working tools, the Ego yields control to the Self. The Self is now the decision maker in all aspects and the Ego acts in his intended role as a messenger. The Junior Warden is a representation of the Self. He is symbolic of the man's true governing authority of his lower faculties. Just as the Junior Warden has control of the Lodge while it's at refreshment so does the Self have control of a man's interactions with the physical world. In order for a man to progress in Masonry, he must take control of the Ego by the Self. A man cannot progress to the work of the soul until he has control of the psyche, just as a Junior Warden cannot advance to Senior Warden until he has gained control of his duties in that office.
The Fellowcraft Mason's Degree is symbolic of the work of the soul. It advocates intellectualism, logical and rational thinking, and appreciation of knowledge, among many other things. So is the Senior Warden a representation of those same qualities in the person. He has already perfected the duties of the Junior Warden and taken control of his lower faculties. He lives, symbolically, in the middle chamber. He is in touch with both the psyche and the spirit; with the physical world and with the Divine Presence just as the Fellowcraft Degree is in touch with both the newly entered Brother and the seasoned Master Mason.
And finally, we have the Worshipful Master who is representative of the spirit and corresponds to the Master Mason's Degree. He has perfected the duties of both the Junior Warden and Senior Warden, as the Master Mason has perfected the duties of the Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft. He has been raised to the highest level a man can reach in the Blue Lodge, as the Master Mason has been raised to the highest level a man can attain in his spiritual journey. As the Master is rules from the East, where all light comes from, so the is symbolic of the spirit, the most eastward a man can go into himself. The point where he makes contact with the Divine Spirit.
So, as I begin this journey tonight, I see an opportunity. An opportunity to relive the experience of becoming a Master Mason. As the saying goes, "Hindsight is 20/20." Well, I get to begin a journey that I have already made with imperfections. This is a chance to do it again with no mistakes. To focus intently on each degree as I hold of the chair of the corresponding officer of the Lodge. And by the time I become a Worshipful Master, intend to be a true source of light, a true connection to what Freemasonry stands for, just as the Master Mason was raised into the spiritual, and made contact with his Divine Center.
So Mote It Be.