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Pavings Floor is representative of earth, in it the darkness and the light are both alike, black and white flooring and is described as “a celestial canopy of diverse colours, even the heavens.

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posted by Hughes Songe alias bernawy hugues kossi huo on Saturday 9th of November 2019 10:58:05 AM

To the Glory of the Great Architect of the Universe, Venerable Master, and all of you my Sisters and Brothers in your Degrees and Qualities. Here everything is a symbol... "search and you will find..." This short sentence addressed to the Recipient and pronounced by the Second Supervisor at the end of the First Journey of his Initiation, perfectly summarizes the path he will have to follow to understand the hidden meaning of our spiritual journey. If for some of us, the symbols and numbers used in modern alchemy are the familiar elements of a universal language inscribed in our cosmology, many Sisters and Brothers initiated into the different Rites of our obediences do not always realize the symbolic significance of the tools they observe and handle in Lodge. Their eyes are naturally drawn to the most remarkable elements, but too often they are satisfied with the deliberately succinct explanations found in their rituals. Also, the subject I would like to talk to you about tonight is the Pavement . Not the one of uncertain proportions usually found in many Alchemic temples, but the one that ideally we should find in the center of our Lodges. Pavements work consists properly of many little stones of different colors united together in patterns to imitate a painting. It was much practiced among the Romans who called it musivum opus whence the Italians get their musaico the French their mosaique and we our mosaic. The idea that the work is derived from the fact that Moses used a pavement of colored stones in the tabernacle has been long since exploded by etymologists. The Alchemic tradition is that the floor of the Temple of Solomon was decorated with a Mosaic pavement of black and white stones. There is no historical evidence to substantiate this statement. Samuel Lee, however, in his diagram of the Temple, represents not only the floors of the building, but of all the outer courts, as covered with such a pavement (Lee’s Orbis miraculum; or, the Temple of Solomon Pourtrayed by Scripture-Light, London, 1659). The Masonic idea was perhaps first suggested by this passage in the Gospel of St. John, xix 13 “when Pilate, therefore, heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth and sat him down in the judgment-seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.” The word here translated Pavement is in the original Lithostroton, the very word used by Pliny to denote a Mosaic pavement. The Greek word, as well as its equivalent, is used to denote a pavement formed of ornamental stones various colors precisely what is by a symbolical pavement. By a little torsion of historical accuracy, the Alchemists have asserted that the ground-floor of the Temple was a esoteric pavement and hence, as the Lodge is a representation of the Temple, that the floor of the Lodge should also be of the same pattern. The symbolisms an old symbol of the Order. It is met within the earliest rituals of the last century. It is classed among the ornaments of the Lodge in combination with the indented tessel and the blazing star. Its parti-colored (showing different colors or tints) stones of black and have been readily and appropriately interpreted as symbols of the evil and good of human life. The black and white checkered floor has existed in temples since the times of ancient Egypt. More than simply decorative, the mosaic pavement bears a profound esoteric (special) meaning. Today it is one of Alchemy’s most recognizable symbols and is the ritualistic floor of all Alchemic lodges. The pavement is the area on which initiations occur and is “emblematic of human life, checkered with good and evil.” “The esoteric pavement in an old symbol of the Order. It is met with in the earliest rituals of the last century. It is classed among the ornaments of the lodge along with the indented tassel and the blazing star. Its party-colored stones of black and white have been readily and appropriately interpreted as symbols of the evil and good of human life.” In the Entered Apprentice Degree, the pavement represents the ground floor of King Solomon’s Temple. In the account of King Solomon’s Temple in the Bible, the ground floor is said to be made of pine or fir, depending on the Bible translation (1 Ki 6:15). “The pavement floor upon which the modern Alchemic lodge stands is the old tracing board of the Dionysiac (Greek) Architects, and while the modern organization is no longer limited to workmen’s guilds it still preserves its symbols. When thinking of the idea of Duality and the concept of good and evil, black and white, sacred and profane, an image that immediately enters my mind is that of the Ying- Yang. While this symbol has become a sort of pop culture icon in recent times, its symbolism is deep and its meaning applicable to this subject. While it has numerous interpretations the ying-yang demonstrates the concept of duality and balance. The synonym balance is an important term because of the position of the checkered carpet, the floor, where the foundation of the erect human body may be found. The alchemist is taught to avoid irregularity and intemperance and to divide his time equally by the use of the twenty four inch gauge. These lessons refer to the importance of balance in a Alchemist's life. Therefore the symbolism of the pavement could be interpreted to mean that balance provides the foundation of our Alchemic growth. Maintaining balance allows us to adhere to many Alchemic teachings. By maintaining balance we may be able to stand upright in our several stations before God or man. The entered apprentice is charges to keep balance in his life so that he may ensure public and private esteem. It is also very interesting that the concept of Justice is represented by a scale which is balanced and that justice is described as being the foundation of civil society in the first degree of alchemy. “The Floor, or groundwork of the Lodge, a chequer-work of black and white squares, denotes the dual quality of everything connected with terrestrial life and the physical groundwork of human nature – the mortal body and its appetites and affections. “The web of our life is a mingled yarn, good and ill together”, wrote Shakespeare. Everything material is characterized by inextricably interblended good and evil, light and shade, joy and sorrow, positive and negative. What is good for me may be evil for you; pleasure is generated from pain and ultimately degenerates into pain again; what it is right to do at one moment may be wrong the next; I am intellectually exalted to-day and to- morrow correspondingly depressed and benighted: The dualism of these opposites governs us in everything, and experience of it is prescribed for us until such time as, having learned and outgrown its lesson, we are ready for advancement to a condition where we outgrow the sense of this chequer-work existence and those opposites cease to be perceived as opposites, but are realized as a unity or synthesis. To find that unity or synthesis is to know the peace which passes understanding i.e. which surpasses our present experience, because in it the darkness and the light are both alike, and our present concepts of good and evil, joy and pain, are transcended and found sublimated in a condition combining both. And this lofty condition is represented by the indented or tesselated border skirting the black and white chequer-work, even as the Divine Presence and Providence surrounds and embraces our temporal organisms in which those opposites are inherent.” Furthermore, the pavings floor is representative of earth, the material world and contrasts the ceiling, which is made to represent the heavens and the spiritual realm. “The Covering of the Lodge is shown in sharp contrast to its black and white flooring and is described as “a celestial canopy of diverse colours, even the heavens. If the flooring symbolizes man’s earthy sensuous nature, the ceiling typifies his ethereal nature, his “heavens” and the properties resident therein. The one is the reverse and the opposite pole of the other. His material body is visible and densely composed. His ethereal surround, or “aura”, is tenuous and invisible. Its existence will be doubted by those unprepared to accept what is not physically demonstrable, but the Alchemist student, who will be called upon to accept many such truths provisionally until he knows them as certainties, should reflect (i) that he has entered the Craft with the professed object of receiving light upon the nature of his own being, (2) that the Order engages to assist him to that light in regard to matters of which he is admittedly ignorant, and that its teachings and symbols were devised by wise and competent instructors in such matters, and (3) that a humble, docile and receptive mental attitude towards those symbols and their meanings will better conduce to his advancement than a critical or hostile one.” The pavement is a esoterically-charged space on which stands the ceremonial altar, the center of most rituals. The ceremony for the Apprentice Degree symbolically takes place in that location. “Why is the chequer floor-work given such prominence in the Lodge-furniture? Every alchemist is intended to be the High Priest of his own personal temple and to make of it a place where he and Deity may meet. By the mere fact of being in this dualistic world every living being, whether an alchemist or not, walks upon the square pavement of mingled good and evil in every action of his life, so that the floor- cloth is the symbol of an elementary philosophical truth common to us all. But, for us, the words “walk upon” imply much more than that. Perhaps you will disagree with me that on the floor of our workshop and in the official rituals of our Obedience, there is no precise measure concerning this symbol, and that therefore any reflection on the subject can only be intellectual masturbation. However, if I am part of the duty of transmission, I must ensure the transition to the next generation of what my Masters have taught me. Chosen by our illustrious predecessors to symbolize the sacred space in which the Lodge's painting is displayed, the Mosaic Paving stone has a very particular geometric shape, standardized proportions, and contrasting colours.Concerning its geometric representation, it is paradoxical to note that to symbolize the Earth, the shape that was chosen was not the circle but the square, and what is more, the Long Square, which is true that more than 7000 years ago, Eastern civilizations represented it in this way, although at that time their Astronomic knowledge was probably as precise as ours today. They mean that he who aspires to be master of his fate and captain of his soul must walk upon these opposites in the sense of transcending and dominating them, of trampling upon his lower sensual nature and keeping it beneath his feet in subjection and control. He must become able to rise above the motley of good and evil, to be superior and indifferent to the ups and downs of fortune, the attractions and fears governing ordinary men and swaying their thoughts and actions this way or that.In the case of Egyptian priests, for example, this long square-shaped space, which for us alchemists symbolizes the Earth, represented the primitive creation of a manifested world, over which the Gods ruled. Whether in their temples, or their tombs, or even symbolized in hieroglyphic writing, the Egyptians represented the Earth by a square in a circle. We almost never find any perspective in the scenes painted or engraved on the walls of their civil and religious buildings, except for some ancient grimoires from the Ptolemaic period (third century BC) which depict the Earth as a platform supported by four pillars. For the first Egyptians as well as for a number of ancient civilizations, the Earth was only an intermediate level between the infra world and that of the gods. The square in a circle was the Earth in the Universe. It was the infinitely small symbolized in the infinitely large. If the Egyptians of the historical periods did not invent geometry in space, they nevertheless had an intuitive knowledge of it. Unless it, as some manuscripts from the Old Kingdom would seem to indicate, was transmitted to them by the legendary and untraceable "Books of Thoth". So, if we continue to symbolize the Earth by a square, or even a long square, we can wonder why men in general, and alchemists in particular, have chosen this apparently unsuitable form to symbolize our planet. Perhaps it would be appropriate to consult the Old Rituals to understand where this choice comes from. His object is the development of his innate spiritual potencies, and it is impossible that these should develop so long as he is over-ruled by his material tendencies and the fluctuating emotions of pleasure and pain that they give birth to. It is by rising superior to these and attaining serenity and mental equilibrium under any circumstances in which for the moment he may be placed, that an alchemist truly “walks upon” the chequered ground work of existence and the conflicting tendencies of his more material nature.” There is a vast variety of symbolism presented to the new initiate in the first degree. It is easy for the symbol of the pavement and its several meanings to be lost in the sea of information provided upon our first admission to lodge. A deeper look demonstrates that this symbol serves to demonstrate the ideals which form the foundation of our individual Masonic growth, the alchemic fraternity, and even the entire human society. Living in balance makes us healthy, happy and just. If our feet are well balanced, both literally and figuratively, we may be able to serve the purpose of the Fraternity better.The First Degree Ritual of Memphis Misraim, intersected by an 18th century Ritual of the Grand Lodge of England, informs us that the Pavement should include 108 squares; 12 columns from East to West, and 9 columns from North to South. In geometry, 12 by 9, reduced to prime numbers gives 4 by 3 i. e. the proportions of Pythagoras' theorem, which recalls it, is 3, 4, and the hypotenuse 5. For the record, or for those who have not yet witnessed the consecration of an Egyptian Masonic Lodge, the layout of the sacred space reserved for the pavement is done using a 12-knot rope separated by a bend. This forms a triangle composed of 3, 4, and 5 knots. Once the orientation of the Temple has been determined, this triangle is applied to the ground, then its outlines are drawn with chalk. After moving it in the opposite direction, it is applied again to the floor in order to close the rectangle and its contours are also drawn. Thus, without ruler or compass, we formed the long square and determined the very centre of the sacred space of the Temple, where the two hypotenuses intersect. Esoterically, there are several ways to explain the number of tiles in this symbolic element. In our Christic religions, we know, for example, that the "1" represents unity, the father; that the "0" which was once shown with a crossbar crossing the circle, represents fertility, the woman, and therefore the mother; and that the "8" is the number of Christ, the son. The number 108 would therefore be the very symbol of the trinity. However, in the scientific and non-christic spirit of alchemy, the Lodge presents itself as a microcosmic universe on the scale of the Earth, which itself would be microcosmic on a universal scale. In the centre of the sacred space of our Temple, the infinitely small is represented on a Lodge painting, as symbolizing the origins of our traditions. This painting, of which the Lodge is the living replica, is reflected on the walls, as if illuminated from below to symbolize its spatio-temporal image combined with the present. But if on the scale of the Earth, the Lodge is microcosmic, its own Light can also project itself towards the surrounding Universe. (it's a bit like Russian dolls, independent but intertwined). It now remains to define the reason for the rectangular shape and the 108 squares that are supposed to make it up.First of all, putting 108 identical squares in a circle or square is mathematically impossible. Defining a point in space in relation to its environment is no easier. Because if it is more logical to symbolize the earth by a circle, the first geometric figure made from the point, it is very difficult for a non-scientist to define the space around it. However, if we accept that the circle is arbitrarily composed of 360 degrees, and that the square has four 90-degree angles, also 360 degrees, nothing prevents us from comparing them to each other (as mathematicians would say, and in plain language, "what had to be demonstrated"). Moreover, whether it is a circle or takes on a completely different form, a simple and closed figure will always have 360 degrees. So to symbolize the Earth in the Universe, and especially to include a numerical value recognizable by all, it seemed more practical to use the long square than the circle. So, how to determine the place of an object in a vacuum, if not by quantifying what surrounds it. Let me explain: If we take a square, even a long one, and calculate the number of degrees it generates around it, we add up the outer angles of this geometric figure. We find 12 angles at 90 degrees or 1080 degrees. This is why, to symbolize the Earth in the Universe, our predecessors chose this number, so that we could see the hidden meaning of our Initiation. They imagined a checkerboard with 12 out of 9 squares, i. e. 108 squares, by inscribing the solar duality on it and leaving to our fertile imagination the ability to seek some other meanings. If in the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, the Lodge Painting is placed in the very centre of the Paving Block, Egyptian alchemists insert a triangle into it which they call "the Naos") on which the eternal flame shines. At the geometric centre of this triangle, vertical to a lead line, are placed the three symbolic tools of our Order, the Square, the Compass and the Ruler, arranged according to the degree to which the work is open. This plumb line indicates the presence of light at the opening time of the work, i.e. at noon, when the shadow is the shortest. At this moment, the Light symbolically refracts itself on the tools arranged in such a way that the 8 points thus formed are directed towards the 8 directions of the consecrated space, and more pragmatically towards the 8 officers statically installed at their trays. The Master of Ceremonies and the Expert being then considered as free electrons circulating light to illuminate the Northern and Southern Columns. In the Scottish Rite, the Eternal Light is facing the East, on the Altar of the Serments, in contrast to the Mosaic Paving stone receiving the Lodge painting, "originally intended to transform a profane room into a Masonic Sanctuary", a faculty left to the discretion of each Workshop by our administrative bodies.If talking about the Pavé Mosaïque also means symbolizing the Earth within the Universe, how can we digitally define this Universe in which we are immersed? Since the Earth is an integral part of the Universe, we can agree that the Universe is the sum of the two values, 1080 degrees surrounding our planet plus the 360 degrees of our Mosaic Paver. We then find 1440 degrees, the number used to symbolize our universe. This calculation may seem a little crazy, even superstitious. However, this number 1440 comes up too often to be a mere coincidence. Our symbolism, as pragmatic as it may seem, may well have been based on the Egyptian cosmogony, justifying our spiritual filiation with it. Could it be a coincidence that the time of creation inscribed in the mysteries of Genesis, that of Moses, increased by Egyptian contributions, is also symbolized by this number? Indeed, we find that underneath the naive images of the teachings of the Bible and sacred books lies a universal key. It is taught, for example, that "God created the world in six days". Six days is a good six times 24 hours or 144 hours. Still in the Bible, the Gospel according to Saint John teaches us that (Before the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day...). If for God a day is like a thousand years, the time of creation, that is, six days, would be 6,000 years of 24 hours or 144,000 hours. It is also a coincidence that on the dial of our watches, the 24 hours of the day make a total of 1440 minutes and that there are 144 billion years in the universal day of our entire solar system. Is it by chance that our scientists now recognize that since the beginning of humanity, the distance between the Sun and our planet is 144 million kilometres, and that the Earth is 1 million 440,000 times smaller than the Sun? ( As our astronomers' calculations show, at a speed of 300,000 kilometres per second, it takes eight minutes for sunlight to reach us. At this speed, 8 minutes multiplied by 60 seconds gives 480 seconds that multiply 300,000 kilometers, or 144 million kilometers). Was it therefore by chance that the Egyptians of the Old Kingdom, about 2800 years before our era, had chosen to consider the number 144 as being both the Number of the Earth and its numerical name, inscribing it in a pyramidal geometry symbolizing, better than any other form, the beam of light illuminating our planet? Chance also if Pythagoras, whom we have already mentioned for his theorem, had composed a table from the square of 12 x l2 = 144 Pythagoras Table 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 3 6 9 12 15 18 21 24 27 30 33 36 4 8 12 16 20 24 28 32 36 40 44 48 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 6 12 18 24 30 36 42 48 54 60 66 72 7 14 21 28 35 42 49 56 63 70 77 84 8 16 24 32 40 48 56 64 72 80 88 96 9 18 27 36 45 54 63 72 81 90 99 108 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 11 22 33 44 55 66 77 88 99 110 121 132 12 24 36 48 60 72 84 96 108 120 132 144 This table, a kind of magic square, gives horizontally or vertically, the list of all multiples of the number of heads. On several occasions we find this number in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. In the Old Testament, Ezekiel used a 6-bend cane to measure the temple. A bend being composed of 24 subdivisions, the cane was therefore worth: 6 x 24 = 144 subdivisions. It also states that the measure of Heavenly Jerusalem is 144 cubits. " [... 1 He measured the wall, and found one hundred and forty-four cubits, the measure of a man, which was the measure of the angel. (Revelation 21:17). Closer to home, Christmas Day (historically and popularly symbolic) falls on the 360th day of the year, 6 days before January 1, at 144 hours from the end of the year, leapfrogging or not. Even closer to us, the generation of PC 386 or 486 computers, now supplanted by the PENTIUM generation, used for some of them 1.44 MB floppy drives. Some data transfer and modem transmission rates being 14400 bauds, these obsolete values are now kept for the "14400" faxes integrated into the computers. In this example we can see that symbolism does not only have spiritual applications. Is it still a coincidence that, a few thousand kilometres from home in Guatemala, the Mayans considered, and still consider today, that every 144 years great changes are taking place, the next one being for the year 2007.Coincidentally, you may be tempted to say. No! There can be no coincidence about a number found in Genesis, in the Pyramid, on the dial of our watches and in a day of Earth's rotation. The whole mystery of our Universe is ordered according to this number, rests on it and we discover, thanks to it, that the unity of law generates de facto unity. 144, is therefore the key number, the perfect number, the number of our universe, the number which is the numerical name of our planet and, in a way, the key to light. Come on, one more last one for the road, in a parody mode,. In Communist times, the Soviet government was indeed composed of 1440 members. Whether we symbolize the body of the Earth, as a figure totaling 360 degrees, the soul of our planet with its 1080 degrees or the spirit that generated everything with its 1440 degrees, all these figures added individually or globally result in numerology to the number 9. This symbol of creation and life as rhythm, interweaving and development, therefore represents the three divine manifestations in the three planes: the world of the spirit, the world of the soul, the world of matter, which gives a triple manifestation of the Trinity - 3 x 3; this is why spiritualist Freemasons have made it the eternal number of human immortality, the trepidation. Considered sacred in Egypt and Greece, the nine is often considered as the number of the Initiate, and as the number of man, as the numerical symbol of his gestation - nine months. Since the new has the curious property of always reproducing itself when multiplied by any other number, it symbolizes matter that cannot be destroyed. It introduces a notion of the end of the cycle, of apparent death, opening the way to a transformation, a rebirth, an Initiation in short. R.W. Bro. John K. Johnston

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