A Deeper Appreciation of the Entered Apprentice Degree

From: The Hidden Code In Freemasonry – Finding Light through Esoteric interpretation of Masonic Ritual
Authored and Published by Robert V Lund, May 2016

Robert V Lund is a Past Master of Kilwinning Lodge No. 565 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He has served several terms as Chairman of the District Education Committee for Toronto West District, and has served as a member of the Grand Lodge Committee for Masonic Education. He wrote this book to expose the hidden code that underlies each of the Craft rituals and points to the true meaning of these ceremonies.

I will touch on only a few points taken from Chapter 10 of this book: “A Deeper Appreciation of the Entered Apprentice Degree.”

Many men come to Freemasonry because they are looking for something more meaningful, but don’t know what they’re looking for. It’s as if they’re blindfolded and groping around in the dark.

These two conditions are symbolized in the two parts of the Entered Apprentice Degree Ceremony: one of groping in the dark for the Truth behind our earthly existence; and one of discovering it with the opened eyes of the Initiate.

Freemasonry requires that every Candidate for Initiation comes “properly prepared.” What does that mean? It’s in the answer to the question: Where were you first prepared to be a Mason? The answer, as you know, is in your heart.

A candidate already has the disposition to be a Mason, as a seeker of something more meaningful. Only in this condition can Initiation be meaningful because it is meant to create a psychological change in the mind of the candidate that leads to a new outlook for him―first, an attitude of humility, realizing that he has been in the dark―and second, an attitude of eagerness for seeking spiritual enlightenment.

It hopefully will become clear as the candidate progresses through the first degree that the Lodge referred to in the ritual is a symbol of each Mason’s own individual being.

And if we interpret the ritual in this context, we will find that it provides a blueprint that can be used to build our own spiritual temple within, as well as providing signposts that point us to the knowledge and understanding that will prepare us for developing our own spiritual consciousness.

Outside the door of the Lodge, the candidate’s discarding of his outer-world clothing, as well as the removal of all metal objects, is symbolic of the need for him to leave the trappings of the outside world behind, and rather to clad himself in an attitude of humility, as well as of material and spiritual poverty.

One question for the candidate to ponder is whether the Supreme Being has revealed His will to man. The answer is that the will of the Creator is the evolution of man. Humans have come from the Divine realm but have descended into matter, and are now required by the Divine to return to the Divine. Every great Teacher has taught this, including the Christ. The candidate is about to step onto that hallowed spiritual path.

As the candidate attempts to enter the Lodge, he finds that his way is blocked by the door of the Lodge. This symbolizes that the candidate wishes to enter upon this new life but cannot do so without the help of his guide.

The door of the Lodge symbolizes an obstacle representative of an obstructive element within himself: his past habits, prejudices, and preconceived ideas. The candidate should recognize that any opposition to his own spiritual advancement must be overcome: first, by seeking entrance with a new attitude of humility; and second, with some help and guidance. The old habits are obstructions to his finding the light of new knowledge and understanding.

Brother Lund’s Chapter on a Deeper Interpretation of the Entered Apprentice Degree provides insight into the symbolism of each aspect of this degree. Later in the book, he goes into the symbolism of the second and third degrees of Freemasonry in the same degree of detail. I refer you to his book to obtain more light in Masonry.