“God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites so that you will have two wings to fly, not one” Persian poet Rumi
We all know that it is only by seeing the light that we can understand the dark, for every opposite, a lesson therein is instated. It is often said that “The darkest hour of night is just before the dawn.”
In our everyday lives, we categorise things as opposites to express our subjective thoughts and feelings, using them as boundaries or scales by which to make qualitative assessments or even moral judgements – Male/Female, Life/Death, Day/Night, Success/Failure, True/False – all are opposites viewed as alternatives, generating a tension and providing us with a form of Richter scale by which we recognise their influence but cannot bring them into balance or unity. It is as if we are attempting to paint a picture of external reality whilst our perception of the core subject is distorted and confused.
It is in this sense, that an exoteric reality, one which is drawn from outside, which, remains fragmented and lacks the additional dimension of inner depth. We may even begin to dream of a life without death, pleasure without pain or light without dark. It is the reason why we often find it difficult to cope with life or a situation.
In Freemasonry, the Masonic initiate is taught about his own esoteric reality through a journey that demonstrates an experience from the ‘outside,’ slowly working his way towards the ‘centre.’ Nosce te ipsum, the knowledge of the self, is the true objective of freemasonry!(apologies to the conspiracy theorists if this statement is disappointing)
The esoteric journey ‘back’ to the Self transcends dualities, symbols, and the integral value of the all that exists. An awakening to a light from within the unconscious, to stimulate the generation of self-knowledge which will make him aware of the gap between the person he ought to be, in his heart, and the person he appears to be, behind his persona.
We beseech Thee, O Lord God, to illuminate our minds by the divine precepts of Thy Holy Word, and teach us to walk in the light of Thy countenance; and when the trials of our probationary state are over, be admitted into the temple “not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens.” Amen.