Fractions of the Cosmos
by Ujjwal Dey
Metaphors and allegories are used in every religion and religious text. They are used to convey grand concepts in simple everyday terms for the comprehension of the common man. Masonry too uses similar metaphors, symbols, rituals and actions.
To understand the philosophy of Universal Brotherhood, one needs to be able to perceive himself as equal and better than none in human life value. This imagination is not possible for vast majority of human population. Even Master Masons fail to comprehend universal brotherhood and equality – to be on the Level. Some will quibble over rank or seniority. Or others may claim more proof of generosity. In spiritual life and similarly in Masonic life – seniority is not gifted by God to those who are born first or initiated first. A Hindu in India may study Greek philosophy and imitate all the acts and rituals of the West. He is enamoured by that culture. He seeks affiliation with those ideologies. At the same time a young American may give up club culture and join a Satsang as seen in ISKCON’s Hare Krsna movement. These are examples of different cultures seeking different cultures according to the evolution of their soul. It is a desire growing in them by virtue of spiritual growth over many years or many births.
Therefore, a young Master Mason may just outshine a veteran decorated with Long Term Service jewels if he is true to his Craft. Just as a white American may become a better Krishna devotee than a Hindu born and raised in India. It is partly the evolutionary gift of his soul, partly of God’s benevolence and partly of efforts made by the brother.
Universal Brotherhood can be understood by the analogy of the vast immense ocean. A small drop of the ocean has the same qualities, elements, chemistry and minerals of the vast ocean from which it came. Yet, the tiny drop is never as powerful as the ocean itself.
Thus, a human soul is but a drop of the ocean. He has the same qualities and perfections of a Supreme Soul, i.e. God – the vast powerful ocean. Made in His image. Yet, the human soul is not Almighty like God is (or the power of an ocean).
Now suppose, this drop of the ocean unites itself with the ocean – would it not now have all the glorious powers of the ocean? If the human soul unites itself with the Supreme Soul, a Godman is revealed – a Saint or Sage with supernatural powers and skills.
Yet, man fails to unite with his maker until it is too late in his life and death brings about an involuntary destination to the drop of ocean. He has not lived a life of a “Master”. He died and journeyed like a layman to God’s domain.
To unite with the ocean, to unite with the billions of souls among us, it is the only way to seek godliness. But since we see differences between brethren, we are never able to blend into them, be their brother in heart, mind and soul.
Again, taking the analogy of the ocean – imagine India. Your motherland is a vast ocean. Floating in it are over a billion droplets – a billion souls – i.e. a billion citizens. But all we see in India, the ocean, is Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, South Indian, North Indian, Aryan, Persian, Moghul, Anglo-Saxon, mixed races, white skin, brown skin, black skin, rich, poor, educated, illiterate, diseased, child, adult, old person, etc. etc. etc.
If only every droplet could realise they are all part of a great indestructible ocean, every citizen would unite to make a vibrant unbeatable India.
You may further extend this analogy to our planet Earth. Unite all humans of all races, religions, colours and nationalities. See their humanity. See them as your fraternal brother. All children under one God.
This realisation will unfold the Universal Brotherhood we all seek. The ability to transcend differences and see what is apparently common to every living thing. Be a brother by being a brother. Only then will your Masonry be the light to the world.
To the Lodges having disharmony among members, I say the same thing. Officers and other members are all but the same brothers at the same Level. Be their brother and build your Lodge like a vast powerful ocean whose waves of generosity change the path of millions to come.
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Copyright Ujjwal Dey 2015