The Hoodwink

By V.W.Bro. Harold W. Hughes GROnt. 1957

                        THE HOODWINK


     In my heart.


     In a convenient room adjoining the lodge.

     In some parts of Europe, it has been said, an
experienced Master Mason is appointed sponsor or God-
Father to a candidate; and lodges of instruction are held
in which the petitioner is taught something of the history
and principles of the Order. This seems like a wise custom.

     Most of us, I think, stepped into the First Degree
without the slightest inkling of what it was all about, with
the consequences that we were too bewildered to know whether
to laugh or cry. And how often it happens that a candidate
passes from one degree to another as rapidly as he can learn
the work.  Moving all the while in too great haste to comp-
rehend the slightest rudiments of the great ideas and teach-
ings that are dramatically pointed out to him.

     To be prepared in the heart means that within one's
own mind and feelings, he is experiencing the meaning of
that which he does and sees; if a candidate is hustled along
too rapidly to be able to have any such understanding of the
degrees, how can it be said that he is duly and truly pre-
pared to be a Master Mason

     The Ritual itself is wise in this connection because it
recognizes the fact that a man must be prepared in his heart
as well as in the preparation room.

     Being in Masonic ignorance, a seeker after light, and a
representative of the natural untaught man, it is fitting
that the candidate be made to walk in darkness by wearing the
hoodwink which has been well described as a "symbol of sec-
recy, silence and darkness, in which the mysteries of our art
should be preserved from the unhallowed gaze of the profane.

     The use of the blindfold goes far back among secret
societies, even to the Ancient Mysteries. Our own use of the
devise is in harmony with these old customs and ideas. The
purpose of the hoodwink is not to conceal something from the
candidate, for it has another significance; it symbolizes
the fact that the candidate is yet in darkness. Being in
darkness, the candidates expected to prepare his innermost
mind for those revelations that will be made to him after
the hoodwink is removed.

     Freemasonry does not create something too fine and
good for this rough world; it reveals something that is much
a part of the world as roughness itself. In other words, it
removes the hoodwink of jealousy, hatred and unkindness and
all the other myriad forms of unbrotherliness in order that
a man may see and know how good and pleasant a thing it is
for brethren to dwell together in unity.