Meeting on the Level

Bro. Bill Williams

We all know what is meant by that phrase, when used in Freemasonry, It means to meet as equals in everyway.

But, where did this phase come from? Did it come from the fact, that it is believed, that when we die we go to a place where all are equal. I would like think that is so.

I would like to read the first verse of an old poem.

We meet upon the level and part upon the square,
These words have precious meaning and are practiced everywhere,
Come let us contemplate them, they are worthy of a thought,
From the ancient times of Masonry these symbols have been taught.
We meet upon the level, every country, sect and creed,
The rich man from his mansion, the poor man from his field,
For wealth is not considered within our outer door,
And we meet upon the level upon the checkered floor.

— Author Unknown

But do we really meet on the level, or is it a phrase we only pay lip service to, knowing that as Freemasons, we are supposed to treat each other as equals. Do we treat the folks we meet as equals or do we size them up, checking out their clothing, the car they drive, their speech and where they live?

Is it only within Lodge we're supposed to meet on the Level?

I have just returned from Grand Lodge and while I prepared this presentation prior to attending there were many observations made, that I had sort of expected. I went there to observe and not to criticize but came away with a few points that I would like to share with you.

There were many gatherings of Brethren, and in most cases at the center of the gathering, was a Grand Lodge Officer, Past Grand Lodge Officer or a Brother who was perceived to be of some importance or prominence in Public Life.

I joined many of these groups, and I'm happy to say that I felt accepted by all to whom I spoke, But the attention of most of the Brethren was directed to the "Gold" or "Blue".

Is this wrong?

Yes and no:

Yes, because that is not how we are taught in Freemasonry.

No, because that is human nature.

So, if we are to follow the "straight and narrow", we must overcome our natural inclinations and strive instead to follow our teachings.

And what are these teachings?

Where can we find these lessons?

The lessons are through-out our work, in each of the degrees, in the descriptions of how we are to figuratively use our working tools.

EA — The Twenty-four Inch Gauge, Common Gavel and the Chisel.

FC — The Square, Level and the Plumb-rule.

MM — The Skirret, Pencil and Compasses.

We learn the words, but do we reflect upon their meaning, content and import.

So, can we become better men, can we overcome our faults, our natural feelings, our inherent reactions to someone who seems "difference" to us. Can we change, I believe we can and must if we are to uphold ideals of the Craft which is to make "good men, better men".

We now have two months prior to our next meeting, I would like everyone here, to identify one of their faults and for the next two months try to make positive changes to overcome that fault.

What can you lose?