A child prodigy mounted his first art exhibit in a famous gallery. There were raves from art enthusiasts and critics but they noticed one peculiar characteristic of the paintings: the young artist left one-third of all the canvasses empty.
The interest generated by the exhibit prompted a television station to invite the young artist and art “experts” to guest in one of its talk shows. Some art critics were quick to point out that this was the child’s composition style; others attributed it to the artist’s interpretation of negative and positive spaces while the psychologists described it as the child’s yet unfulfilled dreams.
After the “experts” had spoken, the TV host turned to the boy and asked him why he left the top one- third of his canvasses unpainted.
The six-year old artist simply said: “My hand can not reach that part so I can’t paint on it.”
Perhaps nobody can dismiss the experts’ opinions as entirely wrong but they could not be regarded as entirely right either. But sometimes, what seems to be too complicated can be explained by simple truth.
The black and white Masonic pavement in lodge halls among other interpretations, also tells us that there is no such thing as complicated truth; only complicated answers.
A salesman once stopped by a small town and came upon a beautiful children’s park designed like a fairy tale village with buildings made of stone and bricks built to a child’s scale. When he asked a gardener about it, he was told; “ We have some really good masons here and they built all these in their spare time through the years.”
Being a member of the Masonic fraternity the salesman was delighted to hear this and inquired where he might find the lodge where he can meet these really good masons. He was however directed to a brick factory and realized that the builders of the park were masons who actually work in bricks and stones. He was a bit disappointed but felt somewhat embarrassed for himself for being presumptuous . But he then recalled that the “working tools of life” explained to him in Freemasonry were derived from the tools of trade of these actual masons and realized that whether actual or philosophical, the proper use of these working tools indeed produces things of harmony and beauty.
Freemasons are taught to make use of the so-called working tools of life in order to be better men. It must be realized however that it does not mean better than other men but better in the sense of improving one’s character to make him worthy of a place in that “spiritual house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” Freemasons share a common belief in the immortality of the soul.
A person’s character is but an effect of his own thoughts and set of beliefs; not realizing this makes him a slave of circumstances. To start a journey that will set him free is to realize this great truth. A mason is reminded that he travels in that level of time to that undiscovered country where no traveler ever returns. He must therefore learn how to conquer himself. There is an old Buddhist saying: “Though one should conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, he who conquers his own self, is the greatest of all conquerors.”