May 15

Tools of the Craft: The Common Gavel


The Gavel, as we all know, is that tool which is meant to break off the rough parts of your character in order to smooth the edges and form a more perfect self, fit for the Creator to use in building the Temple of Brotherhood here on Earth.  It is a tool that comes with a great degree of discipline, sacrifice, and self knowledge.  The process is an ongoing one.  Therefore, the common gavel is a tool the Master Mason will continue to make use of for the duration of his life.

The task of divesting oneself of unnecessary and unworthy character flaws is not an easy task.  No one likes to admit his faults or face his shadow, however it is necessary in order to grow and improve.  Like a plant reaching for the light in growth, its dead leaves and shoddy branches need pruning and clipping so they don’t strangle the growth of the whole plant.  So too is it with the man.

As you go through life, you outgrow the childishness and impetuous animal tendencies of youth and gain more insight into yourself and those around you.  This is wisdom.  Written above the archway to the entrance of the Oracle of Delphi in the ancient Greek world were the words Know Thyself.  This is essential.  You cannot know your Creator or your brothers if you don’t first know yourself.

Take a hard look in the mirror.  Start a journal.  Ask yourself the difficult questions.  Am I the man I could be?  Am I the best I can be?   What do I want out of life?  Am I striving for that or wasting my time on petty games and indulgences?  What am I building and why?

As you examine yourself, you use the mental gavel to pound and chip away at the weaker parts of your character in order to move forward as a stronger, more steady man.

Acknowledge your fears and understand why you are afraid.  Then let them go, remembering that you are a being of light and no darkness can harm you.

Every time you overcome some baser instinct in favor of higher conscious choices, you grow a little more fully as a man on the path to the perfect ashlar.

The crown of manhood is a perfectly poised will.

–James Allen

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