The Letter in the East
The significance of the letter "G" is addressed in the second degree. When the brother arrives in the East after gaining admission through the partially opened but strongly guarded doors, he is received under the letter "G" and given the lecture that explains it. The most important significance of the letter "G" is the one given last--that it is the Initial of God-- The Great Artificer of the Universe--The One Living and True God in whom we professed to put our trust in the first degree. He is told that before him every good freemason from the newest entered apprentice who stands in the northeast corner of the lodge to the worshipful master who presides in the east should with reverence most humbly bow. Thus the second degree ends where the first degree starts. In the first degree he is asked in whom he put his trust. The candidate cannot be prompted in the answer. If he does not answer that he puts his trust in God, his degree goes no further. At the end of the second degree, he is led to the initial of God which we find in the center of our symbol of brotherhood. The brother is reminded that we must bow before God in reverence and walk humbly giving Him due reverence as our Creator, Sustainer, and Guide. This most important meaning of the letter "G" is emphasized by giving it last in the lecture--saving the best for last.
The other meaning of the letter "G" is that it is the initial of "geometry". The G-lecture proceeds to give the moral advantages of it. If a brother merely thinks of geometry as the subject that he took in high school, he misses the true meaning of the lecture. Geometry in masonry means more than a mathematical discipline. It refers to the character and activity of God--The Great Architect of the Universe. If you stop to think about it, our God was the first Builder. He created the heavens and the earth and without Him was nothing made that was made. He set our universe and world in motion according to an order where the sun rules the day and the moon governs the night. He created all things and beings according to a plan and a purpose. What we measure by geometry is our understanding of God's plan and purpose as He would allow us to know it and to grow in His will. We as freemasons are to honor our God by being builders also. We are to build brotherly love and live by truth. We show brotherly love by relieving the distresses of every human being for whom we are able do so. We are to be so devoted to our God that we build to Him lives that glorify Him and please Him. We see and understand God in three ways. First we see Him in His workmanship--in the order and care with which He created our world, the universe, and all people, creatures, and things therein. Second. we know and understand Him through His revelations to us. That is why the Holy Book is in the center of our altar in the center of our lodge--at the heart of all. Third, we know Him by experiencing Him in our lives. This is what we do when we humbly bow before Him to walk before Him and walk with Him. This is where we are left in the second degree before receiving the charge to continue our walk with and our relationship with The Supreme Architect of the Universe. We are encouraged, in our study and development, to seek Him. We are to be builders for The One Living and True God in whom you professed to put your trust.
There is a lot more to geometry as masonry uses it than what a brother learned in high school geometry class . We cannot make masonry more than what it tells you that it is. Masonry is moral teaching--not religion, but it directs us to our own religion for the eternal answers we seek and for our true relationship with God. Masonry tells us to do our duty to God, our neighbor, and ourselves and our families. It sends us to do them in that order, placing itself fourth. By a proper ordering of our time, most of us have time to do service both our place of worship and our lodge. The lodge teaches us to find time for what is most important to the lodge--to worship and serve God. Our duty to God is the first care of Freemasons. Geometry is doing that duty.
Rev. Roy L. Gilkey 32 Dg, KYCH