By Roger A. Kessinger
Hiram had to die – and so must you! Why? Because the fate of Hiram Abiff is the story of all man- kind and of all Masons. The life of Hiram reveals many lessons but his death teaches the most significant lessons.
Listen to the story and its message for you and I. Hiram was an initiate. This means he was a man, who, of his own free will and accord, entered upon a path of study and action which taught him how to live a proper life to be acceptable to God.
But God is unwilling to accept any man until he offers up a sacrifice; not of blood not of money, but of something far greater in value — himself.
Man must sacrifice himself if he is to permanently unite with God and remain in his kingdom from whence he was banished. How is this accomplished? Only by death.
The initiate must die to the corruptions of his outer self and be reborn to the divinity of his inner self, or soul. This means that his whole perception must be radically changed to accommodate his new life – the spiritual life.
He must realize that physical life is only a temporary phenomenon whose sole purpose is to re- veal the existence of a higher state of being – spiritual immortality, and that although this spiritual existence is promised to everyone, it must be earned here and now,
The initiate accomplishes this mission by correcting his thoughts, words, and actions (or deeds). This alone makes him acceptable to God.
Hiram subdued his own passions by thinking proper thoughts, speaking acceptable words, and performing exemplary deeds. Allegorically, this happened when he was struck in the chest (the seat of the passions), throat (the place of words), and head (the center of thoughts).
The latter “killed” him. The three fellow crafts were not assassins but spiritual principles: spir- itual force, spiritual power, and spiritual will.
But what was it that was killed? It wasn’t the man himself, it was his outer nature. It wasn’t his physical body, it was his physical nature, Death didn’t send him to the cold, dark, depths of the grave but raised him to the brilliant sunshine of Light and Illumination. His “death” gave him life.
Masons! This is the true purpose of Freemasonry: To square the rough ashlar and thus attain spir- itual perfection! This can only be accomplished by the death of our outer, or crude, rough animal natures, which creates a refined spiritual and mental existence.
Only by being free from debasing influences will we truly become a Freemason: free from vanity, fear, religious dogma, greed, hate, lust, jealousy, and in general, free from all of the errors that chain the spiritual existence, until you and I accomplish this most difficult task, we will only be a Mason, not a Freemason.
So you see, Hiram had to die – and so must each of us individually.
This article was suggested by Ill. Pete Jantz, 33° Past PR of Santa Ana (now Orange County) Valley of Scottish Rite.