The Backwards Walk
It should be remembered that, during first-degree reception, the layman is introduced into
the think tank stripped of all its metals. In this room of preparation and meditation, he prepares himself to die to himself by writing an philosophical will. The candidate then enters the Curved Temple; he enters through the "low door", a difficult passage that allows you to start an new life. The blindfold veils the light.
At the second-degree reception, the apprentice completed the first work of roughing of the rough stone. He's about to take another step up the ladder... from the perpendicular to the level. He enters the temple by taking the three steps of the first degree with a ruler on his shoulder. This rule which, used wisely, leads the mason to make use of it to find the the order inherent in everything, the daily discipline, the attention to everything, the what it does, consistency in a freely chosen course of action for the building of his inner temple.
For the reception in the 3rd degree, with the password of the masters, the companion is
introduced into the middle chamber by the "backward march".
The lodge is stretched out in black; the East is closed by a curtain. The temple is plunged
in an atmosphere heavy with darkness and desolation.
Only the Delta in the East and the Flaming Star in the West remain illuminated.
The companion who asks to be admitted to the middle room is surprised
to learn that he is suspected of committing the worst crime of all: murder.
A Master is lying in a coffin, feet to the East, his face covered with a white handkerchief stained with red. At its head the square is open to the East and at its feet the compass is open towards the coffin; between the ruler and the lever, a branch of acacia is placed at the head of the coffin.
This companion who conceived the hope of being created Master Mason has gone through two preliminary steps :
- Firstly: the initiation to the rank of apprentice, which gave him a glimpse of a form of clarity, weak, but full of hope. The putting in order, the signs, the touching, age and battery are elements that allow it to be admitted and recognized in a society with means of recognition. He received the tools necessary for its improvement.
- Second: the salary increase to the 2nd degree that placed him on the column of the Midi full of light. Passing from the perpendicular to the level, the companion reaches a symbolism carrying elevation, turned towards the sphere. celestial, while traveling through the terrestrial sphere.
Throughout his period of companionship, he will meditate on the symbol of the flaming star and its mysterious letter G. One of his concerns central will be to glorify the work. The companion in search of knowledge is supposedly at the end of his travels to become blazing with light. He climbed a staircase turning of three and five steps, separated by a rest. With the help of the G A D L U, the assistance of the square and the compass and the benefit of the password of the masters, he will enter the middle chamber, accompanied by funeral music. He is anxious, very astonished and wonders about many things:
- Why does he have to go from the relative light he saw at noon to the
- How to progress by walking backwards?
- What does this Flaming Star mean in the West? His Star that he saw in
the Orient in a companion's room?
- What a radical break with the known! The further back he goes, the further away it seems
the star. His certainties are slowly but surely fading.
Walking backwards marks the transition phase from the work done to the work to be done. "It is with the lights of the past that we move towards darkness... of the future," says the VM
This meditation is necessary to prepare the future Master to make a complete reversal that allows him to make an irreversible change of state.
At this stage one is entitled to ask oneself a certain number of questions:
- Are we not also accomplices in the Master's death?
- Are our gloves and apron, seemingly immaculate, enough to wash us of
- What use have we made of the tools at our disposal?
- To what extent, out of ignorance, fanaticism or ambition, have we not
participated in this crime?
- Have we always sought the truth beyond appearances often...
- Didn't we fall asleep, lulled by this high opinion of ourselves...
even allowing us to hide many imperfections and shortcomings?
After the VM has made sure that the recipient's hands are pure and that his apron is stain-free, the companion walks backwards towards the casket of HIRAM by remembering the teaching received, by introspection a real examination of conscience. He realizes that a life cycle ends and prepares to leave its body envelope to release its forces...
Walking backwards can be said to save the recipient from being confronted with
too suddenly, with no preparation for death. It provides him with a bearing, a
time for reflection, recapitulation on the past lived through, on the ordeals and on the work accomplished.
Walking backwards makes it possible to move forward, to understand what has been achieved.
and perceive what remains to be done.
Walking backwards, the companion carefully observes the flaming star;
it allows him to take stock of himself. He identifies with this star
which corresponds to the state of enlightenment of the initiate at the end of his
Walking backwards symbolizes the intermediate point where one recapitulates one's
initiation experience before you can change your plan. So far the path made to
was a horizontal course; in a situation of turning around he prepares to access the
in the vertical plane of metaphysical knowledge, which is why it needs
to die to this world, to rise again to the one that remains to be explored.
Walking backwards marks the transition point between these two phases of life.
and death, indicating that the master crosses the threshold in the opposite direction to that taken by the layman, the apprentice and the journeyman. It can be considered that it is in fact
a step forward as we move towards the light, towards spirituality,
towards the center of the circle.
In conclusion, we can say that walking backwards is to move, to push back.
symbolically the borders of the visible and the invisible.
To learn how to draw plans, we must walk backwards on the ground of the
physical temple to the center of the circle which is everywhere, and whose circumference
is nowhere to be found.