Symbolism of the sprig of Acacia
Many brothers and sisters who after a first experience of life in a masonic lodge are disappointed to find behaviors that they consider unworthy of the high moral values they thought to find.
This disappointment is, at first, relativised because other feelings of real satisfaction come to temper it. But if other disappointments are added or if the feeling is too painful, the process of the removal of the box is put in place; the temptation to change workshop and or obedience can sometimes avoid a resignation but the plague is there with this incomprehension: "How is it possible, here in these places, to behave like that?"
Our ritual stages betrayal: in the 3rd degree Hiram will die following the aggression of three bad companions representing the Ignorance, Fanaticism and Ambition, which will go to murder for not having obtained communication from the sacred word, thanks to which they imagined to obtain the viaticum indispensable to the access to the privileges.
The mourning that will follow this murder will cause such a trauma among the other companions that the legend could not not imagine an "exit door". This will be the symbolism of the "renaissance" of Master Hiram in elevation to mastery by the five points.
But before reaching this point, there is the episode of the discovery of the burial place of Hiram's body and the use of an important symbol: the acacia tree!
The acacia tree is the desert tree by excellence; with its thorny branches, it is able to withstand the worst weather conditions. It is the acacia that endures the unacceptable that the legend of Hiram uses to show the seekers where the body of Hiram was deposited!
It is thanks to the acacia that the process of transmitting a seemingly inert body to another apparently living body will be able to take place and realize by the five points this elevation which will consecrate the initiatory process.
The acacia teaches us that it would have been a shame to be discouraged!
In everyday life, we can also be slaughtered by a deep disappointment: whether it is a mourning, an emotional break, a failure, the first reflex is often discouragement! But psychological help teaches us that we can help the one who undergoes such a test; this help is based on what is called resilience, that is, the capacity to accept grief or psychological shock.
Popularized in France by Dr. Boris Cyrulnik, resilience is an indispensable psychological mechanism to overcome the feeling of helplessness that can appear after psychological shocks questioning our motivations to live.
If in secular life one can be helped to facilitate the mechanism of resilience and therefore of acceptance, an indispensable mechanism for bouncing back, in Freemasonry, the victims of Masonic disappointments are often very much alone; other sisters or siblings, even if they would like to be caregivers, do not often have the skills to make their help effective. Of course the ideal would be to benefit from a Freemason psychologist who will associate his skills to a particular situation he knows; but this is exceptional.
We can also find help by referring to this symbolism of the acacia that refers us precisely to this resilience: in a dramatic situation, like the shock of the death of Hiram, the Masonic tradition invites us not to be discouraged and to focus on the essentials: like the acacia that is able to withstand the worst environmental conditions, we can find in our heart the energy to understand that despite cowardice, self-interest, hypocrisy or simulacrum the sincere and genuine Masonic commitment must not be affected by what might be called human perversity.
There is no point in revolting or wanting a collective condemnation to isolate black sheep!
The resilience to be successful must be accompanied by an acceptance of an observation: yes, everything is not clean in the experience of the lodges, in the lived experiences of the obediences and in the history of our order; From the petty trivialities of everyday life to the historical facts in which masons have found themselves involved in the horrors of human experience, this observation of our collective imperfection must be viewed objectively and it is the role of real historians to dissect the conditions which favored the occurrence of such facts.
To accept is not a resignation: it can be the beginning of a reinforcement of our ethical convictions.
Many Freemasons use the symbol "acacia" as a sign of belonging to the Masonic Order, without realizing that this behavior is not Masonic and using the "jewel acacia ", he lowers the symbol" Acacia "which has a real meaning and an emotional content!
It is the mark of the maturity of an initiatory process that to be able to face the test of the mirror to see all the resentments that we can experience following injuries sustained. The initiatory approach indicates acceptance and forgiveness, the two prerequisites for the pursuit of our path to greater perfection!
By refusing revenge, the initiate can devote himself to the essential, ie to the sacred: To be Love!