by Charles Lloyd Mashburn Jr. 32°
Thunderbolt Lodge # 693 Thunderbolt, Georgia
As a young Freemason involved in my Blue Lodge and Scottish Rite of the Valley of Savannah, Georgia the idea of a place of unity for all the orders of Freemasonry has been a thought in my mind for many years. Being an architectural graduate student at Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia gave me the opportunity to put these thoughts to practice. The concept is to create universal temple of Freemasonry through the design of a visual and physical creation of progressive architecture. This architectural design and concept would use Freemason symbolism and will become a new symbol of Freemasonry for the 21st century. There hasn’t been a symbol of unity in Freemasonry since King Solomon’s Temple in 965 BCE. The UTF will become that new symbol of unity through enlightenment. The principle concept is to create a place where all Freemasons acknowledge one another, no matter their typology. Defining a new progressive ideal of Masonic unity as: Education = Knowledge = Unity = Masonic Light.
“The Unity of Light”
A Universal Temple of Freemasonry
Albert Pike said, “We have all the light we need; we just need to put it in practice.”
The unity of light in the fraternal order of Freemasonry is dwindling because of the different offspring of the original orders blueprint. The non acceptance of these offspring has prevented “Masonic Light” from reaching the “Roots of Unity”. This diffraction of light has lead to certain orders not acknowledging other orders within the brotherhood of Freemasonry. This is a contradictory of Freemasonry’s primary teaching of brotherly love and unity. There are Freemasonry lodges in almost all the countries of the world.
There are many members of varied religious faiths. The spectrum of religions span from Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Hinduism, etc. The lack of solidarity of these lodges and the communication between them has been non progressive to the goal of unity in Freemasonry. These issues are a driving force for the decline of Freemasonry in societies around the world. The non recognition of the individual aspects and elements that comprise the lodges are evident in the many orders of Freemasonry.
These issues are a dividing force for the decline of Freemasonry in societies around the world. The non recognition of the individual aspects and elements that comprise the lodges are evident in the many order of freemasonry.
The American orders for example might not recognize a lodge of Freemasonry in one state from another state because of its bylaws or codes. Another issue in certain State Grand Lodges is that they might not acknowledge other Masons order of Freemasonry. The unity is no better internationally.
This is a fundamental problem for some Grand Lodges in other countries is that they do not allow women in lodge meetings. These orders need to come to a common agreement through the core values of Freemasonry. It is crucial to the survival and creation of a new blueprint for the order in the next century. This is the time in Freemasonry to write a new chapter in history by adopting the idea of unification for all the orders of Freemasonry into a well defined organization of unity.
A redefining idea of unity, presented through a visual and physical creation of progressive architecture, will become a symbol of unity for Freemasonry around the world. The creation of such a symbol will bring a coming of age in Freemasonry in the 21st century. That creation is a Universal Temple of Freemasonry.
The Universal Temple of Freemasonry (UTF) will be situated in Jerusalem, Israel. The selection of Jerusalem, Israel as the location site is significant to Freemasonry throughout the world. King Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem became the symbolic birthplace of Freemasonry. The proposed UTF site is outside the wall of the Holy City and is situated across from the Damascus Gate. In the history of Jerusalem, the Damascus Gate was the entry point where the religious pilgrims would enter the Holy City via traveling the Damascus road from the city of Damascus.
This is significant to Freemasonry because Freemasons are known as “Traveling Men.” This comparison of the religious pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem in search of Holy Light mirrors the idea of freemasons traveling to Jerusalem in search of Masonic Light.
The site is located between the Armistice Lines of 1957, which divides the different regions and religions of Jerusalem. This area is known as the “No-Man’s Land”, It is a land buffer between the different social, political, and religious persons and is considered by people in Jerusalem to be a site of a neutral nature. The site was also selected because of the discovery of King Solomon’s Quarry in 1854 in a cave system beneath the Damascus Gate and the Old City of Jerusalem. A large chamber was discovered that has been stated to be the site of Freemasonry Hall used by the Templar Knights in the Crusades. The incorporation and placement of Masonic architectural elements in the UTF and its interior spaces are essential to the function and significance of the building to the site. The acknowledgment and study of historical Freemasonry architecture and sites in Jerusalem will influence and define the symbolic meaning to the building and site.
The construction of the UTF in Jerusalem, Israel will influence the surrounding cultural through Masonic unity. The UTF will be the new unifying symbol for all masons around the world. The lodge will explore the knowledge and growth of brotherly unity in religion, philosophy, and morality within Freemasonry. This will become an expressing of ideals to the region of Jerusalem and the world.
The UTF will influence unity through a new idea of Freemasonry: Education = Knowledge = Light = Unity = Masonic Light. The world orders of Freemasonry will be defined as the primary client. The non – Masonic community will define the secondary client. This place of unity and its client will change through the unification of the different orders into a more defined organization. The unification will create a new primary client known as humanity and will influence humanity through unity in religion, philosophy, and morality.
This new idea Freemasonry: Education = Knowledge = Light = Unity = Masonic Light will consist of elements that will unite the orders of Freemasonry. The Masonic Museum, (Education): is the first part of the new idea of Freemasonry. It will give members of all the orders of Freemasonry and the visiting public an understanding of Freemasonry history and its effect on world history. The second is the Masonic Library, (Knowledge): will further educate the members of freemasonry and the visiting public through research. This research of Freemasonry will influence people from different societies to evolve to the new Freemasonry idea of unity.
The third is the Masonic Lodge of Unity: (Unity), which will be known as, “The Sanctum Sanctorum”. The creation of a lodge room known as the “Sanctum Sanctorum” in the UTF will influence the different orders of Freemasonry to embrace unity through the idea that the journey for the search of light ends in a destination called “Unity.” All Freemasonry orders must be unified before entering the “Sanctum Sanctorum.” Freemasonry member will meet in this place of unity once a year to express the overwhelming idea of unity among the Freemasonry orders. The fourth is the five different lodge rooms for the five different orders of Freemasonry: (Masonic Light), will be defined as the Masonic Light. These lodge rooms will give the different orders a place of unity where the different orders can meet throughout the year at the UTF.
The achievement of unity will be derived from and be driven by the hope of unification through my research. I have created a visual and physical progressive architecture that will influence unity among the orders of Freemasonry. This search for the unity of light has a frame work of ideas that incorporates unification through related topics in the different orders of Freemasonry. The history of symbolism and philosophy in Freemasonry incorporated with other related Freemasonry elements will be the foundation of the UTF.
My research of Masonic elements consists of the sacred geometries and how they are relevant to Freemasonry. The past influence of these sacred geometries on Masonic and non Masonic architecture will influence the idea of unity through their application in the visual and physical aspects of the UTF design process.
The goal is to provide a Universal Temple of Freemasonry that will redefined the ideal principles for the unification of the Freemasonry orders. Unity and brotherly love are a fundamental ideal of Freemasonry.
There hasn’t been a symbol of unify in Freemasonry since King Solomon’s Temple in 965 BCE. The UTF will become that new symbol of unity through enlightenment. The principle new idea is to create a place where all Freemasons acknowledge one another, no matter their typology. Defining a new progressive ideal of Masonic unity as: Education = Knowledge = Unity = Masonic Light.
A redefining idea of unity, presented through a visual and physical creation of progressive architecture, will become a symbol of unity for Freemasonry around the world. The creation of such a symbol will bring a coming of age in Freemasonry in the 21st century.
The primary outcome of the creation of The Universal Temple of Freemasonry is to unite the different orders of Freemasonry through the design of a visual and physical creation of progressive architecture. The secondary outcome is to have this architecture and new idea influence better relations in the region of Jerusalem, Israel, by the implementing the new Freemasonry idea: Education = Knowledge = Unity = Masonic Light. This new idea along with the idea of a new age of progressive architecture will influence all relationships towards mankind and hopefully peace in the region of Jerusalem, Israel.