The Circumpunct

by Dave Bacon

The point within a circle. The symbol reminds me of the entered apprentice degree.There are alchemical hints and references  often made. For example,  the elements; Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, as well as, the reference to shaping  metals.  In the pursuit of Freemasonry's personal development, from an alchemists perspective, you are in fact fulfilling the ancient practice of transmuting lead into gold and becoming closer to the men that the Gaotu wants us to be. There are the four elements normally recognized as stated before, but also, there is  the 5th element. Obviously being the soul or consciousness of mankind.  The circumpunct which it is commonly referred to, has been said to represent the sun, and in some cases, yes, even gold.  Nearly every ancient culture has at some point held the sun to be of great importance to life. To the ancient people of our great planet, the sun was a great ball of fire, a perfect sphere, made up of energy that allowed life to flourish on the earth and so it was also a symbol of the great creator of all the known world. In fact, scientifically speaking, thatís not all that far from the truth, since without the gravitational pull of the sun, the planets would not even have formed; and without its radiation and nutrients, there would be no organic life on Earth.

The circumpunct is an extremely important lesson within masonry. But, speaking in FreeMasonic terms upon the circumpunct without reference to the other active parts such as the Saints john and the scripture of your chosen Volume of sacred law,  it can be as useless to masonry as a clock without arms to tell the time. Typical understanding of the circumpunct is representation of that one single brother surrounded by all the brethren of the fraternity. That one point, within a circle. But, How else can we apply this lesson? what are some of the other ways I can impress upon your mind to reflect and inspire its application?

  There are  many ways in which it may also allude.  Whether you see it as one man surrounded by brothers... Or you see it as the altar surrounded by light, or the volume of sacred law surrounded by the fraternity.. The circumpunct is a culmination and interpretation of our existence within the social makeup of humanity. Let us focus now primarily on the perspective of the altar. As we think back to the entered apprentice degree, let us remember the line formation. He is kneeled at the single most important area of the entire temple. The light shining from above,  illuminates this importance. Please understand and notice  that this forms the point within the circle. Parallel lines are also present.  Consider for a moment,  that the saints John, can be related directly to the summer and winter solstice in terms of celestial movement and cycles.. The lightest as well as the darkest part of each year. Ever remembering that our lives take a not so different course. Though we may be in a state of  bliss, happiness, and endowed with the greatest of blessings, no man is free from tragedy as we circle through the cycles.. it will come around the corner at some point in our lives, the darkness of adversity will eventually take place. We would be truly arrogant to think that it canít happen. My brother, do not be weary,   Let us consider the opposite effect. We may one day find ourselves in the worst of mind sets, in the darkest of places, sometimes and often times, even after experiencing and embracing true happiness... our lives can feel daunting. Both spiritually and emotionally. But let us always remain hopeful and steadfast in knowing our times will brighten up with relief and great blessings that will surely be coming, yet again, from just around the corner. That brother, who has now been brought to light, just as we all have been and will forever remain, that point, traveling inside the circle of life. Let him reflect on this experience as we take a seat on the sidelines of his journey. Always watching, always present, but only to help guide him should he falter. 

Moreover... The circumpunct... Along with other great Masonic images.. Can allude to numerous different facets of life.. On one hand you can choose to use it for its initial purpose, or... with much thought and reflection, we can choose to use it for the purpose that best suits the situation. If we encounter someone in the fraternity, or in our own personal lives, let us recognize them as that point, and let us be the circle of support they so desperately needs.  We all will undoubtedly find ourselves weak at some moment in time. but without that support, some of us, may never truly get back up. Another way we may apply this simple yet impacting symbol, is by way of the protector. It is our duty to be the fraternity that any just and upright mason can turn to for protection. We simply help him by turning towards his danger and helping him overcome it. One more way still, is to view the point within the circle for our individual goals. whatever those goals may be, the circumpunct can surely help us focus on whats truly beneficial  to achieving those goals.   It also alludes to a few of our arts, encompassing communication and admiration through our arts, will surely re-ignite the flames of the members who may have lost their fire of passion for the craft.

Rhetoric is the art of words designed to pull at our emotional and intellectual strings. To draw us close to an ideal in which we choose to  accept or, if we may, choose to convey. Reflection is the interpretation of that rhetoric. We are all to interpret the lessons of freemasonry in ways that best suit the circumstance in which it is needed. We each.... May also represent the point within the circle... As well as represent the circle surrounding the point. Our brethren see us as individuals from many different angles. As we see our brethren both individually... As well as collectively. Let us be mindful that our goal as masons are to be the pillars of society. We are to be the shining beacon of hope and light, to Which all others, will surely emulate. If we view a pillar with a birds-eye view.. Top removed... We shall see the circle in which is referenced. If it is a hollow pillar filled with but air, we have simply a circle. However, with the goal Inside that pillar we have within us all... the goal that represents the point... whatís the point?  To keep sacred the teachings and internalize the lessons given to us by those who chose to continue to fill the pillars we open regularly. The source of light and the ability to rekindle the light inside others is within those pillars.... My brethren.... We are those pillars. Let us illuminate and inspire our communities as well as  the rest of the world with our newly found understanding of the point within a circle.

Let us maintain our obligations and continue to cultivate all new,  as well as existing brethren, so they too.... May become that point within a circle... in which we have all chose to stand.

So  Reflect on the point....From the perspective of the circle...And we will ultimately influence the strength of our circle....because thatís the whole point.  May brotherly love, relief,  and truth prevail.


This concludes my presentation.

Thank you.
Written by Bro. Dave Bacon
New Philadelphia Lodge #177
New Philadelphia, Ohio.





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