On the Level

The Level is a symbol of equality. The equality expressed here does not mean that of wealth, social distinction, civil office or service to mankind. Masons use the term to refer to the internal and not the external qualifications. Each is endowed with a worth and a dignity, which is spiritual, and not subject to man made distinctions. The equality practiced in Masonry recognizes that one man may have greater potentialities of life, service or reward than another, but believes that any man may aspire to the heights, no matter how great. Thus, the level dignifies labor and the man who performs it. It also acknowledges the equality of manhood as being equality without regard to station.

Outside the Lodge, it is expected that the Master Mason will seek to improve the morals of men in society. As an Entered Apprentice Mason, he had been instructed to practice charity and to exercise universal benevolence. Now he is not only to do it himself, but he is to inculcate in others the practice of universal benevolence. It is expected that by his own conduct he will demonstrate to the world the highest principles of morality and virtue. It is not sufficient to only observe the letter of the law or to conform to the behavior which society finds acceptable.

He must at all times uphold the fundamental principles of Brotherly Love, Charity and Truth, and practice such time honored virtues as Faith, Hope, Charity, Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice. Taking an active part in your community, you must carry these virtues into operation so that your neighbors may know, without your wearing any badges that you are in fact a Master Mason. Duty, Honor and Gratitude now bind you to your trust.

The lesson of equality, that in all respects all men are the same and equal, but it is evident in many respects that men are very unequal, as in physique, in talent, in gifts, in abilities and in character. It is, rather, the principle that we owe goodwill, charity, tolerance and truthfulness equally to each and all, and that in our Fraternity, all men travel the same road of initiation, take the same obligations, pay the same dues and have the same rights, duties, and privileges.