The doctrine of light is an ancient concept going 
back thousands of years to the times of the ancient Magi.  
One of the first recorded practices date back to the Persia
empire at a time when Zoroasterism flourished; where the 
Sons of Light led by the God of creation and goodness: Ormuzd, 
ever battled the God of Darkness; Ahriman.
     Light has always been symbolized as goodness and as a source
of power and knowledge; a symbol of Truth.  Darkness conjures the 
negative; such as ignorance or confusion.  There have existed 
many mystery schools that have used light as a metaphor for a 
transfer of Wisdom; initiation, illumination, and enlightenment.
     Light, as Wisdom, is a powerful concept.  It should be 
distinguished from knowledge as found in the seven liberal arts 
and sciences  Whereas knowledge is built up, one stone upon another; 
Wisdom has totality and synthesis of parts, transferred as a whole.  
Wisdom is passed from one being to another and is either discovered 
slowly as it unwinds into personal reality or suddenly realized 
through catharsis.
     Wisdom is a matter of contact.  Wisdom as a metaphysical concept
represents presence and transference.  Wisdom resulting from old age
represents contact with 'life' and preservation through its many 
trials.  Life itself has been symbolized as light.  The light of life.
     Divine Wisdom is also symbolized by light and is what is meant 
by a 'search for light'.  This is a search for the being of God.  
Contact with divine manifestations result in deep understandings 
and influences.  The Virtues, as a spiritual reality, have effects 
upon the self and civilization.  It is our nature as human beings to 
personify spiritual influences as beings or objects found in our 
objective spheres.  This is simply a method of perception and is 
acceptable to the processes of realization.  To conceive a virtue as 
a being is to establish a communication, a form of contact that allows 
transference of Divine Wisdom.  This is spirituality.
But this is also a difficult and at times dangerous subject, not 
accepted or practiced by all.  For the light of spirituality can 
easily give way to the darkness of superstition.
     The search for light then is a search for true reality.  As 
speculative Masons we search through internal reality.  In contrast 
to the operative who built in the external and visible, where we 
travel is within the realm of the invisible.  We must discern internal 
truths from erroneous fiction and myth.  We have taken objective 
tools to assist in the realm of the subjective.  We have illuminated 
the lamp of Masonry to search through the darkness within.  We are 
ever searching for the light of God and through this process we 
discover true reality.  Perhaps a spiritual reality.
     We conceive through symbol and we build our knowledge base 
via symbol, but Wisdom bypasses this process.  It goes direct to 
our hearts and minds. It then re-manifests as symbol capable of 
being projected into action.  Behind the symbol of light is a reality 
and the discovery of this reality is a matter of faith and belief.  
Masonic light represents the sum total of wisdom of all who have 
ever taken and upheld the Masonic obligation...a great and mystic 
circle of being, traveling ever to the east in search of more light; 
more Wisdom.
     If one believes in the Acacia, then the wisdom of our ancient 
Grand Master H.A. has not been lost.  Thus, the Word is ever present, 
accessible within the realm of light, behind the symbol.  With the 
assistance of the Virtues, personified and communicated with as 
divine beings of light or simply practiced as philosophical civilizing 
concepts, this realm can be reached.  The Gematria discovered therein 
would be used to build an internal temple of light, a repository for 
more light.  But this requires an enormous leap of faith, because one 
would have to leap beyond the symbol into the essence of reality.
     But just as the Virtues can assist, so can lack of virtue become 
our stumbling blocks.  For darkness can not enter into the realm of 
light.  Many never get beyond the first maze of Temperance, let 
alone the wall of Fortitude.  Before reaching the Oriental Light; 
learn, absorb and practice within the realm of Masonic Light.  For 
within this light resides the Virtues as teachers; and the fires of 
Wisdom from past generations.  If you can not hear the voice nor see 
this light, then how can you perceive divine light; more translucent 
than the rainbow, more complex than the Aurora Borealis, yet simpler 
than the aura of a single candle that lights our alter.

By David Randel