By Worshipful Brother W.A. Ramsden
First published in September 2003
In the Provincial Grand Lodge (Southern Division) Spring Ball magazine
The human hand is capable of extraordinary action. For thousands of years a handshake has served as a greeting between two human beings. No one knows for sure when it was first used, but it is generally agreed that it has always been a sign of friendship and a universal symbol of “I intend you no harm.”
The handshake or grip is more than just an outward sign of physical intention, for it evolved from more than the meeting of two strangers. It is the actual innate communication of two spirits catalysed by the joining of hands. For many years we have scientifically known the existence of a human aura, an electrochemical force field which is determined by many influences, but especially our health, emotions and psychological state.
At this point it is especially important to Masons, for the grip of a Mason is an integral part of his education. In many ways it reflects on much more than on the strength of the grip itself.Entire theses have been written on the psychology of the handshake.
Hours of study have been directed towards the analysis of the various types of handshakes and what they reveal about the individual. This research has been used primarily in the business community in sales courses on human behaviour. Masons, however, should take a closer look at “The Grip”.
The human hand is one of God’s most wonderful creations. It is capable of extreme strength, such as crushing bricks and boards by masters of Karate and Kung Fu. Yet, when properly trained, the hand is capable of the finest sculpture and needlework. The undersides of the fingertips contain the highest concentration of nerve endings anywhere in the body, making them highly sensitive to touch.
For centuries men of healing have known the importance of touch. The Chinese teach Chi or body energy, while the old magnetic healers of Europe believed in treating the ills of the body through aura balancing. Whether accepted or not, there is no disputing the existence of the aura we generate. Highly sensitive kurilan photography proves beyond doubt that the degree of a person’s health determines the strength of the aura. Also the emotional state of mind can cause the strength to increase or diminish depending on the ruling emotion.
As Masons we are taught the value of governing our physical and material bodies. Could the Old Masters have known something we have lost? The sum of this is that in building a good life, we must harmonise our physical and spiritual attributes and qualities. The result of doing so is an expression of a strong, well-balanced body and mind, which, in turn, reflect an aura of strength and peace. When two auras connect physically there is an exchange of information from one to another. Consciously we may feel some of it, but our spirits enter and record the experience deep in our minds, guarded until needed.
The next time you shake hands with someone, don’t glance at a finger for ring or at the lapel for a pin. Just try to experience the exchange of feelings given by the hand.
This may explain the “Mason at Sight”, our Ancient Brethren wrote about, and the words heard from time to time “You are a Mason; I can feel it.” The may also indicate what is meant by the “True Grip”.