Soon after they had completed their researches into masonic Light, Adam and Sandeep had turned their attention to the three movable jewels – the Square, the Level and the Plumb Line. Adam had suggested that of the three, he had been most intrigued by the Plumb Line.
‘Why is that?’ asked Sandeep.
‘Well, it all started at school, when I learned about Isaac Newton and the famous story of the apple falling from the tree in a dead straight line until it hit the ground. In my mind, I projected the journey of the apple backwards, up into the sky, far above the apple tree, and imagined that, were something to fall from the canopy of heaven, it would have hit the same spot.’
‘If you think about it,’ said Sandeep, ‘the plumb line, being located between heaven and earth, joins the seven-starred canopy of heaven with the mosaic pavement.’ There was a pause. ‘Actually, it’s a struggle between opposing forces – we have to descend in order to ascend.’
Suddenly Adam was struck by something he had read elsewhere.
‘Do you remember the hermetic Latin acrostic V.I.T.R.I.O.L.? Visita interiora terrae, rectificandoque, invenies occultum lapidem.’
‘Sorry,’ said Sandeep, ‘my Latin isn’t up to it.’
‘Well, a good translation might be “Visit the interior of the earth, and purifying it, you will find the hidden stone.” So if this plumb line points towards the centre of the earth, it is indicating that we need to look into the interior.’
‘Or if the plumb line points towards our own centre,’ said Sandeep, ‘then that is where we have to go to seek the Truth. Then the “hidden stone” is our own Truth!’
‘Yes,’ said Adam, ‘it really is one of the “hidden mysteries of Nature and Science”.’
‘And the plumb line, being “true”, provides us with another allegory. In Hindi, we have a word That meaning “Truth” but can also mean “Divine Wisdom”. Just as the plumb line is always “True” so is also the Divine Wisdom – actually they are the same thing. And the ability to perceive the truth and to distinguish between truth and untruth, light and darkness, like the opposing black and white squares of the mosaic pavement. We say that a yogi’s mind must be sharp as the sharpest sword, in order to split the Truth and the Untruth. Jnana yoga is the study of the Truth.’
‘And in St. John’s Gospel,’ said Adam, ‘we read “And ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free”.’
‘Well, then that resonates with one of the Upanishads: “If That is known here, then Truth is established; if not known here, it is the greatest loss. Having reflected through every element, the wise risen from this world become immortal”.’
‘Do you mean that the wise, the truly wise, become one with the Creative Principle?’ asked Adam. ‘Then that is why the plumbline, like Jacob’s Ladder, like the Hexalpha, all connect heaven and earth, macrocosm and microcosm as Hermes Trismegistus said “to achieve the wonders of the One Thing”. The plumb line takes me out of my inner microcosm and opens to me a vast space, enlarged to the space of the macrocosm.’
Yes, thought Sandeep, here I am in an upright position, my feet planted on the ground because of the law of gravity, but I aspire to rise, to make my way to celestial realms.