The Symbolism of Network

Symbolism of Network

We learn of the net-work in the second degree, where it is mentioned that "th(o) ch we ad wi li-wo, ne-wo, and pos, de Pe, Un and Pl. Th ne-wo, fr the in con of it se par, de Un". From this we are taught that from the connection of its meshes, network denotes unity.

However, unity is not the only symbolism associated with nets. In Gospel, nets can symbolize divine instrumentality, as after the Last Judgement, when a net moves to gather the good, but leaves the bad (see Matthew 13). It is said that Christ used a net to miraculously catch fish in a draught (Luke's Gospel) and with this illustration of his Divine powers was able to "capture" the disciples Simon Peter, James and John.

The sky is sometimes compared to a net, stars being knots, and hence, one cannot escape from this universe and from the laws which govern it. This thought is mentioned also in the Tao Te Ching as the net of heaven is wide-meshed (because stars are far apart) but lets nothing through.

In India, a spiders net-like web is a symbol for cosmic order, and for the radiance of the divine spirit. This strengthens the belief that God bound us with his power, and it is beyond our capacity to withdraw or leave from it. In Christian art, the net is sometimes depicted to represent the Church, for the net symbolizes the power of God to hold humans together who are helplessly lost in the mesh of life. In many European lodges, the two pillars (J & B) are covered with actual nets to illustrate this idea. St. Andrew, patron saint of fisherman, is often depicted holding a net.

Return to Masonic Explanation Page