Learning originated in the East, and thence spread Westwards. It has been so, too, with our Craft. The name "Orient," which on the continent of Europe is given to the G.L., means the place of sunrise, where the G.M. is supposed to preside, because he is the fountain of light and power for the whole Order. This explains also why all over the world the seat assigned to the W.M. of a Lodge is at the E. As the sun opens and enlivens the day from the E., so he opens the Lodge from that quarter for the employment and instruction of Masons.
The P. is at the E., and it is there that the candidate obtains the light that will dispel the darkness from his mind. And he can only  reach that point by a certain "method" which calls for instruction from someone who has traveled that way before; this conveying a double lesson, viz., that in our quest for truth, we should avail ourselves of the experience of others, and that we should be most careful to take our bearings, and to proceed in the right direction.
The three perambulations are a representation of our pilgrimage as we seek the light, and as we march up and down N. and E., and S., and W., passing in view of those present not only are we recognized as "fit and proper persons to be made . . .," but we are squaring the Lodge, thereby showing that we have learned to harmonies the varied experiences of our life with a definite ideal.
The steps taken by the E.A. at the critical moment have been said to correspond to the first three stages of the Creation before the Sun began to shine, but they also are emblematic of those strivings of the mind in the past, which have resulted in as many strides forward, each bolder than the preceding, each bringing us nearer and nearer to the light, until it has been attained. For although we speak of the Candidate as in a state of darkness, his darkness  is only relative; the words he repeats in the S.O., "Which may heretofore have been known by me," imply that we give him credit for a modicum of Masonic knowledge, although most probably it has so far been inarticulate.
In life we are conscious of having been guided by a mysterious Providence, whose ways are inscrutable; and now, too, we are being led by invisible but friendly hands, and something that is done for us has made us feel that "no danger can ensue." All this is very striking to the Initiate.
Our fathers traveled from E. to W., and then back to the E. And similarly we all have to travel; first, with the sun, until it sets, then back to the E. The P. is by no means the Mason's goal; rather, it only marks the starting point of his Masonic career. There he learns much that is new to him, and he makes a great advance; but harder efforts and longer processes will follow in due time, and he will not stop where he stands; he will move on.
The legends about Hercules teach the same
thing. His name (the Latin variant of the  Greek "Herakles")
is derived from the Semitic Ha Rakel, "The Traveler,"
and it was given to him because, having started from the E., he
reached the utmost bounds of the W., where he erected the famous
Pillars that marked both the confines of the physical world and
the porchway, or entrance, of the next. Afterwards he returned
to the E., and was acclaimed as a God. And this is also our appointed
mode of procedure: when the E.A. has emulated that historic example
and come to occupy the seat which the S.W. has in the West, he
is able to return to the symbolic E. (the place where he first
saw the light), and this time he will be installed as W.M.
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