'History is the raw material for nationalist or ethnic or fundamentalist ideologies, as poppies are the raw material for heroin addiction. The past is an essential element, perhaps the essential element in these ideologies. If there is no suitable past, it can always be invented. Indeed, in the nature of things there is usually no entirely suitable past, because the phenomenon these ideologies claim to justify is not ancient or eternal but historically novel' Eric Hobsbawm
Let’s turn our attention to the point within a circle. This is represented in a lodge room by a motif on one side of the altar. It is circle surrounding a dot, which lies at the centre. The circle is enclosed in two perpendicular lines. A casual observer may look at it and wonder about its meaning. Let’s break it up into segments.
The perpendicular lines are said to represent the patron saints of the orders of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist. Anyone who studies freemasonry would not take long to realise that geometry is at the heart of just about everything. The lines may well represent those characters but this author thinks that they have a much deeper meaning. What could be more geometric than parallel lines?
The point within the circle is said to represent an individual brother while the circumference of the circle is said to be the boundary line of his duty to God and man. There is small part of this lodges ritual when the master picks up the compasses and describes a circle with them. At the same time he says, "... you are now at liberty to work with them in order to render the circle of your Masonic duties complete."
But there is a deeper meaning, much older than we may imagine. The point within the circle is a much older symbol and the author believes it to be at the root of the secrets of a freemason.
Symbolism often has two meanings. One is meant for all the world to read and know. The other is a kind of code for something much deeper. When we read "deeper" we can substitute "older". Just as the meanings of words change in today's language, the language of symbols has changed. Symbols have been hijacked from one religion by another.
This author believes that the point within a circle symbolises the Earth traveling around the Sun. This was the Copernican view of the universe, something that was considered heresy in its time. At the dawn of modern Freemasonry, this fact, if accepted, could easily have led to excommunication, a fate far worse than any earthly penalty then.
But freemasons have always been free thinkers. I believe that they accepted that the Earth was not the centre of our Universe, but it was a fact that needed to be kept secret to all but the initiated.