"You know what I say to people when I hear that they're writing an antiwar book? Why don't you write an anti-glacier book instead?"



It has been my intention to submit my official demit to the Massachusetts Lodge of Freemasons of which I am a member.. I have struggled with making this decision with perhaps more sweat than is warranted. The ideology which encompasses Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth is a noble thing and nothing to be scoffed at. - and scoff I do not.

Within Freemasonry the lesson taken from Psalm 133 is as skimmed over as dung on a field. Its nourishment, depth and holiness is only understood in part and often not at all. Freemasonry, which relies heavily on Biblical scripture for its symbols and lessons in morality is not a religion and it proposes no level of spirituality to the members of the esteemed fraternity. Morality does not equal spirituality. The Nazi Party also held in high regard their own list of ancient symbols and moral standards.

The religion of Jesus is as far removed from modern Christianity as is Freemasonry from religion. It is easy to blur the lines. And perhaps for me, here lies the ruse. The guise of using scripture within Freemasonry is outdated and is only perpetuated by relying on the implied importance of tradition and history. There are those (mistakenly I believe) that trace the roots of Freemasonry to the very pyramids of ancient Egypt.
Relying heavily upon tradition for tradition's sake is like holding tightly to a piece of old clothing that has worn itself itself out. Like a two year old that refuses to give up his "blankie" the day arrives when it must be recycled or discarded and not sucked on like an old dried tit. Watts once reminded us that the common error is to mistake the symbol for the reality, to look at the finger pointing the way and then to suck it for comfort rather than follow it.

But what would Freemasonry be without its white gloves and aprons; it jewels and lodge of officers? What would it be without the mystery of degrees with its oaths and ritual. What would Freemasonry draw upon without the canon of scripture?

And perhaps herein lies the ruse. I am not tearing down the bastion of Freemasonry. The fraternity will continue with or without me. My staying or leaving will cast no ripple. It will continue on as it has before and it will be an important lifeline for some while becoming a stumbling block for others.

I've known monks and musicians,
preachers and physicians,
the religious, agnostic
and atheist.


Kathy said…
Thank you for this. Last evening I watched the History channel and it was about the freemasonry and the cross with 8 points. I found it all very interesting. the dollar bill has the eye of Ra on top of the Egyptians Pyramid...the dots are everywhere and the historians find the glues? The Nazi party took the Buddhism symbol and made it their own...just some thoughts of mine to share.
Thanks I enjoyed this.
Kathy said…
I've always been intrigued by the freemasons symbol like the photo you have here on your post. beginning of a square? but its a circle really?
Kathy said…
looks like photo taken in graveyard? they are a club and wont let just anybody in? can you tell me more? only men? only a certain nationality can join the club? I'm just curious hope you don't mind all my questions.

baroness radon said…
My Dad was a Mason of high degree...he had a Masonic funeral. He didn't participate at all for years, but kept paying his dues and said, "You can call those guys to bury me...they'll wear top hats." They didn't, (although the rite was sort of interesting) and I couldn't find the apron they asked for. I never knew why this was important to him. He wouldn't say.

@ Kathy -- The Masons were men only, but women could join the Rainbow Girls and the Order of the Eastern Star...my Mom and Grandmother were in both of those. I wasn't interested in that stuff. I was a Girl Scout -- the last organization I ever really participated in seriously. Although I still buy cookies!
Andy said…
You make a lot of good observations about the current state of the Craft... too often it seems that officers treat the degree rituals as nothing more than an exercise in memorization, and when someone memorizes the words without knowing what half of them mean, or in a stilted rhythm, the meaning and significance is lost on both the officer, and the new Mason receiving the degree.

I'm of two minds on the importance of formality and tradition; on the one hand, there are very few opportunities for a person to participate in anything that's solemn or formal in this 21st century, and I think that aspect alone can add a great deal to the experience... on the other, you've got guys who wear their tuxedos so often that they manage to look dowdy even in evening dress.

My own disappointment/consternation with Masonic ritual is less about the content (which does indeed use archaic language, and reference scripture) than the fact that so few people pay any attention to it, other than perhaps watching sharply to make sure the person delivering a lecture knows it word-for-word. Even if you don't buy into the idea that there are deeper truths hidden within our symbolism, the very basic symbols of the working tools are quite beautiful, and if diligently applied do offer a code of conduct we would all do well to emulate.
Kathy said…
Thank you baroness radon :-)

I had no idea...interesting.