There's a resurgence in the number of people taking an interest in Freemasonry. I am witness to it. And as the numbers began to show signs of increase, I made a decision to take some time off. In June of 2010 I stepped down from the appointed position of Chaplain and later, in September, I offered my demit. (petition to resign from the fraternity)
Flash forward to April 2011 and I find myself slowly returning back to the Lodge. It is hard to stay away. Many of my friends are there. I admit that my return is not without some difficulty. My return is tentative. I look within to find my source of angst. I'm not placing blame or offering criticism toward the Lodge or the Fraternity. I'm looking to unravel a very palatable, heels dug in, resistance.
Theron Dunn used to say, "Freemasonry: It's not about me changing them, it's about me changing me".
So wherein lies the rub?
1) "Lighten up, Francis". No one has to tell me that I take many things in life too seriously. When I became a Mason I gobbled up all of the Masonic Education material that I could find. I poured over the Internet and the blogosphere. I read recommended and non recommended books. I formed opinions, ideas and thoughts on what it meant to be a Mason. I took it all very seriously. And then I ran into some difficulty. A lot of difficulty. I concluded that not all Masons fit into this List - and why should they? I judged that the fraternity of Freemasons is only but a reflection of the community at large. After reading this I rationalized that the emphasis on recruiting new members was leavening the bread. But as one brother stated, "I think of it as digging for gold. You keep digging until you find that one precious nugget. I've found lots of nuggets. I've made many friends that I would of not have met if it were not for the Masons".
And I agree... but would it be fair to conclude that there may be more digging and less nuggets to be found as a result of the West Gate being left unguarded, untended and in need of repair? And why should I really give a hoot? In the grand scheme of things...
2) Fear and selfishness - The sense of one's isolation from the world is formed from a sense of resistance to the world, or a sense of pulling back, a defensiveness. So all of our psychological defenses, including denial, have been built upon the premise that the world is treacherous, that if we let it in it will hurt us. So we build boundaries to the world, we build limitations, we keep the world out because the sense of self feels frightened by what the world could do to it. And where those boundaries are formed, where that resistance is created, that's where we hurt. We suffer. - Rodney Smith TRICYCLE
No one also has to tell me that I have labored and labored hard at learning how to keep my own company well. It's safe. Effective. It is my number one go to defense mechanism.
3) Religiosity - I have a fair understanding and familiarity with Christianity; historical, fundamentalist, denominational doctrine and dogma, mystic and monk. The extensive use of biblical terms, the use of scripture along with a very liberal use of history and geography was troubling to me. That anyone would take the Hiram/Temple story as literal and as historical fact freaked me out. To further compound the issue with claims to Isis and/or the pyraminds (?) .... Manly P. Hall? Please!!!! You're Killing me!
So.....I have decided to take it easy..slow and easy... I went to lodge tonight and experienced a full blown SAD attack. And not without some good reason. So lets see what happens. Slow......and easy.... That's me.