Greeting from the East
from Wor. Doug Ford
It’s already February of 2019, and I can’t believe January disappeared in a blink of an eye. I can say in January we had many successes, at least I think so.
We started the year off right with a fun installation filled with friends, brothers, and family and some good music to set the tone for the officers and the members.
Next thing on the calendar was the first stated meeting for the year. As any Master knows, no matter how much you plan for the evening, you are still pulled in a hundred different directions, not from a lack of planning, but from the universe throwing you curve balls. Sometimes those curve balls are needed to get a man or two onto the bases and set up the chances to score.
That evening, the night of the stated meeting, an application for degrees was presented to a new prospect. He has already filled it out and returned it. We will be reading it in the February stated meeting.
Also, I met with 3 other gentlemen who seemed interested in Masonry and wanted to know more about the Fraternity. It was wonderful to spend some time with these men and get to know them a little bit and I’m hoping that I will see them more in the future at different events.
During the stated meeting, there were some issues that were cleared up and hopefully set the stage for year of true fellowship and a positive atmosphere. Also, the annual budget was discussed and passed. I had brought up the idea that the lodge should send its Master to another jurisdiction to meet with other Masons and make new relationships. Unfortunately, the lodge didn’t want to send me to Bora Bora.
Later in the month the lodge held a potluck dinner, which was a successful event. We had a number of people showing up, a lot of good food, and a lot of fun. There are some pictures below of the fun that some of us had later in the evening.
I will run the idea by the lodge again, but I think we may want to have another potluck dinner in March.
So keep an eye out for the notices. I will tell you it will not be on March 22nd.
Further down in the trestle board, there is a picture of the brothers who get together on Wednesday morning to have their time together and share in the camaraderie. On this particular day, there were 19 brothers and friends enjoying each other’s company.
Here’s the general itinerary for February:
- 11th – Stated meeting / dinner. Dinner: 6:15ish PM / Meeting: 7:30 PM
- 18th – President’s Day. We may be dark or we may have a casual gathering to enjoy our fellowship. Details will be announced in due time.
- 25th – OSI at Santa Maria lodge. Open to all Master Masons, and depending on the topic will determine if it’s open to Fellowcrafts and Entered Apprentices.
As I designed this month’s cover, I wanted to continue the futuristic theme and what technology can do to help us perform our jobs better. I chose this image and enhanced it with aspects of being a member of a lodge and showing that all the aspects are connected in our duties and being an active Mason. It’s not until we are shown the connections can we fully mentally make the connection and see the bigger picture.
Sincerely & Fraternally yours.
What a Good Time Can Look Like!
From the West
by Tracy Reynolds
A very famous Greek philosopher, Plato, proposed the Allegory of the Cave to present a theory that states that knowledge gained through the senses is no more than opinion. Plato also claimed that in order to have real knowledge, we must gain it through philosophical reasoning. I think this relates to Masonry as it mentions mistaking sensory knowledge for truth. What do we see when we are going through a degree? Why?
In the Allegory of the Cave, Plato distinguishes between people who mistake sensory knowledge for the truth and people who really do see the truth.
The Allegory of the Cave goes something like this:
Three Prisoners are bound in a cave so that they cannot look at anything but a stone wall that is in front of them. They have been there since birth and have never been outside the cave. Behind the prisoners is a fire, and between the fire and them is a raised walkway. People outside the cave carry things along the walkway, which casts shadows on the wall that the prisoners then see.
Let’s imagine we are one of the prisoners, and we cannot look at anything behind, up, down or to the side of us. We can only look at the wall. People walk by and we only see the shadows on the wall. We’ve never seen the real objects before, just the shadows.
After a while, we start playing a game of guessing which shadow will appear next. If one of us three guesses the next shadow correctly, the other two will praise him for being smart and being a genius.
After a while, one of us three prisoners escapes, and leaves the cave. He is overwhelmed by what he finds. He cannot understand it or believe it to be real. As he becomes more familiar with his new surroundings, he realizes that his former view of reality was wrong. He learns about his world to understand it and embarks on an intellectual journey where he discovers beauty and meaning. On reflection, he sees his former life and the guessing game as useless.
The prisoner goes back to the cave to let the other guys know what he found and to free them. They do not believe him and threaten to kill him if he tries to set them free.
In Masonry, as in Plato’s allegory, the shadows of our manufactured realities can be exposed as we walk into the light and look beyond the confines of our empirical existence. What we discover can be enlightening, scary, fulfilling, over-whelming…fill in the blanks as the experiences will be different for each of us, as individuals. Sometimes completely unique and sometimes very similar our experiences make us, all, the teacher and the student.
From the South
by Bro. Jesse Middleton
What is Freemasonry? It’s a common question we all get from time to time when people notice that we are members of a Masonic Lodge. But have you ever given any thought as to how you answer the person enquiring? Is it a secret society, a philanthropic organization, or maybe a men’s club where we escape to drink coffee, eat until our stomachs are full, and talk about the glories of yesteryear? Think about what Freemasonry is to you. Why did you join? What got you interested? Was it your interest in building something that would stand the test of time?
Freemasonry is as diverse as the members who fill the seats of a Lodge room. Its history, as we know it, is roughly 300 years old. But did Freemasonry exist prior to the 1700’s? Absolutely, but it was a little different, this is why today Freemasonry is separated into Operative and Speculative Masonry. Operative Masonry refers to the Masons of Medieval Europe who constructed some of the most world renowned buildings, which millions of tourists still travel to today. These highly skilled craftsmen belonged to what was called a “guild.” A “guild,” was an association of people, for mutual aid, that endeavored for a common goal.
The guilds were not isolated to one place, in fact, medieval Masons lead nomadic lives, and many guilds were international. They had to travel to where the work was. While other tradesmen could settle in one place to set up shop, masons had to move on to their next source of employment. This allowed men within the guild to travel to new places, where they would experience and learn new things. Along their travels, they would also share their experiences and trade with other Mason’s.
A mason at the top of his guild was called, a “Master Mason.” A Master Mason was the man who was overall in charge of all operations of a building site. A Master Mason had oversight of every man who was part of the construction process. His office was known as a Mason’s Lodge. All building sites would have this lodge that served as a workshop and a drawing office where all the work on the cathedral or castle was organized. There were also other master masons on site, that where in charge of specific sections of work. As master masons were allowed to travel freely, any master mason that arrived at a site, and claimed to be a master mason, would be tested by the Master Mason and by master masons already working on the site. These tests ensured that quality was maintained, and in doing so, that future work would be possible.
A master mason would have an apprentice learning the trade from him. When work was complete, and the master mason moved on, his apprentice would travel with him to the next site, and continue his learning there. When a master mason felt that his apprentice had learned all the skills he could under him, the apprentice would then be examined at a Mason’s Lodge. If the apprentice passed, he would be admitted into that lodge, as a master mason.
So that was Operative Freemasonry, the men who physically hewn, squared, marked, and laid the very stones used to create timeless structures. The Operative Mason’s guilds were truly masters of their craft, the fact that many people today still can marvel at their work, stands as testimony to their hard work.
Now, answer me this, when was the last time you built a cathedral or a castle? I’m guessing you haven’t, ever, because today, Freemasonry is “Speculative” only. Speculative means, according to Oxford’s dictionary, “engaged in, expressing, or based on conjecture rather than knowledge.” So today, in Masonry, we are engaged in things that are based on guesses, rather than knowledge. What do you think about that? How can this be? We know a lot of the history of these medieval guilds! Their history is in many books today, so how is it possible that we are speculating in today’s Freemasonry? Well, if you want my answer to this, please join us at the stated meeting on February 11th, during the Masonic Education segment. At the February Stated meeting, I will be discussing Freemasonry, what it is and some of our duties. This year’s Masonic Education will be a bit more interactive. Be prepared to engage in discussion, and to think a bit about why you are a Freemason, and what it is that we are actually supposed to be doing.
The Job’s Daughters youth group will be having an Italian Feast for the stated meeting dinner.
If you are interested in attending, please click on the link to send an email:
The Wednesday Morning Brotherhood
Third Degree Anniversary