Are we killing each other off?
Are we so intent upon the proper form, the correct procedure, the purity of the Craft, the monopoly of the fraternity disallowing any competition, that we are turning possible members off and losing good candidates?
Here is an essay by a long time Brother we affectionately call Ole Blake. He’s been around awhile. Yet he obviously doesn’t have blinders on or wish to delve into Masonic politics.
If all Brethren are taught the essentials of Masonry, it matters not which Grand Lodges are recognized and which are not. A Mason is admonished to treat all men with the respect due them no matter what the political, religious or race affiliation.
It is only when we try to enforce equality that there is a problem. Equality is a myth, for no men or women are created equal. No matter how great sounding the words there are always some differences in each of us. A man in no way could be equal to a woman because he cannot bear a child. Other differences are vast.
That does eliminate the fact that we should regard each other on the level as benefiting a Mason, and act upon the square in our dealings with each other, for we are all part of the human team. Each of us has a function and that function is neither greater nor lesser than another. The internal engine will not run without a piston of some kind, or without a crankshaft or any other common parts. Humans do not function as well as individuals as they do as a team. We are all part of the human race. Just because we don’t see eye to eye on everything does not create enemies. It would be a boring world if we were all equal with all the same skills and abilities.
So if one Grand Lodge does not recognize another, so be it. That is possibly their loss.
Learning to be a Mason is the best medicine for differences, but just learning what appears on the surface is not enough.
When we can learn that, and teach it to our fellow man, our world will be a utopia and life will be wonderful and satisfying. But as long as we argue differences and throw insults at those who do not share our views then we have lost one of the most important teaching of Masonry, that of toleration.
Each of us has a right to be of a different opinion and when we group together with others who share that belief it is not a wrong thing as long as we do not try to force that belief on everyone else who does not share the same brand of thinking. What is wrong is that we have not been teaching the lessons of toleration and respect for other viewpoints. We become selfish and think our way or no way.
A line of poetry an older brother gave me 30 years ago is as valid today as it was in first year of light, “If every man was a Mason, and every Mason walked his mile, there would be peace in every nation and life would be worthwhile”
Are we walking our mile when we clamor to be recognized, when we try to make everyone equal? Not really, we are agitating the melting pot. It behooves us to learn all the lessons of Masonry from whatever branch or Grand Lodge to which you belong. I recognize a man for who he is, not because of his preferences.
Doubtless the battle for recognition will continue. The reason it will continue in the long run will be found to be vanity.
One line in the working tools lecture says it better, “among whom no contention should ever exist except that noble contention or rather emulation of who can best work and best agree.”
These are my views, I would not presume to speak for any other brother.
PM #35 Georgia.