In your heart
And in your heart shall Masonry always be.
Brother Harmon Weston recently posted this on the Blue Lite Forum.
In The Farmers Almanac for 1823 published at Andover, Mass., the following was printed under the heading, Definition of a Freemason:
The real Freemason is distinguished from the rest of Mankind by the uniform unrestrained rectitude of his conduct. Other men are honest in fear of punishment which the law might inflect they are religious in expectation of being rewarded, or in dread of the devil, in the next world. A Freemason would be just if there were no laws, human or divine except those written in his heart by the finger of his Creator. In every climate, under every system of religion, he is the same. He kneels before the Universal Throne of God in gratitude for the blessings he has received and humble solicitation for his future protection. He venerates the good men of all religions. He disturbs not the religion of others. He restrains his passions, because they cannot be indulged without injuring his neighbor or himself. He gives no offense, because he does not choose to be offended. He contracts no debts which he is certain he cannot discharge. because he is honest upon principal.
The sentiments expressed go a long way in explaining what makes Masonry so special. Masonry has much to offer, its camaraderie, its helping others in need expecting nothing in return, its pursuit of the truth and knowledge in a moral-ethical setting. But these are only the manifestations of what underscores the entire underpinnings of the Craft. And that is the transformative power of Masonry to influence the heart. Once you pass through that door of your own free will and accord you are born again into a new way of life, a life whereby your thoughts and actions are always on the square. Your mind is no longer in control of you. Your heart, your spirit, your essence is the source from which all instructions will govern the overall systems of your body. Once you give yourself over to the transformative power that Masonry has to offer, you live a life that plays itself out in paths and choices guided by the spirit within you that has been reprogrammed.
No other organization, society or group can offer that if you chose to accept it. That means that you cannot be a superficial Mason but must study and assimilate those teachings that have been passed down from one generation to the next from time immemorial. Once you have allowed Masonry to influence your spirit you will be a new, reborn person. Instead of rules to alter your behavior Masonry offers a state of being whereby rules, codes and creeds are not needed. As a Mason you instinctively know how to govern yourself and you govern yourself accordingly.
The only other transformative group that can match Masonry is your House of Worship. Sometimes, however, the message is so fraught with regulations and so wrought with promises to come that the earthy message gets lost in the shuffle. But not with Masonry. In reality it is the hand of the GAOTU that spreads Light. It is His interpretation not ours which shapes things to come. The GAOTU works through Masonry also which is why a belief in Deity is essential to the practice of the Craft. Furthermore, you don’t change hearts and spiritual essences without a belief in such.
In 2005 I wrote and delivered a rather lengthy paper titled “World Peace Through Brotherhood.” In it I proposed that if we made a majority of the population Masons, then there would be no more war. Peace and harmony would prevail around the globe. As a student of history I have already read about what Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, to name a few, have done with their chance to insure world peace. But I have not yet seen what Masonry can do. It is my firm belief that if we are truly all one, than if we all really become one that which divides us will have disappeared.
Is that not how our Masonic Lodges operate? All political, religious, cultural, racial and philosophical differences are left outside the door to the Lodge room. Every Masonic Lodge is an oasis of peace. All of us meet on the level and part on the square. So let us entice the rest of mankind to do the same.