Masonic scholarship has come a long way. With the tools, the media and the technology available today Freemasonry has evolved into a medium of communication that has heretofore never been seen in the past. Oh we had great Masonic writers, the Masters, many years ago. Most of them are still widely read today – Mackey, Pike, Claudy, Pound, Newton, Denslow, Hall, Wilmshurst and others. Today a new crop of 21st century Masonic writers are plying their trade.
But the Masonic communication has blossomed into many other avenues of expression. In addition to magazines and books now we have websites, blogs and Masonic radio with podcasts available. We have videos, power point presentations and all the wonders that high-tech computer technology can bring us. And lest we be remiss let us not leave out the Masonic Internet Forum where those who are part of the Masonic intellectual aristocracy vent their spleen.
Yet the standard of “having arrived” in the medium of Masonic communication is still deemed to be the book by a small cadre of those who have authored a 300 page plus “work of art.” If you haven’t devoted 5, 10, 15 years of research to open up a new slant with new discoveries on a Masonic subject, then you haven’t really attained the honor of being called a writer of any merit, according to this clique of Masonic scholarship. You can’t be an author unless you have written a book, say these protectors of Masonic purity.
And may God strike you down immediately if you dare express an opinion, especially one that criticizes other Masons and opens up debate. Why then you are nothing more than a muckraking hack. So research papers are in but opinion essays and blogs are definitely out, the latter being a perversion of “true” scholarship.
This snobbish view prevailing in Masonry today has led to boycotts, ostracizing non conformers and ill feelings between the antients and the moderns in Masonic communication.
There is one form of Masonic communication used by the Masters of yesteryear that is often overlooked by today’s creators of voluminous, heavily footnoted works of assiduous research. It is a way of expressing Masonic feeling and /or opinion in few words while deeply stirring the soul and is the essence of creative writing. The Masonic poet is a lost breed, he working his craft from a state of inspiration, almost an inner whispering of the word gleaned from prodigious meditation rather than in a hundred works of cross reference in ten or more different libraries.
So stands tall Ezekiel Bey, a Prince Hall Masonic Poet who destroys one big myth with every poem he writes, that there is little scholarship in the Prince Hall ranks and even fewer who publish anything. Bey is a Phylaxis Society researcher and Fellow , 2nd Vice President of the Council of Representatives, an authority on Bogus Masonry, who has written a book and many a research paper, yet he really shines when it comes to Masonic poetry. He epitomizes to me the complete Masonic writer and communicator, one who has mastered many realms of Masonic communication while refusing to turn up his nose at any means of expression.
STANDING IN THE CENTER
OF THE CIRCLE
By Ezekiel M. Bey
As the earth wind blows, in a chaotic mist
making whirls of dust, from the air it twist.
Hurricane and lightening, darkening the sky
heavy clouds are made, rain become plumb-lines
Horizontal rivers, as a level sits
though the waves make angles, as the currents kick.
Nature makes designs, from what the Master draws
tessellated borders on the Adept’s Floor.
Mountainous terrain, how the rocks are cut
shaped and fashioned cleverly, like a cliff that tucks
beautiful the scene, when the view is wide
when the eye is open, a creating mind.
Beautiful the woman, in her natural state
to be protected by him, he becomes her gate.
To embrace her spirit, to admire her soul
to complete her oneness, is her vital goal
Now can you imagine, counting all the stars
counting every vein, on a single palm,
counting every atom, in a single cell,
counting every angel, those from heaven fell
Can you see the limits where there are no bounds?
can you break the speed, of a single sound?
As a circle’s infinite, there’s one place to enter
all of this is possible, standing in the center.
MASONRY ON THE INSIDE
By Ezekiel M. Bey
Masonry prepares us, for the inner man
Masonry assists us, helps us understand
Masonry’s the spirit what we are inside
Masonry’s the knowledge of the inner eye
All of us have entered through the inner door
Thrice a voice had spoken, was it all your choice
With all faith and confidence we confirmed with “yea”
It was all a wonder, at high noon’s mid-day
As the apprentice learned, that the truth tells all
As he build on bricks, soon became a fellow
He perfected arts, from the Master’s lead
A true Master rose from a grip of needs
Oh those ruffians ran, from desperation’s call
One by one it happened, yes they had to fall
Solomon the wise, or Solomon the fool
You are no KING Solomon breaking all the rules
Oh the power of greed, a destructive path.
You can rule with iron, don’t ignore the craft
It does not take much to connect the dots
You can switch positions to reveal your plot
Some have said the winner, just gave birth to lose
Those you chose the loser will rise up to rule
God has said the first, shall indeed be last
And the last be first of the greener grass.
So the hour glass changed, from the upper chamber
Ending sands of time, to the lower nature
Till the last grain falls, No more sun dial’s tick
Till the clock’s last second, till the last laid brick.
So you wonder why, why I haven’t fell.
Made of the best timber, of the strongest cell.
Its because of Faith, it’s because of Mercy.
Its because of Grace, it’s because God RAISED ME!