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When you exist as long as freemasonry, you accumulate a history that is remarkable. Though thousands of men have been initiated, our antiquarians have distilled the greatest ideas, most prosaic advice, the interpretations of an engaging philosophy of life, about life, the workings of serious minds.
We find our libraries straining with papers including history that has been modified to support certain points. Myth and fable folded into fact and faith with an almost sacred preserve.
The ideas of ancient times and our understanding of them are being constantly improved. When archeologists find new papyrus or parchments our scriptures are rewritten revealing more about our past. Our appreciation of history now includes an awareness that revisionists had a heavy hand, energizing our scholars to verify information. Curiously, the history of freemasonry is undergoing upgrades changing the way we think .
What does this reveal about the Order? It would appear our need to know is replacing dogma. In the 21st Century, the vibrancy of freemasonry has sharpened.
We are now able to face cynics and critics who would say we are a shadow of what we once were, with an voice that reminds us, freemasonry has constantly been evolving.
So I put to you, a simple question: why is the best masonry in the world found in those jurisdictions with the strongest Grand Lodge? Have England, Scotland, Sweden or Belgium found the lodestone or are they landmarks point the way to our future?
It is possible, we have the exact membership blend to make our future strong. Are we up to the challenge that only contemplation will resolve?
I'm thinking we are. Do you?
together we pursue truths. Together we plunge toward the precipice of ignorance; that point of no return, where we have no certainty, leaping into darkness hopeful we will find an opening to the surface, but convinced the goal is worth the risk, no matter the cost.
Can we honestly think it there was no risk in Scotland, or Ireland or Germany or England? Church and state were not yet constitutionally separated, Habeas Corpus
At no time was freemasonry less complicated or less challenging than it is in the 21st Century. Was the timing for a Grand Lodge just coincidence or was it a product of Habeas Corpus- 1640?
We should punctuate our world with belief in angels and the little people; but belief in coincidence? Only if we are well into our cups!
Habeas Corpus? Here it is in a sentence...
No Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseized of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will We not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the land.
Are we at risk of slipping into mediocrity? Is that what we fear the most?
You pour. We'll talk.
Such confusion with the order.?.. and don't bother trying to deflect the issue by making it a personal attack on me because that just doesn't work.
If listening to Professor Sommers we learn Thomas Dunkeley was a man prone to self promotion; a bit of a charletan who for decades has received posthumous recognition underserved.
Whilmshurst? We can just ignore him because there is no compelling reason or expectation a Master Mason needs to undestand his writtens.
In Upper Canada, undestanding the development and evolution of the Craft is certainly no less or more than the work in Scotland, Ireland or England, Germany, Lithuania, Hungary, or post war Japan and Sweden. Our is a different history. Not that we can escape noticing how few antiquarians seem to float into our view. Ottawa Valley and Toronto have more than their share of students who put pen to paper and help define our foundations in this country.
Our charitable works are largely local and characterized with personality- hardly what one might want to use as an illustration of Craft masonry, but achieveable, compatible with expectations and manageable with a sprint across 12 months.
Christopher Wren would be fired long ago if he came around the Craft today. Though singlehandedly he convinces leaders he had a vision of the Cathedral.
I would never claim small acts of charity are insignificant because I believe they are. But I have a mind that thinks about the bigger picture. Are people getting better when so many children are put to bed hungry. Enforced idolence of a prolonged adolescents is of course blamed on our young men play computer games well into their 30's. Freemasonry feeds the mind, the heart and the soul. Where is your appetite? Step beyond the ritual and commeradery into the beliefs of Craft Masonry..the things that matter to a contemplative mason.
Once we were young inexperienced and naive without trying. Chasing youth is rather pathetic. Would you trade maturity that brings the enjoyment of ones own company, the pleasure of developing tastes- that pleases only you? an appreciation of music that reflects mood, old world standards, a little jazz or country or opera or baroque. We discover the satisfaction of gratitude. We measure wealth in terms of honesty, effort and friendship. So to listeners who tuned in for