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Masonic Reflections: Once A Mason

An old mason, weary with life came to me to say goodbye. He was going away, and I know that I will never see him again. Before he left, he felt that he wanted to give me a gift to remember him by ‘from a Brother to a Brother”, he said. I know that I will always treasure it, and its value as such, that when I pass it to the next Brother, I will remember his words in the giving.

As I ponder on the events of the day, I am mirrored by myself; on one side as a young man, and on the other, as an old man. My other selves are also contemplating the day; one anxious for the future, the other content in the past. And I remember some of the first lessons of becoming a mason”

There are two questions that we are asked when we first become masons. The answers, given to us, perhaps mean little without the experience of time.

“How do you know yourself to be a Mason”? “How do I know you to be a Mason”

What simple but profound and personal questions! That I should know what it means for myself to be a mason, that I should know in advance of my actions, what I will do, how I will face my trials and how I will live my life?

These are many under laying interpretations of masonry, but as proper for the day and age, we relate to that which is contextual. As I have propounded before, and I am sure will again, Masonry is experiential. Symbols and signs have meaning only to those who have experience them. The ardour of the Fraternity is a blended emotion; of acceptance into a tradition, trusted and valued; and are clearly experiences that affect a person both inwardly and outwardly.

The degrees of masonry each teach a lesson in accordance with a different stage of life and are marks of passage into personal development even if the passage is but ephemeral. The Entered Apprentice is emblematical of youth; a stage of development where an individual learns from others; progresses in his craft learning both myth and fact of history, ritual and about the society of Masonry.

The Fellow Craft Mason is a progression along the path where we are ready for higher learning; to see the integration of Mankind, glimpse the totality of his experience as it relates to building his societal and spiritual temple. The Fellow craft is put on a quest of higher learning, to see the interrelationships of his thoughts and deeds with the world around him. He is evidenced with his own biology, the purpose of its design, the wonder of the World and Universe and reminded of our admiration of the Great Architect.

The Master Mason is indeed an experience on many levels; it is an entire bewilderment and unity of experiences in emotional, mental and spiritual states.

The degrees of masonry, clearly represent physical and mental development, but also support that emotional development essential to our own sense of well-being.

At the core “being” of everyone is the “I am” or “I be”, this is an undeniable statement of worth, for if you are included in the Grand Design to be given that spark of life, that droplet of the divine resides within all of us, to give us that quintessential worth of “being”. The outer core or influence is what are biological natures has evolved to survive; it is the “I Do”, the behaviors that our personality has developed to get us through life’s trials. Masonry seeks to support these elements of our nature by validating the “I Am” and supporting the “I Do” through the degrees of masonry and the societal structure of the fraternity. The final vestige of the Master is the “I Will Be”, the culmination and acceptance in a life well spent that prepares us for that Celestial Lodge above.

Brother Mike, know that you are worthy and that I am glad for our acquaintance.

Submitted by:

Jeffery Parham

Jeffery S. Parham, M.S. Plant Pathology, M.A. Biology, Master of Bremerton Lodge #117, Free and Accepted Masons of Washington http://www.masonicreflections.blogspot.com




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