Here there Be Monsters

Masons come to Lodge expecting certain things. Many come for the fellowship and the comradery of being a “Brother.” Some come for the purpose of providing charity to others; some are hoping for a transformational experience, a spiritual awakening of the Mystic Tie. While all are valid reasons, some are more mainstream, and others looked at as fringe. When something is different, or not what they expect to get from freemasonry they are uncomfortable.

We should explore the known and unknown world of Freemasonry. In early days of exploration, the European explorers made maps of their travels. Areas that had yet to be explored or were unknown to them, they left blank. The mapmakers actually showed the edge of the earth, the sea just cascading into an abyss and sometimes they lettered a warning across the void: “Here there be monsters.” The unknown can be frightening and full of dangers, real and imagined.

To many Masons, Freemasonry only consists of what they know, what they have experienced and what they want, they have no desire to explore the deeper meanings of the Working Tools and Symbols of Freemasonry. The Ritual tells them what those Symbols mean, and they do not warrant further investigation, some actually think it is not masonic to attribute meanings different than those included in the lectures. They like the routine of business meetings and mediocre Ritual combined with visiting with their brethren (buddies) during the meal and voting for the Lodge to send money to some worthy cause. They roll their eyes when a less-traditional brother suggests, or worse yet, brings Masonic Education, or discusses Book Clubs or Lodges of Research. Perish the thought! They suggest that these brethren try York Rite or Scottish Rite but even there, study beyond the ritual is sporadic.

Some Brethren, like the explorers of old, choose to push beyond the boundaries of the known world, to study, to learn, to grow. When they move past the imaginary barriers, they do not fall off the face of the earth, instead they discover fertile lands (ideas) of incredible beauty and riches. They look back whence they came and see that the monsters were not before them but behind them. Not the brethren that sought to discourage them, but the real monster, “That’s the way we’ve always done things.”

The hope and dreams for the search for more light is swallowed easily by the monster,