Monday, September 15, 2008

This is not Masonry....

This is not Masonry. This post is not Masonry. The blogosphere is not Masonry. The internet is not Masonry.

Like many brothers on the web, I have spent a significant amount of time following the back and forth occurring on various Masonic Blogs. Many blog posts have been ripe with disagreements, fights, arguments, contention, hatred and generally un-brotherly un-Masonic conduct. Like daytime TV, gladiatorial matches and professional wrestling, these examples of the most basic of human emotion has attracted me like a moth to a flame. I have paid unnecessary attention to it, like a passer-by gazing at a car wreck. Not giving assistance, yet transfixed and focused on the destruction. These brothers are not building the temple while they fight and I am not building the temple while I idly watch. This is not Masonry.

This bad energy has permeated my being and has nearly poisoned my own love for Masonry. After the long summer months I have felt dread about returning to my labors, not because I dread my lodge, my valley or my district. But because I have convolved the bad blood being shown over the internet with what real Masonry is. I have somehow confused the ill will shown by brothers in this land of bits and bytes with the brothers of flesh and blood.

Real Masonry is your lodge. Real Masonry is your brothers. Real Masonry is your community. Real Masonry is helping the poor and distressed. Real Masonry is looking to God, thanking him for his beautiful gift and continuing with your labors no matter how much the world-at-large has been sullied. We labor not in spite of our flawed humanity, we labor to better our flawed humanity, not to give into our more base instincts.

The brothers of my lodge, my valley, my district and my Grand Lodge have recently reminded me why I labor. This was not a conscious reminder on their part. No one stopped and noticed the corrosive forces at work in my soul. No one stopped, said that I looked lost and actively showed me the way. They didn't need to, they did what Masonry is meant to do. Masonry gives no man light. Masonry shows no man where the light is. Masonry isn't light. Masonry reminds men that there is light in this world and that we are all seeking it together. A calming joke at the right time, a friendly hand shake, a shared pizza, a chat about life; this is Masonry. Being there when your brothers need you and finding your brothers when you need them. This is Masonry.

Turn off your computer. Close your laptop. Thank God for the light in this world. Lock arms with your brothers and find a ray of that life-giving force which serves to enlighten our hearts and minds. Live Masonry.

".....that cement which unites us into one sacred band, or society of friends and brothers, among whom no contention should ever exist, but that noble contention, or rather emulation, of who best can work and best agree."


Tom Accuosti said...

Turn off your computer. Close your laptop.

Go to your windows. Open your windows, throw out your television sets and scream "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!."

Oh, wait - wrong movie.

Good post, bro! Sometimes it's good to take a step away from teh intertubes and remember what the Fraternity is about.

The Palmetto Bug said...

Great post.

The Millennial Freemason said...

Thank you for the call of calm. I too started getting tired but I think this was necessary. I especially like the picture. I always remember the quote from Thomas Jefferson and Mark Twain,

T.J.: "When angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, a hundred."
M.T.: "When angry, count to four; when very angry, swear."


L Tzu said...

That is a great post. It is always important to return to center and remember where we come from. We said Brother.

Traveling Man said...

One of your best posts. You echoed my sentiments almost perfectly.

Traveling Man

Anonymous said...

Charles here is your problem:
I have spent a significant amount of time following the back and forth occurring on various Masonic Blogs. Many blog posts have been ripe with disagreements, fights, arguments, contention, hatred and generally un-brotherly un-Masonic conduct.

And as you know which sites they are, simply don't read them. No one is forcing you to.

It somewhat reminds me of focus groups of radio listeners. Ask the focus group if they're sick of Britney Spears. The answer will invariably come back "yes." But people still rush to buy magazines and tabloids featuring her, search for her on the net, download her CDs and watch TV entertainment shows which breathless screech and gossip about her.

So it is with Masonic spots where participants could be more Masonic. People don't want it. But they read it anyway.

Funny things, we humans are.

Charles, I've been on-line for over a dozen years, chatting with Masons here and there. It hasn't always been pleasant; some people don't take it well when you disagree with them and respond with insults or snide remarks. Others misinterpret what you've written and get angry. Regardless, what happens here has very little connection with what I do in Lodge. I'll chat on line, then head off to a meeting where I have a completely different set of priorities and responsibilties. One never affects the other. About the only connection is telling people the latest on-line anti-Mason story and having a good laugh, but the antis on-line have simply been replaced with Konspiracy Kooks.™


Tim said...

I used to walk near the causeway because the path took me near where the river roared. It was in awe that I watched the water fall and churn. But there were many bugs and thorns and sometimes the journey to and fro wasn't really worth my time.
But I can also remember those days when I saw an owl watching me. I had scores of geese fly overhead. I saw colors in the wood and water that could not ever be repeated.
That's how I feel about the Masonic-Blog-O Sphere.
Sometimes it leaves me in awe.
Sometimes it leaves me constipated.

Steve said...

A small addendum to a wonderful post:

When you put your words in writing, you lose at least half of the meaning. No facial gestures, no vocal inflection, no clues at all other than mere symbols.

And in emails, as well as blog postings, it is really easy to say ambiguous things, and really hard to say exactly what you mean in a way that cannot be misconstrued.

I too am guilty, most Excellent!