• FDTL

A Return to the Basics

Well, holy crap! It's been quite a long time since I have written a blog post. So sorry that I have been away, but it's been a busy few months. COVID, protests, political drama, and bickering on social media have kept me in a pensive and contemplative state, and only now have I gotten the urge to open my mouth (and keyboard) again.

So why come back, you ask? Because in the midst of all the heartache, arguing, loss, and lack of camaraderie, this gentle Craft has been FLOURISHING. Not in the traditional sense of getting new members, increasing the coffers of Grand Lodges for fish fries and clam bakes, and an abusive number of one-day conferrals thrust upon us.

We, as an organization, have been flourishing in new and exciting ways. Ways that are not the traditional "benchmarks" for success in an organization like ours. We have grown not in quantity, but in quality, and I am all the happier for it.

Courtesy of Ian Stauffer @ Unsplash

Self-reflection and contemplation have become a new (or returning) standard implement in the Mason's toolbox. Masons all over the world have been sharing tips and ideas to get a better sense of self. Bettering oneself is the cornerstone of the Masonic fraternity, and self-improvement of your very core being has been shelved by most Freemasons for decades. Only now, in the face of a quarantine, are these folks returning to a more "inward" look into themselves, and the nature of their being. Truly, a wondrous endeavor, and one a long time in returning.

For those that have not dipped their toe in Contemplative Freemasonry, I URGE you to check out all the amazing content provided by Brother Chuck Dunning (YouTube content and Book).

How else have we grown in the face of adversity and strife in the world? Well, we have also learned how to become flexible in how we meet and share our thoughts with one another. Platforms like Zoom have allowed Brothers from across the globe to meet and discuss and share ideas with one another. Social Media has expanded the reach of local Lodges and events, and made them into world-renowned icons of success. Groups like the Refracted Light Facebook group have expanded the access, the minds, and the breadth of knowledge of thousands of Masons, Initiates, and interested parties all over.

Speakers are brought to the digital "table" by groups like the North Carolina Masonic Research Society, Unknown Philosophers, Esoteric SunDaze, some Lodges across the country, and even Grand Lodges around the world (go search through Facebook and you will find them.) These speakers are then presented to the world via Zoom and Facebook Live, and an enriched and lively discussion always occurs, either over webcam or chatbox.

So many new ideas, experiences, and opinions are presented on a weekly basis. People from all over the world bring their own local nuances to the conversation, and this is something that would NEVER have happened if things had continued in the "normal" fashion, pre-quarantine.

The adage of "we aren't dying, we are refining" has never been truer in our Year of Light 6020. Masons and those interested in the Craft have never had more options for learning new things, expanding their horizons, and sharing thoughts with people they never would have met before, than they do now.

Carpe Diem folks, Carpe Diem.

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