COVID-19- Teaching Freemasons they've been Doing "It" Wrong
I'm not going to repeat all the great comments made by RWB Spencer Hamann in his article on The Midnight Freemasons today, regarding the closure of Masonic gatherings happening across the globe in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, and the responses by governments all over the World.
I am, however, going to quote him when he states:
"Just like an organism adapting and strengthening itself against changes in its environment and situation, as Freemasons, we have been given just such a stimuli. Our focuses now necessarily shift inward as we limit our direct contact with others. Why not spend the time you might typically spend at lodge reviewing your ritual work with a critical eye for context? Perhaps consider exploring any one of many excellent, fun, and enlightening Masonic podcasts, YouTube channels, or websites? Pick out a new book to read (although many public libraries have shut down for the immediate future, there are scores of texts available as pdfs, e-books, and audiobooks online for little or no cost). Engage with your family. Meditate. Pray. Recharge. Forget why you were angry. Write a paper. Draw a picture. Channel your creative energies into something you love. In short, perform the interior work."
My goodness, Brother Spencer summed it up pretty succinctly in this paragraph. There is SOOO much more to Freemasonry than sitting in a business meeting, drinking crappy coffee, and complaining about this or that for two hours, and yet, people are bitching and moaning that they can't do the above.
That "inner work" that Brother Spencer references is indeed the true purpose of taking Brothers thru their Initiatic Journey: to take the tools exposed to you through the Three Degrees in Freemasonry, learn about the meaning and symbolism contained therein, and then APPLY it to your own life, and the lives of those around you; this ideally makes the World a better place one household at a time.
You don't need to have a business meeting to improve the inner self, and there is plenty of actual Speculative Masonry you can find out about while you are sitting in your bunker, with your 144 rolls of toilet paper. Again, Brother Spencer hits the nail on the head: read a book, watch or listen to a Podcast, learn how to meditate, write about SOMETHING, or watch a documentary (or two or three) on Netflix. Expand your knowledge of the Craft, and try something new.
For those jurisdictions that embrace online and virtual meetings, kudos to you for being trailblazers and pathfinders amidst an ocean of shallow thinkers and fear mongers. Those that are already conducting business online are light years ahead of those that do not, and this pandemic will impact them far less than others.
Perhaps this is a good time for jurisdictions to re-think what "business" must be conducted within the walls of a tiled Lodge. Is it really a secret to read, argue, then pay the electric bill? Is it a Masonic secret to read the "Thank You" card from the Masonic Home for the donation of $100 and the poinsettias the Lodge sent? Is a presentation on the Golden Ratio, how it applies to Geometry in the ritual, and how we as Masons can take the lessons of Nature and apply their meaning to our lives a secret? The answer is "No" to all of these.
The true secrets of the Craft are known only to those who earnestly start to apply those lessons on their own beings, and then impart that wisdom (not knowledge) to others. That is the real secret of what Freemasonry can offer people across the World, so why not take this "respite" from the World and do just that. You might be surprised by what you discover.
Then, when the dust has settled on this pandemic, and the doors of Lodges are opened to Masons young and old once more, pass on what you have learned, and then do it again. Then, and only then, will the true purpose of Freemasonry become prominent once more.
And for those of you most affected by this pandemic, may the Great Architect of the Universe shine his blessing upon you and those you love, and may you find strength to endure and pass through this storm to clearer skies in the briefest of moments in time.
~~ FDTL ~~