The Esoteric Mason Has Returned
This weekend began, what I think (and hope) will be a kindling in the fire of the transformation from the "social club" Freemasonry of the last 60 years, to the revival of the last bastion of personal transformative thought and wisdom that the World has ever known.
I know you are are already thinking "That's a pretty bold statement, there." But I don't believe that it is. This weekend started a very particular journey, one that will teach the "rank and file" Masons that their era of mediocrity, stagnation, and boredom is coming to a end.
The Mid Atlantic Esotericon was held in Northern Virginia this weekend, from June 14-16 2019. The preview night on the 14th began with a Brewery Night at a lovely micro brew in Old Town Manassas named Sinistral Brewing Company. If you are ever in the area, you definitely need to check it out.
After a night of revelry, laughs, and long conversations, the main attraction began on Saturday, June 15th, at Manasseh Lodge No. 182 in Manassas, Virginia. A single story lodge hosted over 150 people, of all walks of life, through eight fantastic presentations which, while not specifically focused on any one esoteric part of Freemasonry, carried a singular theme of delving into the mysteries contained within the body of Masonic knowledge. This conference offered the research of some of the most prolific minds in esoteric and Masonic philosophy, stuck them in a very large temple room, and spent an 11-hour-day sharing this knowledge to all who would listen and reflect.
When I tell you that the amount of knowledge, opinion, and genuine discourse that was present yesterday boggles the mind, please know that I do not say it lightly. The sheer volume of content that was crammed into a single day conference has to rival anything that has attempted to come before. There was SO MUCH to learn and ponder and reflect upon. Eight wildly different topics, all without fluff and chaff, in one single day.
People throughout the day commented on the topics, the Q&A that followed, the lively discourse on the presentations, and the after-chat occurring on snack breaks, lunch time, and the occasional "catch some air" session, was nothing I had ever witnessed in my 15 years in Freemasonry. Speakers like P.D. Newman, Jaime Lamb, Robert Johnson, Jon Ruark, Frater O, Greg Kaminsky, Don McAndrews, and Piers Vaughan electrified a sold-out crowd from 8:00 am until 7:00 pm that evening. It was a sight to behold for those that made the trip.
My one big take away from attending, aside from the knowledge that I needed to expand my summer reading list tremendously, was this one simple fact: Freemasonry, throughout its history, has lost the primary mission of acting as a repository of introspective thought and belief, and has been replaced by a hollow shell of it's true self. Esoteric thought and knowledge, while not the primary concern of every one of the sub-one-million Freemasons in the United States, has to become the basis on which they retool their journeys in the Craft, or the Craft as we know it, will die.
It does not matter when we started this journey, or where the road has taken us while traveling this path over the years and decades; what matters is that the journey must start with a road map to a higher sense of inner awareness and self, and only then will the minutiae of the many aspects of this Fraternal organization have any real meaning to both the Mason...and Mankind as a whole.
The knowledge imparted during the Mid-Atlantic Esotericon were NOT the deepest secrets in Freemasonry; it can be found in the teachings of today's Wisdom schools, Mystery Schools of eras past, the inner teachings of ALL (yes, all) of the modern world religions, and in the Initiatic systems of both the Ancient and Modern worlds.
What we learned as an audience was HOW to access that knowledge, HOW to incorporate it into our inquisitive minds, and HOW to affirm (or even reaffirm) the fact that the true nature of life and the universe and the mysteries of the unknown can be gleaned by learning HOW to look into ourselves, listen to the rhythms of the microcosmic and macrocosmic worlds, and decipher the meaning of those rhythms throughout our lives.
This is what Freemasonry should be, and this is what Freemasonry needs to become again. Donating to charity, expanding a family structure to a room full of strangers, and realizing that a Brotherhood under a common banner can perform miracles in their communities are the SIDE EFFECTS of learning man's true nature and place in the cosmos, and not the primary purposes.
Once we learn that as a group, and only when we learn that symbolism teaches us how to unlock the strength and beauty of the human mind, will we accomplish lasting wonders. Until then, we are forced to rot in ineptitude, title-chasing, lapel-pin-collecting, and mediocrity in education.
The time has come to change this path, and after the attending the first-ever Mid-Atlantic Esotericon, I know that there is a spark of people who earnestly want to right this ship, and move us forward into the time of our reawakening.
And here's the other big thing I leaned this weekend in Manassas, VA: that time is NOW.
~~ FDTL ~~