Thursday, July 3, 2008

Scottish Rite

I have taken the 32 degrees of the Scottish Rite, in the Orient of Maryland. It is the most exciting part of Freemasonry for me so far. I am currently working my way through the Master Craftsman program, which is a series of directed readings and examinations that focus your thoughts.

One of the questions in each of the tests, is what interesting or surprising thing have I discovered in my readings. There has been much that surprised me. Probably the most surprising thing about my whole experience is how many truly nice, admirable men and women I've met. I have included women because in our Valley, it's a family affair. Of course, at 59, I truly lower the average age in the room when I come in, and so there aren't a lot of kids toddling around. When my wife came to our first dinner, she was absorbed by the ladies there, and treated as a long lost friend. And so have I been.

Of course, we're meeting on the level with the high poobas of the state and Grand Lodge. Sit at table with three or so PGMs, and the current GM. We ain't exactly buddies yet, but we are brothers.

Then there's the content of the lessons of the degrees. I don't know how much is public and how much I need to shut up about, so I'll be very discrete. Suffice it to say that I'm struck with elation about the obligations I've taken, and to intellectual excitement by the demands to not just see or hear the ritual, but to know and live it. The theme is to build on the most valuable tenets of our craft through an expansion of the mythos of the building of the temple.

The choice of a craftsman, a builder, even a master builder, as our hero has been brought to a greater level of clarification for me. That a man, by his ability is elevated to talk and plan with kings has truly profound implications for us all.

While writing this, I'm going to go off on a train of consciousness thing for a bit: I was about to say "for society," in the preceding paragraph, but that is trite to the point of meaninglessness. The meaning is to us. We are society. We are the nation. Our participation is required for any of these structures to function. This isn't politics. It's the nature of the world.

Many of our earliest brothers were part of the age of enlightenment, both in philosophy and in science. They were looking to find out the nature of God by studying his works, and to find the nature of the world. This is it. The nature of the world is participation. Governed by the Law of Love.

What This Blog is About

This blog is the thoughts of a Freemason. It's not affiliated with any Masonic body, and doesn't speak for Freemasonry in any sense of the word. My purpose is to raise questions, not dictate answers. If you read this blog, please comment; please subscribe, so we can look for answers to these questions together.