Thursday, June 14, 2007

Stars Upon Thars

It's pretty remarkable how strong one's convictions can become in the course of a week. Just last Tuesday I was still echoing my dad's skepticism of the Masons as a group that doesn't do much collectively other than discuss among one another (in "secret") how great it is to be a Mason.

I am sure there is plenty of that to be encountered, especially the more time and energy one invests in their lodge. Any time there is a group that is in someway exclusive, you're going to get the star-bellied sneetches effect; some people in the group may be a bit smug, while some people on the outside may be envious or resentful.

What makes me think there's something deeper going on are documents like A Laudable Pursuit (PDF) - That pamphlet's description of what Freemasonry once was, and could be again, is an excellent summary of the ideals that got me to petition my local lodge. (I hadn't actually come across A Laudable Pursuit until this evening.)

Will I be walking into the stale, mid-late 20th century-world of bean suppers and fish fries? Probably, to some extent. Will my degree work be rushed? Almost certainly, if the assumption is that I'll go from Entered Apprentice to Master Mason in two months. I can already foresee some stubborn confrontations about the lodge's web site, should I take the initiative to overhaul and promote it. Will all of that be frustrating, even disheartening? Sure... but if I can come together with all of these smart fellows online, then maybe that mutual, national support will be enough to affect real local change by small increments.

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