I've Been a Mason One Year
I have been a Mason for a little better than a year. I think I have missed something. I went through the degrees so fast that I don't know a whole lot about Freemasonry.
I look at a trestle board with all our images and I don't know a quarter of them. I remember one of my degrees where it said that rank and fortune did not matter to MM.
But in lodge, rank is everything and we are all- or should I say, all the chairs are adorned in gold chains, and fancy titles. I don't want those titles but I would sure like much more guidance in the craft.
I thought it was just me but now that I have mentioned it to a few other MM they have the same questions as me. I have met a lot of great people in the craft and I have met others that are after that rank and fortune. Is there more......
Your thoughts are well taken. Due to today's members going through their degrees much more rapidly than in yesteryear, without personal study, the underlying truths of Freemasonry might be forever lost. That is why I built this website...so that members could read and learn more about Freemasonry.
In yesteryear, members not only memorized ritual, but dutifully read Masonic books so they might better understand the fraternity, its long history, its symbols and feel its true spirit.
The "rank and fortune" you speak of mean that a true Freemason does not judge a man by his rank or title (whether inside the lodge or in the outside world.) Freemasons who embrace all that Freemasonry stands for understand that all men are equal within a lodge.
Those who become Freemasons with expectations of their "rank" giving them a superior status above other members are typically poorly read in what Freemasonry stands for and do not do justice to the craft.
Those who become Freemasons with expectations of "riches and fortune" flowing toward them due to their membership or their titles are similarly uninformed and ill read.
Freemasonry is about a brotherhood of men under the Fatherhood of God (Supreme Being). It is about striving to become the best man you can be (exhibiting Brotherly Love), being a moral man (Truth) and and helping others (Charitable Acts).
True Freemasons remain humble because they have learned that each man, no matter his title or rank, is a servant of the lodge. This especially applies to the Master of the Lodge.
It is only through Masonic education in the craft that its underlying spirit can continue to be realized and felt.
Robert, I hope that you will continue to read the many pages on this site and you find them helpful to you. There are also many good books about Freemasonry available for those who seek them...and many good men who have studied and learned much in their quest for more knowledge while traveling along their life's journey.
There are many good men in every lodge. Do not let those who who are mesmerized by presumed status (titles) and presumed fortune (gilt and glitter) deter you in your own personal quest to be the best man you can be under the Supreme Being's watchful eye, working in tandem with other like-minded men.
...And, when and if you should become the Master of your lodge one day, please know that your real "powers" are to be a humble servant to both God (our Creator), and to the members of your lodge in order to benefit the interests of the lodge as a whole, and not as a status-conscious, dictatorial Master who thinks only of his own "powers".
Again, thank you for writing and addressing this issue. If you do not have a working Masonic education officer in your lodge, as you study and learn, yourself, perhaps you might consider requesting the position and sharing a little Masonic education with your brothers at each meeting, as you learn about it, yourself.
Even though you say "I've Been a Mason One Year", one man CAN make a difference...