Being an avid reader I could not have chose a better organization to join than Freemasonry. Just type Freemasonry into an Amazon book search and you will come up with 13,986 results! I can freely admit if there is any conspiracy linked to the fraternity it should lead right to Amazon.com. Since joining the craft I have purchased countless amounts of books, pamphlets, and novels with Freemasonry as its topic or somewhere in the title. It is quite a bad habit I have picked up, as soon as I see some book promising more insight into the order, I order! My wonderful wife has yet to say anything to me about this awful habit but I can certainly see that "another book on Freemasonry?" look in her eyes when the UPS driver stops by the house.
I may sound crazy but it is a real thrill.
The plodding research on what book to purchase.
The endorphin rush while clicking order (because of the pain in the wallet area).
The obsessive tracking of the order from the point of origin to my doorstep.
And finally the tearing open of the box or envelope revealing (hopefully) another gem to add to my Masonic Crown Jewels.
Each book I have purchased has added to my knowledge of Freemasonry. They have generally served their purpose in shedding more light on the subject of Freemasonry by illuminating some aspect of the history or character of the organization and the men who have in the past belonged to it. Some have gone into detail the symbolic and esoteric aspects of the craft and up until now I have been a conspicuous consumer of such works. It has been my bad habit of buying every book someone mentions on their blog or website for well over a year now and I have come to a decision that it must stop.
Not because I haven't gotten anything from any of these publications, but because recently I had an epiphany about books on Freemasonry and a hammer.
A hammer is a tool, if you don't know, that drives in nails. It also can be used to break apart rocks or punch holes in walls (by accident) or nudge a piece of lumber into place. If you turn it around there are prongs used to remove said nails you drove in if they are not straight or if you put them in the wrong place. They are numerous uses for a hammer. There are also different types of hammers. Hammers come in all shapes and sizes. If you do an Amazon book search for "hammer" you come up with 183,470 books associated with hammer as a subject or somewhere in its title.
I could read all 183, 470 books associated with the hammer and not even come close to what you learn in just ten minutes using a hammer.
A hammer is a tool.
So is Freemasonry.
So this year instead of buying and reading every book I can find on the order I chose to belong to, I am going to just experience what it is to use the tool.
I'm gonna swing the hammer and see what I can make.