Peacocks and Pompocity, I would like to turn my brothers attention to another pernicious pecking creature that pervades once great halls of knowledge that were temples...
This eye catching bird is at first a very amusing and endearing pet. With training, a parrot can vocalize words much like its human owner. One particular specimen named N'kisi has an impressive vocabulary of over 950 words and is reported to have quite a good sense of humor. The key to training these animals to mimic the language of a human, is to give them lots of one on one attention and reward them for repeating whatever phrase you wish them to vocalize. High praise or a favorite treat are perfect rewards for your talking bird...
Do you see where I am going with this?
The masonic parrot is a particularly harmful creature when it is realized that perfect mimicry of particular language can be often confused as understanding. We all know the species. Word for word they can recite masonic ritual, sometimes with convincing delivery. This bright plumage makes the masonic parrot an attractive member of the lodge indeed. Newer members, mesmerized by the recitation of arcane language will flock to and praise the masonic parrot. Older members will pat the masonic parrot on the back for doing things like they did in the old days. This praise is exactly what the masonic parrot is looking for. Like a cracker, the patting on the back and attention are what drive the masonic parrot to move further along in its delivery of the ancient language of the fraternity.
The aviary version of the parrot is cute and funny, amusing to all, but rarely are parrots allowed to use their ability to vocalize language to be confused with knowing what it is they are saying. The masonic parrot is entertaining until brothers start to confuse speaking words perfectly with actually knowing what they are talking about. When this confusion occurs the masonic parrot can be held in high regard and put into a position of power, this is when the masonic variety can become dangerous.
Imagine asking a parrot for advice on life's big questions.
They may hear trigger words and dive into already memorized phrases or if they are not triggered into a learned routine they may just spout out colloquialisms or riddles that make no sense to what was asked of them. Harmless right?
Imagine putting a parrot behind the wheel of a car.
That's crazy you say, I would never let my pet parrot drive my car but do we allow masonic parrots to lead a lodge? All of the time.
When the meaning of the language of the ritual of masonry is lost, it becomes just elevator music. It entertains you, kind of, but only for the short time you are locked in a room with it. You will never go out and find that muzak that you heard in the elevator and listen to it in your car or at home. The same thing goes with our ritual. If we just parrot the words and never internalize the deeper meanings or explore the teachings of our order with the brothers of our lodge in lodge why do we go?
To sit around a 3 foot wedge with loose acquaintances squawking meaningless drivel?
To trick new guys into buying into the fake mystique and get them to pay dues?
The problem with the masonic parrot is that once an intelligent brother discovers that all it takes to progress in the fraternity is to memorize meaningless words and spit them back to get huzzahs from the assembled, he quickly becomes disenfranchised with Freemasonry. If the purpose of the ritual is not to improve a mans understanding of himself and his roll in the society he belongs to, why go through the parroting?
Just get to the pizza and beer.