Friday, March 11, 2011

Freemasonry, Vehicle or Destination?

Washington, Mozart, Bolivar, Ford, Franklin, Churchill, etc. we have all seen the list. It is a very important draw to the order. It got me. When a perspective man begins his research into Freemasonry it is a very shiny lure to drop the names of the most famous and influential men of the last 300 years or so and point out that they were all "brothers". Lodges and Grand Lodges use the list often to convince men that if they decide to join the craft that all of a sudden their names can be added to the list and who doesn't want to be on that list. The big problem for modern Freemasonry is that we seldom do what is required to make a man into someone who belongs on the list, we just act as though the decision to knock on the West Gate and the eventual passage through the degrees is all that is needed to be thought of as a brother of some great men. But what have most Freemasons done?
One of my biggest pet peeves, that occurs more often than not in the lodges I have been to, is the big huzzah and congratulations offered to a brother who has gone through a degree. Congratulations... REALLY? For what? Paying a fee, getting asked a couple questions about your background and then waddling through and listening to some  hopefully decently delivered ritual? Congratulate me for graduating school, or getting married or having a child but don't congratulate me for joining a fraternity. When I was master I made it a point to say WELCOME, not hurray. The time after a degree is a time for feeling out the man who has made it through the initial investigation and is now bound to us as a brother, not celebrating a decision. An EA is the closest thing to the profane as a Mason gets and still has much to prove. Very often the journey ends there for many men who satiated their curiosity and see what most do not.
Freemasonry is meant to be a transformation. The ancient initiatory process of vetting a man and teaching him things he already knew in a different light and forcing him to delve deeper into himself and his trust of others in order to reveal what it is he was put here for, is what the order is meant to do. Freemasonry is a vehicle for the transformation of a regular man into something better. Far too often it is treated as some mystical destination that just by being there will elevate you and that is surely not the case.
Which brings me back to the list. All of the great men who are on that list are great men because of what they did for the benefit of mankind, not Freemasonry. It is my belief that these astounding leaders and creators were drawn to the order and used it as a foundation to develop their true purpose and then shared it with the world, none of them made Freemasonry the "end all, be all" of their existence.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Re-creative Energies, Renovations, and a Reintroduction

It is amazing to me that I have been doing this relatively consistently for over 4 years. When I started this little site, Masonic blogging was relatively new and extremely exciting. It seemed like overnight I became connected to this larger family of Brother Masons around the world who were exploring the craft and re-examining what it was to be a Mason in the 21st century. There were controversial topics that ran hot and attempts at outreach that did not, but through it all my blog has given me an outlet for my writing, a place to exercise my creative talent, and a sounding board for my thoughts and ideas (and also rants) where I have received much more than I have ever put into this thing. And for all of this and the support I have received from my friends and fans I am humbly and thoroughly thankful. 
For those of you that have been coming here for a while you may have noticed that I have done a few things that have improved the functionality of this site and if you look at my "About Me" you might have noticed that I have put my name in my description. The comfort blanket of anonymity has lost its purpose and most everyone I know in masonry knows about my blog anyway so, if you did not know or pick it up in cryptic older posts, I would like to re-introduce myself, hi I'm Matthew M. Morris aka M.M.M. I have not changed my "name" and will continue to post as M.M.M. but at least you know, if you actually read this blog, who I am.
I have for the first time allowed an advertiser (other than my constant shilling for Amazon) to be on this site. I have collected swords and knives my whole life and when I was approached by Swords from Spain about a widget and a chance to earn a few bits (possibly) I finally and reluctantly put an advertisement on my side bar. Besides they make some cool stuff! Its a sell out but a classy one.
And lastly I have changed my logo from the original Celtic square and compasses with the compass rose pointing to the North East (not sure if anyone ever got that anyway?) to my newest masterpiece, a Celtic Past Master's symbol, since as a past master I can finally display that symbol as my own. I have always received so much praise for my original creation that I have spent some serious creative energy into this new symbol. I always loved the past masters symbol but never found one with a masculine sunburst that I felt it needed, they are always kind of androgynous. I found a picture of an old carving of the Celtic Sun God that had a beard that set me off on a new PM symbol that I would love and the result is above, I hope you like it, I do and I have been told it even has a slight resemblance to myself.
It is with pleasure that I continue doing this when so many have disappeared and thanks again for sticking with me from the highs to the lows.