Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Unmentionable Spector

This has and will always be a personal blog about my journey into and around Freemasonry, albeit a somewhat anonymous one. I have always been candid and frank about most of my experiences. I have written things that I probably should not have and have held back some things that I should more than once.
Apart from some minor posts in the last year my writing has all but dried up like so many other Masonic bloggers around what was once a very exciting and vibrant group of like minded individuals.
For me the muse that once fed my fervent prose has gone.
Like many men before me, I was a seeker of light and discovered the ancient fraternity out of a combination of deep need and heady research. There are many outlets available for a man to dedicate his time and energy to and my spirit was drawn, like a moth to flame, to a brotherhood represented by two builders tools locked in an iconic embrace.
I have stated numerous times and in way too many ways on this site of what I found when I approached and passed through the West Gate on my way to the East. I dove in head first following my heart and the providence that led me to the ancient craft. Like an infatuated youth the order held my thoughts every waking minute and my dreams at night. In retrospect I am ashamed at how much of my energy and valuable thoughts were taken away from my precious wife and children by my devotion to Freemasonry, but that is how my personality is, I do not do anything half way.
So where am I, you might ask.
Well, last spring I finally got a job equal to my skills after a long drought of layoffs and part time work. My new job has eaten up allot of my time and energy but at least I am getting paid well for it. Masonicly I have not stepped foot in my lodge for over a year now. I have kept up with what has been going on there but the last time I was at lodge it was made crystal clear to me that what I had tried to do was not wanted or appreciated. I had attempted to demit but was talked out of it and have questioned my decision ever since. My thoughts and ideas of what lodge I would like to belong to has completely changed and my old lodge fits none of them.
Others who followed me in the idea of a "different kind of lodge" have also dropped off and although I had nothing to do with anyone's decision directly, the blame has been laid at my feet. In fact at the most recent election (of which I could not attend because I was hundreds of miles away at work nor any intention of going to anyway) the rumor that was murmured around the room was that I was going to show up out of nowhere and "start some trouble," like some phantom menace....Oh my god I am Voldemort!
Just hearing of what has been said in my absence hurts me to the core and the idea of what was accomplished in the five years of my dedication to a positive idea as being labeled "trouble," has led me to believe that my continued support of men who do not want it is unwarranted.
Under my Grand Lodges rules and regulations a brother may demit form his lodge if his dues are paid in full. I would then receive a certificate of demit which would make me a kind of unsigned Freemason free agent. The ramifications of this decision are heavy especially since I am not a member of another lodge and my "regularity" would be in question. I don't know what to do, but I no longer belong to the group of men who I called brother for so least not all of them.
Over the past year I have received numerous calls and emails from the readers of this blog that have lifted my spirit and cemented my decision in joining Freemasonry in the first place. If it weren't for you, or this work of love, I may well have just given up on the craft altogether. I still wear my ring although lately I have gone days without taking it out of the small jeans pocket where it resides when not on my finger.
My questions still linger. My spirit has taken quite a blow.
There is much work to be done.


E C Ballard ஃ said...

Come on in, the water is fine! Regularity comes from Exlax, not from the Landmarks. You can worry about the forms and formalities or you can do the real work.



Unknown said...

Wow Brother, that creeped me out because I felt like you were reading from the intimate journal of my heart...Your story is an immediate parallell to mine..I too have been working hard in the quarries of the craft and come out feeling drained and confused...( is that a Led Zep song?) I wish there was a support club for burned out disenchanted freemasons....Bro, thank you for sharing these words and feelings and there is nothing wrong with being a sojourner Freemason....In fact i know many who enjoy such freedoms..Ive been wanting to demit as well, but i am currently Junior Warden and my abrupt departure would hurt the lodge.... I hope you walk away with some thing positive...As upset as I am about it all ( and I echo your feeling resonantly) I still see past all the shortcomings and am a better man from Freemasonry.....

47th Problem of Euclid said...

I was raised in 2008, and I started my blog at that time. There have been times when I have been greatly discouraged, but I have met the most extraordinary men in my journey, and have been honored and humbled that they considered me their brother. Sometimes you have to travel. I am a member of a Scottish Rite Valley halfway across the country because when I am at a Reunion there, I am home. I have joined other lodges besides my mother lodge, and I have greatly enjoyed the men I have met.

To misquote Bob Dylan, sometimes it seems like the Fraternity is dying and it's hardly been born. Sometimes the condition we find the Craft in is deeply exasperating and heartbreaking. But wherever three Master Masons meet, there is a Lodge of Master Masons. If you can find two others who share your vision on God's green earth, you have the nucleus of something very powerful. Find them and keep them.

Mark Koltko-Rivera said...

My brother, I wonder if the fellowship you desire might more likely be found among the Scottish Rite or York Rite organizations. I was surprised to find, as a new Mason, that many a brother never visited his Blue Lodge, but found his fellowship in the Rites. I was quite fortunate in my Blue Lodge, but some more esoterically inclined Brethren have had to look outside their Blue Lodges to connect with like-minded brethren.

47th Problem of Euclid said...

When I started "Corn, Wine and Oil", your blog was an inspiration to me. I look around now, and a lot of the blogs that inspired me when I started are gone, or rarely post. That's sad, but I try to keep my blog alive by keeping my Masonic life vibrant and interesting. I have been in serious peril of burning myself out since 2009. I'm in two Scottish Rite Valleys and more than one York Rite body, and three blue lodges and a research lodge. I am an officer in the Royal Arch, and WM of a lodge (until Wednesday, when the new Master-elect gets installed). I try to focus on those groups and those people who gladden my heart, and I'm zealous with the True Lost Word: "No". I still love the Fraternity, and I make sure I regularly reflect on what I love about it, and I make sure the people I care about support me in what I'm doing.

Heinlein (as Lazarus Long) wrote "Never teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time, and annoys the pig." While no Master Mason is actually a pig, the lesson is clear.

Paul Chapin said...

Discontent amongst the craft is on the rise. Current Grand Lodge policies and practices has created friction on a level never seen before I choose to stand and fight in the only chair capable of bringing the battle to them. said...

Let me tell you a story. I am (currently) 71 years old. My friend is (34) When he was 30 and I was 68 or there abouts we were having a discussion about Masonry. I suggested that we should have a group that went out to eat at a fine restaurant and discussed Freemasonry. Out of that conversation grew Specialis Procer Lodge U D nos Specialis Procer Lodge #678. We only hold stated meetings every other month and the business is limited in scope (Minutes and Treasurer's reports are distributed not read. A Business Subcommittee approves routine bills. We go out to eat after the Stated Meetings also. On the other months we have a Festive Board with either a catered meal or a meal in a private room in a nice restaurant and a Masonic Paper presented by a Brother and while we are yet a small lodge we are in no hurry to grow so large as to be a lodge where we do not even know each other. You can read about the Lodge on my Masonic Thoughts Blog.
or visit the Lodge Web Site