Being a Mason is a vocational need or in other words is an undertaking or a calling followed by one’s own desire.
Allow me my brethren to take you by the hand and through my words to a place where the acacia softens the light, and where the truth is engulfed with a serene maturity.
And while we are in this journey, I will try to delight you with some reflections or thoughts that far from being unquestionable are at least worth sharing.
If you are ready, let us then begin the journey.
A great majority of human conduct experts focus their studies and investigations on the reason why some people lose their physical equilibrium to the point of insanity. In reality, the question should be quite the opposite, why is it that we can lose our mental balance to the point that we make up physical illnesses that doesn’t really exist? Or in other words, why do we let personal conflicts affect our wellbeing?
We the human species stand out from the other living creatures thanks to our capacity to think and reason which makes us conscious of our individuality. We know that we exist and we know the reality of our circumstances and environment. However, these same characteristics that make us unique have to coexist all at once with the powerful impulse of our instincts and with our five senses. As a result we have two powerful forces inhabiting our brains and revitalizing the truth that we perceive.
As intelligent beings we are conscious of our transit in time. That’s what we call life, that period between the moment we are born until the moment we die. That is the same period in which we are aware of our self-existence where conflicts, illness, and suffering are all part of living. We live developing strategies to try to keep balance in an unstable environment and within ourselves.
In than constant effort to support and balance ourselves, we try to counter act or even justify our own shortcomings, therefore we need to find mechanisms to make others responsible. We blame or attribute to someone else our faults. We live under the constant need to be accepted by others. We crave prestige, recognition, social status, and power, thinking that it is going to give us peace. Others also live with a dependence on something or somebody to give meaning to their existence, at times giving place to fanaticism.
All these compensatory mechanisms are palliatives that temporarily cure and distract our intelligence while we refuse to take control of our own lives. Hence, our lives lack real direction subjecting us, under our own will, to live in the eternal darkness of night.
We can only be liberated from the eternal darkness of night if we are blessed with the possibility of a new awakening. That awakening will only come if we actively seek the light found by us and within us. It is then that we will transition from one more “homo sapiens” of the millions out there, to the “homo initium” or initiated man. The initiated man finds the answers, orienting and balancing himself when he continually seeks and finds the meaning of the ancient mysteries instead of trying to blame others for his faults and missteps. He leaves behind the darkness and reaches the utopia of illumination.
Methods to reach illumination, we can find from East to West, including ours, Masonry. All these methods have something in common. They offer its adepts the possibility to reach self-illumination. However, none of them can guaranty us success because that is something that depends on us, not the method. Calling ourselves Masons and even attending lodge regularly doesn’t necessarily mean that we are going to accomplish any advancement in our self-enlightening.
We have knocked at the doors of Masonry for different reasons, and once admitted, those same reasons drive our interests as we advance in our Masonic journey. If what drove our interest to join Freemasonry were profane intentions, like trying to use Masonry as a way to compensate our psychological deficits or our middle life crisis, our Masonic work is going to be all we want but not the works of a real “initiated” man. We could become experts in local and universal Masonic history, we could be fluent in our Masonic vocabulary, we could even attain all the degrees and offices of the lodge, but without a genuine and sincere vocation to find the Masonic light we are never going to become that “new and evolved man” that masonry could help us be. We are never going to be able to build our temple.
Be careful not to slip and fall! Plant your feet on the ground. To reach the utopia it’s necessary that our work and steps in Masonry be firm and oriented.
How beautiful it is to be enlightened! How beautiful it is to be that “initiated man” and how beautiful is the journey that takes us there. Let us savor it, let it seduce us as the crystalline and fresh waters of a creek call us with its beautiful sound to drink from it.
Once we arrive, the evergreen acacia is there to receive us. Let its shade refresh us! Let our brotherhood rest under its mystical branches. And before we depart, let me ask this very important question, right here and right now, under the refreshing shade of the acacia, in this the XXI century, does Masonry still have any importance or relevance?
No matter what the answer might be my brethren, let us renew our own interest and our vocation toward Freemasonry. Regardless of the lodge or obedience we belong to, and regardless of our degrees, titles and honors we may hold, let’s revive that first love for Masonry that engulfed us with such passion so that we can receive the light that we asked for when we were still in darkness and that was given to us when we entered the Temple.
We should ask the G.A.O.T.U. to give us wisdom to collectively unite our hearts and spirits, strength to put our vocation at work, and beauty to adorn our initiation work.
*Translated from Spanish into English by our Brother Adán Bautista from Fesno, California.