A new wave of interest toward “secret societies” and esotherism has put Masonry on the spot and made it an element of mass consumption.
Unfortunately, objects of mass consumption become very quickly superficial and frivolous elements of pop culture.
Our society feeds on sensationalisms that by its own nature are distorted and very far from reality.
When a new topic catches the interest of our society, it gets passed from news outlet to news outlet, and from person to person in some sort of domino effect, and as it goes down the line the veracity of the information gets degraded becoming no more than gossip.
This phenomena does not contribute any real education, neither does it contain any cultural value.
Some of us Masons, in a so called effort to promote openness to society often get caught in this wave of misinformation by not raising our voice to clarifying what’s been said. This newfound interest for Freemasonry seems to be driven by a morbid curiosity to find secretes that doesn’t even exist. For example, some people believe that we hide some secrets about the Holy Grail in Masonic keystones. A number of people knock at the doors of Freemasonry with the profane intention to try to unveil those “secrets.”
Can we really call this frenzy a “Renaissance” of Freemasonry? Absolutely not!
So, when the real rebirth of Masonry can happen? The answer can be simpler than it seems. To give you a clue, first allow me to introduce the Italian poet and humanist Francesco Petrarca, who was born on July of 1304. Francesco Petrarca used to dream of the age of “enlightenment”, where a “supreme realization of an ideal of perfection” could bring a “renaissance”. His thoughts and work actually had a cultural impact that lead to the transition from the medieval period to a more modern Europe. This new period we call the Renaissance. The Renaissance wasn’t founded on the political, economical, social or military manifestations of the Greco-Latin world, but in its ethical and esthetical ideals of freedom of the individual.
So, once again I ask, when the real rebirth of Masonry can happen?
Our intuition tells us my brothers, after considering how the renaissance came to exist, that the real “Renaissance” of Masonry would only come when we work in the building of our own “spiritual temples” based on ethical and aesthetical values.
That ideal is postulated by speculative masonry, where we subdue our passions, and act upon the square. The adage says, “many want to change the world to make it better, but very few are willing to change themselves.”
The day when we let the Masonic method help us to shape and polish our rough stone, a new man will emerge. The consequence will be that one by one, we as a “Universal Fraternity” will help produce the “Renaissance• of Masonry.
Dear brethren, would you like be part of this Renaissance?
P.S. Translated from Spanish into English by our brother Adán Bautista from Fresno, California.