Tuesday, February 7, 2012

'Quest 32: Renaissance'

I received an e-mail several weeks ago from a distressed brother from here in New Jersey who worried about the "state of the Craft," as it were. Having read various blogs that trumpet the awful news of assorted corruptions and abuses of power by the Grand Ones in "this" or "that" state, he genuinely was dismayed over the prospects that faced a Master Mason like himself.

Now advice is the last thing people like me should try to dispense, but since he asked, I did my best. I wrote back to remind him that primarily the purpose of Freemasonry concerns the enlightenment and improvement of oneself, so whatever disgraces happen to be smeared all over the web should not distract him at all (unless they're occurring in his own lodge), and that furthermore, we happen to be enjoying a golden age in Masonry now. I think our minds are trained to look for golden ages only in the past. Too often we are so thoroughly occupied by our daily needs and routines that we fail to recognize the "big picture" around us.

When I was initiated in 1997, this fraternity was flat on its back, wheezing, coughing, and almost trying to pull the sheet over its own head. I mean just trying to find someone to engage in an intelligent conversation about Freemasonry was nearly impossible. Today, there are more opportunities for the thinking Mason to find like-minded brethren and to share in labors of Masonic relevance than at any time since, I'd say, 1930, when there were quality magazines with national distribution; there were new research lodges; there were new research societies; the AMD was revived in its present form shortly thereafter. Things were moving, and would have improved further if not for the Great Depression.

Today, the thinking Mason has all that, and even more at his disposal, thanks to the marvels of modern communications. (As an aside, let me relate one experience in the discussion forum of the Masonic Library and Museum Association from Monday. A visiting professor at the history department of UCLA contacted the Henry Wilson Coil Masonic Library and Museum in San Francisco, seeking an article on Freemasonry in Mexico published in the October 1858 issue of Masonic Review magazine. Sixteen minutes(!) later, the archivist at the Grand Lodge of Louisiana's library and museum said she had the magazine, knew the professor, and would make contact shortly. Research was aided not in months, weeks, or days, but in minutes.)

I'm way off topic here. All I wanted to do was tell you about QUEST XXXII. Here's the info:


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