Thursday, April 9, 2020

‘Sketches from an Esoteric Notebook’


Bro. Julian Rees, the noted UGLE Freemason turned Droit Humain Freemason, offered the following thought, “to sustain us all in this uncertain time,” via social media:

“As I write this I am sitting in the garden surrounded by evidence of life. I can see a butterfly fluttering round a bush. I can hear a bird showing off his vocal range. I can feel my own heart beating. I am not a fatalist, but I do recognize that at any moment the butterfly may stop, the bird fall silent, and my heart seize up forever.”

The “this” he was writing resulted in his new book, published three weeks ago, titled Freemasonry for the Heart and Mind: Sketches from an Esoteric Notebook. It seems to be unavailable in the United States right now, pending, I suppose, the post-pandemic return of normal shipping. From the publicity:

Julian Rees has been writing about Freemasonry for many years, promoting the deeper, esoteric aspects of the Freemason’s Craft. His speculative writing on the symbolism, allegory, and ritual aspects has become for many the touchstone of Masonic education and information.

In this compendium, he writes about the different aspects of brotherhood; the power of allegory; the spirituality inherent in the Craft; the reality of Freemasonry stripped of extraneous matters; the importance of Truth in all areas of Freemasonry; about the way we can make sense of chaos and invest in harmony, order and peace; and the importance of the tools the Freemason uses in his work and on his path.

Here he gives us some insights, some old some new, arranged in themes to illustrate the rich tapestry of Freemasonry.

From his bio:

Julian Rees was initiated in Kirby Lodge 2818, under the United Grand Lodge of England, in London in 1968. He was Master in 1976-77 and again at the centenary of the lodge in 1999-2000. He served as Junior Grand Deacon of the UGLE, and he is a holder of the Silver Matchbox Award of the Emulation Lodge of Improvement. He has been honored by the Institut Maçonnique de France with the Ordre Maçonnique de Lafayette, and served as Master of the German-speaking Pilgrim Lodge 238 in 1978-79. He is currently a member of the International Order of Freemasonry for Men and Women, Le Droit Humain, in London.

Rees was a regular contributor to the quarterly magazine Freemasonry Today since its founding in 1997, and served as deputy editor and news editor from 2003 to 2007.

In 2003, he delivered the prestigious Wendell K. Walker Memorial Lecture in New York, titled “Through Ritual to Enlightenment.”

He was one of the founding members of The Cornerstone Society, serving as Secretary for a number of years, and has given talks about Freemasonry in numerous lodges around the world.

He is the author of five works on Freemasonry:

  • More Light: Today’s Freemasonry for Men & Women
  • Making Light: A Handbook for Freemasons
  • The Stairway of Freemasonry: 30 Short Talks and Questions
  • So You Want to be a Freemason?
  • The Tracing Boards of the Three Degrees in Freemasonry Explained
  • Ornaments, Furniture, and Jewels

Julian recently has been writing for The Square, England’s independent Masonic journal, and is the editor of the Droit Humain publication for the UK: The Freemason.

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