Tuesday, January 29, 2008

One of the problems with Masonry.....

Has to do with its conservatism. Many of the people who become Freemasons are either old and Conservative or young and conservative, most of them are uninteresting personalities: nothing really good about them, nothing really bad about them. The problem is that with any system of self development there needs to be something to push yourself against, something that will cause you to question yourself and to possibly come to terms with parts of yourself that you'd rather not think about--in order to positively change them. With Freemasonry there don't seem to be any real commitments to self questioning and to critical self work, which when combined with the servile commitments to patriotism contained in it means that people will probably go home, think about the principles, think that they're pretty good people already, apply the principles a little bit, then forget about it confident that they've done what they needed to do. I forget who said it but someone said about religion that the inner struggle of a sinful man against his imperfections is more significant than the life of a good man trying to perfect himself, in the sense that we really all have imperfections but the good man is refusing to look at them, content that he's basically all right. The sinful man who acknowledges this is being more true to himself. Of course the hypocrisies contained in the upper class, white, conservative culture that many members of Freemasonry come from is not questioned at all, even though this would provide good ground for self discovery, self work, and the idea of advancing help to your fellow man. But as it is all of this becomes a lovefest of self congratulation instead of something that could really provide the spur that self development really needs to get going. If you're an utter conformist you're neither a good person nor a bad person; you're no person, and unless you flesh yourself out you'll stay that way. People shouldn't confuse virtue with never having lived, being in a perpetual state of adolescence.

Incidentally, if the requirements to patriotism that are part of Freemasonry today were around or at least interpreted in the same way then as they are now it would be hard to understand how so many Freemasons could have participated in the American and French Revolutions. Instead, the equivalents of our own august bodies would have chastised them for not supporting the King.

*on edit: here's a question: with all of the Masonic rituals available online for free if you do some digging (Sacred-Texts.com hint hint) why don't people get together with a few friends who are interested in the subject and form their own Masonic lodges instead of appealing to the powers that be to accept them. It's a form of Do It Yourself that surely would be more satisfying than being laughed at by overgrown frat boys.

Want to be a Freemason? Go to the internet, get some rituals, start putting them into action with the help of the necessary number of people who also want to do it.

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