Where have all the Masonic revolutionaries gone?
I've wondered if you can (or should) put metrics on Freemasonry, but it makes me wonder today what it means to people and what it's going to mean in 10, 20, 30, 50, 100 years.
What to do, I don't really know. Do we do anything? I think the strongest thing we can do is be a presence in the community. Not standing like a group of over dressed brick layers, but by serving a need in the community, and I think in many ways we do, but...
Is being involved enough? How do we get involved and get our name out into the world? Is that the best way to do things? How do we identify the ideals and purpose so we, as a group, can have a united effort to be revolutionary with? Being revolutionary doesn't mean to revolt necessarily, but what are we innovative in today?
Our ideals have becomes the norm, so well, that society does not realize it. Democracy, friendship, cooperation, all things we can't take credit for but we have held dear in our lodges. Perhaps our purpose is greater than these things?
After reading Ridley's book, it struck me that the great thinkers that flocked to our society no longer do, so then are our ideas and purpose falling into obsolete practice that they are of decreasing interest to modern thinkers? Are we just not revolutionary any longer?
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Saturday, September 17, 2005
As I am using this mark more, I decided it would be a good idea to identify what it means.
Created as the mark of Freemason Information, the “Ordo-Structor” represents the ever renewing idea of Freemasonry as traveled through the time-immemorial mystery schools. The Gnostic idea of “As Above – So Below” is represented in the stars mirroring one another, with a 3rd star introduced to represent the 3 great lights of Freemasonry. The 47th Problem of Euclid stands as the path to finding our center, measuring our furthest reaches. Below is the reminder of the fleetingness of time, it being ever in motion away from us. And ultimately, all centered under the all seeing eye of the Great Architect, overseeing all.
Monday, September 12, 2005
Who owns Freemasonry?
At times I find thoughts in my head that lead me to question ownership. Specifically, this time, I found myself looking at http://www.ephesians5-11.org/, which is a site dedicated to the ministry of Freemasons.
Their background, so I can tell is one where they believe that Freemasonry is a vile servant of the "devil" and that those who are members are going to go to hell. Praying on the simple nature of people, they proceed to offer exposés of the rights and rituals of Freemasonry, in order to expose some evil intention.
While examining their site, I came upon some specific references to the rituals used and started to wonder.... who are they to divulge what my group holds as sacred? Are they so uncompassionate that they feel they have a moral right to this intolerant behavior and can do no wrong when it comes to their ministry of the lord? That is a different topic, and one I'm working on now.
But the question still remains, do they have a right to reprint that work, to in effect slander, the fraternity? The intellectual property of Freemasonry is in the public domain, undoubtedly, but does that give them a right to abuse it for their own edification? Unfortunately, I'm afraid, it does. We as a group have never locked up our intellectual rights. But my guess is because they were from different times, and different times afforded easier attitudes towards the fraternity.
So with researching and examining the U.S. Trademark office, and the U.S. Patient office, it seems, no one owns Freemasonry. There are no past or present records of the ownership of Freemasonry. So then, does that mean there is no owner of Freemasonry? My position would be no, that we, the men who make up Freemasonry, are it's owners. Perhaps not in it's physical possession but in spirit and intent. Masonry is about making good men better, not about selling soap. So then, why not the men who make it better not be its owners?
We own Freemasonry. Freemasons, who have gone this way before...
CAN A MASONIC EMBLEM BE REGISTERED AS A COMMERCIAL TRADEMARK?
In the matter of John F. Tolle, Decisions of the Commissioner of Patents, 1872, page 219, the Commissioner refused to register as a trademark certain words with the Masonic emblem for a flour manufacturer. The opinion stated:
“There can be no doubt that this device, so commonly worn and employed by Masons, has an established mystic significance, universally recognized as existing; whether comprehended by all or not is not material to this issue. In view of the magnitude and extent of the Masonic organization, it is impossible to divest its symbols, or at least this particular symbol, perhaps the best known of all, of its ordinary significance wherever displayed. It will be universally understood, or misunderstood, as having Masonic significance, and therefore as a trademark must certainly work deception.”
The future - Societas Sub Rosa
Monday, September 05, 2005
This past week, I had the opportunity to travel to a new lodge. My goal and purpose was to find something closer to home and see how things are done in other places. One thing that struck me was that as masons, we don't seem to travel as much as we once did. Perhaps it's a localized thing, but the regular lay membership really should at some point experience the difference between lodges, even within their own town.
One of the things I distinctly noticed was the degree of the ritual change. Essentially the same, there were some slight variances in the performance of them. Not that I feel it's significant, certainly, it's just a matter of differences, but it was different to see it though my eyes.
My recommendation to any brother would be to travel and see how things are done one lodge to another. It really gives a healthy taste of how things are done somewhere else, and gives a great appreciation to the fraternity because of it's similarity, from one town to the next.
My appreciation to the brethren of Hollywood - West Valley Masonic Lodge #355
Site on Freemasonry