From the Master of Kadosh (January 2018)

posted Jan 8, 2018, 2:04 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

Benjamin Franklin once remarked that the beginning of wisdom is the knowledge of your own ignorance.

I have noticed that in many masonic moments, at events, lectures, seminars, someone will always ask some leading question or have a comment. They often will have an additional piece of information or comment.  As they speak I find myself uneasy, it is something about their tone, the words they use or how they phrase the question. In that moment I often find myself doing one of my ‘Do I understand’ techniques called ‘Looking between the lines’, or lifting up the words to understand what I think they actually mean.

At times, in these moments, I ‘feel’ that what they are communicating, intentional or not isn’t what they are saying but more of a challenge to who they are talking to, call them out, as if they forgot something, they are wrong or there is more information that they don’t know.

Now this comes in conflict with some of my core feelings about communication, among them:

Respect for each other, especially while we speak and communicate, this builds relationships

Understanding that each of us only ‘know’ or understand something in the context of our own experiences

Remembering that we are listening to this person for a reason, it isn’t that they asked us to correct them

Remembering that to embarrass someone is to undermine their confidence and self-esteem and that most people can’t manage that ‘in the moment’. This creates less than well thought out responses which begins the walk down the path of miscommunication and discord.

I have encountered many very knowledgeable masons and often I find that they do know more in my opinion than the people we might be listening to, not always but often. I think in the end it isn’t what we say or do, but how we do it. Perhaps it is more important to listen than to speak.

East meets West

In December the Consistory hosted what turned out to be a very nice visit to the San Jose Rosicrucion Grand Lodge & Egyptian museum.

We started the day at the Park Station Hashery across the street for a breakfast of eggs, potato, coffee and fresh juice. It was a lovely way to meet and begin the day. In attendance were not only members of SJSR but other lodges and master masons, wives and some children

We walked across the street to the Rosicrucion Library where we got a tour and talk of the library which contains among its many volumes on history, alchemy, culture and some first editions by early Rosicrucion masters Isaac Newton and Francis Bacon. I was happy to see a few books there that I actually owned already. I also notice in a display cabinet there among other things a glass pyramid with a gold ring suspended in the middle of it. On the ring was a small engraving of a triangle with a Yod on it. 

After the library we were escorted to the next building for meet & greet with Julie Scott the Grand Master of Ancient and Mystic Order of the Rosy Cross of North America. In an East meets West moment we snapped a few pictures GM Scott with Ill. Ken Nagel, our own Past Grand Master. GM Scott took the time to shake each of our hands and introduce us. In her talk was interesting to hear that most of the events at the Rosicrucion Park are on and based on the Solstice and the Equinox. These celestial events are among the oldest examples of man kind’s journey to understand its existence.

After our talk outside the temple, then in an unplanned moment she then surprised us tour and lecture inside the AMORC temple. She told us that many things contribute to the Rosicrucion experience in the temple including meditation, visualization, and vocalizations. A question on what this was like, she further surprised us in leading us in a guided meditation on vowels sounds and how they pertain to the different parts in our bodies and our opportunity to pass energy though us, similar to Chakras. An interesting and enlightening experience for all of us.

After a walk through the garden we arrived at the museum and received a private docent guided tour. The guide was very knowledgeable on not only the museum but Egyptology in general. It was interesting to hear some of the same stories of Egypt that I had heard in Ill Daniel Doornbos’ lecture on the thirty first degree during the last Reunion where Osiris with Maat view the scales as they weigh the soul of a man at the time of his passing

All in all a great day, a good way to spend a Saturday morning and some interesting and enlightening fellowship in not only the Scottish Rite but Masonry in General.

At the End of the Day

Finally, I would like to thank everyone for listening to me in my monthly rants in the Rite Word during my year in the East for the Consistory. I have had a good team of officers and I think I leave it in the good hands of our Brother TJ Jackson.  I would like to especially thank Sean Patrick, for his help, good ideas and support this year. He is a fine man and a good Mason.

Mark Burger