From the Master of Kadosh (July 2017)

posted Jul 10, 2017, 4:07 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite

America the Beautiful


This month we celebrate the 4th of July, a time honored American tradition for the last 230 years, and in doing so we often can reflect on BBQ, baseball, brotherhood and Old Glory waving in the breeze on a warm summer day. I recently spoke to a friend from overseas who was amazed how often he would see an American Flag up in front of a house or business. Like Masonic symbols, in this country, we are proud of our heritage, but perhaps more than others, not afraid to display this in a very deep and personal way. No doubt that part of the American way is not only having beliefs but being able to express them without fear of reprisal from the government, as well as engage in conversation with our fellow citizens respecting that each of us has an opinion.


Our Constitution is Alive and Well.


Regardless of your views on the state of the country, the opinions of those who could, should or do run it, of our friends, family, brothers and colleagues, the Constitution continues to facilitate, protect and nurture this concept of exchange of these ideas. Sometimes I think that regardless of the headlines, we are better off now than we have ever been. We often as individuals consider the current state of affairs in the context of our own life, or what we see today. I truth, history moves much slower and is often not apparent until after it is written and considered. Soren Kierkegaard said “Sometimes, Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forward”


We have a unique opportunity in Masonry to live and have an impact today, to “Put a dent in the universe” and as we have been doing it a long time, have our history to guide us. It is often in the time spent with brothers, that we make these considerations. Lately, these conversations often shift to the "state of the craft". We seem to spend a lot of time on the ‘Form’ as compared to the ‘Content’.


In a recent speech regarding the 300th Anniversary of speculative Masonry, I heard the Grand Master speak of persistence and humility. The operative word here is speculative.  We as speculative masons as we know, build not buildings but lives, or quality of life. This in a nutshell, is a great opportunity and passion of ours. I think as we communicate with the world and each other, we have the chance to take these toxins out of society and our time together in society each day. The word toxic comes from the Latin toxikon meaning poison arrow. I believe, or choose to believe, that all Masons are well intentioned and don't necessarily say or do things to other Masons or others in their lives to be mean or rude but perhaps don't know or listen to what they communicate. We all work to better understand each other and the world to make a better life for us and the people we encounter in the running of this Great Society. This is the essence of who can best work and best agree. It is interesting that hubris and humility have almost the same number of letters; it just takes a few more letters for one to create the latter.                     


Mark Burger, Master of Kadosh