From the Personal Representative (June, 2009)

posted May 15, 2015, 1:34 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 15, 2015, 1:35 PM ]

Brethren and Friends

A couple of ideas have been fleeting through my mind, and I’d like to share some of those thoughts with our readers. 
In Masonry, we are taught that certain moral concepts should be studied, promulgated, and pursued above all else. In all the degrees we receive instruction as to best live our lives in the pursuit of our own happiness and the welfare of our fellow creatures. The “Master Craftsman Program” that some of us have been studying is fraught, nay, saturated with lessons, examples, and allegories designed to make us think about the benefits we may reap from the practice of the Moral Virtues.
It occurs to me, however, that there are some virtues that are not identified by name, but are implicit in the teachings of our craft, and then there are others that are identified, presented, and emphasized again and again. In the next few months, I’d like to explore and expand on a few of these virtues, explicit and implicit, and possibly, if there is any interest in the subject, generate some feedback from our readers as to some of their thoughts on the subject. For lack of a more imaginative term for my subject, I’ll just call the series, “The Four T’s of Masonry”. The first “T”, of course, is Truth. It is the first lesson we are taught in Masonry, and I could go on to recite the portion of our First Degree lecture that deals with Truth, but you all know it by heart, so I’m sure that won’t be necessary, but did you ever sit down and reflect on the subject of Truth? It would be nice to think that truth is universal, but that is not necessarily so. One man’s truth is very possibly another man’s heresy. The situation we see as our immigration problem is just such an example. A person living in a country where he feels oppressed while a neighboring country appears to offer a brighter future, just might feel compelled to emigrate, even illegally. And, by the same token, a person living in that country that was so attractive might just possibly see that illegal immigration as totally unacceptable behavior.
Religious convictions offer another good example of inconsistent and conflicting concepts of truth. We know that more wars have been fought over religious “truths” than for any other reason. Our fraternity, with its acceptance of all men without regard to their religious beliefs, is so structured because of the religious turmoil that existed at the time of its early stages of inception, so our “Truth” is that we respect each other’s religion as his own relationship with God, and let it go at that. There are some religious groups, however, that see our acceptance of each other’s beliefs as proof that either we are setting ourselves up as a counter religion, or that we are irreligious pagans, depending on their point of view or the ‘truth’ as they see it.
In reality, truth for each of us is situational, and may even change as we get older, take on a different job, or associate with a new group of friends. What we must do, then, in my opinion, is be careful to distinguish truth from conviction and live by those convictions we see as most attractive and acceptable in others and best suited to our own situation.  And that’s the truth.
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On further note, please be sure to attend the next stated meeting dinner where we will present several deserving Brothers with their 50 Year pins and caps, at least one additional 25 year recipient with his recognition, and just as important, we will recognize Mary Lou Johnson for her many years of service to the San Jose Scottish Rite.  Although we did not respond favorably to her notice of retirement, we none the less have reluctantly agreed to her request for retirement.
Join us for a very special evening and give Mary Lou the best send-off that could be given.  She will be sorely missed by all.

Bob Winter - Personal representative of the Deputy of the Supreme Council in California

The Rite Word - June 2009, Volume 3, Issue 6