From the Wise Master (May 2018)

posted May 2, 2018, 11:23 AM by San Jose Scottish Rite

This month I will share a part of my Maundy Thursday talk presented in March. For those of you that were present I hope this can serve as a re dux.      

Part One

Welcome to our Maundy Thursday celebration of Renewal and Remembrance. I begin with a reminder of the meaning of Maundy. It is derived from the Latin word mandatum which means commandment and refers to the new commandment to “love one another”. Here is a description of Maundy Thursday from the April 1924 issue of the “Builder Magazine” which was known as the magazine for the Masonic student. It states that Maundy Thursday “is a time, then, for each of us to search our souls and see if we truly and devotedly are living the life of love – not just in mere similitude. But rather in our innermost, personal, private lives. Are we – in business, at home, in our pastimes – living the life of the New Commandment? If we weigh ourselves in its light and find ourselves wanting,  then it is time for us to do something sincerely and devotedly about it”.

So, as we gather to celebrate this time of remembrance and renewal I think it is appropriate to share a few thoughts about harmony and a harmonious world and life.

During the opening and closing of every tiled Blue Lodge meeting the Senior Warden reminds us that harmony is the strength and support of all societies, especially of ours. In the Scottish Rite 18th Degree the candidate is instructed that the constellation shines brightly on the word Faith. The Expert informs the candidate that it, in great part, means Faith in God under whose direction all the Universe is one harmonious whole, governed by one great law of harmony. Throughout the lectures of the Blue Degrees or symbolic Masonry the idea of harmony is often emphasized; sometimes referred to or inferred as love, temperance, balance or peace.

Most mystic schools or philosophies view and teach the concept of harmony as a perfect balance of our material needs and spiritual aspirations and can be approached through the study and application of laws that unite humans to the Creator.  That is, harmony with oneself, with others and with Nature.

Harmony with oneself involves the body, the mind and our emotions. If we observe natural laws, we can promote and help maintain good health. We should treat our body with respect and care. Watch the diet, rest the body and take exercise on a regular basis. If not, it is widely accepted this will disturb the body’s equilibrium. We are reminded in the First Degree that we must take time in our day for refreshment and repose.

The same applies to our mind. Reason is one of the most important of our faculties because our daily lives are conditioned by our proper judgements.  The 18h Degree, Knight Rose Croix, instructs that reason comes to our assistance, both in expounding the mysterious meanings of nature and in showing that love is one of the great attributes of God. The more we apply ourselves to healthy and useful reflections the more we aid the mind to best express the best in ourselves. So, it is believed that reading worthy writings, observing the great works of art and studying the great issues of our past, present and future are some of the activities which help us maintain harmony within our mindful brain. As for emotions, realize that feelings of anger, pride, jealousy and spitefulness are quite harmful to emotional well-being and then harms our physical well-being. So, it behooves us to do all we can to harmonize ourselves with the rhythm of pure and constructive emotions.

      Mahatma Gandhi tells us “Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in Harmony”.

I will present Part 2 and the last part of my talk in the June Rite Word. Stay tuned.

June promises some interesting activities for our Valley. On June 19th, we will have our first Scottish Rite Night of Instruction and Agape Dinner. Worshipful Mark Scoggins, Past Master of San Jose 10, will present a paper drawing upon his study of the Masonic and Rosicrucian mystic philosophies. All the details can be found elsewhere in this issue of the Rite Word. And just a reminder of the statewide Scottish Rite Reunion which starts on June 30th and continues July 1 and 2. All 29 of our beautiful degrees will be exemplified in this unique reunion. Get the word out in your Blue Lodge about this rare opportunity. The Oakland Scottish Rite Valley will be the host temple. My Brothers, your attendance and participation in this event is highly encouraged. If interested contact me or the General Secretary for assistance on how you can be involved.