For the first submission to my new educational series From the Mentor’s Mouth, I am happy to present a contribution made by a seasoned to help new and potential brothers on their own Masonic Journey. Bro. Daniel “Doc” Gentry hails from Millburn Lodge #127 in the 1st NE District of Illinois. He is an active and traveling Brother, as well as a researcher on many Masonic subjects, and member of Chapter #570, Order of the Eastern Star, Millburn, Illinois.
Walking Through The Darkness
Sometimes I wonder if we forget that we were once petitioners for Freemasonry? Even worse, we forget about our journey through the degrees, as we worked and labored for those long months. I often wonder about those that did not have the journey, for whatever reason, or have not had the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of their labors. It is sad when I talk to brethren, and I get a sense, that they never understood that Freemasonry was about the journey not the destination.
Every time I am at my, or for the matter any other, lodge, I find myself looking to the place of darkness, or the place in the North, and wonder why it is a place we do not further compel ourselves upon to understand. Like every other little thing in lodge, the place of darkness still has a lot of meaning and the ability to teach us, as well as work on us, so very much. Yet, like so many others, it seems all brethren attempt to avoid this place at all cost, forgetting that is a place that is best remembered in our journey and where the journey for all of us began. And, if you believe that you, since your initiation, have never needed that place, I implore you to open your books, read the parts where you were there, and check your Floor Work sheets, you may be amazed.
Now mind you, I am not saying this is a great place, I am saying that good things happen here. Why do we forget that we took this journey? This even goes so far as talking with Brothers, who think it is about them being a certain officer, or even a Master Mason, like they have arrived at something and no longer have to work. This epidemic needs to cease within our place of Freemasonry, our hearts. Brothers, I am speaking to you on the level here. We may be better prepared, or even have more understanding of this ancient craft that we have delved into, but it is not complete here. Nay I say to you, the journey has just started, and I would even say, it is a never-ending journey.
I think (and believe that for some of us) now that we have that ability and understanding of the non-dark places, still thrive to be there, living in the comfort of the darkness, no longer even needing the light. This, brothers is not a healthy state to be in. We must always continue our journey, to learn and to seek. Freemasonry is not a destination, it is a journey. We should not rush anyone through the degrees. We need to take our times as Intenders, walk them through all the information that we have for them within the degree work, and never rush the process. Not one part of it.
Before they petition, why is it such an inconvenience to have that person come to the lodge and fellowship with us before meetings to get to know the person? There is no reason not to have a class for men looking into Freemasonry before they petition, something for them and their family so that no one is left out. There is no reason not to have a candidate, before they petition, to come before lodge and talk with, let alone get to know the members of the lodge. It is not enough for us to find no reason that a man cannot join a lodge, it is only sufficient to have a man join our lodges for the right reasons. There is no reason, from the time a man petitions the lodge, until he meets the Grand Architect of the Universe, to be left alone in any part of the walk in Freemasonry. Teach them that walking in the dark place is to get to know yourself, meditate on the things you already know, and prepare yourself to learn and integrate new things into their lives. For it is only in walking in the darkness, that we can see the Light we search for. We do not dwell in the dark place, but we should spend sometime there, for when we believe that we have learned everything, we prove only that we know nothing.
Thank you Bro. Doc Gentry for you contribution this week!
If you would like to be the next contributor to From The Mentor’s Mouth, send me an email. I hope you will.