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Principles become revealed to the world through our behaviour. Helpful characteristics are not secrets. Nor are they mysteries. They are lessons requiring an open mind an awareness of ourselves in relation to others. While stodgy old men wanted us to believe it sucked the fun out of life, the point of true masonry is just the opposite. It is an acquired, private way of thinking. Is private a secret? I doubt it. MasonicFX

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How we define our world depends on things taken for granted in the briskness of day-to-day activity. Humans like predictability. Living in peace has advantages over facing threat. We are willing to compromise many of our impulses for the advantages of coordination. Imagine arriving at a traffic light if everyone decided for themselves what each colour meant? I like to think our comprehension of Freemasonry suffers from reductionist thinking. Time has been generous to our purposes. Always guided by the preservation of the ancient landmarks, we have been acceptably innovative in the way we function. Scholarship is vital to understand that matrix and where we stray from our studies we find confused purpose is sure to follow. Studying philosophy in historical context broadens our horizon as individuals and organizationally. It balances our focus which too often has been framed in administrative function as if we need reassurance century to century that an agreement did take place. Lodges accepted the terms of inclusion in exchange for specific pledges that have been uninterrupted to this moment. Uniformity was not part of the arrangement. Continuity was. There wasn't global rule as much as there was global connectivity. Freemasonry was among the first if not the first rudimentary social networking using a media uncontrolled by church or state. So careful to avoid controversy, nevertheless controversy has found us repeatedly. We needed to commit to privacy and silence. We didn't do well with either aspect. Yet the Order has remained a touchstone, a reference point, absorbed into the language of every adult and child on the planet. We are from before. We are made of mythology and stories, accomplishment and creativity. We are Freemasonry stumbling imperfectly through the ages, serving purposes on many layers aspiring to be slightly better tomorrow than we are today.
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