The New Year has always been deemed a season of new beginnings, a time of new hope, reflection, and planning. We’ve all had years that we make “New Year’s resolutions”; only to lay down the burden a few months later, as life over takes the resolution.
In the coming year, what should be our resolution? Something that is essential and hopefully attainable. In reflecting on this dilemma, I think back on the role of the fraternity, and look at the panicle of a Mason’s achievement in the Blue Lodge, that of being a Master.
What does it mean though ... to be a Master? Is it simply to show proficiency in passing the degrees and reciting the catechism? Is it a title that has only meaning in the fraternity? Or perhaps is it something different?
2020 has given us a period of incredible contrast, perhaps not seen to this extent in the modern era; a time when or feelings and emotions have been on a pendulums path of movement, swinging to and fro with each passing headline, leaving us confused, frustrated and often angry and hopeless. But the path of a Master would take such oscillations into account and find the place of equilibrium, where peace within is maintained and the connection with the divine is never lost.
I reflect on one of the greatest magical key’s given by the Essenes, when they taught the importance of balance with our thoughts, feeling and emotions... achieving mastery by first being aware of our thoughts, understanding and evaluating our feelings, and finally controlling our emotions.
The Qabalistic philosophies teach a very similar lesson, that before an adapt of the craft can pass within the pillars Wisdom/Mercy and Strength/Severity, represented in all Masonic lodges, that he must seek balance before he can proceed along the path of enlightenment.
A part of the Buddhist philosophy is the concept of living a contemplative life, of being aware of our thoughts before they become speech or action... and to manage those thoughts towards reflection and perfection.
In our pursuit to become better men and improving ourselves in masonry, we may not become perfect, but we can work towards achieving perfect awareness. If we cease to be contemplative, we most likely cease to be masons.
Being aware is the first key of exercising faith and magic, and for a Master is the beginning of maintaining the balance of thought, feeling and emotion.
Maybe for this coming year our resolutions should simply be ... “let us be aware”. Let us focus on the path of an Essene Master, that of controlling our thoughts, feelings and emotions, striving to maintain that balance within and the connection with the divine. This may be somewhat critical in the coming year.
Ken Noorlander WM