May 7th & 8th marked the 226th Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of New York. There were Delegates from all around New York State as well as from a few other countries. There was the usual amount of pomp & circumstance and long speeches but the feeling of Brotherhood was everywhere.
The only low point in my opinion came from the guest speaker at our Grand Master's Dinner on Monday evening, former Wisconsin Governor and now Presidential Candidate Tommy Thompson. The speech mostly came off as something of a political statement concerning many of his accomplishments while Governor and US Secretary of Health and Human Services. Now, I will be honest with you. I don't care for political speeches from anyone - it doesn't matter what the party is. I think a quick reading of his biography would have been sufficient and then a speech detailing how Freemasonry has helped shape his life & ideals would have been quite appropriate. I guess you can't please everyone.
A number of Bibles were used during the two days including the infamous "George Washington" Bible on loan from St. John's Lodge No. 1. Pictured, I believe is a 16th Century Bible on loan from Francis Lewis Lodge No. 273. It was printed by Henry Middleton in 1585, 35 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. Pretty impressive!
Friday, May 04, 2007
Last weekend, the New York College of the Masonic Societas Rosicruciana in Civitabus Foederatus (MSRICF) met in Liverpool, NY to begin the process of rebuilding the organization. The MSRICF is really the only organization that I belong to that doesn't ignore the Esoteric side of the Craft.
I expressed my disappointment in the lack of symbolic education within the symbolic lodges of modern Freemasonry. Grand Lodges seem to have adopted the attitude of "if we ignore the esoteric symbolism and promote business management education, then the public will stop asking about it and we won't look silly trying to explain it."
This group really gets me going. When someone mentioned the "raising of energy" during the opening of Lodge, I really got psyched! Yes, there are others that want to experience the same as me. This very same person suggested that perhaps it was time for Freemasonry to have an Inner and an Outer Order. The Outer would deal with the Public, raise money for charities and keep the Lodges organized properly. The Inner Order would attend to the Esoteric/Spiritual Heart of Freemasonry. I think he may be onto something.
All this talk can't last though. I am preparing to head to New York this weekend for the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of New York. It's time to get back to business.