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donderdag, december 08, 2022

Freemasonry (and what it means for me)

Let's get it out there: I'm a Freemason. 

I think it started when my girlfriend at the time was pregnant with our now 27 years old son. My life was suddenly and rapidly changing and I needed something to hold on to. To not lose track of what was important. A calm haven to (re)turn to when life was living me instead of vice versa. On a search like that one usually turns to religion. Or alcohol or other drugs. I've tasted some Buddhism, went to a schul, had dinner with the Hare Krishna's, followed some Baptist sermons, had myself schooled by some very nice and well behaved Mormons, looked up the Jehovah's Witnesses (instead of waiting for them to knock on my door), accompanied a neighbour to her mosque, et cetera. I learned a lot in those years, made some new friends and gained more understanding of different people. But they all said: 'This is how it is.' and 'This symbol stands for...' You know, a bit dogmatic. 

Perhaps that's why I got attracted by freemasonry: you meet a lot of different people (yes, women too. The first female Freemason was initiated long before women were considered beings in their own right by governments and granted the right to vote. Although - truth be told - it's still a male dominated 'world'. But hey, good luck finding a female Catholic priest or imam. Or an invitation to a High Tea, aimed at men. Material for a future blog piece) from all walks of life. 

With the methods we use, you learn not to get angry when someone has an opposing opinion but to ask why: why do you think what you think and why do you think does the other person have different thoughts about the same matter? In other words: you compare opinions instead of lining them up against eachother. Of course that means there's sometimes friction. But that only takes the rough edges off of both and - in a figurative but often also physical (ever noticed how people who disagree with eachother keep a physical distance?) - sense, brings people together. 

How it helps you to grow as a human being is that freemasonry helps you question your own motives: is it really me that wants this or is it because I think people expect this from me? 

It's also not very dogmatic. For example: there's this symbol in freemasonry that many see as a letter 'G' (click). 

Does it stand for God? For Gaia perhaps, for those who prefer to put their faith in Mother Nature and less in a deity? Does it stand for Geometry because - after all - we were originally a group of stone masons? Is it a circle with a square in it, symbolising everything can be broken down to perfect mathematical equations? Or is it perhaps a snake biting its own tail? Or the Circle of Life, interrupted or 'blocked' by your temporary shortcomings or some trauma holding you back? That's for every Mason his- or herself to decide. And every single Mason will look differently upon how to interpret 'the secret', the rituals and symbols. And that's okay. 

What do you know about Freemasonry? Perhaps you know of a juicy conspiracy theory you would like to share? Welcome to comment! 

Want to read (more of) my short stories? My author page: Terrence Weijnschenk at Amazon
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