While digging though some old files this week, I stumbled upon a piece that I had written on June 20, 2007, which is the same date that I was raised to Master Mason in Santa Monica-Palisades No. 307. They were my thoughts on the degree, at the end of a very long evening. I believe I shared this on our community forum at the time, but I would like to share it again here:
During my process of going from a candidate to an Entered Apprentice, I was asked many times why I wanted to become a Mason. I answered because of family ties, because of the history, and the fraternal bonds, which were all true. But the real deep down answer, which I never said at the time, was for the secret. Masons all know a secret, and I wanted to be a part of that, to know that secret. And now that I have been a part of it, I see what the secret is.
In my opinion, the secret is the secret itself. It is what drives those outside of the lodge to create conspiracy theories and other myths to explain who we are. It is the secret that forges such strong brotherhood amongst those in the know. It obligates men to attend the funerals of other men they may have never met before. It is the secret that urges men to dedicate themselves so selflessly to the act of coming to the Lodge every week, and to memorizing 10-page scripts of esoteric passages. After experiencing this ritual tonight, I see now that the secret has barely even revealed itself to me.
On that note, I wrote a poem:
What was the thought that came to mind
When led into the Temple blind
Did I fear the path ahead
Or did I trust the hand that led.
And what objects came to sight
When brought from darkness into light
I looked beyond what I could see
Into the depth of history.
I saw a secret come to pass
That formed like truth from shapeless mass
To rise above us in the East
And fill the lodge fraternally.
To ancient men who worked in stone
Upon whom heaven’s light has shone
From every man who learns the sign
The secret links the chain of time.
For every brother that we make
An obligation he must take
To end his life should he reveal
The secrets we strive to conceal.
And in this secret we shall learn
The truth that bound like fire burns
And in this secret we shall see
This brotherhood eternally.
For those who have yet to complete the 3rd, I highly recommend it. It is a secret worth pursuing, and a path worth following. Several weeks ago, a challenge was laid out to us, as the younger generation of Freemasons, to write out our thoughts, to record them in open forums such as this. I took that to heart, and I hope to see a greater effort from all of us for reflection and the preservation of new ideas.