I learn daily in Masonry and not from written by-laws or studying Constitutions, but from the simple interactions with my friends and Brothers. We can sometimes, it seems to me and I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, that we miss the simplier lessons in Masonry. The Craft teaches that instruction should occur from mouth to ear. What can this archaic method have to offer? Human interaction folks and in this world of text messages and nuclear blogging there is a lot to be said for the simple and complete lesson of mouth to ear.
How much more does one learn from the man who puts his arm around a friend and communicates his message in a personal way from the heart. Too often mean heartedness is couched as honesty. “If he did not want an honest answer, he should not have asked” is many times an explaination for rude and inciting speech. It is possible to be honest without being hurtful. It is honest to call a man’s decision a poor one without calling the man an idiot.
One on one verbal communication is a flow of energy between two humans that can not and should not be replaced. Fellowship is not negotiable in the arsenal of tools in developing our behaviors and responses. It gives us insight into others and, therefore, through the collective consciousness, insight into ourselves.
I sat with a man tonight, my Brother, we talked of life, ladies, mysticism, good Scotch, and friendship. We shared our experiences at work and at home as we worked upon our ashlars and upon his proficiency and we were richer for it. It was not drab memory work, it was human interaction. It was a sharing of friendship and experiences that create a bond that would be ineffable for those that truly can’t appreciate what Brotherhood means to the Mason.
Masonry teaches the lost art of sitting down across from your friends, from your family, from your Brothers and listening and sharing in their day, in their week, in their happiness, and their pain. Masonry teaches caring, because when you are connected it simply occurs.
When we rush a man through the degrees of the Craft we lose this experience and Masonry is one of the last places we find this. Let us not forget the relevance of the human experience as we type away in front of the luminous screens of our computers or vegetate in front of the tube.
Masonry is relevant, because our Brother’s and their lives are relevant. Let us not forget our greatest asset, the Brother.