True Secrets of Freemasonry

Those who become Freemasons only for the sake of finding out the secret of the order, run a very great risk of growing old under the trowel without ever realizing their purpose. Yet there is a secret, but it is so inviolable that it has never been confided or whispered to anyone. Those who stop at the outward crust of things imagine that the secret consists in words, in signs, or that the main point of it is to be found only in reaching the highest degree. This is a mistaken view: the man who guesses the secret of Freemasonry, and to know it you must guess it, reaches that point only through long attendance in the lodges, through deep thinking, comparison, and deduction.

He would not trust that secret to his best friend in Freemasonry, because he is aware that if his friend has not found it out, he could not make any use of it after it had been whispered in his ear. No, he keeps his peace, and the secret remains a secret.

Giovanni Giacomo Casanova, Memoirs, Volume 2a, Paris, p. 33

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Making a Choice

by Francie Baltazar-Schwartz1
~Slightly Adapted~

Jerry was the kind of guy you love to hate. He was always in a good mood and always had something positive to say.

When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!"

He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude.

He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"

Jerry replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, Jerry, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood.' I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life."

"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.

"Yes it is," Jerry said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live life."

I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own business.We lost touch, but often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in a restaurant business: he left the back door open one morning and was held up at gunpoint by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center.

After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body.

I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?" I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place.

"The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door," Jerry replied. "Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live, or I could choose to die. I chose to live.

"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked.

Jerry continued, "The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the emergency room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, 'He's a dead man. " I knew I needed to take action."

"What did you do?" I asked.

"Well, there was a big, burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Jerry.

"She asked if I was allergic to anything. 'Yes,' I replied.

The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Bullets!'

Over their laughter, I told them, 'I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead."

Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.

You have two choices in life as Freemasons. You can choose to be the best Freemason you can possibly be, living the tenets in full every single day... or you can look for the bad, the niddering little things to whine and complain about and in so doing, make yourself, and every one around you as miserable as you are working on being.

The choice is yours.
May the blessing of heaven rest upon us and all regular masons. May brotherly love prevail, and every moral and social virtue, cement us!



Tubal Cain said...

What would jerry do if those who tried to rob him were his co-workers?

And knowing it, he went to his bosses, told them and they did nothing?

Not only did the bosses do nothing, he realized that they were a part of the hold up to get a cut as well as collect insurance money on the theft?

So,confronted with thieving co workers, bosses complicit in the act, and no one to turn to, I guess one should not complain or whine about a corrupt work place, and no ability to fix it from within, I guess one should shut up and be so happy that they would be a twin?

I am glad to see someone always being positive, but when trying to relate it to masonry,
if masons see corruption, or out of control Grand Lodges or Grand Masters, we have a decision, stand up for the wronged or do nothing.

I am not a do nothing guy, I will complain, whine and take action to right wrongs.

Correct, choices my brother, get involved or turn a blind eye!

Theron Dunn said...

So, Tom, WHAT are those "right" choices?

Again, you make bald blanket statements denigrating masons, but offer NOTHING in the way of suggestions for courses of action... or even of substance.

This is precisely what the article was speaking against, and you so ably demonstrate the negative mindset.

I have yet, in what, five years that I have known you, to see you post something good, respectful, generous, brotherly or charitable about the craft and its members.

If you so despise the craft, if you see no value or good in it, then why do you darken its doorway? I am not a cheerleader, and you certainly are not, but our attitudes about the craft are diametrically opposed as light and darkness.

I see light and good. You see dark and shadow. There may be things in the craft that need to be "fixed", but on the whole, in the main, 99.999999% of Freemasonry is good.

There will always be the fools, poltroons, cowards and self aggrandizing men... g-d made so many of them, its no surprise a few sneak past the west gates. Why give yourself over to focusing on them, instead of focusing on the purpose of Freemasonry?

Again, its not about me changing them, its about me changing me.

Son of Light said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Son of Light said...

From what I have been reading to this point, your posts have been truly directed towards discussion, growth through challenging one's own personal views, and thought. I have yet to read one that indicates any bias otherwise. Although I am new to Masonry, from what I have come to understand on my short journey confirms what Brother Dunn has so eloquently stated. The questions I need to ask myself when subjecting myself to hypothetical situations and scenarios is not how anyone should or could act, but what "I" myself would do in similar situations, and if I have any level of integrity to myself and my God, I should know the answers prior to the act.
"Situation does not dictate the way I live or the way I act, I do.
May God be with us all."

Anonymous said...

Mainstream belief is like a cult.

You either shut up and take your seat or you will be expelled and loose all your friends.

My advice is make sure you have good friends who are not involved in Masonry. So when the mainstreamers turn on you you will not be alone, otherwise you will stay involved within a system that can and will turn on you and forget their obligations if you disagree with them.

Theron Dunn said...

Honestly, "anonymous", I am sorry you feel that way. Truly. Because that is NOT the experience of 99.999% of the Freemasons in the WORLD.

I have traveled extensively, met many masons all over the world, and with the RARE exception of about 15 masons that post, often (and as often as not anonymously to give the impression there are more of them than there are) and frequently on forums such as the smoldering stub that encourage such negative nonsense.

Again, I am sorry that is your experience, but I have found Freemasonry to contain the best men in the world, men I can depend on, and who can and do depend on me. If that is not what you are finding, i sincerely suggest you work to change your experience.

I love Freemasonry and my brothers in Freemasonry, even those who do not enjoy the craft. I just can't imagine why anyone would stay with a group they did not respect and honor.

It makes me wonder if the posters who argue, as you seem to do, that Freemasonry is not good are not, in fact masons, but examples of that sub species of human being, the antimason.

Because I haven't found any of what you claim... ever, anywhere.

My experience has been of good, honorable, upright, upstanding men... and women.

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