Some Patience and More Research

Posted: April 10, 2007
Patience. It's a virtue, and it's seems to be required of becoming a mason. It can be frustrating, but it can also be rewarding. In this day and age, we are so compelled to the here and now, to the immediacy, to the urgency of everything. The mere thought of having to wait days, weeks, or possibly even months to find out if I can join can be very frustrating. But during this time of waiting, I see two important points coming to the surface: perspective and time.

First, the waiting helps me put things into perspective. I've discovered that Freemasonry is not just a club to join, or an event to go to. It will hopefully be a life-long experience. Jumping into something for the wrong reasons is never good, so having the opportunity to try to better understand just what it's all about will hopefully let me make a clear decision instead of a hasty one.

Second, I decided to use this waiting period to learn more about Freemasonry--to do some more research. I found a number of informative blogs written by people who have recently become Masons, detailing their personal experiences. Many contain personal accounts of the steps they followed, the processes, the experiences, and how it impacted them. It's been interesting reading!

Of note is the "Horseshoes and Handgernades" blog. For me, this site brought all the "heady" historical and impersonal facts down to a personal level as it recounts one man's journey through the degrees of Freemasonry. And the more I read, the more I wanted to know the outcome! But that's for some time in the future, because he's still progressing. What a great read!

That site and others, recommend the book "Freemasons for Dummies" by Christopher Hodapp. I usually avoid "Dummies" books, but this one comes highly recommended (and it was at my local bookstore!) So I purchased it and I'm currently reading it. It's rich with lots of easy-to-understand history and information, and even covers some of the more "secretive" elements of the ritual ceremonies. But fear not. It makes some excellent notations about the "secret" information: First, it doesn't reveal any "true secrets" of the Craft, so anything that it does reveal doesn't compromise the integrity or the experience of Freemasonry. And second, there is a recommendation at the beginning of the "Ceremonies" chapter that clearly states that the chapter does contain some information that, though not secret, may "spoil" the experience for you if you are considering joining. Fortunately, there's so much more in the book that avoiding that one chapter until later should not be a problem. I chose to not read that chapter.

I've learned a lot about what Freemasonry is (and isn't), its history, its involvement in history, and its beliefs. And I've only scratched the surface. So, I continue to wait, and continue to learn more about the history of Freemasonry, and I continue to read about some of the personal experiences on other sites. I'm finding it fascinating, informative, and exciting, and I'm eager to see how things unfold.

This is my fourth article about my experience in Freemasonry.

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