Another month has flown by – another month that has seen some radical changes in the way we are living and thinking, and not all of it positive.
It is difficult, especially in stressful times, to not be affected and/or pulled into inflammatory debates and discussions, particularly where social media is concerned.
The outcome of such discussion is often not what we anticipate – insults, ‘unfriending‘ or worse.
We then become more stressed and perhaps instead of feeling part of the ‘tribe‘, we feel alienated by much of what we read or see and it is hard to dissemble facts from fake news.
Many people are becoming far more vocal, whilst many more are scared to say anything at all.
It is hard to find the truth in what we hear and read; often we just want to hear what we want to hear, see what we want to see – but is it the truth?
The writer and Freemason Oscar Wilde once adroitly summed up that ‘the truth is rarely pure and never simple’.
So, this is where the values of Freemasonry – especially brotherhood, truth and tolerance – come into play. We have to apply these values not only to our Masonic world but also firmly in our personal lives.
I found a piece (author unknown) on the Masonic Trowel website and it states:
As Masons, we live our lives relying on the belief that Objective Truth exists. If only we can find it.
We attempt to gather evidence for our beliefs whether they are political, religions or simply a moral belief. We weigh the credibility and truthfulness of each of fact or belief we hold.
We make difficult judgments and in the end, we arrive at a close proximity to truth, hopefully an Objective Truth.
The Masonic principle of Truth also teaches a man to search for wisdom and understanding. The pursuit of knowledge is at the very heart of our purpose.
Freemasons strive for truth, requiring high moral standards and aiming to achieve them in their own lives
Most Masons I’m sure can agree on these principles as set out by Paul Copan:
Truth is true – even if no one knows it.
Truth is true – even if no one admits it.
Truth is true – even if no one agrees what it is.
Truth is true – even if no one follows it.
Truth is true – even if no one but God grasps it fully
Source: the Masonic Trowel
I found it particularly relevant, not only to what is going on in the world, but as to how we can apply these principles to the daily advancement of Masonic knowledge.
That prompted me to write a short introduction into ‘The Importance of Authentic and Accurate Masonic Research‘.
This article covers the basics of the process of evaluating what we read, see and hear using critical thinking, which is delved into in more detail in ‘Critical Thinking‘ .
In ‘Brother of My Brother‘ we see tolerance and brotherhood examined in a thought-provoking piece by M. Remzi Sanver (Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Turkey) about the issue of ‘rights to visit; the recognition and regularity re-evaluated‘.
I hope the next month brings less stress and a far calmer world for us all.
Until next time, as always, stay safe and well.
Article by: Philippa Lee
Philippa Lee (writes as Philippa Faulks) is the author of eight books, an editor and researcher.
Her specialism is ancient Egypt, Freemasonry, comparative religions and social history. She has several books in progress on the subject of ancient and modern Egypt. Selection of Books Online at Amazon