Freemasonry and the Metaverse; P2

However you see the future of this world, it will involve technology.

With the rapid advancement of a digital world witnessed over recent decades, it’s safe to say the speed of growth will continue to gain momentum.

The metaverse is more than just a concept now. It is under continual construction and already in use by gamers and businesses alike, who are taking advantages of the immersive experiences traditional digital platforms cannot offer.

Although still in its infancy, the metaverse – whether we are happy about its appearance or not – is here to stay as an extension and evolution of the world wide web and human existence.

But just what is the metaverse?

 

A proposed version of the internet that incorporates three-dimensional virtual environments

Collins Dictionary

The metaverse isn’t just something we are waiting for to pop up out of nowhere. It has been evolving and growing throughout our technological advances as the information realm, and we are now in the process of witnessing the next phase of its unfoldment.

Just as a baby evolves into a toddler, child, teen, and adult, the information realm has been undergoing a parallel process. Information technology has rocketed through significant breakthroughs over recent decades to provide us with today’s interconnected world as we know it.

But what is coming next, what were the key milestones through these unfolding sciences, and why? 

There are countless inventions that have significantly shaped the world we currently live in. One specific group of technologies, however, has laid important foundations that have been taken advantage of globally without restriction – open source protocols:

 

1450    Johannes Gutenberg is famous for having designed and built the first printing press, made it possible for the printing of books globally,  which at the time, proved to be the best storage and access to content.

1835      Samuel Finley Breese Morse invented the Morse code allowing distant communication using universal signals, first over wires, then later using radio technology.

1876   Alexander Graham Bell invented Telephone communication with a universal dialling protocol makes it possible for every phone in the world to dial any other phone in the world.

1964    The original version created by John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz, the BASIC (Beginners’ All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) programming language was introduced, giving home users the opportunity to learn computer programming skills

1982    IBM released their BIOS source code to the world as open standard, so IBM compatible PCs could  be manufactured by anyone, with out a license, free of copyright, accelerated the ‘standardisation of personal computers’ by at least 30 years.

1983   Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn were engineers developing TCP/IP which was later gifted to the world, to provide universal protocols for hosting and accessing websites

1991     Linus Torvalds and the Free Software Foundation (FSF) developed the free open source Linux operating system, which is still the basis for tens of thousands of web servers and the Android smart phone operating system (2008)

1991   Karlheinz Brandenburg and others of the Moving Pictures Experts Group ( MPEG ) invented the   MP3 file format to provide easy storage and playback of audio recordings

2009  Satoshi Nakamoto, with a group of Cryptopunks created Bitcoin, which was released to the world as the first open source, decentralised protocol for digital money.

Free open source protocols shape the world

1725 or thereabouts, Dr John Desaguliers and George Payne structed the three craft degrees based on the Solomon and Hiramic legends, commonly known as Freemasonry,  which has survived 300 years as a free open source protocol, practiced by men and women around the globe.

Have our Masonic institutions (Grand Lodges) taken full advantage of technological and cultural advances over recent decades?

Probably not.

Freemasons have a history of holding to traditional methods over seeking and embracing change and growth at every opportunity. 

Is this a good or a bad thing?

Maybe a bit of both.

But is there now room for changes, refinements, expansions, improvements, new attitudes, new technologies, and a more unified sense of Brotherhood in the Freemasonry of the future?

And could these changes potentially reveal exciting new opportunities for current Freemasons, and inject a fresh life into membership numbers which have witnessed decline over recent years?

The answers might be hinted at by considering the following:

Evolution vs Stagnation | Growth vs Decay

So maybe the questions every Freemason should be asking now are along these lines:

“How can we ensure Freemasonry continues to evolve at an equal pace to humanity and technology?”

“How can we prevent a sense of stagnation within our Masonic Institutions, both for members and non-members alike?”

“What can be done to stimulate a steady growth of Freemasonry over the next five to ten years?”

“Are there any attitudes or limitations within our Masonic Institutions that could be responsible for its decay, while humanity jets off at an exponential speed into a future where science fiction and fantasy will meet reality?”

Although this article will raise more questions than those it will answer, these are questions that must be considered to ensure that future values of Freemasonry are as appealing to the coming generations of members, as the Freemasonry in the past was to its members back then.

Some will argue that technology appears to have caused harm and that society is lacking the social and moral values that were integral to everyday life just a few generations ago.

The world has changed vastly over the past hundred years and will continue to do so – probably in ways we cannot comprehend right now.

This is even more reason to ensure that Freemasonry thrives in the times ahead, to provide wisdom and guidance to a generation who may well need such guidance and brotherhood more than ever before.

And if technology is here to stay and evolve – which it is – then surely, it’s crucial that it is employed by our Masonic Institutions in its highest potential?

But how can our Masonic institutions use present and future technologies to the advantage of its members, while retaining its traditional and timeless values?

How many Freemasons want to see big and exciting changes in their lifetime, and how many would rather things stayed exactly same for another 100 years?

While many answers will naturally lie between both poles, all attitudes and viewpoints should be considered before running head-first into metaverse Lodges. 

There are a multitude of security and privacy issues to consider when it comes to remote communication and collaboration.

Such concerns will be covered in a future article – so for now, here are some benefits offered to Freemasons by taking advantage of the metaverse in its current and coming state:

  • Reduce time travelling to and from Lodge meetings after work.

  • Reduced membership fees due to lower overheads.

  • Lodges can have specific focuses without restrictions on member location.

  • Opportunity for intense Masonic learning to replace travel and dining clubs.

  • Potential for group remote mentoring and training.

  • Utilising virtual and augmented reality technologies to display ceremonial visuals in ways that dense physical matter cannot.

  • An opening for an increased sense of global Brotherhood and communication using real-time language translation software.

  • Open opportunities to explore esoteric Freemasonry for those who wish to, regardless of location.

  • Masonic learning academies run by those with suitable experience, knowledge, and wisdom.

Benefits offered to our Masonic institutions:

  • Outreach to potential new members. Online campaigns can be tailored to specific target audiences.

  • Many of the younger generations are not joining Freemasonry. This can be rectified when a modern, metaverse approach replaces dining events and the need to drive to lodge meetings after work.

  • Incredible opportunities to help the world and its people in ways desperately needed – as the practise of Freemasonry evolves into the metaverse, new charitable opportunities will become available.

  • A positive presence within the metaverse amongst many individuals and corporations who may not have the same attitude of honour and giving as Freemasonry.

A chance for Freemasonry
to evolve into something even more
incredible than it already is.

The list goes on. Naturally there are also reasons why people may hesitate to move from a brick and mortar Lodge to a metaverse lodge, which will be covered in future articles.

As many of the greatest men in history have been Freemasons, we need to ensure that the greatest men and women of the future have access to a suitable system of Masonic learning and Brotherhood.

This will mean taking a step into the world the future generations will be living in – a merging of digital and physical.

Rather than asking if our Masonic Institutions should form Lodges in the metaverse, the main question we should be asking is this:

 

 Can we really risk having a metaverse
without Freemasonry?

 

It is down to the Freemasons of today to lay the foundations of the Freemasonry of tomorrow.

It is up to every reader of this article to ensure Freemasonry serves the coming generations just as well as Freemasonry as we know it has served generations of the past.

Freemasonry and the Metaverse

There is growing interest in the Freemasonry and the Metaverse on social media. Some projects are starting out as Masonic art NFT collections, while others are more clearly see a point in the future where they will be lodges operating in a metaverse.

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Book Extract

Below is an extract from a book currently being written by the author of this article:

Esoterically, the flood of information through communicative technologies can be said to be an expression of the Divine Intelligence aspect inherent within every particle in the universe.

As this world evolves, so do our technologies, our minds, and hopefully, our hearts too will follow.

For no matter how incredible our brains and sciences may appear, they can only be of lasting value when true wisdom and Brotherhood can be embraced unconditionally.

The presence of global technologies has obliterated barriers previously preventing instant communication with someone the other side of the globe.

We are now capable of almost immediate access to vast information and global communication that would have appeared completely alien to our ancestors.

In the coming world, the boundaries between the physical and non-physical, between exoteric and esoteric, will not be as they are today. As a visionary sci-fi author once said:

 

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

– Arthur. C. Clark

Whether you are looking into a handheld device to see and interact with someone thousands of miles away, asking Google for historic facts, or even controlling a device with a chip in your brain, not long ago these acts would undoubtedly fall into the realms of magic. Yet now they are merely science.

However, the Wisdom aspect held and taught within certain initiatory systems such as Freemasonry and esoteric schools is vital to a bright future in this world.

Human and artificial intelligence continue to grow at their colossal rates, and if they outrun the growth of wisdom and brotherhood too much, the results will not be positive. Hints of this are already visible as a warning to the world.

Many people are concerned about those new technologies which are shaping the metaverse and offering opportunities for human augmentation.

Such concerns are based upon the fact that our wisdom could fail to keep up with our intellect and science, and that such technologies will succumb to human ignorance and greed… or even become autonomous with the potential to overpower humanity.

As the world changes, our approach to bringing down and spreading light must also. The selfishness and greed for power of the past must be replaced by a true sense of brotherhood to ensure that coming technologies are employed for their highest good.

Just as splitting the atom brought with it great dangers and destruction, the same risks apply to all new scientific advances.

The Great Architect of The Universe must be invited into and allowed to work through the hearts and minds of every Brother globally, so that the plans for a brighter future on this earth can unfold successfully. 

Article by: Anonymous

The author is a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, outer order of the Alpha Ωmega Rosicrucian Mystery School®.

He is also a long term student of Western esoteric traditions based largely on Lucis Trust, which was co-founded by the 33rd degree Freemason Foster Bailey.

 

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