In my blog today I want to write about what I consider to be the Seven Greatest Mistakes made by both Mankind and Freemasonry.
First the Seven Greatest Mistakes of Mankind
1. Wealth without Work
We don’t not value something which comes to easy, such as a child that receives a toy as a gift will quickly lose interest in it and toss it to the side. But the child that does chores to earn his allowance in order to buy the toy that he wants will cherish it for an extend period of time.
2. Pleasure Without Conscience
There is nothing wrong with enjoying life. While every person has a right to pursue what will
make him happy, a lack of conscience in his dealings will only lead to suffering.
Pleasure without conscience leads to alcoholism, adultery, gambling addiction, and other personal injuries.
3. Knowledge Without Character
A wise man may be able to benefit society, but if he lacks a character worthy of emulation he will never have an audience.
If a man has knowledge, but is conceited because of it or uses it immorally or for his own gain then he is worthless and his knowledge will be lost.
4. Commerce Without Morality
The man that cheats and defrauds his customers may initially make some money, but he will lose everything when the truth about his actions is revealed.
5. Science Without Humanity
Scientific discovery used for the destruction of humanity rather than for its benefit, is a waste of man’s reasoning skills. Technology such as nuclear power offers incredible benefits for those who use it properly, but has caused great anxiety because it was first used for violent purposes.
6. Worship Without Sacrifice
It is good to worship, but if worship is unaccompanied by sacrifice no self-improvement is made.
This does not mean that lambs must be slain and burned as an offering, but that divesting ourselves of some of the unnecessary aspects of life—which is a sacrifice—produces the fruit of worship.
7. Politics Without Principle
A firm understanding of politics will allow a man in office to accomplish anything he pleases.
However, if it is used without principle it only serves to corrupt the government and enslave the masses.
In a similar vein to the above I would know like to discuss the Seven Greatest Mistakes of Freemasonry.
1. Ritual Without Meaning
Too many times, we are more concerned about performing the ritual perfectly without understanding what it means. Ritual for the sake of tradition is worthless. Ritual for the sake of enlightenment is valuable.
An understanding of the ritual’s meaning is far more important than just memorizing it.
2. Fellowship without Frivolity
Whenever Masons decide to hold a function for fellowship, a discussion typically ensues about how to make the function have the smallest impact on the lodge’s finances and the wallets of the members. This results in paper plates, meager meals, boring and less well attended events. To spend money wisely in order to make fellowship a grand time is wise for the lodge that wants to be successful.
Also we do not have to be slaves to form, endlessly repeating the same toasts and replies – we should reward individuality and creativity in order to keep our meetings alive and fun!
3. Quantity without Quality
A lodge with seven great men that believe in the Masonic ideals and actively strive to improve themselves—and therefore the lodge—is far better off than a lodge with one hundred men that show up to lodge just to be seen.
4. Education without Philosophy
Many times, we think of Masonic education as being a lesson on the local lodge’s history, a famous Mason, the history of the world wide fraternity, or how to do the ritual properly. But if no philosophy is covered in Masonic education, then little self improvement is accomplished.
Discussing Masonic lessons in terms of philosophy, ideas, and a man’s conduct is what truly transforms men into Masons. It is important to discuss topics that are foreign to a lodge’s membership and it is sometimes even necessary to challenge our preconceived ideologies through Masonic education.
5. Charity without Connection
Big charities often require that fund raisers be conducted and large checks written to the people that actually perform the charity. This type of charity offers no self improvement because it has no real connection to us or our life.
If we extend our hands to our needed Brethren and devote our own skills and time to their problems, then we are engaging in true, meaningful charity.
6. Frugality without Discretion
Frugality is not a tenet of Freemasonry, a cardinal virtue, or a Landmark. It is acceptable for the lodge to spend its funds on worthwhile activities that will enhance the Masonic experience of its Brethren.
Not everything should be done in the cheapest way, a habit to which we have become accustomed.
7. Leadership without Competence
A man does not deserve to be master of the lodge, chapter or preceptory solely because he has spent a certain amount of years attending meetings or because he is next in line. We elect our leaders without any regard for the skills that they possess in order to function in that capacity.
We should only elect competent and qualified men to preside over us.
I propose that by living our life’s according to these 14 principles we would be well on the way to perfected ourselves as Human beings and as Freemason’s.