My Experience with Freemasonry



I was initiated in Freemasonry about five years ago, and I got to say that it was quite an experience. If I’m being honest, the truth is that I had no idea what the masonry was about, I just had the idea that it was some kind of secret power group that had secret meetings to bond between each other and make connections that may allow them to progress in the business or political world. At the time, I was finishing law school, and, insecure as I was, it just seemed like a good opportunity to impulse myself into a position of power, I wasn’t really an ambitious person and now I realize that I was just very insecure and wanted the power to feel safe. Anyhow, this was my experience.

My father was the one that introduced me into this world, he had become a freemason about three or four years before me, he wasn’t really into masonry in the practical sense, he just like the ideology and the study, but after I insisted for a while he agreed to introduce me into his lodge. To become a free mason, you got to go through a very interesting ritual, I had no idea about it, so it was a surprise when I was blindfolded. I’m not going to detail the entire ritual, not because is a big secret (as they want you to believe at the beginning) but because there are too many details to describe and that’s not the purpose of this post (ok, it’s also because I made some oaths and I try to be a man of my word, but seriously, if you really want to know, the information is very public, I recommend finding a book from a respected author, because there’s all kinds of stupid things on the internet about masonry).

After the ritual I was pretty amazed, I wasn’t expecting an entire philosophy or dogma, and that was pretty unusual from my behalf, after talking with other ‘apprentices’ (that’s the title you’re given when you begin), it seems that I’m the only one that didn’t bothered making a research about what I was getting into, it made me feel a little ashamed, but the truth is that I trusted my father enough to know that he wouldn’t get me into something that may be bad for me, and strangely enough, to not know what the masonry or the ritual is about is actually recommended for the beginners, that’s because the surprise as part of the ritual may be the main factor to really get the knowledge to penetrate your subconscious and getting interested in all the knowledge there’s there to share.

I felt really excited, they gave me a little red book to study, so I read that one more than once, and many others I came across, I went to the lodge every Monday – masonry has some similarities with some religions like Catholics or Jews (actually there’s a heavy influence from both in masonry)-, and tried to accomplish my duties as an apprentice, mainly being active and helping setting things at the lodge before and after a held (the equivalent to mass)

What got me into masonry was their main ideology, or at least what I understood it was, and that’s it that they worship knowledge as a path for understanding and/or reaching god, they respect religions and all of them are welcomed as long as they don’t attack other people believes, discussion on every subject is welcomed as long as there’s a real thirst for learning and sharing, they invited you to ask things, to ask why in your life, not just to follow as mindless sheep, and in the end the entire institution was meant to do good for the rest of people, to help, not to judge. I was astonished, this was what I’ve believed all my life but never really found an institution that shared all my points of view like this, I was raised as a catholic, but even my parents agreed that in the strict sense catholic vision is too narrow, that you have to see beyond their dogmas sometimes in order to make sense.

I was very enthusiastic at the beginning, sadly I got gradually disappointed. Monday after Monday I went, and after three or four months it seemed all the same, the same subjects all the time, there was no progress at all, and I started to see the flaws everywhere. The flaws were not in the teachings, they were not in the philosophy of the institution, they were clearly in the people, the flaws were especially in my so-called masters, and it’s really sad to speak against them because I got to know them and I honestly can say that they were very capable and apparently good people, however, that capability wasn’t used in the practice of freemasonry. They were always busy with important jobs and half of the times they didn’t come to the meetings, the institution felt abandoned, and most of the times there was literally not enough people to start a gathering- I’ve heard in other countries like USA the freemasonry is another thing entirely, but from what I lived here in Ecuador, freemasonry is really neglected by their own people, eventually, after a year of trying to accomplish something, tragedy came to my family with the disease of my mother and I just didn’t have the strength to keep pushing an institution that seemed to give so little in return and so did my father. We stopped going and to my surprise it didn’t took long after we left the lodge was dissolved.

But I got to say, even though there were not enough people to form a stable group, or that many times it felt like I was going nowhere, what I learnt was so inspiring that I would love to return and help the freemasonry to rebuild. Me and my father are still their students, and the knowledge we received has helped us to overcome many difficult situations and maybe also to be better human beings and for that, I’ll always be grateful.

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Bad days

Bad: not good; disappointing or unpleasant, or causing difficulties or harm...”

Everybody have bad days, those that from the start you didn’t even want to wake up and when finally did, you knew you were going to regret it.

You look at your alarm clock and big surprise, after fighting for an hour with the snooze button, it’s very late. In order to catch up, shower gets skipped, you get out of bed, struggle to find something clean after realizing that the shirt you were supposed to use have a hole or a coffee stain, eventually, give up, take a little less stained shirt, and rush to the door getting out as fast as you can just to come back one more time for those notes you were supposed to take for that presentation you have, and, on your way to work, traffic is worse than ever.

When miraculously you get there, about 40 minutes late, everybody looks at you and when you’re thinking ‘is not like all of you always gets here on time, give me a break’ some coworker asks you if something’s wrong, you say no, go quickly to the bathroom and see yourself made a mess, like in one of your worst hangovers ever, red baggy eyes, hair is everywhere, forgot to shave (again, so you finally achieved that homeless look nobody wants) and just when you thought ‘fuck it, who cares, what is done is done and let’s do this´, you realize that the zipper of your pants has been opened since you put them on, with a crushed spirit full of shame, you take a deep breath, try to gather some courage, fix yourself the best you can and go to the meeting and, surprise again, the papers you took were the wrong ones.

My advice, remember that it’ll eventually pass, nothing is forever and there will be a tomorrow, even if you’re on a Monday, that means that you have many other days to turn things around and if you didn’t, the weekend will be there, just for you. 99% of the times things won’t change just because, you have to give it a try, to make an effort, be aware of what you’re doing and make the smart move to put yourself together, take a break if you can.

In many occasions, when I thought I was paying for all my bad actions in just one day as a sadistic vendetta of karma, I found out that the feeling would dramatically decrease after taking a 20 minutes’ nap or having a sandwich, sounds too simple to be truth, right? But it makes sense if you think about it, when you feel tired and start walking around like a zombie, what could be more helpful than sleeping a little, and when you’re angry with no apparent reason, there’s a feeling of incompetence or misunderstanding that surrounds you and everybody who have the bad luck of crossing your path, what could be better than taking control of things by giving you a little treat? Your body knows most of the times what you need, matter of fact, it usually screams at you what it needs, listen, and remember that nobody in this life will help you as it will, nothing else is more important in this life than taking care of yourself (asides, family, values, etc. You get the point.)

If these bad days are too often and if it just seems impossible to change the tide, then it may be time to make a big change in your life, find the main reason why these bad days can’t go away, think about yourself and your capabilities to change things, be honest, don’t make the mistake of setting the bar too high, for example, if you’ve never been able to be good at social meetings, thinking ´well, it would all change if I’m more social, so I’ll start tomorrow´, won’t help, probably you’ll try a few times, then give up, and finally accept things won’t change… well, they won’t, not that way, like I said, you have to know yourself, in this example, if you´ve never been good at social meetings, it’s clear that social meetings aren’t your thing, and that’s fine, yes, you can try to improve it, but if you want the bad days to stop like, right now, perhaps is a better idea to change your environment, find another job, ask for another position, may be is the time for those long vacations you’ve postponed in order to get things in order, do it now, use your head and I bet you won’t regret it.

Are we really alone?

” Definition of alone: 1   separated from others…”

I’m just asking in the simplest sense of the word, not the X-files TV show sense that wonders if there’s a top-secret conspiracy about aliens… just to clarify.

Technically, the truth is that, as sad, lonely and sorry we’d like to feel about ourselves, chances are we’re not really alone, of course, unless you’re living in a cave or some sort of desert fortress away from everybody (in which case I have no idea how you managed to read these words).  We’re all living in communities, big or small, it doesn’t matter, you’re probably surrounded by people just a few meters of distance. However, all the people I know have been terrified of loneliness at some point or another, many of them have made a stupid decision in an attempt to fix it, also known as marriage.

Don’t get me wrong, I think marriage could be a good thing ,theoretically, but getting married just because you don’t want to feel lonely, that’s stupid, and this is why:  like I just said, physically we’re not alone, people are all around us, at work, at home, when shopping (as a loner is actually, quite exhausting) physically we can’t consider ourselves alone when just a few meters separate us, but, the feeling of loneliness is another subject, you feel alone because you can’t connect with other people, at least not about the things that matter to you, or the way you’d like to, perhaps you’ve tried to bond about them with friends, family, or coworkers, but when you fail, and fail again, that’s when you start to feel lonely, and the thing is if you don’t fix that feeling by just a simple relationship with somebody, it won’t go away just because you’ve managed to cage yourself with somebody else, in fact, making the attempt to connect and fail repeatedly will probably will make you feel worse than in the beginning.

So, what to do?, Sorry mate, no magical answer here, we all have to find the answer by ourselves, but from my personal experience if you are feeling lonely the first thing is to realize that the problem is not physically but mentally instead, or perhaps even spiritually. It won’t be solved because you force yourself to be with other people you can’t stand, focus on yourself first, find out what is that subject, theme, idea, you want to share, then find people that are more likely to share those things with you, and the most important, it doesn’t matter if you don’t succeed, is not the end of the world, you can try again tomorrow, feeling alone is just that, a feeling, focus on something else, nobody understands how important is your career for you? So what, that doesn’t mean your family don’t care about you; You just can’t find somebody to share you passion with? Who cares, chances are there’s a friend that would accept having a beer with you and listen to you complain about it, just because you can’t connect at somethings, it doesn’t mean you don’t have many other connections around, and many times they are truly more important.