From errancy back to Masonic ethics or
From a synopsis of the problems to negotiations around the table.
In a new article on Neuilly-Bineau Blog, entitled Du tour des problèmes au tour de table
Bro Charles sums up the extent of the woes and errancy of the obedience and looks at how to start moving back to proper masonic ethics.
Translated by : Arturusrex
The GLNF crisis is part of a general social context.
Technological revolutions and revolution.
At the end of the last century we saw the beginning of the digital revolution which enabled everyone everywhere to have access to practically any information.
The technological revolution turned out to be a real revolution full stop because it led to changes in society.
The powers-that-be maintained their predominance by the way they held back or distributed knowledge. Technology let everyone think they now held the keys to all knowledge, genuinely or through illusion. Everyone imagines he is the sole Judge of the world he convenes into his presence as he sits before his screen. The networks of the Web are transformed into interrogation chambers, courtrooms, deliberation quarters, command rooms, theatres of conflict. An imperially pointed index finger on a mouse turns each and all, willy nilly, into now a consumer, now a reporter, now a judge or lawyer, then a war-chief then a fighter. Anonymity exacerbates and mortifies words that, in other circumstances, would have been withdrawn or modified while still scarcely uttered.
New freedoms have arisen that will probably be followed by a new dictatorship. Freedom. to yearn for transparency, and the obligation for the people to learn how to regulate it.
The way nations, associations and corporate companies are governed can no longer be what it has been. Their leaders are no longer able to bluff their way by force and injustice and take people where they do not want to go.
People want to see clearly, understand clearly and act clearly. Masonic ethics once convinced the non-masons and contributed to progress. But from this combat, masonry stands to loose because it has espoused the evil it had vanquished.
Masonry now must submit to self-questioning. It must win or win back new ethic domains and that of solidarity that it has gradually abandoned to civic authorities, who, in turn, have let this noble prerogative fall into oblivion.
Secrets, not opacity.
Operative masonry was a fraternal institution that transmitted secrets, i.e. knowledge and savoir-faire of their various crafts. Free Masonry continues to encompass those secrets and particularly transmits the spiritual knowledge therein implied. Some (Tr: not to say many) confuse “savoir-faire” knowledge, or “know-how» and “spiritual” knowledge. Our recent Governors have thought they could confound and confuse Masonic secrets with opacity of governance.
During the last financial crisis, one, the most particularly oafish of them, thought he could continue to shine brilliantly forth by his astonishing public speeches and gestures and extravagant expenses, while practising an opaque form of management. With many brethren suffering in silence up to then, the apprentice dictator created an explosive mixture when, in addition, he excluded members for the crime of disagreement when they attempted to point out his errors to him, then undertook collective disciplinary measures, both unjust and abusive, that no law of the land could possibly condone. He dragged down with him in his fall all those who had backed him like a pack of hounds, not sensing, not seeing, not understanding that brotherhood, the branch from which they swung, had been sawn off by their barbarity and collective cecity.
Evolution of the notion of authority.
Authority based on physical might has given way that of knowledge.
The authority of pragmatic knowledge has given way to subtler forms of spiritual knowledge.
Management forms have evolved. They will continue to do so. The way non-masonic conceptions evolve indirectly influences our masonry. A no-good chief from without will probably turn out to be one perceived as bad within.
The sick head of the Obedience is made up of all the various governing bodies who have committed exactions against the fraternity. These governors must be replaced.
Now, these “governors”, in isolated groups, cut off from the brethren at the base, are jumping back into saddle to regain power.
One of the last things that will occur to them is to ask the brethren’s pardon for the state in which they have brought the obedience, at home and abroad.
One of the last things that will occur to them is that they can no longer be entrusted with responsibilities and that the brethren will have no more of them in charge of our affairs. They are the total denial of justice and imagine we do not see that. And so doing, and showing us the structural aspects of the problem, all they promise is to redo the façade.
One of the last things that will occur to them is that they might leave a little time for others to mop up the effects of their incontinence. Worse still, in their don’t-care-a-damn attitude, they just think of how they can get rid of any good brother who might stand to putting matters to right.
They do not see or comprehend that peace will come only from their elimination.
Assuming ones responsibilities entails assuming the consequences of ones deeds. Such consequences imply resignation from their functions and no way will fiddling a patched up repair job suffice.
The chance for a new Spring for regular Free Masonry.
Regulaz Free Masonry is in search of its identity. In his opening speech, at the eleventh World Conference of Grand Lodges, executive secretary Bro Thomas Jackson deplored the growth of irregular masonry. He inculpated the networks and the Jurisdictions of the Rites.
Now is it not a necessity to take the networks into account? Is it not preferable that the Grand lodges and the Rites should come to an accord rather than working up another situation of conflict, leading to new divisions and take over bids?
The Grand Masters of our neighboring Grand Lodges are worried about the precedent the French revolt might set and they are tempted to batten down the hatchways so that no leaks get in and contaminate them..
Where society is more than ever before locked up into questions of individualisms and power-mongery, these same mechanisms spread their tentacles into our every level; but solidarity can only emerge from the private depths of each of us.
The GLNF has already been at the root of a good ten schisms and unrecognized break-away bodies. Another such break away, or break-up, would be welcome to certain of those wielders of injustice and lusters after power.
All the necessary conditions are there for a new weakening of the influence of regular and recognized masonry. Is it not indispensable that each and all should pull our structure up rather than down?
Traditional initiatory Free Masonry is a cross-roads.
Should the point at which they cross not be that of Fraternity ?
Should the point at which they cross not be that of Solidarity ?
Should not Masonry (morally and spiritually) take its members upwards?
Should it not put in conformity its ideals and its deeds?
Should it not rethink how it is to be governed?
Does it not hold within its own teachings the keys out of the trap into which it has fallen?
The collective reply to these questions will be irrevocable for each and for all.
If the reply to one of them is no, the brethren will go away disappointed but not regretful, because they will look elsewhere for the answers to their deep aspirations of Justice. Freemasonry will have had its time.
If the reply is yes, the brethren will unite to take the masonry they can love again into the third millennium that nearly put an end to it.
Had solidarity existed, the crisis in GLNF masonry would not have occurred. The financial crisis showed how cruelly it was lacking at every echelon of the institution. Freemasonry will have to reinvent the link uniting its members that should never have been allowed to break
Freemasonry contains within itself all the assets required to overcome the crisis and emerge from it stronger than before. The solutions are not all to be found in the mind of one person. Humbleness will be found in those who come proposing their services as leaders because they will avoid announcing solutions before such solutions have emerged from discussions around the negotiating tables that their wishes also address.
Freemasonry has to redefine its governance around a table, with dialogue worthy of what is at stake, with respect and attentiveness for all. The table is nobody’s in particular, but everybody’s.
Freemasonry will probably have to review some of its practices.
If they do not want to see the problems perpetuated and turning against them, the new Chiefs will have to make profound changes to their ways of thinking, speaking, organizing and acting.