Thoughts Become Things

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Steven L. Harrison, 33°, FMLR

On a recent high-school tour, I saw a sign inside a classroom that read, "Thoughts become things." I like that idea. I had heard it before, but I wasn't sure where. I thought it might be a quote from an unknown person or something from a book or play. I decided to research it and maybe use it in an article.

So I went where we always go these days to find out — straight to the Internet. The first thing I ran into was this, from a Metaphysics site:

"Thoughts become things when they are given substance with feelings in the Mind."


It is true that thoughts can become things but it takes a whole lot more than "feelings in the mind" to make a thought — some might call it an idea — become a reality.

Good ideas are a dime a dozen; they really are. World peace — there's a good idea. Well, we've been rolling out "Visualize World Peace" bumper stickers for decades and we're still visualizing, aren't we?

Every Master or even Grand Master comes into his term filled with good ideas and the intention to make Freemasonry in general or his Lodge in particular better by the time he leaves. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't.

What are the secret ingredients?

I recently had a great experience working with a group of Brothers and Eastern Star Sisters that turned out a "thing" which had originated as a "thought." Together, we published a book. It was the journal of a former Missouri Grand Secretary who lived almost the entire 19th century. He recorded a first-hand account of Masonic events that took place during that time, not just from Missouri, but elsewhere as well.

The journal had been lost for nearly three quarters of a century. It contained information not known anywhere else about our Craft. Upon finding the journal, it was a "no brainer" for one of our Brothers, then a group of Brothers, to have the seminal thought that we should publish it. Eventually, that thought became a "thing." It didn't happen overnight and it didn't happen with "feelings in the mind."

It happened because over twenty people involved in the project were dedicated and put in a lot of hard work. Dedication and hard work — those, my Brothers, are the secret ingredients.

Steve Jobs, you may recall, had a lot of good ideas; and he knew how to turn those ideas into a lot of good things. I like what he said about thoughts becoming things: "Most people have a disease: they think once they've had a good idea they've done 90% of the work. Coming up with the idea is easy. Working to make it a reality is the hard part."


Bro. Steve Harrison, 33° is Past Master of Liberty Lodge #31, Liberty, Missouri. He is the editor of the Missouri Freemason magazine, author of the book Freemasonry Crosses the Mississippi, a Fellow of the Missouri Lodge of Research and also its Worshipful Master. He is a dual member of Kearney Lodge #311, St. Joseph Missouri Valley of the Scottish Rite, Liberty York Rite, Moila Shrine and a member and Past Dean of the DeMolay Legion of Honor. Brother Harrison is a regular contributor to the Midnight Freemasons blog as well as several other Masonic publications. His latest book, Freemasons: Tales From the Craft & Freemasons at Oak Island. Both are available on

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