Last week I decided to read a paper on the podcast, Whence Came You? In it, the author described the organization of Freemasonry in the days of our operative craftsman--when we were literally laying stones. Something that caught my eye and that I pointed out within the episode was related to the following:
In the days of our operative craft, a person became an Apprentice, and when they were good enough, they became a Master. But if they traveled and truly worked, they were a Fellow. So here we are today, three degrees in Freemasonry. Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft (Fellow of the Craft), and Master Mason.
We put all the prestige on Master Mason, don't we? In several Lodges of Research to which I belong, Illinois Lodge of Research, Kansas, California, (I just petitioned Missouri)-- to become a Fellow, means you have produced actual work. Of course, you need to be a Master Mason to join..but not everyone is a Fellow.
You don't just go to the "...big meets and big eats." as Joseph Fort Newton puts it. The Fellow has something he's done--something tangible that you can see, hold, read, experience. To me, with this in mind, I think "Fellowship" is something to which we should all strive toward. Be a Fellow.
RWB Johnson is a Co-Managing Editor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Freemason out of the 2nd N.E. District of Illinois. He currently serves as the Secretary of Spes Novum Lodge No. 1183. He is a Past Master of Waukegan Lodge 78 and a Past District Deputy Grand Master for the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. Brother Johnson currently produces and hosts weekly Podcasts (internet radio programs) Whence Came You? & Masonic Radio Theatre which focuses on topics relating to Freemasonry. He is also a co-host of The Masonic Roundtable, a Masonic talk show. He is a husband and father of four, works full time in the executive medical industry. He is the co-author of "It's Business Time - Adapting a Corporate Path for Freemasonry" and is currently working on a book of Masonic essays and one on Occult Anatomy to be released soon.