A scene from the Led Zeppelin concert film: The Song Remains The Same highlights a young woman standing outside Madison Square Gardens asking loudly to passers-by: “Any tickets for sale? Do you have any tickets?”
We see this in parallels in Freemasonry in the need for inclusion. We’re on the outside, looking for a key or some means of entry. The exact opposite is true. The key is within us, and Freemasonry provides a set of tools to find that internal key. Freemasonry provides the means and understanding of stepping into that journey of self-discovery, but we have to put the work in by ourselves.
“You get out of it what you put into it”
I heard this from many older Brothers when I joined, and I found myself using those words a couple of times. Stop using those words. They no longer mean what you think they mean to the younger generations. We live on the cusp of the Age of Information, where the initiatic experience can be looked up instantly, where knowledge is at your fingertips. Why would a new Mason in the current society be interested in enigmatic phrases that, at their time made sense, but now simply ring hollow without demonstration? That new and perfect Mason standing in the corner needs to hear what the charge actually means, both to you and to him. He needs to understand what the lecture means to you so he can come to his own conclusions. He’s still on the outside thinking there’s a ticket that needs to be purchased for admission when in reality he is his own ticket.
How do we adapt to make sure the breadcrumbs line up, because right now those breadcrumbs not only don’t align, those breadcrumbs don’t look edible? The new Masons coming into the craft already understand more symbolism than many of us because they learned to communicate with symbols via emojis, games, and anime’, so let’s align the breadcrumbs. Make sure to include the new Masons in every lodge committee, function, or duty, and let him know he doesn’t have to do all of it. Make sure to assign at least one good verbal communicator to every function, so the new Masons get learning opportunities.
Mentoring is only a part of it. It’s time to look beyond the mentoring to get deeper into symbolism right away. That way the young Mason doesn’t have to go immediately into Appendant Bodies to get his best Blue Lodge experience. His ticket is already in his hand.
Bro. Randy and his wife Elyana live in O'Fallon, MO just outside of St. Louis. Randy earned a Bachelors in Chemistry with an emphasis in Biochemistry, and he works in telecom IT. He volunteers his time as a professional and personal mentor, is an NRA certified Chief Range Safety Officer, and enjoys competitive tactical pistol. He has a 30+ year background teaching Wing Chun Kung Fu, Chi Kung, and healing arts. Randy's Masonic bio includes lodge education officer of two blue lodges, running the Wentzville Lodge Book Club, active in York Rite AMD, Scottish Rite Valley of St. Louis co-librarian, Clerk of the Academy Of Reflection through the Valley of Guthrie, a trained facilitator for the Masonic Legacy Society. As a pre-COVID-19 pioneer in Masonic virtual education, Randy is an administrator of Refracted Light and an international presenter on esoteric topics. Randy enjoys facilitating and presenting Masonic esoteric education, and he hosts an open, weekly Masonic virtual Friday Happy Hour. Randy is an accomplished home chef, a certified barbecue judge, raises Great Pyrenees dogs, and enjoys travel and philosophy.