Master’s Message & From the East – December 2021


Master’s Message

“Know thyself ” is one of the Delphic maxims inscribed above the entrance to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. The Delphic maxims were said to have been given by the Oracle at Delphi and are attributed to the Greek god Apollo.

This maxim has appeared throughout history, in works from Greek playwright Aeschylus, philosophers Socrates and Plato, poets Alexander Pope and Ralph Waldo Emerson, writings by MW Benjamin Franklin, and adorns the Tyler’s chair at the Scottish Rite SMJ headquarters, the House of the Temple in Washington D.C.

Throughout history, this maxim (the invitation to self-examination) has evolved. According to Socrates, true wisdom is knowing what you do not know. Knowing yourself includes recognizing the limits of your own wisdom and understanding, and what you have yet to learn. Similarly, to Plato, knowing thyself is a matter of freeing yourself from ignorance and seeking the light of knowledge. In Alexander Pope’s poem ‘An Essay on Man: Epistle II’, Pope proposes that man should learn to look inward at themselves in an effort to learn about their own nature, power, limitations, and weakness, with the purpose of gathering knowledge about oneself as a step toward enlightenment. In 1750, MW Franklin wrote “[t]here are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.”

As Masons, we strive for self-improvement, and honest introspection is an integral aspect of that pursuit. We must peer inward, strip away any preconceived expectations and honestly examine ourselves. Only then will one identify their limits and weaknesses, and be able to pursue the light and knowledge of self-improvement.

Fraternally,

Bryan S. Passione,
Worshipful Master

From the East

Brethren,

Dues notices for 2022 have been mailed and are due upon receipt. In the past year, many brothers have expressed displeasure with Grand Lodge’s desire to transition to a fully virtual blue card, and cease providing a physical blue card.

After the membership voted down legislation seeking to transition to virtual blue cards in 2020, Grand Lodge once again sought to pass similar legislation to strip members of their physical dues cards at the 2021 Grand Lodge Annual Communication. However, members spoke in opposition to the proposed legislation on blue cards at the Annual Communication and the legislation was amended on the floor. The amended verbiage was approved by the membership. Per the amended legislation, members will still have access to the virtual dues card through the Grand View platform, but Grand Lodge will also be obligated to provide blue cards to all members (not upon request or subject to Grand Lodge’s arbitrary determination).

During discussion on the legislation prior to voting, MW Monacelli confirmed that under the amended legislation, Grand Lodge will proactively send blue cards to the lodges, which will be consistent with how lodges have received blue cards in the past.

Brethren, your voice was heard in 2020 when the blue card legislation was defeated, and your voice was heard again in 2021 which resulted in the adoption of the amended legislation. Your vote matters!

November 21, 2021 at 9:00 am | Masonic Light