Well much has happened in regards to my joining my local Lodge, and some very, very interesting things have come about, which I'm at a loss to really
understand. So I decided I'd put this out here in hopes that some of you fine gentlemen can help guide me in the right direction. As follows:
OK so the other day I met with several Masons inside the "public area" of the lodge(where non masons can rent for weddings or parties, you know). I
was thoroughly questioned about my joining The Craft, what are my intentions, what do I seek, what do I think of Masonry at present etc. This line of
questioning was re-worded many different times, and asked by the various brothers in different ways. It seemed to last for an eternity, however that
is probably because I was so very nervous throughout the whole ordeal.
Well, throughout the first few questions, you know where it's nothing really specific to "you", more of a "get to know you" type thing; well I
just had this overwhelming feeling to "Just say what I truly feel" no false pretenses, no "stroking" so to speak.
So throughout the entire ordeal I just let fly with my search for esoteric knowledge, understanding of the ancient knowledge(I think I may have said
that several times at least). They asked where I got the idea that I could learn of such things in Masonry, and I explained I'd been an avid
researcher of Masonry for a long while, and that in addition to that, I have spoken to some great Masons, and the combined experiences reinforced my
desire to join.
So after an "eternity" of this type of questioning, things became much more relaxed. I mean you could almost feel the mood lighten in the room, like
the air became "lighter" hehe, I mean you could tell that the "meat" of the interview had ended. So we "bull#ted" for awhile, my friend was
there, and they were poking fun at us for a certain fiasco the Police and Sheriff's office had with one old lady and her cats a few weeks back. You
know, just your average b.s. . Well after that the older one, who'd been quite stood up, I guess that implied that the session was finished, as soon
as he rose, the others did as well, we exchanged handshakes and smiles, and I was more than ready to leave, not out of discomfort, quite the contrary,
and I wanted to really really focus on the entire incident, I was really excited, and yeah a little nervous still(did they like me? did I come off
"flaky" you know?).
Well in the parking lot, my friend and I where having a smoke, just a bit quiet, minor discussion. I wanted to ask him what he thought of the
interview and so on, ,but I thought it'd be best not to "push it".
I hopped into my Jeep and started to head out but the old man who seemed so quiet inside earlier came out and I saw him at my friend's car. He then
came over to me and asked me to come inside to discuss things. I went in and we sat in a normal office looking thing. He was rather quiet for a minute
or so, kinda just like thinking of what to say or whatnot. He opened with some trivial comment on my being "grilled" and we shared a laugh, very
kind man, thoughtful eyes. No clue who he is though, and in a town of 6,000, that's a tad rare.
He then basically implied that I would be most welcome to join, if I wished to, and I stated I was indeed most interested, and thanked him for easing
my mind on the subject. He then went on to explain that since I'd moved to the town(about 7yrs ago), and wasn't born "here", that the fellas just
wanted to see what I was all about. At this time it's getting a bit late,and I'm sure the wife wants my butt home, and I get the feeling he sensed
my "eagerness" to head out. So when he brought up the next thing, it got interesting, and this is where I need your advice:
He basically told me that from what had been discussed, it was clear that I wanted a deeper understanding of Masonry's core [than] most do, as they
don't get a ton of "initiates", mainly just the sons of other Brothers, small town etc, and that most that join are really joining to carry a
tradition, as much as to better themselves, and a distant third would be any esoteric value. Needless to say I was a bit puzzled as to what the heck
he meant, and he'd just basically said I was most welcome to join, and now it almost sounded that he was discouraging me from doing so.
He must've noticed that thought on my face because he just kept talking, almost as to keep me from "over-analyzing" the discussion at the moment.
He basically said that there are those that do want the same things as I, and that he was only one of the few. He, without going into too much
detail, said that if I wanted, they could move me through the 3 fairly quickly.
Needless to say, as you know, I'm about the deeper meanings, and as I stated to you all, I wanted to take my time with the knowledge. So I had to
ask him just how "rushing" things would be in my best interest. I mean I thought he'd totally not understood me.
He explained that there are locally, some, "un-official" orders(Clandestine I guess?), that require you to be Master Mason before you can join, and
one that you must hold the title Master Mason(in good standing) for at least a year to join. He explained that basically these orders expand upon the
symbolism and knowledge found in the "Blue Lodge", and that if I were really wanting to pursue such things, that is where I want to align myself.
Anyway, we parted ways kindly, but I think he knew that I was already trying to contemplate these thoughts, and he left me to it. You know, Masonry is
so interesting, there's no pressure to do anything, in fact they almost discourage to see if intent is pure, and I very much respect that. Despite
what many on here may think, a cult, Masonry is certainly not.
So for about a week, I have thought of these things, and cannot decide what to do. I mean do I take his advice, and he seems to really be on the same
"wavelength" as I, or at least really really understood me and my vision. I don't know what to do, or think. I mean that's a hell of a lot to
think about. Anyone with any general thoughts on these "Clandestine" arms of Masonry, have any thoughts for me? Really need advice, as I want to get
back to him soon, I hope he knows I'm just really thinking, not that he's "scared me off" or that I'm "disinterested". I appreciate your
thoughts and advice on this.
P.S. I thought about it, and yeah, I probably could ask my friend many of these questions, but I don't want to feel like an ass, or make it seem that
I'm "scared" to him of all people. Funny the confidence the anonymity of the web can produce, heh.
P.P.S. Also FWIW, I don't want to imply that he was speaking to me in a "Official capacity" when we spoke of "Clandestine" orders, as I thought
that they were not "Officially" recognized by freemasonry, and therefore weren't to be condoned. Am I mistaken on this? I never paid them much
attention in my research, as I thought they were not part of Masonry proper, maybe that was an error of mine. Thanks again!
[edit on 13-6-2004 by TheSeeker]