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From the East

By Andrew Hawes —Master

May the Fourth be with you!  For anyone who isn’t familiar with this saying, it’s a pun – a riff on ‘May the Force be with you” which originated in the Star Wars movie series as a way of wishing someone well, “the Force” being a mystical energy source that permeated everything in the universe, and which powerful mystics, or “Jedi” could access to manipulate the physical world directly with their minds. 

While Masons have never claimed to be able to manipulate invisible energy fields with the power of their thoughts to move things around, I think that it’s safe to say that “The force is strong with us.”  Masons are intentionally good people. We study the workings of the universe, and attempt to imitate the orderly beauty found in nature. 

While we are no longer operative masons, we still should be striving daily to improve ourselves in this way – our actions should bring peace and harmony, order and law – we should constantly struggle against lawlessness and chaos around us – from actions as small as picking up trash on the sidewalk and putting it into the nearby bin, to those as large as forging a new country out of the ultimate chaos of war and revolution. 

It is important that we not confuse change for chaos – butterflies go through an incredible metamorphosis, from a worm crawling along in the dirt to a brightly-winged creature of the skies, fluttering from flower to flower and helping nature thrive.  While the change process itself may seem chaotic while it is happening, the end result is beautiful. 

Our lodge is constantly undergoing change.  Not a one-time metamorphosis from caterpillar to

butterfly, but to use a different metaphor, we are more like a soup, to which new ingredients are being added. 

In the folk story “Stone Soup” we learn of travelers who come to a village carrying nothing but a cooking pot. At first, the suspicious villagers do not wish to share with them, fearing outsiders and not wishing to waste their precious resources on strangers – but the travelers tell them about a wonderful soup that can be made from nothing but a stone, and the villagers are intrigued.  Filling their pot with water and a smooth stone from the river, the travelers put it on the fire and wait for it to boil.  Curious villagers start to inquire about the soup, and are told it’s not ready yet, but would be much better with a few more things added… gradually, they bring and add items to the pot - vegetables, meat, and other ingredients, and eventually when it is ready a hearty delicious soup is enjoyed by everyone. 

While we don’t support or condone the deceptive part of the story (boiling a stone alone will not produce a tasty soup!) I do think that there is an interesting comparison between this story and our lodge.  When begun, we are travelers, with an empty pot and a stone.  We start the fire, and set our kettle on it, and gradually welcome more members into our community, each adding their own bit of something different to the broth, to create and perpetuate the tasty soup that is our lodge.

Speaking of stew… maybe we’ll do a stew cookoff at the next potluck… but at the end of May, it’s Chili! 

I hope that many of you will come to the lodge to join in our stated meetings – because a pot with nothing but a stone and water in it doesn’t make for a very tasty meal… it’s rather a farce really.  So… may the Farce be with you, and let’s change it into a reality together!

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