Yesterday at my first official visit at Maitland Lodge. It was a great night with work well done and good food. I started my 11-visitation tour with the Main Theme ‘Opportunities’. Opportunity Nr. 1, yesterday, was Vision. To have a vision where we can build or manifest the Cornerstone in order to build our masonic and life principles like Faith, Hope and Charity and fidelity and more on that Cornerstone. But in order to have a healthy cornerstone that is actually able to carry all this life building we need to keep working on the cornerstones in our lives. Perhaps it needs repairs or a re-build. As long we are working on it we will be fine.
But now to the second opportunity – ‘Dark and Light’. As we all know, the Sun is the most powerful energy source that is known. It never stops and brings life in many ways. Sunlight has so many functions that I would probably miss some of them if a tried to name them all. From a farming point of view, where my experience lies, I know that without enough sunlight plant growth and fruit ripening cannot happen. It needs good temperature and adequate kilojoules which is how we measure the sunlight. Perhaps watts per second is more familiar to us. Working in Greenhouse production, which allows us the ability to grow through the winter months, it is unbelievable how important that each week a certain amount of wattage is required for healthy growth. That is often a challenge in the darker months like January and February.
Plants abort their flowers or fruits because there is not enough light and protect themselves for not carrying through the development of their flowers or fruit. Plants that stretch for light develop thinner stems. That’s why high value greenhouse crops like flowers need extra “sunlight” coming from hydro. Bean growers know that sunlight hours are crucial for beans that are highly sensitive. Highly sensitive to shorter days. That’s why we usually do not plant a crop in the shorter days after the 24th of June. A plant knows if it is planted before June 24 or after and will react accordingly with a shorter growth and smaller yield. But the Sun (along with water) is the source of life in many many aspects. If we would have no sunlight, we would die very quickly. Our world would fall apart in a very short time and we would not survive. Dark will bring coldness as soon as the sunsets. Imagine if the sun would not come up tomorrow. There would be not even Moonshine to light up on the sky as well. It would be pitch dark for all. What would happen to us? It is similar to what happens to us in terms of darkness in our heart and mind. When we cannot see the light it is because we are either physically blind or we are blinded in our minds – blinded in our minds because we do not want to see, because we don’t want to deal with issues. Our mind is actually capable of ignoring so that we actually do not see. We call that, turning a ‘blind eye’ to something or sticking our head in to sand so we can’t see nor hear because we do not want to. We leave our candidate in the 1st degree in a dark state and how helpless he is in that state. What a big deal it is when we make him see…’and God said there will be light…and there was light’. In our own lives perhaps we know from our own experience or the experience of a family member or friend what it means to be in depression or being sad. That’s when our soul and mind is in darkness. There are of course all kinds of different shades of darkness. But darkness can make us negative, it makes us quiet, we have less energy. We do not want to actually be out and see the sun.
When I was younger, not too much younger, I drank too much (a very few times). The next morning I didn’t want to see the sun either. My headache could not take the bright sun. I say this as most of us have experienced this at least once in their lifetime (with perhaps a few exceptions). When we talk about a Lodge ‘going dark’ we know what that means. But usually it doesn’t go just from bright light to darkness. There is a process and something happens in Lodge life, or in personal life, that will slowly suck us in to dark places. And that’s the issue that will challenge us to look back up to the bright side. It becomes more difficult when we feel things are not going so well. Perhaps it is because of a life experience: a divorce, a loss of job, a loss of dignity or many other reasons. In lodge life, it could be because we are not getting enough new members and we become worried.
And Worry. What does worry do? It sure ain’t getting us to the bright side. And as long as these issues linger in our lives, as long as darkness is around us, it will work on us until we give up. Darkness wants us to give up. Depression want us to give up – sometimes even death in the worst cases. That’s when it would be good to have a foundation that is built on a rock solid cornerstone that will keep us from getting close to these dark places. Quite the contrary, a rock solid foundation give us the tools to seek the bright sun – the energy. The energy for life and excitement. Yes, sometimes that could mean change, it could mean that we need to do things that we never thought we would do but there is the bright site after going through the dark.
Brethren there are many more examples of light and dark that could apply. All experiences have the same result. The sun is the upside, the positive that gives us energy to overcome anything. The darkness has no hope and no faith and no future. We need to be like the plants that are in the dark and stretch and stretch until they find light. Did you ever have a potato in your basement? They grow out a white root looking for light until it dies. Until it has nothing left of the energy from that potato inside and just dies but until it does, it will fight to see the light. What an energy!
That’s why the Master sits in the East where the rising sun is there to enlighten the day. That’s where the work happens. And so are old churches where the altar sits in the east where the sunlight is. There are many symbols that point to the east for that reason. The apron of our Grand Masters includes the Sun right in the middle.
This Lodge is called Morningstar. The Morningstar is sitting where the sun will be – in the East. The Sun is our natural energy that gives plants animals and ourselves life. In the morning, in the east, when the sun comes up a new bright future comes up and a new energy is supplied to do the work. It will vanish all worries that we might have had during a sleepless night. It can vanish all darkness but we need to ensure we open the shutters and windows to let the sun in. We have the possibility to open our eyes, we have the opportunity to let the sun shine in to our dark places. It is our responsibility to let the sun into our hearts and into our minds and let the sun stimulate our bright site of life so much, that we inspire others that are perhaps sitting in the dark. But we have to be careful that our egos do not stand in the sun and put others into shady dark places. We do have the opportunity to influence our lives – to let light in and keep the darkness out. We can shut the door of our hearts and not open them for light, perhaps denying others the bright loving light. So, we should take heed when we play with light.
There is no-where so much darkness, that the daylight cannot reach. Only hiding places will. But hiding places is not the natural way to get energy. A good strong cornerstone built in the brightness of Light will protect us from darkness, and holds us on strong grounds when we are not able to see.
Thank you brethren.