L’Union Franciase 17

Posted by on Oct 7, 2014 in Travelers Corner | 0 comments

[NOTE: This is not our home lodge but is a lodge that one of our brethen has visited. Our lodge is located in the San Francisco Bay Area.On a recent trip to NYC, I decided to ping Brother Michael C., with whom I share memberships in research societies and lodges. Being a brother from NYC, he quickly inquired around and found out the French Lodge L’Union Francaise 17 was meeting during a night I was free.] L’Union Francaise has a very rich history (founded in 1773 and chartered in NY in 1797) that can be found on their website at: http://www.unionfrancaise.org/TranslationPage.html Bro Michael made the necessary contact and next thing I know, we were invited by the equivalent of District Inspectors (District Deputy Grand Master). Since I arrived a bit in advance, I decided to visit the library. There, beside discovering they have a massive list of masonic books, all kept in a secure, temperature controlled room, I saw some very emotionally charged object such as these French masonic jewels recovered from the Gestapo Headquarters in Berlin by GIs and Brethren. The brethren who were the rightful owners of these had probably died in the end of the ruthless criminal Nazi regime. I also saw one of the rare numbered copies of the Processus Contra Templarios, the book published in 2007 from the secret archives of the Vatican and that mostly show that the Templars were originally declared innocent by the Inquisition before the pope, under pressure from the King of France reversed that original ruling. The proceedings were then sealed in secrecy for more than 700 years. Finally, time arrived when I presented myself to the members of L’UF17. There I was received and quickly vouched by the District Deputy GM who knew about my visit but also about the “standard” paperwork from the GL of California. Each and every one of the brethren shake my hand with a big smile saying they were happy to have a visitor from the West. That night, in addition to brother Michael and I, another brother from the GLNF in France was visiting. Then, the calendar of events that night was communicated. Stated meeting AND 3 second degrees. In my mind, this was going to be a long evening. When the meeting started, WM Alan B. decided to invite me to a seat in the East (the perk of being an Inspector). From there, I had a partially obstructed view of the floor and thought it will be hard to fully see the degrees. However, to my surprise, and also feeling honored and privileged, they decided that the 3 visitors will be the guide for each candidate at the 2nd degree....

Read More

Warmth and Welcome

Posted by on Oct 7, 2014 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

Across the crowd-thronged city ways When night hangs black and friendless there, A tide of strangers ebbs and plays Along each cheerless thoroughfare, And never a face lights up to see One’s self to pass, and none to care How lone and wary one may be. ‘Tis then unto one’s Lodge one turns For there he finds within the door The fire of hearty welcome burns; If one’s not known its flames the more Send forth a warmth his breast to fill Until he finds his joy returns Within that haven of good will. The Mason’s secret lies in this,— “A stranger here, ye took me in”’ It’s Royal Art would stray amiss Amid the world’s harsh hue and din If warmth and welcome were to die; Its greatest strength in these consists; Of these is made its Mystic Tie. H.L....

Read More


Posted by on Jul 1, 2014 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

The only end to the human problem is love. The only end to war is love. The only end to family discords and hates is love. The only solution to every uncertainty that plagues us today among nations and individuals, the only thing that can lead to honesty, integrity and honor in world affairs and in the development of our own characters, is that we shall learn how to love. In order that we may learn to love, we must learn to discover in everything around us that we are in the presence of an eternal love that is so great and so wise that there is no place in it for hate. We find understanding, courage, wisdom, insight by uniting our own small affection with that vast affection which is the infinite itself. We understand God only by love. In its highest expression, love means not that we will be happy, but that we shall give happiness; we must learn to love change, and then its pain is no more. We shall learn to love the comings and goings of things, because these are a part of life. In the springtime we must love the bursting forth of the twigs and branches and buds upon the trees; in summer we must learn to love the great fields of yellow grain; in autumn we must learn to love the changing of colors and the falling of the leaves; and in winter we must learn to love the snow and the bare branches which symbolize death. We must learn to find beauty in all these changes. We must find the love of God in that which God gives, and we must find the love of God in that which God taketh away. Beyond our small decisions and our little judgments, there is this infinite love that takes all things to itself. All things, in their proper time, return to the heart of God. Manly Palmer Hall Submitted by: Brother John Logan Parsons...

Read More

Seattle, WA

Posted by on Apr 7, 2014 in Travelers Corner | 0 comments

Doing the packing for one of my trips, I wasn’t sure if I should take my apron or no. It found a small place in my suitcase and on my way, I arrived in Seattle. On the first night, my business dinner was re-scheduled to the next day for lunch. This gave me a precious free evening. At that point, having not contacted the GL of CA for official presentation, I just searched the web to find lodges around the Seattle area. One that got my attention was Eureka #20, for it was a sciences lodge. Their website presented some recent events where the lodge sponsored a Science Fair (Washington State Science and Engineering Fair (WSSEF) and Seattle Public Schools Middle School Science Fair), in Seattle which for me was a big deal. http://www.eurekamasons.org/ After reaching out to the Secretary, I presented myself at the Green Lake Masonic Temple. There, after pushing the door, I moved upstairs where all the Brethren were having dinner. After a brief chat, the WM verified my credentials and invited me for dinner. Little to say, this is quite an interesting lodge. Brethren from all nationalities are there, Korea, Turkey, Germany, etc…and also it is a family affair, with the current WM having his brother, father and nephew being members of the lodge. And in a funny twist, their Inspector (aka District Deputy Grand Master) was also there as well as the Grand Tiler. After chatting with the Inspector (VW Bro Richie), we discovered we had a lot of common contacts around Europe. This was quite fun. They also assisted at the visit of MW Ken Nagel few years back. Another thing that also got my attention was beautiful paintings which were made by a local brother. The representations of the 3 degrees symbols, especially the 3rd one were mesmerizing. I was received and introduced with a battery of 3 and presented the lapel pin of GL and coin from Peninsula 168 to the WM and the VW District GM. In return, they presented me their own tokens of appreciation. Trying to find a taxi for my return to the hotel, a brother offered me to give me a ride. Half way to the hotel, I told him I hoped he was not going out of his way. He laughed and said he lived actually the opposite direction but I would not have found a cab that night and the walk was long. That’s what Masons do. Going out of their way and brushing the effort required with a joke. Good laugh to end a nice evening. I am sure glad I took my apron that morning. On another note, Eureka #20 also has...

Read More

The Mystery Schools

Posted by on Apr 1, 2014 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

Three steps (degrees) lead up to the temple door, and all who wish to enter, whatever their race or their religion, must climb them. There is no other legitimate way of gaining wisdom. Those who seek to enter the temple of the Mysteries by any way other than the gate appointed by the Masters, the same are thieves and robbers. Man is willing to spend from ten to fifteen years on his material education in order that he may surpass his fellow man in some pursuit. Should he, then, expect to attain his spiritual wisdom in any shorter time? The position a person occupies in the Mystery Schools is not the result of choice, ballot or election; it is his life and the way that he lives it that is the determining factor in all his spiritual studies. He is automatically placed upon the path of wisdom according to his vices and virtues. The rapidity of his advancement depends wholly upon his own merits- the sincerity, integrity, and devotion which marks his daily life. He may remain many years in one grade or pass like a comet through many grades in a few years. This depends entirely on how sincerely and honestly he has labored and how completely he has mastered the temperaments and failings which hold him back. Here are a series of suggestive rules for those who desire to become true students of wisdom. Learn to cast away from thee all vile affections and in constancy of mind let all thy dealings be free from deceit and hypocrisy. Keep thine own and thy neighbor’s secrets; court not the favors of the rich; despise not the poor, for he who does will be poorer than the poorest. Give to the needy and unfortunate what little thou canst spare; for he that has but little, whatever he spares to the miserable, god shall amply reward him. Be merciful to those who offend thee or who have injured thee; for what shall man’s heart be who would take heavy vengeance on slight offense? Be not hasty to condemn the actions of others, lest thou shouldst, the next hour, fall into the very same error; despise scandal and tattling; and let thy words be few. Study day and night and supplicate thy creator that he would be pleased to grant thee knowledge and understanding. Covet not much gold, but learn to be satisfied with enough; for to desire more than enough is to offend the Deity. Manly Palmer Hall Submitted by: Brother John Logan Parsons...

Read More

The Theory of Education

Posted by on Mar 1, 2014 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

Blind condemnation is as superstitious as blind acceptance. We would humbly remind the scientist that astrology, for example, has not been scientifically disproved. We can find no record of any scientific body examining and analyzing the premises of the starry science. On the other hand, we have plentiful evidence of so-called learned men who, scarcely knowing one astronomical symbol from another, are so ‘’unscientific’’ as to base their judgment not upon examination and observation but upon the bigotry of their colleagues. Incidentally, there is no man alive actually qualified to disprove the existence of God, and yet the more materialistic in the realms of science depart so far from the trestle board of their craft that they begrudge Deity the meager benefit of the doubt! The presence of supreme intelligence directing creation may not be demonstrable to the physical sense perceptions or to a mind firmly grounded in mechanistic theory. Yet it is not a scientific ‘’fact’’ that God does not exist, nor is it a scientific ‘’fact’’ that cabalism is a superstition, nor is it a scientific ‘’fact’’ that alchemists were mad, nor is it a scientific ‘’fact’’ that the ancients suffered from a common benightedness, nor is it a scientific ‘’fact’’ that miracles are frauds. These are opinions held by certain groups, but while opinions may be very intriguing to those who chance to hold them, they demonstrate nothing; they neither prove nor disprove anything, and for the most part clutter up the field of learning. Opinion is the antipode of wisdom, and the fewer the opinions the greater the likelihood of intelligence. Mysticism is not a vagary to amuse superannuated midwives. It is a distinct department of learning which, if given proper consideration and opportunity, could make a definite contribution to world normalcy and well-being. Manly Palmer Hall Submitted by: Brother John Logan Parsons...

Read More

Purification of the Mind

Posted by on Feb 1, 2014 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

No one can speak ill of another without making the illness his own, because the one speaking ill of others is ill himself. Thus the purification of the mind, from a moral point of view, should be learned in one’s everyday life by trying to consider things sympathetically, favorably, by looking at others as one looks at oneself, by putting oneself in their position instead of accusing others on seeing their infirmities. Souls on earth are born imperfect and show imperfection, and from this they develop naturally, coming to perfection. If all were perfect, there would have been no purpose in their creation. And manifestation has taken place so that every being here may rise from imperfection towards perfection. That is the object and joy of life, and for that this world was created. And if we expected every person to be perfect and conditions to be perfect, then there would be no joy in living and no purpose in coming here. Purification of the mind therefore means to rid it of all undesirable impressions; not only of the shortcomings of others, but one must arrive at the stage where one forgets one’s own shortcomings. I have seen righteous people who have accused themselves of their errors until they became errors themselves. Concentrating all the time on error means engraving the error upon the mind. The best principle is to forget others and forget ourselves, and to set our minds upon accumulating all that is good and beautiful. When in this world of imperfection we seek for all that is good and beautiful, there are many chances of disappointment. But at the same time if we keep on looking for it- not looking at the dust but looking for the gold- we shall find it. And once we begin to find it we shall find more and more. There comes a time in the life of a man when he can see some good in the worst man in the world. And when he has reached that point, though the good were covered with a thousand covers, he would put his hand on what is good, because he looks for good and attracts what is good. Hazrat Inayat Khan ( Spiritual Dimensions of...

Read More

Ten Symbolic Aphorisms of Pythagoras

Posted by on Nov 1, 2013 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

I. Declining from the public ways, walk in unfrequented paths. By this it is to be understood that those who desire wisdom must seek it in solitude. II. Govern your tongue before all other things, following the gods. This aphorism warns man that his words, instead of representing him, misrepresent him, and that when in doubt as to what he should say, he should always be silent. III. The wind blowing, adore the sound. Pythagoras here reminds his disciples that the fiat of God is heard in the voice of the elements, and that all things in Nature manifest through harmony, rhythm, IV. Assist a man in raising a burden; but do not assist him in laying it down. The student is instructed to aid the diligent but never to assist those who seek to evade their responsibilities, for it is a great sin to encourage indolence. V. Speak not about Pythagoric concerns without light. The world is herein warned that it should not attempt to interpret the mysteries of God and the secrets of the sciences without spiritual and intellectual illumination. VI. Having departed from your house, turn not back, for the furies will be your attendants. Pythagoras here warns his followers that any who begin the search for truth and, after having learned part of the mystery, become discouraged and attempt to return again to their former ways of vice and ignorance, will suffer exceedingly; for it is better to know nothing about Divinity than to learn a little and then stop without learning all. VII. Nourish a cock, but sacrifice it not; for it is sacred to the sun and moon. Two great lessons are concealed in this aphorism. The first is a warning against the sacrifice of living things to the gods, because life is sacred and man should not destroy it even as an offering to the Deity. The second warns man that the human body here referred to as a cock is sacred to the sun (God) and the moon (Nature), and should be guarded and preserved as man’s most precious medium of expression. Pythagoras also warned his disciples against suicide. VIII. Receive not a swallow into your house. This warns the seeker after truth not to allow drifting thoughts to come into his mind nor shiftless persons to enter into his life. He must ever surround himself with rationally inspired thinkers and with conscientious workers. IX. Offer not your right hand easily to anyone. This warns the disciple to keep his own counsel and not offer wisdom and knowledge (his right hand) to such as are incapable of appreciating them. The hand here represents Truth, which raises those who have fallen because...

Read More

When a Man is a Mason

Posted by on Aug 1, 2013 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

When is a man a Mason? When he can look out over the rivers, the hill, and the far horizon with a profound sense of his own littleness in he vast scheme of things, and het yet have faith, hope and courage. When he knows that down in his heart every man is as noble, as vile, as divine, as diabolic, and as lonely as himself, and seeks to know, to forgive and to love his fellow man. When he knows how to sympathize with men in their sorrow, yea, even in their sins—knowing that each man fights a hard fight against many odds. When he has learned how to make friend and to keep them, and above all how to keep friends with himself. When he loves flowers, can hunt the birds without a gun and feels the thrill of an old forgotten joy when he hears the laugh of a little child. When he can be happy and high-minded amid the meaner drudgeries of life. When star-crowned trees and the glint of sunlight on flowing waters subdue him like the thought of one much loved and long dead. When no voice of distress reaches his ears in vain, and no hand seeks his aid without response. When he finds good in every faith that helps any man to lay hold of higher things, and to see majestic meanings in life, whatever the name of that faith may be. When he can look into a wayside puddle and see something besides mud, and into the face of the most forlorn mortal and see something beyond sin. When he knows how to pray, how to love, how to hope. When he has kept faith with himself, with his fellow man, with his God; in his hand a sword for evil, in his heart a bit of a song—glad to live, but not afraid to die! In such a man, whether he be rich or poor, scholarly or unlearned, famous or obscure, Masonry has wrought her sweet ministry! Such a man has found the only real secret of Masonry, and the one which it is trying to give to all the world. Joseph Fort...

Read More

Masonic Reveries

Posted by on Jul 1, 2013 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

As we observe the officers, how well they fill their stations; We should remember, but for Masonry we would have no nation. From a blue Lodge in Virginia, where Washington was brought to light;Seven revolutionary Generals, Bravely went forth to fight. It was from there that John Paul Jones, in the very same manner, Received his Masonic degrees, then raised the Colonial banner. He took his little fighting ship only a small windjammer; He bearded the lion in his den, caused the lords to stew and stammer. He raked their ships with shot and shell, in a very hostile manner, As the sun was setting in the west, the British dipped their banner. The night before a battle, Washington’s soldiers hungry, barefoot, cold; The camp was full of traitors, offering British gold. In such a desperate situation, Washington had never been before; But he remembered the words of the Master, in Fredericksburg lodge Number 4. He put on his hat and top coat and went out beneath a tree; He prayed to the Grand Architect of Heaven, for further light in Masonry. Then slowly walked back to the camp, tomorrow would be the fight; He issued his famous order, Only Masons on guard tonight. History records it differently, it says only Americans on guard tonight; But Washington knew all Americans had not been brought to light. He scouted his camp for soldiers, who had worn the apron white, Who had stood in the Northeast corner, and at Masonry’s altar had received the light. When the guard was finally mounted, Washington knew one thing at least, His camp was securely guarded, and he could rest in peace. By John T. Jordan Submitted by Bro. John Logan Parsons,...

Read More