Masonic Spring Workshop 1990 Part Three
David A. McCormick
I Have a Dream, A Song to Sing To Help me Cope with Anything
If You See the Wonder of a Fairy Tale You Can Take the Future, Even if you fail,
I Have a Dream, A Fantasy to Help Me Through Reality And my Destination makes it Worth the While Pushing through the Darkness still another Mile I Believe in Angels, Something good in everything I see, I Believe in Angels, when I Know the time is right for me, I Will Cross the Stream, I have a Dream.
Some of you may know this song, I Have a Dream. It was made popular by a group known as ABBA in the early 1980s. I have used a portion of it to introduce some ideas about Masonry Tomorrow or Masonry in the Future.
First, we know Masonry is a living and growing entity. It prepares us for the future. Lao Tzu has said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” But where do we begin? The answer is simple, you begin just where you are. “If thou but settest foot on the path thou shall see it everywhere.” This is a quote from Hermus Trismegistus.
Preparing this paper has been extremely exciting for me. It has stimulated my unworked brain cells into action. It has stirred and awakened my imagination.
Something I would like to share with you, this weekend, we have heard about our past our present and now our future. Has anyone noticed how the speakers were placed? Our past and our present were talked about by two very experienced and seasoned Masons. I would like to thank both Jack and Myron for giving us some further light, and giving us encouragement to search for more light with their excellent presentations.
I have “Dared to Dream” - Stan, does this sound familiar? Our dream is to seek further light in Masonry. Our dream is to make the future and also live the future. A very beautiful lady said, “I touch the future, I am a teacher.” This was Christa MaCauliffe, a grade school teacher and an Astronaut who was on the Challenger Mission in 1986. Her words are so true for us in the Masonic order. We too are teachers. Our first step into Masonry is as an Entered Apprentice. This, as we know, is where we take a Candidate and introduce him into our order. By teaching him, and tutoring him, not to just the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason, but beyond.
This is where I would boldly like to go where no man has gone before, on an Educational Adventure into the future, and add some more light to the coming light.
Knowledge is attained by degrees. Wisdom dwells in contemplation; there we must seek her.
This is the start of the recipe for success, this is where we take our dream, mix it with motivation and action, add long hours of practice, dedication and discipline, finally giving us our dream.
Through the lectures we are taught and then finally participate in:
By teaching them to others, deal with the future. The Scriptures lay the foundation upon which we build a righteous life. Our lecture about the lambskin talks about the future. And, of course, the North East Corner, this above all lectures, I believe, sticks out in all Masons minds. It, too, deals with the future. “...and, from the foundation laid this evening, may you raise a superstructure perfect in its parts...” Perfection is here. I t is attained by a process of taking away; no stroke of gavel or chisel can add anything to a rough ashlar; it may only remove. Perfection, then is already within.
The famous sculptor, Gutron Borglum (a Freemason), asked how he carved stone into statues, answered, “It is very simple. I knock away with hammer and chisel the stone I do not need and the statue is there - it was there all the time.”
In the Volume of the Sacred Law we read, “The kingdom of heaven is within you.” Images are made by a process of taking away. The perfection is already within. All that is required is to remove the roughness. “...divesting our hearts and consciences of the vices and superfluities of life...” to show forth the perfect man and Mason, and to find the kingdom within.
Masonry is also a progressive science. Continuing further, as we advance in stages, we are continually learning and being taught. One of the seven liberal arts and sciences, we are taught, is Astronomy. This is a “sublime science, which inspires the contemplative mind to soar aloft and perceive the wisdom, Strength and Beauty of the great Creator in the heavens.”
I attended a workshop last fall to do with my work and our Instructor, Dr. Jim Reubian, talked about the future and how we were in the pre-colonization age. That is, we are now building space stations to take us further out into space and start colonizing. The drawings on the boards are now being built; the technology is advancing at an ever-accelerating pace. A new computer chip has just been developed called the fuzzy chip. It has the ability to judge and reason, in that the old technology or binary system, which is very basic, is either on/off: yes/no. The fuzzy chip can judge and will either slow down, speed up, or be incremental. These things have come from dreams, from ambitions, from planning and I will go so far as to say as being from Masons. Our dreams will take us into the future. Our initial beginnings in Masonry came from within. Therefore our future will come from within. Within every one of us, the future comes from building faith. The first step being dreaming. This is faith taking the first cautious step. Mountain moving faith begins with a dream. Unquestionably, the greatest power in the world is a creative idea.
All success begins with a dream.
Scientists at the Brain Research Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles believe that the creative capacity of the human brain approaches infinity. Your brain can store, combine, and create, more bits of information and imagery than thousands of videotape recorders, tens of thousands of computers and millions of microfilm cartridges. There are no limits other than the self-imposed. So, don’t censor your dreams - give them free reign.
A potent quote from Woodrow Wilson, a former President of the United States of America, says:
We grow great by our dreams. All big men are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in the red fire of a long winter’s evening. Some of us let these great dreams die, but others nourish and protect them, nurse them through the bad days till they bring them to the sunshine and light, which comes always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true.
Dreams and imagination go hand in hand. The Aluminum Company of America coined a wonderful word: “Imagineering.” It means letting your imagination soar and then engineering will make it happen.
Another word I would like to introduce to you was once lost and now is found. It came to light when I was asked to present this paper. Why are we here this weekend? And what are we doing? We are sharing thoughts. This word will give a new meaning to the Banff Springs Workshop and will probably be introduced as its new Logo. I learned of it from the Canadian Bible Society. A minister who was in Africa, spreading the good word in one of the back regions needed a word for Church, or gathering of people. The word that the Villagers gave him was this “Haimunsheeigungakhetigwagfiya”. It translates into this - A place where people habitually and reciprocally come to hear one another’s thoughts. So next year when the posters come out, they will read - 26th Anniversary Haimunsheenigungakhetigwaguya, Banff Alberta. One important thing about this word, is the placement of the accent. It must fall on the next to the last syllable, or it takes on an entirely different meaning.
Another ingredient to the future is enthusiasm, which we get from living Masonry. True enthusiasm, however, has very little to do with outward exuberance and very much to do with an inner fire. The word enthusiasm stems from the Greek word Enthous, meaning inspired, and the word enthous is derived from an even more ancient Greek word that combines Theos, which means God, and Entos, meaning within. So the original use of the term “Enthusiasm” literally means “The Spirit of God within you.”
The Supreme Architect of Heaven and builder of the Universe created all the beauty of this earth; is the source of all goodness, truth and love; is the Spirit who energizes us, encourages, truth and love; is the Spirit who energizes us, encourages us, enriches us with the fervour to excel. When we come to understand that God’s spirit is always within, we will be surprised by the joy and unbounded enthusiasm we have burning inside.
The great writer, Ralph Waldo Emerson observed, “We do not yet trust the unknown powers of thought,” No matter who is or what job he holds, it is the man who uses his brain who will gain the most power.
How can we harness this power? Let’s look at what power is.
P - Power is Purpose. Ideas, dreams, and goals - any product of the mind’s eye harnessed to a purpose will produce a storehouse of power.
O - Power is Open-mindedness. It is having a mind open to new ideas. It is thinking unfettered by preconceived notions.
W - Power is Wisdom. It means strength tempered by good judgment, combined with learning and knowledge.
E - Power is Energy. It is the engine of work, the force of human expression. The capacity for action.
R - Power is Responsibility. The greater the power the greater the responsibility. Power united to responsibility is the source of good works and the increased well-being of all. The definition of power is not force or manipulation or domain over others. Power is the ability, the vigor, the strength to influence others and to control our own density.
This brings up two important questions that I must ask. With what you have heard not only tonight but in the two other papers, Can man become a Master of his Destiny? If so, what is the Destiny of Freemasonry?The time has come to close my Brother but before I do I would like to do a quick summary. My topic was Masonry Tomorrow, which was introduced by a dream. Masonry is ‘a - living’ program, coming from within. I introduced you to some science, a little Astronomy, some technology, taught you a new word, talked about the Great Architect of the Universe, enthusiasm, power - all being presented as an Educational Adventure in Masonry Back to the Future - and closed with two questions. I have also tried to call upon the three essential senses peculiar to Masonry, hearing, seeing and feeling. You have heard a small portion about the future. Just look around this hall, you see the future and best of all, with every brother we greet this weekend with a handshake and a smile, we touch the future and will continue to do so.