My journey in the craft began on the auspicious date of 4 July 2019. For much of my life, as someone passionate about both clinical medicine and medical research. I have striven to embrace my mental faculties while playing rugby, regular gym routines and mixed martial arts have aided in building up my physical faculties. The missing aspect of my life has always been a focus on spiritual and moral development. It was for this reason and with a fair degree of intrigue that I approached the fraternity. While both my maternal grandfather and great grandfather were Freemasons, it had skipped a generation, so I was left with speculation and veneration for this unique and mystical brotherhood.
The night of my initiation was particularly special and memorable, while my passing to the second degree was another splendid occasion. However, it is the growth which I have seen in myself and my brethren that has astounded me the most. Freemasonry provides an allegorical message, by way of dramatic ritual, coupled with respect and comradery that reveals a reliable path towards virtue. This is captured succinctly in our first-degree ritual “Freemasonry is the continued effort to exalt the nobler nature over the ignoble, the spiritual over the material, and the divine in man over the human.”
On the occasions when I have had the opportunity to visit other lodges, both within the GLSA, and our sister constitutions, I have been struck by the amity – for no more apt word exists. “Freemasonry is an organization of men who strive to live by the fundamental principles of integrity, goodwill and charity. It unifies men of high ideals regardless of colour, creed or worldly status” This unity and amity is genuinely palpable in lodge, and perhaps even more so at our festive boards.
The questions of what it means to be moral, and how does one become a person of high moral character have troubled philosophers for millennia, and while I make no claims about Freemasonry being the only pathway through which these questions can be answered, it is certainly, in my experience, one of the most efficient. This is why in my essay for the first degree, I made the argument that Freemasonry is uniquely suited for ensuring personal moral development, cultivating harmonious interpersonal accord, and facilitating the growth of a principled society. I stand by this view.
Freemasonry is “a life to be lived, not a formality to be observed; a life to be lived, not only a set of empty creeds to which lip-service only is given. It is life grounded in religion, organized in morality, mellowed by good fellowship, humanized in charity, and dedicated to service.” I look forward to this life, with a fire reignited by our noble and ancient craft.