I am an advocate by profession. I am currently concluding a long career with one of our failed state-owned enterprises. I am fortunate enough to be married to the love of my life (who also happens to be a very competent attorney) for almost thirty years now. We have a grown-up son who is successfully finding his own feet in the world. My better half and I are also fervent animal lovers and live on a smallholding overflowing with dogs, cats, horses and other animals.
I was initiated into Koh – I – Noor Lodge No 79 on 5 August 2018.
It seems serendipitous that my (slightly late) introduction to Freemasonry came at a time in my life when I was, for various reasons, undertaking serious introspection and earnestly pondering that one small but evasive question so eloquently posed in “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”: What is the meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything?
Having been inducted to Freemasonry for all of five minutes, it would be ridiculously presumptuous and stupid for me to claim any practical knowledge and understanding of either our organisation or our craft. There is much, much to learn before I would even consider any attempt to make such claims.
While, rationally, I realised that this would not be the case. I must admit that I joined Freemasonry with the faint (albeit unrealistic) hope that I would somehow be provided ready-made answers to my ponderings. Instant enlightenment – that sort of thing. Ironically, in an unexpected sense, that is kind of what happened.
I quickly realised that Masonry was an ongoing journey and not some instant destination. The value is to be found in the journey itself. No ready answers are available – they remain your own to seek. What is available is the collective knowledge, wisdom and guidance of fellow travellers both current and those who have gone before.
I am finding the first charge to the apprentice to “know thyself” to be at the same time more profound and more difficult than one would ever imagine at first glance. Anyone who seriously attempts this would know. Any apprentice who lightly “glosses over” this requirement is doing themselves a huge disservice. While it is undoubtedly difficult and at times downright unpleasant to get to grips with who you really are, it is ultimately rewarding and constitutes the indispensable and crucial starting point for a truly meaningful Masonic journey. Oh, and I also figured out that this – in and of itself – presents an ongoing responsibility that would never cease, regardless of the degree you obtain or however long and illustrious your Masonic career might be.
I do not intend this to sound selfish. Still, the Masonic journey I embarked upon is one of the few things I have ever done simply for my own gratification. No pressure to obtain a required qualification as soon as practically possible or further a profession or career. While I entirely understand why some brothers are motivated to race through the degrees at a blistering pace (and I do not fault them for it) my priorities at this stage of my life are different. I fully intend to “stop and smell the flowers” this time around. I want to immerse myself in the experience at my leisure and take the time to enjoy every minute thoroughly.