Recently on Jeffrey Parham's blog Masonic Reflections, I found these words in an article called "Once a Mason," where he was reflecting upon the passing of a brother:
At the core “being” of everyone is the “I Am” or “I Be.” This is an undeniable statement of worth, for if you are included in the Grand Design to be given that spark of life, [then] that droplet of the divine resides within all of us, to give us that quintessential worth of being.
The outer core or influence is what our biological natures have evolved to survive; it is the “I Do,” the behaviors that our personality has developed to get us through life’s trials.
Masonry seeks to support these elements of our nature by validating the “I Am” and supporting the “I Do” through the degrees of Masonry and the societal structure of the fraternity. The final vestige of the Master is the “I Will Be,” the culmination and acceptance in a life well spent that prepares us for that Celestial Lodge above.
Worshipful Brother Parham's words are quite beautiful, but they strike a deeper chord with me than merely literary. In these words I see the understanding that each of us is infinitely worthy, and that while we may rise and fall, succeed and struggle, we're all not just "children of God" but are a part of the Whole that is God, the All That Is.
I don't see us as little lost sheep in need of saving. We are Divine Sparks of the Whole, seeking our way back to the Center. Every man, woman and child is a Star.
In W. Bro. Parham's address during his installation as Master of his lodge, he said simply, "Masonry is a living myth, the story of the hero, who after a series of trials overcomes evil by his innate goodness."
Masonry reflects a man's life. Masonry is life. We're all living the Myth. And we are all the Hero with a Thousand Faces.
Professor Joseph Campbell's book Hero with a Thousand Faces describes the universal hero's monomyth. The monomyth not only describes every myth and religious story you've ever heard, and most every movie you've ever seen, in general — it describes your life!
- The Call to Adventure
- Refusal of the Call
- Supernatural Aid
- The Crossing of the First Threshold
- The Belly of the Whale
- The Road of Trials
- The Meeting with the Goddess
- Woman as the Temptress
- Atonement with the Father
- The Ultimate Boon
- Refusal of the Return
- The Magic Flight
- Rescue from Without
- The Crossing of the Return Threshold
- Master of the Two Worlds
- Freedom to Live
How to Read a Myth: Joseph Campbell’s Ten Commandments for Reading Mythology
1. Read myths with the eyes of wonder: the myths transparent to their universal meaning, their meaning transparent to its mysterious source.
2. Read myths in the present tense: Eternity is now.
3. Read myths in the first person plural: the Gods and Goddesses of ancient mythology still live within you.
4. Any myth worth its salt exerts a powerful magnetism. Notice the images and stories that you are drawn to and repelled by. Investigate the field of associated images and stories.
5. Look for patterns; don’t get lost in the details. What is needed is not more specialized scholarship, but more interdisciplinary vision. Make connections; break old patterns of thought.
6. Resacrilize the secular: even a dollar bill reveals the imprint of Eternity.
7. If God is everywhere, then myths can be generated anywhere, anytime, by anything. Don’t let your Romantic aversion to science blind you to the Buddha in the computer chip.
8. Know your tribe! Myths never arise in a vacuum; they are the connective tissue of the social body which enjoys synergistic relations with dreams (private myths) and rituals (the enactment of a myth).
9. Expand your horizon! Any mythology worth remembering will be global in scope. The earth is our home and humankind is our family.
10. Read between the lines! Literalism kills; imagination quickens.
Mythology | Joseph Campbell | Hero with a Thousand Faces