Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Power of Myth: Thou Art That

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!

I. Departure
  • The Call to Adventure
  • Refusal of the Call
  • Supernatural Aid
  • The Crossing of the First Threshold
  • The Belly of the Whale
II. Initiation
  • The Road of Trials
  • The Meeting with the Goddess
  • Woman as the Temptress
  • Atonement with the Father
  • Apotheosis
  • The Ultimate Boon
III. Return
  • 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.

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  1. Each and every time I log on to your blog I learn yet another bit of info regarding freemasonry. I thought you explained it before, but once again the light beams brighter with each article, and that I thank you for.

  2. We're glad you find our site interesting and enlightening. Please visit often!

    — Mary and the Widow's Son


  3. 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."

    The Bible is clear that all people are born as "little lost sheep" in need of saving!

    Romans 3:10 - none righteous
    Romans 5:12 - related to Adam - sinful by nature

    The act of man overcoming his own "trials" by his innate goodness is truly a MYTH itself. Man has no innate goodness that enables him to overcome self, sin, or any trial of life. In the end, apart from God, all men are guilty and deserve eternal hell.

    Christ Jesus provides salvation from sin. He came and died upon the cross, shed His royal blood, and was buried in a borrowed tomb. On the third day, He rose from the dead, and He is alive in Heaven today.

    Romans 10:13 tells us that - whosoever will call upon His name and ask for forgiveness - believing that He is truly the Son of God and possessing the power to forgive sin - will be forgiven!

    May God save sinners! May it be done for His glory! And we know it must be done through His grace - not freemasonry or any craft!

    For the glory of God!

    Josh Buice

  4. Josh,

    thank you for clarifying that point. Although this site always provides good information about freemasonry - I always get the picture that freemasonry is the way to heaven === so it seems in the writings on this site.



  5. Tom,

    Glad to have you here.

    As I've written many times here and as it says in the disclaimer at the bottom of the page, this website does not reflect any official position of Freemasonry. We are not here trying to point you or anyone to Heaven.

    Had it not been for Josh's attacks on Freemasonry on his own blog, the tone and direction of our blog would probably have been different. So yes, Josh has had a positive influence upon us, but not in the way he must think.

    Mary and I are seekers after Truth. I spent many — too many — years as a baptized, believing member of a Baptist church, and I can gum-flap and parrot Bible verses as well as Josh can, maybe better. Mary's religious background is more diverse. Her upbringing wasn't very religious, but as an adult she's been a member of both a Baptist church and a Mormon church, and investigated other Christian groups and denominations, finding little of in any of themr. Neither of us today buys into Josh's version of the Myth.

    We're not here to save anyone. Your Journey back to the Center is your own, and we wish you well.

    We're just here sharing what we've learned, pointing the reader to things he or she may not have discovered yet on his or her own through reading, surfing the web, or meditation.

    Right now I have an interest in what has been called Astro-theology. The "gods of the sky" seem to have been the basis of, or influenced most religions, major and minor, as well as the Mystery Schools, including Freemasonry.

    Enjoy. Learn. Believe if you want to. But find your own way to Heaven. We're not selling tickets here.


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