The Darkest Light in Lodge
Bro. R Longpre
Beacon Lodge #190
November 26, 2016
What is the darkest light in lodge? This is a question that was proposed to me several months back by our WM. When I first heard the question, I was a bit confused. On the surface the question seems to be asking about a physical light and should have a simple answer, but like most things in free masonry, this question is symbolic. After a good discussion about the question at hand, I must admit I was still a bit perplexed, however I did have my starting point for this journey. Now I ask again, what is the darkest light in lodge? Any guesses as to what I allude?
The answer I propose to you is that we, the brethren of the lodge, are the darkest light. Now I know this may seem like a very unlikely answer and, it did take me some time to wrap my head around it as well, but I am sure after hearing my thoughts on this matter you will understand my meaning. But first we must discuss what makes us the darkest light in order that we may understand why we are so.
The “Human Condition” is what makes us the darkest light, or better put, our individual characteristic, key events, and important situations that make up our lives. Part of that human condition, are our sinful ways. Now we obviously do not go about our lives intentionally committing sinful acts, but every man here is guilty, at times, of succumbing to the seven deadly sins. Let’s take a minute and look at the seven deadly sins.
Pride, we all have it and when it is kept within reason it is a good thing. Having pride in one’s achievements and person can keep a man on a true and honest path. When a man becomes to proud however it can lead to boastfulness and vanity. An overly boastful and vane man also tends to be a very lonely man as well.
Envy. Who here has not been envious of someone else’s good fortune at some point? I for one have been on many an occasion. It can be as simple as being jealous of the car a man drives, or the house he lives in. It is human nature to want nice things, so naturally we are envious of those who have what we want. Now a fleeting envious thought does no damage, but when that thought persist and does not leave one’s mind, this is when it can cause some real harm. For a man with a persistent envious thought will be driven to take action to acquire that which he is envious of.
Gluttony, the most seemingly harmless of the deadly sins…….or is it? Occasional gluttony or consuming more than which we require, is for the most part harmless. (On a side note, I intend to partake in this particular sin after our meeting down at the festive board). Now the real harm of gluttony comes when we over indulge our selves on a regular basis, and I am not strictly speaking about food. Over consumption of any activity such as eating, drinking, watching tv and of course playing with our cell phones, can be considered gluttony and lead a man to forget or forgo his responsibilities.
Lust, my personal favorite sin. We all know what lust is and the troubles it can cause. Now, as a man, I will admit I do lust after my wife on occasion, and this makes for a healthy marriage, but I am very cautious to keep my lustful thoughts toward her and her alone. I am sure I need not discuss how lust can ruin a good marriage or relationship when it is misguided.
Anger, the most commonly committed sin for most, myself included. Everyone gets angry from time to time, but when we let it grow to wrath and vengefulness, then we have failed to control our emotions and may suffer the consequences of our actions.
Greed, who doesn’t desire wealth and prestigious positions in society? Greed can be a very motivating factor for one to move up the corporate latter so to speak, and better himself and his family, and who can blame him for wanting to do so. When one covets wealth or position over all else however, it often leads to unethical behavior and ones downfall.
Last but not least we have the sin of Sloth. Sloth is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work. When a man does not put effort into both his spiritual and physical work, then he does not lift himself up and is dependent on those around him for handouts, thus becoming a burden to those around him.
Soo, these are the seven deadly sins that make our humanity the crux of our darkness in lodge as we are all guilty at times of committing them. I will fully admit that throughout my life I have succumb to all of these sins at one point or another, and I am sure, that I will succumb to them at some point in the future as well. As men, we are not perfect, and we will falter and stubble on our path, and this imperfection is what makes us the darkest light.
Now I am sure many of you are sitting there thinking that there is much more to a mason than his sinful ways to which I have alluded, and of course you would be correct in thought. I would suggest that not only are we, the members of this the lodge, the darkest light, but also the very brightest light as well. I would also infer that our humanity is the reason for this, as not only is it human nature for a man to try and better himself, but it is also one of the most important aspects of a free mason. As I have heard many a time within these walls, free masonry makes good men better.
All of us present were brought into lodge for our first time in complete darkness, blindfolded and unaware of what we were entering. This simple act of allowing one’s self to be lead into the unknown took a great deal of courage and faith, and for me was the very first step of what has been a very insightful journey. Part way through our initiation four words were spoken and our blindfold was lifted. I am sure all of you remember those words “LET THERE BE LIGHT”. In my opinion this is one of the most prolific points in one’s masonic life as it marks the beginning of his masonic journey. As we start in darkness we are then brought into the light, our light goes from dark to dim and eventually will shine its brightest. This journey is an arduous one however, as it may have a starting point but there is no end, and yet you must push on down the path striving for self improvement and knowledge all the while knowing you will never reach the climax of your journey. This journey is best taken one step at time, one foot in front of the other, ever trying to stay on the righteous and honorable path. Unfortunately eventually every mason will stubble or falter along his journey, causing his bright light to dim or descend to darkness, his brethren however will be there to lend him a hand with which to right himself and re-ignite his light so that he may continue on his journey. Now those around him will also need a guiding light as well and he will then return the favor and lend his hand to them. And so is the way of our masonic culture.
To summarize my thoughts, not only does our humanity make us the darkest light in lodge, but also through our perseverance and struggle to constantly improve our selves as masons, and by doing so, improve those around us, we are also the very brightest light in lodge as well.
In closing I would simply ask that each of you take a moment over the next few weeks to do some self reflection. Consider those moments where the decisions you made left your light dark or dim and think about what you could of done different to change the outcome. Also, take pause to reflex on those times when you light shone its very brightest, and take solace in knowing that when you’re at your brightest, those around you are as well.