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July 9, 2020

The Three Orders of
Good and Wholesome Instruction

By Bro. J. Gary "Gar" Pickering, Managing Editor

 

Learning is a developed habit. Often, the university is viewed as a place that imparts an education aimed at the mind alone, or logos, reason. Developing a student’s ability to think clearly is the stated goal. But a person who thinks rightly (logos), and does not have a right spirit within them (thumos), or develop a virtuous appetite (eros), is not a whole person. A learned person, a whole person, is thus one who has learned to use reason, desire what is good, which can only be moderated by a right spirit. This is a tall order, especially if university education is conceived as only occurring in the classroom.” - Dr. Scott Keith (1)

The concept of Logos is not foreign to many Masons, and is likely most often associated by them in relation to Christ, as The Word of God, or the writings of Plato, which associated it with Reason. The word itself comes from "Proto-Indo-European *log-o-, suffixed form of root *leg- "to collect, gather," with derivatives meaning "to speak," on notion of "to pick out words.” (2) It is related to the intellect, which is what gives us the ability to differentiate, categorize, dissect, and label.

Reasoning can be categorized as either valid or invalid, as taught in the ancient liberal art of Logic, and to differentiate between the two is part of classical education. Though Reason is necessary to critical thought, when one attempts to live on pure Reason alone, their thoughts and actions would become almost clinical, abjectly analytical, without romance, intuition, or any sort of otherwise irrational indulgence. One would live a life devoid of anything not absolutely necessary to it. There are religions and philosophies which have promoted such an approach to living, and there are those which have promoted everything but. In Masonry, Logos would be appropriately associated with the Master of the lodge, and to Wisdom. Though the Master of a lodge has the final word, we are taught in lodge that a Master does not act alone, without assistance.

All types of form or structure are Apollonian, thus, sculpture is the most Apollonian of the arts, since it relies entirely on form for its effect. Rational thought is also Apollonian since it is structured and makes distinctions.” - Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy

 

To assist the Worshipful Master, are the Junior and Senior Wardens. In this line of thought, where Logos is associated with the Master of the lodge, who sits in the direction of the rising sun, the midday sun is glorious and beautiful, and might be easily associated with Eros. Today, many associate Eros with sexual (erotic) pleasure only, but in the original Greek meaning, it referred to desire, or even appetite. Truly, were one to attempt to live on pure Eros alone, their thoughts and actions become chaotic, debased, and decadent, driven by irrational indulgence and romantic sentiment. In his “Ladder of Eros”, Plato posited that wisdom leads one away from carnal, sensual desires to loftier, more noble desires of ideal beauty.  When Logos and Eros work together, our appetites turn towards a desire for goodness, for beauty. Beyond a life of absolute Reason, we begin to add to our lives the good things of life, we find goodly refreshment through an appetite disciplined with Beauty and Wisdom.

Drunkenness and madness are Dionysian All forms of enthusiasm and ecstasy are Dionysian.  Music is the most Dionysian of the arts, since it appeals directly to man's instinctive, chaotic emotions and not to his formally reasoning mind.” - Friedrich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy

While the wisdom of Reason can be applied to ones desire for beauty in the life, it takes a third element to complete the properly functioning lodge, and the whole, and virtuous Mason. It is the Worshipful Master’s assistant the Senior Warden, who sits opposite him in the West, in the direction of the setting sun, who represents Strength. This strength to live a virtuous life requires great spirit, and it is the Greek Thumos that is invoked in the Senior Warden’s part in this Masonic trifecta. It is in our “spiritedness” that acts as the glue to hold our virtues together, the strength of our spirit as men whose aim is noble and virtuous, who prefer higher causes to lowly diversions. It is our emotional connection to the work that is our wage, and it is a sort of righteous indignation that gives us the will to persist in our battles in life.

However, like the previous two concepts, one who would live through the spirit, or emotional connection, only might find themselves irrationally focused on fighting against any and all perceived evils in the world, any hurtful thing, the useful fool for any cause that is sold to them, rushing left and right into the battle towards which they are led. Without seeing beauty of life, one would only see ugly in life, without wise thoughts, one would be a fool. Left with only Thumos, this fool would see everything outside of their ideology as their enemy, fighting the world with their feelings, and in doing so, lose their tolerance for anything other than their own narrow perspective.

Thumos is our will to fight, our need to rebel against that which is intolerable. It is what makes us stand up and declare ‘I will not be silenced!’. It is what makes us dive headlong against the devastation of this world; what compels us to courageously fight the good fight. And if we are to fail, thumos is the thing within the human spirit that requires us to go down swinging, cursing our oppressors all the while.” - from A Tradition of Thumos (3)

So, as Dr. Scott Keith stated in the opening quote of this article, to think rightly, with the proper spirit, and with an appetite for goodness, a person becomes whole, the student is properly instructed. As it applies to Masonry, and the lodge, with the Ionic Wisdom of the Worshipful Master’s station, the Corinthian Beauty of the Junior Warden’s station,  and the Doric Strength of the Senior Warden’s station, a lodge becomes whole, with peace and harmony prevailing, and the Mason receives good and wholesome instruction.


Further Reading and Reference

1: “Developing the Habits to Learn: Logos, Thumos, and Eros”, web article, 2015,
https://blogs.cui.edu/core/2015/10/05/developing-the-habits-to-learn-logos-thumos-and-eros/

2: https://www.etymonline.com/word/Logos

3: “A Tradition of Thumos”, web article, 2014,
https://classicalwisdom.com/culture/traditions/tradition-thumos/

A Solar Poem from the Hill of Uisnech

by Paul Begadon


1.

 
Then I heard that the sun
Had been plucked from the sky
By a giant
Of Fomóraigh stone.
But I laughed, said the sun’s
Not some frail firefly
To be bottled up,
Never to roam.
He’s the one in the chariot,
The tip of the spear,
The flash of a salmon
In flight.
He’s the Sun in our Sky
And he rolls where he will,
Though there’s some
Who implore him to hide.
Go hide from the light
If you fear being burned.
Leave us to burn fires
Of bones.
We’ll greet the bright sun
And we’ll heal when we’re hurt,
And the sun will roll on
Where He goes.

2.
 
Then the sun at his aging
Looked back on his life and said
“Many a dawn I have sped,
And o’er many a battle
My wheels have rolled on,
But my chariot’s knackered and beat.
So my horses rise late and
Go slow through the morn
To an evening that’s lengthy and red.”
Then the sun in his armchair
Rolled into a dream of his youth
When he blazed overhead,
And the humans below him
Danced naked and screamed
As he drove his wild horses and fled.
Then waking once more
In his autumn of life, he bethought
The short days he had left.
“Oh, my summer has gone
And I sink in the west
To a twilight of longing and rest.
Now a new sun must rise
To ride high in my car and
Drive my bronze horses again.”

Paul Begadon is the author of “Unchaining The Titan,” published in 2016, “What Are You Selling?”, published in 2018, and “The Layman’s Havamal”, published in 2021. Find more at his website or on his IG account.  Poem originally published on Ph2t3R blog.

Grand Lodge Warden's Retreat &
Secretary Training Returns for 2021

Register by August 7, 2021

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the annual training session could not take place earlier in the year as usual. The 2021 training will be on Saturday, August 21, 2021, from 9am-3pm at The Wesley Center in Woodworth, La (2350 Methodist Parkway).

The Grand Lodge asks that you register early to allow staff to record registrations and prepare materials. The fee is $50 per attendee, which includes refreshments, materials, and a meal. Registration deadline is August 7, 2021.
 
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Tidings From Louisiana Lodges


Two New Master Masons in Plain Dealing

 

Pictured L to R:  WB Joe Shumate, Brother Jim Brown (Hurd Merrill Lodge No. 454),
Brother John Goodwin (son),  R
W Ronnie Coon, DDGM 19th Masonic District, Brother Andrew Melton,
W
B Ken Dorhauer, DGL19th Masonic District, and Brother John Maury Goodwin sitting in front. 
 
On June 19, 2021, R∴W∴ Ronnie Coon, D∴D∴G∴M∴ 19th Masonic District, along with some other members of Denham Springs Lodge No. 297 and Hurd Merrill Lodge No. 454, made a trip to see Brother John Maury Goodwin to present him with his 50 Year Certificate and Pin. 

Brother John was initiated as an Entered Apprentice on December 9, 1965 in Martin McClanahan Lodge No. 384 in Bossier City, LA.  On March 6, 1971 transferred by waiver of jurisdiction to Northeast Lodge No. 435 in Baton Rouge, LA where he received his Fellow Craft degree on April, 6, 1971 and raised to Master Mason on June 1, 1971. On June 27, 2001, Brother John demitted from Northeast, and joined Denham Springs Lodge No. 297. 
On June 1, 2021 Brother John, or "Little John" as we all know him by, made his 50 year anniversary as a Master Mason. Many family members and friends were also in attendance.
 


Two New Master Masons in Plain Dealing

 

Plain Dealing's newest Master Masons, Bro. Jared Bolden (left) and Bro. Cade Badiali (right).
 

On June 26, 2021 Plain Dealing Masonic Lodge No.237 conferred two Master Mason degrees.  There were 27 Master Masons, representing 7 lodges from Masonic District 1 in attendance to help confer the degrees. The fried fish lunch was catered caught, cooked, and catered by W∴B∴ Wimberly “Peanut” Day and R∴W∴B∴ Kenneth F. Ward, Jr., D∴D∴G∴M∴ 1st Masonic District.



Freemasonry has existed in the Philippines since the mid-1800s. And although the earliest lodges were composed solely of foreigners, native Filipinos soon acquired a taste for the various libertarian ideals contained within the masonic fraternity, particularly regarding freedom, with even the first Philippine President later claiming that his country’s revolution was “Masonically inspired, Masonically led, and Masonically executed”.  

This July, join Very Worshipful Brother Felix Pintado as he expounds upon the genesis of Freemasonry in the Philippines up to the formation of its own Grand Lodge; with an overarching focus on the Craft’s impact and influence on the country’s struggle for independence, and its gradual permeation into the very fabric of Filipino society, both at home and abroad. 

 
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The Louisiana Freemason is currently accepting submissions for the Summer 2021 Issue.
If you would like to submit something you have written for consideration, email it to gar@la-mason.com

Submissions must be in by July 23rd, 2021 to be considered for that issue. 


Submissions such as photos and lodge events may be submitted for the Weekly eEdition at any time.

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