Two weeks ago, a brother, friend and the greatest teacher I have ever known, went to take his place in the Celestial Lodge. I’m sure he is already scheduling classes for new arrivals.
As far as I know, I don’t have anyone in my family that is or has ever been a Freemason. Freemasonry is something that interested me so I decided to explore it. My first visit to a Masonic Lodge was not an impressive experience. To be honest, the mood was low and most of the Masons in the lodge were not very social. After having dinner and answering a lot of questions, they all put on their aprons and went into the lodge room. When I got home my wife asked me about the experience and I told her it was not what I expected but I would try again.
On my second visit, things were a lot different. A tall outgoing man with a huge smile greeted me and I was treated to a tour of the lodge room and he happily wanted to answer any questions I had. If I wouldn’t have met this amazing brother, I don’t think I would have went back to the lodge again.
A few weeks later, I met “G”, an elderly man who was very interested in my motivation to become a Freemason. I told him; “I know Freemasons have secrets and I want to know what those secrets are.” He smiled and with a twinkle in his eye said; “I think you will find what you’re looking for in Freemasonry.”
A week later, I walked into a Theosophy Lodge with my wife and to my surprise “G” was sitting at the table in this small lodge room. The Theosophy Lodge was very small with six regular members and usually two or three visitors. We live in one of the largest cities in the U.S. so seeing “G” at this lodge was something I felt was some kind of a sign, especially when I found out that “G” had started this group many years ago but rarely attended it.
Becoming a Master Mason for me was an amazing experience. The tall outgoing man with a huge smile was now the Worshipful Master of the Lodge for the second time because the current Worshipful Master had to step down. I would later find out the there had been some issues at the lodge before I arrived. I had to do the degree memorization work and recite everything in lodge with another brother before getting my degrees. I also served the lodge for a month, helping cook and clean before being voted on to become a member of the lodge. All of this made the experience more special than if I had just been rushed into it.
Once I became a Master Mason, “G” started to talk with me about subjects that I was interested in like occult and esoteric Freemasonry, magic and Theosophy. “G” also started giving monthly masonic education classes on ancient history and its relationship to Freemasonry. All of his classes were great but the one memorable one was him asking the question of who Hiram Abiff actually was and after an incredible hour of amazing historical facts, “G” revealing that Hiram Abiff could have been Hypatia was truly something to experience. The lodge was packed with 35-40 Master Masons and not one brother questioned or attempted to dispute what was said or revealed. I wish I had recorded that class and could have used it on this website.
“G”’s classes were amazing! He made you feel like you were there in ancient Egypt or in the Renaissance period and brought many great people back to life. He didn’t care about the size of his class, everyone got a first rate presentation. One rainy cold night I was the only one who showed up for one of “G”’s classes and he still gave the class to me as if there were twenty brothers in attendance.
Keep in mind that “G”’s classes were usually very small. Many older brothers didn’t have much interest in the esoteric side of Freemasonry.
I spent years learning and working with G and helping him with some of his classes. He did a lot of work and preparation for these classes and gave so much to Freemasonry.
I remember one night going to help him carry some of his presentation materials from his car and watched the man struggle to get his teaching materials out of his car and he could hardly walk. Once he got into the lodge room and we started to set up, he would smile and never show anyone how tired or weak he was. The man gave his all and it never stopped.
Why Was “G” Such A Great Teacher
“G” was a great teacher because he never tried to tell you what to think or do. Never! He seemed to know everything about everything and always had a great book suggestion from someone he respected. I built an amazing library from his suggestions.
He also respected the fact that not all Freemasons are into or care about the occult esoteric side of the craft. A lot of his Masonic teachings were studies in history and or mythology with a light sprinkling of the esoteric and occultism mixed in.
My greatest memories of “G” were our breakfasts together and all the amazing things we discussed at length. Besides being a great teacher, “G” had a way of making you feel that you were really important to him and to Freemasonry. He was truly a magical human being.
For some reason, “G” always seemed to have an ongoing dispute with our local Grand Lodge. This became obvious when “G” helped to create a yearly, weekend, esoteric, occult Masonic retreat. This event was well attended and received by many. As the official cameraman for the event, I filmed some great Masonic speakers from around the country. I still have the files and releases from the speakers for two events but without getting into details, I was given a strong warning not to release this material, even to other Freemasons. In fact, a Masonic education website that I was asked to create for my lodge, which included all the videos which were password protected, was destroyed after a few months because another brother inline to become Worshipful Master of the lodge, decided he wanted to build his own website and didn’t care about using the videos so he destroyed them with the website.
After two years, “G” and his partner who created the event, were forced to step down and the yearly event then ended. “G” continued to face resistance but continued to teach and hold classes.
I never saw “G” lose his temper or confront anyone. One of the greatest things he taught me though his actions were how steady he was when faced with the many political obstacles put in his path.
“G” decided to revive the local Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis or the Invisible College as it is known, from a dead, yearly social organization to a regular Rosicrucian lodge. He helped revive the initiation and degrees that were no longer being practiced.
“G” gave two bi-weekly classes that would trade-off between Hermetic Qabalah using a book called; “A Kabbalistic Universe by Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi and Hermetics and the book; “Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition” by Frances A. Yates.
Class sized dwindled as many brothers that attended found the material and teaching to be too complex and therefore, uninteresting to them. I discussed this with “G” and suggested making the material less complex but he wanted nothing to do with dumbing down the material for an audience that wasn’t interested in bringing themselves up to the level of the material. Classic “G” always the intellectual but not with the big ego.
The small group that was left in the Invisible College then voted on increasing our dues and keeping our bi-weekly meetings but the brother in charge of the college cut monthly meetings to one class per month anyway. At this point, I felt the continuity of the group and the classes had dwindled to the point where it lost its original purpose and whatever momentum we had. In my opinion, it also didn’t help that most of the small group liked keeping the group and lodge small and private, even among our fellow brothers. I didn’t understand this at the time but I now realize they were protecting the lodge from some brother’s joining and sabotaging our efforts.
“G” was also directly responsible for introducing my wife and I to (BOTA) Builders of the Adytum, a Hermetic Qabalah mystery school founded 1922 by Paul Foster Case. This organization is small but still around. He was also influential in the creation of a Hermetic Qabalah study group called, The Phoenix Esoteric Society, I started with another brother.
After about six months “G” announced in one of our classes that he had a major illness and would be taking time off to have an operation and recover but he never really recovered and it was our last class. He put his faith in medical Doctors and the hospital and the system failed him. In the end, he broke free from a for-profit messed up U.S. medical system and was very happy being at home in hospice.
My last conversation with him was a few months before he passed and he was really happy with the care he was getting and he was ready to visit the Celestial Lodge.
I realized that all the resources that “G” gave me were to play a part in me discovering for myself my own spiritual path. “G” never was into or discussed Advaita Vedanta, Swami Vivekananda, Ramana Maharishi or Nisargadatta Maharaj but they would come to play a big part in my spiritual growth. When the day came that I went into the void and became everything and nothing, I realized that everything I learned and experienced, both perceived as positive and negative had a purpose and a reason, even if I didn’t understand it logically or intelligently. “G” had planted the seeds that would literally sprout into the Tree of Life within me and I would come to a much fuller understanding of the invisible Sephiroth of Daath, Ain Soph Aur, Ain Soph Ain and the interconnectedness of all things, even if it was through a different spiritual path.
The truth is, had I never met “G”, I believe I would not have excelled as far as I have in this simulated reality that creates and feeds upon emotion. I would be just another automaton, unconsciously emotionally reacting to all the chaos and distraction of the world completely unaware of what is behind it all.
“G” has left a legacy of brothers who have had the seeds planted within them to be able to fully grow and develop their own Tree of Life and explore the inner infinite landscape within them.
The reason I refer to my brother, friend and teacher as “G” is because he was a very humble man who never had to prove to anyone how intellectually brilliant he was. You just had to attend one of his classes or spend some time talking with him and it was obvious. He was never one to take credit for what he did and accomplished, even when others would take the credit for what he did. I watched a lot of Grand Lodge political type Masons take credit for what he did and he never went on the defensive. His response was usually something like, “well these things happen” or “what is important is advancing Freemasonry, especially with younger Masons and not playing some political game.”
Thanks “G” for being a large part of my life and I’m positive we will meet again my brother.
Masonic Enlightenment and all that is on it is dedicated to you and your influence in my life. For me, the letter “G” in Freemasonry will always have a very special meaning. God Bless You Brother