|"The Teachings of Masonry are Veiled in Allegory"
Recently I saw a Studebaker
at an antique auto show. A real gussied up 1950-51 Studebaker bullet nose sedan. The model that was the
peak of Studebaker styling shortly before it ceased all vehicle production. It
looked mint. The body panels were fair and smooth. The paint was perfect and well shined. The tires new. The windows clear and unblemished.
I asked the owner how it ran He said, "Seldom!" He explained
that replacement parts were hard to find and buy, it did not meet current emission
standards, and, as a showpiece, he was unwilling to subject it to use and exposure that
might result in damage. Further he explained, he was not willing to substitute parts, like
an engine, transmission, or rear end, from other manufacturers that would enable him to
use the car, or at least keep it running. These parts, he said, even though unseen, would
change the car from what it was to something else even though it would be more usable and
give it a longer life.
As I listened to the owners
remarks, I suddenly thought, "This guy is talking about Grand Lodge Masonry." The setting was appropriate a collection of antiques assembled so that the curious
could appreciate the craftsmanship of a bygone era, at least the outside part they could
see. The situation similar A prestigious name but the supply of parts inadequate to
replace those lost to the ravages of age, and unable to operate without restriction in its
The attitude of the owner was
true antiquarian Limit exposure that might result in damage, and NO SUBSTITUTION OF
PARTS even though they would strengthen the structure and add to its life.
The similarities between the
Studebaker and Grand Lodge Masonry were startling!
It was apparent the owner and I were of different philosophies: The owner
desired to maintain a museum piece which chronicled the perfection of a certain vehicle
and manufacturer at a certain time; while I, on the other hand, would retain the outward
appearance and the basic structural elements used as a foundation for the vehicle, and
substitute new parts and materials necessary to extend its usable life.
These differences are
reflected in Masonic thought today.
Is Grand Lodge Masonry to become the Studebaker of