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Concerning Ashes, Salt, and Water

Spirit descended to the Earth through a process of burning which deposited ash. Through the depositing of salt, wisdom came on the Earth. Both must be washed once more by the waters of life.

Rudolf Steiner

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Forgetting something

Karen Kidd quotes a text from “The Very Ills Bro. Bertha Williams 33°”. Williams looks back at her time as leader of the American Federation of Human Rights. She attended one of ‘her’ lodges and did not like what she experienced. Her friend asked if she did not forget something.

Well […] as a matter of fact, you are forgetting several things. […] In the first place, you are not a Master of that Lodge; you are not even a member. You do not even know those people, and you have no responsibility for them. You are judging a situation by appearances, with very little background to it; you may be entirely wrong. But whether you are wrong or right, the main thing that you are forgetting is this: You are not in the work  because of what it may mean to somebody else. You are in it because of what it means to you. Now either you believe in it or you do not. If you do not believe in it – if you feel it has no intrinsic value, that is really not important to the H.O.A.T.F.M., that fundamentally it cannot and would not be of service to humanity – then get out of it. If you think it is important, get to work! Do whatever you have on your desk to do. Do it as perfectly as you can. This is your assignment – EVER – to mind your own business, whatever it may be, and let other people mind theirs. If every member would be content to do just that, then half of our problems would never occur … [sic] That is what I do – attend to my own assignment; that is what you have to dom.

A branch of the Masonic tree

Co-Masonry is a fraternal body committed to the same principles and purposes as Freemasonry, and is indeed a branch of the Masonic tree, a branch which the tree in various ways tries to disown, but which nevertheless claims the sme ancestry and rights to function in the name of Freemasonry. It differs from the established, ‘segregated’ body in two important ways: It is International (that is, it works under a Constitution and a Supreme Council in Paris, France) and it opens the doors of Ancient Freemasonry to the qualified applicants without distinction of sex or race or religions.

Helen Wycherly, quoted in Karen Kidd’s On Holy Ground.

Own uniqueness

Each Mason needs to realize that he is one with every other, yet each Mason must also find and treasure his own uniqueness. The needs and possibilities of any one member at a given time may be quite distinct  from the needs of his fellows; those needs and possibilities may be wholly confusing to some member whose growth and outlook are at a different level. Where understanding is meaer, there must be ample trust. We know the stage which run in sequence from caterpillar to butterfly; we may now know quite so well the stages which mark the subtle emergence of illuminated Mason from the Profane.

Berth Williams, quoted in Karen Kidd’s On Holy Ground.

TOLERANCE

It has not been organized and is not maintained in America to compete with any of them, to condemn or fight any of them, but to fill a role of its own and that is to bring together in one organization men and women of all nationalities and races, of all creeds and political beliefs and have them, through the greatest of all Masonic virtues, TOLERANCE, work in peace and harmony to hasten the day when Universal Brotherhood shall be a reality, understood and lived.

Louis Goaziou in Universal Co-Masonry January 1913, quoted in Karen Kidd’s On Holy Ground.

Here to stay

We have to contend with ignorance and prejudice in all parts of the country. In some localities individuals would even go to the extent of persecution to destroy Co-Masonry. It takes courage and perseverance to overcome all of that. We will overcome it, but it will take years yet before Co-Masonry is generally recognized as an organisation that is here to stay.

Louis Goaziou in 1923. Quoted in Karen Kidd’s On Holy Ground.