By Right Worshipful Brother David Akridge
District Deputy Grand Education Officer, District 5
al·che·my – /ˈalkəmē/
The process of taking something ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary, sometimes in a way that cannot be explained. An example of using alchemy is a person who takes a pile of scrap metal and turns it into beautiful art.
Esoterica – /es-uh-ter-i-kuh/
Things understood by or meant for a select few; recondite matters or items.
All of us came to Masonry to make ourselves better men with Brethren who are all seeking to do the same, by experiencing good ritual, having Masonic discussion, enjoying the fellowship of each other both in and out of the Lodge.
I doubt that anyone would disagree with me that all seek to move from that rough ashlar to that perfect ashlar that is displayed in each of our Lodges. We do so at our own speed and in our own way, using the road map or toolbox that each of us is provided in our three degrees.
We would all agree that ours is the greatest Fraternity in the world. Would it surprise you that the total number of Masons in the United States is approximately one million? While I tend not to get hung up on numbers as I firmly believe quality over quantity, I think we can all agree that this number against a population of some 300 million-plus, puts us in a very small percentage. About .3%. A select group united by a common ritual that has endured over the passage of time.
I also note that among our Craft, those who like Masonic Discussion and engage in presentation tend to use lofty words to demonstrate great knowledge. If I wanted to use a scholarly word to describe that, I could say they are “erudite Masonic speakers”, meaning “having or showing great knowledge or learning”.
You might ask yourself where this article is leading. It is quite simple. I have often observed that when we hear words like alchemy and esoteric, eyes glaze over and we tend to shut down. It is kind of like what happens when I hear a full reading of the minutes and a detailed litany of paying the bills. You get the message. As I have shared above you are one among a million that is a Freemason against the population of this country. You are here seeking Light and a life-altering improvement in who you are. One could say that you an esoteric seeking and alchemical transformation in your Masonic Journey. Or inserting the definition of these two words in the same sentence, it could be re-stated YOU have an understanding or are diligently seeking, the universal truths contained in Freemasonry and that this process takes you from being an ordinary man to an extraordinary man. I hope the next time you hear the words esoteric or alchemy, you will instead smile and reflect on this amazing journey of transformation that you are one of the select few.
Enjoy the journey!