Friday, May 25, 2007

My Introduction to the Craft:

This posting is intended to talk about my background and how I became interested in Freemasonry. Hopefully I can be an online resource, as other Masonic bloggers who have helped me. I have no delusions that I know all (or anything) about Freemasonry, nor do I speak for Freemasonry itself. These are my own musings, and mine alone. I imagine that I will look back at these postings in the future & cringe due to my naïveté.

I am 35 years old, and studied vocal performance in university, training to be a professional opera singer. I won't bore you with the details on why & how I fell in love with opera, but suffice it to say that Mozart's music was my one true love.

In 1991 I found a PBS telecast of Mozart's “Die Zauberflöte” (The Magic Flute) and immediately was transfixed with the music, story, and voices. Upon later study, I found out that Mozart was a Freemason, as well as Emanuel Schikaneder, who wrote the libretto. Of course, I delved into the history of Freemasonry, and Masonic symbolism in Die Zauberflöte. I was shocked to find out that a number of notable Freemasons were a venerable “who's who” of the past 300 years.

Being from a family of teachers, I have always been interested in history. Imagine my good fortune in 1994, getting to study in London, singing in various UK cathedrals. One of the most fascinating churches was this little round church right next to the Inns of Court. It wasn't until a year later did I find out the importance of London's Temple Church.

In 1996 I moved to the 'big city', and began auditioning for different opera companies. At 25 it seemed that I was beginning to come around full circle, as I was cast as Sarastro (Zoroaster) in a production of Die Zauberflöte. I read every book I could find about Freemasonry, exposés on ritual, anti-masonic diatribes, quasi-masonic histories, pretty much everything that I ran into. Over the past 10 years, I have since amassed over 30 performances of 5 different productions of Die Zauberflöte.

In 2000, I e-mailed my local lodge & asked for an application. It then sat on my dresser for the next year. Looking back, I wasn't ready, but the interest has always been there.

In 2002, I lost my day-job in the Internet industry & spent the next 3 years in Orlando, Florida. I pretty much hated the entire experience, but the one saving grace was the fact that I lived very close to a Shriners' Temple. During my lunch break from work, I found myself at a Wendy's fast food joint, when I noticed the gentleman sitting right next to me was wearing a Masonic ring. I told him my story, that I'd wanted to petition for years, but never did anything about it. He was extremely gracious, he answered any and all of my questions, and we parted ways. I never did see him again, but I would like to thank him for spending that time with me.

2005 came around, and I had finally saved enough money to move back to California. In 2006, I turned 35, and I began to take stock of my life so far...

Alexander the Great was 33 when he died.
Jesus Christ was 33 when he died.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was 39 when he died.
Wolfgang Mozart was 35 when he died.

Look at what these men did during their lifetimes... What the hell have I done?

So far, nothing that really matters.

I thought, “What is it that I really want? When I leave this earth, how do I want to be remembered?”

I want to be a catalyst for change. I want to make the world a better place. I want to be a uniting influence across the world. In this world of hate and intolerance we live in today, I want to give people hope.


There isn't much of that nowadays.

But think of our Founding Fathers; they started a country based on Masonic principles. Men from all backgrounds, races, creeds, colors, and economic classes, all believed that they could make the world a better place. They didn't all have the same religion, nor agreed politically, but they left that outside the lodge and met as brothers.

That's the biggest thing that I feel that we're missing nowadays. People so embroiled in the belief that they're right, and if you don't believe the same way that they do, then you're evil & must be destroyed. It hasn't entered people's consciousness that there are good people out there, regardless of religion and political beliefs.

There is only one group I know of that brings men from all backgrounds, and does good works in the name of charity, brotherhood and truth.

One of their mottoes is to “Make good men better...”

That's what I want.

That is why I chose to join Freemasonry.


Widow's Son said...

Welcome to Freemasonry and the Masonic blogosphere, Sarastro.

Don't be too hard on yourself, worrying that Jesus and MLK did famous things in their 30's.

The Beatles were on their way to mega-stardom in their early 20's.

Oh, wait, that wasn't helpful.

How about this?

Col. Sanders didn't make any money selling his Kentucky Fried Chicken until he was in his 60s.

Grandma Moses was in her 70s before she picked up a paintbrush.

Live in the now. Your now. Measure yourself against your own ideals, not someone else's.

As they say in your business, it ain't over 'til the fat lady sings.

Widow's Son

Horseshoes and Handgrenades said...

Welcome! That is sure an interesting path to Freemasonry.

Generally you hear about the person who has relatives who are Masons, or the person who just happens to discover it on their own and then petitions. You had quite the lengthy courtship.

I'm looking forward to reading about your adventures in Masonry in the future.