Sunday, May 25, 2008

Meet Our Tyler...Durden.

What is it about Secret Societies that is just so damn provocative? What do they offer us? Take the movie 'Fight Club' for example (or the book by Chuck Palahniuk on which it is based). First, however, here is a test. Don't cheat, but the answer can be found at the end of the blog.

What is the First Rule of Fight Club?

If you know the answer to that question, then you easily knew the answer to that question. Why? Sure you saw the movie, the one with Brad Pitt and Edward Norton, but you liked something about it. What you liked was the mystery, secrecy and especially, the power.

For those less familiar with the film, 'Fight Club' is a kind of sadomasochistic modern dalliance into personal and societal expressions of angst. It follows the disenchanted life of Edward Norton's character who, beset with personal anxieties and insecurities, ultimately creates a secret fighting society as a means of personal therapy.

Here's a SPOILER ALERT. The unnamed protagonist of 'Fight Club' has a dual personality. He, in fact, has developed a seperate personality that he believes at first to exist entirely independently of him. This personality is Tyler Durden. Tyler is the antihero. Tyler is the forceful expression of all things that the protagonist is not. He is fearless, self righteous, hyper-sexual, dominant and he dares to challenge the authority of his meek other self...and ultimately the authority of the world as his other self apparently sees it. The result is Fight Club, a group of men who meet in secret to, at last, pugilistically express their pent up frustrations with their lives and the culture they are a part of.

If you're a typical guy, then watching 'Fight Club' gets you stirred up. As revolting as the senseless violence of it is, it makes you wonder what would, or could happen, if people really did do something to shake up their ordinary lives.

Maybe that's one more reason why men all across the country are still becoming Freemasons. It is a secret society. And it does promise real personal change to the individual. Why is that appealing? Sure we want change...each of us wants to better ourselves. That's a no brainer.

What we also want as to be a Part of something bigger than ourselves that can make some real changes in the world. We all read 'Secret Teachings of All Ages' by Manly P Hall. And each of us has spent countless hours reading books and blogs and pouring over information about Masonry on YouTube and Google. We know that Freemasonry, at least from our Lodges, isnt really controlling the world. It's under fire out there and taking hits from religious groups and those who are either uneducated about the Craft, ignorant of its actualities... or just uninitiated. Still, as Masons ourselves, we want to stand for something, take part in something. We want to matter.

Freemasons today are looking for their Boston Tea Party. At least many of the new Brothers are. We're not Ruffians in the dark sense of the word. We're Ruffians in the sense that we know we have a lot to learn. We know we arent always patient enough. We do know the difference between right and wrong. We just want to DO something, stand FOR something and WITH others like ourselves.

Today, men across the country, as evinced by the May 18th article in the LA Times, are becoming Freemasons, becoming Brothers, because they Believe in something Higher and Greater than themselves. The new Brothers face the East and each look upon the same letter of God. This is their distinction. It lies within the simplicity of the only real prerequisite to join the Order...Belief in a Supreme Being. This is the belief in something greater.

Much like the protagonist in 'Fight Club,' these men yearn to take action in their lives and in the lives around them. They want the Mysteries to be make them special. They want the secrets to be answers to their personal questions. They want the men they find in their secret brotherhood to stand beside them in times of crisis and to accept them as they are. And so, they have faced the 3 Ruffians and have been duly tried and prepared for new lives as Free and Accepted Masons.

All too many negative labels and dispersions have been cast upon Freemasonry over the last several years. There have been so many in fact that many Freemasons themselves have trouble finding their role as a 'man who is also a Freemason.' There are a lot of confused EAs out there. They seek comfort in the rituals but dont really understand them. So they read books, watch movies or do their own research into the Order.

And the truth is...the Order most Masons experience is quite different than the romantic ideas the young Masons expected from those books and those movies. The Lodges have grown smaller. And many of these Masons, though active, find themselves frustrated because they want to be a part of something Grand again.

Well. They can be.

Freemasonry is a value system. But that value system is but a foundation, an edifice, a sacred Solomon's Temple, built as a Grand Lodge for men who wish to stand together in service to their Brothers and to the ineffable Light that shines between them, uniting them.

The sciences that Freemasonry once protected through its secrecy are now late night fodder on the 'Discovery Channel.' But these Pythagorean truths were not the greatest secrets of the Order anyway.

The Greatest Secret of the Order is the Order Itself and, by definition, the power that such 'Order' brings when men of like mind and spirit stand together in Unity. Nations can be won, evils dispelled, and tyrants overthrown.

Raised by the Hand of God, each Mason has already faced such tyrants, Ruffians, and now knows completely that by All standing together with the Light above there is Life even after. And that the life of one Mason may live in the acts of his Brother.

The world is no man's ideal. More often, it is a mirror of the inner savagery of the human soul, an animal thing at heart...part of its shared worldly nature. But if we, as Masons, can begin to govern ourselves by an enlightened Principle then we have made the first real step towards affecting change in the world. Together we can make strides.

Brother Freemasons! Do not forget the REAL secrets of the Order. If you think they are simply handshakes, words or wise alchemical and philosophical sciences then you are missing a great deal.

Today, so many Masons answer the question of Masonry with an obligatory comment about it's charitable nature. And though truly beautiful that is (The Angel of Charity is my personal favorite Angel), that answer usually comes because Modern Masonry is a bit uncertain about where to stand.

The answer is simple. Stand Together Brothers. You have been duly and truly prepared. And if you think you have not then we Ruffians might have a few challenges for you yet. Your journey in life is personal but you do not have to be alone. You are not alone. You have Brothers.

The internet is the greatest gateway between Brothers that we, as Masons, could ask for. We dont need handshakes. We have dues cards. And we're paying our dues most of all when we are active with our fellowship and holding our hands out to our Brothers in friendship and relief to their distress.

What is the Cause of Freemasonry? We will not suffer tyrannies large or small. We aid those in need Brothers or not, and we remember to act in accordance to the designs of that Great Architect's Perfect Plan being souls divested of the rough imperfections of evil.

'Fight Club' is just a movie. But the angst is all too real. We each feel it. Society feels it too. We face an uncertain future and we need to know what kind of men we are if we are to go bravely to it. We can each find the 'man' as Masons. And, along the way, we find our Brothers. What we do next...It will be...It must be always in the Spirit of the Light...a True Good...

But it is our secret.

So, at last, what was the answer to the question at the beginning of the post? The question asked was 'What is the First Rule of Fight Club?'

Easy. You don't talk about fight club.

Funny. The Ancient and Illustrious Order of the Three Ruffians doesn't even exist. So there is nothing to talk about there either.

However, Freemasonry does exist of course. And now, perhaps because of the net, so much more talking can take place; and action as well.


John said...

Excellent post brother, though I might point out that both you and I are talking quite a bit about 'Fight Club'.

Brother John

Cineman said...

A most fantastic post, Brother. I see and feel this daily, so I thank you for saying as much (and in such an eloquent fashion no less).

Freestyle said...

Why thank you Brothers!

2 BOWL CAIN said...

We at Halcyon are in the aftermath of tea dumping.

The battle is tough and the opponent is bigger, richer and older, but so was Britian.

Viva La Halcyon!

B.J. Deverell said...

Too bad this "Order of Ruffians" does not now, nor has it ever existed. With such poignant rhetoric, a great number of brothers would follow their Illustrious Masters to spearhead the next great enlightenment, so essentially necessary to illuminate the darkness within which this terrestrial globe has slowly fallen. Many young masons that I now instruct in the craft, agree this is the case, and one might think that when they are raised, I may need to educate them in the mysteries of this nonexistent band of ruffians. Praise the architect for the internet, and the wisdom that it can share. It was a fine post; keep up the good work....... Sir.

Water Lion said...

Công ty vận chuyển chúng tôi chuyên cung cấp các dịch vụ liên quan đến dịch vụ vận chuyển hàng hóa. Có thể kể đến như giao hàng nhanh toàn quốc, ký gửi hàng hóa, dịch vụ chuyển phát nhanh, ... Những dịch vụ chúng tôi cung cấp đã được sự ủng hộ nhiệt tình của quý khách hàng. Hiện nay chúng tôi không ngừng cải tiến chất lượng dịch vụ để đem lại cho quý khách trải nghiệm tốt hơn. Nếu bạn còn bân khuân về giá cả thì hãy xem qua bảng giá dịch vụ chuyển phát nhanh trong nước để tìm hiểu về giá cả dịch vụ chuyển phát nhanh hay bảng giá cước giao hàng nhanh của chúng tôi so với những nơi khác nhé.

abrasax said...

Too bad, you stopped posting.

I would like to reblog some of your articles on my site - but after transcript to German (and link to your original post) - for brothers here.

Our blog is about hermetic philosophy, fractal art (my wife), masonry (me), societal issues (both of us).

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