Appendix – The Pyramid & The Plum Tree
Adapted from Chapter 18, Orbiting the Giant Hairball, by Gordon Mackenzie, ©1996[1]

Freemasonry – The Beginning

The Bare Facts

The world’s oldest and largest fraternity.

Its obscure origins have been lost to history,
but it most likely arose during the enlightenment period beginning around 1600 C.E.

Masonic philosophy is described as a peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.

Absolute secrecy was paramount in early lodges as the peculiar system of morality taught a universal understanding of the divine that was deemed heretical by the then-absolute religious authority; and, a natural law understanding of individual rights that was deemed treasonous by the then-absolute political authority.

After existing without a central organizational body for over a century, the Premier Grand Lodge of England was formed on June 24th 1717.

Today, members meet in local lodges that are chartered by grand lodges organized along national or state political boundaries.


Romanticizing the Bare Facts

Freemasonry is rooted in the building of King Solomon’s Temple thousands of years ago.

The Knights Templar created Freemasonry in the early 1300s after being destroyed by Pope Clement V and King Philip IV of France in 1312.

The greatest men of the ages have been Freemasons.

The United States of America was founded by Freemasons.

Freemasonry still possesses secrets.

Freemasonry’s mission is to make good men better.


Freemasonry – Middle Age Sets In

The Ascent of Formula

Freemasonry begot Grand Lodges,
which begot more Lodges

The initial DYNAMISM brought by new Grand Lodges brought SUCCESS

That success begot success formula

Success formula begets isolation

Isolation from:
PASSION
VISION
INVENTION

Isolation begets:
ATROPHY
DECAY
A FADING AWAY

Old lodges never die, they just fade away.

What if a Lodge could DIE instead of just fade away?

?


The Death of a Lodge – A Fantasy

LISTEN!

Tic-toc, Tic-toc, Tic-toc, Tic-toc

DEATH’S FOOTSTEPS.

Tic-toc

READY OR NOT

WHAT LIVES …
DIES

ANIMAL,
VEGETABLE,
LODGE.

NO ESCAPE.
NOT EVEN THE WISE

NONE!

But One …

propagation!


Conceive of This:

A stratified

Calcified

Petrified

Grand Lodge

In desperation,
forgoes habitual cloning

And Tolerates
(allows)

… genuine

birth


How To Achieve Entrepreneurial
IMMORTALITY
(A message of Hope for aging Grand lodges)

Propagate, Grand lodge, propagate

Have young!
Raise a family!
Put your offsprings’ needs ahead of your own.
Abuse them not
So they will not learn to abuse.

Inculcate values.

Then release your “Heirs of Enterprise”
To carry the torch as they see fit.

Old Grand Lodge,
You can then do
What the old do best:
GROW WISE
Die in peace
And let the cycle begin anew.


PROPAGATION IN THE DESERT:
(A poem – sort of)

Behold! A Grand Pyramid
Mammoth blocks from solid rock cut with precision of
plumb, level, and square.
Each block fitted firmly against its neighbors in an enduring pattern of unmoving presence.

Picture deep within this monument to reality past

A pocket of rich loam

Where NEWNESS …
(as yet undetected by deputy grand weed pullers’ dedication to extermination of any and all affronts to stone tomb’s barren perfection )
… Germinates.

But alas, ultimate detection is inevitable
And NEWNESS,
Once discovered,
Will be pulled up by the roots …
Conscientiously.


And yet

What’s this?

A miracle!

This one time,
Newness, upon discovery, is spared
And allowed to take root …
Unmolested.

Vulnerably,
Tenderly
A shoot appears
In a tentative
Mystical
Dance of creation.

Yipes!

It grows not as a little pyramid,
But as a Plum Tree!
Wondrous beyond the arid vocabulary
of mere Pyramid Reality


Lofty Grand Pyramid watches
In scandalized indignation
But … just this once …
Eschews to interfere.

Exquisite Freak!
Beautiful Mutation!
Awesome Newness!
You exist because the Grand Pyramid
… this one time …
has found the grace to make room
for something other than
the narcissistic echoes
of its own remembered past.

You live because the Grand Pyramid
… this one time …
has found the courage
to nurture something which has
the temerity to be unique.


Little lodge Plum Tree,

You are Newness
… and Nowness.

Rooted in the tomb
Of Yesterday,
You bear the fruit
That will see us though
Today.

A Semantic Comparison of
Pyramid and Plum Tree
Terminologies

A
Pyramid
Is a Tomb
Of rigid hierarchy
(Function follows Form)
Pyramids are rooted in the traditional
Traditional: The delivery of opinions, doctrines, practices, rites, and customs from generation to generation.

A Tree
Is
A Living Organism
Trees are Holistic
Emphasizing the organic or functional relationships between parts and wholes
(Form follows Function)
Resulting in an organic enhancement of collaboration
This is RADICAL
Radical: Going to the center, source, or foundation of something; fundamental; Basic.

Radical is more FRUITFUL than Traditional.

Plum Trees are more bountiful than Pyramids.


  1. MacKenzie, Gordon. Orbiting the Giant Hairball. New York: Viking Penguin, 1996.  ↩

Next Section >>> List of Authorities Cited