“How the Ancient Principles and Experience of Freemasonry can Contribute to The Making of a Better World."
Address of M. W. Bro. Radu _Bălănescu
Grand Master of the National Grand Lodge of Romania
In this address, I would like to refer to the beneficial effects of “initiation through culture”, which is one of the main goals that the members of our Craft strive to achieve in their endlessly Masonic Works.
The etymology of the word “initiation” derives from the Latin term that made reference to the admittance of an individual into a specific group that possessed and professed a certain knowledge that could be transmitted, from generation to generation, only to the members of that group. The concept also implied the idea that the newly admitted is introduced into a new way of being, that was considered more sacred and valuable than the existence of the uninitiated ones.
The concept of “culture” comes from the Latin word that referred to the preparing of the soil for the new crops of the year. It referred to the very beginning of a new cycle, that involved a very special philosophy and spirituality regarding the evolution and ideal growth of the seeds – a growth that has a spiritual meaning, the one of giving birth, as the seed contains in its innerness the fruit, the future crop.
Sometimes, in the first night after the Ceremony of Initiation, the newly Entered Apprentices use to ask their proposers or the Worshipful Master why the Freemasons meet in the Lodge and what is the aim of their Masonic Work. One of the most adequate and wisest answers is that we meet in the Lodge to take care of the seeds not to fall or to be seeded on malicious or barren soil.
We meet in the Lodge because in our apprenticeship we have been taught by our Worshipful Master to distinguish which is the true Light and which are the deceitful glitters of the reflected sparks of temptation and vice.
Moreover, culture means the perpetual search for one’s inner self. To search one must be a free man, while freedom cannot dissociate itself from dignity, which is based on a fundamental respect for innerness and otherness.
These are the reasons why cultivating the truth and pure Light in the hearts of the young should be one of the main subjects of our Works – because the future generations will feed with the spiritual crops that will have grown from what seeds we cultivate nowadays. This is why the soil that they grow in is of major importance. This is why we must take care of every Entered Apprentice and help him in his inner quest.
After receiving the benefits of the Raising to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason, each one of us becomes obliged to our younger Brethren and fellow citizens. The Master is a father, as well as a farmer. With the love and the responsibility of a father, with the knowledge and hard work of a farmer, the Master Mason ought to take care of the crops.
The young men of good report are the future of our Craft and the future of humanity. They are the crops that we are obliged to cultivate.
A father farmer possesses the knowledge that the fertile soil is the one that is illuminated by truth and irrigated by love, tolerance, solidarity and mutual understanding.
May we succeed in this endeavor!