From the South – April 2018

Greetings from the station of Beauty.

Brethren, we enter April knowing it is Public Schools Month. Public schools have been struggling since the 1920’s. In the 20’s, there was a shortage of teachers, during that time Masons proclaimed Public Schools Week. Today, we proclaim Public Schools Month in order to raise money for our local schools, which to this day, they are still struggling. The donations will go towards getting new materials such as books. Brethren, lets do our part and donate to this great cause, so far as you can do so of course, without serious injury to yourself of family. If you would like to donate, see myself or our Senior Deacon. Please join us on April 4th for our monthly stated dinner and stated meeting, we will be providing a delicious meal. We are going to be having Spaghetti with meat sauce, served with grilled chicken and a side of Cesar Salad and of course some desert.

Luciano Leon

Junior Warden

From the West – April 2018

Greetings Brethren from the Station of Strength,

While brushing up on my financial literacy, I recently found equilibrium in Howard Marks’ The Most Important Thing Illuminated (Columbia University Press, 2013). In it, Marks expands upon an epiphany concerning contrarianism, “skepticism and pessimism aren’t synonymous. Skepticism calls for pessimism when optimism is excessive. But it also calls for optimism when pessimism is excessive.” How often in Masonic teaching are we reminded of the balance of competing forces and the importance of centrality? I believe this essential at maintaining a truly open mind at finding areas of opportunity within and without ourselves and in our own natural available universe. Marks applies his insights to the financial market and reminds the reader to remain steadfast and focused during extremes but the moral is far-flung.

Through Masonic teaching we realize that the deepest truths can be revealed through the study of nature and the symbolism therein contained but equally important is the mention of balancing forces; attraction and repulsion which are antagonistic but not hostile to each other and which results harmonious balance. Going even further, these perpetual forces of nature host the divine exercise to develop talent, upon which arouses the utmost exertion of human genius.

“The less prudence with which others conduct their affairs, the greater the prudence with which we should conduct our own affairs.” ~Warren Buffett

Or in other words, be contrarian.

Brandon Cook

Senior Warden

From the West – March 2018

Greetings Brethren from the Station of Strength,

Have you read Graham Hancock’s The Sign and the Seal (Touchstone, 1993) which outlines the description, origin, journey and location of the lost Ark of the Covenant as well as the many mysteries and legends surrounding its historical significance? The story centers around the author’s journey to Ethiopia in 1983 while working for the government on marketing a coffee book (Ethiopia is known for its quality in coffee beans) as well as promoting Ethiopia’s unique cultural and religious importance. During his travels and having been granted special access to several sacred sites, he was able to avoid the typical hazards of an ongoing tribal war. The author describes his first-hand account of the symbolism, legend and truth to the idea that the authentic Ark of the Covenant rests in a modest church in the holy city of Axum and vigilantly watched over by a Guardian Monk whom he is able to converse.

The reader comes to understand that King Solomon built his temple to house the sacred artifact. Solomon’s son, Menelik I, having been birthed a bastard of Queen Sheba, brought the Ark of the Covenant via a circuitous route and accompanied by an escort of Jewish elders eventually to Ethiopia. Ethiopia has a rich tradition of Judaic, Christian and Moslem influences, which vie in their ultimate attempt at securing the most powerful object in religious lore (a struggle that has outlasted several centuries).
This story also incorporates the role the Knights Templars played during the 12th – 14th centuries in their excavation of the original temple, their knowledge of the Holy Grail and their monastic quest at securing truth (the great subject of Masonic study).

Those seeking instant gratification will google (images): Chartres+Ark+Prester+Parzival

Brandon Cook