Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Fiat Lux!: Let there be light.
The York Rite includes the famous and evocative statement, "I beg you to observe that the Light of a Master Mason is Darkness Visible." Recently I have had a number of thought provoking discussions with a mason whose goal in life is to emulate the legendary Dutch boy who put his finger in the dyke to save his town from being inundated by the sea.
This brother seems to think no innovation has occurred in the fraternity since the Pharoah Narmer created the whole kit and kaboodle in two days; we mustn't have any talk of one day events, here! We must keep everything pure and unadulterated, no innovation, and God forbid, no change. Also, there is only one form of Freemasonry and even the smallest variation is a sin. And oh, we never advertise. I daresay, he'd rather the entire fraternity disappear than be one iota different than it is in his imagination.
Well, fortunately for us, this has not always been the view held by our brethren. In 1923, a Packard auto dealership in L.A. purchased the first commercial neon signs from Georges Claude. We don't know when or where the first use of neon signs by a Masonic Lodge occurred, but we know that for decades they were extremely popular. Neon signs have made darkness visible in front of lodges across the nation for more than half a century, shamelessly! Dare we say it, they advertised the presence of the fraternity for all to see, even in darkness.
Here are just a small handful that I found. In an effort to share the light, I offer them to you. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. More than that, I hope they serve to remind all Masons, whatever obedience they may belong to, that we must not ask whether we are allowed to share our light in innovative ways, but that if we fail to do so, we will indeed make our darkness visible for all to see.