I decided to leave lodge at a reasonable hour. I needed to stop at the store, and I wanted to spend the rest of my evening with my wife. Mind you, at Braden a “reasonable hour” is 10:30 p.m., but regardless, handshakes were exchanged and away I went…for about eight blocks. Realizing my van was a bit sluggish and veering to starboard, I pulled over and did a walk-around.
A flat. Terrific.
The Art of Manliness is a website close the the heart of many Freemasons. For those who have never been there, it’s a guide that explores the lost traits and skills of being a man, and how we can get those aspects back into our live. I highly recommend How to Feel Like a Man, the first video of our Internet Lecture Series and a great primer on something freemasonry stresses in our Craft. It’s just one of many places where the art of manliness and the craft of masonry intersect, which is one reason why the site is so popular with masons.
I’ve been reflecting, recently, on the terminology used for the two concepts: the Art of Manliness, and the Craft, which is a synonymous term for Freemasonry in the lodge. Arts and Crafts. Kind of cute. Kind of weird. Why not the Craft of Manliness?
Half the posts are learning how to whittle a workbench with a pocket comb and things like that. It’s certainly pretty crafty. And why isn’t Freemasonry called The Art? A good deal of what we can do, in terms of the degrees, is practically performance art, anyway. Stonemasons made gorgeous works of architecture. Can we not be considered an art?
Freemasonry isn’t just found in lodges. Things that Freemasons discuss, shrouded in allegory and symbolism, are sometimes more relevant to people when stated more plainly in other walks of life. Esoteric Freemasonry and the practice of the Craft is a discipline that, itself, focuses the mind, body, and soul, but the lessons themselves are universal. We’re starting an ongoing project at Braden 168 to collect some of the most clear and plainspoken truths about living a Masonic life from Masons and non-Masons alike. Check out our new page, under the Projects tab, for two short, great lectures; one by Freemason and raconteur, Brett McKay, and one by Adam Carolla.