A Thought On The Fellowcraft's Duty To Study
By Brother Carel Cornelissen
18 April 6013 AL
Worshipful Master, Right Worshipful, Worshipful Brethren & Brethren All, I work in an environment where the regulatory framework changes frequently, which requires continues learning to stay abreast of the latest developments. I enjoy what I do and consider myself a perpetual student. I love learning new things.
Great was my joy thus when I learned that one of the duties of the Fellowcraft is Study.
This made me think of the remedy for sadness prescribed to a young King Arthur by Merlin: “The best thing for being sad is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake in the middle of the night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world around you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then – to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.”
Ironically, if I look at the world around me today, the advice still seems valid, albeit that it may be prescribed as a remedy against madness. That aside, as a Fellowcraft, I was taken on new journeys and told of the seven liberal arts and science, and I have been advised by so many Master Masons to use my time as Fellowcraft diligently, as time flies. So it may not come as a surprise when I tell you that time indeed passed very quickly, and it may sound like a cliché if I tell you that I feel I have spent too little time practising as a Fellowcraftbefore being raised as Master Mason here tonight. Especially, if we consider that in antiquity, a Fellowcraft spent 7 years learning the trades and practices of the Craft before being advanced to Master Mason.
It is unfortunate though that we live in an era of instant gratification and I must admit, when it comes to my advancement to the Third Degree here tonight, I am as guilty as the world out there. My only justification though, is that, I truly believe that I can be a better Brother and a better Mason with all the appropriate tools and knowledge at hand. Wisdom in the deeper meaning of the symbols and teachings, in my view, will come with experience, with continues learning.
After all, although tonight’s working may be the highlight in any Freemason’s advancement in the Craft, I see tonight’s event as the beginning of a journey. A journey full of learning, with the hope that, in the words of Merlin, my mind never gets exhausted from what I am about to learn from the Craft and I never dream of regretting it.