WB W.L. Wilmshurst in his article, The Ceremony of Initiation. Analysis and Commentary wrote:
“The First-Degree Ceremony used on the reception of a Candidate into the Craft is designed to introduce him to the first stage of a system of knowledge and self-discipline which, if faithfully followed up and lived out in his personal life, will clarify and transform his mind from its natural state of darkness to one of Light, i.e., expanded clear-seeing spiritual consciousness raised far beyond and existing independently of the perceptions of the natural senses.”
He said this about the mindset which a man should have as he begins the experience of Masonry:
“If thine eye (soul) be single (simple and unadulterated by passion and wrong notions), thy whole being will be full of Light.”
He went on to say:
“He who enters the Lodge in quest of Light should leave all his previous learning behind him with his garments and loose the shoes of personal opinion from off his feet. He should think of himself as a child, and as being taken into a world of new sights and sounds, and where new ideas and even a different logic obtain from those with which he has previously been familiar, and where he must begin to recast his ideas and his life.”
Zen Buddism uses the term “shoshin” to refer to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would.
This day, the end of 2017, for many is a time of making resolutions for the coming year. As a Mason, a man who belongs to a fraternity that espouses a belief that by joining you can become a better man, maybe a resolution you should adopt is to begin 2018 with “a beginner’s mind.” Begin, as WB Wilmhurst stated, “…single – simple and unadulterated by passion and wrong notions,” so that you will be “…full of light.”
Ignore the purple the fraternity may have draped across your shoulders, approach each Brother on the level, as an Entered Apprentice, and ask yourself, “what may I learn from my Brother?”
Thanks for making me come to terms with reality. As a new year’s resolution… I will start as a beginner , simple and single. Thank you for the light.