Digital Series #7 – Why do bad things happen to good people?

By MW R.S.D, PGM California

In the early times of Speculative Freemasonry, Pythagoras was often mentioned without really much discussion of why. Of course, the Harmony or Music of the Spheres is attributed to his school
of philosophy: no matter how violent the Universe may be, it will always return to harmony. Geometry measures that harmony when exhibited by celestial objects, and thus becomes not only the symbol of that harmony but also the symbol of its source: the Great Geometrician.
The Fellow Craft degree lecture encourages us to find that harmony on Earth, in the return of seasons, for instance. Just as good and bad happen in Nature, so it is among humans: we have free will to choose good or bad. Yet, everything eventually returns to harmony. Scientists
find that harmony at the quantum level: everything is energy that will return to equilibrium and follow the rules after it is disturbed. That quantum harmony originated in the Big Bang, which we metaphorically refer to as Let There Be Light. That harmony is also
the meaning behind the Word (or the Logos in the original Greek)
at the opening of John’s Gospel. Good and bad are part of existence, but so is the Logos. We observe that harmony, the Logos, by its nature will return. That expectation should offer us hope that we can overcome the bad when it does come.

There is a Masonic degree, a now unused portion of which compared human existence to a bird flying in the night. The bird enters through an open window a great, lighted hall, flying around in it for a time, experiencing pleasure and pain, before flying out another window back into the night. The energy that is our spirit takes physical form upon entering the metaphorical hall but returns to spirit upon leaving. The spirit does survive despite the time of trial. When I was a boy and first learned about what I thought was limitless space (not yet understanding the theory of expanding bubbles of space and time), I came to doubt that there was a place for God in the Universe, until after many years of thought I came to find in Geometry and the Logos my proof of a Great Intelligence whose harmony pervades everything.

This short talk was published recently in a Masonic publication I receive and it really stuck home for me. It has now been a month and a half since I have been in quarantined with my family. During this time I have seen the good and the bad of the human race. Just before the lock down I saw two men fighting over a roll of paper towels at my local super market. While I do not know if the two men knew each other after this moment, it did spark the thought of “why do good people do bad” in certain situations. While both men may or may not have needed that item they did make a lasting impact on those around them. For all the wrong reasons. To protect my family, what would I do when put into the same situation? Would I lean on my Masonic principles or take the easy route? On the contrary side, it was pointed out to me in another store that “we need men like you to help guide us through this” when the cashier saw my ring. While I was doing nothing but buying supplies – our fraternal reputation had proceeded us. The line “ the eyes of the fraternity are upon you” from the 3rd degree are more important now than ever before. The eyes of the human race are now upon all of us, to help lead us through these troubling times. We should ever strive to do good even if being bad makes the good come easier. We must continue to shave the rough edges off of our Ashlars. On a side note – Please let anyone in the lodge know if you need any assistance. *Wor. M.M, PM and Master of Novus Veteris 864*

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