Monday, June 11, 2007

CLIPSAS, 45 YEARS (Interesting Read)

GLADA – Grand Lodge Architects of Aquarius

Sao Paulo – Brazil


The foundation of The United Grand of England can be considered the most important Masonic event of the 18th century, gathering lodges under a central administration, standardizing Rites, proceedings, rules and so on. The union of lodges around a central administration was succeeded after some time by the union of small kingdoms, duchies and European princedoms, giving us the countries we know today. We can recognize a trend of our time in getting together because of ideals, needs, common politics, activities, business and powers. All of that contributed to the coming of Globalization and helped forming the big political and economical powers of today.

However, also with the uniformization of philosophical principles, the foundation of the UGLOE, brought the preconceptions, prejudice and dogmatism of that time and place of birth. Landmarks, which were odd to the Old and Universal Masonic Customs, were inserted in the Anderson Compilation.

It is natural that Masonry embodies external characteristics of its time, but that does not mean it has to embody any local dogma or prejudice, once the purpose of this sublime Institution is to struggle against the dogmas.

Besides, the UGLOE established some “regularity” criteria that can be considered unacceptable, arrogating powers that we do not know today. These “regularity” criteria do not reveal any concern with the purity of the Masonic principles, actually they reveal remains of Colonialism.

Therefore, the foundation of CLIPSAS was an authentic historical need, and sealed a new moment in the evolution of Masonry. This one can be considered the most important Masonic Event of the 20th Century. Since then the undogmatical and laic content of the Order, has been restored. These sublime principles are timeless and are beyond local and personal beliefs.

We are imprinting a new way of fraternal companionship these days, adapting ourselves to the modern habits, communicating via satellite, and embracing ourselves through Internet. We simplified our Rites, compared to the old customs, but more importantly, we kept the essence of them.

CLIPSAS has achieved its mission in the past 45 years, uniting Masonry around Laicism and Free Thinking, so that we are following a stream of our time, when Religion and The State have to be separated.

Great results have been obtained; bringing us the EU (European Union) and the European Parliament, besides the new economical groups that helped restore the political balance of the world, threatened by the weakening of the Ex Soviet Union. These are conquests to be ascribed to Masons in general and to the CLIPSAS operations, specially ascribed to the main European Masonic Obediences --- liberal, laic and undogmatical --- that are leading such movement.

Nowadays, people and countries endangered of having their rights violated can fall back upon the European Parliament, a kind of jurisdiction certainly more active than any other UN jurisdiction. These are important steps towards Democracy, World Peace and Justice. As we see it, CLIPSAS role has not been concluded yet. It is not about gathering and welcoming Obediences by considering them rightful and consistent with Laicism anymore. It is necessary to go further, preparing proposals to the governments, to the International Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, to all kinds of Institutions, suggesting some useful planning to keep peace, generate prosperity, reduce poverty and political arrests, reestablish diplomatic relations, improve educational systems, extinguish social and economical problems, and help in the decision making of effective environmental protection.

It is fundamental to show we Masons are taking part in the development of the world. If it is necessary to protest so let’s do it, if it is necessary to change the system so let’s do it, if it is necessary to free minds, and to support Non-Governmental Organizations so be it. We have to be effective and make Humanity awakes to the Love of Truth and to pursuit this Truth wherever it is. We have to show Humanity that Power, Profit and Privilege are not the only way.

In the course of History, there were always great Mason thinkers who idealized and inspired the key-ideas that promoted the big changes. There is a Torch in History, like the one Athletes carry in the Olympic Games throughout the countries, towards a Great Event that gathers the ones who are more capable and the best in each modality. A torch that is being taken by the free thinkers, taking to people, generation after generation, teachings of all kinds obtained by the previous civilizations, telling about the good and painful experiences they went through, sharing with us the wisdom they reached through their mistakes and lucky hits.

We propose that our great free thinkers of CLIPSAS, today in enough number to make a difference, start to put into practice in their countries and communities more effectively than ever our Masonic ideals, no only as a moral teaching or as a way of thinking, but as constant and important activities and as a duty in a daily basis.

We can feel the urgency of this action by giving a look at the shocking state some regions of our Planet are. It is like a cry for help to whom we cannot say No, once the constituted powers do not seem to be caring or simply do not want to get involved and promote the necessary changes.

Masonry should express itself in a keener way, through the media or through any open channel that society provides us. We must claim for justice, for transparency, for more integrity of the ones who rule people, more energy to fight corruption, crime and misery. We should stand against the addictions and the political interests that harm people and jeopardizes the balance of the world.

All the knowledge brings us a moral duty; Initiation imposes us a commitment before Humanity. Not fulfilling it is to feel guilty before the most important and elemental commitment accepted by us at the very day we became Masons.

Let’s remember and evoke all the Masons that came before us and who died for Humanity. Let’s be worthy of their inheritance. Let’s honor them. Dreaming and idealizing is not enough. We have to put our thoughts into action, everywhere and every time to be part of a better world for real.

Vera Facciollo – Grand Master