I hope this message finds you all well. This is the first message of the new quarterly format for the Rhode Island Freemason which causes us to look further into the future of our Masonic events.
This also means that you will have to plan your events much earlier if you expect to have them published in the Freemason. That being said, I would like to list my upcoming visitations that are unfortunately jam packed into the month of March. I hope that you will be able to join Scott and me on our visitations in the final stretch of our journey in the Grand East. The dates are; March 5 at St. Paul’s Lodge No.14, March 18 at Rising Sun Lodge No. 30 and March 20 for a special visitation to St. Johns Lodge No. 1 Providence. My Mother Lodge visitation is April 12 and I hope to see many of you there. (Note that the original date was April 19th, which is Good Friday).
Scott and I have enjoyed every single minute since my appointment as District Deputy Grand Master nine short years ago. I thank all of you for being there with us. I hope after my time is up in May and when R∴W∴Poyton our Grand Master-Elect takes the reigns of this great jurisdiction and his message replaces mine, that I have a chance for one last message to all of you.
Instead of covering past events over these last two months, I would like to share a story that I came across and shared with the brethren at one of my visitations. It is a very old, inspiring short story from the sacred land of Tibet. I don’t know who the author is, but I do know that the message is pure and makes you rethink how you live your life.
Once upon a time there was a king with four wives. One day the king got very sick and was on his death bed.
He was afraid of being in the afterlife alone, so he asked his fourth wife which he loved the most and bought her diamonds, gold, and elegant clothing. He asked her would you die with me and go with me to the afterlife? The fourth wife replied I’m sorry I can’t do that and walked away.
He also loved his third wife, he was very proud of her and would show her off to neighboring kingdoms, so he called on his third wife and asked would you accompany me to the afterlife?
The third wife replied I love my life too much. I’m sorry I cannot go with you and when you die, I’m going to remarry.
His second wife has always been there for him in his times of need, so he asked would you accompany me to the afterlife? The second wife then replied I’m sorry that I can’t help you out this time, but what I can do is arrange your funeral and I will be there for your funeral but cannot go with you.
A voice called out and said. I’ll leave with you and follow you wherever you go even if it is to the afterlife the King looked up and it was his first wife, but this was the wife that he took care of the least. He felt embarrassed and said I’m sorry I should have taken better care of you and given you more attention when I was alive.
The moral of this story is that WE ALL HAVE FOUR WIVES…
Our fourth wife is our body, we like to decorate it with nice jewelry and nice clothing, but at the end it can’t follow us to the afterlife.
The Third wife represents our possessions, we spend so much time trying to gather possessions, but in the end they cannot follow us to the afterlife and it will all be divided up and given to other people just like the third wife said she’s going to remarry.
The second wife is our friends and family. We trust them they’re always there for us in times of need, but the farthest they can go with us is to our funeral and send us off.
The first wife represents our soul, we usually neglect taking care of our soul but that is the thing that will follow us to the afterlife.
Care for your body, keep it healthy. Enjoy your possessions and the comfort they provide. Cherish your friends and family for the love that they provide. But don’t forget to take care of your soul, be sure to nourish it.
Take time to be alone. Take time to pray. Take time to meditate. Because it is the source of all your life and your most faithful friend. This is the basis for our life as Freemasons. We should be working on the eternal and not the external. We should be searching for the inner light which makes us who we are.
As Freemasons we should be that person that teaches and practices caring, caring for each other as brothers, caring for the less fortunate; lifting others up and not letting them down, without judgement of social standing, religious beliefs or ethnic background. As we learn through the lectures that we give and listen to many times, striving to live a moral and ethical life and we can only do that by working from within, by caring for our inner self, our spiritual inner core; our soul.
The true path of a Freemason is searching and striving to be transformed from that rough ashlar to that perfect ashlar. I have always said “Freemasonry is a way of life.” Remember as we are raised to that Celestial Lodge above, where we will stand alone and hope to hear the Supreme Architect of the Universe cheerfully express; “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things, enter into the joy of the Master.” Strive to take care of your inner light, live the life of a true Freemason. Try to remember to pay it forward when you can. I am honored to be your brother and proud and humbled to be your Grand Master! I look forward to meeting and greeting you all on the level. Scott and I look forward to seeing you in these next four months as we conclude our journey as servants of this jurisdiction in the Grand East. Remember to travel with Light!
Sincerely and Fraternally,
Glenn S. Carlson
This message was printed in The Freemason Magazine, March 2019