Grand Master, Grande Oriente d’Italia;
Honorary Grand Master ad vitam, National Grand Lodge of Romania;
Honorary Director, MASONIC FORUM Magazine
Freemasonry has always been fellow-traveller of restless truth seekers. Infinite search, study, and non-stop work have been a sign inviting to find the truth in never-ending stories. Contemporary man is pervaded by deep disquiets: Freemasonry is an idea-force that becomes an education agency and promotes past experiences, teaches a dialogue method, collects requests to give answers among the rainbows that cut the days. This long-term work is made of growth and communication steps. It is also made of narration of roots and beauty, listening of sunrises and sunsets, as we travel within ourselves, after all. Study and work shall be promoted by Freemasonry in their dignity, by extending the space of possible dialogue and fighting against injustice, which may ballast its travel. These are also dimensions speaking about movement, collective, and airy perspectives. This history builds us, goes beyond our own courtyard and individuality, and draws unit maps without putting any limits to the challenges ahead of us.
By practicing research, experiencing work with humbleness, but also with passion and determination, the “Knights of the Word” shall be an anti-dogmatic sign, an evidence of the continuous reappearance of being as against appearing. Making light means demolishing intolerance, being really committed in our society, being the voice of those who are voiceless, and keep feeling Apprentices of Life and Masters of Dream.
Study and work are two “pillars” of Freemasonry, which literally means “edification”. This implies not only its dynamic connection with history, but also the promotion of places and structures to expand the possibilities of studying, working, and researching. This means betting on our real time according to Giordano Bruno: the future. This means having a cultural project for the secular cathedral of humanity, for the good and progress of which we work together as brothers.
The spiritual experience of death and resurrection of Freemasons means the ability to go beyond the limits, and the transfer of an initiation secret into daily existence. This initiation secret is first the energy we put into the things and life, the capability to see things and problems with our third eye: the heart’s eye, and the capability to avoid falling into despair, but to keep building and hoping, in spite of everything. Authentic Freemasonry is when Jurisdictions are not stuck in old concepts, but they offer fertile grounds of new opportunities, when they are included in historical dynamics. We are faithful with a great history when we contribute to writing its pages with the commitment in one’s time period. As Aristotle said in a famous fragment handed down to us by Stobaeus (5th century A.D.) that initiation, the Greek myesis, is not a form of erudition in itself, but it is an experience. It is a way to live in the world, the capability to feel part of history in progress, to feel strong emotions, and work and research also on errors.
For those who work or research seriously, a border is not a limit, but an exchange context. It is a constant challenge, which invites not to empty our backpacks, but to recover identities and bravely fight for our beliefs. In a time of poverty of ideas, we need a new story of Masonic humanism speaking about young people who are ready to entirely follow a pathway of lonely search with no guarantee about landing, but the only certainty that we will not return back. It is new aesthetics of existence, which leads towards the truth, if we experience the most beautiful adventure through constantly practicing research: watch over the meaning of things, rediscover the pathos of thinking, and undertake the challenge of freedom and endless research. Freemasons are the sign of impatience and knowledge, which is typical of those living around the borders who know they have to move their tents „Down the passage which we did not take / Towards the door we never opened“ (Eliot).
This is korismòs (difference), which can become heritage not only of Masonic Institutions, but of the society. Freemasons are in love with history, because history has no banality. It is work and research, and passionate thinking, a matter of roots and efforts involved in living. We all carry Jacob’s Ladder painted by William Blake in our hearts. It is always wrapped in a whirlwind, and that wind calls to climb its steps and expectation to discover their secrets. In fact, letting the sun rise among the fragments is an ancient duty of initiates.
Through their continuous search for others’ faces and truth, Jurisdictions should be a workshop of Humanity, for deep choices at the school of marbyll stone, which does not fear the fire. They should enlarge the spaces of hope and the interstices of reason. From the strength of acacia to the work that allow the alchemic secret living of hands, the organ of organs as Giordano Bruno said, our pathway can only be the pathway of permanent education and the fight for the values we believe in; approach and decoding of a continuously moving matter, endless kinesis pursued between identity and memory and leading us to say real words on genetic challenges, global horizons, and long-term policies for the destiny of peoples.
However, thinking and work are also an invitation to go beyond the “already-given”, to search for a meaning on the roads of difference. The real alchemy is to keep searching for humanity, on an unfinished wall. We travel towards an ancient and new knowledge, which allows avoiding to pile up stones for a tragic and nihilist Finis Terrae and, on the contrary, to rediscover a centre in travelling.
This is mostly a way to develop the commitment to give a face and body to Freedom, and save the values in a geography that is spiritual, before it is physical. The challenge of universal Freemasonry is also in being able to reconstruct this human heritage, first and foremost in its soul. There are history and anthropology, traditions and peoples’ childhood inside.
Also for Freemasonry, a new wind is necessary: the wind of participated culture and life-long learning, pitting with the unknown, recover possession of a method to move towards the future. For Freemasonry, promotion of study and work is culture of education and pedagogy of responsibility, but also awareness of history. Practice and study are required to face with reason and passion the new cartography of high competitions on the world theatre, banning the vile metal of improvisation, which generates monsters and recipes that are good for one night.
On the contrary, Freemasons have chosen to be building stones. Their real secret is non-stop study, the doubt inviting to choose solutions beyond any homologation, holding the dialogue in their heart: an impervious, but necessary pathway, Beauty and Ground (Grund). No matter their history, the destiny of Freemasons is to be guardians of reason and secularity, build up universal brotherhood, choose not to stand still and look, but to go down into the agora and speak with the sun in their faces.
We are the men of doubt who fall in love with heresies and know that we are the rebels of freedom and workers of hope. The time has come to look ahead at the challenges of history open to new living experiences to follow. We strongly re-launch the need for a new culture of dignity and free research, education and work, freedom and social accountability. Our task is always the same: build on the ruins and make light on the crossroads of choices. Wake the masters up, because the world needs examples and evidences of real humanity. We want to give our contribution so that the planet has a soul, and a deep meaning.
We work, with the nights of research dancing in our heart, on the construction of Civil Religion, which may ensure the freedom of conscience of each individual and establish new foundations for a kind of history, which puts hope for change, revolution of merit, and commitment against pessimism and delegation always back on their feet. We keep building: the cornerstone is the project, the cement is our passion in our actions and thoughts. We want to be the protagonists of a new pathway, which is able to become word in the society and love for what is possible, a sign of real philìa between men.
An advice by Aristophanes opens this pathway: “May the Gods’ will be that everyone does his job”. A job, including thinking and studying, should be done well. This is the only way for work and study to become not only an ethical duty, but also a lesson of possible humanity. This is also how the symbol becomes – through the strength of testimony – a window open on the infinite of research ahead of us. Only if we believe that life is first Thought, the foundations of the Temple will rise even higher under our tool and the tool of our successors.
A more real and fair world is built by paving the way to reason, and living as free men, who choose real alchemy: mental alchemy. There is no life without thinking (Denken).