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Acacia, symbol of resilience

Many are the brothers and sisters who, after having taken the step of joining a Masonic lodge, say they are disappointed to find there behaviours that they judge unworthy of the high moral values they thought they found.

Sometimes, this disappointment is put into perspective with other feelings of real satisfaction, but sometimes the feeling is so painful that it leads to estrangement and resignation.

In order to overcome this ordeal, which is also encountered in other circumstances of professional or personal life, therapeutic hope must involve the process of resilience. Popularised in France by Boris Cyrulnik, resilience is an indispensable psychological mechanism for overcoming the feeling of powerlessness that can appear after psychological shocks that call into question our motivations for living.

Symbolically one could associate resilience with the acacia tree: in a dramatic situation, such as the shock of Hiram's death, the Masonic tradition invites us not to be discouraged and to concentrate on the essential: like the acacia tree, which is capable of resisting the worst environmental conditions, we can find in our inner self the energy to understand that despite cowardice, self-interest, hypocrisy, pretence, sincere and authentic Masonic commitment must not be affected by what could be called human perversity.

There is no point in revolting or wanting a collective condemnation to isolate the black sheep!

Resilience in order to be successful must be accompanied by the acceptance of an observation: yes, not everything is proper in the experience of the lodges, in the experience of the obediences and in the history of our order; from the small pettinesses of daily life to the historical facts in which masons have found themselves involved in the horrors of human experience; this observation of our collective imperfection must be looked at objectively and it is the role of true historians to dissect the conditions that have favoured the occurrence of such facts.

Acceptance is not resignation, but it can be the beginning of a strengthening of our ethical convictions.

It is a sign of the maturity of great societal organizations that we are able to face the test of the mirror to see all the imperfections we are capable of. And it is also a reason why obediential division is profoundly harmful because it overwhelms this work of memory, which is absolutely necessary for development in a serene future.  

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