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Lodges and psychopathies

The lodge confronted with behavioural disorders

Asking to enter a lodge is possible for everyone. The various interviews that the candidate will have with members of the lodge allow a selection to be made, the purpose of which is to determine whether the Masonic approach is compatible with the personality of the person in question.

It is generally required to be bona fide, sincere and authentic, sociable (i.e. able to respect the common rules of life in society), humanistic and empathetic towards others, able to think and study.

However, many biases are possible either because the real possibilities of adaptation are underestimated or because certain elements of the personality have been, consciously or unconsciously, hidden.

As a result, human beings become Freemasons who have a "particular" way of functioning which can, in certain situations, cause relational difficulties.

In most cases, these are minor personality disorders that may be tolerable in the life of a Lodge, but sometimes the disorder presented can be a real problem that can be more disruptive to Lodge work.

The internationally recognised reference classification of mental disorders is the one that the American Society of Psychiatry has been carrying out under the acronym DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) since 1980; the 5th edition was published in 2013.

Without going into the details of possible pathologies that have not been judged incompatible with initiation (either knowingly or unknowingly), it is possible to distinguish nine types of personality more frequently encountered and deserving of a differentiated approach :

  • paranoid

  • hysterical

  • Mythomaniac

  • bipolar

  • border line

  • addictive

  • anxious

  • depressive

  • schizoid

The purpose of this article is to try to take stock of these main possible situations by postulating that it may be possible to reconcile the initiatory process and personality.

Working in a lodge requires several abilities; among others :

  • a natural empathy for others

  • attention and comprehension of written and spoken language

  • respect for silence

  • maintenance of posture

  • a great politeness and a savoir vivre in accordance with contemporary sociability

  • respect for authority

  • lack of aggressiveness

  • speaking out

  • respect for opinions different from his own

  • the handling of symbolic thinking

  • a certain availability

  • humility and discretion

  • respect for secrecy and non-disclosure of personal information.

Difficulties may arise either as a result of non-compliance with these requirements or as a result of an interpersonal conflict with one or more other members of the Lodge.

In trying to find a user-friendly resolution, it is important to have an appreciation of what can be understood, knowing that each situation is unique and deserves adaptation.

The eight categories of personalities mentioned above may be partially reflected in some of the behaviour of siblings and as the Lodge is generally welcoming and exchanges may be relatively formal and superficial, it is quite possible that acceptance may not pose any particular problem until the day when the externalization of the personality will put it in a "special" light.

Reminder of the main character profiles

  • Paranoid personality

It is classically a psychotic disorder that can manifest itself in a very variable way with two main characteristics: a very high susceptibility and a sometimes incomprehensible use of violent outbursts (verbal more often but sometimes physical).

  • Hysterical personality

It is classically a neurotic disorder characterized by two features: a certain theatricality of expression and a tendency to somatic conversions with acute attacks.

  • Mythomaniac personality

Almost everyone lies at least once in their lives, but not everyone is a pathomaniac or pathomaniac (simulation of an illness). It is a complex disorder sometimes present in other personality types such as bi-polar personality. It is analyzed primarily as a disorder that falls into the category of sociopathies. The subject creates an imaginary reality to which he or she does everything possible to make it credible. The relationship of trust can be severely disrupted.

  • Bipolar personality

Also of a psychotic nature, it is a personality that is confused by the variability of moods with bouts of euphoria and others of deep apathy.

  • Personality border line

It is a peculiar personality, at the same time fragile and capable of impulses; having a tendency to doubt a lot and to expect a lot from others. Borderline personalities sometimes appear in conditions of exhaustion after overwork.

  • Anxious personality

It is one of the most common disorders generally causing inhibition; moderate, it can be easily manageable but to a greater degree it can be very troublesome.

  • Depressive personality

There are several types of depression according to age and circumstances of appearance; the features most often found are devaluation and loss of desire; it is often masked by a soothing speech.

  • Schizoid personality

It is a particular form of personality with withdrawal, a lack of interest in social relationships and a capacity for dissociation with the production of delusional elements.

  • Addictive personality

It is a form of personality very often encountered in its mundane form; at a higher degree, this personality is very active and enterprising and often occupies positions of responsibility; problems can arise either because of the nature of the addiction (alcoholic drinks, sexual activity, use of psycho-stimulantsn etc.) or because of the appearance of a situation of failure)

Potentially conflictual situations

If we consider that the essential for coherent masonic work is the ability of the lodge to create and maintain a climate of serenity without interpersonal conflicts, it is clear that this requires from the members of the college of officers a listening capacity and a sense of tact to perceive the signs that will help to better understand the personalities that can "detonate".

Two types of personalities are particularly difficult:

  • the mythomaniac: it is trivially said that this is a personality "to make mountains beat" to express how important the misinterpretations can be!

  • the paranoid: with this type of personality, communication is extremely difficult, especially in order not to feed resentments that will be difficult to settle.

Four types of personalities can create interference:

  • the hysterical personality that can "take up space" and needs to be "managed"...

  • the borderline personality, which in certain phases can cast doubt on his credibility...

  • the bi-polar personality especially in its hypomaniacal phases where activism can be overwhelming.

  • The addictive personality in its destabilizing periods.

Two personalities would deserve outside support:

  • the anxious personality that may be suffering

  • the depressive personality that can get discouraged.

The schizoid personality is very interesting

  • It is surely the personality that has the most difficulty in associating the two sides of the Masonic approach: a necessary empathy for others and a personal work with an esoteric tone;

  • Being uncomfortable with empathy, the refuge can be found in a mysticism that can be delirious.

  • This personality loves the occult, historical research and the most complicated rituals.

  • Apart from a certain difficulty in establishing friendly relationships, the schizoid personality is perhaps the least problematic personality, as long as he respects his requirements.

To want to identify these nine personalities among all the personalities of a human group may have a reductive aspect insofar as we all know how difficult it is to maintain authentic and empathetic relationships, but perhaps the difficulty is even greater in these nine categories where instability is close at hand.

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