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Educational Philosophy of Honolulu Lodge

On behalf of the Education Committee of Honolulu Lodge, I extend our fraternal greetings and offer a hearty “Aloha!”

From time immemorial, our ancient and honorable, global Masonic fraternity has championed the cause of personal liberty, intellectual dialogue, and philosophical growth, serving as a fertile ground where the greatest minds and the brightest ideas have taken root. Within the walls of our Masonic lodges, the seeds of creativity have been nurtured for generations, wherein the fruits of human potential were borne in the compositions of Mozart, Beethoven, and Sibelius; in the words of Voltaire, Twain, and Kipling; in the leadership of Washington, Churchill, and Roosevelt; in the athleticism of Naismith, Cobb, and Wagner; and even on the battlefield under the commands of MacArthur, Doolittle, and LeJeune. These men, and many more, found in Freemasonry not an expedient means for their excellence, but a spark of inspiration that ignited their enthusiasm for what life had to offer. Their success naturally followed. They entered society with ideas – and left with a legacy.

The greatest life lessons can be learned in the many Masonic symbols and allegories that have been passed down for centuries, from “mouth to ear.” The rich, oral tradition of Freemasonry is enabled by the Master-Apprentice system of learning, whereby a more experienced Brother transmits knowledge, wisdom, and lessons by way of a personal interaction with a newer Brother. Although not always practical in a school setting, where large numbers of students need to learn a fixed body of knowledge, this personalized Masonic system of learning unites Brothers from all walks of life and encourages inner reflection and self-improvement through direct, personal experience. As such, the lessons that Masonic Brothers learn from each other can be life-changing, and each realization leads us to a fuller understanding of ourselves and our fellow travelers on this journey of life. Thus, Masonic learning and enlightenment must come through inspiration, not merely through education. In the words of Brother Antoine de Saint-Exupery:

If you want to build a ship, don’t heard people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work,
but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.

Likewise, the educational philosophy of Honolulu Lodge is simple: We continue the tradition of inspired Master-Apprentice education through personalized mentoring, where each Brother is afforded the resources to maximize his own potential at his own pace, no matter his creed, no matter his circumstances.

Upon completing the steps for Membership in our lodge, the Masonic candidate is scheduled for initiation into our fraternity and is asked to review the materials under The Preparation Room.  This public page provides background information about our jurisdiction and Freemasonry in general. On the night of his Entered Apprentice Degree, the newly-initiated Brother will be assigned a lodge Mentor, who is a member of our Education Committee tasked to guide the Brother as he journeys through his Masonic degrees. With the guidance of his Mentor, the Brother will be able to access the password-protected pages of his corresponding degree (Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, or Master Mason). His Mentor serves as not only a source of information about the ritual, but also serves as a friend with whom the Brother can trust at all times. Meeting regularly outside of lodge nights, the Mentor is free to connect with the Brother in whatever manner is most suitable for them, constrained only by the proficiency requirements established by Honolulu Lodge and the Grand Lodge of Hawaii. From this personal connection, using the symbols contained within the Masonic degrees as tools of learning, inspiration is passed from Master to Apprentice.

It is here, in this manner, where we as Brothers of Honolulu Lodge begin and continue our Masonic adventure. In the spirit of Brother Mark Twain:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.

It is with my utmost humility that I serve as your Education Officer. Together with my corps of Mentors, I look forward to walking this journey with you.

Owen Shieh
Past Master & Chairman HMRS
Author of Journey on the Level

Honolulu Lodge, F. & A.M.
Grand Lodge of Hawaii F. & A.M.


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