I would like to begin by thanking all the lodges who have hosted either me or any other member of the Grand Line during our visitations. It has been an absolute pleasure to make my way around the province this year and to acquaint myself with the Brethren I have met in previous travels, or to meet new Brethren for the first time during these travels. If I have not yet been able to make it out to a meeting of your lodge this year, please send an invitation via the Grand Secretary and I would be happy to plan a visit.
Over the last few months, I have been recommending various books which I believe can assist a Mason as they try to work on their own personal Ashlars. The idea of improvement of oneself is fundamental to the work of a Freemason. However, along these journeys of self- improvement, one can often rush into a situation headstrong and unprepared for the realities of what comes next. The best way for someone to ensure that they do not fall victim to this eager and enthusiastic self-sabotage is the virtue of Prudence.
The book I would like to highlight this month is Sun Tsu’s “Art of War.” This book is probably not unfamiliar to most people. Whether they have read it themselves or if they have heard about it from friends, colleagues or just from various forms of media. The original book was written as a means of conducting warfare and has become a means of conducting business over the ages. Few books have stood the test of time like this book has, with the obvious exception of religious texts.
In essence, "The Art of War" underscores the importance of prudence in leadership as well as in one's own personal life, urging individuals to approach challenges with a thoughtful and strategic mindset. The timeless principles of Sun Tzu's work encourage leaders to exercise caution, thorough planning, and adaptability, aligning closely with the virtue of prudence in both military and broader life contexts.
Prudence, in the context of Sun Tzu's teachings, is reflected in the meticulous planning and careful consideration of actions before they are executed. Sun Tzu emphasizes the importance that a prudent leader must thoroughly understand their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of their adversaries. By doing so, one can make informed decisions and avoid unnecessary risks, embodying the essence of prudence. Moreover, Sun Tzu stresses the significance of adapting strategies to the ever-changing circumstances of the battlefield. Prudence, in this sense, involves flexibility and the ability to adjust plans based on the unfolding situation.
For the Mason, “The Art of War” can help to reinforce the teachings to “Know thyself” and more so, how to live and act in accordance with the principles of Moral Truth and Virtue. In this sense the enemy would be our passions and our prejudices. The battlefield would be the ongoing actions in our day to day lives, and our victory would be the desired outcome we can achieve by the pursuit of becoming a better version of ourselves.
The various Grand Line Officers, appointed and elected, have been fortunate enough to see some of the work that the Masons within the Jurisdiction of Saskatchewan, both as individuals and as Lodges, are doing to improve themselves. We have been graciously welcomed. We have seen enthusiastic degree work and meetings that have some great examples of floor work, education and membership inclusion during the meetings. Please continue that work, and may you direct your various endeavors by the guiding light of Prudence.
As a final thought, I will direct your attention to a communication which will be sent out within a short time frame of the Musings this month. That communication will be an invitation to the brethren of the Jurisdiction to join in at a “Town Hall” style meeting on February 10th starting at 3:30 p.m. in the Saskatoon Masonic Center. This meeting will be preceded by the Victory Lodge No. 144 meeting earlier that afternoon. The Town Hall meeting will be a look back at the last year of Freemasonry within the Jurisdiction of Saskatchewan, a snapshot of Freemasonry today, as well as a talk about where tomorrow may take us.
I hope to see as many brethren as I can at the Town Hall. More details will be released in a separate communication in the near future.
Once more, as I finish this month's Musings, thank you all for all the good work that you do. Please Continue the Work!
Continue the work!
MW Bro. Jonas Cossette, Grand Master, 2023-24
|Relation to Masonry
|Start with Why
|In my heart
|The Richest Man in Babylon
|George S. Clason
|The 24-inch Gauge
|The Common Gavel
|The Compound Effect
|How to win friends and influence people
|12 Rules for Life
|The Art of War