Today I want to make it a little more personal, a little more intimate than usual here on the blog. Today I want to write about something very important to me: the ‘why’. The ‘why’ of my actions. And I’ll be honest: I’m having a hard time with this blog right now. The topic is so personal and so close. Anyway, just start and we’ll see where we get to….
In general, I firmly believe that other people’s development is none of my business. That’s such an important Masonic thing: the brother’s rough stone (personality) is his stone, only he has to work on it. I have my own rough stone and my job is to work on that stone and keep shaping it. So whether other people work on themselves as human beings or not is completely up to them.
However, if someone were to ask me what I would consider to be the most important thing about working on yourself as a human being, I would say: look for your ‘why’. Your real ‘why’.
By ‘real why’ I mean your own personal driving force behind your actions. No, not the (material) motivation to achieve a goal. I don’t mean being able to afford a new car, to travel a lot, a big house, when I write about the ‘real why’. I mean your own personal driving force for your actions. Why do you enjoy your job as an accountant? Why do you want to work in marketing? Why do you want to be a firefighter? 😉 If you ask yourself this question about the why and filter out the material things (the salary etc.), then you get to the ‘real why’.
When I asked myself for the first time why I am an artist or why I want to be an artist, I came up with the idea that I want to make the world a little better. Aha, another world-improvement thing. I was satisfied with this answer, this ‘why’, for some time. Until I realised that this cannot be my ‘real why’. ‘Improving the world’ is simply far too striking, far too superficial to be the real reason for my actions. So at some point I continued to ask: Why? Why do I want to improve the world? Aren’t other people really none of my business? Is it perhaps just an ego thing? And if I want to improve the world: what does that actually mean? When is the world a better place? What is a better world for me?
This further questioning of the ‘why’ opened my eyes and made me realise that I don’t want to improve the world as a whole.
Rather, I became an artist because I want to inspire other people with my pictures. To something very specific. I believe that many problems in the world, many of the ‘traumas of society’ would be solved if more people would allow themselves their own spirituality. If more people would allow themselves to admit that there is such a thing as a higher. If more people allowed themselves to explore their origins and their meaning. If they would allow themselves to seek and develop their spirituality, their very own spirituality. Then, I am firmly convinced, this world would become a better place all by itself. And that is exactly why I want to inspire other people to seek and develop their own spirituality. To grow.
Of course, when I realised this for myself, I added a very important ‘why’: why do I actually want to solve the problems in the world, the traumas of our society? Why do I care about the problems of other people, especially the problems of the next generations? Is my ‘why’ above valid at all or is it a matter of ego?
I have also found an answer to this question of why, which I do not want to withhold from you. However, I would like to explain it by borrowing from Freemasonry.
Freemasonry, at least that recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), begins in the so-called blue lodge, the Johannisloge. This lodge of St John is divided into three degrees. Essentially, this blue lodge is about morality and ethics. About the earthly part of our being human. Many Brothers find for themselves that this part, this part of the work itself as a human being is enough for them. Many brothers, however, realise for themselves that something is missing in addition to this earthly part: the immaterial part. The part that is sometimes described as the soul, sometimes as the divine spark within us. And it is about this part, the development of this part, that many so-called high-degree systems of Freemasonry are concerned. There, to the earthly aspects of the Johannine Lodge (morals and ethics) is added another, the spiritual/mystical aspect of our origin and sense. The question of what remains of us when at some point body and brain (thoughts, emotions) disintegrate is an important question in the high degrees. It basically boils down to the question: who or what are we really?
If one believes in an ‘afterlife’, that is, believes that things continue for us after death, one must ask the following question:
When I have died and my body (including brain, thoughts and feelings) decays, what remains? What then continues? What exists beyond death? That, that something that exists beyond death, that must be me, right? In other words, the real me. Even if we undergo a transformation in death, it is still WE who continue beyond death. It is not someone else who continues on our path. It is us. Thus we are, no: we cannot only be our body and spirit. But we are, under the premise that it continues after death, actually something else. Something that lies behind body, mind and feelings. Our true self.
And this part, our true self, also needs development – if one wants to work on oneself as a human being and grow. This is what most of the high degree systems of Freemasonry are about – although some brothers may not admit this to themselves. Even Freemasons are only human at this point, and even in the post-Enlightenment age many Freemasons do not admit to their own spirituality or make it easy for themselves by declaring philosophy to be a kind of substitute religion. But I do not want to distribute any of these brothers, even if I am putting it harshly here. I love and appreciate every one of these brothers – no matter what he thinks or believes.
My ‘why’, my ‘real why’ is about this thing that is at stake in the high degrees: about the real me. I believe, without writing everything to you now, that we, you and I, are connected. That the divine spark that is inherent in each of us is this connection between us. And in this spiritual connection with you and all other human beings lies hidden the reason why I want to inspire other people to discover and develop their spirituality. And also why I believe that the world would be a better place as a result.
So much for the soul striptease and my ‘why’, my ‘real why’ 😉