Brother Jack Buta posted some of the following posers on the Philalethes List today, and I think they are worth repeating here, in light of the new year:
Is it true that nothing remains to be done in Masonry?
1. Do Masons no longer form uncharitable opinions of their Brethren, enter harsh judgments against them, and judge themselves by one rule and their Brethren by another?
2. Has Masonry done that which it should have done for the cause of education? Where are its schools, its academies, its colleges, its hospitals, and infirmaries?
3. Are political controversies now conducted with no violence and bitterness?
4. Do Masons refrain from defaming and denouncing their Brethren who differ with them in religious or political opinions?
5. Where in our Lodges are lectures habitually delivered for the real instruction of the Brethren?
6. In what Lodge are our ceremonies explained and elucidated; corrupted as they are by time, until their true features can scarcely be distinguished; and where are those great primitive truths of revelation taught, which Masonry has preserved to the world?
7. We have high dignities and sounding titles. Do their possessors qualify themselves to enlighten the world in respect to the aims and objects of Masonry?
8. Your debates should be but friendly conversations. You need concord, union, and peace. Why then do you retain among you men who excite rivalries and jealousies; why permit great and violent controversy and ambitious pretensions? How do your own words and acts agree?
9. Is freedom yet universal?
10. Have ignorance and prejudice disappeared from the earth? Are there no longer enmities among men? Do cupidity and falsehood no longer exist? Do toleration and harmony prevail among religious and political sects? There are works yet left for Masonry to accomplish..
These questions were posed by Albert Pike over 150 years ago, in Morals and Dogma Chapter 11.
As Jack points out in his post, it seems we still have a lot of work to do in 2008.