Myth, Herds and Freemasonry 

Freemason Civic Duty

Why Can’t We All Just Agree?

Having been accused of being a liberal far more times than a conservative, I’m drawn again to the impacts of what professionals refer to as “socialization” where communities,   cultures – even celebrities without credentials – strongly influence the general attitudes in place.

There are areas of my community, of my county and state that are in many ways strongholds of political or social philosophies with which I am not in total harmony, but none contain individuals whose opinions render them unworthy of my regard or respect.

I was nurtured and grew to adulthood inside a culture – both social and geographic – that has tended in recent years to combine social and political conservatism into one identity. Living outside that culture now for most of 40 years, I’m still drawn emotionally to some of the feelings and values that I carried with me when – unknowingly as a young missionary – I left the area, never to call it home again.

Just as I’ve mentioned to those who have assumed that I am socially and politically “liberal,” I struggle sometimes to relate to friends and family whom I assume to be “conservative” when in fact the label may be totally meaningless.

Whether we admit it or not,  every definition of life we possess is an assumption. Every reasoning behind what we choose to do and how we choose to behave is based on assumption.

Our assumptions are the authors of our own story, that personal mythology from which we navigate our lives.

Sam Keen and Anne Valley-Fox years ago addressed this subject with excellence and I have paraphrased their writing to discuss what in essence are the different herd mentalities that inform who we are, perhaps who we used to be, and who we might become.

Our assumptions are usually based on that informal and formal set of teachings from which we authorized our answers to the following questions:

Where did I come from?

Why is there evil in the world?

What happens to me when I die?

With whom do I belong?

How close should I be to others?

What are my obligations?

What is taboo and to be avoided?

Whom should I imitate?

Who are the heroes, villains, enemies and allies?

What are the stages along life’s way?

What is disease?

How can I be healed?

What should we do with bounty and surplus?

What is our relationship with nature and the animals?

Why do we do the things we do with the feelings that we feel?

In so doing are we vitalized or bleeding away emotional energy? And does what we do leave us feeling validated or merely accepted?

Our lives are living myths of our own creation. Our companion is our personal story, all the stuff inside we use tell us who we are and tell the world the same.

“Myth” is a word given too much work in how we share knowledge with one another.

Defenders of religious creeds use the word “myth” to characterize religious beliefs that conflict with their own, saying

“Your, assumptions are not as valid as my assumptions. In fact, your assumptions are myth while my assumptions are truth.”

What do we deny if we refuse to recognize our own assumptions?

How much are our individual lives shaped by inner scenarios based on assumptions we have been taught to accept as absolutely true?

Do we live an inner myth that reflects how we’ve been taught that the real  world is defined by our personal societal culture rather than how we’ve discovered the world to actually be?

Our personal mythical scenario is always on and is always running. Sam Keen has described myth as referring to

“an intricate set of interlocking stories, rituals, rites and customs that inform and give the pivotal sense of meaning and direction to a person, family, community or culture.

The myths we carry around inside include unspoken consensus, the habitual way of seeing things, unquestioned assumptions, and our ‘automatic stance’.”

A society lives on its own unconscious conspiracy to consider a myth the truth, the way things really are. Do we belong to the majority who are literal without thinking; men and women who are not critical or reflective about the guiding “truths” – myths – of their own group?

As Keen implies,

” To a tourist in a strange land, an anthropologist studying a tribe, or a psychologist observing a patient, the myth is obvious. But to the person who lives within the mythic horizon, it is nearly invisible.”

I also like this quote from Carl Jung:

“I asked myself, ‘What is the myth you are living?’, and found that I did not know. So … I took it upon myself to get to know ‘my’ myth, and I regarded this as the task of tasks … I simply had to know what unconscious or preconscious myth was forming me.” -C.G. Jung, The Portable Jung

 

In a herd, members usually instinctively choose behavior that corresponds to that of the majority of other members. They do this through imitation, mimicry, citations or quotes as “authority”.

people often do and believe things merely because many other people do and believe the same things. The effect is often called herd instinct. People tend to follow the crowd without examining the merits of a particular thing.

As more people come to believe in something, others also “hop on the bandwagon” regardless of the underlying evidence. The tendency to follow the actions or beliefs of others can occur because individuals directly prefer to conform, or because individuals derive information from others. – Wikipedia

Herd behavior as a social study can describe how individuals in a group can act together without planned direction. There need not be strict control from upper echelon or hierarchy – individual cultural members tend to be the strictest enforcers of cultural norms and group-think. Herd behavior includes spontaneous moments such as riots, demonstrations and protests. However, herd behavior manifests itself consistently at religious gatherings, sporting events and organization meetings.

Where do we as Masons find place in all this?

Lewis Monical, a Past Grand Master in Arizona, wrote the following (courtesy of Masonic World website):

“If we are to regain the stature of former years, we must move Masonry out of the lodge room and make it a powerful, constructive influence in community, state, national and international affairs. The Masonic body, as such cannot act, but we as individuals and Masons, can certainly do our part. We must speak out through the public platform and the public press. We must assume a positive attitude in public affairs. Hopefully, such action will pro-vide a powerful modern awakening for Masonry today. The time is coming, it may even be here, when societies like ours must come out in the open with a public declaration of aims so all men may see in all this political confusion that there is one body with strong and worthy ideals.”

In the first degree, we are charged to be true to our government and just to our country.  From Morals and Dogma we are told: “This degree teaches us that no free government can long endure, when the people cease to select for their magistrates the best and the wisest of their statesmen; when, passing these by, they permit factions or sordid interests to select for them the small, the low, the ignoble and the obscure, and into such hands commit the country’s destinies. There is, after all, a ‘divine right’ to govern; and it is vested to the ablest, wisest, best, of every nation.

“A democratic government undoubtedly has its defects, because it is made and ad-ministered by men, and not by the Wise Gods.  It cannot be concise and sharp, like the despotic. When its ire is aroused it develops its latent strength, and the sturdiest rebel trembles.  But its habitual domestic role is tolerant, pa-tient, and indecisive. Men are brought together, first to differ, then to agree. Affirmation, nega-tion, discussion, solution; these are the means of attaining truth.”

Our present government is seen by many to be crumbling into ruin, It has lost much of its effectiveness because Americans have lost trust in it. The crisis has been long in the making.  Long before the present flagrant corruption and moral bankruptcy in our government, it was axiomatic with sophisticated citizens that first-rate people seldom make a career of politics.

Because we have entrusted civil government to men of mediocre ability and shabby morality, we now have the reverse of what we want, yet we’re “asking for it” by our cynicism.

This nation has reached a point in distrust of government beyond which it must not let itself drift apathetically any longer. We now have two apparent options: (A) Let “government of the people, by the people and for the people” run right on down the drain; or (B) take a full turn-about and return to the kind of government our forefathers designed for us.

If the choice is Option A, there will be a time of anarchy and chaos. Then the “Savior of the Republic” will ride up to the “rescue. ” Government will be restored with a vengeance, and it will be for the people, but not of and by them. Nations drift into despotism and dicta-torship. As Chesterton said: “A despotism is a tired democracy.”

If the choice is Option B, it will be up to Masonry, the church, and other institutions which influence the public mind to re-educate the nation about the worth and dignity of public service in government. It is a truism and a notorious fact that a nation gets the kind of political leaders it deserves; and its deserts are determined by its expectations and demands. If we expect third-rate people and demand nothing better, that’s what we get. If what we get in the end is Option A, it will be because in that fleeting moment, when we were still free to choose, we wrung our hands and said: “Well, that is politics. It’s a dirty game, so we have to put up with the dirty people who play it for the rest of us. Who wants a saint in the White House? ”

Masons today, especially the younger ones, desire to act together as a Fraternity, not as individuals only. We have fostered this idea in DeMolay and continued it in our own Craft.  Historically, Masonry steers a wide path from involvement as a Fraternity, but as individuals, we do the Fraternity a great disservice if we do not involve ourselves in the task of bettering our schools, our community and our govern-ment.

This stance of uninvolvement is sometimes unpopular, unattractive and perhaps in some ways accounts for our decline in membership, and NPD suspensions. We might also consider this as a partial reason for non-attendance in Blue Lodges because of increasing commitments to appendant bodies of Masonry. Our Craft traditionally prevents the sponsoring of Boy Scouts and other good works which the member can do in our other Masonic organizations.

We return to the definition of the problem.  How can our beloved Craft find its way out of this predicament without radical change?  Radical change is not desirable, nor is it necessary.

Nothing forbids the members of the Craft from joining others within the Masonic family to act in civic duties. From Morals and Dogma again: “Masonry is action and not inertness. It requires its initiates to work, actively and earnestly, for the benefit of their Brethren, their country, and mankind. It is the patron of the oppressed, as it is the comforter and consoler of the unfortunate and wretched…. It is the advocate of the common people in those things which concern the best interest of mankind…. Its fidelity to its mission will be accurately evidenced by the extent of the efforts it employs, and the means it sets on foot, to improve the people at large and to better their condition. ”

Specifically, what can we do? Our real civic responsibility is to convince the world by our actions that we are Masons. We should do those things which provide leadership in im-proving the physical, moral and emotional status of our environment. We should sit in on school board meetings, announce our support of well-qualified and fair-minded candidates for public office. We should support community drives for blood banks, traffic safety and community beautification. We should support our DeMolay, Rainbow, and Job’s Daughters, not only with advice and money, but with our presence.

In fine, we should provide, with our actions, the kind of a public image which the whole world can admire and will wish to emulate .

A diverse culture will by definition have a diverse set of values, assumption and yes, mythological stories ranging from origin to culmination.

It is only when we assume that we individually or as members of a specific culture have the one true point of view and morality that we in fact weaken the whole of our entire society.

Civic Duty and American Freemasonry

Politics

Effective contribution to civic discourse:

What I learned about being so right I might also be wrong.

The greatest American Heroes are those willing to learn about sharing opinion … and then share it. To my chagrin, I have not tried to be a great American Hero, rather a Johnny One-Note who encourages political polarization as opposed to genuine civic and civil discourse.

The town-hall citizens that I believe were the civic hope of our Founding Fathers have a need to understand and preach political wisdom with among other things, three tools of communication:

Rhetoric – The art of speaking or writing effectively

Reason – The power of the mind to think, understand and form judgments by a process of logic

Persuasion – The action or fact of persuading someone to accept an idea, concept or fact.

A Con is not one of those tools.

A Con – The act of cheating or tricking someone by gaining their trust and persuading them to believe something that is not true. A con is also the act of saying to someone exactly what that person is expecting to hear in order to create the illusion that speaker and listener are “on the same page.”

The goal of political debate is not necessarily to be “right.” Nor is it an advancement of a particular view of “the truth.” Rather, political debate has as its goal that of causing someone to act in a way consistent with the speaker’s objectives. Fundamentally as campaigns roll-out, political debate’s most important pursuit is the winning of votes.

Many political persuaders decided long ago that truth and reason are irrelevant to political debate. With competing ideas in a supposed democracy in which free speech is a function of persuasion, those most easily persuaded tend to be mostly one-dimensional, simple-minded or in fact unscrupulous regarding ends and means of persuasion.

If you would persuade, maintain constantly for yourself a reverence for reason and genuine truth. However, understand that you yourself may not know what is true, whether or not your reasoning can be shown as flawed and your own priorities not necessarily of the highest importance in the over-arching political and civic reality.

Unless you understand that your assumptive knowledge and wisdom are not drinkable bathwater, you have little to contribute toward genuine consensus.

Reason may not be the most effect tool of perceiving the correctness of your own perceptual truth and is perhaps of greater value in discovering for yourself what is not true.

Bearing a respect for reason and truth according to reason, political debate ought to be then a clear-headed objective of reaching consensus based on commonality of understandings of truth and reason.

Political debate is at its least usefulness when the principal reliance is on talking points, canned stump-speeches and the broken record of “Johnny One-Note” candidates. The object of such political persuasion is the creation of a voting base of Johnny One-Note voters who are obsessed with single or merely one or two issues about which a candidate or its party are obsessed.

Such becomes the Johnny-One-Note electorate about which it the following has been written and this is a quote I have publicly posted previously:

Author Oliver Lange in his novel, Vandenberg, had this to say about American society in the 1970’s.

“We proved the lie, were served up with a gagging portion of our own vintage distillation of apocalyptic horseshit

— all the narcissistic swill about indomitable spirit, invincibility, courage and nobility of purpose

— and demonstrated once and for all to those who looked on with interest a fact long suspected:

that this nation, through a self-administered indoctrination of spurious righteousness, larded with the false rewards of superfluous luxury, had at last achieved the most tractable, malleable — let’s face it, spineless — people to walk the face of the earth.”

– Vandenberg (later published under the title, Defiance) – The Journals, 1971

Lange’s Cold War novel concerned a fictional lone American holdout against a Soviet occupation of America – hardly a liberal theme by today’s standards.

Yet the description still appears to fit this society to a Tee.

Our politicians of both parties thrive on tossing our way narcissistic swill about what America stands for and what the American People are truly like.

I’m reminded of G.W. Bush during his presidency expressing surprise that the rest of the world might not see America and Americans in the same light as our narcissistic swill and all those talking points celebrities of all stripes throw at us.

For all of us as a political audience talk is cheap, indomitable spirits are prompted by the cheap theatrics and propaganda of pundits and political personalities, movies and commercialized patriotism more interested in money than global peace, global honor or global respect.

If we refuse to seek consensus among ourselves our whole lives will seem like unsatisfying and unavoidable implementations of ideas and notions entirely lacking in substance and socially redeeming value.

Walking in a Mason’s Path: 21st Century Conformity or Liberty and Freedom?

mysticcoffeecup

Many people introduce themselves in categorized or labeled ways. Some might do so by describing themselves as a “Southerner” or a “Yankee” or politically as a Conservative or Liberal. (Since I live in Washington State, my sister calls me a “tree-hugging, mocha-snarfing Northwesterner.”)

My primary spiritual foundation as a Freemason is my “walk” in a Master’s Path which is based on personal perception of how I view life and life’s questions.

The way in which we perceive our path – consciously or unconsciously -reflects that we have – permanently or tentatively – internalized certain assumptions about life, the Divine and the following questions:

Where did I come from? 

What we do know is that most sacred writing declares outright or infers that we are by our nature sons and daughters of The Divine and in our prayers and oblations many of us relate to the Divine Architect in such a context. One observation in this regard is that we ought not make our emulation based on that model  an impossible pattern.

Life is not an impossible pattern and one principle cornerstone is in fact a very personal relationship with God – as we perceive God – unfettered by someone else’s magic, interference or need for a go-between. That relationship, that sense of communion or connection with the Higher Power is not only ours to possess, but a  way of creating or re-working our life pattern.

Why is there evil in the world? 

In life we encounter seemingly constant problems of addressing and confronting evil according to the values of our personal moral compasses. I do not think that we are limited to the personal opinions of anyone else in order to seek and find answers to why evil exists. A walk in a Mason’s Path includes the need to discern the answer as to why evil exists, how it is to be discerned and in what form a response should be made. In my opinion we are left with our need to explore … to learn and understand “how to know” rather than precisely “what to do.”

What happens to me when I die? 

Repent for the kingdom is at hand” does not nor did it ever mean “do things my way or you’ll burn in hell.” If it did, from what we find in the Holy Bible, then Jesus would have not spoken to Nicodemus in such a metaphorical manner, nor told his disciples to “Feed my sheep” when “govern my lambs and don’t let them out of your sight” would more accurately reflect “do it or else.

Jesus literally walked into death unafraid – because He had knowledge of reality that went beyond mortal fear of the unknown as well as an understanding of eternal life and how the kingdom of God exists within us.

Esoterically, a Mason’s knowledge of reality perhaps need to move beyond mortal tendencies to fear death and the unknown. Otherwise, lilies of the field have no business in the fear, shame and guilt of religious dogma since they don’t seem to worry about conformity and group think.

Ought not our paths be simple, confident, and compassionate and based on inculcating a desire in others for the highest good of all concerned? For that reason, a Walk in a  Mason’s Path ought to include a clearly obtained and definable understanding of what the great spiritual leaders have meant about the kingdom of God being within rather than a place in the future.

What is taboo and what is to be avoided? 

A walk in a Mason’s Path by common sense should include effort and thought as to having defined what is taboo and what to avoid. As doing so conflicts with contemporary judgmental mores – are we not forced to deal with those questions on a very intimate and personal level?

Who do we shun – if we must shun?

With whom do we socialize and what are the consequences of that activity?

Again from the Holy Bible, “sinners” was a word Jesus ended up throwing back in the faces of those who professed most to know who and what sinners were. Judgment and execution of penalty was precisely what Jesus refused to do with those among whom He preached the most. The accusers, the judgers and those who would execute were the societal segment He opposed most directly.

He walked and talked and blessed and healed the most outcast, persecuted and exploited members of society; the lepers, the poor, the tax collectors, prostitutes, the demon-possessed and the zealots hungering for revolt – the entire spectrum of what the hypocritical “righteous” considered dangerous or unclean. Furthermore, in doing so,  he did not catch leprosy, did not fall into a psychologically destitute poverty, did not become a tax collector nor prostitute himself, become demon-possessed nor join in political revolution.

Does that Path not suggest that we could do the same without soiling ourselves?

Who are the heroes, villains, enemies and allies? 

Does a Mason pay undue homage to supposed moral celebrities, a high priesthood, an assortment of politicians – particularly those with whom he agrees? If we don’t own our values, intuition and discernment, then who does?

In summation, I believe that moral and spiritual independence is a Mason’s holiest prescription for a real relationship with The Divine Architect. It is based on fierce independence of self that leads to seeking to know and understand The Divine in the most useful and working way we can find.

 

Reasonable Questions (Red Jacket Letter)

Born about 1752, died in 1830; his Nation, the Senecas, his home, near Geneva; his real name, Sogoyewapha, the name “Red Jacket” coming from an embroidered scarlet jacket presented to him by a British officer during the Revolution; saw service on the American side in the War of 1812.

FRIEND AND BROTHER:—It was the will of the Great Spirit that we should meet together this day. He orders all things and has given us a fine day for our council. He has taken His garment from before the sun and caused it to shine with brightness upon us. Our eyes are opened that we see clearly; our ears are unstopped that we have been able to hear distinctly the words you have spoken. For all these favors we thank the Great Spirit, and Him only.

  Brother, this council fire was kindled by you. It was at your request that we came together at this time. We have listened with attention to what you have said. You requested us to speak our minds freely. This gives us great joy; for we now consider that we stand upright before you and can speak what we think. All have heard your voice and all speak to you now as one man. Our minds are agreed.

  Brother, you say you want an answer to your talk before you leave this place. It is right you should have one, as you are a great distance from home and we do not wish to detain you. But first we will look back a little and tell you what our fathers have told us and what we have heard from the white people.

  Brother, listen to what we say. There was a time when our forefathers owned this great island. Their seats extended from the rising to the setting sun. The Great Spirit had made it for the use of Indians. He had created the buffalo, the deer, and other animals for food. He had made the bear and the beaver. Their skins served us for clothing. He had scattered them over the country and taught us how to take them. He had caused the earth to produce corn for bread. All this He had done for His red children because He loved them. If we had some disputes about our hunting-ground they were generally settled without the shedding of much blood.

…   Brother, continue to listen. You say that you are sent to instruct us how to worship the Great Spirit agreeably to His mind; and, if we do not take hold of the religion which you white people teach we shall be unhappy hereafter. You say that you are right and we are lost. How do we know this to be true? We understand that your religion is written in a Book. If it was intended for us, as well as you, why has not the Great Spirit given to us, and not only to us, but why did He not give to our forefathers the knowledge of that Book, with the means of understanding it rightly. We only know what you tell us about it. How shall we know when to believe, being so often deceived by the white people?

 Brother, you say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about it? Why not all agreed, as you can all read the Book?   

  Brother, we do not understand these things. We are told that your religion was given to your forefathers and has been handed down from father to son. We also have a religion which was given to our forefathers and has been handed down to us, their children. We worship in that way. It teaches us to be thankful for all the favors we receive, to love each other, and to be united. We never quarrel about religion.   

  Brother, the Great Spirit has made us all, but He has made a great difference between His white and His red children. He has given us different complexions and different customs. To you He has given the arts. To these He has not opened our eyes. We know these things to be true. Since He has made so great a difference between us in other things, why may we not conclude that He has given us a different religion according to our understanding? The Great Spirit does right. He knows what is best for His children; we are satisfied.   

  Brother, we do not wish to destroy your religion or take it from you. We only want to enjoy our own.   

  Brother, you say you have not come to get our land or our money, but to enlighten our minds. I will now tell you that I have been at your meetings and saw you collect money from the meeting. I can not tell what this money was intended for, but suppose that it was for your minister; and, if we should conform to your way of thinking, perhaps you may want some from us.  

  Brother, we are told that you have been preaching to the white people in this place. These people are our neighbors. We are acquainted with them. We will wait a little while and see what effect your preaching has upon them. If we find it does them good, makes them honest, and less disposed to cheat Indians, we will then consider again of what you have said.   

  Brother, you have now heard our answer to your talk, and this is all we have to say at present. As we are going to part, we will come and take you by the hand, and hope the Great Spirit will protect you on your journey and return you safe to your friends.   5

Red Jacket on the Religion of the White Man and the Red

http://www.bartleby.com/268/8/3.html

Red Jacket (c.1758–1830)

(1805)

Born about 1752, died in 1830; his Nation, the Senecas, his home, near Geneva; his real name, Sogoyewapha, the name “Red Jacket” coming from an embroidered scarlet jacket presented to him by a British officer during the Revolution; saw service on the American side in the War of 1812.

We are taught to believe in doing good to all men. What might that look like?

A model outlined by one of our Lights might be a road map.

 Isaiah 61 and Luke 4:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me” 

Although we have that choice, we have not been called to join a church or be validated by the formality of an organized sect. God, the Eternal Father in Heaven communes with all men in individual ways. His spirit lives in our lives always. We are called and invigorated me through the Spirit of Compassion.

“He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor.”

Ours is a God of Compassion. The poor are numerous and their poverty is not only a want of bread, but a poverty of spirit. Yet theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. The Masonic way is a living practice of the life of compassion, concern, kindness and advocacy on behalf of the poor. We are not called to get the poor to join churches, but to love the poor as we love love God and our own selves.

 “He hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted.” 

Those who mourn will be comforted. The meek will inherit the earth. God hath not sent a Mason to say ‘Be of good cheer, say your prayers, and God will bless you.’ He hath not sent a Mason to say ‘Take upon yourself a godly name and declare your redemption so that all will go well with you.’ He hath sent a Mason to cheer the brokenhearted with our own strength and spirit, to pray for the brokenhearted as we pray for our own broken-heartedness. He hath sent a Mason to bring the brokenhearted into a circle of prayer and bless them by deed more than word.

 “To preach deliverance to the captives.” 

Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled. The merciful will be shown mercy. He hath sent good men to teach the captives about their freedom and to work with them to attain freedom. He hath sent good men to place less value on riches and comfort and a greater worth on acts of goodness for the sake of goodness. He hath not called men to stand in a church, speak from a book, condemn from the pulpit and then expect to retire to a mansion.

“And recovering sight to the blind” 

He hath not called us to say, ‘Lo, come to my chapel and be saved,’ but to send us out of our lodges and chapels and into the darkness with a light of compassion and action. Where there is blindness, we ought to teach vision, a life led by the Spirit, and knowledge of the God of Compassion.

“To set at liberty them that are bruised.” 

The pure in heart will see God. Peacemakers will be called the sons of God. And the persecuted? Theirs is the kingdom of heaven. He hath not called men to inflict fear, shame nor guilt, but to bandage wounds, pour on oil and wine and carry to the inn and pay from their own sources for the ministrations of healing.

“To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

A time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven. The acceptable year of the Lord is every year, every month, every week, every day as God and Heaven are a living part of every moment.

A journal of a life’s progression from this point in time.

In moments when something called me to be above more trivial things, I remembered being taught this as a child in my church.

The above is from the Art of Manliness.com

In late October, 2014 I was initiated into Masonic Lodge # 34 in Spokane, Washington.

My life at my age has been full of new experience. That experience comes from exposure to a society not steeped in formalized religion upon which performance, business and a constant spiritual sauntering across a never ending public stage is no longer part and parcel of what it means to be spiritual, just and upright.

“In ordinary life, a mentor can guide a young man through various disciplines, helping to bring him out of boyhood into manhood; and that in turn is associated not with body building, but with building and emotional body capable of containing more than one sort of ecstasy.”
― Robert Bly, Iron John: A Book About Men

I seem to be learning by leaps and bounds, taught by men older than me, my age and younger than me. I have found a society that does not dwell on conversations in god-talk, or about trucks, girls, hunting, drinking and sports as the only thing honorable men can do.

Tis  honorable to strive for and try to be something other.