Have standards really been lowered?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by LAMason, Jun 3, 2015.

  1. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    LOL! Yes, but with one slight augmentation: Members learn more about "Organizational Freemasonry", and are asked to 1) remain Moral, 2) remain silent about what goes on at that level and 3) support the level they are currently and all the previous levels.

    Some come and go, and some stay. As I had posted: It is perfectly designed to get the results it gets.

    BTW - O.F. is at its core theater; and more specifically a total emersion live action role playing Society designed to put on Morality Plays called "Degrees", all designed to bring paying patrons through total emersion performances for fee and to have those patrons continue to pay fees should they wish to see these performances again or participate within them. In the Blue Lodge theatric arena, the theme is based upon symbolic stone-craft. In higher Degrees, other themes are introduced supposedly complementary to this beginning theme. It's all theater though and this often times is not realized by the more zealous members who get swept away in the fantasy.
     
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  2. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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    I posit that there is at least one other option C)members who are for the most part satisfied with their Lodge experience and are very willing for their friends and family members to join (i.e. I see 2B1ASK1 bumper stickers all the time and multi generational members are quite common. I know one man, a PM who has 2 sons, both are also PMs, and 2 grandsons who are Mason. They are all members of the same Lodge.). The attitudes/opinions of members could also likely be viewed as a continuum.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
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  3. Browncoat

    Browncoat Registered User

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    I saw this Organizational Freemasonry first-hand last week:

    1) My lodge traveled to another lodge (after a short open/close) for a visitation. This was my first time visiting another lodge, and I was stoked. We showed up with around 14 guys, and even though they had known for several months that we would be visiting on this date, they still had to make phone calls to get enough of their own members to come and fill chairs. A lot of those guys were sporting Scottish Rite rings and pins.

    2) My father-in-law invited me to High Twelve last Friday. I saw a few familiar faces, but several new. This group supports two local lodges for the most part, and there was probably about 20 men present. Some of these guys were members of my own lodge, but I'd never seen them before.

    3) The big talk last week that I overheard was the official closing of my county's Shriners group. I guess you need a certain amount of people present to even shut the thing down, and they were having problems even getting that part done. It's kind of sad, considering these guys have a van and transport several children in the area to Shriners hospitals...but now that's being shut down also due to lack of drivers.

    Thanks for opening my eyes to this...guess I'd never really saw it that way. But now that I think about it, most of the older Masons that I know have done it all, so to speak. York Rite, Scottish Rite, Shriners, High Twelve, etc. My father-in-law held offices in all of those. I've had a few guys ask me about joining one thing or the other, but I haven't felt pressured by it.
     
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  4. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    Perhaps this quote can offer a new perspective, "The purpose of ritual is to allow those who do not understand the truth to pass the truth on until it reaches someone who can understand it". Perhaps the Masonic use of the word Equality is not intended to mean that we are all exactly alike. Maybe it only means that we are all given an equal shot at deciphering the truth. I agree that it is left to the young and dumb to fix things. They are to young to be jaded and cynical, and too dumb to believe that there are no hidden meanings and truths.

    You don't have to read many of my posts to know that I always encourage Masons to learn something about Masonry and then to stand up in Lodge and talk about it. I am talking to the Brothers who are still young and dumb enough to believe that what they do matters. In my experience understanding is not a gift that only special people have, it is a nut that some Masons crack and some don't.
     
  5. Browncoat

    Browncoat Registered User

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    Clearly Organizational Freemasonry has worked for previous generation(s). But it should also be clear that it is not going to work for the current or next generation. We're looking to squeeze the most out of our blue lodge experience, and if left unfulfilled there, we're certainly not going to go looking for it in appendant bodies. At least not in large numbers. Blue lodge shouldn't be viewed as a "stepping stone" into other things.
     
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  6. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Clearly, it is.
     
  7. JMartinez

    JMartinez Registered User

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    Then there shouldn't be a problem.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
  8. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    But you stated : "Our fraternity is based on diversity and equality."

    I supposed that, if so, it was relatively recent. I don't think you really mean that a lack of diversity and equality isn't a problem.
     
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  9. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    Please forgive the rather long quote. The following was written 146 years ago (1869) by the Russian author Leo Tolstoy in "War and Peace". Remind me again, when did we lower the standards? http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/fiction/warandpeace.html

    [​IMG] "He divided the Brothers he knew into four categories. In the first he put those who did not take an active part in the affairs of the lodges or in human affairs, but were exclusively occupied with the mystical science of the order: with questions of the threefold designation of God, the three primordial elements—sulphur, mercury, and salt—or the meaning of the square and all the various figures of the temple of Solomon. Pierre respected this class of Brothers to which the elder ones chiefly belonged, including, Pierre thought, Joseph Alexeevich himself, but he did not share their interests. His heart was not in the mystical aspect of Freemasonry.

    [​IMG] In the second category Pierre reckoned himself and others like him, seeking and vacillating, who had not yet found in Freemasonry a straight and comprehensible path, but hoped to do so.

    [​IMG] In the third category he included those Brothers (the majority) who saw nothing in Freemasonry but the external forms and ceremonies, and prized the strict performance of these forms without troubling about their purport or significance. Such were Willarski and even the Grand Master of the principal lodge.

    [​IMG] Finally, to the fourth category also a great many Brothers belonged, particularly those who had lately joined. These according to Pierre's observations were men who had no belief in anything, nor desire for anything, but joined the Freemasons merely to associate with the wealthy young Brothers who were influential through their connections or rank, and of whom there were very many in the lodge."
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2015
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  10. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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    Very informative.

    Being a member of "the previous generation" it is good to know that we alone did not create "the current state of affairs".;)
     
  11. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    Wow, I feel so ignorant for having no idea that War and Peace had such a Masonic context. Kinda makes me want to read it, except that I read so seldom that I'd be lucky to finish it before I die.

    While I see what you are saying in regards to things being the same 146 years ago, I might argue against that. I would say I probably belong to the first class of Mason that Tolstoy speaks of. Despite the bit of a sting regarding his description of not caring about anything else (that's gonna require some introspection) it made me realize something. Besides of a few of the brothers on this site, I don't know that I've ever met another Mason who I would put into that class. There might be one or two I've come across and I simply didn't know because they weren't open about it, but nonetheless, they are very rare. Based on Tolstoy's description, 146 years ago, while certainly not the majority, they were a large enough population that even he, a Mason not of that group, recognizes them and seems to say that others did as well. I would venture that 95% of the Masons I've met fall into the third category at best and aren't even aware that the first category exists.
    Based on that estimate then, the argument could be made that, while the majority didn't have interest in the deeper meanings 146 years ago, some did, and enough of them that it was at least known to be an available path. Comparing that to today and I would say that there has indeed been a decline.
     
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  12. Bob Reed

    Bob Reed Registered User

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    Agreed. I definitely need to put W & P on my reading list. I guess the biggest thing I have taken from this thread is that like anything else in life, you get out of it what you put into it. Whether you were initiated, passed and raised in a day or over several years, it's all there for the taking. You have to put in the effort, but it helps to have someone to guide and inspire you to know it's even there in the first place. It reminds me of what my lodge brother, past Grand Master and one of the best Masons I could ever hope to know often says: "I am not interested in being better than others, but rather becoming better than myself." Ultimately isn't that what we are all trying to do?
     
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  13. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Similar appears in The Iliad and The Odyssey though those were comments on general society as there were no lodges in that time and place.
     
  14. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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    Quwstion.....im 30 so does that mean that I am in the same generation as a 5 year old and a 55year old but that 55 year old is in the same generation as me but not the 5 year old?
     
  15. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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    That would certainly be possible if we were talking about Biological Generations:

    A Biological Generation

    …is simply the unscaled transition from one parent to one offspring. In humans, the Biological generation does not have a standard length but there are limits. So you are in one generation, your mother the previous, your child the next one after you, etc. regardless of when any of you were born. As long as your Uncle Willard does not marry your Sister Betty Jean, this is not complicated; This is what people often mean when they use the term “generation” but not what they mean when they ask the question “how long is a generation.”

    However in this discussion Generation is used in the context of Cultural or Societal Generations, the 25 years of course is not written in stone as there certainly is some fluidity:

    A Cultural or Societal Generation

    …is a cohort (a bunch of people born during a specified range of time) with a name that has some sort of meaning to those who use it. The following are widely recognized, given here with the midpoint of the generally accepted range of birth dates:
    • Lost 1914
    • Greatest 1923
    • Silent 1935
    • Baby Boom (Boomers) 1955
    • Generation X 1968
    • Generation Y 1975
    • Generation Z or I 1992
    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2011/03/01/how-long-is-a-generation/
     
  16. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    I think that one of the main reasons for this is that month in and month out all that happens in the majority of lodges are business meetings.
     
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  17. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    I agree.

    I ask everyone to ask themselves this: why are you here at this forum? What are you able to find here that you cannot find within your own lodge? Once you have answered that, then ask yourself 'so why isn't it in my own lodge?'
     
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  18. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    I hadn't thought of it this way before but you're absolutely right!!!I'm here on this forum so often because it is more interesting than my lodge meetings and I learn more here than I do in my lodge! We install new officers in my mother lodge Dec. 7th and I am going to speak to the incoming Master about lectures and guest speakers and the like.
     
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  19. Carl_in_NH

    Carl_in_NH Site Benefactor

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    Better still, offer to do a presentation yourself. Do some research on a topic you find interesting and start a discussion with members of the lodge. Draw them out from the sidelines and officer chairs with input to the discussion. We have had very good luck recently in our lodge with such participatory discussions - you may even find you need to place a time limit on that segment of your meeting so that you'll still have enough time to discuss the ham and bean supper before closing.
     
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  20. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    In one lodge to which I belonged, it seemed to me that the brethren belonged to 3 groups:

    - the social Masons - the festive board is most important
    - the Masonry as an Art - Masonry needs to be learned but cannot be taught
    - Masonry as a Science - Masonic Science can be taught if you can find a true brother to teach.

    The social Masons eventually mounted a coup against the science brethren. The lodge lost membership and lost its building 6 years later.

    The social brethren had no idea how the lodge had previously attracted candidates.
     

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