"I've Been Studying"

Discussion in 'Recommended Reading' started by rpbrown, Jun 25, 2013.

  1. rpbrown

    rpbrown Premium Member

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    I have seen this written several times by people waiting to be initiated.

    My question is what have they been studying?

    I have always been taught the traditional "mouth to ear" as it is supposed to be done. It concerns me that there appears to be written material that some have obtained and are reading. Since this is against the obligation, I am not sure I could vote for someone that has "been studying"

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. CStevenson

    CStevenson Registered User

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    I am not sure what they were studying. Maybe the term they should use would be researching. However, I am not sure if I would deny a vote to someone, even if they have stumbled across a document which may or may not outline any part of Masonry. I took the obligation, but if they are waiting to be initiated, they have not. I would find that honest curiosity a sign of interest and hope it would lead to sincerity to the work and the craft. I do however, understand your hesitation.

    Just my thoughts.
     
  3. j_gimpy

    j_gimpy Registered User

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    I may have used this term, and in my case I just meant that I was studying what Freemasonry is; its ethos, not its rituals, practices, etc. using Lodge and Grand Lodge websites.



    Entered Apprentice Mason
    Phoenix Lodge #154
    Sumner, Washington
     
  4. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    I always dislike it when I hear this and I've seen a few candidates who acted as though they already know everything and are just going through the formality of joining.

    I find it can be hard to teach someone with pre-conceived notions, especially if they already think they know everything about the subject.
     
  5. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    I've read a report of someone who memorized a large amount of ritual out of an expose' book before being initiated and then was frustrated that it's harder to memorize a second version than it is the first version. Having memorized most of the ritual in two jurisdictions while going through the line twice I experienced that as well. If asked I advise against expose books. Books on Masonic history and philosophy is a different matter. I like it when a candidate reads those.

    Knowing what he's getting involved in to me is good but details of the ritual is not. It's called Initiation for a reason. I deliberately went in cold not having any idea what would happen. Other candidates want to more more so they read books like "On the Threshold" that give a brief outline.
     
  6. Starr

    Starr Registered User

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    I lack of some to seek further light (knowledge) amazes me. I call it studying because that is what it is. Studying a subject like you would in school, only Freemasonry is a broad topic. While I know I have much to learn since I'm only an EA and I do listen to those around me to learn from other as much or more than I learn from book. Those around me should be willing to listen and possibly learn from me as well. I feel if everyone takes that point of view, we will all find ourselves a little closer to the truth we seek.


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  7. Pscyclepath

    Pscyclepath Premium Member

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    I call it studying, though what I'm really doing is learning the ritual of opening and closing, as well as conferring, and the senior deacon' s parts, mouth-to-ear with one of the instructors at a neighboring lodge. We meet weekly to recite, with me being expected to cover all parts, and I spend several hours a week practicing, reciting to myself, with an occasional reference to the monitor for the few things that can be found there. Likewise, I'll spend an hour or two working with our young EAs and FCs, on the respective parts of their proficiency lectures. Very much like the "blab schools" of frontier days, when there were no books or slates, and all instruction was oral. You gotta learn it somehow when it's not proper to be written...
     
  8. Starr

    Starr Registered User

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    It is the history and philosophy I have been studying. I started reading through the GL of New York library reading list. I don't plan on reading any further than the ground floor list until I reach Master Mason. I have been slowing looking for and getting the other books on the list when I find them used. What I have read so far is very interesting and adds another point of view to my thought process.


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  9. rpbrown

    rpbrown Premium Member

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    I do not have issues with this as you are apparantly a MM already. Where I have a problem is with a candidate to "be studying" before his initiation. As someone stated before, we have had a couple come through that said they were ready to turn in their work a week after initiation and no mentor assigned yet (we assign our mentors at the first study meeting after the degree). Therefore they have been reading somewhere. I know it is probably on the internet but the only way to get the true and total experience is to learn it the traditional way. That is what helps build the brotherhood of friendship and brotherly love.
     
  10. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    I have been interested in joining a lodge for 5 years and I finally dove in. It took that long for me to wrap my head around what I was doing. It was not a 5 minute decision.

    I am not from a long line of Masons. In fact, I think I am the first in my family so I did not have much to pull on. My only exposure to a mason was when I met a man who was a childhood friend of my in-laws. I picked his brain for a while. He said if I have any serious thoughts about joining that I should not read about the rituals on the net.

    I have experience with message forums so the first thing I did was google up "masonic forums" and landed on the one that appears first. I wont post links out of respect for this forum.

    I've read public masonic discussions and knew what clandestine, irregular and regular lodges were before becoming a mason. Why certain states do not recognize PHA lodges etc.

    After seeing several people metion freemasonry for dummies I went ahead and bought the book to do some more reading. However I still had no idea how involved the memory work was and what it was composed of. After being voted favorable I was told not to try and get a head start by reading something off the net or to look at the rituals for the degrees.

    So "I've studied" for years but only to make an informed decision to go down to the lodge and speak to the guys about joining.

    Without asking "what he studied" we might be judging someone harshly for doing due diligence to join the fraternity.

    Edited: After being initiated I was thirsty for info. Our lodge holds educational classes a week or two after the degree. MM on down to the degree we are speaking about are allowed to attend. If it is for a FC explanation and you are a new FC you are strongly encouraged to attend ;) I found it refreshing to have a Past Mater break down the obligation and Inner Chamber lecture into plain english and answer questions. Sitting home between degrees is frustrating because asides from the memory work it feels like you could and should be doing so much more so like many others I seek out places like this to read and participate in.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
  11. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    Limiting the term "study" to the use of written materials is actually an aberration from the point of view of human history. One can study through purely oral means. At one time, it was even considered questionable whether or not anything could be learned through written materials. Consider Plato's send-up of writing in the Phaedrus, after all.
     
  12. rpbrown

    rpbrown Premium Member

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    There is a difference in studying and getting information to make an informed decision.

    AS for study after the degrees, we have a study night every week except the weeks of stated meeting (and sometimes even then). Those that need to study the work break up into small groups around the lodge, each group with at least 1 MM that is a mentor. The remaining MM's, usually officers retire into the lodge room to work on degree work, opening and closing, and whatever else needs to be worked on.

    As I mentioned earlier, these are not what I have a problem with. I too sought information to make an informed decision before turning in my petition. What I have a problem with is those that know the work the following week after initiation before any study groups have been assembled. This has happened a couple of times at 2 different lodges and both times the new EA got upset that he was made to wait his proper time before moving on.
     
  13. Starr

    Starr Registered User

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    I see where you are coming from.

    I'm currently only an EA and I turned my work in after about 4 weeks. I have to wait until sometime in Sept for FC. I don't take issue with waiting. If I was told I had to wait another month or year or more, I would wait. I would prefer to move through the degrees to help the lodge in ways I currently cannot, but if it was required I would wait.

    Seems like to comes down to the individuals you are talking about. I have not been involved for long but my guess is they will be the guys (I have heard about and seen) who get through the degrees and never come back to the blue lodge.

    I don't completely understand why that happens but to seems to common.


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  14. tyep3rd

    tyep3rd Registered User

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    I am a 19 year old young man who has been interested in masonry and i have asked a professor on my campus about becoming one. He told me to keep up with my studies, as a young man im learning that u cant believe everything u read so i am asking how should i study.


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  15. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    Learn by doing. Study not by reading about the masonic experience in a dusty volume, but by experiencing it yourself. Find a lodge, meet brothers, be initiated, labor in the quarry. Then when you have been raised, then, seek further knowledge in masonic resources.


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  16. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree partially with this but I also (personally) believe that we should strive to be well read as masons...especially on masonic material.
     
  17. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    Oh absolutely. I meant save hitting the masonic books until after becoming a master. Then diving in and consuming masonic knowledge beyond your initial instruction.


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  18. rpbrown

    rpbrown Premium Member

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    Absolutely, but not until after you are a MM
     
  19. tyep3rd

    tyep3rd Registered User

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    Another question the princehall lodge in washington dc would that be a good place to start? Or the scottish rite lodge in alexandria VA


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  20. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    All legitimate Scottish Rite requires that you already be a Master Mason before they will admit you.
     

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