The Philosophy of "Making Good Men Better"

Discussion in 'Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality' started by pointwithinacircle2, Sep 15, 2015.

  1. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    https://buildinghiram.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-road-map-talk-what-candidates.html
     
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  2. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Agreed.
     
  3. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    I remember an elderly brother telling me that one time when the WJW passed the working tools to him during the ritual the energy in the working tools almost knocked the brother off his feet. He was rather small.
     
  4. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    I wish I could like this more than once.

    I think what frustrates me is the amount of emphasis placed on the floorwork. In my opinion, this is done by those who are either unwilling or unable to grasp or work on the lessons taught in the ritual and therefore focus on that minutia of the exoteric work they CAN grasp. We recently had a 15 minute argument among 60 officers of our district on whether the common gavel ought to be held vertically or at a 45 degree angle while giving the tools lecture. 15 minutes (I timed it) heatedly arguing about the slight turn of the wrist. And I've never heard a word spoken about the symbolism of the tools aside from whether they can get the words of the lecture right.

    Learning the degrees is important to be able to pass them along, but in order to improve oneself, it requires contemplation on the lessons taught within them, and then, once the lessons are understood, the real work of putting those lessons into practice begins.
     
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  5. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Very true!
    I would have gotten up and walked out. I refuse to waste my time on such foolishness.
     
  6. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    @hanzosbm No offense to your GL but that is ridiculous! This is exactly the sort of thing that drives the newer members away.
     
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  7. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    No no, by all means, LOTS of offense to them. I'm just thankful that this happened in the officers' school of instruction so that only the officers were forced to endure this. Most of us can simply roll our eyes and smile till the clock runs out. I can't imagine what this might do to the average brother. I don't make a great secret of my dislike for the bureaucracy of Grand Lodge. The really sad part is, just like any form of politics, only someone willing to immerse themselves in all of the political BS would be able to rise to a position capable of making meaningful changes. Sadly, the kind of people who have the desire to make those changes wouldn't be able to stand all of the politicking long enough to reach those levels. Myself included.
     
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  8. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    “For as to what we have heard you affirm, that there are other kingdoms and states in the world inhabited by human creatures as large as yourself, our philosophers are in much doubt, and would rather conjecture that you dropped from the moon, or one of the stars; because it is certain, that a hundred mortals of your bulk would in a short time destroy all the fruits and cattle of his majesty’s dominions: besides, our histories of six thousand moons make no mention of any other regions than the two great empires of Lilliput and Blefuscu. Which two mighty powers have, as I was going to tell you, been engaged in a most obstinate war for six-and-thirty moons past. It began upon the following occasion. It is allowed on all hands, that the primitive way of breaking eggs, before we eat them, was upon the larger end; but his present majesty’s grandfather, while he was a boy, going to eat an egg, and breaking it according to the ancient practice, happened to cut one of his fingers. Whereupon the emperor his father published an edict, commanding all his subjects, upon great penalties, to break the smaller end of their eggs. The people so highly resented this law, that our histories tell us, there have been six rebellions raised on that account; wherein one emperor lost his life, and another his crown. These civil commotions were constantly fomented by the monarchs of Blefuscu; and when they were quelled, the exiles always fled for refuge to that empire. It is computed that eleven thousand persons have at several times suffered death, rather than submit to break their eggs at the smaller end. Many hundred large volumes have been published upon this controversy: but the books of the Big-endians have been long forbidden, and the whole party rendered incapable by law of holding employments. During the course of these troubles, the emperors of Blefusca did frequently expostulate by their ambassadors, accusing us of making a schism in religion, by offending against a fundamental doctrine of our great prophet Lustrog, in the fifty-fourth chapter of the Blundecral (which is their Alcoran). This, however, is thought to be a mere strain upon the text; for the words are these: ‘that all true believers break their eggs at the convenient end.’ And which is the convenient end, seems, in my humble opinion to be left to every man’s conscience, or at least in the power of the chief magistrate to determine.”
    Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels
     
  9. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    The argument on the gavel is dumb, it makes no difference to the lesson received. I often say, Freemasons often approach ceremonial like an occultist trying to cast a spell, every thing must be done right or it wont work. We're not doing that in lodge, we're teaching and learning (including those delivering the work), whether you hold the gavel at a certain angle, or indeed if you even hold it is immaterial compared to delivering the lessons. That said, I run the floor work in my lodge and do have a strong interest in getting everything as close to perfect as possible. A man only gets to do a degree once, so its important we do the best job we can, and as these skills and knowledge generally prove accumulative, it also means working hard polishes the stone. However, it is much better to see a MM having a go than an experienced Past Master working in perfection and showing off; we need to keep developing the next generation and that means mistakes will be made - which is fine, as long as everyone is trying. But that gavel discussion, that's trying in a very different kind of way !
     
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  10. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    Absolutely, and don't get me wrong, it is important to me that ritual is done well. The words need to be right and flow naturally with the emphasis in the right places to help make the material more digestible and easier to understand. In addition, I think that when the floor work is done well, it helps the candidate focus more on the lessons being taught rather than wondering why that guy walked a different way than that other guy. But, I think those things are icing on the cake and unfortunately, I see a lot of time devoted to them while the cake itself (the lessons of the ritual) get pushed to the back burner.
     
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  11. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Correct!
    Sad but true.
    I think that this is true in a LOT of lodges and GLs. I have seen it many times myself in my short Masonic career.
     
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  12. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    It’s a system of making Members, not Masons. GLs are worried about getting another dues payment and lodges become account managers. Once you buy the product it’s like pulling teeth to get customer service to give you the instructions.
     
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  13. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    BINGO! WE HAVE A WINNER!
     
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  14. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    While I agree with what you have said, I think that perhaps it is only the tip of the iceberg. I think there is a reason why Lodge members today are not given the instructions to become Masons. I think it is because we stopped teaching the instructions so long ago that few Masons actually have them anymore, and those that do possess the instructions probably found them outside of the Lodge. I know that's where I found the few instructions that I possess.
     
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  15. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    I agree. ACTUAL Masonic education seems so foreign to so many that even when it's brought up, it confuses people. I mentioned to someone a few months back that I really wanted our lodge to focus more on Masonic education, particularly surrounding the lessons taught in our rituals. His initial response was "oh, you mean like better floorwork?" No, I mean understanding the symbolism taught and how we can put those lessons into practice in our every day lives. "oh, you mean like the history of who wrote the rituals?". This kept going on and on. Unfortunately, I would say that the majority of Masons today see the ritual simply as something that has to be memorized and performed in order to make members, as Brother JC put it. It's almost as if its just a required step while going through the motions, which is a shame, because in my opinion, the ritual and the lessons it/they teach IS Freemasonry.
     
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  16. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    I once read something which was very meaningful to me, it went: "The purpose of ritual is that it allows those who do not understand the truth to pass the truth on until it reaches someone who can understand it".
     
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  17. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    Wow, perfectly said. I need to make it a point to remember that.
     
  18. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    I like this.
     
  19. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    The purpose of ritual is to serve as a vehicle that carries directions to light.

    The purpose was never anything other than this.

    Some members will never do anything more than maintain that vehicle, never looking inside it, never pulling out the roadmaps that direct those who can read them toward Light.

    Yes, it allows those who will never understand it to maintain it.

    No, it does not contain the truth men seek; it only points them toward that truth when they seek it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
  20. richardmcmullan128

    richardmcmullan128 Registered User

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    Hi guys I just recently joined freemasonry, March 2017 to be exact. I am just waiting on my master Mason next month. It’s all a bit confusing to me at the minute, I know I probably shouldn’t know that much at my stage, I would just like to gain a knowledge and know what it is ‘all about’ ?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     

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