Traditional observance

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by brother josh, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. 4570

    4570 Registered User

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  2. BroBill

    BroBill Site Benefactor Site Benefactor

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    I just read "Observing the Craft" and I've just started "A Traditional Observance Lodge" and I'm fascinated with the difference between where we are today (in Texas) and where the TOL is. There are definitely things I'd like to see come in through changes to the Grand Lodge law.

    S&F
    BroBill
     
  3. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    You and everyone else in this jurisdiction who sees the craft for what it is supposed to be, Brother. Do not get me wrong. If this or that Lodge wants to stick with third-rate meals and boring meetings, fine, but to effectively force all Lodges in the jurisdiction to that lowest common denominator is extremely short-sighted. Yes, Doug's point about who actually did the voting is valid, but the reality is that the TO movement has been set back in the GLoTX.
     
  4. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    I don't get why there has been any conflict in the first place other than the clueless flub with screwing up CofR. There is nothing in the Traditional Observance movement that has any conflict with any GL practice I've ever seen (other than the CofR flub in one state). Near as I can tell everything else about the issue is the Texas grand line officers wanting Masonry to be more like the Elks and less like the Masons.

    Color me unsympathetic with the grand line on this topic. Yet the representatives at GL have voted with the grand line to color me obedient to the decisions even though I'm unsympathetic with them.
     
  5. brother josh

    brother josh Registered User

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    I don't understand why there is conflict with the CofR I find the idea very imposing on the mind as far as getting the lessons of mortality influence on the canadetes mind
     
  6. BroBill

    BroBill Site Benefactor Site Benefactor

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    I am hopeful for the future.. I suppose I'm colored something chameleon-ish, cynical and hopeful... maybe I'm actually a mood ring!

    So far everything I read of the TOL and tradition observance in general seems reasonable, but I do understand the "we've never done it that way" culture is firmly embedded.

    About three years ago I was opposed to a proposed change in the law to allow those making themselves available for the Grand Line to list their business and higher educational credentials in their bios because my fear was that voting would swing to the candidate with the longest list of business certifications or degrees and away from a candidate that might be more qualified based strictly on his masonic credentials and masonic "vision". Sigh....

    Appreciate the discussion!

    S&F
    BroBill
     
  7. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    (I ain't got a dog in this fight). I am very interested in how the situation will play out in Texas, with respect to TO lodges. I hope that the movement can "take root" and TO lodges can operate, with support (or at least permission) from your Grand Lodge.

    TO lodges have met with genuine success in Canada, and in California. (Possibly other places as well!) And I understand that there are TO lodges underway in Kentucky (where my mother lodge is).

    I hope hear more from the participants in Texas (and other places). Please keep us informed. And I wish you well.

    (PS. I know how hard it is to get change in Masonry. "We never did it that way before" is a mantra)
     
  8. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    For the record, there are TO Lodges in AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, IN, KS, LA, MS, MN, NH, NY, OH, OK, PA, TN, TX, VA, WA, and WI, as well as three Provinces of Canada. These are the ones recognized by the MRF and does not include the numerous Lodges who have included Observant practices into their work.
     
  9. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Other than the fiasco with screwing up Chamber of Reflection by one Texas lodge there is no conflict whatsoever. All that is needed is lack of opposition by members of the progressive grand line. Why members of the progressive grand line in Texas would oppose actually taking Masonic values seriously is completely beyond my kenn.

    Right. There's at least one lodge in Illinois that follows the TO pattern but that is not registered as such.

    Each GL in the US and many elsewhere have a prescribed ritual that is standardized for the jurisdiction and that is taught by instructors. That is the ritual that is to be used during degrees, period. In each of these rituals there are a number of break points where optional activities can happen that are other ritual or that are not ritual.

    For example activities can happen before the opening starts. Items like proficiencies or announcements can be inserted between the opening and the start of the degree. Items like proficiencies and presentations can be inserted between the end of the degree and the closing (I very much like an X degree proficiency after an X degree at this point to show the new brother what his task is). items like informal talks can be added after the closing ceremony is complete. Do the Chamber of Reflection at one of these break points and it is not ritual and therefore not in conflict with the ritual. In the case of Chamber of Reflection because of its content it should be completed before the opening ceremony begins.

    A lodge in Texas didn't bother to think through this issue. They inserted Chamber of Reflection activities within the prescribed ritual. As such they interfered with the ritual and did it wrong. Any brother who knows how ritual works should have been able to say "Not the right time. Step back and think it through again. Do that before the opening ceremony starts." I have no idea if any member of the lodge did that. I have no idea whether the lodge did it knowing what they were committing or if they did it out of clueless enthusiasm. But it had the predictable results - They interfered with the prescribed ritual and got told to stop doing that.

    In the end most of Texas got the wrong impression of what happened. Right impression - Learn the ritual and do non-ritual stuff at times that do not conflict with ritual. Wrong impression - Chamber of Reflection is bad so ban it.

    Another activity popular with TO lodges is Table Lodge. A tiled meeting during a banquet with scheduled toasts and talks that is the general format used at the foundation of GL Freemasonry in 1717. Table Lodges are held across the world by many lodges not a part of the TO movement, they just happen to be more popular in the US with TO lodges than non-TO lodges. I have attended Table Lodge in California and Illinois hosted by non-TO lodges. This year, after being approved 22 years ago, Illinois banned Table Lodge until the committee on ritual presents a printed ritual for Table Lodge. It's been a week and they haven't presented one. Sure enough, the resolution did not give them a deadline. Grumble.
     
  10. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    Illinois did it too (or did you mean Texas there)? The Texas recommendation gave a deadline of next year, correct? I'm okay with the Texas GM recommendation of adopting a standard format I guess. Better than out and out banning it.
     
  11. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Thanks for the correct on state. I'm discussing Texas events and obliviously typed in the name of one of my jurisdictions.

    GM Recommendation No 1 does give until the next GL. For a task I was able to complete in an hour on Google. It is a ban.
     
  12. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    Yah I don't understand why they don't just borrow what another state is doing and mix that with what they like that we already have. Easy peasy.
     
  13. 4570

    4570 Registered User

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    http://traditionalobservance.com/traditional-lodges/
    This list includes 3 lodges in 3 provinces in Canada.
    I learned today that there is a 4th in Canada. Started in 2013.
    And in my home province of Alberta.
    Too bad a full day drive away...

    Dan
     
  14. Morris

    Morris Premium Member

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    I came across this article on the subject. It has a pretty good overall and some specifics on the differences of TO and European Concept practices. Good, light read on the subject.

    http://thecraftsman.org/issues/february-2014/files/mobile/index.html#2
     
  15. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Haven't heard of these "TO" lodges here in Kentucky. Will check into this and learn more.
     
  16. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    There doesn't seem to be one in KY, though some lodges may be using "observant" philosophies. Even without the TO or EC tag, it's quite easy to adopt ideals. Brother Hammer's book (mentioned in the article previously posted) is an excellent reference. The simple act of stopping all sideline chatter makes a world of difference.
     
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  17. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    You must be new here. :) GL politics are seldom something that reflects the will of the members, or even common sense.
     
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  18. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Thank you for the reply brother.
     

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