Traditional Observance

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by dlee12882, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    I view TO lodges less as THE solution and more as A solution.

    I have visited a EC lodge here locally and may decide to affiliate with them if they'll have me. Why? Because it is the type of Freemasonry I was originally looking for. Let me repeat that, it is the type of Freemasonry I was looking for. The idea of a TO lodge is the answer for me. That being said, it's not what everyone is looking for, and, just because a lodge calls itself TO or EC doesn't mean it fully practices what preaches.
    I understand the feeling of some brothers who call the TO and EC lodges elitist. Not that I think they are, but they have purposely gone out of their way to do things differently than most mainstream lodges here in the US. That will naturally lead to a feeling of 'are-we-not-good-enough-for-you'. And while I would never dream of trying to speak for someone else, for me personally, it's not that other lodges aren't good enough, it's just that the TO and EC lodges are more what I was originally looking for. To each their own.
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Bob Reed

    Bob Reed Registered User

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    I guess someone somewhere took a set of general requirements and standards and put a label on it: Traditional Observance. They (and I don't know who coined the phrase) wanted to address what they saw as lacking in their own personal experience with masonry and fix it to meet their needs. As a whole I think it has been successful and those of us who have been a part of it want to share the love. After all, isn't one of the biggest complaints masons have is that they get little satisfaction out of their lodge experience? No one ever said you have to take it or leave it as a whole. In fact, many lodges do some of these things and have for years and don't call themselves TO.

    If you are finding your own masonic experience lacking then take a look at the TO model. Incorporate what you like and leave the rest. If your experience improves as a result then I think the goal of what these brothers have been trying to do was accomplished.
     
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  3. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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    When someone makes a statement that includes the generalization "Nearly everyone" they should be able to provide data (quantify) to support the generalization.

    The internet can be useful, but much of my education/knowledge and experience predates the World Wide Web and the internet.
     
  4. Browncoat

    Browncoat Registered User

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    I'm going to need to see an accredited source and/or scholarly study to support this claim.


    Do you have documentation to prove this? Witnessed by Notary of the Public, of course.
     
  5. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    When the web came out I was like "gopher with pictures. I don't get the point". It's not that long ago. 1993 I think. The year I was Initiated.

    The internet seems longer ago to me. I was in 6th grade in 1969. Plenty of brothers have been Masons longer than that, though.
     
  6. Bob Reed

    Bob Reed Registered User

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    I don't think you are adding much value to this thread if every opinion or generalization someone makes is going to be challenged to cite sources like it's a doctoral thesis. Even moreso it's pretty obnoxious. Most of what we have in regard to this subject is anecdotal at best anyway...
     
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  7. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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    Appeal to ridicule.
     
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  8. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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    Ad Hominem.

    I did not say there is anything wrong with anecdotal accounts, but anecdotes should not be used as evidence to support a generalization, doing so can lead to biased and hasty generalizatons.
     
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  9. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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    I was addressing his sarcastic comment and making the point was that I am not limited to nor do I have to rely solely on the WWW (internet) for information.
     
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  10. Browncoat

    Browncoat Registered User

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    Have you even read the book: A Traditional Observance Lodge: One Mason's Journey to Fulfillment by Cliff Porter?
     
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  11. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    I see yet another interesting and productive thread beginning to degenerate. It's a sign of an intelligent mind that can entertain another idea without feeling the need to accept it or prove it wrong.

    Debate is good and healthy. If you begin feeling heated, however, then it's not the time to type a reply.

    Please keep things civil.
     
  12. ShawnC

    ShawnC Registered User

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    So I've heard/ready bits and pieces about these T.O. lodges and now after reading this thread, my interest is piqued. How would I go about finding where the closest one to me is (southwestern IL)? I've done a general Google search and found nothing definitive and our Grand Lodge's Lodge Locator is good, but there's nothing to designate whether a lodge is T.O. (as I guessed there wouldn't be). Should I just email the Grand Lodge to find out or would they not necessarily know that an individual lodge considers itself T.O.?
     
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  13. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    I would imagine that the GL's knowledge of whether or not a Lodge operated as a TO would depend on what that Lodge's practices actually are and whether those practices require any kind of dispensation of the GL.

    A Lodge that simply dresses nicer, is very serious about it's ritual, and has higher than average dues might not think of itself as TO so there'd be no reason for the GL to recognize them as such. On the other extreme, if their ritual departed from the usual enough that the GL took notice and they needed some kind of dispensation, that would probably be something they would keep record of. My guess is that most Lodges that consider themselves TO fall somewhere in the middle.
    My recommendation would be to look up all the Lodges within an acceptable travel distance from yourself and start looking at websites. My guess is that they'll either state that they are TO or EC or give clues as to such in a mission statement or something to the effect.
     
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  14. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    Last edited: Jun 3, 2015
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  15. Bob Reed

    Bob Reed Registered User

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    That is a good question! I'll ask around too and get back if I find something. At what point does a lodge that goes from simply doing good work to one that calls themselves TO? Is it because we allow alcohol and use the Chamber of Reflection in initiations? I have no idea if any dispensation was needed for that. I've recently heard that some are starting to shy away from the label due to misconceptions and overly excited brothers like me who may have inadvertently turned others off to the idea because they wont shut up about it!! ;).
     
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  16. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    Hey, nothing wrong with getting excited about something. That being said, I think all of this goes back to what some of the other brothers have said in this discussion. There are plenty of lodges out there doing excellent work. There are plenty that are more formal, and plenty that have higher dues. That doesn't make them better or worse, and I think there is a wide spectrum out there. The label of TO, to my knowledge, doesn't have any strict definition and is somewhat subjective. However, I still think it is useful to help Masons who are seeking that side of things to find a lodge that might be a better fit for them. We have discussed that there are Masons who leave because they aren't finding what they're looking for. Maybe making it easier for them to find a better fit is a good first step.
     
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  17. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    Most true TO lodges (and just because a lodge dresses nice as a rule doesn't make it TO) will have a higher number or even be UD in your state because they are some of the newest lodges to be chartered. Most TO lodges will be designated as such. They will have Latin sounding names such as Colegium Lux or Veritas or something similar. It would be near impossible for a long standing long to simply overnight say, "We are now TO." There probably has to be a concerted effort from the very start to do things a certain way.
     
  18. MarkR

    MarkR Premium Member

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    Tell that to St. Paul Lodge #3, chartered in 1849. They're doing just fine!
     
  19. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    I didn't say all. I was just pointing out that those would be tell-tale signs if someone was searching.
     
  20. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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    Although your question is irrelevant since I did not comment on the content of the book or the merits of TO Lodges, I will pay you the courtesy of giving you a direct answer, which is something you have not returned. No, I have not read the book.
     

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