What Do New Freemasons Really Want?

Discussion in 'Masonic Education' started by Blake Bowden, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

    1,598
    380
    103
    The rest of the York Rite is also an appendant body. I guess having seen all the SR degrees given in full form more oft than not, my perspective is different and I dislike seeing them stripped down to the "fast track" terminal degrees. Why even bother calling it a progressive system of you launch past whole chunks of it and never give it a second thought?
     
  2. Jamersonbass

    Jamersonbass Premium Member

    6
    5
    23
    I am extremely honored and humbly thankful to be one of the fellas Mr. Sid is talking about here... I wish I would have made the first step sooner. I've met so many fantastic gentlemen that my head is still spinning... I'm lucky enough to be voted on for membership tomorrow. I'm ecstatic and thrilled... it's been many, many years.... 20 or so since I first was interested... and needed to wait until the right time and right place to reach out.... and it came to me one day that THIS was the right time and the RIGHT PLACE. I'm thrilled that I found the right fit for me.... couldn't be happier in my decision. Also, great to see you here Mr. Sid!! Looking forward to following your path but just a bit behind you!! =)

    PB
     
    jwhoff and Morris like this.
  3. Michael Settle

    Michael Settle Registered User

    2
    4
    3
    I joined Freemasonry in 2009 and am about to exit as the Master of the Lodge next week, BOO!! I will miss it greatly but am looking forward to Illustrious Master of Council in June. in 2009, I was called and offered a one day class here in Ohio. I asked if that was the norm and got a resounding "No, but it is an option". I have Initiated 15 this year, Passed 4 to Fellow Craft and Raised 3 thus far. The age range has been from the low 30's to 65. Our Lodge prides itself in giving FULL Degrees, Lectures and Charges and we expect, when possible, FULL exam returns. Had I taken the one day class, my view, involvement and passion for the Fraternity would be a stark contrast to the degree work which I involve myself in. Social media is great but I think a person to person contact situation will ultimately prevail. Yes, memberships are down. Realize this, we are right in the middle of a slight generation gap throughout the fraternity, it will correct and grow! As in the FC degree "Freemasonry, not withstanding has still survived"; the ear, tongue and faithful breast will carry us on, if we ourselves do not think to ease its progress or falter our inherited ways.

    Michael
     
    jwhoff, MaineMason and crono782 like this.
  4. brother Raker

    brother Raker Registered User

    1
    2
    3
    I personally think that we should keep it as close to the original as possible . If it is not difficult to become a Mason, I believe it cheapens the experience and breeds the wrong culture. I think it also invites the wrong type of individual to our lodges, cowans if you will.
     
    jwhoff and JJones like this.
  5. promason

    promason Registered User

    164
    2
    18
    seek more light..deeper realisation..deeper knowledge of profound self..deeper wisdom..great beginning of week everyone,keep magnific labor..continue making good better..blessings..mauritanian masons,
     
    jwhoff likes this.
  6. promason

    promason Registered User

    164
    2
    18
    thanks jw!!!!!!welcome!!!!!!light everyone!!!!!light!!!!!!bye!!!!!!!!
     
  7. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

    780
    639
    113
    It took me some time to come to this same realization. The question posed here was 'What do new Freemasons really want?', not 'What did you want as a new Freemason?'. Every man is different, and while we could probably divide the motivations of coming (and staying) to the Craft into 3 or 4 general categories, the point is that every man comes to Freemasonry for a different reason. For some, it's fellowship, for others it's history, some seek the morality, some like the philanthropic side of things, and some others like the esoteric side. Asking what new Freemasons really want is an offshoot of asking how to bring in and retain more Masons. The problem is, we keep looking at all new and existing Freemasons as wanting the same things and that is simply not the case. Furthermore, I think it is unrealistic to try to excel in the 5 categories mentioned above all within the same Lodge. In many ways, our fraternity is trying to do too much. We have become a jack of all trades, master of none and men are finding other avenues or leaving because while Masonry may contain what they are looking for, it does so to a lesser degree than what they are seeking.

    For me, I was interested in the history, morality, and esoteric side of things. Fellowship is great, and I made some great friends through the Lodge, but I never had any intention of spending hours upon hours BSing at the Lodge. Likewise, while I think charity is wonderful and one of our main tenants, it wasn't the reason I came to Freemasonry. Nonetheless, the time that I was able to devote to the Lodge were often spent sipping coffee and telling jokes so long prior to the meeting that we started a half hour late and the discussions around how to logistically work out the next fundraiser took up extra time in the meeting meaning there was none left for discussion, which is what I was there for. So, I got discouraged. I was not getting what I came for, so why stay? But let's not lose sight of the fact that the room was full of other men who were getting exactly what they came for.

    It is a difficult problem to solve. The way I see it, there are two solutions; reduce the focuses of what Freemasonry is about, thereby reducing interest but likely retaining those that it attracts, or keep the larger number of focuses but have different Lodges specialize more in some over others. And I think we're starting to see some of the latter with the renewed interest in S&C clubs and TO Lodges. I agree with the idea of casting a wide net to introduce more men to the idea of Light and then letting those interested seek it. The problem I'm seeing (from my personal desires) is that once those who are seeking more Light become interested, they have very few avenues to pursue.
     
    jwhoff and RyanC like this.
  8. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

    1,687
    519
    113
    >'What do new Freemasons really want?'

    Many years ago I went to live at a spiritual community and I recall 2 of the members asking me what I thought the community was about.

    A couple of years later I spoke to those members again about that. They said that when I arrived they were aware that I had no idea what it was about, but that there was no point in telling me things that I had to discover for myself.

    Similarly for Freemasonry!
     
    jwhoff likes this.
  9. Hotep357

    Hotep357 Registered User

    10
    3
    3
    I couldn't help but read this post as it is very old but I'm 21 and what I feel us younger brethren want is exactly what you all are saying which is more of a challenge, it makes the experience more meaningful. We also want more activities inside and outside the lodge, joint functions, and to meet and greet more seasoned brethren.
     
    jwhoff likes this.
  10. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

    2,591
    142
    83
    Agreed with one reservation Brother. Hopefully we have either guarded the West Gate well enough to know that they would seek the light, or we must give them a gentle push to the light. Back slapping and chest bumps will never carry the day. Again, I caution: Are we to large?
     
  11. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

    780
    639
    113

    I would argue 'no'.

    Speaking about the warriors of his day, Heraclitus said "Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn't even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.”

    The same could be said for Masonry. The hidden truths that Masonry teaches are either not sought out by most people or simply missed by them. Take a hundred Masons, 10 shouldn't be there, 80 just pay dues, 9 go through the chairs and really keep the lodge going, but 1, 1 of them attains the Truth. Now, what happens when your Lodge that has 300 Masons with 3 men who truly get it gets cut down to 30? Who is more likely to catch the biggest fish, the fisherman with the small net made of gold, or the fisherman with the large net that has a few holes in it? When I first came to Masonry, I had no idea of what was truly behind the door. I didn't find that out until after I had become a Mason and I'm sure there are others like me. I say cast a wide net, let those who aren't interested fall away and those who belong will stick around and find what can really be offered.
     
    jwhoff and dfreybur like this.
  12. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

    3,935
    2,388
    133
    Brother hanzosbm's Heraclitus quote is exactly why the question of quality *OR* quantity is misplaced.

    I have written that when it comes to meaning Masonry is elitist. I have meant that in the sense of the Heraclitus quote. Most simply aren't interested in the topics that bring candidates in several generations later. The point of the spear.

    I have written that numbers give us buildings to meet in, trust funds to fund charities, libraries to study in, you name it. Do not dismiss the value of our many brothers because Heraclitus says "eighty are just targets". Our numbers *matter*. The point of the spear only pierces to the extent there is the rest of the spear behind it. These are all good men whose company we should pursue.

    More than that, one can pick a viewpoint where who the ten and the one are have different names. Because they have different goals. Good works to value.
     
    jwhoff and hanzosbm like this.
  13. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

    780
    639
    113
    I completely agree. I realize that my post only showed the one side of things. There are many different things that a man can get from Freemasonry, and no one reason for being a Mason is any better or more valid than another. Personally, I couldn't care less about Saturday pancake breakfasts, but for some of the brothers, this is the highlight of their time in Masonry, and there is nothing wrong with that. While I think that those brothers with similar interests could benefit from finding a lodge that specializes more in what they are looking for, I don't feel that those with different interests should be excluded. In fact, I recognize that my interests are not the predominate ones in Masonry, so it could easily be argued that if we were to slim down membership, I would be one of the first ones to be shown the door.
     
    jwhoff likes this.
  14. Bob Reed

    Bob Reed Registered User

    29
    19
    3
    I grew up in the beginnings of the "Everyone gets a trophy" environment. Even as a child I saw these as hollow and worthless acheivements. I think new brothers want to be challenged and made to work for it. It took me 10 months of showing up at Agape (festive boards) after lodge just to get a petition. From that first visit to my Raising was 45 months. I had to recite each full proficiency and present a paper before being passed and raised. It was work, but it is supposed to be work, an achievement. Of course there are many different lodges and room for everyone no matter what they are looking for so it is most important to point to new prospective brother in the right direction.
     
    jwhoff likes this.
  15. dalinkou

    dalinkou Premium Member

    35
    35
    48
    Where were you raised as a Master Mason?
     
  16. Bob Reed

    Bob Reed Registered User

    29
    19
    3
    Enlightenment 198 in Colorado Springs, CO.
     
  17. dalinkou

    dalinkou Premium Member

    35
    35
    48
    Interesting. It's good to see that some are still investing time and effort into the degrees.
     
    jwhoff likes this.
  18. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

    2,591
    142
    83
    Agreed, most heartedly! Now look to pay back the experiences you have learned. Next, be sure to keep placing one step ahead of the other on the road to light. It has and is a wonderful journey for me.
     
  19. Bob Reed

    Bob Reed Registered User

    29
    19
    3
    Yep, I have my first candidate scheduled for initiation next month. He has been coming to our Agapes for 15 months as my guest! On June 20th we will pick him up from his home in a white stretched limo, hoodwink him on his doorstep then HIS journey will begin. I'm very much looking forward to it! We also use the Chamber of Reflection in our initiations, which is VERY cool!
     
    jwhoff likes this.
  20. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

    2,591
    142
    83
    Great! Hummmm, goat skin verses Corinthian leather. Hummmm!

    :confused:!
     

Share My Freemasonry