Why the secrets?

Discussion in 'History and Research' started by hanzosbm, May 22, 2015.

  1. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Underselling the ritual isn't my usual stance. I put a lot of time into pointing out layer after layer of symbolic meaning in the ritual. That's the first level of what I mean by the simple secrets of the events that happen at the altar and the other secrets in the ritual that are layer after layer of symbolic meaning.

    Brother Nagy makes a distinction between Freemasonry as the organization that uses the ritual to carry our values forward into future generations and Masonry as the practice of our meanings and values outside of ritual contexts. I think that's what I have been trying to get at.

    Our practice is built on top of and in addition to our ritual. Much of our practice happens out in public but no matter how much the public sees they still don't get it.

    Some of our practice is elitist, mystical, philosophical, whatever you want to call it. It is also built on top of and in addition to our ritual. This part is different for every brother who delves into its depths, which is why it gets described with so many names. The "My Freemasonry" mentioned in the name of this forum is something we share among ourselves. The "My Masonry" that is in addition to it is something we each find within ourselves.
     
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  2. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    >Underselling the ritual isn't my usual stance.

    Sorry, I did not phrase that well.
     
  3. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    I found it accurate enough. As much effort as I normally put in selling the ritual, I put more value on the other types of secrets. Think of a finger pointing and of a gaze that follows the pointing finger. To a great extent the ritual is the pointing finger. Without it we would not know where to look. But the value is greater in following the extended line that of looking at the fingerprints.

    The hand and finger, great value. The gaze pointing into the distance that has been directed to the correct spot in the distance, even greater value. There's a section that talks about points - The hand and the finger. There's a section that talks about the mysteries - What the finger points at out there at a distance.
     
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  4. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    I have read that Masonic ritual is rather powerful and it is just as well that Masons are not very good at their ritual.

    On a couple of occasions when demonstrating the inner effects of crossing the deacons wands, I had to cut short the demonstration as the brother standing under the wands was overloaded by the Light from on high.
     
  5. dalinkou

    dalinkou Premium Member

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  6. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    Where? and what does being not very good at their ritual have to do with it? (your use of "their" raises a major flag!)
    perplexedbanner.jpg
     
  7. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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  8. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    Brothers, if I may...

    Brother JamesTheJust may have some ideas that not all of us share, and that's okay. I'm sure we have some ideas he doesn't necessarily agree with. But shouldn't we keep an open mind about things? Or at the very least, be respectful of one another's ideas?

    Not from Freemasonry, but my college Greek fraternity had a lesson on esteem contained within its chief tenants. "esteem, that is respectful to the honest convictions of others and refrains from treading upon that which is sacred to spirit and conscience".
     
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  9. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    Okay, so you open the can or worms. Time to get specific: Where are the minds closed and where is the lack of respect?

    BTW -
    "An extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof." — Marcello Truzzi, On the Extraordinary: An Attempt at Clarification, Zetetic Scholar, Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 11, 1978

    "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." -- Carl Sagan

    "The weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness."
    -- Laplace

    "A wise man ... proportions his belief to the evidence", and "No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavors to establish." -- David Hume (1748)​
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2015
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  10. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    I'm not going to argue with you. I've said my piece, do with it what you may.
     
  11. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    Who asked for an argument? If you can't back it up, then why put it forth?
     
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  12. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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    @ jamesthejust

    What Lodge/Grand Lodge do you belong to?
     
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  13. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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    Some members of this and other forums seem to believe that it is OK for someone to make false or outrageous statements and that if someone else calls them out on those claims that they are being intolerant and unmasonic. I personally believe the opposite. As a Mason I believe that Truth is important. BS is BS regardless of who says it.
     
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  14. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    Please clarify something for me. I once had an experience where, while praying, a blinding white light appeared before me. A specific religious figure (the one I was praying to) stepped out of the light and reached out to me. As our hands touched I was given understanding that I had previously lacked. Then the light faded and I was able to see the room around me again. I stood up and walked away but I had a new understanding of everything around me. That feeling has never really left me.

    Now, was that truth or BS? Is it false and outrageous? What makes it false and outrageous other than the fact that you did not experience it? Is it true? How can you accept something as true when the only evidence of it is that I told you about it? Is my description accurate or did my mind merely interpret an unfathomable experience in terms of the only symbols it knew? And finally, suppose that experience had happened during a Masonic ritual instead of in a church. Is my experience believable in one location and time but not in another?
     
  15. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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    With all due respect, I do not believe such things happen.
     
  16. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    You are of course entitled to your beliefs - and having made your choice, you would not be surprised if others avoided discussing such matters with you.
     
  17. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    Although my query was on evidence of disrespect, I'll take a shot at this.
    Neither. It was your experience.
    Neither. It was your experience.
    Someone else's judgment doesn't make it anything else but your experience.
    It was your experience. Your conclusion as to it being true or false is what you get from examining it and assigning it meaning.
    Well, you could use a metaphor or analogy to describe it and do so well enough that I can compare it to what I have experienced to see if there is anything that I can relate to. or equate it to, and then go from there.
    Why do you put this as an either/or? Why not both, as in, your description IS accurate AND you mind merely interpreted it as you stated?
    If the hallucination that you described above occurred anywhere, I'd still be more concerned with your relative state of health regardless. These are not usual occurrences for people to have and there is usually an unusual body or mental stressor that causes it to occur. This health concern is the only believability that I would take away from your description of your experience.

    It sounds like an interesting experience though. I have heard similar non-ordinary reality experiences from others who I know who are normally well-grounded in ordinary reality. The common ground that these experiences all share though are unusual stressors.
     
  18. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    When similar happened to me it was in a dream and after a year of pondering about it I decided for it to be my conversion experience.

    True-for-me has no conflict with false-for-you. Such experiences are always individual and subjective.

    What I have to show in support of mine is that it is now nearly 30 years later and I remain devout in my religion of choice. As you write - That feeling has never really left me, either.

    Hmmm. Hmmm. Nope, I got nothin'. Pass.
     
  19. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    For various reasons I was the candidate in the 18th on 5 occasions over some years. On the 4th occasion, doing the perambulations it seemed to me that the floor had opened up like a vortex. Later the secretary told me that he could see me surrounded by light at that stage of the ceremony.

    In that case my "hallucination" was shared.

    I had a related experience of light in a Roman Catholic church, a few years after I ceased to be a believer. Perhaps belief does not have much to do with inner experiences.
     
  20. LAMason

    LAMason Premium Member

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    I want to clarify and expand my previous comment. I certainly believe that people have epiphanies and conversion experiences. However I view those as similar to times when I have been thinking about problems in both my personal life and for work when seemingly out of nowhere the solution becomes clear. I have even had times that I woke up in the middle of the night and knew the solution.
    [​IMG]
    “The Myths of Innovation” (P 8), by Scott Berkun

    As far as visions or hallucinations, that may accompany an epiphany or conversion experience, I can only say that I realize they are very real to the person experiencing them but determining the cause would depend on many factors and should be left to professionals, but also think that there is a vast difference between someone realizing that it was a vision or hallucination vs believing that it was real.

    Compare and contrast someone relating a personal epiphany or vision to the following which include shared hallucinations and physical manifestations:

    I also find it revealing when someone is not willing to share what Masonic Jurisdiction they belong to.
     

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