Chambers of Reflection

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Frater Cliff Porter, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. Frater Cliff Porter

    Frater Cliff Porter Premium Member

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    I am certain that many here read the exchange with myself and Brother Huw. I didn't realize I had forgotten to post lodges with historical use of the CoR's.

    Brother Huw,

    Saint Johns Lodge No. 1 AYM, Garibaldi Lodge #542, some 6 or 7 French lodges under the Grand Lodge of NY in Manhattan, and others etc. Garibaldi is perhaps the best known as its chamber last as much as 8 hours.

    But I thought I would post something here so we can collect data.

    I am familiar with all of the lodges in Louisiana and California to include the French/German ritual found in San Francisco which is just a cool, can't put your finger on it form of the ritual not worked anywhere else.

    Enlightenment 198 has used the CoR since inception. I know that Occidental Lodge in Colorado had a CoR built into the lodge building, uses it know, but did not for awhile. I know that East Denver, Highlands, and Ute Pass lodges all use them. All of the lodges I am familiar with in Mexico use the them.

    So anyway.....does your lodge us the CoR in the Craft degrees? Did they? Do you know of lodges that do?
     
  2. Huw

    Huw Guest

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    Greetings, Frater Cliff.

    Thanks for coming back with more information. Some of the examples you quote below represent historical use, and that's very interesting, but some of them don't.

    This Lodge converted to your "Traditional Observance" model in 2007, so of course they use a CoR now. Or are you saying that they had an old tradition of CoR, before recent changes?

    Garibaldi Lodge was founded by Italian immigrants using an Italian translation of a French ritual, and presumably the French lodges were founded by Frenchmen, so that would explain how come they brought with them some French ritual traditions.

    Also, since they were (and still are) foreign-language lodges, it's not so surprising that they retained their French traditions instead of later falling into line with normal American practices. Even so, I agree that it's interesting that they (or at least some of them?) did this.

    But 8 hours of CoR??? That's astonishing ... "cruel and unusual" comes to mind.

    Aha. I knew about Louisiana, but I wasn't aware of the Californian ones. Interesting, I'd like to hear more about that. Are these CA lodges working in the French or German languages, or in English translation as the LA ones now do?

    When you say "ritual not worked anywhere else", do you mean not in the US, or do you mean not even in Europe either? If the latter, it'd be interesting to know where they got it from.

    Well obviously Enlightenment #198 uses a CoR, since it's a new Lodge founded a couple of years ago for the purpose of operating your Traditional Observance model. But that's not an example of historical use.

    East Denver #160 and Ute Pass #188 are presumably not very old lodges either, although I assume Highlands #86 is somewhat older ... but are these lodges using a CoR because they've joined T.O. and converted to this practice, or do they have some earlier custom of CoR?

    Now Occidental #20 is definitely interesting. Clearly it's a fairly old lodge, and you specifically say there's an original custom of CoR, which interests me much more than lodges which have recently introduced a CoR. What is known about how come they had a CoR, and what ritual they used to use which called for a CoR?

    Well, sure, that's not surprising: Mexican masonry is (unsurprisingly) mostly descended from the Spanish tradition and mostly work the Craft degrees of the A&ASR, i.e. French-style rituals with a CoR. It's a very different background from US masonry.

    I'm interested in this too, as you can gather from our previous discussion. But obviously my interest is mainly in those which have a tradition of CoR, rather than those which have merely brought it in recently.

    T & F,

    Huw
     
  3. Frater Cliff Porter

    Frater Cliff Porter Premium Member

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    St. John's is not a T.O. lodge because they switched models. They have operating in a "traditional" sense since 1757. There recognition by the MRF as a TO lodge is due to their operating procedures already in place.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  4. Huw

    Huw Guest

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    Ah, interesting, thanks for the further explanation. Of course I went by the MRF's list which says T.O. since 2007, and doesn't mention the longer history of such practice. And so far as I can see, the Lodge's own website doesn't mention this either, unfortunately.

    I'd like to know more about the origins and development of their ritual practices, but the history section of their website doesn't talk about their ritual. Although it does say that their early records were lost in a fire long ago (which does rather beg the question of how we know what they did at the beginning), leaving us no information on who started the Lodge and what their prior masonic background may have been (which obviously might have been relevant to why they have unusual rituals). But the oldest surviving record of their officers does contain some German-looking names, which might be a clue.

    Where can we find a source which might tell us more about what they do, when they started doing it, and how this came about? Since you're aware that they've done it for a long time, presumably you've seen some evidence presented somewhere, and I'd be fascinated to read about it too.

    T.O., as described by the MRF site, is a very specific model. So if MRF has declared St. John's Lodge AYM to be T.O. on the basis of what they were already doing, does this mean that everything which you now call T.O. is essentially a direct copy of what St. John's Lodge AYM have apparently always done? Or is St. John's Lodge AYM loosely T.O. but with some differences?

    T & F,

    Huw
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2010
  5. Frater Cliff Porter

    Frater Cliff Porter Premium Member

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    Brother Huw I don't want this thread to get to far off topic, but my recommendation would be to use the contacts links provided for lodge information. I don't think most lodges share indepth information online about their initiatic processes so you might have more luck by calling or using the online contact form.

    I have seen the famous "Bible" but never attended lodge. I always find the best information comes from attending.

    Either the website material is unclear your the perception of it is not accurate. The T.O. is not a "strict" model if you are implying it is treated as ritual with no deviation. There is much deviation. The focus of the T.O. model is to focus the lodges attention on the initiatic experience. However, each lodge determines how to complete the "work" as the MRF is not a Grand Lodge or governing body.

    The MRF has further evolved into a group who is trying to promote and spread information ont he best practices available as determined by the success of a lodge (not the quanitative success alone).

    My lodge, for instances, has a focus on philosophical speakers and bringing in outside educational topics that we believe will appeal to our membership in addition to the quality of the initiatic experience.

    If you are truly interested my recommendation is to visit.

    Anyway, we can always start a thread on T.O. specifically....but again, I recommend attending the conferance.
     
  6. Ben Rodriguez

    Ben Rodriguez Registered User

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    I have been told about the chambers of relfection by a brother whom I keep in touch with from my native Mexico City. He describes a room with a very intense mood to it. Must be quite an interesting experience.
     
  7. Frater Cliff Porter

    Frater Cliff Porter Premium Member

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    I think the experience is extremely valuable. Come and visit E198 Brother....I will allow you some meditation time in ours.
     
  8. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    We have slowly started the practice again in that we call that room the CoR and have the candidate in there for at least 30 mins(give or take a few) before a degree. With instructions on how to best use the time alone. We have yet to add all the goodies into it but they are coming shortly.
     
  9. Frater Cliff Porter

    Frater Cliff Porter Premium Member

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    Wonderful Brother. It is important not to focus on "spooky" but to focus on meaningful. You should make certain that the person doing the shopping is well read on the practice.
     
  10. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    This is why we are still in limbo on the props, there is so much varying information out there. Got any sites you like with information in regards to the CoR?
     
  11. Frater Cliff Porter

    Frater Cliff Porter Premium Member

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