Decline in Freemasonry

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Travelling Man91, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    I think, as Bro. BillyF stated, his friend overanalyzed Masonry via the internet and then was disappointed when he realized he was not joining 'the illuminati' and unfortunately not presented terribly esoterically product as he expected. But a great point would not be that he overanalyzed it or not or that he was over informed (because many candidates nowadays are more informed than some members) but that he was let down by a society that has the potential to be very esoteric and unlike the rest of our day to day lives. Bottom line, many new members are very disappointed on so many levels. If the newer folks, myself included, want that esoteric society vs. the current Rotary club we have, then our lodges need to be providing that and evolve with the times. The ingredients are there for a gourmet meal but we're presenting T.V. dinners for the most part.
     
  2. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    And how exactly did it do this? Please, be specific.
     
  3. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    You petitioned a group run by a generation that wanted to give service. Guess who's duty it is to cause the evolution you want? Be the change you want in the world.

    I'm interested in the mystical but I knew when I petitioned that not one in a thousand shared my interest.
     
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  4. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    History matters. What's the history of when and why we went to invitations? Be sure your answer takes into account those jurisdictions that never changed away from being by invitation. Which is to say be sure your answer includes that we were founded as an invitational organization.

    The surface history is that operative lodges started inviting eminent men to join them and that's how we became speculative. Which states that even in the operative days we'd been invitational and the change hadn't been about invitations.

    Switching away from invitations is like the switch away from having toasts at our meals. Not a part of the original design of the order.
     
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  5. LK600

    LK600 Premium Member

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    I wonder if this has or is changing? It seems from my limited exposure newer members are more inclined to be drawn to the esoteric but refrain from discussing it with older members. Anyway, I must set aside the speculative side and practice the operative... need to go bust up some rocks and pour some cement. ;)
     
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  6. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    This is true. I feel pretty comfortable that I am doing what I can at this time to change that.
     
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  7. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Good point!
    Great. I'm also trying to attract new, younger members. Hopefully will have a couple of them petitioning soon.
     
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  8. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    It is changing, but as far as the mystical not a lot. Now maybe one in a hundred. Lots of young men are coming in looking for values, philosophy, history, life balance and similar topics. Only a tiny number for the mysticism. Way more than in previous generations though.

    The word esoteric has to be used with care. In lodge it means the memorized ritual work. That's a very different meaning than how it's used outside of lodge.

    I think in my first decade as a mason I encountered one Brother interested in mysticism, of course a different branch than my interests. I spent the evening in discussion with him ignoring dinner and visiting Masonic dignitaries.

    Now it's some easier but we're still thin on the ground. I was at a district event and there was a young visitor. I saw him doodling in a notebook and noticed he was free associating on a mystical topic. After the meeting I mentioned that the due guards and signs appear to be chakra activations. He opened his notebook to a color coded chakra chart. We spent hours sitting on a staircase discussing the topic.
     
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  9. LK600

    LK600 Premium Member

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    I hope it continues to change. It is (one of) an area I have high interest in.
     
  10. billyjfootball

    billyjfootball Registered User

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    For me it opened my eyes. We only have so much time on this planet. I try to stay within myself and not get carried away with things. It has taught me patience. It has taught me how I ought to divide my day. It has taught me to be better to others. Just being a Mason makes me feel like I ought to be a role model in society. May sound crazy, it has also made me a better driver. I have the Square and compasses on my car, so I'm very cautious of all driving laws now. Don't want anybody to get mad about my driving and think about the Masons in a bad light. Lastly, It helped me become a leader.


    Sent from my iPhone using My Freemason
     
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  11. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    Correction; that's YOUR point of extending invitations. But there's two problems here.
    First, the lodges that I mentioned in my original post that are slamming through 10 candidates a week are clearly not looking for the best and brightest, they're looking for warm bodies. Do you think that will somehow change when they can invite people? Instead of slamming through 10 a week, it'll be 30 per week.
    Second, just because some is 'the best and brightest' doesn't mean that they'll make a good Mason. And before someone jumps in and says 'well we'd only invite the men who would make good Masons', the point is, if they didn't have any interest in it to begin with, what makes you think they'll be a good Mason?
     
  12. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    That's the original intent centuries ago before the switch away from being invitational only.

    You assume that doing invitations would increase petitions from the outside. Maybe. Maybe not.

    I do see some lodges doing a lot of degrees. My Shrine gives awards for any Shriner who is the top line signer for 10+ new Shriners or another line signer for 20+ new Shriners or any combination. Do that type of award with blue lodge degrees and the problem you describe results.
     
  13. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    I don't know any lodge that does 10 EAs a week, I think too that people could decline any invitations. As a matter of fact, I think it could lessen petitions since the fraternity would have more control on who they even bother with voting on, ent, psg and rsg.
     
  14. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    My lodges would all decline to do 10 EAs in a year. Once you make them, they need mentoring.. I think the sweet spot (of us meeting monthly) is about 3 candidates per year.
     
  15. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    I am not sure I agree Bro Doug. I think "esoteric" always means " intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest."... The key is specialized knowledge. We have some esoteric charges, for instance Ecclesiastes - a charge best understood with esoteric knowledge where you understand the analogies. But even "sitting in the East" is esoteric - on the initial level, it means a direction, on a deeper esoteric level, it has something to do with knowledge and understanding - which we esoterically call "light". Far from being "memorized work" I think in a lodge "esoteric" is talking about how you, and especially we, interpret and understand that work, and the nomenclature of Freemasonry, especially the collective use of shared interpretations.
     
  16. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    We must have a schism then. The word has a specific meaning in my jurisdiction and it refers solely to the lettered and masked portion of our ritual. Which is most likely why we get such weird looks from those who don't define it this way.
     
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  17. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    People give me weird looks even when I don’t use that word.
     
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  18. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Inter-rest-ing.

    Thanks Coach - I was not aware... is that widespread in the USA ?
     
  19. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    It is in my area.
     
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  20. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    LOL
     
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