Have we lost the meaning of Freemasonry?

Discussion in 'The Voting Booth' started by Blake Bowden, Dec 17, 2010.

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Have we lost the meaning of Freemasonry?

  1. Yes

    19 vote(s)
    44.2%
  2. No

    22 vote(s)
    51.2%
  3. No opinion

    2 vote(s)
    4.7%
  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Have we lost the meaning of Freemasonry?
     
  2. Frater Cliff Porter

    Frater Cliff Porter Premium Member

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    I voted no, but that does not mean we are in danger of loosing the philosophies of Masonry. When we try to "find time" for Masonic education in a Mason meeting, we have failed to understand the charges. If a lodge is filled with bickering and petty administrative discussion, when it is filled with men who openly complain about Masonic discussion and education and like to boast at how quickly a meeting is over, if it is filled with bigotry and distress, if it is filled with all sorts of things like clinging to the past while making poor financial decisions...we are always in danger. The meaning of Masonry exist in spite of our capability to comprehends it meaning, just as the truth exist in a room filled with liars in spite of its inability to manifest.
     
  3. MasonicTexan

    MasonicTexan Registered User

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    Well there is no exactly line, its sort of fuzzy.
    We have and we haven't
     
  4. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    I vote yes, but only because I interpret the question a bit differently than Brother Porter. I agree with his rationale completely. For so many Masons the "meaning" of Freemasonry has never even been seen. For many of the rest it has been forgotten or cast aside. I call that "lost", but that's a semantic hair-splitting if there ever was one. The meaning is still there and still approachable by any Brother who has the desire (and I might add, the courage) to embrace it.

    The road back is going to be quite different from the one that brought us here.
     
  5. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    It's a close call. We don't teach freemasonry past the esoteric work in the Blue Lodge. Some instructors feel it is either silly or a waste of time to explain the esoteric work to the candidates. I am hopeful that things are changing though.

    The young guys coming in are very interested in learning masonry. They are turned off by the politics and bigotry. They end up in two camps: those who search on their own for meaning and those who get discouraged and move away from the brotherhood. We are seeing them begin to speak up and demand "more light." I'm all for it and am willing to spend my time helping them along the way. I have been polling brothers and find many of the estabishment thinking this isn't going to be such a bad thing. They too remember the awful feeling in their stomach when they realized folks really were "paying the bills" in those stated meetings.

    The opportunity is upon us brothers, let us step up to the challenge!
     
  6. Frater Cliff Porter

    Frater Cliff Porter Premium Member

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    Agreed Brother. Masonry is labor, let us meet it with working tools in hand.
     
  7. a_ynostrosa

    a_ynostrosa Registered User

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    I voted yes because I strongly believe we have become a society of titles and bigotry. I have been a mason for almost five years now and am always having to overcome these obstacles. It started with racism in our lodge and moved on to other petty things like older masons not letting younger men into the lodge because of their age, appearance or whatever and not getting any help from our DDGM's or GL. Whatever the reason is for a lot of the bickering in many lodges is causing this downward spiral our great fraternity is in. These problems exist in all rankings of our society from the top to the bottom. If many of our past masters can get past their titles and quit thinking they're above passing the teachings on to the next generation we could restore the honor to this fraternity.

    There are still many good masons that have it in their heart and it will be up to those masons to restore Freemasonry to it's original meanings and greatness. We have set our standards of our lodge at a much higher level than Grand lodge requires because we feel they do not require enough teaching for a candidate. Our education program is very in depth and requires a lot out of our candidates. As a result we are turning out some very good masons who are able to not only learn the rituals, history and symbolism but understand the meanings are able to pass it along to the next in line. It takes longer to raise a master but we are after quality not quantity. Freemasonry is what we make it and for the past 50 years we've lost members at an alarming rate. This alone should tell us all that something is going wrong with masonry in Texas and it's time that we need to conform and change with the times. It is up to us in the lodge to be take it upon ourselves to ignore the bickering and complaining and not to sit around a wait for something to happen. In my opinion should be raising the bar for the next in line and holding ourselves, our officers, members and candidates to a much higher standard to get Texas masonry out of the free fall and restore it's greatness.

    The meanings of masonry still exist in many of our hearts but it is failing to be taught before candidates get discouraged with the bigotry and leave.
     
  8. peace out

    peace out Premium Member

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    Love the avatar a_ynostrosa. I voted a while back and I think I voted "yes." At least that is my answer in part.

    The meaning is not lost, just not explained thoroughly. It wasn't explained to me thoroughly. I had to research and I find that troublesome. I promised myself to ensure the focus on morality would never be lost and that I would encourage both current and candidate Masons to consider the paramount reason for the lodge.

    Masonry's heart is so gloriously simple yet so many enter the door without realizing what it is trying to offer.
     
  9. Ashton Lawson

    Ashton Lawson Premium Member

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    I voted no, because I've found many of the meanings on my own as I've traveled my Masonic road. I think much of the confusion in the temple can be easily rectified by a return to a foundational education in the Esoteric being made available in the Masonic lodge. Too many of my fellow brethren are confused by the misconception that Masonry is built on the foundations of Christianity, and they too often espouse this ideal without bothering to test it against the actual teachings of the lodge. For instance, I recently read a newsletter from one of the largest lodges in the state that included the following statement from the current W:.M:. in regards to the meaning of our apron. He said, "This is the lesson that we should impart to the initiate. The uprightness of our conduct and the trust we place in the Holy Trinity (the three sided bib) to guide us with the truth, are what distinguishes us among society." This from the W:.M:. of a lodge, in regards to what we should teach the initiate... :blink:

    A foundational and in-depth education in the mystic and esoteric side of Masonry would easily clear up much of this confusion, but it would shock many Mason's to their core and send them running from an institution they don't currently understand; in fear for their very souls. Those who are displeased with this truth have a difficult decision to make, but attempting to convert the meaning of Masonry into that of their chosen creed is a coward's folly, and a truly shameful evil.

    Masonry offers a profound initiatic experience that either alters a man's thinking, or doesn't. For those in the category of altered thinking, the road ahead is long and never-ending, yet filled indeed with glorious overflowing rewards. The Meaning of Masonry is far from lost, but sadly, it is unlikely to be found in the average Masonic lodge today.

    So long as men who understand the true meanings of Masonry stand aside and watch their institution destroyed from within, this will continue unabated.
     
  10. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Ashton Lawson, how dare you!

    Well said and well defended my brother.

    Thank you very much.
     
  11. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    Well said indeed.
    So..., you've certainly not "lost the meaning of Freemasonry", but can we say the same for the WM whose words your quoted? Or for those unlucky enough to depend on him for Light?
     
  12. peace out

    peace out Premium Member

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    Ashton, what would be the ramifications if we, in our individual lodges, were to present and espouse the lodge letter as wrong?
     
  13. Ashton Lawson

    Ashton Lawson Premium Member

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    We'd either be outcasts or transitional revolutionary leaders. Pick one. :mellow:
     
  14. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    Heh... Can't have one without the other.

    More to the point of mch4970's question, the Lodge is probably not the place for this. A brother that misguided deserves to be corrected, but in the gentlest possible manner. He does not deserve to be mocked in an open Lodge, his or any other.
    What I find much more troubling is the fact that someone with his misunderstanding about the nature of our symbols, and/or perhaps his agenda, was able to reach the East. Whatever the reason, and whatever the station, teaching such things to Brother Masons is wrong. Not that we don't see it on a regular basis, but it is still a shame.
     
  15. peace out

    peace out Premium Member

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    For clarification, I meant that if we were to espouse this letter as wrong in our individual lodges.....ASSUMING the source was not from our individual lodge.

    In other words, what if I, in my Cedar Creek Lodge #300 were to show this letter, written by another lodge, as inaccurate teaching?

    I would not dare, in my current position, rebut someone in my own lodge.
     
  16. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

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    I voted "no" based upon the question.

    Do the majority of Brothers "understand" this meaning? That response to this question would have more meaning.

    F&S,

    Bro. Coach N
     
  17. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

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    Yes and No. Some of us have and others have not.

    I have been a member for 21 years. I have always taught the meanings behind many things we do. I also teach new members how to research items for themselves. I do not believe that you can know everything or teach everything. If you teach someone how to learn you have really given them a gift. If you believe and practice as I do, you have not lost the meaning.

    If you teach a series of questions, answers, grips and words, and nothing else, you have definitely lost something.
     
  18. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    I haven't read the posts above...but the results are pretty astounding. 45% think we have...chew on that for awhile. How can we change it?
     
  19. SeeKer.mm

    SeeKer.mm Premium Member

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    I don't think the meaning of Freemasonry has been lost. I have seen plenty of examples of Friendship, Morality, and Brotherly Love in my short time as a Mason so far, and I know I have not seen the last. Besides, Freemasonry can mean many different things to many different people. That being said I do think that we are quick to initiate for the sake of numbers, and often neglect to thoroughly investigate and get to know new Brothers. That could be of detriment to the Fraternity, not only by way of possibly admitting a man of less than honorable character, but also because we run the risk of admitting those Brothers who will never be around enough to find out what Masonry means to them, thus saturating the Fraternity with neglect, sloth, and laziness. Luckily, there are those of us who care enough about Masonry to keep her spirit alive and strong in our communities and in our lives! We have our tools, Brothers, let us use them wisely and govern ourselves accordingly.
     
  20. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    For me, no. I think I know it and have found it, on a personal level.

    I've been in a leadership position in a buncha groups. Its basically the doers. But those groups are all different. Your peers are as often as not advesaries or competitors.

    In masonry, you also have the doers. The folks who go the extra mile on mediating a dispute. Or take the time to check in on a Brother who has missed meetings. Or puts in the extra work on a degree to make it shine. The men who care, deeply. And those men are your Brothers.

    Those men are special to me. I identify. They are worth knowing and spending time with, brass tacks. And in masonry, you have many ancillary things that tie you together atop that sort of natural kinship. Shared experiences, symbolism with which to relate to, the road you travel, etc.

    The words fail me, but I'd say in masonry you really do get what you put into it, more so than other institutions. You can tell pretty quick the men who believe in the work and who try to live it. Those men gravitate to one another.

    So for me it is the men, the fraternity that is foremost. You don't get the best part of that unless you jump in with both feet into working the quarries, and there you find the men who share the best of your values. Thats serious and real.
     

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