Masonic education

Discussion in 'History and Research' started by marty15chris, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. marty15chris

    marty15chris Premium Member

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    I tried to start a thread in the education and reference section but it would not load on my phone. Anyways I am looking to start a masonic education committee or group within my lodge. A group that would present a bit of history or education at each stated meeting and was looking for thoughts or ideas from fellow brothers on how to present it to the WM and what kind of topics to discuss. Any thoughts or ideas should be greatly appreciated.

    Monitors if I have made this new topic in error let me know and I will correct it, no need to duplicate effort.


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  2. Frater Cliff Porter

    Frater Cliff Porter Premium Member

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    Do not limit yourself by personal experience in choosing what “Masonic” education is and I would provide that you need not limit education to things that are “Masonic” unless specifically forbidden by your Grand Lodge. Even then, with Masonry encompassing the arts and sciences there is little that is not of interest to Masons, by definition making it Masonic. A well-rounded man in his community should be just that, well rounded. Limiting study to the degrees, or specifically provable Masonic symbolism is foolish and unnecessarily limits the scope of the fraternity.

    The key to quality education is planning. You cannot bring in outside speakers, for instance, as a last minute exercise. It requires planning and hard work. Empower someone in your lodge to research speakers, determine the cost, book them and bring them. Plan for this a minimum of six months in advance, but a year is better.

    Contact brethren in the lodge at the beginning of the year to inform them of the dates of their presentation and do not create a culture where they can fail or not perform. In other words, missing that presentation on your day is like missing your own wedding and hit that home from the front.
    Get creative in what you might investigate. We have had a Native American drummer describe the meditation that can accompany music. We have had noted author, researcher and quantum physicist Dr. Casey Blood discuss the quantum reality of the soul. We have had Luis Sahagan, who wrote Manly P. Hall’s biography, discuss his research and discovers. Members have presented on music, the skull, leadership, Pythagoras, geometry, kaballah and alchemy. Author Timothy Freke, Right Worshipful Bro. Peter Taylor a provincial Grand Secretary and researcher in Scotland, and others have been flown in from overseas to present. We don’t limit presenters to men who might be present on the continent.
    Education can be a paper, a PowerPoint, a video compilation, or a music piece.

    Education can be Socratic discussion. Someone can present a short talk on a topic and allow for discussion on that topic. To encourage discussion; present on the subject, then pick the first responder, then he must do likewise. This would continue until every man in lodge has had a chance or a predetermined, allotted amount of time has passed. In other words, people’s minds can only handle what their butts can take. A good presentation or discussion can be killed by continuing too long. I recommend no longer than a one hour lodge presentation unless breaks of 10 minutes on the hour are built in. Don’t try to fit in everything in a night. You have years for the journey, use them.

    Don’t convince yourself that there need be only one presenter in an evening and that every presentation must last an hour. If a brother wants to present a paper that is fifteen or twenty minutes long, allow him to do so. Schedule two papers for the night or three fifteen minute papers. Some lodges allow for Socratic discussion. This is not my preference, and I recommend keeping the temple space sacred. In other words, no disharmony is allowed in lodge; discussion occurs at the Agape after the presentation. In this fashion, if discussion is heated, it is not heated within the tyled recesses of the lodge.

    “But my lodge will not allow for education.” Well, then form a new one, move to a different one, or bring a paper and stand up and start reading it during good of the order.

    If you do nothing else in lodge, do something to educate one another. If you fail in this, you are failing in Freemasonry. It is not that your lodge need be a Traditional Observance lodge to enrich the membership education, but if you do nothing to enrich the members at all then the term Masonic is unjustly applied to the lodge.
     
  3. marty15chris

    marty15chris Premium Member

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    I thank you for your input and will put some of your thoughts before the lodge. I think my lodge may be a bit behind in the education aspect so bringing in guest speakers may be a bit far fetched at this point. I am looking to introduce a 30-60min speech / discussion to start and then take it from there. Again thanks for the thoughts I will take them Under advisement.


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  4. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    I like talks 5 minutes or less on what X means to the presenter. Explicitly not a recitation of the ritual work on X! Pick a tool, a furthermore, anything in ritual. Pick a liberal art or science.

    A simple starting point - We stand up to pray in our meetings. Many kneel when praying outside of lodge. Correlate with speculative meaning of the plumb and tie in to the landmark of not discussing sectarian religion in lodge.

    Is there a projector in lodge? Many lodges have one for slides during degree lectures. Put a camera in your car. As you drive around town whenever you see a building with columns in any of the five orders of architecture take a picture of it. When you have at least one of the five, show your pictures as an in-town travelogue. I've noticed that to find Tuscan all I need to do is go to the more prosperous part of town and a lot of the larger houses have plain Tuscan columns bracketing their front doors. Some banks have Composite columns.

    Start taking pictures of pilasters. Do a travelogue on them. A brother who never looked up the word might not even know what a pilaster is. (It's a structural column embedded in a wall). Do do other orders of architecture that aren't in the list - Tudor houses. Romanesque churches. Buildings often churches that have innovative architecture. Photograph some building that looks wrong even though it's sturdy and discuss proportion. Find several styles of arches in town.

    You don't need a direct Masonic topic. One of the better presentations I've seen is on models of hearing aids and the newer technology in the field. It's someone a lot of the senior members have an interest in.

    Your lodge may not have the habit of doing education at Stated but most GLs encourage it and some require it.

    "This meeting is brought to you by the letter G. You can see the letter here in the East." Unlike during a degree conferral, humor is not verbotten during an educational talk.
     
  5. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    We had two talks at the Lodge of Instruction last night. The first was be based on Bro. Manly P. Hall’s “Lost Keys of Freemasonryâ€. The second was entitled “Purpose, Virtue, and the Masonic Pathâ€. With the Opening and Closing it all took an hour.
    Afterward, at the Agape, we discussed Dutch Masonry (we had a visitor from the Netherlands), and one of the EAs moving to Dallas.
     
  6. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Could you please describe what the Agape is? I know it from the Iliad as an ancient Greek word for excellence in one's station.
     
  7. Frater Cliff Porter

    Frater Cliff Porter Premium Member

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    The Agape is a formalized dinner after lodge wherein toasting, educational discussion and fellowship are had. The MRF does have some standardized rituals.
     
  8. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Thanks! So it has a format like a Table Lodge but since it's not tiled it is not actually a Table Lodge. More formal than the festive board, though.
     
  9. Frater Cliff Porter

    Frater Cliff Porter Premium Member

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    You generally sit in a U shape, have a series of less formalized toast and then encouraged discussion. There is an opening and closing ritual. It happens after tyled lodge and outside of the lodge room so the normal prohibitions on discussion in the temple are not in place and the sanctity of the temple can not be defamed by argument.

    I do cover the entire ritual in my T.O. book Brother as well as some others.
     
  10. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    Yah. It sounds a lot like the festive board I attended earlier this year.


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  11. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    Thanks, Cliff.
     
  12. nayef

    nayef Registered User

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    Hey my Brothers
    My name is nayef
    And I seek esoteric books or articles
    I would be most grateful if any one ca suggest
    All ready read Morals and Dogma
    And Secret teachings of all Ages
    If you have other titles please send me the names ....

    I Salute you brothers .•.


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