Morals and Dogma

Discussion in 'Becoming a Freemason' started by scialytic, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. scialytic

    scialytic Premium Member

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    I'm probably getting ahead of myself, but I just purchased a 1950's release of Morals and Dogma. Now let me preface my question by conveying that when I get into something, it's always full tilt. My question is: Would reading Morals and Dogma before initiation detract from the enlightenment? Is it macroscopic enough to add to the initiation?

    Well either way, I own it--but I will refrain from reading it--until I receive some mentorship/guidance.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

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    Here is my two cents...

    I noticed that your signature indicates that you are yet in the petitioning stages of Masonry. From where you stand at this moment until you are a Master Mason, stay away from books and the internet pertaining to Masonry. It is not a good idea to fill your mind with information that may or may not ruin your experiences as you go through the degrees. You have plenty of time to devote to books and learning after you complete your required work.

    Again, just my humble opinion.
     
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  3. scialytic

    scialytic Premium Member

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    Patience is a virtue that I learn in reluctance...but I guess the only way to learn is to learn. So, here I go!
     
  4. Bro. Brad Marrs

    Bro. Brad Marrs Premium Member

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    Brother Owings has provided sound advice. The best thing you can do is clear your mind and remain in the dark until you are initiated. For now, focus on why you're choosing this path, and what you expect to get out of it.
     
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  5. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

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    I would especially recommend avoiding books like M&D prior to being raised as a Master Mason because they are not specifically relevant to the American Blue Lodge experience. The first three chapters are lectures pertaining to another system's (Scottish Rite) first three degrees which have different lessons than our own first three degrees.

    If anything, I would recommend a general book like Freemasonry for Dummies or the Complete Idiot's Guide as they provide you with a wide-angle view of the fraternity and its many branches and levels, all without revealing too much to the candidate.

    You have plenty of time to dig deeper as you progress in the future. ;)

    Good luck with the petitioning process.
     
  6. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

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    And go to amazon and grab a book called "Low & Slow: Master the Art of Barbecue in 5 Easy Lessons" and if you can, invest in a Weber Smokey Mountain. The stuff contained in there will not only give you a lesson in patience that you can apply almost immediately, but will give you feedback and be enjoyable for a fact. You'll wind up sitting with a Brother to learn the work in a while. If you invite them over while you are smokin some ribs or the like, you'll wind up seeing later why the particular book and advice I'm giving you now isn't as offhand as it seems :)
     
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  7. Eric Edwards

    Eric Edwards Registered User

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    wax on wax off daniel son =)
     
  8. Pscyclepath

    Pscyclepath Premium Member

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    If I were going to read any book about freemasonry, either as a petitioner, working through my degrees, or even as a master mason, it most likely wouldn't be Morals and Dogma. Albert Pike's house id just a few short blocks away here in Little Rock, and having been a student of history long before I began seeking light in Masonry, let me simply say that Albert Pike was very much a "character" and I would be exceedingly reluctant to take much of what he wrote at face value.

    You will be a whole lot better off, a lot smarter, and have more useful knowledge with Brother Hatley's barbecue book.

    And in terms of operative masonry, working up through the stewards' duties and helping the wardens inthe lodge, I get more useful stuff out of the barbecue book than I have have with M&D ;-)
     
  9. Bro. Brad Marrs

    Bro. Brad Marrs Premium Member

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    Well, I respectfully disagree with this perspective, but I still think you should hold off on further Masonic reading until after you've been initiated.
     
  10. promason

    promason Registered User

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    Thanks for those incredible gifts and blessings,regards,promason
     
  11. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    (I have never read M&D). I was presented with Henry Claussen's "Commentaries on Morals and Dogma", when I took the Scottish Rite. Reading M&D, will not detract or lessen your Masonic Craft lodge experience. The main thrust of the book, is in examining some of the esoteric and historical background of Masonry. Go ahead and read the book, if you like.

    This being said, M&D is a tough nut to crack. The prose is turgid, and getting the ideas presented is difficult. You may wish to get Claussen's book first, and use it as an introduction to the main book.

    There is a new "translation" of M&D, a group of scholars has put the text of the book, in clear 21st century English, and it has made the book more accessible to a new generation of readers. You can learn more about this translation at

    Morals and Dogma for the 21st Century

    www dot morals-and-dogma dot com
     
  12. Frater Cliff Porter

    Frater Cliff Porter Premium Member

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    I think Pike was an extraordinary philosopher and there are no spoilers in M/D, its written more as a commentary of social, religious, philosophical and even political significance, but it does not "describe" York degrees or even Scottish Rite degrees.

    Now Esoterika would be a big spoiler.

    I highly recommend M/D whenever you chose to read it.

    Most that "disagree" with Pike have never actually taken the time to read him. They read Google post which tend to have a great deal of misinformation.

    We would be hard pressed to find a man who has done as much for Freemasonry as Albert Pike.
     
  13. JMGibson

    JMGibson Registered User

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    I bought a few books right after I was initiated (including Morals & Dogma) but I decided against reading them because I realize that without certain knowledge, I will not get the full effect the books. I will not understand certain words or descriptions or what have you, simply because I am so new to Freemasonry. That was my reasoning at least.
     
  14. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    Reading "M&D" will not detract from your Craft Lodge experience. There are many excellent books about Freemasonry, which deal with the history and philosophy of the organization. None of them will in any way lessen the impact and enjoyment of the Craft degrees. If in doubt about a particular book, you should ask your lodge secretary.
     
  15. scialytic

    scialytic Premium Member

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    Regarding the comments of Pike's character and involvement with (in modern society) unsavory organizations: I just finished reading "The Jefferson Lies" and one of his main points is that people take the figure and think of him in the present state of history. This takes the person out of context and makes him a vulnerable target, especially if the sentiments of the individual are "not proper according to today's social standards." If you keep him in his historical perspective, all of the negatives suddenly change because as a southern man in that society he would be considered a very upstanding Christian and Mason, to most. Interesting how something as simple as which standard you hold a person to can turn them from one aide of the spectrum to the next...

    As far as M&D, I started to read it (careful to look for any spoilers, not finding any). I've found it interesting. I think it should be complimentary to my upcoming Journey. I am planning to just read the first three degrees over a few times. The philosophical commentary is very interesting and does not appear to detour from anything that I will be experiencing in due time...

    Thanks for the posts. I respect everybodies' stance and have taken note. The internet is a minefield and navigating it without inadvertently coming across something that could be detrimental or detract from the rite is always on my mind. Thanks for your thoughts and advice.
     
  16. FriendshipCube

    FriendshipCube Registered User

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    albert pike portrait 33.jpeg
     
  17. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    I slogged my way through the origional M&D awhile back and it was torture! Plus I only understood maybe 20% of it. Recently I have finished the annotated edition. Was a MUCH easier read and understood it MUCH better.
     
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  18. GKA

    GKA Premium Member

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    Morals & Dogma is a complex book and can be difficult to read as it is overwhelming, I recomend, as other more knowledgable brothers have, that you refrain from reading it prior to your being raised to MM
    Your initiatic experience can define your masonic life, there are subtle components of the initiation that are important for you to understand at the time of initiation, trust us, you will not be disappointed.
     
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  19. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Lol, I barely understood it then.
     
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  20. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    I'm impressed
     
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