Question about the work...

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by TxManx, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. TxManx

    TxManx Registered User

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    I have a general question about learning the work of the various degrees.

    Due to certain circumstances, my EA has gone very, very slowly...I'm almost done with the first section, but it remains to go rather slowly.

    With my interest in Freemasonry, I've been scouring the net looking for interesting articles and things to read, including a lot of the 'anti-masonry' related material that is available...

    Today, I stumbled upon something that presents somewhat of an ethical dilemma...but perhaps it isn't.

    I stumbled upon an anti-masonry website that had another state's version of all three degrees, including the work I have sworn not to write/duplicate in any form or fashion.

    I didn't realize how accurate (but at the same time, inaccurate) it was until I started reading it...and then stopped.

    Herein lies my dilemma...using this published document, I can separate the wheat from the chaff easily, because I understand the work, I simply can't get enough contiguous training time to actually get through it.

    It's my feeling that I could use this document, separating the wheat from the chaff, and self study and finish this work rather quickly. Using it as somewhat of a cypher that MMs are allowed to use in some states...as it's *that* complete.

    Should I turn my back on this source, and continue with the traditional methods, or use this source...as I'm reading something someone else created.

    As an aside, I am reaching out to my lodge's WM for a definitive answer, but I thought the discussion might be of interest... I will post my WM's definitive answer when I receive it.

    Ken
     
  2. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    Traditional methods.
     
  3. TxManx

    TxManx Registered User

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    Blake...not much discussion on that response...but I appreciate your opinion.

    Ken
     
  4. drapetomaniac

    drapetomaniac Premium Member Premium Member

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    I don't know your circumstances, but consider the effort to tell the wheat from chaffe versus turning that effort towards more work on the traditional method.

    The other thought I have is - if other things are consuming and preventing your additional work, it might be best to wait and take your time - unless the goal is to make Master and still be consumed and absent.
     
  5. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    i don't like this thread here, but whatever.

    some people pick it up easily, some don't. worst comes to worst, do the examination section by section. i worked 3-4 times a week with a brother for 6 months until he could do the first section. then again for another 2 on the second and third sections. he finally got it.

    if he can, you can.
     
  6. TxManx

    TxManx Registered User

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    This thread can be moved anywhere on the site...it was meant to spur discussion, not cause angst...

    ~~~
    Now, the following is NOT a reason to go against whatever my WM decides... it is merely me stating my personal circumstances...

    When I took my obligation last Feb, I was employed. Three weeks later, I was let go...and over the next 5 months, I went through bankruptcy, consolidated a 5 bedroom house and three storage sheds into a 2 bedroom duplex and a single storage unit...

    I don't have to tell you what the above can do to a person's mental state...but still, throughout it all, I tried to make as many training sessions as possible.

    Now that I've got a job, I was hoping it would be easier...but it isn't.

    I work an inconsistent schedule throughout the week starting at ~8 in the morning and often going until 730-8pm at night. At the end of the day, due to the nature of the work, I am almost brain dead and quite exhausted. BUT - I'm extremely happy to actually have a job right now...

    To travel to any of the lodges (I'm aware of) with regularly scheduled classes is at minimum a 40 minute drive...and often times, those regularly scheduled classes don't happen, or are for an EA degree which helps in some ways, but doesn't provide the interaction and correction necessary to truly learn the work.

    Couple that with the work interference, and I'm lucky if I can manage training twice in a week, two weeks in a row. Often times two weeks will pass before I can actually get some training in.

    My home lodge is in Dallas, and I was living in Cleburne, however I am now living in North Richland Hills (NE Fort Worth). FW 148 has graciously allowed me to attend some training, but I am unable to attend regularly... some of those training resources have moved to West FW at another lodge, making it further away from work (where I would have to leave from...meaning an inability to attend even simple functions with regularity).

    I've reached out to Panther City as well, but their actual training schedule and what is posted on their website differ greatly, and so that resource isn't very consistent.

    My Brother assigned to oversee my work graciously donates isolated phone call sessions with me, when possible...but again, due to the work schedule, they are inconsistent.

    Due to family commitments, I'm rarely available during the days on the weekends, with work often interfering then as well...

    So, in today's fast paced world, with some obligations explicitly stated as taking priority over Freemasonry...and with a full year's deadline quickly approaching (which means my lodge must request special dispensation from Grand Lodge on my behalf)...I'm looking for help.

    I read articles, published essays, listen to podcasts, and read as much as I can about Freemasonry and do whatever self learning I can...which is where I stumbled upon these documents...their mere existence bothering me greatly.

    I would not be nearly concerned if not for the deadlines imposed by Grand Lodge...but those, quote frankly, stress me out.

    So, Brothers, if you have some suggestions or options you can offer, I would absolutely love to hear them...

    Ken
     
  7. TxManx

    TxManx Registered User

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    BTW, Blake...your response was the same as my lodge's WM's... :)

    Ken
     
  8. jwalters

    jwalters Registered User

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    Stick to the traditional work methods, it is tough and tedious, but the pay off is well worth it. Learning the wrong things will take a lot longer to reverse than doing it correctly the first time. It is hard, but hang in there.
     
  9. Nate Riley

    Nate Riley Premium Member

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    Go with the traditional methods for traditional reasons (it is supposed to be mouth to ear). By the way, if its the nevada version you have (and probably any other) if different and the questions are in a somewhat different order, so I think it will only mess you up.
     
  10. drapetomaniac

    drapetomaniac Premium Member Premium Member

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    Ken,
    Keep in mind your local lodge can vote on your continuation beyond the deadlines. (Unless I'm mistaken).

    I practiced my final EA work with a guy who had expired his year due to circumstances, he just had to wait for the vote to continue. After the vote, we practiced our other work.

    Just keep communication open - which if you're practicing the traditional method, you are.
     
  11. MGM357

    MGM357 Registered User

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    Our work shouldn't be learned "fast paced". I promise if you learn the work the way it suppose to be, you will have no regrets. your lodge shouldn't have a problem requesting a special dispensation. They understand life happens. Remember the 24" guage. In the long run if you decide to learn the work the easier way, you will only be cheating yourself.

    Please don't take this the wrong way, maybe the time spent on the internet researching Masonry, you could try to learn your work. With all due respect, remember why you wear your apron as an Enter Apprentice...
     
  12. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    First, learning the work "mouth-to-ear" is intended to help you form a bond with another Brother- one that should last a lifetime. One of the lessons I've learned in Masonry is that things are done the way they are for more than one reason.

    Secondly, the deadline isn't any big deal. You can take as long as you like to learn the EA work. Once you have taken your proficiency, the Brethren of your Lodge vote on your advancement- Grand Lodge is not involved in any way with this.
     
  13. ljlinson1206

    ljlinson1206 Premium Member Premium Member

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    If the existence of these writings are a cause of great turmoil, why even consider thier use? Every Brother that has come before you has persevered and learned the work in traditional manner. Some have picked it up in a matter of weeks or months, others have taken years. Take your time and learn the work the right way the first time.
     
  14. TxManx

    TxManx Registered User

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    Thanks, I appreciate this...

    Ken
     
  15. ljlinson1206

    ljlinson1206 Premium Member Premium Member

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    By the way, can you get one of the Lodge Members to come to you when you get off work? This may be an option that maybe noone has thought of.
     
  16. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    Call me Ken, I do not work over the phone very well but I know you have been working at this very hard for a while now and maybe I can pick up the ball again and help.
     
  17. DavidG

    DavidG Registered User

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    What he said....

    I work long hours as well, am appointed to a Board that manages fire/rescue services for some 30,000 folks, and am a volunteer fire fighter/instructor/chief. I learned the work, luckily I picked it up quickly. One night a week, 2 hours or so, for a few weeks. Don't give up! The reason our world is the way it is today is because the youth don't have to work for anything. Everybody wins, so when you accomplish something it means nothing.

    My $0.02 is to see of you can find someone that is in or near your circle of friends that can help you. I was lucky enough to have my grandfather who is certified to instruct. I worked with my lodge, which is 70 miles from my home, to allow me to work with him since I saw him weekly.
     
  18. RAY

    RAY Registered User

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    All the above are correct. You need to study with a Brother when you can. There are many Brothers in your area and you may have to locate a couple of them that can teach you. Time is not in the mix here but rather quality time with another Brother. It may take a little longer but the rewards are well worth it.
     
  19. Chris_Ryland

    Chris_Ryland Registered User

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    I agree completely with Brother Bill. You do not have to concern yourself with a timeframe. I helped teach a brother that was an EA for 3 years before he turned in his work. He is now an officer in the lodge and helps teach other people. You CAN do it with some patience on your part. I think I would try to find someone that can meet with you before work for an hour or so and that way you start your day off with some learning rather than trying to remember stuff after a tough day at work. I am sure that if you ask around you can find a willing brother. Remember there will always be someone as eager to give as you are to receive instruction.
     
  20. JEbeling

    JEbeling Guest

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    I have always taken the view that it was job to get him to learn.. ! and what ever I had to do.. ! if he stood the exam in the first section only .. then came back for the second and thrid.. ! everyone is different.. ! Good luck. !
     

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