Scottish Rite Master Craftsman Essays

Discussion in 'The Scottish Rite' started by Bro. Gerry Kendle, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. Bro. Gerry Kendle

    Bro. Gerry Kendle Registered User

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    Brothers, I thought I would set up a place where those of us enrolled in the master craftsman program can post our essays for everyones review and enjoyment. Here is my second essay. Quotes are from the Ritual Monitor and Guide.

    I have taken another step into a larger world. . . “A man is not fit to commence the ascent toward the heights on which truth sits enthroned without first appreciating and embracing the value of truth itself and of virtue.â€
    Duty to my fellow man, my country and humanity as a whole can only be accomplished by using the three great pillars of Wisdom, Strength and Beauty as a strong foundation. The nine great virtues of masonry, Truthfulness, Endurance, Independence, Justice, Mercy, Equity, Silence, Devotion and Attainment are the key to self knowledge. The key can only be turned if the mason has the heart to turn the key. A man who has learned about duty, selflessness and honor has the ability to turn the key but he still needs the desire. When a man has learned that all men are brothers, regardless of race, religion and political ideals then he will have the desire.
    I have begun my journey into the world of masonry, a world where equity, justice and respect are commonplace among its members. I have traveled the world far and wide during my life and I have seen many great and wonderful things. I have also seen the horrors of war, the disease of drugs, malice, fear and hatred. From the smile and first steps of a young child to a drug ravaged addict bent on getting their next fix. There is hope for man, but masons need to help with the hand up to help, to gently correct others when is necessary and to always give a pat on the back when it is warranted.
    The lessons learned in the Lodge of Perfection are just the beginning. “Knowledge without its application is of little value†- Knowledge of oneself is important. As man gains knowledge, he gains the ability to appreciate his liberty and is able to affect equality to all men.
    It is simple. The more knowledge a man seeks, the more self aware he becomes. Aware of his own mortality and the mark he desires to leave on this earth. To be remembered for his accomplishments or forgotten. Man, when self aware, becomes aware of others and when supported by his brothers, finds the best in men and in turn finds the best in himself.
    As I read through the degrees, more and more is revealed but it seems for every question answered another question needs asked. In the twelfth degree, in the reception, Wisdom is explained and expounded. Wisdom, Strength and Beauty, to contrive, support and adorn are the very building blocks of a stable society. Most things built by man follow these precepts, sometimes on purpose sometimes not. Everything imagined, built and made attractive follow these precepts sometimes the builder, such as an architect has these principle in mind others such as a child build their first play fort do not. Our job as masons is to help everyone move from a child’s play fort to a mansion built by God.
     
  2. Bro. Gerry Kendle

    Bro. Gerry Kendle Registered User

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    Essay #1"As a new Mason; everything learned is new and exciting in masonry. The level and complexity of masonry, most especially Scottish Rite Masonry continues to amaze me. The history and dedication for these degrees never leaves me full but always wanting to know more.
    The study of the rituals has shown me; a new Master Mason of 8 months and a Scottish Rite Mason for 2 months a great new world of understanding. I initially expected freemasonry to be similar to other fraternal organizations that do charity work and have fellowship but pretty much end there. There is so much more for a person to learn in Freemasonry; about ourselves and each other. A fraternity dedicated to the improvements of its members both intellectually and morally. As I read each the lessons of each degree it seems a new part of me is opened. As a student of history I am able to put many of these lessons to practice in my public and private life.
    The cover of the quiz packet has the Quote “Knowledge is power” By Francis Bacon. As a Scottish Rite Mason I am learning to use the knowledge to its best advantage. Not to make me rich, or famous, but as a person who can leave a mark in the community and be remembered for what I have accomplished in life. The philosophical traditions and presentation of the degrees have started me on a journey that I know will take me the rest of my life to complete. I already realize it is not the destination I am looking for but the journey and with the help and compassion of my brothers I will have a great journey. I am looking forward to the rest of my life with Scottish Rite masonry as a guide.
     
  3. Bro. Gerry Kendle

    Bro. Gerry Kendle Registered User

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    Here is my third essay.

    FAITH, HOPE and CHARITY. . . These three little words mean more than 16 letters on a page. These words, these ideas or concepts, when employed, help us conquer any adversity whether we are helping our fellow man or even when we need to help ourselves. In the Chapter of the Rose Croix we learn that these tenants express the highest form of human expression, compassion and the law of love.
    Remaining faithful to ourselves, to Truth and Integrity, keep us in line with what should be our personal code. We can acquire all of the wealth we can dream of, fame, followers’ etc. but without our good name, our integrity. . . We become lost.
    If we gather fame or wealth and we sell our good name, the honors become worthless, empty, and hollow. We cannot, we should not sacrifice who we are because as honorable men, as Masons we are the keepers of the Holy Fire, just as Zerubabbel was in his time, and we must be held accountable as men.
    As we begin to understand this about ourselves, it becomes apparent that now we must now put these tenants to use for our fellow man and remember that Faith, Hope and Charity make us better men.
    In our eternal battle against evil we need to build upon Justice, Equity and Clemency and fight against Anger, Jealousy and Greed which keep us from our proper, just and laudable pursuits. Our endeavors to better ourselves can only be accomplished when we are able to better other people through service, education and friendship.
    Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, the three great and holy words of Scottish Rite Masonry are purposeful in their meaning. They are the very building blocks we need to strengthen ourselves against the enemies of free thinking people; Ignorance, Fanaticism and Despotism. A free thinking man is always able to find the best of him and in turn find the best in all men. As long as Ignorance, Fanaticism and Despotism can enslave men, it is our responsibility to enlighten men, give them the light of knowledge, and share the liberties we enjoy. Our future, our destiny, is up to us and how we apply what we have learned.
    To be a Mason is to be a man of integrity, with devotion to God, Country and Family and to always give a hand up when ever it is needed
     
  4. Bro. Gerry Kendle

    Bro. Gerry Kendle Registered User

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    Essay #4

    CHIVALRY – More than a code for the Knights of Old.
    Faith in God, Faith in Humanity, and Faith in Oneself are what distinguish Masons from those who would rather prey on society than build and support it. Charity for the poor, the infirmed, those in prison- the faults visible in all persons; Hope: Hope for the future, Hope in man and in these trying times, Hope in government and the people in places of authority.
    These virtues lead us ultimately to the greatest of virtues, Truth. Truth in what we say, do and act. Truth in our words and actions express who we are as a person. To exemplify these virtues will make us better men and role models for the tenants of our fraternity.
    But more is needed, secrecy-to hold the confidence of our friends and family, obedience to the virtues we extol to our superiors and to the people we serve. As Knights Kadosh we need to view ourselves as servants to the people, our community and our country. Being a good, truthful person is not enough though. We need to do more. As servants, we must perform that 4 letter word that many abstain from and just as many yearn for. Work. Work does many things. A man, who works, contributes to society as a whole and gives himself a sense of accomplishment. It seems evident that police officers, firefighters and rescue personnel come to mind when we think of those who help society but we must remember the store owners, CEO’s, financial experts, restaurant workers, laborers- everyone who works, contributes in someway to benefit society.
    I could discuss the degrees at length; but there is much to learn, to explain and teach to those who don’t understand. In the 28th degree the five excellent qualities for a Knight are Humility, Temperance, Continence, Generosity and Honor. As a Knight Commander we must possess and exemplify these virtues. By being humble, tempered, continent and generous we become honorable persons.
    A mans honor is the only thing that cannot be taken from him, but it is the most fragile thing he owns. Only can he damage or destroy it through his own avarice and greed. We must forever be on our guard. Times have changed. Knights no longer ride horses, save damsels in distress, fight wars or go on religious crusades to foreign lands; but the fight for truth continues on. Men continue to lie, cheat and compromise their principals for politics, money and expediency.
    As Masons, as Knights Kadosh, we must take up the devotion of the knightly spirit and protect who and what needs protected and exalt the virtues of chivalry. The days may have passed for a knight in shining armor, but we can still stand for what we believe in, visit the sick, help the needy and be role models for those looking for their way in this world. To be loyal to our cause, honorable to our fellow man and forever in search of the Truth.
     
  5. Jamesb

    Jamesb Registered User

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    Essay#1 The biggest surprise to me was the differences that were raised in reading the book; “A Bridge to Light” between the blue lodge and Scottish Rite degrees. The biggest difference was; that some of this information was not revealed to me in the first three degree’s. In my opinion it seems, at least after taking the initial three degrees that somehow the details of the symbolism is getting over-looked by the blue lodge from the first degree in the haste to confer it. The focus of the blue lodge seems on the Master Mason degree, which was most like those of the Scottish Rite, but most of the symbolism is not readily explained, leaving many questions, which is really left to the individual to discover the answers to, on their own. It would have been a bit more enlightening to have some of Pike’s, Hoyos’ and Hutchens’ explanations to go along with the first three degree’s so that from the beginning as one worked his way through the degree’s they would receive the ever increasing light that so many us crave and see that while the symbolism within the lodge that seems so religious in nature it is about so much more. I believe that a more detailed approach to the first three degree’s would have prepared me to receive the additional degrees and explained the reason for the symbolism eluded by them. I think what I was looking for was that, “Ah Ha” moment, putting the pieces together after each degree which would then be culminated in the final degree. The only detail for each degree was given in the lecture which followed each, which has a tendency to be lost on a nervous initiate, who is still reeling from the light given from the moments prior and whose mind is still over-whelmed; leaving them ill prepared to receive those details. While in the Scottish Rite I am seeing that detail is the key to the learning of the truth behind the symbolism of the 4-32nd degrees and is extremely useful in bringing the initiate to the next set of questions. You leave the degrees with a more manageable, “why”, and a starting point to locating the answers.

    I also feel that at least a cursory knowledge of Kabala and Islam would have made the degrees even that much more enlightening as their presence in the degrees was hinted at but not fully explained, but left me with questions of how the degrees would have looked if based upon the Koran or the Torah as their primary source rather than the Bible; I suspect not much different then they stand now, as the concept and message of each of the degrees would remain the same and thus the meaning would also remain, but it would be interesting to see the subtle and not so subtle differences and how they would be presented.

    I look forward to the new questions that will inevitably arise, and search for answers as I continue my journey through the Scottish Rite.
     
  6. Bro. Gerry Kendle

    Bro. Gerry Kendle Registered User

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    Very well written. I never thought to look at these questions they way you have. Something more for me to ponder. Thank you for the insight.
     
  7. Bro. Gerry Kendle

    Bro. Gerry Kendle Registered User

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    Essay #4

    CHIVALRY – More than a code for the Knights of Old.
    Faith in God, Faith in Humanity, and Faith in Oneself are what distinguish Masons from those who would rather prey on society than build and support it. Charity for the poor, the infirmed, those in prison- the faults visible in all persons; Hope: Hope for the future, Hope in man and in these trying times, Hop in government and the people in places of authority.
    These virtues lead us ultimately to the greatest of virtues, Truth. Truth in what we say, do and act. Truth in our words and actions express who we are as a person. To exemplify these virtues will make us better men and role models for the tenants of our fraternity.
    But more is needed, secrecy-to hold the confidence of our friends and family, obedience to the virtues we extol to our superiors and to the people we serve. As Knights Kadosh we need to view ourselves as servants to the people, our community and our country. Being a good, truthful person is not enough though. We need to do more. As servants, we must perform that 4 letter word that many abstain from and just as many yearn for. Work. Work does many things. A man, who works, contributes to society as a whole and gives himself a sense of accomplishment. It seems evident that police officers, firefighters and rescue personnel come to mind when we think of those who help society but we must remember the store owners, CEO’s, financial experts, restaurant workers, laborers- everyone who works, contributes in someway to benefit society.
    I could discuss the degrees at length; but there is much to learn, to explain and teach to those who don’t understand. In the 28th degree the five excellent qualities for a Knight are Humility, Temperance, Continence, Generosity and Honor. As a Knight Commander we must possess and exemplify these virtues. By being humble, tempered, continent and generous we become honorable persons.
    A mans honor is the only thing that cannot be taken from him, but it is the most fragile thing he owns. Only can he damage or destroy it through his own avarice and greed. We must forever be on our guard. Times have changed. Knights no longer ride horses, save damsels in distress, fight wars or go on religious crusades to foreign lands; but the fight for truth continues on. Men continue to lie, cheat and compromise their principals for politics, money and expediency.
    As Masons, as Knights Kadosh, we must take up the devotion of the knightly spirit and protect who and what needs protected and exalts the virtues of chivalry. The days may have passed for a knight in shining armor, but we can still stand for what we believe in, visit the sick, help the needy and be role models for those looking for their way in this world. To be loyal to our cause, honorable to our fellow man and forever in search of the Truth.

    Essay#5

    As I have read through this program I have learned much about Freemasonry and the Scottish Rite as a whole but more importantly I have learned much about myself. Vanity in a person even when it isn’t apparent to others can delude you into making decisions your might otherwise make. I found that I have in the past gotten myself involved in volunteering for things, tasks, and organizations in order to bring attention to myself. I have realized that I need to do things just for the sake of doing them and not the recognition that may be gotten. In the past months I have found a greater satisfaction in everything I do know that what I did was important to someone and no one else really knowing about it.
    I have been involved in many things in my life in service to my country, my community and my family and I always looked for that bit of recognition. Now I feel rewarded by not having the recognition. The Master Craftsman program has revealed many things to me. The symbolism and allegory in Masonry and in the historical contexts in which it is placed has had a great impact on me. The information given on the Consistory degrees was voluminous and I admit it took some time to get through and even longer to digest. I fear I may forget more than I learned but what I have learned has been very important in me understanding who I am and what I might accomplish in the future.
    I have traveled to many places, and done many things in service to my country and community and I believe many of these will begin to pale as I begin more “anonymous service” in my community. The friendships and bonds being formed have more value to me now that I am more open and not needing or wanting the attention now that I am aware of who I was and what I am becoming.
    I am continuing my journey in the Scottish Rite and also in the York Rite as well, the symbolism continues to open up a world of acceptance, understanding, compassion, and mentoring and a knowledge that seems so obvious yet so hidden. It has been and continues to be a journey of discovery for me that I hope will never end. As in the old adage, It is not the destination in which we should aspire but the journey itself.
     
  8. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    i just bought mine. gonna be starting it soon.
     
  9. Jamesb

    Jamesb Registered User

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    Essay#2
    The biggest surprise was how the religious aspects of the 4th through the 14th degrees, related to the three branches of our government. The statements regarding an “Independent Judiciary” really struck a tone with me. It made me really think about how our Supreme Court is elected. This was especially poignant in the fact that we now have someone “running” for a seat there.
    The fact that our current President has the ability to “nominate” an individual for that seat now seems out of line with the lessons I just learned about. With the political atmosphere we have currently it was difficult to put the lessons in a personal perspective. Every time I would try to apply these lessons to myself as a way for personal growth, I would find myself applying the lessons to the political situations playing themselves out in the media.
    This makes me wonder if the lesson was about government, and how it applies to personal growth. It would seem that the lessons would have to be applied as an eye opening experience relating to ones world around them and how it is governed. Is it a fair and equal situation and has it been changed from the original meaning; at least as far as an independent judiciary is concerned. But knowing this, what would the lessons have us do when a new member is needed? How would the judiciary be filled without political maneuverings?
    Another item that raised questions for me was the lost name of Deity and if there is a correlation between the lost name and Hiram’s lost word. It makes me feel powerful and powerless at the same time as Masonry has the lost word on the tips of their collective tongues yet unable to speak it, thus releasing the power on the world. To understand the power that is at one’s fingertips yet powerless to unleash it for good or ill, changes a person. I believe it has changed me and is forcing me to seek out knowledge and persons with that knowledge so that I myself may one day be able to use it.
    I think that the Founding Fathers knew this, and attempted to apply the knowledge to the creation of a country. In my opinion they were hoping that we as a country would one day discover the knowledge and apply it, or they wouldn’t have included so many of the lessons from the 4th thru the 14th degrees.
    I believe that the Founding Fathers wished to keep the government and religion separate, so that personal beliefs would not interfere with the rule of law. Yet the two are inexplicably intertwined as with out the moral laws laid down with ones faith, the civil law would have no meaning. Thus a government must be based upon the rule of law applied with the morals one finds in faith.
     
  10. RJS

    RJS Guest

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    I just got my packet in the mail a couple of days ago!
     
  11. Bro. Gerry Kendle

    Bro. Gerry Kendle Registered User

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    Enjoy the program like I did!.
     
  12. Jamesb

    Jamesb Registered User

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    #3
    The most surprising thing I learned on this segment of the program is that everything in Masonry seems divisible by 3. Faith, Hope and Charity; EA, FC and MM are but examples. At each stage on must learn what is being taught at each level or the meaning will be lost. What does it mean to be a MM? To be one ask one, doesn’t tell you what it means, it only tells you how to get an application. To be a MM one must first humble them selves as an unquestioning beast of burden, and then one must learn the skills to advance and to learn to use the tools given them and understand the process and meaning behind the skills, then comes the ultimate skill, to be of service to others and lead.
    One must have Faith, to believe what is right and good; Hope that what they do will yield the righteous results, and Charity to be willing to give everything up for the benefit of others. This is not an easy task. May have tried and failed, and those who have achieved success have found that it is not easier once they have reached this pinnacle but actually harder. Because they are looked upon to teach, and lead others who want the goal; but in addition there are just as many, maybe even more looking to derail the endeavor, because their paths do not line up.
    I can see why there are two degrees in this section in which one is knighted, a person who wishes to live their lives with the above tenet’s must be willing to fight for them. Honor and commitment to a cause is what is needed to wade through the ignorance and jealousy. We have committed ourselves to living our lives through example, and also to struggle against those things which affect the world around us negatively, but not just ourselves as individuals but as a community. We must strive for the Masonic tenets; Liberty, Equality and Fraternity and as Scottish Rite Masons we must hold ourselves to the highest standards, so that what we portray to the outer world is what we do in our daily lives. We must educate the world, for an educated populous is less likely to be ruled by fanaticism and despotism. We must as knight’s fight for things as well as against. We must fight for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, which are the basic rights we as citizens should base our lives upon.
    I think that the major lesson in this section is that the common goals found in Masonry, and the fellowship found in fraternity one man might find the faith to do what is right, the hope that the path is correct, and the charity to share it with mankind and by use of these share faith that good will come, hope that things will be better and when they are, the charity to share it with others.
     
  13. Bro. Gerry Kendle

    Bro. Gerry Kendle Registered User

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    I just found out Arturo De Houyos is working on a Part two to the master craftsman program. From what I understand, you have to have completed the first program, it may have ten tests and at least two essays. This is still preliminary and I am sure this will change. I was told this in an email from Lois at the Supreme Council after I received my Certificate and pin. I know Art is a busy guy so it may be awhile but I am looking forward to it.
     
  14. Bro. Daniel

    Bro. Daniel Registered User

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    I am not very knowable about writing so my first essay is short; please let me know what you think. Among other things this course will give me learning in writing, like Toastmasters have taught me to talk good.

    From fragments to a foundation of stone
    The fragment of work by so many Brothers, like Stephen Morian, who took pebbles “Degrees” and produced the system of degrees “Order of the Royal secret”. This gathering of pebbles “degrees and Ideas” to start the foundation, that would bring about the modern Scottish Rite degree system, is staggering. It is a reminder we have not always done anything this way or that, but all are “in one way or another” in constant revision, it seems. At the time of my receiving the degrees, I never stopped to think that the degrees, themselves, had lived such a changing life of their own. I must joke here and ask what came first, the Brother or the Degree?, The thought process of these first Brothers who cobbled together the ideas of these Degrees, from such a huge tapestry of history and legend speaks highly of them. After this, you must be impressed or dead! To journey thru so many jurisdictions of power and influences and still survive, marks well the Scottish Rite as a bred on to itself.
     
  15. Jamesb

    Jamesb Registered User

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    Essay#4
    The most surprising revelation in this section is that it appears that the degrees 19 through 30 focus upon the latter section Master Mason’s obligation, and is more of a description on how to adhere ones self to this section of the obligation once taken; And how the past can teach us to use the virtues of knighthood for the present and future.
    Six of the eleven degrees are conferring knighthood upon the candidate, and that each of the degrees asks for reflection and looking for the attributes of a knight within ones self, through a series of morality plays based upon the search for the true name of God. Each degree focuses upon one area or set of virtues we should strive to live our lives and how we should conduct our selves to each other as masons, as well as society. By starting at the 19th degree we see that our actions must be tempered with what has been learned in the past, so we can see how our actions will either hinder or benefit the future. But as we move through each degree the constant reflection and contemplation of the nature of Deity and how, by searching for the truth of “what is Godliness” we discover “Who is God”. It makes me think to myself of the phases I hear so often of “What would Jesus do?” and “Man is made in God’s image”. To live with the idea that we ourselves are extensions of God then we have to realize the benefits and drawbacks of our actions. We have an effect upon the present and future by how we are seen and what we do.
    Masonry is constantly attempting to paint itself to the world as a charitable organization by giving away millions of dollars every day, but has lost sight of the fact that by taking a good man and making him better is more charitable then the monies donated. For by taking someone and turning them into a “Knight of the world” with all the obligations and responsibilities associated with the title, and sending them out into the world, we have done a larger service to the world; present and future. Each “knight” masonry makes will make an impact upon the very fabric of society within our lifetimes and the future. The fight for justice, truth, honor and for what is right should not be left for the mundane, but for those who, by understanding the past, and lead the present, can create the future. The word used to be chivalry, but now what does that stand for? The mere mention brings visions of armor and swords and the slaying of dragons, but now it must be changed and must bring a new vision. The armor of truth, the sword of righteousness, and the slaying of moral and spiritual destruction by thoughts and unworthy ambition must be the new future. The building of new leaders, based upon, not the driving ambition for wealth, but the aspiration of the building of the greater good; what would Jesus, Mohammad, Gandhi, do? These people lead by example, and taught those around them, all the while living virtuously; this should be the blueprint for a Masonic life.
    By searching for, and creating in Masonry, knightly virtues and Godliness and teaching what we learn to others, we will find ourselves closer to finding the true name of God and perhaps finding God within us.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
  16. Jamesb

    Jamesb Registered User

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    Essay#5
    “Love thy neighbor as thy self” It is a statement that is often lost in translation. One must first “Love” themselves before they can “Love” someone else. But in addition to that one must know what love is, to understand the phrase. To love is often thought of as a “feeling” but in reality is it not a set of judgments? It is a criterion, setting in motion the judgment. “Judge thy neighbor as you would judge thy self” is a more accurate statement. This statement would set into motion the self reflection that “Love thy neighbor…” I think is meant to inspire. The 31st degree I believe is also about that self “judgment”; that after passing through all the prior degrees it is about time to review how these lessons’s are to be applied. But yet one cannot take these lessons to heart unless they are fully prepared to understand and apply them to themselves and then judge themselves by the new criteria. It is one of the things that has often plagued me about Christianity, how could God who loves us, judge us so harshly as to send us to hell? As I worked through these degrees it struck me that the answer was right on those pages. God must be able to strike equilibrium; and love as well as judge. I think this is the reason for this degree; to teach us that a balance must be strived for as to become closer to God. The world is a harsh place, and without that balance it is all too easy to be drawn into it.

    To accomplish this we are requested to become a solder, which tells me that it is not an easy task to reach equilibrium. To reach the goal will be a fight, a fight for essentially the core values of the United States. The surprise was the realization that our founding fathers had reached this conclusion, without having to take a class. They lived their lives as solders of justice, religious freedom, for the betterment of man. I have a belief that the great leaders of the world have reached a place where they can either create or destroy based upon how they carry themselves. If they have reached the balance they know to set in motion those things that will better those around them and maybe bring others to the next step. (Evolution?) The others fall to either one side or the other; some will attempt to be too good and eventually collapse under the weight of the sloth for those around will fall into the habit of allowing “someone else to do it.” Some will attempt to control through fear and they will collapse under the weight of the growing rebellion. It is possible to draw the conclusion; that people will follow a balanced leader, which forces them to work for the betterment of themselves.

    This is my goal then. To judge myself as I would judge others; to live my life for the betterment of others through a balanced, goal driven life, and to expect the fight when necessary for nothing easy is worth having.
     
  17. RichardRLJ

    RichardRLJ Premium Member

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    Master Craftsman II, Essay 1: Idleness is the Burial of a Living Man by Richard L. James, KCCH

    If we are to emulate our ancient and operative Grand Master, and thus lead a wise and virtuous life, we must strive to understand and achieve God's purposes for our life. Death is not the worst fate that may befall man.

    Proverbs 19:15 "Hate of work sends deep sleep on a man: and he who has no industry will go without food." 2 Corinthians 9:6 "He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully." We cannot achieve God's purposes for our life unless we work diligently towards God's plan for us. The meaningful achievements in life are clearly a result of working hard towards those things which achieve our goals in life for ourselves, our family, our brethren, our country, and our God. Idleness strips us of all achievement and good works that we might accomplish in life. To spend one's life in idleness is indeed a fate worse than death, as we accomplish nothing and can have no pride in our existence. Indeed, the loss of what could have been but for the idleness in our life is a source of great sadness, disappointment and distress about what is missing in a poorly spent life.

    The idle and lazy in this world are also looked upon in life as useless and are a drain on society rather than a contributor to society. The workers and builders in this life are who make life better for all of society, and the idle lower the quality of life for all.

    A wise, virtuous and industrious life will cause our influences to live beyond the grave. Our choice is to be idle or to teach wisdom and virtue to our families, friends, and brethren. Our choice is to be idle or build the architecture of our chosen profession to improve benefit, effectiveness, safety, quality, and integrity of the systems of our daily occupations. Our choice is to teach others and let our light shine that they might learn the wisdom of immortality through our example.

    From Pike's Morals and Dogma (V. Perfect Master): "We think, at the age of twenty, that life is much too long for that which we have to learn and do; and that there is an almost fabulous distance between our age and that of our grandfather. But when, at the age of sixty, if we are fortunate enough to reach it, or unfortunate enough, as the case may be, and according as we have profitably invested or wasted our time, we halt, and look back along the way we have come, and cast up and endeavor to balance our accounts with time and opportunity, we find that we have made life much too short, and thrown away a huge portion of our time. Then we, in our mind, deduct from the sum total of our years the hours that we have needlessly passed in sleep; the working-hours each day, during which the surface of the mind's sluggish pool has not been stirred or ruffled by a single thought; the days that we have gladly got rid of, to attain some real or fancied object that lay beyond, in the way between us and which stood irksomely the intervening days; the hours worse than wasted in follies and dissipation, or misspent in useless and unprofitable studies; and we acknowledge, with a sigh, that we could have learned and done, in half a score of years well spent, more than we have done in all our forty years of manhood."

    In conclusion, idleness destroys the pride and achievements in this life. Is it not better to never to have lived rather than to have achieved nothing of importance in this life? What purpose is life if we cannot look back on achievements that leave the world better than if we had not lived in it? So, my brother, go about the business of building, improving, teaching, and loving in this world that we shall not have lived in vain, and not be buried before our life has expired.
     
  18. Bro. Kenny Goodman

    Bro. Kenny Goodman Registered User

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    Scottish Rite- MasterCraftsman
    Test 1 Essay
    Kenny Goodman 32˚
    Rather than try to impress youwith my knowledge of all I have studied and learned I would like to speak frommy heart.While I have only been a Masonfor a very short time, I feel like I have been a Mason at heart most of mylife. I was raised to Master Mason in June of 2011 and then in September of2011 I was raised to 32˚. During that time and while studying the Scottish RiteRitual Monitor and Guide, I have found that for most my life I have been livingthe oaths that we are asked to take. This not only surprised me but gave me asense of pride in knowing that I am now being called “brother” by a group ofmen that I highly respect.As a Christian and Biblehistorian I was never so surprised to find that the roots of The Scottish Rite arehighly based on the morality and teachings in the Holy Scriptures. From everymeeting to every ritual the scriptures are a foundation for its proceedings. Theserious nature of making sure the rituals stay the same is also important tome. As I read and delved more into the “monitor” I was excited to see howserious the founders and men of old were about passing on the history and foundationof our craft. This was not just a group of men getting together to pass thetime but men who were truly desirous of making a difference and passing on alegacy to the generations that followed. This really hits home to me as I amstriving to be a good example to those around me and those in need. Not so theycan point to me and say “there’s a good man” but so they will pass on what theylearn from me and people who see this will say, “I want what they have”. That,my brothers, is what we already know to be, “Truth” and “Light”. Thank you for your time.I am looking forward to my nextquiz and may God bless you all. Sincerely, Kenny Goodman 32˚
     
  19. Bro. Kenny Goodman

    Bro. Kenny Goodman Registered User

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    Quiz 2
    “The Lodge of Perfection”
    Studyingfor this part of the Master Craftsman was especially interesting to me becauseI have always enjoyed history and the beginnings of our United States ofAmerica. I was especially excited when I found that so much of what America wasfounded on was not only on Christian foundations but also on the manyfoundations of the Scottish Rite. These being in degree 4, Secret Master…Truthfulness, Justice, Mercy & Devotion.
    Iwas fascinated to find that“Representation” from the third pillar of the 11[SUP]th[/SUP] degree, Elu ofthe Twelve, was a very much needed part of our system of laws that has beenincorporated here in the US. Also, the meaning of the word “Elu” or “elect”caused me to think much deeper as to why I myself have become a Mason andjoined the Scottish Rite. I have been set apart, or “elected” to a higherpurpose than just taking care of my own needs. I am responsible for the needsof my brothers and ultimately all mankind.
    Thankyou for this section and allowing me to put my thoughts into words.
    Sincerely,
    BrotherKenneth Goodman 32
     
  20. Bro. Kenny Goodman

    Bro. Kenny Goodman Registered User

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    Scottish Rite
    MasterCraftsman
    Quiz3 Essay

    Since taking up thischallenge, each passage and reading has continued to amaze me. The more I studythe more excited I get about what the core values of the Scottish Rite andFreemasonry are and where they originated.In studying for thispart I really enjoyed how they used part of the Old Testament and compared theideals of the Israelites and Zerubbabel’s pleading of Cyrus to allow them torebuild the temple to how we are to be continually striving to build up thosethings which are good and right. Always on the lookout for those who seek todestroy what we have already accomplished and defend those who may need help. Thatis what I got out of it anyway.Also, I always enjoyany studies which highlight the teachings of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. The 18[SUP]th[/SUP]degree, Knight Rose Croix really reminds us that Faith, Hope & Love(Charity) are the greatest attributes one should strive for. Jesus summing itup in his own words… to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart soul andmind†and “Love your neighbor as yourselfâ€. After all… isn’t this what we asMasons are striving to do? Not “preach†our faith and life, but live it to thefullest by our example.Kenneth C. Goodman 32
     

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