What Do New Freemasons Really Want?

Discussion in 'Masonic Education' started by Blake Bowden, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. JamesMichael

    JamesMichael Premium Member

    Oh I failed to include my opinion about meeting above a Tavern. I actually would prefer this as the assessment we pay to keep our building is really just silly. I have been in meetings in rooms with very little decor. Meeting was equally if not more meaningful because of the closeness and quaint feeling as opposed to large pretty and almost empty room.

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  2. cacarter

    cacarter Premium Member

    It's nice to read someone sticking up for the Millenials. Thank you sir!
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  3. jstbnme_76

    jstbnme_76 Registered User

    I became a Mason just over 3 years ago. I am proud of this affiliation as well as my brothers and what we stand for. I however believe that with this relaxed one day class or even the separate degree work (that I went through) when not being required to memorize oaths,pass codes and other things we run the risk of not being recognized by other local lodges or even lodges under different Grand Jurisdiction. I really want that "FULL" experience I would or should have been required to dedicate my time to and be able to show proficiency. The reason I feel this way is that if I met anyone of you on the street I couldn't prove any other way but my dues card that I'm a mason. So yes it "SHOULD" be harder to be raised as a Master Mason

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  4. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

    At least then the adjournment from labor to refreshment would have some serious meaning.
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  5. brother josh

    brother josh Registered User

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say .......... Light

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    4HORSEMEN Registered User

    Blake what lodge here in Texas are you out of ? My Brother ..

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  7. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    Same here, wise words indeed.
  8. Chaz

    Chaz Registered User

    I petitioned a lodge as soon as I turned lawful age. If I would of been presented with a short form or anything less than what was expected of my brothers of centuries past I would of felt offended, although I do understand why those options are available. I've always been a seeker of truth and knowledge so the craft seemed like the place for me. Light always attracts those searching in the darkness, maybe these days there's just not as many seeking IMO
  9. square

    square Registered User

    It's about Quality not Quantity ,that's one of the biggest problems we are having today lodges are looking for quantities and they have these one day ceremonies,masonry has to be earned not just given in one day ,I don't see how You can have masonry in your heart with a one day process. I'm not for it,once again it's Quality what you should look for in a man that's seeking to become a brother not Quantity.
  10. Angus

    Angus Registered User


    You are bang on, I would rather have three dedicated Brothers who the Lodge can count on than 30 who just came to get a ring.
  11. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

    It is difficult to make a serious commitment to something that is low quality. If the local Lodge wants serious Masons, they need to make the Masonic experience a quality experience.
  12. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

    But pancakes!

    Young men join with expectations of grandeur. I've seen it, I've lived it. If we want to attract and keep them then we have to rise to meet those standards as best we can because if they join expecting something marvelous then they'll lose interest when they see how mundane the reality of it is.

    The thing is, I look at their expectations as a wake-up call. We've allowed ourselves to rest on our laurels and low standards have become the norm in many places. This simply cannot be allowed to continue at any level of the organization or these young men will pass us by just like earlier generations did. The difference is that the millenials are actually interested in joining so if we lose them as well then it's all the sadder.
  13. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

    Finding grandeur in the mundane can be like finding the points where science and faith meet and learning that no matter what some say they are compatible. It's one of the great notions of Romantic philosophy. It may be hard to see how mundane pancakes eventually lead to a live of service, but it's also hard to see how changing diapers eventually leads to a life as a family patriarch. Both very mundane activities with a bit of NLP reframing applied.
  14. cbalke

    cbalke Registered User

    This conversation has good timing. I was raised over a year ago. I am 35. And had similar experiences like most of you, with my grandfather being my light when growing up.

    I have asked sever members in my lodge why they are masons, what they like about it, yadda yadda. All responses are the same, fellowship.

    I'm not into that. What really makes a mason a man, and the other way around? You can only read the History of Masonry so much. I want real dialogue and real conversations.

    I feel like I'm getting lost.
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  15. Roy_

    Roy_ Registered User

    "Thoth", the publication of the Dutch Grand Orient, issue 4/2014 has an article of a Belgian member of the Grand Orient (irregular if you want to know). He asked the exact same question and did some investigations. His conclusion seems to be that youngsters do not want a shorttrack (a three grades in one ritual was discussed in my country in the very early 20th century and dismissed). They admire the stature and ritual, but they find in FM mostly philosophers and historians and very often combined. Youngsters look at the world differently. They don't look so much at the past, but rather see an insecure future. Therefor they don't try to hold on and defend what once was, but want to use what is in the present for the future. Also they see in the Enlightenment philosophy that is very strong in FM mostly an external idealism while they want something internal, something more for themselves; not in the way we like to see individualism nowadays by the way. Youngsters want to be able to use FM in their current worldview of technology, rapid developements, multitasking, etc. instead of keeping hearing how things were in the past; not the Christian-pained humanism, but something they can use in their own worldview.
    The article is too long to reproduce, but there you have some keywords.

    As for myself (39 in a few weeks and EA since a few months), I must say that I noticing that most lodges meet once a week was quite a thing. FM expects to attract people with some life-experience and then more or less asks to trade in hobbies, contacts, etc. for weekly meetings. Indeed, especially people in the age of forming families may have to postphone their Masonic lives. For the rest, I hope that FM will be an addition to my life, while it is often presented as a replacement for some things (in my country often for religion), hence, I need room for other adventures; room both within the lodge, but certainly also without. As for the 'FM method', I do most certainly not want a watered-down version. Actually, most logical would seem 'the full package' but at the individual's pace. What is the rush to become a MM? Better good than fast, right? The same with the choice for higher grades. One reason my order split off Le Droit Humain was that in LDH the 1st to 33rd grade is one process and some people didn't want the 'pressure' or 'obligation' to continue with the higher grades.

    Just some thoughts.
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  16. Sidney Williams

    Sidney Williams Registered User

    I have been going to the lodge every week since June and learning so much about the craft. I have seen others go through the process and was really excited about it being my turn to be a part of this brotherhood. I am sorry if I have offended any brothers. Please know this hasn't been a one day journey for me.

    For the past 10 years I have been living my life by the same moral principles of masonry and the only difference now is that I get to be around a strong group of men who view life the same as I do.

    During my first degree I had twenty plus brothers there and as one of the older members said, we came today for you because we care about you. I cant tell you how good those words made me feel. So you are correct Quality and Sincerity is so much better than quantity and I am blessed to be a member of Waiverly Lodge.

    Just a thought, I am not easily swayed by others opinion, but another EA might express these same emotions. I think we should be encouraging and not judging.
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  17. Sidney Williams

    Sidney Williams Registered User

    I am 45 years old and my first experience was with my godfather who was a Mason. My second experience was when i was 20 and in the Navy. My third was with a friend at work while working in the prison system. My last before finally joining was with a good friend 10 years ago and all of those people left a lasting impression on me, but I always knew it was something I wanted to do. This time was right for me because I value commitment and i am not chasing the things of this world.
  18. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

    Please understand that what makes a man a Mason and what drives a Mason to attend regularly for decades are two very different things. Regular attendance filters for those who value the fellowship. Read the complaints that Stated meetings consist of paying our bills then retiring to enjoy the fellowship - The brothers who keep attending aren't there for the business so they don't care if the business part is dull. Have you ever been fishing? Dull as watching paint dry but there's an entire lake to dry so it stays wet forever. Yet guys like fishing and many guys even when there are no fish biting. Why? For some it's like gambling - Sometimes the fish do bite. For others it's about the shared activity, the fellowship.

    As to dialogue, you're being lead to water. It's up to you to drink. Start giving history presentations instead of just reading history. Accept the fact that some of the regulars aren't there for the history. Same pattern with philosophy. There's enough philosophy to last a lifetime but the drive to work it has to be your internal drive. The history, philosophy, meaning, those ideas bring men to our doors. But those ideas aren't what keep our regulars on the boat not caring if the fish bite today.
  19. Sidney Williams

    Sidney Williams Registered User

    Thanks for asking the question. during my short time i have met 4 newbies like myself and while preparing dinner while the MM are meeetng we chat about what lead us to this point in our life. We all have similar stories. Out of the five of us only one did not return. We are all eager to be.studemts
  20. MaineMason

    MaineMason Registered User

    I knew my great-grandmother who's husband's Masonic Diploma hangs on my father's office wall, next to his father's and his Blue Lodge and Scottish Rite diploma. I'd give him my three (Blue Lodge, Scottish Rite, Royal Arch) but they remind me every day of my obligations.

    It took me about three months to take my MM degree, which is about right, at least here. It took me about the same amount of time to take my Royal Arch Degree in York Rite. The only "one day class" situation I know of is in Scottish Rite, and I totally defend it. In fact, that was how my father took his in the Valley of Boston (where I subsequently did mine) all the way back in 1980. Regardless of how one feels about it, it's been many decades where SR bodies have been doing one-day classes because of the tremendous effort those exemplifying the degrees make. I suggest that I will probably be called "Sir Knight" and a Commandery member before I have seen half of the Scottish Rite degrees, even though I am a S.P.R.S.32nd Degree.

    I have no problem with how the SR (I am a member of the Northern Jurisdiction) does its degrees. I WOULD have a problem if the York Rite started doing such and certainly as a junior officer of my Blue Lodge if Blue Lodges started doing that. In my Grand Lodge jurisdiction (Maine) it is prohibited to confer all three degrees at once or to make one a "Mason at sight". Normally, it takes three months after one's petition is accepted by the Committee of Inquiry and voted on by the Lodge to be raised. Sometimes longer.

    Why I don't have a problem with SR and their "One-day" classes is because it is an appendent body. Is there much to learn? Of course. If you become active, you learn even more. However, at least in the Northern Jurisdiction, one almost always sees the same degrees for Lodge of Perfection, Princes of Jerusalem, Rose Croix, and Consistory every time. Finding other degrees exemplified is rare. SR, while I enjoy it, is very different from York Rite, where at least in the first handful of degrees smacks more of Blue Lodge as one progresses into Red.
    Just my two cents, or, well, my Penny.

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