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How Do We Make Good Men Better?

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    Posted: April/04/2013 at 11:45pm

Brother Paul Jerome has started a new Facebook page for Masons to discuss why some lodges cannot open for lack of members, some cannot get enough officers out to put on a degree, and how "We Make Good Men Better." 

This will be a good place to discuss and search for solutions to lodge problems with attendance problems that can improve regular attendance and participation.

And best of all, this site will give all a chance to comment on how we make good men better.

All are invited to join the discussion on Brother Paul's Page.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/317043281755187/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BroScubaSteve Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2013 at 10:05am
I do not have a FB page to participate nor am I a mason but I have several friends who talk about the old guard keeping the lodge down because they will not let younger men give the lodge a shot in the arm it needs.

It may be too late and the GM for the state should look to merge the lodges in question.

However, if the WM of the lodge is open minded then he should let the younger men set up an advertising committee to attract others who might be interested in joining but are too nervous to do so.

My journey started by visiting the local web page of the lodge in my town and saw they had an open house. My friend who is a MM accompanied me there which took the edge off my nerves and it was an overall fun experience.

Fellowship activities with the public such as hot dogs, sausage and pepper cookouts etc could drum up people who had no idea your building was even there.

Case in point: The local lodge I'm interacting with is one traffic light from my house in the downtown area and I did not know it was there for 3 years until my father-in-law, who knew I wanted to become a mason, pointed it out one day.

My prospective lodge has the advantage of being in an old downtown setting and has plenty of foot traffic to do adverts right on the sidewalk if they so choose.

If foot traffic outside the lodge is an issue, maybe look to get permits to set up shop somewhere and have pamphlets available. Not necessarily recruiting but making your lodge known so those interested can ask one to be one or at the minimum get some reading material and speak to those in the know.


Edited by FoF - April/06/2013 at 10:10am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jullysha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2013 at 10:30am
how can I make may life better I am not freemasonry I want to be freemasonry so as I can make wonderful thing in the world b'se I have may own ambitions
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Z111 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2013 at 12:33pm
Originally posted by FoF FoF wrote:

I do not have a FB page to participate nor am I a mason but I have several friends who talk about the old guard keeping the lodge down because they will not let younger men give the lodge a shot in the arm it needs.

It may be too late and the GM for the state should look to merge the lodges in question.

However, if the WM of the lodge is open minded then he should let the younger men set up an advertising committee to attract others who might be interested in joining but are too nervous to do so.

My journey started by visiting the local web page of the lodge in my town and saw they had an open house. My friend who is a MM accompanied me there which took the edge off my nerves and it was an overall fun experience.

Fellowship activities with the public such as hot dogs, sausage and pepper cookouts etc could drum up people who had no idea your building was even there.

Case in point: The local lodge I'm interacting with is one traffic light from my house in the downtown area and I did not know it was there for 3 years until my father-in-law, who knew I wanted to become a mason, pointed it out one day.

My prospective lodge has the advantage of being in an old downtown setting and has plenty of foot traffic to do adverts right on the sidewalk if they so choose.

If foot traffic outside the lodge is an issue, maybe look to get permits to set up shop somewhere and have pamphlets available. Not necessarily recruiting but making your lodge known so those interested can ask one to be one or at the minimum get some reading material and speak to those in the know.
 
And just who are you to be passing judgement?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote masonic.truths Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2013 at 2:12pm
Originally posted by Z111 Z111 wrote:

Originally posted by FoF FoF wrote:

I do not have a FB page to participate nor am I a mason but I have several friends who talk about the old guard keeping the lodge down because they will not let younger men give the lodge a shot in the arm it needs.

It may be too late and the GM for the state should look to merge the lodges in question.

However, if the WM of the lodge is open minded then he should let the younger men set up an advertising committee to attract others who might be interested in joining but are too nervous to do so.

My journey started by visiting the local web page of the lodge in my town and saw they had an open house. My friend who is a MM accompanied me there which took the edge off my nerves and it was an overall fun experience.

Fellowship activities with the public such as hot dogs, sausage and pepper cookouts etc could drum up people who had no idea your building was even there.

Case in point: The local lodge I'm interacting with is one traffic light from my house in the downtown area and I did not know it was there for 3 years until my father-in-law, who knew I wanted to become a mason, pointed it out one day.

My prospective lodge has the advantage of being in an old downtown setting and has plenty of foot traffic to do adverts right on the sidewalk if they so choose.

If foot traffic outside the lodge is an issue, maybe look to get permits to set up shop somewhere and have pamphlets available. Not necessarily recruiting but making your lodge known so those interested can ask one to be one or at the minimum get some reading material and speak to those in the know.
 
And just who are you to be passing judgement?
 
I had the same thought, but I'm sure he would consider me part of the "old guard".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote droche Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2013 at 2:18pm
I don't see FoF passing judgement, I see him making suggestions, and I think some of his suggestions are very good. So what if he is not a Mason?

The Lodges I see failing or failing to grow are those that do not have activities in addition to the business meetings and degree work. In some cases yes, it is the "old curmudgeons" who put the kibosh to lodge activities, but in a lot of other cases it's little cliques that become entrenched and if it's not their idea then nothing will fly. Many members of these cliques are not that old.

My lodge is very active in the community and we are constantly talking about new ideas and activities that will benefit the lodge. Some fly, some don't, but its based on what works and what doesn't, not who initiated it. At my old age of 59 I don't try to stop the flow of ideas. We have many members well into their 80's and they have a live and let live attitude as well.

So keep the ideas flowing. Some, like casino nights won't fly, but if its within reason, try it. You never know when you will hit pay dirt.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tarditi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2013 at 2:24pm
Lodges that cannot open or put on degrees due to poor attendance usually do not suffer from "not bringing in enough new members" but not engaging the ones they have.

A lodge has a prescribed number present to open or confer a degree... if the actual membership roles of these lodges were close to that small number, the DDGLs and GMs themselves would be looking to merge the lodge with another.

The issue is participation. It is not a new challenge - I was poking around our lodges library a while ago and came across a Short Talk Bulletin dated in the 1950's about how to better engage the members and get them "from their living room into their lodge room." 
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Not trying to stifle new ideas at all.  Nothing he suggested is new.
I think he should get his feet wet before offering up suggestions.
 
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Being new to the organization, I can say that whatever comes out of my mind (and onto the keyboard) should be taken with a molecule of salt. I recognize being new and not knowing anything. Sometimes I get a little antsy and find out that something I thought was really tiny (inspection) was actually the most massive event ever seen (same inspection).
 
I can see cliques all over, especially where the men sit on the sidelines. I know exactly where they are going to sit and who they will talk to. I try and move all over because you see different vantage points (especially on a degree night).
 
In a way, I sort of feel that my lodge is too active. There doesn't seem to be any room for something new and not tried. A good number of the events are repeats and their success is debatable. What I would like to see more of is visible events. I think I have brought this up before, but I think it is important that when you are doing charitable work, you are somewhat visible when you do it. That is not to say that most good deeds should remain hidden, one does not have to be brazen to show their good deeds. However, actions speak louder than words (and money).
 
The biggest issue is probably dues issues. Raising dues or changing something causes a huge uproar.
 
I also come from a College Fraternity and cannot see how the organization can survive into the future without some sort of "recruitment". If College Fraternities had been prohibitied from recruiting new members, they would have died long ago. I'm sure this statement alone with draw ire from many members on the board...
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If charity work is visible than I question whether it is done for charitable purposes or for the publicity.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote droche Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2013 at 3:39pm
There are, of course, cliques all over; they can't be avoided, and in some respects, they can be healthy. Its when a clique controls  the organization and stifles or obstructs others that I object. Many times I hear such members lament that one becomes a Master Mason and we never see him again. I think, well no wonder why- did this person feel accepted? Did we give him a chance to be part of the group and allow him to make a contribution and grow? Does the Lodge have activities, whether charitable, social or otherwise, compatible with our values, that will make a man feel that it is worthwhile to be active?  Many times the answer is no.

I agree that charity work needs to be altruistic and not just for the publicity. If it is just for the publicity, people will soon see through that and it will fail. But, IMHO, there is nothing wrong with hoping for and getting new members through our works. If our works promote our values and that attracts men having those values, what is wrong with that?

I also understand why some might want a new member or aspiring member to "get their feet wet" before speaking out, but I think its more in the way they say it and approach it. If someone comes in like a bull in a china shop and says you guys are dead need to do this and that... yes, I'd probably tell them to go take a hike. But if they are sincere and earnestly want to contribute, I say fine, what does it matter if they are new or not a member? Like I said before, you never know when you'll hit pay dirt. Their ideas may not be new to us, but may be new to their lodge. We don't know.
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It is also a different experience when you are an EA for 6 months. You find that other lodges around you made men MM's in 3 or 4 months time. Sometimes it is like you get to participate, but not too much.
You can do this for a while and not that. You can go to this event, but not until half way through.
 
Being an EA or an FC is usually a short experience. Degree, exam, Degree, exam, Degree (optional exam). However, when you are an EA or FC for 4 or more months, you start to have that yearning for not only some sort of acceptance but the ability to take part in the lodge.
 
Yes, "bull in the china shop" is the wrong way to go. Sometimes it is even difficult for me. I came from an established organization that I helped expand, went to international meetings and was even an officer. To start back at the bottom of an organization is a humbling experience.
 
What does help is when a WM recognizes that you want to improve yourself and the others around you. I have an excellent WM who does want the junior members to be, in a way, more active than the senior members and solicits their responses/opinions.
 
Were I in a jurisdiction that only opened on the MM all of the time for business, I probably wouldn't even be here or know half of the things I know. I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to go to lodge every week and not be turned away.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GAmastermason Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2013 at 9:13pm
I agree with FoF even though he isn't a Mason yet. I think we need to know what keeps the public interest. We are making many Masons in my lodge 10-12 a year but many only come a few meetings or here and there or not at all. I think a viewpoint to some extend outside of Masonry should be welcomed.
 
@Easttowesttoeast, Georgia is a jurisdiction where all business is done on the 3rd degree. I know where you are coming from. I had the same problem. When I was going through they forgot to invite us to the public stuff and the fundraisers just for that reason. We came and ate dinner before the meeting and left unless we were doing an exam or getting the next degree.
 
I made sure our new EA and FC Brothers did not have the same experience all these years since I have been raised.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote PHAlanx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/06/2013 at 11:16pm
it is not our duty to make good men better, imo. a man should want to chisel away at his ashlar for his own reasons and not anyone elses. just my opinion
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jullysha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/07/2013 at 12:35am
wawoooh that is option opinion of your success big brother I need that one thing and that if I will get no rules of any country will deverge in my decision mmmh give me the chance
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote easttowesttoeast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/07/2013 at 12:36pm
Originally posted by PHAlanx PHAlanx wrote:

it is not our duty to make good men better, imo. a man should want to chisel away at his ashlar for his own reasons and not anyone elses. just my opinion


That is true. That is the honest truth.

During my undergrad years, we had a saying when someone would try and join my fraternity and not be the kind of good soil in which to sew our precepts. The saying way "This is Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity; Not Lambda Chi Alpha Rehab". We were able to pick up good men and stay away from those who may not be so great.

I feel that it is my duty to share my knowledge with my other brothers (for example, if I find a great reading on the EA or FC degree or a scholarly researched book on the order). My interpretation of the symbols may be different than yours. However, it is also my duty to pass on the working tools to others whom I feel would be good ground. It is our duty to give them the tools, but not ours to work on their ashlar. We have our own ashlars to worry about for the builder.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coach Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/07/2013 at 7:34pm
Originally posted by easttowesttoeast easttowesttoeast wrote:

... It is our duty to give them the tools, but not ours to work on their ashlar. We have our own ashlars to worry about for the builder.
I disagree with your wording. 
 
It is our duty to SHOW them what Working Tools exist and what they can do to make a good man better WHEN USED. 
 
It is up to them to find 'em, pick 'em up and then use 'em 'til the Work is done.
 
The problem is most Brothers only know what the Working Tools are.  Very few Brothers know how to use them, what they actually do and what Transformations that can be expected when used properly.
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Originally posted by coach coach wrote:

Originally posted by easttowesttoeast easttowesttoeast wrote:

... It is our duty to give them the tools, but not ours to work on their ashlar. We have our own ashlars to worry about for the builder.
I disagree with your wording. 
 
It is our duty to SHOW them what Working Tools exist and what they can do to make a good man better WHEN USED. 
 
It is up to them to find 'em, pick 'em up and then use 'em 'til the Work is done.
 
The problem is most Brothers only know what the Working Tools are.  Very few Brothers know how to use them, what they actually do and what Transformations that can be expected when used properly.
I usually feel that my head is about to be bitten off by anyone who replies. I was pleasantly surprised.
 
I can say that my post was indeed wrong. I received instruction, however, I can do whatever I want with them (including never having or using them to begin with).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coach Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2013 at 6:07am
Originally posted by easttowesttoeast easttowesttoeast wrote:

Originally posted by coach coach wrote:

Originally posted by easttowesttoeast easttowesttoeast wrote:

... It is our duty to give them the tools, but not ours to work on their ashlar. We have our own ashlars to worry about for the builder.
I disagree with your wording. 
 
It is our duty to SHOW them what Working Tools exist and what they can do to make a good man better WHEN USED. 
 
It is up to them to find 'em, pick 'em up and then use 'em 'til the Work is done.
 
The problem is most Brothers only know what the Working Tools are.  Very few Brothers know how to use them, what they actually do and what Transformations that can be expected when used properly.
I usually feel that my head is about to be bitten off by anyone who replies. I was pleasantly surprised.
 
I can say that my post was indeed wrong. I received instruction, however, I can do whatever I want with them (including never having or using them to begin with).
I disagree with your wording.
 
Your post was not wrong.  It was inspiring!  Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote clamman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2013 at 1:51pm
Pardon me if I'm wrong, but why are non masons posting in this thread?
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Originally posted by clamman clamman wrote:

Pardon me if I'm wrong, but why are non masons posting in this thread?

It's under "open discussions" - they may have valuable input, and this is not a tyled discussion.
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I don't see the open discussions thingy.  All I know is I'm reading it in the MM tyled area.  If they have access to this thread, don't they have access to the rest of the MM tyled threads?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote droche Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2013 at 3:05pm
It's in both General Discussions and MM Tyled. I don't recall reading anything that should make it in the tyled area but it's up to an administrator.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote easttowesttoeast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/08/2013 at 3:06pm
Originally posted by clamman clamman wrote:

I don't see the open discussions thingy.  All I know is I'm reading it in the MM tyled area.  If they have access to this thread, don't they have access to the rest of the MM tyled threads?
 
No, they don't. This was a general announcement. You can find this thread at the top of anyone of the subforums.
 
I have no access to the tyled area and have no idea how to get their (don't care really either, I'm an FC).
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post removed.



Edited by Stormriderjd - April/16/2013 at 11:33am
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I agree with Coach and a couple of others above.  Freemasonry does not make a Mason better.  It can only lead a Mason to and show him the Light. What he does with the knowledge is up to him.   Freemasonry can only proved the tools, the Mason makes himself better.   ... However, a well trained Mentor can be essential to setting a new Mason on the right path to becoming better.

I also, saw this post when it was first made, but re-framed from replying to see what other member thought.
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Introspection is the best word I can use to describe how Freemasonry makes "Good Men" better.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/13/2013 at 12:39pm
Brothers, if you have a Facebook Page join us for discussion of the topic How Do We Make Good Men Better?  There is some good points beng brought up. This forum is also bring up some good points. If you are interesed in joining the Facebook group goto https://www.facebook.com/groups/317043281755187/ Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Groupie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/16/2013 at 7:47am
Brethern This is an ongoing problem with a lot of lodges  ! In my expericence visiting Lodges It has to do with personal feelings that is a lot of members do not like a officer or officers that have been installed, and instead of addressing the problem to that officer or officers they rather opt not to come to meetings because of the situation! Remember it is all about Harmony in the Lodge and that is what we as free Masons strive for !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GrimoireA3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/10/2013 at 10:11am
Regarding Lodge Attendance Problems.  I am a 'newbie' here, I am not a Mason, and so far I have never stepped foot in a Mason Lodge.  But I have some experience with 'consolidation'.
 
In the Church I frequent, the Bishop is in charge of 125 Episcopal Churches (I am a Roman Catholic by the way) and is plagued by low attendance.  In a meeting I attended the Bishop has to close five churches, sell them off, and distribute the money.  His basis of closure is lack of activity.  Essentially the same thing has happened decades ago at my university (UMass) where the basis of decision was lack of activity.
 
I hate to make this suggestion, but if a Masonic Lodge is unproductive or inactive, is it time to close and consolidate?  Is that a viable option within the Freemason community?
 
Just a thought.
Please Note: I am not a Mason. And also, I am not an anti-Mason!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edwmax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/10/2013 at 1:24pm
Originally posted by GrimoireA3 GrimoireA3 wrote:

Regarding Lodge Attendance Problems.  I am a 'newbie' here, I am not a Mason, and so far I have never stepped foot in a Mason Lodge.  But I have some experience with 'consolidation'.
 
In the Church I frequent, the Bishop is in charge of 125 Episcopal Churches (I am a Roman Catholic by the way) and is plagued by low attendance.  In a meeting I attended the Bishop has to close five churches, sell them off, and distribute the money.  His basis of closure is lack of activity.  Essentially the same thing has happened decades ago at my university (UMass) where the basis of decision was lack of activity.
 
I hate to make this suggestion, but if a Masonic Lodge is unproductive or inactive, is it time to close and consolidate?  Is that a viable option within the Freemason community?
 
Just a thought.

In many GLs (mine included), the 'Lodge' and its members are the one responsible for the Lodge finances and expense to build & maintain the lodge building.   As long as 7 members desire to keep the Lodge open and functioning, they may do so.     So a 'inactive lodge' has to be one of tw0 situations: (1st)  ... the Charter has been suspended; (2nd) ... lodge membership has fallen to less than the required number (7 & may be different (more than 7 required) for some GLs) to keep it open.

So the Lodge property reverted to the GL where the Lodge owns the property 'free & clear'; or else the property reverts to the Leaser or Grantor.

The point is:  where the Lodge does not maintain minimum operating requirements the GL will suspended the Charter.  Otherwise, it is the members choice to close or consolidate the Lodge.
"Until you realize that your viewpoint is incomplete and that's '_' viewpoint is complete, only then can you become teachable in the Mysteries of '_'."





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I know exactly where they are going to sit and who they will talk to. I try and move all over because you see different vantage points









Edited by liuyelian - May/29/2013 at 12:11am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tarditi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/12/2014 at 6:00pm
My friend, I have no idea to what you are referring. 
I am sorry you feel entitled to something - something we couldn't begin to provide.

Go in peace.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edwmax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August/13/2014 at 7:26am
Admin note to the forum:

I have hidden several post made yesterday and this morning which are irrelevant and off-topic to this tread.   Tariditi's post above was directed to those hidden post.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Warrior1256 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/07/2014 at 5:56pm
I agree that we need to make lodge meetings more interesting to bring in more young members. At the rate that brothers are dieing off if we don't start attracting new members we're in big trouble.
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I rather wonder if we are not coming to a point for a renewal or reinvention of Masonry. 

In recent times we had the troops returning from WW2 where they had experienced brotherhood and a common struggle for the betterment of humanity.  Returning to civilian life must have been a shock with the rat race of materialism and personal power.   Hence they joined Masonry in large numbers to re-experience brotherhood and greater purpose (even though poorly described)

Others too, at least in Australia, when social security was poor, joined so that they would have access to Masonic old age homes.

Both those groups are largely gone.

Those that remain are often older, wishing to preserve Masonry for its own sake, in the hope that some recovery may occur.


A few months ago, after the lodge was closed I took a new EA in and showed him some of the inner aspects of the temple.  I mentioned that the genuine secrets were thought to be lost and he said that immediately he felt a sinking feeling in his stomach.

So I assured him that while Grand Lodges did not even look for the genuine secrets, they are still to be found by the worthy and diligent brother.

But I think his reaction is at the core of our problems.  Candidates come to find the secrets and mysteries of ancient freemasonry, and then discover that no one knows anything about them.

Why should they remain?  Who will teach them the secrets and mysteries? 

Better to move on than waste time.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edwmax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/30/2014 at 7:34pm
Originally posted by Ozzie Ozzie wrote:

  ...


A few months ago, after the lodge was closed I took a new EA in and showed him some of the inner aspects of the temple.  I mentioned that the genuine secrets were thought to be lost and he said that immediately he felt a sinking feeling in his stomach.

So I assured him that while Grand Lodges did not even look for the genuine secrets, they are still to be found by the worthy and diligent brother.

But I think his reaction is at the core of our problems.  Candidates come to find the secrets and mysteries of ancient freemasonry, and then discover that no one knows anything about them.

Why should they remain?  Who will teach them the secrets and mysteries? 

Better to move on than waste time.




Basically, I agree.     ... But, this is also a failure of the Investigating Committee to ascertain the Petitioner's true motives for joining Freemasonry.      This petitioner (& many others) have a belief that magical, spiritual, and Biblical 'secrete' knowledge exist and only obtainable thru Freemasonry.  They were not interested in belonging to a 'Brotherhood' and failed to understand its benefits.    ... A Black Cube should have been cast.

For other new EAs, Masonic education and good Mentors will help set the EA & FC on the correct path.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ozzie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/30/2014 at 11:04pm
Originally posted by edwmax edwmax wrote:

Originally posted by Ozzie Ozzie wrote:

  ... Candidates come to find the secrets and mysteries of ancient freemasonry, and then discover that no one knows anything about them.
...


...    ... A Black Cube should have been cast.

For other new EAs, Masonic education and good Mentors will help set the EA & FC on the correct path.


Personally I welcome seekers after the secrets and mysteries of ancient Freemasonry as a breath of fresh air.  In my lodge ritual (Scottish), it states that candidate has joined for the sake of those mysteries and secrets.  Sad then that there is no one to teach them.

In my experience perhaps 10% of brethren have a passive interest in the secrets and mysteries, and perhaps  1% of brethren are actively in pursuit of the secrets and mysteries. 

I recall long ago belonging to a well-known US-based fraternal organisation and one of my friends had a dream about it.  The local lodge was a soup kitchen and the members came for soup but few wanted to know how it was made.

A couple of years later another member told me a dream in which he folded up the  temple, put it on his back, and took it away.

Perhaps that has happened in Masonry also




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edwmax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/01/2014 at 7:08am
You bastardized my comment by leaving out why the Black cube should be cast.   ... My point was those petitioners were looking for something that do not exist in Freemasonry.  Therefore, their reason to join Freemasonry was not good.   ... This was my echo and comment to your situation of the EA described above that had the 'sinking feeling' when told the "genuine secrets" were lost.

Next, it would be well that you define what you mean as "secrets and mysteries of ancient freemasonry".   ... These are not lost!   There were and still are construction methods, mathematics, logic, and other 'arts & sciences' covered in our lectures.     ... But many individuals believe these to include 'magical, spiritual, & supernatural" secrets.

You said "Sad then that there is no one to teach them."    But there are!  Maybe not in your Lodge.   It is a matter of where to look. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ozzie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/01/2014 at 3:50pm
Originally posted by edwmax edwmax wrote:

...My point was those petitioners were looking for something that do not exist in Freemasonry.  ...


I recall reading in Blavatsky, writing at the end of the 19th century, that no lodges still possessed the genuine secrets.  Her wording seems to be to be rather specific - allowing that some brethren still possessed the genuine secrets.

As far as I can see some of the genuine secrets are still present in the ritual - although "the mysteries are preserved in Masonry as a fly is preserved in amber" to quote another authority.


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The path to discovering a Masonic Secret is itself a Mystery.
----------------------

DISCLAIMER: These are my comments, and mine alone - they do not necessarily apply to any group to which I belong!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edwmax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2014 at 7:42am
Originally posted by Ozzie Ozzie wrote:

  ....
I recall reading in Blavatsky, writing at the end of the 19th century, that no lodges still possessed the genuine secrets.  Her wording seems to be to be rather specific - allowing that some brethren still possessed the genuine secrets.  ...


Why are you trying to relate Madam Helena Petrovna (Hahn) Blavatsky to Freemasonry?   She a was a spiritualist & medium working in magic and seances.    She was also an admitted murderer and adulteress.

What little that I have read of her, nothing she wrote or said was specifically about Freemasonry.   If you have any link otherwise, please post it.    The use of 'lodge' in the 19the century dialect is more a general reference to a 'group' or the 'consensus of a group'.   Not Freemasonry specifically.

Your post are backing up my statement that those Members who join Freemasonry thinking they will find & gain knowledge & secrets of magic & spiritualism are quickly disappointed.

You post are deviating from the topic of this thread which is "How do we Make Good Men Better?"   If you want to continue with magic & spiritualism start another thread.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote droche Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/02/2014 at 3:29pm
Ozzie, when you say "mysteries" and "secrets" are you talking about what is commonly called "Esoteric Masonry?" That would be the study of Masonry from the point of view that it is one of the so-called "Mystery Schools." I agree that there is that aspect to Masonry, but if a newly raised Mason attempts to delve into that, to me, that would be like attempting to study for a doctorate degree before completing elementary school. 

Another mystery school is Kabballah, Jewish mysticism. Elie Weisel, author of Night stated in that book that he wanted to study Kabballah when he was a teenager. His father told him noone could ever begin to even understand Kabbalah until he was at least 50 and would have to be a pious, practicing Jew in all those intervening years. A rabbi also commented on Kabballah that it was all fine and well, but the major lessons of Judaism is to love your neighbor (or words to that effect); everything else is secondary. I believe it is similar with Masonry.

That being said, I do agree that many of our lodges, grand lodges and appendent bodies do not stress the lessons of the first three degrees and much more could be done in this area, but the lessons of the first three degrees are really all that matters; everything else is secondary. To me the mystery is that it is a journey that never ends and one never stops learning. The secret is that there are no secrets; we teach the same lessons that every major religion and moral code teaches although in a different way. Where people get disappointed is that some think or are erroneously led to believe that they will become privy to exotic information not available to others. It never was like that. My opinions of course.




Edited by droche - October/02/2014 at 3:31pm
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>Ozzie, when you say "mysteries" and "secrets" are you talking about what is commonly called "Esoteric Masonry?"

Here is one of the test questions used in my lodge before being passed to the second degree:

Q:  Why were you made a Freemason?

A: For the sake of obtaining the knowledge and secrets preserved amongst Freemasons.


So what knowledge and secrets are preserved?   Are they only substitute recognition signs findable in 5 minutes using Google? 

>Another mystery school is Kabballah

As you may have noticed the Kabballah is a science of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.

>but the major lessons of Judaism is to love your neighbor (or words to that effect); everything else is secondary. I believe it is similar with Masonry.

In my view that is the work of the EA.  When that is largely accomplished then the brother is ready for the work of the FC - the study of the hidden mysteries of nature and science.  It took me 20 years even to understand the meaning of those words.

And what is the work of MM in group formation?   Surely it must build on the work of the FC, but what is it?

> the lessons of the first three degrees are really all that matters; everything else is secondary.

So having made good men better, what happens next?  

What is the real work of the MM lodge when all brethren are fully trained and there are no candidates?  

I once asked that question of the national head of an Australian Masonic order and he had no answer.


>they will become privy to exotic information not available to others.

That is certainly a view that may be held by the readers of books such as Angels & Demons, but such books deal with some of the outer organisations associated with the mysteries. 

Nevertheless the worthy brother paying close attention to the flow of work in the temple may occasionally make valuable observations that contribute to unfolding the work of the FC.















Edited by Ozzie - October/02/2014 at 8:14pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote droche Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/03/2014 at 6:57pm
Ozzie,

My ritual does not use the word "preserved" so I don't think I can answer the question directly. My answer would be the same as I answered above.

Your second point, "that is the work of the EA. When that is largely accomplished then the Brother is ready for the work of the FC." My opinion, I don't think any of us can claim that work is accomplished when we begin the Fellowcraft Degree. I seriously doubt anyone can truly claim that work is ever finished on this earth.

What is the work of a MM Lodge when there are no candidates? The MM is not an end, it is a beginning. In my opinion, the work of an MM Lodge, candidates or no candidates, should be to continue forming the perfect ashlar and it never ends. 

Having made good men better, what happens next? Are you saying that once the MM is conferred on a candidate that is the end of making a man better? I suppose in a very narrow sense, by virtue of having been taught the lessons of the Degrees, a man is better than before he received the degrees but does it stop there? I don't think it does.

I think there is enough in all Degrees for a man to chew on for years and years and then some. It's all fine and well to delve into the more mysterious and esoteric aspects but these merely supplement the basic lessons. 

I agree with your basic premise (or what I perceive is your basic premise) that the Masonic education system could do a better job in elaborating on the basic lessons of the three degrees. 


Edited by droche - October/03/2014 at 6:58pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edwmax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/03/2014 at 7:46pm
Originally posted by Ozzie Ozzie wrote:

>  ...

Q:  Why were you made a Freemason?

A: For the sake of obtaining the knowledge and secrets preserved amongst Freemasons.

.....


This is not a question used in our ritual or as a 'test question".

Remember that you are of one of the 'Emulation' style rituals.   While most of the US Lodges are of the Ancient style based on William Preston lectures of the late 1700's & before the unification of 1813.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adept? Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/03/2014 at 9:17pm
Yea, that isn't a question I'm familiar with either from PHA in Florida, or A.F&A.M in Maine.
"It is humanity that creates god, and men think that god has made them in his image, because they make him in theirs."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ozzie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/03/2014 at 11:27pm
>This is not a question used in our ritual or as a 'test question".

I sometimes wonder whether rituals should be edited by brethren who admit to not having the genuine secrets.

>Having made good men better, what happens next? Are you saying that once the MM is conferred on a candidate that is the end of making a man better?

My question rather is:  is humanity here just to be perfect in itself or does it have a function beyond its own welfare?

A hint is given when we are told the Freemasons lodge extends from E to W and N to S and from the center/surface of the Earth into the Heavens.

This is a rather large lodge to work in.  What is the work?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edwmax Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/04/2014 at 2:11am
Originally posted by Ozzie Ozzie wrote:

>This is not a question used in our ritual or as a 'test question".

I sometimes wonder whether rituals should be edited by brethren who admit to not having the genuine secrets.

...


So you are saying that 'Emulation' style Lodges should return to the Ancient style rituals used before the 1813 unification?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote droche Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/04/2014 at 8:50am
Originally posted by Ozzie Ozzie wrote:

>This is not a question used in our ritual or as a 'test question".

I sometimes wonder whether rituals should be edited by brethren who admit to not having the genuine secrets.

>Having made good men better, what happens next? Are you saying that once the MM is conferred on a candidate that is the end of making a man better?

My question rather is:  is humanity here just to be perfect in itself or does it have a function beyond its own welfare?

A hint is given when we are told the Freemasons lodge extends from E to W and N to S and from the center/surface of the Earth into the Heavens.

This is a rather large lodge to work in.  What is the work?



I somewhat agree with you that rituals should remain intact over the years, but you keep talking about "genuine" secrets. Apparently even you don't know what those "genuine" secrets are so how do you know they even exist or have existed?

I believe that humanity has a function beyond its own welfare. Do you know of any Masonic rituals, lectures, lessons etc., ancient or otherwise, that teach any such function? Let us know here or  in a tyled forum.
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