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-   -   "How to Save Freemasonry" (http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1406554)

Rustyaxecamp 03-06-2012 10:44

"How to Save Freemasonry"
 
This was posted on a blog a while back. I enjoyed reading it so I copied it to my computer for later reference. It has since come down.

Thoughts?




Wednesday, September 14, 2011


How To Save Freemasonry


I read a lot of blogs, articles and books on Freemasonry. Isee brothers concerned with the state of Freemasonry. Some are concerned withquantity and some are concerned with quality. Both groups are only trying to dowhat they feel is best. On one end, you have the ďmason in a dayĒ approach andon the other end you have the Traditional Observance Lodge movement. There arealso some of us, probably most of us, who like the materials we have been givenby our Grand Lodges and just want our brothers to use them. Just use them.Thatís all. Get rid of the short forms, only do one degree per man at a time,enforce memory work and have a list of articles from the Grand Lodge to be readat each meeting on the hidden mysteries of Freemasonry and thatís it. No needto start new lodges. Just make sure the ritual is spot on. Put more Masonry inMasons. If this plan is adopted and enforced by the Grand Lodges, we willmaintain unity and quality ANDÖI think we willstart to see some numbers again.



My generation wants the old school brotherhood, the fun and the fraternity. We also want the esoteric stuff. We want to earn it. We want the rituals. We want the Jedi, the Hogwarts. There is no need for a new book or anything fancy. Just put what I have suggested into motion and viola, our Craftis back on track. It has to start at the top and from the grassroots.



Young Freemasons have to do their part. Hang in there with your lodge. Donít start a new one. Start living these reforms. Be patient and loving to your older brothers. Show some respect. They kept it alive this long when our fathers wouldnít join. Eventually, we will be Freemasonry.



STAY in your blue lodge. NEVER leave. Only join an appendant body if you can commit to both. I fully intend to join the Scottish Rite someday when I can, but not until then. Freemasonry IS the three degrees. You have it all in the Blue Lodge. However, the York Rite and Scottish Rite are interesting and valuable ways to pursue further light. They are also part of our tradition since almost the very beginning. I think another rule all the Grand Lodges should pass is that no one can join these groups until they have been a Master Mason for over a year or so and have attended every meeting and degree for that year.



You could skip the appendant bodies and just get a stack of books. That is what the Master Mason degree preps you for: being a mystic, a seeker of wisdom. You donít need anything beyond it. Read what Christopher Hodap says about "The Lost Word" in his book, "Deciphering the Lost Symbol". Don't be like Malakh. Read Robert Cooper and David Stevenson. Read "Observing the Craft" by Andrew Hammer.



However, I do think you can learn things in the other rites AND they are a big part of our tradition. So do them if you can. I am going to. Just know you donít have to do them to be complete. You need internet access and a stack of books. However, I appreciate them so I plan on supporting them.I only say what I have said to help the Master Mason out there who might feel like he is missing something . YOU ARENíT. Read the books I have suggested.



These are my ideas to help the Blue Lodge. Gentlemen, we areat a crossroads. We are headed for a mass extinction soon. Most Freemasons are OLD and when they all die soon in the next ten years, all that will be left will be myself and about 400,000 other whippersnappers. The Traditional Observance Lodge may very well take over what is left at that point. Who knows. If that happens, so be it. I will sign up. If we act now, I think we can still do quite a bit to preserve what we have and make it better. We all need to makesome improvements. You young men need to step up and start giving these oldbrothers a day off. I think my ideas are simple, do-able and will help maintain tradition while attracting younger men.



You might be saying, well young man, just who the hell do you think you are? I get that, but here is the kicker: I am the future of this beloved fraternity you preserved for me and I THANK YOU SO MUCH. I just want to keep it in top form and pass it on to another generation like you did for me. I hope you hear my heart. I love Freemasonry and all itís traditions. I want it to survive and thrive. I like the esoteric stuff AND I like the good ole boys and charities too. Remember, our ritual was written bya man in his twenties. And Albert Pike rebuilt the Scottish Rite from the ground up, using many of his opinions and great ideas. We can have it all mybrothers. Letís do this.

deputy tom 04-01-2012 15:25

I remember thirty-five years ago I was one of those few youngsters joining an ancient and honorable society of men my father's and grand-father's age. I wanted to be like them,respected Gentleman. I got my prayer answered.I did what at the time was required to advance thru the degrees and right afterward advance thru the chairs. We didn't have "Man to Mason Day" back then. We worked hard to remember the work. I attended the first of those one day classes here in PA. These Brothers got screwed! I have taught a few of them the portions they really needed to commit to. There have been a few one day classes in Scottish rite and Shrine here as well and a few higher ranked Officers in those bodies would not let our closest friends/Brothers sign up and suggested waiting for a traditional class. I must agree with them. Many one day joiners haven't been back to Lodge since and this is a shame.YMMV.tom.

Javelin 04-01-2012 15:29

I did not know it was in any danger?

<---- Guilty of missing some meetings I am not going to lie (health issues mostly though).

:dunno:

deputy tom 04-01-2012 15:46

Quote:

Originally Posted by Javelin (Post 18787844)
I did not know it was in any danger?

<---- Guilty of missing some meetings I am not going to lie (health issues mostly though).

:dunno:

Hey, missing a few meetings due to health concerns is not an issue. Good health to you Brother.tom.

ArLEOret 04-04-2012 09:22

I never heard of "man to Mason in a day". I guess I am old school and believe in rite and ritual as they are in the handbook. To shorten ritual is to cheat the Apprentice and rob him of all the meaning. It's also taking away from the Lodge the meaning of being a Mason. Being a PM I cannot agree to short form any ritual or lecture.

Batesmotel 04-04-2012 11:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by deputy tom (Post 18787820)
would not let our closest friends/Brothers sign up and suggested waiting for a traditional class. I must agree with them. Many one day joiners haven't been back to Lodge since and this is a shame.YMMV.tom.

BIG +1.

We do it here but it was intended to alevieate problems with people finishing in a timely manor due to extenuating circumstances. Like military deployment, illness Etc.

Those brothers who did it as an "easy" way to get it done have cheated them selves and many drop out within a year. Those who stick around are having a hard time filling the junior officer seats because they don't have a good grasp of what is going on during the degrees. Both physically as in the floor work and ritual and figuratively as in the meaning and presentation of the ideals of the degree.

I would never suggest it.

The best thing we can do for the fraternity is to be a good example of the merits of Freemasonry and be willing to answer questions from those who are interested.

deputy tom 04-08-2012 07:53

Quote:

Originally Posted by Batesmotel (Post 18800158)
BIG +1.

We do it here but it was intended to alevieate problems with people finishing in a timely manor due to extenuating circumstances. Like military deployment, illness Etc.

Those brothers who did it as an "easy" way to get it done have cheated them selves and many drop out within a year. Those who stick around are having a hard time filling the junior officer seats because they don't have a good grasp of what is going on during the degrees. Both physically as in the floor work and ritual and figuratively as in the meaning and presentation of the ideals of the degree.

I would never suggest it.

The best thing we can do for the fraternity is to be a good example of the merits of Freemasonry and be willing to answer questions from those who are interested.

I agree 100%. tom.

Hyksos 04-08-2012 07:55

My Grand Lodge has done away with one day classes for Masonry (for now). Hopefully it stays that way. There is a required one month period between degrees in the blue lodge.

I'm 26 years old, Junior Deacon of my lodge, 32nd degree, and Chapter/Council (went through it yesterday).

We have a lot of young men coming into our lodge, and we seem to be initiating more and more people. The internet is key to the survival of Freemasonry, and I think the Scottish Rite webcasts are great.

While I only have time for blue lodge,I still pay dues and do home research for the Scottish Rite. The Master Craftsman program is excellent and allows the 32nd degree Mason to learn the ritual on his own time. The meetings at my Valley are open nowadays anyway, they don't really practice the esoteric stuff. If you want the true value of the Scottish Rite, it can be found in reading Morals and Dogma, the Scottish Rite Ritual and Monitor Guide, and doing your own research to compare with what you're learning.

It is completely worth it my Brothers. Even if you aren't Scottish Rite yet you can still purchase the program. Technically anyone can purchase the program because the esoteric stuff is not in the Ritual and Monitor guide.

http://www.scottishritestore.org/cgi...item_no=SRMMCP

I don't think we need to save Freemasonry. So long as men exist on this planet who respect their Creator, and endeavor to endlessly labor in the pursuit of the betterment of themselves and others, then Masonry will never die.

58duck 04-08-2012 08:22

my brother and i joined at the same time . . . it was 25 years ago, and under Special Dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.
we were Entered on January 3rd, Passed and Raised on February 14th, 1987. under the circumstances, (we both lived 6 hours from our home lodge and in opposite directions, traveled extensively for work, and had no mentor) we were granted the degree work with out having to prove our proficiency before the Lodge.
while an exception was granted for my brother and I to join, i do not believe that this is always the best thing to do. i do not support the "Man-to-Mason" being done in (1) day. too much of the meaning is lost. i am not even a large fan of conducting more than (1) candidate at a time thru the Degrees.

for my brother and i, however, it worked . . . at the end of 1987 i transferred my membership to my local lodge in the state on Indiana. i became Master in 1992. likewise, my brother soon afterwards transferred his membership to his local Lodge in North Carolina, and became Master within a few years.

the highlights . . . in 1992, my dad became Master of our home Lodge in western PA - at the same time i was Master of my Lodge in Indiana. we attended each others Installation. a few years later, dad and i attended my brothers' installation as Master in North Carolina.


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