Private Collection

Masonic stories, and speeches about Freemasons. Over 200 pages

Miscellaneous collection of masonic readings, stores, speeches, and other information

Masonic writings from a private collection, Private Collection One 44 pages >>>

The Old Master  by Carl Claudy- 1924

The Ideal Mason

"So you think Brother Parkes is an ideal Mason, do you?" asked the Old

Past Master of the Young Brother. "I like Brother Parkes, but before I

gave assent to your adjective of 'ideal' I'd like to have you define

it."

"What I meant" answered the Younger Brother "was that he is so well

rounded a Mason. He is Brotherly, charitable, loves a good speech and

a good time, and does his Masonic duty as he sees it."

"Oh! Well, if that's being an ideal Mason, Parkes is surely one. But I

can't follow your definition of ideal. For there are so many ideals in

Freemasonry, and it has been given to few...I doubt, really, if it has

been given to any...man to realize them all. Certainly I never knew

one.

"There are so many kinds of Masons! I do not refer now to the various

bodies a brother may join; Chapter, Council, Commandery, Scottish Rite

Lodge,Chapter, Council, Consistory, Shrine, Grotto, Tall Cedars,

Eastern Star; a man may belong to them all and still be just one kind

of Mason.

"When I speak of 'kinds' of Masons I mean 'kinds of ideals'.

"There is the man whose ideal of Masonry is ritual. He believes in the

ritual as the backbone of the fraternity. Not to be letter perfect in

a degree is an actual pain to him; he cares more for the absolute

accuracy of the lessons than the meaning in them. His ideal is a

necessary one, and to him we are indebted for our Schools of

Instruction, for our accuracy in handing down to those who come after

us, the secret work, and to a large extent, for what small

difficulties we put in the way of a candidate, by which he conceives a

regard for the  Order. What is too easily obtained is of small value.

Making a new Mason learn by rote some difficult ritual not only

teaches him the essential lessons, but makes him respect that which he

gets by making it difficult.

"There is a brother with the social ideal of Masonry. To him the Order

is first a benevolent institution, one which dispenses charity,

supports homes, looks after the sick, buries the dead, and,

occasionally, stages a 'ladies night' or a 'free feed' or an

'entertainment'. He is a man who thinks more of the lessons of

brotherly love than the language in which they are taught; as a

ritualist, he uses synonyms all the time, to the great distress of the

ritually-minded Mason. To the social ideal of Masonry and those to

whom it makes its greatest appeal we are indebted for much of the

public approbation of our Order, since in its social contacts it is

seen of the world.

"There are brethren to whom the historical, perhaps I should say the

archeological ideal, is the one of greatest appeal. They are the

learned men; the men who dig in libraries, read the books, who write

the papers on history and antiquity. To them we are indebted for the

real, though not yet fully told story of the Craft. They have taken

from us the old apocryphal tales of the origin of the Order and set

Truth in their places; they have uncovered a far more wonderful story

than those ancient ones which romanticists told. They have given us

the right to venerate our age and vitality; before they came we had

only fables to live by. To them we owe Lodges of Research, histories,

commentaries, the great books of Masonry and much of the

interpretation of our mysteries.

"Then there is the symbolist. His ideal is found in the esoteric

teachings of Freemasonry. He is not content with the bare outline of

the meaning of our symbols found in our lectures-he has dug and delved

and learned, until he has uncovered so great a wealth of

philosophical, religious and fraternal lessons in our symbols as would

amaze the Masons who lived before the symbolist began his work.

"To him we are indebted for such a wealth of beauty as has made the

Craft lovely in the eyes of men who otherwise would find in it only

'another organization.' To him we are indebted for the greatest

reasons for its life, its vitality. For the symbolist has pointed the

way to the inner, spiritual truths of Freemasonry and made it blossoms

like the rose in the hearts of men who seek, they know not what, and

find, that which is too great for them to comprehend.

"These are but other ideals of Freemasonry, my son, but these are

enough to illustrate my point. Brother Parkes follows the social ideal

of Freemasonry, and follows it well. He is a good man, a good Mason,

in every sense of the word. But he is not an 'ideal' Mason. An 'ideal'

Mason would have to live up to, to love, to understand, to practice,

all the ideals of Freemasonry. And I submit, it cannot be done.

"What's your ideal of Freemasonry?" asked the Younger Mason curiously,

as the Old Past Master paused.

"The one from which all the things spring", was the smiling answer. "I

am not possessed of a good enough memory to be a fine ritualist; I

don't have time enough to spare for many of the social activities of

Masonry, I am not learned enough to be historian or antiquary, nor

with enough vision to be an interpreter of symbols for any man but

myself. My ideal is the simple one we try to teach to all, and which,

if we live up to it, encompasses all the rest; the Fatherhood of God,

and the brotherhood of man."

Fraternally,

 

 

 

"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924

ACTING AS CHAPLAIN

"I was embarrassed in lodge tonight!" announced the New Brother

to the Old Tiler. "I don't think the Master ought to make me feel

that way!"

"That's too bad," answered the Old Tiler, with ready sympathy.

"Did he call you down for something?"

"Oh, no. The Chaplain was absent, and the Master asked me to act

in his place."

"Why should that embarrass you?" asked the Old Tiler, still

sympathetic.

"It embarrassed me horribly to say I wouldn't."

"Oh, you refused?"

"Of course I refused! My embarrassment was bad enough as it was,

but to get up in front of the Altar and offer a prayer! Man, I

couldn't do that!"

"You surprise me!" answered the Old Tiler. "But let that pass.

Who did act as Chaplain?"

"The Master asked the speaker of the evening, some brother I

never saw before. He made a beautiful prayer, too. I heard him

tell the Master he didn't know the prayer in the ritual, but the

Master said that didn't matter, which I thought rather odd."

"Can you remember what the stranger said?" asked the Old Tiler.

"Pretty well, I think," answered the New Brother. "It was not

long. He went to the Altar and kneeled, and then said 'Almighty

Architect of the Universe, we, as Master Masons, standing in a

Masonic Lodge erected to thy glory, humbly petition that Thou

look with favor upon this assembly of Thy children. Open our

hearts that the eternal Masonic truth may find ready entry that

we be enabled to make ourselves square stones, fitting in Thy

sight for the great Temple, eternal in Thy heavens. We ask it in

the name of the All-seeing Eye, Amen."

"That was a pretty prayer," responded the Old Tiler.

"But it wasn't the ritual prayer," objected the New Brother.

"No, nor it wasn't by the appointed Chaplain," retorted the Old

Tiler. "What difference does it make to God whether we pray the

same prayer at every lodge opening? It must be the sincerity and

the thought behind the prayer which count in His sight, not the

words. But in your refusal to act as Chaplain, it seems to me you

put yourself in an unfortunate position. You shave yourself,

don't you?"

"Why, er, yes! What has that got to do with it?"

"Tomorrow morning, when you shave yourself, you'll look in the

mirror and you'll say 'Hello, coward!' and that's not nice, is

it?"

"Do you think I was a coward?" asked the New Brother, wistfully.

"Scared stiff!" smiled the Old Tiler. "So conceited, so filled

with the idea of all your brethren admiring you, you couldn't

bear to forget yourself, lest they falter in their admiration.

Sure, that's cowardly. You ducked a duty because of conceit!"

"Old tiler, you use strong words! It was not conceit. It was

modesty. I didn't think I was able."

"Don't fool yourself! You told me you were embarrassed. Why is a

man embarrassed in public? Because he is afraid he won't do well,

won't make a good appearance, won't succeed, will be ridiculous.

So you refused the pretty compliment the Master paid you, and

refused your brethren the slight service of being their

mouthpiece."

"But I have never prayed in public!"

"Neither has any other man ever prayed in public prior to his

first public prayer!" grinned the Old Tiler. "But please tell me

why a man should be embarrassed before God? We are taught that He

knoweth all things. If we can't conceal anything from Him, He

knows all about you! A man may be ashamed of himself, sorry for

what he is and has been, but embarrassed, in prayer? As for being

embarrassed before you brethren, that's conceited. Almost any man

is a match for an army if he has God with him. The man on his

feet who talks aloud to God has no need to consider men. If men

laugh, shame to them. In all my many years as a Mason, I never

yet saw any man smile or say a word of ridicule at any one's

petition to Deity out loud which touched the hearts of all

present who admired their fearlessness in facing the Great

Architect and saying what was in their hearts. I never heard a

man laugh when a Chaplain, ordained or substitute, made a

petition to Deity. Whether it was the petition in the ritual, or

one which came from the heart, be sure the Great Architect

understood it. As for asking a blessing in the name of the

All-Seeing Eye, what difference does it make to God by what name

we call Him? That is a good Masonic name, sanctified by the

reverent hearts of generations of men and Masons.

"For your own peace of mind, tell your Master you made a mistake

and that you are sorry, and that if he will honor you by giving

you an opportunity to pray for yourself and your brethren, you

will, in the absence of the Chaplain, do your reverent best. And

when you kneel before that Altar you will forget, as all

Chaplains must who mean what they say, that any listen save the

One to whom the prayer is addressed!"

"Old Tiler, I'll try to do it!" cried the New Mason.

"Humph!" grunted the Old Tiler.

Fraternally,

From: George Swick [mailto:geswick@onepointcom.net] The NEW E-mail address IS:jcanard@home.com  jack canard From: Mom greatsitto@impulz.net  edna Smith

 

Alexander Graham Bell and the Garfield Assassination

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: My thanks to www.historybuff.com and

mailto:rbrown@tir.com for this interesting report.  PAT]

By R.J. Brown

Editor-in-Chief

Some people ask me "Why bother to collect old newspapers? If I want

to read dry, boring history, I can just get a history book." My

answer to this is that even the best of history books leave out some

mighty interesting asbpects of historical events. The only way they

can be re-discovered, is through reading original newspapers

published during the time of the event. The assassination of

president James Garfield in 1881 is a prime example of this.

James Garfield was assassinated on July 2, 1881 and lingered until

September 19, 1881 when he died. The problem was that a bullet was

lodged inside his chest. The two methods of treatment at the time

were: (1) If the bullet had penetrated the liver (or other organs)

it would mean certain death without surgery to remove it. (2) If the

bullet hadn't penetrated an organ was wasn't lodged tightly against

an organ at the present time, the chances of recovery were much

better if they delayed the surgery until the president's condition

stabilized. Therefore, finding the exact location of the bullet was

very critical in the president's recovery. X-rays had not been

invented yet so the only way to determine the exact location of the

bullet was to do a manual probe with instruments. If they were to

make continued probes to locate the bullet, it increased the risk of

infection.

As a result of this indecision, a most unique journalistic style

arose.  Newspapers across the United States printed editorial after

editorial making big light of this indecision by the White House

doctors. Soon, lay-people, as well as qualified medical personnel,

jumped in with their opinions. The White House doctors were deluged

with package after package containing such items as special herbs,

teas, home remedies, poultices, as well as patent medicines. A

special area was set up in the White House basement to store all the

items.

In addition, people with medical degrees sent lengthy letters giving

their opinions on what should be done. Many of these letters were

also published in newspapers. Coverage of the debate received so

much attention that discussions from this angle over shadowed the

current medical condition of the president.

One such example of the press taking over the job of finding the

answer as to finding the exact location of the bullet took place one

week after the shooting.  Simon Newcomb of Baltimore was interviewed

by a reporter for the Washington National Intelligencer. Newcomb had

been experimenting with running electricity through wire coils and

the effect metal had when placed near the coils. He had found that

when metal was placed near the coils filled with electricity that a

faint hum could be heard at that point in the coil. The problem was

that the hum was so faint that is was very difficult to hear. He

suggested that he might be able to perfect his invention so that it

could be used on the President but, unfortunately, he though that

the perfection of the apparatus would take too long.

While in Boston, Alexander Graham Bell read the newspaper account

mentioned in the above paragraph of this article. Upon reading this

account, Bell telegraphed Newcomb in Baltimore and offered to assist

him. Further, he suggested that perhaps his own invention of the

telephone was the answer he had been seeking. His telephone

amplified sound made through wire!

Newcomb accepted Bell's offer. Bell immediately went to Baltimore to

work with Newcomb. White House surgeons spent a lot of time at the

Baltimore lab witnessing the experiments. The invention consisted of

two coils of insulated wire, a battery, a circuit breaker, and

Bell's telephone. The ends of the primary coil were connected to a

battery and those of the secondary coil were fastened to posts of

the telephone. When a piece of metal was placed in the spot where

the circuit breaker was, a hum could be heard in the telephone

receiver. As the metal was moved further away, the hum became more

faint. Five inches away was the maximum distance that a hum could

still be heard.

Various methods of testing the apparatus were tried. At first a game

of hide and seek was played. Either Bell or Newcomb would hide an

unspent bullet in their mouth, arm pit, or elsewhere on their body.

The other would pass the wand over the others' body. Meanwhile an

assistant would be listening on the telephone to announce (based on

the hum) where the bullet was and how far away from the tip of the

wand it was.

Next, the experiments included spent bullets and hiding them in bags

of grain, inside sides of beef and so forth. Various adjustments

were made with each test.

As a final test, before using it on the president, they went to the

Old Soldiers Home in Washington, D.C. where they solicited Civil War

veterans and lined them up in open fields. They passed the wand over

each volunteer's body.  As some still had bullets in their body from

doing battle in the war, this provided a very close approximation of

what they hoped their invention would accomplish -- locate a bullet

inside a human body. In each case, the soldiers with bullets still

in them, and where the bullets were, were identified. Now was the

appropriate time to try the invention on the president.

On July 26, Bell, his assistant Tainter, and Newcomb had an

appointment at the White House. In the early evening they made their

first attempt to locate the bullet using their apparatus. There were

also five White House doctors and several aides present for this

experiment. The president looked apprehensive as the wand was passed

over his body. He expressed a fear of being electrocuted. Bell

offered reassurance and tried to explain how the apparatus worked.

None-the- less, Garfield's eyes never left the wand through out the

experiment.

The results of the experiment were inconclusive s there was a faint

hum no matter where the wand was placed on the president's body.

After many attempts, Bell, Newcomb and Tainter left the White House

wonder just where they went wrong.

Meanwhile, the press used this failure as a personal attack on Bell.

The hostility of the rivalry among claimants that they (and not

Bell) were the first ones to invent the telephone was at its peak at

this time. Many lawsuits were already pending in the courts over

this issue. The publicity over Bell using his invention to attempt

to find the bullet in the president's body didn't help matters.

Editorials in newspapers called Bell a "publicity seeker."

Undaunted, Bell returned to the lab with Newcomb and Tainter. They

ran more experiments. It still worked just fine in the lab and at

the Old Soldier's Home.  Bell managed to talk White House doctors

into letting them come back and try again. The last day of July they

went back to the White House to try again. It was the same thing

again -- no matter where they placed the wand on the president's

body, a faint hum could be heard. When they moved the wand away from

the president's body the hum could no longer be heard. All were

stumped. It worked fine on everyone else but the president. Feeling

dejected, they again left the White House. Bell continued back to

Boston and gave up trying to perfect the invention.

A few weeks after their last attempt, President Garfield was moved

to his home in New Jersey and died on September 19, 881.

So what is the answer to why Bell's and Newcomb's invention worked

on everyone except the president? It wasn't the president that was

the problem. The problem was the bed he was in. Coil spring

mattresses had just been invented. In fact, a national campaign

hadn't even been started yet at the time of the assassination. The

White House was one of the few that had the coil spring mattresses

at the time. Very few people had even heard of them. Thus, Bell's

and Newcomb's invention was detecting metal -- unfortunately they

didn't realize that it was the coil springs. If they had moved him

off the bed to the floor or table, their apparatus would have

detected where the bullet was and likely, knowing this, the White

House surgeons could have saved James Garfield's life!

Send mail to mailto:rbrown@tir.com  the author of this article.

                    --------------------

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: My thanks to Mr. Brown and History Buff

for this fascinating article I am sharing with you today.  PAT]

From: William J. Baumbach William@Baumbach.com  Subject: And we drink this stuff Date: Thursday, July 01, 1999 12:42 AM Just when you thought you knew everything.... To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl. Let the "real thing" sit for one hour, then flush clean. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china. To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers: Rub the bumper with a crumpled-up piece of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola. To clean corrosion from car battery terminals; Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion. To loosen a rusted bolt; Applying a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola to the rusted bolt for several minutes. To bake a moist ham; Empty a can of Coca-Cola into the baking pan; wrap the ham in aluminum foil, and bake. Thirty minutes before the ham is finished, remove the foil, allowing the drippings to mix with the Coke for a sumptuous brown gravy. To remove grease from clothes; Empty a can of Coke into a load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains. It will also clean road haze from your windshield. .. . . AND WE DRINK THIS STUFF!!.

"The Old Past Master"  by Carl H. Claudy- 1924

ATTENDANCE

"There are a lot of Masons in this old lodge tonight" began the Old Past

Master. "See the new faces? Must be most two hundred. Pretty good

attendance, what?"

"But is it a good attendance?" asked the Very New Mason. "Why, there must

be six hundred members on the rolls. Seems a pity they can't all get out to

enjoy this kind of an evening, doesn't it? Seems to me Masonry fails when

she has so many on the rolls who don't come regularly to lodge."

"I don't agree with you!" answered the Old Past Master. "Masonry succeeds

because she gets so many of her members to take an interest! True, she

might...if she were a wizard... so interest every one of her devotees that

all would crowd the lodge room every meeting might. Then, I think, there

would be no use for Masonry, because the millennium would have come. But in

place of being discouraged because only a third or a fourth of our members

attend, I am always highly encouraged because so many do attend.

"You see, my brother, Masons are picked from the general body of men by two

processes, and neither one of them works out for the very best interests of

the Order. The first process is a man's making up his mind he wants to be a

Mason. If we could go to the best men and ask them, we would get a lot

better men than we do, of course. Equally, of course, we would vastly

injure the Order by making it seek the man instead of the man seek its

gentle philosophy. I wouldn't change that unwritten law for anything, but

the fact remains that as the first selection of Masons is made by the

profane, it isn't always for the best interests of the Order.

"The second selective work is done by committee. Now in theory every one

appointed on a committee to examine a member is a sort of cross between a

criminal lawyer, an experienced detective, a minister of the gospel, a

super-perfect man, a well read Mason and an Abraham Lincoln for judgement!

"But as a matter of fact most committeemen are just average men like you

and me, and we do our work on committees in just an average sort of way,

with the result that many a self-selected candidate slips into our ranks

who has no real reason for being there. The theory is that all men become

Masons because of a veneration of our principles. The fact is that a lot

become Masons because their brother is one, or their boss is one, or they

want to wear a pin and be a secret society member, or they hope it will

help them in business.

"They get into the lodge and find it quite different from what they expect.

They learn that they can't pass out business cards, that it doesn't help

them because the boss belongs, and that they don't have to come to lodge to

wear a pin. If they are the kind of men to whom Masonry doesn't appeal

because of her truth, her philosophy, her Light, her aid in living, they

wander away. They become mere dues-payers, and often, stomach Masons, who

come around for the feed or entertainment.

"Don't let it distress you. It takes all sorts of people to make a world

and it would be a very stupid place indeed if we were all alike. There is

room in the world for the man who doesn't care for Masonry. He has his part

to play in the world as well as the man to whom Masonry makes great appeal.

Do not condemn him because he has become a member of the fraternity and

found it not to his liking. At least there is something in his heart which

was not there before.

"And let me tell you something, my brother. There are many, many men who

become Masons, in the sense that they join a lodge and pay dues, although

they never attend, who do good Masonic work. There is Filby, for instance.

Filby has been a member of this lodge twenty years and has never been in

it, to my knowledge, since the day he was raised. I don't know why. I

rather think he was frightened, and showed it, and has been afraid of being

laughed at, now that he knows there was nothing to be frightened about. But

there was never need for money that Filby didn't contribute; there was

never a committee appointed to work on the Masonic Home that Filby didn't

head. There was never any work to be done outside the lodge that Filby

didn't try to help do it. He is a good Mason, even if he doesn't attend lodge.

"And there are lots of young men who join the fraternity and neglect their

lodge in early years, who turn their hearts towards it in later years; boys

who are too fond of girls and dances and good times to spend a moment in

serious thought while they are just in the puppy age, who grow up finally

to become thoughtful men, turning their hearts toward the noble teachings

of this fraternity and becoming most ardent lodge members and attenders.

"Oh, no, my brother, never weep because we have but a portion of our

membership at a meeting. Be glad we have so many; be happy that those who

come, come so regularly and enthusiastically, be proud that there is such a

large number of men content to sit through the same degrees year after year

to learn what they can, let sink deeper the hidden beauties of the story,

absorb a little more of that secret doctrine which lies behind the words of

the ritual.

"Masonry is not for yesterday, for today, for tomorrow alone. She is for

all the ages to come. The Temple Not Build With Hands cannot be built alone

by you and me, nor in a day, nor yet a century. And remember that the stone

rejected by the builder was finally found the most necessary of them all.

Perhaps the man who doesn't come now to lodge may be the most ernest and

powerful Mason of tomorrow. Only the Great Architect knows. Masonry is His

work. Be content to let it be done His way."

Fraternally,

Carl Johnson, 32'

Burlington Masonic Lodge #254

GL of Washington F&AM

A&ASR, Valley of Bellingham

Orient of Washington

"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for

others and the world remains and is immortal. -Albert Pike

 

Southern California Research Lodge F&AM

ATTRACTED TO FREEMASONRY

by Michael A. Porada, 32ø, Valley of Tucson

(John Robinson's widow relates how the author fell in love with the

fraternity)

(From March 1997 Niagara-New Orleans Masonic News via The Baton Rouge

Scottish Rite Trestleboard for November 1997)

The fraternity of Freemasonry just a few years ago was blessed to

have attracted the attention of John Robinson, who not only wrote

three books on the craft itself but was also willing to be a

staunch advocate of Masonry. He traveled and spoke for and about

Freemasonry not only to its modem day opponents, but especially to

the nominformed and to the Masonic community.

While John J. Robinson may have departed from his earthly life in

September, 1993, his spirit and message are literally still in our

very midst today! I recently had the opportunity and privilege to

interview his widow, Bernice Robinson, who most graciously agreed

to sit down and discuss John's Masonic Journey through his unique

perspective.

"John's approach to researching Born in Blood (his first book) was

in business research," Bernice said. "He investigated and assembled

a the pertinent facts, then let them lead him to a logical

conclusion, rather than forming a theory, selecting solely the

facts which would support such a theory and ignoring the rest."

His research, started in the early 1980s, led him to conclude that

the Knights Templar had to go underground early in the 14th century

to avoid torture and death. He also concluded that this underground

organization was, some 70 years later, the guiding force behind the

Peasants' Revolt in England. Other independent research into the

mysteries of Masonic origins began to connect with his theory that

had evolved concerning the fate of the Templars-on-the-run. "By

1985, John had decided that he had accrued enough material to

produce a fascinating book," according to Bernice.

Two years later, John Robinson did submit what he thought was a

complete manuscript to the well known Alfred Knopf book publishing

house. "The editor assigned to work with John told him that there

had always been a strong interest in Masonry by the general public,

and to add a section about Freemasonry spanning the period from the

Middle Ages to the present day. John was told that his book would

appeal to a much wider readership if it dealt with Freemasonry in

greater depth. Although it's possible that the editor might have

expected John to uncover harmful facts about the craft, it didn't

work out that way."

Although Knopf was unable to publish the final manuscript, they did

refer John to other publishers who would be in the position to

help. "M. Evans and Company was the first of the publishers John

had been referred to that responded," Bernice recalled. "George

deKay, the President and owner, said that lie had read the

manuscript and was ready to publish it," she added.

In Masonic circles, Born in Blood met with mixed reviews and

reactions from historians and researchers, but gradually John's

theory gained acceptance.

Perhaps most important was the acknowledgment of Allen Roberts,

Executive Secretary of the Philalethes Society. "Early in 1990,

John was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal of the Society for

his service to the cause of Freemasonry in general," Bernice

recalled. "He was touched by this recognition of his work's value-

he and Allen developed a Friendship that was based on mutual

admiration and respect."

After the publication, John Robinson began to receive requests to

speak about his research, his initial engagement at the Scottish

Rite Valley of Cincinnati. "John admitted to being nervous over how

his presentation would be received," Bernice said. Fortunately, his

ability to communicate in a clear, straight forward way met with a

warm and lively response from his audience. When he came home he

was relieved and happy. I had not seen such a sparkle in his eye

for a long time."

The success of his first occasion helped set a general pattern for

future appearances in that John would speak for about 30 minutes

with the remaining time taking questions, so that other ideas could

develop.

In the succeeding two years, John Robinson finished two more books,

Dungeon, Fire and Sword and A Pilgrims Path, while carrying out a

very busy schedule of speaking engagements, both to Masonic forums

and on radio and television. These engagements involved hundreds of

thousands of miles of travel throughout the United States and

Europe.

As he was then not a Mason, he had a very high degree of

credibility when defending Masonry to the various latterday

accusers of the craft. He drew the attention of many talk show

hosts who looked for (and thrived on) controversial subjects.

Bernice accompanied him whenever possible.

"John never knew a stranger," she stated. "He showed the same

respect and friendliness to everyone he met from whatever walk of

life. He was always ready to fit in an extra meeting or impromptu

discussion, and never sought to impress listeners with his

erudition or importance. After a few formal presentations, he was

always delighted to stay around, signing books, and answering

questions and visiting with people. Frequently, he would get to bed

well after midnight only to be up again after a few hours rest to

fit in more unscheduled meetings before it was time to leave. No

matter how tired he was, he found the energy to meet people,

because he sincerely loved what he was doing. As a wife, I enjoyed

seeing him receive a standing ovation, because I felt he deserved

it."

In 1992, John made his decision to affirm his commitment to

Freemasonry. "John petitioned Nova Ceasarea Harmony Lodge No. 2 for

two reasons," Bernice added. "As this is Ohio's oldest lodge, he

was attracted to the historical aspect. hi addition, he had a

personal association, dating back to his childhood, with lodge

member (and Past Master) Cleve Cornelison, which was renewed when

John first established Masonic connections."

John was made an Entered Apprentice November 25, 1992. "It was a

night that gave him deep satisfaction," Bernice related.

Unfortunately, his active life as a Mason was cut short

immediately.

Over the years, John had successfully overcome a number of serious

health problems; so a severe sore throat that was troubling him at

the time he became a Mason seemed nothing more than a mild

infection. However, the day after Thanksgiving, the throat became

very painful. Within 48 hours his blood stream had been invaded by

a strep infection which caused life-threatening blood poisoning. He

waged a month long battle in intensive care, unable to move or

speak very much at all. Bernice recalled, "I think I was the only

person in the entire hospital who believed that John would survive

during the first 72 hours."

In all the years of the existence of the Grand Lodge of Ohio there

had been only two men made Master Masons at sight: President

William Howard Taft and U.S. Senator John Glenn. Brother Robinson,

however, had already received his first degree, so there was no

thought given,to making him a Mason at sight.

Bernice remembers the initial phone call that came from Allen

Roberts, who had just learned that John's life was in danger. "Allen

felt that it would be a shame if this man who had done so much for

Freemasonry were to die without becoming a Master Mason."

Ohio Grand Master H. Ray Evans called an emergent session of the

Grand Lodge and N.C. Harmony Lodge No. 2 at the Shriner's Burn

Institute, across the street from where John lay in intensive care.

On December 3, 1992, the Grand Master conferred upon John the

Fellowcraft and Master Mason degrees.

"Afterward, I had the distinct impression that John had 'turned the

corner,' even though he could only squeeze my hand to show that he

knew what had occurred." On New Year's Eve, he left intensive care

and returned home weeks later.

John Robinson returned to sufficient health to be able to receive

the Scottish Rite degrees in the Valley of Cincinnati in April

1993. Bernice remembered, "He attended the final banquet in a

wheelchair, but the importance of the occasion, and brotherly

support he received gave his spirits a tremendous boost. It was

just what lie needed at that time." Although elected to receive the

3 3 ' of the Ancient Scottish Rite at Cleveland, Ohio, in September

1994, John's decline in health made it necessary to confer this

honor on him in Cincinnati, with newly elected Sovereign Grand

Commander Robert 0. Ralston, 33', and Ohio Scottish Rite Deputy

Alfred E. Rice, 33 0, present on September 3, 1993, just three days

prior to his death.

"Al Rice especially wanted him to receive it and didn't want to

risk any contingency," Bernice said, "The one thing I as a wife who

loved John very much, want to add is that I am deeply honored that

he was chosen to receive the 33' in the Scottish Rite, and that it

was conferred upon him while he was still here."

It was John Robinson's third book, A Pilgrim's Path, which perhaps

can best summarize his research and conclusions on Masonry. The

first half of the book deals with the various condemnations of

Masonry from past to present, and point by point dismantles the

various claims.

"You would really say that the second half of the book suggests

practical methods and ideas for the growth of Freemasonry," she

continued. "John was concerned by the vast numbers of people,

especially young people, who know nothing about Freemasonry. I

believe he still wants to present the wholesome, positive image of

Masonry, to counter the effect of the attacks of the religious

extremists and other negative sources. Through his books, and the

newly formed Masonic Information Center, I feel sure he can help to

assure that."

Asked what reward Freemasonry gave to such an individual as John

Robinson, who through his research and writing found himself

traveling and speaking out for the craft, Bernice Robinson

concluded that "John rarely put his innermost feelings into words,

but I truly believe that Freemasonry gave him an inner serenity

through helping him find his own path to God."

"Old Tiler Talks: by Carl Claudy -1924

BOOK ON THE ALTAR

"I heard the most curious tale," began the New Brother seating

himself beside the Old tiler during refreshment.

"Shoot!" commanded the Old Tiler.

"Friend of mine belongs to a midwest lodge. Seems they elected a

chap to become a member but when he took the degree he stopped

the work to ask for the Koran in place of the Bible on the Altar.

Said he wanted to the holy book of his faith, and the bible

wasn't it!"

"Yes, go on," prompted the Old Tiler. "What did they do?"

"The officers held a pow-wow and the Master finally decided that

as the ritual demanded the 'Holy Bible, Square and Compasses' as

furniture for the lodge, the applicant was wrong and that he'd

have to use the Bible or not take his degree. And the funny part

was that the initiate was satisfied and took his degree with the

Bible on the Altar. I'm glad they have him, and not this lodge."

"Why?"

"Why, a chap who backs down that way can't have very much

courage; I'd have had more respect for him if he'd insisted and

if he couldn't have his way, refused to go on with the degree."

"All wrong, brother, all wrong!" commented the Old Tiler. "The

Mohammedan initiate wasn't concerned about himself but about the

lodge. He showed a high degree of Masonic principle in asking for

his own holy book, and a great consideration for the lodge.  This

man isn't a Christian. He doesn't believe in Christ. He believes

in Allah, and Mohammed his prophet. The Bible, to you a holy

book, is to him no more than the Koran is to you. You wouldn't

regard an obligation taken on a dictionary or a cook book or a

Koran as binding, in the same degree that you would one taken on

the Bible."

"That's the way this chap felt. He wanted to take his obligation

so that it would bind his conscience. The Master would not let

him, because he slavishly followed the words of the ritual

instead of the spirit of Masonry.

"Masonry does not limit an applicant to his choice of a name for

a Supreme Being. I can believe in Allah, or Buddha, or Confucius,

or Mithra, or Christ, or Siva, or Brahma, or Jehovah, and be a

good Mason. If I believe in a Great Architect that is all Masonry

demands; my brethren do not care what I name him."

"Then you think this chap isn't really obligated? I must write my

friend and warn him-"

"Softly, softly! Any man with enough reverence for Masonry, in

advance of knowledge of it, to want his own holy book on which to

take an obligation would feel himself morally obligated to keep

his word, whether there was his, another's or no holy book at

all, on the Altar. An oath is not really binding because of the

book beneath you hand. It is the spirit with which you assume an

obligation which makes it binding. The book is but a symbol that

you make your promise in the presence of the God you revere. The

cement of brotherly love which we spread is not material- the

working tools of a Master Mason are not used upon stone but upon

human hearts. Your brother did his best to conform to the spirit

of our usages in asking for the book he had been taught to

revere. Failing in that through no fault of his own, doubtless he

took his obligation with a sincere belief in its sacredness.

Legally he would not be considered to commit perjury if he asked

for his own book and was forced to use another."

"What's the law got to do with it?"

"Just nothing at all, which is the point I make. In England and

America, Canada and South America, Australia, and part of the

Continent, the bible is universally used. In Scottish Rite bodies

you will find many holy books; but let me ask you this; when our

ancient brethren met on hills and in valleys, long before Christ,

did they use the New Testament on their Altars? Of course not;

there was none. You can say that they used the Old Testament and

I can say they used the Talmud and someone else can say they used

none at all, and all of us are right as the other. But they used

a reverence for sacred things.

"If you write you friend, you might tell him that the ritual

which permits a man to name his God as he pleases, but demands

that a book which reveres one particular God be used, is faulty.

The ritual of Masonry is faulty; it was made by man. But the

spirit of Masonry is divine; it comes from men's hearts. If

obligation and books and names of the Deity are matters of the

spirit, every condition is satisfied. If I were Master and an

applicant demanded any one or any six books on which to lay his

hand while he pledges himself to us, I'd get them if they were to

be had, and I'd tell my lodge what a reverent Masonic spirit was

in the man who asked."

"Seems to me you believe in a lot of funny things; how many gods

do you believe in?"

"There is but one," was the Old Tilers answer, "Call Him what you

will. Let me repeat a little bit of verse for you:

'At the Muezzin's call for prayer

The kneeling faithful thronged the square;

Amid a monastery's weeds,

An old Franciscan told his beads,

While on Pushkara's lofty height

A dark priest chanted Brahma's might,

While to the synagogue there came

A Jew, to praise Jehovah's Name.

The One Great God looked down and smiled

And counted each His loving child;

For Turk and Brahmin, monk and Jew

Has reached Him through the gods they knew.'

"If we reach Him in Masonry, it makes little difference by what

sacred name we arrive," finished the Old Tiler, reverently.

"You reached me, anyhow," said the New Brother, shaking hands as

if he meant it.

 

and and extra:

 

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953

A NAME AND WHAT IT SUGGESTS

We read of the death of a man, and there among the other details

of his life is found the statement; "He was a Mason." When

reading this detail of a man's life there comes to the Mason a

feeling of understanding, a happy reflection, a knowledge that

one lived who had courageously sought in life Truth and Light.

That a person was a Mason does not create the thought that the

departed had some special virtue that would easily admit him into

Heaven, or that by some mysterious word or token he would have

the power to brush aside natural and spiritual laws. An honest

evaluation of Masonry by Masons is the keynote to an

understanding of why the Institution has existed for centuries

and centuries, and why it always will be the Great Teacher.

Masonry is devoid of fanaticism. It teaches a system of

progressive improvement, being content to see man's noble effort

to become a better man, while wisely declaring that perfection on

earth has never yet been attained.

That Masons fail at times to represent to the world the high

ideals of Masonry is another key to the greatness of the

Institution. There is the true test of the influence of a system

of morality that when a man has lived well, and is called to his

reward, there is written "He was a Mason"; and when one loves,

but not so wisely or well, the world is quick to note the

excellence of a system, for in condemning an individual, it pays

honor to the Institution by saying; "He was a Mason."

Fraternally,

Carl Johnson, 32'

Burlington Masonic Lodge #254  Grand Lodge of Washington

   Thanks to Brother Carl for sending these.

Brothers: Things have been a bit slow for me lately, so I thought I'd

introduce you to a couple of folks I've gotten to know very, very well

in a very short period of time.

Tony and Hilary are the resident sadists at a local Phoenix

physical rehabilitation facility. At the moment, they are taking

unusual pleasure in giving me unusual pain as they find new ways to

rehabilitate some recalcitrant muscles and bones in my right shoulder.

(I have a whole host of other folks working on my legs at the moment.

More later about those sadistic sons....but I digress...)

It seems there is a vicious circle at work here. Because the

shoulder generated a high degree of pain, I chose to favor the other

arm. The less I used the bad arm, the tighter it became, thus

generating greater pain on those few occasions when I did attempt to use

it. The more it hurt, the less I used it. You can see where this is

going.

So now we face the painful task of getting the thing working

again, and Dr. Jykle and Miss Hyde-very nice young people after hours,

I'm sure-are in charge of the task. I participate out of necessity and

for the honor of the thing.

In between bursts of sudden pain, designed to hold my attention,

I think I've discovered a symbolic meaning. I certainly hope so. I

would not want to endure this simply to be able to deal crooked card

games again. (Or play the piano. I couldn't play before, either, but

you never know.)

Call it the Rust Equation. If you don't use something, it

rusts, locks up and becomes hard to manipulate. That applies to tools,

shoulders, organizations and minds.

You're probably seen this at work, yourself. If your lodge

hasn't done degree work in several months or even years, you know what

happens. If you don't pay attention to the Brothers in the line, those

on committees and in other activities, things start to freeze up. It

becomes almost impossible to get the thing moving again.

If you haven't taken time to follow the dictates of Fellowcraft

Degree-self education and improvement-your mind begins to lock up, or at

least become considerably narrower. It's impossible to examine new

ideas when that happens. You just can't get your arms around them, or

your mind, either, for that matter.

We run that risk in Freemasonry, I think. Ours is an ancient

and honorable Craft, with histories, traditions and manners far older

than any Brother. If we would avoid the Rust Equation, we must make all

these things new again.

I'm not suggesting that we change a thing, nor am I espousing

any particular cause or issue. That would require a mind far more

agile than mine. I am suggesting that we must renew our own enthusiasm,

that we must recover our own initial, first-time delight and excitement

in Masonry and the discovery of its beautiful philosophy. As one still

young in our Craft, I discover something new about Masonry nearly each

day. I meet new Brothers, read new books, am challenged by new and

diverse points of view.

For me, the spirit of Freemasonry is a living thing and

it offers me new perspectives to consider each time I confront it. My

mind, if not my shoulder, is active and agile. It is highly unlikely,

I think, that the Great Architect will permit me to observe 50 years in

our Brotherhood. For those Brothers who do celebrate that momentous

occasion, I sincerely hope that their minds remain bright and that they

continue to discover or rediscover something new in our mysteries. I

hope they never allow themselves to lose that great joy of discovery or

take our work together for granted.

I'm not sure which is the most painful-a locked shoulder

or a locked mind. Tony and Hilary are fairly certain they can get my

shoulder moving again. I wonder, however, about the minds of those who

found new ideas too painful to consider and allowed their minds to

close. That must be far more painful, now that I think about it.

Incidentally, every so often, Tony muses that it would

be so much easier just to give my shoulder a shot of WD-40. This

apparently works well for most other old and rusty machinery. I remind

him that I'm not paying for stand-up comedy. He accuses me of being

narrow-minded. What can I say?

Skip Boyer, Paradise Valley #61Phoenix, AZ

The Old Past Master, Understanding

Carl H. Claudy, 33ø

A classic Masonic writing offers insights for every age.

"I have been a Mason for a year now," remarked the Young Brother to

the Old Past Master. "While I find a great deal in Masonry to enjoy

and like the fellows and all that, I am more or less in the dark as to

what good Masonry really is in the world. I don't mean I can't

appreciate its charity or its fellowship, but it seems to me that I

don't get much out of it. I can't really see why it has any function

outside of the relationship we enjoy in the Lodge and the charitable

acts we do.

"I think I could win an argument about you" smiled the Past Master.

"An argument about me?"

"Yes. You say you have been a Master Mason for a year. I think I could

prove to the satisfaction of a jury of your peers, who would not need

to be Master Masons, that while you are a Lodge member in good

standing, you are not a Master Mason.'

"I don't think I quite understand," puzzled the Young Mason. I was

quite surely initiated, passed, and raised. I have my certificate and

my good standing card. I attend Lodge regularly. I do what work I am

assigned. If that isn't being a Master Mason, what is?"

"You have the body but not the spirit," retorted the Old Past Master.

"You eat the husks and disregard the kernel. You know the ritual and

fail to understand its meaning. You carry the documents, but for you

they attest but an empty form. You do not understand the first

underlying principle, which makes Masonry the great force she is. And

yet, in spite of it, you enjoy her blessings, which is one of her

miracles. A man may love and profit by what he does not comprehend."

"I just don't understand you at all. I am sure I am a good Mason."

"No man is a good Mason who thinks the Fraternity has no function

beyond pleasant association in the Lodge and charity.  There are

thousands of Masons who seldom see the inside of a Lodge and,

therefore, miss the fellowship. There are thousands who never need or

support her chanty and so never come in contact with one of its many

features. Yet these may take freely and largely from the treasure

house which is Masonry."

"Masonry my young friend, is an opportunity. It gives a man a chance

to do and to be, among the world of men, something he otherwise could

not attain No man kneels at the altar of Masonry and rises again the

same man. At the altar something is taken from him never to return-his

feelings of living for himself alone. Be he ever so selfish, ever so

self-centered, ever so much an individualist, at the altar he leaves

behind him some of the dross of his purely profane make-up."

"No man kneels at the altar of Masonry and rises the same man because,

in the place where the dross and selfish were, is put a little of the

most Divine spark which men may see. Where was the self-interest is

put an interest in others. Where was the egotism is put love for one's

fellow man. You say that the 'Fraternity has no function' Man, the

Fraternity performs the greatest function of any institution at work

among men in that it provides a common meeting ground where all of

us--be our creed, our social position, our wealth, our ideas, our

station in life what they may-may meet and understand one another."

"What caused the Civil War? Failure of one people to understand

another and an inequality of men which this country could not endure.

What caused the Great War? Class hatred. What is the greatest leveler

of class in the world? Masonry. Where is the only place in which a

capitalist and laborer, socialist and democrat, fundamentalist and

modernist, Jew and Gentile, sophisticated and simple alike meet and

forget their differences In a Masonic Lodge, through the influence of

Masonry. Masonry, which opens her portals to men because they are

men, not because they are wealthy or wise or foolish or great or small

but because they seek the brotherhood which only she can give."

"Masonry has no function? Why, son, the function of charity, great as

it is, is the least of the things Masonry does. The fellowship in the

Lodge, beautiful as it is, is at best not much more than one can get

in any good club, association, or organization. These are the beauties

of Masonry, but they are also beauties of other organizations. The

great fundamental beauty of Masonry is all her own. She, and only she,

stretches a kindly and loving hand around the world, uniting millions

in a bond too strong for breaking. Time has demonstrated that Masonry

is too strong for war, too strong for hate, too strong for jealousy

and fear. The worst of men have used the strongest of means and have

but pushed Masonry to one side for the moment; not all their efforts

have broken her, or ever will!"

"Masonry gives us all a chance to do and to be; to do a little,

however humble the part, in making the world better; to be a little

larger, a little fuller in our lives, a little nearer to the

G.A.O.T.U. And unless a man understands this, believes it, takes it to

his heart, and lives it in his daily life, and strives to show it

forth to others in his every act-unless he live and love and labor in

his Masonry-I say he is no Master Mason; aye, though he belong to all

Rites and carry all cards, though he be hung as a Christmas tree with

jewels and pins, though he be an officer in all Bodies. But the man

who has it in his heart and sees in Masonry the chance to be in

reality what he has sworn he would be, a brother to his fellow Masons,

is a Master Mason though he be raised but tonight, belongs to no body

but his Blue Lodge, and be too poor to buy and wear a single pin."

The Young Brother, looking down, unfastened the emblem from his coat

lapel and handed it to the Old Past Master. "Of course, you are

right" he said, lowly. "Here is my pin. Don't give it back to me

until you think I am worthy to wear it."

The Old Past Master smiled. "I think you would better put it back

now," he answered gently. "None are more fit to wear the Square and

Compasses than those who know themselves unworthy, for they are those

who strive to be real Masons."

III.-. Carl H. Claudy, P.G.M., 33*, wrote the above essay in 1924. One

of America's most noteworthy Masonic authors, Most Worshipful Claudy

was the Executive Secretary of the Masonic Service Association from

1929 to 1957. He was raised in Harmony Lodge No. 17, Washington, D.C.,

in 1908, serving as Master in 1932 and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge

of the District of Columbia in 1943. Before his passing on May 27,

1957, he wrote many "Short Talk Bulletins", essays, and plays, among

them The Lion's Paw, The Master's Book, and The Rose Upon the Altar.

JUNE 1999 Scottish Rite Journal

Preston's PS

When I saw this, I had to send this out.  MW Claudy and my father were

in the same Masters Association in 1932 when I was 5 years old. I knew

Bro. Claudy well as the Secretary of the MSA which was on 10th. Street

at the end of the Arnold Bus line to our home in Arlington.  Dad gave

me all of his books and they will go to my son in time.

If you have read this in the Journal, now you have it in data format

too.

    AN ACCOUNT of a CITY MASON'S VISIT

                 to a

           COUNTRY LODGE

 An old-time story relating the challenging experiences of a big-city

lodge member as he discovers a new meaning of Masonic brotherhood in a

small country lodge

"Where were you last evening, Teddy?"

"Went down to the country."

"Well, you missed the meeting of your life. The Grand Master was here.

We had an orchestra, the lodge room was beautifully decorated with

palms and cut flowers and the banquet that followed was a peach. You

surely missed it, Teddy."

"I attended a meeting of a country lodge that night."

"Wouldn't some of those country Masons open their eyes if they could

see a blow-out like we had last night?"

"Yes, I guess they would, but they made me open my eyes at their

meeting all right. I guess I will have to tell you about that country

lodge meeting:

"In the first place, it was held in the village school house, a two

story brick building erected by this Masonic Lodge and given rent-free

to the county for school purposes all except for the large hall on

the second floor.

"I was told about the meeting the day before and expressed my desire

to attend, and the Master took me down to the butcher shop and told

Chris Johnson, the butcher, what I wanted and requested him to get two

more of the boys and examine me. Chris told me to come back after

supper, and when I did there were exactly nine of the local lodge

members present, and they made a function of the examination and used

up three hours asking me everything from how many wives King Solomon

had to where the Master hung his hat.

"They enjoyed themselves fine and I had a time that still seems like a

bad dream to me. But from the time that examination was over my

standing in that village changed. I was the guest of the town and

treated like a prince.

"Next day the farmers commenced coming in at daylight and at 11

o'clock the back fence of the court house was hitched full of gray

mares, each with a colt at her heels, and the school house steps

and fence were full of farmers in their Sunday clothes, each one

whittling a stick and talking Masonry.

"At noon the real function of the day came in the shape of a dinner

served by the wives of the Masons in the lodge room. I expected a

luncheon, but I found a feast instead! Whole hams, whole turkeys with

the stuffing sticking out and running over the plate, armfuls of

celery, and right in front of me was a whole roasted pig with an apple

in it's mouth, and do you know, that pig really looked like he was

glad he had died to grace so noble a feast.

"Honestly, the tables had to stand cross-legged to keep from falling

down with their load, and when we got up a little child gathered up

over a pint of buttons from under the table. Every night when I

go to sleep I see that pig on the table and a nice old lady that kept

handing me glasses of boiled custard at that feed.

"Well, I won't make you hungry telling you about it. Enough to say

that we ate and talked until 4 o'clock in the afternoon and I never

had such a time in my life. They made me make a speech and I

told all the stories I had heard in the theatres this winter until the

Master said I ought to travel with a show.

"Then the women cleared up the place while we men went out and sat on

the fence and smoked like furnaces.

"At 6 o'clock the lodge was opened and although the Master wore a

slouch hat, and although there was not a dress suit in the room and

although the Senior Warden (who was a farmer) had his favorite fox

hound sitting solemnly beside his chair, I have never seen a more

beautiful opening ceremony or a better rendered degree. It was the

third and when the one candidate had finished the degree and listened

to the lecture I thought the work was over. But I was mistaken. The

Master finished all the work in the ritual and then added something

like this:

"'Jim, you are now a Mason. I fear that it will be many years before

you know what that means. There is not a man in this room, Jim, that

hasn't watched you grow from a little shaver in a calico dress to

manhood. There is not a man in this room who did not watch you all

through school, and although you have thought all through life that

you had no father, I want to tell you now that you had a hundred.

"'Your father belonged to this lodge, Jim was Master of it and

although you can hardly remember him, every man in this room followed

him to his grave and every one of us knows that his life was as

spotless and square as a man's life can be, Jim, and while we don't

know much about heaven, our innermost souls cry out the truthfulness

of the life to come, and we know that somewhere in the great beyond

your father is looking down on you and me this minute and is glad, and

will watch your career as a man and a Mason with renewed confidence

and hope. He and we will watch you from now on, Jim.

"'He knew it when you got into the habit of playing ten-cent limit

with the gang down at the hotel and it hurt him and it hurt us.

"'All your future life, Jim, try to remember that he is looking down

at you, and when there comes up to you a question of right and wrong

to decide, try to think what he would like to have you do, and

remember you now have the honor of this old lodge to sustain now   the

lodge that your father loved and was Master of. Of course you are a

man now, Jim, but when you were a boy, a very little boy, your daddy

used to take you in his arms and pray God that He would guide you in

the path that you have started in tonight and partly for daddy's sake,

Partly for God's sake, partly for the honor of this old lodge, but

mostly for your own sake, Jim, I beg of you never to take a step that

will make us regret what we have done tonight'

"Jim was in tears and I will admit that I was sniffling some myself

when the old man got through. Somehow I had forgotten that he did not

have on a Tuxedo suit, somehow the fact that he had on a slouch hat

instead of a plug, slipped out of my mind, and all I remember and

realize was that he was a true Mason."

Reprinted from the Illinois Masonic News

  Fraternally and Cordially,

     George S. Robinson, Jr., PM

Truthfulness--Ethics--Morality.  They're important at my house;=20

they should be important at the White House, too.

 

 

> I like the thread suggested by Br. Pete Martinez:  How do we get our

> present members to become active once again, or more active, in the

> affairs of the Lodge?

A couple of years ago in Hiram No. 7, the newly elected WM made a vow

that all stated meetings would be no longer than 59 minutes.  It

required more work from the officers and committies to complete their

work before the stated meeting, but attendance rose 30 % all year long

and the turnout for degree work doubled.

Just my 2 cents worth.....

Grady Lee Honeycutt USA

 

According to these standards some members never will become true Masons.

WHEN IS A MAN A MASON?

The first stanza of the following poem by Rev. Joseph Fort Newton is

incised into the marble of the Iowa Masonic Library in Cedar Rapids,

Iowa.

"When he can look over the rivers, the hills, and the far horizon with a

profound sense of his own littleness in the vast scheme of things, and

yet have faith, hope and courage which is the root of every virtue.

When he knows that down in his heart every man is as noble, as vile, as

divine, as diabolic, and as lonely as himself, and seeks to know, to

forgive, and to love his fellow man.

When he knows how to sympathize with men in their sorrows, yea, even in

their sins, knowing that each man fights a hard fight against many odds.

When he has learned how to make friends and to keep them, and above all

how to keep friends with himself. When he loves flowers, can hunt birds

without a gun, and feels the thrill of an old forgotten joy when he

hears the laughter of a little child.

When he can be happy and high-minded amid the meaner drudgeries of life.

When Star-crowned trees and the glint of sunlight on flowing waters

subdue him like the thought of one much loved and long dead. When no

voice of distress reaches his ears in vain, and no hand seeks his aid

without response.

When he finds good in every faith that helps any man to lay hold of

divine things and sees majestic meanings in life, whatever the name of

that faith may be.

When he can look into a wayside puddle and see something beyond mud, and

into the face of the most forlorn and see something beyond sin.

When he knows how to pray, how to love, and how to hope.

When he has kept faith with himself, with his fellow man, and with his

GOD; in his hand, a sword for evil, in his heart a bit of a song -- glad

to live, but not afraid to die!

Such a man has found the only real Secret of Masonry, and the one which

it is trying to give to the world."

 

                                 CEMENT

" The trowel is an instrument used by Operative Masons to spread the

cement which unites a building into one common mass or whole."

So says our ritual.  From months of use spreading and smoothing the

cement, the trowel becomes worn and is replaced.  After many years of

labor, the Master workman wearies and lays down his tools either in

retirement or to answer the last roll call.  However, though both the

trowel and the workman have served their purpose and been discarded, the

great cathedral erected to the Supreme Architect of the Universe, the

warehouse dedicated to business, the modest cottage sheltering the

workman and his family, or even the house of confinement established for

the safety of the citizenry continue on down through the years as a

"solid Mass" of architecture due to the strong and stable bond of cement

with which the building material was united.

The cement to which our ritual refers is a mortar consisting of a

combination of several materials.

One of these is a fine, gray powder which from long usage is known by the

trade name cement.  This cement is in reality rock of a certain type,

heated to an extreme temperature or actually burned in a fire until it

loses all its impurities and crumbles into the fine powder we know as

cement.

The second ingredient is sand.  Sand is also rock that has been dislodged

by glaciers or other forces, perhaps as far in the past as the ice age,

tumbled down mountain streams, through falls and rapids and on into

rivers which sweep it to the bays and gulfs and so down to the sea,

tumbling it and washing it until it is ground into the fine particles we

know as sand.

One other material is added to bind together the cement and sand.  This

third material is water, pure unadulterated water, which has long been

the symbol of life, for without it nothing living can exist.

These articles are mixed in the proper proportions forming the mortar

used by the Operative Mason and referred to in our ritual as cement.  The

ingredients must be pure, the cement fresh and dry, and the sand clean

and sharp and the water free from impurities if the structure in which it

is used is to stand through the years as a monument to the workmanship of

the builder.

"But it is used symbolically for the far more noble and glorious

"purpose" of spreading the cement of Brotherly Love and Affection."

Here the educated Brother associates the mortar used in a building with

those truly Masonic virtues, Brotherly Love and Affection.  It seems

quite certain that our Brother realizes that these Masonic attributes

must not merely be word pictures, pleasing to our senses, but that if our

Masonic structure is to endure, the Brotherly Love and Affection which

cements it together must be as solid, sturdy and durable as rock.  As the

rock of which the Operative Mason's cement mortar is composed, it must be

devoid of all impurities as if tested by fire, clean as by the continuous

washing by the waters of life, and joined into one binding and abiding

cement by the life we so willing share with our Brother.

The trowel may be worn and discarded, the Master Mason may have joined

the Celestial Lodge above, but the cement they together have spread lives

on forever and is the cement to which the ritualist refers when he says:

"(the cement) which unites us into one sacred band or society of friends

and brothers--a Temple of living stones, among whom no contention should

ever exist, save that noble contention, or rather emulation, of who can

best work and best agree."

 

Brethren,

       Last night at church, I heard a story that I trust warrants

recalling for other ears to judge, for the account rendered a riveting

portrayal of a profound conviction and an unyielding faith, enduring and

implacable.  It also might characteristically serve as a purposeful

parable to the vigilant, attentive student.

       It concerned a visit by a clergyman who had been called to the

home of one of his parish members.  A devoted, determined lady of the

congregation, of measured means but always at the forefront of the

faithful had received news that a terminal illness had overtaken her and

that her sojourn on earth was near its conclusion.   Few days remained

to place all of her final wishes in due form.

       It was a business like meeting.  The usual preferences for the

last services to be performed; selection of a favorite hymn, a

particular blue dress she wished to wear, her favorite bible by her

side, and certain other final arrangements.  The good minister assured

the dutiful gentlewoman that those solemnities that she had requested

would be meticulously obeyed and observed.  When she was satisfied with

his considerate willingness to abide by her desires, she asked for yet

another accommodation.  He was ill prepared and bewildered at the

ensuing, final request made by the affable and genteel supplicant who

appeared to have cheerfully embraced and resigned herself to her

ultimate destiny.

       She requested, as a final thought, that she have placed in her

right hand, and it positioned prominently upon her chest, a fork!

       The minister, in disbelief, asked the question in cynicism of

his hearing. It was repeated verbatim, with the following explanation.

She recounted that when the suppers were eaten at church gatherings,

those that she had enjoyed attending so much, that the servers would

come by and simply whisper to the diners to, "keep your fork."  It

admonished them that something really good was yet in store for them.

Further benefits were going to be forthcoming in addition to that which

they had already received.  Something of luscious worth was also to be

enjoyed by them, after the feast.  The meaning became immediately

comprehensible.  She was looking forward with anticipation to a better

life than that she had heretofore experienced.

       On his short, but now melancholy walk to his home, the minister

pondered the unusual request and in a most searching manner.  The sermon

of the rudimentary utensil, the fork, was of unprecedented

enlightenment.  Truth descended with awkward, unwieldy portions.  The

reverend gentleman concluded that this simple lady had exhibited a much

more determined faith than he and other more sophisticated individuals

had manifested.  She knew more about heaven than did he.

       Keep a fork with you wherever you go.  Something good WILL be

found for you to appreciate!

=============================================================

"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924

COUNTRY LODGE

"It was the funniest thing I ever saw!"

"What was?" asked the Old Tiler of the New Brother.

"That lodge meeting I attended in Hicksville. Listen, and I'll tell you!"

"I'm listening. Anyone who can find a lodge meeting funny deserves to be

listened to!" answered the Old Tiler.

"The lodge room was funny!" began the New Brother. "Lodge rooms ought to

have leather-covered furniture and electric lights, a handsome painting in

the east, an organ- be dignified, like ours. This lodge room was over the

post office. There were two stoves in it. And every now and then the Junior

Deacon put coal on! The Lesser Lights were kerosene lamps, and the Altar

looked like an overgrown soap box! The benches were just chairs, and they

didn't have any lantern or slides- just an old chart to point to in the

lecture.

But it wasn't so much the room, it was the way they did their work. You'd

have thought they were legislating for a world, not just having a lodge

meeting. Such preciseness, such slow walking, such making every move and

sign as if it were a drill team. There wasn't a smile cracked the whole

evening and even at refreshment, there wasn't much talking or laughing. I'm

glad to belong to a lodge where people are human!"

"Yes," answered the Old Tiler, "I expect it is."

"Expect what is?"

"Impossible for a New Brother to understand the work of a country lodge,"

answered the Old Tiler. "What you saw wasn't funny. Listen- it is you who

are funny."

"Me funny? Why, what do..."

"I said for you to listen!" sternly cut in the Old Tiler. "I have never

been to Hicksville, but I have visited in many country lodges and your

description is accurate. But your interpretation is damnable!

"Masonry is beautiful, truthful, philosophical, strives to draw men closer

to God, to make them love their fellow, to be better men. Is that funny?

The more regard men have for outward symbols, the more apt they are to have

regard for what is within. A man who won't clean his face and hands won't

have a clean heart and mind. A man who is slovenly in dress is apt to be

slovenly in his heart. A lodge which reveres the work probably reveres the

meaning behind the work.

"You criticize the Hicksville Lodge because it is too precise. Would that

our own was more so! The officers who have so deep a regard for appearances

can only have learned it through a thoughtful appreciation of what the

appearances stand for.

"You have been taught that it is not the externals but the internals which

mark a man and Mason. What difference can it make whether a lodge seats it

membership on leather benches or chairs, or the floor, or doesn't seat them

at all? Our ancient brethren, so we are taught, met on hills and in

valleys. Think you that they sat on leather benches, or the grass?

"It's good to have a fine hall to meet in. It's a joy to have an organ and

electric lights and a stereopticon to show handsome slides. But all of

these are merely easy ways of teaching the Masonic lesson. Doubtless

Lincoln would have enjoyed electric lights to study by, instead of

firelight. Doubtless he would have learned a little more in the same time

had he had more books and better facilities. But he learned enough to make

him live forever.

"We teach in a handsome hall, with beautiful accessories. If we teach as

well as the poor country lodge with its chairs for benches, its kerosene

lamps for Lesser Lights, its harmonium for organ, its chart for lantern

slides, we can congratulate ourselves. When we look at the little lodge

with its humble equipment, thank the Great Architect that there is so grand

a system of philosophy, with so universal an appeal, as to make men content

to study and practice it, regardless of external conditions.

"I do not know Hicksville Lodge, but it would be an even bet that they

saved up money to get better lodge furniture and spent it to send some sick

brother South or West, or to provide an education for the orphans of some

brother who couldn't do it for his children. In a country lodge you will

get a sandwich and a cup of coffee after the meeting, in place of the

elaborate banquet you may eat in the city; in the country lodge you will

find few dress suits and not often a fine orator, but you will find a

Masonic spirit, a feeling of genuine brotherly regard, which is too often

absent in the larger, richer, city lodge.

"I find nothing 'funny' in the dignity and the seriousness of our country

brethren. I find nothing of humor in poverty, nor anything but sweet

Masonic service in the Junior Deacon putting coal on the fire. Would that

we had a few brethren as serious, to put coal upon our Masonic fires, to

warm us all."

"You've put coals of fire on my head!" answered the New Brother, "I

deserved a kicking and got off with a lecture. I'm going back to Hicksville

Lodge next week and tell them what they taught me through you."

"If you won't expect me to laugh, I'll go with you!" answered the Old

Tiler, but his eyes smiled.

Fraternally,

Carl Johnson, 32'

Burlington Masonic Lodge #254

GL of Washington F&AM

A&ASR, Valley of Bellingham

Orient of Washington

"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for

others and the world remains and is immortal. -Albert Pike

 

The Masonic Mailing list of Washington.

http://www.telebyte.com/masons/masons.html

 

This is from the June 1999 issue of the Philalethes----Think about it!!!

This file is copyright (c) 1999 The Philalethes Society and all rights

including any redistribution rights are reserved by the copyright holder.

Permission to quote from, redistribute or to otherwise use these materials

must be obtained from the copyright holder directly by contacting The

Philalethes, Nelson King, FPS, Editor, 2 Knockbolt Crescent, Agincourt Ontario

Canada, M1S 2P6. Tel: 416-293-8071 Fax: 416-293-8634 or nking@freemasonry.org

or nking@onramp.ca

                    The Decline in Masonic Membership

                    It's not completely our fault.

                         by James W Hogg, MPS

Preface:

This article details the thoughts and perceptions of the author, who grew up

in the 1960's and 1970's, as a member of the baby boom generation. It is not

meant to assert that there is only one way of viewing the events leading up to

the present. Necessarily, some generalizations have been made in presenting

this material. Any good lawyer will acknowledge that, for the most part, there

is an exception to every rule. Where reference is made to a "liberal" view,

this describes a philosophical theory or belief- not a political commentary.

The author has attempted to write in a politically neutral style. "Liberalism"

is known to transcend both of the political parties in our two party system of

politics in the United States. Members of both of these parties hold liberal

beliefs to various extent. There are many different ways to look at things.

The purpose of this article is to provoke serious thinking, brought to your

attention by a member of one group Masonry would like to target for future

membership growth. This article merely advances some of these viewpoints as

perceived by the author. Agenda of social engineers of the 60's Society has

changed dramatically since the heyday of Freemasonry after World War II. These

were the days of unprecedented growth in America's economy, bringing with it

prosperity and a wide variety of well paying jobs. During these years, it was

possible for the average wage earner to raise a family on one income. We were

rebuilding our economy in the wake of the war with many new manufacturing

jobs. Back in those years, America was the innovator and virtually all the

well made products came from the industrialized countries, such as the United

States, Germany, and Great Britain. "Made in the U. S. A." became a mark of

quality. Then came the 1960's. What changed? We had a new liberal focus on the

way things should be for a better future. Along with this came the civil

rights protests in the South, resulting in new laws being passed by the

legislature in Washington guaranteeing civil rights to everyone. This conjures

up images of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I have a dream" speech. No

longer would segregated schools and racial discrimination in this great land

of ours be tolerated. Now, there were laws on the books to prevent this type

of discrimination against others because of their race. Today, these laws are

also being applied with respect to gender. Recent developments in the law

provide that one cannot discriminate against an individual because she happens

to be a woman. Examples of this are the U. S. armed forces and the B.P.0.

Elks. Today, both must accept women among their ranks. This new outlook was to

have a profound influence on not only Freemasonry, but other fraternal

organizations and private clubs throughout the United States. Results of this

change - tax code, public accommodation laws, disdain for private groups The

social engineers of the 60's saw this as an opportunity to re-mold our society

and change things to dismantle the old ways of doing business. This was the

beginning of a new attitude toward private groups and fraternal organizations.

These groups were seen as hotbeds of racial discrimination and no longer of

use to a civilized society where everyone was supposed to be equal. It was

thought that because these groups selected those with whom they wanted to be

associated with by ballot of the membership, this was tantamount to

discrimination. It was also a well known fact that membership in certain of

these organizations benefitted the members in their business endeavors.

Frequently, business meetings were held within the rooms of private clubs.

Thus, the social engineers asked, "why should members of private clubs be

permitted to use their memberships in these clubs to benefit themselves

financially?" They saw this as the epitome of an "old boy's" network, to which

those who were not white male Caucasians were excluded from participation.

With this general analysis as a base, new laws were promulgated. The result is

the familiar rubric of Internal Revenue tax code regulations concerning what a

tax exempt organization can and cannot do with respect to retaining its tax

exempt status. Also, the public accommodation laws on the federal level came

into being, severely restricting what a private group could do if it wished to

remain private and keep its Constitutional First Amendment right of freedom of

association. To quote from coverage of the General Governor's report contained

in the August/September 1997 issue of Moose Magazine, which is the

international publication of the Loyal Order of Moose: "The Private Policy,

which essentially states that only members of the Loyal Order of Moose and the

Women of the Moose may enjoy full Social Quarters privileges within our

Lodges, was emphasized throughout the General Governor's report [to the 109th

International Convention]. He noted that in the U. S., the Internal Revenue

Service has recently stiffened enforcement and penalties against fraternal and

veterans' organizations that sell merchandise to non- members. 'Sales to

non-members threaten a Lodge's right to privacy and its not-for profit

status,' said [David A.] Chainbers [the out-going General Governor]. 'The rule

is simple; you are either a member or a guest, but you cannot be both.

Non-members cannot make purchases in our Lodges. In other words, non-members

cannot spend one penny.  Moose Magazine, p. 14. [emphasis ill original]. From

all of this, it is very clear that our Federal Government has a complete

disdain for private organizations for many of the reasons outlined above.

                            Case in point.

                       Judge David B. Sentelle.

President Reagan nominated judge Sentelle on February 2, 1987, to be a U. S.

circuit judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of

Columbia circuit. judge Sentelle happens to be a prominent Mason from North

Carolina, having been unanimously confirmed by the U. S. Senate on October 16,

1985, to be a U. S. District Court judge for the Western District of North

Carolina. It seems that this time, his membership in the Masonic fraternity

became of issue during the nomination and confirmation process in the Senate.

The issue raised there should be very familiar to everyone by now: invidious

racial discrimination. After a lengthy discourse about what the fraternity

represents, a tally of present and past U. S. Presidents and legislators as

being Masons, and a reference to our own Sovereign Grand Commander advising

that Freemasonry does not discriminate based on race, color or creed, judge

Sentelle was confirmed. Freemasonry was under attack in the United States

Senate of all places! I recommend as required reading the Senate proceeding,

which contains the details of this account. It can be found in the 100th

Congress, First Session, p. S-1 1868 to 11870, which was re- printed in

Transactions, The American Lodge of Research, F &A M., Vol XV, No. 3 - 1983.

               Government being the answer to everything

The liberal view of government also embraced the concept that government was

the answer to everything. No matter what the problem was, it could be solved

by establishing another government agency on the federal level. All we had to

do was give this new agency money to address whatever happened to be the

problem of the day. A perfect solution would be found and implemented by the

agency and all would be well with the world. This attitude began with Franklin

D. Roosevelt's "New Deal" era, later to be refined during Lyndon B. Johnson's

"Great Society". Indeed, government also grew in latter years during George

Bush's administration with tax increases and more government regulation

imposed on the people. It was not until the late 60's where we finally

achieved deficit spending on the federal level on a recurring basis. The

belief was, and still is today, that we can spend and tax our way out of all

the problems facing us. High taxes are necessary to maintain a large and

strong central government. This Is one reason why it takes two incomes to

accomplish today what one income could do in the 1950's. The general public is

generally thought to have insufficient knowledge to know what is best for

them. Thus, the need for a large and strong central government. After all,

someone needs to protect the people from themselves. Vietnam era protests,

anti-establishment views The protest movement surrounding the Vietnam War

added fire to this new liberal view of government. The post World War II baby

boomers growing up in the 50's and 60's did not want to fight in this

unpopular war in Southeast Asia. Many asked: just what was the U. S. really

doing there in the first place? These young people saw those running our

country as the establishment and they wanted change. Many saw versions of

socialism as the answer to all of our, problems. Not coincidentally, the

belief was that private groups and clubs, such as Freemasonry, were part of

the establishment. In the eyes of these baby boomers, this was considered bad.

We had a big central government now to take care of all our needs. Private

groups and clubs were no longer considered relevant in this newly

re-engineered society. Another thing that did not set well with these baby

boomers was the way in which our returning Vietnam Veterans were generally

treated by our society. They were openly criticized and, for the most part,

not welcomed back after serving in the armed forces. This was quite a stark

contrast from the welcome that awaited those returning from military service

after World War 11. It is interesting to note that today, many of these baby

boomers are now running our country. It is no small wonder that they feel the

way they do about private organizations such as ours!

             The Re-engineering of our Educational system.

Concerning perceptions gained by our youth regarding fraternal organizations,

there is one other dynamic that comes into play and that concerns how our

children have been educated in the recent past. The social engineers also were

able to influence our institutions of higher learning, convincing educators

that the new liberal view of government was good for the country and would

vastly improve the standard of living for everyone - particularly those who

were poor or disadvantaged. The siren call was irresistible. Who could

possibly be against helping the poor and enhancing educational and

occupational opportunities for the disadvantaged? Opposing these ideals would

be un-American! Thus, we instituted a socially responsible curriculum in

America's schools and colleges. Those of us who grew up under this new system

were taught all about the evils of race discrimination and how the government

was there to help us, doing many great things for the people. We were also

taught that collective bargaining was good for America and that, generally,

big business was greedy and had no interest in its workers' well being. We

were also taught that the Keynesian theory of economics was the universal and

accepted way of studying business and economic cycles in America. Let us not

forget the concept of new math - also a product of the 60's. None of our

educational materials ever mentioned Freemasonry, the Moose, Elks, the

American Legion, V. F. W., or the many other worthy organizations in existence

at the time. Only one time do I recall a passing reference to the Grange and

its relationship to farming being mentioned in connection with a social

studies course I had in grade school. None of the schools I attended ever had

any programs where groups such as these ever conducted a program or

presentation for the students. I had never heard of Freemasonry until I was a

junior in high school and then I happened upon it only because I was a stamp

collector. To make matters worse, I could find nothing in my high school or

university libraries that would tell me what Freemasonry was! (Note: I grew up

in the Northeast.) This raises an interesting question: How can fraternal

organizations encourage people to join them if prospective members have no

clue as to what a fraternal organization does and has to offer? Put another

way, people will not enter a store unless they perceive that there is

something within that store which they can obtain to fulfill a need. Remember,

however, that one major reason for this lack of available information was that

private groups were seen as being part of what was wrong with America!

                   Change in corporate culture and

                    financial rewards to employees.

The gradual shift in the moral perception of society is reflected in the new

corporate culture in existence today. In the years that my father pursued his

career, loyalty and hard work were usually rewarded by promotions and the

ability to climb the corporate ladder to success. This made career planning

relatively easy. Also, many companies shared their profits with the employees

because, after all, they were the ones who made the wheels turn generating

corporate earnings. When the company did well, so did the workers. Profit

sharing today, generally, is now relegated to the top corporate executives and

the shareholders of a corporation. When the workers do get profit sharing, it

is not as generous as the way it was in the old days. A case in point is this:

A neighbor who lived across the street from me while I was growing up received

a profit sharing' bonus in the early 1950's amounting to $30,000 from her

employer. (Note: that is $30,000 in early 1950's dollars. Think about what

that would be worth today.) At the time, she was an executive secretary for a

mining firm that mined Molybdenum, a mineral used in the steel making process.

The company she worked for was a predecessor to another company, which is

known today as Amerax. She informed me that everyone in the firm received

bonuses like this that particular year, according to position and years of

service. When she received her bonus, she was called into the President's

office, made to feel comfortable, and told that the firm was grateful for her

services as an employee. It was at that time she was handed the envelope

containing the $30,000 check. In the years following, the bonuses were

smaller, more typically amounting to anywhere from one half to 100% of her

salary for the previous year. The story nowadays is different. While profit

sharing does exist today, it rarely reaches heights such as in this example

just described. There are, of course, exceptions - such as securities firms on

Wall Street after an extraordinarily successful bull market year. As for wages

in general, it should be noted that the relationship between a top executive's

pay and the average worker's pay today continues to grow in disproportionate

ways. This is a matter of public record. just pick up a proxy statement for

almost any public corporation and this fact becomes very evident.

                  Loyalty generally goes unrewarded,

                     employment security suffers.

Today, we are in an era of mergers and acquisitions, resulting in a constant

re-engineering of a company's reason for existence. This generally means that

downsizing for competitiveness is in order. This includes layoffs to make way

for productivity advances through the use of technology and automation.

Loyalty is generally no longer a part of the equation. An employee's loyalty

to company A is meaningless when company B steps in and acquires company A.

There is no longer employment security, especially after a merger has taken

place or when an economic recession grips the economy. This is evidenced by

the sheer number of workers who job hop regularly. The economic fortunes of a

company are more tenuous today as well. For example, look at the Hudson Foods

scare, where E.Coli bacteria was found in meat processed by this firm. This

resulted in an expensive recall of processed meat, ultimately resulting in the

company being sold to another corporation. One can only wonder if the owners

of Hudson Foods received a fair price for their company! Consider also the

number of jobs that were lost after Wells Fargo Corporation acquired First

Interstate Bank Corp. and the former began downsizing the product of the two

combined organizations. These are just two of many examples one could cite.

                   Civility in business is lacking.

Civility in competition between business existed in the 60's when I was

growing up. Rarely did one see a business deprecating its competition in

advertisements during that era. Today, one hears it on a daily basis. A case

in point is the current burger war between McDonald's and Burger King. The

tatter introduced a burger that is very similar to one marketed by McDonald's

and has been advertising that "the Big King is better than the Big Mac because

it's bigger and more tasty." Back then, this was just not done. The competitor

was simply referred to as "brand X"

                      Freemasonry in prospective.

As Masons, we are all aware of what Freemasonry represents and what it

teaches. I need not reiterate them here. Our ceremonies are beautiful and the

lessons taught in them are great. There is no doubt about this. However, look

at modern life today. We have experienced a decline in civility, increase in

crime, and a general lack of concern for others. Would this condition exist

today if our fraternity were as powerful and influential as it was years ago?

That, unfortunately, is a question that none of us can really answer. We would

all hope that the answer is a resounding "no." We must all attempt to find a

way to make Freemasonry relevant and applicable to our fellow man in today's

society. Failure to do this will mean Freemasonry's eventual extinction in

future years.

                     Masonic Renewal Success is a

                      journey, not a destination

A lot has changed in the United States in the last 40 years. Unfortunately, we

in the Masonic Fraternity were not paying attention to these changes over

those many years. One of the great things we have established in the

fraternity, which is long overdue, is a Masonic Renewal Plan. We are

attempting to define Freemasonry as it applies to society today. No longer is

it possible for us to continue doing things as they have been done in the

past. Today, we must identify benefits that we can confer on our new members,

find new ways to satisfy their needs for associating with their fellow men,

and new ways to benefit new Masons' families and their communities. Do we know

what these needs are and how to fulfill them? After all, isn't this what we

are really "selling" in our Masonic "store"? The only way we will be able to

restore Masonry to its former position of respect in society is through hard

work, good public relations, and providing solutions to the needs of today's

society. We have some very capable brothers behind this effort, along with

some very talented professionals to help us implement the plans. My prayers

are that these efforts will pay off. However, the results will be hard won and

will certainly come slowly. We must remember that true success is a journey

and not a destination. There is no such thing as instant success in any field.

We all must do the best we can if we want to preserve the rich heritage of our

fraternity for those who will follow us in the years to come.

"Dishonorably Discharged" OR Suspended N.P.D.

March 1992 New Jersey Freemason - By Thomas R. Daugherty, PGM, New

Jersey

Non-payment of dues has been a perplexing problem for Masonry ever

since the first lodge dues notice went out from the secretary.

I believe the phrase, "non-payment of dues" and "Suspension Night"

should be eliminated from all Masonic dictionaries. No one should

be suspended for non payment of dues from any Masonic lodge or

Appendant Body.

Volumes have been written on the subject and there have been Grand

Masters who have taken the time to write every member in their

Jurisdiction who has been suspended N.P.D., showing a personal

interest in the Brother by asking why he is allowing himself to be

suspended. In some cases good results have come from the effort on

the Grand Master's part. Some members have responded saying the

Grand Master was the first to show an interest and they appreciated

him taking time to write. Some have reconsidered and paid their

dues avoiding what should be considered as dishonorable. No one

ever was proud of a dishonorable discharge from any branch of the

military. Why should anyone be proud of being "Dishonorably

Discharged" from a Masonic Lodge.

There are only two reasons why a Brother allows himself to get in a

position where he is brought up before the lodge membership and

voted to be suspended for N.P.D. Either he did not find what he

thought Masonry was all about when he first petitioned the lodge or

he was destitute and too proud to ask for assistance.

The first case can and does happen. There are some men that don't

think the obligation is as all encompassing as it is. Let me

explain what I mean. Our Master Mason obligation goes something

like this "I will stand to and abide by the bylaws of this or any

lodge of which I shall become a member." We took that obligation

while on our knees with our hands resting on the Holy Bible or

whatever book of sacred law we believe in.

Bylaws state, "Dues to the lodge shall be (amount) due and payable

on or before the first day of January (or whatever date your lodge

requires)." If we fail to pay our dues we have violated our sacred

oath or obligation. It is as simple as that. As someone has stated

in a Short Talk Bulletin - "THEY LIED ON THEIR KNEES." There are

some that get so far behind in their dues, they don't think it is

worth the expense to pay the money they owe. Therefore, they let

themselves off "THE EASY WAY OUT".

The brother in this case is not entirely to blame. If the

Worshipful Master and the lodge had been diligent about the

membership the first year they were delinquent, and made a personal

call to see what the problem was, a large percentage of the

membership would have paid their dues immediately.

The second case where a brother has been incapacitated or fallen on

hard times, and if the Worshipful Master and the lodge had

investigated earlier, the lodge could have come to his aid and at

least remitted his dues. No Mason in this condition should be

suspended for N.P.D. Again, if we had fulfilled our duty as

Worshipful Master and as a Masonic lodge, he would not have been in

this embarrassing position.

In the first case, if a brother is disenchanted with the

fraternity, the only honorable way would he for him to pay up his

dues and request a dimit.

How Do We Remedy This Situation?

Here is how one Worshipful Master did it and when he went out of

office every member was paid up or the lodge remitted the dues to

those delinquent because of illness or personal hardship.

This Worshipful Master had prepared for his year well in advance by

talking to one venerable Past Master whom he admired and wanted to

be as successful as the old timer had been when he was Worshipful

Master.

He was told by the friend that the majority of the lodge members

did not have to be reminded about paying their dues - when they

received the notice from the secretary they responded immediately.

It was only a very small percentage who did not pay their dues on

time who had to be reminded. Consequently, the lodge Trestleboard

never mentioned dues during his Masonic year. Only that small group

who procrastinated received a personal letter from the Worshipful

Master.

He did not wait till the end of the year when the lodge normally

sent a notice by certified mail to those behind in their dues. He

started the first month he was in office by asking the secretary

for a list of every member not current in his dues. The secretary

said he would take care of it at the proper time which would have

been one or two months prior to "Suspension Night." This is another

phrase that should be forbidden in Freemasonry.

The Worshipful Master insisted on the names and addresses of

everyone 12 months or more behind in their dues. He wrote a

personal letter to each one of them which said: "Each year around

December our lodge sends out dues notices. Of course this is not a

bill like your mortgage or insurance and oftentimes it is put aside

and forgotten. Next year another notice comes and now it is a bill

that should be paid because the member is delinquent. This notice

should take priority just as much as the mortgage or the

insurance."

And then the letter went on to state, "You have received at least

your second notice; if we do not receive your payment within six

weeks of the date of this letter I will assume that you are

destitute and too proud to ask for assistance. I will make a

personal call and offer whatever assistance the lodge can give you.

"

Within six weeks the majority on the delinquent list had paid their

dues. There were five brothers who did not respond. The Worshipful

Master kept his word and made a personal visit to each of those

five men.

Three of this group were really in financial difficulty. They had

been sick for a long period of time and requested the Master to

suspend them. They told the Worshipful Master that he was the first

member of the lodge to call upon them and see what condition they

were in.

At the next meeting the Worshipful Master reported to the lodge the

condition of these brethren and their dues were remitted and they

were given a helping hand. It wasn't long before they were on their

feet again and able to pay back the Lodge what they had received.

They were also among the brethren attending lodge on a regular

basis.

The other two brothers on the list told the Worshipful Master they

were not interested and would not pay their dues. The Worshipful

Master asked them to reconsider or at least do "THE HONORABLE"

thing and pay up and request a dimit. The Worshipful Master made

three more visits before the end of his term requesting these

Brethren to do "THE HONORABLE" thing, pay up their dues and ask for

a dimit.

The Worshipful Master made such an impression upon these two men

that both paid their dues and requested a dimit. They also wrote a

letter telling the lodge how much they appreciated the Worshipful

Master's efforts and his reminding them "THE HONORABLE" way to

leave the lodge. When the Worshipful Master went out of office

every member was paid up, or given assistance or dimitted the

honorable way.

There Is Another Way

Everyone that has petitioned a Masonic Lodge had to have two

members of the lodge sign his petition. He also needed at least two

Masons to write a letter of recommendation for him.

There was a Committee of investigation who, if they did their join

correctly, personally visited the petitioner and brought back a

"favorable" report or he would not have passed the ballot box.

Maybe it is their responsibility to visit the delinquent member and

find out what has happened since those earlier days when he was

enthusiastic about Masonry and convince them that he was an

honorable and upright man and one worthy of membership through

initiation. The lodge membership having confidence in the integrity

of the investigating committee and signers of the petition voted

favorably upon the petition. Hence, the brother became a member of

the lodge.

If these men cannot convince him he is making a mistake by not

paying his dues, surely they can convince him the only "HONORABLE"

way out is to pay his dues and ask for a dimit.

It takes a little effort but it is worth it. The phrase, "N.P.D."

Non- Payment of Dues, would no longer be a Masonic phrase and the

notice in the Trestleboard should never read, "SUSPENSION NIGHT."

N.P.D. would be replaced with "DIMITTING," the "HONORABLE" or

REMITTING the charitable way.

Subject: IP: DIGITAL NATION  L.A. Times column, 4/3/00

sent with permission of author djf

Monday, April 3, 2000

DIGITAL NATION

Foes of "New Economy" Gaining Voice

By Gary Chapman

Copyright 2000, The Los Angeles Times, All Rights Reserved

The baby boomers running and profiting from the "new economy"

grew up in, and were shaped by, the countercultural movements of

the 1960s and '70s. Indeed, the personal computer itself was once

viewed as a "liberation" from the boring, gray and tightly

controlled kind of computing imposed by large corporations and

their mainframes.

Several notable pioneers of the PC era started out as hippies,

commune residents, meditation instructors and even campus

radicals. But few if any of these now middle-aged men understand

that there's a new culture emerging that's counter to what

they've built.

The "dot-com" economy, as it rapidly matures, is setting itself

up as a big fat target for rebellion, dissent and possibly even

sabotage. The conditions are beginning to resemble what led to

the blow-up of the '60s, and if this happens again, it will be,

to put it mildly, supremely ironic.

After shamelessly absorbing the rhetorical terms "revolutionary,"

"cool," "transformational" and all the rest, the new

establishment of the new economy may be in for a dose of the real

thing.

There are tremors faintly tangible across the country these days.

Over the last few weeks, for example, the South of Market area in

San Francisco has been plastered with signs, put up by an

anonymous guerrilla propaganda group, that ridicule and satirize

the neighborhood's Internet-based companies.

The "KilltheDot" campaign has created slogans that are mostly

obscene and therefore can't be repeated here, but which skewer

the pretensions and silliness of "dot-com" services. The signs

have proliferated around the country through the Internet and are

beginning to show up in other urban technology centers.

Last year, we had the images of the "Battle in Seattle," the

protests over the World Trade Organization. Those events may be

repeated in a few weeks in Washington, D.C., in demonstrations

against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. On

April 14, there will be national teach-ins on globalization in

Washington, with scheduled protests by many of the same groups

that were in Seattle.

In recent weeks, 1,500 people marched in protest in Boston

against biotechnology and genetically altered foods. And 3,000

trade unionists marched in downtown Los Angeles for higher wages

and better working conditions. Students at UCLA and other

colleges are building organizations to fight sweatshops in L.A.

and overseas.

"There's more and more sense from our donor constituency that

money isn't everything, that this has gotten out of hand," says

Catherine Suitor, director of development for the Liberty Hill

Foundation in Santa Monica.

Liberty Hill has sponsored donor events that address such issues

as "Raising Socially Responsible Children," and the turnout has

been huge, Suitor says.

Most of the activism in working-class neighborhoods and on

college campuses is about inequality. "It's more than just the

new technology," Suitor says. "It's more about the divide created

by the new economy." She attributed the new restlessness to

"anger at corporate power."

Jon Katz, a media critic and author of the new book "Geeks: How

Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet Out of Idaho" (Villard Books,

2000), agrees. "What you're seeing shape up is the first big

political battle of the 21st century, between individualism and

corporatism," Katz says.

Katz follows the growing numbers of young computer mavens who are

loosely allied as proponents of open source software, free

expression, an open Internet and radical individualism.

These are the young people who are increasingly challenging

corporations that are trying to lock down the Internet and secure

it for commerce. The mounting wars over intellectual property and

network security are just the beginning, Katz says.

"Corporatism is a new phenomenon, and not the same as capitalism

or corporations," he says. "It means bigness, controlling

markets, mass marketing. Companies are now bigger than ever

before. They've acquired most of our mainstream culture, and now

they're moving on to the Internet.

"There's a general sense of helplessness and anger," he added.

"It used to be you could be an individual and coexist with large

corporations, but now you can't. It's the Wal-Marting of

America."

Because of the homogenization of mass culture, Katz says, "the

place individuals are turning to is the Internet." That's where

the battle is being waged by young, smart, computer-savvy

free-thinkers.

"These kids are the freest people on Earth. And they're mad."

They don't want to see "their" Internet absorbed into mass market

culture, and they don't want to see a corporate logo on every Web

page. They're contemptuous of how conventional political parties

are dependent on high-tech money.

The critical factor is that a lot of these young people can

outwit the technologists of the government and private sector and

build systems that are always one step ahead of powerful

interests.

"These kids are ready to go, ready to rally around a leader,"

Katz says. "They're not going to go as easily as journalists did,

when their media were bought up."

He predicted that soon, perhaps within a couple of years, there

will be a political candidate who will emerge from this

constituency. "That person will be surprised at how much anger

there is out there about corporate power."

"When the war in Vietnam ended, the boomers gave up on revolution

and went back to work," Katz says. In fact, they just adopted the

terms of that era for advertising. "But these kids are real

revolutionaries. They cannot be stopped. They're our last hope,"

he concluded

Gary Chapman is director of the 21st Century Project at the

University of Texas at Austin. He can be reached at

gary.chapman@mail.utexas.edu.

                    David Chessler

"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924

THE DISLIKED PETITIONER

"I am much disturbed!" announced the New Brother to the Old

Tiler.

"Tell me about it. I have oil for troubled waters. If your water

on the brain is disturbed, maybe I can soothe it!"

"I doubt it! I heard the name of Bedford Jones-Smith read out in

lodge tonight as a petitioner. I don't want Bedford here!"

"That's nothing to be disturbed about," answered the Old Tiler.

"You have a vote, haven't you? If you don't want to wait until he

comes up for ballot, go tell the committee what's the matter with

him." The Old Tiler leaned back in his chair as if the question

was settled.

"There isn't anything the matter with him!" cried the New

Brother. "If I could explain to the committee that Bedford was a

rascal, or beat his wife, or stole money, or had been in jail or

something, it wouldn't be a problem. But so far as I know Bedford

Jones-Smith is correct to the point of perfection. He is a

thoroughly respectable man. I dislike him extremely. He rubs me

the wrong way. I despise his unctuous manner; he shakes hands

like a fish. I think he wears corsets, and he is the most perfect

lady I know, but there isn't a thing against him legally,

mentally, morally! The committee will find him 100 per cent Simon

pure, and this lodge will receive the original nincompoop, the

pluperfect essence of idiocy, and the superheterodyne of

jackasses, as a member!"

"Anything to stop you voting against him?" asked the Old Tiler.

"It's your privilege to cast your little black cube in secrecy

against any man you don't like."

"That's where the problem comes in! I know I can do it. I know

that I don't have to let Bedford Jones-smith into my Masonic home

if I don't want him, any more than I have to let him into my

everyday life. It's just because I can keep him out that I am

troubled. If I do, I'll feel that I did a mean act. Yet I don't

want that double-distilled ass in this lodge!"

"Suppose you dig a little deeper," suggested the Old Tiler. "Just

why don't you want him?"

"Because I don't like him!"

"And just why don't you like him?"

"Because he stands for everything that I despise; he never plays

games, he never works, he never does anything except wear

fashionable clothes, go to parties, and is an irreproachable

escort for dumb Doras. He's not a man, he's a wearer of

trousers!"

"Sounds harmless," said the Old Tiler. "He can't pink tea here,

can he? He certainly can't bring any dumb Doras to this lodge. We

don't need any games played here, and we have so many men in

lodge who never work at it that one more won't hurt."

"But it will make me uncomfortable to have him around."

"Then keep him out!"

"Oh, you exasperate me! I come for help, and you laugh at me.

What shall I do?"

"Really want to know?" asked the Old Tyler, the smile fading from

his face.

"I really do!"

"Then I'll tell you. Snap out of your conceited, selfish

attitude. Get rid of the idea that your comfort, your feelings,

your happiness are so important. Get hold of the thought that

Masonry is so much bigger than you and Mr. Jones-Smith rolled up

into one that together you are not a fly speck on its map, and

separately you can't be seen!  Try to imagine yourself a part of

a great institution which works wonders with men and forget that

you are so important!

"By your own showing, nothing is the matter with this gentleman

except that you don't like his ways and manner. Doubtless, he

doesn't like yours. To him you are probably a rough-neck, a

golf-playing, poker-playing, automobile-driving, hard-working,

laboring man. He might not want to join the lodge if he knew you

were in it! He has different standards. That they are not yours,

or mine, doesn't make him poor material for Masonry. The fact

that he wants to be a Mason shows he has admirable qualities.

That he is moral, and respectable, shows he has manhood. That his

manners don't please you is no reason for keeping him out. To

keep a man who wants them from the blessings of Masonry because

of personal dislike is a crime against those teachings of

toleration which Masonry offers you. Let him in. Try to help him.

Try to show him there is something else in life beyond fripperies

and foolishness. Maybe you can make a regular Mason out of him.

But don't vote for him unless you are really prepared to take his

hand and call him brother.

"Better let your conscience hurt you for being a snob than to

have it hurt for being false to your obligation of brotherhood.

Better realize you are a selfish and opinionated person than that

you are a bad Mason, a forsworn member of the fraternity, a

traitor to its principles, a..."

"For the love o' Mike, let up on me! I'll vote for the simp- for

the man, I mean- and try my best. Old Tiler, Masonry has such a

lot to do to make me a regular man, I'm afraid I'll never learn!"

"You are getting there, son," observed the Old Tiler, smiling

with satisfaction. "Not every young Mason will admit he is an

idiot even when it's proved!"

BASIC RULES FOR DRIVING IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA

1. A right lane construction closure is just a game to see how

many people can cut in line by passing you on the right as you

sit in the left lane waiting for the same jerks to squeeze their

way back in before hitting the orange construction barrels.

2. Turn signals will give away your next move.  A real Northern

Virginia driver never uses them.

3. Under no circumstances should you leave a safe distance

between you and the car in front of you, or the space will be

filled in by somebody else putting you in an even more dangerous

situation.

4. Crossing two or more lanes in a single lane-change is

considered "going with the flow,"

5. The faster you drive through a red light, the smaller the

chance you have of getting hit.

6. Braking is to be done as hard and late as possible to ensure

that your ABS kicks in, giving a nice, relaxing foot massage as

the brake pedal pulsates.  For those of you without ABS, it's a

chance to stretch your legs.

7. Construction signs tell you about road closures immediately

after you pass the last exit before the traffic begins to back

up.  The new electronic traffic warning system signs are not

there to provide useful information. They are only there to make

Northern Virginia look high-tech and to distract you from seeing

the Virginia State Police car parked in the median.

8. Never pass on the left when you can pass on the right.  It's

a good way to scare people entering the highway.

9. Speed limits are arbitrary figures, given only as suggestions

and are apparently not enforceable in the metro area during rush

hour.  Just because you're in the left lane and have no room to

speed up or move over doesn't mean that a Northern Virginia

driver flashing his high beams behind you doesn't think he can

go faster in your spot.

10. Please remember that there is no such thing as a shortcut

during rush-hour traffic in Northern Virginia.

11. Always slow down and rubberneck when you see an accident or

even someone changing a tire.

12. Throwing litter on the roads adds variety to the landscape,

keeps the existing litter from getting lonely and gives

Adopt-a-highway crews something to clean up.

13. Everybody thinks his or her vehicle is better than yours,

especially pick-up truck drivers with stickers of Calvin peeing

on a Ford, Dodge or Chevy logo.

14. Learn to swerve abruptly.  Northern Virginia is the home of

high-speed slalom driving thanks to VDOT who put potholes in key

locations to test drivers' reflexes and keep them on their toes.

15. It is traditional in Northern Virginia to honk your horn at

cars that don't move the instant the light changes.

16. Seeking eye contact with another driver revokes your right

of way.

17. Never take a green light at face value.  Always look right and

left before proceeding.

18. Remember that the goal of every Northern Virginia driver is

o get the re first, by whatever means necessary.

19. Real Northern Virginia women drivers can put on pantyhose

and apply eye makeup at  seventy-five miles per hour in

bumper-to-bumper traffic.

20. Heavy fog and rain - There are no reasons to change any of

the previously listed rules. These weather conditions are God's

way ensuring a  natural selection process for body shops,

junkyards and new vehicle sales.

                           EMMESSAY NOTES

           Published by the Masonic Service Association

 

                           July 1999

1. BARTIMAEUS  SAT BY THE ROADSIDE

       He was blind. And he was a beggar. In that far-off day there

was little Bartimaeus could do but sit by the Jericho roadside

and beg. Society acknowledged little or no responsibility for

such as he. Few of his fellow creatures felt any compassion for

him. In fact, he was someting of a nuisance to have around.

       Then the Carpenter of Nazareth passed by. Some flash of

insight told the afflicted son of Timaeus that his eyes might be

opened. He called upon the Nazarene to mercy. "Lord," he cried,

"that I might receive my sight!" And there was Light.

       It must have been a dramatic moment, for three of the four

New Testament gospel writers describe it.

       With the story of Bartimaeus in mind, the Grand Lodge of

Indiana chartered an occasional lodge named Bartimaeus Lodge UD.

The lodge meets, only when 'a candidate is to receive the

degrees. It has no business meetings. Lodge membership is limited

to 75 and open to those who express an interest in working with

handicapped individuals.

       When a petitioner for the degrees has a physical handicap

limiting their ability to receive the degrees in the usua manner,

special conisderiation is given to their needs. Once it has been

determined what limitations exist and how the degree can be

performed recognizing those limitations, final approval must be

given by the Grand Master of Indiana.

       It is believed this is the only lodge of its kind anywhere In

the world. Bartimaeus Lodge UD exists to perform degrees on those

with physical limitations restricting their activities.

       The first candidate receiving a degree from Bartimaeus Lodge

UD was blind as was Bartimaeus of the Bible story.

(Source: Information provided by Bartimaeus Lodge UD and the

Grand Lodge of Indiana)

Funding for EMESSAY NOTES has been provided by

THE SUPEREME FOREST TALL CEDARS OF LEBANON

 

2. SHRINE HOSPITAL UPDATE

       Shriners Hospitals for Children will spend a record-breaking

   $1.324 million per day in 1999 to provide orthopaedic, burn and

   spinal cord injury care, conduct research and continue the

   hospital reconstruction program. The operating budget for 1999

   increased by 7 percent from $390 million in 1998 to $419

   million for 1999, including a $22 million allocation for

   research. The amount of capital expenditures for 1999 is $71

   million, a $4 million Increase over 1998. As part of the

   Shriners Hospital reconstruction and renovation program begun

   in the early 1980s, 21 hospitals in the system have either been

   rebuilt or renovated, with plans continuing for site selection

   and construction of a new facility in Mexico City to replace

   the current hospital. The new nine-story, 30-bed burn hospital

   In Boston will be dedicated in April.

   (Source: Shrine News Release)

3. DEMOLAY ON THE WEB

       How is the internet significant to DeMolay'? Not only is it a

   very important vehiele for information dissemination, it is

   also a great way for DeMolay members, potential DeMolay

   members, parents of potential members, the media, and the

   general public to learn more about DeMolay. DeMolay

   International's web site has grown tremendously since its

   inception four years ago. Currently, there are well over a

   hundred functional and user friendly pages of in-depth

   information on a host of DeMolay subjects. What is in store for

   the future? DeMolay's web site is constantly expanding and

   evolving, so check back often to see what's going on with the

   premier youth organization dedicated to teaching young men to

   be better persons and leaders. Visit DeMolay at www.demolay.org

   (Source: DeMolay News Release)

4 ROSE PARADE FLOAT

       The Tournament of Roses Parade Committee of the Grand Lodge of

   California is pleased to report that the Family of Freemasonry

   float for 1999 was awarded the Lathrop K. Leishman Trophy for

   the "most beautiful entry by a non-commercial sponsor". This is

   the first award received by the Family of Freemasonry in the

   nine years of participation in the-Rose, Parade. In addition,

   we also did most of -the decoration of the California

   Sesquicentennial float which received the Governor's award for

   the "best depiction of life in California". These successes

   placed us in a very favorable position with the Tournament of

   Roses officials. We are very pleased and honored to be invited

   to enter a float in the Parade on January 1, 2000. After

   consultation with the float builder, we have settled on a 50

   foot high Statue of Liberty surrounded by a bed of floral

   flags. This float concept is quite compatible with the Parade

   theme which is Celebration 2000 Visions of the Future The float

   will be titled Liberty for All There will be no riders on this

   float because we feel the Statue itself provides a powerful

   message. The media will be provided with information about the

   role played by French and American Freemasons in the history of

   the Statue from 1865 to 1984. Anyone wishing to financially

   support this most worthwhile project may send contributions to:

   Robert C. Coe, Treasurer, P.O. Box 661567, Arcadia, CA

   91066-1567.

   Source Rose Parade Committee News Release)

Here's the net wisdom letter of the month.  We have all received lots of

this stuff.  Please forward on to friends so they can share.

EVERYTHING YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT E-MAIL Think about it...

1.  Big companies don't do business via chain letter.  Bill Gates is not

giving you $1000, and Disney is not giving you a free vacation.

There is no baby food company issuing class-action checks.

Procter and Gamble is not part of a satanic cult or scheme, and its logo is

not satanic.  MTV will not give you backstage passes if you forward

something to the most people.  You can relax; there is no need to pass it on

"just in case it's true".  Furthermore, just because someone said in the

message, four generations back, that "we checked it out and it's legit",

does not actually make it true.

2.  There is no kidney theft ring in New Orleans.  No one is waking up in a

bathtub full of ice, even if a friend of a friend swears it happened to

their cousin.  If you are hell-bent on believing the kidney-theft ring

stories, please see:http://urbanlegends.tqn.com/library/weekly/aa062997.htm

And I quote:  "The National Kidney Foundation has repeatedly issued requests

for actual victims of organ thieves to come forward and tell their stories.

None have." That's "none" as in "zero".  Not even your friend's cousin.

3.  Neiman Marcus doesn't really sell a $200 cookie recipe.  And even if

they do, we all have it.  And even if you don't, you can get a copy at:

http://www.bl.net/forwards/cookie.html Then, if you make the recipe, decide

the cookies are that awesome, feel free to pass the recipe on.

4.  If the latest NASA rocket disaster(s) DID contain plutonium that went to

particulate over the eastern seaboard, do you REALLY think this information

would reach the public via an AOL chainletter?

5.  There is no "Good Times" virus.  In fact, you should never, ever, ever

forward any email containing any virus warning unless you first confirm that

an actual site of an actual company that actually deals with viruses.  Try:

http://www.norton.com And even then, don't forward it.

We don't care.  And you cannot get a virus from a flashing IM or email, you

have to download....ya know, like, a FILE!

6.  There is no gang initiation plot to murder any motorist who flashes

headlights at another car driving at night without lights.

7.  If you're using Outlook, IE, or Netscape to write email, turn off the

"HTML encoding." Those of us on Unix shells can't read it, and don't care

enough to save the attachment and then view it with a web browser, since

you're probably forwarding us a copy of the Neiman Marcus Cookie Recipe

anyway.

8.  If you still absolutely MUST forward that 10th-generation message from a

friend, at least have the decency to trim the eight miles of headers showing

everyone else who's received it over the last 6 months.  It sure wouldn't

hurt to get rid of all the ">" that begin each line.  Besides, if it has

gone around that many times we've probably already seen it.

9.  Craig Shergold (or Sherwood, or Sherman, etc.) in England is not dying

of cancer or anything else at this time and would like everyone to stop

sending him their business cards.  He apparently is also no longer a "little

boy" either.

10.  The "Make a Wish" foundation is a real organization doing fine work,

but they have had to establish a special toll free hot line in response to

the large number of Internet hoaxes using their good name and reputation.

It is distracting them from the important work they do.

11.  If you are one of those insufferable idiots who forwards anything that

"promises" something bad will happen if you "don't," then something bad will

happen to you if I ever meet you in a dark alley.

12.  Women really are suffering in Afghanistan, and PBS and NEA funding are

still vulnerable to attack (although not at the present time)

but forwarding an e-mail won't help either cause in the least.  If you want

to help, contact your local legislative representative, or get in touch with

Amnesty International or the Red Cross.  As a general rule, e-mail

"signatures" are easily faked and mean nothing to anyone with any power to

do anything about whatever the competition is complaining about.

P.  S.

There is no bill pending before Congress that will allow long distance

companies to charge you for using the Internet.

Bottom Line...  composing e-mail or posting something on the Net is as easy

as writing on the walls of a public restroom.  Don't automatically believe

it until it's proven true...  ASSUME it's false, unless there is proof that

it's true.

Now, forward this message to ten friends and you will win the Publishers

Clearing House sweepstakes.

Brethren,

When searching my computer to find out the last time I was with Mike and

Odette, I found that it was in Kansas City at the Semi-Annual gathering

there.  What a joy it was to meet them.

At the same time, I met the Grand Master of Masons of Kansas.  MWB Fisher.

A marvelous man, a great Mason, and he gave me a poem that I would like to

share with you at this time.  I used it in one of the newsletters while I

was Master of the lodge and it meant so much to so many people it touched.

I think he lived the poem, as he is no longer with us, having succumbed to

cancer.  He did plow a straight furrow.

Sincerely,

Charles W. Munro, MPS

PM, Canton Lodge # 98

Tyler, Texas

 

"THE FARMER'S ODE"

In going through life-- plow a clean straight furrow,

Burying all hatred deep down in its burrow;

Covered and hidden forever from sight,

With the soil of true friendship, cheerful and bright.

Level the high spots, fill in the hollow,

Cultivate virtues that are worth while to follow.

As a guide to mankind, and an aid in his blindness;

Temper your actions with love, faith, and kindness.

In life's great field, with its pleasures and sorrow,

Gather the grain, leave the chaff,

You will have no fear of the morrow;

Bright memories will serve you, and through all time endure

In sowing the seeds of God's truth, clean and pure.

Then, Brethren, when you no longer are gay and young.

When the dreams and songs of youth are past and sung.

When the world seems dark, dreary and cold----

Remember these tenets will ever hold.

Then, when your pleasures and troubles in life are o'er,

When the boatman has called for you, from yonder shore,

To take you back to be grim death's guest,

Loving hands will lay you away to rest.

 

Join the Philalethes Society  6 great Magazines a year

$40 for first year, $30 thereafter      to

Philalethes

PO box 70  110 Quince Ave

Highland Springs VA 23075



Masonic writings from a private collection, Private Collection Two 51 pages >>>

This came in from a list.     Its just food for thought!!!

The public statement by the Grand Masters of the Grand Orient of Italy

and the Regular Grand Lodge of Yugoslavia raises some questions for

me.

As an individual, I am, of course, appalled by what is now taking

place in Kosovo and in Yugoslavia as a whole. My masonic training

supports me in the determination to speak out and take whatever action

I can to bring this conflict to a just and speedy conclusion. My

questions, however, are these: Does my masonic training support me in

speaking out or taking action AS A MASON? And does my masonic

obligation authorize anybody else to issue political declarations on

my behalf?

What particularly prompted these questions is the fact that, because

of the way it is written, it looks as if the statement of the two

Grand Masters is meant to be read as something more than an expression

of the opinion of those two individuals -- more, even, than an

expression of the opinions of their respective Grand Lodges. The

statement of the two Grand Masters purports to speak in the name of

freemasonry. It says, "Freemasonry...refuses and condemns..." And,

in the name of freemasonry, this statement advocates a particular

course of political action -- namely that the present conflict be

resolved within the UN -- which is not uncontroversial.

The fact that this statement purports to speak for "freemasonry" would

give me grave concern even if I agreed with every word it contained.

I am a master mason, and I take my masonic obligation seriously.

However, when I took my obligation as a mason, I do not recall saying

anything which authorized anybody else to make political declarations

on my behalf.

I realize that among masons there are many different views about what

masonry is and about its proper role in the larger society. My own

understanding of the matter is something like this: Masonry is, to

use a familiar phrase, "a peculiar system of morality..." Masonry is

not a political party or a religious sect. It does not take positions

on social issues or support candidates for office. Individual masons

may, and frequently have, taken political positions, held public

office and done all manner of public things. But they do those things,

not as masons expressing the doctrines of masonry. They do them as

individuals -- inspired and sustained, perhaps, by the light of

masonry -- but not AS masons.

This very point was expressed -- with incomparable eloquence -- in a

lecture to the Philalethes Society by Bro. Thomas Jackson, FPS and

Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of PA. I hope I will be forgiven

if I quote some of it below:

=============================================

It Is The Mason As A Man Who Has Impacted History

by Thomas W Jackson FPS

For a considerable number of years I have been wondering how an

organization with as much influence as Freemasonry has had over

several hundred years, could fail to be acknowledged for its

contribution to the development of modern civilization and human

thought. I even developed a talk which I titled "How Can They Ignore

This?" In it, I ask those to whom I am speaking how often they ever

saw Freemasonry presented in a history text. I simply was unable to

comprehend how we could be ignored.

With the exception of organized religion, " Freemasonry probably has

created a greater beneficial impact upon the development of present

day civilization than any other organization which has existed on

Earth, and yet, when you read historical documentation of the

evolution of civilization, Freemasonry is rarely mentioned and, if it

is, it is only peripherally.

Last year, the first World Conference of Grand Masters was held in

Mexico City. Out of that conference came the Charter of Anahuac. The

third item in that Charter presented the need of the Craft in the 21st

Century "to fight against. . .ecological depredation, contamination of

the environment. .against . . ., social instability . . ., and

religious commitments in education, " amongst others.

I have a very serious concern with any proposal that suggests

Freemasonry's involvement in political and/or religious issues, and

item three of the Charter suggests precisely that. There is no way

social and ecological issues can be dealt -with, without involving

politics or religion. This Craft has been able to weather the storms

which wiped out many organizations and even toppled governments

because it stayed above the controversies of religion and politics.

When I present my concerns about the Charter to some Masonic leaders,

the rebuttal I received was that Masonry must have been involved in

political and religious issues in the past. Freemasonry's influence in

the American Revolution was cited as an example. They pointed to the

actions of men like Washington, Franklin, Lafayette, and others, as

Masonic involvement. In addition, Simon Bolivar in South America,

Lajos Kusata in Hungary, Theodore Kolokotronis in Greece, Benito

Juarez in Mexico, amongst many other who contributed so much to the

concept of freedom, were examples of political involvement in other

countries.

And then, for the first time I began to understand why the influence

of Freemasonry is not discussed in history books. We cannot deny the

impact of Washington and so many others in the development of American

freedom; but it was Washington, the man, not Washington the Mason, and

not Freemasonry that made America what it is. This is also true of

Bolivar, Kusata, Kolokotronis, and Jaurez and all of the other great

patriots of their countries.

The philosophical purpose of Freemasonry always has been to develop

the man-to start with good men and make them better, to increase the

intellectual capacity of the individual, and to give the man the

incentive through our lessons to contribute to making the world a

better place to live.

As an ecologist, I have for more than 35 years expressed my views on

ecological issues and on the population explosion; but I speak as a

man, not as a Freemason. My compassionate thought of life might have

been nurtured in a Masonic Lodge, but, when I speak, it is not

Freemasonry speaking. When Washington acted, it was not Freemasonry

acting. Thankfully, Freemasonry has had great influence on many

leaders, but the man influenced does the acting. Thus we read about

the man in history texts, not the organization.

=========end of quotation from Thomas Jackson=================

 

"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924

FOOLISH QUESTIONS

"Jones is a nut!" remarked the New Brother to the Old Tiler. "I

went with him yesterday to look up an applicant for membership. I

didn't know much about such things, so I let him do the talking.

And the questions that man asked!"

"What did he want to know?"

"First, he wanted to know what kind of job the applicant held,

how long he had been there, where he had worked before, was he

satisfied, did he like his boss, how much he made and whether he

saved any of it or spent it all!"

"Quite right, too," commented the Old Tiler. "He wanted to know

if the applicant was a solid citizen, able to pay his dues and

unlikely to become a charge on the lodge. Chap who holds a job

today and leaves it tomorrow for another is apt to be an

applicant for charity."

"But that's one of the things a lodge is for- charity," said the

New Brother.

"To its members who are in need, yes," answered the Old Tiler.

"But no lodge willingly takes in members who may need charity.

Masonry is not a crutch for the indigent. It is a staff for those

who go lame in life's, journey, but when a man starts out lame he

has to get crutches from some other institution."

"He asked, 'Why do you want to become a Mason?' that seemed to me

an impertinence. A man's reasons for wanting to join Masonry are

no business of ours."

"Is that so!" answered the Old Tiler. "Son, you know so many

things that are not so! I have been on the petitions of a great

many men and that is always my first question. I have heard many

answers. Some men want to join because their fathers were Masons.

Some think it will help them in life. Some frankly say they want

to make friends so they can be successful. Others think that

Masonry will help them in their religion. Still others want to be

Masons because they want to belong to a secret society."

"But why is that our business?"

"A man who wants to join a fraternity because his father

belonged, is good material," answered the Old Tiler. "He wants to

imitate his father. As his father was a Mason it is probable that

he was a good man. If the applicant desires to imitate a good

man, and thinks we can help him, his motives are worthy. The man

who wants to become a Mason to stiffen his religious belief is

not a good candidate. Masonry demands no religion of its

applicants, merely a belief in Deity. A man with religious

convictions which are slipping and looks for something to prop

them up, should go elsewhere than the Masonic Altar. Asking

nothing but a belief in God, we have a right to demand that that

belief be strong, well-grounded, unshakable, and beyond question.

"The man who says he wants to join the Masonic order because he

wants to belong to a secret society doesn't get asked and more

questions! He is through right there. Masonry is no haven for

curiosity seekers. The chap who thinks Masonry will make him

friends who will help him in his business gets nowhere with a

good committee. Masonry is not a business club. Imagine a man

going to a minister and saying: 'I want to join your church so I

can sell lawn mowers to your members.' Would the minister want

him? Masonry is not a church, but it is holy to Masons. Masonry

is a bright and shining light in a man's heart which must not be

sullies by profane motives. To attempt to use Masonry for

business is like using the Bible to sit on- diverting from the

proper purpose that which should be held sacred.

"The man who answers that question by saying, 'I have always

heard of Masons as men who receive help in being good men; I

would like to have the privilege of becoming a member,' is

approaching the matter in the right spirit. Masonry doesn't hunt

the man, the man must hunt the lodge. And he must hunt with a

pure motive, or cannot join any good lodge, with a good

committee. The motive is vitally important. We want to know if he

can afford $50 for a fee and $5 a year for dues. If they have to

rob their children to join we have no use for them. We want to

know if a man stands well with his fellows outside the lodge; if

so he is apt to stand well with them inside. If he has few

friends and those of doubtful character, the chances are he is

not good timber for us.

"Masonry is what we make it. Every good man who comes into a

lodge helps the fraternity. Every insincere man, every scoffer,

every dishonest man who gets into lodge, injures the fraternity.

Masonry can accomplish good in the hearts of men only as it is

better than they are. When it becomes less good than the average

man, the average man will not want to join, and Masonry's power

will be gone.

"The price of liberty, so we are told, is eternal vigilance. The

price of quality in a lodge is eternal care by the investigation

committee. An important job, it should be approached with the

idea that the future of the lodge and of Masonry to some extent

rests on the man making the investigation.

"Hm. Thanks. See you later."

"You're welcome- but what is your hurry?"

"Got to find Jones and tell him I'm the nut. Then ask the Master

to let me go with him again and see if I can't see something else

in his questions besides foolishness!" answered the New Brother.

Fraternally,

Carl Johnson, 32'

Burlington Masonic Lodge #254

Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons

Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Bellingham

Orient of Washington

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953

I AM A MASTER MASON

The name itself stands as a symbol of the wisdom of the ages. I

am part of an institution that has forever followed the Glorious

Light in the East. I am part of the hopes, the yearnings and the

efforts of a world-wide group of men who are meeting and working

in the name of The Almighty One. I have a share in the spreading

of ideals of Justice, of Tolerance and of Kindness. To me is

given the opportunity for unveiling symbols which impart Golden

Truths.

I have the opportunity to grow morally in an atmosphere of sacred

silence.

I am a member of an institution which throughout the ages has

taught and followed the ways of peace, yet never for a moment has

capitulated to the demand of dictatorship. I am a member of an

institution which has forever inspired men to engage vigorously

in the struggle for the preservation of God-given rights- Freedom

of Worship and Freedom of Thought.

My Masonic membership offers the greatest blessing that is given

to man- the opportunity to be serviceable to my fellow creatures.

Great are my privileges. Great are my responsibilities.

I am a Master Mason.

I receive a publication, The Byzantium, which is the official publication of

the Red Cross of Constantine. It recently had a article by their Grand

Sovereign that I thought would be of interest to our forum. I checked

with Nelson before I posted. I also have the permission of the writer,

Joe Manning.

James B Guffey PM

----- Original Message -----

By Knight Companion Joe R. Manning, Jr., KGC

Title: We are not alone.

Travel back a hundred years in America, to any town or city.

Any night, except Sunday, you would have seen lighted windows down

town, usually in the upper stories of the buildings. Flickering

shadows, cast by gaslight or kerosene lamps, crossed and re-crossed

the window shades as men in colorful costumes engaged in rituals of

their secret societies.

There were hundreds.

The Masons were the largest, of course. But then there were the Odd

Fellows, the Improved Order of Red Men, Knights of Pythias, Knights of

Columbus, Knights of Honor, Knights of Khorassan and the Knights of

Labor. There was the Society of Druids, the Improved Order of the

Temple, the Independent Order of Good Templars, the Order of the

Gordian Knot, the Order of the Iroquois, the Order of Patrons of

Husbandry, the Order of the Star-Spangled Banner, the Sons of Honor,

the Sons of Liberty, the Sons of Malta, the Sons of Temperance, the

Supreme Tribe of Ben-Hur, the Modem Woodsmen of the World, the

Military Order of the Loyal Legion, and many, many more.

None of these were truly secret societies of course, although they

almost all used that title. A truly secret society tries to hide the

fact that it exists, and certainly conceals the identity of its

members. These "social" secret societies appeared in parades, owned

buildings identified with signs for their meetings, and participated

in many public events from funerals to picnics.

Even though it was not that long ago, it is hard for most of us,

today, to realize just how important these societies, especially

Masonry, were in America at the turn of the century. Consider this: in

the early 1900s nearly one of every four white males in America over

the age of 25 was a member of the Masons. That is a larger percentage

than belonged to any single denomination or even political party. It

was the largest organization in America.

Today, of course, the vast majority of these organizations are long

gone - of interest only to historians and sociologists.

Masonry has hung on - but that is about the best we can say at the

moment. If the same percentage of the population of Oklahoma belonged

to Masonry today as at the turn of the Century, we would have more

than 340,000 members in Oklahoma. That is ten times the actual

membership!

Since people do not join voluntary organizations which do not meet

their needs in some way, another way to say the same thing is that at

the turn of the Century, we met the needs of one man in four. Now, we

meet the needs of one man in forty. We have become, in the words of a

recent article in Time Magazine, "...almost quaint."

What happened?

It is popular in Masonic circles to say it is the fault of the world.

"Men just don't believe in integrity anymore. Movies and television

keep them at home. People are just to busy."

That is, at best, a cop-out.

Men have always been busy, and they have always found time to do the

things which meet their needs. Television may keep the elderly in at

night, but it doesn't keep the man in his thirties, forties or fifties

in at night -the television broadcaster and advertisers would give

much if it did - but the demographics just don't show that.

No. Sometime in the forties and fifties, WE STOPPED MEETING THE NEEDS

OF MANY MEN. We coasted for awhile, but the coast is over. We meet the

needs of the 5% of the Masonic population (probably about 0.05% of the

general population) which enjoys memorizing and doing ritual, which

is, now, almost the exclusive activity of most Masonic Lodges.

We are not meeting the needs of 95% of our own members, and 99.5% of

the general population.

The needs have not changed. Masonry changed. We oriented almost

exclusively on ritual. As long as we spent some time meeting other

needs as well, men joined. When we stopped ....

What are some of the needs we used to meet (and must meet again if we

intend to live?)

1. Training in Leadership. ! don't mean formal courses in "how to

lead." What we used to offer was far more effective than that. Young

men learned leadership by watching the community leaders, who were

also Lodge members, work. They learned how to appoint and manage

effective committees by being appointed to committees -committees

which actually had responsibilities and DID things. They learned

conflict resolution by watching Lodge leaders resolve conflicts. The

sharpest, most skilled men in town led the Lodge. The young man

learned those skills and took his place as the leader of the next

generation. Only one who views Masonry today through eyes undimmed by

reality could claim we still offer the same thing.

2. Business Connections. It is true that Masonry is not to be used for

business. It is also true that men knew they could trust fellow Masons

- not to give them a better deal but to give them a fair and honest

deal. Virtually all the professions were represented in the Lodge.

3. Financial and Emotional Security for their Families. Especially in

a time before government "safety nets," this was a critical

consideration. A man knew, as a fact, that his widow and orphans would

not starve if he were a Mason. That assurance is till important today.

Starvation is not a fear, but how much would it add to the comfort of

a young man if he knew past any question (as he used to know) that if

something happened to him, the Lodge would watch over his family,

offering guidance when it was needed, being a substitute father to his

children. There are young men in Lodge today because the Masons were

simply "there" when he was growing up, taking him to father-son games

and banquets, and being there when he needed someone to talk to.

4. Fellowship. National surveys still list this as the top need of

young men in the 35 to 45 age category. This should be the need we are

best equipped to handle. But ask the painful question- if a man's idea

of fellowship is NOT sitting in a Lodge school and being corrected,

sometimes with ridicule, if he steps off on the wrong foot, just how

much fellowship do we offer him in our Lodges?

We have slipped quite a bit, but we can still recover our balance. We

can recapture what we had. It will not be easy. We will have to fight

not only the disinformation of the anti-Masons and the almost complete

ignorance about Masonry of the general population, we will have to

fight those in the fraternity who are perfectly willing to let Masonry

die, so long as it doesn't change in their lifetimes. Unfortunately,

our window of opportunity is not as long as their lifetimes.

But we can do it. It just takes the commitment of each of us that

Masonry will live. That must be the goal. If we are determined, it

will meet the needs of young men again, and if it does that, it will

thrive

It if does not, we will be one with the Order of Red Men and the

Society of Druids. And we will deserve it. Life belongs to those who

choose to live.

Yours in Faith, Unity and Zeal

Joe R Manning, Jr., KGC Grand Sovereign

 

And an extra:

Rays of Masonry

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953

"MARKED MEN"

Not long ago there appeared an article in which the phrase

"marked men" was used in connection with Masons and Masonry. The

more you think about it the more you realize the significance of

the words. The Mason is marked by the enemies of Masonry; he is

marked by the non-Masons who are friends of Masonry, and he is

marked by his brother Masons.

The man who becomes a Mason immediately takes upon himself a

greater obligation as a citizen, a husband, a father, and as a

moral and upright person. He is accepted into Masonry only after

he has voluntarily petitioned a lodge and has been carefully

investigated as to his mental, moral and physical qualifications.

He must have the capacity to love humanity and he must have the

urge to grow morally and spiritually. The man must ever seek

Masonry. Masonry is a great deal more interested in its strength

through the strength of the individual than in numerical values.

The Mason then is the recipient of the highest wisdom of the

ages, and because of this truth more is expected of him.

Privileges and opportunities create greater responsibilities.

By the enemies of Masonry he is watched with eyes of hate, and

even his best deeds and purest motives may be distorted to the

extent that his enemies will discern that which is not there.

By the friends of Masonry the Mason is also a "marked man." They

want to see him live up to the ideals of Masonry. As non-Masons

they do not know about the school of Masonry, but they know about

the product of the school- the Mason. They seek to support the

Mason and Masonry in every laudable undertaking. But by the same

token let the Mason fall short of his duties and obligations and

his friends must direct criticism not only against him as an

individual but against the Craft.

Then among our brothers we are "marked men." We mark our brothers

as men in whom we place implicit trust and confidence. We give

strength to each other through that trust and confidence. When

the world refers to Masons as "clannish," it must be recognized

as half-truth. Men who are associated together for the purpose of

moral and spiritual development must naturally seek to achieve

that divine purpose through fellowship and association.

Truly we are Marked Men.

 

 

 

 

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953

THE TWENTY-FOUR INCH GAGE

A distressed brother is not always a brother in need of material

assistance. To understand this is to understand the lesson of the

twenty-four inch gauge. The very simplicity of a statement will

often hide the meaning, and a great teaching will thereby escape

our serious consideration.

So important is the study of the twenty-four inch gage that from

it a philosophy complete within itself is possible of attainment.

Time cannot be saved, that is, you cannot save two hours from

today and spend them tomorrow. Time can only be spent. Neither

can we take four hours from one part of the gauge and use it

advantageously by bringing it forward to an entirely different

part and use. The happiness derived from the study of the

twenty-four inch gauge depends upon the application of the total

into its proper and equal parts. In taking away from God and our

brothers it may appear that we are very busy in our affairs, yet

the fact remains that we are working against the Rule. God and

man stand together as one part because unselfish service to man

is the only true path to the service of God.

If the twenty-four inch gauge intended to teach that we must only

administer to a brother's physical need, there would be an excess

of hours to spend. The truth is that our brothers need us, not

our material gifts, and we need our brothers. To give ourselves

means to give "that" many hours daily.

The Rule is for our happiness. Service to God and man is a Divine

Privilege.

 

one by Manley Hall

All true Masons know that their work is not secret. They also

realize that it must remain unknown to all who do not live the

true Masonic Life.  If the secrets of Masonry were shouted from

the housetops they would be absolutely safe.  Certain spiritual

qualities are necessary before Masonic secrets can be understood

by the Brothers themselves.  It is only those who have been

weighed in the balance and found true, upright, and square who

have prepared themselves by their own growth to appreciate the

inner meanings of their Craft.  To the rest of their Brethren

within or without the Lodge their sacred rituals must remain, as

Shakespeare might have said, "Words, words, words."  Within the

Mason's own being is concealed the Power, which, blazing forth

from his purified being, constitutes the Builder's Word.  His

life is the password which admits him to the true Masonic Lodge.

His spiritual urge is the sprig of acacia which through the

darkness of ignorance still proves that spiritual fire is alight.

Within himself he must build those qualities which will make

possible his true understanding of the Craft.  He can show the

world only forms which mean nothing; the life within is forever

concealed until the eye of Spirit reveals it.

Manly Hall

"Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own

reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company." -- George

Washington

"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924

HE FOUND OUT

"Old Tiler I can save you some trouble!" announced the New Brother.

The Old Tiler leaned his sword up against the wall and motioned the New

Brother to a seat. "I am never adverse to anyone saving me trouble!"

"A petition was read in lodge tonight," continued the New Brother. "Man by

the name of Ned Brinkley. I have known old Brinkley for years. I heard your

name on his committee. I can tell you anything you want to know."

"Nice of you!" repeated the Old Tiler. "Why does Mr. Brinkley want to be a

Mason?"

"Oh, I don't know... same reason we all do, I guess."

"You speak of him as 'Old Brinkley.' How old is he?"

"Must be all of 65, or maybe 68. Carpenter by trade, he is; worked for me

off and on for years. The wife never wants a shelf put up or a hinge mended

or a fence painted or the gutter spout fixed that we don't call on old

Brinkley. He's a fine old chap, very religious too. I rather wondered at

the Master putting you on his petition."

"Why?" asked the Old Tiler.

"I know your reputation as a committeeman!" smiled the New Brother. "You

dig to the bottom. They don't waste you on people everyone knows about.

Brinkley is a dead open-and-shut proposition. Everyone in town knows him, I

guess. I don't see why they put an old ferret like you on his trail. But I

can tell you anything you want to know about him."

"Except why he wants to be a Mason!" answered the Old Tiler, dryly.

"Well, that isn't important in this case. He is a very religious man, and I

suppose wants the religious part of lodge work."

"You suppose! Suppositions are not good enough for me. How does friend

Brinkley know there is anything religious about a lodge or Masonry? Why

does a very religious man find his church insufficient to supply his

religion? Why does he wait until he is 65 years old to want to be a Mason?

Those are questions I want answered. You know Brinkley as a workman, an

obliging tinkerer with shelves and gutter spouts. But apparently you know

nothing else about him except that he is religious. Suppose you tell me how

you know that much."

"How do I know he is religious? Why, he goes to church every Sunday and he

talks a great deal about it... I don't know!"

"I'll say you don't know! You don't really know anything about Brinkley, do

you? Your attitude is too sadly common for the good of Masonry. You are

familiar with Brinkley's name and his appearance and his looks; he has

worked for you as an odd job man for years. Because he never stole your

silver or beat your dog you think he is a good man. Because he talks

religion and goes to church you term him religious. He is a part... a small

part, but yet a part... of your life, and therefore he is all right for

your lodge! Oh, conceited man! As if you couldn't be fooled and taken in

and hornswoggled and deceived like anyone else!

"I happen to know considerable about Brinkley. I heard he was going to

petition this lodge and I made it my business to find out. Listen, and see

how much damage you might have done if I had been less well informed and

had taken your estimate of Brinkley for truth!

"Brinkley owes a lot of money. His credit is exhausted. There is nothing

bad about the man; he is a well-meaning but shiftless person, who has never

either the ambition or the ability to rise above sporadic day wages and

occasional jobs. He is weak, so he borrows right and left and runs accounts

which he seldom pays, not that he isn't honest, but that he is careless.

"A few years ago he got into difficulties, and seeing no other way out,

attempted to become a Catholic. But the good fathers of the church turned

him inside out in no time and found out that he had been, at various times,

a member of at least four other churches, all for the work he could get and

the charity he could receive from their organizations. He has been a member

of the Odd Fellows, the Pythians, the Red Men and a few others, in all of

which organizations he has been dropped for N.P.D.

"At 65 or more years of age he suddenly conceives a great regard for the

Masonic fraternity and wants to join our lodge. Why, I don't know, but I

strongly suspect! And my suspicions are well founded in evidence that Mr.

Brinkley wants to become a Mason for what he can get out of Masonry in a

material way that I shall register a loud, round, and emphatic negative on

my report, and I very much suspect that both other committeemen will do the

same thing!"

"Oh, well, of course!" answered the New Brother. "I didn't know!"

"Of course you didn't! And because you only guessed and hoped and believed

and had no real knowledge, you would have done this lodge a great injury if

all the committeemen had depended solely on your report!"

"But I know now... and I won't do it anymore!" pleaded the New Brother.

The Old Tiler grunted.

Fraternally,

Carl Johnson, 32'

Burlington Masonic Lodge #254

GL of Washington F&AM

A&ASR, Valley of Bellingham

Orient of Washington

"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for

others and the world remains and is immortal. -Albert Pike

 

The Masonic Mailing list of Washington.

http://www.telebyte.com/masons/masons.html

 

Subject: A/C keep cool tips

Date: Thursday, July 01, 1999 12:17 AM

this is only 6 of 18 tips

you can read all of this at:

http://www.myplumber.com/Tips

The information below will remind you to stay cool and keep your A/C

running at peak performance.

The following is information you should know and use to help assure

that your Air-conditioning is keeping you as cool as possible and

working and cooling as efficiently as possible, saving you money. The

following should help you decide if you need a professional to service

your  Air-conditioning unit.

(1) Air filter(s) MUST be clean. They should be located near the

return air duct adjacent to the air handler or in a return air

grill(s). Check your air filter every 30 to 90 days to make sure it is

clean. Depending of the house, i.e. if you have animals you may need

to clean the air filter more often. (Go clean them now!)

(2) Flip the switch on the thermostat for the fan setting to FAN ON,

not AUTO. This will run the indoor fan nonstop. The outside A/C unit

will still cycle with a call for cooling from the thermostat. The

constant air  moving will keep you cooler. You can probably keep the

thermostat a degree or two higher then normal and still feel

comfortable. You will also maintain a more even temperature between

upstairs and downstairs. This will SAVE you MONEY because the outdoor

condenser will not come on as much!

(3) Make sure that you wash the outside condenser coil once a year.

If  it's dirty, the A/C will run hot and inefficient. A sign of the

coil being dirty is the small exposed copper (pipe) (tubing) line,

usually 3/8" O/D connecting the inside unit with the outside unit will

be HOT to the touch.

(4) If the small exposed 3/8" copper pipe connecting the inside unit

with the outside unit is hot to the touch there can be several reasons

why;  (a) A/C is low on refrigerant. (b) The outdoor condenser coil is

dirty. Those are the two most common reasons for it to be hot to the

touch.

(5) "Warm Rooms" on the lower levels of the house where it is cooler

cut back or cut off some vent registers (Diffuser) and make sure that

all the ones on the upper floors where it is warmer are open all the

way! Also, see paragraphs #2 & #9.

(6) "Doors" if you close the door to a room make sure that there is

about a 3/4" gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. You may

have had carpet put down on the floor and now there is no gap. This is

necessary if you have a central return air duct in the hallway. The

return air ducts need to pull the warm air from the room.

you can read all of this at:

http://www.myplumber.com/Tips

this is only 6 pf 18 tips

Time for another goodie.   Think about these lines.

 

 

 

 

Worshipful Master, Wardens and Brethren (this is how I was taught to address

"The Group"),

Please help me with the following question:

Why does a young man want to join FreeMasonry?  Over

the past few years I have heard responses like:

** "for the curiosity of secret words and stupid handshakes"

** "because my GrandFather was a mason"

(Note; I have heard GrandFather much more than Father, it seems that we lost

the "Vietnam Era" generation of Masons, care to comment on this one?)

** "I thought it was something different"

** "I heard that it would help me in business"

** and the list goes on...

During the last 5 years, what have you found to be the rule rather than the

exception for active members???  And which response given by the peitioners has

proven to be those of the "active and continuing" newcommers?

Sincerely and Fraternally,

Grady Lee Honeycutt

Editor Hiram Worldwide Newsletter, USA

 

Dan, Grady,

       OK now let me think this through.

Who are the last ten that joined and why??

1.    This brother came to town 14 years ago, joined nothing  but

visited all 27 lodges in the area at least twice, came back to his

final lodge five times and joined.  He said it was because that is

where the action was. The others had nothing special to offer and did

nothing more than assemble to have a secretary read minutes, listen to

an itinerant preacher try to give five minutes of masonic education

and call that a reason to have a meeting.

?????    LESSON    Those that can make intelligent choices make better

masons.  There are many lodges out there for brethren that just care

to wear a pin and know how to shake hands. There are few lodges for

those that want to practice masonry.

2.    This brother, a lawyer,  just received his 60 year pin (by

mail); had not been to his mother lodge in 15 years because he felt

they were just a pack of bigots (with a capital "R").  He became half

blind, couldn't drive at night; a PGM (God bless his soul) who knew

the brother asked one to pick up the brother and take him around to a

new lodge.  The escort took him to several and soon they both found a

proper lodge that practiced masonry and they both joined.

?????  Lesson:  give a member a choice and he will gravitate to the

better lodge.

3.    This brother, born in Europe and exposed to "traditional"

masonry came to town and joined local masonry 20 years ago, became

inactive in two years, and after a layover for 18 a friend invited him

to a lodge that promised to be of the old type.  He came twice,

received a Royal welcome was put to work doing something he enjoyed

and joined.

?????    LESSON    As one great author once wrote there are fields of

diamonds all over the place. One just has to be looking for diamonds.

3.    This brother, born in Eastern Europe where masonry had been

outlawed, was a salesman and called on one that had some Scottish Rite

magazines on the living room coffee table.  While visiting he asked

about the magazine and Scottish Rite and was told such a "wonderful"

story that he said that's the kind of an organization he would some

day like to join.  However the sponsor for the prospect living 45

miles from the inner city lodge truly believed the candidate deserved

a place in the Grand Master's one day class and so proposed the

candidate accordingly.  The WM and lodge ruled the sponsor did not

have the right to make a decision of that kind and the WM interviewed

the candidate who was so highly recommended. The candidate was asked a

number of questions as to why he sought membership in our ancient

fraternity. All the answers being honorable the WM then proceeded to

how one becomes a member. The question was asked by the WM to the

candidate whether he preferred to petition one of the five lodges

within 10 miles of where he lived; or continue his petition with the

lodge 45 miles away and take the old one or two year route where there

was catechism to learn and two presentations and papers to give in a

Lodge of Instruction; or thirdly,  to ask to take the one day class

designed to accommodate those special cases where it would be

difficult to take the one year plus route.  The candidate said he had

to be in town near the lodge two days a week and was free to choose

which two days they were therefore the distance was no problem and he

needed no special treatment or accommodation.  The brother has

performed wonderfully and is today a most active member having never

missed a lodge meeting in his two years of membership.  I truly doubt

he would have become as active had he been shuffled through the

degrees just so he could become a SR mason.

?????    LESSON    The one day class is not needed for everybody. Thank

goodness it was optional here.

4.    Eight years ago a European joined a lodge and on his first meeting

following his third degree he heard a PGM call a lodge officer (this

brother's sponsor) a nigger lover.  The new brother was surprised asked

about such behavior and was told there is one in every crowd. The new

brother never came back to that lodge.  Five years later the disillusioned

brother was invited to visit another lodge being reformed.  He came, liked

what he saw and in an interview where he was asked what he might contribute

to the lodge replied that he thought a lodge should be a place of

"enlightenment" where one is stimulated to somehow improve himself in life

as well as in masonry.  He was asked how that might be done. He had no real

answer but did suggest that the lodge newspaper, trestleboard, summons or

whatever it is called should be an exceptional publication giving a proper

picture of freemasonry.. The brother was asked if he might take on that job

in the newly reformed lodge. He agreed and in one year turned the lodge

newsletter around to be something it had never been before.

????? LESSON:    Proper recruiting found a most useful member.  There

are thousands of disillusioned masons out there just waiting to be

reannointed.

5.    Now that the brother mentioned just above was becoming active he

proposed for membership a candidate who was a musician.  The sponsor

suggested the candidate could come on board and be the lodge musician

providing a "masonic concert" at each meeting just as they did in Ben

Franklin's old lodge in Paris. No one in lodge understood the concept

so the candidate for his EA presentation spoke of Mozart's Magic Flute

and how it overflowed with masonic symbolism.  He gave a paper; had a

large screen TV in lodge where he showed clips from the Magic Flute to

illustrate his point and even ran to the piano to illustrate many of

the 3-5-7 chord sequences that the audience could not recognize on the

VCR clips. Today that lodge has an enthused member that would not be

present if his sponsor had remained estranged from masonry.

?????    LESSON:    While recruiting is a form of solicitation with a

proper design it can help in the building process.

6.    A recently retired Naval officer had been a DeMolay and had a

father and grandfather who were members. He never bothered.  His boss

at work invited him to an open house at he boss' lodge twenty five

miles away. He came and met several brethren he knew.  He found some

who he took an immediate liking to. <excuse the dangling participle> <

gr>.  He joined and is active.  There are twenty lodges located nearer

to where he lives.

????? LESSON:    He came, he saw, he joined.  Is there a better way??

7.    This brother whose father is a mason in Panama joined because a

business associate told him he should join to please his father. His

father came up from Panama for his raising and he has not been seen

again the three years since,  yet he still lives and works just around

the corner.

????? LESSON:    Solicitation doesn't always work.

8.    This brother when he turned fifty was asked by a good friend;

"Why did you never join Masonry?? Your father and grandfather were

masons!!   You re honest, friendly and do everything masons are

suppose to do!!  Why have you never become a Mason???"   The now PM

who had been a Sigma Chi in college replied: "No One Ever Asked Me!!"

The brother joined a nice sweet little lodge. In three years he became

the Master and now is inactive in blue lodge activities preferring his

new "red lodge" where he is GHP.

????? LESSON...  Life is a series of choices.  We gravitate to that

which gives the best return..

9.     This brother from a Mediterranean country had always wanted to

be a mason. His uncles were good and prominent masons yet his mother

tended to believe in those teachings of the Church against Masonry. He

joined a lodge undergoing a transformation. The night he was so

proudly to be installed as the JS was to be an open installation. He

invited his mother who spoke little English and she was seated in the

behind row in the southwest behind two wearing most beautiful collars.

During the evening those two with the collars were treated with great

deference. However those two spent much of the evening mumbling among

themselves and making the most disparaging remarks about the ethnicity

of the group. Though the JS's mothers spoke little English she

understood well what was being mumbled in front of her. In the end she

let her son know that lodge was no place for him yet he stayed and

many years later was its Master.  She has since died allowing her son

to know she disapproved of Masonry.  He is a different person. His

cousin who was a senior officer of the lodge the night his mother

attended has since become a DDGM and promises to be a recognized

masonic author. The younger mason is now a PM of two lodges and very

well respected for his tact, diplomacy and masonic bearing.  Yet he is

a changed person.  He knows there is evil within as well as without

the tyler's door and he acts accordingly.

?????    LESSON    Masonic challenges are great!!

10.    Three brothers heard a lodge had been reformed and the new rule

of the lodge would be that no non member could be invited to give a

lecture or program on any educational subject.  They were curious.

They each came twice and enjoyed the programs so well they joined.

They are now very active and participating members of the lodge.

?????    LESSON    Life is a series of choices.  We gravitate to that

which gives the best return..

Hey Dan, Grady,  that was a tough assignment.

Frat,

Kenneth Gibala, MPS

Secretary

International Friendship Chapter

Philalethes Society

 

 

Dear Bro. Ken:

I'd like to add my story to your list.  I do not have the exalted

titles of many participants of this list.  The only title I currently

possess that's "grand" is District Deputy Grand Master of the 29th

Masonic District in Florida.  I've only been a Mason since 1981, so I

don't have the years in that many of you have.  I was Master of my

lodge in 1985, being installed at the age of 29.  Here's my story of

how I found Masonry:

Back around 1974 or 1975, I was a very active stamp collector,

specializing in US First Day Covers.  In my collecting, I discovered

FDC's of a Masonic theme and became curious about the fraternity.

There are many US Stamps that depict Masons and a number of FDC

producers printed up envelopes with the Masonic theme bearing the

square & compasses.  (I have many in my collection.)  Well, at the

ASDA National Postage Stamp Show in New York City, I discovered the

Masonic Stamp Club of New York.  I approached them for more

information.  What they did was just laugh at me and tell me that I

was way too young to be asking questions about the fraternity.  That

turned me off so quickly it would make your head spin.  It wasn't

until my senior year in college (1979) that I ran into two brothers,

who were faculty advisors to the fraternity chapter of Alpha Phi Omega

I founded on campus, that my interest was rekindled.  They very

patiently explained to me what the fraternity was all about and

answered all my questions satisfactorily. When I returned home to

Florida, I sought out the local lodge, and the rest is history.

The lesson to be learned????  Take every inquiry about Freemasonry

seriously -- even if it is from someone who is a teenager!!!  If you

don't, you may be losing a valuable future member.

I hope you don't mind my "butting into" this thread.  I read the posts

every day but don't really participate as much as I would like.

Fraternally,

Jim Hogg

Ft. Myers, Fla.

"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924

GOLD AND IRON

"Old Tiler, why are not more Masons, Masons?" asked the New

Brother in the anteroom.

"For the same reasons that not more friends are friends, or hot

dogs, sausages, I guess," answered the Old Tiler. "You tell me

the answer."

"It seems mighty queer to me that we can't make more lodge

members feel the inner spirit of Freemasonry," answered the New

Brother. "I can't understand it."

"That shows you haven't a very observing pair of eyes or a great

understanding of human nature," smiled the Old Tiler. "If this

were a perfect world made up of perfect men there would be no

need of Freemasonry!"

"Maybe not. But if you can see what I can't, and understand what

is hidden from me, tell me, won't you?"

"I'll try," answered the Old Tiler. "A great many years ago there

was a great leader of men on earth; I don't know whether it was

Guatama Buddha, or Mohammed, or Brahma. No matter what his name

was, this great leader and teacher of men wandered in a sparely

settled part of the back country near the sea, hungry and tired

and footsore. He had asked several of the country people for aid

and shelter but while they were not unkind they also were poor

and offered him nothing, thinking him one of themselves.

"At last, however, he found a poor peasant who took him in. The

peasant gave him some dry clothes, for his were wet from storm,

and shared his crust of bread and his humble cottage. In the

morning he gave the wanderer breakfast and a staff to help him on

his way.

"'What can I do to repay you?' asked the great leader of his host.

"'I need no payment. I, too, have been a wanderer and you have

both my sympathy and my aid for love only,' answered the peasant.

"'Then the great leader told him who he was. 'And because I have

power, I will reward you in any way you wish,' he said. 'Choose

what you will have.'

"'If it is indeed so, oh, my Lord,' answered the peasant, 'give

me gold; gold, that I may buy clothes and food and women and

wine; gold, that I may have power and place and prominence and

happiness.'

"'Gold I can give you, but it would be a poor gift,' answered the

great leader. 'Who has gold without earning it eats of the tree

of misery. And because you have been kind to me I will not give

you such a curse. Gold you shall have, but a task you shall do to

earn it. You wear an iron bracelet. On the shore of the sea,

among many, is a pebble which if you touch it to iron will turn

it to gold. Find it, and all iron will be your gold.'

"Hardly stopping to thank his benefactor, the peasant ran to the

seashore to pick up pebbles and touch them to his bracelet to see

if it would turn to gold. All morning he ran, picking up pebbles,

touching the iron, and then, so that he wouldn't pick up the

wrong pebble twice, he tossed the useless pebbles, which were not

the magic stone, into the sea.

"After a while the task became monotonous; pick up pebble, touch

it to iron, throw it out in the sea- over and over again. So he

amused himself with visions of what he would do when he should

have won the great wealth. He planned his harem and his wine

cellar, pictured the great banquets he would give, thought of the

slaves he would purchase and how he would be recognized by all as

a rich and powerful noble. Meanwhile, of course, he was busy

picking up pebbles, touching them to his bracelet and throwing

them into the sea.

"The day wore on. The visions became more and more entrancing,

the task more and more mechanical. And at last, just as the sun

was going down, the peasant looked at his bracelet- and behold!

It was ruddy yellow gold! Some one of the thousands of pebbles he

had touched to the iron was the lucky one, the magic one, and

because he had been thinking of something else, doing his task

mechanically, he cast it into the sea."

The Old Tiler stopped, thoughtfully puffing at his cigar.

"That's a very nice fable," observed the New Brother.

"Much," answered the Old Tiler. "In Masonry we are too much like

the peasant. We take the pebbles of the beach, the many who apply

to us, touch them to the iron of our Freemasonry and cast them

out into the sea of life. Or we take the touchstone which is

Freemasonry and touch it to the iron which is a man, and let him

throw it away. Work the simile how you will, what we do is to

neglect the newly made Mason; we give him only perfunctory

attention. We do our work mechanically. We are letter perfect in

our degrees, and too often without the spirit of them. We have

ritualists who can dot every I and cross every T, who have every

word in place and no wrong words, but who have no knowledge of

what they say. I once knew a Grand Master who didn't know what a

hecatomb was, and plenty of Masons cannot tell you if the two

pillars on the porch were supports for a loafing place or whether

they have a spiritual meaning not at all concerned with the

porches.

"The reason more Masons do not deserve the title is not

altogether their fault. It's our fault! We don't know enough

ourselves to teach them; we don't care enough about it to teach

them. A good balance in the bank, a growing membership, a free

feed, 'nice' degrees- and we call ourselves a successful lodge.

But we make only ten men real Masons for every hundred to whom we

give the degrees, and the fault is ours, not theirs; my fault,

your fault, our fault because we don't study, don't learn, don't

care to learn the real secrets of Freemasonry and so cannot teach

them."

"There is one who teaches in this lodge," answered the New

Brother, slowly, "and one who tries to learn."

"Yes?" answered the Old Tiler. "Who are they?"

"You, who teach, and I, who try to learn," answered the New

Brother.

"Humph," grunted the Old Tiler, but his eyes smiled, well

pleased.

 

Fraternally,

Carl Johnson, 32'

Burlington Masonic Lodge #254

Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons

Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Bellingham

Orient of Washington

"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for

others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert Pike

 Southern California Research Lodge F&AM

 

                   JAKE

             Ralph A. Herbold

This is the result of a thought that came while shaving this morning:

Could try but just could not put Jake's name in large enough type to

express my real feelings about this outstanding brother. When the

Hiram Award came on the scene he was the first recipient in my lodge,

an almost unanimous decision. The reason for the almost was that the

other in consideration was a partner with Jake in many of his

endeavors and both wanted the other to be the first. Jake would not

stand for this article but as he no longer is with us he has no vote.

Jake was Hungarian in background and with the accompanying accent he

was aware of he literally had to be coaxed to go in the line in our

lodge. He was a wonderful Master in my mind and one instance typified

his actions. For years our lodge had made presentations to the local

schools, pictures of George Washington, podium for student government,

etc. It just happened that the Inspector (DDGM for out of jurisdiction

members) was present when Jake was Master and we voted funds for the

project. He later called Jake, telling him that it was not a legal

expenditure. Jake talked with several of us and finally came to the

decision that he would talk with the Inspector, telling him that even

if he pressed charges he was still going to do it because he believed

he was doing the right thing. And he did - and nothing happened.

Just prior to this Jake's son was in high school and having some

trouble with his grades as his goal was to be an electrician but he

did not believe all the book learning was necessary for that trade.

Jake contacted his counselor, told him of the situation, and asked

that he talk to his son on the basis of the necessity of a balanced

education for whatever he was going to do. It worked, grades improved

and Jake's opinion of our public school system grew, no doubt a reason

for his decision on the school project.

After graduating his son went through the apprentice program, became

an electrician and worked for one of the larger national contractors,

finally becoming one of their top superintendents, running projects in

Illinois and Louisiana, as I remember, Again, no wonder Jake was proud

of his son and a supporter of our public school system

While his son was in high school Jake became involved with DeMolay. He

was building a boat at the time and soon had the boys working with him

on the project. One, Bob, who later became DeMolay State Master

Councilor, once remarked that if it had not been for Jake he would

have become a childhood delinquent. Bob later went to George

Washington University, became an outstanding, scholar and fellow, and

earned his Doctor of Education.

When Jake passed away I called Bob and after the details were

discussed asked what he was doing. He said he was a teacher and

involved with a future teacher's club. I told him I thought he would

be in some phase of administration by this time. "Oh, no," he replied,

"the important place for me is working with students, that is where

the most can be accomplished."

And the story is not as yet complete. Jake had a machine shop, his

business, in an adjoining town and after serving as Master, and this

experience no doubt the reason, became active in the Lion's Club and

the Chamber of Commerce. This also involved him in the local Boy's

Club.

When about to be installed as Wise Master in the Scottish Rite Jake

came to me with the request that he be dropped from the line of

officers in the Chapter of Rose Croix. When asked as to his reason he

said that the Boy's Club was going through troublesome times and he

and some of his friends, as a group, were taking over and working to

make it a viable organization once more. This group was meeting at the

same time as the Scottish Rite which meant that he would be missing

some meetings. Pleading with him not to drop out was only countered

with that if he could not give 100% he would not go on.

This situation became a feature in one of my classroom lectures. What

was added to this tale was that at future times someone might say, and

in a critical or correcting way that we in Freemasonry sometimes tend

to do, about Jake's lack of attendance. My reply would be that Jake

was doing far more important work than merely attending for he was

doing Masonic work in the finest sense. Or to put it blunt, it was far

more important for him to be working with the Boy's Club than it was

for him to attend a meeting.

We sometimes lose the importance of all of this. For quite a few years

compliments have come my way and it is always nice to be appreciated

but I have always been aware of the situation fate has placed me in.

And I like to call it to the attention of those who compliment me. My

work has my name attached to it. And I will say it again. My work has

my name attached to it. And how about the I 00s the 1,000s of Jakes

that do yeoman service without their names attached and as a result

are unnoticed. Oh yes, we have the Hiram Award to cover this but it

does not do justice or tell the stony of these workers in the

vineyards in a manner deserved. I actually saw one Hiram Award given

at a Stated Meeting by a Master who called, not escorted, the

recipient to the East, presented the award without comment and allowed

him to return to his seat. One of my most enjoyable moments was being

Master of Ceremonies for Jake's Hiram Award, a success because we

involved die DeMolay, Lion's Club and the Chamber of Commerce. A few

years later the Master asked me to be Master of Ceremonies at another

Hiram Award. Asking what the recipient had done lie hesitated and then

as he could not give a satisfactory  answer I declined.

Now, just what did Jake do? He most decidedly influenced the

wonderful, wonderful success of two young lads. You might say they

would have had this success without the help of Jake. Sure, they might

have but again they might not have but who wants to gamble in this

situation.

Jake did not have to canvas butchers for bones, put them in pots to

boil for stock for gravy on a Wednesday for a Saturday venison dinner

at the lodge, taking a one day job into a four day task to insure its

success. But he did! Jake did not have to bring his welding outfit to

the lodge to repair the tables and chairs. But he did!

And Jake did all of this without his name on it.

Oh, yes, one small reminder of what we do. And this is very important

to many. If Jake missed a word when giving the Third Degree Lecture he

would be told about it, no doubt in a well meaning manner, in the

spirit of gently admonishing him of his errors and in a most friendly

manner endeavoring to bring about a reformation. But would this have

been necessary?

JOHN THE BAPTIST

There is no doubt that John the Baptist is a historical figure.

Aside from Scriptural references, he is also mentioned in

Josephus' by the very name of Baptist. Luke's Gospel tells the

full story of his birth to Zechariah, a priest of the division

of Abijah, and Elizabeth his wife, both of whom were advanced in

years. An angel appeared to him as he was standing near the

Altar of Incense and announced that his wife, though elderly,

would bear him a son; that the son was to be named John; that he

would be filled with the Holy Spirit, would turn many to God,

and "make ready for the Lord a people prepared."

In 26 or 27 AD, the Spirit descended on John and he began his

ministry in the wilderness near the Jordan River, preaching a

baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sin.When people

sought to know whether he was the Messiah, you will certainly

remember his reply:

". . .I baptize you with water; but he who is mightier than I is

coming, the thong of whose sandals I am not unworthy to untie;

he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His

winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his thrashing floor, and

to gather the wheat into his granary, but the chaff he will burn

with unquenchable fire."

John preached not only to the common people and petty officials,

telling all to share with those who had neither coat nor food,

to collect no taxes that were not due, but also to soldiers that

they must not rob by violence or make false accusations.

He dared to assault the rulers for their sins. Thus, he reproved

Herod the Tetrarch for taking his brother's wife, Herodias, to

his own bed. [The brother was still living.] For this, he was

cast into prison, and there, urged by Herod to withdraw his

accusations, remained adamant in his faith. We are told in the

Scriptures that Herodias demanded his execution, and through

trickery obtained Herod's order for his decapitation and

presentation of the head to her.

John was certainly an ascetic, clothing himself in camel's hair,

and sustaining himself on locusts and honey, in the manner of

Elijah, the earlier great prophet. Many believe he may have been

an Essene, a member of a very religious Jewish group, who

venerated Moses, kept the Sabbath strictly and lived very

simply. But there is no doubt that, when questioned by his

followers, he denied himself the opportunity to pretend to be

greater than he was and, so steadfast was he in his faith, that

he chose death rather than to depart from his principles. With

this history, both from sacred and secular sources, it is not

surprising John was chosen by the early Church as a saint, that

is, one canonized for his spirituality and dedication to his

faith. As such, he is modernly regarded as one of only

fifty-eight individuals so recognized who are believed to be of

worldwide importance.

Following the Church's adoption of the practice of canonization,

it soon became the custom for civic bodies, private

organizations, classes and individuals to choose a particular

saint to act as an intercessor and advocate in heaven. These

became known as "patron saints", to whom institutions were

dedicated and prayer was directed that special influence might

cause Divinity to favor a particular matter.

Thus, we early find John the Baptist chosen as patron saint of

the city of Cologne. Its charter remarks:

"We celebrate annually, the memory of St. John [the Baptist],

the forerunner of Christ and the Patron of our community."

The choice also came early to Freemasonry, undoubtedly in its

operative days. But the Baptist was not our first patron. An

early catechism sets forth the order of his forerunners:

" Our Lodges being finished, furnished, and decorated with

Ornaments, furniture and jewels, to whom are they consecrated?

"A. To God

"Thank you, Brother; and can you tell me to whom they were first

dedicated?

"A. To Noah, who was saved in the Ark.

" And by what name were the Masons then known?

"A. They were called Noachidae, Sages, or Wise Men.

"To whom were Lodges dedicated during the Mosaic Dispensation?

"A. To Moses, the chosen of God, and to Solomon, the son of

David, King of Israel, who was an eminent patron of the Craft.

" And under what name were the Masons known during that period?

"A. Under the name of Dionysiacs, geometricians, or Masters in

Israel.

"But as Solomon was a Jew and died long before the promulgation

of Christianity, to whom were they dedicated under the Christian

dispensation?

"A. From Solomon the patronage of Masonry passed to St. John the

Baptist.

"And under what name were they known after the promulgation of

Christianity?

"A. Under the name of Essenes, Architects, or Freemasons.

"Why were the Lodges dedicated to St. John the Baptist?

"A. Because he was the forerunner of our Savior, and by

preaching repentance and humiliation, drew the first parallel of

the Gospel."

Likewise, Dalcho declares in the Ahiman Rezon:

"The stern integrity of St. John the Baptist, which induced him

to forego every minor consideration in discharging the

obligations he owed to God; the unshaking firmness with which he

met martyrdom rather than betray his duty to his Master; his

steady reproval of vice; and continued preaching of repentance

and virtue, make him a fit patron of the Masonic Institution."

The choice of the Baptist was in line with the Christian

religion which was the Craft's greatest patron in the operative

stage and continued as such in its speculative development.

Thus, in Great Britain, the Baptist replaced Moses and

Solomon,to whom reference has been made as early patrons of the

Craft in the non-Christian regions in which the Craft

legendarily arose. And it may well have been that this choice of

the Baptist also arose from the fact that he was the patron

saint of the Knight Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem. It

should be noted that this likewise may have led to the Virginia

catechism's answer to the question, "Whence came ye an Entered

Apprentice?", i.e., "From a Lodge of the Holy Saint John of

Jerusalem,"( which we now alter to "From a Lodge of the Holy

Saints John at Jerusalem.").

At some point after the 16th Century, St. John the Evangelist

was added as an additional Patron saint of the Craft. This is

said to have been because of the constant admonition in his

Epistles of the cultivation of brotherly love and the mysticism

of the Apocalyptic writings which many at the time attributed to

him. Of the addition of these Christian patrons to the Craft,

our Ritual tells us in part:

"And since their time there is said to be in every regular and

well governed Lodge a certain point within a circle embordered

by two perfect parallel lines, representing St. John the Baptist

and St. John the Evangelist and on the top rests the Book of

Constitutions. In going round this circle, we necessarily touch

on these two parallel lines and the Book of of Constitutions,

and while a Mason keeps himself circumscribed within their

precepts, it is impossible for him to materially err."

The older catechism quoted above continues its explanation of

the patron saints as follows: "Had St. John the Baptist any

equal?

"A. He had; St. John the Evangelist.

"Why is he said to be equal to the Baptist?

"A. Because he finished by his learning what the other began by

his zeal, and thus drew a second line parallel to the former;

ever since which time Freemason's Lodges in all Christian

countries, have been dedicated to one, or the other, or both, of

these worthy and worshipful men."

We see a clear explanation of our own catechismal explanation of

the Ritual-----two lines which we as Masons never cross, but

which we necessarily touch upon during our circular journey

through life--from earth to earth--and by whose dictates we must

be governed in all our actions.

Another explanation is given in an old Prestonian lecture quoted

by Mackey which indicates lodges were dedicated to the Baptist

from the time of Titus' destruction of the Temple. The Craft

thereafter falling very much into decay, it was believed the

principal reason for its decline was lack of a Grand Master.

At a meeting held in Jerusalem, therefore, a committee of seven

were deputed to wait upon the Evangelist, then Bishop of

Ephesus, requesting him to assume the office. He accepted, and

the lecture goes on to declare:

". . .He thereby completed by his learning what The other St.

John effected by his zeal, and thus Drew what Freemasons term a

line parallel; Ever since which time Freemasons' Lodges in All

Christian countries, have been dedicated Both to St. John the

Baptist and St. John the Evangelist." Strangely enough, on the

reunion of the Ancient and Modern Grand Lodges in 1813, the

United Grand Lodge of England dropped dedication of its Lodges

to the two Saints John and returned to the earlier practice of

dedicating them to Moses and King Solomon. It has been suggested

this was occasioned by the fact earlier Lodges limited their

membership to applicants of the Christian faith, while , by the

late Eighteenth century, toleration had come to the fore and

only a belief in one God was required. Thus, the Christian

patrons were abandoned in deference to the variations in

religion found in all Lodges. The matter has been studied in

this jurisdiction on the basis of our teachings of toleration

and universality. The Baptist nevertheless, as our patron saint,

has much to teach us, as does his counterpart, the Evangelist.

As John did not allow ambition to cloud his duty to his God nor

permit his undoubted popularity carry him outside the bounds of

his mission, so also did he remain entirely faithful to God and

his duty to denounce sin and wrongdoing wherever it might be

found, even at the cost of losing his life. And the Evangelist

likewise never failed in his duty to his Master to teach His

dispensation to all who would listen. Never was there such

devotion to the pursuit of Truth!

Let us ponder the example of these stern Apostles of duty,

responsibility and knowledge as they bear upon our personal

attitude toward God, our Lodges, and our fellow Mason. Have we

the spiritual strength today to forego ambition and to learn

humility? To recognize that it is our duty as Craftsmen to serve

one another, to be brethren in fact, as well as on paper?

Our forefathers knew what this meant, as they set in Lodge

together, though fighting each other in a dreadful civil war. In

every generation, they did not hesitate to give primacy to their

Masonic obligations, in granting relief to their enemies, even

on the battlefield! They knew the meaning of Masonry! These are

the sort of actions that the Saints' John equally demand of

us--faithfulness to our obligations so freely taken in Lodge.

Will we today emulate the standards of our patron saints?

Regardless of our personal religious beliefs, each of us should

ponder the conduct of these great figures of the past and

measure his own behavior as a Freemason accordingly.

The first parallel line is indeed a measure of our commitment to

the Craft, as is the second a challenge to finish with learning

the step we took in earning the Square and Compass.

"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924

JUDGE NOT!

"Well, they'll have to show me!" cried the New Brother to the Old

Tiler, on guard in the anteroom with sword in hand.

"Who will have to show you what?" inquired the guardian of the

door.

"The committee appointed to investigate a couple of petitions for

reinstatement on the rolls of the lodge!" answered the New

Brother. "Old Godfrey was dropped for nonpayment of dues

thirty-six years ago. He has never petitioned this or any other

lodge for membership since. Now he wants to reinstate himself. A

brother Jerkins I never heard of, who was raised forty years ago

and took a demit thirty-one years ago, wants to come back- he's

never affiliated in all that time."

"I've heard of those cases," mused the Old Tiler. "I helped raise

them both."

"You can't tell me they haven't put their eyes on our Masonic

Home! Having reached an age which shows them some practical use

for the fraternity, they now propose to pay a year's dues, and

then get into the Home to be taken care of for the rest of their

lives! But not if I can stop it!

"Softly, softly, my brother!" warned the Old Tiler. "It is

against the laws of the Grand Lodge to disclose to any one how

you have voted or intend to vote on any application for

membership."

"Well, and I won't then!" cried the New Brother. "But they won't

get in!"

"Are you not previous in judgement?" inquired the Old Tiler,

gently. "Seems to me you'd better wait and hear what the

committees have to say on the matter."

"What could the committees say? I won't let any softhearted

committee pull anything on me. I love the lodge too much!"

"Don't love her so much you forget that the 'greatest of these is

charity!'" warned the Old Tiler. "Nor that these whose motives

you judge are yet your brethren, sworn to the same obligations."

"I happen to know something about these cases. Brother Godfrey

was a spoiled child. As a young man he had so much money that he

didn't know what to do with it. It was just carelessness that he

allowed himself to be dropped N.P.D. He didn't care for Masonry.

He was all for travel, a good time, balls and parties and races

and such. About ten years ago his wife died- he had a good wife

and he was very fond of her. It changed him. He felt differently

about many things. He commenced to do something for some one

beside himself. He still has more money than he can spend. There

is no possibility of his becoming a charge on the lodge. And I

happen to know why he wants to come back."

"Why is it?"

"He's ashamed of himself!" answered the Old Tiler. "He's offered

to pay back all the back dues, with interest. I told him we

couldn't accept that; that he couldn't buy his way back into the

lodge. But he is no worse off than another in like case. If he

tells the committee what he told me, that he is old enough to

know better and to value brotherhood; that he wants again to be a

part of our gentle Craft and to make up for what he has lost all

these years, they will doubtless report favorably. This lodge

will not override its committee unless someone has something

personal against him."

"Oh, well, that's different, of course!" The New Brother looked a

little ashamed. "How about Brother Jenkins?"

"Well, he's different, too!" smiled the Old Tiler. "Brother

Jenkins was a young man full of promise, fire and energy. He had

a good position, a good income, a fine wife and four little

children. Then he fell and hurt his head; he was two years under

the doctor's care. They had no money; she went to work. Of course

the lodge helped. He got his wits back and went to work, but he

couldn't do any but physical labor. Something was gone from his

mind. He was not crazy, but he couldn't think hard or long. So he

became a carpenter. He paid back to the lodge every penny it had

spent on him. Then he took his demit. He couldn't afford the dues

and he wouldn't let us carry him. Somehow he brought up his

children; they are all happily married now. The wife is dead,

worn out. He is alone, with an income quite sufficient for his

simple needs, and four stalwart children to care for him if it

isn't enough. Now that he can afford it, he wants to come back

into the lodge he loved and left."

"Oh, you make me so ashamed! I'm a first-class moron and no Mason

at all, to judge before I knew!" The New Brother looked at the

Old Tiler remorsefully.

"It never pays," grinned the Old Tiler. "I don't believe any one

will want to drop a black cube for Brother Jenkins, do you?"

"Not I!" cried the New Brother.

"Didn't I tell you now to tell how you would vote?" chided the

Old Tiler. But his eyes smiled.

"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924

KEEPERS OF THE DOOR

"Darn the luck! I am assigned on a petition again and I am going

fishing tomorrow!"

The New Brother looked dolefully at his notification slip.

"Why not see the applicant the next day?" asked the Old Tiler.

"Because he is going out of town. I got to see him tomorrow or

else. And I want to go fishing. This committee stuff makes me

tired, anyway. Say, if I get the Master to change my name to yours,

will you do it for me?"

"Why, of course," answered the Old Tiler. "I am always proud to be

one of the Keepers of the Door."

"Now that," said the New Brother, "sounds both interesting and

dangerous. It's interesting, because I don't understand it, and

experience has taught me that when I come at you below the belt, as

it were, I usually get kicked pronto and unexpectedly. Please

explain the door which you like to keep, where the honor is, what

me and my committee work have to do with it, and remember that I am

a poor orphan child alone in the wild anteroom with a raging Old

Tiler, and not to be too hard on me?"

The Old Tiler did not smile. "I would laugh," he confessed, "only

it's Masonry you are jesting about and it's not a jest. Yes, I will

tell you about the door. I wish I could speak the word in capital

letter.

"Masonry is a structure of brotherly love, relief and truth,

cemented with affection, erected on a square to God, and towering

miles high above puny humanity, its foibles and its failings.

Masonry is a structure of which we, its humble builders, are proud,

because we know that we have built better than we knew. We have so

built, partly because we have had help from so many men of so many

past ages, and partly because we have had help we could neither see

nor understand.

"Some look at our temple of Masonry and wonder. Some look, shrug

shoulders and pass by. Some look at our temple of Masonry and see

it not; others gaze on it and seek to enter.

"In this country there are nearly 16,000 doors to our temple of

Masonry, through one of which a man must pass who would see it from

the inside. There are so many doors in order that any man who

desires, and who is fit, may find the door which is easy for him to

enter. It is not true that it is 'hard to be as Mason."

"We only ask that an applicant be free-born, of age, a man, and of

good character. He may be high or low, rich or poor, great or

obscure, famous or unknown. If he is a good man we want him to see

our temple from the inside as soon as he expresses a desire to do

so.

"So we have 16,000 lodges -doors- to our temple of Masonry, that no

man can say he came not in because he could not find a way.

"Certain things a man must do, inside our temple, and in a certain

way he must live. If he lives the life, the temple is stronger. If

he does not live the life, the temple is weakened.

"Hence, Keepers of the Door. Like any other symbol in Masonry, they

are three; three brethren to keep each door safe, sacred and

undefiled from the footsteps of evil men, self-seekers, the wicked,

the blasphemous, the immoral. Those three who keep each door are

not assigned to it for any length of time.

"Not theirs a service which may become onerous from time-taking and

effort. The Master appoints three Keepers of the Door for every man

who tries to enter. Today there is you and John and Jim. Tomorrow

it will be George and Jack and Will. The next day another three

will keep the door, if any man raps upon it.

"With due humility, but infinite pride, I am the Guardian of the

Locked Door. As Tiler I suffer none to pass within who have not the

right. But the open door no one man may guard; it takes three.

"You were appointed tonight as one of those three. Some one has

rapped at the door and now it stands ajar. To you it has been said,

'Keep thou the door; keep thou the faith; keep thou this thy temple

pure and undefiled.'

"You do not want to labor. You want to go fishing. You ask me if I

will do your work for you and I answer you, gladly, if so the

Master shall find me worthy of the honor."

"I shan't ask him," he answered low. "I am ashamed. I didn't

understand. I am not, I know, worthy of the honor, but as well as I

know how, I will keep the door.."

"I thought you might," smiled the Old Tiler. "After all, no one

will catch all the fish; there will be some left for you some other

time."

"Not if it interferes with being Keeper of the Door," answered the

New Brother vigorously.

Southern California Research Lodge F&AM

A few random thoughts on reading, which I enjoy, brought to mind

when making a cursory journey through the June 1999 Scottish Rite

Journal. If you are intrigued a bit by page 49 it is a piece I

wrote ten or fifteen, (time is no longer relevant to me,) years ago

to include in the mailings we sent Entered Apprentices and the

Journal editor just came across it.  -- Ralph A. Herbold

In Lashing The Wheel by C. Fred Kleinknecht, 33ø, Sovereign Grand

Commander, I found:

For any Masonic organization to grow, it must give its members

something of value and that value must be recognized by the

membership.

Now, I am not conceited but I am proud to be a part of Southern

California Research Lodge for we personify this statement. We do

grow which we can demonstrate by having a membership of 580 in June

of 1980 with a membership now of over 3,000. We give our members

something of value, we know, because of the letters from members in

which they are almost unanimous in adding thanks or complimentary

remarks, acknowledging or recognizing our work. What could be added

is the support we receive for our work. Surely our members are

among the most generous in our Craft for without them we could not

spend over $ 10,000 each of the last few years on our Entered

Apprentice educational programs.

In Initiating The Process by William M. Brass, 33ø:

There is one ray of hope upon which we may be able to build. Among

this 30-to-40-year-old group there is a yearning for a more moral

order, a desire for more solidarity and stability than society is

offering today. Some churches and other institutions have

recognized this and have begun to change in ways which greatly

disturb their more traditional members, but which do attract

younger ones. Masonry will have to do the same.

Won't comment on that but will leave it to your thought and analysis.

 

From A Step Toward Oblivion? By Garry D. Odom, 33ø

I hope I am wrong, but I have an uneasy feeling that today's

indiscriminate criticism of ritualists may be a crucial, blind step

by our Fraternity toward oblivion. Let us step back from the abyss.

Have to be careful here but it does give me a chance to make my

point as I have been critical of what some term ritual, including

our catechisms or proficiencies. I have been critical of ritualists

ONLY when they deliver poorly rendered ritual. I have been critical

of our proficiencies ONLY when they are the ONLY form of education

or information we give our candidates.

 

 

 

Now we may differ in opinion on one, two or three of the above so

let me close-with one we most assuredly will agree on and it is

from Can A Flag Weep? By Robert G. Davis, 33ø:

And I remembered back across the decades to a young lad who always

ran the last few blocks to school in the morning. And when his

teacher asked why he did so, he gave this simple answer: "Mrs.

Huffer, when I pledge allegiance to the flag I can feel my heart. "

 

 

Southern California Research Lodge F&AM

[Craig S. Campbell, Grand Lecturer of the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin,

has authored a series of articles on our Craft. This is a part of

the third that appeared in the May 1999 Wisconsin Masonic Journal.

Taking to heart the "Non-Masons, save this article and use it to

your hearts delight" means to me that it is an excellent guide as

to what you would want to tell a friend when he or she asks about

Freemasonry or even say to him or her, "I have a good description

of Freemasonry that I would like to have you read."]

Let us cover the central points of each degree. Masons, this should

serve as a good reminder since you have been through them.

Non-Masons save this article and use it to your hearts delight.

Anything you may have read or heard about Masonry being a secret

society is obviously a myth. Every Masonic Lodge is clearly marked,

they are fisted in the phone books, and most often, they even have

signs telling when their meetings are held.

What goes on in those meetings is also no secret - they do two

things: they conduct the business of the lodge and they perform

degrees. To destroy any myth about those degrees, here is what is

taught.

What is the central point of the Entered Degree?

What is the central point of the Entered Apprentice Degree? To

"learn." The answer is really that simple. - The entire degree

impresses upon Masons to (necessity to) learn. Learn what? Moral

Principles - Brotherly Love, Relief, Truth, Temperance, Fortitude,

Prudence, Justice, Circumspection, Faith, Hope, and Charity.

This point is best made within the context of one of the lectures

given to a man becoming a Master Mason when he is taught that his

education is analogous to life: "In youth, as Entered Apprentices,

we ought industriously to occupy our minds in the attainment of

useful knowledge."

What about the Fellowcraft Degree?

What is the Central Point of the Fellowcraft Degree? To "execute."

Again, the answer is really that simple. The entire degree

impresses upon Masons to perform, to practice, to do - to execute.

Execute what? 'Me "Moral Principles" mentioned above.

In this degree, Masons are issued a challenge to perform. Cast from

clay, (in the clay grounds) we are to spend the length of our lives

(the River Jordan between Succoth and Zeredatha) strengthening our

souls (our hollow pillars) with the tools (archives of Masonry)

necessary to prevail over destructive acts of God and man

(inundations and conflagrations).

In other words, through the execution of well-learned moral

principles, our faith will be strengthened. Again, this point is

well made using the same lecture mentioned in the paragraph above

where Masons are taught that, "In manhood, as Fellowcrafts, we are

to apply that knowledge to the discharge of our respective duties

to God, our neighbor and ourselves."

And the Master Mason Degree?

What is the Central Point of the Master Mason Degree? To "reflect."

The Master Mason Degree in its entirety does not really inform us

of anything new, it actually asks a question. Are you prepared? If

death were to strike, do you have the necessary strength of faith

that your existence on earth and belief in God will qualify you for

eternal life?

Citing the same lecture as before, Masons are taught that, "In age,

as Master Masons, we may enjoy the happy reflections consequent on

a well-spent life, and die in the hope of a glorious immortality."

Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924

LAUGHTER

"If I had it my way," began the New Brother, sitting beside the Old

Tiler, "I'd make it a Masonic offense to laugh in the lodge room.

We are not as serious about our Masonry as we should be."

"Someone laughed at you, or you are talking to yourself very

seriously!" answered the Old Tiler.

"I am not!" cried the New Brother. "I take Masonry seriously! What

we do in the lodge room has the sacredness of a religious ceremony.

I can see no difference between the sacredness of the Altar of

Masonry and the altar of a church, and when I go and see the

beautiful windows, and hear the music and watch the choir boys come

up the aisle, and hear the minister give out the solemn text- well,

you know how inspiring it is. I feel the same way in lodge

sometimes, during the more solemn parts of the degrees. But we have

a business meeting first and sometimes someone cracks a joke and

everyone laughs, and some brethren misinterpret and giggle

sometimes in the degrees, and there is some ritual which isn't

awe-inspiring and- and I think it should be changed!"

"Well, go ahead and change it!" cried the Old Tiler. "I don't

believe that absence of solemnity is a Masonic landmark which can't

be changed."

"Of course it isn't, but how can I change it?"

"That's your problem!" smiled the Old Tiler. "You are the reformer,

not I. But before I wasted much grey matter, I'd ask myself a few

questions. You seem to like things serious, so this should come

easy to you. Then I'd talk to the Chaplain. David is young, but he

has common sense.

"It would do you good to go his church. You would find it as solemn

and beautiful as any other during the service. But if you went to a

vestry meeting you'd see David grin, and maybe someone would tell a

ministerial joke. I can't imagine God being displeased about it.

Seems to me if he hadn't wanted people to laugh he wouldn't have

made so many brethren to laugh at!

"Brother David would tell you that there was a time to be reverent

and a time to be happy, and that a church in which people couldn't

be happy wasn't much of a church. Ever go to a wedding? Ever see

people grin and kiss the bride when it was over? Ever go to a

church social? Ever go to the boys' club in a red-blooded church?

"It didn't hurt the church in their eyes, did it? Then why should

it disconcert you to have a lodge room treated the same way? Get it

out of your head that Masonry or religion is bound up in a room, or

a building. It doesn't hurt so long as we don't laugh at the wrong

time! It doesn't hurt the solemnity of the Masonic degree that our

lodge room is first but a business meeting hall and afterwards

maybe a dining room. It is the spirit in which we do our work that

counts, not the letter; it is the temple in our hearts which must

be kept sacred, not the mere physical confines of brick and stone

in which we meet.

"That there should be no cause for laughter during the degrees. But

to say we can't laugh in a lodge room is to get the dog by the

wrong tail!

"Masonry, my son, is joyful, not mournful. It should be filled with

laughter of little children, the happy smiles of contented women,

the loveliness of faithful friendship, the joy of flowers and music

and song. To make it too serious for smiles, too solemn for

happiness, perverts it. If God made sunshine and children and

flowers, don't you suppose He wanted the one to dance with the

other in the third? If He made happiness and human hearts, don't

you suppose He wanted the one to live in the other?

"Masonry is an attempt to live the brotherhood of man under the

Fatherhood of God. The best of all human fathers can but touch the

skirts of the Being who is the All Father. But did you ever see a

human father worth his salt who didn't want his children laughing

and happy?

"There is a time for work and a time for play. There is a time for

degrees and a time for refreshment. There is a time for business

meetings and a time for ritual. There is a time for laughter and

for joy as well as a time of solemnity and reverence. The one is

just as important as the other."

"I wish just once," said the New Brother, "I could start something

with you which I could finish!"

"Try offering me a cigar!" suggested the Old Tiler.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953

MASONRY'S PROGRAM

What is Masonry's Program? There may be many called by many names,

but there can be but one underlying motive, one magnificent

objective-the improvement of self through the understanding of

self. The program of Masonry has been repeated through the ages by

all the great leaders and teachers whose wisdom extended beyond

their day, and who loved humanity so devotedly that they gave to

the world the benefits of their great hearts along with the wonders

of their great minds. To the world of their day, and to a large

extent the world of today, they were dreamers. To the thinking few

of their day and today they stand as the greatest of realists.

Through the years these great Doctors of Humanity have been looked

upon as strange beings who taught a system of morality which men

approved with a casual nod, but would not accept. They would not

accept that which was not reduced to a formula, or which was

outside the realm of economics.

The great teachings of sowing and reaping, of doing unto others as

you would have them do unto you, of walking humbly with thy God, of

knowing who shall abide in thy Tabernacle, of dwelling together in

unity-are these beneath the dignity of our sophisticated age?

The great teachers of old did not expect a miracle by words.

Greatness is achieved when the individual discovers for himself the

greatness of simple truths.

The program of Masonry is to kindle that desire and teach that the

abstract is really the concrete.

Fraternally,

Carl Johnson, 32ø

Burlington Masonic Lodge #254

LEARNING THE WORK

"It seems to me," began the New Brother, offering a cigar to the

Old Tiler, "that we make unnecessary demands on a candidate."

"Thanks," answered the Old Tiler. "Such as what, for instance?"

"A candidate who has received the Entered Apprentice degree must

perfect himself in it before he gets his Fellowcraft. After he is a

Fellowcraft he must learn that ritual before he can become a Master

Mason. I can see the reason why all brethren must understand them

and be able to tell about degrees, but I don't see why we must

learn word for word and letter for letter. Last meeting we turned

back a young fellow because he had not learned his Entered

Apprentice degree. If he didn't learn it because he didn't want to

he wasn't worth having, but it seems he just couldn't. Refusing him

was an injustice. He's only one-third a Mason, and not likely to

get any farther."

"You sure think of a lot of things Masonic to find fault with!"

countered the Old Tiler. "But we would get along faster if you

didn't mix your questions."

"How do you mean, mix them?"

"In one breath you want to know why Masonry requires learning

degrees by heart, and don't I think it was an injustice to a

certain young fellow because we wouldn't admit him to full

membership when he couldn't or didn't, only you don't think it an

injustice but a righteousness if he could and didn't. You agree

that one of the safeguards of Masonry which keep it pure is what we

call the ancient landmarks?"

"I agree."

"And you know one of the landmarks is that Masonry is secret?"

"Of course."

"If we printed the work would it be secret?"

"Certainly not. But you don't have to print it."

"No? But if we can't print it and won't learn it, how are we to

give it to our sons?"

"Oh!" The New Brother saw a great light. "We all learn the work and

so know when mistakes are made and correct them in the workers, and

our sons hear the same work we did and learn it and transmit it.

But wouldn't it be enough if only a few men learned the work- those

well qualified and with good memories? How would that do?"

"It is good Masonry and good Americanism that the majority rules.

Masonry is not a despotism but a democracy. If a favored few were

the custodians of the work would not the favored few soon become

the rulers of Masonry, just as the favored few have always ruled

the lazy, the ignorant, and the stupid?"

"If that happened we'd just put them out of office."

"And put in men who didn't know the work? Then what becomes of your

landmark?"

"You are too many for me," laughed the New Brother. "I guess there

is a reason why we have to learn the work. But I still think we

might make an occasional exception when a man just can't memorize."

"If you read the Bible, you know that a little leaven leavens the

whole lump. One bad egg will spoil an omelette. The man who won't

learn is not fit to be a Mason, since he is not willing to tread

the path all his brethren have trod. The man who can't learn the

work hasn't control enough of his brain to enable him to appreciate

Masonic blessings. This is no question of education. A brother of

this lodge has had so little education that he barely reads and

write. His grammar is fearful and his knowledge of science so full

of things that are not so that it is funny when it isn't pathetic.

But he is a good Mason for all that, and bright as a dollar at

learning the work. It's only the stupid, the lazy, the indifferent

and dull-witted, the selfish and foolish man who can't learn or

won't learn Masonry. They add nothing to it; it is better they are

kept out. To make an exception merely would be to leaven our lump

with sour leaven."

"But, Old Tiler, many who learned it once have forgotten it now."

"Of course they have! You can't do a quadratic equation or tell me

the principle cities in Greenland, or bound Poland, or do a Latin

declination. You learned it and forgot it. But you had the mental

training. If I told you a quadratic was worked with an adding

machine, that Poland was in china, or that hocus-pocus meant

Caesar's lives, you'd know I was wrong. Same way with ritual;

leaning it is Masonic training, and though we often forget it we

never lose it entirely, and through the whole of us it is preserved

to posterity."

"Oh, all right! I learned mine, any way. Have another cigar, won't

you?"

"Thanks," answered the Old Tiler. "You have learned rather well,

I'll admit, that I like your cigars!"

 

 

Fraternally,

Carl Johnson, 32' Burlington Masonic Lodge #254 Grand Lodge of

Washington, Free & Accepted Masons Ancient & Accepted Scottish

Rite, Valley of Bellingham Orient of Washington

"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have

done for others and the world remains and is immortal." -Albert

Pike

  This is for those who have not read this article in the August

  1999 issue fo the scottish Rite Journal

An Answer To Critics Of Masonry     (from  Scottish Rite Journal)

Gary Leazer,

32ø PO Box 870523 Stone Mountain, Georgia 30087-0014

leazer@mindspring.com

A well-known minister and Mason responds to critics of Freemasonry

regarding prayer in Lodge.

Critics of Freemasonry often ask, "Do Masons worship Yahweh, the

God of the Bible, when they join in Masonic worship with Hindus,

Moslems, and members of other faiths?" Let me begin by pointing out

that this question suggests "worship" occurs in Lodge meetings.

This question is intended to set a certain bias against Masonry

before the question is seriously considered. Worship does not take

place in Masonic Lodge meetings. Worship is the function of a

religion. Thomas E. Hager, 32ø, K.C.C.H., Past Grand Master of

Masons in Tennessee, said in a April 22, 1994, letter to Baptist

Press, the official press service for the Southern Baptist

Convention, "Freemasonry is not a religion, nor is it a substitute

for a religion." Earl D. Harris, 33ø, Past Grand Master of Masons

in Georgia, has clearly said, "We do not go to lodge buildings to

worship" (Masonic Messenger, July 1995, p. 34). Lodge meetings

might be compared to business meetings held in some churches where

minutes of the last meeting are read, bills are paid, and old and

new business are addressed.

The question is a great example of a "circular argument." This

logical fallacy begins with the conclusion: that Masonic meetings

are worship services where men professing various faiths join

together to worship a God other than "Yahweh, the God of the

Bible." The argument simply travels around in circles until it

comes back to its original statement, concluding that Masons

worship a God other than Yahweh (or Jehovah).

Praying in Lodge MeetingsPrayers voiced in Lodge meetings do not

make the meeting a worship service. If so, then sessions of the

U.S. Congress would be "worship services" as a chaplain or invited

clergy leads in prayer to open the session. Congress has been

accused of many things, but never of holding worship services. If

prayers make a meeting a worship service, the same criticism could

be leveled against organizations such as the Lions Club, the Boy

Scouts, and the VFW.

Until recent years, prayers were offered at high school ball games

by clergy in the community. Courts have repeatedly ruled that

prayers may not be offered before such events. Critics complain

that "God has been taken out of public school" because prayers may

not be given by administrators or visiting clergy at the beginning

of a school day. Students, however, are allowed to pray on their

own initiative, either alone or with other students who wish to

join them in prayer. Masons alone have been singled out by critics

for praying in meetings while these same critics complain that the

official prayers are not allowed in public schools.

Praying in Jesus' Name Some Masonic critics are not opposed to

prayer in Lodge or other meetings, even when non-Christians are

present, but are opposed to the prayer when it does not conclude

with the specific words, "in the name of Christ." They cite John

14:13-14, where Jesus said to his disciples, "I will do whatever

you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

If in my name you ask for anything, I will do it" (NRSV). Bailey

Smith, a recent president of the Southern Baptist Convention, made

headlines in 1980 when he said God does not hear the prayers of a

Jew. Smith's position and that of Masonic critics is that God only

hears prayers ending with "in Jesus' name" or prayers of

repentance.

Preschool-age children are taught to pray simple prayers. They

seldom end it with the phrase "in Jesus' name" and most have not

made what evangelical Christians call a profession of repentance

and faith in Christ. Do Masonic critics believe God hears the

prayers of these children? Are we misleading children when we tell

them God hears their prayers? I believe God hears the prayers of

every sincere person, and I do not think we are misleading children

when we tell them God hears and answers their prayers.

It was drilled into my head by my professors during seven years of

theological education that a correct interpretation of a biblical

text requires examination of the surrounding text, which often

helps an individual understand the text in question. &REG; John

14:13-14 can be better understood if we examine the setting for

Jesus' statements. Although his disciples had been with him for

nearly three years, they still had doubts about him. Philip asked

him in John 14:8, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be

satisfied." That is the key verse to understand Jesus' teaching in

John 14:13-14.

Jesus responded to Philip's question, "Have I been with you all

this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen

me has seen the Father. How can you say 'Show us the Father'"?

When Jesus said in verses 13-14, "I will do whatever you ask in my

name," he was claiming deity. He was saying, "God will hear your

prayers if you pray in my name because 'I am in the Father and the

Father is in me.'" Jesus did not mean that unless a person

concludes his prayers with the words, "in the name of Jesus," God

would not hear nor answer prayers.

William W. Stevens, my theology professor at Mississippi College,

wrote in his Doctrines of the Christian Religion (1976), "'In my

name' means according to his will and purpose, in direct union with

him. It implies unity of thought and interest. One cannot pray in

the name of Jesus and pray selfishly" (p. 269).

The Expositor's Bible Commentary (Vol. 9, p. 146) says, "The phrase

'in my name,' however, is not a talisman [magic object] for the

command of supernatural energy. He did not wish it to be used as a

magical charm like an Aladdin's lamp."

Men look on the outward appearance and judge others by the words

used in a prayer (Matthew 6:5-8). God looks at the heart. He knows

what we need before we ask. If the prayer is a genuine desire to

talk to the Father of all creation, He will hear and answer the

prayer, whatever words are or are not used. That is the kind of God

I know from my reading of the Bible and from hours spent on my

knees talking to Him.

During my ministry as a chaplain supervisor in the Olympic Village

during the 1996 Atlanta Olympic games, chaplain volunteers from six

major world faiths joined together in prayer every day. Chaplains

rotated leading the group in prayer. Out of respect for chaplains

who did not share our faith, we did not always verbally close our

prayers "in Jesus' name."

Rev. James Draper, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's

LifeWay Christian Resources (formerly the Sunday School Board),

resigned from Estelle Lodge No. 582 in Euless, Texas, in 1984 after

election for his second term as president of the Southern Baptist

Convention (SBC) and as the Masonic controversy was heating up in

the SBC. He had transferred his membership from Dell City Lodge No.

536 in Oklahoma when he became pastor of the First Baptist Church

of Euless. In his letter of resignation, Draper, who served one

year as chaplain of his Lodge, said he always concluded his prayers

"in Jesus' name." While not common, I have sat in a number of

Lodges where the chaplain or another Brother closed his prayer "in

Jesus' name."

Praying to The Great Architect of the Universe Masonic critics have

long and loudly argued that Masons do not pray to Yahweh when they

pray in Masonic Lodges. Masonic critic William Schnoebelen refers

to the "generic" god of Masonry, "God-to-the-lowest-denominator"

and "Mr. Potato-Head God" when speaking of the Great Architect of

the Universe (Masonry: Beyond the Light, pp. 44-46). Another

critic, John Ankerberg, quotes from Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia to

argue that Masons believe Yahweh (or Jehovah) is inferior to "the

universal god of Masonry" (The Secret Teachings of the Masonic

Lodge, pp. 113-14). Ankerberg's quote is not in the 1995 edition of

Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, the most recent edition, except for a

single sentence, "The Masonic test is [belief in] a Supreme Being,

and any qualification added is an innovation and distortion." This

sentence is simply a requirement that men who desire to become

Masons must believe in one God (monotheism). Monotheism is affirmed

in biblical statements such as Deuteronomy 6:4, "Hear, O Israel!

The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!" No statement in Coil's

Masonic Encyclopedia suggests that Masons believe Yahweh is an

inferior God.

The phrase Great Architect of the Universe came into Freemasonry as

early as 1723, according to Coil's Masonic Encyclopedia, when it

appeared in James Anderson's Book of Constitutions. Anderson, a

Scottish Presbyterian minister in London, did not invent the

phrase. It was repeatedly used by Reformed theologian John Calvin

(1509-1564). "In his Commentary on Psalm 19, Calvin states the

heavens 'were wonderfully founded by the Great Architect.' Again,

according to the same paragraph, Calvin writes 'when once we

recognize God as the Architect of the Universe, we are bound to

marvel at his Wisdom, Strength, and Goodness.' In fact, Calvin

repeatedly calls God 'the Architect of the Universe' and refers to

his works in nature as 'Architecture of the Universe' 10 times in

the Institutes of the Christian Religion alone" (Coil's Masonic

Encyclopedia, p. 516). If we accept the logic of Masonic critics,

then Calvin must have believed the God revealed in the Psalms and

elsewhere in the Bible is a false god. This, of course, is absurd,

as are all of the Masonic critics' arguments. Federal Reserve Notes

($1 bills) proclaim "In God We Trust." The U.S. Mint has not

defined "God." It is used as a generic name for the Supreme Being.

Individuals may define God as they wish. In our religiously diverse

nation, individuals of different faiths will define who they

believe God is. I do not hear people calling for the removal of "In

God We Trust" from Federal Reserve Notes because not everyone

defines God as they do.

Praying with Persons of Other Faiths On February 9, 1999, Baptist

Press posted a story about several Midwestern Baptist Theological

Seminary administrators and faculty members visiting mosques while

on a trip to North Africa and the Middle East. Baptist Press states

the administrators and faculty "were awed by the mosques which

provided an atmosphere for prayer. Though the local worshipers

gathered to pray to Allah [the Arabic word for God], Midwestern's

group removed their shoes [as is the custom in mosques] and spent

time praying to the God of their Christian faith."

Mark Coppenger, president of Midwestern Seminary in Kansas City,

Missouri, was one of the Baptist visitors in the mosques. Coppenger

said, "As we sat, and knelt, and stood [Muslims perform specific

rituals which includes standing, kneeling and bowing while praying

to Allah.] in these moments of praise, confession, petition and

intercession, it occurred to us that Christians would do well to

have a similar location, atmosphere and posture for prayer." "It is

a pity that non-Christians and sacramentalists [Roman Catholics]

have appropriated the notion of houses of prayer, when ours is the

heritage of orthodox prayer," Coppenger continued, referring to

mosques and Roman Catholic cathedrals and retreat centers. "We have

let them lead in an emphasis on prayer by default."

When the group returned to Kansas City, Coppenger decided to

provide a place for prayer similar to that in mosques for seminary

students. He removed hundreds of portable chairs from the chapel

and laid down rolls of carpet. Students were asked to remove their

shoes when they entered the "house of prayer," and a kneeling

position was recommended. Coppenger, his administrators, and

faculty joined Muslims at prayer in a mosque. They reported they

were able to pray to Yahweh even while Muslims were praying to God

whom they call Allah. Coppenger and his team even followed the

Muslim practice of bowing, kneeling, and prostrating themselves

during the prayer ritual and still found they could pray to Yahweh.

I have never felt I could not pray as my chosen faith leads me

while standing next to someone in a Lodge meeting who does not

share my faith.

Freemasons Do Not Worship in Lodge Meetings In conclusion, Masons

do not worship in Lodge meetings. Each Mason freely prays as his

faith dictates, regardless of who is leading the group prayer,

because prayer is ultimately a personal encounter and conversation

between as man and his Creator.

Note: This article presents the text of Q&A #1, the first in a

series of question-and-answer brochures being prepared by Bro.

Leazer, publisher of The Center for Interfaith Studies (CIS)

Masonic Report. To obtain copies of this brochure and other CIS

materials or to subscribe to the CIS Masonic Report, write or

e-mail to the address above or phone/fax 770-979-1687.

Gary Leazer served 14 years on the staff of the Interfaith Witness

Department of the Southern Baptist Home Mission Board before his

involuntary resignation in October 1993. His primary

responsibilities included research, writing, and conferencing in 40

states and four foreign countries on interfaith issues. Leazer, not

then a Mason, conducted the original study on Freemasonry for the

Southern Baptist Convention. Bro. Leazer began the Masonic Report

in March 1995 as a supplement to his CIS (Center for Interfaith

Studies) Quarterly Report. He was raised a Master Mason on February

8, 1997, in Clarkston Lodge No. 492, Clarkston, Georgia, and became

a Scottish Rite Mason in the Valley of Atlanta in 1997. He was a

participant in the 1994 and 1996 Scottish Rite Leadership

Conferences and is a frequent speaker at Lodges, Grand Lodges, and

other Masonic meetings

Brethren,  this is just a small sample of the anti Masonic feelings in

Great Britain.  The liberal Labor party is trying to destroy Masonry!!

  Preston

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

#: 188235 S14/Masonry In The UK

   18-Jun-99  07:48:03

Sb: Leeds City Council

Fm: David Grant 101722,3051

To: all

From the Yorkshire Evening Post 17/6/99

"ROW OVER MASONIC REFUSAL

Claims of discrimination have been levelled  against Leeds City

Council after it refused permission for a Masonic Ladies' Night dinner

dance at the Civic Hall. Leaders of the West riding Province of

freemasons blame the refusal on what it believes is a deep-seated

opposition to Freemasonry among members of the Council's controlling

Labour Group. But today while reiterating its "concerns" about

Freemasonry, the Council effectively did an about turn. It promised

future letting procedures for the lord mayor's rooms would now be

brought in line with arrangements for other Council properties and

apologised to the Masons for any distress caused. A spokeswoman said a

fresh application from the masons was likely to be approved subject to

availability.

ATTITUDE

Lodge of Dawn Master Geoffrey Caplan said he was appalled at the

attitude taken by Leeds City Council.His concern has been backed by

officials of the West Riding province, who have called for a written

response and public apology. Mr Kevin Gould of the Leeds Lodge of

Thanksgiving and a West Riding Freemason spokesman, said, "We believe

that this is straight forward discrimination by Leeds City Council

against the freemasons of Leeds" The Council stated: Leeds City

Council's continuing concerns in relation to Freemasonry, as expressed

in resolutions passed at meetings of the Council, relate to the need

for councillors and officers who are Freemasons to declare that fact

in the interests of free and open government. However, it is not and

never has been, our policy to refuse to have dealings with

Freemasons""

_________________________________________________________________

This is typical of Leeds City Council. We had them on the ropes and

they had to back down, however they are notoriously anti-masonic.

 

The Old Past Master by Carl Claudy- 1924

Masonic Libraries

"I can't just see the idea in founding this new Masonic library,"

objected a comparatively newly made Master Mason, talking to a group

in the anteroom during refreshment. "Books are all right, of course,

and libraries are necessary, but why insist on such a complete

library for the new Temple?"

"Well, why not?" asked someone.

"If you follow out the idea to its logical conclusion," answered the

new Master Mason, "the Elks ought to have a library and the Knights

of Pythias ought to have one. The I.O.O.F. should support a library

and the Red Men should have one, too. All the hundred and one

fraternities should have libraries and the curious spectacle would

be presented of a hundred groups of a few hundred men each, each

supporting its own little collection of books. Wouldn't it be much

more sensible if they all supported one big collection?"

There was a moment's silence. The group turned questioning eyes to

the Old Past Master.

"We already support one big collection of books," the Old Past

Master began. "All of us here present contribute our quota towards

the support of the city library. In practically every town of any

size in the nation is a local library, which all support by their

proportion of taxes.

"But the general library for the general run of people is naturally

general in character. It will have books on science and history and

travel and adventure and mathematics and botany and business and

poetry and art....a great many books on a great many subjects, but

no authoritative collection on any one subject. The doctor may use

the library for general purposes, but when he wants the last word,

he goes to his medical library. The lawyer may use the general

library for one purpose or another, but it is either his personal

law library or that of his Bar Association which he depends upon for

accurate information in regard to a knotty point of law.

"A Masonic library may partake of the character of a general

library, in that it may have a lot of fiction and current

literature. It serves Masons in that way, just as the coffee and

sandwich at refreshment serves him. The Lodge isn't and doesn't

pretend to be, a restaurant, but it gives him something to eat to

make his visit pleasant. The Masonic library isn't, and doesn't

pretend to be, a competitor of the city library, but it gives him

some fiction and some current literature to serve him at his

pleasure."

"But the main purpose of a rightly conducted Masonic library is to

convey knowledge to its owners and users. Masonry makes much of the

liberal arts and sciences; not to provide the means by which Masons

may learn of these is for Masonry to fail in practicing what she

teaches.

"The Masonic library is poorly conceived and ill furnished which

contains only books upon Masonry. A doctor's library which had books

only upon office practice and business systems would be of little

help to the physician. The Masonic library which has only Masonic

history and philosophy, offers but little to the true seeker of

light. A Masonic library should be a library of all knowledge,

including a great deal on Masonry, but as much on philosophy,

science, religion, art, history, that its users have the opportunity

to learn.

"In the capital of this nation is America's largest and finest

collection of books; the Congressional Library, second only to the

library of the British Museum in size, and with its volumes far more

accessible to readers than that of the English library. But that

doesn't prevent the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for the

Southern Jurisdiction from maintaining one of the very finest

Masonic libraries in the world. In the great House of the Temple are

a hundred thousand books. They are not all books on Masonry, though

the Masonic collection is world famous. It is a general library, of

general knowledge. Incidentally it contains a wonderful Burnsiana

collection, the largest collection of English translations of

Goethe's Faust in the world, as well as the priceless Pike

manuscripts, some of them not yet in print.

"Yet in spite of this there is a Grand Lodge library in the capital

of the nation, for the use of Master Masons, and the local Scottish

rite bodies got up a library of their own, by asking members for

unwanted books.

"I think every Order should have its own library. I see no reason

why Elks and Red Men, Pythians and Odd Fellows, should not find

equal benefits from libraries of their own. But there is this

distinction; Masonry is old, old. It is worldwide. Its history is

the history of the world. Its philosophy is the philosophy of all

ages. With not the slightest disrespect for the various other

fraternal orders, it may truthfully be said that none of them has

the lineage, the extent, the spread, the history or the intimate

connection with knowledge that is Masonic pride. Therefore, Masonry

has, perhaps, an especial need for books, and books, of course, mean

a library.

"Something has been said about including books in lighter vein in

Masonic libraries. I think they should be included. One gives candy

to a child to make the taking of medicine easy. We supply

entertainment and refreshment to make attendance at specially vital

meetings, easy. Why not the inclusion of books of purely

entertainment character to make the use of the library easy to those

who know little of libraries? As those who once came to scoff

remained to pray, so it is often the case that the man who starts

browsing in a library after light fiction remains to examine, and be

interested by, works of real information.

"So, my brethren, I believe we should support our Masonic library to

the limit; I believe we should make sacrifices for it, help it, use

it.

"Masonry has only gentle methods at her hand for the working out of

her great purposes. We wield no battle-axe and carry no sword.

But....the pen is mightier than the sword, and the book is but the

printed thought which some man penned. Education is Masonry's

greatest tool; and books are at once the foundation and the

superstructure of education."

"I wish I could learn to think first and talk afterwards' said the

newly made Master Mason. "I am for all the help we can give."

"You see," smiled the Old Past Master, "even talking about a library

has help our brother's education."

"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924

MASONIC TALK

"I'm seeking a little light," said the New Brother, sitting down

by the Old Tiler and reaching for his cigar case.

"I think I have a match-" the Old Tiler felt in his pocket.

"I get you!" grinned the New Brother, "But that's not the light I

am looking for. I want light on a Masonic subject."

"I don't pretend to be the only Masonic illuminant," answered the

Old Tiler, "but if I have what you want, be sure I'll let it

shine."

"Every now and then," began the New Brother, "I hear Masonic talk

in public places. At a poker game in a club where I was recently,

I heard one man say, 'Them you have passed, but by me, you shall not

pass!' Lots of men say they will do this or that on the square or

on the level. I run across 'and govern yourself accordingly' in

print every now and then. Are such public quotations from Masonic

work against good Masonic practice?"

"It seems to me your question isn't very complete," answered the

Old Tiler.

"Why not?"

"It takes no account of motives. If you hear a man say that the

stream rose and his house and his children were in danger, but a

tree fell across the rushing waters, so that in His mercy God

damned the stream, you have heard testimony to His glory. And if

you hear some man couple the name of Deity with the word which

begins with D, you listen to profanity. Same sounds in each case;

the difference is, the motive, the meaning.

"If I declare that I will do what I say I will do 'on the

square,' any one understands that I mean I will act honestly. If

any hearer knows the expression is Masonic, surely the fraternity

has not been injured. But if I say to a stranger, or within a

stranger's hearing, 'these are certain Masonic words, and we use

them in the degrees' and then repeat various phrases, I skirt

dangerously close to breaking my obligation, and by the very fact

that I seem to be careless with Masonic business, I am doing it

harm!"

"That's very plain, said the New Brother. "Suppose some man wants

to learn if I am a Mason? Suppose I meet a man with a Masonic pin

and want to examine him Masonicly? What about that?"

"You shouldn't want to do things which can't be done!" laughed

the Old Tiler. You might, indeed, put the stranger through an

examination as to what Masonry he knew, but it wouldn't be

Masonic. You have no right to constitute yourself an examining

committee. That is the Master's prerogative.

"Suppose he wants to talk Masonic secrets with me?"

"No Mason wants to talk Masonic secrets with any man he doesn't

know to be a Mason! The man who wants to talk secrets, without

having sat in lodge with you, or being vouched for to you, is

either very new or a very poor Mason or no Mason at all!"

"But surely one can talk Masonry with strangers; if they wear the

pin and have a card they are probably Masons, and-"

"Talk all the Masonry you want! But make sure it is the Masonic

talk you could utter in the presence of your wife. Your true

Mason won't want you to talk any other kind in public. Not long

ago I was on a train, and behind me two men, neither of them

Masons, arguing about Masonry. The things they knew which were

not so wonderful! But I never opened my mouth. And the conductor,

whom I have known for years as a Mason, heard them, and all he

did was wink at me. We knew the truth; they didn't. What was the

use of stirring up an argument?"

"What about giving some sign or word in a mixed company, so I can

let the other fellows know I am a Mason?" asked the New Brother.

"Oh!" cried the Old Tiler. "You've been reading novels! You have

an idea that when you go to a card party you should wiggle your

ears or something, so that other Masons will know you are one,

too! Nothing to that! Masonic recognitions are not for pleasure,

but for need and use. You have been taught how to let others

know, if you need to. You know how to recognize a Mason when he

lets you know. But these are not for social gatherings, and the

man who lards his speech with Masonic expressions is merely

showing off."

"I asked for light; we could substitute you for one of the Lesser

Lights," said the New Brother.

"If you mean that for a joke," the Old Tiler answered slowly, "I

shall think my words were wasted."

"I didn't," protested the New Brother. "I was only trying to say,

perhaps clumsily, that I thought you'd make a good Master!"

"Then I shall think only of the motive, thank you for the

compliment, and forget the way you put it!" smiled the Old Tiler.

QUOTE

  Congratulations on being elected to membership In the Masonic

Brotherhood of the Blue Forget-Me-Not.  It is an honor that comes

to but few.

  The Brotherhood was founded to give recognition to those

Feemasons who have worked in the quarries of Freemasonry.  This

Award cannot be purchased, not can a man seek it.  Its only

revipients are those whom the membership commission of the

Brotherhood, by unanimous ballot, believe worthy.

  The recipient is judged for his moral qualifications and by what

he has done for Freemasonry and his fellowman.  Consideration is

given to what he has done to help Freemasons become dedicated

Master Masons.  This encompasses the field of Masonic Education and

Masonic writing.  Teaching the ritual is considered, as are

charitable works.

  The blue forget-me-not has been chosen as a symbol of Masonic

dedication and fidelity.  It was born in the face of fates even

worse than death by faithful Master Masons of Germany after Hitler

gained control of the German government.  The first organization he

proscribed was Freemasonry.  Those Freemasons who would not renouce

their membership were condemned to concentration camps and/or

death.  As it was foolhardy to reaveal their membership, yet

anxious to keep the light of Freemasonry burning against

overwhelming odds, these faithful Craftsmen wore a litle flower so

that a Brother Mason might know another.  Because of this flower

the light of Freemasonry was kept alive in the midst of the Nazi

darkness.

 No recipient of this Award is required to pay an initiation fee,

nor are there any dues attached.  It is in every sense an Award for

service to Freemasonry and mankind.

[signed] Allen E. Roberts UNQUOTE

I trust this will assist you in understanding a bit about the

MBBFMN.

"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924

MIRROR LODGE

"How do you like it now you've been a member six months?" asked

the Old Tiler.

"I am discouraged," was the dejected answer of the New Brother.

"Tell me about it," suggested the Old tiler, leaning his sword

against the wall and shifting in his chair.

"Maybe I expect too much. My dad was a Mason and he always

thought a lot of it- he was a Past Master and a trustee. He

talked much about the friends he made in lodge and the spirit of

brotherhood there, and how Masons helped each other. I have found

none of that. I come to the meetings and listen to the degrees,

of course, but the rest is all talk so far as I can find. I don't

know any one in lodge. I am not really a part of it- I just play

audience."

"You remind me of a story," grunted the Old tiler. "A chap came

to a wise a man and said, 'I am not popular. People don't like

me. They leave when I come around. I like people; I don't like to

be unpopular. What's the matter with me?'

"The wise man looked his inquirer over and then said, "What do

you do when you are alone?"

"'I don't do anything when I am alone,' was the answer, 'I am

never alone. I hate to be alone. It bores me. I bore myself. I

have to be with people to be happy.'

"The wise man smiled and answered, 'How do you expect not to bore

other people if you bore yourself? The man who has no resources

to interest himself, cannot interest others. Go, read, think,

reflect, get an idea, a personality, a smile, a story, an

accomplishment- learn something, do something, be something,

amuse yourself, please yourself, interest yourself, and you can

please, interest and amuse others.!'"

"You mean I find no brotherhood in lodge because I bring no

brotherhood to it?"

"You get it!" exclaimed the Old Tiler. "Masonry offers treasure

for her children who take it. But it has to be taken. She doesn't

stuff her treasures down your throat. Your father was a Past

Master. That means he gave years of service to the lodge. He was

a trustee- so he was well known, liked, trusted. Men do not get

well known, liked and trusted by sitting in a corner listening.

They get up and talk, get out and work, do something, serve their

fellows, to be known and liked. Your father brought rich

treasures of service, interest, ability to his lodge. His lodge

gave him back honor, respectability, respect, love. You sit on

the benches and listen! We made you a Master Mason but only you

can make yourself a good one. We give you privileges- only you

can enjoy them. We give you opportunities- only you can use them.

We did all we could for you. Now you must prove yourself.

"Many a man comes into lodge expecting a special reception

committee, crowding around him at every meeting, saying how glad

it is to have him there. Many a man is disappointed. You had our

undivided attention as a candidate, as an initiate, as a

Fellowcraft, and when we made you a Master Mason.

"Now it's your turn. We are through with your candidacy- you are

now a part of the lodge. Every privilege has a duty attached.

When you perform those duties, other privileges await you. If you

never perform them, you will get no farther. The responsibility

we assumed in approving you as a man worthy to be a Master Mason

and sit with us must be shared by you. Your responsibility is to

be a good lodge member. There are good Masons who are poor lodge

members, but they are not the beloved ones. The beloved lodge

members, like your father, finds labor and service and takes his

pay in the spirit of fraternity, in the love and admiration of

other men, in the satisfaction which comes from playing his

part."

"But what can I do- what is my first step?"

"You want to make friends in the lodge?"

"I surely do."

"Then be a friend! I am told that the Master read tonight that

Brother Robinson is ill. Go and see him. Old Willis is back at

work after being sick a year. Call him up and tell him you are

glad. Hungerford just returned from the West. He is out of a job

and wants help. Ask him to come and see you. Maybe you can help

him, maybe you can't. But if a brother takes an interest in him,

he will be heartened and given courage. Ask the Master for a job-

he'll use you, never fear. A sister lodge comes to visit us next

month. Offer your car to the chairman of the entertainment

committee. Bob always has trouble getting enough for his personal

column in the Trestleboard,; scout around, learn a few things,

tell him them. I understand you play the piano. Offer your help

to the choirmaster when he needs someone to take the organist's

place. There are one thousand and one ways a chap can make

himself known and liked in a lodge. All you have to do is look

for them."

"I see..."

"Not yet, you don't! But you soon will. When your eyes are opened

you'll see just what you are. And if the reflection is dejection,

dissatisfaction, unhappiness, it is because those are you. When

you look in the lodge and see yourself happy, busy, well liked,

giving service and taking joy in brotherhood as a return, you

will know that you are a real Mason, a real lodge member, a real

son to a father who learned that the secret of Masonic joy is to

give, that it may be given back to you."

"I'll begin now! Don't you want to get a smoke? I'll stay on the

door until you come back!"

 

This paper is copywrited by Ariaden's Web at www.ariadenesweb.com It is here for your reading pleasure only. These comments are purely from the author's own individual and personal viewpoint, and obviously not representative of Freemasonry generally. Any Masonic perspective can only be that of the individual Freemason, according to the Light that he himself has discovered. Modern Knowledge & Ancient Wisdom BY NORMAN PEARSON, PH.D., DBA (Fellow of the College of Freemasonry, Member of the Philalathes Society) THE HIDDEN PAST The historical evolution of esoteric man, particularly with regard to Freemasonry, has been immensely complicated by an exoteric attitude in the literal and quite legitimate demands of historiography. Very briefly, the antecedents of modern Freemasonry, beyond 600 years of manuscript history, are very difficult to discern. Nevertheless, the unwritten traditions embodied in myth and legend and ritual have the persistent ring of authenticity, which is often validated in strange ways at unexpected times. They are, of course, not to be interpret ed literally, but speak to us in essential truths deeply hidden in symbolic language and allegory. Prior to modern historiography, there were about twenty-five dominant theories regarding the origins and development of Freemasonry (1). By the period 1860 to 1895, virtually all had been demolished by historical scholarship due to the lack of documentary evidence (2). THE GUILD THEORY Largely due to the circumstances of the emergence of the key body, the Grand Lodge of England, in 1717, and because of various key manuscripts, two matters followed: one, that this premier Grand Lodge is silent about its antecedents and origins, even though it was formed from Lodges often dating back to at least the 141h Century; the second point is that the sole theory which survived the 1890's was that of the evolution from the Guilds of operative Masons who built Cathedrals all over Europe (s). Some historians noted two contradictions, at least in Britain: the Cathedrals were built in the style of Gothic architecture, but symbolic Masonry deals with classical architecture (Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Tuscan and Composite) and there is little evidence of such Stonemason Guilds in Britain, but there is the legend of King Athelstan (924-940) the first King of England, calling a grand assembly of individual Craft Masons of all kinds. So, while this theory was quite well entrenched in the last hundred years in Europe, it is being seriously questioned now (4). The result has been a curious kind of "credibility gap". What happened before the series of events we can now document, going back about 600 years? Here historiographers have severe problems because there is no paper to which to apply their research tools. But having no answer does not mean that prehistory did not exist. Indeed, the linkages to the broader and deeper tradition of Hermeticism is being rediscovered. THE ESSENCE OF THE PROBLEM The essence of the problem is a piece of circular logic, essentially similar to the story of General Franco's response to queries about the 1936 Anarchist revolt in Spain. He said: "First, there was no revolution. Second, we crushed it." This piece of logic similarly emanates from the times when the tyrants of established states and dogmatic religions persecuted such bodies. Death was the penalty for belonging. Indeed, the oldest Masonic rituals require that all instruction be given by word of mouth, and they require grave oaths that the key secrets will not be written down in any way, shape or form. Thus arose the convenient circular logic. It runs as follows: Because such bodies contain essential truths needed for the dignity of man, and the liberation of mankind from prejudice, intolerance, bigotry, ignorance and tyranny, they must necessarily be persecuted. Because they were persecuted they were obliged to go underground to survive and to preserve those teachings, transmitting their knowledge from mouth to ear in secured settings. Because they then had no public documents and operated in secret, they were called dangerous and subversive. They were usually made unlawful. Obviously, being such, they must be persecuted even more, to the point of extinction and extirpation. Then they were said never to have existed. THE SECRET TEACHINGS Yet in our own times, Freemasonry survived Fascism in Italy (1922-1945), Nazism in Germany (1933-1945) and Communism in Eastern Europe (1917-1997), surprisingly emerging where they were thought to have vanished. Such is human courage and integrity. Sometimes, the obvious is so obvious that it is unseen, until it is pointed out. The secret teachings of the ages are indeed, and always have been, in recent times, secret. There are usually no documents to validate them. Again it must be obvious that esoteric teachings cannot be validated only by exoteric research. These two truths cause literalists enormous problems. They seek to deny that which was deliberately and necessarily hidden and secret. They go further and then deny the legitimacy and authenticity of anything which eludes their methods. Yet the lost keys and the ancient history can be understood and interpreted by the forgotten and lost ancient secret languages of symbolism and allegory. The power of symbolism is today evident in heraldry. My personal coat-of-arms can be shown on one page: yet it takes about 40 pages of written text to fully decipher the meaning of the few symbols on it. In addition, the languages of symbolism and allegory are able to transcend time and culture. This is what Manly Hall meant when, in 1923, he wrote a short, but magnificent text, "The Lost Keys of Freemasonry". As a result of this situation, much of the esoteric history of Freemasonry necessarily becomes an individual search for some meaning (5> aided by the new transdisciplinary studies and by computer simulations of past ages. THE SYMBOL. OF INFINITY The esoteric symbol of infinity is like the figure eight. The junction of the two circles is reality. It is made of two equal circles: one is the exoteric world of physical manifestation; the other is the esoteric world of the forces of causation. Each is legitimate. Both have enormous breadth and depth. Neither is more legitimate than the other: they form the unity together. THE UNKNOWN EMERGES In ancient times in almost all societies, philosophy once explained both circles. It gradually abdicated all matters esoteric and focused entirely on the exoteric, and even there with a diminishing domain. It eventually became tied up in debates on linguistics and the meaning of meaning. But gradually that which was previously hidden and inexplicable becomes clearer, though the pieces emerge outside literal history, and outside philosophy. From anthropology and exploration came strange evidence that all of the signs and symbols now used by Freemasons were there in the traditions and the current practices and customs of very ancient societies (6>. All of this was unknown to modern Freemasonry, in 1717, so there must be some thread of transmission to be traced when more research is integrated into meaningful terms. The ancient writings of Confucius, for example, indicated the admirable qualities of the men of "the square and compasses" which are now the universal symbols of Freemasonry. Explorers encountered strange anomalies. When Western Europe first got to know the Druse society in Lebanon, it proved to have a three-degree system, which in its essentials was the same as the supposedly independently evolved Western European Freemasonry. New research into the fate of the Knights Templar after their suppression indicated that they could indeed be the precursors of Scottish Freemasonry and the Craft in Northern England. John Robinson independently y revived the theory that the excommunicated Knights Templar brought to Scotland key scrolls and rituals from the Temple in Jerusalem which became modern Freemasonry. (7) Astonishingly, following this link back to Ancient Egypt (which, incidentally, is clearly stated in all the published Masonic rituals!), two researchers were able to relate certain key current Masonic ritual to authentic words in ancient Egyptian right back to the disruption of that society by Hyksos maritime invaders in 1786 BC. They had transmitted from Ancient Egyptian to Canaanite, thence to Aramaic, thence to French and eventually to English, and surviving intact! (8) Thus the oral tradition, given basic integrity, can be completely reliable. The Larger Problem Thus we arrive at a problem much bigger than the"credibility gap" of conventional history. We now have found more than 4000 years of parallel history, Evidently old and well established even at that time: a parallel history of signs, symbols, myths, and actual practices. Thus the lineaments of Freemasonry appear to have linkages extending back at least 3800 to 4000 years. Then when we add to this the obvious similarity of Hiram the legendary central hero of Freemasonry, to the even older legends such as those of Osiris, and similar stories from prehistory, we must then ask: and where did that come from? That-is the larger problem. The modern revival of the Rosicrucian Order (AMORC) passes on the legend that Freemasonry is descended from a branch, which left with the Jewish Exodus Ancient Egypt. This would certainly explain, culturally, why it uses much of the Torah and is exclusively for men. The parallel Rosicrucian order is not limited to men and has ties to the Pyramids. Studies of this kind, prior to modern historiography, led Albert Pike, the key figure in the Sottish Rite of Freemasonry, to examine all manner of rituals and to examine all manner of rituals and to conclude that Freemasonry, like so many other parallel Orders, is the shattered remnant of a much larger an much older system. Modern researchers in archeology, climatology, geography, astronomy, engineering and computer science in a series of cross-cultural comparisons, are puzzled by such things as the ancient Piri Reis map which shows the globe mapped accurately, and an Antarctica free of ice! They are also interested in the prevalence of similar architectural symbolism in all continents where man settled, showing pyramids and megaliths, huge sixty-ton stones, and evidence of a highly advanced astronomy and technology. Some posit the existence of a very old and very early global society with a high culture. Geneticists point to the evidence that all of mankind is descended from a handful of human beings. There are such strange anomalies as the Olmec culture of the Gulf of Mexico, where there are statues of African and Caucasian people who seemingly arrived in powered boats and evolved in harmony, about 1500 B.C. Such colonization and major building from 3500 years ago is largely ignored because it contradicts the idea of Asiatic settlement of North America and shatters racist myths. All over these ancient ruins are symbols and legends of feathered serpents and structures aligned to the stars. When computer simulation is applied to such megaliths in the Orkneys, at Stonehenge, in Mexico and Egypt, the structures now reveal themselves as being perfectly oriented to Orion (and to Leo in the case of the Sphinx) as those stars were in 10 500 B.C. Why Orion? Why Leo? Was there a great and beneficent global civilization prior to that time, which developed patterns of living in peace and harmony and happiness and human dignity? Was it destroyed and dispersed by some cataclysm such as the Ice Age? When the glaciers melted, the seas rose 300 feet, which could have swamped similar societies in many places. Was the ancient knowledge then transmitted to other more primitive peoples thereafter? Why were all these civilizations such skilled astronomers? Was it because of the desire to research these cataclysms? Something happened 15,000 to 10,000 B.C, and again about 4000 B.C at the time of the Great (Noah's) Flood. The Aztec-Mayan calendars accurately predicted the 1991 solar eclipse over Mexico City. They also predict another global cataclysm on December 23, 2012, in our method of dating. Whatever the value of the prediction, it is clear that the time perspective of these successors to what may have been a great global civilization in very ancient times, had great concern for posterity, and was based on excellent science. MORE ANCIENT THAN WE REALIZED Modern science thus raises more questions s than it can yet answer. They have more in common with received esoteric history than printed exoteric history. It also in certain areas intersects with what was previously dismissed as being legend. Trying to understand the esoteric history of Freemasonry takes us into an eternal quest for more light, what Manly Hall called "Learning to live by living to learn". His essential point was that the rituals and legends and teachings of Freemasonry, contrary to those who would deny it, are the modern descendants from very ancient secret teachings as embodied in what we now call the Ancient Mysteries. They were developed, in my view, very early when mankind was one, to guide us through all manner of evil and cataclysm. Then using the ritual envelopes and transmitting them to later ages. Freemasonry inherits the legend of Enoch who, prior to Noah's flood, saved all knowledge by depositing the key books in twin pillars, now key elements in Masonic Lodges. Thus mankind, it is said, survived the flood, and rebuilt civilization Many Hall also said: "There are within us undeveloped spiritual energies and potencies that can heal the body and preserve the soul" He wanted to "guide these energies into conscious intelligent action for the benefit of all humanity " (9). Such was the spirit of those tolerant and open-minded scholars who tried to lay the foundations of esoteric history regarding Freemasonry, like J. S. M. Ward's 1921 book "Freemasonry and the Ancient Gods". It is much more ancient than 1717. One of the most potentially fruitful areas of such research is again so obvious as to be neglected. It was pointed out by John Robinson, in his work, "The Pilgrim's Path" where he clearly points to Masonic symbolism, perfectly clear to the Modern Mason, in the painting "The Wayfarer" by Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516) . What better place to record symbolism and allegory and their ancient secrets than in art? THE SIMILARITIES When we look at the Ancient mysteries, the great Avatars of mankind, and the lineage and current practice of Freemasonry, we find an amazing list of common beliefs: -Every initiate asserts his belief in the creative, unifying and governing principle called God, and in the persistence and the immortality of the soul. - A fervent belief in freedom of religion and the urgency of religious toleration. How an initiate worships his God is his private business. How every other initiate does so, is also nobody else's concern. - An initiate must never put his duties and responsibilities to the Order ahead of duty to his family, his Country and his God. - The Order seeks to create common meeting ground for men of all creeds, on the basis of mutual respect and human brotherhood, to work together in common causes so as to help those who are in need. - The Order offers no pathway to any kind of salvation. That is left to each initiate's personal searches and to his own place and method of worship, which he is encouraged to join and sustain and support. - Because politics and religion have been used to drive men apart and to create disharmony, they may not be discussed in any Lodge. There is a great belief in freedom from ignorance, prejudice, bigotry arid tyranny. - The Order seeks to fulfill those ideas on which all good men can agree: brotherhood, harmony, charity and the search for truth, coupled with the opportunity for caring and helping the less fortunate. That is a noble heritage, which is evident as a continuous thread through the countless centuries of Freemasonry and its antecedents. Manly Hall put it well: "Masons, awake! Your creed and your Craft demand the best that is in you. They demand the sanctifying of your life, the regeneration of your body, the purification of your soul, and the ordination of the spirit. Yours is the glorious opportunity. Yours is the divine responsibility. Accept your task and follow in the footsteps of the Master Masons of the past, who with the flaming spirit of the Craft have illumined the world. You have a great privilege -the privilege of illumined labor. You may know the ends to which you work, while others must struggle in darkness. Your labors are not to be confined to the tiled Lodge alone, for a Mason must radiate the qualities of his Craft. Its light must shine in his home and in his business, glorifying his association with his fellow men. In the Lodge and out of the Lodge, the Mason must represent the highest fruitage of sincere endeavor. " Modern knowledge, moving from reductionism to integration may yet become one with the esoteric tradition, in explaining the history and evolution of "The Gentle Craft"! REFERENCES: (1) Henry Wilson Coil, Sr. (1967): Freemasonry Through Six Centuries: Macoy: Va., Vol. l, pp.6-8 (2) See the excellent and meticulous research work of the premier literary and research lodge of the world (Quatuor Coronati No.2076, London) published in annual transactions ARS QUATUOR CORONATUM, annually since 1888! (3) See the work of Matthew Cooke (1861), W. J. Hughan (1870), W. P Buchan (1870), Hughan and Rylands (1885) (4) Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh (1997): The Elixir and the Stone: Penguin Books: New York (5) Manly P. Hall (1923): The Lost Keys of Freemasonry: Charles T. Powner. Chicago (6) J. S. M. Ward (1969): Signs and Symbols of Freemasonry: The Sign Language of the Mysteries: Land's End Press: New York (originally published in 1928) (7) John Robinson (1991): Dungeon, Fire and Sword: The Knights Templar In The Crusades, and (1990) Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry: M.Evans and* Company: New York (8) Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas (1997): The Hiram Key: Pharaohs, Freemasons and the Discovery of the Secret Scrolls of Jesus: Arrow: London - . (9) Manly P Hall(1929): Lectures on Ancient Philosophy: The Philosophical Society: Los Angeles (10) P 74. Manly P Hall (1923): The Lost Keys of Freemasonry; Macoy: Va.

Masonic writings from a private collection, Private Collection Three 58 pages >>>

This story came to me from somewhere recently. Believe it!!  I was

here during those days and I remember them well.

I even recall a dream that I had as a youngster. We were visiting the

Lincon Memorial and Honest Abe leaned over and patted me on the back

and said "Preston, you have been a good boy, keep it up".

The Lincon Memorial was completed some 10 years before I was born in

1927.

 

A Mason-Dixon Memory

Dondre Green glanced uneasily at the civic leaders and sports figures

filling the hotel ballroom in Cleveland. They had come from across the

nation to attend a fund-raiser for the National Minority College Golf

Scholarship Foundation. I was the banquet's featured entertainer.

Dondre, an 18-year-old high school senior from Monroe, Louisiana, was

the evening's honored guest.

"Nervous?" I asked the handsome young man in his starched white shirt

and rented tuxedo.

"A little," he whispered, grinning.

One month earlier, Dondre had been just one more black student

attending

a predominately white school. Although most of his friends and

classmates were white, Dondre's race was never an issue. Then, on

April 17, l991, Dondre's black skin provoked an incident that made

nationwide news.

"Ladies and gentlemen," the emcee said, "our special guest, Dondre

Green."

As the audience stood applauding, Dondre walked to the microphone and

began his story. "I love golf," he said quietly. "For the past two

years, I've been a member of the St. Frederick High School golf team.

And though I was the only black member, I've always felt at home

playing at mostly white country clubs across Louisiana."

The audience leaned forward; even the waiters and busboys stopped to

listen. As I listened, a memory buried in my heart since childhood

fought its way to life.

"Our team had driven from Monroe," Dondre continued. "When we arrived at

the Caldwell Parish Country Club in Columbia, we walked to the putting

green."

Dondre and his teammates were too absorbed to notice the conversation

between a man and St. Frederick athletic director James Murphy. After

disappearing into the clubhouse, Murphy returned to his players.

"I want to see the seniors," he said. "On the double!" His face seemed

strained as he gathered the four students, including Dondre.

"I don't know how to tell you this," he said, "but the Caldwell Parish

Country Club is reserved for whites only." Murphy paused and looked at

Dondre. His teammates glanced at each other in disbelief.

"I want you seniors to decide what our response should be," Murphy

continued. "If we leave, we forfeit this tournament. If we stay,

Dondre can't play."

As I listened, my own childhood memory from 32 years ago broke free.

In 1959, I was 13 years old, a poor black kid living with my mother

and stepfather in a small black ghetto on Long Island, New York. My

mother worked nights in a hospital, and my stepfather drove a coal

truck. Needless to say, our standard of living was somewhat short of

the American dream.

Nevertheless, when my eighth-grade teacher announced a graduation trip

to Washington, D.C., it never crossed my mind that I would be left

behind. Besides a complete tour of the nation's capital, we would

visit Glen Echo Amusement Park in Maryland. In my imagination, Glen

Echo was Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm and Magic Mountain rolled into

one.

My heart beating wildly, I raced home to deliver the mimeographed

letter

describing the journey. But when my mother saw how much the trip cost,

she just shook her head. We couldn't afford it.

After feeling sad for 10 seconds, I decided to try to fund the trip

myself. For the next eight weeks, I sold candy bars door-to-door,

delivered newspapers and mowed lawns, Three days before the deadline,

I'd made just barely enough. I was going!

The day of the trip, trembling with excitement, I climbed onto the

train. I was the only nonwhite in our section.

Our hotel was not far from the White House. My roommate was Frank

Miller, the son of a businessman. Leaning together out of our window

and dropping water balloons on tourists quickly cemented our new

friendship.

Every morning, almost a hundred of us loaded noisily onto our bus for

another adventure. We sang our school fight song dozens of times, en

route to Arlington National Cemetery and even on an afternoon cruise

down the Potomac River.

We visited the Lincoln Memorial twice, once in daylight, the second

time at dusk. My classmates and I fell silent as we walked in the

shadows of those 36 marble columns, one for every state in the Union

that Lincoln labored to preserve. I stood next to Frank at the base of

the 19-foot seated statue. Spotlights made the white Georgian marble

glow. Together, we read those famous words from Lincoln's speech at

Gettysburg remembering the most bloody battle in the War between the

States: "...we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died

in vain - that this nation, under God shall have a new birth of

freedom..."

As Frank motioned me into place to take my picture, I took one last

look at Lincoln's face. He seemed alive and so terribly sad.

The next morning, I understood a little better why he wasn't smiling.

"Clifton," a chaperone said, "could I see you for a moment?"

The other guys at my table, especially Frank, turned pale. We had been

joking about the previous night's direct water-balloon hit on a fat

lady and her poodle. It was a stupid, dangerous act, but luckily

nobody got hurt. We were celebrating our escape from punishment when

the chaperone asked to see me.

"Clifton," she began, "do you know about the Mason-Dixon line?"

"No," I said, wondering what this had to do with drenching fat ladies.

"Before the Civil War," she explained, "the Mason-Dixon line was

originally the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania - the

dividing line between the slave and free states." Having escaped one

disaster, I could feel another brewing. I noticed that her eyes were

damp and her hands were shaking.

"Today," she continued, "the Mason-Dixon line is a kind of invisible

border between the North and the South. When you cross that invisible

line out of Washington, D.C., into Maryland, things change."

There was an ominous drift to this conversation, but I wasn't

following it. Why did she look and sound so nervous?

"Glen Echo Amusement Park is in Maryland," she said at last, "and the

management doesn't allow Negroes inside." She stared at me in silence.

I was still grinning and nodding when the meaning finally sank in.

"You mean I can't go to the park," I stuttered, "because I'm a Negro?"

She nodded slowly. "I'm sorry, Clifton," she said, taking my hand.

"You'll have to stay in the hotel tonight. Why don't you and I watch a

movie on television?"

I walked to the elevators feeling confusion, disbelief, anger and a deep

sadness. "What happened, Clifton?" Frank said when I got back to the

room. "Did the fat lady tell on us?"

Without saying a word, I walked over to my bed, lay down and cried.

Frank was stunned into silence. Junior-high boys didn't cry, at least

not in front of each other.

It wasn't just missing the class adventure that made me feel so sad.

For the first time in my life, I learned what it felt like to be a

"nigger."

Of course there was discrimination in the North, but the color of my

skin had never officially kept me out of a coffee shop, a church - or

an amusement park.

"Clifton," Frank whispered, "what is the matter?"

"They won't let me to go Glen Echo Park tonight," I sobbed.

"Because of the water balloon?" he asked.

"No, I answered, "because I'm a Negro."

"Well, that's a relief!" Frank said, and then he laughed, obviously

relieved to have escaped punishment for our caper with the balloons.

"I thought it was serious."

Wiping away the tears with my sleeve, I stared at him. "It is serious.

They don't let Negroes into the park. I can't go with you!" I shouted.

"That's pretty damn serious to me."

I was about to wipe the silly grin off Frank's face with a blow to his

jaw when I heard him say, "Then I won't go either."

For an instant we just froze. Then Frank grinned. I will never forget

that moment. Frank was just a kid. He wanted to go to that amusement

park as much as I did, but there was something even more important than

the class night out. Still, he didn't explain or expand.

The next thing I knew, the room was filled with kids listening to

Frank.

"They don't allow Negroes in the park," he said, "so I'm staying with

Clifton."

"Me, too," a second boy said.

"Those jerks," a third muttered. "I'm with you, Clifton." My heart

raced. Suddenly, I was not alone. A pint-sized revolution had been

born.

The "water-balloon brigade," 11 white boys from Long Island, had made

its decision: "We won't go." And as I sat on my bed in the center of

it all, I felt grateful. But, above all, I was filled with pride.

Dondre Green's story brought that childhood memory back to life. His

golfing teammates, like my childhood friends, faced an important

decision. If they stood by their friend it would cost them dearly. But

when it came time to decide, no one hesitated.

"Let's get out of here," one of them whispered.

"They just turned and walked toward the van," Dondre told us. "They

didn't debate it. And the younger players joined us without looking

back."

Dondre was astounded by the response of his friends - and the people

of Louisiana. The whole state was outraged and tried to make it right.

The Louisiana House of Representatives proclaimed a Dondre Green Day

and passed legislation permitting lawsuits for damages, attorneys'

fees and court costs against any private facility that invites a team,

then bars any member because of race.

As Dondre concluded, his eyes glistened with tears. "I love my coach and

my teammates for sticking by me," he said. "It goes to show that there

always good people who will not give in to bigotry. The kind of love

they showed me that day will conquer hatred every time."

My friends, too, had shown that kind of love. As we sat in the hotel,

a chaperone came in waving an envelope. "Boys!" he shouted. "I've just

bought 13 tickets to the Senators-Tigers game. Anybody want to go?"

The room erupted in cheers. Not one of us had ever been to a

professional baseball game in a real baseball park.

On the way to the stadium, we grew silent as our driver paused before

the Lincoln Memorial. For one long moment, I stared through the marble

pillars at Mr. Lincoln, bathed in that warm, yellow light. There was

still no smile and no sign of hope in his sad and tired eyes.

"...We here highly resolve...that this nation, under God, shall have a

new birth of freedom..."

In his words and in his life, Lincoln made it clear, that freedom is

not free. Every time the color of a person's skin keeps him out of an

amusement park or off a country-club fairway, the war for freedom

begins again. Sometimes the battle is fought with fists and guns, but

more often the most effective weapon is a simple act of love and

courage.

Whenever I hear those words from Lincoln's speech at Gettysburg, I

remember my 11 white friends, and I feel hope once again. I like to

imagine that when we paused that night at the foot of his great

monument, Mr. Lincoln smiled at last.

By Clifton Davis

from A 4th Course of Chicken Soup for the Soul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

___________________________________________________________________

Get the Internet just the way you want it.

Free software, free e-mail, and free Internet access for a month!

Try Juno Web: http://dl.www.juno.com/dynoget/tagj.

OBLIGATIONS AND OATHS

THE BUILDER FEBRUARY 1921

BY BRO. H.R. PARTLOW, ARKANSAS

THE MASONIC obligation has always been to the writer a subject of

considerable interest, especially on account of the various

positions assumed by the obliger at the time of taking the

obligation, and the formalities incident to it which, in my

opinion, bespeak for the obligation a greater antiquity than

usually accorded it by historians and writers.

Even a cursory view of the subject of entering into a contractual

relation from ancient times shows that the obligations assumed to

be binding were entered into in accordance to the ceremonial form

of that age, and if entered into in that way were considered by the

ancients inviolate.  History abounds with many instances evidencing

this, but for numerous cases we have only to go into the field of

religious and legal literature.  Biblical and judicial records are

the deposits left by the receding waters of time and an examination

of the laws and customs of these remote ages shows a general

unfolding and development of civilization. True it is that the data

found are not separately and clearly set forth, but may be compared

to the residue of the seashore, scattered and wholly without order,

some buried in sand and foreign matter, while others are entirely

concealed except to the keen vision of the delving student who by

patience and skill will exhume them, thereby revealing them to the

superficial observer.

The writer is fully aware that the average Mason has but little

interest in such matters, but a close study of the customs of the

ancients will shed much light upon certain customs now used in our

ritual or floor work in conferring degrees.  If by any means we can

determine the inception of these early formalities, the basal ideas

leading up to them, and the possible psychological functioning

which produced them they will, in my opinion, be invaluable. These

rudimentary ideas are to the Masonic student what the primary

crusts of the earth are to the geologist.  They contain all the

forms which society has subsequently exhibited.

In the matter of ascertaining the fountain head of the jural

conception of an oath, obligation, or contract, one may become lost

in the impenetrable night of antiquity.  Mr. Holmes, in his

admirable work on Common Law, says: "To explain how mankind first

learned to promise, we must go to metaphysics and find out how it

came to frame a future tense." Law, like religion, is co-eval with

intelligence and so soon as man was capable of continuity of

thought, so soon as he found intelligible speech, he questioned

himself concerning his relationship to other sentient beings.

Therefore, by way of a premise, it may be said that whenever and

wherever we have found man we find exhibition of certain

characteristics which are common to other peoples in the same stage

of development.

The force and effect of an oath or obligation in ancient days was

much greater than it is today, for the reason that the Higher Power

was presumed to be present and to participate in the transaction as

a third party.  This was especially so in making of covenants which

were accompanied by a sacrifice and other solemn formalities in

addition to the oath calling upon the ever present Deity to

witness.

In the procedure of entering into obligations or of taking oaths

one is impressed first with the universal use of the light hand. It

is a singular coincidence that so many people are right handed, and

we shall now consider the use of the right hand in entering into

various obligations and draw some conclusions regarding its almost

universal use.

The right hand has been held forever sacred.  The origin of such

belief is a profound mystery.  Much importance was attached to it

in worship as well as in entering into various contractual

relations.

A study of the formal contract in early English law rewards the

student for the pains of his investigation; and for the purpose of

giving to the reader the benefit of this we quote at some length

from Pollock and Maitland's History of English Law:

"In many countries of Western Europe and in this part of the world

also, we find the mutual grasp of the hand as a form which binds a

bargain.  It is possible to regard this as a relic of a more

elaborate ceremony by which some material was passed from hand to

hand; but the mutuality of the hand grip seems to make against this

explanation.  We think it more likely that the promisor proffered

his name of himself and for the purpose of devoting himself to the

god or goddess, if he broke faith. Expanded in words, the

underlying idea would be of this kind, 'As I here deliver myself to

you by my right hand, so I deliver myself to the wrath of Fides, or

Jupiter acting by the ministry of Fides, if I break faith in this

thing.'

"Whether the Germans have borrowed this symbolic act from the Roman

provincials and have thus taken over a Roman practice along with

Fides, or whether it has an independent root in their own heathen

religion we will not dare to decide.  However, the grasp of the

hand appears among them at an early date as a mode of contracting

solemn, if not legally binding, obligations."

In the Code of Justinian the formality of raising the right hand

was necessary in taking an oath.  Then we find from the two great

sources of law, Roman and English, that more importance is attached

to the right hand than to the left.

Among primitive races, such as the Dacotah, the Winebagoes and

other Western tribes, the right hand as a symbol has been observed

by more than one person.  As a symbol of fidelity and virtue the

right hand is repeatedly referred to in Hebrew lore.

Abraham said to the King of Salem: "I have lifted up my hand unto

the Lord, the most High God, the possessor of heaven and earth,

that I will not take anything that is thine." The expression,

"lifted up my hand unto the Lord," doubtless proves the custom of

the ancient Hebrews in placing the right hand upon the object of

veneration in entering into a contract or binding obligations, and

if such object could not be touched, the right hand was extended

toward the thing of reverence with hand open and fingers extended.

The right hand of fellowship is spoken of by St. Paul in

Gallatioans (Gallatian 2, chap. 9).  In Psalms, 94th chapter, the

right hand is spoken of as "the right hand of falsehood."

The manner of using the right hand is a symbol of fidelity, imposed

in primitive times the loss of that member in cases of breaches of

faith.  Pollack and Maitland, in their work on English Law, in

speaking of the German people say, "Germanic law is fond of

characteristic punishment.  It likes to take the tongue of the

false accuser and the perjurer's right hand."

Fort in his Early History and Antiquities of Freemasonry, says:

"Oaths were also attested by water, fountains and streams, by

rocks, cliffs and stones - the latter sometimes white, but the most

sacred and binding obligations were made upon a blue stone altar.

Ancient Norsemen swore upon Thor's hammer. It was no unusual thing

for a person to formerly attest an oath by the beard, hair, and

eyes, or with the hand upon vestments.  A judicial obligation was

administered by touching the judge's staff of office, and by some

reason warriors swore by the sword; also, other people, in less

exciting spheres of domestic life, used household furniture.  For

examples travellers grasped the wagon wheel, and horsemen their

stirrups; sailors rested the hand upon the ship's railing.

Operative Masons, or stonecutters of the Middle Ages perpetuated

the Scandinavian custom of swearing upon common utensils and used

their tools in the solemn formality of an obligation - a usage

adhered to by the modern craft.

"The right hand was considered indispensable in medieval oaths, to

seize or to touch the consecrated objects.  Frequently the hand was

upraised in order to bring it in contact with the material object

sworn by, and at the same time kneeling, divested of hat and

weapon, was an essential element in the ceremony of assuming an

oath."

Why was it necessary to touch or to be in contact with some sacred

object? This is a pertinent question. The possible explanation may

be found in the doctrine of deodands in ancient English Common Law.

This doctrine generally recognized that in case of an injury

inflicted by an inanimate object, such as a wagon wheel, tree or

other object of similar kind, a portion of the punishment or damage

was to award the injured with the object, the cause of the injury.

Man from the remotest times has attributed life, spirit or being to

inanimate objects, therefore, swearing upon these inanimate objects

is doubtless for no other purpose than to call upon some object to

be a witness to this obligation.  From the fact that man has

attributed life to inanimate objects, creating and vesting them

with certain characteristics common to mankind, naturally thought

about the necessity of giving them sex.  Hence it is probable that

this is the explanation why in most languages we find masculine and

feminine gender indiscriminately applied to inanimate objects.  The

explanation is to be found in the doctrine of animism and not in

poetic license as is often given by grammarians.

The frequent use of the right hand - and one can cite instance

after instance of its use of entering into obligations, such as in

marriage contracts, uplifted right hand in the taking of an oath -

naturally arouses one's enthusiasm to investigate the probable

cause. Brother Mackey cites instance after instance of its use in

worship, such as keeping the right side to the altar in going

around the altar.  Sir Walter Scott gives an instance in his novel,

The Pirate, of the young people who assembled in far off Norseland

and joined right hands through a circular aperture at the base of

an upright rock and plighted their faiths to the god Odin.  G.

Stanley Hall makes some interesting remarks when he says:

"There are many facts which seem to suggest that in adolescence the

right hand precedes the left, and is not usually quite overtaken,

so that the predominance is greater after puberty.  If this be so

the relation of the two hands in man is somewhat analogous to the

relation between the male and female body in muscular development."

Scientists say the grip of the right hand exceeds in strength by

one-sixth to one-eighth that of the left hand.  Smedley has

observed that there is an analogy between unidexterity and the

development of the voice.

Here let us pause and ask two questions: First, Are we right-handed

because of the long continued use of the right hand in worship and

in assuming obligations thereby creating a physiological condition

or anatomical condition as a result of constant exercise or

precedence of the right hand? Second, Is the preference given to

the right hand due to the disparity in development between the two

hands as is pointed out by the scientist in the preceding

paragraphs?

The delivery of possession of a piece of land was performed, says

Digby, in the following manner:

"Speaking generally it must be the delivery of something, such as

a clod, earth or twig on the land in the name of whole.  Great

importance was attached to the notoriety of the transaction. That

all the neighbours might know that A was tenant to B from the fact

that open livery of seisen had been made to him.  This would enable

him to assert his rights in case of disputes to the title of

lands."

Another instance may be cited from Littleton Coke's translation:

"When a freeholder does fealty to his lord he shall hold his right

hand on a book and shall say this: 'Know ye this, my lord, that I

shall be faithful and true unto you and faith to you shall bear for

the lands which I claim to hold of you and that I shall lawfully do

to you the custom and service while I ought to do, at the terms

assigned, so help me God and his Saints.  And he shall kiss the

book."

In further substantiation of formalities in assuming obligations we

wish here to refer to some peculiar marriage customs.  One of the

most peculiar of these customs was known as "Smock-marriages" or

"Marriage in Shift." Under the common law the husband became at

marriage liable for the antenuptial debts of his wife as well as

the successor to her property rights.  One counteracted the other.

Now the theory that the husband could escape the liability of the

antenuptial debts of his wife possibly created or brought about

smock-marriages.

A smock-marriage was one where the debtor bride came to the wedding

dressed in a smock or shift, which was a public declaration to her

creditors that she took no property to her husband as a basis of

charging him with her debts.  A number of instances are reported in

the New England States where the bride was secluded in a closet and

joined right hands, through an aperture of the door with the

bridegroom until the ceremony was said, and later appeared well

dressed.  Alice Morse Earle, in her Customs of Old New England,

refers frequently to this unique custom.

In ancient days trial by battle was attended by the usual formality

of joining right hands before the trial of strength, a custom still

preserved in the prize fight.

Numerous examples might be cited from the Bible but this is not

deemed necessary here as it would simply expand this article and

add nothing to its value or proof.

The Prince of Wales in taking his coronation oath lays his right

hand upon the Bible, for it is the object of veneration or

sacredness.

The formality of removing the shoes is one of the oldest customs

and doubtless had its origin among the people of the Far East,

especially the Hebrews.  We find Moses upon his approach to the

burning bush removed his shoes for the reason that the ground on

which he stood was sacred. It is a custom of the people of the East

upon approaching a sacred place to remove the shoes or to uncover

the feet, but among the Western people the head is uncovered.  The

fact of discalceation proves beyond doubt that the person taking

the oath regards the Deity as present and participating as a third

party to the ceremony.  Among the Jewish people it was considered

a sign of renunciation of dominion or authority to remove the

shoes.

Under the Mosaic law the brother of a childless man was bound to

marry his widow and until he renounced his right, she could not

marry another.  If refused the woman was obliged to loose his shoes

from off his feet and spit before his face as an assertion of

complete her complete independence.

Edward J. White in his Legal Antiquities says:

"That this custom was later used by the early Christians would seem

to be confirmed by the story connected with the proposal of the

Emperor Vladimir to the daughter of Raguald, for when asked if she

would not marry the Emperor she replied: 'I will not take off my

shoes to the son of a slave."'

In the early Saxon days when marriage was completed the father of

the bride took off her shoes and handed them to the bridegroom.

Wood's Wedding Day in All Ages says that Martin Luther, the great

reformer, used the shoe in his ceremony.

Bending the knee has in all ages of the world's history been

considered as an act of humility and reverence. Pliny, the Roman

naturalist, observes that a certain degree of religious reverence

is attributed to the knee of man.  Solomon prayed upon bended knee

at the consecration of the temple.

These customs show beyond doubt that in taking the obligation the

candidate is assumed to be in the presence of the Deity and that

his obligation is entered into with that ever present Being.

The last point we desire to make is that an obligation once assumed

was by ancient peoples considered inviolable, and could not be set

aside or held for naught.  One reason for this was because every

act of the promisor contemplated the presence of the Deity and

according to the customs of that age due preparations had been made

looking to the entering into of the obligations.

It would be a great blessing in this modern age if more of the

initiates in entering into the obligation could or would consider

it more as the ancients did, a solemn and binding obligation, - one

taken in the presence of Him who can search the inner recesses of

the heart and knows our purposes and designs.  If that were true we

would have better Masons.

It is a matter of regret to every man practising law how easily men

extend their right hand toward their Creator and perjure

themselves.  This is done because many of them regard an oath as an

empty string of words with no binding effect whatsoever.  Let us as

Masons make more of our obligations and try to impress upon the

initiate the fact that a broken pledge with the brethren is

attended with serious consequences and is looked upon with

displeasure by Him who takes notice of the falling of the sparrow.

"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924

ON KNOWING NAMES

"I've been watching you for half an hour and you haven't missed

calling a brother by name," said the New Brother to the Old

Tiler. "How do you do it?"

"Remembering names is my business. As Tiler I am supposed to know

all the brethren of this lodge. I get paid for being a Tiler. If

I didn't know my job I would be taking money under false

pretenses."

"How did you learn names? I have been a member of this lodge for

nearly a year. And I don't know more than a dozen men by name.

How do you do it?"

"How do you not do it?" countered the Old Tiler. "Don't you ever

know anyone by name in any organization you belong to?"

"Well, er- I- "

"I visited in one lodge once," interrupted the Old Tiler, "where

they used the scheme developed in so many luncheon clubs. The

Master started an automatic roll call, in which each brother

stood, gave his name, address and business and sat down. It

smacked a little of the commercial to me. To hear a chap say, 'My

name is Bill Jones, agent for the Speedemup car, in business at

1567 Main Street,' may be very informing to the brother who

doesn't know it, but it seems like advertising. I presume the

scheme worked; everyone in that lodge got to know everyone else

by name in time.

"In another lodge every brother wears a big, round celluloid name

plate with his name printed on it in big letters. The Tiler, poor

chap, has charge of a rack and is supposed to see that every

brother entering the room has his button on and that none wears

it home! This scheme works; you can read a brother's name and

call him by it, and probably remember it next time.

"Ready-made brotherhood is the dream of the professional Mason;

ready-made acquaintance is the thing he strives for with his

announcements and his celluloid buttons.

"I don't regard the use of a name as essential. It is pleasant to

be called by name, and nice to be able to remember them. But a

name, after all, is an artificial distinction, conferred on us by

our parents as a matter of convenience. A rose smells just as

sweet if you call it a sunflower, and a man is the same whether

you call him Jim or Jones. Not very long ago a man said to me: 'I

don't know your name but you are Tiler of my lodge. My uncle in

the country has just sent me a crate of strawberries. I can't se

'em all and I'd like to give you some. Will you write your name

and address on a card so I can send them?'

If he had known my name he could have sent them without asking

for the card. But would they have tasted any better? I had a warm

feeling at my heart; my brother had remembered my face and who I

was, and wanted me to share his good luck. That he didn't know my

name didn't seem to matter. He knew me.

"It's friendly to call a man by his name. We are all more or less

egocentric. (Doc Palmer tells me that the word means that we

revolve about ourselves!) When people remember our names we think

we have made an impression. It tickles our vanity. Half a dozen

members in this lodge come only once a year. When I call them by

name they swell up like poisoned pups. But they wouldn't if they

knew my system. One of them has prominent ears; so has a jackass.

A jackass eats thistles. This man's name is Nettleton. Another

chap has a nose that looks as if it grew on a Brobdingnagian

face. His name is Beekman. It's no trick to remember them,

because of the impression they make of ugliness. I remember your

name as an earnest young brother trying to learn. I remember the

Past Masters by remembering their services,. I know John and Jim

and George and Elly and Harry and Joe and Frank and the rest

because I know the men, know what they do, how they do it, what

they stand for in the lodge and in Masonry; in other words, it's

the brother I know first, and in my mind I tack a name to him. To

remember a name and tack a face to it is the trick accomplished

by the celluloid button, the automatic roll call, by all schemes

to make men know each other's names with the idea that the name

and not the man is important.

"You have been here nearly a year and know a dozen men by name.

If you know a hundred by sight to speak to, you have accomplished

something more important than filling your memory with names. But

if you know only your dozen by sight and name, and no others

either by sight or name, then there is something the matter with

your idea of fellowship.

"In lodge, brothers learn to know each other; if they learn each

other's names in the process, well and good. But if they learn to

know each other as human beings with friendly faces, it does make

little difference whether they have good or poor memories for

names.

"Our Master is a fine, lovable man. Every dog he meets on the

street wags its tail and speaks to him, and he speaks to them

all. I doubt if he knows their names. He has a poor memory for

names, yet he never forgets a face. I know names and faces

because it's my job, but I'd make a poor Master."

"I'm not so sure about your being a poor Master!"

"Well, I am! Don't confuse a good memory, a good Mason and a good

Master. I try to have the first and be the second!"

 

Before the short goodie, I have compiled a lot of messages from many

sources from 1995 into text files. If I compress them all, the ZIP file is

just over 1MB, which will take about 10 minutes to transfer by e-mail

attachment.  These files are about 2.6MB uncompressed.  As an example, the

King James version of the bible is less than 2mb compressed, so you can

see there is a lot of stuff here. I will send the ZIP to anyone who

requests it--NOT to everyone!!

For more information, ask.

Also I have a ZIP file of all of the goodies that I have sent out

since starting this list. The ZIP is about 100k, so it will move

fast. If you want either or both, ask.  If you don't have a ZIP

utility, I have PK260W32.EXE which is a windows ZIP utility I can

send to you, ask.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

now for today's goodie

OUT OF THE PAST--THE NEW AGE - OCTOBER 1961   (From Hiram's Oasis)

The Speech of Count T---.

At the Initiation of His Son into Masonry

I Congratulate you on your admission into the most ancient and

perhaps the most respectable Society in the universe. To you the

mysteries of Masonry are about to be revealed, and so bright a sun

never shed its lustre on your eyes. In this awful moment, when

prostrate at this holy altar, do you not shudder at every crime,

and have you not confidence in every virtue? May this reflection

inspire you with the noble sentiments; may you be penetrated with a

religious abhorrence of every vice that degrades the dignity of

human nature; and may you feel the elevation of the soul which

scorns a dishonourable action, and ever invites to the practice of

piety and virtue!

These are the wishes of a father and a brother conjoined. Of you

the greatest hopes are raised, let not our expectations be

deceived. You are the son of a Mason who glories in the profession;

and for your zeal and attachment, your silence and good conduct,

your father has already pledged his honour.

You are now, as a member of this Illustrious Order, introduced a

subject of a new country, whose extent is boundless. Pictures are

open to your view, wherein true patriotism is exemplified in

glaring colours, and a series of transactions recorded, which the

rude hand of time can ever erase. The obligations which influenced

the first Brutus and Manlius to sacrifice their children to the

love of their country, are not more sacred than those which bind me

to support the honour and reputation of this venerable Order.

This moment, my son, you owe to me a second birth; should your

conduct in life correspond with the principles of Masonry, my

remaining years will pass away with pleasure and satisfaction.

Observe the great example of our ancient masters, peruse our

history and our constitutions. The best, the most humane, the

bravest, and most civilized of men have been our patrons. Though

the vulgar are strangers to our words, the greatest geniuses have

sprung from our Order. The most illustrious characters on earth

have laid the foundation of their most amiable qualities in

Masonry. The wisest of Princes planned our Institution, at raising

a Temple to the eternal and Supreme Ruler of the Universe.

Swear, my son, that you will be a true and faithful Mason. Know

from this moment that I centre the affection of a parent in the

name of a brother and a friend. May your heart be susceptible of

love and esteem, and may you burn with the same zeal your father

possesses. Convince the world by your new alliance you are

deserving our favours, and never forget the ties which bind you to

honour and to justice. View not with indifference the extensive

connections you have formed, but let universal Benevolence regulate

your conduct. Exert your abilities in the service of your King

and your Country, and deem the knowledge you have this day attained

the happiest acquisition of your life.

Recall to memory the ceremony of your initiation; learn to bridle

your tongue, and to govern your passions; and ere long you will

have occasion to say "In becoming a Mason I truly became the Man;

and while I breathe will never disgrace a jewel that kings may

prize."

If I live, my son, to reap the fruits of this day's labour, my

happiness will be complete. I will meet death without terror, close

my eyes in peace, and expire, without a groan, in the arms of a

virtuous and a worthy Freemason.

         "Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924

OUTSIDE ACTIVITIES

"We are coming to a pretty pass in our Masonry!" announced the

New Brother, disgustedly.

"That has a familiar ring! No times like the old times, no days

like the old days, everything going to the demnition bow-wows.

They uncovered inscriptions like that in King Tut's tomb!"

grinned the Old Tiler. "What's wrong our Masonry now?"

"All these extras in the lodge. First, we have a choir; that's

all right, since music adds to the solemnity and beauty of the

degrees. Now we are forming a lodge glee club. There is to be a

saxophone quartet and there is talk of a lodge band. A brother in

lodge long enough to know better is organizing a dramatic

society. If he has any dramatic instinct he should put it into

the degrees. The Master is interesting some brethren in forming a

Masonic club, and a lot of brethren are talking of a camping

club, for summer fishing! This scattering of effort is a shame.

We ought to put it into the work of the lodge; don't you agree

with me?"

"I sure do; I think all our effort Masonic should be Masonic

effort!" answered the Old Tiler.

"That's the first time I ever started a discussion with you and

found you were on my side!" laughed the New Brother,

triumphantly.

"Oh, I wouldn't go as far as to say I was on your side this time.

Our efforts ought to be Masonic, but I don't see un-Masonic

effort in a glee club, saxophone quartet, camping association,

dramatic club, and so on. What's wrong with them as Masonic

work?"

"Why, Masonic work is putting on the degrees well, and making an

impression on the candidate, and charity, and... and..."

"Go on, son, you are doing fine!"

"Oh, you know what I mean! Masonic work isn't going camping or

playing a saxophone!"

"Isn't it?" asked the Old Tiler, interestedly. "Now, that's a

plain statement about which I can argue until tomorrow morning!

But explain why playing a saxophone in a lodge for the pleasure

of the lodge isn't Masonic."

"Oh, the time spent could be better spent in- in listening to the

degrees."

"Granted, if there were degrees to listen to. But you wouldn't

put on a degree without reason? If the lodge neglects its degree

work to listen to a quartet, the quartet does harm. But if the

quartet brings down brethren who like music, and to whom we can

them give Masonic instruction, why isn't it good Masonic work?"

"How about the dramatic club and the fishing association?"

"They are the same in intent. The dramatic club will gather

together brethren interested in plays. It will develop histrionic

talent which now doesn't exist. It will train men for sincere and

well-managed degree work. But if it never led a single man into

our degree teams, it would still be a bond of union between men

who would thus get better acquainted; the better members know

each other the more united the lodge.

"Fishing is an innocent and delightful sport. When Masons

congregate to enjoy it and prefer the company of each other to

others, it speaks highly of the bonds of brotherhood. If I can

afford it I will surely join. I'd much rather tell a fish that he

has passed the other anglers, but me he cannot pass, in the

presence of my brethren, than have to keep my thoughts to myself

before strangers!"

"You think these extra growths on the body of the lodge don't sap

its strength?"

"I don't think they are growths on the body of the lodge at all!"

growled the Old Tiler. "Brethren who do these things are not

taking strength from the lodge! Banding together to sing, play

musical instruments, fish, act in plays together, shows a real

feeling of brotherhood. The more such activities, the more united

we will be.

"All work and no play makes a Mason a stay-at-home. Our ancient

brethren specified the usages of refreshment. They understood

that playing was as necessary as working. If part of us can play

together for our own pleasure, well and good. If, at the same

time, we can give pleasure to others, and benefit the lodge by

increasing its unity, why, well and best of all!"

"You sure are a salesman!" cried the New Brother. "I ought not to

afford it, but..."

"What have I sold you?" asked the Old Tiler, interestedly.

"Memberships in the glee club, the Masonic club, and the fishing

club!" grinned the New Brother.

 

 

Fraternally,

Carl Johnson, 32'

Burlington Masonic Lodge #254

Grand Lodge of Washington, Free & Accepted Masons

Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Bellingham

Orient of Washington

Today we bring you something a bit different.  It's a bit long. We

think you might enjoy reading it in spite of it's length.   Enjoy

This is a copyrighted article from ARIADNE'S WEB, a spiritual

magazine. you can contact them it at   www.ariadnes-web.com

 

          A MASONIC PERSPECTIVE,

Any Masonic Perspective can only be that of the individual Freemason,

according to the light that he himself has discovered.

             MASONIC LANGUAGE

Like all other initiatory systems, which are concerned to impart and

to develop techniques for spiritual unfoldment, Freemasonry has its

own special language derived from the ancient tool of allegory and the

universal language of symbolism. In general, the search for spiritual

evolution and illumination can be termed a pathway to light. Light,

for Freemasons, signifies knowledge. Darkness signifies Ignorance.

                 The Pathway to LIGHT

             By NORMAN PEARSON, PH.D., D.B.A

Long before our society embraced the concept of lifelong learning,

Freemasons had posited one of the basic human tasks to be an endless

quest for knowledge: light, and still more light, as all the readily

available literature on Freemasonry will attest. Masons are required

to make a daily advancement, no matter how small, in this struggle for

the light. On this pathway, Masonry uses three main personal

techniques at the outset, and they continue throughout a Mason's

individual development, supplemented by other techniques. These are:

1 - Admonition

2 - Incident

3 - Symbol

FIRST TECHNIQUES FOR THE INDIVIDUAL

These first techniques of admonition, incident and symbol are

deceptively simple. They are also very powerful. They point to Masonry

as a discipline, not a religion. Freemasonry has been held to contain

those spiritual principles on which all good men can agree, whatever

their history, their culture, their origin, their religion or their

mores. That has been the root of its universal appeal.

On Masonic altars the Torah, the Bible, the Koran, the holy Vedic

books of India, the teachings of Zoroaster, the Mormon books and those

of the Bahai and others sit side by side in peace and harmony.

Members are forbidden to discuss such divisive matters as politics and

dogma, and are expected to meet in peace and brotherhood. Because of

the vital significance of this spiritual work, in many jurisdictions

Masonic meeting-places are termed Temples, used in the sense of a holy

place of spiritual searching; of a temple of learning about light; and

as a reminder of a fundamental principle that the body is the temple

of the soul; buildings dedicated to the basic Cosmic force and

ultimate mysterious principle which we term God, and as places of

fellowship and harmony where the concerned seekers can work together

in their search, both individually and collectively.

       ADMONITION, INCIDENT & SYMBOL

The Masonic discipline at every meeting and in the Mason's private

life, uses all three techniques of admonition, incident and symbol.

Admonitions abound - in plain and forthright language. This technique

is simple and direct. For example, the cardinal virtues of temperance,

fortitude, prudence and justice are stated, explained, and the need

for their use in daily life is made very plain. Any book of published

material on Freemasonry clearly indicates this as a basic starting

point. The intent is towards basic honesty and integrity, to make our

inner code of honor apply directly to our external actions as a matter

of habit.

A series of incidents constitute the second teaching, technique. These

are not abstract moral lessons, but simple and practical

demonstrations: indications of the importance of duty as a compass

bearing on our progress in life; friendship as a key element, showing

that we are all totally dependent on friendship and on mutual

cooperation to make society work at all, and particularly to overcome

peril; loyalty is sought, along with demonstrable fidelity to certain

key principles already evident in the admonitions; full personal

responsibility for our actions is required, including self-discipline

to ensure harmonious working together, to ensure responsibility for

our words and deeds and their consequences: fidelity is evident,

including the need for positive action to actually oppose evil, even

at great risk, to put these principles into action in the great arena

of life.

... there are emblems of mortality and immortality: to remind us that

life is short in this present school of Earth, and that such time must

be used well; and to remind us that the Divine spark within is one

with the great universe, transcends time and space, and lives for

ever.

The third method uses the universal and ancient language of symbols.

It takes time to learn this forgotten language, but it gradually

becomes clear that the symbols fall into various groups: some relate

to regulating our conduct; some deal with building our character;

still others speak to our purpose in life; others emphasize the need

for a balanced life. Finally, there are emblems of mortality and

immortality: to remind us that life is short in this present school of

Earth, and that such time must be used well; and to

remind us that the Divine spark within is one with the great universe,

transcends time and space, and lives for ever. Then having

contemplated infinity, there are symbols to remind us of the various

aspects of the universal moral law which should guide our lives.

So we have the commitment to lifelong learning and the three methods of

admonition, incident and symbols as the obvious techniques and

starting point. But what precedes this is also vital: the process of

initiation in stages.

       The universe is viewed as one huge coherent structure,, run,

       by universal law, which owes its existence to the Great

       Architect of the Universe. Man is not lost in space.

 

    INITIATION & ARCHITECTURE AS A METAPHOR

Many Masonic writers have noted that there are many in the order who

are unchanged by the solemn ceremonies of initiation. They frequently

remind us of Tolstoy's character Pierre, in 'War and Peace", who

classified his lodge members as (1) those who were few, but genuinely

affected by initiation and who made profound efforts at spiritual

development; (2) those who, like himself, sought to improve their

character but wavered and fell by the wayside periodically; (3) those

fascinated by minute detail of ritual, ceremony, history and

symbolism, demanding conformity and strict observance; (4) the

unchanged (often called in English works "bread-and-butter Masons")

who were not at all affected by any event, and saw in the whole

thing simply a social occasion. It seems evident that those in the

first category are likely very few in number, but as Tolstoy said,

they are the lifeblood of Freemasonry.

Hammond (1939) alluded to these Masons when he spoke of the fourfold

allusions to the metaphor of architecture in Freemasonry as techniques

for spiritual unfoldment:

1. The universe is viewed as one huge coherent structure, run by

universal law, which owes its existence to the Great Architect of the

Universe. Man is not lost in space.

2. Man is a builder, charged with the construction of personal

character. He is reminded that the universe within is as vast and

limitless as the universe without, as the ancient symbol of infinity

indicates. For this task of building a fitting temple for the soul,

man is given abundant material, noble models and patterns, and

explicit instructions.

3. Man is commissioned to build an ideal social structure, globally,

person by person. Since the nature of this slowly-evolving structure

depends on the quality of the individuals involved and their

relationship to each other, then each Mason must qualify as a "living

stone" of society to contribute to its betterment, following universal

law.

4. Finally, Masons are engaged in creating "that house not made with

hands eternal in the heaven", the idea that after transition we have

passed through the earthly chambers of birth, youth, manhood, old age

and death, into the eternal. This sequence envisages a process which

this author sees as an indication of re-incarnation in some sense,

until the soul has learned all it needs to know. Oliver Wendell Holmes

states this well:

"Build thee more stately mansions, O, my soul, As the swift seasons

roll! Leave thy low-vaulted past! Let each new temple, nobler than the

last. Shut thee from heaven within a dome more vast Till thou at

length are free, Leaving shine outgrown shell by life's unresting

sea!"

 

 

THE CHILDREN AND THE CHESSBOARD

So the whole direction of the dominant architectural metaphor in

Freemasonry is toward this major task of spiritual unfoldment. We

must, therefore, look beyond admonitions, incidents, symbolism and

metaphors and allegories to a more fundamental level.

Where did all this come from? Yet here, the great mystic Manly Hall,

who had profound admiration for the essentials of Freemasonry and

eventually became a Mason later in life, stated that most modern

Freemasons were like children playing innocently and quite ignorantly

with a chessboard and chess pieces, seeing them as toys, and with no

idea of their real significance. To those who are concerned with

spiritual development, what does this mean?

What Hall meant was that Freemasonry is a modern form of spiritual

development and unfoldment descended from, and worthy of being set

alongside some very ancient systems, and that it has also very ancient

roots going back to Mankind's earliest attempts to reconcile the

evident materiality of an external infinite universe and an internal

spiritual cosmos. This refers, of course, to what many Masonic

historians have termed the "Credibility Gap" in Masonic evolution.

What this means is that the pioneer English Grand Lodge dates from

1717, that Grand Lodge history is totally silent on any antecedents,

and that in some way Masons are cut off from the rich legends and

mythology of their origins.

That pre-history is not only cloaked in symbolism and allegory, it is

silent and a virtual blank: hence the recent spate of literature

challenging the venerated idea of a transition from Operative

cathedral builders to a more universal Speculative Freemasonry, and

suggesting evolution from the Knights Templar, from the Order of

Enoch, or (as Hall said) from Atlantis (which modern authors even

suggest may have been Antarctica before the ice-caps covered it; the

progenitor of a universal high-technology civilization of which

Freemasony was a practical-tool for universal peace among diverse

peoples!) It is not our purpose here to debate these ideas, but rather

to look further at the chessboard and the pieces.

Internally, Masonic ritual is replete with references to antecedents

such as Ancient Egypt, the Ancient Mysteries of Dionysus and Eleusis,

the Pythogoreans, the Order of Melchizedek, the Order of Enoch, and

Ancient India

The great de-bunkers of the 19th century did much to destroy all

reliance on such sources, thereby denigrating the spiritual aspects of

Freemasonry by literal interpretations of that which by its very

nature is esoteric: messages hidden in ritual envelopes wrapped inside

packages.

But real history confirms much of this. When King Henry VI (1421-1471)

of England asked about the origin of English Freemasonry, he was told

it originated with the Phoenicians, and that one Peter Gower of Groton

learned of this, spread it to France and then to England. This clearly

is an Anglicized pronunciation of Pythagoras of Crotona as he was

described in ancient French. The King also learned it developed in the

East, then in Greece, Egypt and Syria and thence to France and from

there to England. This in turn links Freemasonry to the Dionysian

Architects, who had (1000 BC) a structure like modern Masonry, and who

were, legend tells us, used to build King Solomon's Temple (which is

largely featured in Masonic degrees). They were also used in the great

Christian cathedrals. The early Christian Church had a system of

degrees, like Craft Masonry. As Charles Heckthorn has stated, by

syncretic evolution, we therefore find in modern Freemasonry its roots

in ancient India, Egypt, Jewish and Christian ideas and ideas, of the

Renaissance and the Enlightenment. Such is the chessboard and the

pieces in it. They are meaningful.

        Initiation is found in all of the antecedents of Freemasonry,

        and it is the crucial experience to modern Freemasonry. In

        its simplest form, the word means revelation of the basic

        principles, by means of rituals.

SPIRITUAL SECRETS

Those who have developed spiritually in Freemasonry suggest that the

idea of the chessboard and the pieces is a reference to a secret

teaching aimed at the effort to measure and to estimate

philosophically all the parts and proportions of the microcosm, and

that such knowledge could then be applied to the creation of the

perfect man.

Hall believed that Freemasonry was the vehicle by which the

all-inclusive old nature religions of the symbols of the Sun and Fire,

and the Ancient Mysteries, survived the advance of Christianity.

He argues that these old mysteries simply assumed all the trappings

and symbols of the new faith, and then went underground in the face of

the orthodoxy promulgated by the Council of Nicea (325 AD) which led

to the destruction of all ancient Schools and all their written

documents and symbols that could be found. Interpretations of the

recently rediscovered records of the Essenes seem to confirm this, as

do records of Rosicrucianism and even of Freemasonry itself. What is

clear now is that within and behind the Mysteries of Freemasonry "lie

hidden the long-lost arcane sought by all peoples since the genesis of

human reason", as Hall suggested. Pike was correct in seeing in modern

Freemasonry the ruins of a former gigantic global system for spiritual

unfoldment, there for all who can dig beneath the rubbish of the ages

and discern true meanings.

In a letter to Robert Gould, Pike wrote: "It began to shape itself to

my intellectual vision into something more imposing and majestic,

solemnly mysterious and grand. It seemed to me like the pyramids in

their loneliness, in whose yet undiscovered chambers may be hidden,

for the enlightenment of coming generations, the sacred books of the

Egyptians, so long lost to the world; like the Sphinx half buried in

the desert. In its symbolism, as in its spirit of brotherhood and its

essence, Freemasonry is more ancient than any of the world's living

religions. It has the symbols and doctrines which, older than himself,

Zarathrusta inculcated; and it seemed to me a spectacle sublime, yet

pitiful - the ancient Faith of our ancestors holding out to the world

its symbols once so eloquent, and mutely and in vain asking for an

interpreter And so I came at last to see that the greatness and

majesty of Freemasonry consist in its proprietorship of these and its

other symbols; and that its symbolism is its soul. "

This is a far cry from the literalists and the de-bunkers and those

whose history begins only in 1717. While the Ancient Egyptian temples

are now broken and deserted, the spirit of their philosophy is alive

in Freemasonry. So is the philosophy of numbers developed by

Pythagoras, along with the ceremonies of Ancient Greece. So too are

the values of the Vedas though their sanctuaries are in ruins.

Zoroaster speaks to us, and so do the echoes of many initiatory bodies

including the Templars and the Rosicrucians. Even the prototype of

Masonry, in the order of the Red Branch of Eri from Ireland from 1600

BC, is present. Such is the strength of Freemasonry that these ancient

guides are still with us and still able to influence us.

         Perhaps the most powerful symbols are those of the rebuilding

         of the earthly Temple after great disasters, and the

         unfinished spiritual Temple upon which we all labor.

THE TECHNIQUES OF INITIATION

Just as we have seen the techniques which an individual Mason is

expected to use in the self-development which is required, the daily

advancement of Masonic knowledge, so too there are other techniques

for spiritual unfoldment. Some are revealed so as to re-inforce that

individual development. Some are special techniques of initiation, and

some are the techniques of the Lodges, which lie at the heart of the

Masonic experience.

Initiation is found in all of the antecedents of Freemasonry, and it

is the crucial experience to modern Freemasonry. In its simplest form,

the word means revelation of the basic principles, by means of

rituals. As with all such bodies, solemn oaths are required so that

the esoteric knowledge is protected and reserved for those who are

deemed worthy, and those who demonstrate by their lives and actions

that they value the various steps, which are termed "degrees".

Those who balk at the secrecy which surrounds these ceremonies should

remember that the perspective of Freemasonry covers the total human

experience of spiritual unfoldment, and that it has learned by bitter

and sad experience to be able to survive all manner of disasters in

order to preserve essential truths needed by questing mankind. That

perspective covers such catastrophes as the Flood, Rome's defeat of

Ancient Greece, the collapse of Ancient Egypt, the extirpations caused

by the Council of Nicea, the collapse of the Roman Empire and the Dark

Ages, the destruction of the Knights Templar, and in more recent

times, the Fascist, National Socialist and Communist revolutions.

In each age, somewhere in the world, and sometimes in the whole of the

known world, dark forces seek to destroy bodies such as Freemasonry,

to remove enlightenment from mankind. Freemasonry has taught what it

is to be a man, and the meaning of freedom and self-direction. The

oaths of secrecy are not idly required, but guarantees of continuity.

What is here described then breaches no oaths, but records that which

is widely and readily available in published material for the

discerning. The basic Craft Lodges, colloquially known as "Blue

Lodges", have three degrees (Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and

Master Mason) based on initiatory experience related to enlightenment.

These solemn and noble ceremonies guide men through the great cycles

of youth, maturity and death, and here the initiate finds echoes of

the Egyptian "Book of the Dead", which is really concerned with

bringing forth by day that which is normally realized too late, if at

all, when man is overtaken by transition. This is a generic experience

of ritual rebirth into a new state. It is a very old technique to have

the candidate re-enact the experience of a great hierophant, to awaken

the soul and transform the individual so that the true self speaks and

is nourished. There are many other aspects to these rituals, which use

the individual techniques already described.

A key element is the Temple of Solomon, whose name signifies light,

glory and truth. He is presented as an archetype of universal wisdom,

and his Temple as "the House of Everlasting Light", which introduces

the discerning Mason to the hierarchical orders of the architectural

metaphor, previously noted.

The most conspicuous symbols of Freemasonry at this stage are the

seven liberal arts and sciences, once the realm of universities and

now scattered and dismembered into separate departments, which rarely

speak to each other.

Those are grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, music and

astronomy. Even if a Mason does no more, this education will equip him

to cope with virtually all of life's problems, relying on the other

tools of individual self- development already inculcated. Perhaps the

most powerful symbols are those of the rebuilding of the earthly

Temple after great disasters, and the unfinished spiritual Temple upon

which we all labor.

Solomon inspires the Mason to mental, spiritual, moral and physical

Illumination. This unleashes in the thoughtful Mason a lifelong

process to that end.

      The great symbolic Masonic hero Hiram Abif, the architect of

      the Temple, killed by three ruffians for refusing to divulge

      the secrets of the Craft, is the symbol of universal action.

      Together they are the basic triad of concept, causation, and

      manifestation, which ancient philosophers called the Triune

      Foundation of the Universe.

THE TECHNIQUES OF THE LODGE

The initiated man is entered as a Fellow Craft and in due course

becomes privy to the tasks of the Master Mason. In this process and

thereafter, the Freemason becomes aware of the techniques of the Lodge

in the task of spiritual unfoldment.

First, there is the task of working together in harmony with many

diverse persons, seen as brothers; the pursuit of the basic ideals of

developing brotherly love; the practical relief of human suffering

including compassion to the widows and orphans and all the

unfortunate; and the lifelong challenge to search honestly for the

truth. Kipling, in his eloquent stories and poetry about the British

Raj in India, for example, makes it plain that the Masonic Lodge was

the only place where a man could meet and transcend the divisions of

race, caste, religion, social order, and all that divides men in the

outer world.

It soon dawns on the Mason that the Lodge is precisely, as it is said

in the published rituals, a working miniature of the Universe. As men

work in the processes of the Lodge and as they progress through the

various offices they realize that the whole structure focuses around

the centrality of the Creator, termed the Great Architect of the

Universe. The whole Lodge system becomes an eloquent philosophical

statement about the redemption of the human soul, which is of great

assistance to each Mason in the spiritual unfoldment which he desires.

Using the analogy of the three Grand Masters of the Lodge of Jerusalem

while building a Temple, there is a black-and-white chequered pavement

to signify the vagaries of life. The Worshipful Master (King Solomon)

represents the eternal and unchanging principle of the Great Architect

of the Universe. Hiram, King of Tyre, who helped to build the Temple,

represents that energy and those resources from the world of cause and

effect. The great symbolic Masonic hero Hiram Abif, the architect of

the Temple, killed by three ruffians for refusing to divulge the

secrets of the Craft, is the symbol of universal action. Together they

are the basic triad of concept, causation, and manifestation, which

ancient philosophers called the Triune Foundation of the Universe. The

ritual, the hammers or gavels, speak of the divine power over all

aspects of creation.

The joint working in the Lodge takes place in the framework of the

cardinal points. Light streams in from the east, south and west, but

the north is universally symbolic of the ignorance and chaos which

plague mankind: the place of darkness. But in the Lodge the initiated

sit on all sides, spreading light, and we are reminded of the

universality of the principles which guide us. The ruffians who killed

Hiram Abif represent the forces of the twine principles of the

inferior world, forever seeking to destroy the operation of the

dimensionless and limitless force of the Spirit which the Great

Architect sent to shape creation into the intended habitat of

everlasting life. In all, the total reminds us we are tied to what the

Vedas call the Wheel of Life, or the Wheel of Existence. Such,

according to thinkers such as Hall, Pike and Waite, is the spiritual

technology embodied in the operations of the Craft Lodge. Beyond this

lie the further lessons of the additional degrees.

      This is the meaningful aim of the spiritual techniques: to

      merge the human with the Divine Consciousness and being able to

      know as God knows. The illustrative prototypes in all the great

      Mystery Schools have been shown as exemplars to indicate this

      process.

LIGHT BEYOND THE CRAFT

Beyond the "Blue Lodges", there opens up to the searcher for more

light an immense structure of additional degrees, with two basic

branches. One branch is the York Rite, which is a series of

historically independent orders and Rites (Royal Arch Masons, Allied

Masonic Degrees and the Sovereign Great Priory of Knights Templar)

which are basically either initiatory or dependent on prior

achievements. They either explore further the Temple theme, or explore

the Enoch legend, or explore a wide range of historic degrees.

Here the attention is individual, and the techniques for spiritual

unfoldment are applied both individually and in the Lodge setting.

These experiences, which are intended to be sequential, culminate in

the Masonic versions of the tests and vigils of the Templars. From

published material these are perhaps the most moving and spiritually

significant of the whole York Rite group.

The second branch is that of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite

(which is really French and European in origin). By contrast to the

York Rite, it is a gigantic coherent structure in three interlocked

bodies (Lodges of Perfection, Chapters of Rose Croix, and the

Consistory) giving an addition 29 degrees. These are more in the

nature of guided classes, like an on-going university structure, which

explore the further implications of the Temple motif, then pursue the

Rosicrucian tradition, and beyond that trace virtually the whole

history of human experience with esoteric matters right down to the

present day! The rituals again use the same pattern of techniques, to

give appreciation of the vast structure of syncretism and distilled

experience, which constitutes Freemasonry, and the history of mystery

schools.

In addition, there are other bodies which explore the chivalric

traditions (Tabernacles of Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests, the

Conclaves of the Red Cross of Constantine, the Order of the Secret

Monitor, and the Royal Order of Scotland) mainly invitational and in

certain cases such as the last, decidedly mystical. There are also

bodies such as the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia which use valuable

old rituals from the German Rosicrucians. The Royal Order of Scotland,

also embodying the ancient Order of the Thistle, is apparently a

direct continuation of the Scottish Templars, about 1320. All have

valuable insights and commentaries on the basic themes enunciated in

the Craft Lodges.

     "Get knowledge; get wisdom; but with all thy gettings, get

      understanding". That gift depends on Spiritual Light, and that

      in its turn depends on the ardour of those who deserve it: and

      their knowledge and use of the ancient techniques to good

      effect.

SPIRITUAL UNFOLDMENT

As Wilmhurst (1980) so wisely said: "It is a fallacy to suppose that

the multiplying of degrees will result in the discovery of important

arcane secrets which one has failed to find in the rites of the Craft.

. . "

At various points in the various rituals certain Masonic secrets are

hinted at, the search is encouraged, and certain substitute meanings

are presented.

Very soon, the diligent spiritual explorer realizes that the only

secrets worth the bother are those which must be experienced and which

cannot be communicated, but which discover themselves in the

fundamental personal consciousness of the earnest seeker, who is able

to see beyond the curtain of impressive ceremonial, -and to translate

spiritual experience. The basic degrees in fact present all the four

stages of human spiritual regeneration.

This is what was meant by "squaring the circle". In other words, a

metaphor for the transmutation by spiritual unfoldment of all parts

and faculties of the candidates being and organism into a new quality

of life and a higher and better order of life than prior to the

experiences of Masonic life. The first three degrees lead up to the

necessity of "mystical death" (to 'come forth by day' as the Ancient

Egyptian texts have it), and the Royal Arch continues that, to present

the apotheosis which can result: a new and more intense and meaningful

life, and the higher degree of consciousness which can result. This is

the meaningful aim of the spiritual techniques: to merge the human

with the Divine Consciousness and being able to know as God knows. The

illustrative prototypes in all the great Mystery Schools have been

shown as exemplars to indicate this process. We think of Osiris,

Bacchus, Baldur, Mithra and Hiram Abif.

In essence, Freemasonry has preserved, through sixteen centuries,

those spiritual techniques which were ignored by the organized

churches as they departed from their true realm to become first an

impersonal state religion, and then a world temporal power and then by

stages disintegrative, and then displaying only the husk of the

heritage while the kernel was preserved elsewhere against centuries of

cruelty, intellectual tyranny and the oppression of the light. The

Mason argues for "The Path of Light" (Via Lucis) as opposed to "The

Path of Crucifixion" (Via Crucis). He is expected to demonstrate his

principles in life, in action, not sitting in a cell.

And so writers such as Hammond, Hall, Pike and Wilmshurst have argued

that the evident techniques in the Masonic discipline for the

divinization of Man are no accident. They come with authentic

historical credentials. They are essential to mankind. The literalists

and conformists may yet win, but if so, it will be a hollow victory.

As Wilmshurst said: "It remains with the Craft itself whether it shall

enter upon its own heritage as a lineal successor of the Ancient

Mysteries and Wisdom teaching, or whether, by failing to do so, it will

undergo the inevitable fate of everything that is but a form from

which its native spirit has departed. "

Should this occur, the stream will simply go underground to re-emerge

with renewed vigor to help mankind. Hopefully, Freemasons are wise

enough to continue the task which they have honestly inherited. The

techniques it uses for spiritual unfoldment are tested, tried and

true: and they derive from the oldest traditions of the Ancient

Mysteries known to mankind.

        "Get knowledge; get wisdom, but with all thy gettings, get

        understanding". That gift depends on Spiritual Light, and

        that in its turn depends on the ardour of those who deserve

        it: and their knowledge and use of the ancient techniques to

        good effect.

References

Hall, Manly, P.(1977): THE SECRET TEACHINGS OF ALL AGES: The Philosophical

Society: San Francisco

Hall, Manly, P. (1984): LECTURES ON ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY. The Philalethes

Society: San Francisco

Hammond,William, E.(1939): WHAT MASONRY MEANS: Macoy: Richmond, Va.

Pearson, Norman (Editor) and Pearson, N. et. al (Contributors) (1997):

LIGHT BEYOND THE CRAFT IN CANADA:

Lux Quaro

Chapter, The Philalethes Society: London, Ontario, Canada

Pike, Albert (1877): MORALS & DOGMA. The Ancient and Accepted Scottish

Rite: Charleston, South Carolina

Tolstoy, Alexei: WAR & PEACE Wilmshurst, Walter Leslie (1927): THE MEANING

OF MASONRY. London: Crown

Publishing

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                  Journey of the Soul

                    BY PAMELA BARNES

In the Beginning there was ONE. Why the Separation came .... I know

not. From where came the belief of Good and Evil... I know not. Who

told us we were naked and should feel shame... I know not.

Suddenly, we were each alone... looking at ourselves and our brothers

in Fear. The burden of that fear became very heavy, and over time I

began to surround my soul, the very essence of my true self, with

armor. Each sheet was painstakingly put in place to insulate against

the arrows of pain and the spears of sorrow that I could not tolerate

in my isolation.

In the darkness of the night my soul cried out to the Source, and in a

dream state I saw the brilliance of the Grail shining in the distance

with a winding path leading to it. The signpost on the path said: The

Path of Self Knowledge. This is the path I must take .... there is no

turning back once one has glimpsed the Grail. The way is hard. But as

I pass through the fierceness of the storms of my mind and peer into

the blackness of the cavern of my heart, a golden spark is emitted

from one of the facets of the Grail. It pierces the armor surrounding

my soul, and from this tiny crack a spark of golden light, just as

brilliant as the Grail itself, comes forth! It gives me the desire and

the power to keep searching the deep valleys and the narrow paths of

self. As I do, the armor crumbles away, bit by bit, and the light

becomes brighter and more powerful. Suddenly, I KNOW ... I AM THE

GRAIL. The path, which had seemed to twist and turn, is just a

circular path back to the beginning from which I came. The only

separation that has occurred has been from the armor of my own making.

Each day as I continue to tear down the walls around my soul and

rejoice in who I really am, the Fear is replaced with Love for myself

and for my brothers. FOR WE HAVE NEVER REALLY WALKED ALONE .... WE ARE

ONE.

 


"Where the Threads of Science, Tradition and Spirituality

Converge in Total Health and Wellbeing"

 


A Masonic Perspective

 

THE REAL MILLENNIAL PROBLEM:

NEW PARADIGMS, OLD ROADBLOCKS

 

by

 

Norman Pearson, Ph.D., DBA

 

THE MILLENNIUM COMPUTER PROBLEM


While there is undoubtedly a computer 'Millennium bug' problem of gigantic and disturbing proportions, the real millennial problem is nothing less than a clash between new paradigms and old roadblocks. Certainly the computer is impressive, and the problem is of low technology. Edward Yardeni of Deutsche Morgan Grenfall, Inc. points out that, while we like to think software programming is high technology, it is really low technology: millions of lines of code with no footprints to follow. Many computers will read 2000 as 1900. Massive malfunctioning is forecast, and if any link to the date in the larger system is not corrected, the whole system is in peril. Nuclear reactors, fortunately, are safe, because their functions are analog, not digital. But their inventory systems and safety systems are not. So there will be blackouts in grid systems worldwide, with problems and corrupted information in satellites, telecommunications and traffic control systems, aircraft, missiles and defense installations. Banking, accounting and marketing will also cause problems for small businesses. Asian banks will be very vulnerable because they use an out-dated IBM system bearing the chilling title of 'iron safe.' The testing time will be September 9, 1999, because 9999 is a familiar computer code for shut-down. Yardeni argues that there is therefore a 60% chance of a 1973-scale recession, in the year 2000.


But there are more significant millennial issues. In the first place, the year 2000 computer problem is symbolic of the short-term thinking, particularly in engineering and finance, which believes that major issues which are easily handled now, at a price, can be left to the wisdom of unknown Posterity, which unfortunately may not have either the lead time or the resources to resolve it in due course. They may even decide that what was easily resolved at a price 40 years ago is a completely unmanageable problem now and that, in some instances, cannot be solved at any price, because time has run out. Procrastination is both the thief of time and the repository of lost opportunities. When the ancient mystics said "Do it now! Leave not to the morrow what this day can accomplish," they spoke a fundamental truth and a truly valuable insight.

MILLENNIAL IRRATIONALITY


Added to this is the characteristic, basic irrationality of millennial change. This is a peculiarly Western fixation. There having been no year zero, the real millennium is 2001, but that will not deter deranged religious lunatics from repeating the manias that affected Western Europe from the year 1000 to the year 1033. However, large tracts of the world will look on in amazement and wonder what all the fuss is about. For example to the Chinese, changes in the century are more important and a lot easier to pronounce than the millennium; and in any case, 2000 is an auspicious year: the year of the Dragon. Similarly, Japan is unmoved by millennial mania. South-East Asia is much more concerned about economic survival. The Philippines only celebrate the year as the 100th Anniversary of their freedom from Spain. Thailand, in fact, already celebrated its second millennium in 1954 - 1955. In the world of Islam it is the year 1420, and, apart from the annual Ramadan, has no other significance. In the Jewish calendar, it is the 58th century, and the bad news was announced by the prophets thousands of years ago. The real anomaly is Russia, spanning 11 time zones; and being partly on the Julian calendar and partly on the Gregorian calendar; it also has the custom of two stiff toasts to the new year, thus offering 22 occasions for New Year in one day, which virtually guarantees an alcoholic haze while all the main frames of central planning finally shut down, and Russia awakens to total disaster and rebuilding from ground zero.


As the Hale-Bopp suicides and various cults indicate, the irrationality, particularly as amplified by the media, in conjunction with computer nightmares, will reach new heights of bad taste and even worse television. With nerves of steel and a strong stomach we can no doubt survive the madder aspects of' apocalyptic irrationality. For those who wish to tackle the unenviable task of answering back (which should be avoided), look at Chapter 20 of the Book of Revelations, where two 1000-year spans are foreseen. One will be turbulent and dark, the other, should you believe in the Messiah, will, after the second coming, be blessed and happy. After 50 years in the planning profession, I recognize that in all these visions the precise dates are best kept vague and hidden, while the symphony of light and dark plays on.

DEAD IDEOLOGIES


The 2000 computer problem will also expedite the trash heap of dead ideologies. It is an indication of a more basic shift from the centralized main frame to the decentralized lap top computer, and new network organizations, and the emergence of the age of the sovereign individual, where people have a chance to reach their full potentiality. It is a symbol of the death-throes of the bankrupt ideology which Americans call 'liberalism' and the rest of the world calls 'The English Disease.' The French writer, Bastiat, called the welfare state "...that great fiction by which each man believes he has the right to live at his neighbor's expense with no adverse consequences to himself..." There is a very basic shift, driven by the ideals of the American Revolution, as well as by American technology and economics, away from the centralized, collectivist and statist vision of society epitomized by Marxism, Maoism, Fascism and George Orwell's book '1984,' and toward the freedom of the Internet - the new decentralized information network - and the emergence of the age of individuation.

TRANSITIONAL RUTHLESSNESS


The old roadblocks and enemies of mankind's progress are still there: intolerance fanaticism, envy, prejudice and injustice. In this transitional period, a new enemy has arisen: total ruthlessness, or what the poet called 'man's inhumanity to man.' Corporate and social networks are slashed, cruel indifference becomes the order of the day, compassion and charity are forgotten, and finally the poor and unfortunate are blamed simply for being poor and unfortunate. But this time there is no Western Frontier, no Australia to which to send them: they remain. In an increasingly polarized society, the rich enjoy getting richer and many withdraw into a cocooned life of walled communities, self-congratulatory ideologies, and the pretense that really there are no problems; meanwhile, the welfare state collapses and the bureaucracies are hollowed out. Such attitudes guarantee unrest and upheaval.


Many of these are persons who do not like to interact with people and rely too heavily on computers. There is increasing evidence of computer 'bloat' - too many unused functions on the everyday machines. There is also ample evidence of the consequences of this reliance. A 1996 survey of 360 companies by the research group, Standish Group International, Inc. found that 42% of corporate information technology projects were abandoned before completion. The bigger projects failed more often and more spectacularly. Since the USA spends some $250 billion a year on these projects, this is a waste of about $105 billion annually. Obviously, in what is euphemistically called the interface (i.e. dealing with actual people) there is a great future for the human service providers who combine 'high-tech' and 'high-touch.' Indeed, this new trend is now called 'de-engineering' as the surprising discovery is made that people are, after all, people.

THE REAL MILLENNIAL PROBLEMS


The real millennial problems, however, are not these obvious ones. They transcend all sectors, and will transform: education, human services, communications, organization and management. The task is a challenging one for the scholar-practitioner, because it is nothing less than the re-conceptualization and then the subsequent re-organization of practically everything. Nor are the answers known. We face nothing less than the increasing obsolescence of the industrial age models, and the creation of new models for the age of information and knowledge. The real millennial problem is the search for new and workable paradigms.


These real problems can be quite readily listed:

(1) Privacy, human dignity, freedom, equality before the law, and gender equality;

(2) Water shortages, soil degradation, and environmental mismanagement;

(3) The race between Asian deflation and the potential for the greatest economic boom mankind has ever seen;

(4) The intellectual struggle to produce new models for a New Era in time to be useful;

(5) Individual management of lives and wealth, as jobs vanish and autonomy and free exchange become dominant: each person as a business;

(6) The continuing revolution as computers move from the business-development phase to the consumer-use phase;

(7) The rapid emergence of the network organizational model, and massive resistance to change;

(8) Leadership, self-actualization and the right-brain revolution;

(9) Scattering populations and the challenges to Suburbia and metropolis.

 

THE PROBLEM OF HUMAN VALUES


The most fundamental challenge will be that of securing the rights of privacy, human dignity, freedom, equality before the law, and gender equality. Huge sections of the world are virtually slave-camps. Many powerful cultures degrade women. Non-objective law is everywhere. America is the key to this global problem. Most of America's failures in these areas are simply due to a profound honesty: at least the issues are on the table here, and being worked on.


It is fashionable today in America to decry the great intellectual and moral foundations which led colonial Englishmen to liberate themselves and to become Americans. I am, as an Englishman and a Canadian, not a destroyer. America is an idea which is implicit; it is an idea which is still unfolding. It will yet survive the moral and cultural nihilists in the universities, and the popular culture and the media who seek to destroy the foundations, and start again from the ground up. America is about becoming; and that may be the key to the emerging paradigm shifts.


Social Science argues that my profound admiration and respect for the generic roots of America are simply conditioned. Some of my ancestors, 500 years ago, were Sephardim who fled from the Spanish Inquisition and became ardently English. I was educated at the Oliver Cromwell Durham University where we understood regicide and republicanism, as well as the key documents of America. I also know precisely how and when I became a North American by two transformational moments in my life: both were during the time of the Korean War when I was training as a crewman with the Royal Air Force. One was traveling through the endless perspective of the rolling hills of Wyoming, going seemingly to infinity, and subsequently following the Mormon Trail to Salt Lake City. The other was in the same year in Washington, D.C. standing at the Capitol Rotunda viewing the key documents at the fountain-head of freedom, from the Magna Carta to the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence, and wondering why tears were streaming from my eyes. But I do not think it was any kind of conditioned relativism. It was, and has been, the appreciation of what America is and can be. That appreciation is, at root, a grasp of what constitutes the philosophical, ethical, and moral foundations of the paradoxical freedoms we enjoy here. Those foundations are not taught today, setting the stage for what Tom Wolfe called "The Great Re-Learning."

THE GREAT RE-LEARNING


In essence, this has been the century of the totalitarians who wanted to throw out everything and begin again. What Dostoyevsky called "The Horrible Simplifiers" - the Fascists, the Marxists, the Maoists - they have also had their intellectual allies in our educational system. They have produced young people who get along with each other, who are decent, who are good-hearted, fair-minded, and compassionate: but they wander around in a haze of illiteracy and total moral confusion, ignorant of the Western Tradition and its history. This is the fog of cognitive moral confusion; it is a disaster.


It raises the need for "The Great Re-Learning." Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers, a philosopher from Clark University, argues that we live in a moral Stone Age, and we need a paradigm shift to bring back the great books and the great ideas, and to be unafraid to transmit our noble cultural and political heritage, and to teach youth to value, respect, understand and protect the institutions which gave us the huge potential of our free and democratic society. That is a major paradigm shift directed squarely at our educational system: it is the basis for all else. There is no nobler calling than that of such a teacher. We must stop the folly of starting again from the Stone Age. My generation fought for these values: they are crucial to the next millennium. We do not need a new self-induced barbarism, or the collapse of America internally, and we must fight it. The unspoken foundation block which many young people do not accept, is Kant's 'Principle of Humanity': the unique dignity and of each human being and each human life. I hope to see the day when we no longer use euphemisms calling killers and thieves 'morally challenged,' calling looters 'non-traditional shoppers', calling mass-murderers 'ethnic cleansers;' and where such foundation codes as the Ten Commandments, or their equivalent in other cultures, are not referred to as 'ten highly-tentative preferences and purely optional suggestions.' This is a much-needed and highly beneficial paradigm shift for the next millennium, and it is most certainly not what radical chic calls 'politically correct' - which is a Marxist term for trendy dictatorial conformity and the destruction of language as a tool for thinking and solving real problems by the use of the mind.

TOWARDS NEW FOUNDATIONS


That kind of paradigm shift will be hard fought and it will transform our educational system back into a coherent system for the transmission of these cultural imperatives and into a new shape and form. Allied with this will be a re-affirmation of the family, whether traditional or surrogate, nuclear or extended, individual or co-operative. Some of my graduate students over the years have outlined that, in every major advanced society, several hundred pieces of social legislation and policies aimed at the diabolical task of destroying family and related institutions have been enacted, thus leaving people as separated social atoms dependent on the state. Parental duty and responsibility have been shifted to the educational system and to the manifold Institutions of these States. Small wonder then, that in the central cities, the main effective institutions are criminal, and that in the suburbs, nice children shoot people they do not like. Some critics have argued that inevitably this has led to certain professions - particularly in human services - cleaning-up the mess of low self-esteem, broken lives, health systems that subsidize disease, food banks, welfare systems, and volunteer organizations facing impossible odds. We will need: to rebuild parental, biological, social, and cultural duties; to help reconstruct battered or absent community institutions; and to change policing from a para-military model into a model of safeguarding citizens, communities, and societies with public support - and social isolation for the pathological criminality which now makes up what Lord Rees-Mogg called: "the imperial culture of the slums".


The restoration of social foundations, and the encouragement of self-management in upward mobility will liberate the human services and helping professions from the increasing definition of everybody as being in need of care, to a role based on individual needs. The best analogy is the transformation of the health system from industrial-age batch processing of people in doctors' offices and centralized hospitals, into an individually and family-oriented set of services more on the model of the almoner - the family and personal friend and visitor, and the wellness-hotel, providing a wide array of alternative aids to long life, well-being, health and happiness.


Such are some of the fundamental paradigm shifts.

THE MILLENNIAL CHALLENGES


On the foundation of human values we will need all our wits to deal with the real challenges of the millennium.


Obviously, with the eventual stabilization of global population lying well into the next century, and the parallel development of Asia and Africa into the industrial age, while the advanced nations move into the computer age, there will be huge issues of water shortages, pressures on wild lands and wildlife for food production, environmental degradation and general mismanagement. The water issue is really critical. I feel this because Canada has one-third of all the fresh water on the globe, and the USA wants it. I also feel it strongly because in 1953 I accepted a post as regional planner for the Jordan Valley Authority, modeled on the Tennessee Valley Authority, and I am still awaiting my first pay check 45 years later. The great intellectual challenge is to learn how to do responsible environmental management before the environmental wars erupt.


Allied to this is the race between deflation, which is affecting Asia, or about 35% of the global economy, and what Kondratieff and Harry Dent have called the '80-year cycle,' which brings with it the potential, in the first decade of the new century, for the greatest economic boom in human history. As we have seen, it might be preceded by the computer-generated recession. Either way, it will be a surprise. We are not prepared for either. There are no plans for the boom. We have no capacity to repeat the Keynesian experiments if there is a depression. I do however, have one client who is planning for the next 360 years; they may be ready.


Behind this all is the real challenge to the scholar-practitioner: to produce the conceptual model of the New Era in time to be useful. Japan, Inc. perfected the industrial age model - just when it was no longer needed. Most of our management textbooks are useless.


There is also a huge educational challenge. Each person is going to have to take charge of their own life and become a business. There could be a permanent shift to individual wealth on a grand scale as people learn how to handle personal investment, and leverage the potential of the New Era.


A new era of business integrity and honesty is possible as the market becomes all-pervasive. How we live and work is about to change fundamentally, more than at any other time in human history: computer power will vastly expand; the mass of the computer will diminish; computers will evolve into simple, cheap, reliable, user-friendly and quality products; there will be a vast expansion of the Internet's bandwidth and computer literacy. This will be the real increase in productivity and decrease in cost that has been forecast for so long.


The new network model of organization will develop more rapidly than its theoretical base. This will generate a great need for futures-oriented research, as well as for well-trained theoreticians. Organizations will have leaders in central management, highly specialized and expert back-up professionals, local front-line support, and skilled front-line generalists corresponding to field sales and services. This is so far the only means we have for combining cost efficiencies, craftsmanship and quality, and personalized service. The corollary is that everyone will need to re-evaluate their lives and to re-invent themselves.


In that process there will be a very dramatic shift from the left-brain mechanical processes of the to the assembly-line to the right-brain's creativity, synthesis, and on-going learning, with multiple careers. Computers will handle most of the linear, left-brain functions. Right-brain skills will now be added on top of left-brain human skills, for whole-brain development. The real promise of democracy and human freedom will then begin to unfold.


Finally, people will in due time be able to live where they want to live, at least in North America. This will be the next great migration: a kind of organized scattering of the population into 'exurbia.' People will know themselves and their infinite variety of needs better, and apply a list of criteria to judge where they want to live. Suburban conformity and metropolitan jungles will give way to new communities with big-city incomes in small-town environments. Ugliness will not be tolerated. There will be customized life-style communities; housing designs that combine the chance for privacy with the possibility of maximum human interaction; abundant open space; flexibility in home-design; planning for safety; key shared facilities; a strong infrastructure of communications; and prevalent beauty.

THE GREAT INSTAURATION


Francis Bacon saw America as a vision of what he called 'The Great Instauration,' and two centuries after the Revolution, it appears to me that gradually these renewed foundations will be rebuilt in the Third Millennium. As an example, America solved the conceptual problems of the great issues of gender, equality before the law, and the workings of the warlike propensities of the nation state at enormous costs, and in travails which are still working themselves out. It was Elizabeth Cady Stanton who amended the Declaration of Independence so that 'all men' became 'all men and women.' It took Lincoln and a bloody civil war to establish the conceptual issue that all individuals, whatever their pigmentation or origin, fall within Kant's 'principle of humanity.' It was the same conceptual journey from the Revolution via the Federalist papers to the War between the States which established that America was not going to be another patchwork of warring nation states like Europe. As we know from Africa, Russia, the Middle East, South-East Asia and the Balkans, these great lesson are not yet accepted universally. Nor are such values as free speech, religious tolerance, the principle of presumed innocence in courts, the rule of law, and equality before the law. It will be a further struggle to get beyond the idea of the individual as a chattel or as an asset of the state, to outgrow the nation state, to overcome the barriers of stereotypes and prejudice about gender, race and culture. From its newly secured foundations, it will be America's task, along with like-minded societies, to transform the basic human values into global values. This indeed will be the Great Transition, and Bacon's noble vision may yet become a world reality in the Third Millennium.


SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY


Davidson, Mike: (1998) THE TRANSFORMATION 0F MANAGEMENT: Butterworth Heinemann: Boston.

Dembo, Ronald S. and Andrew Freeman (1998) SEEING TOMORROW: McClelland and Stewart: Toronto

Dent, Harry S. :(1998) THE ROARING 2000's: Simon and Schuster: New York

Edvinsson, Leif and Michael S. Malone (1997)s. INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL: Harper Business: New York

Fisher, James R. (Jr.): (1995): THE WORKER ALONE: GOING AGAINST THE GRAIN: The Delta Group: Tampa, FL

Gibson, Rowan (Ed.) (1997): RETHINKING THE FUTURE : Nicholas Brealey Publishing : London.

Gilster, Paul: DIGITAL LITERACY : John Wiley and Sons, Inc. : New York

Hesselbein, Francis, Marshall Goldsmith & Richard Backhard: (1997) THE ORGANIZATION OF THE FUTURE: Jossey-Bass: New York

Martin, James (1985): THE GREAT TRANSITION: Amacon: New York

Tapscott, Ron (1996): THE DIGITAL ECONOMY: McGraw-Hill: New York

© copyright 1998. ARIADNE'S WEB TM, ISSN #1090-0328, is published by Rayeson Enterprises, Inc., 4287-A Beltline Road, #330, DALLAS, TX 75244, U.S.A. All rights reserved by Rayeson Enterprises, Inc.

 

"Old Tiler Talks" by Carl Claudy -1924

PROMOTION

The New Brother's face showed a bad case of peeve, and his voice reflected

it as he greeted the Old Tiler in the anteroom.

"S'matter, son?" inquired the Old Tiler. "You look like a cross between a

thunder cloud and the Black Hole of Calcutta!"

"Politics!" snapped the New Brother. "I thought it was bad form,

undignified, un-Masonic to electioneer for officers. It's bad enough any

time, but when they electioneer for one who isn't in line for promotion and

to throw out one who has served years in the chairs, I think it's terrible!"

"Yes, yes, go on," encouraged the Old Tiler. "Get it all out of your system."

"Tonight they elected Bill Jones Junior Warden. He doesn't attend

regularly, does he? And Smith, who was in line for promotion, was dropped.

Smith never missed a night last year and did his best as Senior Deacon.

Jones is more popular than Smith, and may make a better officer, but the

point is that Smith worked and Jones never has. So I'm peeved!"

"Wiser heads than yours have been peeved at politics in a lodge," answered

the Old Tiler. "It's a difficult question. By Masonic usage any

electioneering is taboo. The unwritten law and the theory contend for a

free choice of officers by unbiased votes. But men are men first and Masons

afterwards, and politics always have been played. I know of no way to stop

a brother from telling another brother how he ought to vote!"

"That doesn't dispose of the injustice of Smith," answered the New Brother.

"It isn't right."

"The majority thought it was right," countered the Old Tiler. "Now that

Jones has the job, I'll tell you that I knew Smith wouldn't get it. He has

been faithful to his work, never missed a night, done his best. But his

best just wasn't good enough. You speak of Jones being more popular than

Smith. There must be a reason, and if he is better liked he'll make a

better officer."

"But it is still an injustice." The New Brother was stubborn.

"You argue from the standpoint of the man who believes that a man elected

or appointed to be Junior Steward has a neck-hold on the job ahead of him,"

answered the Old tiler. "According to your idea any Junior Steward who

attends lodge and does his work ought to be elected to the succeeding

position each year as a reward of merit. Actually the job, not the man, is

important. The good of the lodge is more important than the reward for the

man.

"You don't realize that Masonry is bigger than the individual, that the

lodge is bigger than its officers, that the positions in line are greater

than the men who fill them.

"A Master may make or mar a lodge. If he is a good Master, well-liked,

popular, able, attentive to his duties and enthusiastic in his work, the

lodge goes forward. If only enthusiasm and faithfulness recommend him and

he lacks ability, and the respect and liking of his fellows, and he has not

the equipment to rule, the lodge will go backwards. Smith is a nice fellow,

faithful, enthusiastic. But he has more from the neck down than from the

ears up. Jones hasn't attended lodge much, but he is a brainy man,

accustomed to preside, knows men and affairs, and, if he bears out the

judgement of the brethren, will carry this lodge to new heights.

"Smith was given his chance for four years. In that time he could not

demonstrate to the satisfaction of his brethren that he would make a good

Master. It was a kindness to drop him now and not let him serve two more

years. It is hard to be told 'we don't want you,' but the lodge showed

wisdom in choosing as Junior Warden a man in whom it believes, rather than

merely rewarding faithful effort.

"I am sure the Master made a nice speech to Smith and thanked him for his

work. His brethren will show him they like him as a brother if not as a

Junior Warden. Smith will not be as peevish about it as are you. He has

been a  Mason long enough to know that the majority rule is the only rule

on which a Masonic lodge can be conducted. He won't understand his own

limitations, or believe he couldn't be as good an officer as Jones, but he

will bow to the decision of his fellows and keep on doing the best he can.

That is Masonry at its best. Politics is often Masonry at its worst, but in

the long run the right men get chosen to do the right work. Sometimes it is

a bit hard on the man, but the good Mason is willing to suffer for the love

he bears his mother lodge."

"As a peeve-remover you are a wonder!" smiled the New Brother. "But I

wonder how you'd like to be supplanted by another Tiler?"

"When the lodge can find a better servant, I shall be glad to go," answered

the Old Tiler simply. "I try to be a Mason first, and an Old Tiler

afterwards!"

Fraternally,

Carl Johnson, 32'

Burlington Masonic Lodge #254

GL of Washington F&AM

A&ASR, Valley of Bellingham

Orient of Washington

"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us, what we have done for

others and the world remains and is immortal. -Albert Pike

 

The Masonic Mailing list of Washington.

http://www.telebyte.com/masons/masons.html

               Southern California Research Lodge F&A.M.

                           FRATERNAL REVIEW

Editor - Ralph A. Herbold      (5-1-99)               No. 798

PROTOCOL From Ask Your Grand Lecturer (Craig S. Campbell) in the

January 1999 Wisconsin Masonic Journal:

To cross or not to cross -- Those of us who attended the annual

communication in June may remember a few fight moments when, on

several occasions, brethren approached the microphones by crossing the

floor between the altar and the Grand Master, and were resoundingly

razzed for doing so.

This raises the question -- why is it that brethren supposedly are not

to cross between the altar and the Master?

This is one of those long-standing "unwritten" rules. And although it

is an unwritten rule, it has flexibility, such as in the balloting

procedure, purging the lodge and portions of the ritual (e.g.

circumambulation).

'Me Masonic Service Association refers to a February, 1938 Short Talk

Bulletin that considers this tradition one of the ancient established

usages and customs of the Craft, and reason that Masons practice this

tradition because the Master is supposed to have the Great Lights

constantly in view. They further state that, in theory at least, he

draws inspiration from the altar to preside over the lodge and must

not, therefore, be prevented from seeing it at any time.

I believe that our adherence to that practice stems more from the

traditions and mandates emanating from the practices of medieval

religious customs, where lay-people were prevented from approaching

the presiding clergy, whose connection with the religious altar was

deemed sacred and holy, and should not be interrupted.

A similar situation developed as the custom enforced within the

operating kingdoms of medieval western Europe, where subordinates were

disallowed from approaching the king directly. This may have been more

for the king's safety than any religious inspiration, but quickly

became the norm of behavior while in the king's presence.

Since Freemasonry dates its earliest known existence in the later

stages of the Middle Ages, it is entirely possible that the practicing

Masons at that time carried forth the tradition of not crossing

between the altar and its presiding officer, the Worshipful Master. As

it is, we still carry on that tradition today.

As always, your questions and comments are always welcome.

LOGIC Gladstone had this to say about logic: Men are apt to mistake

the strength of their feeling for the strength of their argument. The

heated mind resents the chill touch and relentless scrutiny of logic.

 

"Rays of Masonry" by Dewey Wollstein -1953

FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR YOUNG MASONS

Often we hear criticism of a Mason, the recital of some act on

the part of a brother, which reflects upon the Craft as a whole.

For the most part, it seems to this writer that we are

over-critical of our brothers, but perhaps in this way we have

maintained a standard of moral excellence which is respected by

almost the entire world, with the exception of those who bow to

the dictates of tyrannical leaders, political or religious, and

are not permitted to see any good in the Mason or Masonry. In

these cases the critic does not own his own soul, so there is

little that can be done except to offer pity.

However, many times, the young Mason will talk with a non-Mason,

who is always willing to go to great effort to explain "why he

will not become a Mason." His purpose is to confuse the

candidate, or young Mason.

But note carefully. Generally, the person who makes such an

effort to discuss a subject of which he knows nothing, is one who

cannot enter the portals of our Institution. Many times he is the

fellow who judges according to standards which he cannot attain

for himself.

Let us understand well that there are men in every community who

represent in their lives the ideals and principles of Masonry,

but have never taken the degrees of Masonry. These men, however,

have the wisdom to refrain from discussing the subject with which

they are not conversant.

The best suggestion we can make to the young Mason is this- look

around you. Consider the character and lives of the men in your

community who are Masons. Many have known you since your

childhood days. Discuss Masonry with Masons.

list of sent out files

8/5/99      pathways      from Ariadene's web

8/8/99      Paul Bessel    Book review   Why some people hate FM

8/11/99     stb au99

8/8/99      Gallop.txt     Gallop poll about Kansas Creationst

8/15/99     attracted to Freemasonry  by John robinson's widow

8/16/99     STB-JL99      Masonic History---What's Needed

8/19/99     The Builder     from PSOC list serv

8/22/99     To_wait how long     Carl Claudy  1924

8/25/99     Lashing out    SCRL  bits from a page.

8/28/99     secrets  by claudy 1925    no PSOC

9/3/99      demitting     Tom Daugherty   1991

9/11/99      Keeper        Carl Claudy  1924     wPSOC

9/15/99      ideal              "                "

9/17/99     library             "                 "

9/22/99     Attendance          "                 "

9/27/99     He found out        "                 "

10/3/99     The Modern Cowan     Floran Quick + the 50s humor

10/7/99     Country Lodge

10/11/99    promotion                + rays- Benefit of our young masons

10/15/99    Praying in lodge     STB-OC99

10/20/99    Responsibility  skip Boyer   from  PSOC

10/24/99    Judge not             Claudy

10/30/99    Get started  from PSOC    combine

 do        Guard our door     psoc     "

11/05/99    The Man as a Mason     Jackson

11/11/99                          STB-NO99

11/16/99    Disliked Petitioner     Claudy

11/20/99    Eye in the pyramid     Morris

11/25/99      ?

11/30/99            The rest of the story    webb

12/03/99            John the Baptist

12/07/99     Holy sts John

12/12/99    gold & Iron

12/13/99    STB DE99  Mighty Mlo

12/19/99     guffey  We are not alone

12/23/99    acting a chaplin

12/24/99    STB 1284  Ponsett

1/01/00     Whatisfm     what is freemasonry

1/06/00     Modern Knowledge & Ancient Wisdom    N Pearson

1/11/00     Foolish questions

1/14/00     STB-JA00    Houdini

1/20/00     Masonic Talk         Claudy      sof

1/25/00     SCRL  about Ritual vs. Eduction

1/30/00     Vouchers     Dains

2/5/00      masonry in business

2/10/00     The Corner Stone    from POSC

2/15/00     STB-FE00

2/20/00     Masonic Trivia

2/25/00     book on the altar

2/29/00     Ten Master Masons

3/4/00      the hitchicker

3/9/00      Masonic Libraries

3/14/00     Mirror Lodge

3/19/00     STB-mr00    Masonic Fire

3/23/00     books  from PSOC

3/27/00     outside activities

3/31/00     Corner Stones

4/4 /00     laughter

4/9 /00     Learning the work

4/14/00     Masonries Failure

4/19/00     On knowing names

4/26/00     STB-AP00       MASONIC STATUES IN DC

4/30/00     substitutes at funerals    claudy  & rays

5/5/00      The forgotten word  & rays

                (awaiting G:\)

           Atheist & Agnostic         claudy

           Advertising                claudy

           Corner stone               ?????

           Shooting the masonic gun   claudy

           masonic sts john           ?????   hold for early june

           subscriptions              claudy

               (in \sent-out)

           understanding              claudy

           jake                       herbold

           keepers of the door        claudy

           obligations and oaths      claudy

              (in Claudy file in E:\tse\ascii\)

           Preface

           failure

           Silk Stockings

           Ancient Landmarks

           do you study geometery

           for love or money

           in my heart

           order of demoly

           that athesist

           the better way

           the charity fund

           the masonry you make

           those symbols

           when laughter is sad

           when twice two is five

           why symbolsm

           work to do

           the pledge

           brotherly love

Brethren, several short selections from "The Northern Light"  May 99

are appropriate today.

 

 

                  VIEWS  FROM THE PAST

Quotations selected from the past may not necessarily

represent today's viewpoint

Dreams Don't Turn Gray

Speaking with a group of retired brothers, I suggested that since they

now had more time on their hands, they might consider going through

the chairs. One replied, "I may have been able to do that when I was

younger, but I couldn't do that now." I reminded them that "Pop"

Biesinger and others like him had served as Worshipful Master at the

age of 75, but they remained convinced that they were "too old."

I searched my files and found an article by Cynthia Freeman that I had

saved years ago. At the age of 55, Mrs. Freeman had switched from

being an interior decorator to becoming a successful writer. At the

time of the article, she had written seven novels, one a best seller.

What made me hold on to that article for so many years is what she

said about her journey:

"We must be willing to take chances, which means we must be prepared

to be wrong and to be rejected. But for God's sake, don't let the fear

of failure make you miss the thrill of trying. You know, all of us are

gifted in some unique way. All of us harbor some dream we never had

time to fulfill, some treasured hobby we never had enough time for.

Whether its writing or interior design, painting or caring for the

very young or the very old, there is in each of us the key to open the

door to the great need we have to acquire and bestow satisfaction.

Imagination is forever young; dreams don't turn gray.

From a message by Walter F Lokey 32* , in the Nov. 1998 newsletter for

the Valley of Wilmington, DE

and another

 

What Constitutes a Real Mason?

We as Masons have voluntarily and seriously dedicated ourselves to the

principles of Freemasonry. We should give more than perfunctory lip,

service if those principles are worthwhile. If they are not of value,

we should either make them so or devote ourselves to something that

is.

At once, we find that Masonry is something more than social good

fellowship. More than ritual. More than organized charity. It is a way

of living. A philosophy of life.

The ritual is said to be an allegorical representation of the course

of a man's life, beginning at his birth and portraying his attainment

of skill in his occupation, his acquisition of learning and wisdom,

his development of character, and, finally, his hope of immortality.

While authentic Masonry, as we now recognize it, started with the

organization of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717, it was in fact the

direct outgrowth of the bands of operative masons who for centuries

had been building the cathedrals and abbeys and fortresses and

highways of Europe.

More remotely, it was the outgrowth of the so called "Ancient

Mysteries." These were secret orders of men that are supposed to have

existed in every race and every age, no matter how remote in time or

space. They, like modem Masonry, are supposed to have been composed

exclusively of men, to have had a ceremony of preparation of the

candidate and reception into the lodge, and to have portrayed the

course of a man through his life. They also are supposed to have

sought to benefit the commun