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My efforts in Masonry...

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posted on Apr, 16 2005 @ 01:43 AM
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After a couple of years of research via both the interent and books, I decided to take the plunge into that which is Masonry.

I went through my Entered Apprentice and met many great guys with whom I felt I had much in common.

I went against my families best wishes (very Catholic family) and went for it.
Overall the experience was interesting although the entire time I felt as though nothing being presented to me meant a whole lot based from what I've read online. Almost as if everything had other meanings I wasn't truly aware of.

It's been at least 6 months and I haven't moved on from my EA. There are several reasons for this, none of which being lack of support. My mentor has been very helpful and eager to aid me in my efforts. However, some things just continued to stay in my mind that I really wasn't at all comfortable with.

One of the main things was, a gentleman made comments to me about my hieght and jokingly said "Don't worry, Im sure you won't have anything to be embarased about" insinuating that there would be some point that I would be revealing my "size" in some way. The second thing said to me by someone else was "When you take your 3rd degree you will be out boy toy".

Now, I'm sure a lot of this was joking and not meant to cause distress in any way, but it left me wondering just what the hell would I be doing?

It left my eagerness to continue lacking and overall spoiled the experience for me.

I can't find any information truly defining the 3rd degree to alleviate my concerns and thus resulting in myloss of interest.

I'm just not one typically known for jumping into a pond without knowing it's depth and I thought I knew enough about what I was getting into to go at it full force, but I feel I was mistaken in my understanding and feel I let down myself and those that were eager to have me join their lodge.

It's been eating at me ever since the day of my EA.

I just thought I would voice my concerns here and maybe get some insight if someone so inclined cared to offer.

Thanks.

[edit on 16-4-2005 by ElectricCrow]




posted on Apr, 16 2005 @ 02:01 AM
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I'm not a Mason and I bet that some here who are will be glad to assist you.

However, think carefully about your experience (the formal part -- not the comments of those who failed in their responsibility to you). Was there not an assurance to you of the nature of what you were about to undergo and a promise made to you that it would not conflict with certain important values?

If I were you (which I am not), I would have a frank discussion with my mentor about what was said and my concerns. I would explain why I hadn't moved on and invite him to explain the behavior of his brothers.

If I didn't feel reassured then, I might speak with the W.M.

That, at least, would be what I would hope for from a candidate in any organization that I may or may not belong to wherein a similar incident should not occur, but could. (Parse carefully, people.)



posted on Apr, 16 2005 @ 03:14 AM
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Originally posted by ElectricCrow
It's been at least 6 months and I haven't moved on from my EA. There are several reasons for this, none of which being lack of support. My mentor has been very helpful and eager to aid me in my efforts. However, some things just continued to stay in my mind that I really wasn't at all comfortable with.


To a distressed worthy brother mason:

Driley is absolutely correct, you should tell SOMEONE at your lodge, preferrably someone in a type of mentorship position, EXACTLY what you just told us.

My thoughts on your situation are that you are simply confused. It doesn't seem like you really made an effort to understand the purpose of the degrees and the reason why a candidate is kept in the dark about them until he is to receive them. You were, however, told in your first degree that the obligation you were about to take would not interfere with your duty to god, your country, your neighbor and to yourself. You were also told to take comfort in knowing that every brother had taken the same steps that you were now taking.

In any case, the comments made by those brothers DO seem to just be jokes, and you should try not to feel so distressed over them. If they bother you THAT much, ask your brothers what they meant by saying that. I can assure you, however, that there is no double-meaning that you are not aware of. The comment the brother made about your size had NOTHING to do with your progress as a masonic candidate in ANY WAY. Trust me, you have NOTHING to be worried about. That "boy toy" part of the other comment seems a bit inappropriate, but nothing was meant by that.

Regardless, it seems to me (and I'm no expert.. though I've always been very good at reading people) that there is something else that is holding you back from continuing through the degrees. It does not seem to me that a rational person would allow himself to be so traumatized and discouraged by a few comments which were obviously more of a matter of miscommunication than they were trying to allude to something in any way. You knew this, you said so yourself, yet you allowed yourself to be bothered by this and allowed it to impede your progress through the degrees.

I think that if you truly don't want to continue, then by all means stop now. You are only wasting your own time, as well as the rest of the lodge's time. You can always continue later if you finally realize that you indeed want to take part in the mysteries of Freemasonry. but you owe it to yourself, as well as the brethren, to BE HONEST with everyone, and it is very important that you do NOT enter the lodge room with any kind of doubts or discomfort regarding your masonic experience. You will only destroy the harmony in the lodge, as well as within yourself.

Freemasonry is a beautiful experience, but it is not for everyone. It might just be possible that it is not for you. That is fine, and not one of your brothers will be upset with you for making this choice. Just be HONEST and OPEN. If you have more questions, which I'm sure you do, please send me a U2U. I will be MORE than happy to talk to you about this and hopefully help you figure out what is best for you.

I think it is appropriate to end this post with a quote from what is sometimes written on the wall of the Chamber of Reflection, a room in which a new candidate is put in to reflect and think about the journey he is about to undertake:

"If you think we will find out your defects, you will feel uncomfortable among us. If curiosity spurred you towards us, go away. If you are capable of deception, tremble, you will be found out. If you take notice of human differences, leave, we do not know them here. If your soul is fearful, do not proceed! If you persevere, you will be purified, you will overcome darkness, you will be enlightened."


[edit on 16-4-2005 by sebatwerk]



posted on Apr, 16 2005 @ 03:19 AM
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Yeah, good answer from Driley


Some masons like to tease candidates about what's coming up. It's not big and its not clever but it does happen. My guess is that you are in the US - I don't know the rituals that well over there but I can say with a fair degree of confidence that you will not be belittled, embarrased and made to look foolish in your forthcoming ceremonies. On the contrary, you are likely to be have a very positive experience which will stay with you for some time to come.

In the UK there are still myths about 'riding the goat' which persist. But then, taking the piss and winding people up are a national pastime in this country


Don't let this eat away at you, talk to your mentor, or sponsor.



posted on Apr, 16 2005 @ 08:04 AM
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ElectricCrow,

I'm very distressed to read your post. Some of our Brothers tend to get carried away. There have been several excellent posts in response to yours and I wholeheartedly concur. Please speak w/ someone about this and let them know your concerns. I assure you the Master Mason degree is dignified and impressive. The lessons it imparts are of great importance and worthy of much reflection.

There is a really good book by the late brother Allen E. Roberts called "The Craft and It's Symbols" It deals with the teachings of all three of the degrees. Our Lodge generally gives a copy to a newly initiated Entered Apprentice. I highly recommend it. It's $12.50 from Anchor Communications

goanchor.com...


I recall the evening I received the Master Mason degree...I was SO nervous and several of the brothers were asking if I was ready to "ride the goat" etc....It became obvious to some of them that I was aprehensive and one elderly gentleman, whom I'd gotten to know quite well since my First Degree, came over to me, put his hand on my shoulder and said in a soft, kind voice, "Just relax John" ....and after that I was fine.

That was over 15 years ago and I've never regretted it!

Fraternally,

[edit on 16-4-2005 by senrak]



posted on Apr, 16 2005 @ 01:56 PM
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In an organization to which I belong, when the candidates for initiation (small groups are common) are asked to make their promises, they are told to extend their right hand (to place it upon a particular object). When I was initiated, I was nervous and somewhat befuddled. So, I reached out with my left hand.

One of the members simply reached over and took me by the arm and quietly and with no fuss made it right. It's hard to discribe, but there was a real desire to ensure that I didn't feel stupid or embarrassed at my error.

I've never forgotten that moment... the respect for the candidates, the understanding that we were in an unfamilar and highly charged state, etc. It all impressed me very much.

That, IMO, is the right approach to initiation.



posted on Apr, 17 2005 @ 04:24 AM
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I will take my 2nd degree in a few days, a little nervous but looking forward to it.
I have many new good friends now, they joke around quite a bit and play a little fun at me.
Study closely your 1st degree work, and realize the true marvel of Free Masonry.
Your Brothers in the lodge care about you.

Don



posted on Apr, 17 2005 @ 10:38 AM
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To any and all of our nervous Brothers.

The Grand Lodge of North Carolina many years ago decreed that the SHALL BE NO TEASING, HAZING OR MAKING FUN OF CANDIDATES. There is historical reasons for this. At one time it was commin to tease or haze candidates. These activities do nothing fo a possative nature, either for the candidate or the lodge.

While there is variation from Grand Lodge to Grand Lodge, it is generally this way now. And it should be.

There is nothing in any of the degrees of masonry that is designed to degrade, embarrass, or in any way or manor to hurt any candidate either physically of emotionally.

Please remember both the reasurance of the master before administering the oath and the obligation itself.

I firmly agree with the previous posts, You need to go to a brother if you feel in any way that someting was said or done that should not have been. Ideally the master of the lodge. If you don't feel comfortable going to the master directly, (and I would not have felt comfortable as a new E A, or a F C either) then either your coach or the brother who gave you your patition. But rest assured that as the master of the lodge I would have wanted to know!!!!!

Every lodge has had members who feel that the new brothers should be teased, but this can and all too often does result in the brother missunderstanding, either the intent of the brother or the up coming degree. Every candidate is nervous about the upcomming degree, this is normal. But everyone I have known when they are coaching a candidate, tries to reasure the candidate that nothing bad will result during the upcoming degree. The purpose of the degree coach, is not just to teach the catechism but to explain the degree and teach the brother about masonry. As well as, to start him on the path of learning.

Regardless, you are a BROTHER and should ALWAYS be treated as such.



posted on Apr, 17 2005 @ 11:00 AM
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ElectricCrow

Please, don't let this stop with the one post. There are lots of Masons on this board. We are all intreasted, and are willing to help in any way we can. (I'm certain I can speak for all of us on this matter.) Keep us posted as to this.

Personally, I'm too new here to U2U. But there are lots of others who can, if you are uncomfortable to discuss something in public.



posted on Apr, 17 2005 @ 01:08 PM
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Originally posted by Masonic Student
To any and all of our nervous Brothers.

The Grand Lodge of North Carolina many years ago decreed that the SHALL BE NO TEASING, HAZING OR MAKING FUN OF CANDIDATES. There is historical reasons for this. At one time it was commin to tease or haze candidates. These activities do nothing fo a possative nature, either for the candidate or the lodge.


One of the past masters at my lodge, a 33rd degree SR mason, came into the anti-room when I was getting prepared for my 1st degree and asked me if I was ready to ride the goat. I had heard about this joke previously, and I had also heard that it was in VERY POOR taste to actually joke about that right before the degree. I knew better than to listen to him, but it made me respect him much less than before, just because of that. I got over it eventually, knowing it was just a joke, and he is now my mentor at the lodge. He coached me through all of my proficiencies and he is one of my closer brothers anywhere.

I think the moral of the story is that everyone makes bad decisions every once in a while. Don't let this destroy your enthusiasm for Freemasonry as a whole, and realize that people should be forgiven for their mistakes. Nobody meant anything by what they told you, Mr. Cow, they were just poorly-tasted jokes.


[edit on 17-4-2005 by sebatwerk]



posted on Apr, 17 2005 @ 10:04 PM
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I had a feeling I could count on many of you in here.

Your right, the comments made to me aren't the only reasons I have drifted from Masonry. I am in the middle of this very powerful emotional and spiritual struggle of which I am only left in fear. Paranoia, maybe.

The fact is, I so desperately want to live my life on the right and correct path, however it has come to me that the path is intentionally hidden so as to impose faith, simply.

What I'm getting at is, I was raised by a Catholic family. All of whom have expressed great concern with me joining into Masonry. However, I have strayed from the Catholic church quite frankly because I dont believe in the church. I believe in a higher power. I believe a man named Jesus walked on this Earth. I believe I can only use a small portion of my brain because if I had full use I myself might consider myself a God and stray from faith overall, because Im a mortal sinner.

I view Masonry as a fraternity of scholars and people who know more than me. Period. I respect Masonry as an organization of Minds (with a scattered few bad apples of which no large mass of people can avoid fully) that seek the same things I do. Truth and the path to enlightenment. I want to know more. I want to feel confident that what I believe is truth. The world just doesn't work that way.

What's keeping me at bay currently is the fear of the what ifs. What if the root of Masonry is something far away from that which I intentionally want to be a part of, hidden and tucked away. What if the 3rd degree ritual is actually a baptisim into something I don't fully understand, intentionally.

Honestly, I view the core of Masonry as a religion founded upon the lost mysteries of that which the Catholic Church and others have struggled to keep secret so as to prolong their power and only those who have accpeted the oaths of Masonry and stay secret are given the true teachings from the days of last. I want to know have this knowledge. I want to appreciate these mysteries and enjoy a path in life I feel is true and pure. But what if I am mistaken and it's a much darker path only traveled by a very few?

Overall, I am just very, very confused, but only because I care so deeply about these issues. I have VERY vivid dreams of end of times situations. So vivid that I can still rehash the fear and awe simply driving down the road and remembering the sights and feelings from my dreams as if preparing myself for what I have seen to actually happen, right here and now.

I'm crossed. I'm struggling on this fine line that makes me who I am. Always being fully aware of the constant and powerful struggle for my own soul with nowhere but internally to seek answers. Internally, into my own confusion that continues to cylce on and on leaving me with only more questions and fewer answers.

I'm basically rambling now, I know. But this rambling is merely an expression of what I ponder nightly as I lay my head down to sleep preparing for what may be another apocolyptic event to take place of which I always seem to be standing front and center reminding me that in the grand scheme of things, I'm merely a mouse seeking his path to the cheese and I didn't make the maze.

*sigh*



posted on Apr, 17 2005 @ 10:36 PM
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You have to do what you feel is right, no matter what anyone else tells you. I can give you this counsel, though I am not yet a Mason. If you have serious doubts, if you don't feel confident that what you are undertaking is right for you, don't do it. If you can walk into the lodge and know in your heart that this is the path you wish to travel, then do it. You must have no inhibitions about it. You must be unreserved and unafraid to charge forward on the path that so many have walked before you. You always havbe the option to demit if later you feel something isn't what you expected or what you wanted it to be.

Just my two cents, but I say go with your heart. Talk to your Brothers and voice these concerns to someone in the lodge that you feel comfortable with and you trust. Perhaps even that Brother and the Master together.

My advice though is not to advance if you have reservations. Read the quote Sebatwerk posted (thanks Seb) and reflect on it for a bit. You gotta do what you gotta do for you, no one else.


[edit on 4/17/05 by The Axeman]



posted on Apr, 17 2005 @ 11:25 PM
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Originally posted by ElectricCrow
What's keeping me at bay currently is the fear of the what ifs. What if the root of Masonry is something far away from that which I intentionally want to be a part of, hidden and tucked away. What if the 3rd degree ritual is actually a baptisim into something I don't fully understand, intentionally.


I'm going to be brutally honest with you. If you have ANY reservations, don't continue. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but you will only be wasting your own time, and your brothers' time. They do not deserve to have their efforts and time wasted, sismply because you were too hesitant to speak up and say anything... they deserve for you to be honest with them, as they have been very honest and open with you. Please do the right thing and speak with the brothers at your lodge, but do not keep leading them, and yourself, on like this because it is becoming apparent, from your own words, that it will be a waste of everyone's time.

If I am wrong, I apologize for being so harsh. But now is not the time for indecision. The time for indecision was before you petitioned for the degrees, now is the time for action. If you are hesitant, do not proceed.

"If you think we will find out your defects, you will feel uncomfortable among us. If curiosity spurred you towards us, go away. If you are capable of deception, tremble, you will be found out. If you take notice of human differences, leave, we do not know them here. If your soul is fearful, do not proceed! If you persevere, you will be purified, you will overcome darkness, you will be enlightened."



posted on Apr, 17 2005 @ 11:42 PM
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Well, my mentor told me to take my time with it. He knows I am also very busy.

I don't feel I am wasting anyones time. I am simply being cautious and careful while being true to myself. If in the end I continute to move through the degrees, the order will see that the wait was worth it. If I decide to end my travels into Masonry, then nobody is out anything and the lodge got $100 for my petition.




posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 12:27 PM
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Originally posted by ElectricCrow
Well, my mentor told me to take my time with it. He knows I am also very busy.

I don't feel I am wasting anyones time. I am simply being cautious and careful while being true to myself. If in the end I continute to move through the degrees, the order will see that the wait was worth it. If I decide to end my travels into Masonry, then nobody is out anything and the lodge got $100 for my petition.



I think all Sebatwerk is trying to say is that if you aren't sure, you shouldn't go on because you may well be wasting time.

That's just what I took from it. Not saying you are wasting time now, but to proceed when you are not sure just may.

The first place you know you are a Mason is in your heart. Think about it. If you are sure, push forward; if not, don't. It's that simple. No one (no matter what some goofballs may tell you) is going to coerce you or hold it against you if you decide it's not for you.



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 04:11 PM
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Forget it.

[edit on 18-4-2005 by sebatwerk]



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 07:58 PM
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lol Don't be afraid to say whats on your mind.



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 08:01 PM
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Originally posted by ElectricCrow
lol Don't be afraid to say whats on your mind.



No it has nothing to do with you... I made an inappropriate joke, and since I have two warnings already, I dont need a third.



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 09:08 PM
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Hi everyone, this is my first post at ATS. [BTW, English is my second language
].

I have a question to start with; Might it be that reading alot about FM and doing 'too much' research into the whole world of myths and rumors about the various initiations actually makes the experience scarier than it needs to be?



posted on Apr, 18 2005 @ 09:14 PM
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Originally posted by duskboy
I have a question to start with; Might it be that reading alot about FM and doing 'too much' research into the whole world of myths and rumors about the various initiations actually makes the experience scarier than it needs to be?


Duskboy, first and foremost, welcome aboard. I love this site. Sadly I don't find it very informative (at least not the Secret Societies forum) but it's incredibly entertaining...and I spend a lot of time out of town in hotel rooms so I need some entertainment)

As far as your post, you could be partially right, but I think mostly on this forum the problem isn't that doing too much research causes the experience to be scarier than it needs to be....I think the biggest problem here is that the trolls are educated FAR beyond their intelligence.



Enjoy!

[edit on 18-4-2005 by senrak]




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