reply to post by lazy1981
I hope that each initiate has a choice in the matter. If they only offer me an initiation by group I can't say that I will be very interested in
going ahead with the rituals.
It is ALWAYS the initiates choice (in states that offer two different programs) .. I was offered a one day program, I chose a traditional way, and
sadly I was the first person in a year to choose such a way. No lodge will ever turn down practicing a few nights a week (as my lodge is prapering to
do) to initiate even one member at a time.. believe it or not from my experience brothers of the craft are for more likely to show up to practice a
one on one degree (traditional) then to practice for a group degree. We take great pride in providing the absolute best for the initiate that wishes
the traditional way, and if you chose to join the same will be given to you, I have no doubt about it.
I'm glad to see that I'm not the only person that views this as a commercialization of something that is meant to inspire honor and moral thought in
Yes.... and I am glad you do... though, at least speaking for my own state, the majority see otherwise. I am moving to Oregon this summer so I don't
know how my new lodge works, but my experience with my lodge now is more worrying about numbers then quality. Though it breaks my heart to see such
things.. I do understand where they come from. In my fathers age, (he was not a Mason) 30-40+ people would show up for a stated meeting.. in my age
at 21 I am an officer and I firmly believe only because 20 or so men show up for stated meetings, on average 5+ being past masters.
This is a product of our age, a representation of our spiritual failures. I care not what your creed is..... it cannot be denied we have forsaken
ritual and brotherhood on all levels. Lost confused, it cannot be denied how our world has ended up where we are.
Most of the reason that I want to join is because I enjoy a challenge. Believe me, memorization is not one of my best attributes. But that doesn't
mean that people should take the easy way out.
Ok, here I advise you. As someone who has been proclaimed by more then one "specialist" a "genius", I tell you the challenge is not Masonry more
as your self. Let me explain to the best of my ability. I have never been challenged by memorization, in fact I have a photo memory, read it once
its ingrained.. I learned my lectures in a day, my Master Mason lecture in less then an hour honestly, but the "challenge" came not from the
institution and the individual words from the degree, but from annalizing the words into MY life. To take what you spoke, what you heard and read,
and implying it to your OWN LIFE... Let me tell you, if ever there was a challenge, it is living up to being a Mason. I have not completed that task.
It may be many years before I do. I try every day to give what I can, to give what I need and take as little as possible, I honestly try to be the
best Mason that a Mason can be but know I probably never will.
The people that take the one day class may or may not have actual difficulties and real reasons why they cannot do it the "traditional way" .. But
when you take this rout you excuse the most important aspect of the ritual --- Participation.
I advise all men who either become Masons or choose another route, and what ever that may be it is this:
To what ever your ability give all you can and more to your fellow man, for at the end of your life and you look back at your own successes you will
wonder this; did I change the world? The life of another? Did I do everything I could to give all I could without material harm to my self to assist
my fellow man?
The challenge you would face is to answer "yes" to these questions, and to honestly say "yes" is a true, honest and worthy challenge.
I think those initiates that you spoke of who took the easy way in don't realy care to put in the time and effort that it takes to do things the
correct way. I'm a stickler for tradition in many ways.
I am a stickler for tradition as well, hell I am Irish by 3 generations and I learned the Irish language (munster) just because my ancestors did..
however, I will never accept that new initiates chose one day classes because it is the easy way out. Rather, I accept that new initiates choose the
one day classes because it is presented and encouraged. If we as a society (as states) chose to motivate people into the traditional course instead
of telling people they can take the easiest way out I would bet we would have 100% more active members then we do now. The youngest members coming in
have excellent ideas to bring in new members but so long as the baby boomers hold power we will have to abide by their standards...
When I first read the rituals and cerimonies I just wanted to know what others didn't. To tell the truth I bought into many of the conspiracies that
float around Masonry. But upon reading the text of the degrees (some parts omited) it helped me to throw off my preconceptions. This was many years
ago and I have forgotten most of it.
Before I became a Mason, I to believed in conspiracies, and advised others to be wary of Masons. When I saw my local lodge (I am not a member of) it
was so .... simple... I asked around, some Masons on ATS actually pointed me in the right direction (Apak) and I went down town, a good 15 miles from
my town, and questioned around, was given a tour and description and then became a member a few weeks later, raised a few months later.
AS I have said before, more then just my self have believed conspiracies before becoming proud Freemasons, the difference is we chose to venture int
the unknown, regardless if we where afraid (and believe me.. when I became initiated I was scared out of my wits, I played it cool with my future
brothers but I tell you I had no idea what was to happen or who was to lead me there.)
Also, reading the text all you like BEFORE your actual partaking in the degree means NOTHING. I tell you, in fact I warn you, the true meaning will
not come in words, definitions or warnings, it comes in feelings. You take what you want from the degree, but upon each degree I can be sure you will
feel the commitment of the brothers holding your arm and you will feel the power pressed upon you and you will realize the power of the degree, and
not until then can you fathom the idea, and that is what one dayers miss.
If done properly and if you have the best intentions it should change your life on a very personal level.
I'm getting off track here so in short I think that new members shouldn't take the easy way, it shows that they only want to be Masons by title and
not in actions.
Which is why, in my area at least we call them "ring Masons" .. They become 3rd degree Masons and buy a Masonic ring, the become 32nd's and wear a
14th degree ring. Then disappear.
First I want to apologize for posting so many times.
The more post the more answers and trust me, as Masonry is SO versatile, the more answers the better! .. Ask as many questions as many times and reply
as many times, we encourage it, all of us, because each answer from the many areas we come from give the best perspective of our institution, no
matter the differences we are brothers, and give through each opinion the best answer to satisfy your own questions, and hopefully give true light to
I am a Christian man and I do not read the Bible as often as I should but when I do I read what is on the page and I usually come away with the
obvious lesson from a passage as well as one that can only be taught or revealed by realy meditating on that teaching. It is only then that GOD
reveals his teachings to you. And the same is also true about Masonry.
It is exactly! .. While I appear anti-Christian to so many, including my brothers (light) I read the Bible quite often, (when I was raised I was
gifted a huge leather bound Bible.) In fact I go to my local Church often (during the week when no one is there and the fiancee is at home) .. The
teachings, as in many religions, give a positive lesson, as a Catholic, baptized and confirmed, regardless of my religion, I love the teachings the
Bible has to offer, and Masonry directs the SAME lessons unto us as Masons, regardless as Christian or not, and trust me, my own religion can relate
to the same teachings, as does Islam and Judaism, the only difference is petty distinctions and focusing on differences and not the relationship they
hold together. While my own personal religious preferences are nether Christian, Islamic, nor Judaic, we believe in the same teachings. Masonry is
the center point of ALL religions in meaning, though without dogmatic control over all members it does not dictate what to, and who to believe in, and
is thus the most pure form of religion, though of course with out a Dogmatic control it is not a religion, but rather a Philosophy to be implemented
into your own religion.
Any ways, I truly hope you become a Mason in the future, our institution and those who depend on us need more men with the qualities you posses.