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Morals and Dogma PEN PAL?
Posted: 25 January 2018 03:56 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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To Whomever May Be Interested:

A non-Mason here.

I received a copy of MORALS AND DOGMA OF THE ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE.

I did not know if it was appropriate or not, but I was wondering if anyone would be interested in being my pen pal as I read this text?

We can read the text together, perhaps assigning a certain number of pages a week?

I did not want to clutter the forum with random Morals and Dogma questions, nor do I want to wait until I read the whole book before asking a question.

You can reply here, or follow up using my contact info in my bio.

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Posted: 25 January 2018 09:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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I’m not really up for going through it again! :)

However, I will mention that as a non-Mason you should know…that book is not the end-all be-all for Masonic thought or Philosophy.  It also (and this is quite important) is not a book about Freemasonry in the traditional sense.  It is a book about Scottish Rite Freemasonry. It would be very important to note that the two are not entirely the same.  Furthermore, if I remember correctly, the first three degrees mentioned in the book are the first three degrees of Scottish Rite Freemasonry, which is not permitted to be conferred, as the “blue lodges” in the US have exclusivity on those degrees.  So what the Scottish Rite has done is forsaken their first three degrees, and then said that they’ll start at 4.  It is then somehow implied that the remaining 29 degrees are a continuation of the 3 blue lodge degrees….but they aren’t.  They’re a continuation of the 3 OMITTED degrees. 

There are plenty of other nuances about Freemasonry, Scottish Rite Masonry, AND differences between Northern and Southern (M&D is a Southern) Jurisdictions.

Finally, In Pike’s opinion, one could not fully appreciate the SRSJ degrees without being a student of all the world’s philosophies, which is why Pike tries, quite deeply, to mansplain all of this to the rest of the craft in this book.

I’ll say this as well.  Many, if not most, Masons do not consider this book a significant part (or any part, for that matter) of their involvement in Freemasonry.  In fact, were it not for anti-Masons cherry picking quotes from it out of context, and if it hadn’t been given out as a gift to many southern jurisdiction members upon joining (probably at Pike’s “suggestion”), the book would have been forgotten about long ago.  To paraphrase Yoda from The Last Jedi, “a page turner, it is not”.

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Posted: 25 January 2018 10:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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And it’s also worth mentioning that it means absolutely zilch outside the US!

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Posted: 25 January 2018 04:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Hi Thomas/Adriano,

I would suggest that you’re about to waste a lot of hours reading a book that will have no actual meaning to you. The book used to be given to 32nd degree Masons (AFTER they had taken their degrees) in that specific jurisdiction to lead them along that way of thinking about their Freemasonry.

You would be far better served getting in contact with a Lodge of Freemasons where you are and get to learn about Freemasonry in the same way that millions of us around the world do, by living it.

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Posted: 25 January 2018 05:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Thank you for your swift responses!

Okay, which text do any of you recommend that covers the more “Global” community?

As far as the “Go to the Lodge and live it” - I do not have the time right now to run around town and rub elbows.

I would really appreciate another recommended text.

I’d like to read and learn on my own before I go down to any type of Lodge or establishment. I’d like to come to the table with SOMETHING.

Suggestions?

Again, thank you for responding!

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Posted: 25 January 2018 05:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Mike Martin - 25 January 2018 04:41 PM

. . . You would be far better served getting in contact with a Lodge of Freemasons where you are and get to learn about Freemasonry in the same way that millions of us around the world do, by living it.

I understand what you are tying to say, but here is another question that comes up for me:
There doesn’t seem to be uniformity with jurisdiction - so, isn’t “going to your local Lodge”, like rolling dice?

I feel like that would be like going to your local tattoo parlor without researching - If being a Mason is so life-changing . . . I find it counter-intuitive to depend on the chance of local jurisdiction.

I find it weird because I know that the jurisdictions are not uniform - but how could someone make an educated guess which Lodge to go without any knowledge about Jurisdictional differences?

What if the local lodge is racist?

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Posted: 25 January 2018 07:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Blue2me4you - 25 January 2018 05:17 PM

Okay, which text do any of you recommend that covers the more “Global” community?

There is no such book!

Blue2me4you - 25 January 2018 05:17 PM

As far as the “Go to the Lodge and live it” - I do not have the time right now to run around town and rub elbows.

Then you’re not ready or really interested, both things are required from Candidates!

Blue2me4you - 25 January 2018 05:17 PM

I would really appreciate another recommended text.

There still isn’t one.

Blue2me4you - 25 January 2018 05:17 PM

I’d like to read and learn on my own before I go down to any type of Lodge or establishment. I’d like to come to the table with SOMETHING.

Freemasonry is an “Initiatic” tradition based Fraternity. You cannot learn it by reading books because it is an actual, real world interaction with other human beings built around a set of Ceremonies and Lectures that have absolutely no depth or sense unless you experience them at the hands of your Lodge brothers who guide you through them.

Blue2me4you - 25 January 2018 05:17 PM

Suggestions?

Already made it but you’re not interested.

Blue2me4you - 25 January 2018 05:33 PM

I understand what you are tying to say, but here is another question that comes up for me: There doesn’t seem to be uniformity with jurisdiction - so, isn’t “going to your local Lodge”, like rolling dice?

There is no uniform Freemasonry! It is a fraternal concept that spread around the World from the British Isles over 200 years ago and every Grand Lodge in the World, although practising something similar, is a sovereign, separate and distinct body.

Blue2me4you - 25 January 2018 05:33 PM

I feel like that would be like going to your local tattoo parlor without researching - If being a Mason is so life-changing . . . I find it counter-intuitive to depend on the chance of local jurisdiction.

Very dramatic but also quite wrong. Even a tattoo can be covered and/or removed. If you joined a lodge and didn’t like it you would leave it, suite simple and straight forward.

Blue2me4you - 25 January 2018 05:33 PM

I find it weird because I know that the jurisdictions are not uniform - but how could someone make an educated guess which Lodge to go without any knowledge about Jurisdictional differences?

]You’re kind of repeating yourself so this is covered above. However, you have already been given the answer and I repeat “you will go and get to the know the members and they you (before they accept you into their Lodge), the only thing thet you need to be sure of before joining is the calibre of your future Lodge brothers.

Blue2me4you - 25 January 2018 05:33 PM

What if the local lodge is racist?

That’s quite funny!

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Posted: 26 January 2018 01:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Thank you for your time and attention.

Perhaps at a later time.

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Posted: 26 January 2018 04:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Blue2me4you - 26 January 2018 01:37 AM

Thank you for your time and attention.

Perhaps at a later time.

Could be! I’ve tried to think of a book that might help you and then I remembered the American classic “Freemasonry for Dummies” which was written by a very well respected and widely known US Freemason Chris Hodapp. He wrote it as something that Freemasons could read themselves and also could pass to non-Masons, it will give you a, very general, grounding in Freemasonry within North America.

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Posted: 26 January 2018 08:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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I would agree that Morals and Dogma is not a good place to start learning about Masonry. As noted, it has no official standing or binding status on Masonry anywhere, being one man’s personal opinion on just one aspect of the Craft and, perhaps, comparative religion. Nowhere is is considered a definitive text. It is perhaps the most-often-unfinished book ever written, being by today’s standards ponderous, even turgid and confusing. It is in one sense (copies published) an important book, but should really be considered PhD reading, so to speak.

Pike himself was an enormously influential Mason - in his time and in his area and in his part of the Masonic family. He is a remarkable historical figure but does not now and never did speak for all of us. (Nobody does.)

As to understanding the Craft before joining, I completely agree with the concept that you just cannot. Oh, there are sites which will give you every last detail of every ceremony. Some of them are even somewhat accurate. Here’s the thing - you could memorize every detail and be no closer to what Masonry is than before you started, because they must be experienced in person.

The books I would always recommend to an outsider are Freemasonry for Dummies and its twin An Idiot’s Guide to Freemasonry. The information in them is accurate and easy to understand.

I agree that going to a local lodge is the best step. How can you tell if it’s going to be a good fit? A good lodge will invite you to meet its members, perhaps attend its social events, maybe even invite your family to those. The idea is to get you to know them and them to know you. If they’re men you enjoy being with informally, the odds are that you’ll feel at home as a member of that lodge. If not, then try another one. Yes, it can be time-consuming, but Masonry isn’t fast food. Enjoy your times looking around; the journey is as important as the destination.

Not enough time for that? In all honesty, you probably need to rethink and postpone your explorations until you do.

Good luck.

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Posted: 26 January 2018 10:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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PS I forgot to mention that I am very unusual amongst English freemasons because I have actually read M&D from cover to cover. The most memorable bit of the book is the Foreword from the Supreme Council at the very beginning.

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Posted: 26 January 2018 03:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Dan-O, Richard George, Mike Marin, and Lark:

Thank you all for your swift responses. As mentioned to me in one reply, I shall read the Forward of M&D and stop there.

I am well aware of ceremonies and ritual - I KNOW NONE.

I did download a leadership PDF regarding Freemason-ing, once , but I stopped when the text clearly stated: “READING BEYOND THIS POINT MAY RUIN YOUR MASONIC JOURNEY.

I am also aware that “discouragement” is part of the territory. If you keep discouraging someone from “free knowledge” - they either persist, quit, or create their own Truths/World.

Thank you all for the responses! I guess I can read the books recommended - I just have to find out . . . Am I a Complete Idiot . . . or Dummy? ha, lol.

I shall post again in the future as I continue my own personal journey. I am not ready to Join anything until after the Bar Exam - now is not a good time.

In the meantime: I’ll watch, Doctor Strange. Take Care.

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Posted: 26 January 2018 09:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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Blue2me4you - 26 January 2018 03:59 PM

I am also aware that “discouragement” is part of the territory. If you keep discouraging someone from “free knowledge” - they either persist, quit, or create their own Truths/World.

I wish you well, sir. Good luck with your studies.

I will confess to a bit of confusion however. I am unaware of what you mean by discouragement being part of the territory. You asked for help, you were given the best advice we could give, along with suggestions in case you were seriously interested in learning. It would have, truly, been much simpler to let you head off down a torturous and confusing trail of study.

Create whatever truths or worlds you wish. Knock on this door, however, and it will always be open.

Best to you.

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Posted: 27 January 2018 02:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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Oh dear. At no point have we discouraged you, we’ve just said that the book you were planning to read is not the best choice as it doesn’t tell you anything of substance outside of one man’s view of one particular part of freemasonry in one particular country. How is that discouragement? Instead, you’ve been pointed at a book that was written specifically to give a non mason a feel for what the fraternity is about. The fact that it has “xxx for Dummies” in the title is not implying you are an idiot!

You say you are studying for the Bar. Now, assuming that means the same as it does over here, let me ask you a question; if someone with absolutely no knowledge of the law asked you for advice on which book to read to start with, would you recommend “The Law for Dummies” (assuming there is such a thing) - providing an introduction to the whole justice system or a discourse of a particularly obscure and specialised ruling?

And if they are really serious about wanting to learn about law, would you recommend that they just read a book or enrol in Law School?

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Posted: 28 January 2018 09:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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Richard George - 25 January 2018 10:11 AM

And it’s also worth mentioning that it means absolutely zilch outside the US!

It doesn’t mean a whole lot in the USA, either

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Posted: 07 February 2018 02:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Richard George - 27 January 2018 02:11 AM

. . . let me ask you a question; if someone with absolutely no knowledge of the law asked you for advice on which book to read to start with, would you recommend “The Law for Dummies” (assuming there is such a thing) - providing an introduction to the whole justice system or a discourse of a particularly obscure and specialised ruling?

And if they are really serious about wanting to learn about law, would you recommend that they just read a book or enroll in Law School?

Interesting response! I personally would recommend that they read the “Gilbert Law Summaries” books. There are plenty of “Dummies” books out there on the law - I would encourage them to read a “summary” about the law to get a good feel about the law before enrolling in any Law School. So, yes, I do understand your analogous inquiry.

I would recommend that they read a book. Because, I personally see Law School as paying big money for someone else to tell you to read a book (which you would need to read anyway).

Seems some of my questions are responded with: (1) discouragement; or (2) “go to your local Lodge.”

The discouragement part, I believe, is it to weed-out the trolls, tire-kickers, the uncertain.
While the “go to your local lodge” part, I believe, encourages “Action” on the intention. Intention is nothing without action, perhaps.

I still find it fascinating that you can only learn Masonry by association/doing. Freemasonry interests me, because from what I’ve seen/heard/experienced - they seem as “like-minded” people to myself.

I will think further on this and your response.

Thank you for the reply Richard.

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