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Morals and Dogma PEN PAL?
Posted: 07 February 2018 02:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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Lark - 26 January 2018 09:32 PM

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.

Great Response Lark! I appreciate your candid response. Yes, you are right, it would have been simpler to let me head off down . . . trail of study. I apologize for overlooking that important fact!

Perhaps, the “discouragement” part is me projecting my own insecurities. Thank you for the ‘open door’ policy.

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Posted: 08 February 2018 02:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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Please understand, I’ve no objection to you reading Morals and Dogma - I never have - I’ve downloaded a copy because of all the theorists go on about it so thought I aught to know what the fuss was about, read the first couple of pages and thought ‘what a complete load of b******ks’ and didn’t read any further, and I’ve been a member since 1989. You basically asked about it and we all gave you the same answer; don’t bother.

Each and every mason you will ever meet will tell you the same thing: if you really want to learn what being a mason is about, the best way is not to read a book, but to join and experience it for yourself. Only then can you understand.

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Member of Craft, Royal Arch, Ancient & Accepted Rite, Mark, Royal Ark Mariner, Knight Templar, Knight Templar Priest, Order of Secret Monitor, Royal Order of Scotland
UGLE.

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Posted: 08 February 2018 06:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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Blue2me4you - 07 February 2018 02:12 AM

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.

Sir, ‘discouragement’ carries perhaps an overly harsh connotation. Let’s say one of us came to you and asked if the proper way to learn about law was to read a terribly obtuse personal opinion written a century ago by an expert on one small area of law. I suspect you would point to better ways - without any attempt to discourage our interest in the subject. Rather, you might note that the tome in question is difficult to understand, not universally regarded as relevant and deals with a fairly obscure portion of legal theory.

That’s what we have done.  By all means, read Morals and Dogma if you wish. It won’t be an easy read and, critically, it won’t bring you any closer to understanding Freemasonry.

Blue2me4you - 07 February 2018 02:12 AM

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.

You can certainly learn a great deal about Masonry without becoming a Mason, without associating and without doing. The problem with that however is that it is impossible to understand it that way. The analogy I use is childbirth. No matter how hard a man tries to understand, no matter how eloquent a mother is in trying to describe the experience, the only way to really understand what it feels like is to go through it. Reading obstetrical manuals will not. Compiling lists of words like ‘pain’, ‘intensity’, ‘pushing’ or ‘relief’ won’t do it. Watching very graphic videos will not. Only somebody who has been through the process can fully and deeply comprehend - and every mother can relate without difficulty, because she has been through it.

Similarly, Freemasonry is an initiatory body. You could read every book on every ceremony and be no closer to understanding. Even one of our Entered Apprentices has problems comprehending the experience without witnessing it several times, for it is a profoundly complex thing and involves much subtlety. It’s the difference between reading a movie script and seeing the movie.

So go ahead, by all means. If you feel that plodding through Morals and Dogma is what you need to do, have at it. But you asked for help and a bunch of senior and knowledgeable Freemasons have given you good advice. It’s your call, but please don’t dismiss it out of hand because it doesn’t fit your vision of what we are.

Sincere good luck in your efforts - and with the Bar.

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Bro. Bob
Calgary, AB

Initiated 1 March 1979
Passed 26 May 1979
Raised 18 October 1979
WM Zetland Lodge No. 83 - 2017

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Posted: 09 February 2018 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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While I’m sure you could read M&D and might even get through it faster than most Masons because you’re used to reading Law tomes, this doesn’t mean it would be the best use of your time. As others have pointed out, we are an initiatic order. When men come to me to join my lodge I always advise them to stop reading, especially on the internet, because the experience of the initiation is what brings the lessons home, not the words on a page. In fact, one of the first things we promise is to not write down our secrets.

Of course, that promise to not write the secrets down has been violated by many for many reasons. The first Grand Lodge was formed in in 1717 and the first “Freemasons Exposed” book was published in 1723. We honestly could care less as reading about our rituals is a lot like reading about love. The words are all there but you will never know the feeling without being there. The initiatic experience is what binds me to the several million men I call brother around the world. It is the reason I have shared friendship with men from Missouri to Rennes, France by joining them in lodge. It is the reason my wife tells me I’m a better husband and father and my employer continues to trust in me even though my “boss” is in another country. The obligations I took upon myself at the altar of Freemasonry are my touchstone whenever I am faced with a decision in life. This is why we are telling you reading anything is not enough to gain understanding of who and what we are. The words on a page are nothing more than a shadow of what they represent and the assumption of books like M&D is that the reader already has the initiatic experience to aid in his understanding of the topics presented. Scottish Rite simply elaborates on the same lessons presented in the three degrees of Freemasonry.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “The biggest secret of Freemasonry is that there are no secrets.” The lessons taught in the degrees are no different than those we learned in kindergarten or at our grandmother’s knee. We just have a particularly effective delivery method for those lessons and it is that delivery that sets us apart. The tag line is, “We make good men better.” We don’t take bad men and make them good. We carefully vet each man who asks to join and accept those who we would be happy to sit next to in lodge. If you’re a man like that, then take our advice and use M&D as most of the Masons did when they received it, as a door stop. When you have the time, stop by and get to know the men of your local lodge. Perhaps you might want to join us and share in the experience of Freemasonry.

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God never sends us anything we can’t handle. Sometimes I wish He didn’t trust me so much. - Mother Teresa

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Posted: 12 February 2018 11:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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The idea that you must experience something to fully grasp it isn’t odd.

Trying to explain color to someone who has never seen it.  Sure they could read book about art of various types but they actually seen it.  Explaining what pizza taste like to someone who has never eaten it.  You can read about almost any topic in the world and amass tons of information.  However, reading only gives part of the picture.  Experiencing it fills in the gaps.  Stepping outside and looking at my front yard is a massive difference than hiking to a waterfall.

Now as to books.  Freemasons for Dummies was the first book I read before becoming a Freemason.  I still believe those who read it will know more about the fraternity than most Freemasons I’ve met.  But if you want a list of books here you go:  http://www.nhgrandlodge.org/suggested-reading-for-masons/#.WoJvnrenG70, http://www.gloklahoma.com/recommended-reading/, and https://grandlodgeofvirginia.org/recommended-publications/.  These are list from three grand lodges in the USA.

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DeWayne
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I’m living in the DC area now.

There is no Gospel According to St. Youtube.

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Posted: 05 April 2018 10:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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This user has requested to be removed from the forum, so I am closing the thread.

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Dan

Past Master, Columbian Lodge A.F.&A.M. - Boston, MA
Friendship Lodge A.F.&A.M. - Wilmington, MA
32° Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Boston
Shriners International, Aleppo Temple - Wilmington, MA

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