A Brother Asks: Freemasonic Ritual is overwhelming! I have no idea where to begin my studies. How can we better come to understand what it communicates?
My Response: It can best be understood by breaking each of them down into smaller chunks to identify what is actually communicated by each of their symbols, phrases and allusions. It is only after one does this that one can begin to see the big picture and what Ritual actually offers to all those who experience and use them to better one's self. Until one takes the time to do this, Ritual remains a blur and one's actions continue unfocused upon what truly needs to be done with each.
He Continues: Can you provide an outline or map?
My Response: I sure can and have already done so many times.
Let's review them here.
The Apprentice Map
The Work it directs him toward is Foundational to his Learning. In this respect, it is a roadmap for Preparation for Learning.
It is focused upon the physical man, and what he must know about the Creature -- The Self!
Sadly, few men follow the map that they are offered.
The Fellow Map
The Fellow Craft Degree Ritual provides a roadmap for Outward Travels. It provided... a guide to the outer Terrain that, when Traveled, enables a man to know the Universe -- the Whole of Creation.
The Work it directs him toward is Structural and sets the stage of his Actual True Learning. In this respect, it is a roadmap for Learning How to Learn.
It is focused upon the mental man and what he must know about Creation -- The Universe!
Sadly, even fewer men follow the map that they are offered.
The Master Map
The Work it directs him toward is his Actual Learning and Teaching. In this respect, it is a roadmap to Further Cultivation of the Heart and Mind, Inner and Outer Travel and Employment of Cunning Craftsmanship also known as "Beauty!"
It is focused upon the spiritual man and what he must know about the Creator -- The Word!
Sadly, it is rare men who follows the map that they are offered.
Each map offers opportunity to Perfect one's self. It is only opportunity though. One must do the Work to obtain Betterment.
Brother John S Nagy
PS - For extensive Masonic Map Reading Course Materials, please investigate "The Building Better Builders Series" of Uncommon Books and Videos. You will not be disappointed.