Saturday, March 28, 2009

Staying the Course

Building Hiram - 03/28/09

Hello Fellow Travelers!

I wrote this as an article near three years ago; it is amazing how this theme of Integrity of one’s Word continues to play out in my life.


These creatures called “words” have remarkable power. I see the influence they have over others – including myself. My two little sons are prime examples of how these creatures shape and improve our lives. They’re also prime examples of how dishonoring our words can degrade us in a split second. Countless occasions occur where these creatures test our obligation to keep those values that we try to create for ourselves.

One such occasion played out for my family the day before Thanksgiving. On that day, my eldest son had not followed through on his word. He’d promised me that he would do something and he didn’t. As a result, I was tasked with confronting him on the issue. No, I didn’t enjoy having to do this but didn’t hold back because of the unpleasantness of the job. You see, I was on the hook too -- and in a big way. I had given him my word to help him hold himself accountable for what he had promised to do.

The time for being my word was before me too. In the moment, these little word creatures started pulling me in two directions: Do I let it slide or do I follow through on what I had promised. The choice was already made before I came to this crossroad. Even though this was so, those creatures were creating quite a cackle in the back seat of my mind to find some way to both honor my word and let him off.

I cringed. My mind chatter got louder. Could I find any loophole? Was it really that important? Maybe I could find a “get out of jail” card somewhere. What a noisy racket to deal with!

What was the consequence for my son you might ask? That was easy. The standard for infractions in our household is much like that used in grade school. We use simple colored cards – green, yellow, red and blue. Each color indicates the status of choice making during a 24 hour period. Color cards progress from green to yellow to red and finally to blue. Green means that all is well and good choices are occurring. Each one after green was a direct indicator that the choices were not good and were progressively compounding in nature.

In this case, my son got “yellow carded.” This meant both a warning had been given and an agreement to abide by a rule was summarily ignored. A bad choice on his part resulted in desert being left out from the next meal. (Yes, you guessed right -- desert is a big motivator in our family.)

That was what was at stake. It was behind the din that was so overwhelming in my mind’s ear. The next meal was our ‘Thanksgiving Celebration” meal. The desert that evening? A prized “apple-pie.” Not a light consequence for a young man whose mind was set on enjoying this sweet delight.

That consequence caused the creatures to gnaw and tug at my own commitment. What could I do? What should I do?

Once again, the choice was made long before the situation occurred yet my creative mind started to kick into overdrive when the next day, my son appeared before me. With a tear in his voice and a look that would have beat out the best of sorrow-filled puppies, my son approached me and asked if he could have desert after dinner. The creatures I constructed long before came into earshot as new creatures sprang into being to battle those who had claimed rights to govern this choice.

I thought for a moment that I could let it slide just this once but understood instantly that there would be a time in the future when he would choose not to do something because he knew there was a chance that he would not be held accountable for it. Not being acceptable, the legion of word creatures stirred an alternative thought: I could have some pie too and share mine with him because technically, he was not having his desert -- he was having mine. Gosh, these excuses were sure creative!

To compound the erosion of my resolve, I even imagined him sharing some of his pie with me the following day because I was so generous with sharing mine. (My heart leaped at this thought!) My mind raced through countless possibilities and I could feel the tension building up in my gut -- battle fatigue does this ever time.

Surprisingly, the creature in command busted through my mind chatter and the siege ceased quite suddenly. I heard it leaping from my mouth. I asked my son what should happen to me should I not keep my word to help him hold himself accountable to his word. He looked at me with that look of a young man trying to tame his own creature zoo. I could see in his eyes that he had the same challenge going on within that only a person with conscience could recognize.

He looked at me and understood -- I would have to break my word if I would not hold him accountable for breaking his. “Gosh Dad,” he said softly, “this accountability stuff sure gets messed up if you don’t honor your word.” I knew what he meant. We looked at each other. Our creatures settled down to a warm embracing hum.

He smiled and thanked me for following through on a tough job. We hugged and I said that I would save my pie for tomorrow so I could share it with him. He smiled again. I knew in that moment that I had laid a strong foundation for future trust -- my creatures agreed.

--------------

The steps people take to create more value in their lives are simple and are fundamental to the success each of them will have – with long-term consequences we may never be able to predict. To create this, there must be a commitment made that has every (not some) intention of being followed through on. Intention on this is everything but least you put this forth and find yourself in a basket sweating profusely because the intension was not followed through on in a supportive manner, you must put things into place that will both push and pull you toward your intention.

Fortunately life has a way of supporting our intentions in spite of what may seem to be unbearable odds so make sure you have that intention firmly entrenched in your heart and respected at all times. It’s often half the battle.

Both the intention of my wife and I is to make sure that our children have least two role models in their lives with reasonably consistent integrity. That all begins with us being our word without excuse.

There are things that can be done though to add value to one’s life. First off, one can commit one’s self to perfecting one’s ability to be true to one’s word without excuse; this is not a tall order and it has far reaching consequences. Secondly, one can accept that a perfecting process is just that, a process that brings one to maturity within the realm where one does one’s growing; it has nothing to do with getting rid of “flaws;” it has to do with bringing things to completion. Thirdly, one can accept the growing pains, which will occur, as lessons which one has opportunity to learn from; all lessons have rewards; don’t cheapen the rewards by skipping or depreciating the lessons. Too many lessons are made so easy that the outcome is not even worth the effort. Lastly, one can accept that this process is an “on-going” one, which brings to light lessons which were not learned yet and lessons that show the need for further skill development (perfecting); the process is ongoing and it only has to be engaged in to reap the benefits.

People reveal much by their actions and inactions. Should you want to know what people truly value, look at what they go out of their way to keep when they give their word. What word is not kept is of no value; what is kept has great value. It doesn’t get any simpler than this. It may take time to see this or it may take no time at all. Revelations are like this and they reveal much to all involved who depend on a given word.

What do you truly value? Be assured, your true value is revealed by your actions or the lack of them. Just look at your word-action history and learn. As you do, should you want to create greater value in your life, commit to those actions that have value for you and make sure you “be true to your word” so that your creatures truly live -- and live well.

Fraternally,

Bro. Coach N

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Wave Shipped!

Building Hiram - 03/20/09

Hellow Fellow Travelers!

It's been a hectic week. I was told by the printers that the books would be ready by Thursday or Friday. That was on Tuesday.

I received a call on Wednesday that they were ready for pick up! I picked them up that day and spent the next two days getting them ready for shipping.

Out they went today. I'm looking forward to hearing the results.

Fraternally,

Brother Coach N

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The First Review is IN!

Building Hiram - 03/17/09

Hello Fellow Travelers!

Building Hiram Book Review

By K. Kidd

"Building Hiram – Uncommon Catechism for Uncommon Masonic Education", a book of catechisms for the next generation Master Mason

“The Word before you is what I wish I had been given when I was Raised.” – Dr. John S. Nagy, “Building Hiram” Volume I, page iv.
This is how Bro. Dr. John S Nagy begins the Preface in the first of what is expected to be a number of volumes of his “Building Hiram” series, released in March. Filled with cipher, verse and images, "Building Hiram" strives to make the connections that many mentors in the Craft seem to lack. Freemasonry, Nagy explains, is not one disjointed teaching after another but is, instead, a fully interconnected science of much more, “In fact,” Nagy writes, “further Masonic Benefit occurs only by considering the interconnections between the symbols, the overlap of themes and the rhythm of the patterns continually played out from beginning to end.
“The Word before you is a look at some of these interconnections. It presents an overlapping of themes and reveals many rich patterns that can Benefit all Master Masons should they venture forth and seek the Light.”
That wasn’t how it seemed when he first was Raised, Nagy recalled. He was frustrated by “the lack of connections between the knowledge I was receiving from the Masons who were mentoring me left me without what I desired most – connections that pulled it all together so it made sense to me; I wanted more!”

So he set off on his own personal exploration to find that interconnectedness and quickly discovered he wasn’t the only Brother looking for it. And he soon formulated questions to mark his exploration. He wrote:
“As I explored, I asked simple questions like, “what do the Orders of Architecture have to do with my life now and in this society?”, “what is the significance of this Lost Word that Masons speak of?”, “what are the Master’s Wages that are referred to in Ritual?” and “why did the Lost Master’s Word require the Presence of the Three to be revealed?” I took these simple questions and thoroughly searched Masonic Rituals and Lectures to find any clue as to what might shed further Light upon their answers.

“I came to find that one question led to another and another in a very interesting way. Ultimately, there cascaded into being a series of responses to each of my questions that created a clearly interconnected picture of the First Three Degrees. None of this would have been possible had I not had a burning desire for even more Light.”
For Bro. Nagy, the journey is still far from over but what he’s found, combined with the knowledge others are looking for it, too, prompted him to release Volume 1 of Building Hiram in March. He starts with what any well schooled Master Mason will recognize as familiar ground. It takes on the form of a catechism. In this case, it’s a catechism about “catechism”.
Catechism Primer

cat.e.chism
(k t -k z m) n.

I: What is “Catechism?”
R: A word whose first recorded use was in 1502,rooted in French by way of Latin and originating in Late Greek with the following meaning: to teach by word of mouth.
I: What is its use?
R: It is primarily oral instruction.
I: What else?
R: It is a book or manual of basic instruction giving a brief summary of the basic principles of a subject, usually by means of rote, formulaic statement or repetition in question and answer form.
I: What’s more?
R: A close questioning or examination, as of a political figure, student or a person wishing to show their proficiency of a topic or subject.
I: What’s further?
R: A body of Work expressing fundamental principles or beliefs, especially when accepted uncritically.
I: How may it be so presented?
R: As a series of searching Inquiries and Responses on any targeted subject of interest.
I: What is its purpose?
R: To share Light with those so interested.
Nagy provides what he calls “Precursory Notes”, which amount to words or warning to the unschooled, the timid and the intruder. In particular, he cautions, “This writing makes no reference to any present day Ritual; there are no secrets revealed within this book nor does it point to anything that is not already known to all who seek Light. In other words, if you are looking to find secrets, Masonic or otherwise, there are none herein to find, whatsoever.”

The true seeker that can make it past that soon finds a series of chapters and related catechisms on topics that include the Ashl*rs, the tools of stone builders, the orders of architecture, the staircase, the four (yes, four) ruffians, the ancient p*nalties, the 3-4-5 Triangle, the L*st W*rd and the Master’s Wages.

I found all these catechisms insightful and thought provoking. I suppose my favorite is “The Staircase Unwound”, a chapter that explains the 3-5-7 of that degree “Nestled within these numbers are the echoes of years past when members of humankind made effort to raise each other above the common threads that held back humanity.” Nagy writes in that chapter.
“The various explanations though pale in significance to any study a Mason may endeavor to partake of in their Journey toward Perfection. The Staircase is symbolic of life within and without. Traveling it to and from the Middle Chamber or Heart of the Temple, one is prepared for the mental and spiritual demands life offers. In years past, the Perfecting process was a valid investment and made for Master Masons beyond compare. Today the Raising of Masons not yet making the true and authentic Masonic Journey up and down the Staircase leaves it but a symbolic relic of the past – honored for its Wisdom but not well understood much less Traveled by the masses.”
A portion of the catechism that follows this chapter reads:
I: Are you a Mason?
R: Indeed I am.
I: How may I know that you are such?
R: I have Traveled the Masonic Winding Staircase to and fro.
I: What is the Masonic Staircase?
R: A Staircase consisting of Three, Five and Seven steps.
I: Where is this Staircase found?
R: Within the Unified structure of the Temple of Solomon.
I: Where else?
R: Within the heart of every Master Mason.
Bro. Nagy is not a new author. He's better known outside the Masonic community for his many self-help books, including Provoking Success – Uncommon Coaching for the Uncommon Soul" released two years ago and Emotional Awareness Made Easy - Uncommon Sense about Everyday Feelings" which was released this last year. These books, along with his coaching and technical advisory practice, form the basis of his "day job." But as a Brother in the Craft who also is a writer, it was only a matter of time before he turned his scrivening to Freemasonry.

One such Masonic contribution is his penning of the chapter, “The Ashl*r Unfolded” in "Lifting the Veil - Esoteric Masonic Thought", published earlier this week by the book's compiler, Giovanni Lombado, and dedicated to the memory of the late Bro. Theron Dunn, to whom Bro. Nagy was very close.

More information about the release of "Building Hiram" is available at Bro. Nagy's blog here: http://buildinghiram.blogspot.com/

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Gone to Press!

Building Hiram - 03/15/09


Hello Fellow Travelers!

The week has been a stressful one with highs and lows. The book had to be pulled from the presses this last Tuesday dues to unforeseen needed adjustments.

That being said, as of tomorrow morning, the presses will be running my book, “Building Hiram” and I’ll have them in hand soon -- and so will you!

The moment is soon to arrived – the excitement is intense.

I’m going to have to buy some cigars to hand out before this week is done.

Fraternally,

Coach N

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Lifting the Veil - New Book

Building Hiram - 03/08/09


Hello Fellow Travelers!

Brother Giovanni Lombardo was a close friend to Brother Robert Theron Dunn who most Masons knew as Brother Theron. Years ago Gio, Theron and Bill McElligott planned to put together a book that would assist Masons world-wide in better understanding the esoteric aspects of Masonry.

With the all to sudden passing of Brother Theron, the book's focus was not changed but the urgency of putting it together and publishing it was. Brother Gio diligently collected writings from a variety of Brothers throughout the world and compiled 24 "chapters" that would provide a strong basis for better understanding the basics of Esoteric Masonic Thought.

I'm honored to say that I am one of the authors published within this book. Awhile ago I was asked by Brother Gio to write a chapter within it. He believes one of the most fundamental needs in Masonry is a firm understanding of what Stone is to a Builder and how Stone is moved from the ground into that building not made by hands. He asked me to write on this topic.

I agreed to write this chapter and add it to the wide and diverse span of topics covered within the book.

After producing this chapter and providing it to both Brothers Gio and Bill, it was agreed that my writing would be added to the soon to be published book (DUE OUT LATER THIS WEEK!).

After reviewing it, I can say that the work Gio did in compiling this volume does justice to the memory of Brother Theron, whose whole life was dedicated toward sharing Light, and the original intent shared with Gio and Bill.

If there is an interest on wanting to know more about and better understand the esoteric aspects of Masonry, this book will provide many hours of guidance and insight toward this end.

Fraternally,

Coach N

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Masonic Central Podcast

Building Hiram - 03/07/09


Hello Fellow Travelers!

It looks like Building Hiram is now officially going to be the subject of a podcast. My good friend and Brother Jason Smith sent out an e-mail to Brother Greg Stewart of Masonic Central and recommended that he look into my book. I was contacted shortly afterward by Brother Greg letting me know that the podcast was available and to check it out. I told him that I would and I did.

The results: I must say I was impressed. The line-up of past guests was awesome! This site features the crème de la crème of Masonic authors and there’s a long line-up of podcasts to listen to.

So I took the cue from Brother Greg and I listened in. And I listened in some more. And I listened in still further. It didn’t take me very long to be utterly distracted by the great interviews being shared via his website.

After about 5 hours of listening, I somehow remembered that my initial mission was to "check it out", not to "take up camp." I contacted Brother Greg again and confirmed I was interested. We set an interview for April 19 at 9pm ET.

And then it hit me… I’m going to be interview on Masonic Central about my book!

Suffice it to say that I am a wee bit excited.

Fraternally,

Coach N

Friday, March 6, 2009

Want a Quick Peak?

Building Hiram - 03/06/09


Hello Fellow Travelers!

I’m proud to announce the printing button has been pressed. There’s no going back. The book is in the printing process as I write this. I just got back from the printers and the proof is perfect! The colors are as I imagined, the graphics are how I want them and even the feel of the book is just right. All I have to do now is wait… and a whole weekend of waiting…

For those who are interested in having a preview. I have a back file for you that you can review. It’s not exactly as the book is printed but it will give a good idea as to what you can expect.

Enjoy!

Fraternally,

Coach N

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Birthing Babies

Building Hiram - 03/05/09


Hello Fellow Travelers!

Well, my book is in proofing and almost ready for printing. This means that I get to travel to the book printers once again (30 miles one way) to check out how they rendered my book this time. I’m filled with much excitement, some anxiety and many questions. Did it come out the way that I imagined it? Did something show up on the final proof that didn’t show up on my CRT screen? Was the right file printed this time? So many questions and only this trip to the printer will answer them.

In the past, books that I’ve published usually required several proofs. There was always some error or imperfection that crept into the process – that’s the reason for a hard-copy proof. For instance, did you know that graphics using JPG compression will create annoying alias patterns in PDF file proofs rendered out of MS Word? Yup! If you said, "no, I didn’t know this," neither did I!

Wouldn’t you know that I used all JPG images in my most recent book! I tried to get a decent proof but this problem kept on coming up.

The solution was simple though. It required going back through all 70+ images and rendering them as BMP images and then reinserting them into the book's manuscript. It sounds like a simple swap job, until you realize that they all have to be reformatted. That involves resizing, grayscale selection and resetting the wrap feature that best fits the page. Add to this the need for critical word placement on some of the pages and it means another Friday night through Sunday evening rework of the book.

Yup, you guessed it. That’s how I spent this last weekend. The last proof of the book showed up with all the same alias issues. So, it was “mouse-click and keyboard-tapping" time on the computer. But! The end in mind is totally worth it and I refuse to allow the demands of time to corrupt the integrity of my vision. The book must conform to the Builder’s plans!

Looking back, I wish I learned this lesson the last time I published but the BMP/JPG issue was not so clear cut that go ’round. Either that or the printing process last time was more forgiving hence the next lesson presented itself this time. Not to let a good lesson go unlearned though, I’ve written some notes to remind me to avoid using JPG files at all cost while Building my next book. If the lesson was learned, I’ll have only one proof to review next time.

So is it perfect yet? I don’t know. The proof tomorrow will show if my labor is complete.

Stay tuned!

Fraternally,

Coach N

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Are Illiterates Raising Illiterates?

Building Hiram - 03/04/09


Hello Fellow Travelers!

If you’re old to the Education offered by Lodges, you know that, for the most part, “average formal Grand Lodge backed” Masonic Education programs exist today as:

  1. Memorizing Degree Catechism
  2. Learning Ritual and floor work
  3. Reviewing the Digest of Law and taking exams based on it
  4. Reading Pamphlets
  5. Perusing Degree Handbooks
  6. Following Officer Manuals
If you’re more fortunate than most, you may even have some Brothers show up at Lodge once in a while to provide some interesting tidbits on Freemasonic history.

These are all important to some degree and they collectively form a stable foundation to continue the necessary support that Freemasonry requires to survive. What is missing though is the kind of education that many Brothers are starving for and which Properly Raises them toward levels that Freemasonry was intended to have.

This is a bold statement and one that requires some explanation so let me ask the obvious question, “What are they starving for?” They starve for the truly important aspect of Masonic Education most missing today: how Masonry applies to their lives overall. Without this firm understanding as to how Masonry manifests in our lives, what it means and how it helps us Build better lives, the applicable Masonic lessons are lost, leaving Brothers unfulfilled and dissatisfied.

The sad part of this situation is that this is caused by self-sabotage. Brothers are held back because they have falsely labeled themselves for years. What’s needed to move forward is an earnest effort to dismiss this notion that members are merely “Speculative Masons.” This is blatantly misleading.

Let me place something firmly before you to consider: All Brothers who use Masonry to help themselves Build Better lives are Operative Masons;” Masons today do work in and on Stone; a "Living Stone"!  Unfortunately, it’s not recognized as (Working upon) Stone though, and that is part of the problem. Most Members don’t understand the Symbols before them! Every Working Tool mentioned in Freemasonic Ritual has Authentic Application in the real world.

What is missing is a Foundational understanding as to the application of these tools toward our Living Stones in their lives today. They don’t see this because the very Symbols that are shared within Ritual do not speak to them today as they did in years past. In this respect, Freemasons being Raised today are Symbolically illiterate. They do not have a sufficient Symbolic Education to be Raised Properly; which leads me back to the statement I wrote earlier, most Freemasons are not Properly Raised.

Let me run a few frank statements past you to consider further.
Masonry Builds Builders. Sound Building is based on the ability to properly Understand and Work with Symbols. The basis of Symbolic Education is stated within Freemasonic Ritual. The final Steps Masons must take to prepare themselves for being Properly Raised are alluded to in the FC lecture. The first three of the final Steps are in preparation for understanding and using Symbols as Words; the last four are in preparation for understanding and using Symbols as Numbers. These last Seven Steps are important because without a firm Understanding of Symbols, Freemasons metaphorically die of hunger in a grocery store jam-packed with food for lack of an ability to access that which is immediately before them.
These last seven Steps are Symbolic in Masonry and are known as the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences. They were initially used as preparation for serious study in Philosophy and Theology. Without their Foundation, the training in Symbols, one could not properly deal with Symbols, also known in some circles as “the Word” or “the Logos.” Members may go through the motions of being Raised, but until they are capable of Raising their level of understanding above the actual words and numbers, they are Symbolically Illiterate, hence they’re unable to read what is before them.

In this respect, Freemasonry has failed as an organization.

As truly successful as Freemasonry is in preserving its “food locker of symbols,” its Members starve and loose interest because they lack access keys to this locker. The saddening aspect of this is that few Brothers understand this; fewer still are willing to work toward changing this. In general, Members as a whole look at increasing numbers, retention of members and ability to “repeat back without firm understanding” as key indicators of our success. They will never be indicators of success – ever!

The challenges that the Society is faced with are based in educating its members in Symbolic Understanding and Use; the problems are based in its Educators not focusing on this; the troubles that are focused upon today are a symptom of the Society not meeting the challenge before it; they are not the cause but every Member has to live with them until the Society changes its focus.

People support what they can “make sense of” and “use” in their lives.

What’s more, when others outside the organization see how well things are working for its Members, it will attract others in kind. Ironically, if it sticks with the basics and educates its Members in Symbolic understanding and application, it’ll attract far more members than it could ever imagine.

Let’s make a unified effort to give our Brothers the keys to the Masonic locker. All that is required is taking seven simple Steps.

Fraternally, Coach N

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Building Hiram Released Soon

Building Hiram – 03/03/09


Hello Fellow Travelers!

I’ve never written a web-log before so this is a new experience for me. It feels strange to be putting my thoughts down for the world to read but when I consider that this is only one more direction that my writing is taking, I’m not a stranger to it at all.

For those of you who do not know me, I’m John Nagy and my professional background can be found at my website if you want to know it.

My Masonic background is a bit shorter in length. I was Raised only a few years ago, back in early 2002. I entered the line as a JW soon afterward, stepped out of line after that year and into the position of Lodge Musician when our existing officer passed on to our Grand Lodge in Heaven; I’ve been a Lodge Musician for several years now. I also provide Masonic Education to Lodges who will dare have me come and speak. And this last line is where this blog comes into play.

From the time that I was first introduced to Masonry, I had a sincere interest in knowing more. So much so that after reading many books recommended by a close neighbor, who was a Mason, I decided to become one myself. Very shortly after I was initiated I found that I was frustrated by the disconnected information that I received during my learning to do catechism. I wanted to know what different things meant and how they were connected to other things mentioned. I didn’t get the answers then and that trend continued throughout my experience way past being Raised.

I don’t fault the men who were mentoring me though. I’m sure that they received the same responses they gave to me when I asked. I sensed though that they were as frustrated deep down inside as I was initially. They didn’t get the answers then just as I didn’t when I asked. What more could they do? It was what it was.

As a result of this reality, I started venturing out into “the wild” to find out what I could on my own. I started reading and making notes as to what I would find. I eventually gathered enough connected material that it made it possible to write a presentation for other Brothers as to what I had discovered. I did this with several topics, each of which was driven by those initial questions I had as a newly initiated Mason.

After several years of researching interesting topics to present at Lodges, I’d accumulated many written Masonic papers. The last few years these papers have taken a distinct shape. The style that I’ve adopted is one of catechism. I’ve found that writing and presenting papers in the form of catechism does several things.

They tend to:

  • write themselves (which I like a lot);
  • entertain, surprise and enlighten;
  • create a distinct line of thought that opens us up to seeking.
With these catechisms being received well, I took time to arrange them into a book so that I could share them with others more easily. The book creation was an interesting experience in itself. I’ve created books before but this one posed some interesting challenges that were above and beyond the norm.

The first challenge was the usual challenge Masonic writers find themselves in when putting pen to paper in regards to anything Masonic. Masonic writers must always make sure that anything that they write does not violate their Obligation or the Law of their Jurisdiction. This specific challenge had me continually scrutinizing what I wrote to assure that I was honoring both.

The second challenge was the layout of the book. Several things came into play as I considered its makeup. I first wanted to make the book friendly toward Masons. The size had to be similar to many of the pocket size Ritual books and Monitors already available. The print had to be readable to Masons who would take this book and use it as Lodge education. Interestingly enough I discovered the ten point Tahoma font is almost equivalent to the twelve point Times New Roman font, prints more words per page and is easier to read – imagine that! Lastly, the information within it had to be presented so that it flowed as it was read, specifically when read out load in Lodge. All of these things were taken in consideration for I knew that the ultimate end users would want to have a comfortable feel in its use.

The next challenge was coming up with a title that shared the intention of what these writings were all about. I had a few ideas come up but in the end the title had to communicate what I was trying to do. Ultimately I created the title that communicated this well and “Building Hiram – Uncommon Catechism for Uncommon Masonic Education” was almost born.

The book is due out by mid-March and I’m now looking at creating Volume Two after a little rest. I’ve already written a bit of an intro and that will be posted here soon. There were many topics that I didn’t fit into this current book that are just as important subject matters of Masonic focus as the ones in Volume One.

With all this shared, I’m posting this initial overview to let you know that I’ll share my thoughts as I can and look forward to any feedback you may have to share on how the book was received along with any ideas on other chapters that can be written into the future.

Currently I have interest in writing chapters on:
  1. Circumambulations
  2. Hiram Abiff
  3. The Monitorial Symbols
  4. Emulation vs. American Rite
  5. The Mosaic
  6. The Great lights
  7. The Lesser Lights
  8. Scriptural References in Ritual>
  9. The significance of the number two in Ritual
  10. On What is Truly Raised
These, or something similar, will be in Volume Two. I once again need twelve chapter topics total, so this list will be growing and possibly morphing.

I'd like them to complement the list found within Volume One.

Fraternally,

Coach N