Monday, December 15, 2014

THE CRAFT UNMASKED BOOK PREVIEW: Chapter II. Confusion in the Temple


Good Day My Fellow Travelers,

Here's an article published in Dec. 2014 based upon my newly published book, "The Craft UNMASKED! The Uncommon Origin of Freemasonry and its Practice", that might be of interest to you. 

Fraternally and Sincerely,

Bro. John S. Nagy

________________
  

II. Confusion in the Temple

 
When you want to know where to start to
unravel the Mysteries behind the Craft, Start by
Focusing upon the Blatant and Blaring
Misunderstandings and Inconsistencies that its Membership Actively Refuses to Deal with Effectively 
 
When you remain even loosely active in Craft activities and have taken the time to discuss it at length and in depth with others, you shall soon become acutely aware that there are many aspects of the Craft that appear to be confusing at best, and deeply disconcerting at worst.  These aspects shall continue to plague the Craft until such time that all members find themselves harmoniously discussing differences.
 
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It was only after a few years within the Craft that I began comparing notes with my Brothers.  It was not an easy task either.  As you might know from your own experience, trying to come to a common understanding of things about the Craft even at a superficial level is sometimes blocked by many assumptions.  After many misunderstandings and miscommunications I slowly became aware that I had to create a super-flexible translator for myself, especially when I tried to speak about the Craft with others. 
Misunderstandings
There are many times when Brothers make an effort to draw distinctions between things that they are told and things that they observe.  I became aware of this when I started reading and hearing key differentiating words inserted into conversations and discourses.  This occurred most often when Brothers were describing who they saw and what they were doing. 
The words that were used by them to distinguish some members from others were prefaced with “True”, “Authentic” and “Real” as opposed to “False”, “Fake” and “Bogus”.  The words that followed these precursors were usually “Brothers”, “Masons”, “Masonry”, “Freemasons” and “Freemasonry”.  In a very genuine way, each was making a sincere effort to communicate to others what they were seeing before them.
And this effort was not limited to members of the Craft.  Writers who were not members of the Society used these very same methods to communicate that there were huge differences between members of the Society and those who actually Practiced the Principles that the Society espoused.
With more time and interactions, I became aware that there were Brothers who didn’t use such prefacing words in their efforts to share what they saw.  They opted for using words that were familiar to all but assigned, through their use, distinct meanings that would be understood by those who would read them.
Examples of this can be found within Craft writings throughout the 1800s and 1900s.  There are countless times when the word “Freemason” was used by some authors to indicate members of the Craft who actually practiced the principles of the Society.  These same writers would call other members who did not practice Societal Principles mere “Masons”.  It was clear that their efforts were put forth to draw distinctions between two classes of members within the Society.
This caused tremendous confusion within those members who saw being a member synonymous with being a Freemason.  They earnestly believed that if you are a member, you are both a Freemason and a Mason.  The spotlights shown by authors upon members who were true to Society Principles and members who were untrue to these principles could not be seen by these Brothers.  Because they could not see any difference, the main intents of the writers and speakers were utterly lost in the minutia of the confusing discourse. 
 Uncommon Ground
Adding to this situation is a clear reversal of meanings conveyed by some twenty-first century Brothers. They have summarily dismissed these conventions and adopted pre-Society distinctions that would appear to be a complete antithesis of these definitions.  By taking the issue of practice outside the Society and assigning it strictly to practice versus non-practice, these Brothers have assigned a distinction that removes membership from the equation defining Masons.  They have opted to define Freemasons as mere members of the Society of Free & Accepted Masons while in the same effort defining Masons as individuals who Practiced Principles that transform males toward maturity and wisdom regardless of affiliation. 
In the eyes of some, Freemasons were members of a Society whereas Masons were Builders.
None of these definitions denoted that there was mutual exclusivity between the two.  They didn’t mean that members could not be Builders too or that Builders could not be members.  It merely communicated a base understanding that one was not necessarily the other and one didn’t have to be one to be the other. 
Using this assignment of meaning and applying it to questions about historical figures can cause tremendous confusion within those not knowing these definitions.  One such example is President Thomas Jefferson.  It is quite clear that this man Raised himself up from Youth to Manhood and to Age.  It is clear that he was not only mature but also wise in what he did with his time and efforts.  It was also abundantly clear that he was a Builder of himself, his fellow men and the country which he helped found.  He was also surrounded by men who were members of the Freemasonic Society.  From all outward signs, this man was clearly a Mason (Builder) according to one set of assigned meanings.  By another set of assigned meanings, what was not clear from anything that was written down about him was whether he was a member of the Society of Free & Accepted Masons and hence a Freemason (a Member of the Society).
Resistance
One of the biggest problems that differing definitions bring to Craft discourse is the unwillingness of certain members to accept that word meaning is assigned within the context of the communication.  Furthermore, these same members have also steadfastly refused to accept that meaning does change in ways that may be counter to what they have come to understand and accept as true for themselves. 
When listening to and reading discourse and debate between Society members, you can quickly pick up on those who grasp this understanding and who stubbornly refuse to accept the offered meanings in any way.  Within a very short time, the discourses involving these men degrade to arguments of definitions rather than the actual intent of the person trying to communicate Light.  Rather than trying to seek to first understand[i] what the other person is trying to communicate, the effort is put forth by these listeners to have the person accept the listener’s well-entrenched meanings before further discourse can occur. 

As a result of listener resistance, many possibly valuable communications end in battles over what definitions are right and wrong rather than trying to get past these superficial labels and into the meat and bone of what is trying to be communicated.  Such discourses also tend to eventually degrade into personal attacks upon the persons offering the Light by those who dogmatically oppose how this Light is offered. 

Many members believe that this condition within the Craft shall not change anytime soon.  It is part and parcel of what occurs when the Society itself refuses to educate its members along the lines of what is professed through its Rituals.  As long as members are allowed to Progress in name only, that is, reciting back what they are told rather than thinking deeply about, understanding, and applying what they are told, such Craft disconnects between societal members shall continue.
Inconsistencies

The meanings that members assign to Craft words are not the only wide variables that you shall find within the Society.  A huge inconsistency that many members see and experience is between what is spoken of within Craft Ritual and what is expected of them from the actual organization.  Given any one specific arena of encounters among members of the Craft, you shall see that there is a higher than usual probability that several members shall display character that is utterly counter to that which is espoused by Societal Ritual. 

One such inconsistency is the support one would normally expect from an organization that espouses at every turn that they are about transforming good men into Better men.  This is stated upfront and is supported by words and phrases sprinkled throughout the entirety of its Rituals, Lectures, Laws and other Organizational writings.  For an organization that professes so highly the value of Bettering men, the stark desert of support its members see before them and the experience they have as a result of their participation, leaves many disenchanted by the words that fall sweetly upon their eager ears. 

Problems that arise as a result are plentiful.  One involves the literal translation of what is shared within Ritual.  This occurs even though it is readily apparent, or should be from what Freemasonic writings share, that Ritual is Allegorical and Symbolic.  Even with this being stated, there are many within the Society that make every effort to understand, convey and live Ritual as if it were not Allegorical and Symbolic.  

This becomes clear when you see the activities that members engage in surrounding their investigation of elements found within the third Degree drama.  This includes either what they experienced directly or of what they are informed, depending upon how their Jurisdiction goes about it.  Some members take the Dramatic information and experience as if it were some secret history that is being kept hidden from the world.  Others believe there is an actual Lost Word.  Still others believe the story conveyed is more accurate than the Scriptures it was based upon. 

All things considered, with even minor Perpending, it should become clear that such fanciful flights of imagination would be better guided if the Society as a whole helped its members do the Work that its Rituals direct men toward.  This would be preferred behavior.  Instead, the present Society merely assures that Candidates experience the Ritual as required.  They soon wear titles that don’t truly represent what they originally did within the Stonecraft Society from which they were supposedly taken.
Erosion

Between the misunderstanding and inconsistencies lie a perpetual production of disillusionment and disappointment within members who eagerly joined the Craft.   Candidates Entering the Society usually have high hopes of being surrounded by men who have actually developed Life Masteries.  What they find is a wide assortment of males who have yet to master themselves, much less the principles of the Craft.  They also find men obsessed with memorizing things that they have no desire to understand, much less apply.  Included in this are statements from these very men that continually encourage similar attitudes and behaviors within new members who obviously want more from their investment of money, time and energy. 

With no true leadership or examples of what the Society can actually do to develop good men into Better men, some members soon realize that the organization is not what they expected.  Couple this with meetings that provide little to no nourishment for those who attend, it becomes very clear to any man who was initially excited about joining the Society, that it offers little more than activities that maintain the process of Initiating men three times over. 

Many men leave the Society soon thereafter, believing they have obtained all that the Society has to offer.  Other men continue to be dues paying members.  They are still motivated enough to continue having a connection with the Craft but rarely if ever attend meetings.  They realize too soon that meetings offer nothing of interest to them.  A fewer number of members continue to maintain the process, believing it offers worthwhile activities to engage in, regardless of expectations truly never being met. 

 




[i] Seek first to understand, then to be understood – Habit #5; Seven Habits of Highly Effective People; Stephen Covey

Friday, November 28, 2014

THE CRAFT UNMASKED BOOK PREVIEW: Chapter V. The Masterful Roots


Good Day My Fellow Travelers,

Here's an article published in Oct. 2014 based upon my upcoming book, "The Craft Unmasked - The Uncommon Origin of Freemasonry and its Practice", due out December 1st that might be of interest to you.  It's not the full chapter, but it gives a good idea as to the content and direction.

Fraternally and Sincerely,

Bro. John S. Nagy
Building Better Builders Series Author

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


Chapter V. The Masterful Roots
 

When you seek the Mysteries of Freemasonry, you had best be sure that
what you seek is exactly what is being offered. 
 
It was a few years ago that I came across a curious connection between the words, Mastery and Mystery.  I put that connection aside while I pursued other ventures, and as fate would have it, that connection continued to harass me ever since.
 
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 My original quest entailed seeking the roots of the word Mastery.  What drove me?  I was seeking a better understanding of the word and believed looking into its etymology would reveal more about how it came to mean what it does today. 
Upon further prompted investigation, I found to my delight that the Word Mastery has the same roots as the word Mystery. They both meant[i] at one time “handicraft, trade, art”, which came from another Medieval Latin root that meant “service, occupation, office, ministry”.  As it was originally used in the late 14th century, it reflected a man’s trade or profession.  At that time, it would not have been uncommon for a man to be asked what his Mystery was and to have him state his occupation.  It should be no small wonder how the two words were intimately entwined as all trades had secrets that would be closely guarded and only shared with those who were worthy and could be trusted not to share them with outsiders, no matter what the situation.
The other meaning that the word Mystery relates to is what is now commonly accepted today: that which is associated with secrets involving rites, worships and hidden things. 
It should be clear that when you truly Desire to Learn the Mysteries of Freemasonry, you’re going to have to study the Craft and make your efforts more than just a mere preoccupation to find secrets.  It’s no small Mystery! You’re going to have to become exactly what you Seek and do so with Mastery.





[i] mystery (n.1) "handicraft, trade, art" (archaic), late 14c., from Medieval Latin misterium, alteration of Latin ministerium "service, occupation, office, ministry" (influenced in form by Medieval Latin mysterium (see mystery (n.2)) and in sense by maistrie "mastery see ministry)." mystery (n.2) early 14c., in a theological sense, "religious truth via divine revelation, hidden spiritual significance, mystical truth," from Anglo-French *misterie, Old French mistere "secret, mystery, hidden meaning" (Modern French mystère), from Latin mysterium "secret rite, secret worship; a secret thing," from Greek mysterion (usually in plural mysteria) "secret rite or doctrine," from mystes "one who has been initiated," from myein "to close, shut" ; perhaps referring to the lips (in secrecy) or to the eyes (only initiates were allowed to see the sacred rites).
The Greek word was used in Septuagint for "secret counsel of God," translated in Vulgate as sacramentum. Non-theological use in English, "a hidden or secret thing," is from late 14c. In reference to the ancient rites of Greece, Egypt, etc. it is attested from 1640s.
The two senses of mystery formed a common pun in (secular) Tudor theater.
 
 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

THE CRAFT UNMASKED BOOK PREVIEW: Chapter I. The Grand Assumption


Good Day My Fellow Travelers,

Here's an article published in Nov. 2014 based upon my upcoming book, "The Craft UNMASKED! The Uncommon Origin of Freemasonry and its Practice", due out in 3 days that might be of interest to you. 

Fraternally and Sincerely,

Bro. John S. Nagy

________________
  

Chapter I. The Grand Assumption

  

So many Seekers assume that Freemasonry comes from Roots that are somehow Disclosed by or Alluded to within its very Rituals and Lectures.  Unfortunately, the very Craft Freemasonry conceals is done so well that it required no hiding at all! 
 
From all that is written about Freemasonry, one could conclude quite safely that the Society from its very beginning has masked its origins in Masterful veils.  One could also easily conclude that it was purposefully done this way as to take focus off its primary root and on to what it was designed to do.  Such conclusions are easily supported by the overwhelming lack of consistency among the multitudes of theory surrounding the craft built up by years of conjectures from hundreds of zealous authors.
Along these same lines, anyone removing these carefully placed layers would not find disclosed any deceit or deception.  They would not find a terrible grand conspiracy of any sort.  They would find, as with every Masterful Production, Freemasonry’s intention to accomplish something wonderfully Grand.
It is abundantly clear that the Freemasonic Organization was a truly Masterful way to do something that was life changing for any generation.
 
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      There is one constant within these writings which stands out as a beacon which has led many members and non members to crash upon the rocky shores of self-deception.  That one consistency is the assumption that the Freemasonic Organization came from any origin other than the one that would be most obvious and clear to an unbiased observer. 
Far too many have accepted without question the offerings of those who have come before them.  Equally, far too many have not stepped back and actually Observed what the Craft was actually doing.  As a result, when faced with investigating Craft origins, they start out upon their quest on a biased road and in directions that lead them toward further illusion.
From our Society’s very beginning, one specific assumption was made by almost every member Entering the Craft.  From then on that one assumption has had each member redirect his thoughts away from its true origins and toward historical fantasies that had nothing to do with Craft origins. 
 
A Brotherly Light House 
 
Brother Albert Mackey had a good sense that this was the case.  His thoughts on investigating Craft Origins are captured in a few of his attributed writings on Freemasonic History.  He was not kind in what he had to say about many of the authors of his time, or those whom preceded it.  Brother Albert states very concisely that to write Freemasonry’s history, one must first take extreme care in how you define it.  He goes on to convey that it is also clear that to include Masonry in this writing, it must not be taken to be synonymous with Freemasonry unless “we confine ourselves closely to the events that are connected with the Institution in its present form and organization.”  Our Brother also tells us that far too many authors use the word “Masonry” loosely.  He provides several examples of this looseness and he then summarily dismisses their contributions as a result.  His message is a warning that very few have heeded, even to this day.
For me, I believe he conveyed great wisdom and was on the right path.  I believe his observations and conclusions were brilliant on this issue.  I also believe that he did not go far enough in his statements.  He did however reveal the path to future Craft Origin discovery for those who would follow his works.

Tagging Along

A few years back, I began to see that there was a difference between how all the words associated with Freemasonry and Masonry were being used.  Sometimes they were being used synonymously.  Other times they would be used within the same sentence and they would change their meaning each time they were being used.  The consistency of this was enough to grab my attention and hold it.  And I would find that I was not alone in this piquing.
Within a very short time, I had gathered enough information to conclude that the two words were entirely different in their focus.  I also concluded that there exist many people, in particular Brothers, who take them to mean the same thing.  Included in this latter group are many of the writers that help shape the psyche of each generation, inside and outside the Society. 
Furthermore, not only did they take these two words to be synonymous, but they used them interchangeably and with shear irreverence to their roots.  In that acceptance, they were blind to their blatant differences.  With every sentence they constructed, they soon could not see any difference whatsoever as they employed them in their writings.
I began to share my observations about these two words with others.  I first did this with those who expressed to me their confusion as to what the Society was actually doing.  We seemed to have come to the same conclusions along similar lines of investigation.  It was a breath of relief for all who engaged in these thought exchanges.  In a very warm way what we saw was being confirmed through our interactions. 
This validation brought about a bit of boldness on all our parts and we began sharing our thoughts and conclusions with others outside our circles when opportunities arose.  It was amazing to us how we would get such a mix of responses to our disclosers. 
Some listeners simply nodded their heads in understanding.  It was clear to us by their response that they saw and believed the same things.  You could see in their countenances, and more specifically their eyes, how much they appreciated our putting words to what they intuitively felt.  It was an awesome experience for all of us.
 
Brotherly Ugliness

There was a dark side to all this.  There were some self-appointed protectors of the Craft that took exception to our sharing.  They found it annoying and antagonistic to what they had come to believe about the Fraternity.  In response, they reacted very negatively to any and all sharing that was contrary to what they themselves had accepted to be true. 
Sometimes they would respond with abusive indignation.  They took any opportunity they could to attack both the thoughts and the very person who shared these thoughts.  They did so with a barrage of words and actions that made the heads spin of those involved and even of those who observed. 
The fallout of their negative behavior degraded many opportunities for harmonious discourse.  Their broad strokes of disharmony were seen everywhere contrary thoughts were shared.  They employed dissention with every word they conveyed.  Their mere presence would be a signal to shut discourse down.  Many left who came together for intelligent exchange.  They soon shut down any efforts to share Light contrary to what they dogmatically held to be true. 
It was clear to all of us that the Light we shared was not welcome by Darkness.
 

Further Down the Path

As thoughts evolved around the differences between Freemasonry and Masonry, investigations continued.  Thoughts were exchanged and conclusions became more refined.  Some, other premises that were normally taken for granted, were approached, inspected and ascertained as to whether they could be taken to be valid any longer.  A whole new world of investigation soon unfolded before our eyes.
And we were delighted by what we found!
 
Ì  ä


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Brother Asks... Holy Saints John


A Brother Asks: How do the Holy Saints John fit into Masonry?

My Response: I'll focus strictly upon the Masonic side and not the Freemasonic side of this question. When interpreting Ritual Masonically, I always default to how Allegory and Symbol support the Transformational Work that the Degrees point Brothers toward.

The first Degree Work is Development and Cultivation of the Heart -- Bringing Order to the Chaos of the heart is its whole purpose. This clearly is alluded to... by Holy St. John the Baptist; he was a man of great passion. Research his life to get a feel for how this applies.

Likewise, the second Degree Work is Development and Cultivation of the Head (Intellect) -- Bringing Order to the Chaos of the head is its whole purpose. This clearly is alluded to by Holy St. John the Evangelist; he was a man of great intellect. Research his life to get a feel for how this applies.

Sure, they collectively allude to 1) the Left and Right side of Masonry (Heart and Head), 2) the before and after (Alpha and Omega) and 3) the Solstices (Great Illumination verus Lesser Illumination), but the allusion to the Transformational Work has ALWAYS taken priority for me -- how else can the claim that "Masonry makes good men better" be justified and supported?

If we don't keep the Transformative Work as our focus, then it's all just mental pleasuring. Not that this isn't fun, but nothing of any significance occurs for any man without Work.

F&S,

Brother John S. Nagy

 

Monday, September 1, 2014

THE COACHES COACH: Speculation on the Letter “G”


Good Day My Fellow Travelers,

Here's an article published in September 2014 based upon my previous work, "The Coaches Coach" Videos 1 & 2 that might be of interest to you. 

Fraternally and Sincerely,

Bro. John S. Nagy
 
 
-----------------------------------

 
 
The Coaches Coach: Speculation on the Letter “G” 

To get a firmer Grasp for what takes place when Brothers help to Build Builders and not just membership in the Freemasonic Fraternity, I share an example with you.  This example reflects one of the paradigms that shifts and helps men to understand better what is required to Build Builders.  It has to do with a Mason’s ability to see beyond things that can and do mislead others.  The example that is offered has to do with the Letter “G” found in the center of the overlapping Square and Compasses.

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There has been much Speculation on this Letter “G.”  Some say it stands for “Geometry”, others say it’s symbolic for “God”, a select few say it represents the Greek letter “Gamma” (which looks like a square “'”) and still others say it represents the “Grand Geometrician of the Universe”.  This addition to these Speculations is not intended to add any confusion.  It is intended to bring some much needed clarity and insight for those Brothers who desire more from Freemasonry.

It should be evident that there are problems with all these Speculations, mostly due to all the different languages one can find from one jurisdiction to another. Discussions of these problems can be found in abundance elsewhere, so they shall not be covered here.

What is offered though is an uncommon Speculation as to what the Symbol actually represents and it is inclusive of that which has already been discussed.  This Speculation comes from an out-of-the-box thought that fits well the mold that Masonic Training encourages its members to undertake.  To Grasp it requires you to step out of the box of preconceived notions though.  It also requires that you look past the actual symbol itself and not associate it with anything that you might typically assign to it.  It furthermore requires that you see the source that projects the image of this Symbol upon the cave wall.  Adhering to all these requirements shall hopefully prepare you for what is shared in this simple example and beyond.

The Symbol at the Center of the Square and Compasses Represents "Structure".  It is Structure that conveys the only possible link between any Symbolic Conveyance and the Objective World. 

This Speculation is best supported and encapsulated by the following quote attributed to the late Polish-American Philosopher and Scientist, Alfred Korzybsk:

“If words are not things, or maps are not the actual territory, then, obviously, the only possible link between the objective world and the linguistic world is found in structure, and structure alone.”

Just as in Language, it is Structure that makes Masonry what it is.  It doesn’t matter what tongue that it is spoken in, what culture that renders it or which Masons employ it.  The Structure of Masonry is unique and, to those Raised within it, Recognizable in the Dark as well as in the Light. 

And it is that very Structure that both conceals and reveals the Code that spells out what’s required to Build even the most uneducated into Builders. 

The current Freemasonic Structure of the three Degrees employed throughout most of the United States preserves the Code which spells out what Masons must do to Build themselves. Unfortunately, it does not require that this Code be Executed.  Current Degree preservation efforts only assure that the Code remains intact enough for each generation to rediscover it, should they take the time to Examine it.  It is up to the Coaches & Mentors of each generation to help those Freemasons who come through the Three Degrees and hear this Code to Step beyond Preserving it and into actually Applying it toward Building the Builders of this and future generations.  Until each new Freemason Discovers this Structure, it remains concealed and assumed lost.

All this is Alluded to by the Letter “G”.  Whether you want to believe it represents either the Geometry or the Geometrician involved, the common thread is the Structure hidden within both.  Can you find It?
 
 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Masonic Ledge - Are you a Member?



The Masonic Ledge[i] -- Are you a Member?

It’s unfortunate that it happens all too often, and if you’re someone fortunate to experience it for yourself, then you know exactly how it feels.   

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Hello my Brother.  Yes, it’s me and I know that you’re standing there.  You’re not as stealthy as you want everyone to believe.   Sure, I know the vast majority of your Brothers can’t see you there but I know you’re there.  You don’t have to believe me though.  You don’t have to invest anything into my words, but it’ll change nothing about my awareness of your situation.  Your Ledge activities are more obvious to me than most.  This shall never change, ever.

You might be wondering about how I could possibly know that you’re there.  You might even be trying to figure out how you can move one or two Steps to the Left or Right to Better conceal yourself from spying eyes like mine, but you’re not going to succeed in any of your efforts whatsoever.  You’ve not got the ability yet to conceal yourself and standing on that Ledge isn’t going to hide you.  It’s only after thoroughly searching your heart that you shall understand how I know that you’re there. 

No.  It doesn’t take much “know how” to know such things.  It’s simply a Strong sense you get about others after you connect solidly to your own Heart.  Once you do, you get really good at picking up on all those “on-the-Ledge” vibes others give off and without much effort too.  Ere you’ve been there yourself, you just don’t have what it takes to pick up on the Ledge activities of others.

And I can very much tell you that you’re there on the Ledge due to tremendous frustrations and repeated disappointments.  You expected something different from your involvement or your Brothers or both!  And you believe that you’ve been let down, or even misled by them!  And you believe that you didn’t get what you wanted, don’t you?  And you asked for something and something was given to you, but you didn’t get what you truly wanted, right?  And you sought something that you thought you’d wanted, but what you found was utterly unsatisfying, true?   You knocked upon a door, and sure, it was opened to you, but did you actually walk through it – really?

Yes.  I’m sure that I’m being unusually brutal in my questions and observations.  I know that I am.  And I can tell you without reservation that most Brothers get disgusted by this kind of bluntness.   They expect more “candy coating” on such things. 

And perhaps that’s exactly why you’re on the Ledge.  You might have expected everything that you asked for to be sweet when you got it.  You might have expected everything you sought to be acceptable to your past conditioning and views.  You might have expected every door that you knocked upon to swing open effortlessly so that you could enjoy what you thought was on the other side.

But the reality that you found was probably overwhelmingly real, unbelievably demanding and perhaps very much unacceptable to the point where you’re still a bit Speechless and have not gotten your Head back upon your shoulders quite right.   If it was presented properly, what you saw put out before you were sets of conditions that required Work from you; Work that you knew required you to Transform yourself from a child to an adult; Work that was not exactly what you wanted to invest your Heart in either.   And you know that what you heard were conditions that had to be met for true growth to come to Fruition.  What you felt most likely was your gut being pulled in two differing directions, intuitively knowing that neither direction was truly right for you.

Yup.  Without a doubt, the Masonic Ledge you’re currently on is possibly experienced as a place of solitude and maybe for some time now.  It’s were you found yourself after you were whisked through your Degrees, participated in your fair share of mind-numbing business meetings and engaged in endless “service” work.  It was where you found yourself when you finally took a good honest look at what you were involved in and recognized that you were starving for something else that such participation would never give you.

And I’m here to tell you that you’re exactly where you should be – on the Masonic Ledge! 

You’re almost certainly for the first time looking down at Masonry believing that you’re getting a good bird’s-eye view of its offered Reality.  But you should by now realize too that the view that you currently see is one of your own making.  You chose to see your involvement this way.  You chose to do what others have done and all that got you was on to that Ledge. 

And that is a good thing!  Your choices mean that you created this condition and your view so that you could see where bad choices can lead you. 

But it ain’t all that bad!  If anything, you can redirect your Masonic choices and recreate them so that you do get your needs met and perhaps lead others by example toward more nurturing Masonic activities.

 
Ledge Membership

You can start by choosing to look at your situation differently.  You have already made it through the Initiation, Passing and Raising and now you have your Traveling Papers.  Think about it!  This paper allows you to go anywhere that Recognized Brothers have inter-visitation.  What’s even better, now that you have your Papers, you can make connections worldwide with other Brothers who are on the Ledge with you. 

Yes!  You heard me right.  You’re not alone on this Masonic Ledge.  There are countless other Brothers just like you taking in that view.  The ones who have stuck around have recognized three important things about it. 

The first is that the Ledge is filled with Brothers just like you who want more.  They each realized that they weren’t going to get more from participating in the usual venues and that they could get what they wanted much easier Working with other Ledge members. 

The second is that the Ledge is an illusion.  They each realized that they were actually standing on the Ground Floor of a rich Foundation laced with valuable Veins of Light ready for the getting. 

The third is that the Ledge is all about each of them and not about others.  Rather than stepping off the Ledge, each of them stepped into its Light by Taking Personal Responsibility for their own Transformation.  Each of them no longer relied upon others to give them what they needed and wanted. 

In short, they all embraced Adulthood and all that comes with it and left youthful dependence behind.

Are you truly ready for Better?  Then take a Step in the Right Direction and join them!

Points to Perpend: 

1)  Who do you know who’s on the Ledge?
2)  How would you coach them to get their needs met without directing them back into the Lodge?
3)  What’s your plan to help Lodge members from becoming hopeless Ledge members?


[i] 1) A cut or projection forming a shelf on a cliff, a solid wall, or a rock wall; a raised, horizontal, or projecting edge or molding intended to protect or check
2) An underwater ridge, rock shelf or reef
3) A narrow flat surface or shelf; especially one that projects from a wall of rock; rock that is solid or continuous enough to form ledges
4) A level of rock-bearing ore; a vein; a lode