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,
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.
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.