Sunday, January 31, 2016

Dear Brother McCarthy...



Dear Brother McCarthy[1],
You have publicly condemned, put down and dismissed the honest observations, frustrations and criticisms of your Brothers.  You did so because you are far more concerned about and interested in how potential and existing members may view our organization than you are about properly addressing Brothers' legitimate thoughts and feelings about it.  I recommend that you focus upon effectively dealing with the issues, problems and challenges that these Brothers put forth instead of trying to kill the messengers.  The change in your manner and attitude toward them is more likely to produce positive results for all involved than the destruction which occurs when you sweep them away with your oppressive Broom of Harmony.

These Brothers that you wrongfully accuse, detrimentally label and aggressively belittle for speaking their minds and sharing their hearts take great pains to express their thoughts and feelings about the important issues, unaddressed problems and continuous challenges plaguing our organization and at times do so in the face of overwhelming societal pressures to remain silent and compliant.

I realize that you are tired of hearing what they have to share or are weary of how they share.  I know from your responses that you find their sharing draining upon your spirit because you truly have no real solutions for what they convey and don't want others to see these issues.  I understand that you are fed up with hearing their incessant chirping.  These are neither in dispute nor the focus of this letter. Your attitude and manner toward them is.  Neither helps in dealing with the real issues and you by your actions have created an unnecessary distraction that takes focus off what truly needs to be dealt with.

Moreover, by your focus and actions, you miss things of extreme importance!  These messengers are rich resources and role models who tell you and others volumes about the perceived mental, emotional and spiritual health of our organization.  They should be encouraged to continue to express themselves and to take appropriate actions that shall help them and others toward transforming our organization and our members toward the better. 
What's more is that they are not alone!  For every one of these Brothers who speak of these matters and in which you make effort to trivialize, demonize and distort by negatively labeling them, there are countless others who remain silent and eventually leave due to the very things that these men speak of and which continue unaddressed.
Keep in mind; many of our Brothers never got the training that our organization espouses and probably never will get it through normal channels if things remain as they are. Many haven't learned to subdue and circumscribe themselves to communicate in a way that is acceptable to you.  By no fault of their own they were encouraged to and allowed to Pass without completed Work.  They were never required to do any of this talked about but unoffered training.  As a result, they still have rough edges to them. 

Furthermore, many haven't learned how to elegantly evoke and apply the Trivium because such training simply was not required of them to be labeled "Masters" within our organization.  They are communicating the very best they can, they are doing so with extremely little to no organizational training and sometimes do so in the face of unnecessarily inconsiderate and intolerant opposition. 
 
Nevertheless!  They are our unsung heroes and we should not dismiss and put down their untempered voices, no matter how dissonant they may come across.  They have a truth to share and we should take notice not in its delivery, but in what truth is conveyed.

If you don't realize how important these voices are to our organization by now, let me put it to you in a way that I hope you might better understand: 
  • Killing messengers hurts us all.  This was clearly and solidly exemplified by our Third Degree Drama!   Like yourself, the Ruffians didn't want to hear a messenger who a) delivered the truth, b) did so nine times over, and c) faced cruel opposition in doing so. 
  • They used the demands of time to attack that messenger. They used the demands of morality to attack him further. They even used brute force in an effort to slam into place his compliance; all unsuccessfully.  They eventually killed the messenger of truth and buried what remained of him under a pile of Rubbish.  
  • Our Society has never been the same!  More than just a messenger was lost; so was an important truth that mattered to the Craft.
There are countless messengers who are outspoken and even more that remain silent and who walk away from our organization. They do so for good reasons too.  When they do, they take their messages with them.  They do so in disenchanted, disillusioned, apathetic, indifferent and sometimes frustrated silence.  They see how others were treated when something was said that was deemed to be inappropriate and unwelcome by those who want all to turn a blind eye to issues, problems and troubles rather than do what is required to put them to rest, or at least to put systems into place to properly manage them. 

When they leave, their messages are lost too, that is, until such time that existing members rediscover them, usually buried deep within piles of Rubbish designed to hide them from view by those who would rather have them go unseen.  When these messages are eventually rediscovered by our members, their effluvia are usually so overwhelming that no one wants to deal with them. 

 I hope that you are never foolish enough to think that killing the messenger kills the message.  Wisdom tells us that message stench does not go away and that messages require action sooner or later.  Messages have a nasty habit of hanging around and pestering their targets one way or another until delivered. 

There are things though that are clear about your expressed view toward these messengers in all this:  
  1. You are more concerned about the organization's superficial appearance to potential & existing members than you are concerned about existing members being driven off by unaddressed issues, dismissed problems and legitimate concerns.  
  2. You are not above the behavior and attitude of Ruffians in your approach and results in dealing with Brothers.
  3. Your manner and attitude tells me that you truly are not after the best interests of all involved. 
Before you are ever tempted to label messengers as "frustrated", "disillusioned", "jaded", "disenchanted", "disgruntled" or something else designed solely to color and thus dismiss or suppress their messages or oppress the messengers, know that the messengers you devalue love the Craft or they would not be invested in sharing these messages.  They are whole heartedly willing to bring things up and speak up, speak out and speak about things that are extremely difficult, awkward and uncomfortable to and for others.  They are likely more interested in what is best for the Craft than you could ever perceive.  They are better friends to the Craft than those who do and say nothing when doing and saying something is necessary or those who want so much not to hear them that they would rather kill the messengers than listen and engage in constructive discourse to better ends.
Perhaps this message to you about your dismissive manner and attitude toward these messengers is unwelcome by you.  Please know that your indirect message, your Ruffian methods and feigned concerns are clearly evident, seen and understood; even by those new to the Craft.  

Like those heroes of an earlier Freemasonic McCarthy era, know that some messengers shall not remain silent in response to your attempted censor, abhorrent mislabeling and implied slander.  They love the Craft far too much to be beaten into quiet, shameful and fearful submission.  They also love it so much that they have likely already forgiven you for your shortsighted views and destructive manners toward them. 

I recommend that you try to Earn their Forgiveness by Supporting them and our organization toward Betterment!
F&S,

Brother John S. Nagy

PS - Please feel free to share this in response to attacks, ad hominem or otherwise, or with anyone you know who is being attacked, bullied, labeled and oppressed because the message they share is viewed unfavorable to the Craft by those who object.
----------------------------------

[1] McCarthy:  The man to whom McCarthyismthe practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence. It also means "the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism, is attributed to for his wide and deep use of the same during his time as a national political oppressor and manipulator.



Friday, January 29, 2016

Major News Program to Explore Masonry’s Dark Underworld




New York City, NY – In an unusual investigatory twist, 6☉ Minutes[1], a seriously long running television journalism and exposé program has decided to explore the dark underbelly of the Fraternal Organization known as the “Society of Free & Accepted Masons”.
“Our main focus will be exposing the seedy side of Freemasonic activities at an organizational level”, said the show’s producer, Candied Cameron. “It’s clear from the tremendous fallout in membership over the last 50 years that something has changed within the organization and we aim to find out what it is”.  She added, “From all that we've gathered so far, we’re betting the root causes are in its informal operations”.

When asked what they have found so far through their diligent and highly controversial probing efforts, we received only sketchy almost cryptic comments and this from one of the investigators who would talk under the cloak of anonymity.  “We’ve found several things so far”, he said under low breath while looking around nervously. “There's the continuous and purposeful use of language and symbols to obscure and deliberately veil what is truly being stated.  These obfuscations were clearly evident.  A second was the incessant espousing of principles and tenets that are only practiced when others were deemed worthy of receiving them.”  He added a moment later, “We also found a lot of backroom dealings hidden from public view and even from other individuals who do not attend Regularly.” 
Another investigator, who too expressed a desire to remain anonymous, said that, “One very disturbing activity that never gets reported by main stream media is how this organization has faked each and every member’s death over the years.  What’s worse, they have done so on a Regular basis for nearly 300 years!”

One of the clerical staff, who chose to remain off camera, shared on the side that “there’s this really much uglier side that hasn't yet been reported upon.  The investigation committee has dubbed it ‘the degree & title pushers’ for now”, he said with a heavy sigh. “They’re active everywhere within the organization.  They approach extremely vulnerable and naïve candidates who don’t know any better and who have little to no experience in organization operations and in dealing with these most aggressive rogues.  They push these newbies toward more involved and higher degrees, other support organizations and volunteer positions that’ll distract them from the very Work for which they joined.” He took a deep breath and continued, “This'll have to wait though.  It's too involved so we’ve decided to use this information in our second report later this year.”
The program was scheduled to air this last fall but for some unknown reason it has been caught up in some unfortunate delays due to the faked deaths of some of the investigation committee members.

If you have information related to this investigation, please contact the 6☉ Minutes’ main office and let them know.

F&S,
Brother John S. Nagy

[1] Read as "Six Circumpunct Minutes" and not to be confused with "60 Minutes", another awesome yet highly underrated investigatory news program who employs similar techniques and insightful graphics.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Brother Asks... Brother Exploitations?



A Brother Asks: Are Brothers Vulnerable to Exploitation by Other Brothers?

My Response: You bet they are!

That being said, my experience also tells me that Brothers who have done the “Work of the First Degree[1]” are far less Vulnerable and far less likely to be Exploited.

My experience also tells me that far too many Freemasons are Vulnerable and are very likely Exploited because they do not do the Work.

The troubles faced by the entire Fraternity are of its own making and through self-sabotage. Very few Brothers have completed the Work to which the First Degree alludes. They advance prematurely because they have fulfilled bare-minimum requirements that make them better members, not better men; and we allow it! 

That incompletion of Work and premature advancement sets them up to being Exploited; and our Fraternity as well. They have not developed within themselves what is required to lessen and even prevent Exploitation. What’s more, collectively, we do this to our own Brothers by allowing this Work to go undone.

But don't take my word on this. Assess your own experiences and ask yourself, "If I had done the Foundational Work myself, would I be better at dealing Effectively with opportunities that may exploit me to my detriment?"
 
F&S,
 
Brother John S Nagy
 
------------------------------
 
 [1] This is some, but not all, of the Foundational Work:
  1.  Hearts (Emotions - Passions and Desires) Must be Subdued and Circumscribed
  2.  Rubbish (V&S) Must be Summarily and Thoroughly Divested
  3.  Priorities (Values-Beliefs-Morals-Ethics) Must be Set
  4.  Standards and Boundaries Must be Established
  5.  Time Must be Managed
  6.  Responsibility Must be Accepted 
  7.  Accountability Must be Embraced
  8.  Integrity Must be Sought and Kept
  9.  Boaz (Manly Virtues) Must be Well-Established
  10.  Unfailing Honest and Rigorous Self-Reflection Must occur Regularly

You can read more on this within the book, "Building Boaz", Volume of the Building Better Builders Series of Uncommon Masonic Education books and videos.



Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Grand Lodge Burnout Response: “No” Training!



Innoway AK – In an effort to stem the tide of membership declines due to Freemasonic Burnout, also known as “Free-Burn”, the Grand Lodge of Alaska has come up with a suitably viable solution – No Training[1].
“It was a simple solution whose time has come”, said Lead Trainer Right Worshipful Brother Armin Sling  “We actually didn’t realize the great need to provide No Training for some time and only recently had enough members leave the organization due to Free-Burn to realize the need was there.  It's been our experience that situations just like these warrant action and No Training should be offered immediately”

What exactly is “No Training” and what do offering No Training Options supposedly solve?
Brother Chad N. Circles had this to say, “The whole premise of offering this program is to make sure those who receive No Training know that they have No options to exercise when offered other things that may conflict with No Training guidelines”, he looked at the puzzled look in the eyes of his audience’s and added, “Members so trained can then be able to exercise No Options especially when applicable.  No Training offers No Options to them.”

When Pressed for a more in depth explanation, Brother Chad replied, "Listen, there's no training like No Training! and you have to experience No Training to get this.  At no time into the future is No Training not offered.  No Training is now our default standard offering. Those who do not accept our No Training option have no chance of No SuccessIf you truly want No Success, then you must get No Training as soon as possible!
 

Not everyone at the press conference was happy to hear about No Training.  “We don’t need No Training” was all that could be heard from a group of Past Masters griping about the change being offered to the membership. One group member, Brother I. D. Accaster added, “In my day, No Training didn’t exist and for good reason too.  We didn’t dare bring it up ‘cause we knew to do so was an innovation”.  He stopped, spit some of his chew into a cup and let out a gurgling cough. “and ya’ll know how we feel about innovations”.

During a recently held press conference by the Grand Lodge it was made abundantly clear to those member interested in No Training that they were to contact their local Lodge Secretary to make their wishes known.

F&S,

Brother John S. Nagy

[1] "No Training", "no Training Options", "No Options" and "No Success" are registered trademarks of Grand-lodge Assistance Program (G.A.P.) USA.

Monday, January 25, 2016

A Brother Asks... Freemasonic Research Challenges?



A Brother Asks: What is one of the biggest challenges faced by Freemasonic researchers?

My Response: The biggest challenges?  Obtaining and Understanding Unbiased and Untainted Society information and Using the same to Produce Materials that are Unbiased and Untainted.

Let me explain...

My experience continuously reveals to me that far too many Freemasonic researchers start out assuming that modern day Freemasonry is a continuation of the Stonecraft of yesteryear; it is clearly and unequivocally not.

When these researchers equate current day Freemasonic literature, activities and purposes with that of the Free-Masonry of the past and assume, and do so without question, that the two words are referring to the same world, they have assumed much in their use. 

This is one of the biggest problems faced by those who wish to do serious Freemasonic research.  They should not assume anything without a firm basis that is independent of society dogma, conjecture and conclusions. 

It should be clear that Society Literature is packed full of inbred materials.  It is also filled with far too much fanciful, wishful and cross-purpose materials to take seriously when doing research upon anything other than how its materials have morphed over the years. 

Freemasonic materials should not be taken seriously when seeking historically accurate and supported information.  This goes especially for those materials created by those deeply entrenched in Freemasonry's mythological culture and who produce them with an untethered zeal to support the inculcation and propagation of the same.  Such materials are heavily biased toward maintaining the myth and fanciful lore; as they should!  That is their job.

However, assuming such materials are historically accurate, without outside confirmation, will create many troubles for a serious researcher. The greatest trouble is that once what your claim is based upon is proven to be inaccurate, incorrect or a metaphor/allegory and not an actually historical occurrence, the very foundation of your work shall crumble. 

When you wish to keep away from materials that shall mislead you or at least hold these materials under the light of unbiased reason while doing your research, here are some pointers: 

Suspect anything claiming:
  1. Time Immemorial Status. 
  2. Universal Practice.
  3. Unaltered Status.
  4. Ancient Origins, as in, Given by, Handed down from, or Established by any sort of "Ancient" Brethren.
  5. Establishment or being in effect prior to the beginning of the Grand Lodge era (circa 1717).
  6. Continuing something else other than theater.
  7. To be Rooted in or having connections with Stonecraft, Mystery Schools, Cabbala, Mysticism, Alchemy, Rosicrucianism, Egyptian Mythology, a Specific Religion, and any other "esoteric" school, organization or philosophy in any other way other than using their resources to construct elaborate scripts that will entertain, inform, mesmerize, distract and train those participating in them.
  8. Connections and Conjectures that do not reflect sound, well-supported and interconnected information that creates a picture whose very existence requires the belief that a premise is true.
  9. Connections requiring leaps of faith, suspension disbelief or trust unearned.
  10. Conclusions backed solely by the claims of the Freemasonic materials studied.
In addition to these, suspect any and all persons:
  1. who base their opinions, thoughts and conclusions solely upon the Craft Dogma provided to them by their Jurisdiction;
  2. who parrot misguided and biased research and conjecture as unwavering, undeniable and accepted fact;
  3. who have not made any real earnest effort to dig down to the depths necessary to prove or disprove already long assumed fact and conclusions;
  4. who make every effort to discourage or downplay your continuing search or dismiss your findings when your well-documented research conflicts with their well-entrenched opinions.
Sure, there's much more to it, but these research guidelines should help keep you from chasing a plethora of Freemasonic Rabbits down into bottomless pits.

Good Luck!

F&S,

Brother John S. Nagy



Sunday, January 24, 2016

Are You Free-Burn? GL has You Covered!



Burdenville VA – After much consideration and careful contemplation, the Grand Lodge of Virginia has admitted Freemasonic Burnout as an acceptable reason to be provided medical benefits and even admittance into the “Old Masons Home”.
“No one knows how many suffer from this condition, but it’s clear that we needed to do something”, disclosed Grand Master Cahn Cerndt. “The sheer magnitude of Brothers suffering from this malady warrants our taking necessary action on this extremely debilitating condition.”

Freemasonic Burnout, otherwise known as “Free-Burn[i]” by Freemasonic Recovery Groups and support circles, is a much observed but rarely discussed condition of many individuals who join and then get lost in the Craft. 
When asked how to determine if you are soon to be a victim of Free-Burn, commonly referred to as a “Free-Burn Mason”, Grand Lodge Staff Psychologist Right Worshipful Lowe S. Team shared the following list of symptoms members will show just prior to hitting a Free-Burn low:

1.      Deep seated feelings of guilt and anxiety mixed with overwhelming high amounts of excitement and anticipation about:
 
a.       memorizing Freemasonic things,
b.      joining Freemasonic appendent and auxiliary organizations, and
c.       supporting every possible Freemasonic activity and function offered, to the detriment of health, family, friends, vocation and avocations.

2.      An overwhelming degradation of one’s outside life activities and relationships as Freemasonic activities, events and social circles slowly encroach upon and eventually replace them.

3.      The inability to turn away from or turn down almost any and all opportunities offered, unless something outside the Craft interferes with it and cannot be overridden, dismissed or simply dropped.

4.      An inability to recognize, understand or even comprehend the need to engage in anything non-Masonic coupled with a trance-like hypnotic state when confronted with colorful aprons, fancy titles and shiny things.
Not all of the Grand Lodge’s members were in accord with this Grand Lodge Initiative.  “In my day, we’d man up and just continue doing what was needed till we were put into the grave”, said Past Master Brother Weges D. Nye under grumbling breath.  “These newbies are certified millennial wusses who need to grow a pair and just do what it takes.”

Brother Team said that there is a standing offer by the Organization’s Grand Lodge support staff to all current members who need help.  Please contact him at 1-888-MAN-UPNW if you or someone you know needs to get a life.
F&S,

Brother John S. Nagy


[i] Not to be confused with the urban dictionary “Freeburn” which is described as “A guy who is constantly at the scrounge. Will do anything for a freebie. Has zero morals and typically zero intelligence. “ http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=freeburn


 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Brothers Caught Up in Sting Operation



Honey Falls, NY – In efforts to bring forth more authentic immersion experiences for their incoming and attending Brothers, members of Holy Drone Lodge No. 6 opted to bring into its Master Mason Degree this last Thursday night, a fully functioning beehive.  Chaos was soon brought to Order.
“It was clearly not a well-thought out plan”, said EMT Keith B. Smart, a long time member of First Area Rescue Squad Enterprises and a ten year Freemason from another lodge.  “Not one member in attendance walked away without getting either stung or trampled in the effort to get out of the lodge” he said as he wiped some of the event’s sticky goo from his shoes. “It shows clearly that these performers have no practical experience when working with these wonderful animals.”
When asked about the planning committee’s judgment to proceed that evening, Worshipful Master Buzz Sweets responded with, “There’s stiff completion these days for membership and we’re trying really hard to make these events memorable to those who attend”.  He added, “and it doesn’t hurt our marketing efforts to have a buzz created when you want to have others speak about it.” 
One old timer, Sean M. Cummin, had this to say, “In my day, we would have pumped up the incense, fully filling the lodge, before we brought those buggers in”.  He shook his head with a sigh and added, “These newbies have got a lot of zeal, but they ain’t got much smarts. Everyone who’s actually done the Work knows ya hafta smoke ‘em if you’re going to work with them.  Otherwise you’re gonna get ‘em all riled up and you’re in for it then.”
When pressed further for his thoughts about the event's plans, Worshipful Sweets admitted that, “the committee did indeed need to comb through their plans more to work out any unnecessary bugs and to assure members didn’t get stuck somewhere in the middle of the performance”.
Please contact Lodge Secretary, Worshipful B. Keeper for information on the lodge's upcoming "Honey Bun” fundraiser event this next Saturday.
F&S,
Brother John S. Nagy

 

 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A Brother Asks... Freemasonry's Secrets?

 
 


A Brother Asks:  What's Freemasonry's Secret?

My Response: Gosh! Where do I start, there are so many!  NOT!!!!  BUT, every last one of those that could be considered a secret is actually a Road Map

Let's review some of those "secrets" here:
  • One Secret is that it provides Road Maps to Better Recognitions.
  • Another Secret is that it provides Road Maps to Better Understandings.
  • A Third Secret is that it provides Road Maps to Better Comprehensions.
  • A Fourth Secret is that it provides Road Maps to Better Skills.
  • A Fifth Secret is that it provides Road Maps to a Better Beings.
  • A Sixth Secret is that it provides Road Maps to Better Interactions.
  • A Seventh Secret is that it provides Road Maps to Better Relationships.
  • An Eighth Secret is that it provides Road Maps to a Better Lives.
  • A Ninth Secret is that it provides Road Maps for individuals to Carry within their Minds.
  • A Tenth Secret is that it provides Road Maps for individuals to Carry within their Hearts.
  • A Eleventh is so few who are offered these Road Maps actually Understand them.
  • A Twelfth is that even fewer who have these Road Maps actually Follow them.
These are but a few of the countless "Secrets"  of Freemasonry -- ROAD MAPS ALL!!!  Of course, when you want to know the Secrets of Masonry, follow Freemasonry's Road Maps and Travel the Terrain of Life.

An Important Understanding to Note:  Freemasonic secrets are not Masonic secrets and it's folly to think them the same. There are major differences. The former have very little to do with Masonry and everything to do with Recognizing who belongs to and with what Organization. The latter have everything to do with the Properly Prepared heart, mind and soul of a Builder. Members of the former are not necessarily Builders. Masons however recognize other Builders in the Light as well as in the Dark, and even when they are not a member of an Organization of Freemasons.

The Acid Tests to Determine a Freemasonic Secret or Masonic Secret are simple:
  • Freemasonic Secrets require little to no Transformational Preparation to receive and know; you merely receive them as a course of Craft Ritual Participation. When you know them, they shall Empower you to do nothing more than participate in Organizational Activities or to Recognize another member.  Likewise, Unaccompanied Travel, Work, Earn, Support and Contribution cannot occur at any level.  Knowing them binds you to those who provided them to you and you shall be restrained accordingly.  You are not Free as a result of having them.
  • Masonic Secrets remain unknown to all untrained hearts, minds and souls; no matter how you may try to convey them, they remain hidden from you and do so in plain sight.  When you know them, you are Empowered to Recognize, Understand and Work with God's Creations and receive Just Compensations.  Likewise, Unaccompanied Travel, Work, Compensation, Support and Contribution occurs and does so Masterfully. Knowing them frees you and you shall be unrestrained accordingly.   You are Free as a result of them having you.
F&S,
 
Brother John S Nagy
 
PS - When you want to Recognize and Understand these Road Maps Better and then learn how to apply them in your live, check out some of these books when you can.
 
 



Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Brother Asks... Where are the Masters?



A Brother Asks:  Hey Coach!  I understand the Roadmaps, the Work they point toward, and the conceptual ideas behind each of them.  However, I have yet to meet one of these perfect and Masterful men.  Just how do you find one? Ask the Dali llama? Most Grand Masters I've met aren't overly masterful either. Is there a secret list of them in some dusty archive somewhere? Coach?  Help me out here!

My Response: They are out there my Brother!  I have seen them.  I have talked with them.  I have become friends with them.  And I have learned from them.

How do I find them still

  1. I look for evidence. Masterpieces are a dead giveaway.
  2. I also don't sabotage my efforts by defining the word "perfect" to be "flawless" when I seek them. I look for "maturity"; which is a word much more suitable in my eyes and that is what they need to be gazing upon.
  3. I also look for Work being done, and done better than it was done the previous day.
  4. I also look for the well-written Roadmaps that they have created and left for their fellow Travelers to follow so that these Travelers can also develop and cultivate Mastery in themselves; maps that make it easier to identify the Work to be done, should these Travelers choose to do so.
  5. Lastly, I apply the Acid Test and seek those who have combined measures of B, S & W in such a way that they are all present and in agreement.
Please, don't loose heart.  They are out there my Brother.  They are not easy to find though, especially by those hoodwinked by Craft Dogma, Laziness and Misinformation designed to keep Members chained to the Walls of Ignorance, Naiveté and Doubt.
 
I was given something the other day.  I was aware of it before, but the reminder is timely for it to be included in this response.

The biblical description of the classes of worker at King Solomon's temple were (Freemasonic Degree Titles Added):
  1. Laborer (Apprentice)
  2. Skilled Worker (Fellow)
  3. Overseer (Master)
I think in light of your question, the following is a great resource to review and to be included in your quest to find Masterful men.   

Qualifications of Overseers
 

3 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop [Literally: overseer], he desires a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); 6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
 
It comes from 1 Timothy 3 of the New King James (NKJV) Volume of Sacred Law.  I do believe it speaks well to some of what you are Seeking and is a good information to create a starter list for yourself.

One last comment:  Be what you seek.  I hope you get the message implied.
 
F&S,
 
Brother John S. Nagy
 
 

Monday, January 18, 2016

A Brother Asks... What Was Lost?


  

A Brother Asks: What was Lost with the Grand Master’s Death?
My Response:  All that he did to develop and employ his masterful abilities and access to the same through him.
Let me expand upon this further.

The Word is a composite of Beauty, Strength and Wisdom, of which manifest the Masterful Artisan-Teacher (as denoted by the first artificer of sharp instruments of brass and iron, Tubal-Cain, along with his two brothers and sister, as a good example of this; this is straight from biblical text and Stonecraft lore).
Beauty, if we go by what some Rituals imply, is the result-filled application of Cunning (in the original sense of the word) Craftsmanship of which is utterly impossible without Wisdom to Contrive and Resources (the true meaning of "Strength" is “Resource” and why Hiram, King of Tyre was chosen; he had the resources!) with which to Build.

We're not talking about something you utter here. The Word cannot be conveyed in this manner. It is something you are, and you aren't it unless you do the Work to masterfully develop all three aspects to Perfection (a/k/a Maturity; Suitability and not "Flawlessness") and so that all are in agreement with each other (Harmony being one of many aspects of this “agreement”).
That's why, within the Allegory, Grand Master Hiram was unable to give the Ruffians what they demanded. They were lacking all three aspects and their agreement as represented by the three Grand Masters and hence they did not embody what The Word represent – Mastery. They died never knowing that the reason for their not getting The Word was their lack of Skill Development in three distinct domains - they lacked Strength, Wisdom and Beauty and the necessary agreement (harmony, etc…) that must exist and interplay between them to manifest Mastery.

Part of understanding what was Lost is understanding that the story conveying this understanding is an allegory and hence all characters represent something else. This is why so many misunderstand the allegory; they have yet to cultivate to mastery what is required to allegorical understand. It is a story; not a historical account. There is no King Solomon, no Hiram, King of Tyre and no Hiram Abiff.  They are only characters representing other things and they are used to deliver a message. 
The message is clear though, at least to those who understand allegory. When you develop yourself so that you have Wisdom, Beauty & Strength present in what you do and all are in agreement, you are the incarnation of The Word. When you don't do this, you're not.
The Ruffians refused to do this. They thought it was something they could "get" from someone else. Because of their focus, they could never "get" The Word because they were seeking something outside themselves rather than seeking those specific things needing to be cultivated within.
It's also a good reason you should always be suspicious of anyone or any system that says that they have the Lost Master's Word and that you can get it from them if you simply go through some ceremony.  The claims simply do not Pass the Acid Test.

So, what I'm saying is Cunning Craftsmanship was lost, and hence The Word as is what occurs any time a Master-filled life ends where a man took the time to develop and cultivate himself masterfully and what he does as a result of that development.

F&S,

Brother John S. Nagy

Sunday, January 17, 2016

A Brother Asks... Empty Seats



A Brother Asks: Why do we really suppose there are so many empty seats? ...why are our lodge rooms empty?

My Response: Because...
 
1) Static Offerings - Unlike in years past, we are no longer one of the only shows in town. There are far more shows offered now than there have ever been and the number is growing uncontrollably.  There is nothing new; nothing original; nothing that sparks the original interest of those enticed to join. 
 
How should we address this: Offer True Light and Good Discourse to drive it home, and not just more training that is clearly self-serving to the organization.

2) Un-Fulfillment - Moreover, we don't live up to the hype and those with interest in what they thought the hype offered soon move on to better, more interesting and more fulfilling offerings elsewhere, once they discover there is nothing but unfulfilling hype. 

How should we address this: Bring members in who have a realistic expectation of what is really offered and provide them Education that is fulfilling along those lines.  Not just plays pointing toward that education.
 
3) Stiffer Competition - Furthermore, once you've seen the show, there are other shows that offer much more to those who seek them.  The competition for attention is far more involved now than ever and it is growing tougher each day. Add to this the technology that is employed to deliver these shows and we have not kept up with the times, even with our specific niche in the marketplace.
 
How should we address this: Examine your niche market and continue to deliver what they are truly looking for.

4) Demanding MEgos - Officer (not membership) Focus - Additionally, there are some Lodge shows offering far too many "look at what office I obtained, title I bear and jewels I wear" & "How much do you want to give to my cause" people to demand repeat attendances.  In all honesty, these shows draw no interest from the majority who attend to nurture or be nurtured.
 
How should we address this: Stop the parade or, at least, stop the childish guilt trips and mind games toward those who refuse to support them.
 
5) Unnecessary Conflicts - Finally, many members show up to escape the stresses outside the Lodge.  When they show up and soon discover there's unnecessary stressors inside the Lodge, they shall avoid it like the plague.  They shall do this and even avoid talking with anyone who may invite them back into the insanity or even those associated with the Lodge for fear of the possibility of being invited back into the insanity.
 
How should we address this:  There is no easy way to deal with this especially when they are in office.  If you can, remove the conflict and the warring parties from the Lodge, much as what was done by forbidding religion and politics from being discussed in open Lodge.  Otherwise, move to and support a Lodge that deals with these issues effectively.
 
F&S,
 
Brother John S. Nagy
 
 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

A Brother Asks... True Master



A Brother Asks: What is the difference between a "Master Mason" and a "True Master Mason"?

My Response:  Quite bluntly, these are phrases that are used by individuals to point out that a member of the organization is just wearing a title instead of living up to the intent of the title, as they see it.

But in reality and stopping the word play, I cannot define what a "True Master Mason" is without conveying indirect judgment. Moreover, I don't believe anyone can define it without letting it be known that they are judging another member's suitability to wear the title.

The reason?  It's a redundant and unnecessarily judgmental term. A Master Mason is already True. "True" is the basis of the title "Master". One might as well say "Master Master Mason" or "True True Mason" by asking such a question. It's nonsensical, unless you are making effort to convey that judgment.
 
When a man wears the title, "Master Mason" and has earned it, he is already "True" because he has Laid the Foundation, Learned the Skills and has Built and Created at least one Masterpiece, himself!  Here are the steps he took to do just that:
  • Prepared to Learn,
  • Learned How to Learn, and
  • Learns and Teaches (himself and others) daily.
Moreover, a Master Mason who has done the Foundational Work of the first Two Degrees, has also focused his Work upon Building and Creating other Masterpieces, of which are also recognized as such by other Masters.
 
Furthermore, a Master Mason seeks to Find and become the Light he Seeks and is also a Guiding Light for other Seekers to do the same.
 
Anyone claiming the title "Master Mason" who does not meet these descriptions and desires to wear the title unearned, is simply a Ruffian wanting for entitlement.

And before you ask, "Yes!"  I have fallen into the trap of using the term.  When I catch myself, I correct it by conveying directly what I am making effort to say.  Sometimes it is a judgment and for good reason too.

So, what's the difference?  I'll turn the question around and ask back, what are you really trying to convey by the use of the word "true" in your distinguishing?
 
F&S,
 
Brother John S Nagy