Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Brother Asks... Why the Church Controversy?

 
 
A Brother Asks1:  Why is Freemasonry so often a controversial thing in Church these days.
 
My Response: It appears that the Church in question has found that it's much easier to focus its group of people against an external cause that cannot be controlled than it is to have them do work upon themselves that is controllable. This is one of many ways to rally and solidify a group that is otherwise wandering aimlessly and without any true unifying purpose. It is called, "The addiction to a cause", and it is used within organizations to focus a group's attention on things that will control and focus attention and off things that really do need to be done because those in control know that by doing so, they gain tremendous power AND it masks the shortcomings and addictions of the leadership.
 
As you might be gathering from my response, Freemasons are not immune from this in any way. Members within our organization suffer with this all consuming characteristic all too often and unfortunately cause others within our organization to suffer as well and as a result.
 
My Response: It is one of many labels used by these groups. Labeling is a well-known way of categorizing, stereotyping and dehumanizing others so that those who are labeling them feel justified with attacking others in ways that would be unconceivable if the others were not so labeled. It is done out of ignorance AND in many cases it is done purposefully to influence others so that those who do the labeling shall gain additional influence over and from those who are ignorant.
 
Once again, Freemasons are not immune from this in any way. Members within our organization purposefully create labels to influence members who do not know any better and who would rather have things "simplified" so that they can react to situations that they would rather not think about in depth.
 
My Response: Yes.  It is not uncommon either.  The members of these organizations are mislead by both their
  1. unwillingness to do the work necessary to know and be better; and
  2. desire to focus their energies upon supporting things that they know are truly not good for them.​
As a result, they embrace ignorance at levels that are dangerous to both themselves and those they target as a result of their insanity.

Once again, Freemasons are not immune to any of this. It is why Freemasonry and Freemasons are currently struggling unnecessarily with so much non-sense and suffering as an organization, as an institution and as individuals within it.
 
F&S,
 
Brother John S. Nagy


1 These questions are paraphrased to suit blog purposes.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A Brother (?) Asks... What are the consequences of being something you're not?



 
A Brother(?) Asks: If you are not a freemason and you going around wearing a freemason pendant, what are the consequences of being something you're not?

My Response: First off, you're not being something you're not.  You're presenting yourself to be something you're not.  There is a difference. I shall take it though by your zinger question that the reason for wearing the pendant is to hold yourself out as something you are not and that the wearing of such an item is for that sole purpose.

In your stated case, it's like anything else that you do in life where you put yourself out there as one thing when you are truly something else, you'll eventually be shown for who you are (and aren't) by those who are what you are not.   

And this is not limited to wearing things physical.  This includes unearned titles that you might be tempted to wear, knowing full well that, in spite of what you are told by others who do the same, you should not be wearing because you truly do not represent what the title denotes. 

And no matter what the case, other than this inevitable and totally avoidable embarrassment, you can expect a lot of awkward interactions and discourse with those individuals who may push the boundaries of sanity and civility due to their heavily biased indoctrination and untempered zeal.  Trust me, once you experience this, it's not something that you will want to repeat, ever!

Of course, you might take such a deliberate action and you might impress those who don't know any better, at least for a little while.  You can be assured that the eventual confrontations to which you'll eventually subject yourself will far outweigh any benefits you might believe you'll receive as a result of your actions.

I've responded to your question. Now I have questions for you to respond to in kind:
  1. Do you truly believe such actions and the eventual and unavoidable embarrassment and awkward discourse that one will wrought are truly worth the effort?
  2. What perceived emotional benefit drives someone toward even considering such an action?
  3. What's missing in anyone's life that would bring such an action to mind?
What Say You?
 
F&S,
 
Brother John S. Nagy
 
 
 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

A Brother Asks... Why isn't Memorizing Enough?



A Brother Asks: Why isn't memorizing proficiencies, ritual and lectures enough?

My Response: Without any doubt, memorization of these things is laudable. However, Memorizing with no intention whatsoever to Understand and Apply what is Memorized is shameful.

Parroting serves a purpose as far as providing a valuable service in the preservation and conveyance of Ritual, and for internalizing information for later access and retrieval. But when it becomes the ideal -- the "be all and "end all" -- it is not serving Masonic purposes.

What is memorized are maps.  These maps are handed down from one generation to the next, with some intended additions and some deletions.  (Yes, "innovations" do occur all the time and with the blessing of the body of men referred to as "The Craft".)

When these maps are just memorized and they are not followed because no one knows how to read them, much less follow where they're intended to lead the readers, what then is the true purpose served in maintaining an organization whose premise is to provide Light that no one recognizes, understands, follows or benefits from? 

The point is memorization is not enough! It's a great start, but this act alone falls short in far too many ways.  To hold those who do nothing more than memorize in high regard and as examples of the pinnacle of Freemasonic Achievement may suit Freemasonic purposes, but is ultimately counterproductive to Masonic Ends.
 
Speaking the truth of this is not holding those who memorize solely in any less regard though. It is viewing them in proper Light and not viewing them in a regard that is improper.
 
 If you ever get caught up in debating the value of parroting, take time and step back from the debate and consider this: 
  • All these "Rituals, Lectures, Proficiencies" were made up within the last 300 years.  They were not shared to fill Lodge time.  They were not shared to give challenge to members to memorize them for verbatim delivery to the next group of candidates coming through. They were written to provide specific Light and to do so in such a way that this Light would be ultimately Recognized, Understood and Acted upon by those who listened.

If you have not connected the dots on this, let me spell it out: There is the major problem within the Craft.  The speaker-audience disconnect is growing wider with each generation of Brothers because the Craft believes that if it keeps on doing the same thing over and over again, the results shall change.

This has not been proven to be a successful strategy.  Do you want proof?  Look where this strategy has led the Craft so far.

Understand this though: Flawless Lecture Deliver shall never Trump Masterfully Mature Communications -- ever!

F&S,

Brother John S. Nagy



Sunday, March 20, 2016

A Brother Asks... Why do Masons have Secrets?



A Brother Asks: Why do Masons have Secrets?

My Response:  Masons have Secrets not out of fear but because they have done the Work that allows for such Secrets to be revealed to them. They keep these Secrets to themselves not because they must but because those who have yet to do the Work cannot possibly see them, even though these Secrets are plainly seen by those who have done the Work.

Masons do not share these Secrets out of a conscious choice not to share them; they do not share them because such Secrets refuse to be seen by those who are untrainedsuch individuals are blind to them.

Masons know that these Secrets protect themselves from those who seek them wrongly. That is the nature of Secrets and having them cultivates this most base understanding!

You have a true Secret when it can be revealed openly and plainly and those who are untrained do not recognize it.

If they do see what you make effort to put forth, and they are untrained, then what you truly have is a contrived ploy designed to both satisfy and divert the attention of the untrained.

In other words, their ignorance, self-imposed or not, will keep what is revealed plainly before them from being Seen, Recognized, Understood and Used for what it truly is.

Warning: None of this should be confused with Freemasonic Secrets though.  Such secrets are obtained by paying a fee, going through a ceremony, and obligating yourself.  They are not obtained through the Work Ritual espouses.

Freemasons have secrets for entirely different reasons.  What do you think those reasons might be?

S&F,

Brother John S. Nagy


 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Lodge Wars: Episodes XXXi through XXXvi

 
LODGE WARS!
 


 
 
 
DISCLAIMER: 
THIS IS ALLEGORY! 

ANY RESEMBLANCE TO ACTUAL HISTORICAL DRAMA IS SHEAR COINCIDENCE. 

AS WITH ALL ALLEGORY, THERE ARE LESSONS PRESENTED AND IT IS UP TO THE VIEWER TO LEARN FROM THEM. 

LET THE LEARNING BEGIN!

F&S,

Brother John S. Nagy


Friday, March 11, 2016

A Brother Asks... Wisdom and Prudence's Relationship



A Brother Asks: What is the "relationship" between Wisdom and Prudence?

My Response: Well, to be totally honest...

Wisdom wants Prudence with all his heart, and has wanted her since Time Immemorial.

But since Wisdom is as old as the hills and is not quite up to the task of pleasing someone like Prudence in only the ways that a comparable youth, say like that kid Fortitude can, Prudence has got her eyes set upon something a little more "invigorating".  

And she has learned through experience that Fortitude sure does have staying power in that realm.

Sure, Prudence hangs out with Wisdom and has some fun and worthwhile spiritual perks from him, and she enjoys how Fortitude can keep up with her, but she also has an adventurous eye that only a level headed guy like that youth Temperance can provide.

She's learned that, as inexperienced as Temperance can be in some things, he always knows when enough is enough and Prudence appreciates that most of all.

And then there's this other virtuous guy Justice that she keeps an eye on, but he appears to be a bit too demanding at times and tends to turn a blind eye to superficial things and that simply takes a bit too much for her at times.

So, when push comes to shove, what it all comes down to is, there is no Justice in Prudence's relationship with Wisdom.  

Well, there might be some Justice on the side, but being Prudence, she ain't talking about it.

F&S,

Brother John S. Nagy

PS - Wisdom leans toward knowing what's best; Prudence leans toward doing what's best.


Monday, March 7, 2016

A Brother Asks: Why Basic Requirements?



A Brother Asks: Why are some of the basic requirements to become a Freemason fashioned the way they are?

My Response: So many Brother know the requirements that they were told but have no understanding of the basis supporting them.  They have memorized the dogma put forth to them and they merely repeat it back as they were told it believing they are right in doing so.  It is most unfortunate that they have not investigated them below the skin that they have been asked to grasp.

Why these requirements?  Simply put, to assure that only the target market, for which the franchised morality plays are fashioned, experience them. To offer these plays to any unsuitable target audience would ruin its intended and desired affects for not only the candidates, but for the organization and all those who are producing them.

He Continues: Being a Man, Freeborn, of Lawful age and Belief in a Supreme Being?
 
My Response: Okay, let's cover them one by one...

1) Why Men only (and in male-craft organizations in particular)? The illusion must be maintained. As much as it embraces the façade of Stonecraft, it is still an acting society based upon medieval era guild morality plays.

The first thing to know is that the reality of the past does not support the reality of the present.  There are reports that Women did participate in Stonecraft.  There are even stories circulating of women actually running Lodges were they had inherited them from their husbands. 

However, we don't practice Stonecraft.  We practice Theater that is fashioned to mimic the medieval era and use Stonecraft as our theme.  Women were by law not allowed to be actresses during that era. In Principle, to support the illusion, these re-enactments can't have elements that are anachronistic to the era. Of course, anachronisms occur all the time in current Freemasonic plays since most members do not know what they are participating in, but this one requirement proscribing women seems to be held to for all the wrong reasons. (Source: "The Craft Unmasked")

2) Why Freeborn? This is perhaps one of the most misunderstood words used and misunderstood in the Craft plays. In old manuscripts, it was used to explain the phrase "Able of Birth" which indicated that the candidate was "Superior/Excellent stock", as in "not an idiot, all limbs intact and functioning, and able to eventually be trained to be a Journeyman". It has NOTHING to do with not being born a slave. That slave requirement was covered by not being a bondman. This word has been so misunderstood over the years that it eventually came to mean "a free man" in the minds of those who did not do the work to understand it. This "not being a slave" requirement of course is also important, but it is NOT what the word "freeborn" originally meant. (Source: "Building Free Men")

3) Why Lawful Age? Well, if you understand that these plays were put on for entertainment purposes for the members who came to legally eat, sing, talk and drink (alcoholic brew), you'll understand quickly that you could not have underage involvement. This flies in the face of facts like... Apprentices were prepubescent children.

So...  Why the change? Well, you can't get dinner theater societies up and running with children involved now can you? (Source: The Building Better Builder Series)

4) Why the God requirement? The simplest response is: The Morality Plays are constructed for God Believers only. They have an intended demographic.  It can't get any plainly stated. They are designed to have their impact on this target audience and it alone. Non-believers simply would not take what is offered in the same spirit as believers. They are constitutionally unable to embrace it in the same way that believers do. 

Of course, non-believers can appreciate what is offered, but not in the way that the plays are intended and designed to be experienced. (Source: The Building Better Builders Series)

Another Brother Asks: What about "coming well recommended"?  Isn't that as important as all the others?

My Response: Absolutely!  What do you think about that requirement?

His Response: I just think it's as important as any other basic requirement. If one does not have the positive recommendation of another, and further, the endorsement of at least two current members of the lodge, how do we predict if a new member will "conform to our established laws and regulations?"

My Response:  Yes!  How can we?

F&S,

Brother John S. Nagy



 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Bro. John S. Nagy visits Mandarin Masonic Lodge … Eureka!

 

JACKSONVILLE, FL. - Eureka, was the word of the day spoken several times out load among the brothers attending from the tri-district area of Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday March 5, 2016.  Where, Mandarin Masonic Lodge hosted his presence and workshops.  Bro. John, an eight time author of “Building the Builder” series presented to brothers all, some 24 to be exact who took upon themselves a Saturday to be enlightened in esoteric and the many discoveries of Bro. John’s research in Free masonry.
A Light Breakfast was served followed by a lunch and fellowship. Bro. John, covered topics ranging from the entry of our west gate through the three degree’s. with a large screen and presentation, the day was not a loss as “Eureka” shouted among the brothers when another mind blowing discovery  after another, was revealed. 
Bro. John, arrived and stayed at the residence of Worshipful Master where an evening dinner was shared with several of our lodge brothers. Dinner, refreshments and a retirement to the back woods and bonfire where heavy discussions of Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were shared by all. At one point of the evening, Bro. Todd Connors presented Bro. John, with honorary colors of a dress shirt sporting the Brothers of the White Ash Logo.
During his visit, Bro John, attended Mandarin’s DDGM visit and enlightened us further with  masonic education topic on “Cowens and Eavesdroppers”,  delivered in his usual high spirit generating another eureka moment. Thank you Bro. John, Look forward to your return and enlightenment.
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Reprinted from the:
MANDARIN MASONIC RESEARCH COUNCIL NEWSLETTER