Wednesday, May 20, 2020

FILED UNDER: What Makes a Mason




Brother: What makes you a Mason?
Coach: Yes.
Brother: What?
Coach: Exactly.
Brother: But I want to know what.
Coach: Then you have to join.
Brother: Join what?
Coach: Yes! That’s the action you have to take.
Brother: What is the action?
Coach: Yes, and furthermore, what is the direction as well.
Brother: What are you talking about?
Coach: I’m talking about what.
Brother: THAT’S WHAT I’M TRYING TO FIGURE OUT!
Coach: Then you have join what to understand.
Brother: To understand what?
Coach: Yes, but only if you want to know what.
Brother: To know what?
Coach: Yes.
Brother: What is it that I must join?
Coach: Of course.
Brother: What is this thing I need to know?
Coach: Now you got it!
Brother: You know what?
Coach: Yes.
Brother: But I haven’t even told you what?
Coach: Yes, I know. But I still know what.
Brother: How do you know what?
Coach: I’m a Mason, what makes me so.
Brother: “So” as in “I’m SO confused!”
Coach: About what?
Brother: YES!!!!
Coach: I see. You’re not alone in this.
Brother: In what?
Coach: Indeed!
Brother: But what makes you a Mason?
Coach: Now you got it!





Tuesday, March 24, 2020

FILED UNDER: Adapting Ritual to the Times



Adaptive Freemasonry... 

--------------------------------
...from the pass bump of a Coronacraft to a real bump of the same!
--------------------------------


What is this?
A bump.


A bump of what?
The pass bump of a quarantined Brother.
 

Has it a name?
It has.
 

Give it me.
I will not so receive it neither shall I so impart it.
 

How will you dispose of it?
I will syllable it.
 

Syllable it and begin...
Begin you...
 

Nay, you begin...
Ro...
 

Co...
Na...
 

Co-Ro-Na...  How is it denoted?
Congestion
 

How represented?
By a sheet of cloth hanging over the mouth and nose.
 

How was it originated?
By the eating of bats in a marketplace in the East.
 

How will it be passed?
By unbrotherly handshakes of any coughing Brother.


Right! Arise, and go wash thy hands. AMEN!
(Brothers All) So Mask it Be!
 

-- Coach John S Nagy

(Hat tip to Bros. Mahmoud Mawass‎, Louie Trocio & Doug Rutley)


Saturday, January 25, 2020

FILED UNDER: When you’re Symbolically Ignorant and Humor Challenged




(Sometimes situations are put before me as gifts from God. This discourse gem is based upon an actual interaction between two Brothers…)

Brother (An actual administrator in a Masonic Facebook Group posts this within the group):  A member of this page sent me this meme and I blocked him. Gentlemen if you’re using language like “whore” I personally don’t believe you’re deserving to be a Mason. How about strive to be part of the solution, not be part of the problem....
Coach: And we’ll not mention any irony or hypocrisy related to the fact that you're posting this objectionable meme here for others to see the very thing that you find distasteful and do not want to see yourself. Who's the problem here?

Brother: Right, though as the admin of this page, I’m just calling the crap out.
Coach: Yes, a public condemnation of a privately shared piece coupled with your use of another offensive expletive within your justification is equally ironic and hypocritical. You have an interesting moral code Bro.

Brother: I see absolutely nothing hypocritical in my post, maybe you enjoyed the meme and don’t see anything wrong with it. Calling something crap that is crap has nothing to do with morals.
Coach: My enjoyment or judgement of the meme is not the issue here Bro. It is clear that you don’t see what I am pointing out to you. Let me spell it out... You admittedly blocked a Brother for using what you judge to be an offensive word within something he found humorous, yet you use an offensive expletive to label his efforts to share from his heart.  Furthermore, you reposted it and used these expletives in your repost, thus subjecting others to them as well, even though you find it objectionable. Yes, there are morals in question here.

Brother: Calling a meme crap and calling female a whore are not even in the same ballpark, but you need to hear your right then so be it.
Coach: Your comparison is a red herring argument Bro. Both words are offensive expletives. And being right is also a red herring argument. You believe you're justified in judging and condemning, but are passionately indignant at 1) a fictitious bear who judged and condemned a female and 2) what is being pointed out as hypocrisy. Yes. Your morals are clear for all to see. You’re revealing your soul.

Brother: Remind me your choice of words when your daughter is called a whore.
Coach: Your response is a straw man argument Bro. If my daughter was caught breaking and entering, violating the sanctity of a family's safe place, their furniture, their food reserves and taking up residence where she didn't belong, being called a "whore" would be the least of her problems. It's not about me wanting to be right Bro. It's about your inability to see who you are choosing to be in this matter and what you are about.

Brother: But it’s not straw man at all.
Coach: Actually, it is.

Brother: I’m defending females!
Coach: You're now putting yet another straw man argument to defend your previous straw man argument. You're not defending females; you're defending yourself and your behavior!

Brother: I called it crap.
Coach: Yes. And the irony of your responses displayed the hypocrisy of your value system. It's obvious.

Brother: You took the path of connecting my choice of words to define that meme to be at the same level as the meme.
Coach: You're the one who put a pejorative definition upon the meme's word; not me. There's a huge difference between define your choice of words and merely pointed obvious things out.

Brother:  Now you’re questioning my morals, you know nothing about me.
Coach: Actually, I’m not questioning them; I’m seeing them and pointing them out as well and for you to see. And from all that you posted herein, I know more than enough.

Brother: To your response, when did anyone’s safe place get broken into?
Coach: Are you seriously telling me that you do you not know to whom[i] the bear was referring and to what she did to that bear's family and home?  Seriously?!

Brother: It sounds like somebody is reading way too far into something,
Coach: Much like you did to that meme, and unfortunately not far enough to grasp the subtle but obvious references to a well-known Folk Tale.

Brother: I’m defending females!
Coach: You're defending ignorance, your position, your poor behavior, your attitude and your lack of awareness; not females. You simply don't see it.

Brother: Brothers should know better than to send distasteful memes.
Coach: Actually, Brothers should be told when they are exhibiting ironic and hypocritical behavior reflecting symbolically ignorance and a lack of humor. Your reposting of the very thing you condemn others for posting is acting out the same behavior that you condemn. I wish you did know better. You would not be posting these things and defending your behavior with righteous indignation.

Brother:  Let’s call the meme distasteful.
Coach: And let’s call your reposting something that you found distasteful, thus subjecting others to the very thing that you found equally distasteful and disgusting, ironic and hypocritical.  

{Coach was summarily blocked and the thread removed/hidden at this point}



[i] Goldilocks – Notorious for breaking and entering, destroying furniture, depleting food reserves and bedding down without permission of the homeowners.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The Craft Perfected! A Third Review!



From the beginning of his Building series, Brother John S. Nagy has set out to explain the Craft of Masonry. He has explained the use of symbols, catechisms, and even the organization and progressive science itself. This has continued throughout his Buildingseries, as well as within a couple of other books that are only indirectly associated with the series. 

The Craft Perfected,” or as I like to think of it as “Building Perfect,” finally tackles the subject of perfection within the hearts and minds of all Craft Masons. Misconceptions within the proper use of grammar within our Masonic Ritual are all over the place. 

Brother Nagy not only explains their proper use, but also why specific words are chosen to help direct all Masons in the right direction. To that of a state of “Perfect.” 

But “perfect” may not mean exactly what you think it means. 

Because I had assumed I understood all of these concepts from the beginning, I found myself quite intrigued by the way the progression unfolded throughout the book. 
http://www.coach.net/TCP.htm 
Every subject and concept that was discussed ended up leading into the next, ultimately creating symbolic “perfect ashlars” for my house, each step of the way. I have always found myself more interested in the esoteric and philosophical side of Masonry. In my opinion, the focal point of all Masons is to makegood men better,” to coin the phrase. 

This book not only assists in that venture, but illustrates a pathway that can easily be followed. Any Mason can pick up this book and benefit from the instructions and explanations within. Brother Nagy not only includes a map, and a compass through this territory, but provides a checklist to assist with understanding how you found your way. If you are ever looking to Complete Your Foundation,then look no further.

-- Brother Nick Adair

(You can order it here: The Craft Perfected! )

Saturday, October 19, 2019

The Craft PERFECTED! Second Book Review!



“The Craft PERFECTED!” enlightened, assured and informed me.  The title alone intrigued me. Up until I read this book, I had difficulty processing the term perfect as used in Free Masonry. I confess upfront that I was upset to learn how much is taught within our sacred walls that is not so. I don’t know if anger is the appropriate emotion as I was disappointed, not in the book, but in its revelation of what is misunderstood by so many Masons. The book was easy to read and follow. It was arranged such that I could put it down when interrupted and then pick up where I left off. As a Mason, I was eager to read it so that I may return and study it. I’m glad I read it!
The main topic is what attracted me to the book because I seek clarity in my Masonic growth. For this reason, I LOVED it. The entire book is unique in its content and presentation. Each chapter presented thought provoking questions and insights. It held my interest, cover to cover and at every turn. This book flowed smoothly from point to point and held my interest. It was very easy to follow. It immediately clarifies its purpose and intent, causing this reader to conclude that reading further would be in my best interest. I finished the book informed and it resolved many truths for me.
I loved its brutal honesty and how it addressed true maturity, actual personal growth, enlightened education.  Additionally, it separated the wheat from the chaff, showing the importance of original intent and purpose of ritual in Masonry. Its handling of ashlar symbolism was also whelming.
There were many chapters that stood out for me and significant. Chapter V was the game changer for me. Chapter X was particularly interesting as it appealed to my Architectural leanings. Each Chapter offered insight and direction.
 I also found the following chapter passages personally compelling:
·         Ch. II “The term “ashlar” is used specifically to refer to two items revealed within the first degree and are indicative of candidate transition should the candidate invest himself in doing Masonic Work upon himself.”  
·         CH. IV “To smooth any surface beyond a specific point that is intended to be covered with cement is counterproductive.”  
·         Ch. VIII “You might want to start your research by experiencing the degrees for yourself.”       
·         CH. IX “The challenge you’ll see many have as members of the Craft is understanding the difference between the advancement work required by one’s membership and the advancement Work required by one as a human being.”  
·         CH. X  “What it points toward is the Work direction of serious apprentices and ultimate end each can expect to reach should they successfully engage in the Work”  
·         CH.XI  “Many Lodge members don’t clearly Understand the Work that should take place within each of the Workers.  Much less support it.    It’s referred to as “esoteric” by some and “non-sense” by others.”    
·         CH. XII  “There should be no doubt in any Masterful Mason’s mind that Masonic Work transforms men toward the better.” 
·         CH. XIII  “Not understanding fully all that is offered in Rituals aggravates these storms of confusion, especially when the pace of Ritual information delivery is far faster than what information is normally offered in life.”
·         CH. XIV  “Inevitably, perfecting your understanding of your morals lays the foundation for your examination of your behavior.” 
·         CH. XVII  “The more you engage yourself in learning for yourself what works best, the more apt you are to assist those seeking light toward their goals.
Chapter III, ‘A Cubic Reality’ surprised me as well! I was not aware of the dimensional properties or physical requirements before. I’d also like to see a presentation on the themes presented in CH. XIII   ‘The Perfect Purpose’ and CH. XIV X  ‘A House not made with Hands’. They are critical to one's Masonic understanding and success.
The end of the book had an interesting spiritual twist.  I walked away understanding the correlation between the ‘ashlar’ and ‘Jacobs Ladder’. This was delightfully unexpected as it made perfect sense. It is a complete and thorough work. As I am a seeker of a life of peace and understanding, this book has contributed to that end.
With exception of this Author’s work, I have found very few authors daring enough to approach the subject matter with such objectivity and integrity.  It is forthright and honest. The author is obviously knowledgeable and sincere. The book is a reflection is what is practiced by the author and therefore emblematic of his character. It’s easy to follow, comprehend and retain. His ability exceeds many typical Masonic speakers and authorities.  I would read other books by this author.
“The Craft PERFECTED!” changed my perception of ritual and its meaning. I gained a new perspective of ritual and what it communicates as a result of reading this book. It clarified many fuzzy areas and I learned much.  As a result of reading his book, I can engage in discourse confident in my knowledge around this subject. It offers a tremendous clarification of terms, purpose of ritual and the emphasis upon ones’ honesty and determination to improve as a man. I was left with a sincere desire to seek further truth and practical application of said truth. This is essential to my growth.   
I believe that all newly Raised Master Masons would benefit from this book. It’ll remind them of the all too important Work alluded to within our rituals and lectures. It offers a significant starting point from which to understand his experience. I also recommend this book to all Master Masons.  It’ll remind them of what their title implies, and of the path they must follow toward real Light.
 “The Craft PERFECTED!” is a must read for the Mason that seeks Light behind the dark veil of ignorance. In his latest book, Brother John Nagy digs deep into the meaning of Masonic ritual, (Building Better Builders series), illuminating the lessons hidden from our view. Brother Nagy dispels many of the misconceptions and misrepresentations of ritual work and their intended teachings. This author methodically, objectively and concisely gets into the depths of Masonry and its purpose, guiding and enlightening Brethren throughout the fraternity upon the path of Better Men. “The Craft PERFECTED!” propounds understanding and practical application to the often-misperceived concept of ‘Perfect’
I am a better Mason for reading this enlightening and clever book. It is now an honored and cherished addition to my Masonic Library. Perfect!
-- Bro. Clifford A. Wright (10-18-19)

Now Available! Order here:The Craft Perfected!