Monday, March 18, 2019

A Brother Asks: Road Map Focuses

A Brother Asks: Coach, you mentioned Masonic Road Maps many times. 

Coach: Yes.  I have.

Brother: Would you walk me through the different focuses each map provides at the blue lodge level?

Coach: Sure!  Which one would you like to discuss first?

First Degree Focus

Brother: How about the first degree road map?

Coach: Okay. What would you like to focus upon first?

Brother: How about the overall reason for the map?

Coach:  Sure. The first Degree provides a roadmap for Inward Travels.  That is the degree's purpose and the reason the map is provided.

Brother: Internal travels?

Coach: Yes.  It provides a guide to the inner Terrain that, when Traveled, enables a man to know his true self and true nature.

Brother: Ah!  The Creature that is himself.

Coach: Yes.  The Work the map directs him to do is also Foundational to his Learning.

Brother: Okay. I see it.  His Work is laying his learning foundation!

Coach: Yes!  In this respect, it is a roadmap of Preparation for Learning.

Brother: And that Work includes unburdening and strengthening himself?

Coach: That's yes to both!  He unburdens himself so he doesn't have anything distracting him from what he needs to learn. He doesn't have anything draining him while he learns. And he will have the resources to do the actual learning.  Much of the Work the first Degree directs him to do assists him on doing both of these.

Brother: And having the strength to carry out the learning as well?

Coach: Indeed!  It also is focused upon the physical man and how his heart affects his decisions and choices.

Brother: Bringing order to the chaos of his heart?

Coach: Yes!  It also prepares him for Adulthood!
Brother: How so?
Coach: It lays the Foundation for the House that he'll Build should he continue with the second Degree Work.

Brother: Which ultimately becomes the home he will live in?

Coach: Exactly!  Imagine what would occur for men who follow this map, one that they are offered by simply being a member.

Brother: I can imagine for sure.  What about the second degree map?

Second Degree Focus

Coach:  The second Degree provides a roadmap for Outward Travels.

Brother: I'm not following this.  Would you expand upon this please?

Coach: The second Degree provided a guide to the outer Terrain that, when Traveled, enables a man to know the Universe.

Brother: The Whole of Creation?

Coach: Yes!

Brother: So, it points him in the direction of learning about the universe and the laws that govern it?

Coach: The Work it directs him to is Structural and it sets the stage for his Actual Learning. 

Brother: So, by learning specific structures, patterns that occur all over the place, he teaches himself how to recognize specific patterns all around him?

Coach:  Yes!  In this respect, it's a roadmap to Learn How to Learn. Much of this is preparing the mind to see patterns, what they mean and how to deal with them effectively when necessary or appropriately desired.

Brother: Wow!  Is that why we're pointed toward studying the seven liberal arts and sciences!

Coach: Exactly!  Their study prepares his mind. The Degree is focused upon giving direction to the mental man.

Brother: And by doing the Work, it brings order to the chaos of his mind?
Coach: It also prepares him for Age!
Brother: How so?
Coach: Doing the Work Builds a House of Comprehension that he can both live within and build on to as needed.

Brother: Which ultimately becomes his retirement home?

Coach: Yes! One of many, if that is what he Works upon. 
Brother: Wow!

Coach: Imagine what would occur for men who follow the maps they are offered.
Brother: I can!  What about the last blue lodge Degree? 

Third Degree Focus
Coach: The third Degree provides a roadmap for Eternal Travels.

Brother: Eternal?

Coach: Yes! It provides a guide to the spiritual Terrain that, when Traveled, enables a man to know the Word.

Brother: The Creator?

Coach: Indeed!

Brother: That makes so much sense!

Coach:  The Work the third Degree directs him to do greatly enhances his Actual future Living, Learning and Teaching.

Brother: As a Master?

Coach: Yes!

Brother: Sort of like an artificer instructor that is himself continually refining his craft?

Coach: Indeed!  In this respect, it is a roadmap to Further Cultivation of the Heart and Mind, Further Travel and the Employment of Cunning Craftsmanship.

Brother: This dovetails very nicely with the first two degrees.

Coach:  Yes.  It is also focused upon the spiritual man.

Brother: How so?

Coach: The entirety of the first two degree Work when done prepares a man's soul to do spiritual Work!

Brother: This is making so much sense!

Coach: Thanks! But this spiritual Work should never be done before the soul has been cultivated. 

Brother: Why not?

Coach: Have you not ever asked yourself the lessons presented by the Sorcerer's Apprentice?

Brother: Ah!  The apprentice lacked all the qualities necessary to properly direct the knowledge, resources and powers entrusted to him!
Coach: Yes.  He lacked self-discipline, experience and knowledge.
Brother: And with a chaotic heart, mind and spirit, he wrought nothing but the same.

Coach: Indeed! Sadly, it is a rare man who follows the map that they are offered.

Brother: Why are these three aspects so important to a man?

Coach: Which aspects?

Brother: The heart, head and spirit?

Coach: The first two constitute the makeup of the soul.  Without a properly disciplined  soul, the spirit will never be directed properly by it.

Brother: And all deeds are directed by the soul and spirit!

Coach: And chaotic souls and spirits never bring about order. 

Brother: Wait!!  Isn't that the goal?

Fraternal Focus

Coach: The goal of what?

Brother: Of the Fraternity... Bringing Order to Chaos?

Coach: Ya think?

Brother: Yes!  I do!  Thanks for walking me through these road maps Coach!

Coach: You're most welcome. Thanks for asking me to come along for the ride!