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!

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