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Mr. Box

Freemasonry and its shadow

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back to earth
4 hours ago, DanL said:

1.Yes there is an oral tradition that every Mason will learn. This gives us a common frame of reference sort of like the Mythologies of the roman gods were taught to children when I was young. This allows me to compare something to Pandora's box and people from a with range of backgrounds with little in common can understand. It also changes our speech patters slightly so that we will more easily know each other. All that said, I think its most important rerason is that each new mason will need to spend time, generally with older members of the lodge, to help them learn the "work". This weaves us together oldest to youngest and gives each what they need most. The new Apr-entice needs attention and instruction and help while the older master many times a retired man as my instructor is kept active and well drawn into the heart of the lodge. These people are our elders and valued. 

Isnt that the seniors explaining things to the 'newcomers'  ..... from their perspective , of things they learnt from the ceremonies and their life experience in application ?  Isnt that  basically what the seniors learnt from the ritual ?  And the explanations they received  as well, also based on their 'teachers'  'take on it ' ?  

I guess things became a little confused with my question.   What I meant was a tradition , oral , apart from what is taught in the rites .  not an extension of them as discussed by members.   In the 'fraternity' I was part of , there was no 'teaching' as such. In the past this lead to some attaching their personal view and take on things , to the system .   As a past initiator myself, I had to make a very clear distinction  ( when 'reviewing a ceremony' between the essential teaching of the ceremony and any   ' personal take '   on it )

I am assuming this is what you mean by 'oral'  , as in someone talks  to you about the written tradition ?  I was disputing that there was  NOT  some separate  tradition  that has not been published, is not part of the rituals , is secret, runs through Masonry and is only communicated orally .    Not an oral 'suppliment or extension' to the teachings in the scripts ? 

I hope  that was clearer .

4 hours ago, DanL said:

2. Each Degree in the Blue Lodge, the first three degrees, Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master, are presented as a sort of play where the initiate is led from place to place where he is shown, told and taught things. After he has received that degree he will hook up with an instructor that with though teaching him the oral tradition that explains what he has experienced and what it means. I hope that expresses it better.

Hmmmm .... this seems like more of an extension to point 1  than an answer to point 2 , anyway ....  

Again this seems like an extension of what was in the script with supplementary oral explanation .    I assume this 'oral  tradition ' actually comes from 'Masonic Monitors '   and   other such publications ?  

Unless you ARE saying there IS  a separate oral tradition running inside  Masonry that you have been instructed in that is unrelated  to the printed material you work from ? 

 

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4 hours ago, DanL said:

The rituals and such have always be available. There will always be some who were not worthy and did not keep their word. The odd thing is that reading or even seeing the ritual is mostly meaningless. If there is a secret in Freemasonry it is one that just CAN'T be told. Brotherhood is like a hug from your MAMA. There is a warmth and comfort that can't be seen or felt unless you are a part of it. Some time watch a really close family as they interact and share their little insider jokes and affection. THEY have a very similar secret and you can't have that one either. The Masonic Lodge is not a secret Society. It is a FRATERNAL organization. That basically means that we are a family of Brothers from many other mothers. Our brothers wives are our sisters and their kids are out nieces and nephews..their loved ones are OUR loved ones. The evil people want to see is love and their realization that they don't have enough of it in THEIR life. 

No secrets ....... so does that mean we can discuss any Masonic topic here ?    Even the one that 3 together swear 'to  keep ' ?

I would have thought that if I swore  'to keep'    a word process or action , I would be 'keeping' it secret   ?  :huh:

Perhaps you mean no secret as its   now  published  on the internet ?   Still , as a Mason , would you discuss that here ? 

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internetperson

Thanks for your post DanL, that was a great read. I have 1 question and one comment I suppose:

My question is could you recommend a decent book on Freemasonry? Frankly I wouldn't expect you to because if you are a freemason then why would you read a book on it? That's like me reading a book on living in Florida.

My comment comes from a half-formed thought. I'm having trouble getting around your explanation for privacy.

On 5/15/2017 at 5:15 PM, DanL said:

There are no SECRETS in Freemasonry. There are parts of it that are none of your business if you are not a Mason. I had a B aptest preacher get ugly with me over the evil secrets of Masonry. So I asked him if his wife did oral sex. He flipped out. It was none of my business and I was evil to even ask. So I asked him if I could then assume that they were worshiping satin and doing all manner of nasty things since it was secret.

Honestly, I don't worry about Freemasons. There are several lodges in my area (at least 3 I know or, as well as a shriner building) and only good comes out of them. That being said, you're using the same language that people you don't want to mess with use.

Again as I was saying, this is my initial impression, a half formed thought. I'm not saying I'm right or whatever just expressing the first thing that comes to mind. You have to admit the sentence I highlighted is odd. I understand your example to an extent but it's not very good. The only thing I'd hide from you is financial information, social security, etc... I think? I think everyone can agree that's a bit different than having a closed door meeting where nobody can know about what happened.

I hope you don't see this as an attack or whatever from some dude on the net, I'm genuinely trying to learn and this is a great opportunity for me since you have the experience you do.

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20 minutes ago, DanL said:

AH, now I understand. You need to express a belief in something greater to yourself or you can't  be shall we say "sworn in".  I have sat with people of all faiths including Native American. and the Eastern Faiths but you are right. If you don't recognize a higher power of any sort you, no matter how fine a man you are fall through the cracks. I have had VERY close friends that I never discussed the Lodge with for this very reason. They were excellent men who I would have gladly called Brother but without that one thing they just didn't fit the slightly odd shaped hole that we all passed through. Just as I could never join the Knights Templar because I am not Catholic it is no reflection on your honor or quality. 

Dont you find it ironic that in Masonry you have to be Catholic to be KT  ?        I do !   

But God no !  lets not resurrect the KT subject again !      :o  

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ShadowSot
11 minutes ago, DanL said:

AH, now I understand. You need to express a belief in something greater to yourself or you can't  be shall we say "sworn in".  I have sat with people of all faiths including Native American. and the Eastern Faiths but you are right. If you don't recognize a higher power of any sort you, no matter how fine a man you are fall through the cracks. I have had VERY close friends that I never discussed the Lodge with for this very reason. They were excellent men who I would have gladly called Brother but without that one thing they just didn't fit the slightly odd shaped hole that we all passed through. Just as I could never join the Knights Templar because I am not Catholic it is no reflection on your honor or quality. 

What exactly is meant by a higher power seems to vary by lodge. For example one fellow was adamant that holding humanity as a higher power, or physics, could make you eligible. 

 Though this fellow was English and I have noticed a difference between American and English takes on these things. 

 It's a moot point, though as my local lodge is very much a Christian only group, and in any case I feel it would be violating the spirit if not the letter of the law. 

 As far as being honorable or my quality, I don't see that as impacting it. They are a group with rules, I don't meet their rules and that's fine. 

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ShadowSot
6 minutes ago, internetperson said:

Thanks for your post DanL, that was a great read. I have 1 question and one comment I suppose:

My question is could you recommend a decent book on Freemasonry? Frankly I wouldn't expect you to because if you are a freemason then why would you read a book on it? That's like me reading a book on living in Florida.

My comment comes from a half-formed thought. I'm having trouble getting around your explanation for privacy.

Honestly, I don't worry about Freemasons. There are several lodges in my area (at least 3 I know or, as well as a shriner building) and only good comes out of them. That being said, you're using the same language that people you don't want to mess with use.

Again as I was saying, this is my initial impression, a half formed thought. I'm not saying I'm right or whatever just expressing the first thing that comes to mind. You have to admit the sentence I highlighted is odd. I understand your example to an extent but it's not very good. The only thing I'd hide from you is financial information, social security, etc... I think? I think everyone can agree that's a bit different than having a closed door meeting where nobody can know about what happened.

I hope you don't see this as an attack or whatever from some dude on the net, I'm genuinely trying to learn and this is a great opportunity for me since you have the experience you do.

Since I know a few Masons, though I dont know DanL's personal position, discussing what goes on at meetings seems to vary by how they take their oath. 

 Tied to the one on the ritual. Some feel it is merely symbolic, and since it's all now published and the reason for the secrecy is no longer needed they have no trouble discussing it. 

 Others that the oath is still binding, but have no trouble pointing you to the material so you can read it yourself. 

 Lastly there are those who don't want to point you to the material or acknowledge it. Few reasons for it, there's the oath, there's the lack of context, and ruining the experiences by knowing it beforehand. (Like spoilers for a new film) 

 Meetings are sort of the same. They might give the full details, a general overview, or no details. 

 I think it depends on your own sense of privacy and what counts as personal. 

Sorry if I have misrepresented anything Dan, this has been my experience when I was interacting with Freemasonry. 

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12 minutes ago, internetperson said:

Thanks for your post DanL, that was a great read. I have 1 question and one comment I suppose:

My question is could you recommend a decent book on Freemasonry? Frankly I wouldn't expect you to because if you are a freemason then why would you read a book on it? That's like me reading a book on living in Florida.

I bet he does !    Studying one's tradition is important . I have a library full of stuff like that and have many books and have studied masonry as it is a related tradition to my own .  

12 minutes ago, internetperson said:

My comment comes from a half-formed thought. I'm having trouble getting around your explanation for privacy.

Honestly, I don't worry about Freemasons. There are several lodges in my area (at least 3 I know or, as well as a shriner building) and only good comes out of them. That being said, you're using the same language that people you don't want to mess with use.

   I leave that one up to DanL   .     

 Form my personal perspective I think it isnt your business if you dont want to be involved in the tradition .    But if you are a  serious  'seeker'   ( and not just ' nosey' )  I think it should be your business .   But I encompass  and considera wider field than just Freemasonry alone ....     with these matters .  

But my groups approach was different to Masonry ;  joining was considered a  right. You get 2 sponsors, you in !   None of this 100% acceptance or 'black balling'  .

 

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10 minutes ago, ShadowSot said:

Since I know a few Masons, though I dont know DanL's personal position, discussing what goes on at meetings seems to vary by how they take their oath. 

 Tied to the one on the ritual. Some feel it is merely symbolic, and since it's all now published and the reason for the secrecy is no longer needed they have no trouble discussing it. 

 Others that the oath is still binding, but have no trouble pointing you to the material so you can read it yourself. 

 Lastly there are those who don't want to point you to the material or acknowledge it. Few reasons for it, there's the oath, there's the lack of context, and ruining the experiences by knowing it beforehand. (Like spoilers for a new film) 

These are valid points ......     consider the surprise birthday party  (if you like that sort of thing ) 

One knows the  difference between your own reaction when it really was a wonderful surprise .... or you already knew and are just pretending to be delighted .   Now tag that ' emotive elated surprise'   and hook it up to  the learning experience of partaking in a degree rite. 

Lack of context, yes, that is a big issue .

A bit  ( also ) like , the difference between tasting the orange for the first time, or never tasting one and just reading about it . 

An initiation ceremony is  a learning experience that works on multiple experiential levels . I have recommended people NOT to spoil it .

HOWEVER  ... in some cases I have advocated it .  . Eg .   to read the rituals of  similar groups, or degrees you might not be taking , when you have already taken some  - as an adjunct to a wider understanding of your own or the subject in general.

Here is another example . I was told about an 'initiation ceremony' I could do with the indigenous here.   REgarding their own other initiations ( higher than this general one )  .... nothing !    Zipped lips .    Then when I explained about my own traditions , generally,. They totally opened up and started telling me about their first 3 'degrees' .   And I told them more about mine .    Fascinating stuff, from and for both sides !  yet neither of us actually used the words of nor described exactly what was going in ceremony, but we were were able to communicate and understand each other  very well , without revealing  the specific  'secrets '   that we  had  sworn not to reveal . 

Rather amazing considering how far apart our external cultures were ! 

 

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DanL

There are things that I will not discuss in specifics. This is true in the masonic part of my life, my marriage and my family. A Secret if kept means nobody even knows that it exists. Something that is common knowledge but the personal parts of it are private is not a secret. The length and size of a fellows penis is not a secret, it just ain't none of your business. To me someone that insists on pursuing this sort of knowledge that they have no reason or need to know is disturbing to say the least. I am not talking about specifics of what goes on in certain actions in the lodge and I'm not going to discuss what went on in my bedroom last night either. I think that I have been pretty clear If you want to call anything that you don't know a secret have at it. 

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back to earth

Would you answer post #  176   then ? 

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internetperson
1 hour ago, DanL said:

Something that is common knowledge but the personal parts of it are private is not a secret. The length and size of a fellows penis is not a secret, it just ain't none of your business. To me someone that insists on pursuing this sort of knowledge that they have no reason or need to know is disturbing to say the least.

Regarding the emboldened part I agree, it's somewhat like I was saying earlier: we all have bank accounts but it's none of your biz how much money I have. But regarding the italic part that's where it's different. I have a dick, you do to, I have a bank account, you do to, I have nothing to hide behind closed doors, you do. See what I mean? The analogy only goes so far. I'm just being devils advocate. Again I have nothing against freemasonry especially shriners it's just that when you start with the 'don't worry about it' that can be hard to swallow.

EDIT: Got another question for you. I do have deceased family members who were Freemasons, would this help me if I wanted to join or no?

Edited by internetperson

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DanL
14 hours ago, back to earth said:

Would you answer post #  176   then ? 

I will give it a try. I'm not sure that I totally understand the question though.... The oral traditions are not the opinions of the instructor. It is a rather long series of questions, answers and statements that you memorize word for word. Honestly some of it is from times past and the actualy meaning is sort of fuzzy in today's context. My instructor was a stickler for the fine points especially the pronunciation of parts of it. You have a new thing to learn after each degree. and have to demonstrate your proficiency of the previous before you pass to the next in my Lodge. 

Quick side note. All Masonic Lodges are not exactly the same in what they require as far as learning the "work" associated with each degree. I am speaking only of what my branch does and requires. I am AF&AM That means Ancient Free and Accepted Mason. 

A lot of this stuff is done in allegory and refers to the work of a stone mason and the ancient history, stories and legends of the past. The biggest thing that I got from it was a sort of connection to the good men of the past who had walked the same trails as I was. LOL, as an apprentice when you went to lodge anyone might throw a question at you. The questions and answer are both word for word the same as men were asking and answering a hundred years ago. The master masons all laugh with you as you stumble around at first trying to learn it all and then share their stories of their problems when they were learning it. Once again I think that the "work" is used as a glue to give people from all walks of life a common point of connection. 

Another reason for the "work" in MY OPINION is that it does two very important things. It adds value to each degree because it costs you something in time and effort to learn and so move to the next level. The other thing that it does is weed out a lot of pretenders and allows the Brotherhood to get to better know you before letting you move deeper into the lodge. Lots of people never receive their second degree here because they just don't have the time or serious interest that it takes to learn their work. I think that this is one of the reasons that the lodge is having to make changes these days. People now want instant gratification and there are fewer and fewer willing or interesting in working on the things that are important in the lodge. Let me tell you, being and acting as an honorable man closes a lot of doors to you these days that many now walk through without thought. It is not a really financially profitable way of life anymore. 

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DanL
13 hours ago, internetperson said:

Regarding the emboldened part I agree, it's somewhat like I was saying earlier: we all have bank accounts but it's none of your biz how much money I have. But regarding the italic part that's where it's different. I have a dick, you do to, I have a bank account, you do to, I have nothing to hide behind closed doors, you do. See what I mean? The analogy only goes so far. I'm just being devils advocate. Again I have nothing against freemasonry especially shriners it's just that when you start with the 'don't worry about it' that can be hard to swallow.

EDIT: Got another question for you. I do have deceased family members who were Freemasons, would this help me if I wanted to join or no?

First off a quickly. Just because some things are behind closed doors does not mean or indicate that it is hidden. I close the doors to my bedroom. I close my front door to my home. I close the door to my car and I zip up my pants LOL. Each is for a slightly different reason but in none is it because I'm hiding anything. Everything in the world is not public domain. When I was a kid I liked to write poetry. I did this behind closed doors and indeed kept it as a hidden vice. Even when things are hidden it doesn't mean that they are bad, wrong or evil. 

Having relatives in your past that were masons can offer you an entry of sorts. It makes for a good starting point for discussion of the lodge with someone that you know is a mason. It will not though help or hurt your chances of being accepted. Each of us is looked at for what WE as individuals are and what we believe. In a perfect world inhabited by perfect people your acceptance would be totally based on your personal worth. This is NOT a perfect world though and sadly personal prejudices can effect anything and this is no different. They will try to look at you for what you can be and wish to be and not just judge you based on what you have been in the past. 

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back to earth
6 hours ago, DanL said:

I will give it a try. I'm not sure that I totally understand the question though.... The oral traditions are not the opinions of the instructor. It is a rather long series of questions, answers and statements that you memorize word for word. Honestly some of it is from times past and the actualy meaning is sort of fuzzy in today's context. My instructor was a stickler for the fine points especially the pronunciation of parts of it. You have a new thing to learn after each degree. and have to demonstrate your proficiency of the previous before you pass to the next in my Lodge. 

Quick side note. All Masonic Lodges are not exactly the same in what they require as far as learning the "work" associated with each degree. I am speaking only of what my branch does and requires. I am AF&AM That means Ancient Free and Accepted Mason. 

A lot of this stuff is done in allegory and refers to the work of a stone mason and the ancient history, stories and legends of the past. The biggest thing that I got from it was a sort of connection to the good men of the past who had walked the same trails as I was. LOL, as an apprentice when you went to lodge anyone might throw a question at you. The questions and answer are both word for word the same as men were asking and answering a hundred years ago. The master masons all laugh with you as you stumble around at first trying to learn it all and then share their stories of their problems when they were learning it. Once again I think that the "work" is used as a glue to give people from all walks of life a common point of connection. 

Another reason for the "work" in MY OPINION is that it does two very important things. It adds value to each degree because it costs you something in time and effort to learn and so move to the next level. The other thing that it does is weed out a lot of pretenders and allows the Brotherhood to get to better know you before letting you move deeper into the lodge. Lots of people never receive their second degree here because they just don't have the time or serious interest that it takes to learn their work. I think that this is one of the reasons that the lodge is having to make changes these days. People now want instant gratification and there are fewer and fewer willing or interesting in working on the things that are important in the lodge. Let me tell you, being and acting as an honorable man closes a lot of doors to you these days that many now walk through without thought. It is not a really financially profitable way of life anymore. 

 

Look, thanks for the answer  .... but  ....   do you understand what I mean by a purely oral tradition ?    

That means there is no written record of what they say . no writing down of the questions and answers ,  not appearing or drawn from ritual scripts,   the passing on is purely by word of mouth , the origin of it was word of mouth .

If it is oral that means that the 100 year old info you talk about was only ever relayed by word of mouth .   

Its not even really a  a specific Masonic question, so you dont need to  worry about the content ... or if other Lodges are different. 

 

In my case , yes certain Q and A   , statements   'catechisms'  etc  needed to be learnt  after a degree , but they made up part of the next degree , or an entry to that degree.  So they were not orally  sourced . 

 

Re ;  " Let me tell you, being and acting as an honorable man closes a lot of doors to you these days that many now walk through without thought. It is not a really financially profitable way of life anymore. "

The whole way of life , philosophically has changed   ;    all the worthy precepts   are  qualified by    < shudder >    'economic rationalism '    (  I call it  'lust for gold '  ... the 'rationalism' part is just figuring out the best way to get it  )

here is a snippet from   ' instructional  material '   from my tradition  regarding such things ; 

" For wert thou to summon the Gnomes to pander thine avarice, thou wouldst no longer command them, but they would command thee. Wouldst thou abuse the pure beings of the woods and mountains to fill thy coffers and satisfy thy hunger of Gold? .......  Know that with such desires thou canst but attract the Weak, not the Strong, and in that case the Weak will have power over thee.  "

 

Here , we have old soldier's homes    and   old people's centres closed down  as they were not making a  profit .     Why was it ever considered that they should be ?     :huh:

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internetperson
11 hours ago, DanL said:

Having relatives in your past that were masons can offer you an entry of sorts. It makes for a good starting point for discussion of the lodge with someone that you know is a mason. It will not though help or hurt your chances of being accepted. Each of us is looked at for what WE as individuals are and what we believe. In a perfect world inhabited by perfect people your acceptance would be totally based on your personal worth. This is NOT a perfect world though and sadly personal prejudices can effect anything and this is no different. They will try to look at you for what you can be and wish to be and not just judge you based on what you have been in the past. 

Interesting. I don't have a desire to join but I was curious about this. My family has been here since pre revolutionary war, I believe they were part of the early settlers in Pennsylvania (Germans). Anyway, apparently when one of them died the local lodge hosted (for lack of a better word) his funeral. I think you can actually find his name on their website.

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DanL
17 hours ago, back to earth said:

 

Look, thanks for the answer  .... but  ....   do you understand what I mean by a purely oral tradition ?    

 

The "work" that is learned is never written, printed painted or in any way inscribed in such a way that someone other than a mason might understand it. PERIOD. That is one of the things that you just don't do if you are a mason and have honor. SO the words within the lodge and between Masons is strictly an ALL oral tradition that all efforts have been made to keep it pure and exact as it was first given. 

That said, there have over the many many years been many miscreants that have relieved the degrees, learned the work and then proceeded to shout it from the roof tops and inscribe it in every way possible. You will note that despite this fact people are still babbling about the secrets of Freemasonry. Why is this???

I will tell you why and in so doing reveal the only true secret in Freemasonry. You can't see, steal, copy, or in any way understand the true facts of brotherly love and honor that are and can only be shared between two or more truly honorable and good men that will and do trust each other with their life!. All of the words and all of the pageantry have meaning only in the sense of the relationships that they are leading you to and showing you.  The words HAVE been written. You can find them for sale;  it is dry and boneless reading. That is why everyone hasn't read them. The Rites have been filmed but nobody cares. I said it once before here. It is like understanding a mothers hug and then trying to copy it. with a stranger! There it is and there is no way to steal it. Even the miscreants that thought that they had couldn't because they walked away missing the entire point. They were like blind men going to an art museum planning on stealing the images of the pictures. 

Why would I want to be a mason? I am basically an only child and have no extended family. I am a person that values doing what I see as right. When I joined the lodge I found that I wasn't nearly as alone in my moral values as I had thought nor alone in the world. I can go ANYWHERE in America and if I find myself in trouble I have brothers that will come to my aid. If I die tomorrow and my wife needs help I know my brothers will be their for her. It was a lonely and at times dangerous world out there... and then it wasn't. 

Edited by DanL
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Kenemet
On 5/16/2017 at 0:18 PM, DanL said:

1.Yes there is an oral tradition that every Mason will learn.

However, you probably should point out that it's learned from books.  Not from sitting in front of a group of masons and hearing it word for word and then reciting it until you get it perfectly.  (the latter is "oral tradition."  The first is just 'tradition'.  And tales about things not in the oral tradition (where you were quizzed on something you heard until you could repeat it word-for-word) or in the written works are simply "stories" and not really tradition - though some lodges might have these stories as part of their culture.

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DanL
1 hour ago, Kenemet said:

However, you probably should point out that it's learned from books.  Not from sitting in front of a group of masons and hearing it word for word and then reciting it until you get it perfectly.  (the latter is "oral tradition."  The first is just 'tradition'.  And tales about things not in the oral tradition (where you were quizzed on something you heard until you could repeat it word-for-word) or in the written works are simply "stories" and not really tradition - though some lodges might have these stories as part of their culture.

I don't have a clue what you are talking about. There is no book in my lodge and it is only learned by word of mouth from a master mason to the new mason. Go back and read my post. 

The first paragraph reads, "The "work" that is learned is never written, printed painted or in any way inscribed in such a way that someone other than a mason might understand it. PERIOD. That is one of the things that you just don't do if you are a mason and have honor. SO the words within the lodge and between Masons is strictly an ALL oral tradition that all efforts have been made to keep it pure and exact as it was first given."

I personally don't know how to make it clearer.  ????

Edited by DanL

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back to earth
6 hours ago, DanL said:

The "work" that is learned is never written, printed painted or in any way inscribed in such a way that someone other than a mason might understand it. PERIOD. That is one of the things that you just don't do if you are a mason and have honor. SO the words within the lodge and between Masons is strictly an ALL oral tradition that all efforts have been made to keep it pure and exact as it was first given. 

That said, there have over the many many years been many miscreants that have relieved the degrees, learned the work and then proceeded to shout it from the roof tops and inscribe it in every way possible. You will note that despite this fact people are still babbling about the secrets of Freemasonry. Why is this???

I will tell you why and in so doing reveal the only true secret in Freemasonry. You can't see, steal, copy, or in any way understand the true facts of brotherly love and honor that are and can only be shared between two or more truly honorable and good men that will and do trust each other with their life!. All of the words and all of the pageantry have meaning only in the sense of the relationships that they are leading you to and showing you.  The words HAVE been written. You can find them for sale;  it is dry and boneless reading. That is why everyone hasn't read them. The Rites have been filmed but nobody cares. I said it once before here. It is like understanding a mothers hug and then trying to copy it. with a stranger! There it is and there is no way to steal it. Even the miscreants that thought that they had couldn't because they walked away missing the entire point. They were like blind men going to an art museum planning on stealing the images of the pictures. 

Why would I want to be a mason? I am basically an only child and have no extended family. I am a person that values doing what I see as right. When I joined the lodge I found that I wasn't nearly as alone in my moral values as I had thought nor alone in the world. I can go ANYWHERE in America and if I find myself in trouble I have brothers that will come to my aid. If I die tomorrow and my wife needs help I know my brothers will be their for her. It was a lonely and at times dangerous world out there... and then it wasn't. 

 

 

Okay , whatever .   I give up .  Too many communication blocks  and misunderstandings and  questions responded to with things that dont relate to the question in the first place  . 

 I dont think you understand my point at all , it seems obscured by you worrying  about someone sneaking a look into the written and published rights .    I even said it was simple question and need not even relate to Masonry !  I dont know what all this raving about others not comprehending true brotherly love has anything at all to do with my question !    The issue seems obscured by an over defensive reaction.

The issue is,  the rites are written down , people may learn them lrally and recite them in Lodge .  Some Lodges read of scripts when they do a rite ,  I know this .  And I have read Masonic Monitors where Masons discuss the significance, symbolism and meaning of their     rites.    

Masonic Monitors are published by the Grand Lodges.  Since the Grand Lodges are the authorities on Freemasonry, monitors provide an unquestionable source which Masons cannot discredit .

 

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back to earth
1 hour ago, Kenemet said:

However, you probably should point out that it's learned from books.  Not from sitting in front of a group of masons and hearing it word for word and then reciting it until you get it perfectly.  (the latter is "oral tradition."  The first is just 'tradition'.  And tales about things not in the oral tradition (where you were quizzed on something you heard until you could repeat it word-for-word) or in the written works are simply "stories" and not really tradition - though some lodges might have these stories as part of their culture.

Thank you   K   !  

At least  someone knows what I am talking about here ! 

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DanL

I guess I give up. The lodge that I joined is the AF&AM and if a mason in my lodge were to write any of it down he would be cast out. I don't know how they do it in clandestine lodges nor am I in any way affiliated with them.  All I know is what is done in my lodge. What you are doing is debating what others do as if as a Methodist I should be somehow responsible for things said or done in a Catholic Church. NEVER in my lodge is a degree done by men that don't know their parts intimately. I would be ashamed to offer such to an Apprentice even if it was allowed. If a man doesn't learn the work he is like a Christian that only goes to Church on Easter and never reads the Bible. Sadly they missed out on the most important part of Masonry and that is the Brotherhood. That takes time spent with them. How can you take something serious that even the people offering it to you can't be bothered to learn the work? 

I believe that you are talking about the F&AM and I can't speak for them. I know they don't follow the original laws that we do. Our charter comes from England. I'm not sure where or if the F&AM have a charter. 

All answers that I give only refer to the ANCIENT FREE and ACCEPTED MASONS that tracks their laws back into the earliest days of speculative Masonry. If others chose to take short cuts that has no meaning to me. I learned a lot and think that I prefer that we have to learn our rites and work VERBATIM from strictly oral transmission. DONE. 

Edited by DanL

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41 minutes ago, DanL said:

I don'y have a clue what you are talking about. There is no book in my lodge and it is only learned by word of mouth from a master mason to the new mason. Go back and read my post. 

The first paragraph reads, "The "work" that is learned is never written, printed painted or in any way inscribed in such a way that someone other than a mason might understand it. PERIOD. That is one of the things that you just don't do if you are a mason and have honor. SO the words within the lodge and between Masons is strictly an ALL oral tradition that all efforts have been made to keep it pure and exact as it was first given."

I personally don't know how to make it clearer.  ????

 

It seems you have never been a Lodge Officer then.  Or an admin member of a Grand Lodge .  And dont know about the issuing of charters for new lodges .   

If what you are saying is true , they are hiding the scripts from you .

Dont tell me you have never heard of Duncans 's     ??? 

 

( I cant believe this guy anymore !        I wasnt going to do this , but after THAT comment  ;      

Here is the 'purely oral tradition'   that Masons never learn from ; 

 http://www.sacred-texts.com/mas/dun/dun04.htm

( however I do agree with DanL that the full impact is not realises from merely reading a script , a point I laboured to explain previously )

I mean , I could learn a lot of this by heart and orally teach it someone if I never showed them script   ....       and claim  things as DanL has above ......

...    but   why   would I  want to do that  ???  :wacko:   In my experience  ( as assistant to SGIG  ... an 'inspectors' role - making sure Lodges and Masters DO NOT  create personal trips and variations , amongst other things )   such 'unclarity' would warrant further investigation . 

 

27 minutes ago, DanL said:

I guess I give up. The lodge that I joined is the AF&AM and if a mason in my lodge were to write any of it down he would be cast out.

But I am not talking about or even suggesting that ... this is what I mean by a reactive communication breakdown.   No one on our Lodge was supposed to write the ritual down.  However they could go through the script with their initiator .

You really want to experience the full significance of a rite , it needs to be done three ways ;  as a candidate,  as a member ( ie. watching it )  and as an  officer , 3 perspectives .   Reviewing the rite is essential.

Quote

 

I don't know how they do it in clandestine lodges nor am I in any way affiliated with them.

We are talking about mainstream .... Duncan's Masonic Monitor is not produced by a clandestine  OR a spurious Lodge !

Quote

 

 All I know is what is done in my lodge. What you are doing is debating what others do as if as a Methodist I should be somehow responsible for things said or done in a Catholic Church

NOPE !   Sorry , we were talking about Freemasonry generally and the fact that it DOES have written  traditions and rituals . You were the one that offered an opinion on that . But now it seems your opinion and experience is limited to only your own Lodge .   You ask them if there is such a thing as an approved ritual script from their own Grand Lodge  ... go on ... I bet there is , if not, something is up .

Quote

NEVER in my lodge is a degree done by men that don't know their parts intimately.

Same here !  But that is an entirely different issue ! 

Quote

I would be ashamed to offer such to an Apprentice even if it was allowed.

Good !   AGain . same here , but a diffeernt issue .   Again the misunderstandings and reactions on them . 

Quote

 

If a man doesn't learn the work he is like a Christian that only goes to Church on Easter and never reads the Bible. Sadly they missed out on the most important part of Masonry and that is the Brotherhood. That takes time spent with them. 

 

No it isnt .....   what you are suggesting is more like the man that goes to church only for the sermon and never , not only  does not read the bible but claims that one never existed nor the minister is learning form it  ! 

Look .... our Lodge  insisted  that no scripts were used  too !  ... it really degrades the rite .... ANY rite of any type or tradition is degraded by script reading instead of learning and performance.  Eve a play !

But if you think, or have been lead to believe,  that there were never any scripts approved of and distributed by your  Grand Lodge   .........   you   being    'hoodwinked'  !  

...

Edited by back to earth
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DanL

You win I give up. Now you know why people are confused about the Masonic lodge. You know nothing but tell me thayt I am wrong about something that I have lived for 40 years. I refuse to keep saying the same thing again over and over so I'm done with it. I don't know what lodge you are refering to but in the AF&AM the ORAL traditions are kept and assured true by various men that have a certificate that they receive upon being ORALLY tested by the Grand Lodge. This means that they KNOW as in have memorized to near perfection, EVERY word and gesture in every line of degree work and in the presentation of the degrees and in the following introductory lectures. ALL of this is done ORALLY.

I know that there are books and that in some other groups they have decided not to bother with learning the work of freemasonry. I had a friend actually give me one of those books once. I thanked him and then later that same day I burned it unread. I haven't had the time to go through the chairs but have sat in every position but the East. The man that was my best man at my wedding was a delegate to the Grand Lodge of Texas. My Dad was a twice worshipful master and also a delegate. 

I have no problems with other groups that don't follow the same rules that were laid down in the far past of Freemasonry. I understand that it is easier if you don't actually have to learn the work and work to offer degrees that are well done. But then again I can pay a hundred dollars and have a PHD without even going to college. Will that PHD make me a Doctor?? 

Sorry but we work hard in my lodge. there are degree teams that make certain that all degrees are offered with as near perfection as possible and the teaching and precticing is all done ORALLY. There is NEVER a written script for what is said. There are meetings for people who are studying for their certificate examinations. Once again this is all done ORALLY. There are groups that meet just ot offer a little extra help to Men that are working on learning their work so that they can move to their next degree. This is once again all oral instruction and testing. 

To me the oral traditions are what makes the lodge work. If it was all written and just handed out, to me that would be like putting on a slicker suit before you take a shower. 

 

THE END for me. 

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MstrMsn
On 5/18/2017 at 5:18 PM, Kenemet said:

However, you probably should point out that it's learned from books.  Not from sitting in front of a group of masons and hearing it word for word and then reciting it until you get it perfectly.  (the latter is "oral tradition."  The first is just 'tradition'.  And tales about things not in the oral tradition (where you were quizzed on something you heard until you could repeat it word-for-word) or in the written works are simply "stories" and not really tradition - though some lodges might have these stories as part of their culture.

I'm an officer in my Lodge, and have been involved in the initiation of candidates for the last several years. We don't learn from a book, we learn our ritual orally. I have no idea where you are getting this "learn from books".

Yes, books about ritual have been written (like Duncan's Masonic Ritual, that BTE linked to), we don't use them. Some might. 

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4 hours ago, MstrMsn said:

I'm an officer in my Lodge, and have been involved in the initiation of candidates for the last several years. We don't learn from a book, we learn our ritual orally. I have no idea where you are getting this "learn from books".

Yes, books about ritual have been written (like Duncan's Masonic Ritual, that BTE linked to), we don't use them. Some might. 

 

Thank you !   That is much clearer without all the side issues .   What I get from this is     yes, there is a written regular form , yes some lodges use it ......    But  it appears some Lodges LEARN it by  an oral method .    Simple and solved .... IMO . 

A fuller answer  probably cant be given as that leads to a postulation that the written form came from the oral tradition ( which still exists ) , and that is very hard to prove . 

My take on it 'historically'  was that when  Grand Lodges were first formed, all sorts of variations were going and the  formations of Grand Lodges and other similar bodies was about  making  rituals 'regular'  or 'standardised' , to make sure all were supposedly doing the same thing .  No, I dont have proof for that  either  . 

 

 

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