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NECESSITY OF STUDY TO A MASON
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Post NECESSITY OF STUDY TO A MASON 
ALBERT PIKE wrote:

MASONRY is a succession of allegories, the
mere vehicles of great lessons in morals and
philosophy. You will more fully appreciate
its spirit, its object, its purposes, as you
advance in the different degrees, which you
will find to constitute a great, complete,
and harmonious system.

If you have been disappointed in the three
first degrees; if it has seemed to you that
the performance has not come up to the
promise, and that the commonplaces which are
uttered in them with such an air, the lessons
in science and the arts, merely rudimentary,
and known to every school-boy, the trite
maxims of morality, and the trivial
ceremonies are unworthy the serious attention
of a grave and sensible man, occupied with
the weighty cares of life, and to whom his
time is valuable, remember that those
ceremonies and lessons come to us from an age
when the commonest learning was confined to a
select few, when the most ordinary and
fundamental principles of morality were new
discoveries; and that the three first degrees
stand in these latter days, like the columns
of the old, roofless Druidic Temple, in their
rude and primeval simplicity, mutilated also
and corrupted by the action of time, and the
additions and interpolations of illiterate
ignorance. They are but the entrance to the
great Masonic Temple, the mere pillars of the
portico.

You have now taken the first step over its
threshold, the first step towards the inmost
sanctuary and heart of the Temple. You are in
the path that leads up the slope of the
Mountain of Truth; and it depends upon your
Secrecy, Obedience, and Fidelity, whether you
will advance or remain stationary.

Imagine not that you will become a thorough
Mason by learning what is commonly called the
work, or merely by becoming familiar with our
traditions. MASONRY HAS A HISTORY AND A
LITERATURE. Its allegories and its traditions
will teach you much; but much is to be sought
elsewhere. The streams of learning that now
flow broad and wide must be followed to their
heads in the springs that well up in the far
distant past, and there you will find the
meaning and the origin of Masonry.

A few trite lessons upon the rudiments of
architecture, a few ordinary maxims of
morality, a few unimportant and
unsubstantiated traditions will no longer
satisfy the earnest inquirer after Masonic
Truth. Let him who is satisfied and content
with them remain where he is, and seek to
ascend no higher. But let him who desires to
understand the harmonious and beautiful
proportions of Masonry, read, study, reflect,
digest and discriminate. The true Mason is an
ardent seeker after knowledge; and he knows
that books are vessels which come down to us
full-freighted with the intellectual, riches
of the past; and that in the lading of these
Argosies is much that sheds light upon the
history of Masonry, and proves its claims to
be regarded as the great benefactor of
mankind.

***************************************

Which is your opinion on the above paper?


_________________
Sincerely & Fraternally
R.W.Bro. Bruno Gazzo
Editor, PS Review of FM
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I like this paper, infact it's made me feel a more confortable about what to expect after I petition. (I'm not a member yet).
Because I am someone who would want more, I don't know if there is much of a difference between a journey and an experience but I hope Freemasonry will be both for me.


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All experiences are part of life's journey!

You may be elated or despondent ; but never forget that there is 'someone' who will be with you all the way.

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Pike's words are relevant today. On the one hand, he admonishes us not to "write off" the three degrees as crude, meaningless ritual; on the other hand, he is telling us that the search for light doesn't end there. If we are to improve ourselves, we SHOULD study and learn all we can. Of course, many "read into" Pike and presume there is some Tome out there which one must study in order to learn the "secrets of the universe", but I think most of us know better.

We can certainly stand to expand on our work in the craft and how it applies to the world at large, and use that knowledge to better ourselves and humanity (ONE person at a time)! Many young Masons feel "disappointed" in the first three degrees, but perhaps don't fully understand them. It may not be their fault if the degrees were adminsitered shoddily, but it IS up to each Mason to SEEK that knowledge on their own, and there are many, many brethren who will help in that endeavor!

As for "Secrecy, Obedience, and Fidelity" (the conspiracy theorists love this one), here is my take:

SECRECY to me means that we won't share what we've learned with just anyone. Aside from the obvious (ie as per our obligations), it is clear that not everybody is meant to be a Mason, and too much knowledge in the wrong hands can be dangerous to the craft. This does not imply that Masons are any better or more educated than anyone else, but it does mean, IMO, that we should exercise discretion when in the presence of the ignorant (yes, there are ignorant people out there). Ignorance often breeds intolerance, and lest we be taken the wrong way, we should try and exercize caution in the outside world. Put more bluntly, you shouldn't tell anyone without the need to know a military secret. The damage they might cause may be minimal or irreparable, but why take the risk? Our knowledge is best shared with the rest of the world through our actions and example, and with others of like mind.

OBEDIENCE is NOT to some all-powerful worldy individual. Obedience is to our obligation to better ourselves, and to our heart when we are in the proper frame of mind. Obedience is to the will of God, however one percieves God. God would want us to be the best we can be, and we should obey whatever "drive" resides within us.

FIDELITY is something we give to God, the Craft, our families, our worthy brothers, and mankind. Our kept promises are fidelity. Our faith in the Almighty is fidelity. Our sticking to something we hold dear despite the odds being against us is a form of fidelity.

Using these words, Pike would have us not waste the time that God has given us by "being satisfied" with that which we already know...and the importance of learning can never be understated!


_________________
"Ad Astra Per Aspera"

Forest Hills Community Lodge No. 946
Queens, NYC, New York

Scottish Rite Valley of Long Island
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Post The necessity of study for a Freemason 
Anti-masonry is an aspect which highlights the necessity of Masonic study in order for the Mason have an effective response to criticism or, as is very often the case, downright lies and false accusations. Unfortunately, a great many Masons are not prepared or equipped to fight anti-mason nonesense because of their own lack of knowledge. This ignorance is in turn used by the anti-mason as "proof" that the average Mason has been sucked in to something they don't understand by superior Masons of the 33 degree. Anti-masons have a fixation about the supposed superiority of 33 degree Masons. This appears to have originated with the Leo Taxil hoax.
A typical example of what can happen is the allegation from anti-masons that the pentalpha or five-pointed star which features in Masonic Lodges is a symbol of witchcraft. Now, every Mason knows that the pentalpha is not a symbol of witchcraft in Masonic Lodges, that indeed we are not involved with witchcraft, the occult of anything like it. But when asked what the pentalpha does symbolize - how many Freemasons know the answer? That is just one example of many and, I repeat, if we don't know the answer, the anti-mason rests his case that we have been sucked in to a cult.
We, at the Research Lodge of Southland No.415 (New Zealand) are working on ways and means of encouraging greater study of Freemasonry by the average member, if you like. Whilst we realise that comparitively few Freemasons are dedicated ritualists or students of Freemasonry, we are also aware that many Masons are frustrated by their own inability to refute the false allegations of the anti-masons and they recognise that this inability is due to their own lack of Masonic knowledge. We aim to assist.
This is a very interesting and timely new topic and one which I hope will provoke much comment.

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Post Re: NECESSITY OF STUDY TO A MASON 
pietre-stones wrote:
ALBERT PIKE wrote:

MASONRY is a succession of allegories, the
mere vehicles of great lessons in morals and
philosophy. You will more fully appreciate
its spirit, its object, its purposes, as you
advance in the different degrees, which you
will find to constitute a great, complete,
and harmonious system.

If you have been disappointed in the three
first degrees; if it has seemed to you that
the performance has not come up to the
promise, and that the commonplaces which are
uttered in them with such an air, the lessons
in science and the arts, merely rudimentary,
and known to every school-boy, the trite
maxims of morality, and the trivial
ceremonies are unworthy the serious attention
of a grave and sensible man, occupied with
the weighty cares of life, and to whom his
time is valuable, remember that those
ceremonies and lessons come to us from an age
when the commonest learning was confined to a
select few, when the most ordinary and
fundamental principles of morality were new
discoveries; and that the three first degrees
stand in these latter days, like the columns
of the old, roofless Druidic Temple, in their
rude and primeval simplicity, mutilated also
and corrupted by the action of time, and the
additions and interpolations of illiterate
ignorance. They are but the entrance to the
great Masonic Temple, the mere pillars of the
portico.

You have now taken the first step over its
threshold, the first step towards the inmost
sanctuary and heart of the Temple. You are in
the path that leads up the slope of the
Mountain of Truth; and it depends upon your
Secrecy, Obedience, and Fidelity, whether you
will advance or remain stationary.

Imagine not that you will become a thorough
Mason by learning what is commonly called the
work, or merely by becoming familiar with our
traditions. MASONRY HAS A HISTORY AND A
LITERATURE. Its allegories and its traditions
will teach you much; but much is to be sought
elsewhere. The streams of learning that now
flow broad and wide must be followed to their
heads in the springs that well up in the far
distant past, and there you will find the
meaning and the origin of Masonry.

A few trite lessons upon the rudiments of
architecture, a few ordinary maxims of
morality, a few unimportant and
unsubstantiated traditions will no longer
satisfy the earnest inquirer after Masonic
Truth. Let him who is satisfied and content
with them remain where he is, and seek to
ascend no higher. But let him who desires to
understand the harmonious and beautiful
proportions of Masonry, read, study, reflect,
digest and discriminate. The true Mason is an
ardent seeker after knowledge; and he knows
that books are vessels which come down to us
full-freighted with the intellectual, riches
of the past; and that in the lading of these
Argosies is much that sheds light upon the
history of Masonry, and proves its claims to
be regarded as the great benefactor of
mankind.

***************************************

Which is your opinion on the above paper?



Necessity of study would have access to school, as you say the school for ardent seekers of the truth, who want to understand -and practice- the harmonious and beautiful proportions of what they are going to meet.
People who are interested entering the school would appreciate you spend some words about the school (roofless temples or porticos with pillars, etc.) in all senses (allegories, ceremonies, etc.). I believe there are a lot of people -like myself- in the need of a supposed to be new kind of help -upgraded in consideration of modern changes- to go to school.
Thank you so much.
Aurelio


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Aurelio Giordano
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Interesting that today there exists in England a university dept studying Freemasonry and its effect on history from its inception [moderns] upto end of WW1

Not only do we have to study to be a Mason but also others have learnt to study us!

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I am but a simple entered apprentice taking his first steps into the craft. I have joined a lodge Templum Sion Lodge under the Grand lodge of Manitoba that stresseslearning and taking masonry back to the traditions of our forefathers. My EA degre was for lack of a better word amazing. Really it was a fantastic enterance into the craft and my brothers did an amazing job of introducing me into the fraternity and still do to this day.

One line in the ceremony that struck me and adds to this thread was being implored to make a daily advance in masonic knoweledge. This was really stressed and truely took it to heart, aside from my slow period this summer i make a effort to everday read a chapter or two at a minimum of whatever masonic book i am reading at the time (I'm reading the Hiram Key right now). My FC degree is tentatively planned for March '07 and in the year between my initiation and the FC degree i will be light years ahead of where i was and light years from where i want to go.

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Post Re: NECESSITY OF STUDY TO A MASON 
[quote="pietre-stones"]ALBERT PIKE wrote:

MASONRY is a succession of allegories, the
mere vehicles of great lessons in morals and
philosophy. You will more fully appreciate
its spirit, its object, its purposes, as you
advance in the different degrees, which you
will find to constitute a great, complete,
and harmonious system.

etc. etc.

Which is your opinion on the above paper?

When I first read this important above I looked for Pike's Moral and Dogma, and -for good luck- now I own it. And there are no words to express how important, deep, excellent it is. The copy that I have is supposed to be an original issue from an American Lodge and I go sloly with a vocabulary at the side because of the painting board of words used.
Because I use to read a book three times, is there an Italian translation of Pike's book? it would help me read the book faster first time in my native language to have a general view of the text, and then I'll slip into English to study the text better. Thanks a lot.


_________________
Aurelio Giordano
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Post Re: NECESSITY OF STUDY TO A MASON 
[quote="pietre-stones"]ALBERT PIKE wrote:

MASONRY is a succession of allegories, the
mere vehicles of great lessons in morals and
philosophy. You will more fully appreciate
its spirit, its object, its purposes, as you
advance in the different degrees, which you
will find to constitute a great, complete,
and harmonious system. <snip>

I have found this to be the case in my own Masonic experience.
The deeper I delve, the more I find of intellectual and spiritual
worth.

What surprises me is the number of brother Masons of my acquaintance
who have absolutely no interest in Freemasonry's history, symbolism, or
teachings, other than a bare knowledge of ritual, enough to open and close
the lodge and take some minimal role in the degrees. Not that it isn't
their right to be satisfied with this -- I think each Mason builds his own temple, shapes
his own ashlar -- but I am curious, sometimes, as to what led them to the Craft in
the first place. One of my lodge brothers is also my brother in the flesh, and he
has told me (on several occasions Wink that he "quit learning when [he] finished
school" and he isn't interested in learning anything else. To each his own, I suppose .... but to
cease learning would be very much like death to me.

Fraternally,


_________________
Larry W. Chavis, PM
New Hebron No. 508
G.L. of Mississippi, F. & A. M.
32, A.&A.S.R.
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Post Excellent Paper 
Outstanding job!

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Post Re: NECESSITY OF STUDY TO A MASON 
[quote="lchav"]
pietre-stones wrote:
ALBERT PIKE wrote:

MASONRY is a succession of allegories, the
mere vehicles of great lessons in morals and
philosophy. You will more fully appreciate
its spirit, its object, its purposes, as you
advance in the different degrees, which you
will find to constitute a great, complete,
and harmonious system. <snip>

I have found this to be the case in my own Masonic experience.
The deeper I delve, the more I find of intellectual and spiritual
worth.

What surprises me is the number of brother Masons of my acquaintance
who have absolutely no interest in Freemasonry's history, symbolism, or
teachings, other than a bare knowledge of ritual, enough to open and close
the lodge and take some minimal role in the degrees. Not that it isn't
their right to be satisfied with this -- I think each Mason builds his own temple, shapes
his own ashlar -- but I am curious, sometimes, as to what led them to the Craft in
the first place. One of my lodge brothers is also my brother in the flesh, and he
has told me (on several occasions Wink that he "quit learning when [he] finished
school" and he isn't interested in learning anything else. To each his own, I suppose .... but to
cease learning would be very much like death to me.

Fraternally,


I agree! I am one that is VERY interested in the symbolism and esoteric meanings behind our rituals.


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Masonry
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With all things, people will approach life the best way they know how. Education...without education Freemasonry is a social club. Some members just want that...maybe I am being to harsh in my descriptive only because I have such an encompassing urge to believe that Freemasonry is infinitely more than a fraternity without opportunity to grow....like a social club.
My big frustration right now is reading a book on history only to find that the next book will contradict the previous book. I am not finding a consistent story outside of the lodge degrees.
I rely largely in part on my fellow Brothers who have been masons for a long time, however, i do get inconsistent messages about specific books the more I ask more people their opinion about them.
How does one know that what they are reading is legitimate?

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