• 01:16

    MASONRY LOST IN TIME

    in Lifestyle

    Humans have an interesting ability. We can fill in gaps on our own to make sense of what we experience.  When Aristotle was pondering the universe he described a relationship based on what he knew. We called it geo-centric. It lasted until the 16th century mathematic Copernicus determined the sun was at the centre. The earth was centered. The sun, moon and planets circled around it.  Brilliant. But today if we dissect brilliance  we can put ourselves to the task of finding flaws and OMG we come up with something. To the rennasiance mathematician those orbits were perfect circles but the German theologian cum astronomer Johannes Kepler began redoing the mathematics and noticed the effect of universal bodies was pulling and pushing as if the planets were suspended by gravities in perfect balance. We can forgive Copernicus for thinking we did orbit the sun while all the other planets continued to orbit us. He fed us what we needed-a sense of perfect symmetry- perfect circle orbits.  Surely it is possible the way humans behave is like that too.    And Kepler, the first physicist, stretched and pulled our perfect circles into shapes of perfect balance with facts.  Did we become enslaved or liberated by science?


    Is it possible to look at the Craft as forces and influences? What forces do you see in masonry? What is at the centre? Is it imperative to find perfect circles or perfect balance of forces?

  • 01:21

    TAKE THE SECRET OF MASONRY FROM ME

    in Lifestyle

    In the 21st Century, the word trust has become synonmous with foolishness. Modern communication and improved out ability to talk with one another.  Power can no longer control the exchange of information. Lies and deceits are made known. After 50 years of manipulation by governments, public opinion now has a new source of validation- bearing witness themselves to a cell phone video of actual events. The Common Man is gaining a sense of his control. The French Republic has spread seed across the globe.  And we are in a state of change.


    Masonry suggests you trust your own judgement; practice the Golden Rule or perish. And understand the workings of the world for what it is.  Lies are always discovered. Deceit is always revealed.  One reaps what he sows. 


    Arrogance and greed are despised.  Peoples of all nations are fighting the final battles and when they kill enough the potential for order amongst nations will be stronger and as vulnerable as ever.  Freemasons work for the betterment of mankind, for the greater good.  No one said it was going to be easy. But masonry is tenacious. Good deeds are infectious. A life with tranquility is possible if one lives modestly, controls desire and finds contentment with what they have.


     

  • 01:22

    MASONRY: FROM CULT RELIGION INTO A CULTURE MODERN

    in Lifestyle

    Declaring that masonry offers a non-secular option to faith has wrapped the Craft in a lingering, misguided myth.  Think about it. If Freemasonry is the epitome of Renaisance thinking, would it not have a bearing on the masonic mind?   Saying that masonry is complicated doesn't take much effort.  Yes, it's a mess. Yes our writings are disorganized.  Yes, we don't know how to locate the best Masonic mentors  scholars. Yes we lack bone fide readings. Yes the disorder is growing.  When we decide it is important to ensure that the basic core learning is available to a Brother we will get around to it. Or will we?  We should probably do more than wait.  We should probably build accessible study rooms, organize collections and a place to gather, to read, to learn, to contemplate meaning.  


     Andrew Hammer published a thoughtful little book- Observing the Craft, in which he extols us to be forthright about our obligations and stay active in Lodge. He said we  were straying off in all directions.  Some truth in that as far as he took it.  Rather than describing a problem, I thought he gave us a list of symptoms.  Everything is secondary to our primary goal, enlightenment. Searchers are looking for options going through the versions of masonry. Maybe masonry is essentially about exposing bright minds to great ideas. What Br Hammer didn't consider was the next path opening in front of us.  If bricks and mortar masonry can't deliver, the internet will.  Colloquial no more, masonry has evoled on its own, into a network built to convey ideas using a network built to communicate ideas. Can I resist that gravity?

  • 01:12
  • 01:58

    HEGEMONY AND MASONRY 1717-2014

    in Culture

    18th century London was a place replete with social stratification. Feudalism had long ago given way to democracy in name but perhaps not by much. Monarch and aristrocracy continued to experience privileged indifference to poverty described for us by Ezra Pound and Charles Dickens. Of course we would expect masonic notions of equality and universality would be suppresed to avoid repercussions.


    Upper Canada was another story. Our history is a tale of subtle high minded influence of nation builders.  Early Canadians had a chance to correct the social injustice of British life with conviction to fight for rights defended by the republicans of France and the United States but with a tinture of loyalty they did not have. The new Dominion was not about to squander a chance to correct social imbalance. Jessica Harland-Jacobs makes a strong argument that freemasonry aided the spread of the British Empire.  I am also willing to suggest chartered masonic lodges effected the bigger picture in Canada.  Masonry embraces ethics and principles that are the basic elements of social progress. Canadian women gained the right to vote in 1918 becoming legal entities in Canada through the parliament of Britain.  Public schools flourished in Upper Canada and later, prairie farmers lead the charge for universal health care. These are aspects of common good- an ethical pillar of freemasonry-greater than the sum of parts. As we look into the mirror of Canadian history we see self interest, we see power and we see the triumph of humble men building a peaceful nation of tolerance. Does freemasonry have an obligation internal and external to continue the legacy?  

  • 01:28

    Assistant Pastor Kandice Durden Free Masonry Live Episode 122

    in Christianity

    ASSISTANT PASTOR KANDICE DURDEN FREE MASONRY LIVE

  • 00:57

    IDEAS AND GIMCRACKS: ENVIRONMENT CONCERNING MASONRY

    in Lifestyle

    Sooner or later it was bound to happen. The gewgaws and gimcracks no more. Block a stream of water,  the energy and power continue to build. The effect comes to us as consequences; intended  or not; up or down stream. And the time it takes to reckon this is time invested to replace ill-conceived ideas and the attend to the self serving mindset of the masses.  It is a very lonely experience when you stand against the mainstream.   


    Scholarship is that blocked stream, not of water but of consciousness; dormant for so long it had fallen out of memory only to be rediscovered.  Will the alchemists step forward to teach us the steps in a preparation.  Alchemical masons are the most misunderstood of all. And well should they go quietly about their work to avoid ridicule. This collective rediscovery of masonic archives makes for compelling reading.     It would take great licence with the facts to claim it was entirely accurate, but it does contain more than partial truths.

  • 00:57

    The Legacy of Mithraism in Magick and Masonry

    in Radio

    On Thursday, September 26, 2013 the Hermetic Hour with host Poke Runyon will present a discussion on The Legacy of Mithraism on Magick and Masonry. We will trace the origins of the Mithra sect from the ancient Persian Magi -- an offshoot of Zoroastrianism -- through the Greco-RomanMiddle East, into the mileau of classical Alexandria, where its western branch acquired a cosmology that was largely Hermetic. In fact one might say that the Greco-Roman Mithra sect was ritualized Hermeticism. For several centuries it rivaled Christianity but was eventually overcome when emperor Constantine, himself a Mithraite, made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire for practical political reasons. The Mithra sect was an elite, initiatory, all male religious fraternity that extolled honor, bravery and loyalty. Great for the Roman army but not for the downtrodden masses. Its influence on the later Masonicfraternity is obvious. Mithraism had seven initiatory degrees so similar to Crata Repoa that John Yarker called his Crata Repoa degree in Rite of Memphis "The Sage of Mithras." We will unravel the complex astrological symbolism of the "Tauroctony", the ritual slaying of the bull, the mystery of the strange lion-headed god, and the theory that the secret communion meal was the old Persian-version of Soma. Our main text reference will be D. Jason Cooper's "Mithras" (1996) with references to Franz Cumont's (1912) "Astrology and Religion Among the Greeks and Romans" and "Mushrooms, Myth & Mithras" by Carl A. P. Ruck,et allia (2011). So, if you want to follow us down into the underground temple of the Mithraeum for a look into the origin of many of our rites and degrees, then tune in and we'll lift the veil.

  • 01:21

    DECLINE AND ASCENSION OF MASONIC CLASSICISM

    in Lifestyle

    We came from an age of the classics.  Through music, science, architecture, philosophy we trace  events and experiences of plebiens and kings.  


    Those classics no longer priveleged, are public but children are given little if any guidance about there significance.  Masonry traces itself back to the origin of ideas and character development.   Through ritual classic true masonic lessons are being passed from generation to the next, to what seems a small cohort, a thread in history. Because of the political life of the Fraternity, some wear this quietly as a humble mantle. 


    We are right to feel perplexed that it is not shared more widely? In contrast to this classic nature, do we want to believe that as unique as freemasonry is, steeped in philosophy and ethics deserves a  roadside billboard to draw interest?  After this fails, as it will, what next? Do we not realize the damage this does is isolated to our own masonic locale?  It pollutes the natural landscape doesn't it?    We are not of the same culture as we were.  Social rank is not bred into us anymore. Nouveau riche enslaved to conspicuous consumption repeatedly colliding with authenticity doesn't stop the parade. Exchange wants to know if being pedestrian can a classic. Is it birthright, hubris, or anomie?  Or can we drill into the capacity to conduct oneself as a gentleman. Are people really that crass or is it the media selling salacious pictures?  We change as we evolve but we see what we want to see.   I'm off to find the edge of the earth- then I'm jumping off.


    Fraternal regards-  Masonic Exchange  

  • 01:20

    WHEN RELIGION FAILS THE OCCULT FEEDS

    in Lifestyle

    Not to qibble but for centuries the argument has been out there for all to consider.  Is occult study the result of religion failing? Add the tincture of time to an occult topic and it becomes safe, even commonplace.  What just happened? Are we smarter? Is that insight?  Have we learned something?  If we expect faith to answer ethical questions of life, we find ourselves drawn to a secular atmosphere- democracy. With all the deceits and conceits of man, whether we will it into existence or cannot see it, it comes.  


    Masonry came along at a time when Europe had paid the horrible price of intolerance. But the lessons of those days have faded. We don't think anymore about the Peace of Westphalia that set in motion the world order in place today. Lessons needed to confirm the ethics of a 21st century freemason need contemporary relevance; adding recent history to the conversation prepares the Craft for that day 100 years ahead. The balance we promote- between past, present and future is undoubtedly platonism- metaphysical.  And now, 21st century man, considers a world bereft of gods and devils and looks into the abyss to define the appetite for consciousness unable to lean on superstitions.   Nothing is off the table. It is for a reason that masons have held this middle ground of being and becoming.  What do they see?


    The world may be a dangerous jungle but there is a choice whether one lives in fear or not as history repeats itself. Is the mind the safe sanctuary? Even masons acknowledge the existence of the occult in intimate corners in small groups while the very idea continues to upset others, whether we understand a concept, it exists.

  • 01:07

    MYTHS OF MASONIC ESTRANGEMENT

    in Lifestyle

    I'm  wondering how the Craft organization is preceived.  Long ago, we became organized into Grand Lodges that protect and preserve. If we ask 'what is freemasonry, we would learn some saying it is Grand Lodge; others ritual; others lifestyle- all accurate.   I wonder if these views ever compete to be the truth and then I think this is a lesson in tolerance, that ebbs and flows.  It's an idea worth considering that each element of the Craft is up for discussion.


    Is a mason complete as an Entered Apprentice? Can we guide him into an understanding of symbols and metaphysics.  Much easier to focus on rank and ritual which explains a lot.  So you absorb the experience of Lodge, but then beging thinking deeper thoughts. The dialogue of a Lodge is practical- administration and metaphor- ritual. The venecular slips a little when education, debate, discussion are optional, occasional add-ons so not to compete with the assumed functions- Ritual and management. Too much? Ridiculous! Unmasonic?  Thank you Copernicus. Thank you Galileo. Thank you Kepler! We cannot be so ponderously locked into a conflict model can we?  Conflict- they're dropping out; too many distractions; we're not doing enough to recruit!  We've all heard it. The follies of the father have returned to haunt the son.  Isn't it folly to think we can suspect judgement about who we bring into masonry and believe think we are bringing like-minded men together?  Experience seems to suggest we are stratefied, socially, academically and intellectually.  Emphasis is about reduction. Remove memory work. Remove study. Remove discussion and debate among gentlemen. Remove the spiritual nature and sacred space of Lodge. The music: except for a few scattered lodges-that too has stopped.

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