All info is pulled from the source Old Legends of Hiram Abiff - A short Talk Bulletin and is compiled here for the reader.
A group of Master Masons talk about topics of Masonic interest--each from their own unique perspective. You'll find a wide range of subjects including history, trivia, travel, book reviews, great quotes, and hopefully a little humor as well on topics of interest for Freemasons and those interested in the subject of Freemasonry.
"UPROXX" Style Masonry
All info is pulled from the source Old Legends of Hiram Abiff - A short Talk Bulletin and is compiled here for the reader.
Frankly, I find it hard to understand why we do not have more daytime Lodge meetings. The days when nine-to-five jobs were the ubiquitous standard are long gone. There are many night jobs and other shifts, stay-at-home dads, and on the other end, retirees who don't like (or can't) drive at night. This means ample opportunity for new Charters, and to get more use out of our Temples. I would even suggest that anywhere you can find more than two or three Lodges in an area, you could add another one to accommodate candidates and existing members who just can't be involved in an evening. For what it's worth, here are my suggestions to take advantage of, or at least acknowledge the situation.
If you have an active Lodge but find that many members cannot make meetings due to business and family commitments, add a few daytime meetings to your Trestle Board. Make sure they are well communicated and advertised. Heck, you may even find Brothers from other nearby Lodges start to attend.
Another option is to sponsor the creation of a new Lodge. This can increase the tenancy and use of existing Masonic buildings. You can work together as closely or separately as you like. The only issue with this approach is pushback from those concerned about existing Lodges losing members. But who are they going to lose except those who cannot participate anyway? And do we care about our brothers and the Craft, or just our individual Lodge? We would need to overcome our scarcity mindset. Besides, some members would want to retain their membership in the mother Lodge.
By the way, I'm not talking about weekend Lodges. Even people working evenings or overnight may want their family time on a Saturday or Sunday. I would even go so far as to make a point of never meeting or rarely holding events on Friday through Sunday to avoid conflict with the holy days of various faiths. In the GLNY, we just passed a change in the Constitutions allowing Masonic work on a Sunday, so as to alleviate the need to have it on the Jewish Sabbath. I myself experienced a pleading to have a communications conference on a Sunday instead of a Saturday for exactly this reason.
It must be discerned as to what choices and details ought to be implemented in any particular locale and circumstance. But the days of smaller Lodges with better participation and serving specific niches are upon us. I can easily imagine, for example, a monthly meeting on a weekday morning followed by going out to lunch. (There are already several Masonic lunchtime gatherings in my area, which should be an indicator of the potential I'm talking about here.)
Look around you. Is there a place for Masons to go during the week, earlier in the day? If not, there may be a real need for our Brothers -- and a line of candidates that have been turned away. But you won't know until you seek, ask, and knock on the door of this possible future of our Fraternity.
From The Midnight Freemasons Archives: The Masonic Conspiracy Behind Rolling Rock Beer
There has always been speculation that there is some connection between Latrobe's Rolling Rock Beer and the Freemasons--I mean, it's obvious, there's a '33' right on the bottle! And the 33rd degree is the highest degree that can be attained by Freemasons. Is it possible the Latrobe's were Freemasons?
Sadly, the most likely version is the least exciting. It may have simply been a printers mistake in the beginning. This version of the story comes from a very reliable source--the former CEO of the company. He was also very interested in where that '33' had come from--his name was James Tito. What he discovered is actually very simple.
The slogan on the back of the bottle read originally:
"Rolling Rock – From the glass lined tanks of Old Latrobe, we tender this premium beer for your enjoyment as a tribute to your good taste. It comes from the mountain springs to you."That's 33 words. There were a number of different versions of the slogan in the beginning, but the Latrobe family finally settled on the shortest one--the one that ran only 33 words. Somebody noted that in the margin, and when it went to the printers, the printers didn't realize that the 33 wasn't part of the text and included it. The mistake wasn't discovered until a large batch of bottles had been produced, and back in those days, the labels were painted right onto the bottles, and those bottles were reused, which explains why the mistake wasn't immediately corrected
And just maybe it wasn't corrected later because of the stir it had created when those bottles reached the public. Everyone talking about and debating what that '33' meant and speculating about where it had come from. Perhaps Latrobe saw that controversy as a good thing. Here it is more than seventy years later, and people are still talking about it. I guess you'd call that 'beer buzz'.
So that's the big Masonic conspiracy behind Rolling Rock Beer. It doesn't have anything to do with the Freemasons at all.
Not to propagate a myth, but I can tell you, I do have it on good authority that at least one 33rd Degree Freemason enthusiastically approves of the product--he finds it crisp and refreshing with a easy-to-drink flavor.
In fact, I think I'll go have one now . . .
I couldn't even guess when I wrote the original version of this piece. Probably in 2007. I rewrote it and expanded it after 2011 and again after 2015. I added the Ben Franklin quote to this version. Let's just say it's made the rounds over the years. I like it because it's one of those weird conspiracy theories attributed to the Masons that people like to talk about--like the imagery on the the back of the Grand Seal of the United States that everyone claims is Masonic. I thought I'd post it again--I saw a discussion on the topic in one of the Masonic social media groups. They were both wrong as it turns out . . . Enjoy!
What happens during initiation? The Head, Heart and Hara
- Fireflies of certain species start flashing their little fires in sync in large gatherings of fireflies, in ways that can be difficult to explain under traditional approaches.
- Large-scale neuron firing can occur in human brains at specific frequencies, with mammalian consciousness thought to be commonly associated with various kinds of neuronal synchrony.
- Lasers are produced when photons of the same power and frequency are emitted together.
- The moon’s rotation is exactly synced with its orbit around the Earth such that we always see the same face.
Accordingly, the type of communication between resonating structures is key for consciousness to expand beyond the rudimentary type of consciousness that we expect to occur in more basic physical structures.
The central thesis of our approach is this: the particular linkages that allow for macro-consciousness to occur result from a shared resonance among many micro-conscious constituents. The speed of the resonant waves that are present is the limiting factor that determines the size of each conscious entity.
As a shared resonance expands to more and more constituents, the particular conscious entity grows larger and more complex. So, the shared resonance in a human brain that achieves gamma synchrony, for example, includes a far larger number of neurons and neuronal connections than is the case for beta or theta rhythms alone.
It’s resonating structures all the way down—and up.
Our resonance theory of consciousness attempts to provide a unified framework that includes neuroscience and the study of human consciousness, but also more fundamental questions of neurobiology and biophysics. It gets to the heart of the differences that matter when it comes to consciousness and the evolution of physical systems.
It is all about vibrations, but it’s also about the type of vibrations and, most importantly, about shared vibrations."
What does this have to do with Freemasonry? Think about what happens during the initiatory process. Is not initiation a series of rituals that has as its goal an alchemical transformation of the initiate from a base state to a higher state? What I believe most Freemasons fail to examine when we look at a candidate for Freemasonry, is if they are capable of receiving the transmission of the esoteric knowledge given in the degrees and applying it to their own lives. For the answer to the question above, the goal of initiation is to get the initiate to ask himself: "How do I develop a process by which I can become more self-aware, and accelerate the process of my own development?"
When the initiate is receptive, then the initiation will activate three primary consciousness or soul centers, which are called many names in many spiritual systems. The Gnostics called them: Hyle, Psyche, and Gnosis, The sufis: Head, Heart and Hand, The Qabalists: Assiah, Yetzirah and Briah, Buddhists call them: thought, speech and action, Those that study the system of Reiki call them: The Head, Heart and Hara. Regardless of what you call these, the purpose of the initiation is to activate all three of these centers.
Initiation activates the Head by making the thinking process illuminated. This illumination is the knowledge of spiritual realities and understanding of the spiritual depths of oneself. Through this illumination, you begin to ask questions like: who I am, why I am here, where do I come from, what is my purpose? You also become aware of your connection with the divine, and then perhaps reach an understanding that everything is a thoughtform or vibration from the mind of God. Is it an accident that the Master asks the Senior Warden: "Whence Came You?","What came you here to do?", and various other interrogatories during the opening in the First Degree? I don't think so.
Initation activates the Heart by cultivating a feeling of unconditional love. We are first made a Mason in our hearts. Why? Because it is by unconditional love or "Brotherly Love" as we call it, that we honor not only our interconnectedness but also our interconnectedness with God. When we fail to treat each other with Charity: which is not just our relief of those who are less fortunate than we, but which is the action of Brotherly Love of each other, we see the evil of man personify itself. However, when we Love and Respect one another as equal parts of the whole which is God, we see the ignition of a spiritual spark within our hearts. From this spark, an etheric light rises from us, into what is called our Third Eye, or that place above our heads which in esoteric Christianity is represented by the flame above the heads or the halo surrounding the heads of those who receive the Holy Spirit.
Initiation activates the Hara which is a Japanese word that means "Sea of Energy". It is the cultivation of action or will. It is normally represented as being near the navel, but it is essentially that will which we use to travel Jacob's Ladder or the will that is behind our ascent of the Winding Staircase to the Middle Chamber. It is the will to take action esoterically in order to use spiritual realities to change things on the physical plane. It is the willpower that is created by changing our consciousness to a higher level. It is the will which allows the transformation of the physical body into the idea of the spiritual body. It is the development and cultivation of our self-awareness and our interconnectedness to the divine which is allegorically represented by our movement from a dead level to a living perpendicular.
It is the goal of Freemasonry through it's initiation to awaken these areas within the initiate. Does it succeed? Maybe it does for a few out of the many. There are many brothers that I know who I feel are understanding of this purpose. That they are taking this journey, although it is one that might take a lifetime. They understand that it is a marathon and not a sprint, which is allegorically explained by the concepts of the rough and perfect ashlars. We must work to become perfect, to reach that frequency where we might resonate with God. I use meditation as one of many concepts or tools to attempt to work on my rough ashlar or to continue the process started by my initiation, even if it took me some years after to finally understand and recognize the process. It is never too late to change or to grow, to love one another and make a positive impact on the world. The change begins within, and once you have mastered that change within, then you will be able to change the world without.
WB Darin A. Lahners is our Co-Managing Editor. He is a host and producer of the "Meet, Act and Part" podcast. He is currently serving the Grand Lodge of Illinois Ancient Free and Accepted Masons as the Area Education Officer for the Eastern Masonic Area. He is a Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No.970 in St. Joseph. He is also a plural member of Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL), where he is also a Past Master. He’s also a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Danville, a charter member of Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter No. 282, Salt Fork Shrine Club under the Ansar Shrine, and a grade one (Zelator) in the S.C.R.I.F. Prairieland College in Illinois. You can reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Will They Know If You Don’t Tell Them?
I always run late and miss the interfaith service on the morning of the Grand Master’s Breakfast. I don’t know why, but it seems to be a tradition now. I may just keep that tradition and skip the Sunday service although I hear it’s nice. The breakfast and fellowship never disappoint, and I seem to find my way to the St. Louis Moolah Shrine Temple about the time the service ends each year just in time to shake some hands and be seated at my lodge’s table.
This year being no exception, it was a nice cool, rainy break from a run of near or over 100-degree days as I pulled into the mostly full large parking lot. I knew I would see some of my favorite Brethren from all over the state, and sure enough, they drove sometimes hours and hours to gather for the event. This year all three youth organizations banded together for the first time to assist in serving the breakfast, and it was nice to see all three orgs working together seamlessly. The Shriners were fantastic as always and very welcoming in opening up the large hall for the breakfast. I have the utmost respect and appreciation for the Shriners even though it doesn’t seem to be my path in Masonry. I encourage all Masons to do a deeper investigation into the Shrine to see if it fits with their path. The programming was good and moved quickly through many introductions to the speaker and then closing remarks, and a few of us retired to a local cigar lounge for additional fellowship and lofty conversation over beverages of choice.
Seems fairly pedestrian, right? Most of us experience some form of Masonic event across regional or even state boundaries, right? Well, no, and I hope to make this point: Many don’t know all Masons are welcome and encouraged to attend these functions. I know many Masons that have never visited even a neighboring Lodge, and that makes me a little sad. We must communicate and encourage others to attend these events and especially attend events like our Grand Lodge communications. I often hear those events are for “apron chasers” who belong to all the organizations, or that these events are for officers and those “chasing gold” by wanting to be appointed to higher offices. Believe me when I say that’s not the case. Yeah, I suppose we do have a fair number of Brothers who do chase the gold, but that’s no different than any organization, right? It took me a few years to get past my preconceptions to understand attendance to Grand Lodge functions helps demonstrate your voice, and your voice is important. Your voice is certainly as important as mine, and probably more so!
I also had to come to my own realization about those chasing the gold as I used to think the same thing. I admit I had a jaded view of organizational management when I joined the Craft, and that initial bias carried over to sarcasm and even some dismissive views toward Grand Lodge at the regional and state levels. After all, what and who were these people to me? I found out differently as I met and spoke with these fine gentlemen who give up so much time with family and friends in order to serve the Fraternity. Yeah, we may occasionally get a Grand Master here and there in some jurisdictions that may not be the best, but I found that to be a rarity. We in Missouri are very fortunate to have a very strong Grand Line both past and present, and I am excited for the future of the Craft. If you will take the time to talk to your Grand Line officers, your Masonic experience will be enriched. Taking the time to engage and work with your Grand line officers, or simply showing up at functions to show support makes a difference.
My Grand Line officers know I’m not chasing aprons nor interested in ever becoming a Grand Line appointee. How do they know that? I told them. I just don’t see Masonic administrative leadership as being my path in Freemasonry when my focus remains on helping others through education, communication, and mentoring. I also told these same Grand Line officers they could count on me if needed or as needed to get things done. These private conversations with the Grand Line officers pay off in ways we may never see. By making our interests known, by making our voices heard, by showing up and simply having a good time in fellowship with our Brethren, we set many wheels in motion behind the scenes. If you want to serve on committees or serve in other ways, how will they know if you don’t tell them? If you want to support your Grand Lodge but not serve on committees or by appointment, how will they know if you don’t tell them? If you are able to provide Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth in some way to your District, Region, or Grand Lodge, how will they know if you don’t tell them?
Randy and his wife Elyana live near St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Randy earned a Bachelors Degree in Chemistry with an emphasis in Biochemistry, and he works in Telecom IT management. He volunteers as a professional and personal mentor, NRA certified Chief Range Safety Officer and enjoys competitive tactical pistol, rifle, and shotgun. He has 30 plus years teaching Wing Chun Kung Fu, Chi Kung, and healing arts. Randy served as a Logistics Section Chief on two different United States federal Disaster Medical Assistance Teams over a 12 year span. Randy is a 32nd degree KCCH and Knight Templar. His Masonic bio includes past Lodge Education Officer for two symbolic lodges, Founder of the Wentzville Lodge Book Club, member of the Grand Lodge of Missouri Education Committee, Sovereign Master of the E. F. Coonrod AMD Council No. 493, Co-Librarian of the Scottish Rite Valley of St. Louis, Clerk for the Academy of Reflection through the Valley of Guthrie, and a Facilitator for the Masonic Legacy Society. Randy is a founding administrator for Refracted Light, full contributor to Midnight Freemasons, and an international presenter on esoteric topics. Randy hosts an open ongoing weekly Masonic virtual Happy Hour on Friday evenings. Randy is an accomplished home chef, a certified barbecue judge, raises Great Pyrenees dogs, and enjoys travel and philosophy.
The Masonic Philosophy of George Washington: Part II Founding Principals
(This is the second part of Bro. Frey's series--you'll find his first installment here)
|The Watson-Cassoul apron given to George Washington (1782)|
“Wishing to pay respect to our beloved Washington, I employed, in conjunction with my friend M. Cassoul, nuns in one the convents at Nantes to prepare some elegant Masonic ornaments, and gave them a plan for combining the American and French Flags on the apron designed for this use. They were executed in a superior and expensive style. We transmitted them to
accompanied by an appropriate address.” (Men and Times of the Revolution, Elkanah Watson,1856, pp. 135, 136) America
|The Layfayette Apron|
|Bro. Jean-Jacques Rousseau|
“Each of us puts his person and all his power in common under the supreme direction of the general will; and in a body we receive each member as an indivisible part of the whole.” (Oeuvres completes, Jean-Jacques Rousseau)
|General George Washington|
“If my endevours to avert evil, with which this country was threatened, by a deliberate plan of Tyranny, should be crowned with the success that is wished. The praise is due to the Grand Architect of the Universe; who see fit to suffer his superstructures & justice, to be subjected to the ambition of Princes of this world or to the rod of oppression, in the Hands of any power upon Earth.” Aug 10, 1782
|Washington the Freemason|
“No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the affairs of men, more then the people of the
. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation… Thus supported by a firm trust in the great Arbiter of the universe, aided by the collected wisdom of the Union, and imploring the divine benediction on our joint exertions in the service of our country,” (Washington, Inaugural Speech, 04, 30, 1789) United States