MASONIC Digest Wednesday, 20 Dec 1989 Volume 1 : Issue 5 Today's Topics: What is Masonry?

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MASONIC Digest Wednesday, 20 Dec 1989 Volume 1 : Issue 5 Today's Topics: What is Masonry? (2 replies) Robert Heinlein - Freemason Pledge of Allegiance (2 msgs) Send all submissions and requests to ptrei@asgard.bbn.com. (From enet: DECWRL::"ptrei@asgard.bbn.com") MASONIC digest is moderated. Please remember: THIS IS A PUBLIC FORUM - YOU MUST ASSUME THAT MOST READERS ARE NON-MASONS. Please include a relevant subject line, and cover one topic per message. If you require anonymity, say so at the top of your message (and give a nom-de-net). All contributions remain the property (Copyright 1989), and responsibility of the authors, and may not be diseminated beyond the list without their express permission. My own comments remain mine (Copyright 1989 Peter Trei), and represent only my views at the time of posting - not neccesarily those of my employer, or of any Grand Lodge. ½PT- My apologies for missing last week - things here have been very busy. Merry Christmas (or other solstice celebration) to you all!| --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 7 Dec 89 11:58:52 EST From: inmet!justin@uunet.UU.net Subject: What is Masonry? Ok, an opinion from someone relatively fresh to the Fraternity (raised last night)... ½PT- Congratulations Justin! I'm sure it was a night you'll long remember!| Masonry is a Fraternity, in the best sense of the word. Being a Mason means knowing that, pretty much wherever in the world you go, there are people around who will be proud to call you "brother". Further, it is knowing that these are men who have been given roughly the same teachings that you have, teachings that stress all of the Virtues, and who can be trusted in whatever you need. Masonry is also a path of study. (This is why I most particularly got involved.) The Craft stretches back centuries, millenia in its roots, and in those years has accumulated an immense wealth of knowledge. In the months that I've been involved, I've never met a man who felt that he had mined out the wisdom of the Craft; indeed, never met one who thought that the end was in sight, even if he had been in it for fifty years. It is a student's dream, in which everything, upon being prodded a little, proves to have significances far beyond the surface. On the more down-to-earth plane, getting involved requires *asking*. This is probably the thing least clear to those outside the group. For various reasons, we do not proselyte. To join the Craft, you *must* directly ask to join. After you make application to join, and are voted in, you spend several months rising through the degrees, learning the groundwork of Masonry. Using myself as a rough timetable: I spent about three years getting up the gumption to actually ask to join; asked last April or May; made application shortly thereafter; was "checked out" over the summer (the Lodge was in recess, so things couldn't proceed until Sept.); was voted in in September; and rose one of the three degrees each of the successive months (spending a few nights each months working on the degree work). It takes a few months, but it is fascinating stuff if you like to learn... -- Bro. Mark Waks SKA Justin du Coeur ------------------------------ Date: 15 Dec 89 01:22:46 EST From: Steve Mesnick / Steffan <70166.1402@CompuServe.com> Subject: What is Masonry? (Queries from the uninitiated) NOTE: THE FOLLOWING COMMENTS ARE MY OWN; THEY ARE NOT *NECESSARILY* THE OFFICIAL POLICIES OF ANY PARTICULAR MASONIC BODY. Masonry is an organization of men (a fraternity) which has several aspects. It is a social organization, it is a benevolent (charitable) organization, and it is a philosophical organization. I think it is the last aspect that probably most intrigues the uninitiated. Masonry's goal is to improve the lot of mankind. This is certainly not unique; myriads of other organizations have the same goal to greater or lesser, broader or narrower, degrees. What makes Masonry unusual, I think, is the way its philosophies are presented and that is through certain rituals, ceremonies, and a good deal of symbolism. It is the secrecy which surrounds these ceremonies and symbols that generates a certain amount of mystery and mystique among the "profane" ½*NOT* a derogatory term; it is Latin and means "outside the temple"|. The symbolism exists to focus certain Masonic precepts teachings in one's mind, but the basic nature and the goals of the organization are public record -- as I have stated them in this public forum. Masonry, as I said above, tries to improve the state of mankind, and it starts with the individual. Masonry welcomes men who share its goals, but it scrupulously avoids recruiting. We do not openly solicit members; one must ask on one's own to become a Mason. Steven H. Mesnick, 32' JW, Ocean Lodge (Winthrop MA) PT- I havent finished my response to this topic - I'll post it later.| ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 13 Dec 89 18:39:45 EST From: dryfoo@ATHENA.MIT.edu Subject: Robert A. Heinlein, Freemason First let me summarize some recent traffic between Peter (our kind moderator) and myself. He suggested that this topic would be of interest to the readers of this Digest. I agree, and I hope that some of you can offer assistance in this matter. } From: dryfoo@athena.mit.edu } Subject: Heinlein } } Something I've been asking any Masons who I find out read SF: have you } ever read Heinlein's "If This Goes On" ? -- also published under } another title, "Revolution in 2010" or somesuch. } } If you have, you know why I ask. If not, I highly recommend it. } From: ptrei@asgard.bbn.com } } I've skimmed the heinlein, and know what you mean. He has a very short } piece in a recent issue of 'new destinies' which may also contain an } allusion. Do you know if he was a brother? I'm considering writing to } Virginia Heinlein and asking. } From: dryfoo@athena.mit.edu } } Yes he certainly was. I haven't asked Calif GL, but it's pretty clear } from his writing. (There are a few other allusions in other books, but } the one I mentioned is the clearest.) I haven't seen the 'new destinies' } piece, so if you could forward a copy or tell me where I can get one, } I'd appreciate it. } ½PT - The piece is "What I believe.", in New Destinies vol. 7 (pb, spring 89)| } I've already been in correspondence with Mrs. Heinlein. I gave a note } to Bruce Peltz, who had personally borrowed all the Hugos on display ½at } the recent Noreascon -- GD|. He was wrapping them up for return, and I } asked if he'd take a note to her for me. The note said, essentially, } that I was master of a lodge, and that I thought it would be a great } idea if the first lodge on the moon was named for her husband, and that } I was going to do what I could to make that happen. She replied with a } very nice note, and wished me well in the effort. I'm not sure what to } do from here.... Suggestions are welcome. ½PT- a word of explanation for non SF fans: Noreascon III was the most recent World Science Fiction Convention. The Hugo is the Science Fiction Acheivement Award, roughly the Oscar of the field.| In the my note, I said something about " 'the selling of the Moon' is taking longer than anyone might have hoped." Here's the text of the letter I received in reply: } Mrs. Robert A. Heinlein }

} Carmel, California 93922 } } 11 October 1989 } } } Worshipful Master, Ocean Lodge A.F. and A.M., }
} Dorchester, Mass. 02124 } } } } Dear Mr. Dryfoos, } } Thank you for your card which was sent on to me. } } Selling the Moon is going to require some commercial work, and I } do hope that your lodge on the Moon comes true some day. Robert } would have appreciated it. There was a movement on, backed by } the National Space Society, to name the first space station after } Robert, but something slipped. It's known as Freedom station } now. } } } But I thank you for your kind thoughts, and wish you and yours } all good things. } } Sincerely, } } } } Virginia Heinlein } (Mrs. Robert A. Heinlein) Well, that's it. Anyone out there want to help make this happen? Fraternally, -- Gary +----------------------------------------------------------------------------- İGary L. Dryfoos İ "A man's concepts should İARPA/Internet: dryfoo@athena.mit.edu İ exceed his vocabulary... İ UUCP/Usenet: ...mit-eddie!athena.mit.edu!dryfooİ İ Phone: (617) 253-0184 / (617) 825-6115 İ ...or what's a metaphor?" İ USPS: E40-342g, MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139İ -- Plato Schrimp +============================================================================= ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 6 Dec 89 17:23:27 -0500 From: steven Gatton Subject: Re: Toasting Her Majesty the Queen When Border Cities Lodge of Windsor, Canada, visits us for Table Lodge (tyled EA Lodge with dinner) we always (the Americans, that is) propose a toast to the Queen, and the Canadian visitors always propose a toast to the U.S. President. We also sing both National Anthems. I have never really understood why the Canadian Prime Minister is not toasted as well. Apparently he is just the current politico in office, and the real head-of-state is the Queen. Canadian input on this? Steve Gatton, PM Secretary, Wood County #112 Grand Lodge of Ohio ------------------------------ Date: Thu, 14 Dec 89 05:51:35 -0800 From: naylor@brianh.enet.dec.com Subject: The "Loyal Toast" Further to my reference to this in the Digest (vol 4), here's a further explanation. The "Loyal Toast" is purely and simply a toast which expresses loyalty to the ruling monarch. I believe in the middle ages it was used as a test of allegiance before battle by knights and barons in the field, anyone refusing to drink to the monarch being immediately denounced as a traitor, and the rules of chivalry being such that to drink without meaning it would be dishonourable. There is no Masonic connection with the toast at all. In the past, members of the royal family, although not recently a ruling monarch, have held high office, usually becoming GMM of England. The last GMM of Scotland in this category was King James, I forget which one! So, in a way it is very much like the pledge of allegiance in the US where you are pledging your allegiance to your country, not the craft. Fr, Brian ½PT- I'm not going to comment further on this topic. Others may continue if they wish.| ------------------------------ End of MASONIC Digest *********************

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