Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Essays Reveal A Good Cross Section

So Far we have posted essays on "What Would You Do As Grandmaster?" from South Carolina, Maryland, Massachusetts/Texas, Ohio, Kansas and South Dakota. We are waiting on additional essays from three more states - Georgia, Connecticut and California. So far the essays represent a good cross section of America and reveal the myriad of problems besetting those Grand Lodges. Some areas are doing well and some not so well. But what is even more interesting to me is a keener sense of what American Freemasonry is all about and how its unique flavor weaves into the regional social fabric of our nation.

I am looking forward to the three remaining essays from very busy Brothers. In the meantime we will go to other things while we wait.


Gingerman said...

Thanks for this question.

Errol said...

I only wonder Fred what this wonderful weave that Freemasonry does has to do with Grand Lodge politics.

Speculation is fine I suppose. Perhaps the brothers of three essays you are waiting for are practicing actual Masonry. I have found that when I myself actually visit lodges and make my impact IN the lodges, I have little time for internet Masonry. What writing I do is on Masonic symbolism and some cool esoteric ramblings.

Frederic L. Milliken said...

Errol, when I am in my Lodge, visiting Lodges, or at Grand Session I have no time for Masonic politics either. Yet, politcs is what rules us and if we do not pay attention to what is going on and what others are trying to do and to accomplish through the medium of government and arm twisting often labeled as politics, then we do not help Masonry grow and survive the tough journey it is experiencing right now.

Let me give you an example. As Lecturer for the Dallas Chapter of the Phylaxis Society my next presentation will be a review of Bessel and Roundtree's "Out of the Shadows". My reading of the book shows it is full of Masonic politics - all about recognition and the National Compact and who is irregular and clandestine. The Brothers who will attend need to know this, it is their history and sometimes you need to know what your forebears did wrong so you don't let history repeat itself.

I don't downgrade the actual practice of Masonry - I laud it and I write about it too! But refusing to work within the framework of those who rule and control the direction the Fraternity takes makes one a Utopian living in a world devoid of reality.

Withdrawing into the world of ideas and itellectuial stimuli and refusing to deal with the realities of those who are pulling and pushing us all into avenues where they want to go, makes us PAWNS instead of PLAYERS.

I'm for making a better world. I can't make a better world by withdrawing within myself and refusing to deal with reality.


Take a look at Teddy Roosevelt

Errol said...

I actually agree to a point, Fred. However, who are you writing to? Do the people who have the most influence in the areas of your hot spots read Fred's work, or is it the disgruntled clandestine Masons who have been kicked out or suspended. I like what I see from you much of the time, but think the message is often lost to the people that can actually do something about it. Your biggest concern to me over the years was that there was too much talk and NO action. I personally think we've come back to that

Gingerman said...

Bro. Errol,

I don't have much if any influence except by way of woids. I'm neither clandestine, nor disgruntled. I look at lodges with 300 members that see maybe 14 satisfied members in a year, and I ask why, and is there anything that can be done.

I ask questions, and get the same tired answers: We tried it once five years ago, and it didn't work. If you know anything about publicity or marketing, you know once don't work.

I'm so gruntled that I can say I love my Lodge, believe my Grand Lodge is going in the right direction, and that I want what I've gotten from Freemasonry to continue, and not be drawn into a continually shrinking circle of self satisfaction. And death.

Frederic L. Milliken said...

Well let me say Errol, that I do not participate anymore on Masonic Internet Forums except once in a blue moon.

Blogs are very personal. I write my Blog for myself. If nobody reads it fine. But if I should shuffle off from this mortal coiltomorrow it is a legacy for my family and my grand kids to witness.

I also do not spend the majority of my time on Masonic politcs or the infighting of the day.

I still mentor a PM form MA who is in Grand Lodge on a similar path to yours. We talk often.

My writings include historical and esotric work also most of which can be viewed on Phoenix Masonry, like "World Peace Through Brotherhood", "Native American Indians & The Influence of Freemasonry" and most recently "The Buffalo Soldiers".

Not only do I deliver talks as Lecturer for the Dallas chapter of the Phylaxcis Society but also educational segments in my Lodge.

My work is read by the past Senior Grad Warden ofMA and the current DDGM of my old District there.

I have a working relationship with the Prince Hall Grand Master in Texas as well as the Deputy Grand Master. I have delivered my paper "What Makes A Successful Lodge" at a Grand Session I have performed the "Canadian Charge" at a Grand Session Grand Raising.

The Grand Master recently gave me his DVD on the William H. Upton Masonic Memorial Ceremonial of 1991. It is fascinating.

I do what I can to influence people for what I see as a better world and better Freemasonry. I will admit I am not in everybody's Grand circle but I do feel I make a contribution.

Much of my time nowadays is devoted to mentoring new Brothers that come through the degrees at my Lodge.

All in all I do a lot behind the scenes not seen or heard or written about.

And I know Errol that is what you are all about and you are doing the same for a better world and better Freemasonry.

But to say too much talk and not enough action is a critque from afar without really knowing what the daily, weekly , monthly Masonic journey looks like.