On The Level Podcast

The Lighter Side of Lodges and the Sacred Search for Truth

January 27, 2024 Christopher Burns Season 2 Episode 8
On The Level Podcast
The Lighter Side of Lodges and the Sacred Search for Truth
On The Level Podcast
Become a supporter of the show!
Starting at $3/month
Support
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever pondered the mysterious allure of Freemasonry or the significance of your own personal quirks? Join us as we embark on a journey from the lighthearted eccentricities that make us unique to the profound depths of Masonic traditions and spiritual enlightenment. As we kick off, Fred regales us with tales from his cruise escapades, revealing the ever-evolving luxury landscape and a humorous episode of grandchild shenanigans. But that's just the tip of the iceberg; our adventure takes an unexpected turn when we visit the Royal Victoria Lodge in Nassau, where the rich tapestry of Freemasonry intertwines with the local culture.

Exemplary degree work and the bonds of brotherhood shine through as we share experiences from various Masonic lodges, including the standout performances at Brandon Lodge. We'll navigate the nuances of marketing within the organization and build excitement for upcoming Masonic events, where the sense of community and dedication to the craft are palpable. Our discussions aren't confined to the lodge walls, though—they extend to the divine quest present in every Mason's journey, illustrating how allegory and symbolism foster personal growth and a deeper understanding of one's faith.

Lastly, we'll explore the founding fathers' vision for a nation built on religious freedom, delving into the challenges that arise when church and state blur the lines. This episode isn't just about Masonic tradition; it's a call to action for every listener to engage in open-minded dialogue and contribute to the collective pursuit of truth. Whether it's personal anecdotes or philosophical insights, we invite you to reflect on the transformative power of faith and the essence of becoming better Masons together at our next Grand Lodge gathering.

Leadership Lessons From The Great Books
Reading great literature is better than trying to read and understand...

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

Support the show

Speaker 1:

Hey, chris, yeah, fred, what's a Mason?

Speaker 2:

That's a really good question, fred.

Speaker 1:

You've reached the internet's home for all things masonry. Join Chris and I as we plumb the depths of our ancient craft, from the common gavel to the trowel. Nothing is off the table, so grab your tools and let's get to work. This is On the Level. Yeah, we're back. Oh yeah, we are back at it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we're back.

Speaker 1:

That is definitely becoming your signature greeting there, brother. I don't know, are you good with that or do you want to change it up?

Speaker 2:

Maybe just for season one. Okay, alright.

Speaker 1:

Maybe we should work on a different kind of intro for season two, which is coming very quickly, my friends.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, weeks. Now I'm sensing you're not a fan of my greeting.

Speaker 1:

I love your greeting, but here's what I know, having been an influential media personality for many, many years People just had to rip the earbuds out of their ears. No, if you keep doing it, it will become you. You will become it and it will become you. So you have to make sure these you know. Every time you do the same thing on an intro, make sure you love it, because it could become your trademark going forward.

Speaker 2:

Ah, I'll remain an enigma in my entrance.

Speaker 1:

An enigma. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? It sounds like, when someone calls you an enigma, are you offended or are you appreciated.

Speaker 2:

No, I get it a lot actually.

Speaker 1:

Dude, you are an enigma. Hey, I resemble that remark.

Speaker 2:

An enigma just means, people can't figure you out. Oh right, I like not being able to be figured out completely.

Speaker 1:

So it really it only sounds like ignoramus.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it doesn't actually connect to ignoramus, does it? No, those are two different words.

Speaker 1:

So if someone says you're an enigma, you can smile at them. If someone says you're an ignoramus, don't smile.

Speaker 2:

Unless you are an ignoramus, then you would be smiling. You can't help yourself if you're going to be smiling anyway, I smile all day long. I have no idea what's going on.

Speaker 1:

Someone told me once never trust a man who smiles for no reason.

Speaker 2:

Mmm man, he's just happy with life.

Speaker 1:

Now you're walking up to a crowd and the one guy that's always laughing or smiling as you're walking up, don't trust him. That's words of wisdom from a very smart man in my past.

Speaker 2:

Okay, okay, I am that guy. Why are we talking?

Speaker 1:

about this again. I don't even know where. Who am I and where am I? Have I ever met you before? Yes, you have, and your reputation is ruined because of it. You're wearing your hat. I like a lot.

Speaker 2:

Yes, I do like the hat. On the level of Fred and Chris.

Speaker 1:

I wore this hat. Let me tell you about my trip. I just came back from a cruise and you know I love those people who work on cruise lines. I love their story, I love the way the cruise line supports their families, but I don't ever need to go on another cruise again as long as I live. I'm sorry, I just don't Really.

Speaker 2:

I'm done. I think I'm done.

Speaker 1:

It's just not what it used to be. You know what I mean.

Speaker 2:

Like, in what way? Just?

Speaker 1:

total luxury All the time. No one ever says no to you, right?

Speaker 2:

So I need why are you going on a cruise Right? That's the point of it.

Speaker 1:

The first time, the second cruise I ever went, on a lot of my kids. There was a family reunion and my grandchildren got their own room. And I know what you're thinking, boy, that was a mistake. Well, they had a lot of fun. But what I told them was I said you guys can order room service, it'll be a lot of fun. Why don't you guys order some desserts for room service? And they ordered dessert for room service every hour on the hour until 6 am in the morning and when we opened up the door they were all passed out from sugar overload and there were 300 plates with various types of finished dessert residue all over them.

Speaker 1:

But my point is is that no one said no. And I went on this trip and I was told no, over and over and over again. Can I get an extra? No, I'm sorry, we can't do that anymore. We don't do it that way anymore. It went on and on and on. So I was like oh man, this isn't what I remember. I remember being luxuriated to the point where I was almost feeling guilty, but not of course, feeling guilty at all.

Speaker 2:

No, it's only a couple of days.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and the ships they're not clean, they're getting older, they're not really making any new ones. Care to say which line you were on? I was on Royal Caribbean. Shout out to Royal Caribbean. We've always loved Royal Caribbean. Now, of course, holland America is my favorite cruise line, but I don't get to go on those very much anymore. But it was Royal Caribbean and it was one of their larger boats Liberty of the Sea, a giant, massive, 15 stories off the water.

Speaker 2:

Massive boat Out of Tampa, out of Port Canaveral best place to take a cruise Out of the way to the other side.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, well, but if you're going to take a cruise, that port is the best one to go in and out of. But anyways, so here it was. One of the stops was that famous little island called Nassau Bahama, and I'll withhold my comments concerning Nassau Bahama. You may love it, you may be from there, you may be a bohemian and if you are, you're a beautiful person, because those people are gorgeous. Sure, I don't know what's up with that, but they are gorgeous people. So I decided I was going to go to the lodge there on Bay Street, which is the Liberty Nassau Liberty Lodge, number 422. And forgive me, brother, if you're listening, if I screwed that up. I will get the right, correct name spoken out here in a little bit once I look it up. But the I was taking pictures of the lodge from the front on Bay Street and now, apparently, that lodge has been there for 175 years. Wow, I mean for a long time.

Speaker 2:

The Goddess Beat.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, goddess Beat big time and so there's no way I'm getting in. It's closed, the gate is locked and I'll post some pictures of the gate and all that stuff. And I'm talking to a street vendor right next to me. He's trying to sell me Cuban cigars when I've got five of them in my back pocket. But if you know me, you know why. So all of a sudden, this man comes walking up and he started. He pulls out his keys and he's opening up the lodge and I'm like right in front of me.

Speaker 1:

Right in front of me. I turned around, divine appointment. I turn around and I walk towards and said, brother, are you a Mason? And he said oh, yes, I am, are you? And? And he put his hand out and I gave him a handshake and he kind of smiled at me and I told him. I said you know, I'm a, I'm a Mason from Sarasota Lodge 147 in Sarasota, florida, and here on vacation and I just wanted to you know. I was just looking at the lodge and he said well, would you like a tour? Oh, wow.

Speaker 1:

Turns out that he's. He's a past Wershful Master, okay, and he was just popping in to check on something, and just happened to be popping in at that moment, and so I got a private tour of the whole place. Man, it was awesome.

Speaker 2:

Very awesome. How long did he spend with you?

Speaker 1:

I probably in there a half hour, good half hour or so. He had things to do, I had things to do, but you know.

Speaker 2:

but that's pretty special.

Speaker 1:

It was really good and they have their part of the Grand Lodge of England is what they, what they're part of. So they're a little bit different than we are here, but not not much. I mean he, you know he tried me as a master Mason and I passed, obviously because I got in and that was a cool experience to shake his hand and and and we talked a little bit back and forth. He wanted to make sure I knew what I was talking about.

Speaker 1:

So, yeah, yeah, he gave me a little bit of it wasn't. It wasn't per script, you know, you know in the it wasn't, it wasn't read book per script, but he was, he was checking some things, he hit me with a couple of things. Yeah, To make sure, and then you know how did you do?

Speaker 1:

I did great. I made you proud. Yeah, yeah, you would have been very proud. When I told him that I'd only been raised to the degree of master Mason two and a half years ago, he was surprised, and and that's because of the podcast and all the stuff that you and I do, so I'm I'm probably a little further ahead.

Speaker 2:

I tell everybody free Masonry, it's not about the years, it's about the miles.

Speaker 1:

It's about the miles, man. Yeah, yeah, get, get some miles on you. That's right, absolutely. And so did he know about the podcast he did not know about the podcast.

Speaker 1:

However, he does know. Now he's going to share it with everybody at the lodge and they're going to be listening. They might be listening to this lodge here and it's the Royal Victoria Lodge, number 443, nassau, bahama. And a shout out to car to brother Carl Bethel, past Worshful Master of that lodge and a man who has absolutely dedicated himself. He's, he's, he's a, he's a true, true brother. I mean, he has participated and he has made himself available to Masonry in that particular lodge for many, many years. His picture is all over the place up there. His name is all over the place up there, very proud to have met that brother and to be associated with a man like him, very, very kind, you know spirit, and it was surreal to go through that lodge, you know, and to see, to see what.

Speaker 1:

I saw and to talk to that man. It was absolutely surreal. So what I would say to you guys listening is if you're out of town and you get a chance to always go, and even if it's not, even if it's not open man, go to the lodge and stand out front, just in case there's a divine appointment for you as well.

Speaker 2:

See, this is what Freemasonry is about. We're supposed to be traveling man right? Yeah, no that's right. You strengthen, you get out there and you visit other lodges and you see other cultures of other lodges and what they do, how they do things, and it'll re-energize you 100 percent.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

How much of a high were you on after that?

Speaker 1:

Oh, that sustained me for, you know, the whole day. I mean, I was absolutely. And the port outlet at NASA is not what it used to be. It's really really because, you know, the economy is not great. So the ships are coming in at two-thirds capacity, sometimes half capacity, so there's a lot of stress down there to get people to buy. You know, whatever it is, you know how they sell stuff when you go down through there.

Speaker 1:

If you've ever been there, you know exactly what I'm talking about. So it's really really super confusing, a little bit frustrating. And there's some people there it used to be that they were just so happy to see you, so gracious and kind and stuff, and you can just tell that they are. They're having to worry a little bit more about their own you know their own security, you know financial security and stuff, because it's really tough. The numbers, the cruise lines numbers, are way way down. You know, and so they're. You know it's definitely showing that is the number one import for their economy. So I'm sure it's rippling throughout that tiny little island. There's only 250,000 people on that island.

Speaker 2:

Maybe that's why the service was not as good as it has been in the past.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's one of the reasons why it's there. They're trying to rebuild. They were literally after the, you know, the, the Surveys of Sickness idea. They they certainly were struggling big time. They shut the whole system down, you know, and then tried to start it back up and apparently they're still struggling big time over all of that stuff. So funny that when you shut down your entire economy, it's kind of hard to start it back up. Who'd have thought, right?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's not fun, but you know what I love taking cruises. I mean, hearing your story makes me want to go out and take even a crappy cruise. That's better than nothing.

Speaker 1:

Well, I'm willing to have my mind changed.

Speaker 2:

Let's not be too hasty here. Give it another couple of years and try it again and see how it is.

Speaker 1:

I was thinking, maybe this weekend.

Speaker 2:

Oh wait, we can't this weekend. You have plans this weekend.

Speaker 1:

What's going on this weekend, Chris?

Speaker 2:

We are going to Grand Lodge in Orlando.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, man.

Speaker 2:

We'll be there Sunday afternoon and I think we're gonna be set up there all through the end of the day, Tuesday.

Speaker 1:

Yes, yes, we are.

Speaker 2:

I know that we have a booth in John Shafer, our executive producer Executive producer John Shafer. He has secured us a salon there, so we also have a private room.

Speaker 1:

Nice, so we'll be recording in the private room. Yeah, potentially.

Speaker 2:

If, for mobile, we could record a little bit with the general population yeah, yep, and then we could do some time in the private room too.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

And my wife decided not to go, so I'd love to record in my hotel suite.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we could do that too. Do kind of an off-script thing. Maybe there'll be some adult beverages and other things at that point Perhaps, I don't know.

Speaker 2:

Not too much. We'll see how it goes. Circumstriber passions, but yes.

Speaker 1:

I will be alcohol-free during work time For me it's work time. Yeah, same same scheme, so but after hours, I might be persuaded to try a premium whiskey with a premium cigar, which I will be bringing with me.

Speaker 2:

My goal will be to get on the air with Fred Drunk, so I'll see if I can get that.

Speaker 1:

Good luck with that one.

Speaker 2:

I'll see if I can make that happen for you guys, even when I'm drunk, I'm not drunk. Oh wow, that sounds like a challenge.

Speaker 1:

I accept.

Speaker 2:

So it's been crazy busy. I took some of our new brothers. We took a guy who just got his entered apprentice degree on Tuesday that same Thursday, and one of our brothers who got raised to the Master Mason degree this past Saturday but it was Thursday before, so I took a fellow craft and I have to Brandon Lodge.

Speaker 1:

Because he's cool like that.

Speaker 2:

I just love to travel and there are certain places that I love to keep going back to, and Brandon Lodge is one of them. Their lodge is beautiful and I love showing it off to people that I've never seen. They've only seen our lodge which is Pink. Yes, our Pink Lodge. We have a Pink Lodge, and I'm not joking.

Speaker 1:

I think it's Fuchsia, but Pink is Pink yeah you hear Bubblegum Fun.

Speaker 2:

you hear whatever, it's Pink.

Speaker 1:

It's.

Speaker 2:

Pink, I don't know, I don't know what it is guys. So Brandon Lodge, beautiful Brick wall. You know, folks, brick wall.

Speaker 1:

I've seen pictures. Sorry, Brandon Lodge, I've not been up there.

Speaker 2:

I gotta get up there, okay, well, we'll definitely go. You've seen Hillsborough Lodge, which is obviously the best.

Speaker 1:

Hillsborough Lodge is the Lodge of Lodges around this area. I gotta say I mean that thing is awesome.

Speaker 2:

Hands down, no touching that. It's the best. Well, Brandon is the second best, I think, that I've seen in this state. It's 10 notches above ours, obviously, but when you bring these guys and they see it for this first time and they see the ritual, in a different environment, you know, with different people their eyes really get open, like Mario Charles, who's yeah awesome, so active, he shows up everywhere. He's just so passionate.

Speaker 2:

And he was like yeah, I wanna go, so we were going up there. Learned a lot about I love driving with people. You get time alone.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, man, you're sealed inside a bubble. There's no way out.

Speaker 2:

Yeah not that I do but bond and we did, which is why I love traveling. So we got up there and he was like a fish in the water. He just wanted to talk to everybody and ask about their you know, tell them about his experience. And we were going home he said you know, this isn't me, you just don't know. But this isn't me. I'm like a quiet guy from Brooklyn. I try to keep to myself, but I just feel like every lodge I go into I feel so comfortable.

Speaker 2:

So you're seeing comfortable me and I was like good brother, you know, good You're feel, did you feel free, masonry? And they both said, yeah, you know Charles Allen, who's a new, he's a teacher in town, who's our newest Senator, prentice. He had the same kind of shocked experience of how because they are very good, rich at this at Brandon Lodge, right, they have like competition winning people. They competed at the state level for degree work and Wright-Warshville, hampton, gave a great lecture and he's won multiple competitions at the state level giving lectures and I can see why he's very good, did all the optional parts which no one even seemed to complain about.

Speaker 1:

He was doing such a good job.

Speaker 2:

Right, If you do lectures, you know you cut out as much as possible. Cause, right before you go on, five people say can you get this done in 10 minutes? Right, yeah, right, and you're like, okay, I guess I'm not gonna do the extra two minutes of speaking then. But he did all of them and you know what? It's the first time I've heard it done that way and I told him I'm inspired. I will always do all the optional parts from now on Nice. Because it adds. So much to the explanation of the lecture.

Speaker 1:

Right so much more.

Speaker 2:

So we did that, which was awesome. And then yesterday I was asked to go up to the Hillsborough County Master Mason Association meeting. You know they have two districts in that Master Mason Association Right and 11 lodges were present and a lot of the Grand Line people and past Grand Masters were there. So we talked about the Grand Lodge marketing reimbursement program and I went long.

Speaker 1:

I was supposed to do like 20 minutes.

Speaker 2:

I did like an hour, yeah, and they cut it off and I was walking off the stage in the Worshville Master of Hillsborough Lodge. Bless his heart, richie Andrews. He went, let me go. He's like, hey, where are you going? You're not gonna plug the podcast. And I said, you know I'm not good at that stuff. If Fred was here he'd be so much better at it, but Fred's out gallivanting around the Caribbean, I was gallivanting on the Caribbean.

Speaker 2:

I'm just here lowly slugging the hole, just you know, plugging away while he's on vacation, and I think he was cracking the whip through the phone. Work harder.

Speaker 1:

Work harder.

Speaker 2:

But no, he said I'm not letting that happen, brother. And so he told that whole room about the podcast and how awesome it is and how he's gotten so much out of it and how everyone should listen to it. So big shout out to Richie Andrews of Hillsborough Lodge a good friend of the show. Good friend of the show, he also invited us to speak at the symposium there in Hillsborough Lodge last month.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that was great, we've already talked about it, but that was just a great experience and he is one of those Worshville Masters. We talk about it every once in a while. There's just some men in Masonry who are kind of our statesmen. They're kind of men that are newer. Masons can emulate.

Speaker 2:

You can look up to these men and he's one of them.

Speaker 1:

I put him in that same place because he's the Worshville Master of a major lodge. His people have nothing but respect for him and his attitude towards service and towards the way he does it and handles himself is just absolutely. I think I'm a big fan of him.

Speaker 2:

You can tell that he's doing it with a lot of joy.

Speaker 1:

Exactly there it is. That's the word I was looking for.

Speaker 2:

He's just soaking in and enjoying every moment of doing what he's doing. And hey, my lodge wasn't pink and it was beautiful, it was big as Hillsborough Lodge and it was magnificent. I'd be exuding so much of the same kind of happiness and joy. I told him that you realize how lucky you are, right that you get to look out over this when you're presiding over meetings. And he said, yeah, it's not lost on me every meeting.

Speaker 1:

I realize how lucky I am, yeah.

Speaker 2:

And he is a lucky guy. But he's a right man for the right job. Right now he's doing such good things. He was in our district this weekend. He was at Manatee Lodge for a fellow craft degree. Oh, okay, wow we were doing a master Mason degree this is how busy our district is and at the same time we were doing our master Mason degree, manatee was doing a fellow craft degree Right and, as he knew a brother, see who was over there supporting him.

Speaker 1:

Huh, seems like Masonry is on the upswing.

Speaker 2:

Imagine that we're busy and we're traveling, and we're traveling.

Speaker 1:

So we have a master Mason association. We've been invited to one coming up. When is that? That's two days no, that's tomorrow.

Speaker 2:

That's tomorrow at Phoenix Lodge 346. We've been asked by our district instructor right first bowl. Douglas Dobbs, the right honorable district instructor at 23rd Masonic District.

Speaker 1:

Another fan of the show and the show is a big fan of him.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, I wish everyone could know Doug.

Speaker 1:

Yeah right.

Speaker 2:

So, anyways.

Speaker 1:

Just quick correction that's on the 25th, a Thursday, the 25th, which is not tomorrow.

Speaker 2:

Oh, tomorrow's Wednesday, Tomorrow's.

Speaker 1:

Wednesday. Chris doesn't know exactly where he is in space and time, but I'm here to help him, thank you.

Speaker 2:

Yes, you're right, it's Thursday evening. We'll be at Phoenix Lodge 346, the Scottish Rite building in Sarasota.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we've been asked to do a little bit of a little bit of what we do here on the show and we're gonna go through the three Ruffians. Yeah, do a little outline and then try to engage people into conversation. I wrote just a small outline that Chris and I will just kind of stick to. But that's what we do. We do little outlines just kind of get the ball rolling and keep it rolling. But at the end of the day, the idea is that Masonry is about you grasping the concepts of the stories of Masonry and applying them to your own life, applying them to your own vision for your life. And that's what we're gonna do on Thursday night.

Speaker 2:

Busy, busy, busy. And then, Sunday, we're off to Grand Lodge, where we'll be for a few days.

Speaker 1:

Yes, and then yeah, and it just keeps rolling and keeps rolling. I noticed our last, our last podcast released got 466 downloads.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you know what I've started doing is putting a lot more of what we actually talk about in the description of the podcast, okay, and I think that's helping a lot Wow, because previously we would just say Fred and Chris are talking about the master Mason agreement, Right about themselves again For the sixth time.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's it, and now I'm being much more descriptive of.

Speaker 2:

They're talking about this and this and they talk about how that relates to this and I think that is helping people.

Speaker 1:

Gotcha, gotcha yeah, I actually wanna listen when they know, maybe, what they're gonna get into Right on.

Speaker 2:

So we'll do more of that. Yeah, and I just again I'm shouting out to anybody who's listening.

Speaker 1:

Fan of the show. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It is growing and it grows every week. Every week it comes out. We get more and more people listening throughout the world, which just blows my mind. And Chris and I are dedicated. We said in the very, very first podcast that we ever talked about, in the very, very first podcast that we ever did, we both said that we're not the kind of guys that give up on things that we start.

Speaker 2:

No.

Speaker 1:

And that is true. We're not going anywhere, so we're gonna keep doing this until it's just simply impossible to do. I don't know what that means, but we're just gonna keep doing this and doing this and doing this.

Speaker 2:

Until the grand lodge sends the men in black to come.

Speaker 1:

Until they send the Illuminati soldiers to drain our bank accounts. Correct, yes, yes, good luck with that, brothers.

Speaker 2:

I think they did it already.

Speaker 1:

They did it oh my gosh, I'm broke.

Speaker 2:

Nope, that was just my poor decision-making.

Speaker 1:

Yes, that's right. That's right, you gotta be good at something. All right, so we're back in the manual here. This will be regardless of whether we get to the end of Master Mason or not. This is going to be our last hurrah into the Master.

Speaker 1:

Mason as an overview. Now, keep in mind, guys, you guys know who had been falling. From the beginning we went EA, fellowcraft, master Mason as an overview. So we just grab a section, we read it, we discuss it. Our ultimate goal is to go back and pick sections out of the Mentor's Manual that you guys really responded to and really dig in to them as parts of the show. So we'll go back to EA whatever section I can't remember off the top of my head, but there was a couple of things that we read through and discussed that really got a lot of great response. Well, we'll go back to that and we'll really dig into it and go deeper and deeper and then we'll just keep going.

Speaker 1:

Now, next season will be a lot about that. The beginning of the season, of course, is gonna be a lot of the interviews that we've been blessed and honored to be allowed to do at Grand Lodge, and I think that's gonna be really informative. If you're a Mason anywhere, but especially if you're a Mason here in Florida, that is going to be just a real informative format. We are not sure if we're gonna do whole shows of interviews or if we're just gonna do one interview per show as a feature. We're not exactly sure how that's gonna work, but we'll figure all that out and put it out there. Our goal is to make it entertaining as well as informative, which is the whole reason for any podcast. Entertainment and information and knowledge is the way it's supposed to go.

Speaker 1:

So, anyway, this week it looks to me like we're in the Mentors Manual, which is the 2008 revised edition, which is known as GL217, of the Mentors Manual. I am on page I can't even tell page 24 in section. I am on page 25, section 5.25, the lost word is the heading. It's pretty long, so I think I'm gonna read two paragraphs and we'll talk, and then we'll read two more paragraphs and we'll talk again and we'll just kind of go through it, or maybe just a paragraph at a time. Let's just see how it goes. You ready?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'm ready, here we go. Mentors Manual, page 25, 5.25, the lost word. The allegory of the search for the lost word does not necessarily mean that the search is conducted for a particular word, for it is not, in fact, the search for the word at all, in fact, the search for a word at all. However, what Guys hold on, you got this, I got this. The allegory of the search for the lost word does not necessarily mean that the search is conducted for a particular word, for it is not, in fact, the search for a word, in fact, for it is not, in fact, the search for a word at all, got it? However, it must be realized that, to the ancient mind, the word signified all truth, but particularly divine truth, the ultimate goal of all men.

Speaker 2:

So when we talk about a word, again, that's a symbol for something else. Some people get stuck in the simplicity or they try to be literal with these things, and you gotta remember that there's allegory involved in Freemasonry and that there's symbolism in Freemasonry, and that our job is to take everything that we're giving and try to figure out how to analyze it, what is it saying and how to apply it to my life. So here you go. The lost word isn't a search for a particular word, as the degree tells us, but it signifies our search for the actual truth and the meaning of life. Right, huh, the all truth, but particularly the divine truth.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and this the word, right the word. So anybody out there who knows who's listened to me before, you know we all, as masons, we bring our faith to Masonry and Masonry's supposed to make us better at it. That's the idea and for me, the word. As you know from a Christian background, I mean that's big you know the word you converted.

Speaker 2:

I thought you were a Muslim. No, no, oh. But.

Speaker 1:

I have lots of Muslim friends. I'm joking and I just absolutely love to sit and discuss with a Muslim who knows his religion is a fascinating person to sit and speak with. Anyone that really knows that it's true, it makes it's the richest conversations you could possibly have. If you're able to share your faith with someone else of a different faith over coffee and not pull out any swords and harm anybody, is absolutely worth it. So for me it's not a search for a word, it is the search for the word.

Speaker 1:

The word right. So it's. What is that word? Well, brother Mason, fellow Mason out there, what is it? I'm asking you, Go find out. If you don't know what is the word to you, what does it mean? Right, Because that's what it's the ultimate goal of all men. Right, but particularly divine truth, the ultimate goal of all men, that's what the word signifies.

Speaker 2:

People want to know what is the meaning of it all Go find it right.

Speaker 1:

And what does it knock? Seek, ask. Yes, sound familiar guys. Knock, seek and ask Don't give up.

Speaker 1:

Keep going, keep seeking, keep asking. In the Gospel of John we find the familiar passage. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. In this passage, john was not announcing a new doctrine, for this was familiar to the Jewish thought of his day. Only his identification with Jesus, with the word, was new. The idea properly belongs to all ancient philosophy Among the Greeks. It was the logos from which comes our word, our own word, logic, the name of the science by which we determine moral truth, the designation of truth as the word was not new in John's day. Now, that's true, that's a fact. The idea of the word, that passage right there, is from Genesis.

Speaker 1:

And then, of course, the first letter of John talks about in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God. That's where this comes from. He's tying the two together. So, I think that's what they're saying right here. They're saying that this is not new. John the evangelist was not speaking a new word in his day. He was referring to the original word from the beginning, talking about God logos as the word.

Speaker 2:

So we're saying that the word is an inactual word, necessarily. Literally, the word is the search for the divine truth, and now we're saying that it's actually the search for understanding and knowing God.

Speaker 1:

In a Masonic terminology. I would say it this way the word the grand architect of the universe is the word. To seek the grand architect of the universe is to seek the word.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's pretty clearly stated here in the Mentor's manual. Yes, it certainly is. So there's one way to look at the search for the word.

Speaker 1:

One way to look at it. Let's be careful here, because there's a lot of people out there who may not be going that way, and that's great, that's OK.

Speaker 2:

That's what Masonry allows, they should be going that way if they're Masons right.

Speaker 1:

I think that, if yes, my statement that the grand architect of the universe is the word and it is the duty or ultimate goal of all men to seek the word as the grand architect. Yes, I think that is very Masonic for any man who calls himself a Mason, I agree.

Speaker 2:

And that word could be different words to different people, but it's the same idea, is kind of the concept that Masonry is putting forth here, which is you call your God and save your Jesus, and another brother of a different faith might call him by a different name, but they represent the same idea, the same light, the same truth, same divine truth, which is yeah, I think you, as a Muslim, you look at God the architect is Allah and you have certain concepts and precepts that you look at the world through.

Speaker 1:

Your worldview is based on that. If you're of different religions, you have, you have.

Speaker 2:

You have Jehovah and Yahweh, and you've got Krishna and you've got the Buddha and all these other, all these different concepts and precepts.

Speaker 1:

Right, right, I just my thing is and you guys know what I'm going to say because I say it all the time my thing is know what you believe and know why you believe it. Don't come to the marketplace of ideas with the desire to discuss what you believe, not knowing what it is. Bring the receipts, bring go back, study, know what you believe, know why you believe it and then come ready to have a discussion with others, with gentleness and respect. Because I'm telling you right now, your life will never be richer and you will never be more challenged to dig into the truths of your own faith than by doing that Without argument, without angst or any kind of separation. I think masonry is very unique in this way is that we could actually come together as different faiths and religions and actually sit down and talk, have conversation and get up from the table and go out and serve our community together. I think it's very unique.

Speaker 2:

It's absolutely unique in the world, that we can all have a a connection to the divine, and it can be as different as they are.

Speaker 1:

That's right.

Speaker 2:

But we all share that commonality of we all feel the presence of some creator and that we're all trying to develop a relationship with that creator. And the labels get hopefully lost in Freemasonry. But those ideas bind us together, that we're looking for the truth together, even though we're separate.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's, that's right. And again, whatever faith you're in, whatever idea of God you have, Masonry attempts to make you better at it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean they're saying here, this is the ultimate goal of a Mason is to obtain the lost word, and the lost word represents the search for the divine truth, and so that must mean that all Mason should be searching for their own divine truth.

Speaker 1:

They through the system of Masonry, I would just say the divine truth. But yeah, I agree with you, I completely agree with you.

Speaker 2:

The divine truth. Yes, and some people may not be there yet, but this might help them get there. That's right.

Speaker 1:

The search for it, yeah, and in Masonry we there is a truth, right? So we we talk about the super, the vices and superfluidities of life, right that? Those are truths. If you follow those vices and superfluidities, your life will be ruined. That's a truth. That's the truth, you know. If you are a person who is just consumed by lust or greed or gluttony, those things will destroy your life.

Speaker 2:

That's truth, you know then there are the virtues. It's one of the lessons of the master Mason degree.

Speaker 1:

Correct.

Speaker 2:

That we say is that by following these debate, these passions which can debase and ruin you, you're almost guaranteeing that result yourself.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's right.

Speaker 2:

Follow those passions. The way that the story says. This is what happens when you follow your passions it leads to your destruction.

Speaker 1:

Right, and that's truth. That is. That is divine truth. It comes down to us, you know, and King Solomon. If you read the book of Proverbs, which is completely written by King Solomon, every single word in there is about how going, choosing route A will give you a blessing in life and choosing route B will destroy your life. It's all about that. That's, that is true, that's. And if you're seeking to live that life, to change the superfluidities and vices in your life, if you're seeking to do that and better yourself, you are in fact seeking divine truth and you're desiring for it to change you and change your behaviors and the things in your life. And that's Masonic, bro.

Speaker 2:

I love that and you know, a master Mason sought to obtain the word, the secret word, through hard work and dedication, right Like you didn't get the word unless you proved your proficiency and worthiness to receive it. So if you're expecting to show up to two meetings a month and just get magically some divine information from Freemasonry, you might be disappointed. Yeah, maybe it probably is going to take some work on your part.

Speaker 1:

It will take some serious work on your part. I'll just go ahead and say it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean you got to actually do things that don't make sense, right, Like why do I got to go on a Saturday afternoon and help some guys pull weeds?

Speaker 1:

Yeah right, How's this helping me? Come help.

Speaker 2:

Well, I'm serious. There is an. I mean, you think about master Mason's working in the quarry. It was probably tough, hard physical labor.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And probably not. You know you weren't seen as a elite who was pampered and had servants you out there sweating your butt off and perfecting your craft. But that's what was required to obtain the lost word Right? You had to get out there with your brothers, work hard, sweat and perfect your craft. So I'm sorry to say this, brothers, but I'm not sorry to say it you got to work hard. You got to do those things. The more you can show up and help your brothers pull weeds out of the lodge, you're only helping yourself. Yeah, that's right, you're. You know, through that work you're getting closer to getting that divine truth Of service, through service with your brothers.

Speaker 1:

I love it. I love it, all right. All right. Next paragraph. Perhaps the most notable attribute of man is the power of speech, whereby he is able to communicate his thoughts to his fellows. This, as far as we can determine, is not possessed by any other animal. As this fact has been observed by men down through the ages, it must have made a profound impression on the thoughtful minds of all ages. Thus, the word became synonymous with every manifestation of divine power and truth under the ancient system of philosophy. In our world, the Masonic search for the word symbolizes the search for truth, more particularly divine truth. The lesson conveyed to us is that we must search diligently for that truth and never permit prejudice, passions or conflicts of interest to bind us from its discovery. Our minds must ever be open to the reception of truth from whatever source, from whatever source, and, having once received it, to always act agreeably to its dictates. Hence, masons everywhere are devoted to freedom of thought, of speech and of action.

Speaker 2:

Love that one Freedom. Huh, freedom seems like a big deal in our country, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Well, and freedom to your own, your own, your own, your own, your own, your own, your free to pursue the good, the right and the beautiful.

Speaker 2:

Mm-hmm.

Speaker 1:

But if you think you're free to pursue, to pursue, to pursue what is evil and dark and wrong, you're wrong, because that act in itself will put you in bondage and take away your freedom.

Speaker 2:

Ooh, even if men don't, your soul's going to be paying the penalty.

Speaker 1:

And even your own conscience, your own mind and your own life. You know, I mean a man with a good reputation, who works hard, does well at his work, you know, in his work and stuff. A man who doesn't, doesn't do well in his work and then probably loses his job, loses his freedom and loses his ability, to you know, to do those things. So the pursuit of divine truth in and of itself is an act of of guarding your own freedom.

Speaker 2:

And there's another important line here, right before the end Go Minds must ever be open to the reception of truth from whatever source. Our minds must be open to the reception of truth from whatever source. That's an interesting thing to say.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

And that, once you receive it, you must always act greedily to its dictates.

Speaker 1:

Oh, that's interesting. I I didn't catch that little copy out there. Yeah, so once you find divine truth and you've received it then you must always act greedily to its dictates.

Speaker 2:

So you have found your divine truth.

Speaker 1:

I have, I have Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

As a good, as a good Christian, you try to always act greedily to the dictates of your faith.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. I miss the mark. You fail Almost every day.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, hopefully every day you miss it a little less than the day before.

Speaker 1:

That would be, that would be a deep seated hope of mine. But you know, we all here on this planet, we all fail, we, but we all fail to make it. But there is grace, you know, there is, that's that. That's that mercy, that unmerited favor. That's a whole doctrinal distinction there. But I get, I get where you're going.

Speaker 2:

And the very last line here is incredibly important. Masons everywhere are devoted to freedom of thought, freedom of speech and freedom of actions. Every man should be free to do as he sees fit, and this is assuming that you're trying to be good. I don't think this means every man's entitled to kill whoever he wants.

Speaker 2:

No, he's entitled to right. It's like, okay, if you're a good man and you're doing the best you can and you're really trying to not act out of a place of greed or negativity, just out of love, then nothing should ever stop you from doing whatever you need to do to fulfill your you know desire to be close to your creator. So if you want to pray a certain way, in public, you should be able to do that.

Speaker 2:

Or if you want to say something, you should be able to say that thing. These ideas were ingrained into our country at its inception.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

So I don't know how you can not connect the creators of our country to the system of Freemasonry, because its ideals are written into our constitution.

Speaker 1:

Exactly, and there's no way it could have been done through the church, because there were four different major denominations that were prominent throughout the colonies at the time and it would have been very difficult to get them together, except for an organization, a fraternal organization, that brought, that was non-religious, that brought religious people into it for a common purpose or goal. Does anybody know of one? I do? It would be Freemasonry which was very prevalent at the founding of this nation.

Speaker 2:

Yes, and these men, I believe, crafted an experiment of a government that we live in today, and they were, by and large, religious people. They were not atheists, for the most part no.

Speaker 2:

In fact, if they were masons, they for sure were atheists. Right, you know, that's the, I think, some confusion that's cropped up over time. As people say we were founded as a Christian nation, I think we were not founded as a Christian nation. Christianity is, and always has been, the most prominent religion in our country, I think. But I think the founding fathers intended religious freedom, not devotion to a particular religion, when they created the country. And I only say that because I believe Freemasonry influenced or guided these people in the crafting of our government. And these men themselves were probably Christian, most of them.

Speaker 1:

Most of them were Right.

Speaker 2:

But they had the foresight to not try to impress that on the entire country. But they absolutely wanted to impress people's freedoms to be exploring their own religious you know ideas without persecution.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, it was not crafted as a Christian nation.

Speaker 2:

I could see how people think that Like the Vatican or something like that.

Speaker 1:

But it was crafted. It was a nation crafted by people, by Christians and or those who had Christian influence. Thomas Jefferson was not a I'm using air quotes, quote a born again Christian, but he lived Christian principles. As a matter of fact, the famous Jefferson Bible where he took out, he highlighted with a black highlighter, all of the miracles, because he did not hold to any kind of actual miracles, but he did retain and lived by all of the, all of the statutory ideas, the 10 commandments, and that you know, true justice and liberalism, and that justice and liberty cannot be held by a people who are grossly immoral. And he believed that.

Speaker 1:

And he and he believed that, that the Christian faith was the best example, other than the miracles. He did not hold to the miraculous, but he did believe that it gave a clear picture of what a righteous or religious people should live like and how they could hold on to a country, a constitutional republic, you know, based on divine law. And so I, yes, they, they was never intended to be. The state is supposed to be the state and the church is supposed to be the church.

Speaker 1:

today, neither are acting like they're supposed to the state is not acting like the state and the church is not acting like the church, and that's probably the biggest problem that we've got going going forward, but we'll save that for a whole different point of all this. They're trying to mix things that shouldn't be there, right?

Speaker 2:

It's not working, right yeah.

Speaker 1:

For me, you know, as a Christian, I don't want the state to act like the church.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

I want the state to act like the state. That's, that's my complaint. You're not acting like the state. So you were in our founding, and in our founding documents it's pretty clear how you're supposed to act and what you're supposed to do for the benefit and blessing of all people.

Speaker 2:

Right. What is the purpose of your existence as a senator?

Speaker 1:

As a senator or congressman Right, it's not to be a it's to certainly improve the lives of the citizens. Well, it's to safeguard the lives of liberty. It's not, it's not. You know, you're not supposed to be handing out, uh, picking winners and losers, and let's not even get into all that stuff. But but my, my thing is.

Speaker 2:

I don't Beyond that.

Speaker 1:

It's money Right, it's always money it always, always boils down to money and influence.

Speaker 2:

And that's where we're at now. Take the politics out of it. It's just sheer greed and corruption. It absolutely is. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And it's broken. It's all sides and we'll see where it goes. Maybe Masonry has an answer for that. I know a lot of young men are coming to this fraternity looking for something that they're not finding anywhere else, and hopefully what they're going to find is a group of men dedicated to restoring manhood within our society. Whether and it doesn't matter whether you're a Christian or not, whatever it is, you're a spiritual person and you become something else along the way. Masonry can help you to put your feet back on the ground, figure out what it is that you want in life and give you a clear pathway on how to get there.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely Elegantly spoken.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's well, that's early still.

Speaker 2:

You should go on cruises more often.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, right, no I should not, I should not. I ate like an idiot. Ugh, I still feel sick. Okay, do you want? Do we want to go on to another one?

Speaker 2:

I think there's one more paragraph here. Oh, I'm sorry.

Speaker 1:

Infremasonry. However, we are not in that. We are not invested with the true word, but with a substitute for it. We are thus reminded that in this life, we may approach an approximation of truth, but never attain it in perfection. The search will continue, but not until we pass into a higher state of existence will divine truth be disclosed to us.

Speaker 2:

I like this. I like this. This is essentially saying that the allegory here is that we got the substitute for the secret word in the master Mason degree.

Speaker 1:

Right, because the secret word was taken was lost with him.

Speaker 2:

Yeah right, so we got a substitute which is never going to be the real deal and we, as people symbolically looking for the divine truth, are only ever going to get a substitute for the divine truth because we're completely incapable of perceiving the truth Correct, just totally incapable. We're not built to understand or perceive the divine truth as these flesh bags walking in this dust bowl in space. We can search for it and it makes us better and gets us closer to it, but until we die we won't experience the truth.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think that is very powerful statement.

Speaker 1:

I just I think I will. I just learned something here which I'm pretty excited about, because the reason we have the substitute for the secret word is it's an allegory of the fact that we're we're searching for truth here in this world, but we will not receive perfect, divine truth until we leave this world. Yeah we've been given a substitute. The substitute is good for this plane, the plane we're on.

Speaker 1:

Good, as it's going to get here it's it's right, it's, it's the substitute, but the real word, the true word, the true divine truth, it awaits us on the other side. That purports really well with, I think, all faiths, yeah, every, every faith can can look at that.

Speaker 2:

It's kind of saying that every faith is a substitute for the real thing.

Speaker 1:

Um kind of yeah, I suppose.

Speaker 2:

We, like you, say repeatedly I know exactly what I believe, I know exactly what the truth is for me. So that means you found you kind of have your grasp on the substitute for the master's word. You feel pretty confident that you're in the right place and on the right path. But this is saying until you pass, that's when you're going to see the real. This isn't the real. That's going to be the real, and I think that's where we're all going to be united, because we were all searching for a relationship with that grand architect that created us all, our celestial parent, and some of us call him mommy, some of us call daddy, some of us call uncle crazy.

Speaker 2:

But, when you get there, it's just the entity. It's not going to be labeled anymore.

Speaker 1:

Well, I and sure, sure, I mean, like you said I, my faith is is what's known as a historical truth claim.

Speaker 1:

So we claim to have the. We claim that something happened 2000 years ago, that was an ultimate truth in history. So and that's the rub, that's why Christians always end up getting burned at the stake, because they hold that kind of stuff, because it's it's the crux of the faith. So for me, the substitute is exactly that. It's it's that. The substitute for the word is this life lived by faith, you know, in in. You know we live by faith, not by sight, right?

Speaker 1:

We believe in something that we cannot see. So, and we, we await something that is real on the other side. Well, that's the real word, that's the true word. See, I am, I am currently living, and this is Fred talk, and this is, this is I'm. By the way, like I just said, I just learned something here, so I'm still formulating this out loud which is always dangerous. But I'm, I'm, I'm living the substitute word Right.

Speaker 2:

I'm, I'm living it. It's the best you can do. It's the best you can do.

Speaker 1:

And we learn, and and that's why I'm always trying to ask other people about you know what it is they believe, why they believe it. Tell me something, give me something, you know, because I'm always wanting more, but it doesn't. It's never going to be perfect.

Speaker 2:

No.

Speaker 1:

It's never going to be so deep, so perfect, that I can say that I have it all and you should have it too. I can never say that, but what I can say is that is that what I have found, what I have found is in my for me, is actually the truth.

Speaker 2:

Right, which is good. That's what we're called to do is find the truth, but it's still a substitute for the real truth, the real temple that we're headed to.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, eventually, and and it is only there that we're truly, truly going to know exactly what was what you know, and I encourage people please investigate. It's the most important thing you can do in your life. Yeah To investigate the spiritual side of this world.

Speaker 2:

When you do that, when you look at history of humanity and when you look at modern society and you look at where we're going and you see all the different faiths Like you said, a lot of them have historical truth claims, most of them do, especially the ones that have lasted through time, the big three. It's hard to imagine that there are these places where the good people of this faith will be in that eternal place. The good people of that faith will be in that internal place which is separate from the eternal place of the first group. It's, I think, much more reasonable to assume it's the same eternal place and that you'll probably be with people a varying faith in that eternal place if they were good, righteous people, and you probably won't care when you pass because at that point we're not worried about this mortal crap that drags us down. You know are the places we were raised and the people we were raised with color, everything about our perception of this world. I was raised in Buffalo, new York. It's like country of the north.

Speaker 1:

And really cold.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, super cold. But I was very limited in my formative years to the people and the places. I didn't want to be born a Buffalo Bills fan, but I was and I had no say over that.

Speaker 2:

No control over it, you know, but that that's what I'm saying. Like the bigger picture, we can't perceive even people that travel and do a lot of scholarly work, that you know they're looking for the truth and they're examining and trying to take bits and pieces of it, but the fact that they're thinking about their creator that much puts them on the same plane as the guy who was born in upstate New York, that just spent his life in a Presbyterian church seeking the same truth, as the guy who's traveling the world looking at Egyptians and Muslim traditions, Like he's still seeking the same truth that I am, and we're going to find different paths to get there. But at the end of the day, when we're both dead, the hope is that we'll be together in a place of just love. Right, isn't that? What everybody, every faith, really is saying is that you want to get to a place of just love for another human being, without Even the people that hurt you, even the people that are bad to you.

Speaker 1:

Right yeah, post to love. We're supposed to forgive those. Not only forgive those who love us, but forgive those who hate us and was the challenge, you know you. So, if you, if you think you're doing it, I, I forgave my five-year-old, you know for. Or my, you know I forgave my mom, you know I forgave my. Okay, that's great, great, but did you forgive the guy that did X to this? Right see, that's the real challenge. That's the hardest thing that anyone can ever do. I don't know how I got off on forgiveness.

Speaker 1:

But well, it's a part of the divine truth part of the divine truth is forgiveness, because it's, it's this, it's For me. It always comes back to that same parable. You know, it's the, it's, it's the, the. The manager who was forgiven by his boss a hundred million dollar debt and then ran out the door and Grabbed by the throat a man who owed him five dollars and choked him. Give me my five dollars. Give me my five dollars. You were just forgiven a debt of Massive amount.

Speaker 1:

Yet here you are, and that's that is always on my mind when I try to hold Unforgiveness towards another brother and it always brings me back to I need to release what I'm feeling and sometimes I need to go to that brother. It's hard if it doesn't hurt him Right. Sometimes we ask for forgiveness to help ourselves feel better about our guilt, when it will actually harm the person who had no idea.

Speaker 1:

Yeah so we've, we've got to be smart, we've got to be masons and Masonic about it, but I'm always thinking about that. The, the amount of debt that I have been forgiven is Far larger than anything anyone's ever done for me. And believe me, I'm like, I'm like you guys out there. I've had some pretty, pretty nasty stuff done to me in my life, for sure, no doubt about it.

Speaker 2:

Well, that's kind of it's interesting, because we can't perceive the truth. We're not capable of it, and I said this to somebody. It's like I saw a movie I think it might have been a Bill Maher movie, because he was knocking Christianity.

Speaker 1:

Oh, was it religious or something? Yeah, yeah, he went to halfway through it.

Speaker 2:

He went right here to Orlando. They have the Holy Land experience.

Speaker 1:

Oh right, that's Rodney Howard.

Speaker 2:

Brown yeah, you're familiar by Universal Studios out there. Yeah and he's there trying to make fun of like the reenacting Jesus's Crucifixion and stuff right and he just he's talking to the guy, this actor playing Jesus, who's dressed like Jesus, while he's interviewing and he just blows his mind because he's like you can't know the truth and he's like, no, I can't any more than I can tell this aunt how a microwave works. He's never gonna understand, right, but that doesn't change the fact that microwaves exist.

Speaker 2:

Because I can't understand, it doesn't change the fact that it's a real thing, that exists in the world. Yeah, we don't fully understand the divine, but that doesn't change the fact that we all know it's there, right, right, yeah? So yeah, people are gonna come up, you know. You drop it, a battery on an anthill and they're gonna bite it and try to eat it and use it for whatever it is.

Speaker 2:

It's doing their life, and and if they can't, they're never gonna understand why we is it or what it's for in our world. Because we're just not capable and people are the same way. I think about the divine truth. You can drop it right in our laps and we will try to bite it and we'll try to shoot each other with it and do all the things people do with stuff that we get, but we're never capable of understanding it fully. Yeah, that's so. We're people.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and, and I know that in my in the very beginning of where I came, you know, to faith, I did not know. I was not raised in the church. I was raised by parents who wanted nothing to do with religion at all. They made fun of religious people and I, I Remember I was in a very, very bad, bad place and I remember crying out to God. God, I did not cry out to the Presbyterian God, the Baptist God or Buddha or any any other God. Yeah, I just cried out to God.

Speaker 1:

Are you there? Yeah, you know, and if you are there, please make yourself known to me that I could, you know, live in peace, because I was not living in peace up to that point in my life and God did, in fact, show himself to me as real and has done so ever since, and that was 30, more than 35 years ago, you know so. So, yeah, there there is. Let's just cap it off here. There there is. There is a God. We're masons, all right, we, we profess deity. There is a God. We will not reach perfection here.

Speaker 2:

We will not reach perfect we're not capable of. We're not capable of it. We were never built to be perfect.

Speaker 1:

But but what we can do is as masons Within our lodge structure, within our fraternity. We we can walk together on this plane, from different religions, different beliefs, different backgrounds. We can help each other along the way to live a life that is conducive to learning more truth. Because you're, if you're, if you're, stuck and steeped in all kinds of vice and superfluid is and, and, and I'm not gonna catch that word and and, a and a and a. Vices and superfluid ease superfluidities. But the I'm looking for the verb, not the. Oh. Anyway, I know now you're thinking. I see it on your face. You're trying to think of it too passions which debase and ruin right.

Speaker 1:

But if you're living that life, you're not in a place to discover divine truth. Because you're your, your behaviors are gonna get in the way. If you're harming other people with your words, if you're harming other people with your actions, you're not in a place to even hear truth. You're not gonna hear it. Masonry does a good job of bringing you in and laying some foundational work. First and foremost. Look, here's the thing we need to circumvent. We need to circumvent our passions. We need to subdue those negative things in our lives and begin to blossom and walk in those good things in our lives so that we could be open To divine truth. Right?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and you know, what we learned today is that the word separates us from all other living creatures we're aware of that have ever lived because of speech.

Speaker 2:

We have the ability to communicate through words, and so that means words are the thing that separates us from every other animal that's ever lived it's what separates from the animals called slithered on this earth that we live in, and so it would seem to me that it would be wise of us to learn words and Accumulate as many of them as we can from history, so that we can try to use this power that we have To better understand the unknowable.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's good man, it's really good, I tell you I. I gotta say, and I Know we get a lot of emails From people, this is this is what I enjoy About this podcast the most.

Speaker 1:

It's just being able to to take the basic foundations and Principles of Freemasonry as found in this manual and there's other writings too that will obviously get into down the road but and being able to just discuss them openly as brothers, back and forth. You know and and you and I don't agree on everything. We have a different, a couple of different.

Speaker 2:

Anyone.

Speaker 1:

I agreed with everything right because if you, if you're with somebody who totally agrees with you, one of you is unnecessary. Yeah, it's pretty boring, but I hate that me too. I love that me too. Yeah Well, that was fun, all right, bye. Okay, challenge each other. Yeah, that's right up a little, you know.

Speaker 2:

I was speaking in last night about the Grand Lodge marketing reimbursement program and Was challenged publicly by right.

Speaker 1:

Officer.

Speaker 2:

I've heard about this and there was no bad feelings.

Speaker 1:

That was just an open discussion Ideas and it was passionate, pretty passionate, pretty presentations, but in the end yeah, and then people heard both sides of that argument, which is good. That's what we want.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's like if you don't examine it from every angle, you're never gonna fully understand the situation. Yeah, that's right, you have to hear opposing viewpoints. We're supposed to be open, according to what we learned in the master Mason degree, to the truth from any form it might come from. So, whenever somebody's talking, especially which you say all the time if you Dislike something or you have a problem, you go to the front of the line.

Speaker 1:

That's right.

Speaker 2:

Our minds are open, we're listening or we're open to anything that anyone has to say that can help us be better, and if we can do it, we probably will we?

Speaker 1:

yeah, that's right.

Speaker 2:

It doesn't change who we are, because we know who we are we know who we are.

Speaker 1:

We know, yeah, we know. We know we have our vision and we're open to changing our vision based on truth. Somebody comes with a truth that cannot be. You know that that can be understood and and you know We'll we'll change. I mean, I'm open to anything. I have not found anything, but I've studied it because of my OCD. I've studied it and studied it and studied it down many, many rabbit holes, which apparently is not is is somewhat unique, not. A lot of people waste their time, and some of it was a waste of time for me, but I Know I got you to where you are today, right one way or another.

Speaker 1:

I don't worry about it. Yeah is the thing. I don't have any stress over it, nor do I worry about it, but I am open To discussion about any of it and all of it. And let's, let's just leave it there, brother.

Speaker 2:

Yes, yes.

Speaker 1:

I wanted to go and and do one more, but I don't think we have time for that. So we, if we do another master Mason Episode, I think people will come back to it.

Speaker 2:

We'll come back to it. Yeah, if we do another one, like you were saying, we got to come back to all of these things. Yeah, yeah, right but we have given you Seven or eight hours of master Mason talk now. Yeah, probably ready to hear about something else.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, we'll move. We'll move to something different, but it will definitely be. You know our, our esoteric teaching. You know the, the basics. We'll take the basics of masonry as found in published works and we'll discuss them On the podcast and we will wait with baited breath for your comments so that we can discuss those as well. We do have a good amount of emails of Of that have been sent to us this season. We'll start to to disseminate some of those next season and talk about those and address some of the things that we've heard and seen, especially the negative stuff. We've had some comments and stuff so we'll we'll address that. But yeah, if you guys are out there and you haven't contacted us, please do, please send us an email or whatever you know, whatever medium is out there come to Grand Lodge Tell us to our face.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, man, come to Grand Lodge, we have a booth. We will be there with a big banner. Yeah, we got a big banner, man. I haven't seen it yet, but it's supposed to be quite impressive, if you desire it, you'll be on the show.

Speaker 2:

Just come by, say hi, come by, shake some hands. Listen, babies, we're gonna be selling some hats and shirts. In fact, if you go to on the level with Fred and Chris calm, we have an online store where you can buy your own on the level spreading Chris.

Speaker 1:

That's crazy shirt, or?

Speaker 2:

hat and probably be adding more things in the future for you. I think at Grand Lodge we do have a surprise.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we're unveiling unleashing something new that will help support the show, so I'm pretty excited about it. It's been a lot of hard work. Shout out again to our producer, the Schaefer.

Speaker 2:

John the Schaefer.

Speaker 1:

The force of nature who has been very busy, working very hard. He's an amazing human being. Funny thing about John he was on a cruise.

Speaker 2:

We did a master Mason degree Saturday. John played a Ruffian. He played a Ruffian. Yes, you know, and anyone that knows John knows he's not a ritual guy. He's like I'm just not about the ritual. He did the Ruffian and we had four guys, so he got to do it four times. At the end, when it was all over, he came up to me and he's like yeah, I think I kind of want to do this again.

Speaker 1:

I said yeah, I knew you would man.

Speaker 2:

I knew it. You just got to get your toe in the water and, boy, that water feels good. Yeah, man, sweet, he got the bug. So he's now a ritualist Ha-ha sucka.

Speaker 1:

Tell me you're not into the ritual work.

Speaker 2:

You will be into the ritual work I love it.

Speaker 1:

It is addictive. It is addictive. I got to be honest with you. Especially the master Mason degree. It's a lot of fun.

Speaker 2:

When we do it, we're really trying to go for it. I love it. Each of those Ruffians has their own characteristics and we try to play them properly, which is really entertaining.

Speaker 1:

Speaking of that, the master Mason association meeting that we're going to be at this Thursday, in two days, we are breaking down during the educational period. Chris and I will be breaking down the concept of the three Ruffians. It is an open meeting. It's not a closed meeting, so we won't be discussing it completely openly, but anyone can come is what I'm trying to say. Anyone can come and sit in on it. We won't be disclosing any secrets there. Everything we'll be talking about is a published. It's like the podcast.

Speaker 2:

Just like the podcast, we can talk about a lot.

Speaker 1:

We'll probably run over and we'll probably have a lot of fun.

Speaker 2:

I hope so.

Speaker 1:

I hope so, man, because I know you do too, brother. I love doing this. I absolutely love it. It is the highlight of my week. I talk to a lot of guys that listen to us while they're working out or while they're jogging and running and stuff. It just blesses me. I hope we can continue to do this with greater and greater quality and relevance for everyone listening. We want all of you out there to be better Masons. We want you to be better Masons today. We'll definitely do our part.

Speaker 2:

You can be assured of that. We'll do our best.

Speaker 1:

Alright, listen, man. I got to run. What about you, man? Yeah, it's time to get to work. We got to get to work. Hopefully we'll see you guys at Grand Lodge this coming weekend. Come say hi to us at our booth and shake our hands. We'd definitely love to get to know you. Send us an email anytime, for any reason, man. We'll try to get back to you as quickly as possible, not getting harder and harder to do with more and more emails coming in. That's.

Speaker 2:

Fred at onlevelFredandChriscom or.

Speaker 1:

Chris at OnTheLevelWithFredandChriscom spelled out as one giant word that gets right to us. Anyways, my brother once again, my brother and worshipful master of my lodge. It has been an absolute pleasure and I will see you on the next one.

Exploring Freemasonry on "On the Level"
Unexpected Meeting at Masonic Lodge
Freemasonry Experiences and Upcoming Events
(Cont.) Freemasonry Experiences and Upcoming Events
Search for the Divine Truth
Divine Truth and Freedom in Masonry
Freemasonry and Religion in America
Seeking Truth and Love in Faith
Exploring Faith and Open-Mindedness in Masonry
Becoming Better Masons and Upcoming Event

Podcasts we love