On The Level Podcast

The Fellow Craft Degree: The Intersection of Science and Spirituality in Masonic Tradition

January 27, 2024 Christopher Burns Season 2 Episode 15
On The Level Podcast
The Fellow Craft Degree: The Intersection of Science and Spirituality in Masonic Tradition
On The Level Podcast
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Embark on a fascinating voyage with us as we unravel the tapestry of Freemasonry's teachings, symbols, and degrees. Our latest episode takes you deep into the transformative passage of the Fellow Craft degree, from its operative origins to the speculative journey we embrace today. We lay bare the significance of completing the Master Mason degree – a commencement, not a conclusion, of one's Masonic exploration. As we navigate the nuances of lodge management and discuss excerpts from the Mentor's Manual, we offer a fresh perspective on the foundational aspects of Masonry and the importance of revisiting them, even as one ascends the ranks.

Step into a world where corn, wine, and oil are not mere commodities, but powerful symbols of mental and spiritual wealth within Freemasonry. We contemplate their pivotal connections to prosperity, peace, and joy, and their role in ceremonies that tie us back to our agrarian roots and the very advancement of civilization. Discover how these symbolic wages reflect the luxuries of stable societies – the ability to pursue the arts and philosophy, and the evolution of architecture from rudimentary shelters to grandiose edifices. Join us as we tie together these symbols with the broader themes of the Fellow Craft degree and the pursuits that stabilize and enrich our culture.

We close the curtains on the episode by diving into the harmonious dance between science and spirituality, and the profound spiritual symbolism infused in Freemasonry's practices. From the ritualistic anointing with oil to the cherished concept of earning one's non-material 'wages', we explore the intersection where scientific discovery and higher power contemplation converge. We demystify Freemasonry with a light touch, debunking outlandish myths while celebrating the true essence of Masonic fellowship and personal growth. With music and shared Valentine's Day musings, we end on a note of community, encouraging our listeners to engage with their own interpretations of the craft and the bountiful resources available to them.

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Speaker 1:

Hey Chris, yeah, fred, what's a Mason? That's a really good question, fred.

Speaker 2:

You've reached the internet's home for all things masonry.

Speaker 1:

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. Well, I'm going to go ahead and get started. Hello, hello, hello. What do you say, man? How's it? Going, it's going great it's doing fantastic.

Speaker 2:

I am very excited to talk some more about the fellow craft degree. Fellow craft degree, that's right.

Speaker 1:

I was reading a little bit of the history of it. I guess we're jumping right in. No banter, Gosh. What's happening to us? We got time to banter with you. We got a fellow craft degree.

Speaker 2:

Ain't nobody got time. A little bit of the history of it, of course, the operatives.

Speaker 1:

Under the operative system there was only two degrees. The fellow craft was the master mason degree. Upon coming into the speculative era of our craft, they broke those two out and it's an interesting read on how it works and I like it. I think the thing that I like about the fellow craft is that, I think, the three degrees. it spreads it out further and it gives you more opportunity to slowly, carefully learn through all the way to the beginning of your masonic life, which is the master mason degree. Once you become a master mason, you are ready to begin. You didn't end. That's not an ending, that's a beginning.

Speaker 2:

That's so true. People don't realize that. You know, and it's tough to tell somebody that when they're going through six to nine months of this process of catechism, give back catechism, give back that at the end of this you're just starting.

Speaker 1:

That's right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you can't tell them that you lose a little momentum, but it is true, you get to. After all this work, you get to finally sit in those coveted stated meetings. You're just so excited to see all the fun things that happen in the ceremonies and the rituals and the mysticism that must be happening in there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. And then you ask yourself questions like are we still talking about getting a card reader so we can take credit?

Speaker 2:

cards we have been talking about that for over a year.

Speaker 1:

We're in year two in our lodge of talking about that, yes, when I first came to our lodge we were talking about that and well, last stated, meeting.

Speaker 2:

Well, actually, we've approved it and purchased it, but there are parts of our lodge that don't like it, and so now the struggle begins. Oh yes, yes To use it or not to use it, who has more political power in the lodge will find out.

Speaker 1:

Eventually, the Mighty 147 will catch up to the 90s and will have a ability to receive payment through credit card.

Speaker 2:

Anyway, I don't know how we got it.

Speaker 1:

There's your first rabbit trail. Ladies and gentlemen, Boom. A little bit of the inside baseball there, letting our little of our dirty laundry out to the world.

Speaker 2:

Well, we got there because we were saying you know, fellow craft degree, your head is into it. Now You're like really involved in this process and it's all very informative and structured and it's fun to say old English words. Sometimes it is fun to say it and you sound like, wow, I can't believe I'm saying these things.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, right, yeah, like the way this sounds.

Speaker 2:

And then it's starting to eke its way into your natural vocabulary and you start to slip out a big word here and there and you're like, wow, I'm becoming a better Mason, I'm smart. And then you get to those meetings and you realize, oh boy, this is what it was all about and you've got to get involved in the appendent bodies and get more degrees and more knowledge. Or you go back like you did and you kind of start from the beginning and dive deeply back into that stuff and that's how you get better as a Mason. Yeah, that's right, but either way, your journey is just starting.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's right, and I think that every Mason in the modern era, if you will, should, upon becoming a master Mason, should endeavor to go all the way back to entered apprentice and go through your mentor's manual, go through your books, go through all the handouts and know what it means to go through the entered apprentice, fellow craft and master Mason degrees and redo your memory work. Get on it. What is it? What's the first one? Silver Silver card. Yeah, you know, that's what Get working on those things because yes To not to be a master Mason and not know you know the basics of the craft is a dangerous business and we find that all the time with people who are in positions of authority who don't know the craft and that's a bit of a problem out there these days and I know if you're listening to this, you know exactly what I'm talking about that we have. We have a crisis of Masonic understanding in a lot of the management areas. I'm not thinking of anyone in specific, but you know that's a problem Knowing the craft. Why would you be in a craft of moral, a system of morality, and not really understand what it's about or where it came from and all of that stuff? And I'm done preaching on that one. Let's talk about the fellow craft degree. I thought, chris, we would read. We talked about, I think last time we left off. Let us read from the Great Book of Knowledge. And we'll read from the Great Book of Knowledge the Mentor's Manual. The Mentor's Manual, which is published, so we can read from it.

Speaker 2:

Yes, so everybody knows you can find this. We're not revealing any secrets.

Speaker 1:

You can find it online. Yep, it is GL217. If you wanted to be geeky about it, but I thought we'd the wages, which is 4.10 in the Mentor's Manual. We left off, we talked about the jewels.

Speaker 2:

We finally getting paid in Freemasonry and we're getting paid.

Speaker 1:

Yes. Some wages in Freemasonry. That is correct and I'm going to read. It's just a paragraph. I'll read it. Maybe we can talk a little bit about it. Maybe, maybe, perhaps, we can talk a little bit about it. We'll see how this goes. 4.10, the wages Money. The wages of the fellow craft corn, wine and oil are the symbolic wages which are earned by the fellow craft who completes his task and comes to the middle chamber. These symbolize wealth in mental and spiritual realms. The corn represents nourishment and the sustenance of life. It is also a symbol of plenty, as the term is applied to opportunity for doing good work for the common wealth and service to mankind. Wine is symbolic of refreshment, of health, of spirituality and of peace. The oil represents joy and gladness as well as happiness, and recognizes these as a natural sequence following the partaking of the corn of nourishment. Taken together, corn, wine and oil, the symbolic wages of a fellow craft, represent the rewards of the good life. Corn wine and oil are used as elements of consecration in the other Masonic ceremonies of which the fellow craft will be informed in due time. A little bit of a mystery there.

Speaker 2:

These are highly symbolic things that we're using everyday objects to represent. If you were to say, hey, here's some food, and here's a drink, and here's some oil you wouldn't think much of that. If you weren't a Freemason you'd say, okay, this is weird, but I guess it means something cool. With the oil, the wine and the corn make sense as food goes together. We did public ceremonies with these things. You can find in George Washington pictures where he's putting corn wine and oil on a cornerstone. These are very symbolic things and I think they touched on it there. If you take corn, for example, corn, we know, isn't meant to be like an ear of corn. It's meant to be like representative of wheat or grain, which is the foundation of civilization. You had nomadic man in the Meso times who was a hunter and they had to travel around and hunt animals to survive, which is a tough life. They had to follow the herds. They weren't constantly changing environments. They had no roots. The idea that you could bring your food with you, or you could bring your food to you, you could actually plant it and grow it and harvest it, changed the way that we lived as a species and is the first pillar of society. I think that we're no longer nomadic. Now we can put roots and start a community thanks to grain. That's the first wage of a fellow craft. Is that symbolic foundation of society? That's kind of powerful symbology.

Speaker 1:

It certainly is.

Speaker 2:

Here's your first, this is something to remind you of something so powerful it gave a civilization. Here you go. You're going to receive some of this.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, processed wheat or corn. It speaks to a lot of things. How did it get processed? An agrarian society grows the grasses of wheat and corn. Corn technically doesn't really appear in nature, I get that, but it was originally wheat. To have wheat, stone ground wheat in front of someone who's making bread, well, they got to know a little bit about agriculture. They got to know a little bit about stone masonry, because those mills that grind that stone have to be designed and built and created. I think that the wheat, the corn, like you said, it represents that society, a built, thriving, working society that can feed itself, you know, industrious enough to feed itself. And symbolically we can take that as masons. In the same way, the corn, the wage that I receive, is symbolic of my ability to care for myself, my ability to and the lodge itself too, even the lodge To be open, to correctly handle their finances and their money.

Speaker 2:

Yes, I guess you could say that it does symbolize abundance and wealth, which does tie into money in a way, but maybe not morality, but it definitely is a symbol of abundance and wealth.

Speaker 1:

Sure and plenty. It says as well. It shows that right, the Plenty of corn, Plenty of wheat and corn, right and plenty is a sign of blessing.

Speaker 2:

It is.

Speaker 1:

It's a sign of blessing. It's a sign of doing what is right. Doing what is good brings about blessing. You know the writings, all the writings of Solomon in the book of Proverbs are all about. You know do what is right and be blessed. Do what is wrong and go without. You know, yeah, and it's. I think that the symbolism of wheat as one of the wages of a fellow craft, mason, cannot be understated.

Speaker 2:

And it tiesthis ties into a theme that's threaded throughout the fellow craft degree, which is looking at the formation of society and the beginning of man's knowledge and intelligence and art even. Because, as hunters, you're not living a life of plenty, you're living a life of every single piece of that animal we need to use. We're going to need that for heat, we're going to need that for food, we're going to need this to lure other animals, like nothing could go to waste. There was no abundance. Everything was like lean, mean, scared, and where's my next meal coming from and how long is that going to be? But now we have a food that we can grow, which means we don't have to go hunting, following, worrying about food, so we can start to spend our days and our energies dreaming, thinking about things of the arts, artistic and philosophy and high-minded things. We don't have to be constantly digging and fighting and hunting anymore.

Speaker 1:

Which ties right into the Felicraft degree. As you go through it, we're talking about orders of architecture now right, right, yeah, the first formation of society.

Speaker 2:

we had architecture in some shape or form, and so we start to trace that too. Sure, it started with some simple sticks and we've gotten up to these beautiful, elegant pillars through time. And the architects are to think and the geography and sciences, and math and logic and using arithmetic all this stuff plays into the beauty of architecture and the science of architecture. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And I think I read it in the other handout for the Felicraft degree is that it started. If you just think about the very beginning of architecture, it started as shelters. So where did the shelter begin? Perhaps it began in a forest, where trees were just cut down yeah, and they were. A lean to was created and then a roof was put on it to get out of the elements and from there Just thatches of grass, we ended up.

Speaker 2:

Whatever you could use a shelter, we ended up with.

Speaker 1:

You know the, the. If you go to Greece and you see the, the, what is it? The, the pantheon, and uh, completely.

Speaker 2:

Doric structure. Right yeah, the entire thing is in the Doric style. The.

Speaker 1:

Colosseum, and then you go from the Colosseum to the great cathedrals in in Europe and in England and Germany, and then and then go to New York City and see the, the buildings you know, and all of the architecture Washington DC See the Bar-a-Powers Right Modeled after those first Greek structures.

Speaker 2:

And influenced by the Romans, who refined it. Um, and here we are still imitating them, thousands of years later.

Speaker 1:

And it still comes back to architecture. You know one the, the, the foundation, the strongest part of it, the foundation, and you build.

Speaker 2:

There's a rabbit hole worth going down. Architecture comes from God. It does. And we learn it through nature. God talks to us about that. Through nature, we observe, we study, we see the, the way that things can support weight and the designs that form, you know, of a shell, a spiral shape, anything, the way the trees grow and can fall on each other and support weight as pillars Uh, there's a lot. Look at a bee's honeycomb. How much, how strong is that when you weave that together? And from nature you can learn how to, you know, use these things in our lives through architecture and science to enrich us and improve our technology. But we didn't invent it, we just observed it in nature. And where does nature come from? To amaze? And it comes from your creator. So that's right. There you go, you're speaking directly to God through nature.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and like uh like um. Sir Isaac Newton said it's uh nature and nature's God. We we observe, if you look in the stars every morning at four, 15 am, I let my dogs out front. I've done it for the last 20 years and I look up in the sky and at this point I can see what season it is, because I do it every single day and it's dark and it's right around the same time and season after season, I can see the same stars and planets that come by every single year and it's it's uh, I, I imagine myself on the planes of you know uh, wherever uh, you know uh, 5,000 years ago, uh, staring up at the stars, where there there is no modern convenience. I'm not, I'm not who I am, I'm, I'm a man of that time and I can see something that is stark and that is design. It is designed, it is the same. I look up on this day, every year, the same day. I look up and I see the same, the same star patterns. I see the same things over and over again. I look at the forest, I look at the trees, I look at the birth of animals, I look at the birth of my own children and I see design, uh, poetic, fluid, amazing design. From that mankind has begun to. They we build, and it's just like you said, Chris, it's, it's. We observe it. Yes, we didn't create it, we observe it. We're thinking God's thoughts after God. God thought them, he created them, he brought them about, and and then we think them. That's what Sir Isaac Newton, the famous, you know. He's sitting under an apple tree and the apple hits him in the head and he immediately thinks to himself well, why, Right? Why does? Why? Doesn't it fall up? Why doesn't it fall sideways? Why does it fall down?

Speaker 2:

This is how science is created. It's just an observation and a measurement of the natural world, our observations and measurements of it, to try to have an understanding of the rules of the world in which we live. Even if we don't understand the why's, we can still measure things and not understand them and even utilize them. I mean, I think about. I had surgery Wow, rabahul within a Rabahul that's new we had. I had surgery and the. I'd never been under anesthesia before and the and the doctor put something in my pocket. He's like when he's this on you. Later I said oh, is that the good stuff? He said yeah, it is, it's the best stuff. And I said hey, doc, I'm a little nervous, maybe you could help me out. Like I had a fear of flying, so I went and learned how to fly, I got my pilot's license. I'm really scared about being under anesthesia. Maybe you could explain to me how it worked. I'll be a little less nervous. He said Well, the funny thing is we don't really understand how it works ourselves. We just know that, if you're a certain weight, that this is how much we need to give you in order to get this effect. But we don't fully understand how it works and I thought he was shitting me. No, I went and researched it.

Speaker 1:

We don't know how this stuff works, right.

Speaker 2:

We just observed it, measured it and use it now to our benefit, but we don't have a full understanding of how it works.

Speaker 1:

Oh, and that's that's true in in so many things like, for instance, going back to Newton he. He designed mathematical systems for identifying gravity, right, right and and and force and and entropy and all that stuff. But at no time did he. He never. No one, still to this day, knows what gravity is. We don't know what it is. We can measure it. You know terminal velocity, the calculus and all that. Thank you Isaac Newton, someone. Some people say he was a Mason, I don't know, but um, yeah, but um yeah, who knows?

Speaker 2:

but?

Speaker 1:

everyone was a Mason, according to Masons. But um, if you were a smart guy you probably, may, probably, were Masons want to claim you, yeah, yeah, but there, if you and if you even look at atomic the, the, the atomic um nature of life, right, everything boils down to atoms and and we can, we can scientists way smarter than I have hypothesized and and theorized that it is a nucleus spinning around a. You know, you've seen the little picture of the center the neuron protons going around each other and they can identify that and with some fairly good degree of certainty, that that picture, that cartoon that they drew of those things happening is real. However, what they can't tell you is why right. Why does it keep spinning? What makes it spin? Well, I submit to you, my brothers, is that it is God. It is God who continues to uphold um his creation. He's the sustainer and provider of all things. There is not a radical molecule in all of the universe that God is not currently upholding. Now, that's my opinion.

Speaker 2:

I think you have a different opinion.

Speaker 1:

I think that's fine with me, but that's that's the way I see it.

Speaker 2:

Most people would agree with you. I think the people that wouldn't agree with you are the people that don't want to acknowledge God's hand in controlling their lives.

Speaker 1:

Probably Sure.

Speaker 2:

I'm not saying atheists. Well, atheists would definitely argue with you on that. But I think even people that aren't atheists might argue with you on that, because they just don't want to accept that. Uh, you know there are things that you're never going to understand. We will never understand, but that doesn't mean that they don't exist. Right and that they're not present, and the more that we use what we call science, which, in my mind, is just a methodology of observation of nature. That's all science is. It's an attempt to find repeatable patterns that we can explain. You're just revealing God's truth. So just because you uh, I get what they're. They're saying, okay, let's not just put our heads in the sand and say, well, it's God, so we don't have to look anymore, We'll just accept it's God. That's not what you're seeing. You're saying I don't know what that is, but I sure as hell know God's behind that.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

And if you keep looking and you probably hope they do and you discover oh, here's the reason that this is rotating here. This is why this is repeated out at scale throughout the entire universe. Great, now you have a better understanding of God. Right, science isn't killing your belief in God. No Affirming your belief in God, absolutely affirming it Right and I don't know why people don't understand that simple Like people are like oh, you're a scientist, you must not believe in God. And the scientists that believe in God are like. Why?

Speaker 1:

Right what it reaffirms everything I believe.

Speaker 2:

You know, this is just me finding him everywhere, or her, depending on what you believe God is.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's right.

Speaker 2:

So just because you say, well, I don't understand it, so it's God, don't misunderstand it that Fred is ignorant and saying I don't want to understand what that is he does, but he's not going to say it's a mystery that can never be explained. It's already explained in your mind, because the same creator that made that thing you explained but didn't know how to explain it at one point, made that thing that we can't explain right now. It's the same. It's the same stuff. That's right. Same creator, same processes.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's right. I mean for me during my search that it was what is the most plausible explanation for why we are here. Why is there something rather than nothing? Nothing would have been a lot easier, Right, Well?

Speaker 2:

science can back that up because look laws that everyone accepts. Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can only change form.

Speaker 1:

Correct.

Speaker 2:

That's the fact that we all accept scientists and everyone. Where did the energy come from then? Right, that's something science can't explain. Right now they try with some outlandish ideas of a big bang. I mean, they've been teaching me that since I was a kid. It never made sense to me, and when you question teachers you can tell it doesn't make any sense to them either.

Speaker 1:

Well, because nothing can create nothing. Nothing ever could. So, if there was a big bang, what was prior to that big bang? And that's where they start making fun of you and insulting you. But for me, I'll go back to what I said Plausibility. What is the most plausible explanation for why this is a deep rabbit hole?

Speaker 2:

Wow, simulation. We're in a simulation. That's another one you've got to deal with.

Speaker 1:

Well, that's one of the three right. But at the end of the day, for me, natural selection through random variations didn't get it. For me, there was too many unanswered questions. I just couldn't go there. What is the most plausible explanation? There is a creator. There was someone prior to this terra firma that we stand on, more powerful and complicated than it. Who created it? Now, you can call him what you want. I'm a Christian, so he is God, he is Yahweh. But there is there. We're going to have to get off this one and get on to the next one.

Speaker 2:

I'm curious, though, because this is taking us to a point where we might have differing opinions possibly. That would be good. So what were you just saying there? Right there, I had something in my mind to address Some eyes, won't you? Based on what you are saying, and now I've lost it.

Speaker 1:

Now you've lost it. You haven't had enough caffeinated sports drinks. I'm a weak energy drink this morning. Well, I'll get back to it. Plausibility, I mean. What is the most plausible explanation? For why we are here, something rather than nothing. Remember, at the end of the day, natural selection through random variation.

Speaker 2:

That's what it is. That's an evolutionary understanding.

Speaker 1:

Natural selection through random variation. And if you talk to folks who hold to that atheistic basically an atheist or a naturalistic understanding, some people are shouting I'm an evolutionary theist. Fine, we can talk about that later.

Speaker 2:

The labels are impressive.

Speaker 1:

All of these labels. They go on and on and on. But if you want to talk about random variation through natural selection or Darwinism, as it originally was formed, it breaks down. It just breaks down. Too much for me. I can't go there. Because once you get to the point, what happened prior to there being nothing Right?

Speaker 2:

That's what you're always going to come back to in anything in science, because Darwin observed a natural process that I don't deny, because you can actually see it happening. Evolution is a thing. We're constantly in a state of mutation, and that's one of the geniuses of the creator. I don't think these things are mutually exclusive. I think they go perfectly well together. A creator wise enough to endow something with the ability to adapt to its environment is a great gift, a great boon to give to something. It's not harsh, it's not like the temperatures changed. The species has been selected for extinction.

Speaker 1:

No.

Speaker 2:

The temperature changed. So there's this process of random mutation and there is going to be a mutation for everything Colors are going to change, sizes are going to change.

Speaker 1:

Even objects. Sex of things can change. That's micro evolution.

Speaker 2:

It's constantly popping up and the ones that fit the environment naturally are going to be the ones that are desirable. So they bred into the new generation. A guy with web feet, born into people who have been stuck in the ocean, is going to be the most desirable guy at the party. So it makes sense to me he's going to spread those genes Because it's right for that environment and the inbuilt ability for every living thing to mutate and adapt or hybridize is genius. That's just further proof of a creator that is intelligent. To me, so the observation of it in nature doesn't preclude the existence of God in that process. I don't understand why there has to be a separation on evolution.

Speaker 1:

Well, there's a lot there to go through, but with the discovery of the DNA, the blueprint of all living things, it changed a lot. So there is a pre-programmed blueprint for all living things. So that kind of set a standard that if you want to be intellectually honest you have to look at that. So random mutation is known as a micro-evolutionary process, and it's true we adapt, but what doesn't happen is known as macro evolution. In other words, a pregnant giraffe gives birth to a hippopotamus. It's not going to happen. My wife is giving birth to my second child and I have to close the windows in case it's a pterodactyl that comes out of her.

Speaker 2:

That's not going to happen. That would lower the birth rate.

Speaker 1:

if you might have a pterodactyl, there's like a 1% chance Right, there's a 0% chance of that ever happening and the reason why is because we know now, in an age of scientific enlightenment, that everything reproduces after its own kind. It's written into the code of what it is and there's all kinds of arguments back and forth, which are fine. I'm not opposed to arguments. I try to know what I believe and why I believe the things I believe, and I try to study it and be responsible in my response to other people who disagree with me. But at the end of the day, you know, you cannot, in my opinion, you cannot, look at this creation and say to yourself this is an accident. You just can't do it. It's not, it's not do it, and I don't care what faith you're from the sides of the gods are.

Speaker 2:

The odds are astronomical. Impossible to calculate, they're right. They're incalculable. Impossible, that's right, that's right.

Speaker 1:

Okay, all right, all right.

Speaker 2:

The wages. That's great that this simple discussion about corn wine and oil brought us to the creation of men, Well, we've only talked about corn.

Speaker 1:

We haven't really got to the wine or the oil man.

Speaker 2:

Look at how deep these things go.

Speaker 1:

When you really strip back the layers Like there's a lot to this and I hope people listening will get with a group of guys you know of fellow masons and have these kinds of conversations and remember gentleness and respect for those you disagree with. Do a little study, know what you're talking about. If you don't be honest, and go, you know research and return and have these conversations. Man, open up your minds Because it will liberate you. And that's what we're going to talk about the seven liberal arts and scientists.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, maybe by part nine of the fellow craft.

Speaker 1:

Maybe by part nine of the fellow craft degree.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, okay, we're going into four parts on this baby.

Speaker 1:

All right. So wine, wine represents refreshment, health, spirituality and peace, gladness, happiness, and it recognizes these as a natural sequence following the partaking of the corn of nourishment. Together, taking together corn, wine and oil, the symbolic wages of the fellow craft represent the rewards of a good life. So the oil sorry, the wine it has always represented happiness, contentment. It's just always been that symbol. You know, in Christianity being a Christian that's where I come from you know the bread and the wine, the wine that represents the blood you know it represents that, you know that healing aspect of salvation, you know that blood that was given, you know for the people. So for me wine is always going to be that representation of that satisfactory happiness. You know, when you drink wine, you know, as long as you don't drink too much because you won't be happy the next morning. But wine makes us happy, right, it symbolizes joy, happiness fulfillment.

Speaker 2:

It also symbolizes the symbol of success. Like you're in, you're part of a society that had time to crush grapes and ferment it and go through this whole process just so you can have a tasty drink that makes you get tipsy. You kind of made it as a society if you've got wine available, you know access to this, and so it's used as two things. Right, you said consecration, masonic consecration. It means it's something important and you will see people pouring wine on a cornerstone at a lake, so they're consecrating that stone. And it's also like a reward after a hard day's work, you can relax and have a refreshing glass of wine, which symbolizes that if you do a good job and you work hard, at the end of your day or your life or whatever, however far you want to extrapolate this there will be a reward that you'll enjoy.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's right. Let me read it again. Wine is symbolic of refreshment, health, spirituality and of peace. So that's what the book says anyway is about the wage of wine. Wine is given to us as a symbol and I always go back to the symbolism of it because that's what we do. We're speculative masons. So what is the symbol of this wage trying to tell me, and how can I use it in my life? Because this is all academic? But for me, if it's symbolic of refreshment, of health, of spirituality and of peace, what does that mean to me? What is the wage that the fellow craft degree gives to me represented in wine? What does it mean?

Speaker 2:

I think it's basically saying that you are a man, you work hard and at the end of your day, you should be able to refresh yourself, and we talked about that in the inner-deprentice degree. You have to set aside time for refreshment or else you'll die of a heart attack at a young age. if you don't relax a little bit, and so here's something that is being given to you by nature's bounty that you can use for refreshment in your downtime, and we already know that it's important in masonry for a good man to have downtime and to refresh himself.

Speaker 1:

That's right.

Speaker 2:

Well, we don't promote alcohol or wine in the lodge. That's not appropriate. That's a time for us to work, but at home or during refreshment, masonry is saying, hey, have some wine, relax. You deserve this. You deserve a little refreshment and relaxation.

Speaker 1:

It's important. The corn represents nourishment and sustenance of life and the wine reminds me to seek refreshment or seek rest and leisure, to seek health, seek spirituality, seek peace. Enjoy the wine, Take in the wine by seeking these things and having them evident and in your life. If you're a mason and you walk around without any kind of health, spirituality, any peace, if you're constantly miserable, then somebody's eventually going to ask you why, why?

Speaker 2:

do you do this?

Speaker 1:

Why are you doing this? Or maybe they're going to think well, it doesn't work. It's not really working for you.

Speaker 2:

And nobody's going to want to be like you.

Speaker 1:

Nobody's going to want to be like me if I'm not taking these things in and expressing them in my life.

Speaker 2:

That's not a good masonry. Mason's supposed to be an example of the ideal that people should strive for.

Speaker 1:

Right. Somebody who's got a full orbed rounded life, and it comes back to that same thing. It's that moral life that's bent towards brotherly love and affection, a guy that does the right thing, even when it costs him, when it's hard to do. But we do the right thing and we love our brothers even when they're unlovable. But we don't have any of those at the 147, so we don't have to worry about that part Hell. No, Sorry, I just felt like throwing that in there.

Speaker 2:

Now the last one is oil man. This one can go, because we've mentioned oil before in the inner-deprensit decree.

Speaker 1:

Correct.

Speaker 2:

We mentioned how it's part of the anointment the oil of the anointed people with oil, yes and how important that was in their society. This is something that I think still when the king's coronated, I presume he'll be anointed with oil by a priest, and this is in 2023. We're still practicing this, yeah right.

Speaker 1:

So when David King David, that'd be Solomon's father, was anointed by the priest and they poured oil from a horn on his head, and the oil dripped down over his head, onto his beard, onto his clothing, and it symbolized a giving of the spirit. So the spirit that comes down over you and it covers you and invades every part of your life, that's the oil. And during circumambulation, Circumambulation. Circumambulation. There is a scripture read that talks about the oil that rolls down the beard of Aaron. Yes, yes, and it's the scripture that talks about that. The Lord is pleased when brothers dwell together in community Correct. And it says pleasing as that oil that drips down, that's the oil, the oil of gladness. The oil of God's spirit being poured upon the King, that he might rule injustice, righteousness, kindness and mercy. You know, that's the oil that we're talking about here. You know, it's a symbolic you know of, and let me find out right here. It represents joy and gladness as well as happiness, and recognizes these as the natural sequence following the partaking of the corn of nourishment. So we, that's interesting, isn't it? I think that's interesting. So it is the natural consequence or the natural sequence right. So first there's the corn, the wheat, Then there's the corn, the sustenance right. Then there's the wine, the refreshment, the health, the spirituality of peace, Then there's the oil, which is happiness, and it's the natural sequence following. So it's a. These wages come to us in order First the corn, then the wine, then the oil, and they're earned by the fellow craft who completes his tasks in the middle chamber. I love this stuff. That's why I love this stuff, Because you could just keep. If you keep reading it and if you keep discussing it, it gets deeper and deeper and deeper, doesn't it?

Speaker 2:

And you're gonna learn lessons Like okay, what does this mean to the fellow craft right? They work hard in the interdeprens degree. They learn the basics of this stuff. They presented their proficiency to the lodge that they know this stuff. And now you're okay, here you go, you're going to the middle chamber. Now, that's where you're going, where you're gonna get your wages. And then you get there and you're like no, not money, that's not how we pay. You work hard, you labor with your brothers, you do all of this stuff and you will be fed, you will have refreshment, you'll have joy in your heart and you know you'll have spiritual enrichment. Those are the wages of the mason. So it's promoting working with your brothers hard and enjoying the work. That's the benefit that you're getting is the joy of going through that process with your brothers and the spiritual enlightenment you're gonna get from studying this stuff like we're doing right now, and I think that that's could that be one of the secrets of Freemasonry. Oh no. That we learned how to be industrious, busy, work together in harmony and we do it all just for the enrichment of our lives, of that, just going through that process together. Yeah, that's right. How evil and satanic.

Speaker 1:

I know right. Well, you know there's the whole Illuminati thing. We have to bring up the Illuminati every episode, apparently so that we can Because we're hiding in plain sight. We're hiding in plain sight. We are the Illuminati, Well and you know that 30, 40 million dollars we have in the bank is-.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, because it brings wealth to all of Illuminati members yes, yeah, I become an actual lizard person once I get to the 33rd degree, I think.

Speaker 1:

Well, isn't that the 34th, the one that nobody, nobody, nobody knows about, even the 33 guys, that's right.

Speaker 2:

Only the lizard people know the lizard people, that's right.

Speaker 1:

At the end of it all is an alien, obviously. Ah, ancient Alien, ancient Alien at the end of it all.

Speaker 2:

Season 53 reveals that the head of Freemasonry is an Ancient Alien. Yeah man, I love that show. Man, I can watch that show forever. It all makes sense Ants, busy insects or Ancient. Aliens, like they turn everything into an Ancient Alien and I love it, I just buy it. I'm like yeah, it makes sense, it makes sense.

Speaker 1:

So how can I take the wages of a fellow craft and apply these concepts and aspects into my life? I think in an overall, in a well-orbed understanding of the wages of a fellow craft, I think it speaks to a purposeful life. Take your work, for instance. How do I apply corn oil and corn wine and oil into my work? How do I make this applicable to my daily life?

Speaker 2:

Well, this is one of the things that separates us from the rest of the world. We're teaching these people, who are now fellow crafts and not even a newly-mason yet, but he's very close. At this point he's probably one to two months away from being an actual master mason and he's wondering about all of Freemasonry right, and everything is amazing to him that you can get up into the middle chamber only through hard work, dedication, working in harmony with the other brothers of the lodge. And look what you're going to get at the end of the day. It's going to be plenty, abundance, spiritual enlightenment and it's going to be pressed down and running all over you and get into every part of you and you'll be reformed as a man into a temple of light and knowledge. Yeah, deep thoughts.

Speaker 1:

Deep thoughts, deep thoughts.

Speaker 2:

Not coins. We don't care about money.

Speaker 1:

Well, and, of course, money being a representation of the things I need in life, right, so I get paid in a fee-out dollars, that's another conversation, worthless fee-out dollars, and I use those worthless fee-out dollars to buy corn, wine and oil, so to speak, the things that I need to sustain my life, and really that's what the wages represent. The wage that you're given represents that which I need for life. Well, what do I need for life? Well, what I need for a happy life is nourishment, I need refreshment, health, spirituality, peace. I need happiness.

Speaker 2:

I need industriousness.

Speaker 1:

I need all of the things that these wages of corn, wine and oil represent in my life, and it's fitting that these are presented to the fellow craft he who has already gone through, entered Apprentice, he's learned his craft, he understands what's expected of him and he knows how to do it. Now he's taking those tools, that knowledge, and he's going to that next place. Industriousness is the name of the game here. We're doing the work now and we're given the responsibility of building the temple. What's the temple?

Speaker 2:

Where the temple? Yeah, the temple is a place where the housing spirit of God, the temple was. So, just speculatively. We're building too. We're building a place worthy of being housing, you know, because the presence of God delivereth within us more deep stuff.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, this is too deep. We'll have to switch gears now next week. I don't know, chris, are we going? We haven't even gotten to the steps yet. We haven't gotten to the steps, I tell you what orders are the?

Speaker 2:

oh, I would love to talk about music as a science. How amazing music is. I love it.

Speaker 1:

Now I mean here in the book. It does not go into detail into all of the different aspects of it. Now that music. Neither shall we.

Speaker 2:

Neither shall we Not this pass.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, right, not this pass, but there's a lot in here in this book. I just I'm very thankful for the Grand Lodge over the years, you know, revising and putting together these publications. Yeah, I think that there's a lot of organizations out there that the only way you can really know what they're all about is you got to go and you know read. You know read a book somewhere and that you know only the secretary has and they never take it out because really all they do is, you know, fund raisers and drinking Not that Mason's aren't doing that in some dependent bodies, but but here it's all written out and we have a library in our lodge, and most lodges do, and there's books after books, after books of all kinds of that. Just there's so much that you could learn. I know I'm beating this thing to death, but there's just so much you could learn. Yeah they're just grateful for all of these publications that come out if you are a Florida Mason in the state of Florida and you haven't dug these books out in a while, I recommend you do get them out, their pamphlets, the books, the pamphlets. Get them out and read them, find someone to discuss them with and and actually do do some of the work in your life. You won't regret it. You absolutely won't regret it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, depending on who you talk to talk with, if you get a good partner, it's going to be magic.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, right, well, I got a pretty good partner to talk about this. That's what I was thinking I'm a lucky guy and it's recorded and it's recorded for all to hear, and if you're still listening, that means you haven't gotten sick of our rabbit holes and bantering, and and you hung in there and we certainly do appreciate it. What else, chris, is going on in in life, man? What's what's good? What's good in life? Wonderful master, chris Burns what's happening with you?

Speaker 2:

Everything's good, everything's good. I got today's Valentine's Day, so that's right, have a plan to purchase one of our favorite meals. Couldn't get a table at the restaurant but we're going to order it, take it out, take it to the beach and have a nice candlelit beach dinner at sunset with our favorite food and a bottle of wine.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome.

Speaker 2:

That's going to be my Valentine's Day. I live in Jarosota, florida.

Speaker 1:

Why the heck not? Why wouldn't you? Yeah, man, it's beautiful here. Yeah, paradise. For me, valentine's Day is a special day because it's also my wife's birthday.

Speaker 2:

Oh, wow, so she's a Valentine's baby.

Speaker 1:

So I do the Valentine's gifts in the morning, which I will drop off on my way to work this morning, and then I do the birthday gifts at night, when.

Speaker 2:

I come back home, very nice so just to separate it.

Speaker 1:

We've been commanded from on high that the two holidays will be separated. Oh, they will.

Speaker 2:

Yes, they will not be incorporated. They would be on a weekend or something. Is that how you do it?

Speaker 1:

Valens birthday day is not a thing there is a. Valentine's Day gifting.

Speaker 2:

She expects a birthday gifting, and they shall never the twain shall meet. I see she's good. She's made sure she gets all the benefits.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah.

Speaker 2:

Do it, oh yeah.

Speaker 1:

My wife's very good at that.

Speaker 2:

So anyways.

Speaker 1:

I hope you guys out there are enjoying the up this, this day, this Valentine's Day. If there's somebody in your life that God has given you that you appreciate, gentlemen, make sure that you do what is expected. Yes, do not show up empty handed if your wife said something to you like oh honey, it's not that big a deal, don't worry about it. Please, brother, listen to me.

Speaker 2:

I love you man. It's a trap, don't worry about it. It's a trap.

Speaker 1:

It's a trap. Do not do that.

Speaker 2:

I mean really, really, it's not that hard. You know, it's one day that you just take a minute just go get some flowers.

Speaker 1:

Yep.

Speaker 2:

Yep, you don't even need candy or a card. Just the minimum get some flowers that'll put a smile on your, on your loved one's face. I guarantee it. Even if they told you it's not important to them, do it anyways. Do it anyways, I just said, it costs you a few bucks and a few minutes of your time, and you know who's getting hurt there.

Speaker 1:

Who's getting?

Speaker 2:

flowers. She gets a smile, she feels important, right, and maybe she does that for you and you think it's silly, but deep down you're like I love it. This is so awesome.

Speaker 1:

I don't know how we got up on this one either, but if you're something.

Speaker 2:

Huh, we do have something we should tell people.

Speaker 1:

OK, go ahead we have.

Speaker 2:

we can confirm that we have purchased our booth at Grand Lodge Wow.

Speaker 1:

Yes, we're going to Grand Lodge baby.

Speaker 2:

So people should know that we're going to be there so they can look out for us.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's right. So we should start really plugging this. It is in it's in May, yeah, towards the end of May, and we will be there. I don't think we're going to be there for the last day, but we're definitely going to be there for the pre, during and that the Grand Lodge day. I definitely want to be in the stated meeting. I definitely want to experience that That'll be a lot of fun.

Speaker 2:

Monday and Tuesday We'll have a booth and you'll get to. You can either slap us or shake our hand, whatever is in your heart.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, feel free to slap Chris, I'm ready for it. Shake my hand, I'm ready.

Speaker 2:

Yes, yes, we will be there and you can meet us if you're in the state of Florida. Grand Lodge is in Orlando, usually at the Rosen Plaza. Well, we'll be at the Rosen Plaza Hotel and you'll find Fred and I there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we'll be there, we'll have.

Speaker 2:

you can pick up a hat or a shirt or whatever the heck we're going to try to.

Speaker 1:

We're going to try to do some merch with the logo on it, if if that's possible, we'll see how that goes. Yeah, but you know any. All of this is possible because of you guys, because of the support we've been getting, and we're we are trying our best to to bring more and more content, to try and define it a little better and to work harder on it. We're not going away. This podcast will always be out there if Chris and I have anything to say about it, and so we're only going to get better. We're going to introduce video and guests. That's one of our things. We'll probably be doing some interviews with some of the Grand Lodge. People can't really say who at this point, but hopefully we'll get. We'll get some interviews with some of the. You know some of the, the high ranking officials I don't know how else to say it. They're not. We're all brothers as masons. The Grand Puba, grand Puba's Flintstones the Puba's and the Bapu's will, hopefully will interview some of them and get some insights into the future. My thing is you know what's the future look like? That's going to be right. Most of my interviewing is going to be based on that. What, what do we see and what's the future look like? Because I really think that we are on the ascendancy. I think that people are waking back up to our ancient craft and wanting to be, you know, part of this, this movement happening in our state.

Speaker 2:

What I hear of the future sounds good to me. Yeah, I hear our next Grand Master may be a bit more hardcore with expecting higher level ritual performance to be done. Excellent, I'm. From what I hear, it may be required to earn proficiency cards, not just to know the words, but also to be able to X the floorwork, to be able to express your full understanding of the floorwork in the words, in order to get those proficiency cards. Wow, I love that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, stepping up. People will not like that.

Speaker 2:

Some people will not like it because you got to work harder, but to me it means a lot more. When you earn that card, people should respect that you know the work doesn't mean you know it perfectly, but it means you know you've spent the time to study it at least, right. So I love that. And I hear that somebody's a future Grand Master's project, and I know another one coming up behind that one. His big thing is leadership, and so he wants to have a lot more training around the leaders of the lodges. He wants to provide them more training, more tools, because he recognizes maybe not everybody has had the education and leadership before they get to the leadership position. Right, and so, yes, we have a Masonic leadership training in these programs, but he thinks we can do better. I think that's exciting for the future.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, these are the things they're thinking about. Yeah, I mean our lodges, our lodges, big lodge, I mean there's a lot. There's a lot there, you know that. I mean the Treasury, treasurer and Secretary positions. I mean that's no joke man no. I mean, that's a. Those are positions. They're handling a lot of money. Yes, a lot of trust invested in these men. So, yeah, I think the training that's thousands of dollars.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, right we're all responsible for this stuff. We are buildings worth well over a million dollars Right, yeah, green, clear, and we're responsible for that asset. That's right when we're an officer that's elected, so I. I better know your stuff. You better know how to run a business and manage an organization and lead people, and you know we have the basics in these courses. But I agree, with the future grandmasters coming up, we can do a whole lot better in training and preparing our people to be leaders, better leaders. I agree, and better leadership begets better lodges.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and, and you know it's. We wonder, you know why? Why has Masonry, you know, fallen? Why is a lot of the, the old organizations, you know, fallen, fallen away? Well, I think one of them is because we, we don't demand excellence, right, we don't, you know it. Look if, if we don't take it seriously, why should anybody else? That's always been my thing. If you're in an organization where management or the leadership is not taking it seriously, why should anybody else? we should take it more serious than anyone else, and on that note perhaps we should end OK. So I'll accept it next. Next time, on the fourth and final.

Speaker 2:

This is now the fellow craft show with Fred and Chris. Welcome to the fellow craft show with.

Speaker 1:

Fred and Chris on our final episode with fellow craft. We will probably I would like to jump to a discussion about the seven liberal arts and sciences. That's what I would like to, because that intrigues me the most.

Speaker 2:

me too, I think, most people.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so, and I think it's just and I know I know a little bit about it so it will we could have a little more in depth conversation. You guys that are listening, please send emails. Let us know what you, what, what you want to hear overwhelmingly. You guys have told us the degree work and talking about degrees, talking about the craft, opening up some of the writings and understandings that are that can be, that have been published. That's what you guys want. So that's what we're going to do, more and more until you, until something else comes, you know, comes up.

Speaker 2:

You know what? Lately I'm getting a lot of this isn't right. You should make this private and not for the general public, and I keep telling people we're not revealing any secrets right, we're not revealing secrets, it's all published. So before we talk about stuff, are very careful to make sure that we don't say anything we're not supposed to say, and this is what I always tell people. You'd be shocked how little secrets we actually have in Freemasonry.

Speaker 1:

I know right.

Speaker 2:

Most of it isn't a secret and so we're careful, but feel free to check for yourself. Everything that Fred's reading is available for the public to download straight off the Grand Lodge website, which is published for everyone to see. That's right, and the opinions and the rabbit holes we go down are ours and ours alone. It's my thoughts, my ideas, fred's thoughts and Fred's ideas. We're not telling you what Freemasonry thinks. We're telling you what we think about Freemasonry.

Speaker 1:

Yeah that's right. That's right. And you guys tell us what you think and, like we say, you know, if you disagree you go to the front of the line. Man, we want disagreement, we want to hear your side.

Speaker 2:

You know your view. I want all of your ego stroking nice things.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, chris, send Chris the nice ones please Give Fred all the problems.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, thanks, but it's true, that's how we get better right.

Speaker 1:

That's how we get better, that's right. So, anyways, email Fred at on the level with Fred and Chris dot com.

Speaker 2:

Chris, what's yours, chris, at on the level with friend Chris dot com.

Speaker 1:

And with that I think we'll end it. We'll let our brethren get back to their work, and so they can receive their wages.

Speaker 2:

Yes, and we need to go work to receive our wages, and then we will go and receive our wages as well, chris.

Speaker 1:

it's been a pleasure once again and I will see you, sir, on the next one.

Speaker 2:

Can't wait.

Exploring the Fellow Craft Degree
Symbolism of Corn, Wine, Oil in Freemasonry
Science, God, and Creation Plausibility
Symbolism and Spiritual Enlightenment in Freemasonry
Music and Valentine's Day Plans
Sharing Thoughts and Opinions on Freemasonry

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