On The Level Podcast

The Fellow Craft Degree: The Art of Education, Integrity, and Brotherhood

January 27, 2024 Christopher Burns Season 2 Episode 16
On The Level Podcast
The Fellow Craft Degree: The Art of Education, Integrity, and Brotherhood
On The Level Podcast
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Have you ever found unexpected wisdom in the intergalactic narratives of Star Trek? I did, and it's woven seamlessly into the fabric of my Masonic journey. Our latest episode offers a heartfelt blend of personal anecdotes, from my reflections on mentorship and manhood found in science fiction to the camaraderie and chuckles behind our podcast curtain with Fred. Joining us is Campbell Tuhee from the Great White North, who embodies the far-reaching connections of Freemasonry, adding a vibrant thread to our discussion tapestry.

This episode invites you to embrace the classical teachings of the seven liberal arts and sciences, pillars of critical thought that have stood the test of time. We delve into their significance within the craft, celebrating the shared passion for Masonic education and the ways in which education shapes reflective minds. Listen as Campbell lends his voice to our exploration, offering his insights on the intertwining of music and rhetoric in our personal growth. It's an intricate dance between persuasive speech and the humility required to truly learn from others – something we could all use a little more of in today's world.

As we wrap up our exploration of the Fellow Craft degree, we contemplate living with integrity and the tireless pursuit of brotherhood within our fraternity. I share my daily dedication to prayer and study, emphasizing the importance of extending Masonic bonds through active participation in our lodges and the broader community. As we tease the next phase of our Masonic examination, rest assured that the upcoming episodes will maintain our commitment to insightful, organic discussions. Tune in for an episode that's not just about Freemasonry, but about how its timeless values can shape a life well-lived.

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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. Well, brother, we are back. Chris, how are you, brother?

Speaker 2:

You know, I didn't realize I was recording everything we just did, oh cool. So I'm starting a new one now, okay, here we go.

Speaker 1:

We got some B-roll there, that's what they call it. That's a little inside baseball for you there. I've destroyed all the footage, so Clearly, I tell people who talk to me all the time about the podcast and we're very thankful for you guys shouting out to us and telling us you like it but I always tell them you know you realize we have no idea what we're doing.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, I don't think we pretend to know what we're doing.

Speaker 1:

Well, this intro anything we do right is like we got lucky.

Speaker 2:

Something went right Because it wasn't well, we did our best.

Speaker 1:

And I have another confession to make, brother Chris, I have had a horrendous week.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, oh man a horrendous week.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. As a project manager in the construction industry, it's basically my job to drive around and yell at grown men all day, and that's what I do, and today was an especially. This week was a specially rich with lots and lots of yelling, so I'm yelled out.

Speaker 2:

Oh, okay, I'm yelled out this week. Well, that's good for me and good for you, I guess. As our listeners, you won't get yelled at, probably too much as you know, Chris, I don't yell at you on camera. So that's a good part. I'm just going to record everything for now. I don't yell at you.

Speaker 1:

No, you don't, because you are the worship master of the lodge I attend and that would not be the right way to go.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I hopefully don't do anything that is deserving of being yelled at often.

Speaker 1:

Hey, shout out to Campbell Tuhee from Canada.

Speaker 2:

Oh, yes, shout out Campbell. Wow, that was awesome to meet him.

Speaker 1:

That was so awesome to meet you, Campbell for those of you who don't know, Campbell emailed us from the podcast from Canada and he came down on vacation, coincidentally, to Sarasota, the mighty 147. And he attended one of our EA degrees. Thank you, Campbell.

Speaker 2:

We were both in that degree. We were both in that degree correct. Yeah. So he got to see us in our penguin suits in the wild doing freemason ritual work. Looking good in our penguins.

Speaker 1:

We did look good. Yeah, we did, we looked good. One more note that doesn't really matter is that we are not in the other studio of the other studio. We are in Chris's office.

Speaker 2:

Yes, that's why you see all of the Star Trek memorabilia in the background. That's right.

Speaker 1:

And for those of you who are listening, worshipful Chris Burns is a Trekkie big time. So, as evidenced by this office, it's everywhere.

Speaker 2:

Let me just go down a rabbit hole and explain this to you, because it's pretty deep.

Speaker 1:

It's deep Trekkie. We're about to go Trekkie deep.

Speaker 2:

Not Trekkie deep. This is personal.

Speaker 1:

Oh.

Speaker 2:

I grew up without a father, so my father was a criminal who wasn't around when I was growing up. He set up franchises all over the US. I have multiple families that I've met over time Half brothers and half sisters, all over the country that we found each other as adults and his lack of presence in my life caused me to not have relationships with men. Because I had an older sister and a younger sister, my mother. We grew up because she was a single mom living with her mother, and her mother's mother lived right next door.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so I'm talking about one, two, three, four generation of women is what I grew up with, and you, no men, yeah, okay, and me.

Speaker 2:

So Freemasonry was my outlet into having some kind of good relationships with men, because in my whole life I had never had real close relationships with men. But where Star Trek comes into play is when I was growing up. In that house full of women I would go upstairs to my room and watch reruns of Star Trek over and over and over again as a kid.

Speaker 1:

The original Star Trek.

Speaker 2:

And this is where I developed all of my ideas about how men are supposed to behave. I thought all men acted this way because this is, like James Kirk, the relationships you know. They always had backs.

Speaker 1:

It doesn't matter how bad it get.

Speaker 2:

No man left behind, like we're family. I got my ideas about how to run a company, how to be a good man, how to be a good husband all that from my Star Trek growing up watching it. So as an adult I became obsessed with meeting them in person and collecting their signatures and just having a handshake and not being the guy that says you changed my life because I'm sure they get it all the time Right. Yeah, I didn't, but you'll see me. There's picture of me with a bloop shot and you know some of the next gen cast, and behind you you've got Lou Ferrigno and some of the non-Star Trek people that go to those conventions Is that Henry Winkler right there, that is me and my wife hanging out with Henry Winkler.

Speaker 1:

That is so cool. Above that, folks, he's got a picture of the fawn, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Jumping the shark.

Speaker 1:

Jumping the shark that's him jumping the shark in one of the happy days episodes.

Speaker 2:

So I'm a nerd, but it's very personal to me. I'm not just a nerd nerd.

Speaker 1:

I have a deep connection to this stuff. I just want to tell you, brother, that story from beginning to end. All of it is why I love you, man. That's why I love you, bro. I'm an authentic guy, you are an authentic human being. I don't tell people this stuff.

Speaker 2:

But there's a reason for everything that you see. It's not just I'm a fan. It connects to me very deeply.

Speaker 1:

Well now, I'm a fan, so not only of Star Trek, but of you.

Speaker 2:

Well, thank you, my friend and worship master of the lodge that I attend.

Speaker 1:

So I know everybody out there is saying shut up. I know.

Speaker 2:

Who cares about Chris and?

Speaker 1:

Fred, all this talk about Freemasonry.

Speaker 2:

Talk about Freemasonry.

Speaker 1:

Well, here's the thing about Freemasonry Fellow craft. We've been working through fellow craft and here's what we want to say this is going to be, for this is our fourth and final, regardless of where we get. And here's why, guys, because, as Mason's out there, open up the material and get into it and start reading it, as we have, as you know you should, and really dig into it. I am finding for me that and I've heard a lot of people say this the fellow craft degree is, I think, my favorite degree.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and you know we tell people right after the degree hey, this is going to go fast, that degree was fast, your catechism, your time here is going to go fast. But keep coming back because there's so much here. I hope you see, we did two episodes and the entered apprentice degree. We're going on our fourth hour of talking about the fellow craft degree and we know we're not done.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we're like OK, we have to move on. I'm so sorry, but we could probably do another four hours with our eyes closed talking about the fellow craft degree.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

So that's how involved this degree is and it goes by so fast. And you know another good thing that somebody discovered our podcast that we both know, and this is someone that had been very critical of me so far this year in my roles. Worshuffle Master and indicated that I had a good degree and I was very much a teacher and indicated that I was failing to provide education to the lodge in any meaningful way.

Speaker 1:

Yes, all 30 days into it. Yes, I get it.

Speaker 2:

Well, we do 30 minutes of education before every meeting, but I guess it's not enough for some people and they discovered the podcast and came and apologized and they said wow you are doing education. You're just doing it in a different way, and they were really apologetic that they judged me without really knowing the full extent of what we were doing here. Huge fans of the podcast.

Speaker 1:

And shout out to this person, because humility is a trait that is very Masonic.

Speaker 2:

Yes, it's tough to say I was wrong about something, but what they suggested is that we do 15 minutes of Fred and Chris in the lodge room. Not just me and you talking, but us bringing a subject up, having a brief comment and including the whole lodge in a 15 minute conversation about something.

Speaker 1:

All right, I'm down with the idea.

Speaker 2:

I'm down with that 15 minutes with Fred and Chris at Sarasota Lodge 147. Come on.

Speaker 1:

Give me the stage, baby, any time. Any time, put me in front of, I don't care, 10 people or 10,000 people, just give me the stage.

Speaker 2:

I don't see it as being about us so much, as we're facilitating a conversation that the lodge can have, because they don't have it, they just need somebody to pull it out of them sometimes.

Speaker 1:

No, that's right, man, and I'm 100% behind you. So you set it on air.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm planning this on the 28th to do it, you just got to figure out. I was thinking. We talk about the working tools and go ahead and ask people what their favorite working tools are and why, and hear from every single person there.

Speaker 1:

I love it All right Deal. Deal. Look for that one, guys out there. That'll be forthcoming, we'll hook that up in a big way All right so.

Speaker 2:

The degree.

Speaker 1:

Fellowcraft degree, so I thought we'd just jump in at in the book. In the book it's a 4.13 which is published, so all everything that's in this book is available for anybody who wants to read it, because you could go to the Grand Lodge website and you could download this entire thing. Anyone can.

Speaker 2:

What book is it?

Speaker 1:

Fred, oh sorry, it's the Mentor's Manual.

Speaker 2:

Ah, okay.

Speaker 1:

This is the Mentor's Manual, gl 217. Perfect, so, um. So I want to go to 4.13, which is the winding stairs, which Everyone's favorite lecture. Everyone, oh absolutely Everyone's favorite lecture. How many things have you had? None, it's been a long week for me too.

Speaker 2:

We're recording on an off day. We've never recorded at this time on this day, right? I think we're both off a little, so we apologize. That's right, that's right Now.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to put it. I'm going to put it on my glasses. No, we're going to Give me Chris as somebody who has the lecture nailed and ladies and gentlemen, my worshipful master. I'm very proud of him when it comes to memorization, especially of these lectures. The man has done the work and has absolutely nailed it. Sorry, he's blushing. He's blushing, yeah, but yeah, I have gas. That's what that is.

Speaker 2:

What I yeah, woo Sorry, you smelled it.

Speaker 1:

Give me your overview the winding stairs. When I say the winding stairs, where do you go? Where's your mind go? What's what's happening there?

Speaker 2:

I see the history of mankind from our earliest beginnings to our most modern state. That's what I see in the winding stairs lecture. What are the things that are important to us as a race, how did we get here and what are the things that we should be working for as people? That's 30 seconds. I can tell you. That's what I see. The winding stairs lecture as what is the mentor's manual say about the winding stairs lecture?

Speaker 1:

Well, it's brief, it is. Yeah, it's brief and it needs to be, because there's so much that you can expound upon once you kind of get the gist of it. I'm a little hesitant to just read straight out of this.

Speaker 2:

OK, ok Well.

Speaker 1:

But here's what the first three steps, the next five steps and the last seven steps.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

Talk about the first three.

Speaker 2:

So none of this is secret. Ok, right, this is stuff from our history as a people. The first three steps are the three degrees of Freemasonry Right, and we explain what those are.

Speaker 1:

Entered apprentice. We're on the telegraph now talking about it and we'll talk more about the master Mason soon.

Speaker 2:

I can't wait. That's going to be a year long one but yeah, and those steps also talk about the three principal elected officers of the lodge, not in any detail. In the beginning of the lecture we're just saying three steps means these three things, that we don't really explain it? And then we move on very quickly to the five steps.

Speaker 1:

Right, so let's go Now. If you're out there thinking, what are they talking about? If you just imagine a staircase that has 15 steps, If you go into any lodge, you'll see it. You'll see it on the wall Almost every lodge has a painting of the winding staircase. Some of them are really beautiful and some of them are like ours. You know, just kidding, totally kidding.

Speaker 2:

Ours was painted by one of the brothers. I know it's very obvious.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's awesome, it's homemade In that it's been there forever and it was done by one brother. But I went to a lodge and they had their picture up there and it was like, wow, that is really impressive.

Speaker 2:

Anyway, sorry, but what's even more impressive is to have a winding stairs that you could walk while doing the If my comment about the picture hanging on our wall at our lodge offends you. Please feel free to email me at chris at hey, now, they're not that stupid, chris, they're like. I just want to tell you what that guy Fred. I disagreed with what he said about that.

Speaker 1:

So somewhere's in the five steps. Yeah, are five columns.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and those are usually represented somewhere in a lodge too, where you can see them. Yeah, talk about the columns. So the five columns are actual orders of architecture in human history and I'm not an architect but it has sparked my interest in it. And so we talk about the Tusk and the Doric Ionic, the Corinthian and the composite and we break down where those were created in time and history and who we should attribute that creativity to and who gets credit for things maybe they shouldn't get credit for in architecture and history. That is part of our lecture. I won't go into detail about the orders of architecture, necessarily, unless you want to, because it's pretty straightforward. If you're interested in architecture, you can go read about these things.

Speaker 2:

You can read who created them and I think it's pretty cool. I went to Greece. I stayed in Athens and I could see the pantheon from where I was staying and Athena's temple's there a completely Doric temple. Everything in Greece is built in the Doric style and it's just so beautiful, especially having the background now in Freemasonry that I have, that I've researched architecture a little bit more and I understand that the Greeks invented this type of architecture which is the foundation of the architectures that we still use today.

Speaker 2:

The White House is pulling from those.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely is the entire. All the architecture in Washington DC, including the way the street is laid out from point to point, is completely Masonic, as every Mason knows and is very proud of.

Speaker 2:

And what does Masonry do but honor their traditions in the history of mankind?

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's right.

Speaker 2:

If you're going to honor their traditions in the history, you're always going to want to go back as far as you can, because that's probably going to be the most original thought that man had was in the beginning. And then it's modified and adjusted over time, and to revere something is to revere the original right. That's true of anything. Collectors want the oldest thing.

Speaker 1:

The thing that's the least printed or whatever.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's what Masonry does we revere the original and the creative thoughts that mankind had. It blows my mind to think about what was done in the culture of the Greeks, from architecture to literally inventing the amphitheater and arts. Oh, I know, and philosophers who created entire ways of thinking about the world and each other. It just blows my mind how much originality and creativity existed in that Greek culture that gave birth to everything that we take for granted in society today.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's right. They were the first to corporately pursue human thought, deeper and deeper thoughts. Why are we here and why is there something rather than nothing? Now, that's late lightness, that came much later. But Aristotle, who explored all of these philosophies? I don't agree with everything Aristotle did, or Socrates or any of them.

Speaker 1:

But if you're thinking, man, that means I'm a thinking man. But the fact that any man who studies the classics, classic education or the seven liberal arts and sciences is training his mind in a process of critical thinking, of thinking for himself through every issue and as you guys know you've heard me talk about this before I'm a big proponent of that Know what you believe and know why you believe it and be able to responsibly articulate it with gentleness and grace to anybody who asks you, Because we all believe stuff. And I'm finding more and more men who strongly believe stuff who they can't explain. But when I press them they cannot explain it to me.

Speaker 2:

Well, they don't believe it. They're just telling you what somebody else believed.

Speaker 1:

Well, that's the truth. But at the end of the day, I want to press people, not to insult them or humiliate them or make myself look like anything better than them, but I want every man, especially Masons, to clearly know what they believe and why they believe it. Masonry is not a religion, but we have lots of religious people and I want them to clearly understand what it is they believe and why they believe it, so that all of us can benefit together, corporately, from what we've all learned about our sincerely held beliefs. And I think that pursuit of education and knowledge and thinking critically is what sparks that. That's what sparked an entire world of thinking men. It's what sparked the higher education, the higher learning and name the seven liberal arts and sciences.

Speaker 2:

Go Grammar.

Speaker 1:

Rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy, excellent, excellent, see, I told you guys, um, and and the, the beauty of, uh, I guess we're getting into the seven liberal arts and sciences.

Speaker 2:

Um makes sense. It's the last seven steps it makes sense.

Speaker 1:

And and just a side note, going back to the, the five steps and the columns, um, if you're new to masonry or if you're wondering anything about masonry, looking into uh, the way masonry weaves, that into the learning and teachings of masonry is brilliant.

Speaker 2:

Beautiful, masterful, utterly brilliant.

Speaker 1:

I would encourage anyone to take the time to go in there. There's, there's a famous poster of the pillars, um, and in that poster it has all kinds of masonic uh teachings. I I, if I can find it, I'll try to post it so, uh, so you guys can look it up and see it. But, uh, anyways, the five, the five steps and the five pillars, take the time. Do yourself a favor, take the time and try to understand what that teaching, teaching is. The one thing you'll come away with is that, uh, if you're, if you're not, a mason, but you're considering masonry, the one thing you're going to find out right away is this is no joke. Uh, this is not, um, this it's no joke, man, it's serious. We're serious, uh, about education and and and the things that we want to learn and teach each other, and it's all for a very specific purpose. That was interesting.

Speaker 2:

This is fun.

Speaker 1:

We're good, we're still good, we're good. It's fall falling down, but we're good, nobody got hurt, we're fine. No, no, no host was hurt in the filming of this podcast. Uh, I don't know where I was. Let's go, I just totally interrupted your thought. That's, that's okay, cause it was going nowhere.

Speaker 2:

No, it was. You're right. What you're saying is right, that this lecture alone is the reason people come to a fellow craft degree. Okay, they come to hear this lecture, and I've heard this lecture given by a gentleman a brother sorry who uh did it in 15 minutes. I recorded him. Wow, if you can imagine, I was there. Uh, it starts to lose a lot of potency when it's just words that are monotone, delivered and in that short of a timeframe I think it needs to be 30 to 40 minutes Probably. We we had the fortune to have a grand orator come to our lodge and deliver this.

Speaker 1:

Oh, I remember that. Yeah, that was great. It didn't take 15 minutes, no, closer to 40 minutes.

Speaker 2:

Right, right, and when you can take the time to animate yourself, to uh use your hands and your body to assist in telling the story. Uh, and we in our lodge even use light shows and uh other ways of uh highlighting some of the points in the story. It's, it's just like a magical experience. I don't know how else to put it.

Speaker 1:

Oh, it really is. It really is yeah.

Speaker 2:

It's something worth coming in and sitting through just to hear that lecture. And once you start learning that lecture, you're going to spend a lot of time going down many rabbit holes to try to understand what it is you're saying. What is that word? Word mean fully Right.

Speaker 1:

I've never heard that word used in English language but right and it what it speaks to, is that Masonry believes that unless you pursue, um critically think through and pursue knowledge, um, you will remain in darkness, and that is the basis of all higher education, higher learning and, of course, society has benefited. Uh, the United States of America was founded, uh, on certain very specific principles of higher learning, uh, of you know, of truth and higher learning, and men who, who sought and and dug you know through truth and and educated themselves. That's what, that's what we teach, that's what we encourage. It gets lost. I mean, I I talked to a lot of men, uh, in Masonry and it's, it's lost on a lot of guys. I'll be honest with you and, um, god bless them, they're not doing anything wrong.

Speaker 2:

But people come to free Masonry for different reasons.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and uh, but if, if you're, if you're out there and you're the kind of guy that likes to dig into into things and wants to educate himself, then Masonry, uh, especially the fellow craft degree, is for you. You're not going to get any of this by not being a Mason. I can tell you that right now. So, uh, that's my, my pitch Uh, go down to your local lodge, uh, and, and talk to them and uh, and ask some questions, get your questions answered and and jump in, jump in and uh, and do this, because that's we're serious.

Speaker 1:

Masonry is very serious about educating yourself out of darkness into light so that you could be useful for the grand master, um right, for you know, for the, for the grand architect of the universe. So that, so that you could be useful. Because if you're in darkness and you don't understand and you're not able to reasonably articulate the thing rhetoric, that's rhetoric that you can reasonably articulate that which you believe then then you're not useful. Um, in in the things that you believe. So you can learn and learn and learn. But if you cannot articulate them to the masses, to your friends, to anybody, they're, they're really not useful to anyone but yourself, and that's a rabbit hole that I'm glad I went down yeah.

Speaker 2:

I mean, that's you sound like you could be a pitch man for Freemasonry now, no, no, no no, no, no. You need to come to the open houses and do exactly that. Uh, that's exactly what people want to hear. That aren't Mason? So I hope they're listening to the podcast. I hope so too.

Speaker 1:

I hope our podcast is reaching out to men. I know we do have some. Yeah, we have some.

Speaker 2:

I know a couple of people that I, because they know us, I guess they listen, but they're not Masons and they're interested and they say, oh, what is EA? What is FC? Why do you guys say that you should say what it means? So try it. We'll try to be more mindful of that. For you guys that don't know what, you guys that don't know what EA is entered apprentice and talking about the FC, which is the fellow craft.

Speaker 2:

And right now we're talking about the winding stairs lecture and how important it is as a representation of Freemasonry. Now, in the seven liberal arts and sciences, what does one of those seven stand out to you as important or touch you as like uh something?

Speaker 1:

close to your heart To me. Rhetoric going back to rhetoric. I love to speak. I've spoken in front of large, large crowds and it doesn't phase me. I actually, I absolutely love it and I think I. There are some men who I follow who are absolute genius orators they can, when they speak, they can, just they can drive a point home with, you know, with such clarity and with such, with such, uh, just such, power, you know, and it just it just touches, you Just touch. Some men have that ability.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

You know they said, uh, charles Spurgeon, uh was a, he was a preacher, uh, in the 18, late 1800s, um, and they said that he could, he could make you cry by pronouncing the word oratory, really, that he, he was so good uh at, and he was, and he was, and and the. The proof is in in his life, in ministry. But anyway, so to me that word, that that one, sticks out the most Because, like I said, uh, like I was saying, all the knowledge that you've acquired um it, it doesn't help anyone but yourself unless you can articulate it clearly with gentleness and respect. You know I can articulate what I believe and why I believe it with gentleness and respect to anybody who wants to listen, so for me it's rhetoric.

Speaker 1:

What about you?

Speaker 2:

You know, I thought rhetoric was a bad thing when I started learning that lecture and I had to actually. I mean, I know what we say about rhetoric.

Speaker 1:

Right Doesn't sound bad. Rhetoric's fallen on hard times, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I got a bad rap cause I thought it was a negative thing. Whenever I hear rhetoric, it's usually oh, the rhetoric is uh, that's an a negative thing but it's not, it's just what you said.

Speaker 1:

It means speaking in a way that's being able to articulate that which you believe in an effective manner, and it's important to mankind that we develop this skill of speaking in a way that can influence people and and get them to do things or not do things, depending on your goal.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I think one of the reasons why it's fallen on such hard times is because, um, we don't know how to disagree with each other anymore, right, Right, so there is no more communicating eloquently between people disagree anymore. And if you've listened to this podcast for any length of time, you know. You know I'm big on that. I want to be able to sit down and talk with the people that I disagree with and still remain brothers and friends.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

And we had a worshipful master, uh, up in Bradenton who, uh, wants to challenge us on uh I'm not going to use his name, so just in case, cause I haven't spoken to him about this but uh, he wants to challenge us on something we said on one of our podcasts and I and he's, he's and he's not to be. This is a man who knows his stuff.

Speaker 2:

So, uh, I really really that's the point of the podcast.

Speaker 1:

That's the point of the podcast.

Speaker 2:

You thought about it, you heard something and you were like I don't think that way, I don't agree with that.

Speaker 1:

Like good, I think his words were, if an, an emailist brother, I know you're listening if, uh, if I get this wrong, but I think you said you'd like to challenge us on a couple of points and I would say to that, thank you and uh, yes, and I would even be willing, uh, if you are to, to have you come on and we could talk about it. Because, first thing, the man, uh, he's a great, or he's his rhetoric, his ability to speak and to engage a crowd is is really well, he's really good at it.

Speaker 2:

So, you're saying good things. Now we can say his name. His name is Warshful Brian Miller of Manatee Lodge. Shout out to Warshful Miller I was afraid you were going to say bad things and that's why you didn't want to say.

Speaker 1:

He kind of intimidates me a little, so maybe that's why I'm being a little dovish here.

Speaker 2:

It's the mustache, it's the mustache he has an impressive mustache.

Speaker 1:

Indeed, he does All right. So it's the cat out of the bag it assists with this.

Speaker 2:

Rhetoric Uh, but yeah, rhetoric is uh.

Speaker 1:

I don't think you can be a great man in society if you haven't developed those skills of communicating, I agree, and, and the person who has good rhetoric needs to be a gentle soul with it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Cause you can really run over people.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, and I've done it.

Speaker 1:

I've done it, um, when I get going, I'm very, I feel very strongly about the things I believe, and, and once I get going, I can really run over people because I've thought it all through, um, and I'm able to articulate it because I've done it so many times.

Speaker 2:

It is a power that you have to have like responsibility for that, absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Because we don't want to win an argument, we want to win the man. Yeah, yes, right, that's the hearts and the minds of men and and help them to find that. You know that. What do we want to say? We're in the fellow craft degree, so we want to get them to that inner middle chamber where they can finally get paid the wages of a working man.

Speaker 2:

That's it, man.

Speaker 1:

That's. That's what we want. We don't want to win an argument. We don't want to talk you into anything that you don't want to do. What we want you to do is to find what we have found.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, light, light.

Speaker 1:

Some light, light In the darkness, in the darkness.

Speaker 2:

So you asked the question, what's mine? And it's. It's going to be strange, but music I didn't think about music the way that I do until I got the fellow craft lecture and they explain music and I'm not gonna give that explanation on the air because some of that is probably coded and not to be said. But everyone's heard music. Okay, so we can talk about that experience of hearing music. And it is a science, because you can manipulate someone with sound just like you can with words. You can use your words to get somebody amped up to go into a fight. You can use music to get somebody amped up to go into a fight.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely, you can elicit that same emotion with sound.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And you said a man can make him cry by saying this word eloquently. Well, music can make you cry without saying a word, just from the sound, and there are base elements of mankind in music. For example, I did a lot of research when I learned lectures. If you can't tell music and that's why we love you it ties into nature. So when you hear a chirping bird, that high pitched, it sounds beautiful to you because you know that it's safe and it's not something you're gonna eat, it's something you just want to appreciate. But when you hear a baritone, you know that's a big animal, probably scary, probably gonna eat me, and it elicits that fear sensation where spine you know. The chill goes down your spine and the hair stands up in your neck because you're terrified for your life and your testicles get sucked up into your cavity because you're about to fight for your life.

Speaker 2:

There's a, there's an image for you. Yeah true, that's a natural reaction you have to a sound, and so using those sounds in combination with melodies produces music which elicits emotions, and that is a science you can almost guarantee. A person will react a certain way if you combine the right notes and melodies. And you, I'm not a musician, which is why I said this will seem strange to you. I don't play instruments. You do, so I'm sure you can reaffirm what I'm saying to a certain degree, or maybe you can crap all over it.

Speaker 1:

Alright, so first things first. Worshifold Burns taught himself to play classical piano, so yeah, he's not much of a musician just saying.

Speaker 2:

I mean in that I don't understand music theory. I read music. I'm not a true musician. You know people that have put time and and have talent.

Speaker 1:

That's memorizing and that's a great point, because true musicians are the people that actually do the work. Yeah, I'm musical, just as you are, but I have not put in the work either. But I can tell you this Music, as we know it is, it's mathematics First thing, it's advanced mathematics and it's it is like you said, it is so tied into life and nature. The, the triad you know the three note triad that makes a chord. You know the, the chord of a is a, c and E. If you play an a and a, c and an E simultaneously, it makes the chord of a and.

Speaker 1:

And when you look at the neck of a guitar and you see how the scales a, b, c, d, e, f, g and the way the notes, that half notes and whole notes run together, you look at this thing and you think to yourself this is clearly no accident. This is and like you said, and I love your analogy the birds. The birds are out there singing notes that you can play on a piano. Hello, is anybody? Is this thing on? I mean, I mean it's it just it speaks to.

Speaker 1:

And so, if it's in nature, where did it come from? Well, and it came from God. Of course it came from the creator, and it's it says in Psalm 19, which is Solomon's father. David wrote that the heavens declare the glory of God and the sky speaks of his wonders, and, and and it really does everywhere you go speaks that there there's an architectural engineering design to all this stuff, even the bird chirping in the, in the key of E, and, and, and some of those birds.

Speaker 2:

I'm absolutely mesmerized by by the music that they sing. Yeah, I mean, how can you not be?

Speaker 1:

Alright, so kind of the point. But mine's rhetoric, yours is me go ahead.

Speaker 2:

Personal. That's how we feel right, Right. Those are the things we're drawn to. But that doesn't mean and again, we're not telling you what Freemasonry thinks. We're telling you what Fred and Chris think that's correct.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, keep head in mind. They're all important.

Speaker 2:

I'm sure all of them are. I think the the most important to Masonry is gotta be geometry, though right, I agree. I mean that's, that's science, that's mathematics, that's architecture, all kind of rolled into one. Yeah, that's right.

Speaker 1:

And and geometry is, is the basis of how we, how we originally discovered everything through geometry, and and it is literally the study, the study of what. What did Newton say? He said it's thinking God's thoughts after him.

Speaker 2:

Right.

Speaker 1:

That's, that's what it is. You're thinking God's thoughts after him and you're pursuing the thoughts you know that he would have you pursue. And geometry is is the the application of that thought? Yeah, that's good. I like that. That's too deep for me. I'm not that smart guys.

Speaker 2:

That's good. But you know, freemasonry and geometry are very closely tied together. Uh, operative masons use geometry to build things, so speculative Masonry uses geometry to teach things. Right, it makes sense. Um, and you know the use of geometry throughout history. Like you said, uh, it came from an observation of nature, right? That's how we discovered geometry and how we refined it, too is by observing nature and how it was employed and how you can repeat that. And that's where science comes into play.

Speaker 2:

Science is where you observe, test, and if you can record the same outcome, you've gotta prove in scientific method that's been applied to to prove that this is a thing and that's how we learn the nature of God is through observation and testing. Um, and you know that goes to. These are the things that we know because we have tested them through time and we've used them and we still use them. There's a lot of things, uh, when we get into astronomy, that we don't know, and astronomy is where my brain starts to hurt. Uh, because I don't know. I'm not capable of fully understanding the concepts of what they're talking about in science. When you think about astronomy, uh, but I do like what Freemasonry talks about with astronomy, which is more of like.

Speaker 2:

Your creator created these things that are there, and not everything is meant for you to understand its purpose, but it absolutely serves a purpose and is there for a reason, and all we can do is observe and test and and record the outcomes of the things that we look at. And it's very difficult because we're on an object that's spinning around, a thing that's spinning, any universe full of things that are spinning, and so you don't have a a very easy way to study things in space. Uh, but we've been trying to do it from the dawn of mankind. Many religions are based on what people observed in the heavens. Right yeah, we see objects and so we assign them things that relate to us. And this is how you get a straw uh, I don't know what is the word for uh. Uh, when you were born, you look at it and you're like, oh, you're that sign, it's a astrology.

Speaker 2:

Astrology.

Speaker 1:

Yes, I'm a Scorpio apparently.

Speaker 2:

Are you really yeah? Yeah, yeah, everyone's saying oh yeah, he is, I'm a Pisces, so it makes I think we're definitely fitting those descriptions.

Speaker 1:

Right, I, I don't know, I I never paid much attention to it, but my wife says that, uh, I am living proof that astronomy is real. It's true.

Speaker 2:

I mean, it is eerie sometimes how close that that is.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

Right, but the reality of it is kind of silly when you think about it and come on.

Speaker 1:

Well, but it's, it's based on observation, and then the stars weren't in the same place, though, when you were born as they are today.

Speaker 2:

So you know it's all kind of nonsense in reality. I don't know Scientific perspective.

Speaker 1:

As a I mean as a Christian I have a very specific set of beliefs that I've investigated and and that I hold to. Astron astronomy is not part of that, yeah, but I find it fascinating, yeah, because it's so. You're really correct, right? You're like what that's.

Speaker 2:

So me, I know, I can't believe it, uh, but numerology, too, comes from you know similar kind of ideas, that you can assign these everyday things bigger meanings, that you can then predict what's going to happen based on you know where the stars were or where the numbers align.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I you know, and there are people who hold to those those kind of things, but. But numbers mean a lot.

Speaker 2:

Yes, I mean, you know the number three, the number seven, the number ten those are very, very.

Speaker 1:

If you're out there and you're a Christian, like I am, then you know what those, those numbers represent. Um, because they, they have meaning to us. You know, and other other religions, um, and you know other people. Those they have numbers, numerology, it's meaningful. I don't want to go down the numerology rabbit hole right now, but, um, there could probably be an entire podcast.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah, I mean it's deep, I mean it goes really deep, but again we it comes back to the same thing. You know what is it that you believe and why do you believe it?

Speaker 1:

You know, and are you able and willing to articulate it in a way to a brother or a friend or a neighbor, in a way that's gentle and respectful, that they might say, hmm, that's interesting, I'll, I'll think about that, you know, because nobody, nobody, wants to hear, uh, you know, what they have to believe or what they're supposed to believe, or any of that stuff. Cramming beliefs down anyone's throat is the wrong way to go. It just, it just doesn't work, because it's a belief.

Speaker 2:

It's not authentic. If you haven't come to that, yeah, that's right of your own accord.

Speaker 1:

I've come to the conclusion in. I'm sixty years old. I've been doing this a little while.

Speaker 2:

I've come to the conclusion that living, living, yes, living and dying.

Speaker 1:

I'm not sure. I think at half the halfway point do you go from living Anyway actually I saw a documentary.

Speaker 2:

We start dying the moment we're born.

Speaker 1:

Oh cool. Yeah, thanks for that. That's really positive. I know that's nice, that's nice.

Speaker 2:

Definitely want to show that to your seven-year-old.

Speaker 1:

All right, I'm just, I'm just gonna hit the reset button. We're gonna leave all those rabbit trails where we went. I Want to read this final fellow craft, the responsibilities of a fellow craft. It's in the manual. I want to read it and then let's let's go out Kind of expounding a little bit on that. Okay, and then again, guys, chris and I are, we're kind of Rambling on about the fellow craft degree, trying to touch on the points that mean something to us. But I'm gonna, I'm gonna spend the next several months like I did in the EA degree. I just got through going through the EA degree and I spent a long time in it Just studying it for myself, trying to understand what it means to me. I'm gonna do the same thing in fellow craft. I'll probably spend the next year just going through it. Mm-hmm, I'm I in my personal time, you know.

Speaker 1:

Yeah just to understand it, and I would encourage every man to do that, because I did it for like three months when.

Speaker 2:

I was learning the lecture. Like deep into the Ideas in the lecture.

Speaker 1:

All right. So in in the manual, the, the section on fellow craft ends like this the responsibilities of a fellow craft are to be found in his obligation, and the candidate should be asked to review the Obligation of both this and the first degree. So, brothers, get out there and review your obligations, review them over and over again, and if you're amazing, you know what that means. Yeah, however, the fellow craft is reminded that he is committed to both the acquisition of knowledge and the application of that knowledge To the discharge of the duties of his life, so that he may, so that he may fill with Satisfaction and honor his place in society. And that's really what we're all about.

Speaker 1:

You know, we all have a place in society, and Masonry teaches us to honor, to live a life, an honorable life Of, of aid to others. You know that's our stock, and trade is mankind. You know I, if you ever have a chance to read Jacob Marley's monologue from from a Christmas Carol, oh it'll it'll, it, just it's, it's life-changing and it was just so good, dickens was such a genius.

Speaker 2:

I'm Possibly gonna give a 50 year presentation award at our next stage meeting, so I've been rushing up on that ritual, which is in the blue book. Okay this blue masonic monitor which is written out which, which ritual. This is a Masonic. This blue book includes prayers, charges, right, funeral ceremonies and award presentations and it's all Uncoded, which means nothing in here secret if it's written out. And this is what it says in the 50 year presentation 50 year presentation.

Speaker 2:

That's a okay that in youth you were taught your duty to God, your neighbor and yourself. In Manhood, you applied those lessons so that in age you can enjoy the happy reflection Consequent upon a life well spent nice.

Speaker 2:

That's the meaning of life learn your, learn your lessons, do your best to apply those lessons, because then you get to reap the rewards in age of not looking back with regret about All the poor decisions that you made and the people that you hurt and the opportunities that you missed and the times you could have stood up for someone and you didn't. You won't be that person. You'll be the person looking back, thinking Could have been worse? I did, I did my best, I let it, I laid it all on the table right when I'm judged for my actions, I'll stand by everything I did.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'm right, I, I, I couldn't help. That struck me and and dump it. I'm almost without words, which is almost impossible. But find some, I so. I so wish Somebody in my life would have introduced me to this.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean as a young man Because only you had been watching repeats of Star Trek, right, exactly exactly I Mean.

Speaker 1:

It really would have impacted my life in such a big way, and that's one of the reasons why you and I are here, man. We want. I want to see when I see young men Approaching masonry and taking it seriously. There's a lot of young men in masonry, but when I see these rare jewels of young men who are taking it seriously and wanting to apply to their lives, you know the, the things that it teaches, it does my heart good to know that. You know there's hope. There's, oh, you know there's always hope there's. Our hope is in God. Okay, first and foremost, our hope is in God, but through Through, through men of integrity who are willing to sacrifice for their community Is is that's the path, man, that's the way and that's that's one of the main things that masonry teaches.

Speaker 2:

This will sound cliche. It sounds cliche in my mind before I even say it, so I know it's going to, but I truly believe it. Could there be a more important point in time where we need to learn the lessons of free masonry than today? If I had a bell, I'd be ringing it right now like respect, tolerance, education, thinking Seems like old-fashioned ideas now that just aren't really right, you look at any, and it's not just America.

Speaker 2:

You look at any country, almost any country in the world, and it just doesn't seem like anyone values those things anymore. It's all sensationalism. Now, now, quick, quick, laugh judge.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and how's that going? Horrible, horrible, horrible.

Speaker 2:

It only seems to be accelerating.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it is, it absolutely is.

Speaker 2:

I mean, could there be a more important? And the thing is that people don't believe a thing until they see a thing, and I think we might have talked about this before. You know, there was a track record that was held for years, that was thought to be unbeatable for so long, and when it was finally beat, it was beat again like three more times within the following few years, because people don't believe a thing is possible until they see it.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah, I love that analogy Somebody's got to do it.

Speaker 2:

Somebody's got to do the thing that everybody else think is impossible, and right now I think everybody thinks it's impossible to live a life of integrity. I think they think it's impossible to live a life of truth and justice.

Speaker 2:

Right because of the cost and not step on somebody, Right, you know they just don't believe it's possible in this day and age to live that life. So if you can be the guy to show them, they can do it. That's how you can make it actually happen, because people need to see it first. Yeah, that's right.

Speaker 1:

That's right.

Speaker 2:

Generally, they're just not capable of doing it until they see a leader. Step up and do it and you can be the leader.

Speaker 1:

I'll end with this personal note About, I don't know, five years ago or so. I just had this I spend my mornings about an hour every morning studying through prayer, meditation and studying the word, and because that's what Christians are supposed to do Hello.

Speaker 2:

Let's get on that, people. I spend mine studying Masonic ritual. There you go, there you go.

Speaker 1:

You know what you believe and why you believe it right. And this overwhelming sense came over me that I started to pray Lord, I want to know 10 good men, 10 strong good men that I can rely on. That could rely on me, because I think times are going to get tough and I think we're going to need a group of men who are willing to sacrifice for each other, protect and provide for their own families and for the families of others and I'm going to get in trouble for this but within their own tribe, within their own community, within their own group. And I'm not talking about colors of skin or anything, I'm just talking about relationships. You have people that in your realm that you know to take care of each other. And I just kept praying about that and I looked in all the. Everywhere I looked, I just became more and more disappointed until I came to free masonry and I didn't find 10 good men in free masonry, I found hundreds of them.

Speaker 2:

And.

Speaker 1:

I got to tell you I could get emotional over this. But last night we were at Master Mason Association meeting and I was sitting in the back corner looking over all these guys and it hit me again that same feeling. 10 good men, lord. I want to know where do I go to find 10 good men who, in times of trouble, will rally to protect each other, to protect whatever, protect the flag, for goodness sakes, protect the country, protect whatever, help you, protect your home. Help you protect your own home.

Speaker 1:

And I found that in masonry and I'm so grateful for it, and to all the brothers that I run into and that I talk to. I know they got my back and I've got theirs. And where are you going to find that, bro? Where else in the world are you going to?

Speaker 2:

find that I haven't either, to be honest with you. I just haven't, I mean, and I've had ideas about thinking this was reality, since I was a child.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

And then in life going, it was steed-y. This is not real. Until I got into Freemasonry, and that's what really connected me to it is. I had these ideas from childhood.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

And this science fiction thing. It was teaching that integrity, honesty, standing up for what's right being part of something bigger than yourself. Tolerance for other people. You don't understand, like these were concepts that were getting drilled into me as a kid and they're here in Freemasonry. So that's why I take it so seriously, because it's very personal to me, and that's why I take it so seriously when I see others not taking it seriously.

Speaker 1:

Right, I know, I know.

Speaker 2:

And that can get me in trouble sometimes because, like you said in the beginning, everyone's here for a different reason. They shouldn't be here for the same reason. I am Not everybody.

Speaker 1:

No, that's right, that's right. We hope that everybody listening, everyone we run into, can catch the bug, like Worshipful Chris has and like I have, I hope and really just kind of get to that place in your life where you want something more. You want to be what man doesn't want, to be in a band of brothers.

Speaker 1:

We all want a band of brothers. Well, I believe that this upsurge in Masonry because that's a fact, it is definitely on the upsurge throughout the whole country, maybe even the whole world, and I think it is this hunger that men have for that band of brothers. I want brothers in my life that I can trust. I could trust with my wife and my children, with my home, with my back, and that they've got me. That's my band of brothers. Well, I have that and I hope you listening out there have that too, and if you don't, then I would suggest get outside your lodge and visit some more.

Speaker 2:

Get out You'll see it, if you get around a little bit. Yeah, that's right, that's right. Come to Grand Lodge and see us. Yeah, we'll give it to you.

Speaker 1:

Oh, nice plug. Nice segue, bro. Nice, I'm getting good at this, he's getting good at this. Money. No, there's no money here. There's no money in this.

Speaker 2:

Actually, I hope you do come to Grand Lodge and I hope you do meet us, because we really want to meet you guys.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

We want to hear from you and just shake your hand and get any kind of knowledge or feedback we can from you, because it'll just make it better, and your criticisms will make it better too. So don't hold back. You don't have to placate to us. We want to hear the real deal of what you think of what we're doing, because we want to do a good job and you're going to see more in our social media. We're trying to be we're funny guys. We're not just into the intellectual stuff and not just funny looking.

Speaker 2:

Well, that. I may be mean more than you, but one of us is. Being funny looking is not all bad, that's right. Some people make a good looking at being funny looking.

Speaker 1:

Sorry, I totally bumped you off your mark.

Speaker 2:

Our podcast is. The purpose of it is for us to get an outlet to talk about our thoughts on Freemasonry, and we do that. But being joking, funny and entertaining isn't necessarily what we're here to do. If we do it, that's just because that's who we are. But on social media you can see a little bit more of that side of us and how we can use Freemasonry to be funny and make points through humor. You were saying that memes are the last true method of what were you telling me about memes.

Speaker 1:

That's the last vestige of free speech. Free speech Of uncensored speech, our memes, yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and we're going to use that to talk about Freemasonry and what we think about Freemasonry. It's going to be awesome and we're really excited to get in front of people that because we're just talking to each other. But when we talk to you, like he said, we had a virtual master that heard one of the podcast and podcasts and said I disagreed with something. I want to challenge you on it, man, that's like I got excited.

Speaker 1:

Yes, absolutely. Do it on the air, especially the man that we're talking about, the caliber of brother that we're talking about.

Speaker 2:

Oh, I've had great worshipful say I was listening to what you said there and here's what I think about it. And he told me, and I was like man, so many good thoughts out there, right, yeah, so many different points of views, and we want them.

Speaker 1:

We want them. We want you to articulate them to us with gentleness and respect. Yes, please, with the gentleness.

Speaker 2:

Gentleness and respect please.

Speaker 1:

But we would love to sit down with anybody and talk with anybody. To wrap up, the fellow, the fellow craft degree. Personally, fred, speaking here my favorite degree, I'm just going to head long, dive into it over the however long I want to, and really understand it and get in and get into it. I'm going to read a lot of books, I'm going to ask a lot of questions and I hope you will too. What about you, chris? What are you doing?

Speaker 2:

Okay, I'm excited to get into the master Mason degree, but we don't want to just bore you guys with all ritual and Masonic degree deep dives. So give us some subjects that you are curious about our opinions on yeah show topics out there. Yeah, send them.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

Something you want to hear. What do you guys think about this? Or this is what I think about something and I'm curious what? You think about it, send it to us, because we want to actually shoot a few of those out there before we delve into the master Mason degree.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely, and thanks for the brother who's shouting at his iPhone right now, because early on he sent us an email giving us several topics and suggestions. We have not forgotten about you, brother, and those will be included.

Speaker 2:

Perfect, that's exactly what we need. Other than that, I'm about to go on a birthday, a weekend birthday trip, camping, so I'm going to go get some nature and observe God.

Speaker 1:

Wow, no kidding. So what 35, 37? What are you going to be?

Speaker 2:

doing. I'll be 48. I'll be 48. Actually, the night of our next day of communication 48. I have my wife's coming to dinner because she said, wait, you're going to lodge in your birthday and I said I kind of have to. It's been on the calendar for six months. I told you about it. I'm like this would be one of those times. Maybe you could come and we could have dinner together. So she will be at Lodge for dinner on our next day of communication. Always awesome to see your wife so that's great.

Speaker 1:

That's a treat, man.

Speaker 2:

All right, my brother.

Speaker 1:

We are an hour in and I think that's enough. Down with the fellow craft. Next would be the master Mason, but we'll probably throw a couple of I don't know something in the mix there. Let's do a couple of fun podcasts and then we'll jump back into master Mason.

Speaker 2:

Well, I want to go deeper and I want to be a little more organized with it, but I do like our organic janky kind of back and forth.

Speaker 1:

I don't want to mess with this too much, but I do want to bring a little more deeper, deeper subject matter when we get into master Mason, because that one is heavy, it is Chris, I love you, brother, I love you too, and I'll see you on the next show. Man, All right, I'll see you on the next one.

Freemasonry and Personal Connections
(Cont.) Freemasonry and Personal Connections
Education and Critical Thinking in Freemasonry
The Power of Rhetoric and Music
Freemasonry, Geometry, and Belief Systems
Living a Life of Integrity
The Importance of Brotherhood in Freemasonry
Expanding Topics in Freemasonry Podcast

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