On The Level Podcast

The Fellow Craft (Winding Stairs) Lecture: Navigating the Stairway of Symbols

January 27, 2024 Christopher Burns Season 2 Episode 24
On The Level Podcast
The Fellow Craft (Winding Stairs) Lecture: Navigating the Stairway of Symbols
On The Level Podcast
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Embark on a profound exploration of the Masonic journey with us, where the Fellow Craft degree unveils a world woven with allegory and symbol. As we recount the iconic winding stair lecture, feel the palpable reverence for tradition and education echoed in the hallowed halls of Hillsborough Lodge. From the intricate role of the Senior Deacon to the embracing of diverse faiths within our ranks, our conversation promises to enlighten and inspire, challenging common misconceptions and celebrating our quest for moral betterment and service.

Tragedy often strikes without warning, and the Masonic fraternity stands as a bastion of support in such times. I share a deeply personal narrative of loss, illustrating how our brotherhood rallies around one another during the darkest hours. The opioid epidemic, a scourge upon society, is met with our call for compassion, while we also emphasize the necessity of accountability within our ranks. Reflecting on the real-world implications of Masonic principles, this episode serves as a testament to the fraternity's unwavering commitment to upholding ethical standards and offering solace to those in need.

As the cosmos unveils its grand designs, we ponder the harmony between scientific discovery and the awe of intelligent design, navigating the space where empirical evidence and spiritual interpretation coalesce. Our discussion culminates in a candid examination of the integrity of the Masonic order, where the tough conversations about expulsion for misconduct reaffirm our dedication to the fraternity's esteemed values. Join us for this episode, where every word and insight shared is a step closer to the light of wisdom and understanding that Freemasonry champions.

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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, hey brother, once again Woo.

Speaker 2:

We are back.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, that was awesome. As promised, this particular show is going to be about the fellow craft lecture and we'll do a couple of them, and then maybe we'll do master mason one, a couple of them, then we'll go back and finish up EA. We didn't want to just blast you guys with eight episodes of the EA lecture.

Speaker 2:

We just kind of want to mix it up. We're going to do like 12 episodes, 12 episodes.

Speaker 1:

A little tired after three. Everybody was like you know writing us. Come on, guys, come on, let's move on. So yeah, so we're going to jump into the fellow craft degree Now. For many of us, this is clearly our favorite degree. Yes, and if you are a mason, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Even the name of it, the winding stair lecture. It just provokes such great imagery.

Speaker 2:

It's a great representation of the system of free masonry, because that winding stairs is very public. Some lodges actually have winding stairs and they have symbols and they have letters on the stairs that everyone can see. Right right Hillsborough.

Speaker 1:

Hillsborough Lodge.

Speaker 2:

They have those winding stairs and if you look, they're fifth.

Speaker 1:

They're the stairs.

Speaker 2:

They are the stairs. It's amazing, it's absolutely cool, I got to tell you something. Hillsborough Lodge reached out to me and they've asked me to do a lecture there.

Speaker 1:

Nice Next month.

Speaker 2:

On On the day of the district picnic here in district 23. So I won't be at the district picnic. Neither will I I have to do this lecture at Hillsborough Lodge, nice. I cannot pass this opportunity up. Thank you, warsh Fullrich. Really, really, looking forward to that.

Speaker 1:

That is awesome and that's getting opportunities to go speak at different lodges because of the podcast is just such a privilege that we have.

Speaker 2:

We are blessed to do this, we're going to get to see a master mason degree in Hillsborough Lodge and potentially be a small part of it. Woo, woo, exciting I can't wait.

Speaker 1:

I'm there. I'm right there, beside you, bro.

Speaker 2:

Google Hillsborough Lodge in Florida and just look at that place, guys, it's amazing.

Speaker 1:

It is amazing. Any chance that comes up to go there, I'm going Right, I'm there. I mean because we just love that place and the Warsh Full Master shout out. We just love the Warsh Full Master there and everything that he's done. Warsh Full Rich. So, anyways, I know he's listening. He listens to us regularly.

Speaker 2:

It's everything he didn't know he needed about Freemasonry. What a great line.

Speaker 1:

That's right. What a great line, right, everything I didn't know I needed. That's exactly right, man, so okay, well, good Shall we begin in the fellow craft. Now you're looking in the red book.

Speaker 2:

I do have the red book with me, yeah, so you'll know exactly what Ken and Kent is and is and published.

Speaker 1:

I'm going to follow along in our blue book, which is the monitor. I mean You're going to monitor through the monitor.

Speaker 2:

I have this open. I'm not going to read out of it, I just want to see where it ends so that I don't say anything that I shouldn't say I'm going to back you up on that. I definitely don't want to do that, the first 10 pages. I'm always amazed how much of this is written out.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so you don't have to worry about anything until you get to speculative masonry. Wow, okay.

Speaker 2:

So we've got some things to talk about here.

Speaker 1:

So the first is the senior deacon lecturer.

Speaker 2:

Yes, typically the senior deacon gives the lectures in the lodge Correct, and so I don't know if all lodges do this, but if the senior deacon isn't giving the lecture, the lecturer wears the deacon's jewels.

Speaker 1:

Oh, okay.

Speaker 2:

I was giving the lecture and gives it back to the deacon when he's done so that he's symbolically the senior deacon, as he does it.

Speaker 1:

Right, right, okay, all right. Well, worshipful burns begin.

Speaker 2:

My brothers. Freemasonry being an allegorical system, all of its parts, points and secrets must partake of its symbolic construction. Every ceremony has its mystical reference in every landmark, its legitimate explanation. It is consistent in all of its parts, which points to one in the same object kept prominently in view in all of the degrees. Now, I guess we won't say what that is, but masons, I think, generally know what that's referring to. Every landmark and every mystical ceremony constitute a plain type of some great event which appears to be intimately connected with our best and dearest interests.

Speaker 2:

Conveying instruction by symbols has been a means made use of among all nations in all parts of the world, dating back in its history to the first teachers of man. All the wise men of the East, including Solomon, the great and wise king of Israel, as well as those from the humbler walks of life, have veiled their discourse in allegory and illustrated by symbols. I think that's this is an important section, because people that aren't masons think that we're really shady and bad because we use symbols and that we're hiding the true meaning of things. But, as we talked about, the fellowcraft lecture deals with history and science, and what we're saying here is that all nations, from the beginning of our recorded history, have used symbols to convey ideas from pre-Egyptian times, which was at least 3,000 years ago. Even before then, they were using symbols as a means of communication.

Speaker 1:

Right, because most people couldn't read. So the symbolism.

Speaker 2:

Everyone can look at something. Everyone that's not blind can look at it.

Speaker 1:

Right, right, yeah, so the landmarks. Can we talk about the landmarks of Masonry, correct? Or is that the tenets? Am I thinking of the three tenets, or is it the three landmarks?

Speaker 2:

There are more landmarks.

Speaker 1:

Right, so the three tenets I'm thinking of We'll talk about that later. Yeah, the principal tenets, I think it comes up In the inner-deprentice lecture. Correct, correct my bad, sorry, that's okay.

Speaker 2:

So the first degree in Masonry is symbolic and moral. The second embraces history and science. The allegory of Freemasonry is the building of King Solomon's temple at Jerusalem, and our legends date from that epoch. The working tools there used furnish us with many of our symbols, and many of our ceremonies were practiced by its builders. In order to facilitate the work of building and prevent confusion in the payment of wages, the craft were divided into classes or, as we designate them, degrees, and to each class was assigned methods of recognition. The second class, or fellow crafts, received their wages in corn, wine and oil in the middle chamber. Hence we say a lodge of fellow crafts represents the middle chamber of King Solomon's temple, as does that of the entered apprentice, the ground floor. We term advancement to this degree passing, and we say past to the degree of fellow craft. For when going from the ground floor to the middle chamber of King Solomon's temple, when necessarily passed between two beautiful brazen pillars, I gosh, it just starts off so good, doesn't it?

Speaker 1:

And this is so. I think this is a great idea, because we had an esoteric discussion group just the other day. Shout out, that was a great group.

Speaker 2:

A 20 of us there.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, Kevin, for opening up your home. That was awesome.

Speaker 2:

And for everybody to come out and share their time with us.

Speaker 1:

And one of the we did a little bit of discussion about degree stuff and then we did a little current event kind of discussion that broke out, and the current event was, you know, was talking about all of this persecution, if you will, of masons and masonry around the country, this move towards unstable people, people of unstable mental health, in my opinion, going after masons because of this massive amount of misinformation that's out there. It always stems from misinformation, people grabbing misinformation and then taking, you know, taking action against others because of their ignorance. You know, and this right here, what we're doing today and doing this work and we did not plan it this way. But I think that this is telling the world. We're showing you, hey, world, we're showing you there's nothing nefarious, there's nothing we are not taking over the world.

Speaker 1:

We don't own the government, we don't own any of that stuff. What we are is a group of lodges fraternal lodges around the country, underneath a state headship of a fraternal order, trying to make ourselves and our communities better men. And these lectures and what we're doing here, that's what we're trying to convey to the world. Hey, alex Jones, listen up, man, we're not nefarious, we're not up to anything.

Speaker 2:

Shut up, man. We don't want to hear from you anymore. He's out there advertising for us.

Speaker 1:

You know he's advertising for us, because hopefully people are listening to this idiot yes, I did say idiot. And then they're thinking well, that guy's a whack job. He's the one who said the thing about frogs and all this weird crap that he goes through over and over again and maybe they're looking. I need to know the truth. Let me look into masonry. And if you're that guy, if you're listening right now and you need to look into masonry, just call your local lodge, go down there and talk to these people. They're going to tell you everything. They're going to give you a tour of a lodge. There are no secret rooms. There is no secret nefarious plot. It's a fraternal order of men who are trying to make themselves better for the benefit of the world.

Speaker 2:

And the doozy Is they're going to say it's a religion or it's satanic. And you know, this came out at our esoteric discussion group this weekend Somebody I think we had an entrepreneur who is Is it Pagan? He's a neo-Pagan.

Speaker 1:

Something, it's something unique. I don't think he says I am no no, no he says that he's studying it. He's looking into it, I believe I think is what it is and I think he is the universalist church. He goes to the universalist church here in Sarasota.

Speaker 2:

So we had that brother who said this is only strengthening his belief in whatever that religion is to him, Whatever road he's going down. We had a Jewish brother there who confirmed that being part of masonry has strengthened his relationship with the temple and his religion. And we had many Christians who, yourself included who said, this is actually strengthening my belief in Christianity and my place in it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's funny that I sit in a group of men who represent. If I'm sitting at the bus station, though I don't know the people around me, it's the same thing, Only these men that I'm sitting in this group with.

Speaker 1:

I know, I know their religious backgrounds, I know their opinions, but it's just a microcosm of the world at large, and the difference, of course, is we, as men, can discuss our differences with gentleness and respect for others and maybe, for goodness sakes, learn something from each other for the betterment of our fraternity and going forward for the benefit of our community. You can ask my wife it's made me a better husband. Why? Because it has pointed me back to the origins of my faith. It has reminded me of something that I forgot and it has pushed me towards this direction, back to something in my life that is extremely meaningful and helpful and the symbolism, the work that we do, the degree work, the fellowship, the love. You're not going to find that anywhere else. Bro, if you're out there looking for something like that, get down to your local lodge and ask them some questions or email.

Speaker 2:

Fred at onthelevelwithFredandChriscom, Please email. He'll tell you everything you need to know.

Speaker 1:

Yes, and I want to apologize. I set up my mail client so that all my emails would download to one source and for some reason, fred at onthelevelwithFredandChriscom did not get on that mail client. So I was feeling really slighted. Guys, you guys out there. I was feeling slighted. It's like gosh, you guys are not emailing me. And then one day I opened that thing up and I was like whoa, okay, you guys are emailing me, I will get on those emails and I will answer you back. Some guys are also instant messaging me.

Speaker 1:

Oh great, which is great, and I have got to get that on my computer so that it notifies me, because I don't have the notification set up for that. So you guys that are shooting me stuff, instant messaging me, I will be responding back to you. I will get that going. I have got a life changing, life altering thing that I have to do this weekend.

Speaker 2:

Are we not discussing that?

Speaker 1:

Weekend, weekend, if you want, and when I get back. I have decided to make a few changes in my life because, if anything, this would be a good marker for turning some things that I am not happy with in my life to things that I am happy with. So this Saturday I talked about it with just a few guys, but I will share a little bit with you. On July 16th this last month, my eldest son, brian, committed suicide and I will spare you the details of how it happened and he suffered greatly for the last two decades.

Speaker 1:

He was a homeless addict on the streets of Denver, colorado. He was very much tied and bound by the system the so-called justice system we will talk about that some other day and he was just held there captive. So he was either incarcerated, where he was actually safe, but then they would kick him back out on the streets, load him up with SSRIs and then kick him back out on the streets, and this went on for a decade. He just struggled greatly in his mind with mental illness by that time and finally could no longer keep up the fight. And there's just so much here, and if you've gone through anything like this in your life, I'd love to hear from you and I'd love to talk about how can we bring better awareness of what's going on out there.

Speaker 1:

My youngest son. I have four sons my youngest, second youngest son technically only because two of my sons are step sons and two of my sons are biological sons, but they're still my sons. But my youngest son, eric, and I forgot where I was going with that, so anyway, it's a weird thing to talk about, needless to say, oh right.

Speaker 1:

So my youngest son and I, we are looking for a way to honor the memory of of Bri by bringing awareness to this issue that's going on out there. I learned a lot of stuff, did you know? You know, when I, when I my checkered? Background is I've talked about it on the podcast before, but there was a time in the 80s, drugs were expensive and hard to get and that was somewhat of a barrier not not for for many of us, not an unsurmountable barrier, unfortunately, but it was a barrier. It slowed you down. Today, one day's worth of fentanyl costs you $3. And it's everywhere in Denver, colorado. You can go anywhere and with three to $10, get an entire day of fentanyl is and our country is flooded with this, this reality. Every big city in this country is flooded with this substance. It's everywhere fentanyl.

Speaker 2:

Which is what? Well, I believe it's.

Speaker 1:

We started out as oxycodone, which is a synthetic form of heroin. So same effect, same idea, but it's a synthetic, it's a man made type of heroin. So fentanyl was originally created by the ghouls in the pharmaceutical industry as what they termed it, an end of life drug. So only if you're terminally ill and dying do they give this to you, because of it's so dangerous and so utterly potent that you can only like a grain of sand worth is really all that it takes. So it obviously like every other drug that they ever created, it gets out into the streets and it becomes, you know. It floods over our border, it's produced out of country and it's it's smuggled into the country and sold on our streets. It is, it is the ultimate form of a heroin like substance extremely powerful, extremely unstable and extremely hard to administer correctly. Therefore, that's why people are dropping dead all over the place from overdosing from it.

Speaker 2:

So all over the country I'm reading the effects of taking this drug.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And it's all about escaping pain.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, it's a goal.

Speaker 2:

Probably was the intention, but it looks like symptoms such as euphoria. Are people probably trying to escape emotional pain or taking this drug?

Speaker 1:

Absolutely Not feel it, absolutely.

Speaker 2:

Have to live with this.

Speaker 1:

Right and and I know that my son also. So methamphetamine was also an issue for him as well, which is very, very bad drug, and I can tell you that. I can tell you that personally it is. It is a. In my opinion, if the devil was selling drugs, that's the one he would sell, because it is so nefarious it causes. Heroin makes you pass out and throw up on yourself, you know, methamphetamine makes you steal cars and hurt people, and so it's a. It's a totally different air, you know, it's a totally different drug with a totally different reaction set and and so all of these issues, all of these things that that they are kids are getting dragged into them at a young age.

Speaker 1:

You know, my son took his life at 37. He's been out on the streets for 20 years, man. So do the math, bro. He was a young man when we started to lose him and we did all we could.

Speaker 1:

I will tell you, on the on the good news part, his dad, me, is an ordained minister and I had I have spoken to him many, many times on the phone while he was in jail in person, over and over again, about faith and life and eternity, and I am very much convinced. I know where my son is today and I will see him again. So that is, that is my hope, and that is the hope of faith, sure, you know, and the Christian faith has that, what we call eternal hope that we will see those, those members of our family again. But anyway, I'm sharing this with you guys because of the amount of love the Masana community has shown me is amazing. I have brothers all literally all over the world, who would absolutely stand up with me and stand next to me and cry with me and and and hug me.

Speaker 2:

It's difficult because you can't stop or fix or help really in any way.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

And so you don't know how to help.

Speaker 1:

Now it's. It's really strange. I'm finding that to be true. People that I thought were going to just like, like at my work, for instance, these, these at my work. No one in my work is Masonic, no one in my work is has any kind of faith to speak of. They don't know how to deal with this. They have not said a word to me.

Speaker 1:

Either way you're doing about it. They totally avoid the conversation in every single way, and the reason why is because they don't know how to deal with it. Right, and I don't put anything on them.

Speaker 2:

I don't put anything on it. I don't play here. He must be OK. So I don't want to bring it up or cause any more pain. I'll just ignore it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and, and it's just, they have no, they have no, no mechanism. They have no, no mechanism, no reference point for something like this. This is what you see on TV. This doesn't actually happen to people. I know, I don't know how to deal with this, but you know, as Christians or or whatever faith you are, or as a Mason we have, we have an, we we're able to look at this and we're able to understand this, not, not?

Speaker 1:

fully understand it. No one's going to fully understand a 37 year old young man hanging himself behind a dumpster in Denver, Colorado. No one's going to truly understand the dynamics that happened there. That's not possible.

Speaker 2:

But a little bit of empathy goes a long way.

Speaker 1:

A little bit of empathy, you can imagine the pain.

Speaker 2:

Oh it's all had pain in our lives and we've all gone to dark places. You understand, yeah, where that could lead if you didn't check it. No, that's right, Follow that path as far down as you could go. Yeah yeah, it's going to lead to that place. My wife lost the same age early 30s. Her cousin same thing. Yeah, drugs his whole life, escaping, trying to escape the pain, and all his family did was make it worse. Yeah shame him, make him an outcast.

Speaker 2:

I know and try to understand what he was trying to escape, what that pain was Right, and he what probably wasn't even capable of communicating to anybody. So this is horrible thing.

Speaker 1:

Right, right, the Christian community is and I'll say it and it's true and I'll back it up is just terrible at this. If you suffer from mental illness, that's a lack of faith, right, and they put that on you. You know well. You just need to believe more, you need to trust more. There are chemical. There are. It's just scientific that there are chemical imbalances that happen in the brain that cause us to shift reality. If you add to that drug use powerful, dangerous drug use like methamphetamine standing periods of time standing period of times.

Speaker 1:

You are just you're. You're harming your brain in such a way that reality begins to slip from you and for the past eight years, my son's ability to reason. He told me about voices that he would hear and he could. He could go into great detail as to what these voices were saying, who they were. When they showed up, I mean, it was real in his mind and in his heart and eventually he could no longer. He just could no longer deal with it. You know, and he he his only way out. He saw we reached out to him. Our Christian community family was not that way. I would not have that. We reached out to him. He was not an outcast. Our family, we loved him. He knew that we loved him. He knew he could rely on us. We never gave him money, Because that would be wrong because this would have happened sooner if you did it would have happened much sooner.

Speaker 1:

Correct so. But we but he always knew that he could call any of us and we would stay on the phone with him for as long as we had to. My daughter in Colorado God bless her his older sister would bring him food, would take care of him when he was just so totally broken. She devoted a lot of time and a lot of love to that young man and it has absolutely enriched her life and crushed her big time. So, yeah, I need to get out there and sit with her and talk with her.

Speaker 1:

But if you've ever gone through any of this, reach out to me. Man, I would like to bring awareness somehow, and I'm not, I'm not going to go, you know, full on crazy with it, but I would like to know your story. If you have one, I'd like to. I'd like to see if there's something we can do to just bring more awareness to it's. What I'm finding is this it's they talk about it on TV all the time. You know that it's an epidemic, this, and they politicize it and blah, blah, blah and they ruin it. They take away its power because they politicize everything for for gain, right in the, in the media. But when it hits home and when you, when you, when you see it, feel it and begin to look into it, you realize this is really bad man. It's it's really bad out there and it's getting to the point where every single human being, like you just said, you've been touched by it, your family's been touched by it.

Speaker 2:

This is a this is a huge problem in 2021. Almost 100,000 people died from preventable overdose. Wow which is an increase of 781% from 1991. Wow.

Speaker 1:

So a decade.

Speaker 2:

These deaths represent 92% of the total 107,000 drug overdose deaths in the US annually. Yeah, oh, my god right.

Speaker 1:

I would have to say those numbers.

Speaker 2:

It's a massive problem.

Speaker 1:

It's a massive problem.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and no one. You know, this is the problem with our society. We're we're segmenting ourselves to the point where, if it doesn't affect us directly, we really don't care.

Speaker 1:

We really don't care.

Speaker 2:

We can talk about, we care or pretend to care, but no one's doing anything about it in reality. Right, and we're so busy with such hollow pursuits until a president or a senator has a son, do this, no one's going to care. This is how it is in this world. If it doesn't impact me directly, sure we feel bad, but we're not really going to pay attention to it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's right, man, that's right, and you know it's called empathy.

Speaker 2:

Empathy caring about something that doesn't directly impact you and making it stop Right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and that's a little empathy empathy, putting yourself in the position of that person. You know, compassion is the action of empathy, right, Empathy is the realization putting yourself in that position. Compassion is the actual putting shoes to it and getting out there and doing something, showing compassion. So that's and that's where I'm at. Sorry to drop this heavy heaviness on everybody. It is a major, obviously a major issue that's going on in my life and my family's life right now and I will definitely be talking more about it.

Speaker 1:

but I will be talking more about doing about it Once I understand, once I understand it as best I can.

Speaker 2:

I need help. You need some people to help you with this.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's right.

Speaker 2:

People answer the call that have been through this or are struggling with it.

Speaker 1:

If you're struggling with it? Yeah, you don't. You should not try to struggle alone, even though you, if you get to the point where my son was, you will not. You will not come out of it without help. You can't get out of it without help. You will get stuck in there. The government has set up this judicial system that pretends to be helping.

Speaker 1:

My son was involved in what they call drug court, which is a multi, multi million dollar government operation in Denver, colorado, that does nothing to help these people. I'm sorry, they just don't. In my opinion, it is a gigantic government jobs program. It's massive. And my son I'll just give you a clue he had been in and out of the Denver and Arapaho County jail system for for a decade and a half. Okay, the last time he got arrested he had already had three DUIs. Okay, he had. He was on what's known as a felony diversion program for drug use and possession. He led police on a chase in a stolen car while intoxicated, with his fourth, which would be his fourth DUI.

Speaker 1:

You would think that a man with this, with that record, committing that crime, would go to prison where he probably would have been able to receive some help, going a couple of years or three or four years maybe even that would have been, probably five years without any kind of drug use whatsoever probably would have cleared him up. But you know what they did? They let him out 30 days later. They let him out on on on drug court diversion and sure enough, he went from the drug court diversion house where he was in lockdown for the 30 days and he was supposed to go to a halfway house in Denver, colorado, and he never made it, never made it back there. He didn't make it one day, 14 to 20 days later, about 20 days later, he was gone. He was going to find it, he just couldn't.

Speaker 1:

Now these are the people that pretend to be in charge of the compassion industry and I think they're getting it wrong, man. I think they're getting it really, really wrong, and if you want to find a source of the problem, we could probably start there. But that's a leviathan that will not go easily and they're not going to give up their grip. Here I go with my soapbox, I'll give up on it, but if you want and I know there's people out there shaking their heads yes, right now. If you've been through this, you know exactly what I'm talking about. They put themselves in a position of guardian, of helper, and they just suck at it, man, they just really suck at it.

Speaker 2:

We're in a for-profit country, everything is for profit.

Speaker 1:

Everything is for profit.

Speaker 2:

Your life is for profit. Everything is politicized. Your health is for profit.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, wow.

Speaker 2:

Your ability to think clearly is for profit of somebody. It's crazy.

Speaker 1:

All right, so are we going to transition from that back to operative masonry, which is part of the fellow craft lecture?

Speaker 2:

Well, thank you first of all for sharing that. I was contacted by people asking me what was going on with you after that episode People wanted your contact info. I didn't want to tell people, since I don't know if you want to tell people, but people care.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they do.

Speaker 2:

In this fraternity, people really care. There is empathy, at least for each other, which is a good start, at least if we can keep it Right. Like I always say, free masonry is training wheels for life. So if you can have a little empathy for someone in the fraternity, that means you've learned. Hopefully you can learn to have empathy for people that aren't masons someday. That's right. Yeah, it's good training wheels.

Speaker 1:

I love that. I love that analogy. It really is. It's good training wheels for life and I appreciate that. Anybody who does want to reach out to me on this issue just email me or instant message me. I don't know how you were able to figure that out, but I'm getting them.

Speaker 1:

I'll set up the notifications so that I can answer them. But yeah, it's Fred at onthelevelwithFredandChriscom. Just shoot me an email anytime. I'll do my best to answer back and maybe we can bring some kind of awareness, some kind of consensus and maybe actually do something about it. Everybody has answers for this hurting society. We have answers. We have something here that young men could use to better their lives, and I'd like to see that in action. So let's move on. Well, on a more personal note, All right, we're not moving on, we're quick.

Speaker 2:

Last thing I've gotten to know you well, I would say. Yes, yes brother, I do. We've had ups and downs.

Speaker 1:

We have. We've had fights, we've had good times, we've had problems.

Speaker 2:

And everything's led me to understand you better, and I've seen you dealing with this extremely in a way in which you're extremely strong outside to others, and so I really hope people do contact you, because I think that really can help you. I think it's probably hard. I've witnessed it's difficult to talk to people that don't know what you're going through, and we want to be there for you, but it's not the same as somebody that understands. Now, that's that's true. I really believe that's true. So I think if someone that's been through something very similar to you could talk to you, it would be helpful to you. So I hope people do reach out to Fred. I know him. I think it'd be good for him. You'd be doing a huge service to us, absolutely so, and and you know, that could lead to a good outcome for everybody, because we are idea guys.

Speaker 1:

We are idea guys. Yeah, that's right.

Speaker 2:

Even if it's just on a small level, come up with a way to try to make a small difference and maybe save somebody else's life down the road here.

Speaker 1:

That's right, or at least prepare those in families who are going through it. Yeah, there are. There is a right way and a wrong way to approach this, and we we started off doing it the wrong way and we learned to do it the right way.

Speaker 2:

The outcome was still tragic.

Speaker 1:

Yeah but you know, we can look back as a family and say that we left no stone unturned. We did all we could. We can say that as a family and I think that's one of the reasons why I feel I'm I'm not breaking down Right. Now keep in mind, I am responsible for doing the service. I am doing the message of hope at his service on Saturday.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, the hardest times are still in front of you.

Speaker 1:

The hardest times are in front of me and I know when I get back from Denver on Monday night I got a feeling things will be a little different for me. But I have my brothers all around the world.

Speaker 1:

I have my brothers all around the world who have, who have stood with me, and the thing is, the thing is is that brothers come up to me all the time, you know, who know about this situation, and they put their arm around me and they hug me, and some of them don't say anything. I know what they're doing and I know what they're saying to me. It's better than words. It's better than words, and the reason why that is is I know that literally all around the world there are brothers who have the same attitude towards me. They don't even know me, but they are my Masonic brothers from around the world.

Speaker 2:

It's crazy.

Speaker 1:

Huh, we have. Where are you going to get that I?

Speaker 2:

say it all the time, I can't explain it to people. It's impossible to use words to make somebody that's not in the fraternity understand this.

Speaker 1:

Right right.

Speaker 2:

You have to experience it to truly understand it.

Speaker 1:

Other than a close like military unit. I've talked to military guys that say that they forge friendships and they bond there. But other than that, where are you going to find a group of men worldwide who can cry with you, who can laugh with you, who can do life with you, regardless of what their background is, what the color of their skin is, what any factor does not matter? Together, as Masons, in this fraternal order, we do life together, man, and it's all over the world. But I think that's an answer that this country needs. I'm going to pound that on the table for the rest of my life. We have something that the world needs, that young men need, and we need to get together and we need to be stronger. We need to make Masons. Hey, Worshipful Masters out there, make new Masons. It's your charter, You're required to make new Masons. Let's do it. Let's do it together.

Speaker 2:

You want some help, go to Masonappco. Forward slash GLMRP.

Speaker 1:

You're going to have to repeat that Masonappco forward slash GLMRP.

Speaker 2:

You'll find answers.

Speaker 1:

You'll find answers. If you need explanations, if you need us to come to you and we can, we will.

Speaker 2:

Wow, that went in an interesting direction.

Speaker 1:

It certainly did Well, it was an interesting moment.

Speaker 2:

Thank you for sharing.

Speaker 1:

I appreciate it. Let's not finish on that, even though we're deep into this. But let's go to Operative Masonry, unless there's anything within that first part that you wanted to kind of dig into.

Speaker 2:

That's a pretty like plainly explaining what the fellow craft degree is, why we call it passing what the second degree represents, but actually free Masonry as a whole is classed in. There are two denominations Operative and Speculative.

Speaker 1:

And Speculative- so let's hear about the Operative. Some of us are both but not many, Not many yeah.

Speaker 2:

By Operative Masonry we allude to the proper application of the useful rules of architecture, when the structure will derive figure, strength and beauty, and whence will result a due proportion and adjust correspondence. In all its parts, it furnaces us with dwellings and convenient shelters from the vicissitudes and inclinancies of seasons, and while it displays the effects of human wisdom as well in the choice as in the arrangement of the sundry materials of which an edifice is composed, it demonstrates that a fond of science and industry is implanted in man for the best, most salutary and beneficial purposes. Well, there's some big words in there. There's some real big words in there.

Speaker 1:

We're going to have to break that down a little bit.

Speaker 2:

And this is why people learn this lecture first, it just feels good to say these words Right, yeah, right when you're standing there and you say it and people think you know what you're talking about. It's a lecture. It's a good feeling, it makes you feel smart. But for me, I had to Google about half of that paragraph to really understand what the heck that's saying, and it's really simple. The idea of masonry was the building of beautiful things.

Speaker 1:

That's right. Yeah, it was the actual physical work All the tools, all the techniques, all the materials that go into building something.

Speaker 2:

as part of the offer, these were known as guilds.

Speaker 1:

They were the different building guilds. Right Today you would call it like a general contractor. A general contractor is a gigantic company that builds giant buildings, a company that the general contractor for a skyscraper, for instance, and that entity is operative. They actually do the work.

Speaker 2:

They use the tools, the materials.

Speaker 1:

And some of them do it good and most of them do it very poorly.

Speaker 2:

What I like the most about this paragraph these days? Mostly poorly, let's be honest. Let's be totally honest. It demonstrates that a fund of science and industry is implanted in man, Right there.

Speaker 1:

This didn't come from us.

Speaker 2:

It was implanted in man. This fund of science and industry.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and that is so true because in mason we refer to God as the grand architect of the universe. And if you look at the universe, if you look at this earth and you look at the world around us, there's architecture there, man, there's engineering there. It's very clear and, like you just alluded to, it's in us, it's implanted in us it has been implanted in us and everybody knows this.

Speaker 1:

I remember my kids when they were little, giving them erector sets and Legos and these things and watching them build stuff. They're building stuff. They didn't need to be taught this. My one son, troy, he's just like give him the most complicated toys for building stuff and you come back and he's built the Taj Mahal, for goodness sakes.

Speaker 2:

Look what I did Like wow Right, it's in us.

Speaker 1:

It's absolutely in us.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and it's implanted in us for the best, most salutary and beneficial purposes, meaning we're supposed to use this drive that we have given to us by our creator for the good of mankind. Yeah, that's right, that's right. There you go. This is how free Mason reviews operative masonry. The interesting part, the part most of us live in, is the speculative masonry of today.

Speaker 1:

And just so for those who don't understand operative being those guilds, those people that originally actually built. Speculative is us free and accepted masons who take the concepts and ideas of the physical builder and translate them into that system of morality that is illuminated by symbolism, and that's the difference between operative and speculative. We are speculative masons. We don't build physical buildings. None of us are slinging mud.

Speaker 2:

Not in the lodge. Not in the lodge Usually, not usually. We are speculative.

Speaker 1:

We just think the brilliance of this fraternity is found in in the way I don't know who did all this, but whoever, whichever group did this, if it built up over time, and we don't know who did this.

Speaker 1:

we don't know who did this, but it's brilliant in that it speaks to men, on our, on the symbolism and the way the symbolism is used and the way you dig into it and and and take it and put it into your own life. It just speaks to men, it speaks to us, like you said, it's in us, and and the way, the speculative, the working tools, the square, the compass, the level, all of it, the way you can apply these things into your own life and the way the system of degree work helps to reinforce it in your mind. You can't sorry, I'll say it again where are you going to get that man?

Speaker 2:

You're going to get that?

Speaker 1:

You ain't going to get that anywhere else. Where in the world?

Speaker 2:

That's right. Well, let's see what the system of Freemasonry in Florida says. Speculative Masonry means.

Speaker 1:

And I'm going to stop you at some point, so go Okay.

Speaker 2:

By speculative, speculative masonry, we learn to subdue the passions, act upon the square, keep a tongue of good report, maintain secrecy and practice charity. It is so far interwoven with religion as to lay us under obligation to pay that rational homage to the deity which at once constitutes our duty and our happiness. It leads the contemplated view, with reverence and admiration, the glorious works of creation and inspires him with the most exalted ideas of the perfection of his divine creator. Gosh, I love that. Wow, so there's a lot there.

Speaker 1:

That's just one parent. That's the first paragraph right.

Speaker 2:

So we learn to subdue the passions in the interdependence degree. We learn to subdue the passions Right and the fellow craft degree. We learn to act upon the square Right. Keep a tongue of good report. So that means don't do anything that is going to allow people to say something bad about you is how I take that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, keep a tongue of good report To me it would mean don't say bad things about right, don't gossip, don't gossip Don't be a gossip. Don't run people down, but build people up. Use your tongue for what it was intended for to build people up.

Speaker 2:

So I failed at this recently. You did, I did. Are you confessing right now I made a Masonic error? I was correct in my actions, but I went too far, okay, and I did not keep a tongue of good report.

Speaker 1:

Oh, I know what you're talking about.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I got myself in some hot water because I'm a zealous Mason.

Speaker 1:

He is, he is folks, if you know him, that is a true statement.

Speaker 2:

I really believe in the fraternal values and tenets of free Masonry and when I see masons not adhering to them, I want to call it out because to me the hurting my reputation is a Mason. It's hard enough to keep a good reputation as a Mason in the world, but to have masons out there acting on Masonic does not help any of us. So, uh, all right, so let's talk about that for a minute. I won't say the name, we won't say the name. That's how I got myself in the trouble.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, we're not. We're not going to say names, we're going to keep, we're going to use our tongue. I did not wisdom and a good report.

Speaker 2:

I think I was correct in calling out the action, but I should not have called out the name. That was the part that wasn't correct on my part.

Speaker 1:

Well, we won't do that now. But one of the things we've said on the show before and one of the standards that we have for on the level with Fred and Chris, the podcast, is that we, we do not charge. No, no Mason should have to pay for the, the learning and the teachings and the education that they're supposed to get naturally through their lodge Right. We pay annual dues to our lodge and our lodge gives us education through our degree work. If there's anybody out there that's trying to charge money to do this on the side, I don't care how many books they write, I don't care how many seminars they do. It is not Masonic, I'm sorry, it's just not, and I think Florida Grand Lodge has backs us up on this. I think they also would agree with us. And if I'm getting myself in trouble here, I'm sure I'll hear about it.

Speaker 2:

You're allowed to have an opinion.

Speaker 1:

And I have a strong opinion about that, because Masonry we're, you know we're, we're on the ascendancy. In my opinion, Masonry is growing again and and stuff like this can only slow that down. If you're a Mason and you're paying somebody to teach you the truths about Masonry, I would encourage you to stop immediately, because you're not. You're not acting within the, within the structure of your lodge, and then they're going to say, well, Fred, but my lodge doesn't offer mentoring and they're not doing a real good job of this. Okay, Then we said it before brother, you're the, you're the solution.

Speaker 1:

You see it. Mentoring, you want it, you desire it and you see it. That makes you, that makes you the change man. You got to go out there and do it. What you don't want to do is lay down a chunk of money to have somebody teach you it for pay Right. What should be given? What should be given freely within your lodge, because your lodge won't grow until you get in there and actually begin to make the change. We were talking to brother Bob down in Englewood, bob Gaten's, bob Gaten's the, the, the amazing bicyclist. The man rode a bicycle from California, from Venice California, to Venice, florida, and raised something like $8,000.

Speaker 2:

Raised a bunch of money for for our charities, and accomplished a lifelong, you know challenge to himself.

Speaker 1:

I got to tell you, man, I just love that guy, I just do. I just feel like a leader.

Speaker 2:

Bob is a leader, he's already a leader, but I mean, as he ascends through the Masonic ranks, absolutely, absolutely, shout out to you, bob, you'll see this guy's going to be important. Yeah, yeah, he's, he's, he's got, he's just got that focus and we like him because he's about masonry, he's not about Bob. No, that's right, that's right.

Speaker 1:

And and also um worship for Don, who started a catechism class um teaching people wanting to create a class um to bring guys in from all over the district and sit down and teach how to do catechism yeah, which can only lend itself to how to do mentoring. We we at our lodge, shout out to brother Wade, uh, and brother Cliff, um, who are working towards creating a modules within, uh, the mentoring program. This is all part of of paying your annual dues and being plugged into your local lodge. This is not an opportunity to create a side business. It isn't, and it it should never be, and it should never be sanctioned by, you know, by any official um free and accepted masonic order at all.

Speaker 2:

And uh, you know people will say yeah, but you're doing this and you're making money.

Speaker 1:

Right, that's what they're going to say to us. We're making money.

Speaker 2:

Wait, really, I mean, in theory it could make money, I guess. But I mean, the difference for us is we're you know, we're not charging any masons for anything that we say no, no, no, this is free If we made any money, it would be from advertisers that want to be able to talk about themselves.

Speaker 1:

And and we have been approached by several advertisers who would like to get on the show, which we feel is an honor. You know your ads in our show.

Speaker 2:

Okay, absolutely. I mean that that is how we're trying to cover the expenses of doing this thing, but we're not charging masons directly for stuff that they should get for free.

Speaker 1:

Right, right.

Speaker 2:

That's a line that we're not going to cross.

Speaker 1:

No, we will not cross that, and and I just think that there should be some kind of sanction eventually for, or some kind of official statement saying hey, here's, here's where you go to get educated in Masonry.

Speaker 2:

I'm on the Grand Lodge website where the mentor's manual resides and you can read it for yourself.

Speaker 1:

You can read it for yourself. We read it here on the show Uh, and in your lodge. If you don't have a mentorship program, that's, that's good, well then. Well then, brother, you're the solution. If you're seeing that there's a reason why you're seeing that deficiency, is because you're supposed to step up and make that change, and I and I hope we all would, and it is. It is our goal on this show to to make the need for an outside uh education product that you can buy online not necessary and obsolete. That is our goal. We don't want to see that.

Speaker 2:

No, anywhere, we're not, we're not mad at anybody, don't get us wrong.

Speaker 1:

We ain't mad at anybody. Defensive, we are not trying to harm anybody but, but in our opinion, in this show, this podcast opinion that's that's off limits and that should not be.

Speaker 2:

So that was first strike in my book.

Speaker 1:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

This is one thing that I was already in my mind. And then the same individual doing the first strike, which is talked about right, that is, a public figure in Masonry who purports to be a knowledgeable person about the fraternity, who is literally giving answers to questions about Freemasonry uh, as if they're truths, when sometimes their opinion don't begrudge anybody that. However, the second strike for me is this public person who's a representative of Freemasonry. The outside world is now publicly saying political things, which also I don't have a problem with, but in such a way as to be derogatory and negative to people that he doesn't agree with.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and and that's just bad form.

Speaker 2:

That's not Masonic, that's not Masonic, it's bad form. You're free to have an opinion and you're free to express your opinion, but as masons, we don't. We keep a tongue of good report. That's right, You'd keep right.

Speaker 1:

What we just read Be negative.

Speaker 2:

We don't call names. We don't try to disenfranchise people.

Speaker 1:

For me, when I'm out in the uh, the marketplace of ideas, I'm more talking about what I do believe, not what you don't believe, or I'm not talking negatively about what someone else believes. I'm not trying to highlight someone else's belief structure in a negative way ever. I'm simply trying to explain myself, uh, and what I believe. And if there are differences, if, if you keep it to that level and I have found this to be true and I think a lot of people have seen it in my life if you keep it to that level, people will come to you with their belief structures and you can have great conversations. But to just get out there and throw all these daggers and axes, yeah that's what it is the daggers and axes you know it's the.

Speaker 2:

I don't know what it is, the left versus right thing or the the down thing I guess that's the simplest way to quantify it is yeah, you're this side or that side, and if you're on that side you're bad.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and, and you have just and, and you have just cut yourself off from 50% of the people in this country. Who does that? Who? Who is serious about education? I mean who is serious about life and Community and doing better in this world and cuts 50% of the people around you off from any intellectual Conversation. To me that is not wise and it's certainly not Masonic.

Speaker 2:

No no, and this, this individual is not alone.

Speaker 1:

No, no, no, we're not picking on one and this isn't even a one-sided or other side problem.

Speaker 2:

Personally, there are people that I have had to block and unfriend on Facebook right, that are on both sides. Because, yeah, either way, if you're going and saying really that negative, throwing those daggers, it's not right, it doesn't matter if you're talking about politics, birthday cakes.

Speaker 1:

No, you're never yourself right out of the game. You're, you're, you're off, you're off the field.

Speaker 2:

As soon as you start doing that, you are off the field, we're supposed to have like real discourse about things and you should share your opinions and ideas 100%, absolutely, but you should do it in a Masonic way, right. Right, you have a conversation.

Speaker 1:

Don't don't be hateful to anybody, right and that's the we're in the fellowship Fellowship, we're in the fellow craft lecture which in that lecture talks about the seven liberal arts and sciences.

Speaker 1:

One of those arts and sciences is rhetoric and rhetoric is the ability to share your ideas in such a way as to Bring another person into it. Yeah, and educate them, whether they agree with it or not, is not your job? Through persuasive argument, persuasive argument, through fact-based, persuasive argument with and we're Mason, so we're supposed to do it with love in our hearts, with gentleness and respect, to help somebody else See more light. Yeah and and again. If you're just Bloviating that the the party line, you're not even on the field, man, you're not even on the field.

Speaker 2:

You're not really helping any, you're not helping anybody.

Speaker 1:

Well, you might be helping yourself and you might draw to yourself some people that are like-minded. That's a crowd. That's a crowd of people that I call a mob. That's what that is. You're cultivating a mob, you're cultivating a cult. You're bringing together People under false pretenses to to foist an idea not your idea for positive change, but what's wrong with somebody else's idea for negative opinion? And it's just it. Just it just doesn't work. I've been there, man.

Speaker 2:

I've been there.

Speaker 1:

Okay, I I was, I was the, the right side guy of Right-side guys man. 20 years ago I I worked for, I've worked for political campaigns. I've done it. I've knocked on doors, I've I've done the email that I've done it all and I can tell you right now it it for me, it was a losing art, it was a losing operation. It absolutely made me miserable. It it it separated me from people who could have been friends of mine and and it got us nowhere. Listen, you want to talk politics here? Try this one on for size, for the, for my entire voting lifetime.

Speaker 1:

Okay, think about the presidents that we've had. We had George Bush. Then we had Bill Clinton for two terms. First, keeping Reagan. Yeah well, I voted for Reagan, his last term as a as a kid you know, starting off with that, that good high school Republican bull crap, whatever it was. But anyways, I voted for him because I was told to. But, um, so we'll skip Reagan. But Reagan's, reagan's man, the director of the CIA and one of the wealthiest family, family Dynasties on the planet, george Bush one went one term. Then we had Bill Clinton for two terms. Then we had his son, bush, george Bush Jr, for two terms, then we had Barack Obama for two terms, then we had Donald Trump and now we have Joe Biden. Let me ask you a question, brother If you're looking back on all of that, how you doing, how's that going?

Speaker 2:

It's not going great.

Speaker 1:

It's like a crazy pendulum going it's this was this radical left, severe left to severe right, radical pendulum, but all the while, those people keep getting more powerful and more wealthy, yeah, and we become more and more separated and we have become more and more poor, with less influence and with less love and community. So, for as far as I'm concerned, I Think we need a better way. I Think we need a better way and I think it starts with not throwing daggers yeah, not throwing axes that people you disagree with, but putting your arms around them, shaking their hand and saying, okay, we disagree on this, but what do we agree with? How can we better Agree and work sounds familiar. Don't know how can we get together?

Speaker 2:

or how about trying to make a logical, logical argument for your point? Yes, please making an illogical Accusation at the other guy. Well, you don't make any point on your own.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, that's not useful. It's not useful and frankly I have no time for it. And if you do it around me, you're you're gonna get. You're gonna get a full-blown argument, and if you want one, it happened. Good at it.

Speaker 2:

I did it publicly and Went up to my district deputy, who you know. I had to apologize and I regret that I did say that brother's name. That was dumb and this is, you know, a learning process. No, it is. It is. I'm generally a good person.

Speaker 1:

You are.

Speaker 2:

You are a good person and you are a great Mason, but this is the thing I'm zealous about Mason.

Speaker 1:

That's right.

Speaker 2:

You're hurting something I love, and so I overreacted. I need to tack the idea, not the person.

Speaker 1:

Now, that's right.

Speaker 2:

I learned still less than I learned from that. So I just wanted to say I am not perfect and I apologize publicly to anybody that might have seen anything I did that was inappropriate. I am not Claiming to be perfect.

Speaker 1:

No, no, we're not. We're not perfect, but but we are dedicated.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's always with good motivation, and the motivation is is that this is a fraternity that we love.

Speaker 1:

You guys know how passionate we are about it. We want to see it succeed and, and you know, when you attack the fraternity or you, you, you bring disrepute in our opinion to the fraternity. Yeah, yeah, we're gonna have some strong opinions and sometimes our reactions.

Speaker 2:

Well, we need to work on those and yeah me, it's me, it's me Well you know what it's it's?

Speaker 1:

it's this show. This show is on the level with Fred and Chris. So whatever Chris says, fred says and whatever Fred says Chris says.

Speaker 2:

I smelled the smoke with this situation pretty quickly.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah right.

Speaker 2:

We didn't want to think what we thought and then just repeated confirmation, confirmation. It's hard not to see it.

Speaker 1:

Right, right, yeah All right, let's keep going, let's keep going.

Speaker 2:

Okay, we work in speculative masonry, but our ancient brethren rotten both operative and speculative. Wow, they're calling you an ancient brother. I'm ancient. They worked at the building of King Solomon's temple and many other sacred and Masonic edifices. They rocked for six days and rested on the seventh. This section also refers to the origin of the Jewish Sabbath, as well as the manner in which it was kept by our ancient brethren.

Speaker 2:

Wow and six days, god created the heaven and the earth and rested upon the seventh. The seventh day, therefore, our ancient brethren consecrated as a day of rest from their labor, thereby enjoying frequent opportunities To contemplate the glorious works of creation and to adore the great Creator and we're gonna stop there. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah so interesting.

Speaker 2:

So this is a reference to the fact that the great architect of the universe built it in six days. Right, this is in Most holy scriptures, right, all the major ones.

Speaker 1:

Well, I'm, yeah, the. The idea of a sick of the six days of creation is, yes, it's, it's universal in the major religions. Yeah, for sure, I I am not I've said this before on the show I am not a six-day.

Speaker 2:

Creationist. Well listen, everything can be symbolic in nature.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no. I I do believe that, that God created the heavens and the earth. Make no mistake about that. I do believe a mind, a superior, vastly powerful mind, is Responsible for all of this design and engineering that's all around us and in us. There's no doubt about that in my mind. The book of Genesis, from my perspective, gives a six-day and seventh day of rest Allegory. That is the first thing. It's. If you look at it in the way Moses wrote it, it's easy to memorize. It's really easy to memorize when.

Speaker 2:

That's what I did.

Speaker 1:

That's what they did back then they memorized things right and and it also it isn't. It was never given and you can see it in the writings even if you study Hebrew and you understand the way the Hebrew language works and how it all works, it was not given to figure out dates and times right. That's not what it was for. So when you try to apply that, when zealous brothers try to apply that to the, the scriptures, and say six days only, six day creation only, otherwise you can't be this or can't be that, they make a huge mistake. In my, in my opinion, the evidence just isn't there. I've said it before there's a SN 1985, which is a supernova that we've been tracking for many, many years. The light signatures that are, that are seen in the sky, that reach this planet, are 275,000 years old. That's a mathematical fact. That's not that old.

Speaker 2:

That's not that old, but it's more than six days. Well, yeah, the web telescope is able to look so far into space. They're trying to find the first light, right, the first light from the big bang, or whatever you want to call the creation of this right University. Live in big bang doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

Speaker 1:

It doesn't make sense because it's a point in time let's talk about. Prior was before that right.

Speaker 2:

Come on like but, like anything, we're limited by our ability and understand at this time, and so this is the concept we've created, right, right, and so the but it is a fact that we now have a telescope far enough away from the light of our own Sun that we can see a little bit deeper into space than we ever have, and we're seeing light that is many millions of years old now Coming from deep reaches of space right, right and and those are.

Speaker 1:

Those are mathematical equations that are that are being, that are being done. Mathematical equations like when we sent Gemini into space and we said that in 12 years it's gonna pass by Jupiter, on this day, at this time. Guess what happened it?

Speaker 2:

passed by Jupiter on that day and on that time. Why? Because it's a matter of mathematics, right advanced mathematics and.

Speaker 1:

Geometry and Algebra those are empirical facts that have to be dealt with. So when you, when you, you, when you, when you take it out of its context, when you take the the first two books of the book of Genesis out of its context for the reason it was given, then you come up With all this wacky, crazy stuff and you lose your credibility. And that's what's happened, you know, and you lose your credibility. That's why you know, that's why Christians are looked at as simpletons, with this childlike faith that can't enter the scientific debate. Well, you know what a lot of these guys can't, because they've misappropriated the, the, the truth of it, you know.

Speaker 2:

Anyways, I'm going you're just talking about that prior to recording here.

Speaker 1:

Oh, we were. What was that that?

Speaker 2:

Exactly this. We were talking about the fact that we we really don't know anything for sure and we just keep learning more and more, and it's really challenging our understanding of Reality, and I think religious Institutions fear that because they fear that they're going to lose Control they'll, they'll lose the, the paradigm, they'll lose that group right. But the people that prescribed to those particular faiths should not fear this, because it's just revealing, brother proof of what they believe.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's right, and honestly it is.

Speaker 2:

Science is only helping us better understand our own creation, and and the more we look into it, the deeper we see. And now, at the quantum level, there's more order than we ever imagined, right, right, more Symmetry than we could have ever imagined in reality. And you know how?

Speaker 1:

can you not see a creator in that there's, there's a mind, the more you see, the more you should believe, absolutely, absolutely the book of creation, that book that you see every day. Go to the mountains, watch. I've said it before that the most amazing thing I've ever seen is seeing a horse being a live birth of a horse that gets up and feeds you know from its mother immediately, and the gestation period and all of that stuff it is. It is not. It is not by accident, none of it can be by accident. All of it is designed, there's a pre-program to every bit of it. I mean, it's just, it's like.

Speaker 1:

It's like Sir Isaac Newton said a Calvinist, by the way. Like Sir Isaac Newton said, he said it's as if I'm thinking God's thoughts after him. That's what he said. He's the father of the calculus, I mean. And when he was developing a system for understanding gravity and the gravitational pull and the equation of figuring out terminal velocity, he said he can figure out how it does, what it does, and he can track it and he can create a mathematical equation for it, but he still doesn't know why it's there, how it continues, how does gravity continue to work? Some people want to say it's magnetic, it's this, it's that. But when you every science, every fancy scientist ever who has contemplated this thing still must admit at the end of the day we don't know what it is.

Speaker 2:

We don't know what it is the use of people take for granted in our everyday life that we use all the time Like I just had surgery, not just, but I had surgery for the first time and I was about to go out, the anesthesiologist was there and he had the violinist pocket and I was like, oh boy, that's the good stuff.

Speaker 2:

And he's like yep. And I said hey, can you explain how this works to me? And he's like no, actually I can't, we really don't know. I'm like what? You're the expert, you're about to do this? And he said, yeah, we observe, we record, we know what it does and we know how manipulated. But we don't fully understand how this works, but we all trust it. We all trust it with our lives constantly. So just because we don't understand, a thing doesn't like. There's a saying in business that success leaves tracks. So you want to see the patterns?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, following the footsteps of the success, and this is what science is. Success in life leaves tracks, and so we're trying to follow the footprints of creation to try to understand. And we observe. And this is what science is we observe, we record, we experiment, we try to replicate things so that we understand it. And even if we do understand the effect of something, it doesn't mean we fully understand the cause, the cause, and that's what it comes down to is causality.

Speaker 1:

What caused all of this and for us it is in the beginning would be one explanation, because prior to the we know there was a beginning right. So Edwin Hubble postulated it, and then Boyle and the other scientists.

Speaker 2:

I don't know if we know that anything, that's the thing. I don't know anything for sure. We don't know. There was a beginning.

Speaker 1:

Well, we do because of the red light shift, we can assume that, based on our understanding of things, you're right. You're totally right, and that's that's why I always say what is the most plausible explanation for why we are here? What is the most plausible explanation?

Speaker 2:

But even here we're talking about where it says God created the heaven and the earth. That doesn't mean there was nothing before that. There was God, there was something there, A mind, a very powerful intelligence mind.

Speaker 1:

That's right, there is and that's the theory that I hold to is known as intelligent design, for that reason that it is. It is not in an age of scientific enlightenment. Natural selection through random variation just simply isn't plausible anymore. And I found these guys, dr Dr Stephen Myers, who started a organization 20 years ago called the Intelligent Design Institute, and and he's just a brilliant man and and some of them are Christians, some of them are not, but they're all scientists and it is. It is something we were taught in high school or in in school that some that nothing created everything for no apparent reason, and for me that never sat well.

Speaker 2:

Right, nothing. Honestly, it can't do anything. It does still. This day doesn't make sense to me. It makes no sense.

Speaker 1:

Nothing can do nothing. That's all nothing can do. If nothing can do something, then nothing is something. It's just not possible. We know that the universe had a begin, had a beginning. The most plausible explanation, according to Albert Einstein, hubble and Boyle these brilliant men of science down through the ages that that it did have a beginning, that it's all moving away from each other, that it's all continuing to move and therefore it must have had a beginning prior to that beginning. Was there? What was there? Something was there. That's a great conversation. It just stimulates the mind so well. I don't care what persuasion you're from, what religious background you're from, it is a great. I have had that conversation a hundred times with men and women and it has all it has done is sharpened my mind and caused me to think deeper and deeper about why we are here in our origins.

Speaker 1:

You know it can only help if it's done with gentleness and respect.

Speaker 2:

And the book that you currently prescribe all your belief to is full of moral lessons, absolutely, and if you just are willing to get past the idea that you're memorizing facts and start learning lessons of the stories, right, you'll probably have more fun and be a better representative of your faith.

Speaker 1:

Well, and that's right. That's right Because, at the end of the day, we all enter the marketplace of ideas and all of us should be willing and able to give our 15 minutes in the marketplace of ideas. Here's what I believe, here's why I believe it. And somebody else says well, here's what I believe and here's why I believe it, and together we can all go down this path, together, talking and reasoning and coming to some conclusions. It's my hope and prayer that every man will come to a definite conclusion, will come to what is the most plausible explanation based on your search.

Speaker 2:

I know you want me to, but I still can't do it.

Speaker 1:

What is the most plausible? No, that's okay.

Speaker 2:

That's all right, but I'm open. I keep listening. I'm still searching for more things that I can say. This makes sense.

Speaker 1:

This makes sense, I love that. That's absolutely cool. That's absolutely awesome. Okay, we are an hour and a half in and we have done half a paragraph.

Speaker 2:

No, we only got a couple pages done.

Speaker 1:

Gosh, we got a couple pages. I think we should probably end it here, sorry.

Speaker 1:

That's okay. I think it was a really great episode. We did get a few things in operative speculative mations. We started in the beginning talking about, you know, the first part of the lecture. I would say that anybody who's amazing go back to the blue book If you're a Florida mason, the Florida Masonic Monitor and read that first paragraph and kind of contemplate it and think about it. It really does give a great explanation of our craft and the symbolism that we use and why we do what we do. In my opinion. I am real big on this right now. I keep thinking that this is what people need to hear from masonry. We've been very we've been too I'm going to get in trouble for this We've been too secret that which we can tell the world. We should, let me say it that way.

Speaker 2:

Those things that we can share.

Speaker 1:

We should start sharing so that people will have an understanding of what we do, because there's a lot of people out there who are under the wrong impression about what we do.

Speaker 2:

I agree with that. We have secrets. If you're not a mason, and we love them and you are afraid of the fact that masonry has secrets and I had this conversation with my wife's father I would ask you do you have secrets? You have secrets. Do you have secrets you're keeping from anyone in your life? I'm thinking you might you do. Of course you do. Does that make you horrible, satanic bad? Maybe, but probably not, probably not. I mean, if you killed somebody and that's your secret, you probably. Yeah, keep that one, that's bad.

Speaker 2:

Yeah definitely keep that to yourself. We don't want to hear that. Most of you don't, but you do have secrets. You do. It doesn't make you bad. Our secrets don't make us bad.

Speaker 1:

The only thing we can say is our secrets make us better, because it's part of who we are as a fraternity. One of the things we talked about in the lecture today was secrecy. Yes, maintain secrecy. Yeah, maintain secrecy which is huge. We probably need more men in this world who can keep a secret, who can keep the mouth shut.

Speaker 2:

It's tough because you really know, when you tell someone something you don't want everyone to know, I think there's always a part of you that's like man, how many people is that person going to tell? Yeah right right, I might have just embarrassed myself.

Speaker 1:

Right. We were having a conversation with somebody the other day and he said to us look, this is on our obligation. We, all three of us, knew exactly what that meant. No other soul may know what we are saying, no other soul Other than the three people in that car. No other soul may know what was said. That's what that means that's an important part of who we are.

Speaker 2:

Yeah yeah. It doesn't mean it's bad because someone wants to tell you something that's not meant for everyone to hear. It just means it's sensitive, especially to that person.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's right.

Speaker 2:

Out of respect and love, we keep it private for that person.

Speaker 1:

That's right, that's right yeah.

Speaker 2:

It's an honor to be told something like that, because you now have a deeper relationship with that person and you can talk about that thing with them. That's right.

Speaker 1:

It fosters that brotherhood. I'm brothers with men all around the world who know the same secrets I do and I can confide in them. You don't confide in every person you meet in the world. You have to have A person has to earn the right to be in your life in that way. But we are bound together by an obligation and by this fraternity that holds these secrets sacred amongst us.

Speaker 2:

Here's another thing Extremely grateful. What you just said brings up in the counter culture. They say oh, masons support each other, even through rape and murder, they'll support each other. A judge will support a mason who's at trial for murder. It's not true. That is so not true. We are bound to obey the laws of the government that we live in.

Speaker 1:

That's right. That's right Absolutely, and a higher standard. In my opinion, masons hold itself to a higher standard.

Speaker 2:

They're not a mason. If you've done that bad thing In fact, we'll expel you from the order if you've done that.

Speaker 1:

That's exactly right.

Speaker 2:

That's exactly right. It's a misconception about masonry that we stick together no matter what, that we cover each other's tracks, that we conspire together to break the law 100% not true.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, that's. I would not be a part of an organization like that. It would be counter-mai-chim. Do we help each other?

Speaker 2:

Do we yeah, yes, sure Do you come to the need of somebody that needs you? Yes, yes. What do we mean?

Speaker 1:

The truth is that if there's somebody in our lodge who has committed grand larceny to the tune of a couple million dollars against their employer, You'll be expelled from masonry. And the reason why is because we love you. You need to be exposed for what you did. You need to face the justice for what you have done and we will expel you and we will turn you over to the authorities. Why? Because we do love you and we don't want you to live under that. We don't want restitution to be made to those who have been harmed. We want the fraternal order to maintain its respectability in this world.

Speaker 1:

And that is done out of love. We do not cosign anyone's bad behavior. No, it's just not done in our order. It'll get you out of our order, does it happen?

Speaker 2:

I would bet it does.

Speaker 1:

I would bet it does only because there's humans.

Speaker 2:

Humans are involved. Is the government supposed to do the things it's doing? No, is it doing them?

Speaker 1:

No, is it doing them?

Speaker 2:

I would bet it does Absolutely, but it's not Masonic and if the right person catches you, they'll call you out. So hopefully we can generate more good people that won't tolerate things and will hold each other accountable, so we can be proud of the fraternity that we're part of Right on.

Speaker 1:

All right, man. Well, this was a great episode. We didn't get far, but next time we'll focus more. Oh, I say that all the time. Next time we'll try to focus more on the work. I know that's what you guys want from us and we are glad and honored to provide it. You got anything for us before we go out, chris?

Speaker 2:

No, I appreciate you sharing what you did and I want to remind people to contact you at Fred at onthelevelofFredandChriscom.

Speaker 1:

I would appreciate that. It would be a great joy to be able to sit down and answer emails and messages for sure, and we'll be thinking about you this weekend.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, thanks, man.

Speaker 1:

All right, guys like I've been trying to have a parting saying for the show that I've been working on, and it goes like this Now that you've heard what you've heard, go back to your lodge and build it strong.

Freemasonry Fellow Craft Lecture Exploration
Exploring Masonry and Dealing With Tragedy
(Cont.) Exploring Masonry and Dealing With Tragedy
Opioid Epidemic and Lack of Compassion
The Concept of Speculative Masonry
The Importance of Free Masonic Education
Apologies and Discussion on Creation
Intelligent Design and Scientific Understanding
Expulsion of Members and Maintaining Respectability

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