I wonder if this will become common, and I am not sure how I feel about it!

How do you feel?

This is new to me. I had was Raised that you should not ask a profane directly in this way.

I have heard many of my more traveled Brothers mention problems with expanding membership. I personally am on the fence with type of tactic. I am not sure I feel comfortable with "RECRUITING". If this continues does it make the fraternity lose it's sublimes?

Then on the other hand all those petitioning do have to pass investigation for membership. Advertising in this manner does not mean anyone can be accepted. So does it really matter.?Many of the Brothers I know think this is how Freemasonry must "evolve with the times" so to speak. In my travels and studies, I have seen this as quite a evident fact: "that like all things in nature over time, must adapt somewhat outwardly to server changes in the elements around it" so must Freemasonry.

I do prefer the tactic of trying to "spark" a conversation and mentioning "have you ever thought about a petition". It just seems sutler. I think even a commercial about what we are doing in the community would cause the same affect as this commercial. I really am not criticising this method, just unsure of it's overall effects.

I would like to know others comments on this either way, please post!

A Story of a Pythagorean

I would like to see if I can get any comments on this story of a Pythagorean I came across. It is supposedly from the 4th century AD. by one of the Pythagorean disciples.

While travelling near Crotona, a Pythagorean came to an inn, where he fell ill from the rigors of his trip. The inn-keeper, being of a benevolent disposition, cared for the Pythagorean, supplying his needs as best he could until he finally died. But before the Pythagorean died, he wrote what the author call "a certain symbol" on a stone tablet, and instructed the inn-keeper to display the tablet outside the inn, near the road in plane site, and to observe if any passer's-by stopped to notice it. The inn-keeper buried the man decently, and out of curiosity more so than expectation did as the deceased man had asked with the tablet. After a "long" time had passed, a passing Pythagorean spotted the symbol and stopping to inquire, learned about what had transpired, whereupon he repaid the inn-keeper all the expenses he had generously provided to his long-dead brother, together with a large additional sum out of gratitude.

This is a little known story, and the author does not say what the symbol of recognition was. It could have been a diagram of Pythagoras' Theorem, many believe since probably only another Pythagorean at that point in history would have known what it was. It could have been very easily some other symbol. The Pythagorean school or brotherhood had other symbols like the five-pointed star which is familiar in Freemasonry.

The Craft's Symbols and Gnosticism

I have encountered Gnosticism in most of my searches for further light in Masonry. I have come to a personal conclusion that it has a lot less to do with religion than it is portrait (by Gnostics and there critics alike). Threw my studies I have found that quite simply is a philosophy of virtue. It's use of what are Apocryphal Gospels is what seems to lead to it's persecution amongst the Christian community in general as some sort of occultist doctrine. All of the teaching (of Gnosticism) are set in parable lessons and alchemical metaphors. As one would have to view all sacred books of LAW the Bible, Koran, Torah, etc. Set just as our Masonic Ritual.

Here is a popular definition
Gnosticism is an ancient world-view stating that Divine essence is the only true or highest reality, and that the unconscious Self of man is actually this essence. It is through intentional discovery, "visionary experience or initiation into secret doctrine" (not the plenary revelation of propositional truth in the Bible), that man becomes conscious of this true Self ( J.D. Douglas, ed., New Bible Dictionary, pp. 473-4).

I would have to disagree with the statement "visionary experience or initiation into secret doctrine", this is dogma! This statement can only be linked to those who wish to take these moral lessons and form them into a "religion". When if read thoroughly they not meant to be. Just as Masonry is not meant to be a Brother's salvation. Only a useful system by which one can relate his spiritual self to this earthly world threw Faith, Hope, and Charity.

Although only one book is needed, the search for Light is a never-ending road.

Some interesting reading
Gnostic Handbook.

A short Video Trailer on Gnosticism that I only agree "in part" with but I think you will find quite interesting.

Please comment freely with any of your insite and experience.

About Prince Hall

A Short Clip on The History of Prince Hall Masonry

The Origins of Freemasonry

It is a great contradiction the more I seem to research the origin of our sacred fraternity. Would it be more attributed the Templars, Ancient Egyptians, Stone Mason Guilds, the Pythagorians? It would seem (to me) each has there part in the history. I am iterested to here other brotherens point of view.