What Kind of Library Do You Have?

Each Degree within Freemasonry is only the simplest of introductions to differing parts of Masonry.

Should you choose to experience only these introductions, you miss out on the most important parts of Masonry’s library.

Many Brothers have no clue as to what kind of “Craft” library they actually have in their home or office. Most of these Brothers don’t care that they don’t know.

– Coach John S Nagy

Category One

Take a good look at the typical Brother’s library.

On his shelves will likely be found code books that “letter out”, in some fashion or form, the rituals of his Jurisdiction. He will probably also have a book that is called a “monitor” that includes the non-esoteric portions of his Jurisdiction’s rituals.

This book would include prayers, portions of lectures, and some aspects of his rituals that are not esoteric.

He may have more of the same from other jurisdictions.

When the Brother was properly mentored and instructed, his shelf may include booklets prepared by his Grand Lodge.

They usually include an introduction to his Fraternity, glossaries of the words and symbols used within each Degree along with explanations that support the ritual he went through.

It might include what to say to non-members when asked about the society and perhaps even something about how to join when interested.

If the Brother is a bit more involved in the organization, next to them may be the Digest of Law that is used to guide his membership.

If he is a hard-core practicing member, included on his shelf may be handbooks categorized as “Masonic Etiquette”, “Masonic Law”, “Masonic Lore”, “Masonic History”, “Masonic Allegory”, “Masonic Tradition”, “Masonic Lexicon”, “Masonic Grand Lodges”, “Masonic Floor-Work (a.k.a. “Masonic Choreography”)” and “Masonic Symbolism”.

If he was interested in the Society some time before his petitioning, he will likely have other books in a section dedicated to his efforts to learn more about it.

Those books might include the many standard exposés and guides that can be found fairly easily by anyone desiring to find them.

They may also include books that describe the Society, its rituals, and its supposed history.

Included in these may also be books about famous or well-known members of the Society and even historical events and political occurrences believed to somehow be connected with the Society and its members.

If he is hyper-enthusiastic about the organization and about other things, that are considered external to it by the majority of the members, he may have books that speculate upon the society’s origins and outside connecting interests.

They may include on their shelves books that show supposed connections between the Society and Rosicrucianism, Cabbala, Alchemy, Mysticism, Biblical Characters, Knights Templar, Illuminati, Divinity, Religion, Underground Organizations, Secret Societies, Shadow or Off-World Governments, New World Orders, Shakespeare, Atlantis, Time-Travel, Ancient Astronauts and many others that have yet to be imagined or considered by the masses.

There are much more that could be added to this list. Officer training manuals and guides for one.

Papers written about many of the above topics, some espousing past glories, some encouraging Brothers to reach out and reconnect and a few that delve into the minutest detail about some long forgotten organizational practice might also be added.

Books, papers and articles proscribed by Grand Lodge as forbidden may also be there, proudly displayed but easily concealed when necessary.

There is always something that can be added to the shelves when it comes to the Society.

Category Two

However, when the Brother takes what Ritual points toward, and directs his attentions toward what it espouses, his book shelves are filled with entirely different books.

You’ll see books on personal development and self-improvement. He’ll have books covering finding one’s purpose and understanding what is most important in life and in business.

He’ll have books on emotional, personal and business management, and building strong relationships and creating new ones.

Time management and effective habit formation are also covered.

Books covering grammar, rhetoric and logic abound. Dictionaries with word roots and etymologies are included.

Books covering archaic phrases, terms and obsolete words are also represented.

These books also cover understanding symbols as they are represented in words, phrases, metaphor and allegory. Encyclopaedias covering symbolism, metaphors and slang are alongside them.

Books offering translations from one language to another are most likely present.

Books covering mathematics are there too, and this area includes statistics and probability theory.

Geometry, both classical and contemporary, are there too and include a strong presence of trigonometric studies.

Music theory, to include numbers in time and how each are represented through numbers and symbols are there as well.

Books on physics and astronomy are also represented. These books cover understanding symbols as they are represented in numbers, and numeric patterns.

On these shelves are also classics. These classics cover a wide range of philosophies, theologies, authors, cultures and histories (untethered to and untainted by “The Society of Free & Accepted Masons” literature and influences).

They are each carefully and clearly represented and they have well-worn pages showing much use.

And personal journals and workbooks that track thoughts, frustrations, successes and overall progress are likely to be splattered among all the other books, placed carefully next to that work’s focus.

Library Assessment

If you’re interested in determining what dominates this Brother’s focus, count the number of books that fall into Category One and then count those that fall into Category Two.

Ask yourself: Which of the two dominates the shelves?

As you do this, keep in mind that:

The first category focuses upon the organization and upon being a good organizational member.

It covers everything you need to know about the organization, how to support it, how to share it, how to maintain it, who was and is in it, what happen within the organization when, where and to whom, what words and phrases to use and how to participate.

The second category focuses upon the person.

It covers what has to be learned by that person to become better. This focus includes supporting that person in doing so and shows and cultivates awareness, incentives, actions and skills within that person that contribute to making that person and the world a better place.

As you might have guessed, the overall focus of these books says a lot about the person owned by them.

Suffice it to say, you’ll find by your assessment that the majority of the books on the shelves that fall into the first category to be essentially Freemasonic in focus.

Why Freemasonic? Because each of them is all about some aspect of the Organization which bears its name and those who are members to it.

You’ll find too that the majority of the books that fall into the second category to be essentially Masonic in focus.

Why Masonic? Because each of them is all about Building both men and what they influence in the world as a whole.

Why draw these distinctions?

Great question! Ask yourself the following question:

What is it that actually Makes Good Men Better?

Is it…

Having one title after another bestowed upon you for merely showing up?

Memorizing things you’ll never take the time to understand?

Serving a system whose main objectives are to perform Ritual, Recruit and Retain but not actually support what it espouses?


Or is it…

Cultivating you toward knowing and ordering your heart and head?

Directing your attention toward what is most important in life?

Unburdening you from vice and superfluity?

Building you strong and doing so in virtuous ways?

Showing and teaching you how to better relate to yourself and others – both known and unknown?

Providing you maps, legends and tools along with instructions and skill development on how to apply them effectively to navigate any territory you may encounter – both known and unknown?

Learning how the universe functions and ultimately commanding the very elements of God’s creation – not through some superstitious non-sense, magic or mystical words – but through wisely applying the laws God has laid out for you to use?


So, what does your assessment show you and the world?

What kind of library do you have?

Better yet…what kind of library has you?

Article by: John S. Nagy

John S. Nagy is a multi-degree professional business/life coach and technical advisor who provides coaching support to business professionals through his home office in the Tampa Bay area.  John has been in the coaching field since January 1989, running his own coaching practice since that time. He is a prominent Freemason and has written prolifically on the subject.


Author Blog: coach.net

Article Source: buildinghiram

Recent Articles: of current interest

Who are CGLEM

Confederation of the Grand Lodges of Europe and the Mediterranean - Universal Freemasonry and its intellectual property are less and less taken into account in the current times of constant movement and unclear future prospects.


The Book of Law in Brazilian Freemasonry

We are informed that, Freemasonry it is not a religion, but the candidate has a belief in a creative principle, which later, we call the Great Architect of the Universe. - by Fernando Rodrigues de Souza


Mike's Masonic Walks And Talks

WBro. Mike Neville is a Masonic author and lecturer. He offers walks and talks primarily around London, based on his vast knowledge of the area and his specialist subjects, which cover all aspects of Masonic history.


A Masonic lodge is not a service club

An address delivered to the 10th Annual Conference of Western Canadian Grand Lodges (1950) in response to the question, "Should Our Western Grand Lodges Sponsor a Specific Program?" By
Laurence Healey


Order of Bees

The Order of Bees was established as a youth initiative for the boys and girls of Prince Hall Freemasons, and symbolises the relationship existing between the activities of the youth and the family of bees.


Bridging the Gap: P.1

There is a gap between action and understanding. Is there is a chance that Freemasonry may benefit from a better understanding of meaning of the rituals rather than being performed in blind faith under the belief they are “purely symbolic”


Who are the CMI?

The Confederación Masónica Interamericana (CMI) was founded in 1947, is a non-profit organization that groups together 92 Great Masonic Powers, admitted as members and distributed in 26 countries in South, Central, North, Caribbean and Europe.


Who are FAMAF ?

The American Federation of Feminine Freemasonry (FAMAF) is an organization that brings together Grand Lodges, Grand Orients and Confederations of Feminine Masonic Grand Lodges from the American continent.


Interlogias Masonic App

This smartphone app is designed to work with all Freemasons from both Regular and Independent Grand Lodges around the world.


Grand Masonic Alliance TRACIA

The third largest Masonic Alliance of independent grand lodges, which currently has over 500,000 members in the world and an incredible resource of "good people with a good reputation" from around the world.



An introduction to VEREINIGTE GROSSLOGEN von Deutschland / UNITED GRAND LODGES of Germany


International Masonic Union CATENA

An international association of Grand Lodges and independent Lodges, with all true Masonic traditions, which adhere to the basic principles of the equal standing of men and women in Freemasonry


The Royal Arch – ‘the fourth step in regular Freemasonry’

United Grand Lodge of England, has now designated the Royal Arch, the fourth step in regular Freemasonry, it therefore must be concluded that…publications…should now be revised, and based on attracting to the benefits of the four steps.


The Widows Sons UK

Who are the Widows Sons, and what do they do, and how can you join ?


UGLE 2020 Annual Review

For the first time in its 300 year history UGLE has published an Annual Review


Who are the Order of DeMolay?

Founded in 1919 and named after the Grand Master of the Knights Templar, this International Order has helped young boys become great men.


The Candidate

Written in 1930, much of the advice is still relevant today - although some may provoke further thought or debate!


9th International Conference of Freemasonry

Hidden Meanings: Esotericism and Masonic Connections


Who are CLIPSAS?

An introduction to CLIPSAS and we look at who are they and what do they do


Why don't Freemasons read?

The title of this article will seem somewhat of an oxymoron, because at this precise moment you, most likely a Freemason, is reading this


Harmony in the Lodge

Music can make you either remember everything or forget everything! They even call it the 'rhythm' of life because life does have a beat, a rhythm, a song! Music is equally important for Freemasons.


Sheriff’s Men

Two Brothers receive honours from the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester


Young Masons' Inter-Club Virtual Social

An initiative was created to initially keep Brethren engaged in their Masonry whilst the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic are in place.


Heroes in Masonry

I've heard people say that we don't have heroes


Stay Hungry Stay Foolish

What can we learn form Steve Jobs' address given at Stanford in 2005


Open Lectures on Freemasonry

Open Lectures on Freemasonry as a series of monthly online lectures that aims to increase the visibility and accessibility of research into Freemasonry. The lectures are open to anyone who is interested.


Tae a Virus

This entertaining and infectious poem was written by an Ayeshire poet


Prince Hall Freemasonry

Social Impact of Prince Hall Freemasonry in D.C., 1825-1900.

Alonza Tehuti Evans discusses Prince Hall Freemasonry, founded by African Americans.


Masonic Structure

A brief outline showing the differences and similarities within Freemasonry


What Kind of Library Do You Have?

Many Brothers have no clue as to what kind of "Craft" library they actually have in their home or office. Most of these Brothers don’t care that they don't know – so, what kind of library do you have?


masonic knowledge

to be a better citizen of the world

share the square with two brothers

click image to open email app on mobile device

Masonic Apparel

made to order

Share this article ....