To be a Better Citizen of the World; Step 2

A value proposition for Pure Ancient Masonry as defined in terms of Citizenship;  the allegories, symbolism and lessons are a blueprint for all Freemasons to be a better citizen of the world.

freemasonry

Freemasonry is a free open source protocol for all backgrounds and cultures.
No one person or institution owns or has the global control over Freemasonry.

freemason

A Freemason is made the instant a person seals their obligation at their initiation ceremony based on the Solomon legend.

grand lodge

A Grand Lodge is a centralised masonic institution that limits its members from practising Freemasonry by means of its Constitutions, Grand Lodge Certificates and Private Lodge Warrants.

The thesis for this article series is that Pure Ancient Masonry consists of no more – nor no less – than Three Degrees and the Royal Arch: as stipulated in the Articles of the Union dated 27 December 1813. ( Freemasonry under the English Constitution)

The author is ‘advocating’ that the value proposition presented to existing members and future candidates for initiation, is that Freemasonry under the English Constitution, should be promoted as a four-part offering, conferred in a Craft lodge opened in four stages.

On a practical basis, the Royal Arch Chapter units would be absorbed back into the Craft lodges.  The Craft lodge would either conduct meetings in the first three stages, or would be configured as a Chapter and opened in the fourth stage.

Membership of a Pure Ancient Masonry lodge would automatically include all four stages, which completes membership of Pure Ancient Masonry.

to be a good citizen of the world

Secondly, the value proposition for Pure Ancient Masonry is defined in terms of Citizenship; therefore the allegories, symbolism, and lessons will be a blueprint for all Freemasons to be a better citizen of the world. 

The world we live in now, and the world we want to leave to our children.  

I acknowledge that many Freemasons achieve esoteric and spiritual fulfilment from their Freemasonry.

This series of articles does not intend to replace or challenge that fulfilment. But, on the contrary, to offer an alternative Masonic fulfilment, through leadership and personal skill sets based on the lessons taught in Pure Ancient Masonry.

This is a series of 4 articles;
Apprentice, Fellowcraft, Master, and Companion

In order for clarity, each step of this series of articles focuses on the working tools and how symbolically these tools can be used as the working tools to become a better citizen of the world, through leadership and personal development skill sets.

 

  1. Entered Apprentice Working tools – preparation for citizenship
  2. Fellowcraft Working tools – communication skills
  3. Master Mason Working tools – character building & leadership
  4. Companion Implements of labour – building relationships & trust

To be a Better Citizen of the World; Step 1

A value proposition for Pure Ancient Masonry as defined in terms of Citizenship; the allegories, symbolism and lessons are a blueprint for all Freemasons to be a better citizen of the world.

more….

Freemasonry offers so much more symbolism, in the charges, lectures, tracing boards etc.

At the present time, it is left open for the student to investigate and incorporate these lessons into their personal path of a daily advancement of Masonic knowledge.

​at the end of life, what really matters
is not what we bought, but what we built;
not what we got, but what we shared;
not our competence, but our character;
and not our success, but our significance.
live a life that matters. live a life of love.

– Unknown

​Citizenship step 2 – Fellowcraft

The Fellowcraft Working tools – The art of Communication
(under the guidance of the Guilds)

Judge a man by his questions…
rather than his answers

 

– Voltaire

In terms of the medieval Guilds, once the Apprentice had completed his apprenticeship under the guidance of the Master, set out by the rules of the Guild, the Fellowcraft then became a citizen of the state to which affords him its protection.

The Fellowcraft or Journeyman as he might also be referred to, with the authority of the Guild, was able to sell his time and skill for the exchange of money. At which point he would pay taxes and have the right to vote.

The Fellowcraft or Journeyman was also encouraged to continue his education, today we might refer to this as further education, by extending his researches into the hidden mysteries of nature and science. The subjects of the seven liberal arts.

The speculative Freemason applies the working tools of a Fellowcraft to move towards the objective, which is to be a better citizen of the world.

The working tools of a Fellowcraft Freemason can symbolically be applied to the art of communication, especially on a one-to-one level.

The Level – level steps – meet on the level as equals

 

The Plumb Rule – Upright intentions – act with honesty and integrity, up right intentions

 

The Square – Conduct – to part amicably is essential, even if an agreement is concluded or not

Lesson Objective: the working tools of a Fellowcraft teach the skills required to communicate. It is all about working and dealing with other people; in the community and in commerce as well giving advice and guidance; being fair, honest and open. In all your pursuits have eternity in view.
 
Understanding that in discussions with others, you meet on the level, a level status in this specific encounter, conduct the encounter with integrity, and conclude the encounter on a good relationship, so as to be able to meet again.

When a Fellowcraft’s lodge is closed, the Junior Warden is the last to speak;

 

 

“happy have we met,
happy have we been,
happy may we part, and
happy to meet again”

Likewise, the skill is to be able to quickly interpret other people’s verbal and non-verbal communications.

Do these people treat you as an equal? Are their intentions honourable? Do they have a desire to conclude the engagement on a good understanding to be able to meet again?

People who are dishonest or even just disingenuous, work in the basis, they are superior to your intelligence. They believe that by using a simple strategy based on greed or FOMO (fear of missing out), a person will fall for their deceitful proposition. Some, in the short term succeed in their deceit. But most, fail to achieve any sustainable return on their time investment.

Should a Fellowcraft find that one of our fraternity is slipping down the path of dishonest conduct, the Second Degree Charge offers some guidance; in the decision of every trespass against our rules, judge with candour, admonish with friendship, and reprehend with mercy.

When having a discussion, it is not essential that both sides agree, but it should be at least be an objective that both sides understand each others point of view.

Understanding is far more important than agreeing.

 

If you feel that the other side does not have the mental maturity to comprehend an alterative concept with out agreeing…

then remain silent

We are all salesmen, selling something. We sell ourselves in a positive light. We sell our ideas or opinions. We might even sell goods and services. Ironically, a well trained salesman never sells anything.

 

A well trained salesman is a skilled communicator

 

 

First; a salesman knows, that first of all, people buy people. This means, people prefer to do business with or converse with people if they build a positive connection. It is about building empathy, trust.

Second; never lie, oversell, or exaggerate. No matter how small or anecdotical, a lie or an exaggeration might be, it communicates a signal of dishonesty and dispels trust. It calls in to question the integrity and maybe judgement.

Third; and the most important point is people buy benefits. How does this thing you are selling benefit them personally. If someone is selling goods or services, people will only buy a product feature if that feature provides an advantage, which is a benefit to them. This is also true for ideas and opinions.

Therefore, a well trained salesmen, a skilled communicator, listens very carefully, to spot the problems the other person wants to find solutions for.

Always put yourself in the other persons shoes. Try and see the situations from their point of view.

The more you can master this skill, the easier it is for people to follow your suggestions. Of course, you must be honest at all times.

You owe the other person a duty of care. In all your pursuits have eternity in view.

You have to accept, that not everyone will want to be persuaded or follow your suggestions, or buy your ideas, or goods and services. As you don’t always want to be persuaded or follow other people’s suggestions. Agree to disagree.

You do not need to win every battle to win the war, just the important battles.

You also have to allow people to learn for themselves. Some lessons have to be experienced, they can not be taught.

It is about understanding when to pull back, let the other side pursue their own path, but be ready and available should they need to come back for help.

Freemasonry is not a religion. Freemasons are not priests. Religion will try to save everyone, good and bad. Turn the other cheek.

One of the fundamental qualifications to become a Freemason, is to be a person of good report. The lessons encoded in Freemasonry, teach self-development, not to tell others how they should behave. Freemasonry can help to make good men better – it cannot make bad men good.

Many communication tutors will say, listen and talk in the same proportion you have ears and a mouth. In other words listen twice as much as you speak:

 

Audi Vide Tace

Listen, observe, be silent – if you would live in peace.

This is the motto of a Freemason for a very good reason.

Better to remain silent and to be thought a fool, than speak and remove all doubt.

 

When you talk, you repeat what you already know. When you listen, you might learn something new.

Managing and avoiding confrontation is a communications skill to be learnt. Learning to spot the signposts.

If you find it difficult to control anger, then best avoid all situations which might lead you down that path.

Study Betari Box techniques to keep confrontation under control. The Betari Box illustrates how our attitudes and behaviours directly affect the attitudes and behaviours of people around us.

When we’re stuck in a negative cycle, then it’s up to us to stop that cycle by changing our attitude. This will positively impact those around us – and therefore break the cycle.

Read Square Article: How to avoid confrontation

Ad hominem Logical Fallacy attack is a red flag warning. This is a fallacy response to a factual discussion. When you are discussing the facts, and people start attacking you, or someone else personally, is the time to be silent.

Logic and logical fallacies are a whole topic in their own right. But when discussing facts, and these are being rejected, listen very carefully, if the rejections are based on logic, or are indeed just typical logical fallacies.

 

Read Square Article: Logical Fallacies

Further Education

The Fellowcraft Freemason is expected to continue their study of the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences; their further education, which is based on the classic education system of the Trivium and Quadrivium. This is part an allegory representing higher education, and part a specific lesson in Freemasonry.

The Trivium – the word skills: Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic. These are the three principle communication skills.

Grammar; is the skill of expressing ideas and views in writing. The modern citizen may consider developing their persuasive writing skill. Understand the art of headlines and leading paragraphs.

Rhetoric; is a skill to express ideas and views in speaking. The modern citizen may consider developing their skills in public speaking.

Logic; is the skill to express your views and ideas in conversation; a reasoned discussion. A lesson in constructing proposals and propositions. Learn to identify a few of the logical fallacies, then watch any politician interview on TV, and see how many you can spot, after a while it becomes a sport.

All three of these skills can be learnt, for free, from YouTube.

…learning a skill is knowledge

applying a skill is wisdom…

As these skills are learnt and mastered, use them in the workplace or community to identify these logical fallacies when discussing or presenting an idea. Always remembering, it is not important that the other side accept your idea, but that they understand the idea.

The Quadrivium – the number skills: arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music. These are based on classical education.

However, three number-based sciences that will transform the next one hundred years will be:

Artificial Intelligence; (AI) the ability to compute large data sets to provide predictable outcomes.

Robotics; the ability to interface computers with the real world, such as manufacturing, autonomous drive vehicles, house hold chores.

Decentralised Blockchain Technology; to transfer and store indisputable and non-confiscatable property titles, a record of truth; something never before achieved in the history of man.

Maybe the twenty-first century Quadrivium should read; arithmetic, robotics, artificial intelligence, blockchain.

They are all number-based skills, and skills our children and grandchildren will be familiar with during their lifetime and beyond.

Exercise in Communications

Initiate and hold a conversation with someone new at your next lodge meeting. It may be a visitor or a member of the lodge you have had little or no previous interaction with.

First read this article – ‘Three words that will change your life‘, and watch the TED-Talk video in the article link. Then try an exercise the lessons taught in the article and TED-Talk video.

This is an exercise in listening with a view to understand what is being said, and not about being quick to reply.

In terms of the Guild, a person would serve as an Apprentice, and then become a Journeyman or Craftsman. At a later point he would qualify as a Master, and take on his own apprentice in order to perpetuate the skills of the craft. He might even become a leading hand or manager of a small group of masters on a project. Then later in life, with years of experience, he might become a ruler in the Guild, or someone others turn to for counsel. He becomes a states-craftsman.

Next month we look at two sets of working tools. The working tools of the Master, and how we use these to build character, and the working tools of an Installed Master to develop leadership skills.

Article by: Nicholas J Broadway

njcholas broadway

Nicholas was initiated into Freemasonry in 1989 in Stonewell Lodge No. 9137, Essex England (UGLE) and was Master in 1995, 2011 and 2016. He also joined other UGLE Lodges and is a PZ in the Holy Royal Arch. 

He acquired the title of The Square Magazine in January 2020 and oversees the technical running of the digital publication.

He lives in West Sussex and assists the Provincial Grand Lodge of Sussex Communications Team with Social Media activities. 

SQ Leadership & Personal Development Books

Selected Books on Leadership and Personal Development available at Amazon

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