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Jan 24, 2023Liked by Cameron M. Bailey

My goal is to have positive life improving loving thoughts that can better myself and be of service to others

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A most excellent goal!

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Jan 24, 2023Liked by Cameron M. Bailey

MW, I also believe in the power of our thoughts. Staying focused, not falling into a pattern of negative thoughts takes a form of training. We need to have something positive to think about, to focus on. Reading and participating in forums like Emeth is a good foundation. I also believe that we need to always be moving forward, even if that forward movement seems to be at a snail’s pace. There is no such thing as stasis in a man’s growth, you’re either growing or dying. It’s the same for the Lodge. Everything in the growth of the Lodge, growth of the man, begins with the guarding of the West Gate. If the Brother’s conducting the petitioner’s background and interview don’t have focused thoughts then the risk of finding an unqualified man knocking on our door increases.

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Agreed, 100% Brother.

In my extensive traveling from Lodge to Lodge through the years I've seen it over and over again. A Lodge in which the Masons are positive and excited about the future ends up, sooner or later, going strong and thriving.

But I've seen the opposite happen as well. Where a Lodge just got filled with negative Masons who thought that there wasn't much of a future. Those Lodges can go downhill for a long time, but inevitably they die. (Unless that thinking can turn around, and if it is the right guy, a single guy can turn it around, I've seen it happen.)

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Jan 24, 2023Liked by Cameron M. Bailey

Very well put, and as always it seems, timely in my current Masonic journey. I’ve been quite depressed lately about the status of my biggest goal with my current lodge. It’s never been to simply “save the building”, but rather “elevate the lodge culture so that men can actually practice good Masonry”. And I’ve hit some big hurdles with that most lofty goal. My question I’ve been asking myself is: why? The men of my lodge show up to things (some things not all), they have very strong opinions about things which they will argue to the point of creating disharmony, so certainly they care, right? But why do I still struggle to get anyone to practice Masonry? To actually live up to even the most basic tenants or responsibilities of what each one of us willingly submitted to? I think the answer lies somewhere in this post. May I share your words in Lodge?

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Yes, of course W. Brother. Please feel free to share anything that you think might be of benefit to your Lodge.

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Jan 24, 2023Liked by Cameron M. Bailey

My goodness. Powerful, enlightening and meaningful.

Emeth thank you. Thought is a Force is something on a Masonic level I have never thought about until now.

What comes to my mind on a spiritual level is the power of prayer, or a prayers circle.

All minds focused on one person, goal or situation.

I will send this specific post along to my Brothers of my lodges and share it widely.

Powerful. I will print this out and its a saver!

Thank you Emeth.

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Thank you for your extremely kind words Brother! I'm glad that you found some value in my post!

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Jan 24, 2023Liked by Cameron M. Bailey

"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so" Hamlet, Act 2, scene 2. I think Hamlet was being rather existential when he said that. Without a solid moral and ethical grounding, the good and bad of a situation becomes fluid and can be rationalized as either good or bad, BUT in the light of a moral code the situation can be evaluated as good or bad. As Masons we have such a code, and we can evaluate actions. It is the action and evaluated by the code that provides the vector of growth. Egregors play a role in inspiring our thoughts and our choices, but we all are influenced by a choir of egregious. Our family, or culture, our religion, our political party and our fraternity can all have their own egregious, vying for our attention. Like heavenly bodies whose gravitational influence is determined by their mass and their proximity, so too the influence of these various egregious affect us based on their closeness, either specially or in our hearts. I believe our Masonic ritual is intended to bias us toward the Fraternal egregor when we are in Lodge, but we have to work to that end, it's not a passive thing. If you want to be made better, get your mind right, and let your thoughts be inspired by the fraternal egregor (your better angels). Each night before bed, I stand in front of a small Masonic altar I made, and I recite the charge, visualizing my Lodge. Actually I stand in front of it 4 times a day, in the morning, at noon, evening and before bed. As I stand there, I visualize my Lodge and then answer the question "why in the (direction)?" In the morning (facing the sun in the east) I give the sign and dugard of the master mason, at lunch, the entered apprentice facing south, and in the evening facing west the fellow craft. By doing this I am trying to align with the egregor on a regular basis. If I miss a session I include it in the next. It might seem silly, but for me it works.

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Thank you for this Brother.

I think that probably all of our personal rituals would seem silly if viewed from the perspective of an outsider, but that's OK. I've always rather felt that the 'proof is in the pudding' or that we can 'judge a tree by its fruits.' Ultimately, what matters, in my view, is that we keep that which works for us, discarding what does not. Of course what works and what does not may well be different from person to person.

I have things that I'm quite sure the average person would think were a wee bit nuts. But, I do them because they work.

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Morals are in the eye of the beholder. Not a single person thinks they are evil and no evil is unjustified in the perpetrator's eyes. Every so-called villain thinks what they are doing is morally right.

And even if a person is on a righteous path, how they act can be wrong to achieve their goals.

Think of the native americans rounded up and put on reservations., the trail of tears, wounded knee, or other horrors perpetrated by people thinking they were right in what they were doing. Even here locally, how the citizens of Tacoma treated the Chinese immigrants and drove them out of their homes and businesses (why Seattle and not Tacoma has such a large Chinese community today). Or how FDR put its own citizens in internment camps.

Anyone can justify evil in their own minds as righteous and proper.

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Undoubtedly you are correct that those who commit evil do not see themselves as evil. Such is the nature of humanity.

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Jan 29, 2023Liked by Cameron M. Bailey

After reading the article, and the comments below, I can't help but look to frame this as both an exoteric and esoteric exercise. (Yay alliteration)

"We make Good Men better"...From an exoteric perspective this can be achieved by a very surface understanding of the working tools, the ritual, the business meetings, and the fellowship at dinners and gatherings. By associating with these other "Good Men" we can't help but become better ourselves. We are influenced by these associations and, over time, come to hold value in our Brothers validation and expectations in the Craft and in ourselves. This is what most Fraternities do and, to a large degree, it's successful. I know quite a few Brothers who see our Craft as a Social Club or Service Organization and are some of the most incredible of Men, and I would never want to let them down or disappoint them.

On the esoteric side of the coin, we are looking at introspection and reflection. This allows us to start in the exoteric and, by asking questions and seeking to understand things on a deeper level, we start to peel those layers back and strive for real Truth. One of my favorite processes in my job is root cause analysis, particularly the 5 Why's. This encourages someone (or a group) to keep asking why until we get to a singular root cause, then we build the process to fix that issue. Just like a child asking why over and over again, it is designed to get past the surface or symptom and look at the real issues.

If we look at our thoughts and push past the surface (exoteric) and through meditation, introspection, and reflection find ways to peel those layers back we can truly see how powerful our thoughts can be...

"Our thoughts are powerful. They can change us for better or worse, and they can change our reality for better or worse. We must guard them, and we should direct them towards the good in our own lives, and the good of the world around us. " <--I couldn't agree more.

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I think that this is a great way of looking at it. Thank you Brother!

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