Friday, April 20, 2012

Masonic Social Network

Do you want to socialize with other Masons? There is a new Masonic Social Network that is open to all Masons. Universal Brotherhood is a social network for Freemasons that was built by the brothers over at Freemasonry 101.

Freemasonry 101 offers a wealth of information about Freemasonry while Universal Brotherhood is the  place where Masons meet online.

We recommend that you visit both of these wonderful Masonic sites.

American Masonic Alliance

American Masonic Alliance
The Grand Orient USA has just announced its entrance into the American Masonic Alliance. The alliance is a group of Grand Lodges and Orient operating in North, Central and South America. to learn more visit the website of the Grand Orient USA.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spinoza Masonic Lodge, Freemasonry 101, Tracing Board and more

There's a new Masonic Lodge in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Spinoza Lodge opened in late 2011 and operates under the authority of the Grand Orient USA. Their website is http://www.spinozalodge.com.

The Tracing Board website has been redesigned to provide access to the essays of of Masonic scholar Jeff Peace. If you're interested in the history of Freemasonry visit Tracing Board.

Freemasonry 101 is a new Masonic website that provides an overview of all things related to Freemasonry. It's has detailed information about the various Masonic Rites, and sub-sections on the history and philosophy of the Freemasons.

Graeter’s Constitutions of 2012

2012 marks the beginning of the seventh year of the Grand Orient USA’s struggle for absolute freedom of conscience for all American Freemasons, and with it comes plenty of changes based on the feedback from our lodges.
What has become known as “Graeter’s Constitutions” will become effective on May 1, 2012. They are based on Bro. Richard Graeter’s paper Reform Freemasonry!, and were drawn up by Bros. Richard Graeter and Jeffrey Peace during 2011. We believe they represent the future of American Freemasonry.
Here’s the short list of changes and innovations:

  • The Grand Orient USA is now a collective of independent lodges
  • Lodges no longer pay a fee for membership in the Grand Orient USA
  • Lodges choose the ritual they use
  • Internet and Social Media lodges have been introduced, allowing members to connect-up anytime
  • A new independent Board of Directors

Masonic lodges are groups of people working together to better themselves and their communities. Social Media has caused the old definitions of “community” to be revised. There are now two distinct types of communities: local and on-line. The Grand Orient recognizes the significance of this technological  change to culture and is readily adopting it. You can now become affiliated with multiple types of lodges across the United States and the Internet.
This new perspective on Freemasonry has caused a re-thinking of the Grand Orient itself. The old model for Grand Lodges is obsolete. In the modern era Grand Lodges/Orients must evolve into collectives of independent lodges to keep up with the rapid pace of changes within society. This model recognizes the differences between people and groups better than the existing model and allows them to create localized and Internet based groups based on their unique individual needs.
Under this model the Grand Orient becomes the hub of Masonic activity instead of the governing body of it. This creates an atmosphere of Masonic freedom of conscience and independence beyond that of all other existing models. It truly puts the “Free” back into Freemasonry.
It recognizes that true freedom of conscience exists only where groups of people are allowed to freely form groups and operate both within the collective and independent of it. Freedom of expression in terms of art, science, religion and philosophy become the norm in what is now a naturally evolving system.
Since lodges are the natural evolution of groups of individual Masons, the restrictions placed upon them by the monolithic structures of the mainstream system are rendered obsolete. Whether it be groups of men, women or both is regulated by the lodge itself rather than any authoritative governing body.
This model shatters the foundations of the old system. Through it Freemasonry becomes a collective community that achieves balance and harmony through mutual respect, tolerance and recognition of all Masons. Freemasonry will no longer be viewed as an Obedience or Order, but as a life-philosophy. The secret of Freemasonry is not just about bettering one’s self but about helping others achieve the same in themselves.
What this means to you as a Freemason:
You are now free to form and/or join with other groups of Masons around the world regardless of jurisdictional boundaries. As a Freemason you determine your affiliations and are free to extend the fraternity through social media or local events.
Joining the Grand Orient isn’t about Grand Lodges/Orients, its about being a part of the global Masonic collective. It’s a brother/sisterhood without any restrictions or boundaries.
We’re really excited about the changes in the Grand Orient USA, and what it means to both the liberal and continental traditions that exist in the United States.

Monday, July 4, 2011

New Halcyon Lodge Website

Halcyon Lodge is celebrating Independence Day with a new website and phase II of the temple renovation project. The website is http://www.halcyontemple.org .

Halcyon Lodge has been keeping the spirit of Freemasonry alive since 1875. It was at this time that Wor. Bro. Frederick Pelton declared that Halcyon would be “the most progressive lodge in the country,” and we remain so to this day. While other lodges are fading away, we’re growing, expanding and investing in the future of the Craft. An essential element of our recipe for success is our dedication to brotherhood and community action. We work in and for the local Cleveland community making it a better place for all. Halcyon Lodge practices the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, and operates under the authority of the Grand Orient of the United States of America, Orient of Ohio, Valley of Cleveland. The Grand Orient promotes freedom of conscience, the republic form of government, individual rights, and civic virtue as expressed by the Founding Fathers of the United States.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and Religion

Kauffman, a complexity theorist at the University of Calgary, sets a huge task for himself in this provocative but difficult book: to find common ground between religion and science by redefining God as not a supernatural Creator but as the natural creativity in the universe. That creativity, says Kauffman, defies scientific assumptions that the biosphere's evolution and human activity can be reduced to physics and are fully governed by natural laws. Kauffman (At Home in the Universe) espouses emergence, the theory of how complex systems self-organize into entities that are far more than the sum of their parts. To bolster the idea of this ceaselessly creative and unpredictable nature, Kauffman draws examples from the biosphere, neurobiology and economics. His definition of God as the fully natural, awesome, creativity that surrounds us is unlikely to convince those with a more traditional take on religion. Similarly, Kauffman's detailed discussions of quantum mechanics to explain emergence are apt to lose all but the most technically inclined readers. Nonetheless, Kauffman raises important questions about the self-organizing potential of natural systems that deserve serious consideration.

A work of generative genius that is almost a sustained prose poem on the subject of how reductionism is not really a good way of looking at how the universe works.

Available from Amazon.com

Can Science Be Sacred?

Steve Paulson reports on a growing movement among secular scientists and philosophers. They believe the natural world around us is full of marvels and mysteries, but they typically don't believe in God. Neither do they like the term "atheist." Some prefer "Religious Naturalist." Steve fills us in on "the awe and wonder crowd."

Listen to "Can Science be Sacred?"
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