March 1, 2004

My Brothers,

For the past year, the NE Corner Committee on Masonic Education has presented sessions in the Stated Meetings. Now, it seems that this has been a committee of one. This must change; hearing my messages alone is the sound of one hand clapping.

For our newer Brothers, you should know that one of the best ways to learn about Masonry is to tell someone else about what you are discovering; we all learn from it. Don’t be shy; you are among Brothers in an atmosphere of Brotherly Love, and it is safe to speak. Talking about Masonry makes you think about it, and that’s good. Your fresh insights and questions about Masonry are just as important as definitions pulled out of a dusty old Masonic Encyclopedia, and actually they are more important; a book can never be a Mason. For our seasoned Brothers, the things you’ve learned and thought about in your years of Masonry are important lessons for us all. But, you have to tell us about them for us to share in your knowledge. Remember, it is the shared energy that keeps us all going! So, share!

Anyhow, we’ve covered many topics in the last year. Now it’s time for a little quiz to see if you’ve been napping. Don’t worry, they’re multiple choice answers. Keep track of how many you get right out of ten. Here we go.

Q1 - The Tyler’s Jewel of Office is an emblem representing what?
a. He wears a jewel?
b. Being the Tyler, Duh!
c. Being the Grand Master Hiram Abiff’s apprentice.
d. The Flaming Sword guarding the eastern approach to the Tree of Knowledge.

Q#2 - Who said, “Come forth into the light of things, Let Nature be your teacher.”
a. What?
b. I did, back in April of last year.
c. William Wordsworth
d. Both b&c.

Q3. Our continuing fidelity to the GAOTU is expressed by the right hand being presented toward the altar in what Rite?
a. The Rite of Circumlocution.
b. The Rite of Circumcision.
c. The Rite of Cirque de Solei.
d. The Rite of Circumambulation.

Q4. When the Marshall “propounds the usual questions to the Candidate” he is confirming what? That:
a. The Candidate has no mineral or metallic substances on him.
b. The Candidate is dressed appropriately for the Initiation Ceremonies.
c. Both a&b.
d. The Candidate answers in the affirmative the three questions concerning his Internal Qualifications to be a Mason.

Q5. The name of a Greek school of philosophy, the principles of which were adopted by Masonry, comes from the Greek word for a column, pillar, or porch. What is the Greek word and what is the philosophical school’s name?
a. Read the question again?
b. Neo and Neo-Platonism.
c. Zeno and Zen Buddhism.
d. Stoa and Stoicism.

Q6. All of the following statements about piety are true, except?
a. To the ancient Greeks, piety meant Justice to the Gods.
b. Piety is a part of being a Mason.
c. To Masons, piety is justice toward the GAOTU and each other.
d. You have to wear a brown robe and chant stuff to be pious.

Q7. The term "Nobless Oblige" means what?
a. Who knows? It’s Greek to me.
b. The name of King Solomon’s favorite horse.
c. I’m the ruler and I can if I want.
d. The ruler should be the servant of those ruled.

Q8. What is the energy source that charges and recharges our Masonic batteries?
a. 120 volts, AC.
b. The sun.
c. The Eveready Bunny.
d. The Divine spark in each other, in Lodge.

Q9. In Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, what was the key difference between the old Scrooge and the new Scrooge?
a. There was no difference - that’s why he’s called Scrooge.
b. He was hungry because the ghost of Jacob Marley ate his porridge.
c. He was drunk because he was up all night with Spirits.
d. He was full of joy because he rediscovered the principles values in Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth.

Q#10 - As Masons, the drawings on our Trestle Board and the furnishings on the Altar should remind us of what?
a. That Masonry’s Divinely-inspired designs can help us overcome our own design flaws.
b. That our boundaries and inspiration are to be found in the Divine.
c. That we are good men mutually obligated to learning how to become better men.
d. All of these things.

Well, that was the quiz. If you were keeping track, the preferred answers were all letter 'd'. This was a ten point quiz. You score one point for each preferred answer. Take ten points off for each other answer. Deduct ten points if you had all the answers because you are an over-achiever. Deduct ten points if you did not take the quiz or fell asleep again. If you scored above 0, refigure your points because that was impossible.

If you scored 0 or below, Congratulations!, you have all just volunteered to be a contributing member in the NE Corner Committee. Your Masonic work as a new committee member is to come up with a topic you would like to talk about for 1 or 2 minutes and let me know when you are ready. I'll bet there's one Brother who can commit right now to be ready for next month and I will continue to stand here and talk until a Brother volunteers...

Remember, Brothers, the best way to learn is to teach; the best way to receive is to give. Give Lodge some of your energy. You’ll get back a whole lot more!

Br. Stephen C. Harrington