New Masonic Thoughts

photo of shriner walking up masonic stairs

The Masonic Influence on World History

I found this some where, it would be hard to improve on the message. 

As masons, we have an identity problem. We’ve all heard the mantras, “Freemasonry is a peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.” or “We make good men better.”, but that doesn’t quite explain to the average man what we really are about. Reliance on a catchphrases to bring in potential members doesn’t convey what we as an organization are trying to accomplish. In fact, I think it is a banal attempt at marketing ourselves. If you want people to know you exist as an organization, the organization needs to be actively marketing itself and it has to agree on a definition of what it wants to represent. We can’t expect bumper stickers that say: “2B1Ask1” to send potential members to our doors. We can’t continue to take a passive approach and expect our membership numbers to reverse, we need to actively market ourselves and what we represent.

Furthermore, as part of this advertising, we need to stress how important the below values are for men today. As the MSANA report says when discussing the benefits of Freemasonry in the 21st century world: “Masonry offers an opportunity for a principled way of life rooted in the following Masonic values: 

  • Integrity
  • Diversity 
  • Inquiry 
  • Community 
  • Vitality


Masons are men who build community through brotherhood that is based on a principled lifestyle. A Mason’s life is deeply rooted in a system of values. Masonry cannot be kept inside the individual; it is a philosophy of fraternity that must be shared in action through numerous experiences, which are lodge-based, personal, and professional.“

I would substitute personal development in place of inquiry. I don’t see the act of asking for information as being one of our values. Instead, I see personal development more in line with our values. Personal Development covers the activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance the quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations. I personally have observed in my children a lack of certain life skills, for example, although I’ve shown him numerous times, I doubt highly that my 18 year old son could change a tire. As another example, my 16 year old son can’t cook a simple meal for himself. Sure he can microwave a meal, boil an egg, and do other simple kitchen tasks, but if I asked him to cook me a hamburger or pancake for instance, there’s a good chance that he couldn’t do it. Freemasonry can be marketed in such a way to younger generations to show them that Masonry can help teach them these life skills, either from the experience of being with older men who know these things, or by outright setting up workshops to teach them.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, while studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America and the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has observed that many of the forgotten cultures had spiritual beliefs that were stronger than ours in modern times.

In technology, we have made advances far superior to those that came before us, but, we have lagged behind in gaining or maintaining our spiritual knowledge.

For us to advance as the human race, we need to combine the spiritual knowledge of those that came before us, not only that of the ancients but the knowledge of our direct ancestors as well, with the technical knowledge we have today for us to propel into the twenty-first century and beyond.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

photo of the two pillars

Shriner carrying a child up the steps of masonry

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Save For A Rainy Day

Sell Art Online

 

Written by Gary Wonning

The recent government shutdown has brought to the forefront how little people save for a rainy day.

Many were complaining after only missing one paycheck they didn’t have money to buy food.  Most of these employees make really good money.

Where did it all go ? If they are making good money and both spouses are working, a week without a paycheck, to me doesn’t look like it’s Trump’s fault, or even congress.

Regardless of the issues with congress not  approving a budget for the last 13 years, this issue boils down to individual responsibility.

I’m just as guilty as many others, I haven’t saved like I should, but that doesn’t make it the fault of the government.

A sudden illness or downturn in the economy can give the same results.

Some where in the bible it talks of saving and filling our granaries during the seven years of plenty to provide for us during the seven years of famine, something each and every one of us is sure to encounter at least once during our long lives.

Many of our parents lectured us on the importance of saving money for a rainy day, somehow, that wise advice seemed to have gotten lost in the dust and disappear forever, but why listen when we can blame government for all our problems?

Some where, we have forgotten, caught up in all the modern conveniences and electronic toys, quick easy credit, and with most, job security, those lessons from our elders have slipped away into oblivion. 

So we can sit around , scratch our heads and wonder what happened. We can blame others, and look for difficult answers. The solution isn’t difficult, we just need to go back to what works, go back to the basics in life and learn from the wisdom of our ancestors. 

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, while studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America and the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has observed that many of the forgotten cultures had spiritual beliefs that were stronger than ours in modern times.

In technology, we have made advances far superior to those that came before us, but, we have lagged behind in gaining or maintaining our spiritual knowledge.

For us to advance as the human race, we need to combine the spiritual knowledge of those that came before us, not only that of the ancients but the knowledge of our direct ancestors as well, with the technical knowledge we have today for us to propel into the twenty-first century and beyond.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

The Journey to Reality

Journey to enlightenment

A journey into the unknown. Open new avenues in your spiritual journey

Written by Gary Wonning

I found this fascinating after it all unfolded, at the time I never realized how or why it was unfolding and was upset at the way life was transpiring.

In 1967 I began driving for United Parcel Service, and by 1968 I had my own delivery area. I was pleased because it was near my hometown, the roads were good and I knew almost everyone I delivered to.

I joined the Air Force Reserve in 1963 at a local Air Force base and was assigned to become a load master after completing my training. During my basic training I received new orders placing me in Base Supply. Needless to say I was disappointed, I joined to Air Force because I wanted to fly, in Base Supply I would be handing out underwear to the people who flew.

I pouted for four years.

Soon nineteen sixty eight  arrived and my life was changing, marriage was in the future and since I only had a little over a year left in my enlistment it seemed I wouldn’t be called up for active duty, my how things can suddenly change.

I wasn’t unusual for my wing to be called to active duty and reality soon hit as we were called to active duty and were leaving in about a month.

My future wife and I had bought a house and was planning a wedding  July, we decided to go ahead and get married and move the wedding up to April, a couple of weeks before my deployment.

Despite being in the middle of the spring “wedding” season, everything worked perfectly and the wedding went off without a hitch.

My duffel bag was packed lying in the cornet of the bedroom when threes days before departure, I received a phone call, I wasn’t going to Vietnam, the Air Force had decided to only take the people on flying status and since I was in supply, they didn’t need me. It was then I realized if my orders hadn’t been changed in nineteen sixty-three, I would be on my way to Vietnam.

Unseen powers had changed my whole life five years ago.

More changes were coming. After calling my supervisor and informing him I would be back Monday morning, I was informed that since I was given a leave of absence, my delivery area was assigned to someone else and because of union rules I would need to take another area.

I was not happy, the area was in the southern part of the state and bordered the Ohio River.  It include Switzerland County, was forty miles from home and even though the roads were hilly, curvy and treacherous in the winter, I soon found the people were wonderful , I have never forgotten how nice the local citizens treated me.

Vevay, the country seat was quaint and very beautiful, especially in the autumn when all the leaves turned a golden and red color., and it had a friendly, familiar feel to it.

Several years later, after beginning my spiritual quest, I had occasion to visit Fredericksburg, Virginia.

A couple of years earlier, while under hypnosis, I discovered a past life where I lived in Fredericksburg before and during the  American Revolution.

As a child, I would always fantasize about being at Valley Force, when the Indiana weather  turned cold, I remember standing out in  a snow covered field and wonder what it would have been like during the cold winter our troops were stationed at that camp.

As I exited the freeway and drove into town, I noticed a cemetery on my left, I immediately thought, “What is the cemetery doing there? It wasn’t there the last time I was here.”

It was then I noticed the sign by the gate, it was a Civil war Cemetery, it wasn’t here the last time I was here.

Later I did see a Revolutionary War cemetery, some of the names sounded very familiar.

Another surprise, Vevay, Indian is  a small town along the Ohio River, as I drove down the main street of Fredericksburg I couldn’t help but notice how much it resembled Vevay, it was even on the banks of a river.

Vevay has a town called Rising Sun about thirty miles east of town, Frederickburg has an old restaurant/hotel on the east end of town, called the Rising Sun Inn., I couldn’t resist, I had lunch there, seemed like old home week.

I soon found the masonic lodge in town, while I was visiting it, everything seemed so familiar.

I realized that unseen powers had played a major role in all of this, I had been guided to play out this scenario to enlighten me and send me n a spiritual journey that goes on even today, forty years later.

Funny how life turns out.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, while studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America and the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has observed that many of the forgotten cultures had spiritual beliefs that were stronger than ours in modern times.

In technology, we have made advances far superior to those that came before us, but, we have lagged behind in gaining or maintaining our spiritual knowledge.

For us to advance as the human race, we need to combine the spiritual knowledge of those that came before us, not only that of the ancients but the knowledge of our direct ancestors as well, with the technical knowledge we have today for us to propel into the twenty-first century and beyond.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

 

 

 

What is Common Sense

Written by Gary Wonning

A few weeks ago I was at a book fair displaying some of the books I have published. A gentleman stopped and picked one of my books , “Wisdom of Our Ancestors” and asked me what it was about.

I replied it was about common sense, something no one has any more.

He then asked,”what is common sense?”

It was one of those wth moments, especially when I discovered he was a psychiatrist with several years of higher education .

Dumbfounded, I stumbled through an explanation .

But then, I began to wonder what common sense really is, we all have a different definition , according to how,when, and where we grew up ,it’s one of those things that we all know what it is, but find it hard to define.

I contemplated that perplexing question for quite a while.

When suddenly the answer came out of the clear blue sky.

It’s a set of moral and ethical values that have been passed down from time immemorial, a set of values that not only allude to our spiritual or religious values, but principles that affect every minute of our lives, they influence our financial values, and how we treat our fellow human beings.

photo of shriner walking up masonic stairs

The Masonic Influence on World History

How many of us actually examine our masonic ritual to discover what those ceremonies really mean? Most often we go through, memorize certain passages, perform the ritual and never give it anther thought. But when you really think about the phrases we recite daily, they do indeed allude to common sense principles we should apply to our daily lives, they aren’t secret, they are right out there in the open for everyone to study and apply.

Passages like, maintain a tongue of good report, maintain secrecy, acting on the square, and meeting on the level. Things like keeping our word, living by example and teaching the young good values.

None of us are perfect, we all sometimes act in a manner unbecoming of a brother, or sister, but if we strive to do the right thing, most times we will strive towards perfection.

Even the seven liberal arts and sciences in the second degree teaches us to look at life through a scientific perspective.

If we only look to the ancient teachings, to the Wisdom of our Ancestors, we will find the answers we need.  Every answer we would ever need can be found in those sacred documents, The Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights and the bible and masonic teachings.

It seems people are always talking about the good old days, when the values we upheld were  different, maybe it’s time to quit talking about the way it was and start talking about the way it’s going to be, applying the lessons from the past.

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, while studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America and the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has observed that many of the forgotten cultures had spiritual beliefs that were stronger than ours in modern times.

In technology, we have made advances far superior to those that came before us, but, we have lagged behind in gaining or maintaining our spiritual knowledge.

For us to advance as the human race, we need to combine the spiritual knowledge of those that came before us, not only that of the ancients but the knowledge of our direct ancestors as well, with the technical knowledge we have today for us to propel into the twenty-first century and beyond.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

 

 

 

 

masonry ritual

can’t get in without knocking

we have many ways to spread the word

 

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Written by Gary Wonning

How often have we heard that comment?

Probably not very often these days. There seems to be a popular misconception held among many that before we can correct someone else’s behavior, we need to be perfect in every way and never have committed an act that was below what is acceptable in society. 

How many of us can do that? 

Often times the individual who makes the statement that we shouldn’t criticize his actions is committing an act that is unacceptable and is looking for an excuse to justify his actions.  

One of my mother’s favorite expressions was, “Do as I say, not as I do.” 

It would be made after she told me not to do something, normally a minor offense and a few minutes later she would do the same thing, and I would catch her in the act. 

She would just look at me and say, “Sometimes you need to do as I say and not as I do,” meaning that it was my decision to do the right thing regardless of what someone else does. 

It most often would be followed by her saying,”Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

This means that just because someone else does it, that doesn’t give you the right to do. That just makes the offense double bad. 

You are responsible for your actions, regardless of what someone else does. 

I often think she did those acts to teach me a valuable lesson. Too many times she would do this for it to be a coincidence. 

Mom was pretty smart. Like many in her generation, she never finished school. She only had an eighth grade education, but knew many things college graduates of today don’t know or understand. 

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, while studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America and the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

Art Prints

He has observed that many of the forgotten cultures had spiritual beliefs that were stronger than ours in modern times.

In technology, we have made advances far superior to those that came before us, but, we have lagged behind in gaining or maintaining our spiritual knowledge.

For us to advance as the human race, we need to combine the spiritual knowledge of those that came before us, not only that of the ancients but the knowledge of our direct ancestors as well, with the technical knowledge we have today for us to propel into the twenty-first century and beyond.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

 

Remember the Sabbath

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.

Written by Gary Wonning

The Sabbath has been called a day of rest for many reasons besides the obvious reason; that time to worship God.

There was a time when no business was conducted on Sunday, except for the almost mandatory occupations to keep the world moving and to protect us from harm and provide a service if harm did come to us.  Even most restaurants , what few there were, were closed on Sunday.  Sunday dinner was around the family table, with as many relatives  as possible. 

In most families, going to church was mandatory, and was only missed if weather or other circumstances mandated.  

I grew up in Indiana, basketball country. Hardly a day went by where I wasn’t shooting hoops dodging cow pies in the ban yard. 

Neither snow, nor rain or dark of night kept me from my daily routine. In the winter, Friday nights were spent at the local high school gym rooting on our favorite team.  It was unpatriotic to miss the weekly highlight. 

The only thing that put a stop to shooting hoops, was church on Sunday, or some other event at the local church. That took priority over everything else. 

A few years ago, I took some friends to Fort Lauderdale to sail away on a seven day cruise. Normally, people need to be at the cruise port around noon or earlier, this was no exception. As a result I was driving I-75 on my way home through Fort Myers about twelve-thirty, (noon). I noticed a large soccer field near the freeway and probably about a hundred kids playing soccer. 

Because of my upbringing, I was surprised, and thought,” why aren’t these kids in church?”

Thinking back, I remembered, my mom would have strangled me if I even thought of picking u a basketball on a Sunday morning. I never even considered it. 

photo fo two people, a child and an adult looking at a sunset over the ocean

Life was a lot slower and simpler in the fifties and sixties.

Growing up on a dairy farm, the weather always played a factor in our daily lives, everything evolved around the weather, even with that, very little work was done on Sunday, except necessary chores , like milking and tending to the cattle.

The most critical and frustrating times were during the hay harvest. The hay(cow feed) had to be cut down and left to cure in the field for three days before it could be baled and put in the hay mow for the winter feeding of the cattle.

The hay consisted of clover, alfalfa, and timothy, if it was baled too soon, it would still have too much moisture content and would soon mold and rot, rendering it useless, in that condition, it could catch on fire and burn the barn down, and kill any animals in the barn. 

Dodging the weather, it seems it never rains when you need it, and always rains when you don’t need it,  we always timed the cuttings so as to not have to bale hay on a Sunday. 

It is one of the hardest and dirtiest duties on a farm. Despite all of our planning, the rains would come and delay our work, making the first day available Sunday. Even though it is eminent to process the hay as soon as possible, the longer it lays in the field and is exposed to the elements, the condition of the hay deteriorates and can become practically useless. 

Even under those circumstances, I don’t remember ever baling hay on a Sunday. We took the chance, and normally the next day the weather would break and the hay was harvested. 

Even today, Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sunday due to religious considerations, and it is the most successful fast food franchises in the United States.

You gotta wonder.

We are told time and time again to keep the day holy, besides the obvious spiritual connotations, there are other factors to consider. 

Regardless of our vocation in life, we all need a break and time for rest and refreshment. We do need time to reflect on our relationship to a supreme being, and we need time to pursue other more enjoyable and relaxing interests than our job can provide, we need time to connect with friends and family, and a Sunday afternoon nap while we pretend to watch football.

Many work on Sunday and take another day off to have that time, it may be a good option but I have done that. It isn’t the same. When you work on Sunday, you miss a very important part of your life. 

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, while studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America and the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has observed that many of the forgotten cultures had spiritual beliefs that were stronger than ours in modern times.

In technology, we have made advances far superior to those that came before us, but, we have lagged behind in gaining or maintaining our spiritual knowledge.

For us to advance as the human race, we need to combine the spiritual knowledge of those that came before us, not only that of the ancients but the knowledge of our direct ancestors as well, with the technical knowledge we have today for us to propel into the twenty-first century and beyond.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.

 

 

 

 

We Are All Part Of Divine Intelligence

Journey to enlightenment

A journey into the unknown. Open new avenues in your spiritual journey

Written by Gary Wonning

It was Sunday January 13,2019.

It had been a long journey since it began thirty seven years ago.

Early in 1982 I began to question God, who he was, if he existed and what, if any was my relationship with him.

I had run the gamete, I began my religious training in a tiny United Church of Christ in my youth, many years later, I returned to the same religion I had left many years earlier. 

Since then I visited many churches, Lutheran, Methodist, Mormon. And others. 

I had questioned religious leaders who could only tell me that when bad things happened to good people, it was God’s Will, that wasn’t an answer to me. It told me nothing.

I then researched the hidden mysteries of masonry, the resulting search lead me to the four corners of the earth. It was a wild adventure as explained in my previous book, “A Journey To Enlightenment.”

In the process I encountered aboriginal, Mayan, Egyptian cultures, made contact with extraterrestrials, and had many past life remembrances.  

Sitting back in another United Church of Christ thirty-seven years later, it all began to come together.

I suddenly understood the words and phrases in the song book more than I ever had before, the sermon suddenly had more meaning. It was like a giant light bulb suddenly came on. It was all very clear. 

The journey I had taken , a journey few are privileged to experience , a journey into a world scorned by many in the mainstream world had all been worth it, my life that many, even today don’t understand or even believe is possible became the catalyst to my understanding what Christianity is all about, and what Jesus was trying to tell us.  

Jesus never wanted to be a savior, he never wanted to be worshiped. He, because of his birth and his life journey enabled him to come into great knowledge that even most don’t understand today. 

He only wanted to be a teacher and for us to understand his teachings, he said, “As I will do, you will do also.”

He never proclaimed to be the King of the Jews.  

He was the son of God, just like we all are the sons and daughters of God.

It’s all about trusting our inner guidance, our Higher Self, the connection to the Christ Consciousness and it’s connection to the Supreme Intelligence. 

I always say that people should not rush to change religions. There is real value in finding the spiritual resources you need in your home religion. Dalai Lama

Gary has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, while studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America and the aborigines of

Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has observed that many of the forgotten cultures had spiritual beliefs that were stronger than ours in modern times.

In technology, we have made advances far superior to those that came before us, but, we have lagged behind in gaining or maintaining our spiritual knowledge.

For us to advance as the human race, we need to combine the spiritual knowledge of those that came before us, not only that of the ancients but the knowledge of our direct ancestors as well, with the technical knowledge we have today for us to propel into the twenty-first century and beyond.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,www.journeysthrulife.com.