1st Manhattan District -
Book of the Month Reading Club - Suggestions
Book selection has been chosen by
R:.W:. Bro. Jeffery Sealy, Grand Sword Bearer/Staff Officer, First Manhattan District, Grand Lodge State of New York
Pythagorean teachings affected the development of speculative Masonry. The use of mathematics and geometry to explain the world is as fundamental to Freemasonry as it was to the Pythagoreans. The book is a small collection of three pieces, exploring the impact and legacy Pythagoras has left on Freemasonry and modern, esoteric, and philosophical thought.
In this book, the author examines the ethical training required of a Freemason and the character traits a Mason must "build" within himself. Freemasonry of the Ancient Egyptians explores the roots of Freemasonry in the initiatory temple rites of Pharaonic Egypt. Masonic Orders chronicle the reemergence of Freemasonry in Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Bro. Mackey is an accomplished Masonic historian and has an extensive collection of Masonic books. From our Annual Grand Lecturers Convention last month's topic on the Masonic Funeral Service, I felt that the sprig of acacia would be appropriate to learn about at this time. The sprig of acacia presents itself to the Mason as a symbol of the immortality of the soul, reminding him by its ever-green and unchanging nature of that better and spiritual part within us.
The updated version of the book depicts Masonry's excellence, the three degrees, ancient ceremonies, and the history of Masonry from England traced through the period of introspection. The author Bro. William Preston is known as an exceptional lecturer who traveled to many lodges to spread his knowledge to the brothers.
At the heart of those lessons taught today is a fictional character referred to as Grand Master Hiram Abif. The master-builder of the edifice known as King Solomon's Temple, Grand Master Hiram symbolizes order, beauty, virtue, and morality. He holds within his breast the long-guarded secrets of life passed down by such men as Zoroaster, Pythagoras, and Hermes Trismegistus. Revealed in three distinct parts, Grand Master Hiram's lessons about Freemasonry are for everyone - not just Masons and their families. Everyone benefits by learning how to build stronger families, arousing community awareness, reforming governments, and assisting those in need. Voices from the past speak to us through the legends and mysteries and impart wise and serious truths about how men should embrace tolerance, freedom, and love.
Freemasonry is entirely built around traditions. From time immemorial, those who have belonged to the world's oldest and largest fraternal order have metaphorically passed between the pillars of Solomon's Temple to nurture within themselves a harmonious bond between tradition and modernity. This is the story of the Masonic ritual, the language and ceremonial forms that have evolved into the present structure of American Freemasonry, defined its lodge space, and offered its members the same stabilizing influence of instruction that has prevailed on every continent for nearly 400 years.