“Leisure without study is death” - Lucius Annaeus Seneca
“… to devote your leisure hours more especially to the study of such liberal arts and sciences as may lie within the compass of your attainment, and without neglecting the ordinary duties of your station to consider yourself called on to make a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge.” - The Work
A lofty goal but how do we achieve it?
“Never regard study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later work belongs.” - Albert Einstein
Visiting other lodges is an excellent way to advance in Masonic knowledge, although it may be impractical for a daily advancement. But visit as often as you can.
“You affect your subconscious mind by verbal repetition.” - Bro. W. Clement Stone
Volunteer to do some ritual in your lodge, and repeat the work until you can say it as if they are your own words. They will become your own words.
“Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study. Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life.” - Henry L. Doherty
The College of Freemasonry runs a correspondence course that leads you to explore the work we do, our history, our protocol and leadership development. It was originally envisioned that every Junior Deacon would start the course and do one part a year. By the time he was Worshipful Master, he would have completed the course and be fully prepared for his year in the East. Of course many diligent graduates have completed the course in a much shorter period, often within the year. (Graduates also get to add FCF to their names)
“There are more men ennobled by study than by nature.” - Cicero
“No man ever reached to excellence in any one art or profession without having passed through the slow and painful process of study and preparation” - Horace
The College of Freemasonry also runs a correspondence course for past masters which will prepare them for becoming more active in their districts, such as running for DDGM.
“I once tried thinking for an entire day, but I found it less valuable than one moment of study.” - Xun Zi
The Newsletter is a quarterly publication which prints short articles by Ontario Masons for Ontario Masons. They can be read out in lodge, or enjoyed in your comfortable chair at home. The volumes are of such a size that they can even be carried in your pocket to be read in a quiet moment waiting for a bus.
“Study from new books but from old teachers” - Turkish Proverb
Grand Lodge publishes several books and keeps a stock of others for sale. These are available at the book table at the Annual Communication, but are also available through the year from the Grand Lodge office and at Lodges of Instruction. We search publishers from around the world to bring us the best in interesting new Masonic books.
“The love of study, a passion which derives fresh vigor from enjoyment, supplies each day, each hour, with a perpetual source of independent and rational pleasure.” - Bro. Edward Gibbon
The Library upstairs at the Grand Lodge building in Hamilton has a vast array of books, dating back to the beginning of Masonry in this country. Many are available for borrowing either in person or by mail. Heritage Lodge has enabled the Sankey Collection to be housed at Brock University. Many rare Masonic texts are available for study there.
“Study detains the mind by the perpetual occurrence of something new, which may gratefully strike the imagination.” - Isaac Watts
There are many thought-provoking sites and blogs on the internet, and our own Grand Lodge has an extensive website with much to explore.
“A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years mere study of books.” - Bro. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Lodges of Discussion and Salons are becoming regular occurrences. They are events where Masons gather to discuss those issues which are most important to us.
“Iron sharpens iron; scholar, the scholar.” - The Talmud
Masonic Study Circles and small discussion groups have sprung up around the province. They are a great place to explore ideas with other like-minded men. If there isn’t one in your area, start one!
“A boy will learn more true wisdom in a public school in a year than by a private education in five. It is not from masters, but from their equals, that youth learn a knowledge of the world.” - Bro. Oliver Goldsmith
Impromptu discussions after lodge are a time-honoured place of discussion. Perhaps your conversations have fallen into mundane talk of the weather. Rejuvenate them by bringing up a Masonic topic while you snack.
“But how shall I get ideas? ''Keep your wits open! Observe! Observe! Study! Study! But above all, Think! Think! And when a noble image is indelibly impressed upon the mind - Act!” - Orison Swett Marden
Write those ideas down, present them to your lodge, or your district, and send them into The Newsletter to share with others.
“If you employed study, thinking, and planning time daily, you could develop and use the power that can change the course of your destiny.” - Bro. W. Clement Stone
(Berowne:) What is the end of study, let me know?
(Ferdinand:) What, that to know which else we should not know.
(Berowne:) Things hid and barred, you mean, from common sense?
(Ferdinand:) Ay, that is study's godlike recompense.
- Bro. William Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost
By R.W. Bro. David J. Cameron
of the Curriculum Group
The Committee on Masonic Education
Please share this Bulletin with the members of your Lodge, District and any other Masons you wish.