In this brief episode, we discuss:
David: Happy Halloween everybody.
Gene: We’re back… sort of.
David: That’s right. We’re still working out our plans for Season 2, but we did want to touch base with our listeners and let you know what we’ve been up to. But before we get started, I want to remind everyone that our first season, which discusses each of the Degrees in the Scottish Rite system, along with Show Notes and Chapter Markers, is available on our website - WayOfTheHermit.com.
Gene: And, I’d like to say that the response to those episodes has been truly gratifying. I check the download numbers every day and at the time of this recording, we’re getting more downloads than when we were doing the podcast every other week. It’s pretty cool to find out that people are finding them useful… for their own personal study or as a part of study groups across the country… or really, all over the world.
David: That’s true. I think when we finished up, we had downloads in around 90 countries, and now we’re well over 100.
Gene: 107 the last time I looked.
David: That is really cool. But anyway, the first thing I want to discuss is that I’ve been re-editing the first season’s episodes and that process is taking a bit longer than I expected. I’m not really changing the content, but I am editing out some of the empty spaces in our conversations in the early episodes and just cleaning up the audio a bit.
Gene: And taking out my breathing?
David: And you say that like it’s a joke. But, yes - I cut some of that out, too.
Gene: And my silly humor?
David: No, for better or worse, I left all that in.
Gene: Oh lord.
David: But anyway, I do expect to complete those edits by the end of this year and then we can turn our attention to Season 2.
Gene: Do you want to say anything about the book?
David: Yes, I am also compiling the Transcripts into an e-book to accompany an audiobook of all the podcasts in Season 1.
Gene: But, all of that material will continue to be available for free… correct?
David: Correct. I just wanted to compile it all and provide it in an alternate format that some people may find more convenient.
Gene: And, so we can have it ourselves.
David: That’s right. I’ve completed editing the first four episodes of Season 1 so far and, like I said, it should all be updated by the end of this year. We are planning to begin new episodes in January.
Gene: And… we’ve been having discussions about the direction in the next season. We’ve tossed around the idea of digging in deeper into Kabbalah, or doing other books related to Freemasonry or mysticism, but… and correct me if I’m wrong, I think we both agree that, at least in the first few episodes, we’re going to just discuss some of the implications of the material that we encountered in going through the Scottish Rite system.
Gene: I mean, it’s still like a whirlwind to go through all the history, mythology and symbolism in those Degrees.
David: But it is much more extensive than what you’re normally given when you go through the Degrees.
Gene: Sure. We intended it to be our “Guide for the Perplexed”… apologies to Maimonides.
David: With us among the perplexed?
Gene: That’s true… especially at the beginning. But, to paraphrase a quote from Monty Python - “It got better.”
David: It did. But I guess where we plan to pick up the discussion in Season 2 is, as you said, to talk through some of the implications of the information in those degrees for Scottish Rite members, or really for anyone, who takes the time to seriously consider that material.
Gene: Which brings up another important point that we didn’t really stress in the episodes so far - the fact that our discussions were never really intended strictly for Scottish Rite members.
David: We didn’t stress that, but I hope that was obvious to people. I found out early on that many of our listeners were people who only knew about Masonry and the Scottish Rite from what they had seen or heard on TV or on the Internet.
Gene: Or from conspiracy novels and movies. Thanks Dan Brown!
David: Exactly. All of the material we used in Season 1 was openly available to anyone, but as might be expected, not many people take the time to really study it.
Gene: And you do have to really knuckle down and study it because it contains what you might call - “open secrets”. You have to dig to uncover the treasures that are hidden in there.
David: And, that’s where we want to begin in Season 2. To point out where we thought some of those treasures were buried and how they can be applied practically.
Gene: And also some of the pitfalls, or to carry the analogy on, the places on the treasure map that say “here, there be dragons”.
David: We plan to make those discussions as accessible as possible, but we definitely will not be repeating the information from the first season.
Gene: Right. The degrees and the symbolism contained in them, are part of the language that the Western Mystery Tradition utilizes, so to follow our discussions, it’s important to have internalized at least the basic symbols.
David: It is. So… do you have anything else to add right now?
Gene: Nope. I’m just looking forward to continuing our discussions.
David: Me, too. I will post another update in December with our progress on the book and the audiobook, but the plan is to begin full episodes again in January.
Gene: “We’ll be back”.
David: We will. Until then… I’m David.
Gene: And I’m Gene.
David: We hope you’ll join next time for our continuing journey on the esoteric path.
Gene: As we walk the “Way of the Hermit”.