The following is a book review written by a fellow Mason

A Review By K. Kidd

“You are about to take upon you a series of different thoughts. Take each page upon yourself with the light of your heart and candor of your soul so that the mind may open the doors of understanding. Though the willingness to understand comes the gatekeeper of knowledge; which will manifest valid experiences.”

This is how Bro. J.R. Schaefer begins his recently published first book, “Into the Mind: Compilation of Inspiration.” With that, his slender tone takes us through thoughts that, to the careful observer, are Masonicly inspiring. This is important because we live in an age in which the Craft is largely in decline. And everywhere the Brethren look for its writers, artists and thinkers of which we had plenty in prior days.

Bro. Schaefer’s work is a sudden flash of light in what seems a very dark time indeed. While darkness may prevail, the journey and the search continue. “The prize,” he tells us, “is not in the fight of the opponent, rather the fight of the self and a willingness to win.”

Bro. Schaefer provides this light in poetry as well as in prose, in words that are almost hypnotic. The nonMason could read this book and be inspired but the Freemason will know those passages that speak peculiarly to him/her, such as this one:

“Though all of time the seers have told and written the laws that govern the senses of our conscience; how to act and how to live. The glutton of ego drowns the inner being from gaining joy in its fullness. So we play in the mud puddle and call it the ocean. We part from our connections and call it love once had, once lost. Seek for the lawmaker, we being the ones that follow the laws of the Creator. Then you will understand the reality of being a seeker. The Architect of the Grandest is felt in the inner being and you say to yourself, “I am a “Child of God” and the connections with the people around you are felt in splendor. You can now see the love in the air and in the soil and in the water; it is the grand mechanic that makes the machine of forgiveness. He has the capability to creating a device of forgiveness. Now Look, Listen and Learn.”

One of a number of themes that runs through Bro. Schaefer’s book is that of oneness. “Universal Oneness,” he writes, “comes from your willingness to let go.” While he does not minutely define Oneness, Schaefer tries to draw the readers understanding of this concept to a fuller understand of the Creator and his/her place within.

“The Creator is the known entity of your being,” Schaefer writes, “he lives in your heart, he resides in you, for you are made in his image. There can be many different ways to see this and then you will be the identity seeker. The love of the almighty shines in your heart and you can be the only one that sees and hears the laughter and songs made for you. Made for you, with your fingerprint on it.”

Bro. Schaefer’s compilation tackles other weighty subjects as well, such as patience, happiness, duality and the concept of evil. But he is very clear, in all these subjects, that his book is written for seekers of all types. And what it is they must do if they really want to find what they seek. “If we want to find truth,” Bro. Schaefer warns, “we must be willing to lose everything!”

Bro. Schaefer also includes a few of his essays, including what may be his best known,

“3° of Masonry and Kung Fu”. I included a link to this at the bottom

The book is the culmination of “many years of study and curiosity as it relates to the spiritual journey” Bro Schaefer said in an online interview. “I have quite the background in Religion. For example, I was raised in a Lutheran home and was confirmed in this religion at the age of 15. This required approx 1 year of studies and memorization of the cataclysm of Martin Luther. Then I was introduced into the Catholic system in the High School I went to with 3 years of religion study.

“I have always been intrigued by Religion which progressed into the spiritual realm and then into the esoteric teachings. This journey allows me to process the information and transfer it into a prose or poem. Many find my poems hard to decipher and truth be told, there is not one correct interpretation. The poems are not formed to be hard to understand, but rather tailored to speak to each individual on the level in which they can comprehend.”

“Religion leaves a bad taste in many people mouths, and rightfully so due to the imperfection of mans influence on the inspiration given through all of time. Through all my study I have found truth in every form of religion if you desire to dig deep within its knowledge. I found that there has to be a separation of the “man” influenced aspects vs. the divine inspiration. This is only answered when what I call the seeker comes upon the almighty with a “broken heart and contrite spirit”

“Almost 3 years ago I joined the Freemasons and that opened up a whole other door!”

Bro. Schaefer travels in online Masonic circles under the name “Syphous”.

Anyone who would like to read Bro. Schaefer’s work may obtain a copy here:

Link to Essay (Page 22)

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