Book review in the “Scottish Rite Journal”

“Brother Dunning (Chuck, to his friends) is another friend of long standing.
He is one of the wisest and most gentle men I know. I was honored when
he asked me to write a foreword for this book. He is a psychologist. In addition
to being a Class Director for the Valley of Fort Worth he is the Director of Education
for the Guthrie Valley, and the driving creative force behind the Academy
of Reflection in Guthrie as well. This is a really good book, based on the
knowledge that if you cannot hold your own Center, it is hard to hold the Center
of Society.

Much nonsense has been written about many spiritual exercises, God wot,
and some of the most nonsensical has been written about Freemasonry—what
one of my friends calls “ugga-bugga” Masonry. This book is not that at all. It is an
immensely practical guide to developing your own spiritual awareness. It is probably
poor form to quote from one’s own writing, but let me share some of what I
wrote in the Foreword:

As Brother Dunning so clearly demonstrates, the Degrees of the Blue Lodge
are chock-full of references to the fact that man is a spiritual being with spiritual
talents and abilities which can be awakened and developed.

This book is not a tour though the vague mists of Avalon. It is a practical,
reasonable guide to development. In many ways it is like a video on muscular
development. Follow the exercises and you will see results.
Leave it on the shelf

And if it is true that Masonry takes good men and makes them better, how does it do it?
You are about to find out.

And if it is true that the essence of Masonry is a quest to discover your own true nature, how do you make that discovery?
You are about to find out.

If it is true that contemplation is a talent which can be grown and developed, how do you do it?
You are about to find out.

If intuition is not just a vague hunch or a lucky guess, what is it?
You are about to find out.

And if you are ever bothered in the still small watches of the night by the
question “Who or what I am?” You will at least have a good chance of finding out.

This is an important book, and there could hardly be a better time for it.

Reading this column over before sending it in, I realized how many of the authors
are good friends of long standing. Inadvertently, it turned into a sort of “old
home week.” But that is good. If we are to set about the task of helping the Center
to hold, there is no better way than in the company of friends and Brothers.”

Bro. Jim Tresner’s review of Contemplative Masonry was originally posted in the March-April 2017 edition of the Scottish Rite Journal, “Is Freemasonry Esoteric?” and can be found on page 28 at the link here