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What Masonry means to people

Their thoughts on the Meaning of Masonry

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Turning The Hiram Key

Find out what Masonry means to Robert by reading his latest book, Turning The Hiram Key.

- Robert's own thoughts about his new book
- The official launch website
- Get hold of a signed copy
 
By Wesley1979
Should Freemasonry be secret, or should we be more open about it?
If the rituals, pageantry and esoteric imagery have great value to masons, doesn't opening the floodgate and offering it to the public at large act to devalue all of it? Ties and friendship are built on trust and honour and secrecy is a profound expression of trust and respect; so no, I don't think being more open about the rituals and symbolism serves any purpose other than to placate those who point fingers at masonry for being secretive. In this day and age of proprietary technology and protection of intellectual property there is more reason than ever to believe that protection of these things should be accepted more by society at large. If lodges want to keep Freemasonry strong- they should keep the allure alive and keep the secrets secret.

What does Masonic ritual mean to you? Masonic ritual means nothing to me as I am not a mason and cannot claim to understand the nuances and implications no matter how well versed I may think I am and how well read I may think I am concerning the issue.

How do you feel when you were made a Mason? I'm looking forward to receiving my first degree this fall, I can only imagine a combination of excitement, intimidation and the warmth of acceptance. I imagine a certain amount of gravity will surround the feeling too, as the ritual is likely to be quite serious I imagine.

And what role has Masonic ritual played in your life since? None yet


Do you feel it is something which can not, or perhaps should not, be put into words? If this site is still taking this poll I will let you know.
 
By Derek Stephen McPhail
dear Robert Lomas;
my father had been a mason for most of his adult life; as had many of my ancestors, apparently, on both sides of my family for generations. my father took seriously that his masonic life was private and never talked about it. after taking a degree in Theatre, i became intrigued by the connection between Freemasonry and the Knights Templars; and, finally approached my dad about becoming a mason. he was thrilled, and promptly introduced me to his Zetland Lodge in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. i spent seven wonderful years, actively working through the chairs of blue lodge, becoming a Senior Warden; until, i decided to demit, when i returned to university to get a second degree in Film Studies. when i am more settled in my work and could be more focused; i may one day return.

i was especially active in masonic research and pursued the York Rites; becoming active in Chapter and the Knights Templar. my masonic experience paralleled my fascination with the Sacred Sciences and the pre-history, of what i believe was the ancient origins of modern science and spirituality. i have been very inspired by the fascinating works of Christopher Knight and yourself; gradually working to catch up with your collective body of work. (i am currently reading "Turning the Hiram Key"; after recently finishing "The Man Who Invented the Twentieth Century" and "Civilization One: The World Is Not As You Thought It Was".)

i have always tried to honour what i feel is everyone's right to define their relationship to the Universe; without the expectation that they must share my opinion. it is remarkable that Freemasonry is the oldest organization in the world to maintain that concept, as a major tenant of its mission statement; creating that precious climate of tolerance. though much of masonic ritual is in the public domain, i think that there are two important aspects of the the ritual, that make it such a positive experience. one aspect is that, by keeping one's masonic experience mostly private; one develops a sense of the sacred, a rare thing in the cynical glibness of the world today. the other aspect is that through the memorization of one's role in the ritual, like acting in a play, one learns to internalize the beautiful poetic imagery; as well as, build a bridge to the intuitive part of one's psyche.

like my parents before me, i read bed-time stories to both my children; which i believe, not only helps a child to become literate; but, also, to develop the capacity for intuitive problem solving. it seems we have whole new generations of non-readers, who seem to be suffering from a serious "attention deficit disorder". as a poet and songwriter, i am flabbergasted how many young people seem to have no interest in the content of lyrics. though i accept that every younger generation chooses to define itself in it's own terms; i am grateful that my father shared with me the importance of both my psychic connection to the land; as well as, my psychic connection to my ancestors.

yours truly,
Bro. Derek Stephen McPhail
 
By the red wizard cafe totnes
hi there

my thought are baically in two parts

1 before reading the book and

2 after reading the book

1)
firstly i thought of freemasonary as a networking tool and saw little to attrach me to it. I felt that it was sexist in the exclusion of woman and unnceccesarily sexist. Many of my family members are involved but this was my personal viewpoint

i read the book

2) I felt there was indeed a great deal of knowledge to be learn't and am now determined to learn more. It has re=awakened my interest in the knights templer, the early egyptian history and the pyrimads. I loved your views on Chritstianity and totally agree

yet even though I now am more interested in the true meaning of freemasonary I still have reservations about its use by many ( including friends and family) to be primarily a networking tool and still i have strong feelings about its exclusion of women ( here i agree with the cathers) and the closed cloak around freemason temples

conclusion well here i am proving by sending this email to you that perhaps it is not as closed as I suspected; maybe a failure on my part for not being determined enough in my quest for knowledge

the cathars are one of my main areas of interst and anything relevant to them you might have available would be of tremendous interest.

but the women thing mmmmmmm

regards john macadie
 
By Rose-Croix
As a Freemason in waiting (I have yet to turn the required minimum age) my thoughts are as follows....

Should Freemasonry be secret, or should we be more open about it?

More secret!

Secrecy as historically been an integral aspect of Freemasonry. As an outsider I conclude that the secrecy surrounding Freemasonry has psycho-dramatic consequences for the would-be-Mason and therefore to be "open" regarding Masonic ritual would rob the initiate of an experience. To take away the secrecy of Freemasonry would also remove the inspiration to understand the mysteries of life.

Is a member of your family a Freemason, and how do you feel about that?

My Grandfather was a member of Grand Orient d'Italia and my Uncle is an affiliate of UGLE. On both counts I am proud.

If you are a Mason, what does Masonic ritual mean to you?

N/A

How did you feel when you were made a Mason?

Ask me in a year.

And what role has Masonic ritual played in your life since?

N/A

Do you feel it is something which can not, or perhaps should not, be put into words?

N/A though a general increasing of spirituality is hallmarked by being unable to explain such experiences in a form as dense as language.

Do you think Freemasonry benefits society?

I think it benefits individuals though as the adage goes "man in raising himself raises the whole world".
 
By Tom Overstreet
First I'll answer your 5 questions,
1. I like that Freemasonry is secretive. I wish it were more so. Freemasonry started secretly for reasons that aren't necessary to continue anymore but out of respect for the past and those who died preserving the secrecy for the safety of others should not be forgotten. Most importantly, I like answering people when they ask me what it's about. My answer, "I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you". It usually gets a laugh.

2. The Masonic Ritual didn't mean anything to me at all until I read and read about it in several different books. I just finished the Hiram Key and that opened a whole new way of understanding and questioning just where the truth lies.

3.I felt like I had accomplished something that I would appreciate at a much later time. Going through the rituals were just about memorization and trying get to the next step. It wasn't until after I started my quest for more light did I feel like I was apart of something bigger than just a lodge of old men who ate together once a week.

4. The Masonic ritual feels in some sense like I was given the answers to the test and now I have to search for the meaning and ask the right questions to figure out the answers that were given.

5. I wish it wasn't so easy to get a hold of. I can go in any bookstore and find Masonic writing.
It irritates me that on my search for more information on Masonic history, I have to go to the New Age section to get it where it's kept alongside books on witch craft, palm reading, and other
ridiculous practices. I wish it were only available through Masonic membership so that it can't be made fun of by non Masons.

I believe being a Mason is like anything else worth doing in this life. The more you give, the more you will get out of it and if you're lucky you'll leave this place a little nicer then when you arrived.
 
By kim
hello i am a lady freemason at the moment a E.A.A and take my time good freind of mine who isnt a freemason told me about your book.Well i have to say thank you so much for bringing out this brilliant book .After i brought your book i couldnt wait to get started on reading it...I found your stlye of writing very helpful and easy to understand not like some books that have been given to me over the years to read .

i havent finnished the book yet but so far what i have read has been very helpful in my own growth and understanding of my soul.

i am taking my time with your book as i dont want to miss a thing.And i want to savour the teachings ...
and take my time ...

once a gain thanks you for bring the awarness of the freemason out of the darkness and in to the light...

please let me know when you have a new book out ...

kim
 
By solomon's tears
Were you aware that there is now a rock band called The Hiram key? I saw them on TV the other night. It appears that they are young Masons. The singer even mentioned that his interest was sparked by THe hiram key book. He said that he wished young males would embrace the morals set out in the craft instead of stabbing each other. "If street gangs were set out around the rules of masonary, then they would be helping each other become complete human beings and would sort out thier disputes with thier minds and souls rather than with kitchen implements. " Their music isn't bad either. They appear to have a song about St Barbara.
 
By Colin in Brisbane Australia

I am a Freemason and was inducted by my father who has been a Freemason in many different countries. To me, its about friendship. When I arrived in Australia I knew nobody. I saw a Mason selling hotdogs for charity and approached him. Within weeks I had 40 friends.

I am 37 years old. Like many young people in my classrooms, I too am searching for knowledge. Where did it all come from, why do the rituals? Yes, I am a better person but why do the ritauls.

I have read many books on the subject and get even more confused? Why why why? Like I said its the friendship and fun I have at lodges that makes it interesting.
 
By Brother Sean Meehan
Should Freemasonry be secret, or should we be more open about it?
I read Turning the Hiram Key and felt the same about my initiation ceremonies. I think that one of the allures of freemasonry that sparked an interest in me was the secrets behind the closed doors. I think that if they make the mysteries available to all non-masons, it would be like handing someon a wrapped gift and then telling him/her what it is before they open it. I do understand that freemasons have been accused for all sorts of conspiracies due to their vail of secrecy, but the mysteries are a definite part of the allure and one of the reasons that prompts men to join the craft.
 
By Tom Baird
Brother Robert

Have just finished The Invisible College. What an excellent and interesting book. Are you considering a new edition? Unfortunately, you have been let down by your copy editor. Apart from the eccentric use of the apostrophe in plurals, and a couple of sentences which lack verbs, p166 of my edition (2002) has Cromwell recording his last testament nearly two months after his death. I am a professional copy editor. This is an important work, and if these have not been picked up, I would be happy to sort them out for you as a charitable contribution.

My lodge is an old one (by Australian standards), consecrated in Brisbane in 1864 as No 283 Irish Constitution.

Cheers
Tom Baird
PM
Duke of Leinster Lodge
No 8 United Grand Lodge of Queensland

Brisbane
Australia
 
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