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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 Lisa the Merry Hag
I'm an American woman. My father is a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason and a member of the Shrine. He's been a Mason for over 60 years now. (His father was a Master Mason.) Although during my lifetime he has never been very active in the craft, if has had a big effect on me. I was always curious about it, though I knew next to nothing about it as a child. I knew it was a good thing, an honorable thing—sort of like being a knight. (I little knew then how close I was to the truth.) When I was 14, I went with an aunt to visit a cousin several states away. I remember very clearly while we were driving to the bus station, my father said to me, "If anything should go wrong, if you should be in trouble, just go to any Masonic Temple and tell them that your father is a Mason, and they will help you." I still get tears in my eyes when I relive that, just as I did at the time.

In early adulthood I was still curious, and realized by then that in some unclear way, there was much more to the Masons than a club which did good works. I knew that in some vague way they were connected to the Knights Templar, another shadowy and interesting group I knew little about. I am an artist, and have always had a strong mystical bent. I began to dabble in Masonic studies, but never really ventured in deeply until about five years ago. I had always said that if a woman could be a Mason I would be one, but it wasn't until a fairly recently that discovered that was possible. Over the last five or six years I have been studying a great deal about Freemasonry and about the Templars, ancient Egypt, hermetic practices in Europe, the Grail romances, sacred geometry, and everything I can think of that is somehow related. (One might say I'm obsessed.) This has been extremely interesting, especially when seen through the light of my extensive study of the old religions of the Great Goddess which I began in the 1980s. These Templar/Masonic studies have included some of your books. I read The Hiram Key, and found it fascinating. I recently reread it as lead up to The Book of Hiram which I'm just finishing. I think they're excellent, though there are some certain aspects that I'd be interested in discussing with you at some other time.

By this time I probably know more about Freemasonry than I daresay many Masons do, although I have held off on some specific ritual-related studies until after I am a Freemason myself. I have found a Co-Freemasonry Lodge in Chicago, and I'm in the process of applying for membership. I can hardly wait. I can only imagine how proud I will be to belong to the Masons, and I expect also to feel a certain sense of awe over that which I will have become a part.

I believe it is EXTREMELY important that Masonry continue to live. And I believe Lodges should return to the use of the old rituals. (I know that probably won't happen in most lodges.) It's incredibly valuable that you have preserved them, and are making them available. I understand well how the loss of what seems like a small old-fashioned detail eliminated in an effort to simplify and modernize, could change the true meaning entirely. It reminds me a bit of the most unfortunate trend that began here about 25 years ago, of modernizing the interiors of old churches. The usual practice was to strip away all the ornament, carving, light fixtures, furnishings, and in Catholic churches even the statuary. Sometimes they even destroyed old stained glass. Then they would paint the place white to brighten things up. The result is that instead of reverently entering a dark and silent Sacred Cavern lit only by candles and magical colored light, one now saunters in to worship in what looks and feels like a gymnasium. Something critically important is lost.

I think it might help Masonry dispel the idea that there is something sinister going on, if they were more open about the public face of Masonry—the charities, the emphasis on education. I have seen portions of the first three degrees televised, and that seems harmless enough—though probably tough for the general public to understand.

However, I do believe deeply that some parts of ritual, some lines of knowledge are not, and were never meant to be, for public comsumption. For one thing there will always be only a select few who understand these things. Of course, because Masonry has meanings at so many levels, much can be offered publicly that would be generally understood at the first few levels only. It seems to me that it's the overlaps and relationships of various meanings that begin to lead to the heart of the matter.

Anyway, I didn't intend to go on so long. Suffice it to say that I think Masonry is one of the highest callings available in this time, and one of the very few places where one can pursue ancient and mystical truths in fellowship with other people.

By Little Mama
Dear Mr. Lomas:

These are my thoughts after reading your book, The Book of Hiram.

First, it was of interest to me because my grandfather was a Freemason in Saskatchewan, Canada.
Second, it was inspring to me to learn that Freemasonry accepts and respects people of all creeds and religions. It is, as you say, very unusual to have such an organization in today's world.
In your book, you weren't sure if there was still a place for Freemasonry today.
I say it is needed more than ever, and not just for the sake of promoting "universal sufferance."
In your book, you outlined all the great building that has gone on for millenia. These were huge undertakings that challenged man's mind, heart and body. They were not accomplished in a day or even a year, but often took decades. This is the basis of Freemasonry, according to my understanding. What the great leaders of the past knew was that they needed to find something to keep able bodied men occupied. Something that would give them self-respect and a sense of fulfillment.
Today, all over the world, men are frustrated because there is no real work for them to do. We have a potential workforce of thousands if not millions, who need to find something worthwhile in their lives. Something that will let them stretch their minds and their muscles, and at the end of the day, be able to see what they have accomplished.
I say that Freemasonry is needed today on a far-reaching, practical level. There are all kinds of projects begging for people: engineers, labourers, masons. All that is needed is someone with the visiion.
Thank you for this opportunity.
By James W. Maertens
1. Freemasonry should be more public about what it is and what it does in ritual, not just all the emphasis on charitable giving, but the core concepts of truth and brotherly love as well. The secrecy surrounding the content of rituals should be relaxed so that, for example, a member of the Scottish Rite can easily find a copy of all the ritual scripts. These can be kept, in-house, I suppose rather than widely publihsed, but too much restriction with the scripts makes it hard to do good drama and poor drama undermines the effectiveness of the initiatory process.

2. I'm a mason and masonic ritual is the "work" of the order, which is to say, the soul-work. We are working to transform ourselves into better human beings, better men, and that means things like acknowledging our ignorance, blind faith, and flaws so that we can chip away our rough edges. I feel that the ritual work is central to the Craft, as it is to all mystery traditions and initiatory orders that teach through a process of gradual revelation through symbols. We need to talk about this educational process openly in and out of lodge so that everyone can understand the differences among secular education, religious education, and masonic-initiatory education.

3. How did I feel? Very excited and honored to join such an ancient fraternity and such a warm and welcoming lodge. The third degree is profound, as are many of the Scottish Rite degrees, prompting (but in no way forcing) self-examination and a new perspective on one's life. It makes you stop the daily routine of living and look at it with new eyes.

4. Masonic ritual continues to play a role as I see to play roles in the ritual. It is helping me improve my memory and make new friends, and it provides an area in which I can practice theatrics, something I did in high school and college and which I really love. Nothing gives you perspective on your own personality like acting. I also feel emotionally engaged with sharing the ritual process with new brothers coming through the degrees. It is a group effort to pass on a unique sort of learning.

5. Ultimately, yes it cannot really be put into words. It is so experiential, and that is one reason to keep the rituals secret -- so that the new candidate does not have the experience spoiled.

By Bro. Robert Gray
Here is something I would like to share with everyone.
Masonry is not a secret society. Everyone knows that the Masonic fraternity exists and no effort is made to hide the fact. It is only the wisdom of Masonry that is hidden, not because it is subtle, but because it is simple. Its secret is profound, not obscure.
In the quiet of the lodge, in reverence and friendship, it teaches us the truth that makes us men, and upon which faith and character must rest.
What is secret in Freemasonry? The method of its teaching, the atmosphere it creates, the spirit in our hearts and the ties it weaves between men. The secret of Masonry, like the secret of life, can only be known by those who seek it. It cannot be spoken, it can only be felt and experienced. For that reason no one needs to be concerned about books written to expose Masonry. They are completely harmless.
The real secrets of Freemasonry cannot be learned by prying eyes or curious inquiry. The secrets of Masonry can be known only by those who are ready and worthy to receive them. Only a pure heart and honest mind can know them.
If Masonry uses the illusion of secrecy, it is because it knows that it is the nature of man to seek what is hidden. We are seekers after truth and God has so made us that we cannot find the truth alone, but only in the love and service of our fellow man.
Here is the real secret and to learn it is to have the key to the meaning and joy of life.
Author unknown.
By brian dyson
Although I am not a mason, it does intrigue me a little. How I see it from the outside is a community of men, who together help one another find their true meaning in life. Which is different for everybody, some will find it quicker than others, maybe this is how you progress? Maybe you could actually find this yourself, without the need for sharing your 'gifts' with others, which is another part of what i believe. It seems a society where a 'pool' of men come together to exchange ideas and services 'talents' for the benefit of the 'pool'. Maybe I'm a million miles away. However I think Masonry should be kept secret, and only revealed to those who feel drawn into it. I'm sure there are far more sinister 'secret societies' we actually know NOTHING about, i.e. we don't even know exist.
By james
intresting question! should freemasonry be a secret.the bible was writen for all to read,so why hide behind handshakes and hidden winks. u belong to a club,like many it has membership and expected codes of conduct. your club benifits many charities and organisations,in which, i understand the mansons don't publizise.the want of secretcy four no gain or 'back slapping' is comendable.i'm intrested in freemasonary as i am in the 'truth''the fact of hidden ritual within god's and jesus teaching's that have been past down though the centries and into masonic ritual's dosen't realy work with the openness of the teaching's of the bible.yet my mother,who's father was a laypreacher and realigous herself gave me the hiram key to read. i've read it three time's and the second messiah, with the following books on order.the question's and theories are extremly intresting and look forward to reading concern that to become a mason u seem to have to be at least quite academic,inteligent.i was an average pupil at school, hve just got a computer and on the you can proberly tell.what can i offer?
By Bill Drennan Swansea UK
I am a new initiate to the craft, and I entered fremasonry with the idea of increasing my charity work, during my 1st and second degree's I was advised to read on certain subjects from the old testament book of Kings through to books like "Born in Blood",
I started reading the hiram key, and got so much out of it that I was insatiable in my reading to get more,
"The Hiram Key, and Turning the Hiram Key has changed my life completely, my thoughts have changed, my actions and ideas have changed, and all for the better of myself, my only problem is, I am going for my raising soon and that implies rebirth of ones true spiritual being, these books opend up dormant thoughts in my being that have been latent for years.I only hope that I can live up to the crown that is to bestowed on me,

I, at the moment feel guilty that I have recieved such wonderful information, and have been introduced to positive proof of all Roberts findings, I wanted to give so much to freemasonry, but unintentionally have taken so much out, I wonder if I will ever be able to repay the gifts bestowed upon me, for as much as one tries to give, freemasonry gives you back ten fold.
By Littlemouintain
Thank you so much!!

I was told as a child.......don't have anything to do with the free-masons that they were evil..told by the Catholic Church.......

As a child in Catholic School .....I was almost excommunicated from the Church 2xs...seriously.

As a child I started reading about Egypt......I left my home and the church at 16 I'm 60 now.

I have been on a quest for the truth since that age. I believe in the "Star People"

I married a Canadian Indian.....and have studied ....and am currently training under a female shaman here in Ontario.

I have connected the dots between the Indians of the Western Hemisphere, to the Tibetans, Chinese, Austrailian........who all believe that they originated from the Star People and that they worship the "Mother"..........

The Ceremony of the crowning of the King and Horus...and his resurrection and the mention of the "Star Cult"

Now I am investigating the Mayan Calander and the year "2012"

Thanks to both of you for all your work and helping me on my quest..........

By Moose

Should Freemasonry be a secret ?

Is Freemasonry a secret, I really dont think so, everyone knows that we are here, they just dont know what we do or why we do the things we do or how they can become one them selves.

Freemasonry should have a certian air of mystery, it is that which man desires that ensures that he seek.

Cast not pearls before swine !

I take no issue in people knowing that I am a Freemason, in fact I am quite proud of it, further to that I am chairman of our lodges membership committee, and as such I take no issue in promoting Freemasonry for the institution that it is.
Thats not to say that it is open slather for anyone and every one not by any stretch of the imagination, I know for myself that I would not like to have a member of the craft that doesnt respect or uphold the tenants of old, if people see this a an exclusive secret society then more fool them.
I just want to know that a member of our lodge is a person that I would take no issue with in invitning in to my home or leaving a child in thier supervision.

Further to that true Freemasonry has no secrets, it answers to all,freemasonry is within the reach of any that may want to find it.

As for Masonic ritual, when done right it is wonderful to watch and better to participate within, each person can take as much or as little out of it as they are able to grasp.
There is much symbology (and yes symbology is a word ) that is open for intrepretation and I know for me there is no greater thrill than thinking that I have found a answer only to have something else imparted that forces me to re evaluate the whole thing again and look at the ritual with a new insight....Does the ritual ever really stop? what does it really teach.

I see the ritual as a wondeful thing designed to teach the master mason, lets face it the candidate doesnt really walk away with much over the course of the night does he.
Light revealed is for the master mason, reminding him of the darkness.

The fellow craft is the work of the master, again the candidate serves as a reminder.

Being rasied to the Degree of Master Mason allows the candidate to opportunity to see the light if he is diligent in his studies.

When I became a Freemason I was thrilled to know that all that I wanted lay before me and all I had to do was work to achieve that which I seeked, have I got there yet? no what did the experience teach me, I could write for hours.
One of the best things I have ever felt was at one point in the ceremony where the Junior Decan leaned in and told me that he had been there with me the whole way and gave me a little wink, the sense of relief and comfort that I felt was incredible, the smile that grew on my face was difficult to hide.

As for how all the masonic ritual plays a part in my life, well it has shown me what I already felt and knew, I just didnt know how to applyit, and I still struggle with that, though I have Freemasonry to fall back on, at least now I feel I know where I am going wrong.

Fremasonry cant be put in to words, it is an experience, it is a vision, its a way...there should be no seeker after smooth tidings.

I was raised a catholic, but I have always been a mason, I think that if it could have been put in to words then maybe we would all be conducting polls on what its like to be a catholic or a christian.

Freemasonry is profound, her mysteries lie secret, secret from the eyes that are blinded.

Would Yehoshau have wanted that which he professes to not be put in to words, did he not want for the light to be revealed.
And what light did he want to be revealed, should Freemasonry consider the same.

If the force of the common will were made to realise its humble place, then there would be no need to put freemasonry or christianity in to words.
By cor
I have really enjoyed reading the Hiram key and am now reading the Book of Hiram. I am not a Mason, but a Mormon, or member of the LDS church. I know that masons accuse Joseph Smith our founder, of having copied the rituals and as a result we too have temples.
In my experience and with my knowledge at the present, I would state that he restored the lost meaning you talk about. Whatever your opinion I for one have felt the influence of the ritual/covenants and instruction we receive in our temples and it has made a huge difference in my life and the life of the general membership. In a round-about way we have Masonry to thank as Joseph Smith was a chaplain for a few years in the state of Illinois. Now I feel I can understand Masons better and hope that many won't feel antagonistic towards my faith!
It is intriguing to delve into the past as you have done in your books. I however am a firm believer in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Redeemer and whatever information might be found in the future from those Roslin scrolls will no doubt support that belief rather than repudiate it. The Dead Sea scrolls sofar have shown what Joseph Smith taught to be true, particularly in his Bible translation, which is miraculously accurate when compared. Anyway, there's my pennie's worth!
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