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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 Bro. Hall
Hi, this is a very interesting topic and one in which i am excited as always to be involved. I have been a Prince Hall affiliated, Master Mason for ten years now and i must say it has been emotionally up and down. I have been on both extremes, one where I have aspired to go as far in masonry as i possibly can, getting involved in every organization under the masonic umbrerlla. The other where I just felt like giving it all up and leaving the craft altogether. I have, however, since I was raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason ten years ago, completed 50% of my masonic aspirations. I have joined the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Masonry, Prince Hall Affiliated and still seek in the near future to join the York Rite of this organization. Which brings me to the whole of the matter. I joined this organization, from what i'd known about it, seeking to make me a better person. Since then I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of the organization. While the organization is probably what I perceive to be the greatest fraternal organizatiion in the world, the men and women that make up both branches of this organization are only human. Which means, some of our actions will not reflect masonic morality. Now, this doesn't mean that we as the members of the organization are not good people, i'm merely stating that we all have our faults and sometimes, no matter how hard we work at not revealing them, all things come to light at its proper time. Now, this is the general and probably the larger portion of our members. Then, there's those members who deliberately, use this organization as a stepping stone and excuse to commit unmasonic acts. Then there are those who take the obligation lightly and treat other members cruel and unfairly. A few years ago I found myself more involved in masonry than in my church, not to say that is necessarily wrong, being that we both have the same intentions, but I personally felt that my masonic duty was greater than my godly duty and that was wrong. Lately, I have re-established my priorities, focus more on church and my teachings from the Bible, while enhancing my learnigs from our masonic rituals and practices. While I still aspire to join the York Rite of Masonry, it is only to get access to more information and knowledge to make me a better person and mason. I hope that's not selfish, just my current thoughts and feelings. I do love the organization and plan to be involved as long as the G.A.O.T.U. see fit for me to do so.

Thank You

Bro. Hall,
Tampa, FL U.S.A.
By curious
My dad was a lifetime member of lodge 77 regulus in cupar fife Scotland, when he died there was no masonic badge supplied for his coffin nor did anyone from the lodge either attend his funeral nor did they visit or send a letter of condolence.
i always thought that the family of a deceased mason were supposed to be given help and support when a death occured?
can anyone elighten me as to why we were not contacted by the lodge?
By geordievoyager
More relevant to todays society than people may realise, as it provides a structure for self restraint and self respect that seems to be lacking in the general population today due I think to the degeneration of the nuclear family and the fall in church attendance, where one would have met like minded people to themselves, It provides also a system of teaching of moral values which are difficiult to find in society at large It also offers a support not found any where else,except maybe in the armed forces or other orginizations where teamwork and mutual dependance are required in order to fulfil everyday working needs. Altough Masonry is percieved to be populated by only the rich and influential I have found there to be many men of modest means whose charity is all the greater because they are prepared to share what they have without without reservation. I was at one time in my life quite anti freemasonry because of some of the bad and uninformed press Masonry has endured, it was only after discovering that some of the people whose company I most enjoyed and felt comfortable with were Masons that my inclination to find out for myself was aroused, and part of my education in this was provided by your book The Hiram Key among others, including The Second Messiah and The Book of Hiram, and strangely I have always had a deep interest in The Knights Templar and The Crusades and to find there may be a positive link to Freemasonry intrigues me.
By Glenn
THe Craft to me is a new and wonderful thing. I was recently raised (january 24th) at lodge 138 in Onoway Alberta. Initialy I was honored to be in the same room as the men that greated me, Their energy permiated the entire room and everything in it. Free Masonary came to me at a time when I was already on a personal quest to find myself (I thought that very interesting). The 3rd degree was moving to say the least. I have found the tolorance staed in our rights and priciples and our ceremonies a touch stone for my daily living. I can not say I have always let our symbols be the guide of my daily living. In this respect it has elevated my (and my families) standard of life to new hieghts. With this being said I believe and "feel" that the craft is already to well publicized. I wish is that this dose not sound like I want the door closed now that I am in. It's just like anything else in this life, If the information is not gained through "work" or sacrifice we as a culture seem to no longer "value" that information. I hold great faith in the individuals that are now the craft. With this being said however, I am currently reading the Book of Hiram and Turning the Hiram key so this may be subject to change. To the Queen and Craft

Glenn Jorgensen
By Bro. Tony
I think that part of what makes Freemasonry so special is the fact that it is a firsthand- experience-led system mirroring those ancient initiatory rites of many civilizations from time immemorial. The fact that some of this is kept 'secret' adds to the fact that when a candidate goes through the ceremonies, they truely experience it on many different, often times subconscious, levels because they don't quite know what to expect. You can't really use the word 'secret in the same way it was used before, as you can find pretty much anything in terms of written ritual on the internet these days. But because it is a journey of personal experience, it still does not have its full disired effect until the candidate experiences it for himself. So the 'secret' is more attributed to how the candidate feels whilst preogressing through the ceremony, as it is such a personal thing that can never really adequately be put into words, and the fact that the tests of merit / secrecy are there to prove your identity, loyalty and trustorthyness.

I think that one of the problems we face in Masonry today is that, there are not enough younger brethren coming into or staying longer in lodges. One of the reasons that this is happening is because of the lack of committment seen from other members. I am lucky to be part of a lodge where ritual is not only remembered and performed with an extremely high level of accuracy, but where the ritual is given as if it is that Brothers' own words, spoken from the heart. Whilst other lodges I have visited have brethren race through the ritual concerned only with not forgetting it rather than trying to impart the true meaning of the words to the candidate, to the ones where everyone sits reading from the book because they haven't bothered to learn it. If we make the effort to learn the ritual and deliver it in such a way that we understand what we are saying rather than repeating it parrot fashion,then the meaning will be given accross better to the candidate and that brother will gain a better insight from the beginning after having been put on the correct path by the example of those that have stepped before him. As when a newly made brother sees others reading from a book or not able to deliver ritual, he thinks, ths isn't so special, why make all the fuss, and he loses the desire to stay, thus missing out on the opportunity of learning from the lessons of the craft to enrich both his own life and by way of default, the lives of those around him.

Hope that makes sense, just finished night shift work, but wanted to put a couple of views down.
By soon to be initiated
Hello there this week i had my interview to join my first lodge and the craft, and found the experience humbling and inspiring.

I just wanted to share what masonry means to someone who has yet to embark on the great journey but is very much looking forward to it and why i feel keeping secrecy in rituals and ceremonies is very improtant... to the long term survival of freemasonry.

I know of three generations of masons in my family and this was the initial spark to the tinder however as a relative youngster 25 had reservations around the conformity and ceremony. However after some research the ethics behind the ceremonies made it all the more appealing and i started to notice parallels between the values instilled in me by my father and grand father and the underlying principles of the craft.

I understand some more now but not v much the fact these ceremonis and furhter understanding is not open to all serves to ensure that the reasons for entering are driven through a respect a desire to learn and live by ones future experiences... by revealing all these learnings at the outset and removing the known unkowns i believe that one would risk atracting people with no real intrest in the craft and can risk creating a situation where new members have apathy to the deeper meaning of the rituals and ceremonies....

thus losing the messages and ideals that have been shared and cherished over the years..
By kmurdock
I find masonry to be alluring in many ways. I'm not exactly sure If I'd be eligable or able to become a mason due to my financial standings, but to me that shouldn't be an issue, as from what i read, masonry has relations to the knights templar which started out as the poor soldiers of christ, or sigilivm militivm xpisiti, is this not correct I apologize if it is not, but i'm still reading and learning of this most interesting craft.
To me masonry is a code of ethics, designed in attempt to make the world a better place for mankind. An idea that may have been misconstrued by the fact some people find masons to be self serving only watching out for their kind. But in the case of the shrinners which I understand to be a 'dirivative', if you will, of masonry, proves this not to be the case. IF asked why would i want to join free masonry, i'd have to give the same answer I beleive I read in the introduction of the book of hiram. to learn it's secrets and to better understand its origins

thanks for the oppurtunity to share my views, and i hope that if time permits you;ll be able to provide insight on what I have said here.
By robert david
1- Should freemasonry be a secret, or should we be more open about it?
I believe that blue lodge freemasonry is no secret. It is advertised in the most areas of the United States. Beyond that I cannot comment. I do believe that important documents of history should be guarded from theives or vandalists.
2- Yes, my father-in-law is a freemason. I was eager to join as soon as he introduced me to it. I was already an operative apprentice for two years before I went through my first three degrees of blue lodge free masonry at Artisan Lodge in Winchendon, Massachusetts. This is now something I will cherish and will never leave my inner soul and will never leave my heart.
3- Masonic ritual to me is a teaching to perfect all spiritual, natural and physical value.
4- When I was made a freemason,I felt trust from my brethren. I also felt a weakness in my heart that was moving in a positive direction.
5- Masonic ritual laid out a healthier more balanced dish on the table. Before I was a mason I felt like a dog on a leash, now I feel like God has removed my collar so I can run free.
6- Do I think masonry should be described in words?
Yes, I feel like it is poetic in words but I also believe that the spirit and nature will always be much stronger.
- I will always intend to seek mroe light.
Robert D. Matewsky Jr

By Kerry LeBoutillier
As a practicing freemason I was interested in posting some of my own thoughts to this site. I attend a lodge in Brisbane, Australia. I must admit that I began to question what I thought were some of the inconsistencies in the ritual, but through research have arrived at the opinion that the ritual itself is not that important. Indeed, I heard that in Italy, all ritual is read. I too think that at the heart of the craft lies the principle that we are all just trying to be the best person we can be.
I have been guilty in the past, of criticising my brethren when they do not learn their lines as well as I think they should. I have made a promise to myself to not be so critical in the future. Having said this, I enjoy immensely, the ceremonial side of the lodge. I get a kick out of learning and delivering lines of seeming gibberish in way which gives them meaning and life.
Like all freemasons I profess a belief in a higher power but I am not a religious person. I think I am somewhat of a pragmatist. Hardly what I think most people would expect from an institution which is essentially spiritual. My own lodge practices a scottish ritual which I find quite grand when I compare it to what I have seen in other lodges (which have their roots in an English constitution). I was interested and amused by a comment at a recent "gathering of the clans" practice meeting. This event is held every 2nd year in Queensland. There was a great discussion going on in the middle of the room between 20 or so individuals about who was right about some aspect of the ritual. This isn't surprising because there are no two Scottish lodges alike in Queensland. An old brother who happened to be sitting beside me leaned over and whispered in my ear, "You can tell this is a Scottish lodge. Everyone's a DC" (Director of Ceremonies for the uninitiated)

By The Messiah
Firstly I am not religious in any way. Freemasonry to me seems to have a rather genuine beginning of not accepting everything as truth (usually by the Catholic church) and exploring things for one's self and the continued absorption of knowledge are honourable traits. However, It's hard not to think there is a dark under belly within freemasonry. The fact it is a secret society (despite attempts to denounce this) that seems to openly select wealthy people from middle-upper class lifestyles who can only be recruited by current freemasons is slightly worrying.

While people tend to fall into the "for" and "against" categories that both the followers of the Roman Catholic church and Freemasonry tend to perpetuate, I believe there is good and bad in both followings. Both "camps" tend to promote a "I am right, you're wrong" mindset that can become too righteous and right wing in it's ideals.

Personally I find reading about the Templars/Freemasons/Roman Catholic's etc. mildly intoxicating by the beliefs and possible distortions of perceived reality played out on all sides.
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