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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 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.
Sincerely,
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.
 
By Blackness
I'm a member of a Greek Letter Organization in Jackson, MS, not a Mason, but believe highly in the secrecy that Freemasons keep. I'm the great-grandson of a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite from New Orleans, H. J. Collins (deceased), and one of the items left to me in his passing was a Holy Bible with an amount of Freemason literature in its preface. The society has intrigued me for a long time now, their mythos and legends. I am not scared of them, but I've always wondered what it would be like to be welcomed into the Masonic Circle.

In the digital age, few things are sacred, with very few things in this world we live in today that can escape the microscope we call the Internet. Hell, one can find millions of web sites devoted to Freemasonry, for example. But its ritual is sacred. Its ritual is kept in the hands of guardians who believe there are those who would find great meaning in it, and every year hundreds of men are welcomed into these circles, and are taught lessons that are supposed to expand into the real world. My great-grandfather was an example of a man who took never stopped trying to learn, and who, through the Freemasonry lessons, did great things for a phenominal town.

Part of the intrigue and meaning behind these lessons would find themselves lost if found readily available as some Wikipedia entry. How the ancient Druids would be apphauled if they were around today and found their secretive teachings come up on 520,000 hits on Google. An opportunity for growth can be cheapened when found vastly available. Only in the proper setting may a few great men be given an opportunity for the benefit of all mankind.
 
By mkfmkf
I am 46 yrs old master mason.Practicing the craft for 3 years. I choose not to progress at present.
My thoughts are that many lodges and individual members choose the level of craft or social context that they wish within thier lodge.This way i find the nature and culture in each lodge lends itself to the benifit of the lodges membership.

The practicing of ritulas is often only very slightly differant between lodges.
However my partucular interest is the practice of more ancient ritual and our history.

The freemasons i have met have two things in common - mutual trust and respect without question. A value sadly lacking inthe genera lpublic.

It is these values that i respect amongst my social peers. Age class etc have never proved to a barrier to my enjoyment of the craft.

If however we are to continue to attract new members the craft must revisit how and why it must openly expalin its values, and defend the misconceptions that masons hold power,control politics or just scratch eachothers back.This is no more true of masons in a lodge than the members of the local golf club or working mens clubs i have visited.

Perpetuating the public perception that we hold secrets and hide things, fuels the paranoid perceptions the public have. Our PR is not working and our leaders need to be more open when quized by the public or its agents.
 
By Bro.Paul Fleming
I have recently become a Mason. It is entirely different from my preconceptions. Although I find the Craft fulflling and imensly enjoyable there should be more information given to potential initiates as there is a high drop-out rate due, I believe, to the ceremonies and rituals being so central to the activites on a weekly basis. In other words; some think they are joining a drinking club. I would not expect Masonry to change but the expectations of would-be brethren should be carefully managed.
Bro. Paul Fleming
Albert Edward Lodge No.1783
 
By Morning Star
I am certain that many good people join the Freemason's, some to enjoy a belonging amongst others, some to explore its true meaning and others to climb the social ladder. The truth is, we do not not need to belong, for we all belong, and the need to explore starts within and ends within. Sadly freemasonry has become an empty shell, and in some ways greedy and corrupt, and that is its downfall.
What is written, has a deeper meaning, in between the lines, it has no meaning in words and does not require a service to ourselves, but most of all the time has come whereby it is written in our hearts. Do not be led astray, do not be fooled. wearing garments that say I am part of this lodge or that lodge, I am a degree mason striving to increase my number. we are all equal and all we require is faith, keep it simple, no name, no garment, for to know God, is to know thyself, not as a group, not through rituals and not through belonging. few practise what they preach, for honour is a gift you give yourself and there you shall find God.
 
By JoeDu
Should Freemasonry be secret, or should we be more open about it?
Freemasonry ISN'T a secret. We're out in the open, wearing the symbols in jewely and on cars. Our Lodges are well marked and many engage in community booster activities. The Shrine Hospitals are a very large profile and reflect the best there is in humanity.

The only thing that's "a secret" are the things we do while at Labor in the Lodge. Everything else should be open and public for all to witness why we are an ancient and honorable order.


Is a member of your family a Freemason, and how do you feel about that?
I am a Past Master. No one else in my family was ever a Mason, that I know of.

If you are a Mason, what does Masonic ritual mean to you?
Masonic rites are where the solemn sanctity of Freemasonry can be found. It's where the lessons and morality can be found, and witnessing tham are what mark the priviledge of being a brother.

How did you feel when you were made a Mason?
Enlightened.

And what role has Masonic ritual played in your life since?
It has implored and impelled me to be better.

Do you feel it is something which can not, or perhaps should not, be put into words?
Everyone walks away with something different, but putting at least some of it to words is imperative to attract more good men to our ranks.

Do you think Freemasonry benefits society?
Without a doubt. Society benefits by Freemasonry making good men better, and as better men they contribute more to a better society. Freemasons, either as individuals or as a Lodge, often engage in community activities that improve or enhance their neighborhoods or citizens.

If Freemasonry fails to continue it's traditions, it will have lost its purpose for being, and will fade into oblivion.
 
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