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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 Doug Clark-Marlow
I am not a mason nor affiliated with its organization. I have friends, associates, and relatives who are freemasons or are associated with their organizations. Those people have improved their outlook towards life and are the most caring and giving individuals in our society. I have witnessed profound positive changes in their attitudes once they have become members of this organization. How can I criticize these people for making wonderful changes in their lives? People who attack what they do not understand do so out of fear. I suspect that because of the "secretiveness" of the freemasons that many would attempt to discredit and slander what they do not understand in attempts to instill fear in others or relieve the fear from themselves. Personally, I find that the persons whom I know are freemasons are the most kind, caring, and gregarious people in our society.
By Corey
> How do you feel when you were made a Mason?

I grew up in a household where Masonry was considered, by my father, the 'great dark evil'. It was surprising, because my father and our family were not religious, or at least not associated with any organized group that opposed Masonry. I can only imagine that his prejudice may have been the product of his mother's Roman catholic influence.

As a teenager, and later as a young man, my own opinions of the world and people came into conflict with my father's views. Many men that I respected and admired were Masons, and it seemed that these men were a 'cut above', not in words but in actions. I never acted on this contradiction, but it remained in the back of my mind.

I became very involved in church activities (Lutheran) as a young parent, finding every available avenue to feed my curious intelect. I participated in most available studies and activities that would expand my knowledge of our faith. Possibly because I was not raised within any faith, I approached my inquiries differently than someone who had been indoctrinated throughout their youth. There always seemed to be something missing for me. I believe it may have been the reality that 'salvation' was simply the product of 'grace' through belief in Jesus as savior. It seemed too easily gained, costing the faithful little to profess such a belief. Although I do not harbour any negative feelings or experiences from this formative time, I eventually fell away from this institution because I still felt that I was missing a great deal of vital information about the true meaning of spirituality.

Much time passed, and many life events occured; good and bad. Two years ago, after reading Dan Brown's novel "The DaVinci Code", my curosity and interest in Masonry were piqued. I talked to a very dear friend (a Mason) about becoming a Mason. He sponsored my entrance into the craft. In conjunction with my journey through the degrees, I read every book that I could lay my hands on concerning Masonry. I have read all but one work written by Knight and Lomas.

The night that I took my obligation, I felt an overwhelming sense of finally belonging to something that was significant, ancient, and worthy. My journey since that night has introduced me to ancient truths that have often fallen victim to various groups' attempts to supress to gain or maintain power and control. I feel empowered and liberated to follow a spiritual guidance that calls me to light.

I hope and pray that my journey in Masonry will make me into the kind of man that could inspire a young man at some future point to also seek the truth.
By Topgizza
My sister has 'apparently' been approached to join a lodge.

My thinking is after having researched this subject a while ago that, lodges were and still are a male only thing.

I don't have any concerns about this, only that when i've questioned this she has got what could only be described as stropy.

Having been on the website of the Grand Lodge I felt that this went against all their teachings, i'm not asking to join, I am just curious.

Having read all Dan Brown's works & the back up material, plud tomes regarding the knights templar my curiosity is getting the better of me somewhat. If they aren't secret etc etc why hide then!
By Jonathan Grau, M.M.
Freemasonry maintains, protects, and disseminates a noetic tradition that integrates all of humanity. As we approach singularity in Science and Technology (following the Mayan calendar and prevailing theories in Historiography) we also arrive at the same point in timespace that ushered in the last full cycle of evolution; that of a common catastrophic paradigm shifting experience. Whether a great flood, a nuclear holocaust, the mapping of the human genome, or the arrival of a second solar body, how we use our Masonic teachings to prepare for such an event or series of events is I think really what we should be asking. This may sound apocalyptic but thereís enough evidence in religious and folk traditions to suggest that we have experienced similar cataclysms in the past. Are we on the right path? Do we have the right leadership in the Craft? Does anyone really care what predictive knowledge is contained therein? It is wonderful to draw conclusions about what Freemasonry is based on archeoastronomy and lithic evidence. Even if Freemasonry is purely the product of the Enlightenment we have lost so much of the meaning found in the teachings of Bros. Ashmole, Franklin, and Pike, to name a select few, that we may be at a loss regardless of how history unfolds.
By astragal
Some openness is beneficial.
The ritual was a wonderful experience, nothing equalled it.
I felt I had fulfilled a certain duty, and looked forward to further experiences.
I left the country in which I was made a mason, and had no words to continue in the new country.
So there it remained. I keep the secrets vouchsafed to me, and would never tell a non mason
anything at all, just as my father never told me.
May you and the masonic movement thrive.
By Verifactus
Hi there, I am quite impressed on the comments of other contributors. I have been a mason for about twelve years now in the District of Nigeria and I have read both the Second Messiah and The Hiram Key. I look forward to reading Turning the Hiram Key.I have gradually progressed from an EA to my Lodge SW and hope to be installed as Master in the near future. I am also privileged to be a member of many other Masonic bodies and the 'higher' degrees. I think freemasonry is an embodiment of many things many of them bordering on Morality, Charity, Philosophy,Spirituality and even the Mystical. I personally believe that the "Veil of allegory" is necessary so that the obligations and trials which every Mason undertakes will not be in vain. This as well helps to shield the repository of our secrets from undue attacks . To me a person to made a Mason should not be given an easy opportunity to profane it. I guess that all true Masons will agree with me that even though all the degrees of Freemasonry have been outlined and revealed on this website, unless one passes the threshold of our initiation,the information means nothing and may not likely be fully understood or comprehended by a casual reader no matter how enlightened.

Freemasonry has been a major influence in my life and has made a lot of positive impact on me and my environment. What is really lacking is indepth research into its antiquity wherein lies the "treasures" sought by philosophers from time immemorial.I personally have been doing a bit of research into Masonic rituals in relationship to African Traditional Rites and have discovered a lot of relationships and familarities in their symbolism.Our forefathers in Africa inherited their tradition from their forefathers and so on . So I keep asking, does anybody know the origin of Freemasonry? If you do please tell me.
By Larry Miller
I have been a Freemason for 48 years. I am a Past Master, Trustee and Instructor of Work in my home lodge. I have occupied the "chair" in all the York Rite bodies, belong to four research lodges, and too many other Masonic bodies to list. The point of sharing this is to relate the fact that no matter how often I am involved in Masonic activities, there is always something new to be learned. One of the lasting joys of Freemasonry is that, while there is much repitition, there is always a fresh insight to be gleened. For those who truly seek, the light is available. I believe that within the history and teachings of the craft, extremely valuable knowledge, that would otherwise have been lost, is vouched safe for ours and future generations.

Many believe that Freemasonry is no longer a relevent institution; that the world no longer needs the message of the ancient art. I would suggest that just the opposit is the case. Perhaps now, more than any time in history, the lessons of the craft are exactly what humanity needs. In a world where there is no longer a truly safe haven, the concept of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man, taught in the lodge, may well be the salvation of our civilization.

For all who are seriously interested in the history of the craft, the International Conference on the History of Free Masonry, to be held in Edinburgh, Scotland, May 25-27, 2007, promises to be the event of a lifetime. God willing, I will be there. I hope to meet brethren from all Masonic disciplines who share my passion for the journey toward light.
By Patrick Heffernan
Should Freemasonry be secret, or should we be more open about it?
Is a member of your family a Freemason, and how do you feel about that?
If you are a Mason, what does Masonic ritual mean to you?
How did you feel when you were made a Mason?
And what role has Masonic ritual played in your life since?
Do you feel it is something which can not, or perhaps should not, be put into words?
Do you think Freemasonry benefits society?
Freemasonry never was a secret, but the Craft has a few secrets that I think we should jealously maintain for the protection of the order from cowans and eavesdroppers.

I'm proud to report that many of my family are Masons, as am I.

The Masonic ritual to me is very important, in many ways a wise spiritual guide for how I deal with my fellow man in my day-to-day life.

Being made a Mason was an awesome and life-changing experience for me, and I've been proud to be a Mason for nearly 20 years now. Putting it into words would be difficult, what it's meant to me, and I think might somehow cheapen it.

I think Freemasonry definitely benefits society, at least here in the United States. Most of the important figures in the American Revolution, and later the Texas Revolution, were Masons, and I think history owes a huge debt to the Fraternity. Many of this world's greatest figures were Masons, although I'll also admit there's a Hall of Shame right next door to the Fraternity's Hall of Fame. On balance, I think this world would be a far worse place without the Fraternity, though.

As an aside, I don't know any British work, and therefore don't know how accurately you present it, but one way or another, I'll say I think that you are doing Masonry a disservice by your conduct.

Patrick Heffernan
Master Mason
By John Reinier SamuŽls
At first I would like all of you to know my native language is Dutch. So if any grammar related flaws should occur, be so kind as to forgive them.

I can't say for sure Masonry itself has been a lifelong obsession to me. I guess for me the universal question of our roots, our whereabouts during the eons and the roadmap that does or does not lie ahead of us after we part from this world gave me a sleepless night once in a while during my life.

Let me state clearly that for one reason or the other I have never been afraid of dying or death. Why not? I don't know really. I always have been certain death is not an issue, not a grand finale after a life well or not well spent. So I never felt the need to cling up with a bunch of people, reciting holy chants to escape the inevidable. I always have felt the need to be as close as possible to people that could teach me.

I always have recognized some kind of driving force behind the whole operation. No matter if it's name was God, Buddah, Krishna, Allah or - the name I liked most from the beginning - The Architect of the Universe. After the travelling I did, seeing a fair bit of the world and absorbing anything having to do with religion I came to the conclusion the name Architect of the Universe was far better than the others in actually naming what the job of the Old Man :-) was. For one: I never have heard of a call for battle in the name of an architect!

Let's be honoust about it right away. I applied to become a mason when I was 32 years of age. After my first interview a videotape and a booklet was handed over to me and I was invited for a second interview. In this second interview after being asked to do so I gave the interviewer answers to several questions all having to do with my appliance and my reasons to join. At that moment I could do nothing else than to reveal my expectations of having the chance to learn more of ancient rituals, but more than that, ancient knowledge. Knowledge that had to be kept in the dark by the Christian church. (We Catholics were very good in replacing old rituals for new ones and were known for a good book burning now and then).

After debating on the issue it seemed to me I had more knowledge on the subject of Freemasons then the interviewer himself had, and moreover I just knew from the answers he was giving me he saw Freemasonry more as a social mens' club. There was nothing for me to learn from him or the local Freemasons lodge. At that moment I completely lost interest in the matter, thanked the man for his precious time and left for a good cup of coffee in 's-Hertogenbosch/the Netherlands (the Duke's Woods for English speaking readers or Bois le Duc for the French speaking).

I'm afraid the man did not even have first degree knowledge of what Freemasonry was all about in the period up to about 100 years ago.

Would I like to become a Freemason today? More than ever! But in the way it was meant to be. Being part of a brotherhood of thinkers and doers. Replacing new rituals by old ones, combined with the knowledge of what they really mean. Creating a diamond like glow out of raw material.
To me, the meaning of Masonry is experienced directly whilst carrying out the ritual and is difficult to convey in words. It is certainly to do with learning about yourself. The wonderful thing about the ritual is that everyone taking part, officers as well as candidates, experiences something relevant to themsleves. A particularly enlightening moment happened to me recently whilst I was taking part for the first time as a senior officer in the 3rd degree. To read the words "the light of a master mason is darkness visible" is moving enough but when learnt by heart as part of a larger passage and delivered in the middle of a lodge in near darkness in front of many people and a bewildered candidate for me meant that the words were experienced in an almost physical way. I have nothing but awe and admiration for our ancient predecessors whom, I am certain, knew what they were doing when they put the ritual together. It also worries me a great deal when bretheren speak of changing the ritual as it makes me think that they do not see that the ritual has meanings that go way beyond the words.
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