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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 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.
By Seeking the Truth
Unfortunately, I am a very new comer to Masonry and having been born of hispanic blood have always felt that my heritage would keep me from being accepted by such a group. As I began working with more intellectual individuals, I learned that wisdom obliterates prejudism and I have since pursued a higher learning and searching for individuals who would provide further enlightenment, perfectly understanding the different meanings and approaches associated with this word or idea. As I read Christopher Knights and Robert Lomas' books along with numerous others, I began to shed my firm Christian beliefs which was extremely difficult since not only was I influenced by typical Christian Dogma, I was also raised a Mormon which lent to a different view entirely.

Because of the information that has been recently shared about Masonry, I was extremely surprised to hear a reference to the Book of Mormon in some of the Masonic rituals and how the brotherhood is acceptable to all religious beliefs in that they all contain certain "truths", a belief that was always dear to my own heart after studying Buddhism, Islam, American Indian philosophy and more. Being raised Mormon, always forced me to feel "different" from my playmates and I have always been exposed to and participated in what could be considered "odd" rituals which required faith as a driving force for their shady meanings. Even though many of the beliefs I had in the past were shrouded in mystery and historically incorrect, like Masonry (purely from what I've read), the principles and morals that were taught to me have allowed me to prosper and most likely have given me the mindset to further pursue my current research.

I am a licensed Mechanical Engineer, with graduate studies in Laser Optics, so have always been fascinated with the transmission of light and its influences from moving particles. Much of my own research has recently been in the world of magnetism, crystallography, partical physics and the Mayan Calendar which is heavily based on the movement of the planets orbits and I have since identified a close correlation between these things and what they mean to the consciousness of matter which isn't currently common knowledge and based purely on collaboration made during these different studies (I'm hoping to began experimental studies soon on healing using non-orthodox and non-intrusive treatments but still within the world of science). I admire Chris and Robert for understanding the need to bring this information together and only wish I had associates like them to share my own contributing thoughts which interestingly enough are closely tied to the future of mankind.

My first impression of Masonry was probably typical, "A secret cult with a hidden agenda". Boy was I mistaken but I was probably more sympathetic having been raised in my community which was 90% Catholic. What took me years to learn, is that there are different degrees of knowledge. Some people are content with simply living their lives following rituals that make them feel part of a bigger picture while others like myself and most likely Christopher and Robert have a need to understand the bigger picture rather than just playing in it. I guess coming from the scientific world, it was unavoidable for me.

I know this is a far stretch from what this website was meant for, but I'm hoping to reach out to others that might make use of the information which is steadily growing in my own archives.
By jmt
I recently became an Entered Apprentice. I have read a great deal on the subject,(as well as Most of Your books) I thorougly enjoy the rituals and fraternal aspects, and respect the open-minded,tolerant attitude of the traditions.
By Frettchen
I became a Freemason after discovering I knew more about it than did my husband (then a Brother), due to my university studies of the esoteric in19th-Century European thought. A close friend of ours proved to be a woman Freemason - well, I couldn't resist the offer to join! My initial intellectual curiosity has since evolved into something far deeper and more personally profound. I have been Worshipful Master three times, have recently joined our Research Lodge - inspired, in part, by Robert Lomas' writings (I have just read "Turning the Hiram Key", and have found such resonance in his words) - and am an unapologetic advocate of the Craft, especially at work - where people will more readily believe I am reading the Koran at my desk than a Masonic ritual book. (Pity most of the folks I've reached have been male, but there you go.)
The demands put upon you by Masonry to be more then "the best that you can be" - well, who can resist the challenge? (I'm also a mother of 2, a non-churchgoer, an outdoorsperson and potholer, whose children want to follow in my and my husband's Masonic footsteps.) My ritual is hugely empowering, invigorating and sustaining - do we ladies have an advantage here, being the incarnation of the Great Goddess? - but it is ever asking for further discussion and critical analysis. Help, please?
By James Burgess
On December 2nd 2005 , the day after my 29th Birthday I became a Freemason. It is something I have enjoyed taking part in ever since. I've read various texts on the subject, and have yet to read "The Hiram key" but i'm planning on reading it very soon. I'm probably one of the youngest Masons in The Province of Bristol, and i'm certainly the youngest in my Lodge.

As I havent spent much time on the "Masonic Road" as such there is still much of it i have yet to experience and learn, I think keeping these rituals a secret lends more enjoyment to the discovery, I understand however some non-masons question what these rituals involve, and I can happily & Honestly say that they are nothing derogatory or sinister, yet to be fully appreciated and enjoyed as I said before its better to keep them secret.

I have understood that Masonry is designed to make me a better man , with morals and virtues, I think this is something that in a world today we are losing and is important that good values are brought back to make the world a better place for people to live in, it was this principle and the fact that Masonry is not biggotted but welcomes all men of every faith and nation that got me interested in Masonry ,as I saw it as a way in which society can better itself and hopefully move out of the current turmoil we are living in. I have already shown great promise and have been accorded the rank of Steward. I hope to continue on through the other offices aswell. Masonry I believe teaches respect to all, both men and women, to the elderly and to the young.

When i'm asked about "The Secrets" by non masons I dont break my oath, instead I tell them how I understand them to be, that is it is kept a secret out of tradition and for respect from its historical roots and all those who trod the path before me, that it doesnt lend one any special priveldges but has virtuous underlying connotations to make someone a better person and that those who want to learn can do so by joining, and that is why they are kept secret even today.

Freemasonry to me is about a brotherhood of men, a group of brothers which you know you can count on, no matter what. A place where you become a better man, a better person. You would be surprise of the so call "secrets" in Freemasonry, you probably already know them deep down inside of you, but haven't yet realized it.

I read this a while back, and to me is as clear as it gets. By Joseph Fort Newtown in "The Builders."
When is a man a Mason? When he can look out over the rivers, the hills, and the far horizon with a profound sense of his own littleness in the vast scheme of things, and yet have faith, hope, and courage-which is the root of every virtue. When he knows that down in his heart every man is as noble, as vile, as divine, as diabolic, and as lonely as himself, and seek to know, to forgive, and to love his fellowman. When he knows how to sympathize with men in their sorrows, yea, even in their sins-knowing that each man fights a hard fight against many odds. When he has learned how to make friends and to keep them, and above all how to keep friends with himself. When he loves flowers, can hunt the birds without a gun, and feels the thrill of an old forgotten joy when he hears the laugh of a little child.

When he can be happy and high-minded amid the meaner drudgeries of life. When star-crowned trees, and the glint of sunlight on flowing waters, subdue him like the thought of one much loved and long dead.

When no voice of distress reaches his ears in vain, and no hand seeks his aid without response. When he finds good in every faith that helps any man lay hold of Divine things, and sees majestic meanings in life, whatever the name of that faith may be. When he can look into a wayside puddle and see something beyong mud, and into the face of the most forlorn fellow mortal and see something beyond sin. When he knows how to pray, how to love, how to hope. When he has kept faith with himself, with his fellowman, with his God; in his hand a sword for evil, in his heart a bit of songglad to live, but not afraid to die. Such a man has found the only real secret of Masonry, and the one which it is trying to give to all the world.

To me becoming a Mason has been one of the best things that have happened in my life. My family would agree that it has made me a better person.
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