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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 John
I have been a Mason for ten years, and have served three years as Master of Isaiah Thomas Lodge A.F.&A.M. of Worcester, Massachusetts. I was the final Master of I.T.L. before merger with another Lodge. I am still active with another Craft Lodge, in Boston, as well as with the local York Rite Chapter, Council and Commandery. I am also a Shrine Mason, though less actively.

Joining the Fraternity was the greatest single thing I have ever done for myself, although of course it is an ongoing process. When a man (or woman, in some places) is made a Mason, it is only the first step in a long, long process and a lifetime of learning which never really ends. Becoming a Mason is just the first step over the threshhold of a new College - and it's a long time until Graduation.

The idea of "secrecy" in Masonry is rather a moot point, isn't it? All of the outward "secrets" of Masonry are readily available in any good bookstore, or with just a little research on the Web. That sort of secret has not been a secret almost since the beginning. Even the "Substitute Word" of Masonry, which Masons are sworn to never reveal to anyone, ever, except under very strict conditions, can be found very easily on the Net - I've just done a Web search and found over 45,000 references to that "secret" word.

The true secret of Masonry is one which CANNOT be discussed verbally, I think - it has to be experienced, it has to be found by each individual Mason, it cannot be revealed to him in any meaningful way. This, perhaps, is why G.M.H.A. could not give up "the Word of a Master Mason" to the Ruffians when he was attacked at the gates of the Temple - because each Master Mason has to find his own Masonry within himself.

I've just finished The Book of Hiram, and I am MOST impressed by the amount of work you put into it, so let me say, first -- Thank You.

I am not at all persuaded by the evidence you presented to prove that Jesus the Nazarene was 42 years old at the time of the Crucifixion, rather than the "traditional" 33 years old - but you made a good case for it, worthy of reflection and study.

I was somewhat distressed -- not a whole lot, but some -- by your dismissal of Astrology in the closing chapters of the Book. It might have been worth your while to consult an astrologer who is familiar with the mainstream of thinking on the subject;
better, to consult an astrologer with a good working knowledge of your work;
best of all, to consult an astrologer familiar with your work who is also a Brother Mason.

There may not be many of us, but I'm sure that I'm not the only professional-level Astrologer who is a Mason. You dismissed Astrology as a source study by making assumptions that most real astrologers do not make.

Best wishes to you and to Brother Knight -

By Dave
I believe that at the center of every person, is what unites us, and is who we really are. Who we think we are, is who is keeping us asleep. The death of the third degree is the death of this very thing that keeps us asleep. When we no longer need the defence supplied by this fabrication of our own making, we are then FREE to unite with our companions of our former toils. Masonry teaches us " how to die ". Just like we need this body to experience this reality, we will need a more subtle body to experience the next reality. The " superstructure " we are erecting from the NE angle of the lodge in my opinion is this body. Once we are concious outside of our cellular body, we will be awake to a higher level.
By Dennis
As a Freemason I am disapointed at the lack of knowledge and intrest the vast majority of members show in the real meaning of the rituals which they take part in week after week. Having spent a lot of time reading everything about Freemasonry I can get my hands on I am now beginning to understand what the ritual really means. When I try to explain things the vast majority of the Bretheran show little or no interest. Even a significant proportion of long standing members do not realise they are taking part in rituals based on Magic and the Occult. I have had debates with very senior members who have not got a clue what the ritual means.

I personally have got a lot from Freemasonry and found the initations ceremonies had a great impact on me. That lead me to want to understand the real meaning of the ritual and what lessons they teach.

On balance Freemasonry is a positive thing, members are expected to follow the highest level of personal standards and have respect of others. Millions of pounds are given to chirity by Freemasons every year.

Finally I believe that Freemasonry should be more open and in recent years great strides have been made to achieve this. Freemasonry is a good thing and we should be shouting this in public at every opertunity and drawing public attention to the possitives. In the days of the Internet it is impossible to keep anything secret.
By John
I have returned to the Craft only recently after many years as unattached but in that time I have always known what the Craft stood for and what it meant to me and, regardless of my travels, it was always there, waiting, patient and forgiving. Having thus returned I proffer some thoughts ...

How open is open. It appears to me that there is not a trick left standing in the pack with regards to FM. The 'hits' on the web run into millions - and it's all there, the good, the bad and the ugly.

But does that therefore mean that we throw open the lodge room doors and invited the world to roost on the benches? Many would argue that perhaps such should be the case - but that is popularism and I am cautious of following popular culture, whoever may leading the charge.

FM is not about being popular - in fact, it is just the opposite. The ritual, the symbols speak another language which can only be heard by those who have trained their ears and turned their mind in another direction. While the world at large scrambles for cheap tricks and cheaper happiness FM offers a inward joy that has no reason to flagwave or turn public somersaults. It offers no quick fix solutions. In fact, it offers no solutions at all because the path is the goal - a pertient fact missed even by many Masons. It is an individual path followed admist others who have their own paths to follow with ritual and symbol acting as beacons and landmarks. But one can only recognise these beacons and landmarks once the path is undertaken because they are disguised as every-day objects that have no instrinict value of their own - only the wayfarer will recognise their true meaning.

So I give a little shudder when I hear cries of 'openness'. This behaviour very much reminds me of an incident in my Army recruit training. I was with a section on a early morning 15 k run in combat gear, which was more an obstacle course. A rather young officer decided to lead until a particulaly large and chilly dam had to crossed. 'Follow me', the officer instructed. Seeing a a well worn path leading in a different direction I elected to follow this path rather than the officer with the rest of the section following my lead. Which was just as well as the young and inexperienced officer disappeared over his head in water while the rest of us trudge on and crossed the dam in knee-deep water. Oft times it is best to pay attention to where others have gone before than to follow new trends.
By Robert Hunter
I would like to comment on whether of not Freemasonry should be kept secret or whether you should be more public about it.

First I would like to give you a little background on my religious and education history.
I was raised in a poor blue collar family. We were not a very religious family and religion was not a part of my growth as a child. I was raised in a very predominant Mormon community in Utah. I struggled as a child to deal with pressures of a society that was so righteous in its claims to the one true pathway to heaven. So as I matured into an adult I found it very difficult to find a religion that made any definitive conclusions as to the path of God. I have been on a quest of sorts ever since. I must say that the first time I read the book Hiram Key I was deeply motivated and moved. To have such an un-biased introduction to the history of religion was a very profound experience to me. The average person does not have the means to study un-biased facts to discover the truth. Nor do the have the desire to. Most gain there faith and “truths” in life from there culture and or there families. Most people that I speak with about religion base there knowledge from there religious leaders and the printed bible they read. So, how does this tie into Free Masonry and why it secrets should stay just that. It’s simple really. It is the secrecy that has allowed the information of freemasonry to survive. When people fell like they are a part of something greater they become greater. It also requires a commitment of time and years to acquire the knowledge that is to be passed down. Those who are not worthy will lose interest. Although I am not a Mason maybe someday I will be honored to walk among you as a fellow Mason. Until then keep up the great work. We need to hear what you have to say.

Thank you
Robert Lynn Hunter

By Richard MacKinnon
I believe the majority of Masons are well-intentioned seekers of truth. However I also believe the upper levels of the hierarchy are fundamentally Luciferian and anti-Christian. Inherent to Masonic philosophy is the concept of the perfectibility of man. This contradicts the Christian teaching that man is saved by grace, not by works. Masonry and Christianity are therefore incompatible. Because of the seminal role played by Masons in the founding of this country, a hidden agenda can not be ruled out. The situation may best be illustrated by the parable of the wheat and the tares. The harvest is coming soon.
By douglass2000
Thank you for opening this forum into the search of Masonry and it's involvement in our society. I was involved in masonry for 25 years. I left recently because I felt I needed to spend more time with my family as I wasn't getting any younger. I went through the York and Scottish Rites. Attended the York Rite College, and studied and participated in many degree's including the ROS and AMD.

I too would like to write a book describing my experiences over the years in my dealings with such a fine band of brothers like the Shriners and what they do to help children. Over the years I have collected much about the good deeds we as masons have done for others even those individuals or groups not associated in the" society".

I would hope that Freemasonry will remain as it always has been, secret thus allowing the quest for light to open as the vails are parted through the many degree's given. I was not in favor of the 3 days to the Scottish Rite or even the York degree's. The splender was in anticipation like those given in the 1st to the 3rd degree. After my study and involvement during many years assoicated with degree work, which lead to my own enlightenment and understanding. I feel that if our secret is exposed to the general public or our society is conducted like say a Rotary Club much harm would surface and much confusion would result, causing additional harm already brought about by groups wanting non other than the breakdown of the "society" as was caused after the Morgan event and the closing many of our local lodges, not to mention the reduction in our membership.
This site may be of interest:

In respect of Freemasonary.I am a Freemason and i think that your book should be made available at every Lodge prior to initiation.It might give a insight and source of direction to those new members who are some times perplexed by what they have joined.

You book is long over due and is refreshing material
By el rey solomon
masonry is for me the npath to the one eternal truth that will if carfully and slowly dispensed will finally put mankind in full service to god and bring them out of the dark and let them bask in the light of eternal truth that when shone on you you have no choice but to except or be erroded to nothingness from futile resistence against the cosmic flow of love and peace and understanding will reign supreme and all will return to the source where we are IN THE ALL AND THE ALL IS IN US ALL IN ALL
By EssGee
I have been a Freemason for 12 years now, initiated in London (Taylor) and adopted in Oslo some 8 years ago. I have reached the “exulted” status of 8th Degree in the Swedish system.
Reading “The Hiram Key” was déjà vu! All my own thoughts and frustrations neatly packed together in the opening chapters!
I have, for a long time given thought to the fact that, here we are, grown men, dressing up in strange costumes, reciting words we hardly, if at all understand, to a story that is/was reputedly fictitious. Likewise I also felt that the story and the rituals could not have been “made up” overnight and that it had to have started somewhere; but why isn’t the Grand Lodge doing more to research into it instead of meditating on it’s own navel?
Should freemasonry be secret? No, I think that the time is right to come out of the closet and encourage membership from both sexes; encourage more and more to put our “funny costumes” and splendour onto the back seat and “live the life” we are so keen on ritualising. In fact proclaim for the roofs (Mathew 10:27) or as you say in The Hiram Key; Ma'at.
The Rituals? Well, they have helped open my eyes and mind to a myriad of human possibilities only to frustrate me about its origins and meanings and my own short comings. My initiation was an experience I will never forget and each time I see it re-enacted a feeling of warmth towards my new brother overwhelms me as I also re-live my own experience.
Perhaps not for all, but for those looking for a purpose in life, I recommend freemasonry.
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