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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 The Reformer
Congratulations and Fraternal Greetings, Bro.Dr.Robert. I have used a nickname to hide my ID, but you and I have corresponded by email once or twice in the past.

Your sample questions are answered below, but I'll start with a couple of personal observations. I was made a Mason under the English jurisdiction, but these days I have absolutely no interest in the Craft and resigned from my Mother Lodge in good standing. That said, I am very active in two other Masonic Orders with more esoteric interest. The reason I have no interest in the English (UGLE) Craft any more is that I found it too much like a starchy gentlemens' dining club, populated by some appallingly rank-conscious people and all under a Grand Lodge that seemed to me to be stifling reasonable debate, dumbing down Ritual and continuously issuing punitive edicts about who I can and can't associate with whilst on a foreign holiday and how I should steer clear of debate on the internet. How I wish I lived nearer to Scotland - I would re-join the Craft there any day (in fact I just might, as a Country Member). I have visited Scottish Lodges whilst up there on business and I have to say it was much more like my idea of Freemasonry - please forgive my choice of words here, but I see the Scottish way of doing things as "Freemasonry without all the UGLE bollockology attached!". The rot started to set in shortly after my Initiation when I got a letter inviting me to "Meet the Rulers". Rulers? What an unfortunate way for them to describe themselves. They missed their own point - in Freemasonry, when you take office you serve, you don't rule.

Becoming a Freemason was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life and I am justifiably proud to be a Brother today. Non-Masons reading this who may be thinking of becoming Masons (male or female) can be assured that it is a good move and one which I would be very surprised if you'd regret it later.

*Should Freemasonry be secret, or should we be more open about it?
I think, of course, that the landmarks of Freemasonry should be secret - but I think that secrecy has been obsessive in the past and some Brethren seem to keep everything to themselves. I am happy to declare I am a Freemason to Brethren and non-Masons alike.

*What does Masonic ritual mean to you?
Masonic ritual only means something to me if it in its original and purest, unadulterated form. Trouble is, that is never the ritual we tend to use these days. I am proud to have been Initiated into the Humber Ritual which is, shall we say, less meddled-with than Emulation.

*How do you feel when you were made a Mason?
I felt I had taken part in something that had its roots in ancient times and although the rituals had been 'doctored' somewhat in the meantime, nonetheless the essence was there.

*And what role has Masonic ritual played in your life since?
Funny how you remember a lot of it as you go along and apply it to life's ups and downs.

*Do you feel it is something which can not, or perhaps should not, be put into words?
No, go ahead and put it into words. Better to talk about it.

LVX
 
By penolder
For me, Masonry began as a "thing to do" because my employer and almost everyone in the small, private company I worked for was a Mason. I just sort of fell into it by default. Everything about joining was done because "that's what Masons do". I went along with the memorization and the jargon because my proposer was a good man who truly felt uplifted by his membership in our local lodge. He made sure I knew that being a Mason wasn't just about the "connections" or the festive board after the meetings. Being a Mason was a source of pride for him because it gave him an inner sense of well being. I tried to acquire this inner peace with only limited success at first. Then the opportunity opened up for me to become Lodge Secretary and I took the position on with much trepidation since I had been a Mason for less than two years at that point. In the secretary's chair, I soon became immersed in Masonic "paperwork" and found that I had to do a lot of research and study to maintain a knowledgable profile in my lodge. After about two more years in the position, I slowly but surely became aware of a growing inner satisfaction with my Masonic life and noticed some small but definitely positive psychological improvements as well.

Family circumstances intervened at this point in my life and I demitted from Masonry for almost twenty-five years!

One year ago I was able to rejoin the Masonic Fraternity to my great joy and soon found myself reading all of Dr. Lomas' and Mr. Knight's books. Without effort or surprise I realized that the information they were relating was what I was looking for in my journey into Masonry and quickly incorporated their thinking with my own.

Masonry isn't just a "club" or "secret organization". It is so much more! It can be so much more for any Mason. All he (or she) has to do is accept the idea that each person is unique but with a little effort, concentration and study that uniqueness can become a gift to the craft as a whole.

Each Mason is connected to every other Mason by the Ritual as Dr. Lomas so correctly states and through that connection, we as Masons can then share whatever gifts we as individuals possess. In sharing we grow as one and as a Craft. What could be more Masonic?

I now consider myself as part of a wonderful, global group of likeminded people who are trying in their own ways to improve themselves and others using the teachings of Masonry. Sometimes we are successful and sometimes not. Generally, I think most of us are slowly improving and this can only be good for ourselves and for those around us who may benefit in some small way by our association with them.

Such is the Truth behind our Craft.
 
By Templar
Freemasonry is dying. This is the one sad statement that I have to agree the most with. From my perspective the reasons for the decline have to do with the Craft itself. I believe the main causes for its decent in membership is its lack of appeal to a younger generation and the modus operandi in which the lodges conduct themselves.
First I would like to give a brief history about myself, my introduction to the Craft and how I personally view freemasonry. I first came across masonry in what would probably be the worst venue of light one could think of, a conspiracy website. After reading the volumes on how the masons have infiltrated every level of every government and replaced the leaders with an ancient royal reptilian bloodline of an alien race, I figured there must be something of some value to this thing called Freemasonry. I consider myself a fairly intelligent and open-minded person and a sucker for historic mysteries and I set out to find out as much information as I could about the Craft. What I found was contrary to public opinion and that freemasonry in America is a fraternal organization emphasizing its goal to “making good men better” through ancient secret rituals and various charitable good deeds to help and serve the public. I can honestly say that I have an impressive personal library of Masonic texts which I have collected and read even before I became a fellow brother. I found that most of the males in my family were masons themselves dating back several hundreds of years. This came as no shock to me as seeing that my family originated in Scotland and shares an extremely close intertwined blood relation to the Stuart family. I decided that I’ve read almost every book there was on freemasonry that the book stores had to offer and the next step was to talk to the actual masons themselves. I contacted the lodge closest to my residence and have had several personal conversations with the Worshipful Master of the lodge. After all things considered I decided to dive right in head first and petitioned to join the brotherhood. On February 17th 2004, I was initiated as an Entered Apprentice Mason at the Sea-Fairing Lodge # 604 at the age of 28.
Upon my acceptance into the brotherhood and still to this day I can say that there are hardly any makings of a conspiracy. There are no “good ole boy” factions to help rich men get richer as I once read. I am currently employed in the U.S. government as a law enforcement officer in an impressively large department and know of only one other officer who is a mason themselves. To be honest I have only met three other people on the street who where fellow brothers and who were not members of my particular lodge.
I have found that to be a mason is to endure tedium. This is a virtue along with patients that young working family men of my age can barely afford. In a day of workplace competition one can hardly stand still let alone participate in an extracurricular activity to learn ancient secrets through odd ball reenactments in which the meanings are lost to the new initiate. This is where I believe two of the problems arise. No time to learn lost odd ball practices and lack of meaning leading to lack of interest. I personally had no idea what I was learning only to be told that it would make sense to me later. One thing that I yearned for the most was a mentor of some sort to help explain to me what it is exactly I am memorizing and the great significance behind the meaning. Now I went into becoming a mason with the same thought that I have when I take any path in life. You get out, what you put into. Unfortunately and yet gratefully I have pieced together the meanings of the teachings I have been told largely from your books and research. I have amazed my more senior members of my lodge armed with the knowledge I have read only with the interest of cross checking your material. Needless to say your research is batting 1000. I find the manner in which I must gather information on the teachings I learn at lodge to be a major problem for the progress of masonry and I must admit that I have attended fewer and fewer lodge meetings because of this. It appeared to me that members held more collective interest in holding dinner and poker parties than they do trying to find the “hidden history and meanings” of the Craft. I have a few fellow brothers who frequent Scotland and Ireland and tell of masonry there as a way of life and not just another after work social club as it is here in America.
I do not want to give any misgivings on how I feel to be a mason. I am fortunate to be a mason and claim myself proud to be one. I hope that when the day my two boys are of age they would want to join our illustrious and ancient brotherhood if that is their choosing. I have yet to meet a mason whom I did not like. It saddens me to see the course that masonry has taken and the path of decline if it continues. I will say that I have spent many hours on the problems Freemasonry faces and the ways we might be able to resurrect per se our great society only to still be alone with my thoughts.
In conclusion I believe that Freemasonry for me has been a struggle for truth but a struggle worth the fight for. I feel that all people can benefit from the teachings that Freemasonry has to offer. I truly believe that if there where more investigative scholars like Mr. Knight and Mr. Lomas who were interested in finding the hidden history and the “truth” we could collectively conquer all.


Sincerely and Respectfully Submitted,

Templar
 
By Mel Irvine
1 Freemasonry has stood the taste of time and I think it should stay Secret. There are enough books on the market to satisfy the curious onlooker and they can also ask to become a Freemason.
2 At first Mumbo Jumbo and after 4 years in the Craft , I get a Church feeling about it
3 bewildered and it was not anywhere near what I imagined it to be.It took a long while for it to sink in. Even after 4 years I can still remember being blindfolded and wearing slipshod slippers etc and wondering what the Hell is going on.and who are these people.{ My proposer was not present and I never knew anybody present}
4 Masonic Ritual has played a big part in my life, I was stabbed 8 times ,my throat slit by a Deranged [ex] Mason[ he wanted my wife for himself] and the Blood curdling oaths mean more to me than most people. I owe my life to being mentally stronger and closer to GOD
through the Masons. I can feel Hugh De Morays pain and bewilderment at being an Upstanding member of the Community one moment and being an outcast the next.
5 I feel a sense of well being and a door opening leading to another door awaiting to be opened ,I feel curious as to where Freemasonry is taking me
 
By John Gelber
As the mysteries unravel to there very ends, I only hope will culminate after the priceless knowledge of antiquaited Universal Laws become gobally understood as the one. These universal doctrines of how to maintain mother Earth, that have been through the ages of corrupt humans. I burn through endless religous and cultural texts and in finding the ancient aramic texts translated into english bring me to Jesus-maria as the last visit from the great All in molecules upon terra firma...So these wonderful knights templar in keeping the sacred and revered stance of dealing with antiquated texts and artifacts may i hope provide that final break through to a peaceful planet focused on communicating with fuzzy animals and tilling super rich soil for awesome vegetables and such instead of manufacturing and processing(?) and having "Wars".
May the hiram web grow to the truth and may the mysteries persevere to create a understanding of respect to that which is us, the one .
In building structures and creating shelters and facility there is a need for order for success, and bless the order of masons as he who can provide for the community need always be revered.
Within the universal laws there is a need to cut loose perhaps this could be found in ones local Lodge?
thank you
 
By Architect
While I am not a speculative Mason, I am an operative one, being an architect and builder. I respect your pursuit of Divine and self-knowledge, and your efforts to do good. The internet has already exposed the "secrets" for any who do a little research.

What concerns me, and I want to give you a "heads up" about, is the negative, conspiracy theory tripe that is out there, doing a dis-service to Masonry. Moreover, Dan Brown (Angels & Demons, The DaVinci Code) is soon publishing a book which will likely deal with the "meaning" of Masonic symbols in the plan of Washington, D.C. As an architect who has worked as a city planner, it is indeed obvious that L'Enfant used such symbolism. e.g.-The Capital is the center of a compass, wherein Pennsylvania and Maryland Avenues are the arms, and this is overlain on the cruciform pattern of the Capital, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Washington monuments, and the White House.

I'm afraid he will popularize this symbolism into another "illuminati" type conspiracy theory, for his own material gain, at the expense of public perception of Freemasonry, and hope there are efforts underway to de-bunk this before it occurs.

Please respond.
 
By Johan Uys
1. Freemasons have been persecuted in the past and it could easily happen again therefor semi-secrecy is appropriatte.
2. It is a ritual as in any other religion but based perhaps on very old rituals.
3. I felt that I belonged to a fraternity of brothers.
4. Made me much more aware of the solemn obligations that I engaged myself to.
5. It is an emotion which not unlike religion is everyone's own.
Thank you for the opportunity and it was through your own books and others that motivated me to become and find out more about the Fraternity.
 
By Dion Ryan
I just finished reading The book of Hiram and I would like to express my sincere appreciation to you.My soul,heart and eyes are forever opened.Thank God for using you as a messenger of truth.
I am not a mason.Was born in Newfoundland,Canada and raised Irish Catholic.For many years I struggled with the various concepts and teachings of religions.Always knowing that there was one true God who one day would lead me, when ready, to the truth.Along the way I prayed to save my life, expierenced some very mystical moments and seen the bizaar done in the name of God.
Everything I ever heard about Freemasonry was negative.Just like 1300. Cult, Evil,Power hungry,Anti-catholic,rule the world for evil.
It was when I entered a bookstore several years ago and was praying for guidance that I found The Second Messiah and that made me ask more questions.Then Uriels Machine.Then The Hiram Key.I guess God knows me best and let me have what I could handle over time.
Being a steam/pipefitter I have worked with many masons and even given your books to some.Suprised alot with my information about the craft.Noticed that several joined for the positions they could acquire. Which was why I did not pursue joining. I felt I would have to march to another mans drum. My perception at the time was,"having a boss is one thing but taking an oath to obey someone was out of the question".
It is very heartwarming to know that there is an order still alive today that over time has kept the truths that my soul has always known.
Your books,I pray will never go out of print.
Masonry should be very much more open.Todays world needs it as much or more as Solomen's time did.
 
By Kimonas
On the controversial issue of secrecy, I will have to adopt a conservative approach and say yes, it has to stay that way.
It is not a question of "hidding" something from "others".. It is simply a question of respecting the core of the craft: the ceremonies. The secrecy and discreetenes is embedded in the very fabric of Freemasonry's creation. It emphasises the importance and knowledge behind the rituals. Now whether our brothers pay the relevent attention is a different story...
And to change the subject, I am not talking about paying attention in the sense of learning pages after pages of ritual by heart. I am talking about trying to understand the meaning behind it and historical background.. Which is precisely the reason why I strongly disagree about the degrees of the craft being handed out within weeks in some (usually US) lodges!! It simply loses the point!
The teachings and meanings of the degrees should sip in, being thinked on by the newly initiated. They have to "appreciated" before someone moves to the next degree...
When someone moves to become a MM within a month or so from initiation, he won't even have time to learn his 10 or so lines of questions properly, let alone digest the meanings of the craft degrees!! Unless if he goes back voluntarily and researches them himself...
But how many will do that...?
It seems sometimes that many brothers confine themselves in reciting ritual just for the sake of it, adopting a rather casual approach towards it...
Of course we can become better persons through charity and friendship and "brotherhood love, relief and truth"... but isn't there something deeper there?... That last "truth" part, do we really seek it? Where is our research gone, where is our study of the secrets of science and nature gone? It has been said that a message or story is carried with far greater chances of succes if the carriers do not know it's meaning (like folk stories or kid's songs). Is that what we have become? carriers of a message that we long forgot it's meaning? I hope not...
When i was initiated i was thrilled as I could get to see for myself what I have only till then heard as urban legends.... The friendlines and helpfulnes of my lodge brothers was second to none and this has been one of the most vivid impressions and memories i have, after the actual ceremony that is.
The ritual itself, not making real sense in real actual world terms, made me to want to dig even deeper, find out, who, why, when, how... Read, and read again and then read some more... Maybe i was predisposed having an academic historian background, but the challenge was there in front of me in every ritual i saw. And I have to admit for me it has been an immensely satisfying experience as I discovered things about the world around me of present and past, but also things about myself.
So overall I firmly believe that joining the craft assisted me in becoming a better person... But i don't expect the craft to do it for me, i know that i have to do it myself using the hints that the craft provides me...
 
By Appolo
1. Secret not, not wide open either. A considerable approach to the society will help people to understand what the craft did and still can do for them.

2. The masonic ritual means to me the way of getting down to myself and harmonise me with the universal rythm. Ties me with the brotherhood and verifies my human roots as a son of the widow (the universal mother).

3. Reborn. Still I feel the same every time when I am attending, as a past worshipfull master, the initiation ceremony. In every single new hearing of the initiation ritual I, always, find new meanings wich are there.

4. Ritual and their contents of symbols, myths and allegories, gives me the psychic strength to face an unjustise world and make me strong and optimistic to my way towards the ligth.

5. What I can not put into words is the esoteric pease and joy which I feel attending the masonic ceremonies and the meditations which I make.
 
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