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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 Jerry Hinman
I am a Freemason in the State of Montana USA as was my father before me.

Should Masonery be secret? That is a hard question for me as I can see two arguments. Being secret certainly sets one apart from non members and gives members a common bond.
However I have a brother who was a Mason who later wished to become a lay minnister. His church would not allow it unless he renounced his menbership in Masonery. He did and it was a sad day for me. In view of many of your receint discoveries I guess I would lean tward a more open approach.

What does Masonic Ritual mean to me? Masonic ritual for me has always been very meaningful, inspirational and guiding.

What did I feel when I was made a mason? I at last felt I knew the meaning of having been "Born again".

What role has Masonic Ritual played since? I was raised a Presbyterian. During my youth Mother took us to church regularly. My father never went. I knew he had some problems with "church" but did not then understand what. He and mother had a little conflict about it but always seemed to work things out. After I left home and become a bit more knowledgable I began to understand Dads feelings and I drifted away from the church even though I consider myself a "religous" person. I have always stayed close to Masonery and Masonic ritual. I am also very involved in Eastern Star. I would be remiss not to mention that your four books most especially "The Hiram KeY" has brought a great deal more meaning and understanding to the Rituals. I consider them manditory reading for all Freemasons. I graciously thank you for devoting the time and your knowledge to a project of such interest to me.

Do you feel it cannot or should not be put into words? It is something that we should try to put into words recognizing that it is something much greater than that.

Jerry Hinman
Darby Montana USA

By Ryan W
My entry may not necessarily answer the above questions posed, however I feel compelled to share my personal experience.

I was first interested in Freemasonry back in 1996 as a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. Kappa Sigma traces its roots back to 1400 in Bologna Italy. The modern collegiate fraternity dates back to its North American origins to 1869 Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.

A fraternity member found a Masonic Ritual Book (in hindsight recognized as a EA 1st Degree) loosely coded in consonant letters only. As we attempted to decipher it, we were shocked at the similarities to the signs, words, and grips, as well as the oath itself. In addition, Kappa Sigma's North American founder, Stephen Alonzo Jackson is rumored to have been a Freemason, who adopted aspects of Masonic ritual into Kappa Sigma ritual.I contacted some regional Masonic officials here in the state of NY and by the end of 2001 was a duly initiated master mason (3rd degree) at a lodge in NY.

As I progressed through the 3rd degree initiatory process, rather than being anxious or nervous, I anticipated most and subsequently confirmed portions of the initiation, even though I was blindfolded. Essentially I knew what was going on by having a little 'foresight' into the light of Masonry with the help of previous fraternal ritual knowledge. An experience I believe only a member of a Collegiate Fraternity (I can only attest to my own of course )and a Freemason can comprehend.

Its an interesting position to be in- having knowledge of a Fraternal and Masonic ritual, but being unable to fully explain the similarities to those who are not members of both! I am currently reading The Book of Hiram. Its and excellent journey into the ancient mysteries surrounding the planets oldest Society of Secrets. Masonry unfortunately has become an Elderly Gentleman's club, and recruitment is tough, especially for those of us jaded, sarcastic, scatter-brained Americans in our 20's and 30's.
By Bro. Flu
The meaning of Masonry to me goes beyond question and is far more advanced to leave it as just a question.Masonry is deeply rooted in one's heart before he can every stand and be seen as a Man.If you love God and will place your life on the line for your family and friends( if you're in the Military,the whole World) then your Sir are a upright Man to me. Mansony gathers a specific band of brothers and charges us to go out into this World and show others brothers who may not be willing to live by those morales. That they can have riches and they can have gold but without God in the Middle,you will have nothing.That's real enough for me,is it real for you.That's the question.I love Mansonry and i would stand on the Square with any man who calls himself a man and have his back like he has mine.

Mansonry and the word secret shouldn't even be mentioned in the same breath.Society is not Diety and only God can judge man.Jesus was judge but he never kept a Secret.He let the World know who his Father was and what he could do for those who just believe.

When i was made a Fratenal Brother of the Masonic Order,i was thrilled.I felt i had a purpose and that i wanted other brother to share my enlightment.It was powerful and peolpe saw a change in me and it moved them to conduct themselves differently.Life really began for me when i died.

To sum up my whole outlook on Masonry and all these questions and concerns.It's simple.
To be 1 is to ask 1

Peace my Brothers
By Hugh
I have been a Freemason for 50 years in the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Canada of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons in the Province of Ontario. I am presently serving this Grand Lodge as Grand Chaplain. Turning the Hiram Key particularly held my fascination and interest. I could not put it down and I have just finished Freemasonry and the Birth of Modern Science.

I did a course on Evelyn Underhill at a Jesuit university this past Autumn. My assignment was to read her novel, The Lost Word. It was a purely Masonic novel. It triggered in me a realization that there are at least 3 mystical journeys fostered by freemasonry: Hidden mysteries of nature and science, building the temple of one's inner being, and Seeking for that which was lost. Turning the Hiram Key confirmed that strain of mysticism within the Craft. Personally, building the temple of one's inner being resonates with me. Masonry has contributed to that building along with my Christian faith in the Anglican tradition. One of the masonic traditions I like is the prohibition against discussions of religion or politics and the universalism freemasonry promotes.

Many thanks for your books. They have been very enlightening.
By Billy of Arabia
I became a mason in 1998 under the English constitution (in South Africa).

1 I am under the impression that Freemasonry is no longer a secret and the only secrets we still have is how we recognise each other. Other than that Freemasonry is an open book (especially on the internet) and young freemasons are encouraged to talk about the craft. The main reason it was so secretive was the persecution of masons in the 1800's and early 1900's, but I bow to superior knowledge on this perception. Freemasonry should be understood by all, including it's ciritics. It is the only way that the perception can be changed and people get to understand it. I vote we should let all understand that all there is to know about freemasonry is already in the public domain.

2 The ritual is full of symbolism and the way I look at it is from a discipline point of view. When you are born, you spend the 1st few formative years of live with your parents which disciplines you as to how and what you will be for the rest of your life. Then you go to school for educational discipline and a basis to become economically proficient to support yourself and your offspring. In my case I spent time in the defence force which taught me about physical discipline. Once out of all these phases, one relies on religion (church) to support your moral discipline for the rest of your existance but this system is not always 100%. I now rely on my faith in God and get the moral discipline from masonic ritual to remind me what it means to be an upstanding person. Discipline relies on practice and repetition and if you continuously hear what it means to be an upstanding person, the moral discipline might just set in.

3 I felt I became part of some thing larger than myself and a sense of belonging. I felt that this was something that would be good guidance to me and hopefully would assist in making me a better human being. I felt proud to be accepted in a group of what I perceived to be like minded people.

4 It continues to remind me and provide me with tools to be an upstanding person, how to cooperate with like minded people and I practise it as much as I can. I still have the sense of belonging and everytime a bunch of money is donated to worthwhile charities, it gives me a sense of achievement. Masonry has , and still is, giving me a lot and it is a great way of giving back to society by working hard, enjoying the trip and getting results from it that benefit needy children and people, whether they are masons or NOT! Masonry to me has become just part of my life and hopefully I treat other people better as a result of it.

5 I feel we should talk about it as much as possible, write about it, debate about it, use the various media to promote it and get more like minded people to join. We have a role just as the Lions, Round Table, etc,. have, since it benefits society in general and hence it should be made clear for exactly what it is. Masonry should defend itself more publically so even the critics can eventually get the message. Masonry has a tremendous history which might even have it's roots 1000's of years ago, and should be put out in the public domain, as much as possible, along with some of the other good organisations which do exist today.
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.

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,

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
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