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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
i hope this finds whoever is reading this happy and healthy.
it's perhaps best if i begin by setting context. many of my friends are Masons and i've been eagerly encouraged to apply myself to the Craft more than once.
some time ago my (esoteric)work with math led to a significant discovery. in an attempt to take this further i contacted Grand Central Lodge in Sydney Australia who were as encouraging and helpfull as i could have hoped.
alas the gentleman sent out to 'look me over' was a banker and no doubt thought he had wasted his time coming to view me as at that time i was living alone and without modern comforts in order that i may learn a little in the style of a hermit and no doubt my appearance left a lot to be desired.
i was left with the impression that i was judged exoterically.
i know not if you wish to avoid this happening with other prospects or even if you would wish to prevent it, but that nothing may be done about this type of thing happening (serious students being passed over) if your unaware of it.
good luck and best wishes for the future.
By Mike

Interestlingly enough I have never thought to discuss what Freemasons mean to me. My father, who recetly passed away, was a Mason. Initially, I viewed it as he did, with respect and pride. As I grew, I was told that this is the way to gain the best business contacts and the longest lating relationships. I did have questions. I grew up in a house that was not religious. Sports was really our religion. I harbor no resentment towards it, I would rather be in a rink or on a ballfield than in a church on Sunday. I mean no disrespect to anyone. I think my parents thought as many do...Why do you go to church? "Well, I've been going since I was a seems like the right thing to do...You know, for the kids." This is where all my questions about religion and life emanated. I live in a very Catholic area. Since all of the local after school programs were for the Catholic students, I often felt left out. But I still had questions. Why aren't we Catholic? What is a Protestant, an Episcopailain? What is the difference between these and Russian Orthodox? None of these questions were ever answered by friends that had been schooled in religion for 10 or more years.

My discovery began with a class and a discussion with my Dad. I took a class in High School called "Religion as Literature". I couldn't believe how similar the mythology was between cultures. I also felt that there was a huge amout of arrogance and intolerance in each established religion. My first question was obvious. If there is a God, then who does he/she favor and why? I have my own feelings on the purity of certain religions, but I felt that this was the critical question to answer.

At roughly the same time I had my Mason/ rite of passage discussion with my Father. He asked if I would be interested in becoming a Mason. I replied as a wise ass kid would. "I thought I had to ask YOU to become a Mason?" Well, he knew I would never approach him, so we talked. I looked at the flyer stating the benefits and requirements of the Freemason, lisitng famous Masons and then the ever critical requirements. The last one was where my Dad and I began many years of disagreements. I told him that based on what he had allowed me to learn myself that I cannot profess an expressed belief in God. Of course this threw him. This is a guy, born the old fashioned way...."Do what your elders tell you no matter what." Most who are believers think I'm an idiot, but I could think the same, know what I mean? This conversation changed me. See, my father was a policeman. Big surprise, a cop who is a Mason. So, if I am going to make a statement like that I better back it up. First thing, history is written by the winners. But, that's all that I had at the time. Reasoning about the merits of Hinduism and Buddhism wasn't going to cut it. I needed to find a simpler path. What is the real history of religion, specifically, Christianity?

For years, I could only find "conspiracy" history related to the Freemasons. Now, finally many Freemasons are choosing to break the silence and educate the rest of us. I guess I could have found my way and begun the learning process from within, but I was never able to commit to "God". Actually, now many years later, I know that my "God" is as good as anyone's God based on the belief system of the Freemasons. I may have changed my path very early on, had I learned that critical fact.

Now, Freemasonry fuels my intellect. I am ravenous about any information aobut it. Not today, but the formation of Freemasonry. How did this society survive all of turbulent and violent times that have followed organized religion? I have earned a new found respect for what Freemasonry stands for. As an example, when my father passed away, I knew where his lock box was that housed all of his Mason materials. I found everything. This is what I had been searching for for years! I would equate this with a significant archaeological find. There were charts, you name it he had it. The most amazing find was his translation book. My Dad had a terrible memory. Actually, it was selective. Ask him about a criminal he arrsted 20 years ago and he remembers what color the guys eyes were. Well, I found the book and I did open it, but I felt dirty. I recognized the symbols, or I should say I recognized where they originated, based on all my years of reading. Now, if could talk to my Dad about this box I did I know what he would have wanted me to do with it. I stopped reading and tore each page into little pieces, then threw it out. I didn't earn the right to enter that box. Some mysteries need to be experienced.

By R.W. Bro. R. S. J. Daniels
"The Meaning of Masonry" (together with the sequel "Masonic Initiation") by W. L. Wilsmhurst has been a personal inspiration for many years. I reread it every summer when "refilling the well" in preparation for each new season of Masonic activities. It is a book I recommend to all who will listen, reflect and learn the deeper, spiritual dimension of our Craft.The 'evolution' that the succession of books by Knight and Lomas, and lately by Lomas alone, reflects the progressive nature of the science: from speculative and interpretive works (The Hiram Key, The Second Messiah, and Uriel's Machine) to Masonic history (The Invisible College and The Book of Hiram) and now on to philosophy (Turning the Hiram Key) is one that many Masons undergo. There are three aspects to Masonic Education: symbolism, history, and philosophy, forming a taxonomy of learning. The personal experience of initiation outlined in the first part of 'Turning the Hiram Key' is of great relevance to the group of young men now joining the Craft. Here, in the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario, we are experiencing an influx of serious, keen, intelligent, articulate young men - a new breed of candidates petitioning for initiation. They will not be satisfied, as the older generations were, to simply take the ancient rites and ceremonies for granted. We must answer honestly and directly the searching questions being asked. 'Turning the Hiram Key' and its emphasis on the spiritual dimension is timely. Many of my colleagues in the Grand Lodge have read or are reading the book. We are very grateful for this contribution to our better understanding and appreciation of the privileges and mysteries of ancient Freemasonry - ours to discover. The closing section on the future of Masonry, coincides exactly with the ideas and ideas we are attempting to promote through free, open discussion in our lodges. Several times in the book reference is made to a forthcoming title on Wilmshurst based on his private papers - described as "in press" in the notes. May we expect this publication release in the near future? I await it eagerly. Sincerely and fraternally, R.W. Bro. Raymond S. J. Daniels, PGJW, Member of the Board of General Purposes, Chairman Committee on Masonic Education, Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Canada in the Province of Ontario.
By SparkyWGriswold1
I think that Masonry is a deeply misunderstood brotherhood of like minded individuals that come together to partake in an ancient secert tradition that is very old in nature. I think that keeping it unknown to non inducted individuals is of the upmost importance, and is also key to gaining new membership. My family has 3 masons that I know of in it, and soon I would like to follow in their footsteps and join as well. My father, grand-father, and great-grandfather are and in my great-grandfathers case, was freemason.
By aplleu
My thoughts about Freemasonry, as a long-standing Provincial Grand Lodge member, are of disillusionment. Whether this is to do with me as an individual or not, I’m not certain. Unlike the vast majority of Freemasons I’m not a Christian. My first shock on being initiated into the first degree was one of déjà vu. When light was restored I found myself facing East looking at the WM. I was flanked by two of the brethren holding a wand – or a stick about five feet long. The déjà vu – well at the tender age of twelve I was initiated into one of the Anglesey Pagan Circles – there also I faced East facing our God Lleu’s representative on Earth – in this case a woman. I was flanked by two men each holding a stick about five feet in length. The member on the southern side had home spun twine or wool about twelve feet long wrapped around his stick - in their presence and other members I gave my oath to serve our God Lleu and the circles as my family had done for centuries before me. During the ceremony the member who had a length of wool attached to his stick unrolled it. He handed one end to the other stick carrying member, who moved back until the wool was taught. I stood within this triangle with Lleu’s representative at the apex of the triangle- myself within a foot or so from her. It was in this position I was told the history of our circle. For some reason the Triangle is important; Masons have the triangle in some of their ceremonies.
When I was month old – my mother and other members of the family took me to an ancient site mentioned in Dr Lomas’ books and I was baptised in the light of the sacred star that penetrated through the hole above the entrance. This site is Bryn celli Ddu on Anglesey, a mile or so from where I was born and brought up. My second initiation ceremony of advancement was held at a sacred lake – this bore no resemblance to any Masonic ceremony I ever witnessed and need not be enlarged on.
I was invited to join lodges of a higher degree but on discovery as I was not a Christian I was denied any further advancement – today I remain, rightly, in the third degree. I belong to a professional Lodge where it was customary for aspiring members to present the interviewing committee with proof of professional qualification. In my case Accountancy – this practise died some years ago but members are strictly vetted. Being a Mason, past Master and a Provincial Grand Lodge member helped me in my professional life. I received no favours or preferment but I and other members used the lodge meeting’s ‘after proceedings’ to discuss business and, if you like, network. In all my years as a Mason, to my knowledge, I never once found any member to act dishonourably. In both Masonic and my own faith, I now believe, from reading Dr Lomas’s books and others, that Freemasonry and my own faith is based on primitive attempts to explain events inexplicable in an age of ignorance and superstition and will not bear scientific examination but the facts behind the stories will stand examination. What on earth could a Lebanese Arab, like Hiram, a small time ruler, have as secret knowledge which only he knew – and is now lost and is so important to Masons today? I have puzzled over this and I find the tale wanting. I do not believe there are hidden or lost secrets and if there were and these were revealed to us today their unimportance would kill off Masonry as we know it. Mentioning these lost secrets keeps their faith and aspirations alive.. In my own faith, the superstition was an attempt to explain the calendar of the year, the passing of the stars in the heavens but all this was shrouded in what I call, frankly by today’s knowledge, superstition. I do not find fault with the superstition as I believe it was an honest attempt to explain or even keep alive the beliefs and some, if we understood them, retained some truths. Some call our time the age of enlightenment - today some Masonic Lodges find the young men unwilling to join, Christian Chapels and Churches are closing and our Circle members are dwindling from day to day. Should we open our doors and our rituals, Masonic or Pagan? I have no idea all I know with unquestionable certainty –and here I will quote from the Jewish Bible.
“They shall come unto the grave as the measure of wheat grows in its season”
By Helen
I have never doubted the spirituality of Freemasonry,perhaps because I've had a number of relatives who were freemasons and very religious people. The church I attended as a child in Renfrewshire, Scotland was established 1400 years ago by St. Conval,an Irish 'wizard monk' and later belonged to the Knights Templar. We knew that our Minister was a Freemason and found nothing out of the ordinary in that, as Renfrew is noted for its' old masonic history. Indeed, I read (a couple of years ago) that every Moderator of The Church of Scotland for the past 50 years had been a Grand Master Mason:the Moderators are elected annually from the Church Ministers in Scotland. The Assembly Building of The Church of Scotland in Edinburgh has a back door leading across to Scotland's largest Masonic Lodge.
Some of you may be interested in the Reverend Gordon Strachan's book 'Jesus the Master Builder:Druid Mysteries and the Dawn of Christianity' Floris Books,2000. Gordon is a Church of Scotland Minister,an Architect and Freemason, who says that the Masonic rituals are very beautiful.
I was surprised that your female writers were not allowed to become Freemasons as here there is at leats one female Lodge that I know of,although it is very highly secretive. I knew 2 of its' members(both deceased now), ladies who held very high positions in public service.
By Keith Martin
With the formation of United Grand Lodge in 1717, and the adoption of the Anderson constitution in 1723, freemasonry lost touch with it's past aims and objectives, namely to investigate the hidden mysteries of science and nature. From the excellent books Robert Lomas has written, it would appear that current lodge workings are more concerned with allegory, symbolism and ritualistic learning, in the pursuit of self improvement, then studying the 7 liberal arts, and the hidden mysteries of science and nature. It is said that Freemasonry is not a secret society, but a society with secrets. From what I have read it would appear that those secrets were lost, and were therefore substituted. the means of recognition, passwords and grips would seem to be the only secrets that freemasonry has. Robert's excellent book The Invisible College, showed how men from both sides of the civil war came together to investigate the hidden mysteries of science and nature and study natural philosophy. These men included some of the greatest scientific thinkers, Newton, Wren Boyle, Hook as well as Wilkins. These men had the courage, in an age when the church had very effective means with dealing with people who held an alternative view, to meet and discuss science and natural philosophy. It was with the exile of James 11 in 1688, that Freemasonry lost its original purpose.
By Parry Chizawsky
I have only been a Mason for about a year and it has been a very enlightening experience for me. I am very active in my lodge and also out in the community. I have read all of Robert Lomas' books as well as numerous others pertaining to the Craft. I would like that certain things still remain a secret within the walls of the lodge but we do need to be more visible in the community. The general population still perceive us as a negative influence in society and this is something that we need to dispell, without giving away our secrets. I do put into practise the lecture of the working tools of all degrees into my daily life. This has enabled me to become a better person and reflect the positive influence onto others. It is such a good feeling to go out into the public and tell people that I am involved in Freemasonry. I see no need to hide it or to evade the question when asked if I am one.
By mike
Freemasonry is the sum total of human wisdom.
By Ruben J. Levy
Dear Dr. Lomas:

I have read the Hyram Key and the Book of Hyram, as well as Freemasonry and the Birth of Modern Science, Uriels Machine, the Second Messiah and Turning the Hyram Key.

If curiosity killed the cat… we are all to be dead kittens soon. I am curious as to the significance of certain words in our rituals. Specifically about the two columns that “when conjoined together mean stability…” as the columns always appear freestanding without anything above them or between them how are conjoined… (if any) at the base? This does not make sense to me. It would seem the represent something else: Either the merging of the spheres atop them (the earthly and astral worlds), or their combined contents (they purportedly being hollow) or perhaps they are meant to symbolize something else: like man in the middle (like Samson when he demolished the temple) or even the two rods that serve to wind up the torah in its parchment form pre-dating bound books. Any thoughts on this smatter?

I have recently read the Hyram Key in Spanish, published in paperback by Grijalbo, and found it to be extremely didactic, objective and shocking at the same time. I have bought three extra copies just to give away to fellow masons. As a Jew I have aspects of my faith that are difficult to accept and the same follows for other religions which are not my own. I believe everybody should believe in something to do the right thing, and therefore, what you call that or how you chose to pray is not necessarily the most important.

The possibility that Christ was raised as a mason makes more sense to me that to believe he was resurrected from the dead because this is not consistent with the laws of the universe. If he was indeed God incarnate, once he became a man, the rules of nature would apply to him as well and thus once his body died, only his spirit could be recycled.

I prefer to believe that God is one, but may manifest in many forms, including Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

In any event, as a new mason, I was fascinated and wanted to contact you to share my admiration for the work you have done. I think the Web of Hyram is an extremely laudable effort for masonry comparable only to the time when from fear or the oral tradition being lost, the Mishnah or Oral Torah was written.

Maybe I can possibly contribute (albeit minutely) to your efforts, by adding a little sand in your sandbox.

In the Hiram Key I believe you refer in passing to the horns depicted on Moses. (I am sure this appears in page 66 of the Book of Hiram) This has been a subject of speculation for some time. I have read a book (in Spanish) by Dr. Hertzel Klepfisch called the Jewish impact in Occidental Culture, which was published in Panama many years ago (1975)in which the author explains in page 49 that in a translation mistake in the latin version of the “vulgata” Bible, the verb “karan” which means radiated was erroneously replace with the substantive “keren” which means horn and also means ray of light or light beams. The correct translation should read “ the countenance of his face radiated light beams” This error in translation is revealed in the colossal sculpture of Moses by Michelangelo.

Another aspect that called my attention, was the similarity of words depicted in your book for the raising egiptian ceremony which differs slightly from the words we use in our lodges today. (MA’AT NEB-MEN-AA, MA’AT BA-AA, described in page 180 of the Hyram Key) which in turn are similar to the last of the ten plagues that according to the Old Testament befell Egypt, that it cannot be a coincidence.

As you surely know, the last supper was a Passover dinner, similar to that which jews celebrate todate. We were slaves, we asked the Pharaoh to release us and he refused and was hit with several plagues: blood, frogs, etc. until the last one: the death of the firstborn, or MACAT BEHOROT. Jews were instructed to paint their houses so that the angel of death would pass over their house and thus the name of the holiday. In Hebrew it is called Pesach.

I am no Hebrew scholar, but think that whilst a lot of the Egyptian symbolism may have been translated in Hebrew something has been lost indeed from the Hebrew to the English.

The Book of Hiram points out the dark discrepancies of the origins of the jews as a people, and rightly so, as the bible itself seems to indicate that when left alone, idolatry would follow. This was a bit shocking to read but in fairness it seems an adequate explanation: Isaac’s, Sacrifice, the Idols when Moses did not come down quickly from the mountain, etc.

What you left me wanting for is the dates when the next Shekinah is to take place, in our lifetime.

The other thing is about Roslyn. I cannot understand their attitude in not allowing serious research/excavation there, unless they fear nothing is to be gained by it. If nothing is found it may lose some of its mystery and/or commercial appeal. Sounds like they know or feel nothing will be found. Another thought is that caretakers may not want to offend the church by what may be found there.

It is time the current leaders of the Church ask forgiveness for the crimes committed against masons in the past and allow persons of their faith who believe in god to belong to our lodges. Here in panama, to the local church officers to be a mason is to deny the church or to be in sin, and masons must either be masons in secret or openly challenge the church, like the famous issue concerning Galileo, (the explanations included in Freemasonry and the Birth of Modern Science clearly explain why masons assert that the earth orbits around the sun and not otherwise). Jews here do not face such difficulties.

In any event, your books have moved me, and I am forever in debt for their unique point of view. Light can be revealing and painful at the same time, but to read about your footsteps into knowledge, furthers our own closely to you pioneering steps.

I am at your service for anything you need in this part of the world.

Warm regards,

Ruben J. Levy

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