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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 Richard
For most of my life I considered FREEMASONRY (FM) to be a secret dark society formed for the purpose of manipulating others for the benefit of the members of FM. Today I think it is largely a defunct organization a mere remenant of what it once was and that it was at best one layer of the oinion known as the Illuminati. FM itself was formed as an oinion to reflect the design of the larger and more secrative Illuminati. FM still has the same purpose but is less important and usfull as it has become too familiar to be a powerfull organization, however I believe it still has some influence in some area's so it still exists today.
By Bro. Edd. Nield R. O. H.
As a member of the R. A. O. B. ( Grand Primo ) I prefer the the F. M. to stay as it is, an order with a secret (which a lot of people think is a secret order), & while you get the big stick no one thinks about the Buffs.Long may that last?
And while I am here may I give the fraternal greetings to you and your Chapters & Lodges.
By Anton Temple
A Beautiful Garden . . .
Imagine if you were to left in charge of looking after a beautiful garden and that you were given sole responsibility for its cultivation and development. What would you do? Would you spend you time sitting in the garden as it became overgrown. Would you ignore the garden or leave it to its own devices. Would you abuse the land and use it for financial gain? Most of us would answer that we would do our best to make that garden the most pleasant environment we could and that we would take advantage of the natural surroundings and work with the tools and environment so that you can make that garden as distinct and impressive and pleasant as possible.

However when it comes to the even more important responsibility of regulation and development of our selves it is very rare that a human takes the same approach. In life our situation is rather like the above, when we are born we are put in charge of our own person. This is a divine statement of responsibility. The very fact that we have by birth right been given responsibility over or mind, personality and how we interact with the world is a strong statement as to our duty in life. For most people this is the only things that divine providence says to us in our life time. You are in charge, do your best. Actions speak louder than words the message is quite clear. We are born with certain personal characteristics but we should not accept our personality as it comes. Like the garden we should view this as the raw material to work on and make it our life long task to improve our selves and overcome our faults.

The true aim of Freemasonry is the same as the point in life. To develop yourself so that you can have the most positive effect on the world as possable in this lifetime
By Simon Watters
My father is a mason and it has always been something that I have found very fascinating. I bought The Hiram Key for a trip to Spain and can only say that the book has totally altered my whole outlook on life. I had a rough understanding of Freemasonry, the links with the Knights Templar and other theories and rumours that I had heard. The book laid it in front of me in Black and White. I genuineley felt sorrow at secrets lost and how the world is being misled and when I hear people saying things about masonic conspiraces and talking about the craft as a seedy, dark side of humanity, I pity them because they just dont have a clue!! The basis of a masonic way of living in my eyes is quite simply to live a good, honest life, show tolerance to all and be loyal to your brethren. Is this what Christianity should have been like? probably! People fear what they dont understand, masonry should not be feared but it should not be understood by all, the air of mystery cloaking masonry also protects the real goodness at the heart of it. I dont think it is possible to give a definitive Meaning of Masonry, it is a far to complex subject, it is what you make it yourself, close your eyes and see secret signs, hidden symbols and backhanders. Open your eyes and see the way life should be lived.
By David D Stanton
Here is my history and points of view of Masonry:

First I am 30 Years old and an American living in the UK. My father is a Past Master of his lodge which he has been a member for the last fifty years and is now the Chaplan of his Lodge. At the age of about seven, I started asking my father questions about the meaning of life and what it all was about. He started me at that point on a jounry of riddles and mystery. I was so pushy trying to squeeze any thing about the lodge out of him that I could. He never gave in just asking another question to answer my questions. So I found other sources of information, I studied diffrent religions and the Kabbalah, I read works pertaining to the Golden Dawn. Years later in 1997 I began my offical Masonic jounrey. For years I found Masonry dry and overly confusing. I have now found the link between my past studies and it has recharged my intrest in growing in the lodge because I had faded from the scene for a while. I am now expanding to the Holy Royal Arch and Later into the ranks of Knights Templar. From when I was younger, I found for some unknown reason I was already learning of deep masonic teachings and areas of intrest in the Kabbalah, and that the Golden Dawn itself was formed by a group of Masons. Now I am on a speeding jouney of discovery and wonder at which I could have only dreamt. My libaray grows and my collection of Masonic Regalia is slowly expanding. My path continues to what ends I do not yet know, and to all the only advice I can give is this: Knowledge, followed by Wisdom, tempered by humility, fuled by power, and all governed by love is the key.

In Light, Fraternally,

Brother Dave
Meaning of Masonry

As Shakespeare so aptly stated, in 'As You Like It'; “one man in his life plays many parts”, one time spoiling cricket pitches as a personal protest and later defending The Rule of Law as Leader of the House of Commons. And so it is with Freemasonry as attitudes change over one's lifetime.

As inevitably, talk of spiritual paths will enter this discourse, it may be useful to trace one own path. All Sundays in my early years consisted of compulsory attendance at church, more by edict than parental example. The net result of this was a complete antipathy to matters ecclesiastical for the next 30 odd years, (but that is another matter.)

I had, over the years, observed my father sallying forth to his lodge (which at that time met at the Boar's Head public house in Radcliffe) along with his friends, who in the main, seemed a genial lot. In the early 1950s, he became a founder of a lodge which was formed and met in Salford. The whole thing seemed to a callow 21 year old to be a special conclave with secrets only they had access to, as well as being fun. Fun and sociability there was in plenty, to a level I have never encountered since, but only on the surface. Underneath, there was a constant battle going on among factions of past masters in particular, and this is still evidenced in my current lodge where the same people go 'through the chair' up to five times (so far) in order to exclude others. This is known as 'Brotherly Love'. The most notable thing at this time was, although the ceremonies were performed with great sincerity and solemnity, there was total lack of interest in what those ceremonies meant or why we performed them. True, at that time, there was a greater respect for authority which was often held in awe, and even ones contemporaries were aghast if one questioned aspects of the ritual. There was still much of the schoolboy feeling that “We know something you don't know”. Much of this continues today in the importance that UGL attaches to civil honours so that the peasants will know their place.

Moving on, after even a little research into the origins of Freemasonry, it becomes clear, contrary to the official prevailing wisdom, that it is rather more than a set of mediaeval building regulations. Whilst Masonry consolidated in the 18th century, it symbols were very old, from 'time immemorial' and it seems to have been formed by philosopher-scientists as an outlet for their spirituality in the face of a church hostile to both theological heresy and science.

Whether Masonry can fulfil this role in the present climate is doubtful, although in individual cases this may be so. The climate to science and theology has changed since those early days and it is the church as a whole which is more on the defensive, and I say this without relish. Take the example of Wilmshurst, recently resurrected by Lomas in his recent book, 'Turning the Hiram Key'. Up to the 1950s in one lodge, Wilmshurst's work was kept alive, but after that time, an infiltration of Christian Science occurred, the members, few of whom study, were unaware of this and accepted it wholeheartedly. The struggle of factions still goes on in spite of the prevalent feelings of moral superiority over 'outsiders'.

In summary, a spiritual approach to Freemasonry is possible but there are considerable dangers to be guarded against, and only if behaviour is modified into that of true brotherly love, of which I have seen more evidence in non-spiritual lodges.
By Anonymous Master Mason
I believe that Masonry is a process of revelation, of slow dislosure perhaps, in which each participant undergoes a form of discovery about himself and the wider universe in which he lives. Because it is a process - a sort of unravelling - rather than an instant arrival, it tends to be slow, though the speed at which it happens will vary, depending on the candidate; and the manner in which it happens will differ for the same reason. Masonry means different things to different people.

For my part, the initiation ceremony was not something that could be distilled easily or qualified in rational terms, because it was such an overwhelming occasion, especially in the earlier stages. All such analysis would be for me retrospective. The primary feature of the ceremony was an awakening of awe - true awe - and it was not without trepidation, fear and dread. But the awe did not dwindle as the fear evaporated, to be replaced by a feeling of confidence: by the time of the delivery of the charge, the rational brain was awakened again, in the light of the emotional experiences it had shared in.

The impression of the next stages of the Craft, that of passing and raising, asked more subtle questions, though that of the third surpassed the drama of the initiation. The second ceremony was the most cerebral of all three, and I enjoyed it most, since it spoke of the importance of understanding and studying nature and science.

What then, do I think of Masonry? Two simple things: first, that patience is rewarded with time, and one's understanding grows with each new visit to the lodge, or spent in contemplation in the meantime; secondly, that Masonry subconsciously or consciously provides or assists in the following - controlling one's emotions, developing one's intellect and rationale, and finally preparing oneself for death. In this way, fear is removed or at the least confidence grows, and one has a better idea about one's calling - though that calling may be whatever suits the individual (for Freemasonry is not prescriptive). That last bit, in the brackets, is actually the most important of all!
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