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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 Ed Buongiorno
In 1997 at the age of 18, I encountered the first Freemasonic building I have ever seen, the Scottish Rite Temple in San Francisco. This was also my first encounter with the word Freemasonry. My impression was that it had a Gothic majesty to it. I don't know that that was the intention of the facade of the building, but going up to the entrance was something buddies and I dared ourselves to do. Just walking up to it.

I didn't pay much attention to Freemasonry for years except as a sort of abstract interest that was tied to history. As an artist, for some reason the phrase "Pythagoras, the Freemason" seemed like it would fit into a poem or a scifi story,etc. although Pythagoras wasn't a Freemason. A few years later I read Albert Pike's biography. There was finally a relatively accurate account for me to go by, answering the question 'what is a Freemason'. I identified with Pike a bit and looked up to him very much.

These days I think the pitch black aura surrounding Freemasonry is still there, despite your efforts, Colin Wilson and (pardon, if you find him crass) Dan Brown. It's the Bilderbergs, and The Bohemian Club that have achieved extremely Bluebeard-esque notoriety in a very tainted way. The grandeur of "Turning the The Hiram Key" and "The Hiram Key" --your only two I've read, so far--seem to have just the right amount of mystery. Without mystery I think the incentive to achieve greater experience and knowledge within the craft goes away.

I can say with reasonable certitude--fact mingled with gut feeling- that the earth is a richer, happier place for having The Craft around.
By Fuer Grissa Ost Drauka
Personally I'm not a Freemason, But would love to become one. Although I have reservations about becoming one. I just don't feel worthy of becoming a Mason. But for your purposes It has it's secrets Justly so. But I wish I could find out more about it before making a life long commitment Into something that you don't know Quite what it is about or what you're getting yourself into. But then again You shouldn't put PEARLS in front of swine, only to be trampled on. So in my conclusions Freemasonry has it's reasons for it's secrecy. Although the Knight & Lomas Books have opened me to more of what Freemasonry is about and I appreciate it Immensely. And I must thank you both. Along with a few other authors books I've read.

So mote it Be,
Fuer Grissa Ost Drauka
By Masonic seeker of truth
Brought up in a western society, and "taught" to believe in certain philosophies and histories, I started to question a lot of these and found them to be hollow - "knowledge" passed down through time without question or even understanding. I have spent the last 25 years seeking truth. I become a Mason as part of this goal. When I talk about truth, I am referring to many things: the origins of mankind, the origins of religions, the mystery of creation, and spiritual matters. While Freemasonry hints at some of these, the rituals do not, in themselves, provide answers.
It was when I started learning parts of the rituals, and wondering what some of the, sometimes cryptic, content actually meant, that I realized that that was the true purpose of Masonic ritual - that the ritual, with its symbols and allegories, are just keys that we can use to unlock truth; that we need to search, and contemplate, in order to understand.
By Barry Minster
Freemasonry attracts like minded men, who are taken on a journey of discovery. This journey means many things to many people - however the three primary degrees are or can be aligned with the life cycle of a human.
1st degree - is about being born to a new existance, an awarenes of finding yourself with a journey ahead.
2nd degree - shows the candidate the hidden mysteries of nature and science in that what ever course you set out to achieve - there are many elements in life which will assist or restrain you.
3rd degree - is preparing the candidate for the eventual demise of the human being. He is encouraged to get on with the task of living and remembering that the journey is long and the way can be mystifying.

Finally - Freemasonry doesn't stop there. With many additional degres and orders to explore a man can spend many happy hours examining the twisting pathway of life, sharing the journey with like minded men and gaining a quiet but confidence of the reason for life.

Brotherly love, relief and truth.

Life is a stage and everyone is a player - Freemasonry is a moral play shown to be vitally important - assisting good men to become better citizens of the world
By hrafn

I'm approaching a lodge at the moment in Sydney Australia and going to send in my petition soon. So this is a comment from outside (at the moment).

I have earlier been a member of a number of esoteric groups including Pagan and magical groups and so I guess the more esoteric side of masonry appeals to me. I had read a decade ago many of the 'masonry exposed' books just out of curiosity but they all seemed pointless to me (as in exposing nothing criminal).

In contrast to the many esoteric / magical groups the masonic ideas seem at this point much more abstract but also much less polarised. Many esoteric groups are very volatile, a slight disturbance will lead to schisms and implosion, I have seen (and been part of) this too often. But the longevity of masonry shows me that it must do something right, and it seems from the outside to be in fact that religion and political considerations are not for the Lodge, and that everyone is respectful of his brother's personal view of the GAOTU.

What sparked my interest in masonry was that it seemed if one traces the history of many Western Esoteric movements back to the 1880s they seem to converge in esoteric freemasonry. I am still pretty vague on what the actual esoteric ideas inside masonry are, but my friends inside masonry who are of the esoteric school seem to enjoy it so I will see.

What also appeals to me is the sense of brotherhood, at this stage in my life (mid 30s) I do feel that pitching in with a group of like-minded people can bring about interesting works in the community, whether by charity or discussion or fellowship.

I like the idea of the secrecy of masonry, which I think should just be around the ritual work, although I think that the Grand Lodges should do more to promote themselves and also to debunk negative criticism of masonry as well as promote the masonic charities.

I have to say that what I don't like about masonry thus far are some of the ossified things such as the dress code - a bow tie and white dinner jacket, I can already see my wife laughing at me.

By the Feathered Serpent
First of all, I apologize my poor English.
I am a brother in a country of Europe and my lodge is based on the Swedish freemasonry.
I want to thank you for your book, The book of Hiram.
I have two of your books, The Hiram key and The book of Hiram.
I will no comment on your themed questions.
• Should Freemasonry be secret, or should we be more open about it?
Since I’m only on the 1st degree I cannot really comment on that, since I have not received the whole knowledge 
• Is a member of your family a Freemason, and how do you feel about that?
I am a Freemason
• If you are a Mason, what does Masonic ritual mean to you?
As you know, I can’t speak about what happens inside the lodge, but I can say that the work there helps me remember to be the good person I want to be.
• How did you feel when you were made a Mason?
Again, I can’t describe the thing, but I can honestly say that I was not pleased with myself and I thought I knew myself better.
• And what role has Masonic ritual played in your life since?
To help me remember what I really want. Also, it opened a whole new world for me, the world you describe in the Book of Hiram. It’s a whole new world for a person that has always (almost) believed that everything written in the past is true ;)
• Do you feel it is something which can not, or perhaps should not, be put into words?
Everyone’s interpretation of the feeling of love and some “spiritual energy” or craft, or god, is something that is hard for someone tyo put into words. But why should one not try? I think we should be more talking about it.
• Do you think Freemasonry benefits society?
I am almost sure about that, but as I am only on the 1st degree, I wouldn’t know.
What scares me is the fact that religious opinions are based on some ancient believes in stars and the Sun. Or do Venus and the Sun, and other planets and even stars, affect us?
That is the big question in my mind, do they? If not, then the whole Christianity is on a week pillars.
What is sure, that is the power of love.

the Feathered Serpent :)
By Ron Smith
Should Freemasonry be secret, or should we be more open about it?

Both. Freemasonry is constructed in such a way to allow it to be open when society is accepting of its viewpoints and secret when these ideas become forbidden. Much of the world still lives without freedom and most of the contries that consider themselves free, continually give up pieces of thier freedom everyday. There will always be those who spend thier lives trying to reduce the freedom of others, for good intentions or bad. The bad do it for control and domination for thier own benifit, The good do it because they do not understand the nature of freedom and that in order for free will to exist, people have to have the option of making the wrong choice. It also must go undergrouund at times because of religious finatisism. Most of the world exists in religious boxes and are willing to die and to kill to convince others that thier god-in-the-box view is the correct one, when every individual person has a seperate view of god and no one could possibly be absolutly correct.

Is a member of your family a Freemason, and how do you feel about that?

I am a Master Mason, a senior officer on my way to sit in the east, proficient in all degree work, presentations and other services. I am very proud to be in this fraternity.

If you are a Mason, what does Masonic ritual mean to you?

The ritual is too deep to explain in a singal sitting. The more you study and participate the more truths are revieled. Simply, it is a stuctural framework for a man's life, mapped out against the structure of the Temple, representing the body, soul and spirit as well as the Torah, Mishnah and Midrash, using alligorical figures a man can relate to, all the while carrying the secrets of rebuilding civilization if it were to collapse again.

How did you feel when you were made a Mason?

Like I had a lot to learn. I was energized to build myself up as a better man. All the while I had men like me, willing to assist on this journey.

And what role has Masonic ritual played in your life since?

It has given me a greater understanding of my life, my god, the history of civilization and a better understanding of humanity. It has made me a better leader at work and has provided an outlet for my A.D.D. personality.

Do you feel it is something which can not, or perhaps should not, be put into words?

Although learned masons can rattle on for hours about the craft, they can never capture all of the essence of it. This is why, even though there are libraries of books already written, new books never cease to stimulate the mind.

Do you think Freemasonry benefits society?

Yes. Aside fromm the charities it runs and promotes, it builds men to become closer to what god intended the more they continue on the journey.

By jeff
I am not a FreeMason. I do however, need to become one when I have the time to devote to study, reflection and the rituals. I am very interested in history, anthropology and archaeology. I am self educated on the subjects except for a little college in there many moons ago. To me, Freemasonry is a very difficult thing to describe. One must always qualify "Freemason" to exclude the groups that have tried over the millenia to highjack the masonic network for their own sordid and often pathetic reasons. I am refering to groups like the Rosecrucians, the bavarian illuminati, the Golden Dawn, the Oriental Lodges (Shriners), the Knights of the Golden Circle (I'm still not sure what to make of Albert Pike). I like to think of the Freemasons as recipients and guardians of secret sacred knowledge. KNowledge that could get you tortchured and killed in many of the previous centuries. I like to think that the founding principals of the United States of America (the New Atlantis) like all men are created equal (we all meet on the level), majority rule, Freedom of religion, freedom of association and the moral principals this country were founded on came from our Freemason Founding Fathers, not the Christians.
I beleive that the Freemasons or whatever you want to call them; Priests of Heliopolis, Order of the Quest, The Invisble college, The Illuminists of the renessance, the Knights Templar, etc. guarded this information or principals and tried whenever possible over the last couple thousand years to restore what once was, the brotherhood of man (the New Atlantis to give it a name) and were finally successful with the United States of America. I think we need our Freemasons now more than ever. The forces of Darkness; Tyrany, Greed, Privaledged elite, royal families are back. The United States is no longer of the people by the people for the people. Our Founding Fathers said the price of Liberty is eternal vigilance. Unfortunately the United States (The New Atlantis) was so successful that we all got complacent and took our liberties for granted. I fear that I may not recognize the country I was born to before I die and I fear for my childrens and my countries future. We need the Real Freemasons, not the treasonous scum that try to hijack the freemason network to fulfill their New World Order nightmare and secure their control over all the little people. I get the terrible feeling that some are working toward a new capital of the world, Dubai.
When I read "A Bridge to Light" or "Morals & Dogma" or "The Age of Reason" or my "Masonic Altar Bibles" or "Etidorhpa", I can clearly see where the founding principals of the United States of America came from. I have never found anything in all the Real Masonic writings that I would not want to teach my children.
Thank you for creating this online resource, I look forward to the journey from Darkness to Light!
By rencemu
keep up the good work
i think opening up to the world
would make people understand better about
the masonic rather than the misunderstanding especially
here in Kenya. i would kindly request you to assist me in doing so
at your will. thank you.
By Robert Charles
I have been a freemason for nearly fifty years. I think that there is an obsession with secrecy among some freemasons, who never reveal their membership of the craft even to their nearest and dearest. I have heard elderly masons worrying lest a non-mason should see their regalia; I reminded one of these worriers that anyone interested in masonic regalia need only look in the window of one of the regalia shops.The MW the Grand Master pointed out some years ago that the only parts of the ritual that need be kept secret were the traditional means of recognition, as a discipline for us and out of respect for them as secrets preserved by our operative predecessors as the means of identifying properly trained craftsmen and masters.

I enjoyed the ritual, both its sound and its meaning, from the moment that I heard it as an initiate. I feel that the whole of the ethos of freemasonry ( and ideal principles which all men should strive to emulate) is embodied in the second paragraph of the Charge after Initiation. This paragraph is summarised in the three Grand Principles on which masonry is founded (questions before passing). The third paragraph of the Charge should be publicly known, since it should allay all fears that masonry may be used as a cover for illegal behaviour. Obviously there are a few bad apples,but I think that UGLE is gradually weeding them out(if you will forgive the mixed metaphor) and I like to think that the effect of becoming a mason deters some people from breaking not only the legal code but also the moral code.
I have obtained great emotional support from the ritual, both hearing it and performing it, as well as from my brethren.

I think one must try to put the role played by the craft into words, but I do not think one can ever fully explain its significance to someone who has not gone through the ceremonies of initiation, passing and raising.
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