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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 mike
As a mason, I feel the craft should not be "secret" but should remain private. In the tradition here we may talk about almost anything except modes of recognition, ritual and what happens in lodge. The ritual brings a feeling of community to a group of men, who otherwise might have very little in common. It allows those of us who are more comfortable being on the fringes of a group to feel like they can have a connection to others, and as though they already belong if they choose to. As a loner, I have constantly felt ostracized, as a mason, I have a group of people who welcome me. Like the college fraternity, which based it self on freemasonry, only more accepting.
By GA Mason
Should Freemasonry be secret, or should we be more open about it?
Yes. And no. It should be kept secret as a means of establishing how committed someone is. If you *think* you know all there is to know, why bother? The mystery of the journey adds to the pleasure of the discoveries. Having said that, letting folks know that we use building as an allegory to making better men should be shared. Do we care that the profane are told what the 24 inch gauge teaches us? Keep the modes of recognition secret, but the other stuff is what we're about.

Is a member of your family a Freemason, and how do you feel about that?
Yes, and I like him very much :)

If you are a Mason, what does Masonic ritual mean to you?
Much more than I thought it would. I'm not a joiner, I'm not a follower. I'm contrarian, often irreverent. The ritual is a form of meditation for me. Learning a lecture helps me to "take the lodge with me" - I don't have to be present in lodge to be reminded of the lessons. More than this, it centers me and makes me more receptive to listening to the lessons from above and within. I feel closer to God when I review the lectures and they help me to cover the full three miles if I do them while jogging.

How did you feel when you were made a Mason?
I didn't know I was one. I thought that I needed to do my Master's chatechism in order to be a full MM. I didn't realize until the next meeting that I was fully made and it was an odd sort of recognition. I guess I was a bit overwhelmed. I was thrilled though - it felt like I was now free to begin the journey.

And what role has Masonic ritual played in your life since?
See above. I love learning lectures and searching beyond words for their deeper meaning.

Do you feel it is something which can not, or perhaps should not, be put into words?
By 'it' you mean the role of ritual in my day to day life? I have no issue with describing that role to those not in the Craft. The feeling from this is similar to prayer, meditation, or concentration on a hobby. People find different ways to achieve that feeling of centered-ness and balance. Mine is ritual, but sometimes it's prayer and sometimes it's meditation.

Do you think Freemasonry benefits society?
Sure. Philanthropy aside, having good men reflect upon their life performance so far, make a pledge to be better, and offer encouragement and reproof to others who are doing the same makes for a great system of improvement. When the members of a society are better people then the society itself is better off.
By Charlie
I'm not apart of the Craft. But I have read the book of Hiram and enjoyed it, but why didn't talk about Hassan-i-Sabbah the old man of the mountain in Alumut modern day Iraq, the assassins creed (not the game) they had 9 degrees of initiation, all secret. They came from nizari isma'ilis of Islam. The Knights Templar especially, with their system of Grand Masters, and their degrees of initiation, bear the strongest analogy to the Eastern Ismailis. Students took an oath to keep secret what was to be revealed to them along with secret signals. We know the Knights Templar were in contact and even feared them, The Crusaders had been in the Holy Land for about 30 years when the assassins decided that they could usefully form an alliance with them aimed against Baghdad, and the city of Tyre was promised to them if successful, which they were not. We know this because of the Mongols hordes under Halaku lieutenant of Chinghiz. I liked the openess of your book even adding certain financial points stopping conspiracy theorists thinking your making us read misinformation. I 100% agree with you simplifying rituals is even taking us away from the Light! It reminds me of them Illumunati because they were infiltrating Freemasonary at that time. Please feel free to contact me for further discussion if your times warrants it. But your Craft must remain secret and not corrupted.

By yarrow
I was very moved by the contents of "Turning the Hiram Key" There is a great deal of criticism and fantasy written about Masonry and I wanted to find out the truth as near as I could.
As we travel through life and learn via our mistakes about pride, humiliation and all those human traits we strive to change it can sometimes take almost a life time.
The true principles behind Masonry which were outlined in the book were a wonderful guide to the kind of balanced person one could aspire to be.
I'm sure like all hierachal bodies on this earth some members may create other obstacles we humans need to deal with, however as an aid to controling ones own life I found it meaningful and deep.
I have always been fasinated by esoteric literature and symbolism as a way to help man live a balanced and fulfilling life. For me this book answered so many unspoken thoughts about the real connection between one human being and another and the dynamic force we call the I AM.

I am not a Mason. I am not a man. However, this book touched a deep place in my heart and I felt connected to the ancient spiritual philosophy it upholds.
By Frederic the benighted traveller
Hello, a few weeks ago I asked in a previous contribution how a man like you, Robert, could be admitted to the United Grand Lodge of England, which states that belief in God is an essential requirement, while, reading « Turning the Hiram Key », I have the impression that you do not follow any institutionalised religion or belong to any Church, and that your conception of the Divine is quite close to mine: a vision of God seen as an ordering principle that is present within the Universe and gives meaning to it and our lives within it. When you talk about initiation as an identification process with the divine, you name it “the God Experience”, or, at other places in your book, the “Cosmic experience”, which re-enforces my feeling that you identify God with the Cosmos itself (i.e. the Universe as illuminated by the light of the Principle, in other words by God).
I went on to argue that I do not understand why “regular” Grand Lodges should not recognize and co-operate with “non regular” or “adogmatic”, as they like to style themselves, Obediences such as they are in the majority in continental European Masonry, which do not prescribe any reference to God, although they (claim to) attach a great importance to the spiritual dimension and to leave all brethren free to follow any religion if they so wish (at least I thought so when I joined one of these Grand Lodges).
Well, now I do understand why. In fact, in the non regular obedience I joined a few months ago, rabid atheism is, if not an explicit official philosophy, clearly the predominant politically correct way of thinking, with secularism being identified with atheism. Some atheists claim that it is possible for an atheist to develop a form of spiritually. This may be true in some cases, but certainly not in the case of radically materialistic atheism. Those radical materialists reduce mental and spiritual processes to physical, electrical or chemical contacts between brain cells. These physical phenomena certainly constitute the wiring or hardware that are the material basis of these processes, but the processes themselves operate on a completely different level – just as a tree is rooted in the ground but rises toward the sky – just as a Mozart symphony cannot be reduced to the wave lengths and acoustic frequency figures of the sounds it is made of. Such absolute materialism is a negation of any spirituality. It is also totalitarian – witness the way writers of many articles in the official bulletin of the Grand Lodge I had joined called any person who holds any religious beliefs “reactionary bigots”. Witness the way my mild expression of dissent with such rabid views only met with vituperation, sarcasm, and even slanderous personal innuendoes. Needless to say, I resigned from that Grand Lodge, explaining that, although I do not practise any institutionalised religion and do not recognise myself as a member of any church, I do believe in God, Whom I see as a principle rather than as a personalised God (Whom you can picture, Whose life story you can tell) such as He is presented to us by most religions. Without such an illuminating principle the world obviously does not make sense, so this principle is divine - It is God, and I believe in Him. Now I think I understand, and agree with what James Anderson had in mind when he wrote that a Free-Mason cannot be a stupid atheist. I still have not lost all hope of embarking on a genuine Masonix quest.

By david juby
To begin with I am not a Mason nor do I have any close association with any Masons but have been very interrested in both Masonic lore and traditions especially since reading several of your (Lomas, Knight-Lomas) books. I am a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine and have studied quite extensively in ancient Esoteric Bhuddist beliefs and practices and ancient shamanic Taoist practices, and was struck by the exact duplication of philosophy, physical processes, everything. I have reached a point in life where I no longer believe in coincidences and believe with a great deal of confidence that these systems, and others, are all taping in to a much older belief system that has been around long before "so called" recorded history and has been preserved and handed down over the ages by various groups. I would be interrested in discussing this further should anyone wish to.
By Marc Antony
Hi Robert. As a non-mason, I like a lot of people was previously caught up in hysteria surrounding the import of Masonic secrecy. As a sensitive, Catholic-raised person, I read the various conspiracy theories and thought could the horrible things such as mind-control, social engineering etc really be true. Now after reading your and Chris's book, The Hiram Key, a lot of myths were dispelled for me. I think a lot of the energies at this, the end of the Piscean era, are provoking people's worst fears and negative emotions. My perception of Freemasonry now lies between the two extremes of shadowy cabal and mystic transmitters of Egyptain wisdom, working towards a new age. I believe any and all of this could be true ~ for I believe that Masonry is what a Mason makes of it for himself. If a man becomes a Mason for beneficial purposes, then that is Masonry for him. If a man wants to enjoy the company of nobles at table, then that is Masonry for him.

Your book has helped me realise that Masonry is not all I had feared; that the sentiments behind many of the great figures of the Craft, such as Washington, Paine, Franklin and others, resonate very strongly with my own beliefs in justice, fairness and equality. And as you say, like any organisation it is composed of mere mortals! So as I say above it is only as good as the men who make it up, at any point in history.

Having said that I can see from your book The Hiram Key, which while it has its critics it is at the very least strongly internally consistent, that Freemasonry may well be the transmitter for certain Egyptian secrets. And while by definition those secrets are the substituted secrets, could it be that Masonry looks forward to the age predicted by Malachi, when the priesthood will no longer be needed and Humankind communes with heaven directly? Something I realised on re-reading the book is that at the Master Mason ceremony, the candidate is raised to the morning star just as the Horus-candidate was all those years ago. So therefore every Master Mason has been made a king, in the spirit of republicanism and in the spirit of the Aquarian Age where every man is sovereign.

I want to thank you and Chris for having the courage to include in the book details of the Masonic rituals. For some time I had a deep desire to understand more of Freemasonry, not that I am at all looking to join but I am a seeker after the mysteries. I just want to understand truth, to have a system of thought that illuminates where humankind has come from, why we are here and where we are going. I had read Mark Booth's Secret History of the World and gained one perspective from that; The Hiram Key was a lot harder-going in terms of how much it initially challenged the residual Christian beliefs in my psyche! Without overstating the case I feel liberated from the illusions of the past, and while I still believe in a reality that transcends this earthly one, I feel I am a lot clearer in my thinking.

I love the theory that Seqenenre Taa II is Hiram Abiff. As I say I find your book to be highly internally consistent, so while it may not necessarily gel with others' ways of thinking, it is a compelling and frankly exciting hypothesis. It makes sense out of a fictional character who is supposedly so important in Freemasonry ~ and what better candidate for the founder of Freemasonry than this King, because of whose bravery even to his own death the "substituted secrets" were created. I think yours and Chris' detective work is pretty impressive!

So that's just the tip of the iceberg in terms of my thoughts on Freemasonry; let me also say that I can see how Freemasonry has indeed been behind much of the social and political improvements of the last 1000 years. The French Revolution being a terrible departure from that but otherwise its all good. Could it be that certain French Masons had held a grudge against the French Monarchy all that time? I don't think so really, Illuminati infiltration is Mark Booth's theory and that seems right to me. But again thank you for such a great book, it is definitely one of those landmark books in the history of my reading, one that has changed my thinking for good. Here's to continuing to live "on the square".
I concur with Igor, the effects that Freemasonry has had on my life are ineffable, but I can only say that the feelings that were awoken within my core now soar within my heart as I strive to perfect myself. My actions were squared by me with the assistance of Freemasonry. It has changed me and my entire outlook on life as a whole. The more that I research the immense topic of Freemasony the more that I feel that it, Freemasonry, is the answer to why we are here and the more I drift away from the Church and orthodox religion and orthodox history in general. There is more to the meaning of life and history than can be learned from a text book. I can't wait to pass Freemasonry on to my two sons!!! I can only refer you to the following to express what Freemasonry "feels" like to me...

...If you see a man who quietly and modestly moves in the sphere of his life; who, without blemish, fulfils his duty as a man, a subject, a husband and a father; who is pious without hypocrisy, benevolent without ostentation, and aids his fellowman without self-interest; whose heart beats warm for friendship, whose serene mind is open for licensed pleasures, who in vicissitudes does not despair, nor in fortune will be presumptuous, and who will be resolute in the hour of danger;
The man who is free from superstition and free from infidelity; who in nature sees the finger of the Eternal Master; who feels and adores the higher destination of man; to whom faith, hope and charity are not mere words without any meaning; to whom property, nay even life, is not too dear for the protection of innocence and virtue, and for the defense of truth;
The man who towards himself is a severe judge, but who is tolerant with the debilities of his neighbour; who endeavours to oppose errors without arrogance, and to promote intelligence without impatience; who properly understands how to estimate and employ his means; who honours virtue though it may be in the most humble garment, and who does not favour vice though it be clad in purple; and who administers justice to merit whether dwelling in palaces or cottages.
The man who, without courting applause, is loved by all noble-minded men, respected by his superiors and revered by his subordinates; the man who never proclaims what he has done, can do, or will do, but where need is will lay hold with dispassionate courage, circumspect resolution, indefatigable exertion and a rare power of mind, and who will not cease until he has accomplished his work, and then, without pretension, will retire into the multitude because he did the good act, not for himself, but for the cause of good!
If you, my Brethren meet such a man, you will see the personification of brotherly love, relief and truth; and you will have found the ideal of a Freemason.

Excerpted from "The History of Freemasonry" by Otto Klotz, The Canadian Craftsman, March 15, 1868. M.W. Bro. Otto Klotz was an honourary Past Grand Master of the
By Carolyn
Hello, my grandfathers were both high ranking Masons, so I suppose I have never had any negative thoughts about Freemansonry, but recently a friend lent me your book The Hiram Key and, although I am only in the first quarter of it already I am saying "Yes, that's right" - "Of course, I knew that". Not that I have had any Freemasonic experience until I read your book, but I am, and have always been interested in Archeology and ancient history and, maybe due to the books I have read, or maybe somewhere inside me my logic put things together and what you have written is all as I feel it.

Of course you have done so much research that is not in my 'playground' nor in my range of experience in Australia, but it is wonderful finding all this in your book.

Freemansonry is, I feel a positive thing in so many ways. As you say, it is bringing people together from all walks of life who believe in a Higher Being and everyone is learning to accept eachother, which is how it should be world wide.

I am just very glad to find that you feel able to make public so much of what it is all about and why it is as it is. I had not idea that so many of the rituals were not even understood by the members, but how wonderful to have those rituals and words as a foundation upon which to research the truth.

Thank you and I am about to go and find the ISBN on all the other books you have written :-)

Best wishes
By Igor
1-Should Freemasonry be secret, or should we be more open about it?
In my opinion there are 2 points of view that can be say about this: A) Freemasonry came from unknown history although it has been a lot of serious efforts to respond its origins. In this field may I say that in a period of time freemasonry had the need to hide its mysteries and secrets since in this world they are still millions of intolerant and ignorant people that are attached to the conventional history. Since Freemasonry is an humanistic and esoteric order this was a point to be hidden from the Church ( Catholic, and now also protestant) the most intolerant of all institutions and that controls the "false morals and ethics of society". This because in part of the distortion of its true history since ancient times. The intelligent people have always been an enemy of those who wants cover up the real true of the occidental history of human kind. In that sense the order had to hided from outside for not to suffer the punish of inquisition and discrimination of the State and society. The second is that NOW in order to preserve the tradition it is nice and beautiful to keep the secrecy. Thus it would keep this tradition alive. But a bit of openness to public, specially more conference and researches it would be suited interesting. 2)What does Masonic ritual mean to you?It had a powerful change in my consciousness. A beautiful experience that I think and I do understand in my interior. I am still a initiated. 3) How do you feel when you were made a Mason?. I felt special but after learn in my life many things is when I did understand that TRUE masonry comes from my mind and heart and not from outside. 4)And what role has Masonic ritual played in your life since? To be more aware of my acts. It is still a learning and an experience that motivates me every day to keep growing spiritual and intellectually. 5) Do you feel it is something which can not, or perhaps should not, be put into words?.
YES exactly sometimes is an intangible description. It has to deal with your more deep inside part of your mind that on words. Also it is very difficult to described. That is why there are so many fallacious definitions about it.
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