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The Masons

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posted on Dec, 5 2014 @ 09:17 AM
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a reply to: KawRider9
We're all Sir Knights and a Commandery needs more than just a Past Commander to exist.

I am down to 2-weeks left sitting in the East in both my Lodge and my Chapter. This is my second time as Master of my Lodge and I've had fun, but I'm ready to pass the gavel over.


I will say being Knighted was the coolest thing so far in my travels!

Agreed.




posted on Dec, 5 2014 @ 10:26 AM
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originally posted by: KSigMason
a reply to: JUhrman
Freemasonry is very much an initiatic order that expresses such things as you describe throughout the degrees.

Freemasonry is influenced by many things, and it varies with the variety of appendant/concordant orders.

I would agree that the Christians of America are much more puritanical and have forgotten (or just ignore) the history of their own faith; this isn't helped by fundamentalists and zealots.


What is the official position of the Masonic organizations in the US regarding their esoteric occult roots? Do they recognized them or try to distance themselves from it, fearing to be labelled as a satanic cult by fundamentalist Christians?

Really, our roots are unknown to us. We can trace ourselves back to the 16th and 17th century with some manuscripts dotting the historical landscape, but prior to that no one knows for sure the route Freemasonry took to become what it is today.

The accusation of Satanism is foolish and the fraternity does state that such a charge is false.


What is the personal relationship of most masons (in general, and yourself in particular) to these occult traditions and teachings? Indifference? Curiosity? Interest? Involvement? Are they seen as purely symbolic or to be used for practical purposes too?

I'm Christian, but a much more esoteric one, leaning towards Rosicrucianism. I have curiosity and interest in our origins, but in the last year my research has been slowed by my progression through college; this is also why my answers are shorter than I would like, but I have final exams to study for.


Thanks for your answers!

From my readings, the origins of the speculative masonry is linked to operative freemasonry, which is another name for the exclusive guilds and corporations of builders (especially builders of very large and culturally important buildings such as temples and places of worship).

These guilds and corporations go back to the tradition of Roman Collegia and even before in most antique civilizations. Groups of individuals sharing secret knowledge and initiation tradition because back in the day, everything was seen through the lens of our relation to the world and the divine, through religions. So each trade and profession was also a sacred duty, usually under the authority of a tutelary god.

As such, Collegia were places where you would learn both sciences and divine knowledge. Because there was no difference between the two. It's also why in all antique civilizations priests are also astronomers, physicians or mathematicians. The universe was divine and so were science and techniques. Also religions were much less exclusive and until monotheism it was very common to have all kind of deities from all kind of traditions inspiring each others cults and cultures.

Architecture was recognized as a very important and symbolic science during antiquity, and thus the builders Collegia became very powerful. The Roman empire covering most of Europe, these traditions spread everywhere, until the fall of the Roman hegemony when they lost a large part of their initial power.

For a time, until the rise of the medieval corporations when these groups grew in power again, their traditions and teachings was surviving in the one place were knowledge was being kept alive during the dark ages: convents and monasteries. After the dark ages the Collegia tradition was revived under the form of guilds and corporations, and once again the builders guilds became an important power thanks to the high demand for cathedral, churches and others massive religious structures. They were Christians, but they were also erudite and versed in ancient and antique teachings, kept alive by the monks during troubled times.

Much later, probably around the Renaissance, a growing popular interest for the teachings and traditions of the antique world made a lot of people turn themselves toward these masons orders which seemed to have kept alive a lot of ancient knowledge. These orders in return opened more and more their doors to non-masons scholars and nobles. It's also at that time that many other influences entered into the masonic sphere. For example many nobles and scholars at the time were interested by alchemy, hermeticism or kabbalah.

The original builders guild of old, initiatic orders of stone masons versed in mathematics, geometry and other ancient knowledge, gave birth to a more speculative masonry. New orders were created with an ever increasing focus on the initiation and symbolic part because it was the main interests of the new type of "masons" that joined these orders to satisfy their thirst of antique knowledge and traditions.

Rosicrucianism for example is typically from around that time and gives a good idea of what the people who would later become free-masons were into and what they believed in.

So indeed various masonic obediences are really influenced by many different cultures and traditions, from the antique mysteries to the latest fad of theosophy, from Egyptian occultism to the siècle des Lumières.



The direct connection some people claim exist between the Templars and freemasonry is mainly that when the builder orders and corporations started to be active and powerful again, they emerged from the convent and monasteries where they were almost "asleep", and as such, Templars and other monastic orders would actually be the ones "hiring" the masons services once more and giving them the possibility to exist again as a powerful corporatic order. So in a way, they are related and probably even shared some knowledge, but the Templars are neither the ancestors of the masons, neither their creators. More like one of their important sponsors.
edit on 5-12-2014 by JUhrman because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 5 2014 @ 11:28 AM
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On a side note, I believe the reason why the Anglo-saxon branches of the Christian faith are much more fundamentalist today than the main Churches is because of the lack of monastic tradition.

As explained above, during the most troubled times, the monasteries were the keepers of most forms of classical knowledge, sciences, myths and symbols mainly.

Without their input, the Christians in the US and UK (when the Church of England attacked them for being the representatives of a Catholic influence) were much more vulnerable to layman and uneducated interpretations of the Bible, favoring a literal reading, outside of its context.

The result today is that some branches of the Christian faith in the US are fiercely rejecting the teachings of sciences and classical cultures, calling them "atheist" and "pagan" while it has been a central point of interest for Christian scholars in mainland Europe.

That's why today we have two main different approaches to the Christian texts, one more literal and fundamentalist like in some places in the US, and one trying to be more aware of its place in a complex religious and cultural history, and looking toward the new challenges of the future, like the Catholic Church.

I always get a good chuckle when some fundamentalists claim to "know" Christian faith better despite being one of its youngest branch and denying its rich classical heritage.
edit on 5-12-2014 by JUhrman because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 5 2014 @ 04:03 PM
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a reply to: JUhrman
Operative Masonry is one of the more popular theories of our origins and that is also where the existing records take us.

Once I'm done with school and some of my other writings, I am going to look at early Masonry via the Cooke, Landsdowne, and Halliwell Manuscript (King Athelstan and the Grand Assembly at York) and its connection with the Roman Collegia. I'm also looking at writing an article on ancient mystery religions/cults, early Christianity (pre-Nicaea), and the Emperor Constantine.

This semester I took classes on the Renaissance & Reformation, and on Ancient Religions of the Mediterranean. It has given me some avenues to go down in my research. I'm also waiting to find out my date of initiation into Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis (the Masonic Rosicrucian Society), so that excites me.

Stephen Dafoe wrote "The Compasses and the Cross" wherein he debunks many of the Templar-Masonic theories as well as some of the Templar continuation myths.



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 04:27 PM
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I guess syroth17 didn't want to play anymore games.



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 05:29 PM
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a reply to: KSigMason

I have nothing against Masons; however, what you wrote in the comment to which I am replying is quite simply untrue. A decade ago I was involved with a certain group of people, one of whom became a good friend whilst I was in that area of the UK.

He recounted the story of how, after joining a particular engineering firm as a process operative, he was handed an elegantly type-faced and personally addressed letter, inviting him to join the local lodge where many of his colleagues and superiors were members. After considering the matter and seeking counsel from a trusted friend, he returned the letter to the man who had presented it to him, and very respectfully thanked him for the invitation, explaining that he had decided not to take up the offer.

What followed this attempt at civilised declination is not relevant to the point I'm making. You stated that invitations are not issued - I know this to be untrue. How do you explain the discrepancy?

Regards,


FITO.



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 05:33 PM
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a reply to: FlyInTheOintment

Did you see this letter?



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 06:35 PM
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a reply to: JUhrman

I'm a Christian myself. My back-story is that I was raised under the lofty and admirable auspices of the Methodist tradition (#####), with a ##### who was involved in Anglican activities purely for reasons of musical passion (chorister). My ##### is atheist/agnostic, I think, but to be honest we've never had a frank discussion about it. My ##### is fully versed in the lore of ancient Egypt, and has books which discuss Crowley's tarot & various other aspects of secret societies. He was in the ##### (as was my #####), and later became a successful corporate manager, prior to becoming a company director in a successful media group. My ##### was deeply committed to the C of E, and has a personal faith which she exercises in relation to all aspects of her life. ##### is a former SIS man, who later became strongly aligned with the Protestant Anglican church through employment at a senior level.

There was such a cacophony of influences in my young life, along with the obvious strain of several chaotic familial weddings, divorces, betrayals and sham pretences at civility, that I feel it is fair to credit some of my early failures to a total lack of understanding of my place in the world, or the way in which various relationships are supposed to be managed. I was a total scumbag though, with no excuses - rebellious and deceptive, into various substances - all of which took a great toll on my circumstance as I entered my late teens. I eventually became a man of faith, after years of falling off the face of the Earth (having decided many years prior that illogical Genesis proved that the Bible was bunk), following a particularly clear sign of preternatural divine intervention following my first true cry for help through desperate prayer the night before.

I became an evangelical, in a 'Charismatic' church with Baptist roots, but struggled to reconcile the clear interventions of the Most High with the beliefs concerning creation and absolute literalism in the interpretation of scripture held by the loving souls around me. I wrestled with the issue for a decade, before almost everything was clarified by some very particular experiences, following an application of faith aimed squarely at attaining a revelation of certain mysteries & paradoxes that people within my circle didn't generally want to address. (Jeremiah 33 v 3 - "God's phone number")

I currently attend a Baptist church, and again there is much that seems superficial and somewhat grates; however, I am at peace with my questions, and I do not doubt the integrity and love of those with whom I am involved with. I replied to your post primarily to mention that in all the chaos of my upbringing, despite times of deep sadness, despite ultimately finding myself in churches that did not echo the familiar liturgy or over-emphasise the customary events of the Christian year in familiar ways, I now find myself longing for the warmth of traditional carol services, the season of Advent unfolding in beautiful services each year. The ritual and formality of the Church of England has, in my mind at least, a much richer heritage of love & clarity than the Catholic church, and this rich cultural heritage is wonderfully described by CS Lewis in several of his great works.

The time will come when supernal mysteries are unravelled like a ball of yarn - or cut through cleanly after the fashion of Alexander. The resulting truth will be clear to all who observe what is being worked upon the Earth.

Until then, I am persuaded that the many expressions of the Anglican church are generally preferable to the icy rigours of Catholic doctrine. I don't fully understand why you would place Catholicism ahead of Protestantism, in terms of the traditional doctrine and practice, and especially alleged 'progressive' attitudes, unless you had a specific reason for so doing - perhaps you might share it with us? There are more than two ways to follow Christ, and the very point of Protestantism is that the old ways had been corrupted, stagnated and tarnished with filthy lucre. The original Catholic church was far different from what it deformed into during the dark ages. Heck, it was basically responsible for the dark ages. Yet, you appear to consider 'progressive' Catholicism as a power superior to the church that literally reformed the practice of the faith, to make it more accessible, to more people - giving them a future and a hope, where previously almost everything that was once held dear had been corrupted to the point of being unrecognisable.

The alleged progress you speak of is very, very late in coming from the courtyards of the Holy See - approximately 497 years late, in fact.

Regards,


FITO.


ETA - for being a total dumbass in quite an obvious way.




edit on 7-12-2014 by FlyInTheOintment because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 7 2014 @ 06:43 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

No. But then I haven't seen certain parts of the far side of the Moon either, yet I know they exist, because I trust the people who tell me they exist.

Why does one have to personally see an item for it to be considered real?


ETA - Not worth it.
edit on 7-12-2014 by FlyInTheOintment because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 8 2014 @ 12:44 AM
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a reply to: FlyInTheOintment
Well, this is hearsay and I stand by the fact that it's official among Grand Lodges, and the Lodges, under their authority that one must join of his own free will and accord.

Not to sound condescending, you don't know it to be untrue. You believe it to be based upon the story of another. I know what I said to be true because of my time and experience within Masonry.



posted on Dec, 8 2014 @ 02:51 AM
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a reply to: FlyInTheOintment

While it is possible, the edicts of masonry are that a man join of his own free will and accord. Our motto is ask1 to be1. Meaning, you must come to us and ask to be a member. I have heard others in the UK claim to have been asked, but not having been there, I can only agree with everyone who has masonic experience that it's not supposed to happen.



posted on Dec, 8 2014 @ 03:33 AM
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a reply to: network dude

The only person who shared with me to have had contact with masons was also suggested (not asked) to join a lodge. It was in the context of her work that it happened and she felt a distinct corporatic vibe in this suggestion.

This kind of behavior might be an exception in the US, but in Belgium it's much less the case and it's not a big secret that a great deal of the politicians and magistrates are also Freemasons.

That being said, I still not consider the organization as nefarious, and the possibility to talk in private and secret that the lodges offer can still be found in other places anyway.



posted on Dec, 8 2014 @ 04:01 AM
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a reply to: FlyInTheOintment

Thank you for your sincere and heartfelt response. It's true that my post was criticizing a certain form of Protestantism, and that because of my education, I am partial to Catholicism which isn't devoid of flaws itself (a rigid and retrograde hierarchy, a myriad of old local superstitions regarding saints, a closed mindedness regarding some very important questions like the celibacy of the priests and the role of women in the Church).

But in no way I wanted to belittle or be condescending to Protestantism as a whole, and I know very much that my criticism was mainly targeted at a small but vocal minority among the Church.

I am of course talking about that minority which is the most fanatical in its literal reading of the Bible, up to the point they sometimes even invent information which is not present in the Bible and later talks about it like it is an undeniable reality (like the young earth creationist theory, the doctrine of rapture, or all the unhealthy obsessive decryptions of eschatological texts like they would unravel tomorrow). I am criticizing that minority that even today, against all teachings of the new testament, advocates for the rejection and even sometimes killing of those who follow different paths, not always out of choice. Up to the point of calling a great number of brothers in Christ the "Whore of Babylon" or the "Synagogue of Satan". And yet, when called like that by Christian brothers, we have to understand why they do so and forgive them for their misdirected hate.

I have often tried to understand why such a fanatical expression of the Christian faith would exist in the US much more than in Europe, and I have to say everything points towards the biblical literalism, which is more of a fundamentalists and evangelicals tradition.

That being said, you are very correct that the vast majority of Christians in the US are not like that, just like all Catholics priests aren't pedophiles. This is a stupid generalization that I will not make. So I am sorry if my post appeared somewhat condescending to your beliefs and traditions, it wasn't my objective.

Also you are correct that the recent efforts from the Vatican to pave the way for a more progressive Church are coming late in the whole history of the Catholic Church, but it is necessary in a time when religious obscurantism is making a comeback, and so it was done.

Like you, I was drawn back to the Christian faith thanks to a truly life-changing event following sincere cries for help, and I am very happy that my environment allowed me to be able to reconcile my scientific and rational education with my longing for spiritual meaning. Just like my great uncle who was a priest and a nuclear physicist, I consider the real role of religions is not to unravel the mysteries of the physical world, but of the inner and interpersonal ones. In that aspect, religions do not conflict with sciences, but they complement it to give it meaning and values. This is honestly an approach that would have been very difficult for me to keep if I was born in a different region of the world, where religious fundamentalism would be much more influencing.


Thank you again for your sincere and informative contribution.




PS. I am very interested in your personal experiences that helped you clarify your interpretation of the Bible that you mention in your post. I would be very pleased if you could share about it (in MP if you prefer) or redirect me to some reading materials to help me understand your perspective on this topic.
edit on 8-12-2014 by JUhrman because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 8 2014 @ 06:11 AM
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originally posted by: FlyInTheOintment

No. But then I haven't seen certain parts of the far side of the Moon either, yet I know they exist, because I trust the people who tell me they exist.


Poor analogy. The moon is visible in the night sky, additionally, the far side has been photographed and mapped by various countries and agencies.



posted on Dec, 8 2014 @ 06:53 AM
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a reply to: Air0x

Their secrets are not even disclosed to the initiates, it's only when the member reaches certain degrees that they start telling him what is really about. If you want to know, read "morals and dogma" from Albert Pike or "the secret teachings of all ages" by Manly P Hall.



posted on Dec, 8 2014 @ 06:54 AM
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originally posted by: Emma3

Their secrets are not even disclosed to the initiates, it's only when the member reaches certain degrees that they start telling him what is really about. If you want to know, read "morals and dogma" from Albert Pike or "the secret teachings of all ages" by Manly P Hall.


Really? What degree does this occur and what 'is it really about'? Have you read Pike and Hall?



posted on Dec, 8 2014 @ 07:00 AM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Dec, 8 2014 @ 07:21 AM
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a reply to: Emma3

Obviously, the member you quoted is a high level mason who took the dark path and eats babies. Not sure why you would enjoy that post unless you are one too. And don't bother saying you aren't one, because, as that post states, you would have to lie about it anyway.

Where is your lodge?



posted on Dec, 8 2014 @ 07:28 AM
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Reading this thread has made me want to join up.
But I don't know any around here and iam a lowly support worker looking after people with learning disabilities.
I don't think I have much clout in my community
.



posted on Dec, 8 2014 @ 07:29 AM
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originally posted by: boymonkey74

Reading this thread has made me want to join up.
But I don't know any around here and iam a lowly support worker looking after people with learning disabilities.
I don't think I have much clout in my community
.


It is not about how much clout you have but whether you want to join and better yourself and your community. If you are interested you should call or visit your local lodge, meet some of the members and request a petition. They will be more than happy to sponsor your membership.



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