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I have a question for the freemasons here

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posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 10:03 AM
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and in particular cowboy.

And with all due respect

What is the purpose of freemasonary? What is the ultimate goal of membership and the order? Do freemasons participate in The Great Work and/or some form of alchemical transformation (of personality, intellligence, etc.). If neither of these, then what is the point.




posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 11:27 AM
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Try reading this.

Peruse the site, there is lots of good info. Although there are several here who will answer your questions directly, a little research never hurt anyone...


[edit on 12/14/04 by The Axeman]



posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 11:46 AM
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Originally posted by The Axeman
Try reading this.

Peruse the site, there is lots of good info. Although there are several here who will answer your questions directly, a little research never hurt anyone...


[edit on 12/14/04 by The Axeman]


yes I'm doing the research and the reading. but i'm also intersested in answers straight from the horses mouth so to speak. A couple of posters have said they are high level masons and i'm interested in talking with them

btw thanks for the link!

ms

[edit on 14-12-2004 by michaelsharp]



posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 11:49 AM
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Originally posted by The Axeman
Try reading this.

Peruse the site, there is lots of good info. Although there are several here who will answer your questions directly, a little research never hurt anyone...


[edit on 12/14/04 by The Axeman]


So the document says

[blockquote]The aims of Freemasonry are Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth achieved with Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice[/blockquote]

but that's pretty vague. One question that immediately pops to mind is, what is truth and why should truth be achieved through temperance, fortitude, and justice

ms



posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 11:57 AM
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There are indeed several Masons on this board, however no Mason is "high level". A Mason is a Mason is a Mason. There are some here that are members of the Scottish Rite, and the Shrine (seems in most cases both), and there is one here who belongs to practically every fraternal organization known to man (you know who you are
), but There is no such thing as a "high level Mason". Once you reach The Sublime Degree of Master Mason (3rd Degree), you are all the Mason you ever will be. Since you are probably already confused, I will leave it to the Masons to explain further "from the horse's mouth". I'm sure you will enjoy talking with them.

That site I linked you to is chock full of good information, though.



posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 12:17 PM
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MS, The Axeman is quite correct in regards to the information he has passed along. Masonicinfo.com is an excellent starting point for both general info and the usual objections to Freemasonry. I would suggest a thorough review of ATS's Secret Societies Forum, either by utilizing the search function, or scrolling through the archives, there are some real jewels in there.

You a reading too much into freemasonry, do you expect some lengthy manifesto? it's not going to happen, Freemasonry is just those things (Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth achieved with Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice), it is how it helps the individual help himself to be a better man, and therefore contribute to a better world. Feel frr to wave the hokey flag, but that's it in a nutshell.



posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 12:23 PM
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Originally posted by The Axeman
There are indeed several Masons on this board, however no Mason is "high level". A Mason is a Mason is a Mason. There are some here that are members of the Scottish Rite, and the Shrine (seems in most cases both), and there is one here who belongs to practically every fraternal organization known to man (you know who you are
), but There is no such thing as a "high level Mason". Once you reach The Sublime Degree of Master Mason (3rd Degree), you are all the Mason you ever will be. Since you are probably already confused, I will leave it to the Masons to explain further "from the horse's mouth". I'm sure you will enjoy talking with them.

That site I linked you to is chock full of good information, though.


I'm reading I"m reading.

here it says that Shriners are 32 degree Masons. But above you said that past 3rd degree a mason is a mason is a mason. So why do you have to pass through 30 degrees to become a shriner and what is the content of those degrees?

sorry if these are naive questions.

ms

[edit on 14-12-2004 by michaelsharp]



posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 12:31 PM
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Originally posted by Mirthful Me

You a reading too much into freemasonry, do you expect some lengthy manifesto? it's not going to happen, Freemasonry is just those things (Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth achieved with Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice), it is how it helps the individual help himself to be a better man, and therefore contribute to a better world. Feel frr to wave the hokey flag, but that's it in a nutshell.


No I wont' wave the hokey flag. I'm just curious that's all to figure out the relationship of freemasonary to other world organisations and see if the beliefs are linked in some way that's all.

Also not expecting any lengthy manifesto. I'm looking for the core beliefs I guess or the hidden assumptions of freemasonry.

for example I find this site interesting

www.freemasons-freemasonry.com...

and was struck by this

www.freemasons-freemasonry.com...

and the importance of strong work ethic to freemasonary and commentary on the building of a stronger temple of the body. (Solomon's temple, better race of "men") etc.


The Masons of Germany have elaborated this idea with all the exhaustiveness that is peculiar to the German mind, and the masonic literature of that country abounds in essays, lectures, and treatises, in which the prominent topic is this building of the Solomonic temple as referring to the construction of a moral temple
.

or



The English Masons, although they have not treated the symbolism of the Order with the same abstruse investigation that has distinguished those of Germany and France, still have not been insensible to this idea that the building of the Solomonic temple is intended to indicate a cultivation of the human character.





[edit on 14-12-2004 by michaelsharp]



posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 12:36 PM
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Originally posted by michaelsharp
I'm reading I"m reading.

here it says that Shriners are 32 degree Masons. But above you said that past 3rd degree a mason is a mason is a mason. So why do you have to pass through 30 degrees to become a shriner and what is the content of those degrees?

sorry if these are naive questions.

ms

[edit on 14-12-2004 by michaelsharp]


Any honest question is a good one.


The fact is, that it used to be a requirement to be a 32nd Degree in the Scottish Rite or a Knight Templar in the York right to be a member of the Shrine. At some point (I don't know the exact date) the criteria went from that to only requiring that a man be a Master Mason in order to join the Shrine.

As far as content of the degrees? I don't know, I'm not a member yet. I can tell you this though... When I find out - I won't tell you!


Seriously though, it's all moral lessons, stories told and acted out in order to teach something or convey a point. The Masons ar all about being good, upstanding men who stand by their word and always strive to better themselves and their communities. A very worthwhile and honorable organisation, IMHO.

Keep reading - there's tons of info.



posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 12:41 PM
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Originally posted by michaelsharp
[I'm reading I"m reading.

here it says that Shriners are 32 degree Masons. But above you said that past 3rd degree a mason is a mason is a mason. So why do you have to pass through 30 degrees to become a shriner and what is the content of those degrees?

sorry if these are naive questions.

ms


The good old John Salza (John: Im a self serving loser, please buy my book when I finally write it) site, been there, done that. The old requirement to be a Shriner was to be a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, or a Knight Templar of the York Rite, this was in addition to being a Master Mason. That requirement was dropped by the North American Imperial Shrine in August 2000. A Master Mason can now become a Shriner without first affiliating with any of the appendant/concordant bodies.

The Degrees of the Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction are currently supported by the book Bridges to Light however for most discussions here at ATS Morals and Dogma by Albert Pike is most often cited.

Start with the Blue Lodge, understand it first (correctly) then branch out into the different appendant/concordant bodies.


[edit on 14/12/2004 by Mirthful Me]



posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 01:14 PM
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It would be silly of me to try to expand on what Mirthful and Axeman have already written, as they have done an excellent job in elaborating. But as for this question:



Originally posted by michaelsharp
Also not expecting any lengthy manifesto. I'm looking for the core beliefs I guess or the hidden assumptions of freemasonry.


The "core beliefs" of Freemasonry derive from classical Liberalism via the teachings of the 18th century Enlightenment, which in turn derived from the ideas of 17th century European philosophers such as Locke and Kant.

In short, although Masons hold independent, individual beliefs, we are all agreed on several basic premises, namely, that all things were created (in some manner) by a Supreme Being, and that this Supreme Being is Good, Merciful, and Loving.
Furthermore, the Supreme Being has created all men and women as a family (i.e., His children), and we have a duty to act toward each other accordingly.
That He has endowed us with the gifts of reason and logic, which are to be utilized when studying the mysteries of His Creation.
And that He has created us as free moral agents, with such freedom bringing us both liberties and duties, with freedom never being selfish, but always balanced by responsibilities.

It appears that the purpose of early, modern Freemasonry was to teach these ideals, and similar other modern philosophies and sciences, to men of intellect outside the scope of a dogmatic Church, who at the time Freemasonry began, controlled all intellectual knowledge. This also appears to be the reason that Masonry was originally a secret society, i.e., to avoid the excesses of the Inquisitors of the Church, who would have labeled our thought "heresy".



posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 01:20 PM
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As a mere human, I bow to your superior simian savoir-faire.



I forgot about the books...

Correct me if I am wrong my good monkey, but there are many places in the world where Pike's writings have little or no influence. Are the differences in the SR rituals and lectures so drastic from the Southern Jurisdiction, USA to the rest of the Scottish Rite?

Are there writings such as Pike's, Coil's, and Mackey's that expand on the other Jurisdictions' material?



posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 02:11 PM
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I know this was directed to Mirthful, but since I'm online anyway, I'll make like Norman Bates and take a stab at it:



Originally posted by The Axeman
Correct me if I am wrong my good monkey, but there are many places in the world where Pike's writings have little or no influence. Are the differences in the SR rituals and lectures so drastic from the Southern Jurisdiction, USA to the rest of the Scottish Rite?


They're pretty different. Pike's rituals are largely concerned with philosophy and theosophy, such as Platonism, Kabalah, etc., while other jurisdictions have rituals that tend to be almost entirely Christian. In fact, in most Scottish Rite jurisdictions, a Mason has to be a Christian in order to join.


Are there writings such as Pike's, Coil's, and Mackey's that expand on the other Jurisdictions' material?


I would recommend an excellent book called "Rose Croix: A History of the Ancient and Accepted Rite of England and Wales", by A.C.F. Jackson, Past Master of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research in London.



posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 02:21 PM
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In short, although Masons hold independent, individual beliefs, we are all agreed on several basic premises, namely, that all things were created (in some manner) by a Supreme Being, and that this Supreme Being is Good, Merciful, and Loving.
Furthermore, the Supreme Being has created all men and women as a family (i.e., His children), and we have a duty to act toward each other accordingly.
That He has endowed us with the gifts of reason and logic, which are to be utilized when studying the mysteries of His Creation.
And that He has created us as free moral agents, with such freedom bringing us both liberties and duties, with freedom never being selfish, but always balanced by responsibilities.

It appears that the purpose of early, modern Freemasonry was to teach these ideals, and similar other modern philosophies and sciences, to men of intellect outside the scope of a dogmatic Church, who at the time Freemasonry began, controlled all intellectual knowledge. This also appears to be the reason that Masonry was originally a secret society, i.e., to avoid the excesses of the Inquisitors of the Church, who would have labeled our thought "heresy".


You are probably right. But for the sake of argument, and because its what I'm interested in, its kinda my working hypothesis here that freemasonry forms part of a huge system of thought control that provides an elaborate (and extremely difficult to see through) justification for inequality, the exercise of power, the accumulation of wealth, etc. I would say there is a hierarchy of societies with the lower ones maintaining some degree of morality (basic belief in God, good evil, etc. and where members of the society are (of course) on the side of Good) but where the morality sort of dissipates as we ascend the various levels to be finally replaced by a firm belief in Might makes right (normally of course expressed a little more eloquently by Thelemic law or some derivative).

The thing that kicks me the most about these things is how members at the lower levels can see themselves as engaged in a good work while what they are "really" (remember, working hypothesis) about is suppressing, reforming, and conforming people into this gargantuan world hierarchy.

I get this sense pretty strongly when I read over pikes description of the 32 degree most holy secret of equilibrium



Of that Equilibrium between Good and Evil, and Light
and Darkness in the world, which assures us that all is
the work of the Infinite Wisdom and of an Infinite
Love; and that there is no rebellious demon of Evil, or
Principle of Darkness co-existent and in eternal
controversy with God, or the Principle of Light and of
Good: by attaining to the knowledge of which
equilibrium we can, through Faith, see that the
existence of Evil, Sin, Suffering, and Sorrow in the
world, is consistent with the Infinite Goodness as well
as with the Infinite Wisdom of the Almighty.


I mean here is the content of the 32 degree (highest degree of masonry right) and what is the brother at this level learning? That its ok to starve children! That's so NOT GOOD and NOT DIVINE that I just wanna scream when I think about it

AS IF!!!!!!.

Course this is just a working hypothesis. Not sure if there is any truth to it. Though judging by the thrumming in my solar plexus right now there is a # load of energy flowing. Its actually kinda refreshing.

make it or break it.

ms




[edit on 14-12-2004 by michaelsharp]



posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 02:49 PM
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Originally posted by michaelsharp


Of that Equilibrium between Good and Evil, and Light
and Darkness in the world, which assures us that all is
the work of the Infinite Wisdom and of an Infinite
Love; and that there is no rebellious demon of Evil, or
Principle of Darkness co-existent and in eternal
controversy with God, or the Principle of Light and of
Good: by attaining to the knowledge of which
equilibrium we can, through Faith, see that the
existence of Evil, Sin, Suffering, and Sorrow in the
world, is consistent with the Infinite Goodness as well
as with the Infinite Wisdom of the Almighty.


I mean here is the content of the 32 degree (highest degree of masonry right) and what is the brother at this level learning? That its ok to starve children! That's so NOT GOOD and NOT DIVINE that I just wanna scream when I think about it


Maybe I'm being dense, but I fail to see the connection between the passage and starving children... could you maybe refer us to the text you are quoting (a link, perhaps?)? It seems kind of out of context... Again, maybe I'm having a brain-fart, I don't know...

Thanks for the clarification and reccomendation Norman *ahem* ML.


Now then, are the N and S Jurisdictions actually geographically separated? I mean, living in the South am I confined to only joining the Scottish Rite under the Southern Jurisdiction? I fully intend to join (SR,SJ) once I become a Mason and have studied to the point that I understand the teachings of Blue Lodge, but is the SJ the only option for me seeing as where I live? I want to see it all... I want to be like Senrak.



[edit on 12/14/04 by The Axeman]



posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 03:20 PM
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Originally posted by The Axeman

Originally posted by michaelsharp


Of that Equilibrium between Good and Evil, and Light
and Darkness in the world, which assures us that all is
the work of the Infinite Wisdom and of an Infinite
Love; and that there is no rebellious demon of Evil, or
Principle of Darkness co-existent and in eternal
controversy with God, or the Principle of Light and of
Good: by attaining to the knowledge of which
equilibrium we can, through Faith, see that the
existence of Evil, Sin, Suffering, and Sorrow in the
world, is consistent with the Infinite Goodness as well
as with the Infinite Wisdom of the Almighty.


I mean here is the content of the 32 degree (highest degree of masonry right) and what is the brother at this level learning? That its ok to starve children! That's so NOT GOOD and NOT DIVINE that I just wanna scream when I think about it


Maybe I'm being dense, but I fail to see the connection between the passage and starving children... could you maybe refer us to the text you are quoting (a link, perhaps?)? It seems kind of out of context... Again, maybe I'm having a brain-fart, I don't know...

Thanks for the clarification and reccomendation Norman *ahem* ML.


Now then, are the N and S Jurisdictions actually geographically separated? I mean, living in the South am I confined to only joining the Scottish Rite under the Southern Jurisdiction? I fully intend to join (SR,SJ) once I become a Mason and have studied to the point that I understand the teachings of Blue Lodge, but is the SJ the only option for me seeing as where I live? I want to see it all... I want to be like Senrak.

[edit on 12/14/04 by The Axeman]


That's from Pike's book, MOrals and Dogma, Secret. Someone else suggested I read it so I thought i would.

Jumping right ahead to The highest degree of Masonry, 32 degree, Master of the Royal secret, PIke seems to be justifiying the evils in this world. That sin and suffering are OK. Whenever I think of suffering I think of children in sweatshops or other such man made atrocities. Mass starvation because people can't afford to pay for food, the use of DU in munitions, a ruling class that prefers to spend the social surplus in war rather than peace, the floride poisoning of the western mind, and stuff like that. I dont' see anything good in any of those things and I just wonder why the highest degree of masonry provide a justification for that.

I know other orders dispense with the morality altogether and don't even try to appeal to dualistic theories of creation (i.e., good+evil=all that is) to try to assuage the deep sense of propriety that most of us carry around and rather argue "might makes right" and weakness sucks. Those ones tend to also dispense with the belief in God as well prefering to see humanities origins in ancient ET contact. But that stuff goes beyond freemasonry.

I'll admit I don't know alot about this yet. Still in the early stages of my reading.
ms



posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 03:42 PM
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Personally I see this quote from a Christian perspective.

Assuming the God of the Bible is true, and the Christian Satan is true, why would God allow Satan ie Evil to exist?
From a Christian POV, God allows evil to bring out the good and bring others to God. So NO evil is not good but it can lead to other good outcomes. Therefore evil does serve a purpose to a God of wisdom and love.

Starving children in you example, bad. What good can come of it?
There are some people who would see this,
try to do something about it,
change their lives for the better because they feel guilty living the life they lead,
find religion,
call Sally Struthers to adopt Starvin Marvin (for all South Park lovers)
or maybe people like you see how terrible that is, they speak out, enough people hear and protest. Maybe someday, something can be done, because you spoke out. A good outcome is not always immediate.
etc...
So there is good that can come of it. Just not so obvious and maybe not how we think is good enough.

This is how I see it. Good and Evil coexist, Evil is permitted ultimately for Good, and I belive Pike recognized this. I believe this applies to other perspectives other than Christian as well. I think nothing in that passage is offense to the Christian or Otherwise.

Sorry, I tend to go on and on. I hope you understand what I mean. Pike's meanings are not always obvious from the surface, but then again, that's what I get from it.

[edit on 12/14/2004 by cotwom]



posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 03:56 PM
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Originally posted by michaelsharp
Jumping right ahead to The highest degree of Masonry, 32 degree, Master of the Royal secret, PIke seems to be justifiying the evils in this world. That sin and suffering are OK. Whenever I think of suffering I think of children in sweatshops or other such man made atrocities. Mass starvation because people can't afford to pay for food, the use of DU in munitions, a ruling class that prefers to spend the social surplus in war rather than peace, the floride poisoning of the western mind, and stuff like that. I dont' see anything good in any of those things and I just wonder why the highest degree of masonry provide a justification for that.


One more time, the "Highest" Degree in Freemasonry is the Sublime Degree of Master Mason, the Third Degree. Period.

Your interpretation of Pike is to suit you own needs, you wish to find this evil and subterfuge, so you "think" you have.



I'll admit I don't know alot about this yet.


Correct.



posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 04:06 PM
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Originally posted by Mirthful Me

Originally posted by michaelsharp
Jumping right ahead to The highest degree of Masonry, 32 degree, Master of the Royal secret, PIke seems to be justifiying the evils in this world. That sin and suffering are OK. Whenever I think of suffering I think of children in sweatshops or other such man made atrocities. Mass starvation because people can't afford to pay for food, the use of DU in munitions, a ruling class that prefers to spend the social surplus in war rather than peace, the floride poisoning of the western mind, and stuff like that. I dont' see anything good in any of those things and I just wonder why the highest degree of masonry provide a justification for that.


One more time, the "Highest" Degree in Freemasonry is the Sublime Degree of Master Mason, the Third Degree. Period.

Your interpretation of Pike is to suit you own needs, you wish to find this evil and subterfuge, so you "think" you have.



I'll admit I don't know alot about this yet.


Correct.


Oh look, an intellectual jab. And so early. This is the only way you can engage an argument. I would have thought better of you brother.

And I don't have any particular "need" here. I'm just a researcher. Just curious that's all. "they say" that' the way forward in these orders is to openly ask and seek guideance. But I"ve usually found that that only applies if you are willing to follow along with canon and ask the right questions. I've usually found that real questions anc concerns are often met with attacks. Its only those questions that pander to the myths that are allowed in discourse.

But then tell me, brother, what an alternate interpretation of Pike is here.
He says...



(the) existence of Evil, Sin, Suffering, and Sorrow in the
world, is consistent with the Infinite Goodness


it seems pretty straight forward to me. Pike is saying Evil = Good.


ms






[edit on 14-12-2004 by michaelsharp]



posted on Dec, 14 2004 @ 04:15 PM
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Originally posted by cotwom
Personally I see this quote from a Christian perspective.

Assuming the God of the Bible is true, and the Christian Satan is true, why would God allow Satan ie Evil to exist?
From a Christian POV, God allows evil to bring out the good and bring others to God. So NO evil is not good but it can lead to other good outcomes. Therefore evil does serve a purpose to a God of wisdom and love.

Starving children in you example, bad. What good can come of it?
There are some people who would see this,
try to do something about it,
change their lives for the better because they feel guilty living the life they lead,
find religion,
call Sally Struthers to adopt Starvin Marvin (for all South Park lovers)
or maybe people like you see how terrible that is, they speak out, enough people hear and protest. Maybe someday, something can be done, because you spoke out. A good outcome is not always immediate.
etc...
So there is good that can come of it. Just not so obvious and maybe not how we think is good enough.

This is how I see it. Good and Evil coexist, Evil is permitted ultimately for Good, and I belive Pike recognized this. I believe this applies to other perspectives other than Christian as well. I think nothing in that passage is offense to the Christian or Otherwise.

Sorry, I tend to go on and on. I hope you understand what I mean. Pike's meanings are not always obvious from the surface, but then again, that's what I get from it.

[edit on 12/14/2004 by cotwom]


I wouldn't assume much truth in the christian bible and I would put christianity as a lower level "order." One that panders to the masses and keeps them believing (and hence acting like) sheep. The symbolic similiarities (alters, wands, gold suns, and all that) are to obvious to ignore.

as for starving children and sally struthers, I think that a God that allows an entire nation to enter famine just so that some guilty white chick can go an feel better about herself is a sick God.

But this only makes sense if you decontextualize the starving children as if starving children was someone natural. They are not. Famine in countries is almost invariably imposed by some western bank's austerity program or some other type of NWO interference. Looking at it the way you suggest only hides that fact behind some weird evil=good argument. Let's the rich folk off guilt free.

And frankly I know God isn't like that. The conditions on this earth are not, at this time, in line with Divine nature. They are, how shall we say, temporary abberations that have allowed us to fulfil a Divine mission. We may accept them as temporary under that and find the Divinity there, but the conclusions we draw will be quite different and, in fact, diametrically opposed to the justification that appear to be constructed within Freemasonary, the O.T.O and others.

ms



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