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What is Freemasonry? One Mason to another...

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posted on Feb, 16 2015 @ 06:38 AM
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originally posted by: Forensick
Sorry, dealing with me it's the best deal I can get for my customer regardless of your affinity and without screwing you over.


You sound like a mason.




posted on Feb, 16 2015 @ 06:40 AM
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originally posted by: Tangerine

Were you recruited to join?


No, I had wanted to join since I left high school, about 15 years before I did join.


If so, what were you told that enticed you to join? If you were not recruited, what made you want to join?


Nothing, really. My Dad was a member of a similar organization (The Round Table) and I always admired his friendships and his involvement in that society. I also had a deep interest in occult and esoteric knowledge, and I decided to join Freemasonry instead.

In fact, the reason I took so long to join is because I did not know how. Eventually, I found a Mason, asked and was admitted.


Did it meet your expectations? If not, why not? What I'm getting at is whether you expected to receive some secret knowledge and were disappointed when the secrets turned out to not be spectacular? Is the very fact of being a member of a (not very) secret organization enough for you?


It absolutely did, but not at all in the way I expected. I was expecting huge amounts of esoteric and long lost knowledge. I got very little from Masonry in this regard that I didn't know. However, I did get to understand myself, my relationship with God and my relationship with others very deeply. I am much more aware of my purpose in this mortal existence.


Were you religious before you joined and did you expect the Masons to be a religious organization? If so, were you disappointed?


I was very religious many years ago. However, over the years, I left organized religion in favour of a personal spiritual journey. I did not expect Freemasonry to be religious and it is not. It is a philosophy of living based on the great moral and social virtues taught throughout the ages.


edit on 16/2/2015 by Saurus because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 16 2015 @ 06:45 AM
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originally posted by: Tangerine

originally posted by: network dude
A way of life. A code to live by. The tools needed to accomplish any task. A bond with men whom I haven't met yet. Friendship. A challenge. A personal bond with God.

I realize my answers may not be the same as others, and may not even be close to what you are looking for, but that is my answer to that question.

It changed me in that I reflect on what I have been taught, and what I teach in my daily actions.


How did it change you? Examples?


It helped me gain a much better, more clear perspective on people. To try to understand rather than just see. I suspect it will change me even more as time goes on.



posted on Feb, 16 2015 @ 06:47 AM
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originally posted by: Tangerine

By God do you mean that Masonry is Christian?


No, Masonry is not Christian, although several of the additional Orders such as the Knights Templar and the Rose Croix (Scottish Rite) are Christian in nature (especially in the English Constitution.)

Freemasonry, does however, teach the values found in Christianity.



posted on Feb, 16 2015 @ 06:51 AM
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originally posted by: Saurus

I was very religious many years ago. However, over the years, I left organized religion in favour of a personal spiritual journey. I did not expect Freemasonry to be religious and it is not. It is a philosophy of living based on the great moral and social virtues taught throughout the ages.



I was never religious, but I feel as if I understand my relationship with God better now. Nature seems so much more amazing.

Anyone can smash a rock with a hammer. But if you use a chisel, you can make something amazing, not just rubble. Freemasonry is the chisel.



posted on Feb, 16 2015 @ 06:56 AM
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originally posted by: Saurus

originally posted by: Tangerine


... I got very little from Masonry in this regard that I didn't know. However, I did get to understand myself, my relationship with God and my relationship with others very deeply. I am much more aware of my purpose in this mortal existence.


Were you religious before you joined and did you expect the Masons to be a religious organization? If so, were you disappointed?


I was very religious many years ago. However, over the years, I left organized religion in favour of a personal spiritual journey. I did not expect Freemasonry to be religious and it is not. It is a philosophy of living based on the great moral and social virtues taught throughout the ages.



You say Masonry isn't religious but mention God. Is God, as presented by Masonry, explicitly the Abrahamic God?

When you refer to the great moral and social virtues taught throughout the ages, to whose teachings do you refer?

Lest you suspect that I'm leading you into a trap and about to condemn Masonry for being contrary to Christian teachings, be assured that that's not my agenda. I'm just trying to get a handle on how they approach the notion of God. If I may use AA as an example, AA is notorious for claiming that it's not a religion and one can use any "higher power" they choose, however AA literature (and the reports of many participants) makes it abundantly clear that they're talking about the Abrahamic God. In fact, courts have ruled that AA is a religion. So, when Masons say Masonry isn't a religion, am I to assume that, although strictly speaking it isn't a religion, the God referred to is the God of Christianity or there is actually a serious attempt to explore less literal spiritual possibilities?

What is the justification for not accepting women as members?



posted on Feb, 16 2015 @ 06:57 AM
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I think the thing about Freemasonry is that it instills its members a deep, deep value system, so strong that we are then able to listen to other people deeply and with understanding.

To really listen to other peoples points of view is so rare and difficult in this day and age. Why? Because people are scared that they will learn something that will change them.

However, if we truly are immovable in our values, then, and only then, are we free to listen to others without fear of ourselves being changed by their viewpoints, or by what we might learn from them. Only then can we truly learn and discover real truth.

To deeply explore all the mysteries of the world's religions and teachings, we must first have an unshakable value system of our own, so that we can explore those secrets without fear of it changing our own beliefs. Only then can we discover real truth.

Masonry prepares a person to discover the truth by creating such an unshakable value system. It never actually teaches any truth. That, we must find on our own.


edit on 16/2/2015 by Saurus because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 16 2015 @ 07:02 AM
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originally posted by: Saurus
I think the thing about Freemasonry is that it instills its members a deep, deep value system, so strong that we are then able to listen to other people deeply and with understanding.

To really listen to other peoples points of view is so rare and difficult in this day and age. Why? Because people are scared that they will learn something that will change them.

However, if we truly are immovable in our values, then, and only then, are we free to listen to others without fear of ourselves being changed by their viewpoints, or by what we might learn from them. Only then can we truly learn and discover real truth.

To deeply explore all the mysteries of the world's religions and teachings, we must first have an unshakable value system of our own, so that we can explore those secrets without fear of it changing our own beliefs. Only then can we discover real truth.

Masonry prepares a person by creating such an unshakable value system.


What is the point of creating an unshakeable value system without first exploring the mysteries? How can you truly explore "those secrets" without them affecting and changing you, if only incrementally?

What is real truth? Truth is a belief. There are many truths. I may be getting the wrong impression, but this is sounding like dogma.



posted on Feb, 16 2015 @ 07:09 AM
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originally posted by: Tangerine

You say Masonry isn't religious but mention God. Is God, as presented by Masonry, explicitly the Abrahamic God?


God is not presented by Masonry. Each Mason is encouraged to gain a deep understanding with their 'own' God.


When you refer to the great moral and social virtues taught throughout the ages, to whose teachings do you refer?


Broadly speaking, it is those values common to all the world's great religions.


What is the justification for not accepting women as members?


In my opinion, to avoid distractions while we go about our work.


edit on 16/2/2015 by Saurus because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 16 2015 @ 07:13 AM
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originally posted by: Tangerine
What is the point of creating an unshakeable value system without first exploring the mysteries? How can you truly explore "those secrets" without them affecting and changing you, if only incrementally?

What is real truth? Truth is a belief. There are many truths. I may be getting the wrong impression, but this is sounding like dogma.


When I was in the USAF, I was a kid. I had not idea what I could do, or what I wanted to do. I learned how to fix lots of things on C-130's. Then I left the service. I still didn't have a clue what I wanted to do. But during my time in, I learned how to learn. I figured out that finding a job where I could be in my comfort zone and always have a C-130 to work on, wasn't going to happen. But I had confidence that I could be put in any position and learn it well.

Freemasonry teaches you how to learn as well. It's a foundation for a building. You are the building. With a strong foundation, you can have an amazing structure. One that takes time and patience to construct.



posted on Feb, 16 2015 @ 07:13 AM
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originally posted by: Tangerine

What is the point of creating an unshakeable value system without first exploring the mysteries? How can you truly explore "those secrets" without them affecting and changing you, if only incrementally?


Aah, come on... Many Christians are terrified of exploring other religions. So they don't. For fear that it might change them.
It's because they don't have an unshakable value system. It's pretty darn shakable and they know it, so they avoid asking too many questions.


What is real truth? Truth is a belief. There are many truths. I may be getting the wrong impression, but this is sounding like dogma.


Like I said, Masonry doesn't teach any truth. Every Mason has to find truth for himself. Masonry simply opens one's ears to understanding.


edit on 16/2/2015 by Saurus because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 16 2015 @ 07:15 AM
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Freemasonry is several things. Each lodge is different depending on the interests of it's members. There is brotherhood and ritual. There is community service. There is moral, personal, and intelectual support. It all depends on the lodge and the members. Ive been to many dif lodges. Some of them take different parts more seriously than others. All of them have a strong community outreach, usually fundraising and youth programs that teach leadership and confidence to any who are interested.

As an initiate, you are introduced to the story of freemasonry and some of the characters that are imprtant to the story. As you progress through the degrees, you realize that thse stories have been carefully scripted to give the initiate a path to follow and to instill a certain moral base that gets stronger and stricter as you progress. Near the end, if you paid attention and practice the lessons and make them a part of your life, you should be a strong, confident personality to contend with. Freemasonry is supposed to teach morality, and leadership with morality. The esoteric parts get confusing for those who are not interested in becoming a better person.

A prerequisite of initiation is that you believe in some form of deity. No matter what religion you follow. However, nearly all of the masons i have met are christian. It is not a christian organisation. I do not believe in a deity and so i am mostly annoyed at the members who go on about such things. I realized long ago that i do not need to pretend to have a gods eyes on me at all times to be a good person. But i still think back to the lessons i learned from those early days.

a reply to: Saurus


edit on 16-2-2015 by Woodcarver because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 16 2015 @ 07:18 AM
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originally posted by: Saurus

originally posted by: Tangerine

You say Masonry isn't religious but mention God. Is God, as presented by Masonry, explicitly the Abrahamic God?


God is not presented by Masonry. Each Mason is encouraged to gain a deep understanding with their 'own' God.


When you refer to the great moral and social virtues taught throughout the ages, to whose teachings do you refer?


Broadly speaking, it is those values common to all the world's great religions.


What is the justification for not accepting women as members?


In my opinion, to avoid distractions while we go about our work.



So absolutely nothing is said in Masonry about God? God is not referred to in any context at all?

Can you give an example of those values?

When you say that you think women are kept out to avoid distractions, that's the argument that was given for not allowing women in combat. It was also the argument used to keep military units racially segregated. It's still the argument used to keep gays closeted (don't ask/don't tell). Don't you think that's a rather backward position? You talk about values and an unshakeable value system. That suggests to me that part of this unshakeable value system is the inequality and exclusion of women and the notion that women have nothing of value to contribute to understanding the mysteries and the "real truth". Considering this Masonic value system, how do you justify that?



posted on Feb, 16 2015 @ 07:29 AM
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I could go into a lengthy reply but anyone that is interested you can message me, I can direct you to some other reference materials to assist in your quest for knowledge and most importantly truth.

4 figures or subjects to research
Meruka (tomb of Meruka) Lions Paw, Apron
Hughe De Payens - 1st Grandmaster of the Templar Order
Rudolph Von Sebottendorf (Influence on Hitler, Thule etc)
Alexander the great and the Ptolmaic Pharoahs (The library of Alexandria - amassing of Egyptian, Phoenican, Middle eastern, African texts and secret tradition and what could be salvaged after it was burned down, later imported to Greece, Rome and then Europe )

Focus on Sufism (this is the true essence) - you will start to see what the craft is all about, Albert Pike's writings are important, but do realize, that both Albert Mackey and Manley P. Hall, have at some point made it clear that modern freemasonry is a far cry from the true ancient craft of freemasonry.


edit on 16-2-2015 by phinubian because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 16 2015 @ 07:34 AM
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originally posted by: Tangerine

So absolutely nothing is said in Masonry about God? God is not referred to in any context at all?


God is referred to often, but is called "The Great Architect of the Universe" and it is understood by each Mason present that this is referring to the God that each individual Mason believes in.

The rituals, however, refer to the Abrahamic God.


Can you give an example of those values?


For instance, one section of our First Degree Working Tools refer to how to spend our day - part serving God, part serving others and part improving ourselves. This is just one small example.


When you say that you think women are kept out to avoid distractions, that's the argument that was given for not allowing women in combat. It was also the argument used to keep military units racially segregated. It's still the argument used to keep gays closeted (don't ask/don't tell). Don't you think that's a rather backward position? You talk about values and an unshakeable value system. That suggests to me that part of this unshakeable value system is the inequality and exclusion of women and the notion that women have nothing of value to contribute to understanding the mysteries and the "real truth". Considering this Masonic value system, how do you justify that?


Fair enough. There are many who feel that, since times have changed, Masonry has become outdated in its ideas. It is one of the reasons why Masonry is becoming less popular. I, for one, think that in this day of educated women, they could greatly benefit from Freemasonry.

I will not argue against you on this point, since I cannot.

Still, the social Brotherhood aspect is also important, and it is useful to be able to have social discussions with people of our own gender, where one tends to be less inhibited. A Brotherhood still certainly have its merits.



posted on Feb, 16 2015 @ 07:34 AM
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originally posted by: phinubian
I could go into a lengthy reply but anyone that is interested you can message me, I can direct you to some other reference materials to assist in your quest for knowledge and most importantly truth.

4 figures or subjects to research
Meruka (tomb of Meruka) Lions Paw, Apron
Hughe De Payens - 1st Grandmaster of the Templar Order
Rudolph Von Sebottendorf
Alexander the great and the Ptolmaic Pharoahs

Focus on Sufism (this is the true essence) - you will start to see what the craft is all about, Albert Pike's writings are important, but do realize, that both Albert Mackey and Manley P. Hall, have at some point made it clear that modern freemasonry is a far cry from the true ancient craft of freemasonry.



Are the topics and persons you listed specifically addressed in Masonry or are these your independently arrived at conclusions as to the true essence (of Masonry, I assume)?



posted on Feb, 16 2015 @ 07:38 AM
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I have been to lodges with female members. If they are voted in, they are members. I have been to all black lodges as well where i was welcomed and treated like a brother. but i will admit there is still some segregation involved.

When i was young we were prompted to exclude any people who were not caucasian. That never set well with me and was another reason why i lost interest. Racism was not something that masonry teaches and actually goes against the virtues that make the foundation of the organisation. Instead it was something brought in from the members of my antiquated southern bible belt middle tennessee community. The only racists around here are the christians. Unfortunately, 90% of the population here are christians.


a reply to: Tangerine



posted on Feb, 16 2015 @ 07:38 AM
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originally posted by: Tangerine
Are the topics and persons you listed specifically addressed in Masonry or are these your independently arrived at conclusions as to the true essence (of Masonry, I assume)?


Typically, no.

Mackey and Hall are not something the candidate is instructed to read and many jurisdictions (including mine) give Carl Claudy's primers on the first three degrees.

Pike is only relevant in the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite and at one point they stopped handing out his books in favor of A Bridge to Light.



edit on 16-2-2015 by AugustusMasonicus because: networkdude has no beer but if he did he would drink it from a skull



posted on Feb, 16 2015 @ 07:41 AM
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originally posted by: phinubian
but do realize, that both Albert Mackey and Manley P. Hall, have at some point made it clear that modern freemasonry is a far cry from the true ancient craft of freemasonry.



This is something I have wondered about. What freemasonry is today as opposed to what it was.
Today, it can mean different things to different men, but it's purpose is to teach a man how to improve.


If it was so much more in the past, how is it that what we have today survived? Was it different, or were we?



posted on Feb, 16 2015 @ 07:42 AM
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originally posted by: phinubian

Focus on Sufism (this is the true essence)...

...both Albert Mackey and Manley P. Hall, have at some point made it clear that modern freemasonry is a far cry from the true ancient craft of freemasonry.



I have started to come to this same realization. Although Freemasonry draws from many sources, Sufism is certainly a primary source.

And yes, Freemasonry has lost much along the way, due to social conditions and interferences through the ages. Isn't it our duty to restore it to its former glory, so that many that follow us will benefit even more from it? Why do you think I started this frank discussion? ;-)




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