Originally posted by freudling
And please no personal attacks because I think people are weak who join.
That's a bit hypocritical isn't it? You seem to have no problems making personal attacks yourself with that statement.
But anyway. I can only give you my impression of Freemasonry from my viewpoint. Your comparison between poverty and rich Western societies may
actually be pertinent to this issue.
In the West, society revolves around money. We are always chasing it and rarely do anything else - even leisure time is spent in pursuits that involve
it. This has a knock on effect in the way that people look at themselves and look at their surroundings. They tend to concentrate purely on the
physical and neglect the spiritual. That's not a weakness in the way that you describe - just the way of life that has evolved. I was discussing this
phenomena with my local vicar a couple of months ago and he illustrated the point by stating that this was probably the reason why a lot of people
turn to religion when they retire from their careers - it's not only the fact that they are getting older and death is nearer or that they may have
less disposable income, but also that they have more time to concentrate on the issue.
I see some groups as a way of kickstarting the spiritual process without forcing the individual to leave the physical or having to wait until he
naturally leaves the ratrace. By joining certain groups, people are opening up a new avenue of discovery. These groups could accept everyone
but by doing so they run the risk of turning into the very thing that they are trying to escape from - a concentration on the purely physical. They
may become watered down and useless.
In the East, poverty actually leads to soul searching. People don't live in a ratrace and they have more time to analyse themselves. Much of Eastern
philosophy was bred from poverty. It is the misery that is a catalyst. People analyse to try to overcome that misery and this can involve the study of
But when you compare the two societies, there isn't necessarily an overall scenario where one is stronger than the other. Although one may be weaker
in the physical, the other is weaker in the spiritual and there is a lack of balance in both.
By the way. It should be noted that Freemasonry is a worldwide Fraternity. It exists in the East, just as it does in the West. This tends to be in the
more democratic societies based on Capitalism where there needs to be a balance between physical and spiritual. I can also tell you that Freemasonry
in Europe is not exclusively made up of the rich and powerful - it includes people from all walks of life. I personally know people who live in
poverty in the West and are Freemasons of good standing. Money and personal finance is not an issue within Freemasonry. It is true that there are
people who are financially powerful within it, but it should be remembered that they could be attracted to the Order because it gives them the chance
to forget about money and concentrate on something else. Again, this is not a weakness - it is a device that offers balance.
You say that everyone has a right to knowledge. I disagree. Everyone has a right to look for knowledge, but it should never just be handed to anyone
on a plate as, in the wrong hands, it can be a recipe for disaster. And it's not even a case of wether or not you are "worthy" as you state. It's
wether or not you want to even look in the first place. But that is neither here nor there where Freemasonry is concerned. It does not bestow some
"quick fix" of knowledge, nor is any man who expects to have it fall in front of him ever likely to receive it. Knowledge has to be earned. This is
not the sole preserve of a "secret society" - it is a fundamental fact of life that can be found in any group of human beings which is based on
education. One may attend school or college, but if one doesn't enrol in the first place or doesn't attend the lessons there can be no repercussion
for failiure except upon the individual. Religions work the same way too. One can attend church or read the Bible, but if the brain isn't actually
put into gear, the whole exercise is pointless.
Sure, the individual may be able to search for answers on his own. But it's much healthier to look with others. That's not a weakeness, but a basic
human trait - ever since the days of the caveman, human beings have huddled together for warmth, safety, education and the sense of wellbeing that
only contact with another person can give you.
Finally, I would have to utterly disagree that religion is more prevalent in European society than it is in the US. Maybe in the poorer Eastern
nations of Europe, religion plays a large part, but certainly in the West it is often sidelined and church attendances are at a record low. This again
would illustrate how poverty leads to a search for the spiritual and how wealth serves to fuel it's neglect.