Originally posted by hexrain1
you say in the above quote that its teachings are not secret. if they are not, then why don't you take the rest of this thread as an opportunity to
teach me. i like guidance, so guide me. sum up the teachings of the 1-33 degrees, that will sufficiently PROVE to me that you are not hidding
teachings, and help me on the path to enlightenment.
Freemasonry's teachings, in the exoteric sense, are in general identical to those of the 18th century Enlightenment. The Masonic fraternity was a
product of the Enlightenment, and thus continues that tradition.
For example, when a man is initiated into Masonry, he is prepared in a peculiar manner for the ceremony. This preparation symbolizes mankind emerging
from the dark ages and entering the Age of Enlightenment. In the dark ages, man was blinded by superstition and ignorance of science; he was bound by
the cable-tow of tyranny, derived from a unified Church-State despotism. However, the man nevertheless seeks instinctively for light. He enters the
Lodge Room and confesses his desire to learn. He then publicly professes his belief in Providence, invoking divine assistance in his search. His
qualifications are recited, that he is an upright man who strives to live in a moral manner. He is then obligated to certain duties, and is
symbolically "brought to light".
After this, the symbolism of his degree are explained. To show the link with the Enlightenment again, consider the Level, which is a tool used by
operative stonemasons to ensure levelity of brick and stone while building a wall. In Freemasonry, the Level therefore becomes the symbol of the
equality of all men before the law and before the Creator.
It would be impossible to give a complete study of each of the 33 degrees of the Scottish Rite of Masonry on this thread. However, I can provide a few
examples, and direct you to books which do so.
Take, for example, the 7° which is called "Provost and Judge". This degree centers around a squabble that some of the Jewish Masons had at the
building of the Temple. Some of the Jews did not like the fact that they were required to work alongside uncircumcised Pheonicians (those sent by the
King of Tyre to assist in the work). In the ceremony of the degree, one of the Jewish Masons meets with Adoniram, an overseer and judge (portrayed in
the degree by the Lodge Master). The Jewish Mason attempts to misuse his fraternity membership to influence Adoniram to rule in their favor. Adoniram
responds, "As a Fellow of the Craft I have called thee Brother; as a judge I know thee not". The basic meaning of this degree is simple but
important, and I'm sure you see the meaning of it without me telling you.
Other degrees in the Rite, especially beginning with the 14° and above, concern different philosophical speculations regarding metaphysics, political
science, etc. The metaphysics is mostly concentrated around the Kabbalah. The political science is classical liberalism.
There are a few very good books that go into great detail about all of these degrees. I would recommend "Morals and Dogma" by Albert Pike,
"Clausen's Commentaries On Morals and Dogma" by Henry C. Clausen, and "A Bridge To Light" by Dr. Rex Hutchens. Currently, Bro. Hutchens' book is
given as a gift to all new members of the Scottish Rite, and I recommend it as an introduction to the Scottish Rite system, as well as an introduction
to Pike's great work.
if then you do teach me your doctrines and your teachings are not kept secret, what exactly is your oath declaring that it will not divulge to
Masons do not take oaths that forbid revealing Masonic teachings to non-Initiates. Rather, we promise not to divulge the "secrets of Masonry". The
secrets are not the teachings, and I'll try to explain.
Those in past centuries who accepted the doctrines of the Enlightenment, and especially those who promulgated them, were persecuted by the
Church-State apparatus (consider Galileo, for example). When it was seen that the Masonic Lodges were actively becoming philosophical societies
devoted to the advancement of the Enlightenment, the Craft began to feel the wrath of the status quo.
The fraternity had always had traditional secrets whereby members could recognize each other (signs, passwords, handshakes, etc.). This was the case
in all the medieval guilds, including the carpenters, blacksmiths, and so on. The modern fraternity simply continued on in this tradition, and
required all new members to take solemn oaths concerning them.
Today we preserve these out of tradition. We know that no longer the Inquisitor is going to come knocking at our door. Nevertheless, our original
Masonic fathers were not as blessed in this way as we ourselves are, and in many cases their very survival, and that of their families, depended upon
secrecy in their Masonic careers.
But in any case, the only secrets a Mason is required to keep are the traditional modes of recognition. Never has any Masonic teaching been deemed a
Why do i have to JOIN the order to have this guidance?
You do not. Libraries are full of books on philosophy and science that render teachings identical to those of Masonry. Masonry in this sense functions
as sort of a club where men of like minds can fellowship and explore these questions together. However, no one ever said that being a Mason is a
requirement for any sort of enlightenment or knowledge. We welcome all men of good character who desire to unite with us in our fraternity. For those
seeking, but do not want to join our fraternity, we wish them well on their journey.
Why not hold masonic meetings in the middle of parks? why not advertise them and invite all people to join in. are you now trying to say that
there are NO SECRETS at all?
The secrets are the modes of recognition (handshakes, passwords, etc.). They used to be important, but are now only traditional. Two hundred years
ago, knowledge of them was required to gain admission into a Lodge meeting. Today, one only needs his membership card and a photo I.D.
why make an organization with levels to progress through? if you have to progress through levels to be taught, then aren't you therefore
keeping secrets fom lower levels?
No. Masonic initiation is divided into three degrees for convenience. These were the traditional degrees taken from the medieval stonecraft guild.
First a man becomes an Entered Apprentice. After this, he is assigned a coach who teaches him the symbolism and ceremony of his degree. After passing
an examination in his degree, he may be advanced to the Second Degree, and likewise to the Third Degree, which is Master Mason. In my jurisdiction, it
takes about two months to go from being a non-Mason to a Master Mason, as there is a waiting period of 4 weeks between degrees.
Once a man is a Master Mason, he may join either the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, or both. The Scottish Rite confers the 4° - 32°, with an honorary
33°. This degrees are all conferred at once during Reunions, usually twice per year. What happens is this:
As a Master Mason, you apply to join the Scottish Rite, and are accepted. You show up on a Friday evening and are placed in your "class" (the group
of candidates). We then begin conferring the degrees, one after the other.
In my Scottish Rite Temple, we begin with the 4° on Friday, and work up to the 8°. Then everybody comes back in on Saturday morning, and we go all
the way up to the 18°. We take a week break, then come back the following Friday, beginning at the 19°, and going up to the 29°. We then come back
on Saturday morning and confer the 30°, 31°, and 32°. The new 32° Scottish Rite Masons are then presented with books on the degrees to study.
Each degree in the Scottish Rite has its "secrets", which are the modes of recognition for that degree. Those of us who have worked those degrees
for many years still can't remember all of them.
if i was in kindergarten and there was no possible way i could understand college level material, does that mean children should be banned from
sitting in on college classes?
Not at all. But realistically, why would we want people who don't like us to begin with to sit in our meetings?
then why initiate anyone into freemasonry? if only g-d can decide that then why only give information to the initiated, since you stated that only g-d
decides. maybe you initiate those who are not worthy by g-ds standards. if youre admitting fallibility of the initiation process, then why not do away
with the whole system altogether and share the truth with everyone, not just fraternal orders?
Any institution that admits humans is fallible. However, we don't want to eliminate the fraternal system. The reason we joined in the first place is
because we like
the fraternal system. We like the gentleman's club atmosphere. We enjoy gathering and talking and fellowshipping, and it gives
us opportunity to organize in assisting the less fortunate. One need not join a fraternity to discovery any truth, but the fraternity remains here for
those who do wish to join.
Ahhh yes. to all MEN. therefore are you stating that only men and not women deserve enlightenment? i notice you do not accept women into the
By "men", I was referring to mankind, including the fairer sex. Freemasonry, as a fraternity, does not admit women. Sororities do not admit men, but
I'm not offended by that.
And of course many women deserve enlightenment. I am a member of an occult society called Builders of the Adytum
was led for many years by a female Adept, Rev. Ann Davies.