Originally posted by JoshNorton
reply to post by emsed1
Emsed1, having purchased and read most (if not all, by now) of the book our illustrious Anonymous recommended, can you say if there's any
truth to his statement
(Realizing of course your own knowledge is
limited to Blue Lodge ritual) is there anything remotely resembling actual degree work in that piece of garbage, or is it all much as you've
shown in the excerpts you've shared?
They are spot on to every ritual I have ever witnessed, or memorized.
There are bits and pieces of ritual that are correctly described, but the connotation the author associates with them are incorrect.
For example, he states that all degree work is done in the dark. Perhaps this is the case in England, but all the degrees I have seen or been a part
of occur in a lighted room.
It also looks like he exposed (GASP!) all the secret passwords and handshakes! So, for those of you who insist on gaining all the top secret wisdom
and knowledge that comes with knowing secret nonsense words and (in my opinion) uncomfortable handshakes then they can all be yours at the link
For any non-masons still awake and listening - Here's the rub of the whole matter...
Words and handshakes are meaningless. They have remained unchanged for centuries and exposed many times over and over. These are not the real
secrets of masonry.
I won't tell them to you or show you for one simple reason. My brothers, whom I respect deeply, asked me not to out of a sign of respect for what I
have been given.
I don't care if you have the words, memorize the rituals, practice the handshakes... hell, I don't care if you put masonic license plates on your
car. It doesn't make you a mason.
Perhaps we have come to the most important question of all.
Why Won't You Give Me the Secret of Freemasonry?
The answer is: "Because I can't."
It's not that I refuse, indeed I would love to give the secret to everyone and anyone who wants it. It's because the secret is not a word, an
action or anything with physical dimension.
The secret of masonry is an experience. It is something that is felt. It is a feeling of compassion, comfort, relief and truth. It is love for your
neighbor and respect for your nation. It is hope, faith and charity. It is good.
I will post a quote here from ritual as an example. This is from an old Texas monitor whose content is freely available on the web. I don't believe
this violates any obligation that I have:
To soothe the unhappy, to sympathize with their misfortunes, to compassionate their miseries, and to restore peace to their troubled minds, is
the grand aim we have in view.
I don't mean to get all wishy-washy, but I think there are important things to be said and to be heard. I don't speak for masonry but I believe my
brothers would agree with me that we don't seek to recruit, or even enlighten, anyone.
Each person will draw their own conclusion on masonry based on available evidence. All of your opinions are valid. I would only ask that even if you
don't believe me at least understand that I am being honest about my opinions and impressions of masonry.
Lastly, I thought it might be useful to include a quotation from a masonic funeral service. Any mason that wishes to have a masonic service is
provided one. (yes, that means even the 333rd grand dragon wizards of mordor if they so choose).
To me, it is touching and sort of summarizes the whole masonic philosophy. It also sort of makes pointless all of the criticisms of masonry.
"What are all the externals of majesty, the pride of wealth, or charms of beauty, when nature has paid her last, just debt? Fix your eyes on
the last scene, and view life stripped of her ornaments, and exposed in her natural poverty; you will then be convinced of the futility of these empty
delusions. In the grave, all fallacies are detected, all ranks are leveled, and all distinctions are done away."
That's right folks. The one thing that all people have in common, whether mason or non-mason, Mother Teresa or Hitler, is that in the end we all
Wealth, power, influence, medals... In the end it means nothing. The only thing that matters is how the people you love remember you. Did you help
others? Were you kind and loving? Did you value peace and harmony?
Anyway, sorry to preach. I don't mean it as a lesson, just as an example of my opinion of what masonry is.