Originally posted by ashanu90
why are masons so secretive? is there something that society would deem as "bad" going on in those lodges?
and i understand your secretness a general answer will be fine
I don't think we consider ourselves as secretive as society in general does.
Our "secrets" are handshakes, passwords and modes of recognition.
The main reason we keep these to ourselves is that we promised to do so. It's sort of like a test of our own integrity.
As far as bad things... Nothing goes on in the lodge that society would consider bad. Most of our meeting times are spent doing business. We pay
bills, vote on new members, plan events, etc. much like any other service organization.
During our rituals and ceremonies we focus on presenting lessons to help men build their moral character, treat others with respect and compassion,
and use symbols and allegories to help each man in his walk with God (or the Supreme Being of his religion).
I will post shortly some of the not-secret parts of our lectures to exemplify this.
[edit on 4/21/10 by emsed1]
Here is an example that is taught to Entered Apprentice Masons regarding the canopy, or ceiling, of a lodge. I believe at some time in the past
(maybe some lodges have this) the ceiling was painted with blue and stars.
This quote is from the 1922 Edition of the Texas Monitor. It may vary from what a modern lodge uses but it's very similar to what my lodge uses.
The covering of a Lodge is no less than the clouded canopy, or starry-decked heavens, where all good Masons hope at last to arrive, by the aid of the
theological ladder, which Jacob, in his vision, saw extending from earth to heaven; the three principal rounds of which are denominated Faith, Hope
and Charity; teaching Faith in God, Hope in immortality, and Charity to all mankind.
Of these, Charity is the greatest; for Faith may be lost in sight; Hope end in fruition; but Charity extends beyond the grave, through the bound-less
realms of eternity.
Further in the lecture on the First Degree the whole point of Freemasonry is (in my opinion beautifully) explained:
By the exercise of Brotherly Love, we are taught to regard the whole human species as one family--the high and low, the rich and poor; who, as created
by one Almighty Parent, and inhabitants of the same planet, are to aid, support, and protect each other.
On this principle, Masonry unites men of every country, sect and opinion, and conciliates true friendship among those who might, otherwise, have
remained at a perpetual distance.
We are also instructed to patiently live according to the laws of government. We all realize that in the past Freemasons have led revolutions but
this behavior is not sanctioned. In fact we are not allowed to discuss either politics or religious beliefs in our lodges.
Freemasons understand that our true duty is to mankind, but we must live under the accepted values and laws of our society. I think that once I
realized that life extends far beyond this temporary time and place it's easier to just put up with government until we are free of it.
As a citizen, you are to be a quiet and peaceable subject, true to your government, and just to your country; you are not to countenance disloyalty or
rebellion, but patiently submit to legal authority, and conform with cheerfulness to the government of the country in which you live.
I hope this helps. These are just a few examples of the many things we learn but they represent our beliefs.
In my jurisdiction and obligation I don't see these quotes as exposing any secret but I will certainly take them down if any brother feels like I've
posted something I shouldn't.
[edit on 4/21/10 by emsed1]