posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 09:59 PM
I can not speak for other Grand lodges outside of mine, which is in the Southern U.S.A......but I can give you my understanding and how almost every
mason I have met including from other states have pretty much agreed so far in my travels.
The UGLE is considered the mother lodge of all lodges of regular masonry. Period.
There is NO historical evidence to show any lodge prior to that much less them receiving a charter from mainland Europe.
In the U.S. Many states received their charter not from the UGLE but rather from other states as the states came into being. However they also
recognize that while their mother grand lodge may be in another state that it all goes back to the UGLE.
The Grand Orient accepts atheism.....to merely speak of landmarks does not go far enough in my mind, but rather you must realize ALL of our rituals,
ALL of our teachings, ALL of our traditions is based ultimately in a common belief in the Creator.....To be an Atheist and a Mason, is like saying one
can be a Communist Capitalist....these are utterly opposing world views.....
Masonry as one post here asserted has NO desire to found or create a one world religion, rather it would like to see the multitude of people from
different faiths, remain true to their religious convictions as their faiths teach them, but find a common bond where they may work together in this
world with tolerance and acceptance. As long as one believe in a Creator, then the rest of the teachings of masonry have little more to say about
religion, as our order merely focuses on our social harmony, and greater understanding. We leave religious debate outside the lodge door, or rather
we're supposed to......being human that doesn't mean it always happens......but that is the goal.
Also I will certainly agree that British Masonry did not simply materialize out of nothingness a sudden burst of understanding devoid of outside
influence. Everything that led up to the formation of English masonry came from Europe, and that of course came from the Middle East, and from a
purely western history stand point that all came from those people in northern Iran and northern India, as all of the science, and religions of the
world surely did. Human society has existed for some 6,000 years, I doubt there is any group that cannot find some precedent that came from another
country and or peoples quite different then it's own. However Speculative Freemasonry as WE know it today simply cannot be traced back further then
Was it developed outof actual operative masonry in continental Europe? Surely! but the trade orders were NOT the same as speculative masonry...even if
some traditions and structure were used in its formation. Might it have been influenced by other orders? The original RC? The many Roman military
fraternal orders? The older Middle Eastern orders? etc etc? Yes, but by which ones and when, simply has no undisputable source, or proof, so Masons
simply debate the issue. This is among our favorite topics with lively debate and many masons longing for some connection with an older precedent have
studied such groups, and made connections based on their convictions and fancy.....but it is ultimately something we simply have no proof of.
There is a phrase very popular with Masons that adorns many of our rings and badges.....
"Virtus Junxit Mors Non Seperabit"
It is a simple idea that mankind is united in its virtues and convictions.....and death is no barrier….
So let's say there was an imaginary group of men in Sumner, or Xi'an, or Varansi, Jaffa whatever......and let us say they also believed in promoting
truth, understanding, benevolence, reverence to God, and promoted men to consider themselves as duty bound to their creator to become better people
and strive to improve themselves…….whether or not every man of that order may be slain……and no one ever found record of them again….they
would be our brothers in this respect, because in our virtues we are united. So in this way it is not wrong to see English Masonry to be descendents
from a number of historical orders because of the common ideal. I personally see much of our heritage in everything from the Templars, to the Empire
of Cyrus…….some of our traditions such as the operative placement of the cornerstone with prayer and reverence to the creator were first done by
those ancient people building the Ziggurats in ancient Iraq. Does this mean we are akkaidian? Well certainly there were some among those people who
shared our views on some things…….however Freemasonry…as it exists now and has existed for some 4-600 years is most certainly an Anglo-saxon
invention…..but it is based on a set of values and on beliefs as old as mankind, and that will continue to exist long after our fraternity as we
But yes to make it simple…..anything not recognized by the UGLE is not recognized as “regular”.
[edit on 22/6/2010 by ForkandSpoon]