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The Masonic "secret word" - what does it mean?

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posted on May, 2 2010 @ 06:32 PM
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The "secret" Masonic word given at third-degree initiation was never very secret, and where once a few hours in an academic library could reveal it, it is now plastered all over the web.
The word is "Ma-ha-bone", or "Mahabone".
A simple web search will reveal that it means: "The Lodge Doors are open". (In what language, I wonder?)
A less favorable interpretation claims it means "Lord of the skeleton" (or even Satan). troyspace2.wordpress.com...

Does it really mean anything in any language?
It reminds me of the Hindu/Sanskrit mantras, particularly the "Maha".
Perhaps others could tell me more?

Perhaps the word was simply coined to see how well a secret could be kept, and specifically it means nothing?

[edit on 2-5-2010 by halfoldman]




posted on May, 2 2010 @ 06:36 PM
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"maha" is sankrit for "great", "lord"....that sort of thing

bone is bone in english.

i doubt they'd combine languages- that's pretty infantile.



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 06:43 PM
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reply to post by IandEye
 

Thanks for the "Maha" info and Sanskrit meaning!
English is a very combined language (I'm just reading on the first dictionaries and how some wanted to edit out the Latin words, and others the Germanic). In history such combinations were not unusual, and it is mistaken to think of Masonry as only Western. Perhaps the marriage of two languages symbolized some brotherhood beyond Occident/Orient division?



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 06:48 PM
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Originally posted by IandEye
"maha" is sankrit for "great", "lord"....that sort of thing

bone is bone in english.

i doubt they'd combine languages- that's pretty infantile.


i hope you are right...lol...i hope there are not worshiping a "Great Bone"



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 08:17 PM
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reply to post by hornyana_jones
 


Nice thread.
My name (Quadrivium) is also found in masonic writings. Any guesses on what it means?



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 08:43 PM
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reply to post by Quadrivium
 


One with the highest learning achievement of the arts standing at the 4

cross roads of life. ^Y^



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 10:14 PM
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reply to post by amari
 


absolutly



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 10:32 PM
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i hope you are right...lol...i hope there are not worshiping a "Great Bone"


Well... aren't Masons some kind of phallocrats, erecting things like the Washington monument, etc?

You might be more right than you know!



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 10:38 PM
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Its Hebrew. It means "What, the builder"

Duh.

www.ephesians5-11.org...



posted on May, 2 2010 @ 10:41 PM
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Originally posted by Aresh Troxit


i hope you are right...lol...i hope there are not worshiping a "Great Bone"


Well... aren't Masons some kind of phallocrats, erecting things like the Washington monument, etc?

You might be more right than you know!



Nope there is not any bone worshiping going on. No worshiping of any kind actually (sorry)



Edit for spelling

[edit on 2-5-2010 by Quadrivium]



posted on May, 3 2010 @ 12:41 AM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 


I can't tell you what it means.


Otherwise.... it wouldn't be a secret!

I can tell you it's not English, nor is it Sankrit.

It doesn't have anything to do with Satan, bones, skeletons or anything like that. And we don't worship a done (or bones.. or anything actually)

However, you will find bones, and death relatively easily in Masonry.. lessons of Mortality.

Obelisks are also not Masonic in anyway.. the reason DC has one is that DC was built during the time of Napoleon, and a second Egyptian Rennasaince was happening in Europe as he was bringing obelisks and pyramids shapes etc back to Europe from conquered Egypt. To have one meant your had the money to acquire it, and the city with the biggest penis (I mean obelisk) was obviously going to be the best city. America couldn't import a penis (I mean obelisk) because of the ensuing wars and terrible economy since the Revolution, that by the Civil War a fake one was ordered constructed, using a brick from every state.


Nothing to do with Masons. Though we do seem to love all things Egyptian.



posted on May, 3 2010 @ 05:49 AM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 

From pages 149 - 151 of David Stevenson's The Origins of Freemasonry: Scotland's Century, 1590-1710, an extremely well researched volume:


The Register House catechism makes it clear that the initiations of the entered apprentice and the fellow craft involved separate words and secrets. The Trinity College, Dublin, Manuscript, a very short catechism dated 1711, states that Boaz was the word of the apprentice, Jachin that of the fellow craft. Thus the fellow craft had both words, for use in the five points of fellowship embrace. Where, then, does the third secret word, revealed in the Sloane catechism, fit into the rituals?
The Sloane catechism gives the third word as `mahabyn'. The Irish 1711 catechism converts this to `matchpin'. Other rather later catechisms give 'maughbin', `Magboe and Boe', 'marrow in this bone' and 'machbenah'.49 All that is clear from this is that none of the authors of these catechisms had any idea of what the word meant. Some of these forms appear simply gibberish. Others probably are distortions arising from attempts to make an unknown word meaningful. Thus `machbenah' looks distinctly like an attempt to pass off the word as Hebrew. This seems to have been influential, but attempts to give it a plausible Hebrew meaning are not convincing.50 The form 'marrow bone' was also influential in the eighteenth century, and was incorporated with the Hiramic legend: the secret taken from the corpse was a bone, with the marrow or secret within it. In modern times it has been pointed out that the word 'marrow' can mean colleague, partner or workmate. It can be found in Scottish building accounts in the last of these senses, used to refer to those working with a man or men.51 Thus it has been suggested the words marrow and bone were exchanged by masons with a message something like 'there is marrow (fellowship) in our bones' and simultaneously a reference to the Hiramic legend.52 These 'marrow bone' explanations of mahabyn are not plausible. If the word was simply marrow bone, why does it appear in so many other forms before that form appears? And how had it become distorted to mahabyn in the first place? As the word first appears as mahabyn an explanation should begin with it rather than the later forms.
With so many implausible explanations already available, it is only with hesitation that another interpretation that may be regarded as equally implausible is offered. There is a possible and fairly simple meaning that has been overlooked and has at least the virtue of being based on the earliest form of the word. The Sloane Manuscript prints mahabyn as a single word, but immediately says that it is always divided in two: and in the ritual fellowship embrace the two halves of the word are said separately. May it therefore be two words should be sought, referred to as one because the term the Mason Word is always singular, and perhaps also because the fact that the two are one is part of the meaning? Simply consulting a dictionary reveals possible meanings of the two halves of mahabyn which seem to fit beautifully, containing both references to buildings and to one of the central ideas I associated with architecture/masonry. Mahal was an Indian word, known in England at least as early as 1623. Derived from an Arab word meaning to lodge, it could refer to private apartments or lodgings, but was used in particular to refer to palaces (as, of course, in the Taj Mahal). Bin of course usually means a receptacle or container, but in its Scottish variant, ben, the word moves up-market somewhat, and refers to the inner or best room of a humble house, particularly one with only two rooms. Mahabyn then could be interpreted as 'palace–humble dwelling' or by extension 'from the palace to the most humble dwelling' or 'from the highest to the lowest'. Is one of the masons in the fellowship embrace saying, in a suitably masonic or architectu­ral metaphor, 'from the highest' to which his fellow master replies 'to the lowest'? As seen in the previous chapter, it was regarded as a unique feature of architecture/masonry that it combined theory, the province of the upper ranks of society, with practice, the realm of the common man. John Mylne's tomb of 1667 boasted that he was both senator and artisan, that as architect he combined highest and lowest occupations.
This explanation of the word or words exchanged in the embrace of fellowship that completed the rituals provides superbly relevant symbolism (something which no other explanation of mahabyn has ever done), stressing in architectural terms that the fellowship of the architect/masons transcended social distinctions. There is one other possible element present. The ben was, as already explained, the inner room of a two-roomed house. The room through which it was approached, called the but (hence the term 'but and ben', meaning a house with just an outer and an inner room), was normally the kitchen. The catechisms talk of the entered apprentice being in the kitchen, the fellow craft having access to the hall. Does mahabyn therefore also refer to the fact that the master mason (whose word it was) had access to the ben, the inner and best room, equivalent to the hall? Interpreting symbolic meanings is dangerous ground, sensible constraints on possible meanings being hard to discern, especially in dealing with an age which delighted in elaborate and many-layered symbolism. But in the absence of any other plausible explanation of mahabyn, 'mahal/ben' is at least worth considering.


Continued in following post:



[edit on 3/5/10 by Extant Taxon]








edit on 27/11/2011 by Sauron because: internal quote tags to external quote tags



posted on May, 3 2010 @ 05:49 AM
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There is, however, another problem relating to mahabyn. Why was a third word needed, when Jachin and Boaz already provided secret words for apprentices and fellow crafts/masters? The answer lies in the obscure process by which the two grades of the seventeenth-century Scottish lodges were converted into a three-grade system. This is first visible in the Sloane Manuscript itself. In describing the quorum for lodge meetings it specifies two entered apprentices, two fellow crafts, and two masters: and it describes separate grips for handshakes for fellow crafts and masters. Thus instead of these being alternative names for the same grades, they have become different grades. The change is sometimes regarded as arising from misunderstanding of Scottish terminology by English masons who were adopting Scottish rituals: not realising that fellow crafts and masters were the same thing they assumed them to be separate grades, thus creating the trigradal system. If this is the case, then the Sloane catechism by mentioning three grades of member who must be present at a meeting demonstrates its English origin. However, this conclusion obviously rests on the assumption that the emergence of three grades takes place first in England, and there is insufficient evidence to be confident of this. Indeed, the first evidence for fellow craft and master ceasing to be synonymous terms occurs in the Lodge of Edinburgh in the late seventeenth century.
Traditionally the lodge was run by the fellow crafts/masters. But only a minority of these men were masters of the public organisation of the craft, the incorporation: most were journeymen wage-earners in the real world, masters only in the lodge. The incorporation masters, used to monopolising power in the incorporation, came to resent having to share power in the lodge with their employees the journeymen, and succeeded in gaining complete control over lodge finances. The journeymen fellow crafts fought back, and the lodge was torn by disputes for years, the culmination of the feud being the secession of many of the fellow crafts who were not masters of the incorporation to form the Lodge of Journeymen Masons.53


49 Carr, 'Catechisms', pt 3, 341.
50. M. Rosenbaum, 'Masonic words and proper names', GLSYB (1985), 104-8.
51 E.g., Mr of works accs., i, 136-52 (1535-6), ii, 156 (1624).
52 Knoop, Genesis, 92-3; Knoop, Scottish mason, 95.
54. The dispute is analysed in Stevenson, Freemasons, chapter 2, and its course can be traced in Carr, Edinburgh.

Link










edit on 27/11/2011 by Sauron because: internal quote tags to external quote tags, include source link



posted on May, 3 2010 @ 09:17 AM
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I think Max Heindel summed up this whole concept of "secrets" and "words".

Members of various societies always say they can't reveal things. I believe that reveal may be the wrong term. I think it may be that they can't express them adequately.

Here is a quote from Heindel in "Ancient and Modern Intitiations":




God is spirit and must be worshipped in spirit. It is therefore strictly forbidden to make a material likeness of Him, for nothing we could make would convey an adequate idea.

But as we hail the flag of our country with joy and enthusiasm because it awakens in our breasts the tenderest feelings for home and our loved ones, because it stirs our noblest impulse, because it is a symbol of all the things which we hold dear, so also do different divine symbols which have been given to mankind from time to time speak to that forum of truth which is within our hearts, and awaken our consciousness to divine ideas entirely beyond words.

Therefore symbolism, which has played an all-important part in our past evolution, is still a prime neces- sity in our spiritual development; hence the advisability of studying it with our intellects and our hearts.


To me that's saying that when a Mason or any other person on a quest for truth finally discovers the lost Word, the secret or the "Shambhala", it is so indescribable that it can't be explained.

I could spend all day explaining the US flag and what it means to me but I cannot describe the way I felt the first time I saw it at a basketball game with the National Anthem playing after 9/11 happened.

16,000 people "felt" the meaning of what the flag represented and were moved to tears, laughter, applause.... emotion...

Perhaps in the intervening years our perspective of that event and the flag have changed but that moment in itself was very powerful and I couldn't even begin to describe it to you.

It was sort of like, "You had to be there."









edit on 27/11/2011 by Sauron because: internal quote tags to external quote tags



posted on Nov, 26 2011 @ 04:51 PM
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The M word you refer to is a vestige of the days when we were known as the Knights Templar. We learned the ways of the Sufi and Kabalists who learned their ways from the Magi. Marhaban is a word still used in the middle east by Arabs. It means welcome. It is the more formal version of marhaba which Arabs use on a daily basis. The true secret of Freemasonry is that no matter how many people know our handshakes and passwords, they will never know the mystic tie of brotherhood nor will they attain higher levels of self awareness and love as we who truly study the Royal Art do. Reading about us is one thing. Being one of us is quite another. We are the heroes of history, the civilizing balance between cold atheistic science and hot blooded religious madness. Without us, the world would be even worse than it is. The degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, Master Mason and the Holy Royal Arch contain all this left of the true way of the Templar/Magi. Everything else is interesting, but modern. If you want to know more than that, you will simply have to join. If you are worthy. askafreemason.com. Peace.



posted on Nov, 26 2011 @ 04:53 PM
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reply to post by IandEye
 


The M word you refer to is a vestige of the days when we were known as the Knights Templar. We learned the ways of the Sufi and Kabalists who learned their ways from the Magi. Marhaban is a word still used in the middle east by Arabs. It means welcome. It is the more formal version of marhaba which Arabs use on a daily basis. The true secret of Freemasonry is that no matter how many people know our handshakes and passwords, they will never know the mystic tie of brotherhood nor will they attain higher levels of self awareness and love as we who truly study the Royal Art do. Reading about us is one thing. Being one of us is quite another. We are the heroes of history, the civilizing balance between cold atheistic science and hot blooded religious madness. Without us, the world would be even worse than it is. The degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, Master Mason and the Holy Royal Arch contain all this left of the true way of the Templar/Magi. Everything else is interesting, but modern. If you want to know more than that, you will simply have to join. If you are worthy. askafreemason.com. Peace.



posted on Nov, 26 2011 @ 06:08 PM
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Mwahaha - it's only a matter of time before I get a Mason drunk enough to spill the beans!

It's been an unsuccessful endeavor thus far, they usually drink me under the table!



posted on Nov, 26 2011 @ 07:57 PM
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Originally posted by Rockpuck
reply to post by halfoldman
 


I can't tell you what it means.


Otherwise.... it wouldn't be a secret!

I can tell you it's not English, nor is it Sankrit.

It doesn't have anything to do with Satan, bones, skeletons or anything like that. And we don't worship a done (or bones.. or anything actually)



You did just confirm that it means "what, the builder," and that's it's Hebrew. Not that I really care, but I'm just sayin.' I also assume that this is a reference to the builder of the universe, the architect, or something like that.

Here's a good question for a Mason:

Is belief really necessary to be one? Some people are hard wired NOT to believe in something when there is no evidence.

Ooo, better question:

Do Mason's have proof of the existence of this "Builder?"

Believe me, although I play the role of dirty atheist I would LOVE to know that there is some sort of ultimate reality. In fact, I think I was given some evidence, although a key message within the evidence was that "contrary to the teaching of every religion on earth, unbelief does not damn you."


edit on 11/26/2011 by Sunsetspawn because: missed a "d" in my clickity-clack typing style



posted on Nov, 26 2011 @ 10:02 PM
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reply to post by halfoldman
 

Damn right we can, plus even in a drunken stupor I doubt you'll get anything you want from a Mason



posted on Nov, 27 2011 @ 12:16 AM
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Originally posted by Sunsetspawn
Do Mason's have proof of the existence of this "Builder?"


wouldn't that make it easy. No, we have no more evidence than you do as a group. I'd like to think each has his own personal proof which cannot be explained.

I think every person spends their life searching for Proof, or more proof that God exists. It's the universal question. Wars have been faught over it, men have died because of it. Masons believe that he is the builder of everything not made with hands. And we remove the need to fight over what name he is called. It's simple yet beautiful. Religious tolerance and freedom practiced, not preached.



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