reply to post by Erbal
*** "I'm trying to get past the trolling and hear from Masons themselves as to what exactly is taught by the fraternity, or even just to hear they are
not willing or not permitted to actually answer that question without dancing around and lawyering me to death" ***
*** "What, explicitly, is not self-education in regards to Freemasonry, beyond the modes of recognition, symbols, and the rituals/oaths?" ***
Honesty, from my personal experiences, the fore mentioned subjects are just about all that is taught outright, the basic meaning of various symbols
and their origins, the grips and words per degree, what your oaths are as a brother Mason and the basic origins of the lodge, what the working tools
are, what they stand for and how to incorporate them into your life. Then the rest is left up to you, which is seemingly endless. Its not really
anything you cant find out on the internet and if you aren’t really a history buff, it could be pretty boring to some. The “deeper meaning” to
each symbol can mean different things to different people depending on their interpretations.
One person may take the square and compass as strictly tools for building stuff, while others (once they understand the meaning behind each tool
individually), seeing them together in certain forms, or depending on how they are laid out, tells a story or provides different levels of information
or identification. Similar to that of an Egyptian hieroglyph.
The square and compass together, to me are a reminder of my oath, reminding me to live a virtuous life (the square) keeping my passions under control
(the compass) and always trusting and believing in the order of God’s plan (the G in the middle).
Initially learning the degrees in my opinion, was similar to learning the lines to a play in theater arts. At first it was a little overwhelming, and
I didn’t really see the fuss behind it all, but I was looking at it in a very 2D sort of way.
Bottom line- "Whats the benefit to joining?" the simplest answer I can give IS self enlightenment, learning how to live your life better and learning
to assist others in doing the same. No hidden message, and no layering. If you join expecting to be given a book of secrets, or to gain advantage by
favor, you will be disappointed.
Hope this helps...
edit on 31-5-2012 by JBpage76 because: spelling correction