My experience as a Freemason

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posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 03:11 PM
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Hi all,

I hope that this post might be of use to brethren and non masons alike. Hopefully I will be able to present myself in a way that all find easy to understand but I must warn you that some of the information I will present some may find distressing, especially if they have been effected by the same issues. If this is the case please PM me if you wish to discuss further.

First though I need to take ownership of the thread, therefore I will lay some ground rules out for those wishing to reply and hopefully enable the mods to easily deem what is off topic and what is not.

Please only post if you are willing to add to the thread in a positive way.
Please debate and not argue, for those unable to differentiate between the two, debating is usually done by those that hold a view but have an open mind to others point of view, arguing on the other hand is done by a person who is unwilling to listen to another's point of view and is single minded in the information they want to put forward.
Please offer evidence if your purposing a fact or say that is just your belief or opinion. Evidence in my opinion is something presented where those offering the proof have no vested interest or agenda though if it comes from your own experience please state.

For clarification when I say secret I am using the Oxford definition as provided below, in the context of the adjective "not known or seen"

secret

Pronunciation: /ˈsiːkrɪt/
adjective
not known or seen or not meant to be known or seen by others:
how did you guess I’d got a secret plan?
the resupply effort was probably kept secret from Congress
[attributive] not meant to be known as such by others:
a secret drinker
fond of or good at keeping things about oneself unknown:
he can be the most secret man
noun
something that is kept or meant to be kept unknown or unseen by others:
a state secret
at first I tried to keep it a secret from my wife
something that is not properly understood; a mystery:
I’m not trying to explain the secrets of the universe in this book
a valid but not commonly known or recognized method of achieving or maintaining something:
the secret of a happy marriage is compromise
a prayer said by the priest in a low voice after the offertory in a Roman Catholic Mass.

Phrases

be in (on) the secret
be among the small number of people who know something:
only Linda was let in on the secret
in secret
without others knowing.
make no secret of something
make something perfectly clear:
they made no secret of their hatred for him

Origin:
late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin secretus (adjective) 'separate, set apart', from the verb secernere, from se- 'apart' + cernere 'sift'

Before I can say where I am I feel it may be useful to know some of the path that has led me to this point.

I am 43yrs old, married for 16yrs and have a teenage son. I am Buddhist and I am a Freemason.

I was born in 1969 in the UK and my family was poor, to the point of having to go without food, I experienced my first life changing experience at the age of 6 when I was sexually abused by a care giver, this led me to questioning life at the age of 8. Between 8 and 20 I tried to take my own life on a couple of occasions. I self harmed, cutting and through drug abuse to the point I was a heroin addict (but broke no law apart from substance mis-use, I did not commit crime to support myself). I was suffered constant verbal, physical and emotional abuse, my step father never called me by my name, only "you - boy".
At the age of 20 I had my second life changing experience. I realised that the life I was leading would only lead to my own destruction and it was time to start giving back to society, it was here that I started my career in care work, spending from 20 to present supporting those that are far more disadvantaged than me.
It was also at 20 that I discovered Buddhism, within Buddhism I found that my suffering is a result of my own actions, I had to take responsibility and change, no one could do it for me. This gave me great strength and I decided to become ordained. I dis robed a number of years later, not due to my faith but due to the fact that meditation brings to the surface things that have been buried, and as you can guess from what I already posted, I had a lot of things buried


Ok, I have revealed the secrets of my past, not all of them as there are things I am not yet willing to share, so they will remain secret, but hopefully you know me a little bit better now, which was the purpose of divulging the information I have (please no sympathy).

Why did I become a Freemason?

I have stated in previous threads that I don't like dogma and also I experienced persecution for my beliefs. I had known a few Freemasons for a number of years and each and everyone of them appeared to be upstanding individuals. Unfortunately I was under the impression that I needed to be invited and it was only a couple of years ago when I had an in-depth conversation with whom is now a brother, that I discovered I have to ask.

I could see the value of joining the fraternity in that it offered a safe and stable environment, free from being judged and persecuted. It offered me a group of male role models that I had sorely lacked when growing up. It offered me love and support. It offered me a new tool for self development. All of these it still does.

My experience.

To start I will paraphrase the paragraph above beginning "I could see the value....." Then I will share a secret, the first secret I discovered was........... I can be a better person than I thought I could be. Then I discovered I can be more confident and that I am valued.

I enjoy the sense of belonging, the practices and the lodge nights, the drinks and the conversations.

People join for the right and wrong reasons, it isn't to network though I have shared some parenting techniques with brethren that have younger children than me.

The secrets in Freemasonry are secrets in the sense that the information is hidden, it remains hidden until you discover them, they reside in your heart and no you do not have to be a Freemason to discover them, it is just that for some of us it helps.

Some things in Freemasonry I will not share, these are mundane things but by my not revealing them I show my brothers that they can share other secrets, for example a brother may tell me of family issues, work issues etc.
Things that he wishes to remain hidden or kept secret, private things.

As I previously stated I have secrets from my past that I will never share with anyone..... What happened on my wedding night, my sex life with my wife, confidential information about the people I support etc.

I hope you find this information useful, if you have any questions or wish to debate points please ask.


Oh if I don't reply straight away it is because I do not sit at the computer for log periods of time, but I promise I will answer at some point.
edit on 28-6-2012 by Jamjar because: Added last line of post




posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 03:26 PM
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reply to post by Jamjar
 


We are the same age. Different paths in life, but both led to the same door.

The only question I have for you is, when you roast your cowan's and eavesdroppers, do you use butter and garlic, or just garlic?

Welcome again brother.



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 03:30 PM
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I'm a full fat butter type of guy, so butter and garlic with some coriander.

To brethren, as we are not in lodge if you have any questions as to how my faith sits with the craft then please feel free to ask, as developing understanding can only lead to a more harmonious experience.



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 03:38 PM
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Originally posted by Jamjar
I'm a full fat butter type of guy, so butter and garlic with some coriander.

To brethren, as we are not in lodge if you have any questions as to how my faith sits with the craft then please feel free to ask, as developing understanding can only lead to a more harmonious experience.


No questions whatsoever, I totally understand, and you are not the only Buddhist brother that I know, or even the only one on ATS.



As I previously stated I have secrets from my past that I will never share with anyone..... What happened on my wedding night, my sex life with my wife, confidential information about the people I support etc.



Well, pffftt, nevermind then. I don't care about the esoteric mystical secrets of the brotherhood, I want to know about the inner-workings of your bedroom! I am a Republican afterall! At least registered that way, although I find myself disagreeing with 99% of the platform. Anyhow, as long as your wife is not a relative of a brother Mason, then feel free to spill all those secrets to us, that is the good stuff!


More seriously, GREAT POST, congratulations on finding this path, and thank you sincerely for your story.



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 03:42 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


lol, the penalties of the obligations I made to my wife in not revealing those secrets would lead to dangly bits being nailed to a wall.



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 03:47 PM
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reply to post by Jamjar
 


I will go ahead and show my ignorance here but I will walk away a tiny bit smarter.
As a Buddhist, what do you call God?



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 03:49 PM
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Originally posted by network dude
reply to post by Jamjar
 


I will go ahead and show my ignorance here but I will walk away a tiny bit smarter.
As a Buddhist, what do you call God?


I don't want to step on our OP's toes, but I'd like to ask you.... why does he have to call God anything? As far as I know, he only has to believe there is a Supreme Creator. There is no obligation to name or personify that creator is there?



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 03:53 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


It's just idle curiosity. For a long time I though a Buddhist called God Buddah, but for some reason, I think that is incorrect. If the OP feels that is not something he wishes to answer, I fully respect that. I am just trying to not be such a dumbass next time I speak with a Buddhist.



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 03:54 PM
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Its a valid question that I was hoping some one would ask as most people see Buddhism as an atheistic religion.

I wont try to explain in depth but link you to a wiki explanation of Adi-Buddha

Hope that enhances your knowledge.

I invited the question
edit on 28-6-2012 by Jamjar because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 03:55 PM
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reply to post by network dude
 


I think I know the answer, but I might be a dumbass as well!
It is more likely than not, plus it isn't my thread. I'll wait and see if I can become more enlightened as well, because I have a habit of speaking more than listening, and that probably isn't very educational for me.



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 03:58 PM
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As a Bhuddist, do you find that you find a lot of the symbolism in Freemasonry difficult to relate to?

Especially those based on the Scriptures?



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 04:04 PM
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reply to post by Saurus
 


Not at all, as a Buddhist I respect all sacred texts and show what is written the reverence it deserves, one day I would like to have read all texts cover to cover and present a discourse on what each has in common, but I think that is a project for my retirement



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 04:10 PM
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reply to post by Jamjar
 


Did you take your Ob. on a VSL that is sacred to your faith? This is the only reason that I might ask a new candidate specifics of their faith.



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 04:22 PM
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reply to post by no1smootha
 


No.

The reason for this is that the moral teachings contained in the VSL that is always open, in no way, conflicts with the moral teachings in my own sacred text.

However I was asked if I wanted to use my VSL



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 05:36 PM
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reply to post by Jamjar
 


Brother, i greatly appreciate you sharing these aspects of your life, and what brought you into Freemasonry. My experiences in life were similar.

As a yougster, from the age of 12 until around the age of 20-21 i had also struggled with poverty, and the life of the streets. Fighting, drinking and other things were commmon in my surroundings, and from time to time i also induldged, or over induldged in those things.

I had known Masons in my own family, including my grandfather and my uncle on my mothers side. They were more of the fire and brimstone Masons, though. The only time i had heard my grandfather speak about the fraternity was when I had asked him what was in that skinny little suitcase he carried around with him. It was his Past Masters apron.

Aside from that it wasnt until I took up reading as a hobby that i became truly interested in the Order. Stepping away from the the street lifestyle also opened my eyes to the fact that I wanted to return something to my community. I had always had a strong set of morals, and after months of thought, i decided as soon as i was able, I would become a freemason.

And then, I met my father in law. A cowboy, a demolitions expert, a former navy seal, and one of the finest, stand up individuals I had ever come to know and love. After a conversation over dinner about my grandpa and his belonging to the Masonic Order, a knowing smile crossed his lips. He was indeed a Master Mason.

Soon after i asked him the question. And then i asked him again and again. Finally he brought me my petition, signed with his signature. He told me to find one more Brother to sign for me and that my Journey would begin soon... The rest is history.

I have hit a few stumbling blocks along the way. Not every Brother in my lodge took to liking the tattooed youngster. Also, without being too bragadocious i hope, my skill with the ritual and floor work kind of pissed a few people off... I can understand, though. I have a great memmory, and blew through things that men had spent deacades trying to perfect.... Not intentionally though, i just soaked it up like a sponge!

I have now been a Master Mason for three years and have come to love the Fraternity completely. There are few things in my life that habe helped me as much as Masonry has... My fience and my family and God.

Solomnly and sincerely, brother. I love you and all masons.

Thank you for sharing your experiences.
edit on 28-6-2012 by W3RLIED2 because: Sp



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 05:59 PM
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reply to post by W3RLIED2
 


Brother,

Thank you for sharing, I find it fascinating to hear another's recalling of their journey so far. I hope also that it enables others to see us for what we are, human just like everyone else.



posted on Jun, 28 2012 @ 06:04 PM
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I'm not sharing. It's boring anyway, just an explosion with rehab, a dirty record exec, 15 years of soul-searching, a divorce, a remarriage, and a wise old father-in-law.


Ok, maybe I'll share, but I'll need a little while to type it.



posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 06:27 AM
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Originally posted by getreadyalready
I'm not sharing. It's boring anyway, just an explosion with rehab, a dirty record exec, 15 years of soul-searching, a divorce, a remarriage, and a wise old father-in-law.


Ok, maybe I'll share, but I'll need a little while to type it.


Looking forward to it :-)

On a side note I find it amusing that by showing others that us masons are actually human, seems to knock the wind out of the sails of those who often accuse us of heinous acts. Unless my request for debate not argument has put people off, or my request for proof without agenda.



posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 06:31 AM
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Originally posted by Jamjar

Originally posted by getreadyalready
I'm not sharing. It's boring anyway, just an explosion with rehab, a dirty record exec, 15 years of soul-searching, a divorce, a remarriage, and a wise old father-in-law.


Ok, maybe I'll share, but I'll need a little while to type it.


Looking forward to it :-)

On a side note I find it amusing that by showing others that us masons are actually human, seems to knock the wind out of the sails of those who often accuse us of heinous acts. Unless my request for debate not argument has put people off, or my request for proof without agenda.


Hope springs eternal. No, JJ; the trolls will lie low for a surprisingly short span of time and this thread will drop down the list. 'Discussion' here isn't about research and proof; it's about rehashing long-discredited assertions again and again and again. Welcome to Groundhog Day

Fitz



posted on Jun, 29 2012 @ 09:02 AM
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Slavemasons take the short bus to the mystery school. They put a harmless, clueless Homer Simpson face on it all. Then there is Casey Anthony's dad and his courtroom antics. Don Rumsfeld is a hoot. Its all about learning to keep secrets. First your own. Then everyone else's. They start out small. Quid pro quo. Before long everyone's price is known. And everyone's value. Tools. Resources to be called upon when needed. Bob is a good one. We can count on Bob to play ball. He knows what we know. Say you saw something you didn't. Say you didn't see something you did. Use your position and authority to roll our way.

If you never saw that side it is only because you were enver of much value. The chess board has more pawns than anything else.





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