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Old Charges, Old Requirements, ETC.

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posted on Nov, 5 2004 @ 02:03 PM
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There have been seas of ink, forests of paper, and terabytes of band width
expended by both sides of this arguement At this point I am going to be selfish.
I am going to ask my questions for myself to try and enlarge my own understanding of the situation.

I may not use the proper terms or semantics but please bare with me.

There are within the history and ritual of Masonry certain controversial things that have been retained over the years seemingly for no logical reason. I don'tbelieve this. there has to be a logical reason, even if it is akin to, " these are small things and not important in the overall picture." By that i mean the greater service that Masonry provides, hospitals,scholarships, etc.etc.etc., and the service to the individual members.

Of Course i refer to the the most sensative areas.
First that of race. The Old requirement that a candidate be freeborn of a free Mother.
It is my understanding that only a few GLs still enforce this and that overall
it is very close to being removed.
Now comes my question on this point.
As I recall Masonry as a whole disassociated with GL of France back in the
1800 or early 1900s because they did away with the " belief in a supreme being" requirement or something along that line.

Could this same avenue not be used with those who insist on the continued
practice of racism? if this clause were to be removed there is still no reason
PH Masons or F&AM Masons are compelled to join other lodges is there?

Second, that of requiring a candidate to be in possesion of all his limbs.
I realize that this probably dates to a far distant time when the members
may have been predominantly of a military order or group. I also realize that
it is no longer actively practiced, but it is there.

the Third area or " Bone of Contention" is the "penalties" spoken of in the
Blue lodge Rituals. Again I realize, as do most people, that they date from
a far gone (but maybe not that far and returning) time when simply doubting
the"revealed truths of the church" could cost you and your family all your possesions and your lives. I also understand that these penalties are not
vows to be inflicted on another as is commonly stated but invited onesself for
betrayal of trust. Just as an aside here for myself I think they are rather easy
for the crime indicated. to me you can do nothing worse than betray a trust.
it took me several years to understand this but i finally did.
could it not be stated, something like these oaths are in rememberance of
a time when.....?

I could be all wrong , just some things i have thought about at different times.




posted on Nov, 5 2004 @ 02:25 PM
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Originally posted by stalkingwolf

First that of race. The Old requirement that a candidate be freeborn of a free Mother.
It is my understanding that only a few GLs still enforce this and that overall
it is very close to being removed.


The issue of being free-born is still in effect, but has nothing to do with race. This requirement is important historically because only free men, and not serfs, could join the Fraternity (thus the designation "Free Mason"). Serf Masons were bound by law to the manor, while Free Masons could travel in foreign countries and receive wages.


Now comes my question on this point.
As I recall Masonry as a whole disassociated with GL of France back in the
1800 or early 1900s because they did away with the " belief in a supreme being" requirement or something along that line.


The Grand Lodge of France continues to require belief in God as a requisite to membership. However, the Grand Orient of France removed that requirement, and beacause of that, is no longer regular.


Could this same avenue not be used with those who insist on the continued
practice of racism? if this clause were to be removed there is still no reason
PH Masons or F&AM Masons are compelled to join other lodges is there?


Any man of any color who otherwise meets the requirements may join a mainstream Lodge or a Prince Hall Lodge. The choice is entirely up to the individual.


Second, that of requiring a candidate to be in possesion of all his limbs.
I realize that this probably dates to a far distant time when the members
may have been predominantly of a military order or group. I also realize that
it is no longer actively practiced, but it is there.


This is a remnant of the operative masonic guilds, and is generally preserved. However, in most Jurisdictions, this restriction can be waived with a dispensation from the Grand Master.


the Third area or " Bone of Contention" is the "penalties" spoken of in the
Blue lodge Rituals. Again I realize, as do most people, that they date from
a far gone (but maybe not that far and returning) time when simply doubting
the"revealed truths of the church" could cost you and your family all your possesions and your lives. I also understand that these penalties are not
vows to be inflicted on another as is commonly stated but invited onesself for
betrayal of trust. Just as an aside here for myself I think they are rather easy
for the crime indicated. to me you can do nothing worse than betray a trust.
it took me several years to understand this but i finally did.
could it not be stated, something like these oaths are in rememberance of
a time when.....?


It is indeed. In fact, many Jurisdictions have already removed these penalties from the ritual. In those Jurisdictions where they are still in use, it is explained that their use is traditional and symbolic, not literal. Albert Pike removed all such penalties from the rituals of the Scottish Rite, S.J., in the 1860's, and the other Scottish Rite Supreme Councils followed suit soon afterwards. In Morals and Dogma, Pike relates that while the penalties once had meaning, in modern times they are superfluous, if not downright silly.
Nevertheless, Pike may have missed an important point. Perhaps the penalties are actually meant to be symbolic of the stage called "Putrefaction" in Alchemy, or the Typhonian property in Nature. This is only speculation, but I've always been surprised that Pike and Mackey didn't consider it (or, if they did, at least didn't write about it).

Fiat Lvx.



posted on Nov, 5 2004 @ 02:27 PM
link   

Originally posted by stalkingwolf

First that of race. The Old requirement that a candidate be freeborn of a free Mother.
It is my understanding that only a few GLs still enforce this and that overall
it is very close to being removed.


The issue of being free-born is still in effect, but has nothing to do with race. This requirement is important historically because only free men, and not serfs, could join the Fraternity (thus the designation "Free Mason"). Serf Masons were bound by law to the manor, while Free Masons could travel in foreign countries and receive wages.


Now comes my question on this point.
As I recall Masonry as a whole disassociated with GL of France back in the
1800 or early 1900s because they did away with the " belief in a supreme being" requirement or something along that line.


The Grand Lodge of France continues to require belief in God as a requisite to membership. However, the Grand Orient of France removed that requirement, and beacause of that, is no longer regular.


Could this same avenue not be used with those who insist on the continued
practice of racism? if this clause were to be removed there is still no reason
PH Masons or F&AM Masons are compelled to join other lodges is there?


Any man of any color who otherwise meets the requirements may join a mainstream Lodge or a Prince Hall Lodge. The choice is entirely up to the individual.


Second, that of requiring a candidate to be in possesion of all his limbs.
I realize that this probably dates to a far distant time when the members
may have been predominantly of a military order or group. I also realize that
it is no longer actively practiced, but it is there.


This is a remnant of the operative masonic guilds, and is generally preserved. However, in most Jurisdictions, this restriction can be waived with a dispensation from the Grand Master.


the Third area or " Bone of Contention" is the "penalties" spoken of in the
Blue lodge Rituals. Again I realize, as do most people, that they date from
a far gone (but maybe not that far and returning) time when simply doubting
the"revealed truths of the church" could cost you and your family all your possesions and your lives. I also understand that these penalties are not
vows to be inflicted on another as is commonly stated but invited onesself for
betrayal of trust. Just as an aside here for myself I think they are rather easy
for the crime indicated. to me you can do nothing worse than betray a trust.
it took me several years to understand this but i finally did.
could it not be stated, something like these oaths are in rememberance of
a time when.....?


It is indeed. In fact, many Jurisdictions have already removed these penalties from the ritual. In those Jurisdictions where they are still in use, it is explained that their use is traditional and symbolic, not literal. Albert Pike removed all such penalties from the rituals of the Scottish Rite, S.J., in the 1860's, and the other Scottish Rite Supreme Councils followed suit soon afterwards. In Morals and Dogma, Pike relates that while the penalties once had meaning, in modern times they are superfluous, if not downright silly.
Nevertheless, Pike may have missed an important point. Perhaps the penalties are actually meant to be symbolic of the stage called "Putrefaction" in Alchemy, or the Typhonian property in Nature. This is only speculation, but I've always been surprised that Pike and Mackey didn't consider it (or, if they did, at least didn't write about it).

Fiat Lvx.



posted on Nov, 5 2004 @ 03:18 PM
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Thanks ML your post was very instructive.




In Morals and Dogma,
i must not have gotten that far yet. again thanks.



posted on Nov, 5 2004 @ 03:24 PM
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- Edit - sorry -

[edit on 11/5/04 by The Axeman]



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