Thursday, October 05, 2006

Without Faith

By Rudy Olano

In The Future: Advancing Masonic Morality in both Natural Philosophy and Geometry, by Jeff Peace, the article certainly caught my attention as the title suggests a subject that could have shed further light to the study we know as Freemasonry. The use of key phrases such as morality, philosophy and geometry as the title succeeded in drawing attention and curiosity. Reading on, one could not help but realized that the piece was about promoting the “United Grand Lodge of America.” The organization claims to be “a lighthouse of the original Masonic philosophy of the early eighteenth century” and “in the position to advance the Royal Art to levels never before imagined by Masons of any generation.” The author boldly claimed that the “dream to the Free-Masons of 1717” can now “be realized for the first time.” While the article championed the virtues of being pro-activeness and exhort “our gentle Craft” to rise and “meet the challenge of generations yet unborn,” it also blamed the current Freemasonry or as the author described as “our Peculiar System of Morality, ” for the failure of “both Masonry and humanity.” The eight paragraph article concluded with an ominous declaration “to the purveyors of darkness, superstition and tyranny” of their betrayal and dramatic end of their life.

The repeated use of “Free-Masonry” in place of normally used “Freemasonry” raises the question of the purpose and motive of the writer. Skirting legal issues? The UGLA’s website has the look of a regular Masonic body. The symbols, quotations from Masonic scholars and publications such as Ancient Landmarks, Anderson’s Constitution, etc.., are liberally utilized to achieve the appearance of legitimacy. Are they? The article audaciously proclaimed that the old tradition is lifeless and that “guarded secret” should be given to the “rightful inheritance of humanity as a whole,” that is “time to restore this gift to its rightful owners.” Abandoning tradition for the sake of what? More members therefore, more paid dues? Does the UGLA really believe that if the humanity knows the “secret word,” that mankind will change and live a life without fear, hunger, and sickness?

For someone with daring to proclaim that the past--- the traditions is dead and those who clings to that notion “… will die with it,” is a sad conclusion which could only come from someone who seems to be at loss of understanding of what the Craft is all about. A system whose aim is to make a good man to be a better man is alive. What appears to be dying is the comprehension of who we are and what purpose Freemasonry exists.

Freemasonry is not about paid off dues card; it's not about achieving "32nd degree," not about making children laugh or about changing the world to New Order. It's about building a temple not made by hands but eternal in heaven. The allegory behind the study of grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy directs us to better understand ourselves. Understanding our own strengths and frailties make us appreciate the struggles within ourselves. Man will always contend with wickedness within himself, for as long as man walk on the face of this Earth, man will always be exposed to evil. That’s why we are men not gods.

The journey will take us to a rough and rugged road; it's not going to be easy but that’s what life is always been. And in that journey, it is hope that by becoming a better man, we can influence our surrounding to make it a better place. The Scottish Rite teaches us the importance of finding the balance between good and evil. The Order of Knights Templar of the York Rite dramatizes the commitment to defend or readiness to defend ones Faith. Faith is what we believe, it maybe as simple as preserving the tradition, it could be the meaning of Life or as complex as knowing the Ultimate Unknown. Without Faith is sailing without rudder – without destination. How can a Mason search for something that was supposed to be lost, if he never knew that he lost something valuable in the first place?

originally posted at

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