Sunday, November 26, 2006

What is a Concept of Freemasonry

Letters and Figures
by RmOlano

"Maybe the language barrier does not allow me to express my thoughts in a proper manner so I am kindly asking if you have time and a good will to explain me how the one could and should see a concept of freemasonry."
-a question from a non Mason law student from Serbia

Many distinguished Masonic scholars had written and hundreds of books were published to explain the very concept you are asking me. Men like Laurence Dermott's Ahiman Rezon (1756), Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma (1871), John J. Robinson's Born in Blood (1990), Laurence Gardner's Shadow of Solomon (2005), John R. Heisner's Meditations on Masonic Symbolism (2006) and many others. Very few of my articles were printed on Masonic publication hence, I would not even consider my work on the same shelf where our distinguished brothers books were kept. Having said that let me try to address your question.

Freemasonry is an ideal as Pike wrote in 1888 in response to Albert Mackey’s Landmark or Unwritten Laws, “…it is a system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.” We can infer Freemasonry as a collection of thoughts acting in unison to live in a righteous conduct rather than law or customs though the use of partly concealed or decorated representation of models usually seen as signs. Note the two major parts of the definition, an accepted principle based on ethics not laws and partly concealment or enhancement of such ideals by using symbols as clues.

From operative to speculative, from solving mathematical problems to philosophical issues, even distinguished Masonic scholars were at odds in describing what is Freemasonry. If this humble writer could hazard an opinion, viewing Freemasonry is similar to defining beauty. What viewers see will depend on many things including what the eyes want to see. Demanding for further light is of no use if the eyes remain close not to mention distortion of light waves if selected filter is involved. Some of us ended our search for that which was lost in the Royal Arch degree. Maybe because we believe that the search was about Faith. For those who did not waver in their Faith, it is beyond that—something filtered through the calibrated prism of his choosing. People wears different lenses, different filters. Some found their Truth by wearing their shades and discovered peace within their own temple, while some continue to remain on their steed to hunt the fire-breathing dragon or to seek out for their own personal version of Holy Grail.

There is an old clique that states “the real secret of Freemasonry is making good men to be a better man.” The people you are referring were already good men before they joined the Order and the Fraternity polished them into shinning marbles. In fairness, if you look hard enough you will find villains within our group but that doesn’t mean the Fraternity made them such. They were already bad apples at the start who unfortunately did not learn or grasp the teaching of the Craft.

I know you have more questions than answers I could provide at this time. Being a student of law I am sure you will want references to my ramblings. As you have stated that you are not a member of our Craft but an interested party, there are things that I cannot discuss with you which, I am sure you will understand. I am glad however, that you noticed the positive angle of our Order despite of the unfavorable treatment of Roman Catholic Church and other organized religious entities. If I may suggest of the possibility of talking to a known reputable Mason in your city for which I don’t have any idea how challenging that might be but it could provide you the real human side of our Order. I do receive correspondences from Romania expressing not only interest but of having difficulty in finding Masons in their city. Aside from being a low keyed organization, our Fraternity does not actively seek members and in your side of the globe, there is a history to rationalize the reason. To be a Mason a good man has to ask to be one.

I kept most of my writings in Under the 9th Arch website as a lesson learned from crashing hard drive; you can browse in it and maybe find what you are looking for. You might be interested on the article “Secrets of the Craft.”

It is far easier to ask for answers than knowing the question. You certainly know how to ask your question. I thank you for the inquiry and the time to read my response. And I also wish you all the best.


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