Friday, March 13, 2009

Who Are We

by Rudy Olano
Lincoln Lodge No. 34 (Phil)
Hanford Lodge No. 279 (CA)

“A Mason is sometimes asked by a friend, a neighbor, or a business associate, "What do the Masons do?" The question may be worded more generally, "What are the Masons?"

The opening sentence of an article titled, What’s Your Answer brought out a fundamental question that been asked since time immemorial --- Who are we? The unknown author's real question to the readers was that do we know what Freemasonry is really all about. For what purpose it exist? Who are we? The article's last paragraph offers good and timely suggestions and should be good enough to satisfy normal and curious person. The piece offers adequate and standard explanation of the Fraternity however; its explanation is obviously directed to the non-masons.

Being a member of the Craft, we could ask ourselves, what are some of the specific lessons or Mysteries we study in the Lodge? We all know "the mystic ceremonies that were regularly developed and illustrated. They are intended and hoped to make a deep and lasting impression to our mind." But let's not talk in general terms and instead identify a specific example.

In one of the lectures, our attention is especially directed to the study of Geometry. As one and the most important of the seven liberal arts and sciences, Geometry treats of the power and properties in magnitude in general. This science enabled the architects, generals, engineers, geographers and astronomers to do their job.

A non Fellow Craft Mason will read and understand that the previous paragraph is about angles, measurements, and numbers. By knowing the formula to calculate the hypotenuse, a strong and well designed superstructure can be constructed. But for those who have already passed through a long aisle or porch, the letter "G" stands for more important implication. It is not tremendously difficult to correlate the Geometry materials mentioned in the lecture with the real meaning of "G." A point is the beginning of all geometrical matters. From a point to a line, from a line to..., etc. Without basic understanding of the science of Geometry, construction of stellar edifices is not possible. If one does not recognized his Creator, building one's temple not made by hands but eternal in Heaven is also an unattainable. This is only a fraction of the lessons or mysteries of Freemasonry.

Masonry is a system of morality, veiled in allegories and illustrated by symbols. Masonry is not about community service like Lions or Rotary Clubs; it is not about business development like local Chamber of Commerce; certainly not a specific religious denomination support group. While those endeavors are noble and worth of time, they are not the focus of the Fraternity. They are the result of one's understanding of the lessons of Freemasonry. Someone said that the real secret of Freemasonry is making a good man a better man.

Who are we? I would like to leave that question not for friends, neighbors or business associates but for us--- the members of the Craft.


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