My Old Brethren: Looking Five Generations for the GAOTU

Discussion in 'Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality' started by MaineMason, Oct 3, 2014.

  1. MaineMason

    MaineMason Registered User

    I'm a fifth-generation Master Mason, a third-generation Scottish Rite Mason, and as far as I know, the first to be a Royal Arch Mason in my family.

    Who is the G. A.O.T.U?

    My forebears who were Masons, including my father, tend to be rather "Enlightenment-era" informed. I'm an Episcopalian, however, I tend to look at my faith a bit like they do though I am, as an Episcopalian, nominally a Trinitarian. However, I sever--as they did--my religious beliefs from the Light I have received from Freemasonry while of course believing in a higher power than myself.

    So, given the wonderful and broad nature of the G.A.O.T.U. (And so many of the men in my family who replied "So Mote It Be" to my Grandfather's prayer at holiday meals) while I consider myself Anglican for my Christian devotions which are totally separate from my Masonic obligations, and having been brought up with what I now know to be Masonic values first and Christian ones if you want them, what do those of you whom I know to be perhaps more of an "Evangelical" Christian mindset say to someone like me who now realizes that I was raised more as a Mason than a Christian and yet believes and yet again cares to keep the two separate?

    (Spoiler: I'm not eschewing Anglicanism any more than Masonry and am not swayed by "Christ" arguments: I was saved at my Baptism, and if you want to know what I believe about that, take a look at the Book of Common Prayer)
  2. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

    I fear that by asking "who" is the G.A.O.T.U you are going to get caught up in the same anthropomorphic argument that ensnared my last forum question, even though I tried hard to avoid it. In fact since "Great Architect" is basically an anthropomorphic term I am sure you will.

    Be that as it may, for me the terms God and G.A.O.T.U both refer to a set of non-anthropomorphic principles, or truths, which determine the nature and substance of everything that exists or is known.

    For me, all religions are what remains of the discoveries made by great investigators of reality, along with the legends of the practices originally used to make those discoveries.
    MaineMason and Morris like this.
  3. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    I,too, keep my religion and Masonry separate and I see no conflict what so ever between the two. As a matter of fact I see many similarities between them such as showing me a moral compass.
    MaineMason likes this.
  4. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

    Every person of Faith has a personal vision of what/who/when Deity is, often influenced to varying degree by their style of worship. Freemasonry teaches us to be Tolerant of that very thing.
    The GAOTU is the metaphorical vision of Deity that corresponds with our allegorical teachings, and allows us to Work together and recognise the Great Architect's hand upon the Trestleboard in harmony.
    MaineMason and Warrior1256 like this.
  5. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

    Tolerance is not acceptance. Tolerance is mutual peace. Tolerance is not agreement. Tolerance is agreeing to disagree. Tolerance is not acquiescence. Tolerance is working together. Tolerance is Masonic.

    I don't think the Grand Architect of the Universe is separate from my concept of the divine. I think the part that is separate is that the GAOTU is the concept that each of us has for the divine. We are each separate individuals and to me that's the basis of the separation.

    Is my concept of the divine different than yours? Maybe, maybe not. Probably. Doesn't matter. The GAOTU is the symbol, the pointer that we all use to gaze towards our own concepts of the divine. The symbol is in common, the view is for the individual, the sharing the symbol is the tolerance.

    We should each be able to say - The GAOTU is my concept of the divine. We should be able to say that about ourselves without reference to whether our concept is the same our different than any other brother's. The concept has individual contents while the label pointing to those concepts is what we share.
    dalinkou, mrpierce17, Chaz and 2 others like this.

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