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Conceit, Egotism, Pride -- Why?

Spacephx

Registered User
I am not a mason. I am not able to become a mason, or at least a traditional one because of gender. My friend recently told me he was joining. Worried for the friend because of internet stories, I researched into it just to make sure I was not losing that friend.

Now here's my question. Why is it that every mason I have talked to on every site, YT, reddit, FB, Twitter, etc, has so far been conceited? I don't mean just a misunderstanding either. I mean completely conceited.

They have all portrayed a 'holier than thou', 'smarter than you' attitude with me, acting as if intellectualism literally belongs to them and only them. (Which is not a great impression to anyone.)

No. I am not a mason. But I have researched. I have bought and downloaded books. Not just 'writings about' but legit books from ebay. Estate sales, thrift stores, etc. Legal places to buy these things. I have bought ritual books, the encyclopedias, the lexicons, and the full breakdowns of the rituals, their symbolism and the interpretations of that symbolism (despite Amazon reviewers saying don't waste your time, more conceit).

My question is why? Of all the 'good character values' your group is supposed to uphold. I would think humblness should be one of them.

But I keep getting the same thing. "No matter how much you research, or how much source material you have, you won't understand, can't know without becoming one and going through it."

This is a fallacy. It is complete empiricism, 'knowledge by experience' which is rejected in Philosophy. Rationalism says you can have knowledge through reason and learning. I understand I can't APPRECIATE it as well as a mason would. But to keep sitting there and telling me one can't learn even with all the tools and sources and complete breakdowns. Is just ... it's anti-knowledge. All the logicians and philosophers and scientists you look up to would be appalled. Davinci didn't just say he couldn't learn the things he taught himself unless he had a group to give him the experience. He taught himself. He researched.

You can self teach yourself anything with enough time, dedication, source material, and research. Religion, Quantum Physics, literally anything. Maybe you won't understand at first. But if you're truly dedicated and put time into it you can learn and understand. NO field of study has it where you can't know unless you experience it.

And since the rituals are allegorical plays. I'm basically being told I can't understand Romeo and Juliet and its symbolism without playing in it. And yes I won't understand the authors entire POV. No one will, he wrote it. But I will understand the breakdown of it. You do not need to star in or write a movie to understand its symbolism.

So why are masons so arrogant with this when it goes against every intellectual they look up to? You are basically implying that the rituals are more than just symbolism despite labeling them as such that even your books, the legit ones you have, don't mention. Which is why so many write conspiracies about you, because that is a bad implication to make.

So to end this. Why do all the masons I've met talk down, and how do you think that's good character?
 
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Glen Cook

G A Cook
Site Benefactor
Yes, we are taught we should be humble. I am unconvinced we are successful in that teaching.

I suggest there is a distinction to be made between understanding the history, ritual, and philosophical underpinnings of Freemasonry, and the transformative process of the initiatory experience; the impact of the ceremony on your senses; the sense of belonging to the group; the inheritance of the traditions of century... I quite agree the intellectual component may be grasped, as demonstrated by Prof. Margaret Jacobs. But the experiential component? I can read about any number of emotive experiences, but to truly know that experience, must I not have been involved in the occasion arising to the feelings?

I do like your use of of “appreciate.” I think you could appreciate the initiatory experience I have tried to capture.

And I’m appreciative you think I could learn quantum physics. My math grades would suggest otherwise. :).
 

Bloke

Premium Member
Thanks for the post.

What country are you in ? Researching, I would assume you are aware of Le Droit Humain, Co-Freemasonry, Order of Women Freemasons etc etc. I see those organizations as pretty "traditional".

Thirdly, the internet does have the tendency to bring out the worst in people, and being human, that can be true of Freemasons too... but I can understand the approach some might have taken. At the end of the day, I can read all the books on birthing I like, even witness a birth, but I will never know what it is to give birth until I actually do... I don't think that is a fallacy but a fact. However, we can certainly agree to disagree, and to do so without getting upset about it, especially if we are talking fallacies. You're arguing a point and in arguing a point, I think it is human tenancy to argue a different point back if the listener holds a different view. Especially if they perceive themselves as an expert in something they perceive the other person is not as experienced in the subject mater as themselves.

I'm basically being told I can't understand Romeo and Juliet and its symbolism without playing in it.
I think you would get a much better understanding about Romeo and Juliet from having been madly in love rather than acting in the play.. and I guess that's the point, much about Freemasonry is about subjective experience and feelings. (Noting your subjective experience and feelings about Freemasonry are just as valuable as mine..) Maybe that's why Freemasons get so passionate about it sometimes.. but would imagine in reading about Freemasonry on a page, you would likely not get the same feelings; excitement, anticipation, perhaps fear, love, belonging and accomplishment as one who entered the lodge room for the first time to become a Freemason..
 

coachn

Coach John S. Nagy
Premium Member
I am not a mason. I am not able to become a mason, or at least a traditional one because of gender.
But you could join an order that accepts females.
My friend recently told me he was joining. Worried for the friend because of internet stories, I researched into it just to make sure I was not losing that friend.
You are a good friend...
Now here's my question. Why is it that every mason I have talked to on every site, YT, reddit, FB, Twitter, etc, has so far been conceited? I don't mean just a misunderstanding either. I mean completely conceited.
Great question!
They have all portrayed a 'holier than thou', 'smarter than you' attitude with me, acting as if intellectualism literally belongs to them and only them. (Which is not a great impression to anyone.)
Agreed! Not a good first impression.
No. I am not a mason. But I have researched. I have bought and downloaded books. Not just 'writings about' but legit books from ebay. Estate sales, thrift stores, etc. Legal places to buy these things. I have bought ritual books, the encyclopedias, the lexicons, and the full breakdowns of the rituals, their symbolism and the interpretations of that symbolism (despite Amazon reviewers saying don't waste your time, more conceit).
Research is good. Questioning research is even better.
My question is why? Of all the 'good character values' your group is supposed to uphold. I would think humblness should be one of them.
Ah! The reason(s)...
But I keep getting the same thing. "No matter how much you research, or how much source material you have, you won't understand, can't know without becoming one and going through it."
Yep. I've heard that as well.
This is a fallacy.
It can be, but it truly depends on what it is that you want to come to know.
It is complete empiricism, 'knowledge by experience' which is rejected in Philosophy. Rationalism says you can have knowledge through reason and learning. I understand I can't APPRECIATE it as well as a mason would. But to keep sitting there and telling me one can't learn even with all the tools and sources and complete breakdowns. Is just ... it's anti-knowledge. All the logicians and philosophers and scientists you look up to would be appalled. Davinci didn't just say he couldn't learn the things he taught himself unless he had a group to give him the experience. He taught himself. He researched.
Yes, he did teach himself, and through his experiences, he learned much!
You can self teach yourself anything with enough time, dedication, source material, and research. Religion, Quantum Physics, literally anything.
But you cannot bond with the other members if you're off learning without them all the time.
Maybe you won't understand at first. But if you're truly dedicated and put time into it you can learn and understand. NO field of study has it where you can't know unless you experience it.
In the engineering college, we are first taught the theory, but we are required to experience the theory next through labs. They know it is not enough to study, you must have hands on to know the materials studied.
And since the rituals are allegorical plays. I'm basically being told I can't understand Romeo and Juliet and its symbolism without playing in it. And yes I won't understand the authors entire POV. No one will, he wrote it. But I will understand the breakdown of it. You do not need to star in or write a movie to understand its symbolism.
It sure does come across that way...
So why are masons so arrogant with this when it goes against every intellectual they look up to?
I think you may be confusing a well-orchestrated marketing ploy with arrogance. They are not the same beast.

The target audience for many of these members are those who want to know more and who are attracted to intrigue. These members know that if they act like they know more and they say to prospects that they will not know unless they experience it too, they will attract those who fall for this ploy. They will also act this way toward people who are not targets since the conversation itself is marketing to those listening in. These conversation do serve multiple purposes.

Unfortunately, most all who experience ritual have no clue as to the depth of what they experienced and they have to have it explained to them. This explaining is usually done by people who made up the significance to make it sound important, but what they made up is usually so far off the mark that the next generation of members are even more clueless.

Much like those engineering labs I mentioned, I have countless examples of things mentioned or alluded to in ritual that would have much more significance for those experiencing it if they only knew the significance PRIOR to experiencing it.

<sigh> But this much needed change in our membership education ain't gonna happen in my lifetime. ;-)
You are basically implying...
To whom is this "you" you refer? Freemasons? Keep in mind, no one member speaks for the organization.
... that the rituals are more than just symbolism despite labeling them as such that even your books, the legit ones you have, don't mention. Which is why so many write conspiracies about you, because that is a bad implication to make.
The organization is a very easy target for sure.
So to end this. Why do all the masons I've met talk down, and how do you think that's good character?
You have simply not met the right ones. Keep searching. You'll find them!
 

J Chapman

Registered User
You can read about Freemasonry until the cows come home, but reading and experiencing are VERY different things.
Before joining, I did exactly what you did. Research, read whatever I could find. A large percentage of what I read was garbage and experiencing it for myself was unlike anything I imagined.
So I have to respectfully disagree with you saying you can understand without experiencing. At least with respects to Freemasonry anyway.
Good questions though :)


Sent from my iPhone using My Freemasonry Mobile
 

Brother_Steve

Premium Member
I read about driving a car in high school in drivers Ed. That still didn't prepare me for what it would be like to actually drive a car...
 
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