Immortality of the Soul

Discussion in 'Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality' started by A7V, Aug 12, 2009.

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  1. A7V

    A7V Registered User

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    Why does Texas require a belief in this? I have always understand that only a belief in a supreme being is needed.

    If a man believes in God but doesn't believe that his soul is immortal, he can't be a Mason in Texas? Christadelphians are a Christian denomination that don't believe in the immortality of the soul yet they wouldn't be allowed to join?

    I don't understand that, it seems like mainstream Christianity pressing itself into the lodge further than it should.

    It actually pisses me off the more and more I think about this.
     
  2. A7V

    A7V Registered User

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    I just realized that maybe I am just incompatible with Texas's version of Freemasonry or maybe just Freemasonry in general.

    I have to do a lot of soul searching on this and soon.
     
  3. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Brother, I am saddened by your revelation and I hope you are able to figure this out one way or another. I cannot speak for the Brothers that wrote our ancient charges and laws.

    However if you really delve into Masonry that is what we are all working for. The spiritual building eternal in the heavens. If you do not think the soul is immortal than how could you believe in Masonry period? If you do not believe in the Immortality of the soul then why would one want to become a Mason in the first place? There are a ton of organizations out there that do charitable work that do not have this requirement.

    Brother, Masonry is not for everyone. Simple as that. We do not allow atheists for a similar reason. Does this upset you as well? Taking the spiritual aspect out, we do not allow someone in that can not think for them (Insane). Does this bother you? Not everyone that applies makes it through our teachings and that doesn't mean a negative connotation to the craft just that we have a set of beliefs that not everyone falls under. I for one understand and was told before I joined and during the ceremonies several times. I even had to say yes to each of the beliefs. We do not hide these beliefs and I think that is what makes us a great organization. We are more transparent then most think.

    I may be going out of line here but I am wondering if the issue isn't with Masonry but with your spirituality?
     
  4. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    Whys that? All of the rituals aim toward a life beyond this life, that house not made with hands. Requiring a believe that your soul/being/essence lives beyond death and these earthly bonds seems completely inline with Masonic philosophy and teachings. In fact Mackey felt so strong about this that he made it the 20th Landmark:

    LANDMARK TWENTIETH

    Subsidiary to this belief in God, as a Landmark of the Order, is the belief in a resurrection to a future life. This Landmark is not so positively impressed on the candidate by exact words as the preceding; but die doctrine is taught by very plain implication, and runs through the whole symbolism of the Order. To believe in Masonry, and not to believe in a resurrection, would be an absurd anomaly, which could only be excused by the reflection, that he who thus confounded his belief and his skepticism, was so ignorant of the meaning of both theories as to have no rational foundation for his knowledge of either.

    Most Grand Lodges, including Hawaii, requires
    as part of their recognition of other Grand Lodges. (the quote above is from the GL of Hawaii law book btw §100d(4) to be exact.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2009
  5. jonesvilletexas

    jonesvilletexas Premium Member

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    Well side brothers, I could have not put it better. Not wanting to be hateful, but the inter door swings both ways, I have always thought if your are not happy where you are move.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2009
  6. jonesvilletexas

    jonesvilletexas Premium Member

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    You might won't to check your information about the Christadelphians!
     
  7. A7V

    A7V Registered User

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    My spirituality is firmly rooted and I take offense that you question it.

    I am a Christian and believe in the ancient Christian belief of the Reincarnation of the Spirit. No where is it said that the soul is immortal it is the Spirit that lives forever. Also, keep in mind that they are not the same thing.

    God breathed into man the breath of Life [Spirit] and he became a living soul.

    The Hebrew texts denotes the spirit as "ruach" and refers to it as only the immaterial part of man (Num 16:22).

    So the spirit is part of the soul and only man has this spirit, animals do not. As man seeks God not animals.

    The soul can die but the spirit can live immortal.
     
  8. A7V

    A7V Registered User

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    I have checked my information and the Christadelphians own website can back me up
    Also from elsewhere

     
  9. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    I am very happy to hear this. I am not here to judge. I am just offering my words of help with your delima. My question to you is why do you feel the need to post this on the forum? Over time I have seen your questions and I love the debates it has caused.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2009
  10. A7V

    A7V Registered User

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    You Sir, called into account my spirituality how could I not defend myself from this attack?

    As, for not arguing with ignorance it does go both ways, but I don't feel either of us is ignorant, we just look at something from different angles.
    Maybe we have a hard time seeing what the other person sees because we haven't yet walked over to where the other is standing to see it from his angle.
     
  11. Nate Riley

    Nate Riley Premium Member

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    I agree on all points with Brothers Josh, Wyndell and Jones. I believe that this part of our principles pre-dates the Grand Lodge of Texas.

    As far as Christianity pressing itself into Masonry, it is my belief, (others will disagree and that is fine), that Christianity was the predominant religion at the time and in the countries of its formative years (shortly before and after 1717). So, I believe, that the Christian influence on Freemasonry goes back to the beginning. Now, to further irritate some of you, its my opinion that our religious tolerance was originally in place as tolerance between the different demoninations and other fundamental differences in the Christian faith. Now, I hold dear our religious tolerance and think it is a great thing. But I recognize, that we are not compatible with all religions (many qualify, but some don't that's a fact).
     
  12. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    Good points Nate, but how come the only reference that comes to mind to Christianty in the Blue Lodge that the Holy Bible is on the altar? The rest is purely old testament, and not Christian at all, but seemingly Hebrew. There is no mention of Christ whatsoever in any of the three degrees.
     
  13. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Brothers, I would like to apologize to Brother AV7. I posted a paragraph earlier stating that I questioned his motives on the thread and that I recommended the other brethren to do as I did. I was out of line when saying this and it has been removed. I understand where Brother AV7 is coming from after speaking to him in a personal message and as I stated in the post earlier I look forward to the debates that he brings up. This is what makes this forum unlike the others. That we can truly speak freely (as long as within due bounds).
     
  14. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Good points by Bro. AV7 that he has given me permission to post. We had this disscussion in PM. The quotes are me.

    Re: Hello - Today, 01:48 PM

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Wow! This is the discussion I was intending!!


    Quote:
    Do you not mention the gavel being to be used to divest the mind and conciences of all superflurities of life the better to fit the spiritial house not made with hands eternal in the heavens and speak of jacobs ladder in the lecture of the EA?




    Yes! We did and in fact to me nothing in this on a esoteric level has to mean the immortality of the soul. You can use the gavel to divest the mind and conscience of all the superfluities of life. The question is what is meant by the spiritial house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens!! This in fact on an esoteric level does not have to mean a soul going into the Christian concept of a heaven. There is an esoteric Christian concept that we are on a plane, and that we can transcend or descend this plane through knowing our inner Light. Now, the plane above us is not necessarily heaven it is believed it could be the Garden of Eden and that the Fall of Man was a literal fall from that plane of conscientious to this plane. Through finding your inner Light you can once again reach this plane while being here on Earth physically. This is what the Buddhist would call enlightenment. It is the Spirit not the Soul that is making this journey. When we pass on, it is the Spirit that descends into the lower plane (hell) or rises to the upper planes. The soul is the body that stays in this plane. Now, Christian Reincarnation (there are many theories in Theology on this) basically says that our Spirit moves to another plane and resides there until it completes what it needs to complete and then moves to another plane. This is the immortality of the Spirit that we talk about in this lesson. Jacob's Ladder has a huge part in this because it is a tool used to go up and down on these planes of consciousness.


    Quote:
    I mean our lessons are filled with symbols speaking of the immortality of the soul I mean the whole 3rd degree the raising of the cadidate. One could say it is a journey to heaven.


    You, see this is what is the obvious for those of us that have a Christian background that the candidate is being resurrected. It could also be seen that instead of being moved all the way to "heaven" this candidate has simply shed a consciousness and has been awaken on a new plane of consciousness where he is more readily able to see the Light that is around him. Something he could no do in his old "form" or "body"

    I will admit Brother the concepts are extremely similar but in a way are totally different.

    I was not intending to argue but these degrees are full of allegory and illusion and it seems that everyone has just accepted them as being this or being that. I feel that the goal of Masonry is to continue to seek Light, and part of that in my mind is not just accepting what everyone else feels the interpretation of this degree work is.

    Thank you again for this talk.
     
  15. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    Now that is the kind of stuff I get out of Masonry.
     
  16. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    this whole discussion probably should have gone in the sactum sanctorum or the religion forums.


    A7V brings up a lot of good points. I feel like he's challenging a lot of core beliefs that people around here hold, and hit some soft areas with a hammer.

    Discussion doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't believe or not believe one side or the other...

    That being said...




    that was quoted earlier. i bring up the question: why does masonry require the belief in the immortality of the soul? We know why there is a belief in a supreme being (binding obligations), but why is it that an eternal soul is necessary?

    does it fit in somehow with it making a man better in some way? is an eternal soul necessary for leading a good life?

    very interesting questions indeed... i'll have to think about those for a while.
     
  17. Sirius

    Sirius Registered User

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    The belief in the immortality of the soul/spirit/astral body (however you want to call the part of you that is immortal) is essential because of the lessons that flow from that understanding. Most importantly the lack of fear of death. A man who does not fear death is very powerful (or very crazy). Also, why is the soul immortal? What composes the soul? It leads to the Divine Spark and Union with the GAOTU.

    Simply put, the belief in the immortality of the soul is a key start point of the Masonic philosophy.
     
  18. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

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    Good call JTM. Maybe we should look at what constitutes "the soul."

    As AV7 pointed out, it may be different things to different people.
     
  19. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    the lack of fear of death? i know plenty of atheists that claim to not fear death at all, and think of us as the crazy ones.

    would you then consider the druid that thinks that the immortality of the soul (and especially "flow" as you mentioned) is the return to the earth mother both physically and spiritually to be a good match for masonry?

    as TCShelton says:

    that's good too.




    keep in mind, i'm a christian, and i understand why a soul is important to me, and can see how it *could* be a requirement for masonry... but not sure why it needs to be specifically mentioned.

    perhaps i need to study the third degree better.
     
  20. Nate Riley

    Nate Riley Premium Member

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    I'm not saying that the Blue Lodge is a Christian organization. And I agree that there are no explicit references to Christ (although a Christian could choose to feel a special emotion regarding the explanation of the Lambskin as could a Jew). There are several suttle things in the degrees the some of the other acceptable religions might find special to them. My point was just to put some of our principles in cultural context, I think it is important to understand that they (the British fellows at least) were likely in a culture where Christianity was predominant.
     
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