Masonic Esotericism

Discussion in 'Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality' started by Griffin, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. Griffin

    Griffin Brother of the R+C Premium Member

    37
    2
    0
    Brothers,

    I've been browsing through various threads here, and have come upon some examples of the misunderstandings that can arise over the word "esoteric." To most Masons in Texas that word refers to the secrets of our ritual, the words that have to be memorized and can't be written. That's an appropriate use of the term, but it does have a more significant meaning. There's actually a pretty good FAQ on this here:

    http://www.masonicinfo.com/esotericismfaq.htm

    Ironically enough, it was apparently written by a Texas Mason.
     
  2. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

    1,037
    8
    38
    Nice post.
     
  3. Sirius

    Sirius Registered User

    580
    8
    0
    Excellent read. Thank you!
     
  4. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

    1,037
    8
    38
    I feel a visit to Haltom City-Riverside coming...:wink:
     
  5. Griffin

    Griffin Brother of the R+C Premium Member

    37
    2
    0
    Well, I have to admit that many of the brothers there wouldn't even recognize me. My career often has me working evenings, so my Masonry is mostly in personal relationships, reading, writing, and daily practice of various sorts. I'm always happy to meet a brother with similar interests though, so maybe we could find some way to be in the same place at the same time. :)
     
  6. Sirius

    Sirius Registered User

    580
    8
    0
    Esoteric seems to be a word like 'mystic', often misused and misunderstood.
     
  7. vanderson78102

    vanderson78102 Registered User

    68
    2
    8
    Very interesting reading. There's a lot of debate about just what is and is not esoteric.
     
  8. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

    4,324
    1,114
    183
    It's really pretty simple- if it's in the code book, it's esoteric. :biggrin:
     
  9. vanderson78102

    vanderson78102 Registered User

    68
    2
    8
    Yes, but we've had debates in our lodge about whether things like the various grips are esoteric. And it's my understanding things like the master's word are not in the code book, which is certainly esoteric.
     
  10. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

    4,324
    1,114
    183
    No question about it- grips & "words" are "modes of recognition", thus esoteric, even though not in the book..
     
  11. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

    1,037
    8
    38
    If it is in the code book in code, it is esoteric.:39:
     
  12. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

    1,653
    9
    38
    Well let me ask this, there is a ton in the 4 books given to the candidate, EA, FC, and Master along with the Between Friends Tape that some Lodges play. I am told if it is in there it can be shared. After listening to the Between Friends Tape it covers a lot of the Lectures. Even the tape itself says to share it with Family Members. So my question is this, the way I take it is the dialogue is secret, not the subjects (in some instances) is this correct? In other words, I know we can't talk of the modes of recognition etc. but I can discuss the things covered in these books and tape because they have been approved by the Committee on Masonic Education, right? Just not in the words of the ritual. (I hope this makes sense)
     
  13. Nate Riley

    Nate Riley Premium Member

    376
    8
    18
    You can give those books to your wife or anyone else and let them read it, or read to them. Just the same, anything that is written in plain English in the Monitor can be shared.

    I think a good feel of what is and what is not esoteric (in the sense of being private information between members of the lodge) grows with active experience. Clearly if it is written in code it is esoteric and if it is written in plain English in the Monitor or codebook it is non-esoteric (monitorial). There are some things outside of those books that are or are not esoteric, being active in the lodge and in the presence of more experienced brothers will reveal those things. I tell the EAs and FCs I teach that they should be tight lipped about the goings on until they are more experienced. But I am sure we have all heard or read of the negative effects of a Master Mason that says (or believes) that everything is secret and not up for discussion when asked about Freemasonry. Its sad when this is between a father and son, and the son never persues masonry because of how the father handled it.
     
  14. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

    1,037
    8
    38
    We have one of those.. ?
     
  15. Nate Riley

    Nate Riley Premium Member

    376
    8
    18
    As to the original post, if a brother wants to explore Esotericism that is his personal choice. But I think it is like unto other religious, political or cultural discussions that are intentionally left out. I believe that some of it is a stretch of the Blue degrees (although it may be more evident in the concordant bodies). To balance this discussion with discussion of Christianity (and this is just an example), to say that masons practice astrology because there are references to elements of astrology or the heavenly bodies is the same as saying that masons are practicing Christianity because there are elements of Christianity. Obviously neither is the case, but (IMO) the practice of Freemasonry increases our own self awareness. Thus, certain things with stand out to each of us, not necessary because they are a part of masonry, but because they are important to us or are part of our own pursuits. That is one of the great things about regular Freemasonry.
     
  16. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

    1,095
    17
    38
    I have always been told if GL prints it, anyone can read it...
     
  17. TCShelton

    TCShelton Founding Member Premium Member

    1,037
    8
    38
    +1.
     
  18. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

    4,324
    1,114
    183
    Not so fast, Grasshopper! ;) There are some things in the code book, esp. the working tool explanations, which are esoteric even though they are in plain English. I am told that, at one time, they were not esoteric ,thus they are not in code, but later became esoteric per the Committee on Work.

    I just work here, y'all. :22:
     
  19. Nate Riley

    Nate Riley Premium Member

    376
    8
    18
    The explanations of the working tools are also written in plain English in the GLOT monitor. We all know that the secrets are never to be written, so how can something be esoteric (secret) if the GL is printing it?

    BTW, according to the Glossary in the Monitor, the word esoteric means "not written".
     
  20. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

    4,324
    1,114
    183
    Nate also posted: "If what you are saying is correct, the Commitee on Work needs to let the people in charge of the monitor know it needs to be revised."

    There's a LOT of stuff that needs to be updated- wonder if they'll ever get around to it? :-(
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009

Share My Freemasonry