Question about Masonry

Discussion in 'Frequently Asked Questions' started by AlteredState, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. AlteredState

    AlteredState Registered User

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    Is there any spiritual benefit in joining the Freemasons. I don't mean just a better understanding about religions, ethics, and whatever. I already have a pretty good knowledge about religions. Don't really claim any of them, but defintely believe in a higher power. I'm not looking for just a good old men lodge. I've literally seen stuff, and know there is more to this world than what appears. I've always seemed to more spiritually in touch, have astral projected for many many years, and reached other states of conscious by other ways. I'm looking for a lodge that can heighten my senses and things of that sort. Or is Masonry really even like that? I'm looking for a more esoteric, thelemic, kabbalistic type of lodge. Does the Scottish Rite even teach this?
     
  2. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    Do not go to Freemasonry for a substitute for religion (defined broadly). There are individual Masons who practice all sorts of outre stuff, but such doctrines and rituals are not part of Masonry on a formal basis. A good way to look at it is that Freemasonry does not exclude such men, and such men contact each other within Freemasonry, but religious activity, even broadly defined, is not what Freemasonry is for. Freemasonry is a museum and a library. It is full of symbols, full of men who have many beliefs about those symbols. Individual freemasons and groups of them might use those symbols in the religious (defined broadly) way you seek, but Freemasonry does not, itself, directly sponsor such activity.

    This answers the "long form" of your question. Now for the short form: Yes, there is spiritual benefit in Freemasonry, just like there is health benefit in taking a walk in clean air and moderate sunlight (Lodge fellowship, hands-on charity, etc.) without having an explicit "exercise program" (i.e., esoteric, thelemic, kabbalistic).
     
  3. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    BryanMaloney gave an excellent answer and I concur. I have felt that I have gained tremendously in my Christian spiritual life by being a mason as well as broadening my understanding of esotericism et al, the latter especially in Scottish Rite. If one were to delve further, one would gain more. Like said above, do not make the mistake of believing that Freemasonry is a substitute or even a pathway of religion; it is not. In that folly is where a lot of anti's are misinformed and derive their arguments.
     
  4. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    Some Freemasons study the fields you've mentioned, and some shun them like the plague. The Craft is made up of a broad range of men with a broad range of interests.

    If these studies are your sole reason for wanting to join, you might want to seek another avenue.
     
  5. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    The topics are in the degrees whether any one Mason shuns them or not. But in most lodges you have to bring your interest and your study yourself. It's said that "You get out of Masonry what you put into Masonry" and this is one of the more extreme examples of the principle. if you come carrying the topics you'll do fine. If you come looking for the topics then you didn't put them into Masonry yourself and you'll very likely end up disappointed.

    Of course when it comes to mystical topics that's true of pretty much every situation in like and in a lot of cases the underlying material isn't present. At least in Masonry the underlying material is present though ignored by most.

    There are more in the young generation who are interested in such topics than in previous generations but those too you would have to a seek out and bring into a lodge discussion group yourself.
     
  6. AlteredState

    AlteredState Registered User

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    I don't practice any of those things, and know Masonry is not a religion. Those things just kind of intrigue me. They are probably just what they are known to be, mysticism. I'm just trying to figure out the best I can to what exactly Masonry is. While moving up they do give you different material to read, and things to study up on though, correct? Or how would any of you actually define Masonry? I don't know anything about the symbols, other than what some are, and know I'd have to join to learn all that. Which I probably will, but with what some people say about masonry, I'm not just going to jump into it without doing some research first. Just what you can share, can you explain what goes on at a typical blue lodge meeting?
     
  7. BryanMaloney

    BryanMaloney Premium Member

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    Go to a lodge and meet the men there. Then you will see.
     
  8. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    The claim is that Masonry is experiential. You have to experience it to understand it. The claim is consistent with calling Masonry an initiatory mystery school. Whether we are an initiatory mystery school or not depends on the individual candidate not on the initiatory mystery aspects that are present in the degrees for the finding. It is easy to find brothers who say that what makes us different is our aprons. Don't expect those brothers to discuss the many layers of symbolic meaning.

    Note that "up" only goes to the degree of Master Mason. All other degrees are optional and best described as "further not higher". In most jurisdictions candidates for the three degrees are presented material they must memorize. Don't get dazzled by the corny hats.

    If you ever intend to petition I recommend not reading anything that describes the content of the degrees. If you intend to get any initiatory experience out of them that material spoils the novelty and thus the initiatory aspect of the experience. I suggest reading about our philosophies, or history, our famous brothers.

    Note the conundrum. If you intend to get the most out of the experience you learn the types of men we are then you put your trust in us for your degrees. If you intend to learn what will happen you spoil the initiatory aspect and thus the mystical aspects you started this thread with. Stepping out in trust in us and faith in our ways is the starting point of the mystical initiation. Don't do the first step that way and you lose the leverage of the starting point. it still leaves plenty of material to read about other aspects of our order.

    On the surface we pay bills and discuss past events and planned future events. Charities, optional orders, lodge events, district events of the local lodges, grand lodge events at the state level. Beneath the surface is the shared fellowship and a great deal of symbolism that happens as we open, work, close and go to the fellowship social.
     
  9. Squared_Away

    Squared_Away Registered User

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    That was very well put and very informative!


    ~Open Minded~
     
  10. AlteredState

    AlteredState Registered User

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    Thanks dfreybur!! That's the kind of answer I was looking for. I just didn't want to have my hopes up too much for something then it turn out to be way less than what I expected. I've read some some famous quotes, and dug into other religions some. Read on other forums posts done by Masons. I guess I already kind of see what you mean by it depends on the candidate. Just by the ones I know I can say they all seem like good men so I have no problem
     
  11. Bro Darren

    Bro Darren Premium Member

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    All Masons can attended meetings in their Lodge. If they are performing a 2nd or 3rd degree they would ask you to leave the lodge room and wait for that degree to conclude and then invite you back in before closing the meeting.
     
  12. Bro Darren

    Bro Darren Premium Member

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    If your a 1st degree you can't sit in on 2nd or 3dr ritual until you are at that same degree yourself.
     
  13. Bro. Michael

    Bro. Michael Registered User

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    The short answer is yes. Every degree in Masonry teaches new things. In fact many of us as MM still learn new things from the work even after having gone through the degrees.
     
  14. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    This actually depends on your jurisdiction. For example, in many states here in the U.S.A. you can't attend stated meetings until you are a Master Mason, in fact this was the case in Texas until 6 or 7 years ago.

    As for why this is the case...well that also depends on a great many things. Here in the States it is believed to be a result of the Baltimore Convention (http://www.masonicdictionary.com/baltimore.html). As for Kazakhstan, I'm sure it has it's own reasons.
     
  15. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    If you're concerned about any of it's contents conflicting with your faith, family, country, etc. then I can assure you there is nothing in the oaths/obligations that will do so.

    To answer your question more directly however, yes they are secret. You could possibly find them somewhere if you're diligent but it'd be difficult to do with all the misinformation out there. None of the brothers here would tell you what they are (I would hope) or where to find them either.
     
  16. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    I tend to lean to the esoteric side. I recently joined the AASR and seems like I will find some of that there.
     

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