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FundamentalsofFreemasonry

ByNormanWilliamsCrabbe,MPS
Freemasonryusesallegoricalsymbolstoteachaphilosophyconcerningthenatureofthe
Creator,theoriginsoftheuniverse,andhumanitysuniversaldestiny.Thereligiousdoctrines
inwhichmostpeopleareraisedaredesignedtosatisfythebasicneedsofthegeneral
population.TogetatruerunderstandingofthenatureofDeityrequiresalongterm
commitmentofstudy.TheFreemasonicinitiateisputonthepathofthisstudybybeing
initiatedintothefraternityofMasonry,aWesternizedreligiousMysteryschool.Iftheinitiate
studiestheritual,hewillreceive,proportionatetohisabilitytounderstand,deepmystic
revelationsregardingthenatureoftheuniverseandourmysticjourneythroughit.
Freemasonrykeepsalivethisknowledgefromgenerationtogenerationuntilsuchtimeasitis
understoodandacceptedbyallbeings.
Thoughdealingexclusivelywithreligiousthemes,Freemasonryisnotareligion:noone
dogmaisprofessedasbeingparticularlyMasonic.NoristheMasonicLodgeaplaceof
worship;itwouldbebetterconsideredaclassroom.Freemasonryteachesanoccult
philosophytoleadtheinitiatetowardstheessenceofreligiousthought.Allthatisrequiredof
theinitiateisanexpressedbeliefinhigherintelligence(God);therefore,noatheistcan
becomeaMason.ReligionsinandofthemselvesaremadebymankindtoexplainDeity.
FreemasonscomeinallcolorsandnationalitiesandmayworshipJehovah,Jesus,
Mohammed,orKrishna,tonameafew.
MasonsthemselvescannotagreeonexactlywhenFreemasonrybegan.Somesayitwaswhen
theGrandLodgeofEnglandwasestablishedin1717.Otherswhohavestudiedthefraternity
closelyputthedatenearerto5000BCthoughitwasnotthennecessarilycalled
FreemasonrywithmajormodificationsaroundthefirstcenturyAD.
BlueLodgeFreemasonryanditshigherbodies,theYorkandScottishRite,areatoolthat
teachesaviewoflifethatforcenturieshasbeenonthecuttingedgeofreligiousandsecular
thought.Freemasonicritualissecretbecausementhroughouthistoryhavepersecutedtheir
fellowsforhavingopinionsdifferentfromaccepteddoctrine;secrecyprotectslife,limb,and
themessage.MostFreemasons,however,donotunderstandtheallegorical,mystic
significanceintheritualwork.Forthemitisafraternalclubwithasecretritualisticinitiation
whichmeetsonceortwiceamonthforfellowshipandtosponsorcharities.Therearethree
degreesinFreemasonry.ThefirstistheEnteredApprenticeDegree,apurificationorabirth
intoFreemasonry.TheFellowCraftDegreerepresentsthelearningyearsor,symbolically,
manhood.TheMasterMasonDegreeisasymbolicdeathasoneman(H.A.)andresurrection
andreincarnationintoamoreperfectlifeasaMasterMason,anadeptintheartoflife,aman
withthesecretknowledge,aGnostic.ProgressingthroughthethreedegreesofMasonry,the
studentincreasesinMasonicknowledge.Whenthestudentknowsthenextstep,heis
passedandthenraisedupasaMasterMason.Heistheninformedthatoneofthemost
importantdutiesofaMasterMasonistoseektruth.