Ashlar Chippings

Understanding Freemasonry

The ‘problem’ of Masonophobia

Freemasons are entitled to have Masonophobic actions and attitudes placed on record, in the hope that the political and religious tolerance and understanding already extended to other minority groups will soon encompass Freemasonry.

 

A Serbian poster for an exhibition in 1941-1942 during the Fascist regime of Milan Nedic, showing the Jews and Masons controlling the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom, with marionettes of Stalin and Churchill. Caption: “The Jew is holding the strings. Whose strings and how? He’ll answer you. The anti-masonic exhibit” – By Third Reich – World War II posts and documents University of Minnesota,
IMAGE LINKED:  wikimedia Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

A large part of the problem seems to centre on repeated attempts to define, explain or otherwise understand Freemasonry as an institution.

By its very nature, Freemasonry cannot be compared to any existing group or body.

This is very difficult for many people to accept, because we all have a good idea of what groups in society are about’, what they do, what they stand for and what their aims and objectives are. Freemasonry is the exception to this because individual Freemasons do not have a dogma to guide their actions.

One way to consider Freemasonry is as a framework through which individuals can move as they wish, in any direction they wish, interpreting and understanding what they see and hear.

They might well be offered opinions and interpretations by other Freemasons also navigating the same framework, but these opinions can be accepted, rejected or modified.

There is no central authority that dictates where the framework begins or ends or what various symbols, words and objects mean.

Thus, Freemasonry means different things to different people at different times.

As a self-interpreting system, it therefore defies classification [1].

Once it is understood that Freemasonry cannot be classified, labelled and filed away, then perhaps comparisons will no longer be made.

Freemasonry will be accepted for what it is: a peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated with symbols.

Where was the Foundry? [2]

 

The metals used in King Solomon’s Temple Archaeological digs over the years have failed completely to find any traces of metal casting in the area we traditionally associate with this  activity.

However, strong evidence of smelting and working of metals has been found [3] with appropriate site dating of pottery, in the area at the tip of the Gulf of Aqabah, the north-eastern arm of the Red Sea, thought to be the location of the Biblical Ezion-geber [4].

The metals smelted and refined there were copper and iron, using the geographic topology which would tend to funnel and concentrate the prevailing desert wind-storms, much as does a blast furnace.

Further, as it is unlikely that brass or bronze was known at that time and in that region the temple’s metal objects would probably have been of copper – the enormous brazen sea [5], altar, ten lavers, elaborate bases, pillars, pots, shovels, basins and a wide variety of metal fittings not only for the temple itself but also for Solomon’s own palace buildings.

Answer this and answer true: 

Part of a catechism on the 2° [6]

​Why doth the Sun within our Lodge with so much brightness shine?
And why the Moon and Glittering Stars draw nigh unto the same?
And why that penetrating eye with rays of light around?

The letter ‘G’ in angles three with that bright star is crowned.
And these two pillars B and J upon the left and right,
With bases and with chapiters and all so shining bright,
And that mosaic pavement plain with steps that lead thereon.
Why doth our Tyler wear a sword and him a Mason man?
Solve this to me if you be free without the aid of your fraternity.

[A lengthy answer followed by a catechism of ten questions and answers are next given, which it is not proper to set down here.]

Finally:

My friend you’ve answered well. Since this you did discover.

I’ll no more call you friend. Henceforth I’ll call you Brother.

Footnotes
Reference

[1] Extract from: Cooper, Robert L D, The Red Triangle, Lewis Masonic, 2011. (Bro Cooper is Curator of the Grand Lodge of Scotland Museum and Library).

 

[2] Horne, Alex, King Solomon’s Temple in the Masonic Tradition, p. 80 et seq. Aquarian Press.

 

[3] By Dr Nelson Gluek (1900-71, Professor of Bible and Biblical Archaeology, Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.)

 

[4] I Kings 9:26. Well worth a read.

 

[5] National Geographic Magazine, 1944, p. 233.

 

[6] Extract of a poetical catechism used in some Scottish Lodges, known as ‘The ceremony of Reading the Apron’. Reproduced in Transactions of the Manchester Association for Masonic Research, Vol. XCVII (2007).

Article by: Hugh O'Neill

Hugh O'Neill

Past Master of Craft lodges under the constitution of the United Grand Lodge of England. Member of Quatuor Coronati Lodge 2076, the world’s premier Masonic research lodge. Masonic historian and orator on Masonic topics.

 

 

The Red Triangle: A History of Anti-Masonry

By: Robert L. D. Cooper (Author)

This new title looks at both the controversy surrounding present-day issues along with the long history of anti – masonry and what the future holds for the Freemasons This new title looks at both the controversy surrounding present-day issues along with the long history of anti – masonry and what the future holds for the Freemasons.

 

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