November is a month of reflection – perhaps due to the fact that we are getting close to the years’ end – but also because Remembrance / Armistice Day (11 November) is a significant date in most countries’ diaries.
It is a date, with its associated meanings, we should never relinquish or extinguish from our memories, or our societies.
It makes me incredibly sad (and angry) that there are some who would deny, or distort, the history surrounding the two World Wars, not to mention all the other conflicts that came before and after. We must remember – we must learn – we must not forget.
For the Fallen
Poem by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943), published in The Times newspaper on 21 September 1914.
With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.
At present, in swathes of society around the world, we are experiencing the disturbing spread of cognitive bias with regards to history.
The most dangerous form being confirmation bias – ‘the tendency to interpret new information as confirmation of your pre-existing beliefs and opinions’.
This is a subject we have covered in The Square previously – and will again – but do check out this superb article on cognitive bias – it is something we should all be aware of: https://www.simplypsychology.org/cognitive-bias.html
Bust of Cicero (1st-cent. BC) – Palazzo Nuovo – Musei Capitolini – Rome
IMAGE LINKED: wikimedia Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Cicero stated that:
To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?
Freemasonry, with its own unique and fascinating history, has so often been maligned, misunderstood, and had that history endlessly reimagined.
But when swathes of people will not accept the recorded version of events due to unconscious bias’, then we are in trouble.
Not only are we products of our collective histories but we need to learn from them, not consign them to the melting pot of conspiracies, or the various ‘isms’ we construct.
It makes one wonder – what, or who are we or will be without our respective histories?
Memories, of course, can be unreliable but if the extant records of the past are to be denied or refuted, where do we go from there. Something to ponder…
Article by: Philippa Lee. Editor
Philippa Lee (writes as Philippa Faulks) is the author of eight books, an editor and researcher.
Philippa was initiated into the Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons (HFAF) in 2014.
Her specialism is ancient Egypt, Freemasonry, comparative religions and social history. She has several books in progress on the subject of ancient and modern Egypt. Selection of Books Online at Amazon
Recent Articles: history series
The Ritual of the Operative Free Masons - P1
The original paper was written, first, to prove that Speculative Free Masonry was derived from Operative Free Masonry; second, to give some account of the Operative Free Masons, of their Ritual, and of their customs. By Thomas Carr, M.D., P. M. Honorary Member of the Guild of Operative Free Masons
The Perjured Free Mason Detected
Was Samuel Prichard a perjured individual, or simply a misguided Freemason? Prichard's book "Free Masonry Dissected" published in 1730, is now used by many Masonic historians as a source of reference with regards to the introduction of the third degree into the Craft. But at the time it was published in 1730, it was not so well received by members of the Grand Lodge of England.
The Order of the Dragon
Societas Draconistarum, meaning "Society of the Dragonists"– was a chivalric Order for selected nobility, founded in 1408 by Sigismund von Luxembourg, who through marriage became the King of Hungary (1387–1437) and later Holy Roman Emperor. The Order was fashioned after the military orders of the Crusades, requiring its initiates to defend the cross and fight the enemies of Christianity, in particular the Ottoman Empire.
17th century and the Holy Royal Arch
This article focuses on a period of transition between a point in time when we can safely and historically identify the first formation of what could be called as the ‘Royal Arch’ and the historical events that have preceded it.
Most Freemasons have heard the terms 'Operative' and 'Speculative' Masons, and this article helps to understand the difference:
Roberts' Constitutions of Freemasonry 1722
Published a year before Anderson's Constitutions, The Old Constitutions Belonging to the Ancient and Honourable SOCIETY OF Free and Accepted MASONS. Originally printed in London England; Sold by J. Roberts, in Warwick-Lane, MDCCXXII.(1722)
A Song of Freemasonry
From 'Songs of religion and life', 1876 by John Stuart Blackie (1809-1895)
On the Antiquity of Masonic Symbolism
Is the Symbolism of Masonry an inheritance derived from the old Masons who flourished before the era of the Grand Lodges (1717); or has it been borrowed from the Rosicrucians or others, after 1717?
Mason's Marks – from Egypt to Europe?
Mason's marks have been a source of intrigue, not only to Freemasons but to historians and archaeologists. The use of simple pictograms have been employed for millennia by artisans to identify their work. But where did they originate and why?
The White House Foundation Stones
Further to the articles in our series on the history of the stone masons, we have a rather intriguing addition. During the 1950's renovation of the White House, President Truman retrieved more than 100 stone blocks with stonemasons marks.
The Green Dragon Tavern
What the Goose and Gridiron Tavern is in the ancient annals of London Freemasonry, The Green Dragon Tavern is to the memories of the Free-mason, of Boston and New England.
when hate goes too far
Auschwitz concentration camp: video photo article taken in 2013
Martin Bogardus explores the Masonic characters and symbolism within the hugely successful 'Outlander' books and TV series.
27 January 1945
There are two things of importance happening this day - 27 January
Understanding of Freemasonry
Two approaches regarding the understanding of Freemasonry
Masonic Research in England c1930
An article which appeared in an American Masonic magazine, c1930 and which was reproduced in England, provoking a little controversy.
A 1657 Masonic? Bookplate
Masonic bookplates the ‘Brethren’s spiritual coats of arms and marks’
The Unlawful Societies Act of 1799
Rebellious Freemasons and the 21st century
The Lost Jewel
In 1912, Sarah Dowd of Dromore, Ireland, found a Masonic jewel dated 1517 - a date two hundred years before the establishment of Grand Lodge...
Benjamin Franklin’s Virtues
Benjamin Franklin's Virtues, Freemasonry, and Jewish Practice.
Franklin's Virtues Revisited For Today's Mason
How are the virtues and the pursuit of self-improvement and knowledge as pertinent for today's Mason, as they were for Benjamin Franklin.
Origins and Links to English Freemasonry - Part 3
Quasi-Masonic societies - are the highly secretive Skull and Bones the real Illuminati?
Origins and Links to English Freemasonry - Part 2
The Regius MS & Deciphering the Oldest Charges
Origins and Links to English Freemasonry - Part 1
Unexpected links between the Freemasonry of today with the original Operative builders.
Freemasonry and Fascist Regime
Interesting speech by the famous historian Prof. Aldo A. Mola, who links the fascist regime with the Masonic Associations.
Ovid 25 Lodge
Was famous Russian poet Alexander Pushkin a Freemason? And if so, was he a member of the lodge ‘for which all the lodges in Russia were destroyed’?
The Importance of Masonic Research
An introduction to Masonic research - how to know what is authentic...and what is not!
The Antient Noble Order of the Gormogons had a brief existence in the eighteenth century; they left few records or accomplishments, and there is no indication as to their true purpose other than to parody and degrade Freemasonry, and perhaps further the Jacobite cause.
Four Times of the Day - Night
Hogarth's mockery of Freemasonry. A humorous depictions of life in the streets of London, the vagaries of fashion, and the interactions between the rich and poor.
Russian Freemasonry a combination of a short sketch of its history and a review of the present-day Masonic landscape in this country
to be a better citizen of the world
share the square with two brothers
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