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Freemasonry In Bedlington.

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Dajazar,

Thank you for a measured and informative response. The problem for me is this 'belief in a supreme being'; I have none, and wonder whether all Mason's actually do? I would guess, and again I may be wrong as it is a guess albeit an educated one, that the majority of Freemasons in the UK are of the Christian faith. If so, do they also attend Church on a regular basis?

Yes, many Masons are regular churchgoers but by no means all. I should have mentioned that there are many branches of Freemasonry (referred to as "The Craft"). One such branch is The Chapter (coincidentally the same name as the infamous motorcycle gangs). This is closely related to the Christian faith as is The Knights Templar who continue to exist as another branch of the Order and The Rose Croix. I always used to think that admission was only by recommendation but this is not so. You would however need to seek out other Freemasons if you were interested in joining and they would need to get to know you to feel confident of proposing and seconding you. You do need the belief in the supreme being though. All Masons have pledged this belief before being admitted.

In his early days as an entered apprentice (as new Masons are referred to) my husband was amazed to witness together in a lodge room, Christians, Catholics, Sikhs, Muslims and a myriad of men of other faiths working together. The uniting factor was the belief in the supreme being. In other situations/countries/places these men could have been at each others throats or denouncing each other/preaching hatred and all the other things that characterise conflict. These things have no place or relevance within Masonry and that is, I believe, something to cherish.

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You can call me what ever you like, but i thought this was the United Kingdom?

Not the United Kingdom of Islam.

We are slowly losu=ing our Identity to other faiths in this country.

As a example, on the BBC News page, a girl burnt a Koran and all hell broke loose and gets Arrested, but they can burn the Union Flag and poppies on Armistise day (11/11) and they get away with it.

Where has the Bulldog spirit gone in this country?

That is my Opinion, and am not racist, as have friends of all creeds and colour, it is just the minority that boil my !*[email protected]#

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I would like to take this opportunity to thanks all for your replies.

I gathered that it would envoke a little debate. I was very sceptical too before joining, I listened to all the rumours and read the wrong books. I was very interested so I took the plunge and asked my father if I could join. Its not about waiting to be asked. If anyone is interested in Joining then either contact the Grand lodge of England or I would be more than happy meet for a chat and see if its for you .

Please see below an extract from the Grand lodge website. I hope it helps answer some questions. As previously stated, Yes every member must profess a belief in some supreme being. Yes I have no doubt that there are some who have no belief at all and the ones that have may not even attend church. remember the church is one thing and Freemasonry is another. Tarby get back to me if you are interested after reading the folowing I would be most happy to help.

Once again great views and great comments.

What is Freemasonry

Freemasonry (also known as Craft Freemasonry) is among the oldest non-religious fraternal societies in the world. It is a society of men who are concerned with moral and spiritual values. It encourages men to live better lives, to discipline themselves and to consider their relationships with others. Because it is a basic and essential requirement that every member professes and maintains a belief in a Supreme Being, it has a spiritual basis. However, it is not a religion, nor should it ever be regarded as a substitute for any form of religious faith. In fact, Freemasons are strictly forbidden to discuss matters of religion in the Masonic environment. The Bible (known by Freemasons as The Volume of the Sacred Law) is always open when Lodges meet. Obligations are sworn on, or involve the Volume of the Sacred Law or whichever holy book is held sacred by the man concerned. Freemasons attempt to follow three great principles which represent a way of achieving higher standards in life:

Brotherly Love

Tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and kindly, understanding, behaviour towards fellow creatures.

Relief

Practicing charity not only for other Freemasons, but also for the whole community. Freemasonry has always been concerned with the education of young people and the care of orphans, the sick and the aged, and continues this work. Large sums are regularly given to national and local charities!

Truth

Freemasons always strive for truth, demanding high moral standards and aiming to achieve them in their own lives. Freemasonry is a society which has private methods of recognition i.e. of proving membership. These methods may have been derived from those used by operative stonemasons in the middle Ages to protect the secrets of their craft. They are now similarly used to preserve Freemasonry's method of teaching morality. The meeting places of Freemasons are called Masonic Halls and some are open to the public on certain occasions. Freemasons are expected to be as open and frank about Freemasonry and their membership of it as their situation in life allows them to be. Freemasons gain from Freemasonry only as much as they are prepared to put into it by way of commitment to the ideals mentioned above. Thereby they experience a friendship which can only be felt from within the organisation and a spiritual and moral uplift which is very real but is hard to explain.

The Lodge

An English Masonic lodge is a fraternity of men warranted by the United Grand Lodge of England to meet together in brotherhood on regular occasion to maintain, teach and expand the tenants and principles of Freemasonry. It is a closely knit family of friends. The objectives of is to improve the morals and manners of its members in every respect in the fulfillment of their own lives, the lives of their families and of those who surround them. That is a noble precept and to be part of its enfoldment is a highly prized honor.

What kind of men are Freemasons?

Men of all ages (i.e. 21 or above), races, colours, religions, politics or financial or social standing are qualified to become Freemasons. We have members who are part of our Royal family, professions, trades, skills, arts, sciences, businesses, manual occupations - both the employed and self-employed and sadly in these days, the unemployed. When a person is admitted, he becomes known as a 'Brother' and remains so for the rest of his Masonic career. It is also pointed out to candidates that in Freemasonry all Brethren are 'on the level.

Conditions for admission

There are, however, certain preconditions of membership of any Masonic lodge.

You must believe in a Supreme Being.

You must be at least 21 years of age.

You must not engage in discussion on matters of religion or politics on Masonic occasions.

You must profess allegiance to the Sovereign of your country and all that the Sovereign represents.

You must be prepared to take an oath to preserve the private aspects of Freemasonry.

You must be willing to strictly observe the Laws, Regulations and Constitutions of Freemasonry.

You must be of good character and be prepared to uphold the Civil and Criminal Laws of any country in which you may reside, either temporarily or permanently

You must have the full support of your partner and family.

Society, family and your job

A Freemason's duty to society as a citizen must always prevail over any obligation to other Freemasons. Freemasonry will severely censure and probably expel any Freemason who attempts to shield another Freemason who has acted dishonourably or unlawfully. Freemasonry must never be allowed to harm a man's family or other connections by taking too much of his time or his money or causing him to act in any other way against their interests. If it is ever proved that a Freemason has gained an unfair advantage over another person because of his membership of the Order, a serious view will be taken. Members must never use any sort of Masonic certificate or evidence of membership to advertise a business or other enterprise nor use any sort of Masonic device or description on stationery etc. Freemasonry is compatible with any form of occupation whatsoever, but all Freemasons must be careful not to compromise their living and the living of their dependants.

How is Freemasonry Organised?

Freemasons meet in Private Lodges. Each one has a unique number on the roll of the United Grand Lodge of England. Of course, there are many thousands of other lodges in almost every country of the world. A lodge can have a membership from about 20 to several hundreds. English Private Lodges outside of London are mainly grouped into Provincial Grand Lodges. The lodge you wish to join is probably part of a Provincial Grand Lodge. Provincial Grand Lodges administer Freemasonry for the lodges in their areas and appoint the more senior and experienced Masons from the Private Lodges for this purpose as well as a small number of paid staff. In England the Private Lodges (under their Provincial Grand Lodges) form part of the United Grand Lodge of England which is administered from its premises at Freemasons' Hall, Great Queen Street, London.

Degrees

When a man joins Freemasonry, he must take part in 3 different ritual dramas. There has to be 28 days between each of these ceremonies which are known as 'degrees'. The messages of the degrees are briefly: First Degree - The candidate is admitted as an 'Entered Apprentice' – he learns about man's natural equality and dependence on others; his civil and moral duties. Second Degree - The candidate becomes a 'Fellow Craft' - the effect of Nature and Science; the rewards of labour. Third Degree - The candidate becomes a 'Master Mason' - contemplation of inevitable death; fidelity; duty to others.

Other Orders

Many Freemasons do not progress beyond these three degrees and continue to enjoy their meetings in what is generally known as 'Craft' Freemasonry for many years. However, all those who have received the third degree, are advised to join the Royal Arch Masonry. The message of the Holy Royal Arch is the awareness of man's relationship with his God. The Holy Royal Arch is operated as a separate and distinct part of Freemasonry and you will be advised where to seek further information when you have completed the Third Degree. Many Masons do go on to join other Masonic degrees or Orders but these are not administered by the United Grand Lodge of England.

Offices and Ranks

Some time after you have completed your Third degree you may be invited, or express a desire, to take an office in the Lodge. This means you will be taking part in the dramatic representation of the moral messages mentioned above. Officer's progress through the offices, usually on a yearly basis, until the office of Master of the Lodge is attained. You are under no obligation to undertake any of these offices but many men find it is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a Freemason and they are helped to discover talents within a Lodge.

Progression

Once having achieved the chair of Master of the Lodge the next step is to be a Past Master. After a number of years as a Past Master, you may be invited to become an officer of the Provincial Grand Lodge. Eventually, those who show exceptional service and merit may be invited to become officers of United Grand Lodge. All these progressions, as well as being honours, bring with them new duties and responsibilities.

What Happens on a Lodge Evening?

One of the ceremonies, as briefly described above, takes place in the lodge room, and this may be followed by the social part of the evening, the 'after-proceedings' often historically known as the "Festive Boardâ€. At the festive board, members may have dinner and or refreshments, toasts are given to the Queen and various distinguished members of the Order, there are a few short speeches and there is occasionally an item of entertainment.

Standards and Conduct Dress

All lodge members are expected to wear dark lounge suits, dark morning suits or dinner suits, white shirts together with the official Masonic tie, a black tie, official Masonic bow tie or a black bow. Shoes and socks must be black. Jewellery must be kept to a minimum. White gloves are worn by all members. As well as for reasons of equality and uniformity the standard dress has a symbolic significance in Freemasonry.

Attendance

Before every meeting each member of the Lodge receives a 'summons' or 'circular' which requests his attendance and advises the date, time and business of the lodge. Members must attend on every occasion unless prevented by family, work, business commitments or other unforeseen circumstances. When unable to attend it is essential that you send an apology to the lodge for your non-attendance. This can be done by contacting the Master, the Lodge Secretary or your Proposer or Seconder.

Behaviour

Although Freemasonry has serious aims and important ideals to convey, most members join to enjoy the fellowship, the conversation and simply to have fun. While members are encouraged to enjoy 'good food and good wine', excessive amount must be avoided at all times. The good behaviour of Freemasons outside of the Masonic environment is also very important if the high reputation of the Order is to be maintained.

Time Commitment Meetings

Your obligation to attend a number of meetings per year has already been mentioned. Visiting other lodges can take more of your time.

Learning more

You will probably find that once you have joined Freemasonry you want to learn more about it. However this involves a further commitment of time which you should carefully consider.

Social activities etc.

You will be expected to play a full part in attending some of the Lodge's social activities. There is often a Ladies' Night or a Social Evening. These are good opportunities to let your lady partners or family and friends see what we are all about and meet those of other members. At these events, ladies and guests are often encouraged to tour Masonic premises, including the Lodge Room.

Financial commitments

You must be fully aware of the financial commitments that you are expected to make. It can not be stressed enough that at no time should your Masonic financial obligations be detrimental to the welfare of your family or those who depend upon you.

Lodge finances

Like any other organisation, lodges and their administrative bodies have considerable operating costs. These costs must be borne out of Initiation, Joining Fees and annual subs.

Initial costs

When you first join Freemasonry you will be expected to pay fees etc. The current rates would be supplied by your Proposer and or Seconder or the lodge Treasurer.

Ongoing expenses

The only regular commitment in subsequent years will be your Annual Subscription which is payable in advance to the Lodge. This must be paid each and every year without fail at the proper time.

Charity

At most meetings charitable collections are taken and you will be expected to contribute within your means. There is often a raffle at the Festive Board for Charity. Members who are taxpayers are expected to make regular donations to Masonic charities by way of Gift Aid. The Lodge Charity Steward can provide details. The charitable funds in Freemasonry are distributed first to needy and distressed Freemasons, their families and dependants and then to a large variety of non-Masonic international, national and local charities.

Thanks once again.

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It is a society of men who are concerned with moral and spiritual values.

so is it men only?

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Yes, many Masons are regular churchgoers but by no means all. I should have mentioned that there are many branches of Freemasonry (referred to as "The Craft"). One such branch is The Chapter (coincidentally the same name as the infamous motorcycle gangs). This is closely related to the Christian faith as is The Knights Templar who continue to exist as another branch of the Order and The Rose Croix.

I'm a bit of a scholar regards the Knights Templar and can completely refute the claim the the Order of the Rose Croix has anything to do with them other than a tenuous connection that was cooked up to create that belief.Leigh, Lincoln and Baigent have a lot to answer for with regards to perpetuating this myth.

I always used to think that admission was only by recommendation but this is not so. You would however need to seek out other Freemasons if you were interested in joining and they would need to get to know you to feel confident of proposing and seconding you. You do need the belief in the supreme being though. All Masons have pledged this belief before being admitted.

We're back to this belief in the 'supreme being' again, and it's this that bothers me. Let me elaborate a little.

If all Masons have to pledge a belief in a Supreme Being that surely means that all Masons must be religious, that they must actually, truly, believe in God, Allah, call him what you will. In all honesty, I find it hard to believe that they are do actually, truly believe in a Supreme Being. Let's be honest here, this is the 21st century, and even the most ardent Christian is hard pressed to admit that there is a God up there who created the Earth in seven days. That's plain to see, and difficult to argue. So how have the Freemasons found so many men who actually, truly do believe this? It doesn't strike me as being very probable. Therein lies my problem: I don't believe in a Supreme Being so would not pledge that I do to join the Freemasons, and I can only logically assume that many who have joined the Freemasons, and pledged a belief in a Supreme Being, have not been entirely truthful. My question is - why would they do that?

In his early days as an entered apprentice (as new Masons are referred to) my husband was amazed to witness together in a lodge room, Christians, Catholics, Sikhs, Muslims and a myriad of men of other faiths working together.

I have to be quite frank in response to this sentence and say - and I don't mean to offend - that I find this extremely hard to believe.

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I like reading about this stuff as well merc……….

Maybe being a bit more PEDANTIC I kind of think the clue is in the name…….FREE MASONS. It seems a giant leap to consider the huge magnificent buildings put up in Europe at a time of what in reality was pretty Dark Ages with little progression in intellectual advancement. The people capable of doing such feats would by necessity have been revered and in all likelihood given rewards commensurate with their skills. Skills which would have been passed down probably in families (brothers) and kept as closely guarded secrets to protect a nice little earner! Probably the same thing happened in Egypt and that is why the art of giant pyramid construction was lost, if one generation didn't have the work why pass down the skills to the next generation?

For me Free Masons would be more likely to come about during a feudal system in the Middle Ages rather than the romanticised idea associated with the builders of Solomon's Temple almost 2 millennia previously! Not hard to see where the associated iconography comes from if we accept that premise.

I too am a bit perplexed about the reference to religion. It would seem to be playing both ends against the middle as forbidding religious association yet insisting on spiritual development and indeed a belief in a Supreme Being would seem to me to be fundamental in most religions? Insisting on a non-secular organisation yet clearly using religious doctrines, be that the Bible, Koran or whatever seems inconsistent with the intent?

Interesting titbit monsta, your skull and bones reference was originally a Templar sign designating a burial site for one of their brothers. So way before any maritime scallywags usurped it……..

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Interesting titbit monsta, your skull and bones reference was originally a Templar sign designating a burial site for one of their brothers. So way before any maritime scallywags usurped it……..

You may also like to know, if you didn't already, that the chapel at Delaval Hall has Templar connections, with clear templar symbols carved into the walls.

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I'm a bit of a scholar regards the Knights Templar and can completely refute the claim the the Order of the Rose Croix has anything to do with them other than a tenuous connection that was cooked up to create that belief.Leigh, Lincoln and Baigent have a lot to answer for with regards to perpetuating this myth.

We're back to this belief in the 'supreme being' again, and it's this that bothers me. Let me elaborate a little.

If all Masons have to pledge a belief in a Supreme Being that surely means that all Masons must be religious, that they must actually, truly, believe in God, Allah, call him what you will. In all honesty, I find it hard to believe that they are do actually, truly believe in a Supreme Being. Let's be honest here, this is the 21st century, and even the most ardent Christian is hard pressed to admit that there is a God up there who created the Earth in seven days. That's plain to see, and difficult to argue. So how have the Freemasons found so many men who actually, truly do believe this? It doesn't strike me as being very probable. Therein lies my problem: I don't believe in a Supreme Being so would not pledge that I do to join the Freemasons, and I can only logically assume that many who have joined the Freemasons, and pledged a belief in a Supreme Being, have not been entirely truthful. My question is - why would they do that?

I have to be quite frank in response to this sentence and say - and I don't mean to offend - that I find this extremely hard to believe.

Quite undestandable but nonetheless true although it was before 9/11 and more recent troubles. It is also true however that such men are a long way from the extreme interpretations of their respective religions as it is possible to get. When you are comfortable with your beliefs in the overall scheme of things, why would you feel it necessary to persecute others who hold different views but are otherwise benevolent and of good character? However, that's for another thread......

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Quite undestandable but nonetheless true although it was before 9/11 and more recent troubles. It is also true however that such men are a long way from the extreme interpretations of their respective religions as it is possible to get. When you are comfortable with your beliefs in the overall scheme of things, why would you feel it necessary to persecute others who hold different views but are otherwise benevolent and of good character? However, that's for another thread......

Indeed, that's what I find hard to believe - that anyone would be amazed at Sikhs, Christians, Muslims, Catholics etc getting along together without rancour. It happens all the time. Despite the popular Daily Mail depiction of inter-religious rivalry it is unusual. The problems are exclusively related to a minority of extremists - among Christians as among Muslims and others - and these would not be those who become Freemasons and mingle with other creeds and religions.

I am still at odds, however, with the Supreme Being angle, and it bothers me to some degree. I admire the charitable aspects of the Freemasons, and may like to play a part in that (although, as said before, one doesn't need to join a society to be charitable) and I like the picture your husband paints of a Gentlemans club with ritual, but to join, assuming I was able to persuade them to have me, I would have to falsely claim an allegiance to a Supreme Being. I wouldn't be the only Freemason who had done thus, no doubt. Given that I cannot believe all Freemasons actually do believe in a Supreme Being I am concerned at a lack of honesty in their intentions. I still don't know why anyone would join, to be honest.

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Indeed, that's what I find hard to believe - that anyone would be amazed at Sikhs, Christians, Muslims, Catholics etc getting along together without rancour. It happens all the time. Despite the popular Daily Mail depiction of inter-religious rivalry it is unusual. The problems are exclusively related to a minority of extremists - among Christians as among Muslims and others - and these would not be those who become Freemasons and mingle with other creeds and religions.

I am still at odds, however, with the Supreme Being angle, and it bothers me to some degree. I admire the charitable aspects of the Freemasons, and may like to play a part in that (although, as said before, one doesn't need to join a society to be charitable) and I like the picture your husband paints of a Gentlemans club with ritual, but to join, assuming I was able to persuade them to have me, I would have to falsely claim an allegiance to a Supreme Being. I wouldn't be the only Freemason who had done thus, no doubt. Given that I cannot believe all Freemasons actually do believe in a Supreme Being I am concerned at a lack of honesty in their intentions. I still don't know why anyone would join, to be honest.

An interesting angle. I asked my husband how he would describe a Mason without a belief in a supreme being? He said that he could not put an accurate name to such a person although a Water Buffalo might be the closest you could get. However, this might be misleading as he is not a "Buff" and has little knowledge of their activities beyond their committment to philanthropy. They do still exist though. Doubtless there are Masons who don't really believe in a supreme being just as there are Christians who don't believe in Jesus. I doubt there are many though. Of course a "supreme being" might actually mean just about anything; a deity, alien species, life force, spirit or whatever. I suppose the underlying principle must be intelligent design. Are we getting too highbrow here or what?

Next thread by Erich von Danniken "Was God an English Astronaut?" Bedlington edition with foreword by David Icke.

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Doubtless there are Masons who don't really believe in a supreme being just as there are Christians who don't believe in Jesus. I doubt there are many though.

This is where we differ. Personally, a Christian - as in someone of that religion - who doesn't believe in Jesus can't really exist. I'm not at all religious, but have no doubt the man existed. A freemason who doesn't believe in a Supreme Being is an altogether simpler concept. The question I am asking here is this: if someone joins the Masons and declares a belief in a Supreme Being falsely (and I don't doubt there are many, I think they will likely make up a good proportion of the numbers as they do other clubs and societies) why has he done so? What is it that would inspire someone to make such a fundamentally dishonest statement in order to become a member of the Freemasons? It can't be so that they can contribute to charity, as everyone is free to do that, and let's face it, few will join for the traditional rituals, so what is it? What is the benefit of being a Freemason?

Malcolm - thanks for those pics, interesting stuff.

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This is where we differ. Personally, a Christian - as in someone of that religion - who doesn't believe in Jesus can't really exist. I'm not at all religious, but have no doubt the man existed. A freemason who doesn't believe in a Supreme Being is an altogether simpler concept. The question I am asking here is this: if someone joins the Masons and declares a belief in a Supreme Being falsely (and I don't doubt there are many, I think they will likely make up a good proportion of the numbers as they do other clubs and societies) why has he done so? What is it that would inspire someone to make such a fundamentally dishonest statement in order to become a member of the Freemasons? It can't be so that they can contribute to charity, as everyone is free to do that, and let's face it, few will join for the traditional rituals, so what is it? What is the benefit of being a Freemason?

Malcolm - thanks for those pics, interesting stuff.

More than a few Christians seem to view their religion as a "concept". This seems to arise from some difficulty as accepting The Bible as literal truth. Some see the acceptance of religious texts in this way as the root cause of extremism and there is more than enough evidence of this. Freemasonry as I understand it, faces the same sort of conundrum. However, the brotherhood accepts that Masonic ritual contains a good sprinkling of allegory so the question of "literal truth", where it comes into conflict with established facts is dealt with in this way.

My other half is not religious in the sense of being a regular churchgoer but was used to asking questions of other family members already in the brotherhood. He found himself very attracted by the ancient ritual which he sensed sought the answers to questions humans have asked down the ages. Is this all there is? Is man here for a purpose? What (if anything) lies beyond this life? Malcolm's pictures hold a poignancy for Masons and show that the same questions being asked then are being asked now. Masonry offers the answers to these mysteries which are revealed as a man progresses through the three degrees from entered apprentice to master mason.

The revelation of these hidden mysteries are the goal which is achieved by adherence to the principals of the Order. I understand that Masonic ritual is very "powerful" in the sense that it is clearly ancient and echoes back through the ages to the root of humanity. Many also achieve this through participation in organised religion but one does not have to be religious to join the brotherhood. I think (and this is exclusively my own opinion) the belief in a supreme being is a necessary starting point from which those questions emanate? Is this supreme being "God"? I think so but others think He/She or It has a different name and this is no less valid an opinion in the search for answers. This acceptance is attractive to many men and leads them to wish to learn more. Of course, some organised religions feel that this concept is challenging which has led the Order being denounced down the ages. As has already been alluded to, this has resulted in fanciful works of fiction such as the works of Dan Brown et al. As I have said before, Freemasonry is not a religion but it compliments any other which has the belief in the supreme being as it's central tenent. Some very senior churchmen of all denominations are also Freemasons.

As with any club, some members join only to find that it is not for them and they then drop out. Are these individuals those Mercuryg refers to, who are joining for what they perceive to be it's material benefits? Perhaps, or maybe their questions are not being answered or at least answered in a way they expected.

This poses some very profound questions but of course like any other "gentlemans club" there is usually a lot of eating, drinking and amusement to be had outside of the scrutiny of wives and girlfriends. :dribble: The social scene is very enjoyable though, especially the Ladies Nights.

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Masonry offers the answers to these mysteries which are revealed as a man progresses through the three degrees from entered apprentice to master mason.

Does it? Does it really offer answers to 'mysteries' that are not available elsewhere? Forgive me for being flippant - I must say this is a very interesting subject and a thread I am enjoying - but I really can't see how a Freemason of even the highest standing would know the answer to questions such as 'Is this all there is? Is man here for a purpose? What (if anything) lies beyond this life?' If there were answers to those questions, we can be quite certain that whoever discovered them would make a lot of money telling us all!

This poses some very profound questions but of course like any other "gentlemans club" there is usually a lot of eating, drinking and amusement to be had outside of the scrutiny of wives and girlfriends. :dribble: The social scene is very enjoyable though, especially the Ladies Nights.

The social scene sounds excellent, but surely there is more to being a Freemason than being part fo a charitable club where you can amuse yourself away from the wife? I mean, until very recently (and still in some places) you could do that at the local CIU club!

You have clearly gathered that I'm questioning the very worth of becoming a mason; there has to be something in it of benefit beyond that which can be found elsewhere, and as a man of sound mind and a little intelligence I can't believe it's the promise of answers to the 'mysteries' you speak of!

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As a Freemason in the US I have found great value in the brotherhood of my lodge, Life throws you many challenges and a fellow mason will honestly listen to your problems, And you to theirs,and give you good advice without reservations, what is said between brothers of a lodge is private and stays that way, I am not a very good christian in that I dont go to church, but I do believe in a higher power and freemasonry shows you the right way to live your life, to be honest and to keep your integrity sound even in times of troubles,the lodge will always help you because they have pledged to do so. free masonry is obviously not for every man but those who wish to join only have to come to the door and ask, you will be welcome.....

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Dajazar wrote - "This poses some very profound questions but of course like any other "gentlemans club" there is usually a lot of eating, drinking and amusement to be had outside of the scrutiny of wives and girlfriends. The social scene is very enjoyable though, especially the Ladies Nights."

maybe similar to that famous Gentlemans' Club from the Sopranos...

post-894-056314300 1291153614_thumb.jpg

post-894-063763400 1291153628_thumb.jpg

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Does it? Does it really offer answers to 'mysteries' that are not available elsewhere? Forgive me for being flippant - I must say this is a very interesting subject and a thread I am enjoying - but I really can't see how a Freemason of even the highest standing would know the answer to questions such as 'Is this all there is? Is man here for a purpose? What (if anything) lies beyond this life?' If there were answers to those questions, we can be quite certain that whoever discovered them would make a lot of money telling us all!

I believe so. That is not to say they are not available elsewhere or that different interpretations are not available elsewhere because evidently, they are. However, as ever, the answers are invariably a matter of faith. Freemasonry tries to answer these age old questions using the "tools" man has been given. Because the questions are so fundamental, many have attempted to do so from medicine men, shamen, mystics, men of faith, scientists, dreamers et al. Many will offer you the "answers" for free and many will not but it is worth considering the following:

Starting from the central tenent of belief in a supreme being (which I am afraid is inescapable whatever the intentions of a small number of opportunistic individuals) and given that it is fairly accepted that Freemasonry is a charitable organisation which does good works, would you rather seek those answers through such a group of like minded people which offers the opportunity to serve others and improve your own knowledge or would you prefer to answer an advertisement in a local paper offering you these answers for only £10.00 per month? Now I would choose the former (although as a female, I cannot) but I can fully accept that there will be those who would go for the latter, if for financial considerations alone. Obviously, I use the comparison to illustrate diametric opposites but when you ask what it is that would lead someone to join the Masons, I hope that you can see why some would view it as an attractive proposition.

Of course it is not for everyone but I think the subject has stimulated sufficient debate on here to at least prompt others to wish to learn more. I am heavily reliant on my husband for some of the interpretations and needless to say, as a past Master, he is very involved and enjoys his membership immensely.

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I believe so. That is not to say they are not available elsewhere or that different interpretations are not available elsewhere because evidently, they are. However, as ever, the answers are invariably a matter of faith. Freemasonry tries to answer these age old questions using the "tools" man has been given. Because the questions are so fundamental, many have attempted to do so from medicine men, shamen, mystics, men of faith, scientists, dreamers et al. Many will offer you the "answers" for free and many will not but it is worth considering the following:

Starting from the central tenent of belief in a supreme being (which I am afraid is inescapable whatever the intentions of a small number of opportunistic individuals) and given that it is fairly accepted that Freemasonry is a charitable organisation which does good works, would you rather seek those answers through such a group of like minded people which offers the opportunity to serve others and improve your own knowledge or would you prefer to answer an advertisement in a local paper offering you these answers for only £10.00 per month? Now I would choose the former (although as a female, I cannot) but I can fully accept that there will be those who would go for the latter, if for financial considerations alone. Obviously, I use the comparison to illustrate diametric opposites but when you ask what it is that would lead someone to join the Masons, I hope that you can see why some would view it as an attractive proposition.

What I'm trying to say is that these 'answers' are surely available without the need to join an organisation such as the Masons. So is the oppotunity to be charitable and serve others. I understand that, to some, it is an attractive proposition, but still cannot see how many will view either, or any, of the reasons for masonry so far given as an incentive to join.

Of course it is not for everyone but I think the subject has stimulated sufficient debate on here to at least prompt others to wish to learn more. I am heavily reliant on my husband for some of the interpretations and needless to say, as a past Master, he is very involved and enjoys his membership immensely.

Respect to your husband, and to mickypotts above, and I hope there is renewed interest in what is a traditional and long lived organisation. I am just bewildered as to why anyone, in this day and age, would choose to seek out a Mason, and to get support for joining, and to go through the rituals, and to commit to a financial outlay, when everything that they will get is clearly available in everyday life. After all, we all have friends who will listen in confidence should we require; each of us can make charitable contributiosn should we want to; there are plenty places to go for merriment and meeting with like-minded people. That something special, that over-riding attraction, is eluding me.

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Lets not forget the masonic homes that will take care of a mason in need for life,and give them food room and board and medical too, and the homes work with local lodges to give the elderly as many activities as possible to keep them active, visit a masonic home and ask the residents if they are well treated!

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Lets not forget the masonic homes that will take care of a mason in need for life,and give them food room and board and medical too, and the homes work with local lodges to give the elderly as many activities as possible to keep them active, visit a masonic home and ask the residents if they are well treated!

Plus they do pay their staff more than comparable care homes, so they are not trying to do this on the cheap!

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Lets not forget the masonic homes that will take care of a mason in need for life,and give them food room and board and medical too, and the homes work with local lodges to give the elderly as many activities as possible to keep them active, visit a masonic home and ask the residents if they are well treated!

Yes, absolutely true. The Masonic care home in this area is Scarborough Court in Cramlington. This was recently refurbished to world class standards and the residents there seem very happy with the level of care they receive. It is not just Masons but also their wives/widows and this means that some very frail and vulnerable old folk can be cared for through Masonry should they be unable to look after themselves.

I think that when all is said and done, Masonry, it's values. secrets, history, rituals and brotherhood needs to "call out" to you. If it does so, if it pricks at your curiosity and inner being then perhaps it is for you. If not, then as Mercuryg suggests, there are more than enough other distractions vying for our attention.

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