True Secrets of Freemasonry

Those who become Freemasons only for the sake of finding out the secret of the order, run a very great risk of growing old under the trowel without ever realizing their purpose. Yet there is a secret, but it is so inviolable that it has never been confided or whispered to anyone. Those who stop at the outward crust of things imagine that the secret consists in words, in signs, or that the main point of it is to be found only in reaching the highest degree. This is a mistaken view: the man who guesses the secret of Freemasonry, and to know it you must guess it, reaches that point only through long attendance in the lodges, through deep thinking, comparison, and deduction.

He would not trust that secret to his best friend in Freemasonry, because he is aware that if his friend has not found it out, he could not make any use of it after it had been whispered in his ear. No, he keeps his peace, and the secret remains a secret.

Giovanni Giacomo Casanova, Memoirs, Volume 2a, Paris, p. 33

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Internet Freemasonry

The network, from the intimate connections of its several parts, denotes unity.
Internet masonry is an oxymoron. I write this because masonry is a personal journey, made with the assistance of brethren. The internet, by its very nature, is NOT personal, and ANYONE can claim to be a mason, and what would we have as proof? The internet is a tool, one of many, and it allows us to meet, virtually, men who in real life, we might never have the opportunity of meeting and knowing. It is a tool by which we can share our thoughts, our research, our opinions, informed and otherwise, and thereby grow as men and masons.

Regularity on the internet is a foolish discussion, for as I noted above, who really knows? Are you sure that I am a regular mason, made within the body of a just and legally constituted lodge of master masons? Well, Bill will avouch that, as will Happy Zealot and Jason Smith and a few others who I have had the privilege of meeting in the real world. Yet, how do you really know their posts aren't just me with a sock puppet? You don't, and that is the g-d's own truth. So arguing about it, running people off, insulting people because you don't agree with their opinions is... well, ridiculous. So is the argument.

Its only relative to the tyler of a lodge, who's duty it is to keep off cowans and eavesdroppers.

Now, some may disagree with the UGLoA, the GOoUSA, Euclid Lodge, Vulcan Lodge, "Halcyon #2", the Grand Lodge of St. James, the American Masonic Federation, Le Droit Humaine, GOdF etc etc... but the internet seems to be the place to explore those differences, to understand the why's and wherefore's, instead of spending time and effort running them down out of hand.

We have this wonderful tool, the internet, which allows us to meet people from different places, different obediences, and get to understand them and their points of view. It allows us to meet men, and women, that we otherwise would not have considered, or dismissed out of hand. A regular mason rarely meets a non regular mason, a co-mason, or a female mason EXCEPT on the internet, which creates wonderful opportunities.

It offers the best, for instance the Lodgeroom US, the Lodgeroom UK, and the Three Pillars, and the worst, for instance MFoL.

What we all need to keep in mind is the internet is the great equalizer. All of us meet on the level here, in cyberspace. It is a great communication tool, but should never be confused with a lodgeroom. Esoteric Masonry, ritual masonry, can be discussed here, within the limits of your obligation. If a person does not feel comfortable with discussing certain issues, they can forgo them, or, as has been done on some forums, a "tyled" area is created where only one kind or another of the many types of masons can go and discuss freemasonry.

There is something here for everyone... just keep in mind, unless you have met the person, or know someone who has met the person you are talking with, you have no way of knowing whether they are regular... or not. The interenet is not a tyled lodge, however, so it is silly to act as if it were, and even sillier to try to enforce "regularity" on an internet forum.

I have had many occasions of late to be disgusted with internet freemasonry. Actions which, as California Freemason I would never have been aware of have been shoved up my nose: Halcyon Lodge in Ohio, the United Grand Lodge of America/Grand Orient of the United States and the Flying Monkeys to name just three. On the other hand, what has kept me going are the good and honorable Freemasons I have met on the internet, Giovanni Lombardo, Bill McElligott, Cliff Porter, Prometheus, Jason Smith and many others, men who I would never have known BUT for the internet.

The internet is hardly the salvation of Freemasonry, nor will it damage our ancient and honorable craft. It is just another communication tool, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Just my opinion. As always, I welcome yours.
May the blessings of heaven rest upon us and all regular masons. May brotherly love prevail, and every moral and social virtue, cement us.


Unknown said...

Thank you Theron, you are right on the money.

Seeker of Light said...

My brother I agree with you right up till you said:

The internet is hardly the salvation of Freemasonry, nor will it damage our ancient and honorable craft. It is just another communication tool, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

You and I have both seen how the fighting, name calling, the clandestine masons (as in anonymous not re: recognition, thats a whole other ball of wax) posting one sided accusations etc, etc, etc ARE hurting Masonry! This kind of crap makes the Gentle Craft of Brotherly Love look not so loving or gentle. Im betting at least a few people have been lurking and turned off by these type of actions never to return and never to petition.

I just stopped visiting the sites that have the most noise to light ratios. It lowered my blood pressure and helps me keep my passion for Masonry intact.

The lessons come from the journey... So Mote It Be!

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