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

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Meeting on the Level

One of the privileges of being a master mason is that of visitation. It is also one of the privileges that I invoke at every opportunity. Last week, I was in Charleston, South Carolina for a few days, so I took the opportunity and looked up the local lodges in the Yellow Pages. Imagine my surprise to find five masonic lodges listed in the CITY of Charleston.

I shouldn't have been surprised. It turns out that the seat of the Grand Lodge is in Charleston...

So, on Thursday night, I showed up at Mariners Lodge #2 for their stated business meeting. Despite it being a business meeting night, I was welcomed with open arms, treated to a tour of the lodgeroom, and introduced all around. The master of the lodge, a bright and active man of 21 years is the youngest master of a lodge... ever in South Carolina. They just recently lowered the minimum age of petitioning to 18, and he has moved through the ranks quickly.

Having followed that same path (it took me four years to get to the east, and I have 25 years managing teams, groups, divisions and companies) I know how difficult it was for him! As always, I was taken by the differences, and similarities to their ritual and my own. It is one of these differences to which I allude in the title of this blog.

Meeting on the Level

In our ritual, we talk about how as masons we meet and act upon the level, honestly, openly, and in a most friendly manner. This lodge takes that symbolically one step further, and the symbolism of that step struck me as somehow right.

On closing, the master asks the Senior Warden how masons should meet. In South Carolina, the Senior steps down TO the level before answering. Same for the Junior Warden, and lastly, the master, so along with the rest of this ritual, they all three, end up standing upon the level. Then, to carry the symbolism further, when the master asks the brethren to act together, everyone else steps down onto the level, out from the chairs before complying.

These simple gestures reinforce the words of the ritual, by example. We all meet and act upon the level, in word, and, in deed.
May the blessing of heaven rest upon us and all regular masons. May brotherly love prevail, and every moral and social virtue, cement us!


Anonymous said...

We close the Lodge in the same way here Bro Theron! And your right it reinforces the fact that we are all equal!

Anonymous said...

This is how we close a lodge of Master Masons all the time.
What is so special about this?

Theron Dunn said...

What's so special is that not all grand lodge's do this. Its our differences that make masonry as interesting as our similarities.

My grand lodge does not do this.

Rolf Keil said...

Fascinating, im my mother Lodge we close every Degree work, in the way you described.

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