Investigating the Order of Freemasonry
Let me start by saying that "bad" publicity is still publicity and that any seed when planted has the "potential" to grow. I didn't grow up around Freemasons and my father was Irish Catholic. So, as you can see, my knowledge of Freemasonry wasn't just limited, it was non-existent. Truth be told, my first exposure to the world of Freemasonry was via the book "Seven Ancient Wonders", by Matthew Reilly. There is not a lot of information contained about the Order within that book, but sufficient enough to plant the seed of wonder.
My journey in becoming a Freemason started with "bad" publicity; that great evil the Internet. Google turned up dozens upon dozens of sites that were purely anti-Masonic in nature. Okay, accepted: this is an evil cult of Satanists, but I continued to read information on their secret society. I kept reading because the best way to defeat your enemy is to be armed with the knowledge of their history and understanding of their beliefs; might I ever come across one of these evil people, I want to be best prepared.
What I soon discovered was to the contrary. All of these anti-Masonic sites referenced each other. In no instance was I ever successful in locating any credible information; that is, one that actually references any published book, a research or university paper on Freemasonry. I did discover a number of published works on the benevolent works of Freemasonry in today's society; including information on moral instruction; chartible works and societal benefits. I even found a Masonic Bible. Ah-hah, this has got to have the alleged evils contained within it; wrong- it is just an ordinary Catholic Bible - King James Version. I guess the anti-masonic people just can't understand Olde English!
I started to read things about brotherly love, relief and truth. A necessity to believe in a supreme being. The true freedom of religion, nationality and opinion. Compassion for our fellow man. The practice of supporting your community and government. The need to strive for knowledge and wisdom. The one thing that really struck home was this simple concept, the practice of the teachings of Freemasonry is that it makes a good man better.
This research was reinforced when I discovered that there were Freemasons right in my own neighbourhood. The answers that I received to the many questions I asked followed what I had already read about on the Internet. What a drastic difference this picture was compared to my first introduction to Freemasonry. In my heart, at this point in my journey, I felt that being a Mason was a good thing and that it was something that I needed to do.
Still, I was ever the skeptic and cynic. I did contact the local Grand Lodge of Freemasonry in my state, and my initial queries were quickly responded to. Wait a minute, that was way too fast, maybe this is a cult style religion after all. My mind quickly filled with thoughts of Hari Krishna people shaving their heads and selling flowers at the airport. Then thought about the Waco Texas incident in the United States; still I persisted and visited many lodges over the next 18 months. Each time I visited a Lodge I found the people to be very warm and welcoming, never once pushing towards joining them. It was rather unsettling; how could these people expect to increase their numbers if they never asked anyone to join them? I was waiting for the invitation that never arrived; the onus was on me to ask to join.
If you are someone who is looking to find out what Freemasonry is all about, don't do so with the motive of proving something or someone wrong or right. Do so to find the true answers to the questions in your heart and mind. The rewards of truth are immense.
There are two types of truth in this world: blind and self-evident.
- Blind truths - are those truths that we accept purely on faith. Meaning that we have no solid basis on which to form our acceptance. We accept the information as fact because someone else has told us that it is true.
- Self-Evident truths - are those truths which are Evident without proof or reasoning; producing certainty or conviction upon a bare presentation to the mind. Perhaps this is better understood through the words of Ghandi: Truth is by nature self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear.
As we endeavour to discover and understand the real truths, we need to ensure that we maintain an objective (not subjective) and open mind. This is critically important because all truth passes through three stages. First, it is
ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as
being self-evident. So the questions are - on the topic on Freemasonry:
* Where are you in investigations?
* Are you performing your research with an open or closed mind?
* Are your goals objective or subjective?
* Will you accept Blind truths or are you seeking those which are Self-Evident?
What I discovered is that Evil organisations rise and fall, only to rise again under a different guise, but Freemasonry has continued through the ages as it has always been; in plain site for all to see. Unfortunately people chose not to see, and for the few that did preferred to guess as to its content than to investigate, experience and learn.
In conclusion, it is self-evident that the Order of Freemasonry is not the alleged evil organisation that is has been purported to be. Rather it continues to be, at its heart, a fraternal organisation which sole
purpose is to make good men better.It is a benevolent society that provides charity to all peoples, regardless of nationality, creed or religion. It actively practises tollerance to everyone; even the ignorant who are anti-Freemasonry because someone told them that they are evil.