Freemasonry is the largest and oldest secular fraternal order in the world, crossing all religious boundaries to bring men together of all countries, sects, and opinion in peace and harmony. It is a universal brotherhood, dedicated to serving the divine by service to family, country, and mankind.
Freemasonry is a philosophical organization emphasizing the study of moral symbols to build character. This education is, in part, the foundation of a more profound understanding of mankind and his existence. Living today in a “throw away / mass consumption society”, Freemasonry teaches about the value of people and the meaning of relativism over personal individualism. The real nature of Freemasonry is a spiritual force behind each member, improving him or herself morally by associating with other like-minded individuals. Also, Freemasonry acts as a social organization, promoting the interaction between like-minded men within the lodge to build bonds between them. By fostering this brotherhood relationships are made that remain even outside the comforts of the lodge the bonds remain and genuine affection prevails. Wherever traveling, masons meet and greet other masons as brothers as a result of these bonds.
Freemasonry opens men’s eyes to the knowledge that the road to happiness is found in the journey to the perfection of the spirit, intellect & soul, to strive to his fullest potential. Differing from religious institutions, Freemasonry sees all men as equal, not drawing division to beliefs. Fellow Freemasons are regarded as brothers because of the rituals of Freemasonry, which have remained virtually unchanged for many hundred years. By accepting men of all faiths, together in Freemasonry, they learn and teach the truths of morality, justice, patriotism and brotherly love, all expressed through reverence to the divine Great Architect of the Universe.
Simply, Freemasonry builds and advances the character of men to make them better.
Building on principals of moral integrity, Freemasons hold brotherly love as paramount to the benefit of mankind. Whether through charitable acts, or by direct involvement, Freemasonry has dedicated itself to the prosperity of mankind.
On the individual level, Freemasonry builds on moral philosophy, through allegorical symbols to impart rich and complex meanings about the divine. What that means is through Masonic education, individuals are given their own personal building blocks to contribute to the build of their own personal moral character, and then charged with applying that purpose in their day-to-day life.
It does not act to impart religion to its membership, instead it builds on the tenants and virtues taught by all religions, including a faith in the divine, the application of the Golden Rule, and the value of leading a moral virtuous life, all with the drive to put these ideas into personal practice. It promotes the active participation in the member’s individual faith tradition, charging them to build their spiritual character.
Throughout the mason’s life, the lessons of morality and ethics are revisited through the extensions of the various bodies of Freemasonry, building on the principals of Freemasonry. Seldom can a mason say they have learned all of the meanings taught to them through the degrees.
By serving to promote brotherly love masons are now involved in extended levels of charity and benevolence to meet the needs of those least able in society.
© Centerline Lodge #550 F&AM