Free masonry began as a labor union but turned into a fraternal order when its leaders sought to expand their political clout by admitting members of royalty, government officials and other men of influence.
Modern masonry is populated primarily by three different personality types; he leaders who are often little more than school yard bullies with few skills and abilities, its workers who thanklessly devote their lives to learning and teaching rituals, conferring degrees and perpetuating the organization and its silent majority who seldom (if ever) attend lodge because they are ashamed that the “secret” allegedly revealed to them, halve entirely escaped their grasp. (Robinson pg 128)
The essence of freemasonry. a) Brotherly love- it is a mythical initiatic tradition to unite all those of honor virtue, truth and honesty in a fraternal union of diversity for the betterment of humanity. b) Relief- it is an organization where masons and lodges apply to best humanity and the fraternity has identified and developed, solving problems, righting wrongs and alleviating burdens of distress while ensuring a holistic progressive and cosmopolitan way of life.
c) Truth- it is a life long process of learning, reflection, and improvement to identify, acknowledge and address internal contradictions in physical, spiritual, and psychological ways. (Robinson pg129) The lessons in freemasonry are brotherly love, tolerance, charity. It encourages its members to scientific inquiry, industry, and reverence for daily life. Freemasons claim that their practice is almost entirely harmless to the world at large. They also believe that individuals who practice it are always improved. The tradition of freemasonry refers to God whom they call the “Grand Architect of the Universe”.
They also have biblical images such as the Temple of Solomon. The masons cultivate group solidarity, stress the cultivation of ethical virtues and perform solemn rituals like religions. Freemasons do not agree that their fraternity is the same as religion. They claim that it is meant to encourage and complement the previous religion identities of its members. It can be joined by men of any religion except atheists. However, they are challenged to ascertain what the difference between them and other groups who have the same features.
Scouting for instance has the flag ceremony which is considered to be a ritual. (http://www. helium. com/tm/796093/freemasonry-multi-series-masonic. ) Freemasons believe that every degree of masonry is progressive and cannot be obtained but by time patience and assiduity. In the first degree, they are taught the duties they owe to their neighbors and to themselves. In the second degree, they are admitted to participate in the mysteries of human science, and to trace the goodness and majesty of the Creator, by minutely analyzing His works.
The third degree is the cement of the whole; it is calculated to bind men together by mystic points of fellowship as in a bond of fraternal affection and brotherly love, it points to the darkness of the death and to the obscurity of the grave as a fore warner of a more brilliant light which shall follow at the resurrection of the just, when these mortal bodies which have been long slumbering in the dust shall be awakened, reunited to their kindred spirit and clotted with immortality.
(http://www. helium. com/tm/796093/freemasonry-multi-series-masonic. ) Freemasonry is today under greater interest and scrutiny. This is especially by young men who are seeking a better understanding of their own place in society and spirituality. People hope that the ancient rituals can help provide a rite of passage lacking in the society now and bring them back in touch with the lost spiritual truths. (http://www. helium. com/tm/796093/freemasonry-multi-series-masonic. )