Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Grand Lodge of Scotland does not explain most, if not all, of the aspects of (Scottish) Freemasonry - Why?

I recently came upon this topic in one of the forms and thought it was so amazing and unique that I had to share it with a wider audience:
This is the first time the Grand Lodge of Scotland has stated why it does not explain most, if not all, of the aspects of (Scottish) Freemasonry’. It is not a ‘mission statement’ but an attempt to encourage Freemasons to realise that they are undertaking a personal journey within Freemasonry.
The Essence of Scottish Freemasonry.
Recently there has been some discussion as the ‘meaning’ of Scottish Masonic Ritual, Regalia and Symbolism. On reading the Constitution and Laws of the Grand Lodge of Scotland (GLoS) one could be forgiven in thinking that there were no opinions on these subjects. The silence on the meaning of all aspects of Scottish Freemasonry not only in the Constitution and Laws but also in other official publications does not mean such opinions do not exist, quite the contrary. Why then are there no official explanations of any of the elements of Scottish Freemasonry? This question goes to the crux of what is Scottish Freemasonry.The GLoS believes that Scottish Freemasonry is a framework in and around which individuals undertake their Masonic journey. This view is created partly by the history and origins of Scottish Freemasonry as well as the psyche of Scots in general. Without going into too much detail it is sufficient to explain that before the GLoS came into being in 1736 there existed a national network of Lodges, from at least 1598 if not earlier, the membership of which was comprised of stonemasons and non-stonemasons. There were Lodges the membership of which was entirely made up of stonemasons (for example, the Lodge of Journeymen Masons, No.8), Lodges which had no stonemasons as members (e.g. the Haughfoot Lodge) and Lodges that had both stonemasons and non-stonemasons as members (e.g. the Lodge of Aberdeen 1ter). These Lodges existed independently of each other and without any ‘head-office’ to direct them from a central point. This system was, and to some extent still is, well suited to the psyche of Scottish Freemasons (if not the population at large). The independence of Lodges before 1736 also translated into a significant degree of independence for Lodges founded after 1736.Unlike other Grand Lodges, which have, and use, a great deal more power and authority than the GLoS, it functions more as a facilitator and advisory body. This non-authoritarian method of governance is not known to exist elsewhere in the Masonic world and it has a direct impact on the nature of Scottish Freemasonry. First and foremost because participation in Freemasonry is a personal experience which differs from person to person the meaning of different aspects of Freemasonry can also differ from person to person. Although there may be a consensus among some Scottish Freemasons as to what any particular word or symbol might mean there can be other alternative explanations. The letter ‘G’ will suffice to illustrate this point. A Freemason who is a Christian by faith will usually interpret the letter ‘G’ as G_D but a Freemason who is a Muslim might well reject that idea because he cannot accept that G_D can be reduced to a mere letter of a human alphabet.1 He will, quite often argue that the letter ‘G’ stands for geometric or perhaps geometry. For similar reasons a Freemason who is Jewish might argue that ‘G’ stands for goodness – the innate goodness within every human being. There are several other possible interpretations. Once the GLoS expressed an opinion as to the meaning of the letter ‘G’ it would become the de facto interpretation and therefore widely accepted by most Scottish Freemasons. If GLoS provided such interpretations it would, in effect, create a Scottish Masonic Dogma and which could be used to define Freemasonry as a religion – something that Freemasons have always rejected.Scottish Freemasonry is therefore considered to be an individual experience, or journey, albeit one taken with the help, assistance and guidance of other Freemasons. The meaning and interpretation of Scottish Masonic Ritual, Regalia and Symbolism, for good reason, is not fixed and is left to the interpretation of the individual Freemason. This is one reason why Scottish Freemasonry remains unique in the world and long may it remain so.

- Robert L D Cooper September 2014

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Masonic Restoration Foundation Symposium 2014

For the kind attention of all Master Masons

The 5th annual Masonic Restoration Foundation Symposium, will be held at the Cincinnati Masonic Center (317 East Fifth Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202)on August 15 – 17, 2014. 

Here you will get to meet and greet other Master Masons who come from the observant lodges. You may find those that follow the European concept and those that follow the Traditional Observance. To learn more about the differences you may read more about it here.

This year they have a most impressive line up of speakers and interviews:

Interview: Worshipful Brother Andrew Hammer is a Past Master of Alexandria Washington Lodge No. 22 in Virginia.

Interview: Worshipful Brother Chris Hodapp is a Past Master of Lodge Vitruvian No. 767 in Indiana, a European Concept Lodge.

Worshipful Brother Dan Hrinko is the Charter Master of Arts & Sciences Lodge No. 792, a Traditional Observance Lodge in Ohio.

Worshipful Brother Clevenger is a Past Master of New England Lodge No. 4, Worthington, Ohio.

Brother Oscar Alleyne is Senior Warden of Wappingers Lodge No. 671 (NY)

Worshipful Brother Paul Smith is the Charter Master of Phoenix Lodge No. 105, a Traditional Observance Lodge in New Hampshire. 

Worshipful Brother Davis is the Secretary of the Scottish Rite Valley of Guthrie, Oklahoma and a Past Master of Guildhall Lodge No. 553

Worshipful Brother Herd is a member of Enlightenment Lodge No. 198, the 1st Traditional Observance Lodge in Colorado.

Worshipful Brother Eyer is the editor of the Ahiman:  A Review of Masonic Culture and Tradition, and of the Philalethes magazine.  His is a Past Master of Academia Lodge No. 847, California's first lodge of Traditional Observance.
Take a look at them and their topics at the official website here.

You can share this with your friends on Facebook by clicking the Facebook link.

Registration can be done online and looking at the details it seems to me that this is the most value for money event I have come across so far! Please register before July 25th!! Here are the details:

Event date:08-15-2014 12:00 am
Event End Date:08-17-2014 12:00 am
Individual Price$100.00

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Awards night of the 16th district of the Grand Chapter

Some photos from the Annual Meeting and Awards Night of the 16th Royal Arch District of the Grand Chapter of Ohio was held tonight tonight, Monday, June 30. The meeting was hosted by Corwin-Webb Chapter at the Brecksville Masonic Temple.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Grand Lodge of Ireland has recognized GLNF; other Grand Lodges including UGLE to follow suit

Grande Loge Nationale Française

UGLE voted to withdraw recognition from Grande Loge Nationale Française (GLNF) on 12 September 2012 with immediate effect. The full statements made in Grand Lodge can be viewed here.

On 12 March 2014 there was an updated Statement on Grande Loge Nationale Française (GLNF) - Freemasonry Today 

Tomorrow the Quarterly Annual Communication of the United Grand Lodge of England takes place. This event has expectedly met with excitement by members of the French National Grand Lodge, given the French expectations of regaining the confidence English Brethren.
In the coming days UGLE is expected to communicate that GLNF respect regularity standards and that the two Grand Lodges will restore fraternal relations.

Grand Lodge of Ireland announced last week that recognition was resumed for GLNF. Grand Lodge of Scotland will announce the same soon.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Bulletproof Freemasonry: "What I learned about the Craft in Afghanistan"

Master Mason explaining how Freemasonry helped him (27mins).

Sunday, February 9, 2014

2014 Sankey Lecture

The Charles A. Sankey Lecture SeriesThe guest lecturer will be Dr. Renée Lafferty-Salhany, Associate Professor, Department of History, Brock University. The title of her presentation will be “Brothers in Arms: Freemasons and the War of 1812″.For a preview of Dr. Lafferty-Salhany’s presentation watch the following video here. Sunday, March 30, 20143 p.m.Brock University500 Glenridge Ave.St. Catharines, Ontario In lieu of charging for admission, a [tax deductible] contribution is requested to:Masonic Foundation of Ontario, Brock University Partnership - Project Number 2937
We would also like to remind you about the Sankey Lecture website www.sankeylectures.ca. There is information about this year’s lecture, as well as the videos of the first four lectures.


R.W. Bro. Gareth R. Taylor
Member of the Board of General Purposes
Chairman, Brock University Partnership
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