Thursday, 9 December 2010

The Purpose of Masonic Initiation -W.L. Wilmhurst

"Throughout the ages the aspirant to initiation has found it essential to pass under the personal tutition of some expert teacher who knows the way and can give him help suited to his own personal requirements.  Hence the craft, following this traditional method, declares that every new apprentice shall find a Master and from him gain instruction and from him gain instruction. "

"For the opened lodge was not intended to be a place of instruction, it is a place for the corporate realisation of the truths in which we are instructed privately elsewhere."

"It rests on the moral duty of every more advanced Brother to help the less advanced, but apon the spiritual principle that whoever has freely recieved must also freely give, that no one is initiated for his own private advantage, but to pass on his light to somone below him on the ladder".

These sentences from Wilmhurst's "The Meaning of Freemasonry", give me cause to pause and think, I have been privileged to have several good Masonic Brethern who have guided me gently to further light, through explaination of Masonic culture, symbolism and conversation.  Many new initiates into Masonry wonder what the lodge business is all about, it's different to what they expect, through book reading, or the Movies - they think each lodge meeting conveys new secrets, rather than the actual business that goes on in reality.  Yet was Wilmhurst says, each piece of lodge business is a working of the basic tenents of Masonic Faith, Hope, Charity and Fraternity - the core 'secrets' of the craft.

Finally we see that we as Master Masons have the duty to help guide EA's and FC's in their journey, to respect their beliefs and help them develop Masonically at the point of their personal need. One of the most daunting aspects of Freemasonry can be assuming an office (something I feel at the moment - I am my Lodge's incumbant Junior Deacon), I have been encourged by the friendship of the current lodge officers, their good humor and willingness to teach.

To be a Master Mason is not the end of the Masonic journey, it enables us to use all the tools to help ourselves an others, to extend kindness to new members of the lodge, to help others begin and continue their Masonic duty, to these ends Master Masons become a shining beacon in the lodge, imparting knowledge to others and listening to others life stories.

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