It has been often said - and (can be seen traditionally as a kind of catechism within the craft) that Masonry is: "a peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols". What does this mean?
i - the word peculiar in this sense, means a special form, a code of general moral knowledge based on and derived from the lives of operative stonemasons of ancient times to aid us in our daily living
ii - The moral system employed by the craft is that of an allegorical system, part fact, part legend.
iii - The guiding principles of life are set out in the Masonic code, explained by the moralising of stone masons tools.
Personally I dont think this goes far enough, Masonry's main principles are related to a love of mankind, a real desire to help others in times of need, and a further desire to lead a truthful and moral life. We are taught that we have three supreme duties - to the Supreme Being, to others, and to further examine ourselves and our attitudes towards life. These are the supreme challenges that Masonry brings to us -
On a personal note, at times it can be inspiring, at times, I fail - I dont spend the time I should meditating on the sacred mysteries of my VSL, sometimes I make an off-hand comment to members of my family which hurt them, showing my uncharitable nature. But perhaps the main point is to try, to aspire to be greater than we are, to really learn to examine our lives asd how we relate to others.
The Delphic quote of "Knowing thyself" is very apt