Thursday, December 17, 2015

A Brother Asks... Masonry vs. Freemasonry


A Brother Asks: How is Masonry different from Freemasonry?

My Response: There's more to it than what I am about to share, but this small primer should get you started.  I've included links at the back of this should you want to explore further.

Freemasonry is all about the Freemasonic Organization.  It's focused upon Building Better Members and maintaining the Organization

In this respect, Freemasonry is about Hierarchies, Rules, Laws, Etiquettes, Traditions, Rituals, Lectures, Lores, Floor-work, Choreographies, Memberships, Dues, Biographies, Histories, Rites, Rights, Proficiencies, Memorizations, and Re-enactments that Preserve and Propagate a Specific Code that Can Make Good Men Better, when Recognized, Understood and Applied. 

Masonry is all about the Individual.  It's focused upon Recognizing, Understanding and Applying a Specific Code that Makes Good Men Better. 

In this respect, Masonry is about Building Better Builders who Recognize, Understand and Apply The Code; a.k.a. "Do the Work!".  Here are some of the Masonic Activities that do just that:

Apprentice Code (Development of the Heart)

 1) Setting Plumbs; (VoSL)
 2) Determining what's Important/Unimportant; (Plumb)
 3) Establishing and Maintaining Priorities for
  a) Time Management, (24IG)
  b) Standards, (Compasses)
  c) Boundaries, (Compasses)
  d) Divestiture (Vices & Superfluities) (CG)
  e) Investiture (Virtues); (Square)
 4) Establishing and Maintaining Moral Integrity (Square)

Fellow Code (Development of the Head)

 1) Establishing a Strong Foundation of Linguistic Discrimination and Modeling in two key realms
  a) Words (Trivium - Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric); and
  b) Numbers (Quadrivium - Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, Astronomy )

Master Code  (Development of the Spirit)

 1) Further Learning - Masterful Application of all previous study toward Theology and Philosophy
 2) Teaching the next Generation of Masons to Recognize, Understand and Apply The Code.

You may notice immediately that, for the most part, Freemasonic Organizations do not focus upon or support activities denoted in the three Codes just listed.

However, Freemasonic Practice and Activities do assure that this Code is preserved, albeit as an unknown mystery to most who receive it.  On the other hand as is revealed by the above lists, Masonic Practice and Activities assure that Individual Betterment through Recognizing, Understanding and Applying that Code occurs. 

It should be obvious that they are both required for different reasons, but unfortunately the former overshadows the latter almost to the point of non-existence within the Organization.

Sources: The Building Better Builders Series of Books, DVDs, Articles and Blogs...

F&S,

Brother John S. Nagy

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