Monday, September 6, 2010

Masonic Educational Tidbit

Question :   What is meant by "travel in foreign countries"?
Answer   :   The ancient operative brethren desired to become Master, so when they travelled in foreign countries they could still practice their craft.  Speculative Freemasons desire to "travel in foreign countries" and study their craft so that they may receive such instructions to enable them to receive Master Mason's wages.  But "foreign countries" do not mean to us the various geographical and political divisions of the world.  It is to us a symbol.  Like all the rest of the symbol, it has more than one interpretation.  But unlike the other, it is not very difficult to trace or understand.

Freemasonry itself is the first "foreign countries" within it.  There are the foreign countries of philosophy, of jurisprudence, of history.  No Freemason is really worth of the nae who does not understand something of how his new land governed, of what it stands for and why.   There is also the foreign country of symbolism.

As a Master Mason, he has the right to travel in all the foreign countries of Freemasonry.  One will find the gateways to those lands in the library, in the study club, in the books and magazines and most and best of all, in the quiet hours alone, when what he has read and learned comes back to him to be pondered over.

Question  :   Why is the Acacia an emblem of Immortality?
Answer   :    The Acacia is the "Shittah" wood referred to in the Old Testament.  It has the peculiar property of seeming to have everlasting life.  Bare beams of wood have been known to put forth fresh sprout.   Thus, it was easily established as the symbol of resurrection and life everlasting.

Question  :    What are Masonic "Landmarks"?
Answer   :     According to Dr. Albert G. Mackey, they are "those peculiar marks of distinction by which we are separated from the profane (non-Masonic) world and by which we are enabled to designate our inheritance as the "Sons of Light".   The universal language and laws of Masonry are Landmarks, but not the local ceremonies, laws and usages.   Mackey lists 25 Landmarks. These are given in our Masonic Law Book.

Question   :  What is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah?
Answer    :   Judah was symbolized as a lion in his father's deathbed blessing.   The Lion was upon the standard of the large and powerful tribe of Judah.   "Lion of the Tribe of Judah" was one of Solomon's titles.  It is the Christian interpretation of the phrase which springs from Revelation V : "Behold, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof."

Question  :  What is a Masonic "Charge"?
Answer   :   At an appropriate place in the ceremonies of each degree, the candidate receives a concise summary of his new duties and responsibilities;  and he is "charge" or exhorted to perform them in a creditable manner.

Source :   Iligan Lodge No. 207 Bulletin and Notice of Meeting  August 21, 2010
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"You can catch yourself entertaining habitually certain ideas and setting others aside;  and that, I think, is where our personal destinies are largely decided."   -  Alfred North Whitehead

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