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Danny

Has Freemasonry Changed

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Posted a question a while ago which was why was freemasonry started, no real answer for that as to be fair no one could really answer it, next question is has freemasonry changed through the years or is it basically the same as when it was formed.

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I think Danny that you probably received so few replies because nobody really knows the true answers. There are many theories about how it started, ranging from operative stonemasons in the middle ages to a continuation of the ceremonies of the Knights Templar. I doubt very much if the Masonry of today bears much resemblance to the original. As I understand it, Masonry of old consisted of questions and answers (catechisms), the remenants of which we have in the opening and closing of each degree, the questions and answers posed to candidates for the second and third degrees, and in the symbolical lectures (again in catechism form). It also had only two Degrees, namely Entered Apprentice and Fellow of the Craft.

Even where it started is subject to debate. It is generally put out by UGLE that Masonry started in the operative stonemasons' guilds in England in the middle ages (I am an UGLE Mason now resident in Scotland). Owing to the age of documents appertaining to Scottish Lodges (ie., Mother Kilwinning No 0), there is certainly evidence that Freemasonry in Scotland predates any proveable Masonry in England. (Puts on Kevlar helmet and Bodyarmour and retreats to his fire trench).

As to why it started, again theories range. In the days of yore, operative Masonry was hardly a 9 to 5 job. Building something like a Church or Cathedral might take more than one generation to complete. You didn't just get on a bus each day to go to work, you moved to the job and remained there, possibly for your working life and brought up your family. Teaching and passing on skills from one generation to another would have been part of your life. As few people outside of the Clergy could read or write, having a certificate to say that you were a fully qualified "gargoyle carver" were not of much use. Thus it is logical thet you could only prove your level of skill by S...T...and W...s. if going on to another project. The whole history of Freemasonryhas expounded many theories, books and "lectures" by many "learned and expert" Brethren in the past and doubless will continue to do so. The truth is .... no one really knows.

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Yes Exactly that, has freemasonry changed to be more in line with the time period, what i mean without trying to be disrespectful or too ignorant have things been left out or added in to suit how life is at the time, is freemasonry something that is ever changing to blend in with society or is it more not exactly static but more set in its ways?

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Danny



Your questions are complicated by the general determination that our current civilisation is the most sophisticated ever. This requires us to denigrate previous knowledge.



The origin of Masonry (in my view) may be linked symbolically to Genesis 6:1-8



"when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. "



It might seem obvious that the sons of God should have taught their children some of the higher knowledge and that might well have been passed on down the generations. And of course in many cultures there is a tradition of the divine descent of kings.



PSALM 82 Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men,



If you research this you will discover much.



For example consider the bread of life and the water of life - who used it and why? How does it appear in Masonry?



Cheers










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Freemasonry has changed over time. A 17th century ceremony was very different in appearance to the ceremonies we work today.



Also there are different orders that practice different ceremonies and some of them seem quite different.



However the message that these ceremonies put across is the same and does not change. Although the number of degrees that are worked has changed over the centuries.



Now. I would suggest that whilst the way the teachings of Freemasonry are transmitted remains fairly constant the way they are received would over time change radically.

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Has it changed? Well the honest answer is yes AND no!

In some ways it has changed and in others it hasn't but it would be very difficult to explain. This is of course why a fair few of our members get the "Masonic history bug" and dedicate several decades of their lives to learning such things.

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If i have read correctly wasn't there only two degrees originally, then a third was added and the royal arch degree is an extension of the third degree. And that there was two fractions to freemasonry until a compromise was met in 1813.

Again i do stress i am not a member yet and that this is just things i have read and not sure if this is correct or not.

If anyone can help i would be grateful

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A lot of the second degree was added to a new legend about a bloke called Hiram and the 3rd was born but that was of course 300 odd years ago.

There wasn't a schism exactly! A second Grand Lodge was formed in England (in 1756) by Irish and Scottish itinerant Masons who made lots of claims about the first Grand Lodge and importantly vice versa then after about 50 years of squabbling they joined together and became the Grand Lodge that we have today. That of course was all finished 200 odd years ago.

However, what you're actually talking about is the politics around and caused by Freemasonry not the Freemasonry itself.

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As Mike says, there wasn't a schism at all. A separate group (the Antients) arrived in England and set up in competition with the original "Premier" (aka Moderns) GL. That's competition, not a schism.



The Antients had come from Ireland and left some of their brand of Freemasonry in Bristol and Bath on their way to London. It's still there. Scots and others joined them.



Both sides practiced the RA. The Antients worked it as a 4th Degree, available strictly by invitation only to a very select few Past Masters. The Premier GL (Moderns) worked the RA as a separate Order.



The concept that the RA was the completion of the 3rd degree was never actually true, even though it was slavishly repeated for ages. It was a political compromise which allowed both sides some feeling that their brand of RA was the accepted one when the status of the RA was finally worked out.



S&F, Jules

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Thick Lizzy (02/07/2010)
yes it has changed.

At one time, the leading scholars and researchers were apart of it, and the forming of rituals and teachings. Today that is not even close to the same. Ego's have taken over for at least 150years or so, and the Craft has had too many Ego's tampering with it's original purpose.

If freemasonry used to be feared by Monarchs and Religious Pontiffs, why no more?

Once religion and Politics was banned as topics of discussion in Lodges, it became just a Fraternity for men, not a place that spawned revolutions. So, after 1813, there was nothing to fear of freemasonry any more, they stopped being a place for revolutionaries, and started being a place of Loyal Obligated Servants of the Craft, ever being reminded that they took an Oath and cannot dare break it.

hence, slaves in reality.......?

So, yes, it has changed drastically.

Good point..GOdF continue to display engaged Masonry walking through the streets, openly discussing politics and religion, challenging social norms.

Respect

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