The secrets of freemasons: what are they? What are they? How are Masonic secrets transmitted?
Freemasonry is a set of associations (lodges grouped into obediences) whose object is the practice of an initiation rite.
The initiatory and esoteric character of the rite implies the transmission of “secrets”: in other words, the teaching content is gradually revealed to the initiate, who is thus invited to go through different stages, which symbolize many levels, in his spiritual advancement. In the Old and Accepted Scottish Rite, one of the most famous rites, there are, for example, 33 degrees.
Initiation, therefore, consists in transmitting secrets, which distinguish the layman from the initiate. But what secrets are we talking about?
Here are some tips on the secrets of Freemasons.
See also our article: How to recognize a Freemason?
The secrets of the Freemasons: the tradition of secrecy.
The tradition of Masonic secrecy is found through different elements:
- the transmission of words:
- sacred word (a symbolic word associated with each degree),
- password (which symbolizes the passage from one degree to another),
- or semester words (which allows a Freemason to attend meetings of another lodge than his own),
- signs and touches: these are ways of standing or greeting each other in the lodge,
- the prohibition, for a Freemason, to reveal the membership of one of his brothers or sisters without his agreement,
- Discretion: Masonic activities are discreet in the sense that the date, place, and content of meetings are not made public. The ritual works of the lodges are never filmed.
While it is true that a layperson cannot attend Masonic meetings, the notion of secrecy must, however, be put into perspective.
In reality, most of the secrets of Freemasons are accessible to the general public. Several works, books, and websites display Masonic secrets: the rituals, the themes addressed, the boards (written works of the Freemasons), and even the passwords are revealed. This site is an example, as is the “esotericism” section of the big bookstores.
But then, if the secrets are no longer really secrets, what are they for?
See our Freemason Rings
The secrets of Freemasons: what are they for?
Contrary to popular belief, Freemasonry is not a closed organization reserved for an elite.
Any individual, man or woman, can ask to enter Freemasonry, even if he is not co-opted. All he has to do is a request by mail to the headquarters of the obedience of his choice.
The notion of secrecy in Freemasonry is therefore not to be taken at face value. As we have seen, there is no real secret. It is, in reality, the intimate understanding of the realities of the world that the Freemason aims.
Masonic work is of interest to the initiate because the meetings in which he participates can lead him to gradually enter into a process of openness and letting go, which can lead him, if he is ready, to new levels of consciousness.
The initiatory process is a matter of experience. It is a question of slow impregnation, gradual maturation, and concrete experimentation of what the rituals suggest. This experience is played out on an intimate level; it is untransmissible.
The real secret of Freemasons.
The real secret in Freemasonry is that there is none.
Freemasonry transmits no idea, no truth, no precept to respect, no teaching to recite, no law to follow.
Freemasonry is adogmatic; it simply offers methods and tools (symbols, rituals, myths, traditions, etc.) that can serve as points of support for those who wish to progress independently.
In the end, the initiate will follow his own path, his “quest,” and build his inner temple, known only to him. He will put his findings, his doubts, his convictions, and his own revelations there: so many secrets that cannot be transmitted. Because the understanding of spiritual things, which is the responsibility of everyone, goes beyond words.
Freemasonry is just one method. There are, of course, others: philosophy, religions, oriental spiritualities, etc. So many ways to tackle the unspeakable and try to answer the big questions that have been troubling humanity for a long time:
- who are we ?
- Does God exist?
- What are good and bad?
- What are matter and spirit?
- What is life?
- How to live happily and serenely?
- How to achieve wisdom?
In the end, the Freemasons’ secrets are a legend: they can only exist in the consciousness of each initiate. Spiritual discoveries can only be understood by those who experience them firsthand …