Obviously I still have a lot to learn about Freemasonry having only recently been passed to the second degree. So until I progress further, I can really only comment on my current knowledge and exposure to Freemasonry as a Fellow Craft. But of what I do understand now, I think I "get it" concerning just what Freemasonry is all about, and in many ways more importantly, what it is not.
I was driving home the other evening from some first degree work at another lodge, and I was thinking about the work. It got me thinking about all of the anti-masonic stuff I've read on the 'Net. It got me thinking about what it's all about...just what are the basics...the simple explanation. As I see it, once you pare it all down to its core, it all just seems so simple:
I see an organization comprised of men who have each taken the initiative to learn how to join the organization; who are ultimately granted membership through initiation; who obligate themselves to commit to the ideals of the organization and to not disclose its secrets; who commit to learn the material required to advance in the two remaining degrees; and who ultimately commit themselves to abide by a code of good conduct to improve their character, to embrace the pursuit of knowledge, and to help their fellow man. I believe that in knowing a man to be a Mason, you can be assured that he has experienced all of what I just described, and that he should be trusted to be held to what he has experienced. How that man conducts himself is ultimately his personal responsibility, so being a Mason is, by no means, a guarantee that he will improve himself, but he is provided with the tools to conduct himself in a manner that is very atypical, especially today. And so far, my impression of the men who I know to be Masons is much higher than I ever thought.
So that's about it! Is there more to Freemasonry? Of course! But at its basic level, it just seems so simple. It's unfortunate that so many seem to really complicate it.
This is my fourteenth article on my experience in Freemasonry.