Today’s topic will be a question from our readers, What is the goal of Freemasonry? And similarly, I think we’re going to couple in an answer to that with another question and it reads can you briefly share the sublime principles of Freemasonry.
So, I want to tackle these two questions together because I think the answer to the one about the sublime principles of Freemasonry goes towards answering the first being what are the ultimate goals of Freemasonry?
What is the goal of Freemasonry? and What is the sublime principles of Freemasonry?
I have to remind everybody that each jurisdiction in the world is different in some ways one from another so I’m going to share with you some things and want to make sure that if it’s different in your jurisdiction then reach out to somebody local who might be able to explain to you why there might be differences the important part of me mentioning this is that each jurisdiction may feel that they have a particular goal.
What we’re talking about here is not the goals related to philanthropy so if your Grand Lodge has a particular fundraising thing that it does to support some medical research or a child’s hospital or any other type of situation, scholarships for education, homes for the elderly, whatever it might be those are not the goals I’m really trying to address here what I’m talking about are the original purposes of Freemasonry.
Make no mistake Freemasonry is a gathering of charitable men but Freemasonry was not originally established to be a charity.
So, let’s talk about how the principle sort of affect the overall goals of Freemasonry.
I think it’s fairly well established that the principle tenants of Freemasonry are also those sublime principles of Freemasonry now if you think that there’s a different way to view these definitions and please leave a comment down in the comments section below.
I was trying to research maybe what the questioner was asking by sublime the sublime principles or the sublime tenants of Freemasonry and I think this is where the questioner was going but I could be incorrect.
The principle tenants of Freemasonry are brotherly love, relief and truth. I list them in a slightly different order I list them as truth, brotherly love and relief. Now I don’t know of anywhere, in any ritual, in any jurisdiction where when brotherly love, relief and truth are mentioned, that their order is changed into the order I prefer truth, brotherly love and relief. But I do it for a reason because just as we think about the entered apprentice degree as a foundational introductory initiative degree into Freemasonry. One that has to be well established in order for a man to be able to get the lessons out of the fellow crafts degree and then later the master’s degree and furthering on to the Royal Arch or the Scottish Rite or whatever the case may be we have to lay this principle foundation in the initiative degree of entered apprentice.
I feel the same way about these principle tenants some may think that you need to learn one and another and then build up to something as all inspiring as truth, but I think that without truth as a foundational principle that everything else gets left behind so that’s why I put truth first.
So, let’s talk about this in a little bit deeper of a way, truth is just that they’re I don’t believe that there are any other deeper meanings to try to ascribe to it, there are lies and there is truth, just as we try to make the dichotomy between good and evil light and darkness. I believe there is truth and then there’s non truth plain and simple.
We are just simply talking about be speaking and I believe the behavior that goes with it of being true. Now some may ask well are there not times where you can have an abundance of truth where being too truthful can actually be detrimental.
My wife and I often go back and forth and sort of joke about how the only lies between us are those that are secrets related to something like a birthday present. So if my wife says what’d you get me for my birthday I might without thinking too much say I haven’t gotten you anything when that’s really a lie, I already have her birthday present and it’s stashed away somewhere secret or it’s at least on order or whatever.
Now one could say that may be a way to tell the truth but not divulge the secret is to simply say I’m not going to tell you and I think that there is an importance in that it may sound like splitting hairs to you right now on a subject as benign as a gift.
There’s an importance with this there’s also a lie of well what do you think about this tie does it look good on me now you might think no it looks stupid you look ugly in a tie but you try to save my pride or you don’t want to hurt my feelings and you say yeah looks good. In telling a lie what good did you really do is it better for me to go around looking stupid all day and a tie that doesn’t suit me well or is it better to think about how we use some of the sciences that we talk about like grammar rhetoric and logic to think about a better way to inform somebody of the truth.
There’s an interesting level of truth here in about how blunt you are with somebody truth doesn’t have to be blunt, it has to be present but it doesn’t have to be man that tie looks like trash on you, you look like an idiot take it off. It can be well brother I’ve seen you in a lot of ties and that’s not really my favorite one but I mean no harm or foul if you decide to wear it I think you look better in this one or well I like your tie fine but maybe try a different knot or something like that or stop wearing a tie with a button-down short-sleeve shirt it doesn’t look good you need to wear it with a long sleeve shirt.
There there’s ways of stepping into the truth where we make sure that we don’t hurt our friends feelings but we’re still honest with them so think about those kind of things when you think about truth.
So now with a foundation of truth between one another, I think we can actually practice brotherly love. Here with brotherly love we’re talking about supporting and upholding one another, we’re talking about if somebody needs assistance you actually are willing to go and do it you don’t find excuses not to you recognize that your struggles through life are not yours alone and the only way that we as humanity make it through this world in a better way is to support one another.
We recognize that it’s better for me to have a hardship on my side to be able to say you know what this is a little inconvenient right now to run over to your place and do something I’d rather not be doing but I too have times where I need some assistance so let me realize that I also reach out to people and ask for help and let me go ahead and do the right thing go to your house and help you with this.
The more we do that the more it becomes second nature and the more we don’t even question somebody’s call for help or assistance and it doesn’t have to be dramatic.
I know that in my lodge we often say that if you get a phone call at two o’clock in the morning the question isn’t what’s wrong we already know something’s wrong the question is where are you we just need to get to you to provide you whatever assistance you’re looking for maybe it’s your tire blew out on the side of the road you need a ride somewhere maybe it’s somebody sick and you need assistance whatever the case may be we know something’s wrong you didn’t call me at two o’clock in the morning to ask me how to recite some part of the ritual you called me because you need something.
That’s based on this tenant of brotherly love where we just want to immediately address your concern and not the fact that you have a concern.
With that is where we come into this relief aspect as well, maybe that relief is just the showing of that brotherly love because you showed up and provided that relief gave somebody that ride they needed or let them borrow that 20 bucks till their next paycheck, put some gas in their vehicle, whatever the case might be but you see it also on a more grand scale.
When we do start talking about different philanthropies so if we’re talking about things like the Shriners Hospital for Children, we’re talking about the knight Templar eye foundation, we’re talking about the Scottish Rite dyslexia program or so many others out there and those are just the main things you see happening with big appendant bodies that does not include the things happening in it local lodge levels.
Like a lodge that might contribute to a campaign for providing coats for underprivileged children or providing a monetary donation to an agency that assists with battered women or providing a monetary donation to a burn hospital or even if it is nothing more than providing donations to like a local 4-h by placing an ad in their annual bulletin or whatever the case may be, there’s so many different ways that we can provide this relief.
More often than not what we should be doing is trying to find any way that we can physically provide some kind of relief there’s a lot more change that’s going to happen inside of the individual man and inside the community instead of just making a monetary donation to something like the United Way.
If we find out when there is a project locally that we can go and physically participate in I think there’s a lot more benefit to that.
There you are, as brief as I can try to make it and certainly only the tip of an iceberg the principle tenants of brotherly love relief and truth these sublime principles of Freemasonry which I think correlates directly over to the ultimate goals of Freemasonry.
We want to instill in men and in doing so help spread to all of humanity those tenants. Can you just imagine it changes that we would see in the world if everybody was adhering to these things if everybody was being truthful and honest with each other if everybody looked after their neighbor as much as they look after themselves and if when somebody said I need help they simply provided it without hope of consequence or reward.
Thank you all so much for taking the time to read. If you have something you’d like to add to this conversation, please leave it down in the comments below.
by Bro. Andre M. Noble