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It seems almost impossible to give a single definition of fair maçonnerie4. Some experts even believe that the subject would have "as many definitions as Freemasons." 4 The Masonic allegiances defend themselves each by different definitions, their particular conception of Freemasonry. Thus, to take as an example that some of the more important ones:
"Freemasonry, essentially philanthropic institution, philosophical and progressive, is to search for truth, the study of ethics and practice of solidarity [...]" (Grand Orient of France Constitution)
"Freemasonry is a traditional and universal initiatory order based on Fraternity. "(Constitution of the Grand Lodge of France)
"Freemasonry is primarily an alliance of free men of all denominations and from all social backgrounds. "(Swiss Grande Loge Alpina)
"Freemasonry is one of the world's Oldest and Largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organization. "(Freemasonry is one of the non-religious, non-political, fraternal and the oldest and the biggest charity in the world.) (United Grand Lodge of England)
"Freemasonry, or more specifically, the Order of Veterans Masons Free and Accepted, is an initiatory and philosophical society whose origins are lost in the mists of time. "(Grand Lodge of Quebec).
Unable to give it a single definition, the human sciences can understand Freemasonry as a set of historical and social phenomena, "polymorphic in time as in espace4", which have in common a relatively small stroke count and which diversity is such that it brings even number of authors prefer to use the plural to speak about freemasonry.
For example, an author like Yves Hivert Masseca4 proposes a division into five main types of francs masonry different in principle despite the existence of numerous cases intermédiairesN 4:
A freemasonry "esoteric", emphasizing the initiatory process supposed to get the member of the "darkness" external to "enlightenment" interior. This type of Freemasonry is mostly implemented on the European continent, especially in their "high Masonic degrees."
A "Christian" Freemasonry is conceived as a deepening of Christian spirituality. This is the case of the Swedish Rite and the Scandinavian and German denominations that accept (or have long accepted) that Christian members, mostly Protestants.
A freemasonry type "ancienN 5 / Anglo-Saxon" which considers that the purpose of Freemasonry is the moral and civic education of its followers. This type of Freemasonry's usually defined as "a particular system of morality taught under the veil of allegory by symbols." It is forbidden any political or religious discussion and usually demanded of its members, until the end of the twentieth century, they belong to a religion monothéisteN 6. This type of freemasonry is extremely majority in North America and Commonwealth countries.
A freemasonry "modernen 5, liberal and symbolic" which refers to the first version of the Constitutions of Anderson (1723) and "requires both a tradition and progress, a strong symbolic and practical a civic reflection and morale4 ". It is most prevalent in continental Europe and Latin America.
A freemasonry "agnostic" which asserts that metaphysical and religious views of the candidates do not have to be taken into account for admission and works primarily to building a better society by allowing in the lodges political discussions. Most often mixed, it is the majority in francen 7 and very present in the rest of continental Europe.
How do I become a Freemason?
You must know first of all that this commitment will change your life for no one enters without consequence in the way that leads to Knowledge.
Furthermore, you must respect if you are accepted, the required attendance, fraternal assistance and obedience in all grades and all structures which will belong to you.
If you have a true desire, intelligence and courageous enough to devote your life to discover your truth, maybe you he'll ever become a Mason; it is the members of the lodge receiving your application will decide on in their conscience.
Be patient, it often takes a lot of time between when one decides to devote his life to the masonry and when we receive the first light. This is a test designed to ascertain the reality of your commitment because that is a number of months alongside a whole life?
HISTORY OF FREEMASONRY SINCE 1717
The French National Grand Lodge ensures compliance with the institutions on which it is based, this unbroken chain of values that many builders have had the courage to defend with tenacity and loyalty over time. Not only the current structure emerged in 1913 to restore the founding principles but remains the custodian and guarantor of this principle worldwide. The mission of the French National Grand Lodge is also (beyond) the borders of France to ensure maintenance of the principles underlying the Tradition.
Masons from operative to speculative
Freemasonry became speculative (from the Latin "speculum" "mirror") officially in 1717 in London under the influence of Pastor Anderson and his close friend Newton physicist, member of the Royal Society. Speculative Freemasonry is inseparable from the encyclopedic movement and the Enlightenment. In the tradition of the builders of cathedrals, the Freemasons have preserved the symbolism of the profession they have enriched by the teachings of the Hermetic alchemy and the riches of the chivalric tradition. With a very rich palette of 6 rites, the French National Grand Lodge offers a variety of nuances in the approach of Spirituality.
These Freemasons that changed the world
Amadeus Mozart, the Marquis de La Fayette, Talleyrand, Goethe, Voltaire, Bougainville, George Washington, Baudelaire, Isaac Newton, Simon Bolivar, Stendhal, Aldrin, Theodore Roosevelt, Rudyard Kipling, Joseph Haydn, Jean-Jacques de Cambaceres, Harry Truman, George VI, Malcolm Campbell, Marie Therese de Lamballe, Clark Gable, Duke Ellington, ... were initiated into Freemasonry, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill: the peacemakers of Yalta, too.
Freemasonry in France: a mixed picture
The French National Grand Lodge has the spiritual authority of an Order, enjoys a special position in the French Masonic landscape. First regular obedience of continental Europe, firmly rooted in the values of traditional Initiation, it represents France in the spiritual power of the Universal Freemasonry. Heir to the cathedral builders, it perpetuates the metaphysical foundations of reflection on the existence of God.
Custodian of the regularity of the origins, the French National Grand Lodge is proud to continue the long tradition initiated by his brilliant founders.
THREE STEPS TO BECOME FREEMASON
To become a Freemason the first condition, necessary but not sufficient, is to feel envy. Any action can only be undertaken of free and self-will of the candidate.
It is customary to have a sponsor who proposes to enter Freemasonry. In practice, changing customs and means of communication sees the spontaneous requests from the French National Grand Lodge. In this case, the French National Grand Lodge entrusts one of its members the task of meeting the candidate and identify with him his motives.
To enter the Order, it is necessary to expressly written notice of candidacy to be presented by a sponsor and have the age of 21. The requirements on the bottom are two in number: "born free and of good character." The first is a bit outdated in our modern world, but it still maintains the symbolic value of free will and individual will and personal freedom. The second is to strictly moral order, namely honesty, frankness and exemplary.
Join Freemasonry is done over a 3-step process:
- 1st step: the application
This is the application form itself. The phase of the investigation is named second step. The passage under the banner, a meeting organized between the candidate and the workshop in which he postulates, is called step three. Each step is subject to a vote of the workshop of brothers and only applications that have been three rounds of favorable polls allows a candidate to join the French Masonic obedience that is the regular National Grand Lodge French. The action taken by a candidate to join Freemasonry is rigorous, long and slow. This answers the need for a work that is taking place at the stage of the first clip. One does not enter masonry like a sports club or meetings. The Masonic approach is not the same, it is a spiritual and fraternal commitment. It is therefore necessary to know before themselves as brother to avoid everyone.
- Step 2: surveys
This is several meetings between the candidate and a member of Freemasonry in the form of an interview of both depth and informal. For a reciprocal exchange, the candidate is a better idea of the group he wishes to join and the representative appointed by the Lodge to forge a better idea of the candidate and includes understanding their expectations. These interviews are the subject of a report heard by the Lodge which leads to a poll. Only a favorable vote of the lodge brothers lets move on to the next step.
- Step 3: the passage under the banner to certain rites
The candidate is introduced into the Lodge in which he postulates, blindfolded to allow it to focus on the answers he gives to questions put to him and keep secret the composition of the Lodge. Discretion is a fundamental Masonic quality. The third round of voting will take place at the end of this hearing.
Being a Freemason, how much does it cost?
A Lodge meets on average once or twice a month, usually 10 times a year. A Freemason must have his evening at the rate of once a month. A Freemason pays an annual fee which is identical for each member and secured by a general assembly decision. This fee is intended to meet the material needs of the association. A Freemason must acquire the sets of his rank. Each outfit is followed by a communal meal, necessary and important Masonic work.
Freemasonry is a traditional and universal initiatory society. The spiritual values, brotherhood and solidarity supported by Freemasonry are concepts also included in the duration and permanence.
The search for spirituality, self-development of desire, brotherhood, universality, tolerance, ethics, consciousness raising, metaphysical reflection, solidarity are the centers of interest which usually lead to the The door of the temples of French National Grand Lodge.
In a world driven by multiple upheavals, religious and social culture, Freemasonry is a proposal to answer questions that any man can ask.
What that initiation?
Initiation is called the reception ceremony. In the sense that we understand it, comes from the Latin word initiation initium (beginning). Initiate a man is triggered in him a kind of initial mechanism, the starting point of an inside job.
The ceremony takes place in a number of rituals whose meaning is symbolic, although verbally explained. Their archaism in no way ready to smile, but it marks appropriately, on the contrary, the antiquity of our institution, and "modernize" these rituals be to deny our history, to give our nobility. Here again marks the difference between that of the Regular Masonry who deserted the ways of Tradition.
Switching to a degree or higher degree retained the operative name "salary increase". The concept of work is permanent in Freemasonry.
How do you stop being a Freemason?
It is permissible for a Freemason to resign. He did not even motivate and may do so at any time.
One can also cease to belong to the Order by exclusionary effect, if one violates the general rules that are freely accepted upon entry. It is then a disciplinary punishment because of an act of indignity in private life or proper Masonic offense.
Rosicrucians and Freemasons
For the uninitiated, the Rosicrucians and the Freemasons have in common to belong to a school of thought, a secret society, or even a "sect" esoteric having the same kind of concerns. It is a fact that these two organizations have traditional and historical ties to the point that some Masonic allegiances Spiritualists always have the rank of Knight Rose Croix.
In 1824, Thomas de Quincey in London Magazine published an article entitled "Historical-Critical Inquiry into the origins of the Rosicrucians and the Freemasons," where he states that Freemasonry is neither more nor less than the modified ones Rosicrucianism who introduced Anglererre. What should we think?
1. A common esotericism
Historically, Freemasonry was born in England in the eighteenth century. Without proceed directly to the Rosicrucians that blooms in the previous century, it develops into a soil prepared by Rosicrucianism. A few years after his birth, Freemasonry also incorporates a grade of "Rosicrucian Knight" and even comes to create several Rosicrucian movements. Without making an exhaustive analysis of all of these movements and their doctrines, it is interesting to mention a few groups in which the two Orders have rubbed shoulders over the past centuries.
During the Renaissance, Europe gathers all esoteric heritage from antiquity. Alchemy, Kabbalah, astrology and magic are booming Rosicrucianism which marks the culmination in the seventeenth century. This century is also experiencing a moral crisis. Indeed, the progress of science are shaking the foundations of the Christian West and religion loses some of its authority. It follows a tear leading to religious wars. Each takes refuge in fundamentalism and fanaticism, and Europe is soon ablaze. Some then appeal to dream great Reformation combining esoteric, religion and science, to bring humanity into an era of happiness, brotherhood and peace. These ideas crystallize around the Rosicrucian movement, whose manifestos are read by all European thinkers. Many wish to join this project. Unfortunately, this momentum was soon broken by the Thirty Years War.
A box at siècleAu eighteenth eighteenth century Freemasonry takes these ideas of Reformation in England. This is why some authors, such as JG Buhle in 1804 and Thomas de Quincey in 1824, see it as an offshoot of the Rosicrucians. Certainly, one can not subscribe fully to this view. However, it is clear that the founders of Freemasonry are part of the English Rosicrucian movement of the eighteenth century. That said, there is a reference to early 1638 relations between the two movements in The Muses, a poem published in Edinburgh Adamson. It reads: "For we are the Brothers of the Rosy Cross; we have the word of Bricklayers and second sight. " A few years later, October 10, 1676, the Poor Robin's Intelligence publishes a notice indicating that "the Old Brotherhood of the Rosicrucians, Adepts of Hermeticism and Accepted Masons of the Company, decided to dine together" . This link will be further highlighted in an article in the Daily Journal of September 5, 1730 that says: "There is a company abroad, which the English Freemasons [...] have copied some ceremonies, and try to persuade the world they come from and are identical to it. Rosicrucians are called. "Without being heir to the other, we can see that the Rosicrucians and Freemasons intermingle in a curious way.
Frontispiece of the History of the Royal Society - Thomas Sprat (1,667) Note also that the two oldest references describing Masonic initiations concern men who have been in direct or indirect relationship with Rosicrucianism. The first Sir Robert Moray. She reports that on May 20, 1641, he was initiated into Masonry in Mary's Chapel Lodge of Edinburgh. It is interesting that Robert Moray, a founding member of the Royal Society, passionate alchemy, is the protector of Thomas Vaughan (1622-1666). But the latter, under the pseudonym of Eugenius Philalethes, is the author of The Fame and Confessio (1652), English translation of the Fama and Confessio Fraternitatis Fraternitatis.
The second reference relates to Elias Ashmole (1617-1692). In a note, he reported that he was admitted into a Masonic Lodge in Warrington on 16 October 1646. Six years later he published the Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum (1652), a volume that brings together an important collection of alchemical treaties. From the first lines of his book, Elias Ashmole refers to the Fama Fraternitatis to highlight the importance of chemistry in England. It also recalls that the first Rosicrucian manifesto indicates that the first four fellow Christian Rosenkreutz, the "Brother IO "Had come to England. In addition to its many references to Michael Maier, famous defender of Rosicrucianism, we must know that we have found in the papers of Ashmole autograph a copy of the Fama and Confessio Fraternitatis Fraternitatis, as well as the text of a letter which he requested admission to the Rosicrucians.
2. Master Hiram and Christian Rosenkreutz
If the activities of Freemasonry begins in the seventeenth century, it is generally accepted that the founding of the Company dated 24 June 1717. It was at this time that are based Grand Lodges of London and Westminster. But the date that marks the best foundation of Freemasonry is one that sees the publication of the Constitution of Anderson (1727) by the Duke of Wharton, its Grand Master at the time. The text, presented as a consolidation and correction of old Masonic archives, was written by James Anderson, Jean-Georges and Théophile Désaguliers Payne. The "archives" in question are the Old Charges, or Old Charges, texts belonging to ancient guilds of operative Masons, the oldest of which date back to 1390 (eg. Regius, 1390 and Cooke, 1410). But rather than directly down the old guilds operative Masons (Constructors) Freemasonry is a society of thinkers - we speak of speculative Freemasonry - who borrowed some of its symbolism to Builders.
Frontispiece of the Constitution of Anderson of 1723 (excerpt) In the eighteenth century, Freemasonry has no organization that we know today. It has its basic structure, consisting of three degrees, Apprentice, Fellow Craft, Master (Blue Masonry) after a few years. It initially consisted of only two grades, those Apprentice and Journeyman entered. A third says Master, appears to 1730. It was not until the second edition of the Constitution of Anderson, that of 1738 to find a formal reference to this degree, and wait until 1760 for the symbolism to it attached, the myth of Hiram, is truly accepted in England (1). In France, the rank of Master appears only from 1744. In some aspects (like the symbolic linked to the discovery of the tomb of the Master), Hiram takes traits of Christian Rosenkreutz. Should we see in Hiram, as indicated by Antoine Faivre, a son of Christian Rosenkreutz? "Mythical founder too, the first would be a Christian reduced to the relative abstraction in the gallery of the great hieratic figures of" Tradition "" (2).
At its inception, Freemasonry does not show as a truly initiatory Company. Her ceremonies are also qualified as "reception rites." The term "initiation" appears in his texts that by 1728-1730, and it will become official in France and from 1826 (3). Although the own ritual Masonry confers a mysterious aspect to its meetings, the lodges are basically places where we practice philanthropy and where we cultivate the fine arts. It was only gradually that it will develop an initiatory and esoteric side (4). A few years later, the hierarchical structure of Masonic degrees is enriched. On December 26, 1736, André-Michel Chevalier Ramsay (1686-1747), a disciple of Fenelon and Madame Guyon, given by a Parisian Lodge of Louis d'Argent, a discourse that will lead to the development of what is called high grades or Scottish rite, that is to say the higher degrees than Master (5). In his speech Ramsay has Freemasonry as the resurrection of the "Noachian religion", a primordial religion, universal and without dogmas. He adds that it is through the Crusades that Holy Order was reduced in Great Britain before spreading to the rest of Europe.
An introduction to the rank of Master of the eighteenth siècleBientôt engraving, symbols and themes taken from the Old Testament, chivalry, the Knights Templar, and the Occult as alchemy, astrology, Kabbalah and magic, stimulate the imagination of Freemasons who want to create high grades (6). Around 1740, these grades will proliferate with an anarchy that will end in December 1773. It is among these high grades that reappears the Rosicrucians, sometimes making figure there 'grade terminal "or even the ultimate Franc -Masonry (7). However, some Masons are also trying to separate the Rosicrucianism of Masonry to form autonomous Orders.
3. The Order of the Golden Rosicrucians and the Red Rose
It is initially under the auspices of alchemy as the Rosicrucians will reappear in Freemasonry. In 1710, seven years before the publication of the Constitution of Anderson, Sincerus Renatus (Samuel Richter), a Lutheran pastor who said he was a disciple of Paracelsus and Boehme, published The true and perfect preparation of the Philosopher's Stone by the Brotherhood the Order of the Golden Rosicrucians and the Red Rose ... (Breslau, 1710). This is a treatise on alchemy that gives an appendix fifty-two rules of the Order of the Golden Rosicrucians and the Red Rose. This book draws on the Echoes of the Brotherhood, highly illuminated by God, of the illustrious Order RC (1615) Julius Sperber, and the gold Témis, or laws and ordinances of the illustrious brotherhood RC (1618) by Michael Maier. In fact, the Order described by Renatus Sincerus seems not to have existed. However, the term "Golden Rosicrucians" will experience some fortune and some rules presented in his book will later in the instructions of the Masonic-Rosicrucian grade Rosicrucian Knights Princes.
Steps taken to become the Freemason
How to become a Freemason in the Grand Orient of France?
One may be interested in Freemasonry, or because a friend told you about it, or because it was discovered during readings or personal research.
If by a friend that you know the Grand Orient of France, it can guide you through the steps to do to be a candidate in a box and guide you through the different stages of the nomination. If you do not know anyone, it's not a problem. Write the headquarters of the Grand Orient (16, rue Cadet - 75439 Paris Cedex 09), and your mail will be forwarded to a Masonic responsible for your region. The latter will contact you, meet you and assist you in your application.
Note that any application is made, not the Grand Orient as such, but in one of the lodges that federates 1200. The lodge is indeed the basic unit of Freemasonry. It brings together twenty to fifty members. It is in the context of his box as the Freemason Masonic lives his life.
What is the first step in an application?
A first contact is made by the President of the lodge (the "Venerable" in the Masonic vocabulary). This should assess the motivations of the candidate. The Masonic approach is rather special and should not be confused with those of the political clubs, service clubs (Rotary, Lions ...) or various esoteric groups. If, after this initial exchange, it appears that it is a Masonic engagement that meets the expectations and candidate projects, the process continues with three new people.
How are these preliminary meetings?
These are fairly in-depth interviews - some call them 'investigations'! - With members of the lodge. They last between one and two hours. The purpose of these exchanges is to know better the candidate's personality, ideas, aspirations, but also to answer questions he may have. The three Masons who meet the candidate then make a report to the lodge. Similarly, these contacts, the candidate has a first glimpse of the group he wishes to join. Once everyone knows the other better, arrives first highlight of the entry into Masonry, the "passage under the banner".
What is the passage under the blindfold?
The "passage under the banner" is the solemn presentation of the candidate to the lodge meeting. For reasons of discretion, but also under the "Masonic method", the meeting is organized in a particular way. The candidate is introduced to the lodge blindfolded and that's how it meets a number of questions put to him. It is after this dialogue that the lodge vote on admission. The vote is positive if it collects more than three quarters of the votes, what happens in the vast majority of cases.
How is the admission?
Again Freemasonry has its method. The admission is not a simple administrative formality. Instead, it obeys a whole ritual. According to centuries-use, entry into Freemasonry is held as an "initiation". This is a ceremony in which is passed, symbolically, the candidate of Darkness to the Light. We will not say more because the "experience" of the ceremony involved
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