New Zealand Administration
Women and men working together as Freemasons for high ideals and service
Freemasonry has no doctrine. It is a system of symbols with implications for a way of living that leads to self-
What is Co-
The Eastern Order of International Co-
The Nature of Freemasonry
Freemasonry is a design for living which, when followed, leads its initiates to a knowledge of their own inner divine nature and of their harmonious linkage with all life on the planet. It gives Freemasons a training that can eventually bring them to a gateway, opening upon the Path that all human beings can walk to self-
Freemasonry has its spiritual roots in the ancient Mysteries and is today the modern form of those mysteries. Throughout the ages, Freemasonry has preserved the Ancient Wisdom of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth, which might otherwise have been lost to humanity during periods of darkness. The symbols by which that Ancient Wisdom is expressed have varied with time and place, as civilizations have come and gone, but the fundamental design of the work and its great truths have remained unchanged.
Some Freemasons are unaware of the depth of their heritage and of the spiritual power inherent in their ceremonies. They are satisfied with the ideal of brotherhood and the ethics and charitable work of Freemasonry. That is right and proper.
Women in Freemasonry
The term “Co-
The term “Eastern” in "The Eastern Order of International Co-
The participation of women in Freemasonic work is not an innovation; it is simply the restoration of an ancient landmark or essential of Freemasonry. In the Mysteries of Egypt and Greece, women and men worked together on an equal footing. Only in comparatively recent centuries were women excluded from the mysteries and privileges of the ancient rites that have been reincarnated in modern times as Freemasonry.
Masonic secrets became a way of talking about inner spiritual development. Today, the secrecy of Freemasonry is primarily symbolic. Many experiences of life cannot be put into words that will communicate them to others. That is true of quite simple and trivial experiences, such as biting into a lemon. If you have never had that experience, no one can tell you what it is really like. If you have had it, you know at first hand the taste of a lemon, which no words can express.
The ineffableness of experience is even truer of the great and moving experiences of life. No one can describe love so well as to put its essence into words.
Love can be experienced; it cannot be told. Similarly, the experience of spiritual discovery, of awakening to the Reality within each of us, cannot be put into words. Both love and spiritual discovery can be symbolized, but not expressed in ordinary words. So too, the experiences that Freemasonry is designed to evoke are beyond language. Those experiences are symbolized by the objects, actions, and legends of Freemasonry, but they cannot be expressed adequately and directly in words. Masonic secrets are symbols of what cannot be expressed—the Masonic spiritual experience. Masonic secrets are symbolic substitutes for the real experiences that await the Freemason in the course of the inner initiations that are the real content of Masonry.
Reasons for Entering Freemasonry
Individuals become Freemasons for many different reasons. Each Mason, no doubt, has a different reason or set of reasons for entering the Order. But, whatever their initial motivations, all Freemasons share certain ideals and aspirations of fraternity, charity, and truth. In addition, all Co-
The first reason for entering Masonry, and Co-
A second important reason for entering Freemasonry is that it offers a method for the mastery of one’s emotional, mental, and spiritual nature. It puts the Freemason in touch with himself or herself.
Who is Eligible to Apply to Join Freemasonry?
An old statement of the qualifications says that a candidate must be “of mature age, sound judgement, and strict morals.” In practical terms, this means that a candidate must be at least twenty-
The other essential requirement is that he or she must believe in a Supreme Being or Divine First Cause, however envisioned and by whatever name known. The reason for this is quite logical. Co-
Ceremonial & Inner Energies
Thus, Freemasonry is service: Spiritual service to humanity and spiritual service to oneself so that one may better serve others.
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