The Benefits of Being a Freemason
"Judge the organization by its landmarks and teachings, not by the actions of the imperfect people simply walking their own paths within. If the organization teaches good and the people within struggle with implementing those teachings in their lives, then it is not the organization that is at fault."
are thousands of representatives of this Ancient and Honorable
Fraternity in the world today and not one of us lives up to the whole
expectation of the Masonic Education. The hope is that we are all
striving to deserve the title of Freemason by earning the benefits each
day through action, word, and thought. Have patience with us while we
navigate these austere halls.
Being A Better Man
have likely seen the mantra, Making Good Men Better, being tossed about
in relation to Freemasonry. This is a bold claim and not entirely true
in its truncated delivery. You see, one of the benefits of Speculative
Masonry is that each one of us Masons has access to a structured
education system delivered in symbolism and allegory as well as
straightforward instruction. A goldmine of insight into what it means to
be a better man, this system isn't meant to teach me how to be better
than you, or him, or that group over there, but it is meant to teach me
how to be better than I was before I implemented the teachings in my
Within the Holy Books of various religions to which
Masons subscribe there are lessons given in multitudes. In general, it
has been the purview of organized religions to not only translate the
meaning of these teachings and put them in an understandable format for
the layperson, but preach them to their followers, admonish them to
follow the edicts within, and in many cases judge them as well.
Throughout history and even today, there are zealous interpretations who
mistake the prejudices and cultural demands that are filled with hate
and loathing, orders for death and destruction, and judgment to be
rained down upon those deemed heathens as the Word of God (or gods).
in its pure unadulterated form, removes the hate, removes the
inequality, removes the judgment of agendas of organized religion and
delivers an alternate means of implementing the revealed word of God in a
Freemasonry is not a religion, but it is a
religiously focused organization. While there are bold claims floating
about such as, Making Good Men Better, the truth is that the Man must
take action by applying the lessons put together by philosophers,
dreamers, and learned men who desired nothing more than to be better
men, in order to become better men themselves.
has proven that men and women benefit from time spent with their own
gender. Studies have shown that men should spend at least two nights a
week with their male friends (women should do the same with their
girlfriends). The individual's health and well-being are greatly
improved if they do. Additionally, if the man (in this case) spends that
time with his brothers doing things together that promote like-minded
interests, their mental health is greatly improved. This is where the
social benefits of being a Freemason come into play.
beings crave connections. The nature of the science is too great to get
into here but suffice it to say, we long to belong, to be a part of, to
participate in and with groups of people. Without this connection, our
spirits deflate, or drives dwindle, and our sense of accomplishment
falters. Even people who are introverts cannot maintain healthy
lifestyles by being… well, introverted. Since the beginning of recorded
time, we've sought out groups of people we could be a part of, friends, a
spouse, etc. Societies, Clubs, Fraternities, Classes, Politics,
Churches, and even gangs… they exist because we desire to belong.
Freemasonry, men find brotherhood in social engagement, philosophical
discussion, shared learning, similar goals, pride in belonging, and a
knowledge that they always have a Brother who will come to their aid.
brother can walk into a room of Masons and immediately feel accepted,
bonded, and supported despite the many, many differences in
personalities, personal life choices, politics, and religious beliefs.
The argument has been made that you get out of it what you put into it.
At Lodge there is a freedom to be yourself no matter your flaws, no
matter your struggles, and no matter your faith. Masons meet upon the
level and part upon the level, and this is a foundational aspect of our
Ceremonies and Goals
Take a real look
at history and you'll see that every culture, every society, has
implemented ceremonies into their lives at certain milestones and after
great achievement. Ceremony is a huge part of growth and many who study
human behavior and mental needs will tell you that without ceremony,
certain developmental milestones are delayed or missed altogether.
goals and marking their achievements is life-affirming. When a young
man reaches a certain age (depending on the culture) there is usually
some kind of ceremony welcoming him to manhood. Birthdays are ceremonies
of a kind, more casual than most, but still, a ceremony recognizing the
achievement of surviving another year and celebrating the individual
being born in the first place. The sad thing is that we are drifting
further away from recognizing standard achievements through ceremony
with each generation.
For whatever reason - be it technology
or just genetics - we have become less and less capable of sitting
through pomp and ceremony as a people despite the mental and spiritual
benefits it provides. Young men no longer have that coming of age
ceremony to mark their transition to manhood. There's no Great Hunt for
them to go on to prove themselves. The man's Church might have certain
achievements they can make, and some may even have solid ceremony to
accompany them, but outside of Church, there are few organizations
remaining today that implement meaningful ceremony into a man's life.
Outside of the Church, marriage is the biggest ceremony of a person's
life and even that is under attack these days.
the simple concept of goal setting and achievement. When goals are set,
they are most often in relation to finances, body, and getting that
degree or certification. When a person does hit certain financial marks,
there's no ceremony that goes along with it. The recognition is often
made by jealous people or hateful people and not positive at all. Body
goals, such as those associated with weight-lifting, cross fit, etc. are
great, but are again often recognized solely out of jealousy. And yes,
there are ceremonies involved with getting a degree but often, having a
degree means nothing in the real world. Companies are finding that
colleges and universities can't keep up with the industries, teach a
person not to think for themselves but rather to think according to a
curriculum, and box an individual into antiquated specializations.
People without degrees are performing better in the workplace than those
with a piece of paper. People with degrees are then reduced to a
painful amount of debt and frustration which dampens the benefits of the
ceremony and achievement.
Through the regimented and structured advancements in the degrees of Masonry, a man experiences goal setting and ceremony upon achievement of things that are useful in any man's life so to positively increase his knowledge and self-worth.