Sunday, November 18, 2012

Freemasonry: The Square and Compass

Freemasonry can seem pretty confusing and elusive, with all of its secret rituals and symbolism. It is said that the organization began as a group of men who all worked on the construction of European cathedrals in the 1500s. Due to their occupation, these men were known as Free Masons, and the name remained intact even after the society evolved. Today, many fantastic theories about the Masons have emerged, including the belief that the are trying to secretly take over the world, or even that they are a Satanic order. I recently purchased a copy of the morals and dogma of the Masonic order, and this message was printed boldly on the title page:

It would seem that the society wants their ways to remain private! I have yet to make up my mind on whether or not the Masons have ill-intent for non-members or not, so I will have to do more research...

Today, from my understanding, the Masons are essentially a fraternal organization that is rooted in the belief of a Supreme Being, which is inclusive to gods of many faiths. The connection of this faith to everyday life is seen in one of the Mason's most recognizable symbols, the Square and Compass (which can be seen clearly here:[1].gif) :

At the top of this Mason's tombstone, the Square and Compass can be seen plainly. The Square and Compass can be interpreted in many ways, and there is no one way the Mason's interpret it. From what I understand, the square serves to remind Mason's to keep their actions in check and "square" with what the Supreme Being would want from them. The compass stands to represent the belief that Mason's must maintain a balanced relationship with both mankind and the Supreme Being in order to be a proper Mason. The "G" in the middle of the symbol reminds the Mason that a relationship with God (or Great Architect of the Universe) is central to making accurate judgments on how to carry oneself. Without this reasonable, even approach, then the Mason would be out of control and going against their fellow man and the higher power (correct me if my interpretation is totally off base!). It would also seem to me that these tools of measurement are a reference to the stone builder origins of the organization.

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