"The secret of Masonry
Like the secret of life, can be only those who seek it, serve it, live it. It cannot be uttered;
it can only be felt and acted. It is, in fact, an open secret, and each man knows it according to his quest and capacity. Like all things worth knowing, no one can know it for another and no man can know it alone."
"The real secrets of Masonry are never told, not even from mouth to ear. For the real secret of Masonry is spoken to your heart and from it to the heart of your brother. Never the language made for tongue may speak it, it is uttered only in the eye in those manifestations of that love which a man has for his friend, which passe the all other loves.
"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but really great people make you feel that you too can become great."
"When the country is in need, it has always been the soldier...
not the newspaper, which has given us freedom of the press;
not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech;
not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to demonstrate;
who salutes the flag, who serves under the flag;
who is called upon to defend our American way of life."
"Freemasonry has endured not because of its antiquity, its influence, or its social standing, but because there have been so many who have lived it. The effectiveness of Masonic teachings will always be the measure by which the outside world judges Freemasonry; the proof of Freemasonry is in our deeds and it is in our deeds that Freemasonry is made known to non-
"The great lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes."
If I might add: "Even a broken clock is correct twice each day"
Masonry is not a secret society. Everybody knows that the Masonic fraternity exists and no effort is made to hide the fact. It is only the wisdom of Masonry which is hidden, not because it is subtle, but because it is simple. Its secret is profound; not obscure.
In the quiet of the lodge, in an air of reverence and friendship, it teaches us the truth that makes us men, and upon which faith and character must rest.
What is secret in Freemasonry? The method of its teaching, the atmosphere it creates, the spirit in our hearts and the ties it weaves between men. The secret of Masonry, like the secret of life, can only be known by those who seek it. It cannot be uttered, it can only be felt and acted. For that reason no one need be alarmed about any book written to expose Masonry. It is utterly harmless.
The real secrets of Freemasonry cannot be learned by prying eyes or by curious inquiry. The secrets of Masonry can be known only by those who are ready and worthy to receive it. Only a pure heart and honest mind can know it.
If Masonry uses the illusion of secrecy, it is because it knows that it is the nature of man to seek what is hidden. We are seekers after truth and God has so made us that we cannot find the truth alone, but only in the love and service of our fellow man.
Here is the real secret and to learn it is to have the key to the meaning and joy of life.
"There is not a subject so little understood by even its own members as that of Freemasonry. It is not in the strict sense an order. Its purpose is more clearly defined when it is called a fraternity, a brotherhood, or an institution. It is certainly not a club. Ritualism is not Masonry. The ritual is the vehicle which conveys the sublime truths to the heart and mind. If the forms and ceremonies through which the candidate passes fail to lift him to higher conceptions of life, duty and charity, then they are mere sounding brass and tinkling cymbal."
"When I am getting ready to reason with a man, I spend one-
"The steps taken by the candidate -
"Do you know why you are requested to raise your right hand when taking an oath? In ancient times people born in slavery were branded on the palm of the right hand and were not entitled to the privilege of taking an oath. The right hand was raised to show the administering official whether or not the palm was branded. If not marked, the person was freeborn and eligible to take an oath."
"I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandment's would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress."
ORIGINS OF THE CRAFT
Respecting the origin and early history of Masonry, men differ and probably will continue to differ. While some date its birth with the creation of the world, others trace it back to an age enveloped by the mist of time.
"The erection of Solomon's Temple," said Bro. De Witt Clinton, "the retreats of the Druids, and the Crusades to the holy land, have been, at different times, specially assigned as sources of its existence.
"The order, harmony and wonders of creation, the principles of mathematical science, and the productions of architectural skill, have been confounded with Freemasonry.
"Wherever a great philosopher has enlightened the ancient world, he has been resolved, by a species of moral metempsychosis, or intellectual chemistry, into a Freemason; and in all the secret institutions of antiquity, the footsteps of lodges have been traced by credulity."
Various as are the opinions relative to the infancy of Masonry, no one the least acquainted with history can fail to trace her through centuries to a remote period.
Her principles and virtues he recognizes among the good of every age; on her roll, he reads the names of illustrious men whose lives have left an unfading halo around their memory; and on the pages of her history he beholds the record of her beneficent deeds, dating back to the obscure past.
More than this, if he rightly comprehends the institution and its design, he regards it as the most perfect establishment ever conceived and erected by man. He respects it for its antiquity, but he reveres it for its purity and its intrinsic worth. It is not to him a moldy relic of a barbarous age unsuited to the present wants of mankind; it is not a society which has accomplished its mission, and is fit only to be buried with decent ceremonies.
It is a system perfect in itself; no age can improve it, and yet it is adapted to every age and every people; and it is as young and vigorous now as it was centuries ago and as capable of producing results beneficial to the human race. Such we believe to be the opinion of Masons who value our time-
"History does not entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid."
"If a good person does you wrong, act as though you had not noticed it. They will make note of this and not remain long in your debt."
"A society without standards will be a society without stability and it will one day go down. Not only nations but whole civilizations have perished in the past for lack of righteousness. Hence the importance attached to the square of virtue and the reason why Masons call it the symbol of their Craft. It is the symbol of that moral law upon which life must be based if it is to continue."
"Freemasonry is an attempt to organize harmony, and therefore it is essential that all its arrangements for the promotion of concord should be of the most perfect character and most delicately adjusted. Whatever tends in the least degree to produce disagreement and discord, to cause a jarring and clashing among the elements composing the society, or any of its branches, must have a tendency to defeat the purposes of the Institution, must in itself be destructive of the spirit of Masonry, and must be something foreign to that spirit, something not to be cultivated, but to be avoided by Masons.
Masons are supposed by the profane to be religiously devoted to the maintenance among themselves of harmonic principles, and this supposition is based upon the professions which Masons and Masonic writers and advocates have ever made to the world. The supposition is well-
"Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich."
"The outer limit of your potential is determined solely by your own beliefs and our own confidence in what you think is possible."
"If you and I exchange a dollar, each of us would still have a dollar -
"Leaders are made rather than born. Failing organizations are usually over-
"There is a certain grave beauty in the practice of Masonic etiquette. The Masonic life as it is lived out in our assemblies is a conscious work of art, with each and every part coordinated to every other, and instinct with the feeling of the whole; if a man enters into that system without preparation or forethought, and trusting only his instincts, his manner will strike an awkward note, like a discord jangling across a strain of music; but if he has trained himself in his part and caught the spirit of the whole, the genius of Freemasonry will shine through his actions, will express itself through ritual, symbol, law, philosophy, fellowship and daily deed. To have one's self thus become a part of a great and living whole is a kind of satisfying pleasure nothing else can give, a participation in the very life of beauty, appreciated as much by the beholders as by the actor. This ability to confer pleasure upon one's fellows when gathered in communication or in ceremony is not the least of etiquette's rewards."
"There are five different approaches to Masonry and only five. The Historical approach; the Philosophical approach; the Psychological approach; the Ethical approach; and the Ritualistic approach. There are no other approaches to Freemasonry. Now, we have stressed the historical approach; we have spent thousands and thousands of dollars; that is very important. We ... have spent thousands and thousands stressing ritualistic approach. But, my brethren, the most important approach -
Let us separate the Square from the Compasses and study it alone, the better to understand its meaning and use. There is no need to say that the Square we have in mind is not a Cube, which has six equal faces and 12 perfect angles, deemed by the Greeks "a figure of perfection". Nor is it the square of the carpenter, one leg of which is longer than the other, with indices marked thereon for measuring. It is a small, plain Square, unmarked and with legs of equal length, a simple tri-
"The genius of Freemasonry is not our Masonic buildings and temples or the trappings of our organizations. It is not our great charities or community activities. It is not our beautiful rituals or their teachings! It is the 'practice of Freemasonry' by the Freemasons. Yet we cannot practice that which we do not know or understand. Thus Masonic education is the foundation for our Fraternity.
Brother Carl H. Claudy in The Master's Book says, '.. one thing and only one thing a Masonic Lodge can give its members which they can get nowhere else in the world. That one thing is Masonry."
"Toleration, holding that every other man has the same right to his opinion and faith that we have to ours; and liberality, holding that as no human being can with certainty say, in the clash and conflict of hostile faiths and creeds, what is truth, or that he is surely in possession of it, so every one should feel that it is quite possible that another equally honest and sincere with himself, and yet holding the contrary opinion, may himself be in possession of the truth."