A Focus on Masonic Research, News, and other Tidbits

Homo sum; humani nihil a me alienum puto.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Are Freemasons Elevated?

I have lately detected a trend, amongst Freemasons, that regards a profane man as an equal to a Freemason. Since non-Freemasons are surely able to read this article, let me pause and discuss what a profane is.

According to one of the definitions of the word, and the one Freemasonry assigns to it, the adjective “profane” means “not admitted into a body of secret knowledge or ritual; uninitiated.” Freemasons will frequently turn this word into a noun, though it is not truly grammatically correct to do so. So, there you have it. A profane person is simply one that has not been initiated into Freemasonry.

I have been taught and I personally feel that Freemasons are elevated, at least in certain ways, above profane men. The profane man is not the equal to a Freemason. This has been the general attitude of modern Freemasonry for hundreds of years. This not to say that Freemasons should treat profane men badly, or look down their noses at them; but Freemasons, amongst themselves, should realize and appreciate their elevated status in society. To do otherwise, in my opinion, is radical thinking...Masonically speaking.

Could it be that this "equality thought" is the root problem for Freemasonry? Have some Freemasons forgotten, or never learned, that they are more elevated (enlightened) and, thus, more elite than their fellow profane man? Has this caused the Fraternity to initiate those that should not have been? Such thinking has caused Freemasons in general; especially those that possibly should not have been initiated in the first place, to cheapen their place in society. Some Freemasons seem to feel that they are just an extension of society rather than an elevation of society.

The rather neat thing about any organization that considers and portrays itself to be elevated or elite is that such an attitude is contagious. Some may misinterpret an elitist attitude as arrogance, however, that does not change the fact those organizations that truly believe they are elite have very little trouble in attracting new members. One only has to look at the military for an example of this. Certain branches and jobs within the military are considered by many to be elite examples of military service. Folks within those branches and jobs believe they are elite and exude confidence. This causes many outsiders, especially those with goal driven personalities, to almost beg for admission. Freemasonry used to be just like this. In some places, it still is. It could be like this everywhere.

If the majority of the Craft readopted an elevated or elitist attitude, without being arrogant, and truly believed in that elevated status; then almost all of Freemasonry’s ills could be cured.


Wayfaring Man said...

If this self-assuredness will conquer the ills and failings of our Order, not excluding the ubiquitous Masonic green-bean casserole, then we should promote it like the cure for cancer.

The Palmetto Bug said...

I think some are promoting it. The T.O. Lodges are, in my opinion, an example of this type of thinking.

Wayfaring Man said...

I certainly think of myself as "elevated" to use your term, or patrician to use a term even more out of favor than "elevated." My TO lodge does use this "cream rises to the top" analogy, although I suspect our more egalitarian brethren will find this as yet another example of what needs changed in our Order.