While the word Freemasonry itself is rather well known, if you were to ask someone exactly what it is chances are they won’t have an answer for you. For literally centuries the Freemasons have attracted men from all over the world and yet many people are still ignorant as to who they are and what Freemasonry is. Hopefully by the end of this article you will be able to better answer the question, “What is Freemasonry?”
At the most basic level Freemasonry is the largest and oldest fraternal organization in the world with millions of Masons from different countries, backgrounds, and religions meeting as Lodges. The main focus of Freemasons is self-improvement and betterment of one’s life. Although Masons do not have a specific religious affiliation and Freemasonry itself is not a religion, it is a foundational tenant of the fraternity that there is a God and all mankind compose the brotherhood of man. Freemasonry works to improve a man’s spiritual life as well as provide a brotherhood of like minded people with the same goal of moral betterment.
The basic unit of Freemasonry is the Lodge. Masons meet together as a Lodge based on geographic location or sometimes even common interests such as career. Lodges are often a tight knit group and the idea of the brotherhood of man is very apparent. Many Masons find that their Lodge is a nice respite from the outside world. The Lodge provides an environment in which men can be reminded of their duties to God, his family, and his fellow man. Here men work together to build character in a world where standards are often being lowered rather than raised.
One way in which Masons build character is by learning through allegory. Freemasons use symbolism from ancient working stonemasons in order to teach different lessons about morality and ethics. Allegories are often used to better illustrate a point and better explain the morals by which a man should live his life. Masons are known to spend much time learning this symbolism in order to apply the principles to his life and helping fellow brothers learn as well. It is quite impressive that the largest society in the world is one of men from all walks of life studying and learning to raise their moral standards.
What makes Freemasonry unique is that it is not just a social organization, but an organization devoted to improving the way in which a person lives his life through brotherhood and association with like minded men. The Lodges of the Freemasons are places for men to seek out wisdom and to become all around better people and help others do the same by joining together as a worldwide brotherhood.