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Article # 92
What is Masonic Knowledge

Author: W.Bro. A.Suryanarayana Rao    Posted on: Sunday, April 11, 2004
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What is Masonic Knowledge

What is Masonic Knowledge ?

“As a last general recommendation, let me exhort you to dedicate yourself to such pursuits as may at once enable you to become respectable in life, useful to mankind and an ornament to the society of which you have this day become a member. To study, more especially, such of the liberal arts and sciences as may lie within the compass of your attainment and, without neglecting the ordinary duties of your station, endeavour to make a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge.”

We have heard this at every initiation. But we have not told the candidate what is meant by Masonic knowledge. In fact few of us have contemplated on the meaning of the phrase, Masonic Knowledge.

This brings us to the basic question. “What is Masonic Knowledge ?”

Is it knowledge of masonry? Is it knowledge in masonry? Is it knowledge gained from masonry ?

That takes us to a probe a little further. What is Masonry ?

The answer to this question is also familiar, being given at every passing by the candidate.

“A peculiar system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols”.

Does he know what he is talking about ? For that matter, do we know ? How many of us have analysed this statement ? Probably none. Let us begin now.

We all concede that there is a morality content in Freemasonry. What is peculiar about it? Is there anything peculiar at all? Are we merely using adjectives without purpose? Have we seen the allegory ? Have we lifted the veil to see within and hence understood the allegory ? Or, is there really no allegory ? Have we contemplated on the symbols and benefited by their illustrations ?

Is it not time to end this ignorance ? When the Press is now able to write about masonry and when Grand Lodges are being interviewed for information, are we not, as members of the fraternity, to be aware of the principles and mysteries of freemasonry ?

The reply by the first sojourner in the Chapter gives us what may be considered a near ideal definition of Masonry. “We mean that great and universal science which includes almost every other, to the several parts of which we have given our attention, but we have more particularly studied that part which we have given our attention, but we have more particularly studied that part which teaches us our duty to God and to our neighbour and a knowledge of ourselves.”

There we have in typical Masonic fashion, a brief, all comprehensive and clear definition of Masonry, ‘that great and universal science which includes almost every other’.

In that sense, the instruction given to the candidate is to increase his knowledge in all subjects, but not at the expense of his normal duties.

The author as was already introduced is an erudite Masonic scholar and in this short article,

he explores the aspect of what is freemasonry. We thank him for the permission to post this article.




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