To easily understand everything about Freemasonry
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- At last a book which gives clear answers to all your questions on Freemasonry.
- 292 pages of useful Questions and Answers, to help you prepare a well-structured application.
- List of Masonic Obediences to contact.
- Sayings and Don'ts. MUST READ.
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The Three Grades: Apprentice / Fellow Craft / Master
These three grades of Freemasonry
form the basis of our work.
The newly initiated Freemason begins as an Apprentice. This degree is a very rich experience, because it corresponds to the period of our childhood. We discover, we listen, we observe, we imprint in our memory and we create our universe. This matrix will serve as a basis for our further work inside and outside the Lodge. During this period, speaking is not allowed. We are in an intense period of receptivity. Some Apprentices chomp and writhe with impatience while waiting to be promoted to the next degree. But we can pity those Apprentices, who, like a chrysalis extracted too soon from its cocoon, rise to the degree of Fellow Craft without having acquired the necessary basis. How unfortunate for them, what a tragedy for others! One day they will become Masters who will be in charge of transmitting essential knowledge in their turn. What will they be able to offer to their own Apprentices if they themselves are not prepared, because of their haste to be upgraded? Since the degree of Apprentice is crucial to one’s future development, the foundations of one’s future Masonic path are acquired with rigour and patience.
The degree of Fellow Craft tends to be underestimated. It is less impressive and is set between the Initiation ceremony, which is similar to birth, and the degree of Master Mason, which is similar to the transition to adulthood. It can therefore be easily compared to adolescence, the ungrateful age that we would generally like to escape as quickly as possible and be considered as an adult. However, for us, this degree is as important as the other two. If the first degree is devoted to working on the perpendicular axis, which symbolises the place of the spiritual between the earth and the sky, the second degree helps us to explore horizontality and the world of matter. To want to dissociate the spiritual from the material is to live without integrating our body, to negate the earth that nurtures us. And to try to live without our spirit is to condemn ourselves to a life of instinct: eat, sleep and reproduce. Some would add "to accumulate goods and wealth", but the principle is the same.
It is important to understand that the profound meaning of Freemasonry is real and tangible. It is at least as present as the wind, which no one sees, but which everyone knows, because it is felt by each of us. Do you know the difference between living and existing? This is precisely what we work on in Freemasonry. In the first degree, we live! This means that our elementary functions are active; we eat, sleep, breathe, and think (for some, more than others). We could do this work alone in a cave, far away from civilization. But as soon as we move up to the second degree, we begin to exist. In absolute terms, we do not need others in order to live. But in order to exist, we must begin to enter into contact and "relate" to them. The difference between living and existing would deserve a whole book, so inspiring is this reflection on the profound meaning of our existence.The Fellow Craft is invited to enrich himself/ herself through contact with the others and in turn to share with them everything they learn. This is the very foundation of Fraternity. This degree is essential because it makes us realize that we are not alone.