Seeking the Divine Attribute of Truth

A Freemason’s answer is to find – and ask – the right questions.

By: Gary Scott
Grand Orator

Gary Scott

We are informed that the truth is a “Divine Attribute” and the foundation of every virtue.  But what does that mean to the Freemason?  We are taught to be good and true as our first lesson in Masonry and that within this attribute is where we contemplate, and by its dictates, endeavor to regulate our own conduct.  If we regulate our conduct by the dictates of truth, then hypocrisy and deceit are unknown and sincerity and plain dealings will distinguish us, and we will collectively promote each other’s welfare and thus rejoice in each other’s prosperity.  “Truth is a vital requirement if a brotherhood is to endure and we therefore accept it as such” (Davis, In Search of Light).  But what is truth and how can we ascertain its existence?

Albert Pike wrote in Morals and Dogma that “to be true, and to seek and to find and learn the TRUTH are the great objects of Every good Mason.”  He goes on to say that the highest claim of Freemasonry to consideration is that it is a Philosophical Truth, concealed from the masses and taught to the adepts by symbols (Pike, Esoterika).  Pike also points out that… “But every intelligent Mason knows that of every hundred of Brethren, taken as one falls in with them, not more than two or three regard the symbolism of Freemasonry as of any real value, or care to study it.  To do so, it seems to all the others, would be idle and unprofitable labor.”  Is this where we are now as a sacred band or society of Brothers?  I pray not, but think about it.  We have many symbols and rituals that teach wise and serious truths, but how many take the time to truly investigate their meanings, seek the truth, and act in a true and upright manner?

Neitzche famously professed that “Truths are illusions of which we have forgotten that they are illusions.”  (Neitzche, On Truth and Untruth) So, does Truth not exist?  Philosophically he is correct, for if you do not seek truth by researching the meanings of your questions and skepticisms you will never find the truth thus it will remain elusive and therefore doesn’t exist.  As Freemasons, we are tasked to seek the truth and by doing so eliminate our ignorance of the subject in question and enlightening ourselves so as not to be ignorant to the reality of life.  Masonic symbolism and teachings reveal many guides to character building however one must research and understand their true meanings.  As Masons we are constantly reminded to seek light and by doing so, we eliminate ignorance and truth will thus be unveiled to us.

Truth is a fact of being philosophical and revealing, and requires, or rather demands, we uncover the meaning and therefore experience the reality of truth.  However, as an individual, you are the only you in existence as created by the Supreme Architect, and therefore you and only you can determine truth through your own understanding.  Masonry provides the tools, but only you can execute its teachings by your own actions and in doing so eliminate your ignorance to the matter. 

Let’s not forget that Freemasonry provides the tools and ancient teaching methods to give proper instructions of how to regulate and control our behavior and navigate our lives in a conscious and responsible manner.  When the teachings are effective, Freemasonry philosophies simply mold men into higher levels of morality and virtue thus evolving a good man to a better man.  Freemasons are accountable to help each other achieve these higher levels of life.  We are informed that a lodge is a certain number of Freemasons duly assembled not as a structure but as a gathering of like-minded men. We are told of the principal tenets of our profession and the cardinal virtues which we are to strive to implement in our lives.  We have a deep responsibility to acquire the truth and to enlighten our brothers. 

Knowledge acquired through study and understanding defeats ignorance which is the task of all freemasons.  The truth is out there to be found, but it takes time, research, deep analytical thought and understanding.  Once the truth is found, harmony and balance reach equilibrium within the soul of the Freemason.  Reaching equilibrium proves that Freemasonry actually is a beautiful system of morals veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols.  That’s the TRUTH!

Deeper thoughts on the matter:

  • As a Mason, do you seek truth by studying and researching what Masonic Symbology actually teaches. Or, are you willing just to accept what others tell you as fact?
  • How can Freemasonry make you a better man if you don’t put forth the level of effort to understand the ancient teachings? Reflect on the thought that symbolism is there for a reason AND words have meanings.

Finally, ask yourself if you are proving Albert Pike’s theory that only two or three Masons out of hundreds will seek truth?  Then reflect on this question: are you joined with the hundreds mentioned by Pike who regard the teachings and symbolism of Freemasonry as USELESS?  If so, then what is your contribution as a whole?  Only you can answer these questions my brother.  See you in Lodge!

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