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God has given you one face, and you make yourself another
There are organizations that maintain secrecy to prevent knowledge of their existence. There are organizations that desire secrecy about their purpose. There are organizations that guard a secret.
Freemasonry is a secret society that guards a secret. When asked the question, the accurate answer should probably have an explanation to be clear. Sensitive but thorough.
A few years ago, I realized there is a secret a mason cannot communicate even is he chose to do so. Despite the sincerity of our oaths, over the years, we have initiated a man who did not fulfill the obligation and told all. But he could never reveal the experience of initiation. Dr Jan Snoek, an expert on the history of religion tells us this is a secret of allusion.
Oh how we muse over distractions. 1717. Freemasonry didn't begin on the 24th of December 1717. An organization began. It wasn't what it is today. It wasn't secret. It didn't have a constitution. The membership was small. It existed in the City of London and Westminster.
It seems so much is lost in the belief Freemasonry began in 1717. Isn't that like saying art began in 1692 when Louis XIV ordered the creation of a gallery of antique sculpture in the Salle Des Caryatides at the Louve?
Freemasonry is a gallery of ideas that include floors of Arts and of Sciences where the language of philosophy is spoken; rooms resplendent with themes of ethics, reality, symbolism, spirituality, truth and justice.
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It's good to talk.