Thursday, September 24, 2009

T:. T:. G:. O:. T:. G:. A:. O:. T:. U:.

I was thinking today how, even in many of the adogmatic jurisdictions of Freemasonry, there is still reference to the Grand Architect of the Universe. I know that many of my Brothers, and Sisters are atheists or agnostics and may find the term undesirable.

I understand their concerns, though I happen to like opening and closing the lodge "to the glory of the Great Architect of the Universe and the progress of Humanity, in the name of Universal Freemasonry".

My religious beliefs are a mixture of Deism, Taoism, and Stoicism that sometimes borders on the agnostic side. I do not believe however that the universe came into being out of nothing by sheer chance. I do believe in a higher reality, though I would never anthropomorphize that reality by attributing human qualities to "it".

I am not arguing here for the existence of God, that is up to each man, and woman, to decide for themselves. I am just grateful that the reference to TGAOTU is still optional in Liberal, Grand Orient Freemasonry. Banning the use of the term, if a majority of a lodge's membership desire it, would be just as bad as forcing a lodge to use it, as is done in the "regular" jurisdictions.

By the way, I do like the fact that we use a blank book instead of the Bible. I would actually prefer though to use Anderson's Constitutions, or the Constitution of the particular jurisdiction. A blank book, despite what it symbolizes, is still blank. Why have it on the Altar at all? Just my opinion.


Frater Raum Sariel 3° said...

Why use Anderson's when it forbids women and Atheists?

San Diego Freemason said...

I am quoting here from an address given by then GM of the GOdF, Alain Bauer, to the 2002 California Masonic Symposium:

"The Masons in 1877 believed their decision (to omit the requirement of a belief in God),expressed in a democratic vote was a way to return to the original and very liberal spirit of the Constitution of James Anderson.

That was the heart of the matter. That is what was in their thinking. The focus was on Anderson's Constitution as it had been written in 1723, before the changes made in 1738.

In fact, Masons before 1717 were officially "Catholics," they became "Christians" and then "Noachites."

The Grand Orient of France merely climbed an additional step, asking them to refer to the "Universal Moral Law," as specified by the 1723 Constitutions.

This would mean, as well, a focus on Anderson's Constitution well before the extensive changes undertaken in 1813, and before the 1929 modifications with the so-called "eight fundamental obligations."

These are the later obligations necessary in order to attain recognition from the United Grand Lodge of England."

You are correct though regarding the part about women. I was thinking about the GOdF which is still an all male jurisdiction.

In my case, the constitution of our jurisdiction would be perfectly fine.