In Freemasonry, God is usually described as the “Grand Architect”. His symbol is a five-pointed star or “Blazing Star.” Either that or a shining pyramid with an all-seeing eye (“Eye of Providence”) inside it. Belief in this Supreme Being is a key requirement for membership in the Masons.
Yet an official statement from the “Board of General Purposes”, which was ratified by the United Grand Lodge of England, stated:
“… It cannot be too strongly asserted that Masonry is neither a religion nor a substitute for religion… On the other hand, its basic requirement that every member of the Order shall believe in a Supreme Being and the stress laid upon his duty towards Him should be sufficient evidence to all but the willfully prejudiced that Masonry is an upholder of religion since it requires a man to have some form of religion before he can be admitted as a Mason…”Board of General Purposes
So Freemasonry is not a religion, and yet it sees religion, or some aspect of it, as being a prerequisite to joining the Order. Presumably, the Masons believe that a deep truth lies at the heart of most (or even all) religions and that this truth is central to the core of Masonic belief.
What could this core truth be?
If Masonry is not a religion, then it follows that the core aspect of religion that the Order is concerned with must be an operative truth, not some subjective concept that can neither be proven nor have a tangible or observable effect on the world (other than perhaps a psychological effect).
What is at the deep heart of most religions?
No doubt most would say it’s a belief in God or a creator. I would contend this is the outer tenet of religion. And I would say this is why Freemasonry had to distance itself from religion as this idea formed no part of the Order’s central creed.
Mostly likely the lower echelons of Masonry, both past and present, do see the Grand Architect as the equivalent of the religious notion of God. And at it’s lower levels, Masonry serves as a fraternal order of men involved in business and the various professions. It’s not a networking group as such, but naturally one makes connections who may or may not be able to help you on occasion.
This is a perfectly positive thing…
Everybody has a place in the world, and naturally the elite thinkers rise up the ranks, or are brought in at a higher rank than the average member that joins the Masons.
But at it’s higher levels, a fair number of Masons are continuing a mission that arguably began some 2,000 years or more ago, one which in later times involved both the French and American Revolutions. Certainly, there are those that condemn the Masons as being a dark and nefarious organization bent on one world government and essentially global domination.
My contention is that, on balance, the Masons have always been a force for good, looking to free up the soul of man from the thralldom of monarchies and religion. No easy feat, considering how both of these have shackled humanity for long millennia.
As to who or what the Grand Architect is I am not prepared to say – at least not overtly…
What I will say is, you need to ask yourself who is the creator of our world? Who is it manifests all we see, hear, taste, smell and feel? Who is it makes the grass green? The scent of flowers carried on the breeze? The azure skies turning to amber as the sun sets?
More pertinently, who was it that created God himself?
And who is the Supreme Being? The All-Seeing Eye and Blazing Star?
When you can answer those questions, then you are on your own personal road to FREEDOM – whether you are a Mason or not.