Ronald C. Radatz, PM
ver 150 years ago, Grand Commander Albert Pike, was an Odd Fellow and decided
to become a Mason. After doing so he
made two, I think, very significant statements in the introduction to his book
Eso-terika. One was to the effect that the last
place to learn about Freemasonry was in
a lodge. The other was that the ritual literally makes no sense, and he went on to
specifically define many inconsistencies.
It took Pike fifteen years to understand what Freemasonry is. How many
learned Masons—Past Masters, 33rds,
etc.—have you asked “What is Freemasonry?,” and received the answer “
Nobody knows”? Freemasonry is one of
the most published subjects, with over
22,000 titles listed in the OCLC World-Cat catalog. So, somebody is fooling
somebody about not knowing what it is.
So, what does it mean? Are we a “secret
society” or are we something else?
In all three Blue Lodge degrees we
obligate ourselves not to reveal in any
manner any of the secrets of any of the
degrees. Yet no grand lodge has ever de-
fined what the secrets of Freemasonry are.
Those that have declared the secrets have
actually defined what most grand lodges
say are the “private parts.”
That’s pretty significant, right?
The United Grand Lodge of England
has made the statement that Freemason-
ry is totally symbolic. So now we know
that the whole thing
is symbolic. But symbolic of what?
Now we come to the real problem. To
understand it you have to read. Not only
read but watch videos, travel, and continually ask questions. If we’re not a religion
why do we have the Volume of the Sacred Law on our altars? How do we take
good men and make them better?
A secret is something that is only
known to a privileged few. With all the
exposés in print, with all the pictures
and words, surely the “secrets” have
been revealed to the uninitiated. Surely
our “secret society” has leaked some of
those secrets. You can go to any well-stocked book store, or more simply go
on line, read or buy a book, have it sent
to your home giving you the revelation
of “all the secrets,” right? Wrong!
Those which many consider “the secrets” have been defined by most Grand
Lodges to be the “private parts” because
they are used to recognize other Masons
or to enter a lodge. And, that is why we are
given the “substitute” for the secret word.
So, what is the Secret Word?
Freemasonry is a beautiful system of
morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols. If you don’t understand
that you might as well quit reading this
article. We’re not a charity or a religion.
We do not exist to support others and
present no way of salvation.
So, how does it make men better?
In the degrees, it is explained that we
are to be building a temple. That is what
Solomon symbolizes—the builder of the
most magnificent temple in the history
of man. As we strive to build ours, each
of us does so differently. I can’t tell you
how to build yours and vice versa. Re-
member that Freemasonry is a system of
morality. We all take our obligations on
the Volume of the Sacred Law because
we believe in immortality. Without im-
mortality there is no reason for morality.
Most of the great religions have at
least one thing in common. Something
was given, something was taken away,
and something is searched for. So it is in
Masonry; “it” being the Lost Word!
So, what is the Lost Word? It is not a
word at all. It is not abracadabra or any
other word. It cannot be given in audible
tone or language. The Lost Word is Divine Truth which we cannot know on
this physical plane. It can only be understood when we enter the Celestial Lodge
Above. That is what we build our temples
with. No magic. No secret. It’s what we
use in our building that gains us the
“Lost Word” and that is how Freemasonry
“takes a good man and makes him better,”
and that is what Freemasonry is.
And like my coach used to say in
teaching the catechisms, “That’s about
all there is to it!”