During the last 40 years, Freemasonry has lost nearly 50% of its members.
In France and elsewhere in Europe, the number of Freemasons has increased, but disagreements of all types are commonplace. They counteract the reasons for our commitment to this movement. The influence of Freemasonry on society is declining everywhere. I invite you to discuss the meaning and role of our movement on the site.
Freemasonry is an initiatory movement that some people confuse with a religion, others with a political partry, or an opportunity to get together with friends to philosophise, or even a charity group. Yet for many Masons it is primarily, if not solely, a system of morality that is both veiled and explicit through allegory and illustrated by symbols. All these steps are respectable and partly reflect the role of Freemasonry, but it was not created primarily for such.
Freemasonry certainly offersits members a spiritual and moral perspective, but not necessarily a religious one. It encourages them to become more involved in their communities, but is neithera substitute for other parties, trade unions, associations, nor the university. Lastly, it should not be an interest group. Such confusion lowers the impact of Freemasonry and it is not surprising that in the last 40 years it has lost nearly half its membership, especially in the United States.
However, its decliningappeal is not solely due to such errors of understanding, or to Western society's supposedly declining interest inspirituality. If this decline were real, "cults" and other new paths to transcendence would not be so popular, especially in the USA.
We must not forget that almost since modern-day Freemasonry was founded in 1723, proponents of centralist and authoritarian thoughts have expressed their hostility, even hatred, of its humanistic and egalitarian nature and freethinking spirit. The first Papal Bull dates from 1738... followed by more than two centuries of slander and destabilisation attempts that have blurred its image even further. In Europe, we retain the memories of attacks on Freemasons and persecution by the Nazis and the Communists of the Soviet bloc. Thus, it is not surprising that the uninitiated, and sometimes even Freemasons themselves, no longer understand the deeper meaning and the specific sense of this movement.
Modern-day Freemasonry encourages its members to work on themselves and stand accountable for responsibilities towards humanity in a way that no other organisation does. It offers them a special method of initiation. However, to determine whether Freemasonry still makes sense in the 21st Century, we must return to its fundamentals.
Read more, post your comments on www.call-of-bratislava.com, sign the Call to reunite all Fremasons.