The Mysteries of Freemasonry

The new Immediate Past Master of a lodge, the Master Mason who had just stepped down from his term as Worshipful Master, sat alone in the dining hall, looking pensive as he stirred his coffee. The lodge’s old Chaplain noticed this and went to ask what was on his mind.

The Past Master said: “Brother, I have spent the last several years working my way through all the chairs of our lodge. As the Worshipful Master, I did my duties and, if I may say so, I executed them well and with honor. I’ve joined the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, and a few research bodies, and listened to and read everything I could, and I strive to live a life of virtue and faith. But after all this time, I don’t feel like I really know much more about Masonry than I did after completing my proficiency as a Master Mason. I feel like I’m missing something. Is this all there is?”

The old Chaplain asked, “What do you think you are missing?”

The Past Master answered: “I don’t know, it’s just a feeling I have. It’s really a mystery to me.”

The Chaplain replied: “Ah, a mystery! Well, isn’t it interesting that our ritual talks about the “mysteries of Freemasonry”?

“What do you mean?” asked the Past Master.

“Brother,” responded the old Chaplain, “what are the secrets of Freemasonry?”

“We only keep our ritual and our means of recognition as secrets,” said the Past Master.

The Chaplain said: “And yet there are many books that reveal these things, so isn’t it foolish that we call them secrets? What is a secret, really, if it isn’t something that you know but cannot tell anyone else? And yet we tell each other these so-called secrets all the time. What, then, might be our real secrets.”

The Past Master looked down with a puzzled expression on his face.

“There! That’s it!” announced the old Chaplain, looking sincerely into the Past Master’s eyes and pointing at his forehead. “Pass through that veil, enter that temple, and you will find the true secrets of our Craft.”

“You’re not making much sense,” replied the Past Master.

The Chaplain smiled and said, “Isn’t it wonderful?”