This may prove a tricky subject Russell as certain things within Free Masonry are held as sacrad and for the initiated only. It is sometimes difficult to know how much to discuss on a forum such as this were information can be used to both teach and learn from, so I would be interested to no how others on the forum would respond to your questions. Personal I see the secrets within Free Masonry as a discipline for the initiate who can gain in personal integrity and strength through the keeping of them.
True Yoki, (Happy New Year BTW). In UGLE Freemasonry the meaning of the Five Points is explained in the Third Degree Ritual. This can be found quite easily on the Web and elsewhere and, as you say, some people would blow a fuse if I were to type it out here although one can argue that it is not a sign, token or word although the word(s) of the Degree are communicated after the F P of F are performed.
As to any deeper and Esoteric meaning to these I will leave it for Russell and others more versed in such matters to explore and explain for the benefit of us all.
Russell. Can I suggest you buy a book on Craft Freemasonry, there are many around which will give you both a description of the Five Points and an explanation of why they are performed that way.
As I have said there could well be deeper Esoteric meanings to these actions and I'll leave that to you to determine. As to why Fellowship, in that position it would be impossible to harm the other man and you are both so close that any secret could be exchanged in a whisper.
I expect you have noticed the number of obviously false explanations in Masonry. For example the sun at the meridian explanation applies more validly to fishing than to Masonry.
And why is it that a system of morality has to be hidden (veiled) from Masons. Other systems of morality are publicised so that people can practice them e.g. Turn the other cheek.
The point of my question therefore about why a fellowship ritual is formed in that way and why it is attached to exchange of secrets, is to prompt the brethren to consider from first principles what is going on and why it should be in that particular way.
Fair points Russell. I will be interested to see how this theme develops. For some time I have felt that many Brethren see, or in some cases choose to see, no further than the Mundane explanations of our words and actions but for those prepared to look further there is a wealth of Symbolical and Esoteric meaning therein.
A quote from Rev Dr Oliver in his "Landmarks of Freemasonry", "assisting a brother in his distress, supporting him in his virtuous undertakings, praying for his welfare, keeping violate his secrets, and vindicating his reputation as well in his absence as in his presence".
The 5 points IMHO is not about communicating secrets but of how we should assist a brother in his time of need.
Post by Hubert (N. Z.) on Jan 3, 2005 21:50:43 GMT
This is a purely personal view, having come about on reflection of comments above..
For me the 5 points symbolise that closeness and intimatcy we have with all sentient beings on this planet. AND THIS IN A PURELY NON SEXUAL MANNER.
Have you ever noticed when hugging others how some can be off putting, some warm and inviting, and others just in the moment? That is for the normal world.
For me the 3rd degree & the 5 points show how we should relate to all genuine and respectful Bros. As we are symbolical, we do this in such a manner, to emphasise those attributes most becomming to mankind - the support & help for others.
All aspects of life have a varity of ways to relate. The position of the 5 points identify that ONENESS with one another, so that we do not have two individuals, but one whole acting in unison. When the Wardens, & then the Master emulate this it highlites the UNITY within the Lodge.
I basically agree with your propositions. But I first saw the FPOF working in sexual context.
I was making love with my partner and watching the energy fields when I saw patches of energy at the knee, hands and shoulder. I made the conceptual connection to the FPOF and had the concept appear in my head : spot welding.
I was given to understand that I was observing spot welding of our two auras so that we could be more closely connected.
I think perhaps that is the true basis of the FPOF - putting us in the situation where from time to time there may be some spot welding occur between brethren.
The next question is how can we make sure the brethren practice spot welding. Well why not build it into something that they will have to do regularly like communicating secrets.
So that is my current hypothesis and I raised the issue to see if any else could come to a similar view.
Great Russell, this is exactly where I see TRUE freemasonry heading in the future. The trouble is how do we put across these ideals and NOT arrouse suspicion that it is something of a perverted gathering? On the OTHER forum there was much titilation from some Males that CoMasonry was into the Sexual stuff!
The whole point of the Craft is to PUT ASSIDE outside thoughts and dwell on the spiritual.
As you indicated, in our personal intimacies with our spouses this 5 points connection is exactly what we should be striving for, AND having achieved it there then to transform the same thing within the Temple. What goals we could achieve if all followed that path!
For many in CoMasonry, we aim to observe those etheric and higher levels of intuition that give so much more to our deliberations.
That is why first we teach the basics, which include learning the ceremony by rote, then by putting our heart and SOUL into performing the rites.
This is why I beleive my feet burn whislt on the Pavement. But as we are all servants of TGAOTU, we willingly proceed to addapt to thes enew energies and thus become better tools for the perfection of mankind.
Please excuse the homily, this sort of debate really drives my enthusiasm.
Post by Late Knight Chemist on Jan 4, 2005 9:11:56 GMT
In my mind the FPOF take their rise from the fraternal and familial embrace of brothers or fathers and sons when they meet. It is not a secret nor is it veiled. This has been given a symbolic form in Masonry. This symbolism will have been used to aid memory. Without going into detail to the rubric starts, "Hand to hand, I greet you as a brother ..."
I suggest that the five points of body contact act merely as handles for five key attributes of fellowship and brotherhood. There is nothing specifically Masonic about the FPOF, rather Masonry has merely put words to a form of greeting, commonly used in some parts of the world.
In the third degree the embrace is a practical position adopted to share the word of the degree.
I do have one question, however. Why do we use an outstretched hand over the back in Emulation when in the common embrace the hand would be placed on the back?
After the fourth point it would not be easy for a brother to see the other's left hand or anything concealed in it. The open hand placed on the back would be felt and could be said to more rationally complete the bond of fellowship.
I'm inclined to disagree with you there Bruce, as regards the position of the hand over back. An open palm shows that no dagger is contained therein as many people are ambidexterous and could as well stab someone with their left hand. Also if someone else approaches from the back he will see the outstretched hand to his right warding him off which of course makes sense if a secret is to be communicated between two people.
As a form of greeting in this modern day and age two men would be a lot less likely to greet each other in such a physical manner in public here in England as it would be open to being misconstrued to say the least!When I meet a friend or even my father, say when visiting him in Scotland, a handshake suffices at the airport both on arrival and as a farewell on departure. So whilst it may not originally have been a Masonic Greeting I feel it has now become restricted to such events as the Third Degree and Closing in the Third or perhaps to some Religious services such as the Kiss of Peace (Pax) in High Anglican and Roman Catholic High Mass where the Celebrant greets the Deacon in a somewhat similar manner.
Post by Late Knight Chemist on Jan 5, 2005 1:14:13 GMT
Here is a form of words from Carrs The Freemason at Work:
5. "The left hand supporting the back is that I will always be willing to support a Brother as far as lays within my power".
The third point refers to prayer.
I have empathy with the argument that the hand should be placed on the back because it is only by feel that your Brother will know where it is and what it's doing. The explanation you give is equally valid except that the outstretched hand could also be ready to accept a weapon. How would you know? I am not about to change anything.
Hubert - glad to hear you are getting some results in Co-M. I was in that until a number of male craft members decided to blackball my three candidates - all women. One of the women was advised by a friend in a male craft lodge that she and all the candidates would be blackballed a month before the vote. The lodge decided to do nothing about (since voting is secret it felt it could not investigate) that so I had nothing more to do with the lodge. I understand the building is now for sale.
But if there were a good Co-M lodge around I would certainly belong - a distinctly better ritual and a much greater proportion of esoteric members.
My hypothesis on the hand over back is based on energy flows. As you may have noted (and can see in some alchemical diagrams) there are energy streams that flow in through the back - mid or lower shoulder blade - and out through the breasts. The woman has the energy of the milky way flow through the right breast (spiritual structure) and the energy of the moon through the left breast (personality nourishment). The man has a 16 pointed star on the right breast (solar logos) and 7 pointed on the left (7 sacred planets = 7 Masons who make a lodge sacred).
If intercepting the right breast flow is the intent of hand over back then some small moving around of the hand in the FPOF should bring an obvious sensation of rightness of position when the hand is in the stream - assuming that the other brother is properly connected.
So there is a testable hypothesis of proper position and direction of the hand over back.