Is Freemasonry a Cult or a Religion?
Neither. Liberal Freemasonry is primarily a school of individual awakening where doubt is allowed and even encouraged. Its struggle for tolerance and for a fraternity based on respect for the other prevents the manipulation of its members who are always free to leave, contrary to cults. In fact, it is easier to leave Freemasonry than to join and individual freedom is guaranteed. Not being dogmatic, Freemasonry cannot be assimilated to any religion. Moreover, no religion or creed is required to request admission into liberal Freemasonry. Freedom of thought is encouraged in order to work together towards the liberation of the human spirit. This could be summed up as: “provoking and not imposing, suggesting without proclaiming, questioning rather than answering.”
Is Freemasonry Occult or Esoteric?
Occulting means hiding. Freemasonry is not occult, except for profanes. Its symbols are gradually revealed to the initiates who, with time and growth, can learn everything. But it is true that a certain discretion is required in order not to expose too soon what must be unveiled in due course so as not to prevent the effect of surprise, necessary for any initiation.
By definition, “esoteric” refers to special knowledge understood by the specially initiated alone (Merriam-Webster). In this sense, we can conclude that Freemasonry is esoteric since its teaching is practiced within an initiatory organization and opens up to higher states of consciousness that can converge with metaphysics.
Do I Have to be Part of an Elite, of a Club?
An elite, a brainstorming club? It is a seductive idea which up to a certain degree corresponds to our modern reality. Freemasonry is a forum for the discussion and development of ideas on all the major issues of the day, social, cultural, ethical and even political in the broadest sense, i.e. non-partisan. The Labours in Lodge inform and foster discussions but prevent the synthesis of a Masonic “thought” or “reality” – Freemasonry does not propose a model of society. Freemasons, in their diversity, are too respectful of other human beings to seek to impose a Masonic synthesis which would necessarily diminish this diversity.
It should be reiterated that the real secret is the experience of each of us, and that, as such, it is incommunicable.
Are women accepted in Freemasonry?
In Le Droit Humain, women are welcome because our Lodges are all mixed. Freemason women are therefore numerous in our Lodges. Some Obediences will choose to have only female Lodges. Unfortunately, there are still only male Obediences.