What It’s Like To Be A Freemason, According To Members Of The Secret Society

(mysterious music) – My father was a Freemason. My grandfather was so I
asked to join and they they were delighted and I had to have an informal interview. Got asked a few questions
and then the date was set for when I joined. I had my joining ceremony
and then the rest is history. That was 20 years ago now
but I still remember it like it was yesterday. – My interest in Freemasonry
was very much sparked at an early age. I remember seeing my father
and grandfather going off to meetings and very much
enjoying their Freemasonry. I’ve become very much
attracted to the history and mysticism surrounding Freemasonry. At the same time I was
very much, heavily involved with scouting before going
to university and Freemasonry for me very much followed on from that. – So I joined masonry for a few reasons. The main one being to
extend my circle of friends. Secondly because I had an
inquisitive mind, I wanted to know a bit more about
the history of Freemasonry. I was asked to join by
a good friend of mine. My next door neighbour and
at the time he asked me to put a letter into the
lodge that I was interested in joining and what I could
offer the lodge as a man and the things I could bring
so once that was approved that letter I went in
for a short interview met some of the guys and
I was happily approved which was great. – When I joined Freemasonry
I thought I was just joining a single lodge. But actually I’ve joined
a much larger community. I’ve made very good lifelong
friends from a number of different lodges. We now have a young masons club
called the Essex Cornerstone Club which provides an
opportunity for like-minded individuals to come together
and take part in social and charitable activities
throughout the year. – So in Freemasonry we
sometimes have to stand up and do some talking and the good
thing about that is that I can take that back to
my work environment as a transferable skill so being
able to have that confidence and stand up and talk to
people almost with authority gives me a good standing at work. – First of all it’s enabled
me to meet people from various backgrounds that I don’t
think I would’ve had the opportunity of meeting before. I travel for work quite a
lot so whether that’s local or international I’ve got
a great connection across the world. Secondly it’s given me great life skills. In our lodge meetings we
stand up and we present and we talk and that’s great. We do the same at work so it
gives me confidence at work. Then I think the other thing
is coming to our meetings is a good space away from the
busyness of life and work in general. – My initiation was
actually very exciting. Although initially it
appeared quite daunting. The actual ceremony itself was
very personal and comforting and something I will remember
and treasure forever. – I was in a room with
lots of people that I knew. Lots of people that I didn’t know. It was a warm friendly environment. It was a fantastic story. It really was which continues
throughout your masonic journey and then after the
meeting we had a lovely meal and a few drinks and
that’s what it’s all about. – My initiation ceremony is
quite special and it’s special to every Freemason that joins. What I was blown away by was
the amount of work that went in for that ceremony by lots
of people that I’ve never met before and people that
came up to you afterwards. You almost feel like a
superstar afterwards because everyone is there for you and
for your initiation and you’ll automatically have these
great friends around you and friends for life. – The ceremonies are things
which take us back to our roots of medieval stonemasons but
also bring in some aspects of learning and personal development. There’s three ceremonies
that we do quite often. The first is the ceremony of initiation. That brings a candidate into
Freemasonry and it really allows that candidate to
reflect on who they are on the fact that when everybody comes
into this world they come in as equals and as life progresses sometimes
people do better than other people and it teaches us
that we need to be mindful of that and see what we can
personally do to help out those people who are less well off than us. The second ceremony or the
second degree that teaches us to better ourselves to
reflect on who we are. How we fit into the world. How we can make ourselves
better people through education. Then the final ceremony the
third degree that teaches us that perhaps we only have
so long on this world that we’re all mortal and that we
really need to make the most of our time here. (Mysterious music)

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