THE GOLDEN RULE
Readers must have heard of “The Golden Rule”’ no, not the one that had the corrupted meaning that says: “he who has the gold, rules!”, but the real connotation that it is supposed to convey. For those who may have forgotten, read what Christopher Hodapp in page 56 of his book titled “Freemasons for Dummies” had to say and is herein quoted verbatim.
“Simply put Masons believe in the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule is
part of every great world religion, so it qualifies as the single unifying theme of all faiths. Its basic concept is the cornerstone of Freemasonry no matter how it is phrased.
** Buddhism: “In five ways should a clansman minister to his friends and families, by generosity, courtesy and bemevolence, by treating them as he treats himself and by being as good as his word.”
**Christianity: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
**Cunfucianism: “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.”
**Hinduism:” Men gifted with intelligence . . . should always treat others as they would wish themselves to be treated.”
**Islam: “No one is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”
**Judaism: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
**Taoism: “Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain, and regard your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.”:
What then is the relevance of the Golden Rule to Masonry??
But of course! Freemasons are taught “to regard the whole human species as one family, the high and the low, the rich and the poor, created by one Almighty Parent and inhabitants of the same planet, are to aid, support and protect each other. On this principle, Masonry unites men of every country, sect and opinion and causes true friendship to exist among those who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance.”
Or, stated simply, humanity is our neighbor, which, although eons apart, eloquently douse cold water to Cain’s quizzical reply to God when the latter asked about Abel and who, the former replied : “Am I my brother’s keeper??”
THE THREE PRINCIPAL TENETS OF MASONRY
The beliefs of Freemasonry can be grouped into three simple concepts; (1) brotherly love, (2) relief and (3) truth. In simplest terms, Masons are taught to exercise brotherly love, charity to others and mutual assistance to members, and the search for answers to the universal question of morality while here on earth.
HOW MASONRY WORKS
Readers have already read in the previous issues the unique definition of a lodge both as a building and the members comprising it. Although unique in itself, it may still be considered basically similar to the other fraternal organizations that exist in the vicinity, among them, the Lions, the Rotarians, the Jaycees, the Kiwanis, etc. But one aspect in Freemasonry where it radically differs from all others is the existence of what is called as the Grand Lodge system. Let this feature be explained, albeit superficially.
The Grand Lodge System
The Grand Lodge system is what holds the individual lodges as a common mass with rules and regulations that are basically similar to each other. Thus, one member of a lodge that visits another lodge does not feel alienated specifically because what he does in his own lodge is being done at another. The same obligations and benefits occur and are shared even in distant places. For example, a brother in Bohol who visits a lodge in Mindanao will find the same warmth and camaraderie in much similar breadth as he would be enjoying it in his own lodge.
A Brief History of the Grand Lodge System
The first Grand Lodge was created on June 24, 1717 when the members of four old lodges in London, England, met and organized themselves as a coherent group of Masons in that part of the globe. Compared to Operative Masonry that then existed, this Grand Lodge transformed itself into Speculative Freemasonry and thus started what would then be the mother Grand Lodge of the world. Soon, other Grand Lodges, especially in Europe, among them in Spain, France, Germany and in Italy were created.. In the Americas it also sprouted as mushrooms would spontaneously in a rice field.
This Grand Lodge system that operated world-wide recognizes, with certain exceptions, the Masons of the Philippines and conversely, the local Grand Lodge also recognizes masons of other countries.
The Grand Lodge in the Philippines
The Grand Lodge in the Philippines unto which Dagohoy Lodge No. 84 is beholden is comparatively of a more recent origin. Lodges were already operating in the islands when it was organized at the turn of the 20th century but because the Americans were then occupying the country, it was able to organize under the aegis of the Grand Lodge of California and since that time it practically gobbled the lodges that were previously existing under the authority of the Spanish Grand Lodge called “Gran Oriente Espanol”This Grand Lodge that was organized in 1912 would become the Grand Lodge where Dagohoy Lodge No.84 and all other lodges that now number more than 350 would be subservient to all of its activities.
A concrete example on how the mystic camaraderie works happened last October 13 when some 30 attendees of the Government Association of Certified Public Accountants (GACPA) conference at Cebu City led by the Commissioner Juanito G. Espino, Jr. of the Commission on Audit took a side trip to Bohol to see the famed Chocolate Hills and some of the island’s scenic spots. They were treated to a hastily-prepared breakfast by the lodge care of Mark Noel Mende and were assisted by his biological father Emmanuel and Moises Millanar, transportation was furnished by Congressman Adam Jala, Greggy Gatal served as tourist guide and so absorbed the various entrance fees charged at the tourist sites that were visited, while lunch was paid for by visiting brethren themselves.
Such a memorable fraternal visit undoubtedly added luster to the mystic ties that cement the relationship of the brethren whithersoever dispersed!