Freemasonry accepts only “free” members. Historically speaking, “free” humans were those who were bound by no immediate dependendy, i. e. they were neither slaves nor serfs. They had to be able to make autonomous and free decisions. Today, at least in our European culture area, there exists neither slavery nor serfdom. But still many dependencies remain: people depend on money, on social status, but also on passions and other people. All these emotional dependencies are, of course, acknowledged by freemasonry. Rituals and symbols are meant to help in discovering these emotional dependencies and in reducing them to a humanly acceptable degree. The freemason learns the use of masonic symbols. The 24-inch gauge, for example, symbolizes temporal structure, the square symbolizes right and justice, the compasses symbolizes the mason’s personal sphere of influence—each freemason has to define this latter sphere for himself. This sphere of influence should be free from prejudice, racism and intolerance. However, our freedom ends where our fellow human beings’ freedom begins as liberty is always the liberty of the others.
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