FREEMASON OATH AS
THE PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE
Dear brothers, There are moments in a life of any man that stick out from the everyday life. Those are the moments that we call “breaking-points” “destined”, “do-or-die”, because we want to point out their importance for our individual destinies. Those are the moments when important Decisions for the life of every individual and his family, when a person confronts certain open questions and temptations, when we receive encouragement and strength to accomplish our goals more successfully. I am convinced that along with our lives being different, that all of us, Freemasons, among others, have one moment that fits into those breaking-point moments. That is the moment, that we remember with pride and a reason, when we became Freemasons and when we took our oath as Freemasons as a first step in our Freemason life. Even before that, every one of us individually had led an honorable and moral life that opened the door of Freemasonry. However, it also goes without saying, at least based on my personal experience, that my live changed from that moment, insomuch that I started looking at everything that was happening to me and in the society in a new way. Freemason principles and the Words of the Freemason oath have become the guiding star of my life, in awe in front or the Great Builder of all worlds. As years go by, I realized more and more each day that those principles and the spoken words of the oath in front of my brothers are not just elements of Freemasonic Ritual, but a whole, digested version philosophy of life. The core approach to the oath comes from that it has to be the scales of our doings, in Freemasonic as well as the profane life. I am sure that every one of us remembers the words of the Freemasonic oath that as given to the Brothers of a certain level, because such words, spoken during those important, “breaking-point” moments are never forgotten. I also believe that every one of us individually has uttered those words a lot of times, quietly of in front of his brothers, because we feel the urge to do it, not to formally utter the words of the oath, but to confront its content and messages. Every time when, for whatever reason, we remember the oath, every one of us is actually examines oneself, to see if he lives and works in accordance with the moral and social values, that oath binds us to. Only an approach like that leads us to the correct understanding of the core of the Freemasonry. Above all, one can recognize the core of our F r e e m a s o n mission in the words of our oath, because only words like those can be a source and an encouragement for what our permanent task is – creating a better, and above all, more enlightened world. That is certainly the greatest challenge for every one of us as a group and individually, because today, unfortunately, injustice, hardship and misery have become a part of our everyday lives for lots of people in our country as well as the whole world. The number of people who need material and spiritual help is constantly increasing. It is obvious that one of the biggest causes of global crisis, which, as always, has stricken the most misfortunate ones, is the crisis of moral, the greed that is reflected in meaningless piling up of the wealth on one hand and the rising poverty on the other. There is no greater challenge for us, Freemasons, and based on the way we will respond to that challenge not only the destiny of Freemasonry, but the future of the world we live in depends on it.
You are surely familiar with that I remind everyone every day, persistently that, regardless of the position in the hierarchy of the brotherhood, there are no titles in Freemasonry, only duties, by increasing the responsibility for the accomplishment of our mission with the increase of the Freemason experience and progress within the hierarchy. I like to constantly remind myself and all of you of that, that we are, above all, brothers who are bound by a common humanitarian vision and higher goals, and that everything else comes second. That means that there are not titles in Freemasonry, only duties, exclusively. That is the only quality stone and plaster with which we are building the temple, but also a principle on which we should build our relations in the profane life. Thereby, it is understood that hierarchy in Freemasonry has a completely different notion than in the profane world. Hierarchy in Freemasonry is not a simple supremacy of some people over the others, because some have a certain position, while others don’t. Hierarchy in Freemasonry, to which all of us are bound by the oath, is based on complete acceptance of goals and the mission of Freemasonry, on complete devotion of every individual to the accomplishment of those goals and the consciousness that those goals can be successfully completed only with joint force, within the organization with ancient and traditional rules of conduct and relations within it.
Br. Vladimir S. Markovic