En:Johann Gottlieb Fichte

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Johann Gottlieb Fichte

Source: Masonic Vibes http://www.facebook.com/notes/masonic-vibes/freemasonry/10150516988613716

who belonging to Freemasonry with devoted enthusiasm, states its task in the following words: "The Mason who was born humane and by the education of his class, by the state and his other social relations, passes beyond it, will, on this basis, again be molded wholly and entirely into a man."

Therefore, he who would become a Mason must recognize the following principle: that there is something higher than those visual forms under which human life daily appears, that this higher thing is present in each human being and only needs developing. This thought, which existed in ancient classic times, which speaks in all religions (before they became church communities), was nurtured by the scholars of the Renaissance who called themselves Humanists, teachers of the humane idea.

The tenets of Freemasonry, which are closely related to this range of ideas, are called the doctrine of Humanity, its content is the valuation of Man according to his inner self and his union with others as the culmination of Humanity.

The result of this teaching is that the Mason overlooks the differences of class, birth, race, nationality, creed, world philosophy, and judges men wholly by their moral worth. Therefore, he who would become a Mason must make it clear to himself that he is joining a Society in which the above differences play no part. He must further know that in this Society he will meet with representatives of all possible points of view and convictions. He need not give up what formerly distinctively filled his life; he only shows by his joining his wish to recognize the humane union, to develop its principles in himself and arrange his active life in accordance with its demands.

FREEMASONRY cannot be political, because it wishes to unite. Its aim and manner of work is higher than the general average of all political parties. It is true Masonic ideas directed to progress and development have points of contact with progressive political programs. But these can only affect the Freemason as a private person, not as lodge member.

The Freemason sees in himself and in the human world in which he lives something incomplete. He has the inner certainty that according to eternal, unchangeable laws a process of development takes place in man which makes its way slowly but unceasingly. This development from simple to complex, from incomplete to perfect, may be retarded by various handicaps, but the history of man teaches that it cannot be held up permanently. The Freemason sees the purpose of his work to be the conquest of all those hindrances placed iii the way of human progress. He therefore assists every activity which aims at liberating man from prejudices and superstition, the most powerful hindrances of progress. Hence he is a fighter for freedom of conscience, of spirit, of research and belief.

He strives to confront the questions of human community life without preconceived notions. He attempts, therefore, to recognize the basic conditions of human communal life and separate them according to their moral value. Because he confronts these questions without prejudice, he denies all dogmatic belief. He sees governing powers at work in the world which he strives to understand, but he leaves to each co-worker the freedom to seek the way of understanding for himself. The religion of the Freemason is toleration. In his oldest historic constitution book, The Old Duties, is the principle of "Religion in which all men agree; that is, they shall be good and faithful men, men of loyalty and honesty, in whatever sects or differences of belief they may otherwise disagree."

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