Freemasonry is described as a 'progressive science' where members are encouraged to pursue their own continuing self improvement through education programmes offered by Freemasons Victoria.
Freemasons believe that it is through education that we continue to grow and that our development as individuals and as a society is never completed, that there is always a daily advancement to be made as we move into the future. encouraged and supported to further their knowledge and understanding of Masonic history, philosophy and ceremony.
The Ceremonial aspects of Freemasonry provide the opportunity to develop public speaking skills as well as the improvement of memory retention and managerial skills such as secretarial duties, financial management and chairpersonship.
Other Sources of Masonic Learning
There are a great many books and websites devoted to the origins, history, prominent members and of course the supposed 'secrets' of Freemasonry. Most of these are produced by authors who have researched their material thoroughly and regarded as being reasonable and fair assessments. There are a great many that rely on myths and misinformation too.
Anyone wishing to learn more about Freemasonry is best advised to contact a local Lodge first. Additional sources of information can be found on many Lodge or Grand Lodge websites too and from Lodge or District Education Officers.
As in all things, 'Buyer Beware!' There are different 'schools of thought' with the Masonic community, which actually encourages debate and reflection for apart from key historical events, there is considered to be no definitive 'right' or 'correct' answer to the many, many questions a prospective or practising Freemason may have (with the exception of Ceremonial procedures).
And then there are the sources hostile to Freemasonry who provide endless stories about conspiracies, plots, and myths.
In order to be fair and open minded, you have to weigh up each source and decide for yourself. Freemasonry has certainly recognised that much of the reputed 'veil of secrecy' that has been built up and around it over the centuries has created great mistrust, suspicion and persecution in many cases against it and its members.
The United Grand Lodge of Victoria produced and an excellent book called 'Secrets Unlocked' as one step in explaining Freemasonry to the wider public. They have also produced a world first series of television programs in conjunction with public broadcaster Channel 31 called 'Freemasons - the Inside Story' addressing these issues and much more. Past episodes can be viewed world wide online here.
These are but some of the many resources provided by Masonic organisations you may like to start with. A simple web search will return many hundreds of 'hits'. Just remember 'Caveat emptor'!
(Oh, and if you are considering becoming a Freemason and joining the oldest fraternal organisation in the world, resist the temptation to look up what takes place in the Degree ceremonies. Much of the widley rumoured supposed 'bad things' do not and have not ever happened, and finding out in advance actually spoils the experience and personal enjoyment and benefit arising from the ceremonies)