Dialogue on Freemasonry, Time, and Freedom


In “Lessing spirit” – Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781) was a German writer, philosopher, dramatist, publicist. He was a famous Freemason. He wrote a dialogue about Freemasonry. “Ernst and Falk, Dialogues for Freemasons” (Original: Ernst und Falk, Gesprâche für Freimâurer)  Ernst and Falk are a development novel, a drama. It is speaking about the nature of Freemasonry, its purpose, and the facts behind the rumors. It is also the message of the Age and the Idea of Enlightenment. I thought again Lessing’s thoughts. 

Ernst and Falk, Dialogues for Freemasons

Before we start a new conversation, I would like to quote some thoughts from the original Lessing Dialogue (Part of the Second Dialogue)

“Falk. Very greatly to be desired is that in every state there would be men who were not subject to the prejudice of their inbred religion; that they did not believe that everything which they recognize to be good and true must necessarily be good and true.

Ernst. Very greatly to be desired!

Falk. Very greatly is it to be desired that in every state there would be men whom civic pomp does not blind, and civic pettiness does not disgust them, and in whose company the great [men]] gladly lower themselves and the lowly boldly lift up their heads.

Ernst. Very greatly to be desired!

Falk. And if this desire were to be fulfilled?

Ernst. Fulfilled? — Of course, here and there, now and then, there would be found such a man.

Falk. Not only here and there, not only now and then.

Ernst. At certain times, in certain lands perhaps a few more.

Falk. What if there were such men everywhere even now? and at all times there had to be such men?

Ernst. God willing!

Falk. And what if these men did not live in a state of ineffectual distraction, nor always in an unseen church?

Ernst. Beautiful dream!

Falk. To make it short — and what if these men were the Freemasons?”

The next dialogue – Could happen today

Ernst: What are you meditating about my friend?

Falk: Nothing. If I were to think about something, I would be talking with you about it. Nothing is more enjoyable than thinking loudly with a friend.

Ernst: Indeed. That reminds me, that a long time ago I wanted to ask something from you.

Falk: OK, Ask me.

Ernst: Is it true that you are a Freemason? Respond honestly. Are you a mason?

Falk: Yes, I think I am

Ernst: Are you accepted and inaugurated? If yes, when, where, and who accepted and inaugurated you?

Falk: The others who have been accepted believe and know they are masons, as well.

Ernst: If you think that you are a free mason, how do you want to be a Freemason?

Falk: Honestly. I know I’m a mason, but I do not know how to live my Freemasonry.

Ernst: If you know that you are a mason, then you will also learn to know how to do this. Don’t you think it’s the question only about the time?

Falk: Time? Time is the most difficult component of the world. Time goes constantly, but it’s still in our life. Dangerous. We are always in short of time. For example, look at the deadline: it always threatens us.

Ernst: Do you know what Freemasonry has to do with time?

Falk: Yes, I know, I have an experience in it. I feel that the Masonic time is different from real time. It looks much slower.

When you understand what does it mean the first degree, you will understand how the past will change for future time.

This starts with your real Freemasonry time calculation. It is a strange beginning, because death is in it.

Ernst: Do you recognize your mission?

Falk: Yes I think, it must be understood that Freemason can only be a good and true man who is free and lives freely. It is very important to me that the masons should be only a reputable man.

Ernst: You say that you were born free. What does freedom mean to you?

Falk: I think that the freedom of the Freemasonry means I think and act freely.

It means to me that I am independent of everything and everybody.

Ernst: Are You Independent?

Falk: Yes, as a Freemason, I am independent from all political, economic and power interests, because I can freely examine everything, and I could interpret the world, just for myself. I have the right to doubt absolutely free. I do not have to accept anyone, without any conditions.

And one more.

A good friend of mine told me: “The Freemason cares about all aspects of human life. In the search for Truth the Freemason can not tolerate any chain.”

Ernst: This is not enough for me. I ask once again, what does it mean the freedom for you?

Falk: It is very simple for me, what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stated:

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

The Declaration of Independence said the same:

“…all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Ernst: How to reconcile your freedom and the commands which you accept in your life?

Falk: You are right in your question. Life has rules and laws that I decide freely how to implement them. Let me give an example.

We know the Ten Commandments, and the Old Testament speaks about 613 rules,  which are 613 mitzvahs.

I decide for myself what am I do, as I decide to keep up the Ten Commandments. This is my freedom.

Ernst: What do you think about the regulations of Freemasonry?

Falk: I think, what I read about it.

The Freemasonry has some important symbols. Like, the rough stone, the polished stone, etc.

The rough stone is the symbol of freedom without limits. The polished stone is the goal, the symbol of humility.

The Freemason must work to look like polished granite cube.

“ It symbolizes an imperfect man who is – through education, culture, discipline and humanity – becoming a smooth, perfect stone which exactly fits into the wall of the Temple of all temples.” 

“The goal of Masonry is to make good men better.”

Ernst: Is it your goal?

Falk: My goal is to observe, what a Hungarian masonic writer wrote:

“The Freemason becomes the center of unity and means of establishing true friendships among the people who would remain distant forever without masonry.“ …

“Masonry is a society that makes a small circle of the best-loved people. Masonry is where the king consider the lowest person as his brother.”

I would like to add: the requirement is if a good friendship would be formed between the members of the lodge.

In my mind the Masonry is where the friends could see each other as a “soul brother”.


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