A Freemason who holds membership in some Lodge. The word affiliation in Freemasonry is akin to the French affilier, which Richelet, Dictionnaire de la langue Française, Dictionary of the French Language, defines, "to communicate to any one a participation in the spiritual benefits of a religious order,'' and he says that such a communication is called an affiliation. The word, as a technical term, is not found in any of the old Masonic writers, who always use admission instead of affiliation.
There is no precept more explicitly expressed in the Ancient Constitutions than that every Freemason should belong to a Lodge. The foundation of the law which imposes this duty is to be traced as far back as the Regius Manuscript, which is the oldest Masonic document now extant, and of which the "Secunde poynt" requires that the Freemason work upon the workday as truly as he can in order to deserve his hire for the holiday, and that he shall "truly labor on his deed that he may well deserve to have his meed" (see lines 269-74). The obligation that every Freemason should thus labor is implied in all the subsequent Constitutions, which always speak of Freemasons as working members of the Fraternity, until we come to the Charges approved in 1722, which explicitly state that "every Brother ought to belong to a Lodge, and to be subject to its By-Laws and the General Regulations." Opportunity to resign one's membership should therefore involve a duty to affiliate.
The Encyclopedia Masonica exists to preserve the wealth of information that has been generated over the centuries by numerous Masonic authors. As Freemasonry is now Speculative and not Operative, the work of a Mason is now conducted in the quarries of symbolism, literature, history and scholasticism. Freemasonry encourages intellectual exploration and academic achievement in its members and many Masons over the years have taken up this calling. The result has been that an incredible amount of philosophy, symbolic speculation and academic insights have been created. However, as Freemasonry teaches, human knowledge is frail and fragile. It is easily lost in the turnings of the ages and unforeseen catastrophes can result in great setbacks to human knowledge.
For too long these great works have sat on forgotten shelves, gathering dust and concealing the light that could be shed on the darkness of our ignorance. The Encyclopedia Masonica has been created to act as an ark, sailing through time, to ensure that future generations of Freemasons have access to the same knowledge that inspired the Brethren that came before them. It will contain the works of such Masonic Luminaries as Albert G. Mackey, Manly Palmer Hall, G.S.M. Ward, Albert Pike and many others. The Encyclopedia Masonica is a living work and the volunteers of Universal Co-Masonry will continue to labor until the most comprehensive Masonic reference work the world has ever seen has been created. The Encyclopedia Masonica is open to any who wish to use it and will remain open so that the treasures contained within may increase the wealth of all those who seek its wisdom.
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