Introductory speech of S.G.C.G.M.

What is Freemasonry?
Introduction of the Sovereign Grand Commander grand master (S.V.Z.V.M.)

The answer to that question is by no means unequivocal. Technically speaking, it is an Initiation Order, that is, an institution that recognizes and venerates the knowledge of ancient mysteries and/or religious cults through the rite of Initiation. One of the greatest mysteries of the Hellenic age was the so-called Eleusinian mystery, whose Initiations were held every year in honor of the cult of Demeter and Persephone, and actually in celebration of cyclical changes in nature. Similar mysteries, and later religious cults, developed throughout the Middle East, the mysteries of Osiris in Egypt, the Syrian cult dedicated to Adoniacus… and all with the ultimate goal, as the great ancient Greek philosopher Plato wrote, "to return to the foundations from which we came…" or as we would say today - that through the ceremony of Initiation an individual is reborn, and enters a new life by learning the tools necessary for a new understanding.

Freemasonry offers a person the opportunity to get acquainted with different cultures, that is, with very complex knowledge, first of all, by understanding the interpretation of symbols that have been secretly taught to us for centuries. This was not always a desirable path, on the contrary, it was often hidden in human history so that the processes of indoctrination with absolutist ideologies could spread unhindered. Through its teaching, Freemasonry gives access to this often "unofficial" culture, so we should not forget that this meant that many great people throughout history consciously risked their lives. Freemasonry is a real "school of life", it is a way of being, of living. The way we live our lives is real wealth. Nothing more and nothing else! What destroys man is not money per se, it is neither consumerism nor materialism, but the boundless and unrestrained desire for wealth and power. 

This is a key thesis that a Master Mason must understand. It indicates what the ultimate goal of our initiation institution is. The philosophical character of our ancient school of life leads us to carry out a real, alchemical process of working on ourselves in an environment without dogmas and prejudices in order to cleanse ourselves of numerous temptations that can anchor us in the bilge of everyday life. There is an effective method, developed by great minds throughout the long history of mankind, which allows us to break the chains of dark vices through introspection in favor of the many virtues that each of us possesses. It is our duty to awaken the virtues and not limit them to ourselves. Our work must also be felt in the society in which we live. 

The principle devised three centuries ago, as interpreted by Anderson in 1723, says that a Freemason is obliged to respect the moral law and must be neither a stupid atheist nor a religious thug. In ancient times Freemasons had to be believers. Today, it is considered more appropriate for them to commit themselves to a 'religion' that preaches kindness, loyalty, honesty and sincerity regardless of the religion by which they may differ. 

These ideas were once uncommon, even hostile, in societies based almost exclusively on birthright and belonging to a religious or noble caste.

The only real mystery in Freemasonry is a philosophical mystery. Brother Giacomo Casanova said that the mystery of Freemasonry is inviolable by nature. Freemasons understand this through intuition, the Works in their Lodges, observation, reflection and reasoning. Once they meet her, they are careful not to reveal her to anyone, not even their best friend. After all, someone who fails to penetrate the Mystery alone has no use for it. The mystery thus remains preserved.