Friday, March 27, 2015

Ar Hent Vreizh: The Breton Way of Alternative Masonry - La Fédération des Loges Libres et Souveraines

A little over a year ago, I posted to the Hedge my thoughts about one alternative future for Freemasonry. In my blog entry A Few Thoughts Under An Open Sky, I spoke of the idea of independent lodges functioning without the baggage associated with Masonic Obediences and why it might be viewed as a desirable alternative to the present situation.  While I did not suggest it should replace organized obediences, I believe there is room for both approaches.

I have often felt that ideas have a life of their own and when the time comes for them, they will present themselves to as many people as possible, to see where they can take root. Well, not only have others given this idea serious thought, but there's a site which is assisting exactly that, and has been doing so since at least 2008.  What is more, much to my pleasure, it seems that we Celts are ahead of the times and leading the way in Freemasonry yet again. The group is founded in Breizh, (Brittany or Bretagne to you philistines).

 La Fédération des Loges Libres et Souveraines is modeled upon a similar idea to those which inspired the creation of Clipsas and La Confederación Masónica Interamericana. The difference here is that while CLIPSAS is an organization for obediences who received their charters from The GOdF, and CMI is based upon a common geo-political origin, the motivation for La Fédération des Loges Libres et Souveraines is a resource dedicated to promoting lodges which are not associated with, nor wish to become part of any obedience. While I can hear the same old tired comments issuing from certain quarters, this is indeed an idea whose time has come. I predict we will see lodges in the US coordination with this organization or others like it and it will doubtlessly inspire the creation of new independent lodges here in the US and elsewhere.

Below I provide a free translation of the first post on their blog in June of 2008:


Hello to all.

The first article of this blog will be dedicated to an ambiguity that literally plagues Masonic recruitment:

I refer to the confusion which is made by the media between the Lodge (sacred space-time, or is exempted initiatory education) and the obedience (it's structural organization whose role is to collect contributions and manage property assets).

The source of this confusion is very easy to understand: just look to the high-sounding titles and how the members of the boards of these organizations are dressed to understand how impressionable outsiders can be deceived by our words: We do not say, for example, "Chairman of a Federation of Lodges" but "Grand Master of Symbolic Sovereign Power" ...

I am not decrying this aspect of masonic administration for its being a bit exotic, but I want to emphasize it from the outset because it is the cause of many misunderstandings and even many disappointments.

The problem is that things are distorted from the start:

Initiation is a process that has come down through the ages to us, which is primarily designed to put the individual in touch with their inner nature, to help overcome ancestral fears. It acts in the introspective mode so it presupposes a sidelining of the world (this is the role of the Lodge, and also that of the famous Secret).

But what does the seeker who knocks at the door of the Temple see? A structured masonry on the model of secular societies, a storefront, local silkscreens such as one might encounter at supermarkets, officials also easily identifiable, wearing in magazines, when it's not in the street, elements of Masonic decorations that their elders had the decency not to show off in public because they represented for them the sacred symbols of their spiritual quest.

That is why after twenty years of obediential masonry I decided to leave this artificial world where everything aims at inflating the human ego although the initiatory approach is supposedly about controlling the ego.

And to my surprise, I found that I was far from alone in this case: I had no trouble finding Brothers and Sisters to constitute Independent Lodges, even better, thanks to the internet, I've discovered that this type of Lodge was relatively widespread.

Hence the idea of ​​this blog, intended to offer our Lay Friends another vision of the Masonic Order which may be more relevant to the purpose of their personal research. Hope to see you on the Web. 


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