“Visiting” is undoubtedly a central pillar of Freemasonry. At the simplest level, it is the opportunity to share comradeship, to enjoy each other’s company, and as we move from “labour to refreshment” to enjoy the society of the Festive Board. But of course, visiting another Lodge offers much more than this, it provides opportunities to exchange ideas, to achieve a better understanding of the ceremony, and to make a fuller, more complete sense of the ritual.
Visiting reinforces those shared experiences that transcend the individual and his Lodge. Visiting helps serve as a guide, in our search for meaning and understanding within our Masonic journey. We are often led by a sense of aesthetics, to explore the linguistic and visual beauty of the ritual, as we seek out a different perspective to our own Lodge practices.
This is perhaps the reason why we seek further understanding, in another Brother’s Temple? To see different interpretations; and to help develop those fundamental ideas, which underpin freemasonry and unite our life. Those essential Masonic principles, which link morality, ethics and religion.
Through our attendance in another Brother’s Lodge we are often able to reinterpret our understanding of Freemasonry, but more than that, visiting helps us see that the most elegant and simple social and physical structures, are probably the ones, which hold the greatest truth.
“When we learned Pythagoras's theorem, we learned something about every right-angled triangle in the world, for all time. If we understand Newton's laws, we have grasped something about every particle that has ever existed”, (“Time”, S. Baxter 1999).
In Freemasonry, if we understand the allegorical lessons of moral truth, we have grasped insights into every moral issue that ever existed and have become fuller, more complete citizens of the world. “Visiting” is therefore, a sense of expanding horizons and consciousness, of fellowship, of enjoyment and advancement.
It is where the prosaic meets the profound. It is about making better sense of a peculiar system of morally, lifting the veil of allegory and reflecting on the symbolism which permeates our ceremonies in all its forms. “Visiting” therefore can make a significant contribution in promoting the link between Masonic principles and universal world truths.