Freemasonry Didn’t Give Me The Answers

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
WB Adam Thayer

I, like many of you, came to Freemasonry in the hopes of finding answers to some of life’s biggest questions: why am I here, how can I be a better man, who am I really? In retrospect, that was rather unfair of me, to hang the most difficult questions around the neck of any organization, however from the outside it appeared that Freemasonry had all of the answers I was looking for.

In case you didn’t read the title (and you really should, we spend a LOT of work on those titles), Freemasonry didn’t give me the answers I was looking for.
Now, put away your pitchforks and torches; I can already hear the grumpy Past Master chorus of “You get out of it what you put into it.” and believe me, I know every verse to that song. Hear me out to the end of the article, and then you can lynch me if you still feel so inclined (authors are notoriously easy to catch).

Freemasonry gave me more questions than it has ever answered, but more importantly it has given me better questions to ask.

Freemasonry didn’t tell me why I was put on this earth, but it did make me ask what I can do with the time that I was given to make the largest impact on the world. What a fantastic question to ask! Instead of focusing on a selfish question, it redirected me to see how I could make the world a better place.

Freemasonry still hasn’t told me how to be a better man, and I highly doubt it ever will. Instead, it has put me in the close vicinity of better men, and made me ask what they are doing differently, what aspects of that can I copy, and what does it really mean to be a better man. It has shown me examples to strive to emulate, and more importantly it has helped me refined my question to the point that I could answer it for myself.

Freemasonry definitely hasn’t told me who I am; in fact, one of the very first questions it asked me is “Who are you that comes to my door?” Instead of answering that question, it has made me ask a much more important question: Who do I want to be?

What I’ve learned is that I, like many of you, came to Freemasonry with a false assumption: that any institution can answer the questions that we have. If you’re really lucky, maybe Freemasonry can help you to learn to ask the right questions too.


WB. Bro. Adam Thayer is the Senior Warden of Lancaster Lodge No. 54 in Lincoln (NE) and a past master of Oliver Lodge No. 38 in Seward (NE). He’s an active member in the Knights of Saint Andrew, and on occasion remembers to visit the Scottish and York Rites as well. He continues to be reappointed to the Grand Lodge of Nebraska Education Committee, and serves with fervency and zeal. He is a sub-host on The Whence Came You podcast, and may be reached at He will not help you get your whites whiter or your brights brighter, but he does enjoy conversing with brothers from around the world!


  1. "Those who become Freemasons only for the sake of finding out the secret of the order, run a very great risk of growing old under the trowel without ever realizing their purpose. Yet there is a secret, but it is so inviolable that it has never been confided or whispered to anyone. Those who stop at the outward crust of things imagine that the secret consists in words, in signs, or that the main point of it is to be found only in reaching the highest degree. This is a mistaken view: the man who guesses the secret of Freemasonry, and to know it you must guess it, reaches that point only through long attendance in the lodges, through deep thinking, comparison, and deduction.

    He would not trust that secret to his best friend in Freemasonry, because he is aware that if his friend has not found it out, he could not make any use of it after it had been whispered in his ear. No, he keeps his peace, and the secret remains a secret."

    Giovanni Giacomo Casanova, Memoirs, Volume 2a, Paris, p. 33

  2. Freemasonry gIves you the tools and teaches their uses. It is up to the mason to make good use out of those tools.

  3. My Brother, no one ever said that all secrets would be revealed to you. However the path to your own questions may be clarified by some of those well informed Brethren you place in your circle of friends and Brothers. A path is just that, nothing more than a way to travel to learn new things and be confronted by new questions. If it were easy to become a "real good man" few prisons and mental health professionals would be needed! The clarity, truth, or meaning of what you seek lies within you and others see what they will of you...good man, lousy writer, excellent ritualistic, on and on into infinity. What they see, what they believe may or may not be what you project, but it is their opinion of you at that time. Some will never grow to know you or be able to understand you or your thoughts...more the pity. What you can take away from their input is a different understanding of what you want to be. We can never change others if they are unwilling to change...but you have made an impression. Ultimately, isn't that what counts. You have forced someone else out of their comfort zone enough so they have to respond to something they see as a need to set straight on some record they keep the injustice, good deed, or other item of life they cannot help but to address. If they cannot figure out which part of your assertion it is that bothers or enthralls them...just mentally say, "check" and go to the next item you want to contemplate.


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