The Grand Master’s New Year address 2014
The general Principles, the founders of our Masonic Virtues
There can be no Masonic values or principles which are
sufficiently general without reflecting the ancestral culture of
the country in which they apply.
In Switzerland, politics and customs are based on a
centuries-old tradition of direct democracy and alliances
between the founding "regions". A significant sentence in the
Founding Federal Charter, also known as the 1291 Charter still
governs the mentality of our fellow citizens:
"furthermore …, we have sworn, ruled and decided that we
would never accept and never recognise a judge in our valleys
who is not of our people and member of our communities …
Everyone is bound to obey his judge and must, in case of need,
indicate who his judge in the valley is".
Quite obviously, this same spirit lives in the Constitution
of our Grand Lodge, which is understood to be an Alliance of its
member Lodges. The preamble of our Constitution contains the 8
Masonic Principles which define the rights and duties of all
Brethren with respect to lay society and to Freemasonry. What
conclusions shall we draw for our day-to-day life?
These Principles which guide the Masonic education define the
way in which we approach Freemasonry in our country. This path
of life which we propose to our Brethren is summed up in these
eight articles. There is no need to go in search of philosophers
to hold forth at great length in our Temples; there is no need
to seek rational or scientific explanations for what is quite
simply tucked away deep in our soul.
Freemasonry cannot be understood only in the framework of a
Grand Lodge – in other words, it is not the obedience which
makes the Freemason. It is fundamentally the business of each
brother; its purpose is to know, to follow and to apply the
immemorial values that are at the root of Humanity. It is up to
each Brother to adhere wholly to our fraternity or else to leave
It attempts to offer a line of life, a pattern of behaviour
by which we may be recognised as "Good Men" in the non-Masonic
We are very clearly a part of free, personal and spiritual
Freemasonry, dedicated to charitable work. We recognise the
Other in each person, with his differences. We cultivate Truth
and Beauty at all moments in life, and not only in the Temple.
We set aside the social or entertaining temptation of
Freemasonry, preferring to leave it to those for whom
spirituality is utopia; that is not our path. In fine, are the
compass, the square, the mirror and the star not the only guides
that we need as man, a citizen and a Freemason?
This individualism must not be taken for an isolated attempt
to change the world. The egregor (collective group mind) of the
Lodge, the work of the sponsor (god-father), ritual education,
conferences on spiritual or social themes, those are the things
that make a Freemason. Add to this the instructions for entered
apprentices and fellowcraft in the Lodge, and also in regional
Lodges of Instruction; if possible accompanied by Master Masons.
Because we cannot take our Masonic values into the non-Masonic
world unless we are intimately acquainted with them, and unless
we live with them on a day-to-day basis.
The Management Committee and I place great trust in the
qualities of the members of our Brotherhood and in their
unwavering support of the immemorial rules that bind us.
Remember that the good image of the Grand Lodge Alpina of
Switzerland, widely recognised beyond our borders, is only as
worthy as is our practice of the Royal Art.
Please receive, dear Brethren, our best wishes for a good and
happy year. Let’s work together to make sure 2014 unites all
Freemasons and leads them to more justice, peace, harmony and
love, wishes that I hope you will share with your family and
Jean-Michel Mascherpa, Grand Master