Every once in a while we find something in our past that electrifies the present. Lessing’s Ernst & Falk, Dialogues for Freemasons is just such an essay. Written by Gotthold Lessing, a German Freemason in 1776-1777, the Dialogues get at the heart of the true purpose of Freemasonry—well, one interpretation of it.
What makes Lessing’s essay so compelling is that it addresses many of the questions we ask of the Craft today: what is the value of Freemasonry in civil society? What is holding us back as an institution? Who gets to be called a Freemason and on what basis? It is interesting to see that they were struggling with these very questions back in 1776.
In this episode, Eric and Jason read the Dialogues aloud and comment on the salient parts and how a voice that is as old as the United States can shed insight and light on today. In part 2, they read the final two dialogues.