Note: This material was scanned into text files for the sole purpose of
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MORALS and DOGMA
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Is the Scottish Rite? ...................................... 1
Historical Roots ............................................. 9
Master-Fourth Degree ............................... 19
Perfect Master-Fifth Degree ................................. 25
Intimate Secretary-Sixth Degree ........................... 31
Provost and Judge-Seventh Degree....................... 39
Intendant of the Building-Eighth Degree ............... 45
the Nine-Ninth Degree .............................. 51
the Fifteen-Tenth Degree ........................... 57
the Twelve-Eleventh Degree....................... 63
Architect-Twelfth Degree .......................... 69
Arch of Solomon-Thirteenth Degree............. 75
Perfect Elu-Fourteenth Degree ............................. 81
of the East, of the Sword or
Eagle-Fifteenth Degree............................ 89
of Jerusalem-Sixteenth Degree .................... 95
of the East and West-Seventeenth Degree ...101
Rose Croix-Eighteenth Degree ...................107
Pontiff-Nineteenth Degree ................................... 115
of the Symbolic Lodge-Twentieth Degree ....121
Noachite, or Prussian Knight-Twenty-first Degree ..127
Royal Axe, Prince of Libanus
Twenty-second Degree ....................................... 133
of the Tabernacle-Twenty-third Degree .........139
of the Tabernacle-Twenty-fourth Degree ......145
of the Brazen Serpent-Twenty-fifth Degree..151
of Mercy-Twenty-sixth Degree .................... 159
Commander of the Temple
Twenty-seventh Degree .....................................165
of the Sun, Adept-Twenty-eighth Degree ....171
Scottish Knight of Saint Andrew
Twenty-ninth Degree ......................................... 177
Kadosh or Knight of the White and
Eagle-Thirtieth Degree .............................183
Inspector Inquisitor-Thirty-first Degree .................. 195
of the Royal Secret-Thirty-second Degree .... 203
Index......... ... . ... . ........ . ... . ... ... ... ..... . . . ........
.... ..... ..251
of the Temple ............................................................. v
C. Clausen, 33°
Sovereign Grand Commander ..............................................ix
Early Days................................................................. 6
Degree Symbol, Collar, Apron ............. ..... 19, 23
......................................... .... 21
Degree Symbol, Collar, Apron ........ 25, 29
Degree Symbol, Cordon, Apron ................ 31, 35
Seventh Degree Symbol, Collar, Apron ..................39,
Degree Symbol, Collar, Apron ..................45, 49
Degree Symbol, Cordon, Apron ................ 51, 55
Degree Symbol, Cordon, Apron ................57, 61
Eleventh Degree Symbol, Cordon, Apron ................ 63,
Twelfth Degree Symbol, Cordon, Apron ................ 69,
Thirteenth Degree Symbol, Collar, Apron .................. 75,
........................................... ... 77
Fourteenth Degree Symbol, Collar, Apron ..................81, 85
Fifteenth Degree Symbol, Collar, Apron, Girdle .......89, 93
Sixteenth Degree Symbol, Cordon, Apron ................95, 99
Seventeenth Degree Symbol, Cordons, Apron ...........101, 105
Eighteenth Degree Svmbol, Collars, Apron s......107, 110, 111
Plate ............ .. .
Nineteenth Degree Svmbol, Cordon, Apron, etc. ......115, 119
Plate . ........... .... ....
... ........... .....117
Twentieth Degree Symbol, Cordon, Apron. .... ........ 121, 125
Twenty-first Degree Symbol, Collar, Apron ...............127, 131
Twenty-second Degree Symbol, Collar, Apron ...............133, 137
Twenty-third Degree Symbol, Belt, Apron ..................139, 143
Twenty-fourth Degree Symbol, Cordon, Apron, etc....... 145, 149
Twenty-fifth Degree Symbol, Cordon, Apron ......151, 154, 155
Twenty-sixth Degree Symbol, Order, Apron ...............159, 163
Twenty-seventh Degree Symbol, Collar, Apron, etc. ........165, 169
Twenty-eighth Degree Symbol, Collar, Apron ...............171, 175
Twenty-ninth Degree Symbol, Collar, Apron ...............177, 181
Thirtieth Degree Symbol, Collar, Apron, etc. ........183,
Thirty-first Degree Symbol, Collar, Apron, etc. ........195,
Thirty-second Degree Symbol, Cordon, Apron, Girdle,
.........................203, 207, 208, 209
Illustrations for the Commentaries were conceived and designed by Brother
Robert E. Bartlett, 33°.
is need for a more modern discussion of the actions and thoughts of Sovereign
Grand Commander Albert Pike's Morals and Dogma and for a concise
interpretation of its significance. The monumental work was published in 1871,
over 100 years ago. It was an inspired and classical compilation of Pike's own
research and the writings of others, but that now should be related to our
language and style and setting in time. The changes since 1871 have been
prodigious. Heraclitus was ever so correct when he wrote some 500 years before
Christ that nothing is permanent except change.
Mankind has progressed or retrogressed to our current and critical problems.
These involve the things with which the Scottish Rite deals-human behavior.
For example, how can we contain our population explosion, end the threats of
war and nuclear holocausts, forefend against world famine, control the misery
of physical disease and mental sickness, stop pollution of our bodies and
environment, improve the lot of our poor in home and purse?
is also the problem of whether civilization, even with knowledge, will act to
save itself. Walter Lipmann wrote perceptively that not only is "the supreme
question before mankind how our culture can save itself from catas
but also that we must do more than find the answers." We must discover also
how men can "make themselves willing to save themselves."
ways must be found to motivate men to be not only able, but willing. We must
activate the knowledge. Even if there are at hand the physical, biological and
behavioral technologies adequate for the purpose, people still must be
persuaded to use them. In other words, how do we induce members of our culture
to work for survival?
Physical and biological technology has not supplied the answers. The problems
with which we are now confronted so demonstrate. Religions have moved from
threats of hellfire to an emphasis on God's love. Governments have turned away
from compulsions to inducements. Where, then, shall we look?
answer to this question will be found, I think, in the remarkable discovery of
William James, father of modern American psychological science. He was at one
time professor of anatomy, psychology and philosophy at Harvard University-
combining body, mind and soul-one of this country's most profound thinkers. He
gave us a great guide in these words: "The greatest discovery of my generation
is that we have learned we can alter our lives by altering our attitudes of
answer, therefore, is not more miracles of science and technology but an
inspired application of Masonic teachings that will alter our lives for the
better. This is the world-of-tomorrow potential breakthrough. We must return
to a faith in man himself-to the concept that he has within himself the
requisite corrective capacities.
Russell Conwell (1843-1925), founder of Temple University, gave the most
popular lecture ever delivered in the United States, "Acres of Diamonds," over
5,000 times. It produced over $6 million for charitable purposes. The simple
lesson overflows with human interest and inspires people to practice the
principle of self-reliance. It tells how our weary search through the highways
and byways of the
for fame and fortune brings us back finally to a surprising discovery in our
then, can Masonry release man's inner capacities? This volume attempts to give
a glimpse of where the answers can be found. It is designed as a valuable
teaching tool that will heighten perception and awareness toward living in
Socrates' famous phrase, "the examined life." Morals and Dogma, combined with
our rituals, provides Initiates, members and students with spiritual lessons
of tremendous value, philosophies of the ages and down-to-earth basic truths
that can enrich and activate human behavior.
Therefore, I have summarized into short, capsule forms the successive chapters
of Morals and Dogma and then I have authored my own commentary thereon. These
summaries and commentaries are designed to increase the participation and
input of our members-not to supplant Morals and Dogma-but to stimulate its
research as a source of knowledge and inspiration. They are intended as a
supplementary aid in a completely new approach and, like concept teaching,
present in numerical sequence the basics of each degree structured for
self-study, group discussion and lectures. Participants may relate the
information to their own personalized experiences. The commentary program
thereby lends itself to persons and groups of all ages and backgrounds. It is
not intended as a substitute for the degrees nor as a revelation of cabalistic
or esoteric hints and allusions, but it does make more explicit the
fundamentals. Only serious study and participation in a portrayal of our
degrees can reveal how we reshape human behavior.
Moreover, in the classic phrase, Masonry cannot teach; it can only help us
learn. This is done in the course of several developmental stages. But if the
Initiates become locked or lost in the progress, Masonry can help them break
loose and start forward again on the correct path. The earnest and perceptive
Scottish Rite seeker of truth can learn from our degrees, for example, the
futility of dependence either upon persons or things, or upon approval or
disapproval. Independence leads to self-reliance. The truly self-reliant is
not subject to adverse manipulation or undue influence. He is in control of
himself and enjoys freedom and dignity. This induces, in turn, more effective
moral and modern behavior.
keeping with our view that man has inner capacities that can supply answers to
our problems, we use a self-help approach founded upon an intuitive feeling
that we can reach the inner self. We will find there a refuge from external
evils, just as peace and quiet are found at the eye of a hurricane. There the
sun shines and birds fly. Put your trust in your own inherent capacities.
Emerson, in his "Essay on Self-Reliance," points the way:
should learn to watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from
within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages."
Buddha attained his own enlightenment, he said to his followers:
lamp unto your own feet; do not seek outside yourself."
expressed the same opinion and said: "Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, to
there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."
is needed first, therefore, is an increase of self-understanding-a discovery
of your inner selves and of your own essential natures. Where better can this
be learned than through your Scottish Rite? You learn there is no need to lean
upon others. You are first-rate, front rank-in the forefront, not
second-string. The Scottish Rite Degrees develop full trust in your own innate
capacities so that you are never overwhelmed, nor overcome by helplessness,
nor the desperate victim of despair. When man has faith in himself he learns
to reject unreality. Like Alice in Through the Looking Glass, the mirror
reflects competitive unreality in front; but behind is found reality-the folly
of competitive success and failure, approval and disapproval. You can learn to
be self-reliant, to stand upon your own feet-not dependent leaners upon
persons or things outside yourselves. Then, in essence, you shall be free and
possess initiative and confidence and live in the present.
William Osler (1849-1919), the great philosopher-physician, when a young man
in medical school in Montreal, became sadly discouraged about his future
career. Then one day he accidentally read a few words by Carlyle that
transformed his life. They struck home like a revelation turning point.
Numerous times he repeated them to himself, wrote them down in notebooks and
quoted them to his friends. He felt they changed his attitude toward life and
were responsible for what turned out to be a most successful and happy career.
He became devoted to science and professed a profound religious faith. His
tangible achievements included diagnostic wizardry and brilliant research,
writing and teaching. When he died in 1919 the Journal of the American Medical
Association said: "The years have added to his glory. No one has in any way
taken his place as the World's best doctor."
words of Carlyle that had such great influence in Osler's life were these:
main business in life is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do
what lies clearly at hand."
those words were the inspiration for Osler's encouraging talks to students
when he taught that we should "live in day-tight compartments," not worrying
about yesterday's nor tomorrow's happenings.
degrees drive home with dramatic impact the teaching of great truths. There
you will find your own directive approach and the satisfactions and benefits
enrichments you will enjoy as a self-reliant human being. As such, your life
also will show to the world the behavioral solutions that can cure the ills of
you are asked to use your mind to the fullest. Think through the meanings of
each degree as suggested in these summaries and commentaries. Apply them to
yourself. Supplement your studies with further research. Let your actions then
bespeak that you are in fact as well as in name a Scottish Rite Mason. Thus,
you will discover the true secrets.
now, "To work, my brethren, yonder sounds the gong!"
Sovereign Grand Commander
Is the Scottish Rite?
may ask at the outset, what is the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry? I am
constrained to reply, like the wit, that it is impossible to think about when
you come to think about it! I can tell you first what it is not. It is not the
formal organization. Nor is it our magnificent temples. Nor is it a severely
secret society. Nor is it merely ritual. Perhaps we should content ourselves
with the standard definition of Masonry that it is "a peculiar system of
morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols."
overall mission can be summarized thus;
seek that which is the most worth in the world; To exalt the dignity of every
person, the human side of our daily activities and the maximum service to
mankind's search in God's Universe for identity, for development, and for
destiny; And thereby achieve better men in a better world, happier men in a
happier world, and wiser men in a wiser world.
ultimate goal, simply stated, is mankind's moral and spiritual and
Historically, the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry as we know it evolved as the
Rite of Perfection over 200 years ago on the Continent of Europe under the
Constitutions of 1762. Later, the Grand Constitutions of 1786 were enacted and
became the creative and derivative laws for us and all our descendant Supreme
Councils of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Our Supreme Council was
organized at Charleston, South Carolina, in 1801 as the Mother Supreme Council
of the World, and hence all regular and recognized Supreme Councils throughout
the world must trace their pedigree to us.
the actual roots of the Scottish Rite go far deeper. Tracing them is a
romantic and exciting quest for adventure in the realm of the mind and the
spirit. It is a superb story of success-more intriguing than the storied
search for the Holy Grail and more rewarding than a successful probe for the
teachings and symbols preceded our formal organization by thousands of years.
They go deep into ancient ages. The signs, symbols and inscriptions come to us
from across long, drifting centuries and will be found in the tombs and
temples of India to those of Nubia, through the Valley of the Nile in Egypt
down to its Delta, as well as in what was then known as Chaldea, Assyria,
Persia, Greece, Rome and even in Mexico and Yucatan. The Scottish Rite,
therefore, is a treasure house in which there is stored the ageless essence of
immutable laws, the accumulation of thousands of years of Masonic experience.
learn our mission in a system of progressive degrees of instruction. We teach
our members the highest ethics, the wise expositions of philosophy and
blessings of charity. Our code of personal conduct stems from the precepts of
chivalry, the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule. We reveal truly the wisdom
of the Lesser and the Greater Mysteries and their symbols of words and phrases
long considered lost. These were the truths that Plato, Pythagoras, Socrates,
Homer and other
intellects of the ages held in high esteem, that have reappeared in later
religions, and that never were disclosed until after timely preparation and
purification of selected and trusted Initiates.
degrees represent the study and reflection of many men during many years and
at heavy cost, the culling of hundreds of volumes for effective portrayals and
illustrations, and more labor than the accumulated endeavors of a lifetime
engaged in efforts to attain eminence or riches. Our members therefore receive
a gift of the greatest value. They gain a comprehensive knowledge of our
heritage of history, philosophy, religion, morality, freedom and toleration,
and of their relationship to their Creator, their country, their family and
themselves. These well may lead also to that understanding of identity,
clarity of mind and energy of will that propel toward personal success in
carry out our mission in a series of spiritual, charitable and moral programs.
We make living, breathing, vital parts of our activities the recovery and
maintenance of moral standards and spiritual values, the pride of patriotism
and love of flag and country, the dispensing of charity without regard to
race, color or creed. Our Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children at
Atlanta was the forerunner of the vast chain of Shrine hospitals across the
stand for positive programs but fight with moral courage and enthusiasm every
force or power that would seek to destroy freedom, including spiritual
despotism and political tyranny. We believe and teach that sovereignty of the
state resides in control by the people themselves and not in some
self-appointed dictator or despotic totalitarian. We therefore advocate
complete separation of church and state, absolute freedom and protection of
religion, press and assembly, and the dignity of every individual. Those we
consider vital for the ultimate liberties and independence of our people.
therefore, has been a strong voice for human dignity, political justice, moral
values and civic responsibility. Through our teachings millions of men and
women have discovered an opportunity to lead more rewarding lives. The example
of our actions has been as stirring and inspiring as that of our collective
commitment to true human progress.
our Mother jurisdiction, of which I am Sovereign Grand Commander, includes 35
of our United States and all our Territories and Possessions abroad.
four million Masons in the United States, there are over a million Scottish
Rite members. Our Mother jurisdiction comprises more than 660,000 members who
belong to so-called Valleys in 218 cities. We have clubs in many more. They
meet frequently for executive, administrative and evangelistic purposes as
provided by our Statutes. Their control and management is under elected
officers who, in turn, are supervised by our Inspectors General or Deputies.
The Inspectors General of our Mother Jurisdiction, now numbering 30, meet as
our Supreme Council every two years in a Session over which I preside. When it
is not in session I discharge the functions of our Supreme Council, in
pursuance of our Statutes.
House of the Temple in Washington, an awe inspiring, monumental structure, is
the nerve center of our organization. We also have at our Headquarters the
Department Heads, administrative branches and staff. These include our
world-famed Grand Secretary, Director of Education, and Managing Editor of The
New, Age, our monthly magazine.
should say a word also as to membership in our Order. We welcome and initiate
inquiries from Master Masons of regular and recognized Lodges. Thereby we grow
and expand the light. Our Officers and committees devote long hours in
evaluating and deciding upon those we feel should progress beyond the
screening process and become entitled to pass through the mystic gate of
Masonry. All who seek entry are commended for their interest and vision.
Sponsorship and standards of character, morality and training are required, of
course, but every candidate will receive serious consideration. Thus we assure
compliance with our time-tested standards and selection process.
member is made welcome and invited to participate in our activities.
so, to end as we started when we sought a definition:
the Scottish Rite can be likened to a tree of sparkling symbolic jewels,
surmounted with the Blazing Star of Truth that displays the dazzling splendor
of the Mystic Doctrine of the Universe, and the reflected glory of the Deity.
inspired by our accomplishments of the past and encouraged by our endeavors of
the present, we go on to even more monumental achievements in the great
tomorrow- toward our greater Scottish Rite destiny.
winging my way to Puerto Rico with our Grand Secretary General for an official
workshop and visitation in February 1973, I felt the spur of my own admonition
that history is the heritage and patrimony of mankind in its lessons of the
past that give us priceless inspiration for the future. As we search for such
inspiration there is need for Scottish Rite historical explorations and, as
new discoveries are made, for corrections and additions to our literature. So,
after Puerto Rico we flew to Jamaica and researched in those fertile cradle
sources of American Scottish Rite origins. These are my findings on the early
days of the Rite.
Ecossais (Scottish) Masonry bubbled to the surface in some form at various
times and places in Scotland, England and France. It seems impossible to trace
the original wellspring but we know now that a confluence of tributary streams
flowed into a reservoir at Bordeaux, France. This developed into regular units
there known as the Rite of Perfection that Stephen (Etienne) Morin was
empowered in 1761 to bring into the Western Hemisphere. The label of "Ecossais"
or "Scottish" put upon these developments did not refer to Scotland but gave
them the status of an established brand. Through Morin's first appointment
about 1765 in the West Indies of Henry Andrew Francken as Deputy Grand
Inspector General, and the successive descendant appointments, there finally
was established at Charleston, South Carolina, in 1801 the first Thirty-third
Degree Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of
Freemasonry. Today all the regular and recognized Supreme Councils that exist
in the world stem from this source.
Bordeaux apparently was the oldest provincial Masonic center in Europe and it
was the home of Morin. He was made a Mason there in Loge Francaise, which had
been created December 13, 1740 and later was named La Francaise Elue
Ecossaise. This was the eldest of more than fifty daughter Lodges of Loge
L'Anglaise, a Lodge that British Masons founded at Bordeaux in 1732. These
daughter Lodges gave birth to a proliferation of degrees that resulted in the
progenitors of our Scottish Rite.
original reason for the organization of separate Lodges to confer these
"higher" degrees may have been a desire to limit the membership to those of
the Christian faith. Anderson's Constitutions of 1723 had widened the field of
Masonry to men of all denominations that believed in the Deity and in the hope
of immortality. In this connection it should be observed the ultimate Scottish
Rite Constitutions of 1786 similarly opened the doors to men of all religions
and provide that only four of the governing nine need profess the prevailing
Lodges also may have been set up as a refuge and bypass from cruel operations
under the famous Papal Bull "In Eminenti" of 1738 that decreed a ban and
punish ment on Masons and Masonry and any who helped them. Morin was a Roman
Catholic, as were most of these early French Masons.
these Lodges flourished and blossomed in the fertile fields of Masonry for
more important reasons. They became repositories for revelations through
sequential de grees of great truths derived from the arcane wisdom of the
including discoveries original Freemasonry concealed in the secret knowledge,
symbology and Lesser and Greater Mysteries that came down across drifting
centuries, even long before the riddle of the Mystic Sphinx first puzzled
Ancient French manuscripts contemporary to the period prove that since about
1740 Bordeaux was the mother and controller of these Scottish Degrees and had
warranted daughter organizations under various regulations. These descendants
included the following: Paris 1747; Cap, San Domingo 1748; St. Pierre, San
Domingo 1750; Port La Paix, San Domingo 1752; St. Marc, San Domingo 1753; Les
Caye de Fond L'Isle a Vaches, San Domingo 1757; Perigueux, France 1759; New
Orleans, U.S.A. 1763 (pursuant to request of 1756).
presided over Loge Parfaite Harmonie, which was an offshoot of Loge Francaise
and believed to be the first to confer degrees as high as Perfection. This
actually was a Lodge of Perfection working the additional degrees only. It was
not related to the Grand Lodge of France since at that time none of the
Bordeaux Lodges was a constituent of that Grand Body. In natural sequence,
Morin became active in a Sovereign Grand Consistory of Princes of the Royal
Secret (Twenty-fifth Degree).
traveling representative for the Sevres porcelain factories and the
distributor of a religious publication, Morin had made several trips to the
French West Indies. Being poised for departure again in 1761, the Grand and
Sovereign Lodge of St. John of Jerusalem, in conjunction with the Council of
the Emperors of the East and West, founded at Bordeaux, issued to Morin a now
celebrated Patent with broad discretionary powers. This created him a Grand
Inspector General and conferred upon him the powers of propagation of Bodies
and Lodges and the appointment of Deputies, with the right to confer the
degrees of the Rite of Perfection.
left Bordeaux as planned, but the voyage was interrupted when the British
captured his ship. Taken to London, as a private citizen he was allowed
freedom. He attended Lodges in England and Scotland and met Earl Ferrest (Ferres),
England's Grand Master, who endorsed Morin's Patent. Finally, he sailed again
and this time arrived safely at Jacmel, San Domingo, in 1763.
his fertile Patent, Morin commenced planting the seeds of the Scottish Rite in
the West Indies like a veritable "Johnny Appleseed." This he did with
inspirational zeal and venture. About 1765 and in virtue of his powers he
created as his first Deputy Henry Andrew Francken, who held a number of public
offices in Kingston, Jamaica. The title Morin gave him was Deputy Grand
Inspector General. As such, Francken went to North America in 1766 or 1767 and
promoted Scottish Rite activities at New York and Albany. He communicated the
degrees to Moses M. Hayes. The Minutes of the Albany Lodge which Francken
founded in 1767 show him to have visited it also in 1768. Significantly, in
proof of an alliance with Berlin and Frederick the Great, the Albany Lodge
Minutes of a September 3, 1770 meeting read, in part: "Br. Stringer Depy.
Inspr. acquainted the body that he had received an order from the Founder to
transmit the Minutes of the Lodge and the state thereof, to be forwarded to
Berlin . . ."
later days, Stephen Morin's fortunes changed for the worse. He experienced
some difficult times before he died. John Gillieron, his foremost creditor,
was granted Letters of Administration on January 23, 1772, two months after
Morin's death. Morin was buried on November 17, 1771 at Kingston, Jamaica, in
the Anglican Parish Church or burial yard.
special dispensation of Francken, on January 2, 1768, Lieutenant Augustin
Prevost of the 60th Royal American Regiment was Initiated into the Rite of
Perfection at Albany. In February 1774, at Kingston, Francken appointed the
same Augustin Prevost, now Colonel of the
Regiment, a Deputy Grand Inspector General. It was Prevost who appointed new
Deputies and made the organized Rite available to Scotland and England.
in 1781 at Charleston, South Carolina, Francken communicated degrees to Barend
M. Spitzer of Georgia. These Deputy Grand Inspectors General met in 1794 for a
Sublime Council at Philadelphia and in 1795 conferred the degrees on Moses
Cohen. He, in turn, communicated them to Hyman L. Long in 1795. It was Long
who, as Deputy Grand Inspector General, granted Letters Patent to the Comte
Auguste de Grasse-Tilly and on the same date, acting for the Princes of
Masonry at Kingston, granted a Patent to de Grasse's father-in-law, Jean
Delahogue, authorizing the establishment of a Body at Charleston. This was
organized on January 3, 1797. Comte Auguste de Grasse-Tilly was the son of the
French Admiral, Comte Francois de Grasse, Marquis de Tilly, Comte de Provence,
Prince d'Antibes, who commanded the French fleet, defeated by the English
Admiral, Lord Rodney, at the "Battle of the Saints," but who contributed to
the final and decisive American victory at Yorktown. Young de Grasse went to
Saint Domingue to claim and supervise a sugar plantation he had inherited from
Fleeing native uprisings in San Domingo and finding refuge in Charleston,
South Carolina, de Grasse and Delahogue helped to found a Council of Princes
of the Royal Secret there in 1797. Returning to Saint Domingue in 1798 or
1799, de Grasse served as a soldier under General Hedouville. After being
taken prisoner and then released because he had become an American citizen, de
Grasse returned to Charleston.
at Charleston, de Grasse and Delahogue in all probability helped organize our
Supreme Council as the Mother Supreme Council of the World. We have in our
Archives a manuscript that Delahogue wrote in 1798 and 1799, authenticated by
de Grasse, setting forth a copy of
Constitutions of 1762. This document is supposed to be a copy of that which
Morin delivered to Francken in 1768. Morin either took a draft copy with him
when he left for America in 1761 or he received a copy of the Constitutions
after his arrival in 1763. The Commissioners who compiled the 1762
Constitutions also drafted and promised to send Morin a copy of the Secret
Constitutions of August 27, 1761, which was the date of Morin's Patent. These
Secret Constitutions were expanded into the Constitutions of 1762.
April 2, 1795 Barend M. Spitzer, as Deputy Grand Inspector General, granted to
John Mitchell a Patent as Deputy Grand Inspector General. Mitchell was justice
of the Quorum and a Notary Public in South Carolina and late Colonel and
Deputy Quartermaster General of the United States Army. On May 25, 1801
Mitchell, as Deputy Grand Inspector General, granted to Frederick Dalcho a
Patent as Deputy Grand Inspector General.
Mitchell and Dalcho then organized and opened at Charleston, South Carolina,
on May 31, 1801, the first and Mother Supreme Council of the Ancient and
Accepted Scottish Rite. On December 4, 1802 this Supreme Council issued a
circular that announced its completed organization and gave the Grand
Constitutions of 1786 as the law of its existence and the source of its
powers. From this there are derived all regular and recognized Supreme
Councils in the World.
development and expansion of degrees into those of our Ancient and Accepted
Scottish Rite thus evolved out of Bordeaux's Rite of Perfection, out of Paris'
aristocratic Chapter of Clermont that the Chevalier de Bonneville founded at
the College of the Jesuits in 1754, out of the Council of Emperors of the East
and West, and out of several other tributary systems. Later, my predecessor,
the renowned Sovereign Grand Commander and classical scholar, Albert Pike,
brought order out of chaos and edited or rewrote the rituals for these
February 21, 1802 the Charleston Supreme Council
granted to de Grasse a Patent as Sovereign Grand Inspector General and
declared that he was Grand Commander for life of the Supreme Council of the
French West Indian Islands with power to establish other Scottish Rite
organizations under the Grand Constitutions.
1802 de Grasse returned to Saint Domingue -serving as a Captain of Cavalry
under General Leclerc, Napoleon's brother-in-law, and later under the Comte de
Rochambeau- and it was from there that a year later a British blockader took
him as a prisoner to Jamaica. After spending about seven months at Kingston,
Jamaica, he established a Supreme Council of the Windward and Leeward Islands
at Port-au-Prince in 1803. Returning to France in 1804, he went to Bordeaux
and established the Supreme Council of France in the same year, of Italy in
1805, of Spain in 1809, and of Belgium in 1817.
the foregoing it follows that the activities and energies of Francken during
some fifteen years as the Senior Deputy Grand Inspector General primarily were
responsible for planting the Scottish Rite firmly upon North American shores.
He carefully selected his descendant Deputy Grand Inspectors General. Earlier
in Jamaica he had been appraiser, marshal and Sergeant-at-Mace in the
Admiralty Court. After he returned to Kingston from North America in 1769,
personal losses, sickness and the subsequent hurricanes of 1784 and 1785
caused him some ups and downs, but later he was appointed Customs Inspector,
Master of Revels, Assistant Judge of the Court of the Common Pleas for Port
Royal, and Supreme Court Commissioner. He died at Kingston on May 20, 1795. In
view of the labors, leadership and promotional successes of Morin and Francken,
I felt they deserved lasting tribute and recognition and hence caused a plaque
to be erected to their memory in the Anglican Parish Church, Kingston,
Jamaica. For, their zealous endeavors over so many years furnished a
springboard that truly launched the Scottish Rite into a creative and
developing orbit, first
United States and then around the world. With prophetic vision they aroused in
key men a dynamic impulse for an expanding Scottish Rite. They carried into
the darkness and passed into other hands a living flame that continues to
illuminate Scottish Rite Freemasonry with ever-increasing brilliance. This led
to the outstanding achievements we enjoy and for which we are so grateful
today, just as though we were inheritors of great wealth under a will. Our
Scottish Rite of the Mother jurisdiction is now the fastest-growing and most
dynamic Masonic system encircling the globe.
now take your first step into our sanctuary in search of truth and knowledge,
the most genuine and real of human treasures. You are reminded that your
progress depends upon your secrecy, obedience and fidelity; secrecy for the
security of obligations, duties, oaths, communications; obedience for the laws
that reflect the will and judgment and benefit of the people, not the edicts
of the tyrant or those that are contrary to God and nature; fidelity for the
faith and to promises plighted family, friends, country and Masonry. Thereby
you will avoid the diverting allurements of pleasure and indolence and permit
the mandates of your obligations to be fulfilled. You must seek, read, study,
reflect, digest and discriminate. The light of knowledge develops the soul of
assures the reward of his aspirations for continuance after death. In the
faithful pursuit of these ideals you will serve yourself, your fellow members,
country and mankind.
first division of our Degrees, from the Fourth to the Fourteenth, includes
those known as the Ineffable Degrees.
appointments and furniture of the Lodge in the Fourth Degree form a setting of
deep mourning, symbolizing grief and tears for the loss of the Grand Master.
The story is retold of the criminal interruption in the labors of building the
Temple of Solomon. The one gigantic mind was murdered and the word was lost.
King Solomon, confronted with suspension of the work, starts in Masonic
progressive fashion toward the burial of his brother, then to completion of
the Temple, and finally to mete out justice to the assassins.
presiding officers are a Master representing King Solomon and an Inspector
representing Adoniram, Inspector of the workmen and the first Secret Master.
The candidate, finally shown the Holy of Holies behind closed gates, is told
the mystic meaning of its sacred elements. He may infer that while at this
time he is barred from entry, there may come a time when the gates will be
opened unto him.
Degree presents a powerful lesson in teaching fidelity to dWy even at the risk
of death, and the sudden cessation of life when death arrives without warning.
While able to do so, we should review our personal philosophy and define our
lifetime obligations to ourselves, our families, our country and our God. We
Plate-Secret Master, Fourth Degree:
Bible describes the room called "the Most Holy Place." In the oracle "he made
two cherubims each ten cubits (fifteen feet) high. . . . And he set the
cherubims (winged sphinxes) within the inner house: ... the wing of the one
touched the one wall and the wing of the other ... touched the other wall; and
their wings touched one another in the midst of the house. And he overlaid the
cherubims with gold." (1 Kings 6: 23, 27, 28.)
the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord. . . to the most holy
place ... under the wings of the cherubims." (1 Kings 8: 6.)
with assurance toward a form of immortality and a submission to Divine
judgment for acts and omissions of our lives.
William Osler, to whom reference already has been made, possessed such a
personal philosophy and deep religious faith. His son had been killed in
action during World War I. When Osler himself was hospitalized in 1919 for a
severe, final illness, he knew better than the attending physicians how it
would end. Yet, he faced death serenely. After he died there was found among
his effects a slip of paper upon which he had written these words:
Harbor almost reached after a splendid voyage, and with such companions all
the way, and my boy awaiting me."
yourselves, do you agree that you exist? If you do, must there not have been a
Creator called God? Is not your creation itself the best proof? Or are you the
mere vestige of an accident, or a machine, or a beast, or greater than a
Creator? Or are you the poor victim of a cruel, blind, evolutionary process,
coming from nowhere, a nothing, doomed to eternal extinction?
You are a towering example of man's ability to burst out of an animalistic
state. You are an ensouled immortal, imprisoned for a time within an ensouled
body, but rejoicing in a God-given dignity, traveling bravely upon an
ever-ascending, happier, spiritual plane.
Industry and honesty are homely virtues that become a Perfect Master. Life is
far too short and fleeting to waste time in idleness, follies or dissipation.
To learn and to do combine and develop the potential human soul with inherent
force and power. Satan finds mischief for idle hands. Honesty still is the
best policy and an honest man still is the noblest work of God.-This virtue
should be reflected in contracts, business dealings, payment for services and
acceptance of an honest day's pay only for an honest day's work. So live and
deal and act that when you go before God no man was poorer because you were
richer; no man had less rank, influence, reputation or affection because you
this Degree we witness solemn preparations for a more decent interment of the
Grand Master. King Solomon ordered the remains brought to the Temple and a
suitable tomb erected as befitted the eminent virtues of the Grand Master.
Funeral orations of King Solomon and King Hiram of Tyre expressed grateful
tributes to the departed as a man of great abilities in many fields and the
central character of the Hiramic Legend. His life also symbolized the virtues
of industry, honesty, charity, freedom and spiritual power.
Examples of the Lost Symbol abound in unselfish, vital contributions to
humanity. Consider the mother who became lost in a blizzard while carrying her
baby over the
of South Wales. A search party found her frozen to death beneath the snow.
Surprisingly, she had on no outer garments. They soon discovered why. She had
wrapped these around her baby. When they unwrapped the child he was alive and
well. He grew up to become Prime Minister of Great Britain during World War I,
one of England's great statesmen. His mother had given her life to save David
Another woman also had the key to the Master's Word. Dressed in rags, she was
passing along the streets of a French town, holding by the hand her barefoot
little boy. Suddenly she stooped to pick up an object from the ground, tucking
it quickly within the folds of her ragged garments. In so doing shy, aroused
the suspicions of a nearby policeman. He rudely demanded that she show him
what she had concealed. The poor, frightened woman cast down her eyes and
revealed a jagged fragment of a broken bottle. She said, "I was thinking only
of the barefoot children."
setting and symbolic color for this Degree remind us that while we die in sin
we may revive in virtue. We therefore always should act with regard to
honesty and integrity and reaffirm our abiding belief in the
Plate-Perfect Master, Fifth Degree:
two kings lead the procession of workers from the vicinity of the Temple to
the new tomb. "Solomon (had) ... 1,400 chariots." (2 Chron. 1, 14.) Models for
this painting were an ancient chariot and harness unearthed in Egypt.
cast the pillars Jachin and Boaz [341/2 feet high ] and ten bases of brass
with wheels. (1 Kings 7:15,16, 21, 27, 30.) He sculptured and cast in brass an
altar and 12 oxen upholding an immense brass basin [which held 10,000 gallons
of water. 1 (2 Chron. 4: 3, 4.)
immortality of the soul. Thus, we symbolically raise the departed from the
coffin and place him at the holy altar as a Perfect Master.
glance upward at the stars in the heavens may strengthen our faith. As
Longfellow tells us in "Evangeline":
"Silently, one by one,
infinite meadows of heaven, Blossomed the lovely stars,
forget-me-nots of the angels."
universe is creating continually. As we participate in the process we partak
of the Creator-the Divine of God. This participation as co-Creator is itself a
form of man's immortality regardless of whether, as we believe, his spirit
survives the body. We exist and create. Being greater than self is man's true
destiny, dignity and grandeur.
will to believe in something greater than self is the springboard from which
we can touch the Divine. Talk with men of faith. Read the books that tell of
spiritual achievements. Meditate as you gaze at the stars of the first
magnitude. Then you, too, may attain that conclusive spiritual revelation
which is the highest human development.
also, should we conduct ourselves on the assumption of life after death. The
folly of not preparing is told in the tale of a king who sent his beloved
jester, Wamba, on a journey. "Go abroad," he said, "and see all that there is
to be seen. Take with you this golden wand, and if you meet a greater fool
than yourself, present it to him." On his return, Wamba found the king in his
last illness. "I, too, am going on a long journey," said the king, "an even
longer one than yours." "Are all your preparations made?" asked Wamba. "No,"
answered the king, "I have made no preparations." "Then, surely," said Wamba,
"it is to you I must give the golden wand."
this Degree we learn to reject the worldly, the covetous and the sensual, the
severe, the censorious and the injurious in favor of duty, charity and
toleration. In our personal lives we should practice those virtues and the
Golden Rule, with peace and loving kindness toward our parents, children,
friends, neighbors, employees and business associates, not for popular acclaim
but for our own inner satisfaction. Organizations should reflect harmony as
the strength and support of all societies, especially of ours. Ideally, we
thus should witness the elimination of dissensions, disputes and quarrels and
a world without war. Thoughts should be focused upon that which is good and
healthy. In short, we are told how we can reshape our thinking into joyful
channels of charity, self-control and success.
Degree demonstrates that wrong thinking leads to wrong results. King Solomon
promised to Hiram, King of Tyre, certain towns in Galilee. The latter, on
inspecting them and not knowing that it was Solomon's intention to improve
them first, was displeased with their barren characteristics. Coming to
Jerusalem for the funeral of the Grand Master and viewing en route the
desolate state of the towns, Hiram angrily assumed that Solomon had defrauded
him. Seeing him thus enraged, a Captain of the Guards feared for Solomon and
so stationed himself that in secret he could observe the Audience Chamber.
Hiram discovered this and, in a rage, remonstrated to Solomon, who denied the
surveillance. But Hiram revealed the spying Captain and, about to kill him,
was prevented from doing so when Solomon promised a fair trial for the
offender and also related his plans for rehabilitating the substandard towns.
Hiram then begged Solomon's forgiveness and asked that the Captain be
forgiven, since actually he deserved commendation for his loyalty. Whereupon
the Captain was appointed Confidential Secretary to the two kings in
replacement of that office which the murdered Grand Master had held.
quintessence of our Scottish Rite teachings is healthy thinking. These words
are used in a sense of signifying a state of mind that is harmonious with a
philosophic belief from which there flows a confident approach to life.
attain that condition of confident living through application in our daily
affairs of those secure patterns of behavior that are disclosed in our
Application means more than merely wishing. Any success-starved person can do
that. Instead, it requires an active response to the urge for something beyond
the self. From this foundation there are specific steps that can be taken. For
example, we can talk with those people who may suggest out of their experience
and wisdom the paths best suited to us. We can use the powerful tools given us
in our Scottish Rite rituals, lessons that impart the highest levels of
thought. We can commune in silent meditation and seek reserves of psychic
strength. Through conscious effort we can strengthen our positive approaches
toward life's instinctive fears and doubts. In short, we can think our way to
opposite is also true. You can assume such a critical role that destructive
ill health results. Amid a thousand pleasant scents such a person singles out
one solitary smell for complaint. Once Churchill was building a wall and put a
critic in his place. When told that the wall was crooked, Churchill gave this
stinging reply: "Any fool can see what's wrong. But can you see what's right?"
of giving is another unhealthy attribute. It violates the great secret of life
that to get we must give, and give without the slightest expectation of
receiving. The ungiving person so often denies articulation to the most basic
of all human needs: a craving for love.
Closely allied is the person who is stingy with praise or compliments. They
forget that while actions speak louder than words, a lack of both can be
devastating. Approval and appreciation should be verbalized.
too, he who merely eats and breathes and sleeps, and who strives always to
satisfy only his own needs, is afflicted with an unhealthy greed. He is in a
ruthless quest for gratification. The selfish man seeking public office, or
climbing over unfortunate victims for
or striving unfairly for status, or existing solely for personal pleasure,
will awake in the end to a realization of self-defeating futility. Regardless
of how natural and all too human this may be as part of our psyche, we can
control the situation through inhibition-simply say "no" to the unhealthy
Especially, therefore, in this world of questioning of authority, of morals,
of institutions, of values and of life purpose, we should pursue the healthy
mind. It gives more meaning to life than bigger production, higher sales, more
take-home pay. It will exemplify in our daily behavior the workable philosophy
of the Scottish Rite in relation to our present-day knowledge.
is a creative approach to Masonic self-help -ways in which we can multiply our
personal development. We can work on ourselves through systematic per sonal
effort. It leads to the spiritual side of the Scottish Rite "miraculous" way.
This is derived from a source of limitless energy, a phenomenon that can be
explained only as coming from a Supreme Power, amply demonstrated in
documented records of inspirational transformations.
Consider a scientist who up to his fiftieth year was an unhappy, ineffective
man. Unimportant, unknown, living in a world of gloom and failure, he was
afflicted also with painful, blinding headaches. He took stock and realized
that something was seriously wrong. He reread those words of William James:
"We might have to give up our philosophy of evil, but what is that in
comparison with gaining a life of goodness?"
scientist determined to put this doctrine to the proof. For one month he would
make a careful and honest experiment. During that time he would control his
thoughts. He would think only of the happy, pleasing, bright incidents and
days of his past. In thinking of the present, he would attend only to the
desirable elements of his home, his work and his opportunities. For the
would regard every worthy ambition as within his grasp.
end of only eight days of faithful application, he felt a tingling
transformation-an expectation of important discoveries. He knew then the
experiment of healthy thinking was succeeding. Even his headaches disappeared.
He felt happy and contented, and he made others happy with his more attractive
personality. The outward transformation of his life from his changes of
thought surprised him even more than the inward improvements. Eminent
scientists recognized his merits; his works were published. He was elected to
the presidency of a great scientific society. He demonstrated that great
unseen forces can work for man, even as Paul revealed in his perceptive
saying: "All things work together for good to them that love God."
this was an experiment worthy of emulation.
PROVOST AND JUDGE
this Degree we learn that impartial justice protects persons, property,
happiness and reputation. It involves punishment and the possibility also of
retribution and repentance for wrong done and evil perpetrated. Every
criminal, every teller of idle words, and every doer of evil deeds stands
revealed in his naked guilt before God. There is divine as well as man-made
justice. What has been done or omitted never can be obliterated. It is a
momentous truth that wrong and injustice once done or omitted cannot be
undone. The consequences are eternal. Wrong contains its own retributive
penalty. Reparation or remorse may result in forgiveness, but the deed or
omission is never erased. Masonry endeavors to restrain men from injustice,
wrong and outrage, and when this restraint fails, seeks for the fallen the
type of justice that is tempered with mercy and pity. We should not look with
scorn upon the disgraced offender; rather, there should be concern as to how
he may be reclaimed. Remember that you, too, someday may appear before the bar
of justice if you have not already done so; or perhaps you have escaped
apprehension! Those invested with the power of judging, whether as judge or
should act patiently, uprightly and impartially, devoid of prejudice,
preconception and personal considerations, and carefully weigh the facts and
arguments before proceeding to decision. Our great goal is finding the most
effectual means of preventing and dealing with wrong and injustice, and of
enforcing the laws of God and man.
murdered Grand Master had been supervising a vast number of craftsmen engaged
in construction of King Solomon's Temple and, in so doing, had settled their
quar rels and disputes and had administered justice. Following his death, King
Solomon appointed Provosts and Judges to perform these functions. Meetings
were held in the Middle Chamber of the Temple. They, in effect, held court and
applied to Phoenician and Hebrew alike the same law and endeavored to do equal
justice to all. They kept their records in a box of ebony, the key to which
the Chief Provost and Judge held.
all act as judges from time to time, we should endeavor to do justice in
decisions, in judgments, and in our intercourse and dealings with other
people. Since what is done or omitted in assessing and determining justice can
never be undone, we must always act with deliberation and impartiality, and
decide with a single eye on equity. The consequences of what we say and do
here are eternal in character. Punishment is not the execution of a sentence;
rather, it is the culmination of a cause the offenders themselves have set in
moral and mental character as formed in life determines what our fate will be
in the domain of eternal
justice. A man's thought, word or deed will return according to the law of
cause and effect. He has made his own record for good or evil. This is beyond
recall. We sow the seed and this inexorably brings to harvest our own crop.
Therefore, he who hurts another only harms himself. Retribution is a
self-inflicted penalty. As Schoepenhauer put it in his figure, man is a wild
beast who fastens his fangs into his own flesh.
is, however, the inspiring assurance that we can control the remedy for evil
and the increase for good through the curative powers of purity and love and
reason, and striving for spiritual realization. In that sense, we of the
Scottish Rite believe that "Man is the master of his own destiny."
singularly fortunate in that we can fight for justice in this life and achieve
memorable victories, drawing lessons from our Scottish Rite teachings as
guideposts. The perceptive student will see that behind the clash of armies
and ideologies there lies a struggle against injustice. We in this life can
pursue the never-ending and exhilarating quest for human justice. Its meaning
may involve many ingredients when we behold the traditional symbolic figure
with familiar scales that are in balance. There is a deeper meaning in this
than the mere symbolic, as you will learn later. The concept is crucial for
there must be harmony and balance, and equilibrium of equality and peace.
we call justice cannot be defined with any simply stated ideals. It is far
from static. Our present standards have been developed over the ages and
through the agonies of experience. The Roman praetor transformed crude customs
into a consistent legal system. Merchants even in ancient times made
far-reaching contributions through their customs and binding contracts. St.
Paul, bound with thongs, on being brought into the castle for examination by
scourging, asked the Centurion, "Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is
a Roman, and uncondemned?" Thus, he gained the benefit of laws that were
similar for all Roman citizens everywhere. When Justinian took the throne in
A.D. 527, he commissioned a work which became the bible of Western law, it
being his hope thereby to restore the grandeur of Rome and of Roman law. After
the fall of the Roman Empire, and the passage of centuries, the private
citizens themselves, like the vigilantes of a later day, administered law.
Lords of England similarly aroused themselves in defense of their rights, and
on June 15, 1215 went upon the rolling meadows of Runnymede and forced King
John unwillingly to affix his seal to the Magna Carta. Four hundred years
later the courts, like the Lords of England, spoke courageously to James I,
the King, in defense of the English common law. Summoned to his presence, he
accused them of impertinence and demanded that in the future they obey his
orders rather than the edicts of the courts. All but one fell to their knees
and so promised. Standing alone, the fearless Sir Edward Coke, towering over
his prostrate colleagues, replied, "When the case happens, I shall do that
which shall be fit for a judge to do."
American Colonies initiated legal reforms in the course of which John Peter
Zenger fought for freedom of the press, although attacks were aimed at
despised British officials. Andrew Hamilton's ringing eloquence won the day.
On the same spot where Zenger had stood trial 54 years earlier, James Madison
on May 4, 1789 proposed the Bill of Rights to our Constitution. This Bill had
its forerunner, England's Magna Carta, but ours is unique in that it is
written as the first ten amendments into the Constitution of the United
important than the list of rights themselves is the concept of man's
inalienable, God-given rights that the fundamental laws of a nation must
we also can put into practice in our daily lives our devotion to justice,
which has for its heart a reverence for the brotherhood of the individual man,
a Masonic teaching for the conditions of human life.
OF THE BUILDING
Masonry reduces to practice the great principles of God's inherent love,
charity, morality and kindness. But many times the symbols and the ceremonies
deliberately have multiple meanings. The truth then is concealed in hints and
allusions that are designed for discovery only in stages and through organized
and systematic reflection and study. It is futile to advance unless we learn
the lessons already given in work and ceremonies and communications and the
related jurisprudence. Thus, we proceed toward our ultimate goal of
Perfection, the name of our first fourteen degrees. But the Scottish Rite is
practical. The world itself is God's handiwork and hence essentially good. In
truth, it is the beginning of heaven and part of immortality. We should weigh
the world's evil against the good; the misanthropy, the melancholy and the
despair as opposed to the contentment, the blessings and the happiness.
Compare our afflictions with those of they who are less fortunate. Our faults
are more truly reflected in the
of enemies than that of friends. We have high duties to perform and an
inspiring destiny to fulfill upon this earth as a noble field of action.
Degree portrays, as do others, the problem of resuming the duties which the
murdered Grand Master had been performing. Among these were those of superin
tendent of construction, or Intendant of the Building. In searching for a
replacement, King Solomon interviewed the five favorite craftsmen among the
workmen of the Grand Master. The selection fell to Adoniram, who had taken
advantage of opportunities presented to gain knowledge, wisdom, experience and
fairness to employees. Thus he was ready to assume further and higher
responsibilities for completion of the great work of the dead Grand Master.
learn that work must be organized and systematized, and that progression must
proceed by stages. This is but a truism that has been reflected in man's prog
ress upon the earth. It is now said that man has lived here many, many
millions of years. During that time, he has progressed as a nomad, a food
collector, a hunter and then a builder. He first fashioned crude tools and
utensils of stone, bone and wood; next he molded clay and loam; then he
discovered the casting of bronze and copper and, finally, iron. Along the
line, he learned to till the soil and reap the harvest, to capture and
domesticate wild animals, to build dwellings and villages and cities. He has
ice ages and three warmer interglacial periods. The last ice age ended about
the splendor and all the mystery of this miraculous story of man is deeply
imbedded in you-lives on in you-as in a seedbed. We all have experienced
unexpect edly, unexplainably, rooted deep in the past, a feeling of kinship
with places and persons. There is within you -destined to endure forever-the
wisdom of the Delphic Oracle, the truth of Atlantis, the thousands upon
thousands of legacies that you have inherited from your ancestors during their
existence upon this earth. Within the span of your own lifetime, thus
extended, you may have followed in the footsteps of your primeval ancestors as
they walked the walls of Jericho, so ancient that even the patriarchs Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob knew not its origins. You may have stood on top of its tower,
four thousand years older than the first pyramid. You may have worked with
your ancestors in an intense desert heat as they stoked the fires in the
smelting ovens of King Solomon, or built the towers of Sardis in the bronze
age of 800 B. C. Today you can view in southern France the mysterious and
fascinating caverns where your ancestors over 25,000 years ago painted,
colored and carved upon walls of their cave homes the pictures and designs of
buffalo, deer, horses and symbols. This creative artistry, motivated by a
religio-magical impulse, holds excitement for us since, aside from antiquity,
it marks the end of the Cro-Magnon man's period as a mere toolmaker. It is
mute evidence of his entry into the era of true humanity.
we plan and progress. Your brain is a greater computer than could ever be
built. A group of experts in the field of computer design were asked what
science would have to devise as equivalent equipment to compete with one human
brain. They figured that, in a lifetime, if parts were as miniaturized as
those used in a rocket to the moon, the machine would be as big as the United
Nations building in New York, with a cooling system that had an
equal to Niagara Falls, and a power source of electricity sufficient to supply
the homes and industries of the entire state of California.
intelligent application of your energy, you can plan, progress and achieve.
This will bring you rich rewards.
can organize and increase your efficiency by a simple formula that will help
develop and elevate your potential and the quality of your life. The great
industrialist, Charles Schwab, once said the simple technique of planning a
daily schedule helped make him $100 million. He learned the technique from a
man named Ivy Lee, who was a pioneer in public relations. Schwab said to him,
"If you can give me something to alert me to the things I already know I ought
to do, then I will gladly listen to you and pay you anything you ask." Lee
answered, "I can give you something in 20 minutes that will step up your
action 50 percent." Lee handed Schwab a blank piece of paper and said, "Write
on this paper the six most important tasks you have to do tomorrow. Number
them in the order of their importance. Now put this paper in your pocket and
the first thing tomorrow morning look at Item One and work on it until it is
finished. Then tackle Item Two in the same way, then Item Three and so on. Do
this until quitting time. Don't be concerned if you have finished only one or
two. Work on the more important ones. The others can wait. Try this as long as
you wish, and then send me a check for what you think it is worth." Schwab
several weeks later sent Lee a check for $25 thousand. And in the accompanying
letter Schwab told Lee that this simple lesson in planning was the most
profitable he ever had learned.
Scottish Rite reaches into the heart of Freemasonry for its homely virtues and
principles of truth, candor and generosity. We learn we should follow these
practical and active rules that shape and control our conduct. Yet, far too
often, men are guilty of the very faults they find in others, talking like
hypocrites of virtue, charity and honor but living a life of wickedness, vice
or indulgence. Certainly there is little opportunity inside a Lodge itself to
practice Freemasonry. Masonry belongs more importantly in the world of
competition and disputes, of temptations and of unlawful pleasures. True
Masonry is active, not inert, especially when our country, our Brethren or
mankind call on us for help. It is the apostle of Liberty, Equality and
Fraternity but engages in no plots or conspiracies against civil government.
It retains the same calm and simple dignity under every government and apart
from any sect or creed. A Mason learns to set his foot upon political tyranny
and spiritual despotism and to condemn the cruelty and wanton disregard of the
rights of humanity, the disgrace and ruin of his country, the depravity and
barbarity of mankind. He therefore resists the usurpation of perversion of
power that belongs to the people. He exerts himself in defense of his love of
liberty and equal justice under the
and in supporting education of the people, making the honor of his country
co-equal with his heroic own. There he seizes a sword and, when assailed,
wields it aloft with God's strength. In contests of the mind against
superstitions, fears and prejudice, the true Mason conquers and emerges
victorious and unites with his Brethren in the patriotic labors of peace.
Degree details the punishment that justice is constrained to demand for the
crimes the villainous traitors committed just before completion of the Temple.
King Solomon desired to capture the assassins alive and selected from among
the craftsmen nine to make the attempt. One of the criminals, however, was
killed in a cave where he had been hiding. On seeing the evidence of this,
King Solomon angrily assumed that his order had been disobeyed. But on
learning the circumstances, he conceded his judgment was overly hasty and
based upon inadequate evidence.
criminals, of course, had been motivated by ambitious greed. That type of
ambition should be denounced. There is another ambition which is laudable. The
late Brother J. C. Penney, one of our Thirty-third Degree members, said on one
occasion, rapping his desk for emphasis, "Any young man can be a success in
business today if he has ambition; it's the same as it was in my day." Brother
Penney climbed the ladder of success the hard way, reaching a crest with many
stores throughout our land and a worldwide organization. He struggled through
some 70 years in the highly competitive world of American business, insisting
that "a man needs three things to succeed in business: he must be patient, he
must like people and he must be able to make a good impression. The Golden
Rule has been more than a trademark for me; it has been a principle to live up
to. You must give good value
good service. I can't conceive of a man succeeding who hasn't been honest.
I've profited from my experience by learning not to make the same mistake
twice." These homely virtues, of course, are what we are taught in our
Scottish Rite to practice.
also know that there are times when the demands of justice require corrective
action. Then we must be equally firm. Our colonial Masons were. They molded
and riveted down Masonic concepts and a Masonic organizational pattern into
our Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the
Bill of Rights. Actually, therefore, they created what I call "Masonic-minded
Americanism." The very term "Americanism" was coined by one of these patriots,
John Witherspoon, who signed the Declaration of Independence.
Fundamentally, Masonic-minded Americanism is simply man's burning desire for
freedom of which the poet sang:
man be free!
mighty words they spoke were not their own. The spirit of the highest moved
their mortal lips alone.
can understand, therefore, why our Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite has
been a strong exponent of patriotism and freedom. We know that Masonry can
exist only in that kind of climate. Surely, where there is no law, there is no
freedom. That is why Masons in the main -Masonic minds directing Masonic
hands-wrote into basic documents those which add up our concept of a free
America, a moral America, a law-abiding America. Masons have an inherent stake
in the security, the survival and the perpetuity of what we call the American
Way of Life. We say with our Brother, Theodore Roosevelt, "We here in America
hold in our hands the future of the world, the faith of the coming years, and
shame and disgrace will be ours if in our eyes the light of high resolve be
dimmed or if we trail in the dust the golden hopes of men."
Toleration is the dominant theme of this Degree. History records a bloody
trail of persecution when men arrogate to themselves the right to punish
others for contrary opinions. This type of bigotry is behind condemnations of
Masonry. We feel that every person has a right to religious and political
views of his or her own, and that no human being can validly say that he or
she alone knows the truth. Whatever a person sincerely believes is to him or
her truth, and he or she knows only education and enlightenment can conquer
intolerance and fanaticism. Masonry, while religious, is not a religion, but
within its precepts and professions there are contained the truths and the
universal morality of all recognized creeds and religions. These include those
our members must share-a belief in the one God, in an immortal soul, and in a
moral and virtuous life.
Degree develops a continuation and conclusion of the punishment inflicted upon
the two remaining traitors for their atrocious crimes. King Solomon added six
more craftsmen to the nine already elected and these fifteen then set forth in
a search which succeeded in capturing the remaining two murderers, who were
found working in a quarry. They were taken to Jerusalem for trial, where they
pleaded guilty and were hanged and beheaded. Symbolically, they represent the
enemies of freedom, namely, unbridled emotion-out of which tyranny and
despotism is born-and fanaticism, from which emerges intolerance and
persecution. The third and most guilty criminal signified the ignorance of the
masses, which permits ambition and fanaticism. "An enlightened people cannot
be enslaved and an ignorant people cannot be set free."
the Scottish Rite are tolerant of all creeds and religions. We do not fasten
any dogma upon our members, nor do we seek to purge any dogma that confounds
science or confutes history. Myth and story may be a phase of man's eternal
search for God. So, we say:
pridish priests do battle with creeds,
church is mine that does most godlike deeds." Yet we are not so "soft" as to
confuse tolerance with
license when it comes to our Masonic and national survival. Remember the old
who cry 'Appease! Appease! Appease!' Are hanged by those they sought to
there be no mistake. There are today vindictive and relentless foes of
Freemasonry. They are motivated by ignorance, bigotry and intolerance, mental
and spiritual slavery. Hence, they collide with Masonic concepts of
constitutional freedoms, enlightened living and inherent rights of the people.
The principle of freedom rejects the rule of the priesthood over those held in
ignorance. Therefore, some of the priesthood are bitter foes of those who
would enlighten and educate the citizenry of a nation through free,
tax-supported public schools, a free press, freedom of thought and religion.
Freemasonry neither fears nor hates any sect or society, but stands on guard
to protect humanity from intolerance, tyranny, fanaticism and ignorant
brutality. Some times the more timorous among us, in a "head in the sands"
attitude, claim that our Supreme Council policies, programs and practices may
offend the sensibilities of those who are not members of our organization. It
is contended on occasions, for example, that our warnings of church-state
violations are "anti" in nature. The hope is even expressed that we should
refrain from any activity that may impede the ecumenical professions of the
we were to succumb to these blandishments of misguided, albeit well-meaning
men or Brethren, we would fall into the abyss of oblivion. It would be Masonic
that our basic reaction against attacks upon the wall of separation between
church and state has been strictly defensive. We are defending against
aggressions. The leaders of some churches have initiated the demands and the
campaigns for illegal state violations and subsidies.
to us, is the kind of tyranny the perceptive de Tocqueville warned against
when he said, "The tyranny of the legislature is really the danger most to be
feared." When church leaders apply clerical duress upon susceptible
legislators to violate our traditional church-state separation, they are
guilty of that type of tyranny.
is need, therefore, to defend against such legislative tyranny, to support our
courts, and to defend our constitutional freedoms. In so doing, we are not
"anti" anyone or anything. We are "pro" the American principles of freedom and
justice, "pro" our public schools. This is not to contend that public schools
are above criticism. Quite the contrary. We realize there is room for
improvement and that we must participate in the structure of our schools and
work for improvements. Despite the obvious faults, let us never "throw out the
baby with the wash water."
improved relations with ecumenical-minded church leaders are going to result
in the loss of our American freedoms or imperil the welfare and safety of
Freemasonry, then the price is far too high! We take our stand with our
patriotic Masonic Founders! We say, let's defend our liberties! We proclaim
with Prophet Mohammed of old:
"Though the sun on my right hand And the moon on my left
will 1 speak!"
distinguishing characteristic of every true Mason is the key word of this
Degree-sympathy. He should manifest this not only toward his Brethren, but
toward all mankind. For, he sees the human race as one great family to which
God has connected and forged him with invisible links through a mighty network
of circumstance. Especially upon entry into our Fraternity does he feel
sympathy to serve his fellow man, cease any prior isolation, and welcome
opportunities to put into practice unselfish duties of service he has assumed
toward his Brethren in Masonry. He knows then how essential it is to be
earnest, true, reliable and sincere; to protect the people against illegal
impositions and to contend for their betterment; and how the safety of free
government depends upon the integrity of the common people. A nation that
claims greatness through tyranny over prostrate states, heavy and unjust
taxation, and alliances more crafty than wholesome, is actually impoverished
and tottering toward ruin.
Complaints had been made to King Solomon of abuses in the Oriental custom of
"farming out" the collections of taxes. Turning for advice to King Hiram of
Tyre, Solomon changed the system so that his representatives would personally
superintend collections. He desired to reward those of the Twelve Tribes of
Israel who had exhibited zeal and fidelity in the capture and punishment of
the criminals, so he chose twelve from among the Elu of the Fifteen to
constitute a new order and gave them command of the Twelve Tribes. Those
tribes that were at work on the Temple thereafter reported daily through the
twelve to King Solomon and received their wages.
deadly analogies of excesses in taxation run throughout civilization. For
example, Edward Gibbon in his classic, The Decline and Fall of the Roman
Empire, pointed out that similar abuses and the decay of religion and morals
among the people of Rome were the fundamental causes of its weakness and
had in mind, of course, the rise of Rome that began about 500 B. C. when the
Romans drove out the Tarquin tyrant invaders from Etruria. The victors then
formed a republic which became the hard rock foundation for a mighty empire
that would stretch over the civilized world and last some four and one-half
centuries. Their government included a system of checks and balances
similar to those we find today in our Constitution, and thus avoided a
concentration of personal authority. Small wonder that a Bishop of Lyons wrote
in the second century of Rome's glory: "The world is at peace, and we walk on
the highways without fear, and sail where we will."
this security and magnificence began to fade and there was heard a death
rattle when the Gracchus Brothers disguised themselves as heroic champions of
the people's rights. Actually they were malignant political demagogues. They
manipulated the masses, overrode the Senate and subverted the constitutional
safeguards. They did this through land distribution, free grain for the urban
population, and make-work programs. Thereby they won votes and enriched their
henchmen. As always, this corruption was not a sudden circumstance, but came
about gradually. First, a little corn and oil for the wretched poor, then corn
and oil for the voters not so poor, and later corn and oil for everyone who
had a vote to sell.
Caesar saw in this caretaker softening of the Roman character a situation that
was ripe for his political chicanery-more bribery of the masses, and misuse of
military power. So he exploited the corruption for his sinister scheme of a
dictatorship which led to complete disintegration of the republic.
years ago we had in California a distinguished Grand Chaplain of the Grand
Lodge, Rabbi Jacob Nieto. One evening he was supposed to share the program
with a lady, each being allowed a half hour. The lady spoke first and at great
length and used up most of the Rabbi's time. When he arose to speak he had
barely ten minutes left. He began, with intense earnestness, commenting first
on the dangerous tendency of our people to commercialize every phase of our
national life. Then he quoted from Goldsmith's "Deserted Village":
"Ill fares the land, to
hast'ning ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates and
Finally, with uplifted fist, clenched so tightly that his knuckles showed
white from the pressure, he spoke directly to us:
strong, young men, be strong! Be not deceived by outward appearances, but look
for the great realities, which are permanent and eternal. Serve your country
and your God, I charge you, with the best talent and your best life. And be
not lost in that glittering tinseled world, where all is make believe, and
nothing is real. Go to it! And God bless you."
down with half a minute of his meager time unused. We were electrified by his
inspirational oratory and broke into thunderous applause.
is instinctive in every human breast at least a modicum of faith in moral
principles, in virtue, and in God. This is as real as the instinct which
guides an animal. Hence, this faith, being inherent in human nature, has a
mission in our divine guidance as truly authentic as an animal's instinct.
Faith leads to a feeling that the human soul travels toward this Deity. We are
possessed of powers that include those of which we are but dimly conscious.
Masonry strives to develop the instinctive and God-given traits and to accept
as a guide their half conscious promptings. Life is what each man makes it;
the optimist turns a trial into a blessing, the pessimist sees only ruin and
disaster. Faith in our fellow men is the basis of our earthly transactions and
institutions, but, more important, faith is belief in the spiritual powers of
a just, wise and beneficent Supreme Being.
is a scientific degree that unfolds the principles of architecture and the
connection of liberal arts with Masonry. The action shows admission to the
office of Chief Architect following a proficiency examination. The instruments
and working tools of masonry are used to exemplify the moral and ethical
analogies. An application of these to what we do in our daily lives inevitably
will result in making us better, wiser and more useful.
adapt the Square to plain surfaces and also for geometry or measurement of the
earth. The ancients supposed this to be flat. The Compass relates to spheres
or spherical trigonometry. This also deals with the heavenly bodies. In his
Materia Prima, printed in 1613, Valentinus set forth a representation of a
triangle upon a Square, both inscribed within a circle. Above this there was a
human body with a male and female head, but with only two arms. The male arm
next to the sun held the Compass and the female arm next to the moon held the
Square. The earth was then regarded as female or the bountiful mother, while
the sun was regarded as male or the generator of the earth. Combined, they
symbolized the double nature of Deity.
Compass represents the spiritual, the intellectual and the moral part of
humanity, and the Square the material, the sensual and the base portion.
Masonry uses these for teaching purposes. As a Knight you have been taught
that the swords symbolize honor and duty.
men in any field of endeavor ever reach the pinnade of success without an
inbred and strong sense and
display of morality. A dishonest character eventually is uncovered. In
business a man cannot be just a little bit dishonest any more than a woman can
be just a little bit pregnant! He is either honest or not. He either has
integrity or he does not. Obviously, he must not adopt a hypocritical pose
merely for the sake of appearance.
reputation for honesty pays off in dramatic ways. Donald Douglas sought to
build and preserve such a reputation for his aircraft company. At one time he
was competing against Boeing to sell Eastern Airlines its first big jets.
Eastern was then headed by Brother Eddie Rickenbacker, 33°. It is said that he
told Mr. Douglas that his specifications and offers for the DC-8 were close to
Boeing's on everything but noise suppression. He then gave Mr. Douglas one
last chance to outpromise Boeing on this feature. Mr. Douglas consulted with
his engineers and reported that he did not feel he could make the promise.
Brother Rickenbacker is said to have answered. "I knew you could not. I merely
wanted to see if you were still honest. You just now got yourself an order for
we need activation of those moral values that are the bedrock of business
dealings and good citizenship. In so doing, we make Masonry come alive and
find an outlet for our soul.
Astronomers now tell us that they have seen the outer reaches of matter
speeding away in a great rush of far distant galaxies, so that the light from
the most distant takes 16 billion years to reach our earth! The Scottish Rite,
in effect, is a giant telescope that reveals spiritual studies as we proceed
step by step through our degrees. We are not concerned with building merely a
splendid and lofty ceremonial; nor do we construct an arcanum in which amazing
secrets should be hidden. It takes a searching eye to observe and understand
our lessons just as we need gigantic telescopes to penetrate the far distant
reaches of the universe.
secrets of philosophy and mysticism, like those of
chemistry or mathematics, are reserved for the few who will seek for them
within their capacity and understanding. The formulae of a chemist and the
axioms of Euclid are proclaimed everywhere as conspicuously as the room in
which you are seated, but only the knowing eye understands them.
seek to instill into the hearts of our members a love of knowledge and thereby
inflame their souls with a passion for mental and spiritual growth. They then
may de vote themselves to a search for the truth that should dominate their
lives. The marks of a true Scottish Rite Mason are not glib phrases, nor ready
answers or shining jewelry, but an insatiable curiosity, a love of learning,
and a desire to know and to find the radiant truth.
ROYAL ARCH OF SOLOMON
Royal Arch of Solomon forms a part of Ineffable Scottish Rite Masonry. For
centuries the Hebrews were forbidden to pronounce the sacred name of God,
considered it magic and sacred and, where it occurred, they read instead the
name "Adonai." A knowledge of the true pronunciation was withheld from the
common people, and was supposed to give the favored few supernatural powers.
The conception of the Deity varied according to intellectual capacities; among
the ignorant He was invested with the lower attributes of humanity, among the
intellectual spiritual, He was a Being, Pure and Holy. Our Scottish Rite
dispels the dark clouds and mists that theretofore veiled the sacred
mysteries. The allegory of the Lost Word and other esoteric truths are
explained. The true knowledge of the One Supreme Deity is given. A glorious
dawn illuminates the East and the light enters into dark and hidden places. So
the Royal Arch of the sacred Temple of Liberty is revealed as a fundamental
expression of the people, embodied in a written instrument that cannot easily
changed or violated with impunity. It is not enough that the people gain
liberty. They must keep it, and not entrust it to the keeping or pleasure of
review in this Degree the legend that Enoch was so filled with the love of God
that the Deity appeared before him in a dream and revealed His true name.
Enoch then set out in search for the scene of this dream. Growing weary, he
stopped in the land of Canaan and employed workmen to excavate nine apartments
in the earth, one below the other, and each with a supporting arch. The
lowest, or ninth, was hewn out of solid rock and in this Enoch placed upon a
pedestal of light alabaster a triangular plate of gold upon which he had
engraved the ineffable name of the Deity. Over the topmost vault he built a
modest temple that concealed the opening to those underneath.
Solomon, proposing to erect an edifice for the administration of public
justice, unknowingly selected the site of Enoch's ancient temple. The Grand
Master Architect and two Intendants of the Building surveyed the ground for
foundations and accidentally uncovered the opening to the vaults. An Intendant
of the Building entered each vault and finally discovered the cube of agate
and plate of gold, engraved with mysterious characters. None being able to
decipher this, they took it to King Solomon who was conferring with King Hiram
of Tyre. On beholding the inscription, King Solomon saw that this was indeed
the true name of the Deity. Rejoicing in the good fortune of the three
discoverers, King Solomon conferred upon them the titles and order of nobility
of Masons of the Ninth or Royal Arch.
the Grand Master is to us a symbol, we remind ourselves that a people must not
only gain, but also must
freedom. This should not be at the mercy of one man. In the great Temple of
Liberty, the keystone of the Royal Arch is fundamental law, in writing, never
hastily amended or excusably violated, but held sacred as the Arch of the
Someone once asked, "What makes a nation great?" Is it a vast number of
people? No, otherwise China would be the superior nation. Is it great riches?
No, in our early American days we were puny and poor. Is it military prowess?
No, else Rome would have continued as the mightiest nation on earth. Is it
intellectual genius? No, otherwise Greece would have remained the outstanding
America rose to the heights because the men who formed and fashioned her
government possessed the greatest thing that moves humanity-the spirit that
sets men free. Plato put into words what that freedom is. He said, "Freedom is
no mere matter of laws and constitutions. Only he is free who realizes the
divine order within himself, the true standard by which a man can steer
Finally, we realize that the mere possession of a word cannot confer
supernatural powers. King Canute, the onetime Danish ruler of England, taught
this lesson to his followers who thought he possessed such powers. He visited
the seashore and ordered a chair set in the sand in front of the incoming tide
and asked, "Do you think the tide will obey me if I command it to stop?" They
did. So he repeatedly commanded, "Tide, halt!" But it crept closer and closer,
until huge splashes broke against the entire royal party. Everyone retreated
in the reality of wet dismay.
in Southampton a bronze tablet is a silent witness to the event, reading, "On
this spot, in the year 1032, King Canute rebuked his courtiers."
he dramatized that men should not worship fellow humans; instead, we should
ourselves seek true power beyond the human.
reach the point of reflection, of consideration, and of analysis. Each must
discover for himself the Secrets contained in our symbols and in what has been
said and done in the work. We press on toward the unattainable, yet more
nearly approaching perfect truth. God has given each of us work to do and
duties to perform in the progress of the great plan for enlightenment and
growth. In this plan there are sorrows and trials that are designed to purify
and strengthen our souls. It cannot be true that these are visited upon us for
sadistic or cruel purposes. Ultimate good in accordance with merciful and wise
divine guidance must result. Our future well-being depends upon how we perform
in this life. Hence, we should so live that death will hold no terror for us.
Instead, there will be a release from our earthly trials into spiritual realms
is the last of the so-called Ineffable Degrees. It relates to the Ineffable
Word we have discussed in some of the preceding degrees. According to legend,
the three Grand Masters met in a vault under the Holy of Holies of the Temple.
When one of them was slain, the two others agreed not to meet there again
until they had selected a replacement and, until such time, they would not
make known the Secret Word. When the Master Architect and the two Intendants
of the Building discovered and delivered to Solomon the Cube of Agate, the two
Kings deposited this in the secret vault and permitted the three craftsmen to
be present and made known to them the pronunciation of the Ineffable Word.
Thus, they created a new Order, styled Grand Elect, Perfect and Sublime Mason
or, as we call it, Perfect Elu. The two Kings and three craftsmen were the
esoteric meaning of our Scottish Rite Degrees is not definitively interpreted.
You may do this for yourself. Secrets are hidden from all but the discerning
few and are revealed only through fuller and deeper study. For example, in
ancient mythology a square is the symbol of the material and principle; a
cube, the symbol of the material man. A triangle is the symbol of Deity and,
by association, of all things divine and of the spiritual. Hence, a triangle
within a square, or upon the face of a cube which appears similar, symbolizes
the divine within the material.
pattern of the ancient mysteries called for reception in three steps:
purification, initiation and illumination; hence, perfection.
Baptism does not belong exclusively to Christianity. Instead, as a symbol of
purification it was a rite of religious initiation thousands of years before
Christ. The vows of a Perfect Elu are assumed after baptism and symbolic
purification. Then there is a partaking of bread, the ancient Hebrew pledge of
brotherhood, and of the wine, symbol of wisdom and of knowledge. This also is
a reminder that hospitality is a true Masonic virtue and that each of us owes
to his Brother kind services, graceful courtesies, and prompt and cheerful
assistance and relief. Thereafter, there is Investiture with the Ring of the
Fourteenth Degree, and with the Apron, Collar and Jewel. Then the Sacred Word
is explained, communicated and demonstrated.
history of this Degree concludes the reference to the First Temple. When this
was finished, the builders acquired immortal honor and their Order became
estab lished and regulated. New members were admitted solely on merit. But sad
to say, King Solomon in his advancing years grew deaf to the voice of the Lord
and became irregular in his conduct to the point of profaning the three
purposes of the Temple, offering to Moloch the incense which should be offered
only to the living God. The people, copying the vices and follies of their
King, became proud and idolatrous.
grieved at this result, the Perfect Elus grew afraid that this apostasy would
end in dreadful consequences. As punishment for the defection, God caused
Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, to take vengeance on the King of Israel. A
Babylonian army entered Judah with fire and sword, sacked the city of
Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple and carried the people captive to Babylon. In
later years the attempt to free the Holy Land from oppression led to
assistance from virtuous progenitors of Masons who displayed valor and
fortitude in so pious an undertaking.
inspired others, the great and the good men of virtue and religion, to seek
initiation into the mysteries.
symbolism and teachings of our Scottish Rite come to us from across the
centuries. They go deep into ancient ages, thousands of years before the
medieval cathedral builders. Some detractors doubt this and would mark our
origins no farther back than the 18th century. But, we learn from Ecclesiastes
"there is no new thing under the sun." Long before Archimedes was born, the
ancients of Egypt applied the lever, the screw and the wedge in building their
monumental tombs and temples and great pyramids. Centuries before Galileo, the
intellectuals of Central America understood the focusing of lenses in tubes
for telescopes. And, according to Aristophanes, there were stores at Athens in
his day, 440 B.C., that sold microscopes known as "burning spheres." Four
thousand years before Christ was born at Bethlehem, the priests of temples
understood the art of vitrifying and molding magnificent specimens of glass,
including marvelous gem imitations worthy of the best we can produce today. As
far back as the eye can penetrate, these ancients were proficient in the
fields of iron and bronze, tools, weaving, music and drama, architecture and
sculpture, clocks and dials, medicine and surgery.
centuries before Christ, Amenemhat III built the mighty Labyrinth of Egypt
with over 3,000 chambers, many of which bore mystic symbols. Herodotus, the
historian, considered this more marvelous than the Pyramids, both of which he
had seen. The immense ruins of Karnak, a city within a city, part of the site
of ancient Thebes, show that the Cathedral of Notre Dame might stand in one of
the halls and not touch the ceiling. In Siam and Cambodia there are amazing
examples of ancient architecture and sculpture, including that in Nagon-Wat.
Thus the era of Osiris, Krishna, Buddha, Zoroaster, Orpheus, Moses, Pythagoras
and Jesus covers a historical span of great builders who used symbology as the
language of the elect.
in Central Park, New York City, there is an obelisk from Alexandria, Egypt. In
its foundation, dated 22 B. C., there were found the following: trowel, lead
plum met, rough rectangular stone, pure white cubical stone, stone trying
square, stone with a serpent border, stone showing the ancient Egyptian
cubical gauge, and some hieroglyphics similar to triangles drawn upon our
CHAPTER OF ROSE CROIX
KNIGHT OF THE EAST, OF THE SWORD OR OF THE
learn fidelity to obligation and perseverance of purpose under difficulties
and discouragement. He who endeavors to serve, to benefit and to improve the
world is like a swimmer battling against a rapid river which the winds lash
into angry waves. Often they roar over his head; often they beat him down and
back. Most men yield to the stress of the raging stream and are swept to the
shore or over the rapids. Only here and there do we find the stout heart and
the strong arms that will struggle on toward ultimate success. Masonry carries
on a crusade against ignorance, into
lerance and error. Sometimes, on the way to success, we stumble over the
indifference of our members and of the world. But we believe that God has a
personal interest in each of us; that He gave us an immortal soul imprisoned
for a time within our mortal bodies, and that the natural and instinctive
yearning for good will be rewarded. While we now cannot fully understand the
divine plan, we must have and express the faith that hereafter the light shall
shine and disclose all details.
next division of our Degrees, the Fifteenth through the Eighteenth, is
historical and religious. When the armies of Nebuchadnezzar attacked and
destroyed Jerusalem, some of the Jews escaped to Egypt. Later they returned to
Jerusalem and held a Council Meeting amidst the ruins of their beloved Temple.
A sentinel interrupted the meeting and reported the approach of a stranger. He
claimed to be an Adept and offered to prove this by giving and receiving the
Sacred Word. Satisfying the council, he identified himself as Zerubbabel. The
head of the council related to him the trials of the people, their longing to
rebuild the Temple and asked his advice. He volunteered to journey to Babylon
and intercede with King Cyrus for liberation of the Jews and permission to
rebuild the Temple.
Entering upon this assignment, Zerubbabel arrived at the Court of Cyrus and
made known to him his wishes. Cyrus agreed to grant the request if Zerubbabel
would impart to him the secret knowledge of King Solomon's Order. Zerubbabel
refused. Cyrus then tempted him with many offers-gold, freedom for the Jews,
permission to rebuild the Temple and personal honors. Zerubbabel re
again, whereupon Cyrus led him to the treasure chamber and showed there the
Sacred Vessels of the Temple. Zerubbabel still refused. Cyrus asked what would
save him from passing through the fire as punishment. Zerubbabel replied the
oath and honor of Cyrus as a king. Impressed with this reply and fidelity,
Cyrus decreed freedom for the Jews, permission for them to return to Jerusalem
and to rebuild the Temple and that the Holy Vessels should be delivered to
Zerubbabel, who was made a Prince of Persia and Ruler of Judah. In further
evidence of his esteem, Cyrus presented Zerubbabel with the golden collar of
the Median Order and gave him his own signet ring as a token of the authority
with which he was invested.
thus have an example of fidelity to duty in the steadfast refusal of
Zerubbabel to reveal the secrets. There was reason then and now for such
secrecy. Philosophic mysteries should be imparted only to those who have first
purified their minds so as to be receptive to the teachings. Otherwise, it is
like pouring clean water into a dirty well. The teacher himself might get
sprayed with the dirt.
tattered pages of history down through the ages tell many a miserable story of
appeasement and compromise. The bitter truth is that you cannot do business on
conciliatory terms with bandits, braggarts or bullies. Those who appeased
Genghis Khan were trampled under his forces as they swept out of the Orient.
Alexander the Great and Attila, King of the Huns, broke promises as they broke
nations. We have seen Mussolini and Hitler apply the patterns of diabolical
pressure and power and of deathly poison to peace-loving nations.
History also records that mankind has produced hundreds of heroes whose deeds
have stirred the nations: For example, our own Jacques DeMolay and the central
character in our Hiramic Legend. Socrates, as he puts to his lips the hemlock.
Jesus, as He suffers on the Cross. Luther, as he nails to the wall his 95
theses with the exclamation,
I stand, I can do no other. God help me. Amen." Thomas Hawkes of England,
fighter for religious liberty, sentenced to a fiery death at the stake for
refusal to recant, as he holds his hands in a prearranged signal to show his
friends that a martyr's death is bearable and to urge others to similar
action. Edmund Burke, as he champions before a hostile British Parliament the
cause of the American Colonies. Brave men, with not a hand trembling, as they
sign our Declaration of Independence. Lincoln, as he proclaims, "With malice
toward none and charity toward all." Robert E. Lee, as he exhorts the people
of the South to stay on the land and help rebuild and reunite the country.
Theodore Roosevelt, as he affirms to the world the American concept of
justice, of freedom, and of separation of church and state.
is an old Arab folktale about a caravan that once met Pestilence as Pestilence
was going on the desert way to Baghdad. The Arab chief of the caravan asked
Pestilence. "Why must you hasten to Baghdad?" Pestilence replied, "To take
five thousand lives." On the way back they met again. The Arab chief this time
was angry and said to Pestilence. "You deceived me. Instead of five thousand
lives you took fifty thousand." "Nay," said Pestilence, "five thousand I took
and no more. It was fear that killed the rest."
was a Sunday School hymn we used to sing:
to be a Daniel, Dare to stand alone, Dare to have a purpose firm, And dare to
make it known."
world today badly needs more Daniels. Thrown into a lions' den, the Almighty
saved him and his fellow captives and they became a power for righteousness in
the land. We do well to remember as a guide the great men who served so
selflessly and of whom it can be said, as Owen Meredith wrote: "That man is
great, and he alone, who serves a greatness not his own."
PRINCE OF JERUSALEM
Jerusalem's efforts to rebuild the Temple is a saga of fortitude that is of
special interest to us as Masons. While we no longer are so engaged, the
inspiring story does impress upon us that the world and all that inhabit the
globe as it speeds through space are part of God's Temple, and that we may
build and rebuild within ourselves a spiritual temple with lasting love and
peace and fill it with priceless treasures. In so doing, we use the emblem of
this Degree the trowel-to remind us of the ennobling effects of honest labor.
As we work to earn our daily bread, so we can work on our spiritual temple and
develop the virtues of patience and gentleness, the beauty of love, the
heroism of patience, the nobility of self-sacrifice, the exercise of
compassionate judgment and the dispensing of helpful charity, all as part of
the grandeur and power and glory of humanity.
action of this Degree is a continuation of the efforts mentioned in preceding
degrees when Zerubbabel and other Jews sought to complete the Second Temple.
The story is derived from opposition of the warlike Samaritans and other
neighboring nations. They repetitively launched attacks that seriously
interfered with the reconstruction progress and therefore each worker was
required to arm himself with a sword for protection and a trowel for
construction. The opposition also caused a steady stream of propaganda letters
to be sent Darius, King of Persia at Babylon, to alarm and anger him and cause
him to stop the Temple restoration.
incognito embassy of three, with four Knights of the East, therefore called
upon Darius to counter the opposition campaign and to end the attacks. They
beseeched his favor and protection. The King, sitting in the splendor of his
court, caused the Hebrew emissaries to be received in chains. Hearing the
presentation of Zerubbabel as Ruler of Judah, they were released from their
chains. Darius then issued a new Decree that any further interference with the
rebuilding would be punished by crucifixion. This effectively ended the
attacks. Zerubbabel thereupon established five judges to administer justice
and granted them the titles of Princes of Jerusalem and the restoration work
swiftly forward. On completion, there was a great gathering in Israel and the
law of Moses was fully expounded.
lessons from these events, we learn that any great undertaking requires steady
labor and a willingness to wield the sword in an active personal defense
opposition. We can meet life's challenges with courage. Today, man's main
concern is the conflict between the material and the spiritual, requiring a
rediscovery of those spiritual forces that animated our ancient Brethren.
progress of man, more durable than brass or bronze, has been his heroism, his
aspirations and his ideas, all of which are spiritual in nature. These have
been de veloped over millions of years, slowly taking shape. Our primitive
ancestors faced a desperately hard life. They lived in caves, in forests, in
wild hiding places among the hills. They had to fight day after day for their
very lives. Their enemies were wild animals, hostile fellow men, and the
furious forces of nature. In that struggle the individuals who lacked a will
to win or a capacity to conquer were annihilated. Only those men and women
with spiritual characteristics survived. From this selected group the next
generation sprang. Thus, through a process of successive selective survival,
human beings gained the qualities of conquest and the rewards of spiritual
is told an illustrative tradition of Michelangelo. Seeing a misshapen piece of
marble that other sculptors had cast aside as having no artistic value, he
exclaimed, "But it has within it an imprisoned angel and I must set it free!"
And he proceeded successfully to the task, producing a masterpiece.
Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard, once commented, "In reading the Bible,
one senses that God thinks of man in terms of giant expectations!" Neither God
nor Kierkegaard minimized our great potential, the giant expectations of which
we are capable.
KNIGHT OF THE EAST AND WEST
this Degree we pass from the individual to the general, and draw the name from
the combined thought of the Orient and the Occident. The Sect of Essenes,
which parallels Christianity, believed that truth was scattered among
different sects throughout the world. They taught that mans duty was to gather
and mold into a harmonious whole these fragments of divine revelation. At the
time of John the Baptist, all the ancient philosophical and religious
doctrines became intermingled through the invading conquests of nation upon
nation. Ever since recorded history, baffled man has tried to penetrate the
fact of creation in the related creeds and faiths that arose during his
progress. Thus we have the teachings of Philo, a Jewish Greek, the Zend-Avesta
stemming from provinces of Persia and India, and the Holy Kabalah with a
mysterious system of Judaic beliefs. Each sought to explain creation, how man
arose and how he acquired a divinity called a soul. We know the reasoning
process is augmented with a superior instinctive intelligence, and that
emanating from inferior sources there are inclinations and passions that
produce disorder but from which captivity man is ultimately able to free
Degree portrays the story that upon the return of the crusading Knights from
the Holy Land, they organized the Order of Knights Templar. In the year 1118
the first eleven Knights made their vows before the Patriarch Garinus. The
Knights of the East were those who remained in the East after the building of
the First Temple.
apocalyptic character of the Degree is described in the first chapter of the
Revelation of St. John. Some 4,000 Hebrews called Essenes lived in monastic
communes near the Dead Sea in the Palestine of John the Baptist before the
time of Christ. They were the ones who wrote and secreted the famous Dead Sea
Scrolls, were studious and hard workers, refused to make or use weapons, and
were skillec in the healing arts. Deeply conscious of the Deity, practicing
benevolence, they organized their communities intc four degrees, each with
Ceremonies of baptism, initiation and prayer wer( conducted in the approaching
dawn. Then, as described ii the book of Revelation, the seven seals were
broken, loos ing upon the world all the forces of evil. Yet, even so, we
reassured that some day these forces shall be overcome in a glorious victory
that will bring everlasting peace to those who believe in God.
conditions thus portrayed just before the appearance of Jesus included a
confluence of these remarkable events: Alexander had conquered the world. The
Greek language became a universal one by which thoughts could be exchanged
throughout the world. Barriers between nations were taken down and travel was
free and open. Ideas could be swiftly and easily transmitted. The Hebrew
dispersion had established organized groups all through the Roman Empire and
these were available as centers of growth for new doctrines. A new spirit of
religious toleration had emerged, breaking the rigid walls of the past.
true it is that freedom in a land leads to a release of human potential as it
moves forward, free from fear. Man then shows what man can do. Recall that it
was job of biblical fame who said, "For the thing which I greatly feared is
come upon me." Thoughts of fear act as magnets that may attract the very
troubles we are anxious to avoid.
Walter Dill Scott, eminent psychologist and longtime president of Northwestern
University, pointed out this truth when he wrote: "Success or failure in life
is caused more by mental attitudes than mental capabilities." If you have
confidence in yourself and in your potential abilities, you are armed with a
golden cloak of courage. For instance, a retail store owner did not think F.
W. Woolworth, who later founded the five and dime chain, had enough business
sense to wait on customers. He once hired Woolworth as a janitor for fifty
cents a day. Zane Grey, who gave us marvelous stories, tried to sell his book
manuscripts when he was still unknown. A publisher told him he had no ability
for writing fiction. Louisa May Alcott of Little Women fame was a tomboy. Her
fellow townspeople said she would never amount to anything. A publisher once
told her to give up the idea of writing. The first time George Gershwin played
the piano on the stage, he was
laughed out of the theater by both audience and fellow actors. Albert
Einstein's teachers and parents thought him backward. When Isaac Newton was in
school he was at the bottom, but one. Walter Scott was returned to his mother
with the statement that "Dunce he was and dunce he would remain." When Robert
Burns and his younger brother, Gilbert, were first sent to school, the
schoolmaster reported that Gilbert was witty and imaginative, but that
Robert's ear was remarkably dull and his voice untunable. Louis Pasteur was a
plodding student and when he graduated at the age of 20 from the Royal College
of Becancon, his rating in chemistry was only mediocre. Eisenhower showed
little promise of greatness at West Point, which was his second choice after
Annapolis ruled him ineligible. Scholastically he stood 61st in his class and
was 95th in deportment.
it is that a free people may establish and win their way in life and overcome
the challenges of apparent obstacles.
KNIGHT ROSE CROIX
Degree, interpreted as we wish according to our own credal convictions,
reflects the descent upon us of profound sorrow and darkness. The world is
under the sway of tyranny and evil. Yet, at times of such despair, we can call
upon two great motivating forces for relief-reason and faith. Reason deals
with that which is demonstrable, the tangible. Faith comes from within, the
intangible. We combine and express these in the cross and the rose. The cross
has been a sacred symbol from earliest antiquity and among many nations. The
rose signifies the dawn of the resurrection of life. Thus, we dispel the
darkness of evil with its fearful demons and tempting fallen angels and are
restored to the greatness and goodness of the Deity in the divine light of
revelation. We know that as life emanated from God so also we may realize its
continuance into eternity.
mandatory Degree reveals the light of fulfillment promised in prayers. The
pain, sorrow and evil loosed upon the world are overcome. Through the goodness
and supremacy of the Deity, we receive a glorious answer of hope, of faith and
of power. This is portrayed through the story of Jesus of Nazareth, although
there is no restriction on its application to those who are not of the
Christian faith. Instead, it is a great Degree of toleration, inviting men of
all creeds to find spiritual enrichment within its portrayal. It points up the
new Law-Love of God and of one's neighbor. The ideals and the spirit of Jesus
with his wonderful works inspire a love of the Deity, a love of "thy neighbor
as thyself." Certainly through His demonstrations we can know God and
story of Jesus with which we have been familiar since childhood is simple.
Born in the little town of Bethlehem, He spent his early years at Nazareth
and, at the age of 12, disputed doctors in the Temple at Jerusalem, showing a
precocious mind. Returning to Nazareth, He "increased in wisdom and stature."
He went from Nazareth of Galilee and John the Baptist baptized Him. Then,
after fasting in the desert, He commenced His own ministry, preaching in the
synagogues and about Galilee. He cured people of diseases, selected His
disciples and delivered upon a mountain the world's greatest oration, the
Sermon that is celebrated for its high moral and ethical content. This taught
the plain lesson of personal redemption through individual virtue, not group
adventures into starry-eyed economics. His arrest, farcical trial and
crucifixion from fears of the chief priests, scribes and elders, occurred as
is in Christ's gospel a rapport with many religions: Christianity, Buddhism,
Mohammedanism, Confucianism, Judaism, Brahmanism and others. They origi nally
arose from man's early fears of nature's forces. Gradual progress was made to
higher and more mature
concepts of freedom, of a release from fear. Hence, there is an ultimate
unanimity of belief that the great cause is the one God; that man partakes of
divinity in that God dwells within him; that this accounts for his inner
knowledge of right and wrong, and that this spark of the Divine can be
developed into a living and eternal flame.
who feel fear and irresolution and doubt within themselves will say: "It is
all very well to tell us that fear and worry are harmful and that they prevent
success. We know that. But tell us how we can conquer fear." Alexander the
Great found an answer in the reply of those he thought were his victims, the
Vikings. At the height of his power he summoned the Chiefs and asked them what
they most feared. He expected the usual slavish reply that the greatest fear
was his power. But no such answer came. Instead, looking the great conqueror
straight in the eye, they replied. "Of no man are we afraid." And Luther,
bound for his dangerous trial in Worms, stated, "If I had heard that as many
devils would set on me in Worms as there are tiles on the roofs, I should
nonetheless have ridden there." And remember the story of La Hire who,
suddenly finding himself face to face with a gigantic bear taller than
himself, with no weapon but a small knife, prayed aloud: "Lord, I do not ask
you to help La Hire, I ask you only not to help this bear." And he beat the
can say with the poet:
if I had the choice to don one Virtue as a cloak of gold,
would be the cloak of courage I would wear.
"Courage to speak when speech can help, The strength to leave unsaid the words
That passing anger tempts the lips to speak; Courage to fight when only death
fight so well that men shall see in death but victory. "
COUNCIL OF KADOSH
here concern ourselves with the influence of the past upon the present and
future. Consider how there live in our day the deeds of heroism, the thoughts
and the laws, the monuments of art, architecture and literature of ages gone
by. They uplift, govern and benefit us. Those responsible were not content
with a role and dim ambition as characters that would fade away in one
lifetime. Instead, they left a mark which would survive men's memories. This
is an instinctive, God-given impulse, found deep in the roughest of human
hearts, a sign of the soul's immortality, and it indicates the chasm between
the most elemental man and the wisest brute. A true Mason seeks ways in which
he may labor now so he will enlighten those of the future years. Posterity is
uppermost in his mind as he daily performs acts that will produce and endure,
advance and improve, for those yet unborn.
third division of our Degrees, from the Nineteenth through the Thirtieth, is
philosophical and chivalric.
Nineteenth Degree is the first of the Council of Kadosh Degrees and is
concerned with an examination of the apocalyptic mysteries of the new
Jerusalem. The stage setting represents twelve columns for the Twelve Tribes
of Judah, representative of all mankind. In the center, Jerusalem is in ruins,
beneath which is a three-headed serpent. This signifies the final destruction
of evil on earth and the forces of truth, honesty and charity crushing those
of error. In the background, descending from Heaven, is a beautiful city with
a wall of gold and in its midst a sparkling stream and the Tree of Life. This
is the new empire that requires no adornment or temple since within there is
Mason labors for the advancement and improvement of tomorrow's humanity. He
looks with instinctive impulse beyond his life to those who will succeed him
and yearns to outlast his own day and generation. He seeks survival in the
good done mankind, rather than the fading characters in men's memories.
the deeds of heroism, the monuments of art and literature, the labors of a
lifetime in the ministry, will uplift and influence future ages. Examples of
this abound in the towering monuments of Moses, Mohammed, Confucius, the
Barons of Runnymede, the Patriot Founders of our Nation. Men thereby set
themselves apart from mere ani116
and articulated the sureness of their belief in immortality.
great historian, Arnold Toynbee, has emphasized the importance to civilization
of the individual, of his spiritual characteristics, and of the dangers when
they are absent. He assured us that there is within each of us the divine
spark of creative power which can be enflamed toward the highest goals of
human endeavor. He ends with a little couplet from "Faust":
"At the whirring loom
Of time, unawed
I work the living
Mantle of God."
just as we can witness the dead leaves of winter turn into recurring rapture
of nature's renewal and rebirth of spring foliage, so we live again in the
beauty and festival of new lives adorned with the values and goals toward
which we have aspired for the betterment of mankind. Thereby, we can achieve
unfortunate is he who wanders in pursuit of vain ends, who fails to nourish
his inner life, and who succumbs to gloom and despair and fear as he refuses
to leave the darkness and walk into the mystical light of the Supreme Being.
He becomes a traitor to his faith, cheating himself and posterity of happiness
Mason who has received the Degree of the Pontiff knows that we are planting in
our lives today for future harvesting. There will unfold and mature an
inheritance of faith, of betterment and of brotherhood, like building a mighty
cathedral for those who follow. We transmit to others the focus of Masonry's
wisdom and its moral integrity and mission. We pass these to men who will
believe in a faith for the future and in the Brotherhood of Man under the
Fatherhood of God. How wonderful that man can venture beyond his sunset and
thus shape the destiny of millions yet unborn.
concern for the future leads us to aspire to perpetuate our strength of the
present. While that future is known only to God, we have built an enduring
foundation and structure that can have a profound influence in helping men
become better individuals and mindful of the moral law, with aspirations found
in our philosophy, achievements and humanitarian objectives for good will and
understanding. That is a firm base upon which the future can be built and thus
inspire men to greater nobility, loftier aims and enriched living.
MASTER OF THE SYMBOLIC LODGE
teach, man first must learn. This truism is of special importance in Masonry
for those who act as Masters of the Symbolic Lodges, leading an Initiate along
the sublime paths that end in a confluence of the ultimate truth. The lessons
uppermost in this Degree-Liberty, Fraternity and Equality-are examples of
those that require sufficient research, study and thought so as to impart them
properly. Similarly, the whole system of our moral, religious and
philosophical degrees requires for our special audiences the most profound
understanding in our own minds before we can hope to inculcate them into other
minds. For this purpose we recite parables and allegories, not always for
verity, but as vehicles of instruction and as useful illustrations. These
include those that indicate the struggles of the human mind in seeking answers
to insoluble problems, an infinite variety of efforts to comprehend the Deity,
the forces of nature, the existence of good and evil in an expanding universe.
this Degree you are asked to restore Masonry to its primitive purity. This
should be done as an instructor teaching the beauty of a simple machine,
rather than a complicated jumble. The original Masonic concept was that of an
organization with emblems, allegories and ceremonies that were easily
understood, and with a purpose and objective easily perceived. Confined to a
few degrees, it was religious and philosophical, worthy of a good citizen and
of an enlightened philanthropist. But innovators overturned this simplicity
into tired platitudes, lofty titles, pretended mysteries and an absurd
increase and mutilation of degrees. Over 1,000 were invented!
retain some of these titles, but to us they have meanings entirely consistent
with our Masonic teachings of equality. The Knight devotes his hand and heart
to Masonry and is the sworn soldier of truth. The prince is first among equals
in virtue and good deeds. The Sovereign is one of those who are all sovereigns
and he is supreme and first among equals only because of the law and
constitution he administers and by which he is himself governed. Titles such
as Wise and Venerable indicate the powers that those placed in high office
seek to attain. Other titles have esoteric meanings that the recipients
duty is to instruct your Brethren in the many important lessons, teaching the
qualifications of first among coequals, consistent with modesty.
Mother jurisdiction undertook the task of revising and reforming the work and
ritual of its degrees. The leading idea of each was retained and the
absurdities were rejected, thus making a connected system of moral, religious
and philosophical instruction. Dipping into the Hebrew and Christian books and
drawing from the ancient mysteries of Egypt, Persia, Greece, India, the Druids
and the Essenes, the legends of the Crusades and the ceremonies of knighthood,
all were used as vehicles to impress upon our candidates the great Masonic
truths. These embody the ageless essence of the ages, the immutable laws of an
was what Masonry was meant to be. It was not an organization to inculcate
criminal or wicked vengeance as punishment for the deaths of Hiram, Charles I
or Jacques DeMolay, but to teach great truths. We advocate Liberty, Fraternity
and Equality and we inculcate honor for the Deity, regard for all men as
Brethren, and labor for ourselves and society. Hence, our degrees may be
conferred in a truly universal fashion and throughout the world.
avoid plots and conspiracies against unfriendly governments, but recognize
that fitness for freedom must precede freedom itself as an axiom precedes a
corollary. So, we prepare men for freedom.
doing so, the Scottish Rite inspires men with enlightened reason, constant
wisdom and liberal philanthropy. That is what the Scottish Rite machine is
supposed to produce.
Zoroaster, the Persian philosopher, more than 3,000 years ago stated:
good, be kind, be humane, and charitable; love your fellows; console the
afflicted; pardon those who have done you wrong."
Confucius, the Chinese philosopher, repeated over 2,000 years ago:
thy neighbor as thyself; do not to others what thou wouldst not wish be done
to thyself: forgive injuries, forgive your enemy, Be reconciled to him, give
him assistance, invoke God in his behalf."
then, is the simple yet sublime Scottish Rite machinery, with gears smoothly
meshing and purring happily, that produces the Scottish Rite product. You
should keep the purpose of this production uppermost in mind, so you are not
mere machinery minders, but become instead machinery producers. To know is not
enough. We must also do.
organizations are so superstructured with committees, meetings, papers,
reports and studies they fail to achieve that which the whole array is
designed to bring forth. Parkinson pointed out that work expands so as to fill
the time available for its completion, regardless of need. There is some merit
in what a company with a spectacular record of success has adopted as a
guiding, albeit slang, slogan, namely, the letters KISS, standing for "Keep it
simple, Stupid!" That admonition becomes all the more important and pertinent
to us, having grown from modest dimensions to the stature of a mighty
fraternal machine. We must watch that growth does not result in needless
proliferation of activities or papers. We must channel activities into our
original purposes. There should be efficient and effective use of available
manpower, and as few potential problems as possible.
Examples worthy of emulation are the studies of management consultants that
challenge us to get more things done and yet conserve our energies, time and
OR PRUSSIAN KNIGHT
Arrogance is a crime and humility is a virtue. Modesty with our superiors is a
duty; with our equals, a courtesy; and with our subordinates, nobility. If you
look for the high and mighty you will find them mostly in common men. Examples
of arrogance are in publicly proclaiming the errors and faults of other men,
in smearing and debunking those who deserve lasting fame and admiration.
Public reproof, like shooting a deer in the herd, not only results in the
smell of blood but also incites his enemy, the jackal, to tackle the wounded.
Similarly, we see examples of cowardly assaults upon the rights of
others-reckless and willful slander, maligning men's motives, spreading
vicious lies. "A he travels faster than an eagle flies; while the
contradiction limps after it at a snail's pace." So, also, there are those
theorists who spawn pseudo philosophies that
to degrade into accidental occurrences the Deity's examples of omnipotence.
The true Freemason rejects man's arrogance, defamation and cowardice as
unworthy of a loyal Knight.
Degree derives from the Prussian Knights in France and presents a singular
history and character. We depart from the Temple of Solomon and trace our
story to the Tower of Babel. The Prussian Knights called themselves Noachites,
or Disciples of Noah, and designated other Knights as Hiramites, or Disciples
of Hiram. The destruction of the Tower of Babel is the story and a regulation
required that the Degree be portrayed each month in the night of the full
moon, with no artificial light in the Lodge room.
abandoned the original ritual and now represent the Vehmgericht or Westphalian
Frank Judges, who wrestled with crime problems and enforced inquiries with an
cient trial practices. These assumed that if any ordeal was forced upon the
accused, God would intervene and protect the innocent, thus settling the
issue. For example, guilt would be established by touching a murdered victim's
body and causing it to bleed; by eating a slice of blessed bread and cheese
and choking; by failure to carry red hot iron weights; by engaging
unsuccessfully in mortal combat. The latter was not repealed in England until
action of the Degree involves a knight, recently returned from the Crusades,
who found his lands and heritage stolen under a forged deed. He appealed to
the Frank Judges for justice and a secret midnight trial was
Successive ordeals were applied between the complaining knight and the
accused, all sustaining the charge. Hence, the deadly verdict of Vehm was
proclaimed against the wrongdoer and the rightful lands and possessions were
restored to the knight.
story thus supports man's belief in a Supreme Being and in His willingness to
sustain truth and right a wrong.
know there is evident order in the universe. We can understand this since our
mind can express mathematical abstractions of the way in which the world about
us will behave. Consequently, there must be some resemblance between our
powers of reason and the Powers of Creation, namely, God. Distant as God may
be from us, He has touched the great geniuses.
H. Compton wrote that the hypothesis of God gives a more reasonable
interpretation of the universe than any other theory. It is as legitimate to
hypothesize God as it is to do much of physics. Newton, one of the world's
greatest geniuses, joined by Millikan, Eddington and Jeans, believed that the
cosmos was the product of a creative intelligence.
Science may seem at times to scoff at orthodox religion. But if it cuts out
the errors and superstitions of the past, it also carries us forward into the
future. For example, astronomy may belittle our world as a mere speck
revolving around a third-rate star in one of the tinier galaxies, of which
there are millions. But mathematics and the law of probabilities restore the
perspective scale. For it is highly probable there exist many planets that are
alive with persons, cultures and technologies similar or superior to ours.
This outlook expands the horizon for religion. We are part of a vast
coordination of life throughout the universal cosmos that is an integrated
plan for creatures "formed in the image of God."
grant that we need a God who loves, hears and helps us. Such was the God of
Jesus. We can speak to Him
TWENTY FIRST DEGREE
will answer us. This need is expressed in prayer, which gives us strength to
bear our burdens and to long for hope. The results are more clear to those who
will shut out from their minds the worship of profit and of science, and the
tumult and confusion of modern life. Then it is that prayer can act, not only
on the logical, but also on non-logical activities and on our physiological
processes. It can cure organic diseases in an instant. We do not know how this
works, but we are constrained to admit the reality. Medical testimony
furnishes ample proof of supernatural healing.
search, therefore, should be for a God of love, not of reason. The mysticism
of our degrees contains guidelines for the search and furnishes the essence of
the difference between philosophical knowledge and that possessed by great
mystics. Our insistence upon the purgative, a purification of our senses and
the practicing of virtues, is the beginning of the journey-a journey toward
the indescribable and unknowable. Yet, the eventual discovery is a feeling
that is so strong and certain as to be real. The experience confirms the
supreme thoughts of theology and goes beyond Aristotle's teaching that God
cannot be seen, heard, smelled, tasted or touched. For today we must concede
the science of extrasensorial perception. Can it be said that God is beyond
man's reach if man can communicate with a human being remote in space or time?
It must follow that man is capable of religious experiences of profound
value of our Scottish Rite Degrees lies in a discovery of spiritual elements
that are of far more importance than the material environment in which man has
imprisoned himself. We know there is a world of spirit as well as a world of
matter. Even Napoleon conceded as a maxim: "In the long run, the spirit will
always conquer the sword."
KNIGHT ROYAL AXE,
PRINCE OF LIBANUS
Masonry, the working man and his associates are heroes in its legends and are
companions of kings. From first to last, Masonry is a great workshop of
industry that seeks to make good products for our day and future generations,
and where we venerate the Great Architect of the Universe. We commemorate the
building of a Temple. We use the well-known working tools of Masons and
artisans; we preserve the name of a worker in bronze and iron. When we meet in
official sessions we are at labor. The Master is our overseer who sets the
Craft at work and gives it proper instruction. All this is as sublime as it is
simple. Actually, we are building within ourselves, with creative mental
processes, a spiritual structure greater and more monu
than any work of marble, bronze or genius, pouring our thoughts into the molds
of improved character, better citizens and aspiring souls.
Degree centers in Libanus, or Lebanon. It records the memorable services to
Masonry of the "Mighty Cedars of Lebanon." The legend tells us that the
Sidonians were employed in cutting these trees for the construction of Noah's
Ark. Their descendants similarly cut cedars there for the Ark of the Covenant
and the descendants of these for King Solomon's Temple. Later, Zerubbabel
employed them for use in the Second Temple. They formed colleges on Mount
Lebanon and in their labors adored the Grand Architect of the Universe. A
secret sect of Druses, or Theists, still resides there and conducts mystic
action is set in a carpenter's shop on the slopes of Mount Lebanon. A highborn
Prussian Knight entered and sought the title of Prince Libanus. He supported
his peti tion with a tale of noble birth and of high rank. But the claim on
these grounds was rejected. He was told that first he must forego his title
and rank and personally earn the reward he sought through work symbolized by
the saw, the plane and the axe.
concept of labor is central in all Masonic instruction and emblems. We are a
Craft of work, we wear aprons of workers, and we are supervised by a Master
who draws upon the trestle-board the designs for work. Our basic
involves workmen of manual labor and also those skilled in the arts and
sciences and in allied fields of learning. It is a most profound truth of the
Scottish Rite that this umbrella of "work" covers all Masonic activity, mental
and physical, spiritual and material.
can be physical or mental. The manifest plan of the Deity calls for man to use
his faculties and abilities in every endeavor and to win rewards and true
happiness through lifelong activity and self-improvement. Such activity arises
out of energy, intelligence and character. Energy means activity. As has been
said, "A doer always comes to the front." John Burroughs once characterized
our Theodore Roosevelt as "doubtless the most vital man on the continent, if
not on the planet, today."
is a prerequisite stepping stone to success: Andrew Carnegie chose to earn his
own living at the age of 13, and "fairly panted to work." John Wanamaker, when
Postmaster General, amazed Washington, D.C., by going to work at 7:30 a.m.,
and at the age of 82 he was in his Philadelphia office from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Madame Curie recorded experiments "that were tedious, day after day." Horace
Mann, when asked how he succeeded, replied that it required constant, hard,
conscientious work and that in his opinion this, combined with praiseworthy
aims, was essential for permanent success. Beethoven would rise at daybreak,
seat himself at his writing table and continue unbroken labors, except for
dinner or brief excursions into the open air. Houdini is an example of one who
performed seemingly easy miracles, but that actually were preceded by
everlasting practice and arduous application. Brother Charles H. Mayo, 33°,
surgeon of Rochester, Minnesota, together with his brother, William, started
the famous clinic in a Masonic building and expended every ounce of energy and
effort for a perfect result. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, a protector of Masonry in
Turkey, in developing the organizational base for a new Turkey, worked at one
time for 48 hours at a stretch, exhausting one secretary after
another. John Wesley, the Methodist circuit rider who traveled on horseback
more than 250,000 miles-which equals ten times around the world-preached as
often as 15 times a week throughout 50 years. When over 80, he complained that
he could not read and work more than 15 hours a day!
exceedingly fortunate that within the orbit of our Scottish Rite there are
available to every member avenues galore for participatory action and help in
our humanitarian fields of charity; elevating men to a higher consciousness;
instructing toward a law-abiding, moral and enlightened citizenry; supporting
the great fundamentals of freedom, civil and religious liberty, free
enterprise and a government responsive to the people.
type of work turns inward worries, self-pity and idleness into avenues of
dynamic action with noble and God-blessed rewards.
CHIEF OF THE TABERNACLE
Ancient religious ceremonies consisted mainly of worship and private rites
called Mysteries. Only the Initiated could attend the latter. They, in turn,
were divided into the Lesser Mysteries dealing with basic virtues appropriate
for the masses, and the Greater Mysteries that were reserved for the more
enlightened or for royalty and that revealed the truths of the universe and
the omnipotence of the Deity. Years of practice of the most rigid virtue and
proof of the development of spiritual insight were required as conditions for
entry into the Greater Mysteries. The ceremonies were often held at night in
some secret place and portrayed a legend with sacred dramas as instruction.
The candidates usually were told to interpret the truths for themselves. These
included the great minds of the day, such as Moses, Plato and Pythagoras who,
in turn, taught others the essential doctrines. The same practice is followed
in Masonry. We teach with allegories and symbols,
permitting an Initiate to grasp as much as his mental capacity can acquire;
each Mason becoming adept to the extent that he studies for himself and
Degree commemorates the start of the Priesthood Order in Aaron and his son. In
dealing with the ancient Mysteries, it introduces the Lesser Mysteries. The
setting is the wilderness of Sinai at an encampment of the Twelve Tribes of
Israel. Tented in a great circle, the center is the tent of the Tabernacle.
Moses and Aaron head the action in which one of the Levites is Initiated into
the ranks of the guardians of the Temple. This symbolizes man's first step
into the knowledge of holy things and his entry into the Lesser Mysteries.
Mysteries never were revealed to anyone not considered worthy and
well-qualified. He must have been just, upright and true, possessed of a good
moral character and under the tongue of good report. To attain these rights
and ceremonies, the aspirant had to undergo a prerequisite test of worthiness
and qualification. Historical records tell us that when our learned and
ancient Brother Pythagoras presented himself for Initiation, he underwent the
most searching investigation during which he displayed great fortitude and
patience. He realized the sublimity and the grandeur of the profound
inside the mystic portals, a candidate had to pass through the most
penetrating and majestic ceremonies before being entrusted with a key to the
symbology. Then the veil was lifted and there were revealed to him the
ineffable glories. But first the effulgent light of the sanctuary blinded him
and he realized there is no instant revelation; instead, an understanding of
the sublimity and grandeur is achieved only in earnest meditation and study.
Such an approach finally filled him with marvelous admiration for the majestic
beauty and esoteric teachings of our illustrious Fraternity through the means
included the Level, signifying equality and the universal Brotherhood of Man;
the Square, for justice, hcnesty of purpose and fair dealing toward all; the
Plumb, for conquest of our lower animal nature and unerring rectitude; the
Mosaic Pavement, for human life, checkered with good and evil-the bright
square of hope and the black square of adversity-joy and happiness, sorrow and
esoteric teachings of the ancient Mysteries originated in prehistoric ages.
Indian, Ahura-Mazdean and Egyptian Hierophants taught a knowledge of science,
arts and philosophy derived from this wisdom. Linked to a common origin, they
also had an identical purpose of upbuilding humanity by means of the profound
truths. Those truths still run through all religions and philosophies. The
principle is imbedded in the secret doctrine of the Adepts and Sages of India
that there is an omnipresent, eternal, boundless and immutable creator's
principle back of all manifestations. We call this creator the Deity, the
Great Architect of the Universe. Further, the universal Brotherhood of Man as
part of the divine whole is basic to all ethics, and the great study of man is
man since then he comes to understand himself and his great potentials. Hence,
he comes to enlightenment with a clear comprehension of God and nature.
Scottish Rite is a lineal descendant of these teachings and has preserved and
maintained the knowledge and the wisdom of these ancient fraternities. They
gave to Greece her culture and refinement, and to Rome her civilization.
progress in the Scottish Rite teachings will depend upon the reality of our
vision. Goethe, the great German poet and ardent Mason, saw this with keen in
sight when he wrote, "Man seeks his inward unity, but his real progress on the
path depends upon his capacity to restrain from distorting reality in
accordance with his desires." He might have added, "and his fears."
brings to mind the famous prisoners-in-the-cave allegory of Socrates. Plato
said this explains man's condition. Some men are chained in a dark cave. A
blazing fire throws fearful shadows upon the wall. Thinking they are real,
they cringe in terror. But one man takes courage and decides to escape. He
fights his way through the darkness, enters the sunlight of the real world,
and is a free man. Then he goes back to share the discovery with his former
fellow prisoners. But they cling to their false assumptions, call him a
deluded fool and remain locked in their own little world of dread unreality.
today many times fails to emerge from his self-imposed prison of despair and
hostility. Our Scottish Rite teaches a way out toward the enlightened sunlight
of true identity and to a realization that the Kingdom of Heaven is within us.
PRINCE OF THE TABERNACLE
considered worthy enough for receipt of the torch of the Mysteries, an
aspirant must have given evidence of compassion, piety and justice. After
Initiation he was required to manifest faithfully the social virtues in order
to receive the rewards, such as participation in the ceremonies. The use of
symbols, the universal language of ancient theology, was an essential vehicle
of Mysterious Communication. A progressive series sought to recall to man his
divine origin and how ultimately he might return. He was made aware of his
identity, the nobleness of his creation, the grandeur of his destiny, and his
superiority over the animals. Indeed, as we speculate today upon the enigmas
of nature, we find the ancients anticipated our ideas. The most profound of
their thoughts were imbed
secretly and deep within symbols which they used more eloquently than words to
express the sublime ideas that struggled for release as they contemplated the
great circle of phenomena-Birth, Life, Death, Resurrection, Eternity, God.
setting and scene of the preceding Degree are continued in this one. Moses
presides over a Lodge, called a Court, in the desert encampment. The Greater
Mysteries are about to be conferred upon a candidate who will become a priest
among the Tribes of Judah. First, there is purification as taught in our
degrees. The basic forces of nature-fire, water, earth and air- are used for
this purpose. Then there follow symbolic death and resurrection amid recitals
from many legends of Osiris, Brahma, Dionysus and others. Finally, the
substance of the Greater Mysteries is imparted.
Originally, these ceremonies, unlike those of the Lesser Mysteries, were
surrounded with the greatest secrecy and were conferred in places such as
underground vaults or caverns, within pyramids, or in deep groves, and usually
were presented and conducted at midnight. Terrors and dangers of a very real
character beset the candidates at every turn. Symbolic death was followed by
blinding lights in magnificent surroundings. The candidates became acquainted
with what was then known of the sciences, astronomy and the arts; were given
keys to the secret system of hieroglyphics; were taught the double and
sometimes triple meanings of symbols; were made aware of the exis
of one Supreme Deity, and given a basic belief in the immortality of the soul.
as the possession of this knowledge gave to leaders, kings and priests a
commanding position over the uninformed masses, so to a lesser but nonetheless
real extent today the knowledge of these spiritual truths we impart to a
Scottish Rite Mason invests him with possibilities of leadership over his
fellow men. He bears also for this reason a personal responsibility for the
moral and spiritual uplift of his country and for leadership toward true
liberty, dignity and brotherhood among all mankind.
must be apparent that the Blue Lodge or Symbolic Degrees cannot explain the
whole of Masonry. They are the foundation, just as the first three rules of
arithmetic precede the science of numbers or mathematics, and as the few basic
notes in our musical scale are the source for combinations that produce
compositions of the masters. An Initiate may imagine he understands the
ethics, symbols and enigmas, whereas a true explanation of these is reserved
for the more adept. That is why the first Three Degrees of Masonry have been
described as "broken columns of a ruthless Druids' Temple in their rude and
earnest Mason and student knows that in the Scottish Rite he can glimpse the
symbolism, the parables and allegories, the grand achievements, the knowledge
of the sublime and profound truths and philosophies that have descended from
the most wise of the past through the Greater Mysteries. These traditions
return us to remote ages of antiquity, far before the dawn of prehistoric
civilization, long beyond the time that hieroglyphic inscriptions were written
and veiled from the profane upon tombs and temples in the Valley of the Nile.
This ancient wisdom, as taught in the Scottish Rite, was the well-spring of
Masonry that has flowed down to us in a great confluence from many areas of
Danish mystic, Soren Kierkegaard, in his day also urged everyone to seek
similar self-discovery. He said, "The amazing ultimate is when a man can truly
say, 'I have become myself!' "
Socrates spoke of this same tremendous principle in this simple guide, "To
find yourself, think for yourself." This practice of reliance on self rejects
the folly of demanding what another must do. A true self is possessed of an
inner security that is free from compulsive desires and illusion-living. It
does not grab excessively for personal approval nor wallow in regrets of the
past's memories or the future's anticipations. It seeks instead a state of
self-observation, free from egotistical strains and struggles for the
happiness it thinks others can supply, such as artificial stimulations, busy
activities, wealth, social or business climbing. Then, surprisingly, rather
than bitter despair, disappointing pursuits, past regrets or future fears, the
atmosphere of true independence and freedom of mind results in real happiness
and effortless self-fulfillment.
KNIGHT OF THE BRAZEN SERPENT
tackle here the concept of the pure, celestial, eternal soul of man. It is a
belief of great antiquity that the soul existed before union with our bodies;
else, argued most philosophers, how could the soul exist after the body if it
did not exist before and independent of the body. Such was the teaching in the
Mysteries. The serpent was regarded with reverence in olden days as the author
of the fate of souls. In coil, with head erect, it was used in the royal
ensign of the Pharoahs and was consecrated in the ceremonies and the Mysteries
and by the Hebrews and the Gnostics. In rituals of the Bacchus Saba-Zeus, the
serpent was flung into the bosom of the Initiate. We of the Scottish Rite
teach with vigor the lessons of many philosophies and religions, recognizing
the unanimity of aims, ideals and moral lessons, especially a similar mystical
symbolized the descent of the soul into the infernal regions and then its
resurrection to the grandeur of light, truth and perfection.
history of this Degree is founded upon the story in Numbers XXI:6-9. The Lord
sent fiery serpents among the rebellious Israelites and caused them to repent
their sins and ask Moses to intercede. He prayed and was told to put a fiery
serpent upon a pole and that those who looked upon it, when bitten, would
live. So he made a serpent of brass, set it upon a pole and every person who
looked on it, when bitten, was saved from death.
action is in a desert camp of the Israelites among the neighboring Ishmaelites,
who were Arabs and descendents from Abraham through his son, Ishmael, and his
handmaiden, Hagar. The candidate passed through the houses of the earth,
planets, sun, moon and light. In the course of so doing, he succeeded in
achieving personal betterment. Then there was revealed the Old Testament
symbol of a "brass serpent" upon a tall column.
again reminded that the Mysteries taught the doctrine of our divine nature,
the nobility of the immortal soul and the grandeur of its destiny. The serpent
was used among the symbols. In some quarters the reptile was considered the
author of the fate of souls. In the Mysteries of Bacchus and Eleusis, it was
consecrated. It is found in Mithraic monuments and was used in the royal
Pharoahs. It was as often a symbol of malevolence and evil, according to
Hebrew writers and in the Indian and Persian mythologies. Every devout
follower of Zoroaster was obliged to exterminate serpents.
know that repentance for sins committed possibly may prevent a repetition, but
it never will redeem what has been done. The relentless hand that smites us is
our own. The offense and the punishment are the same in the domain of eternal
justice. He who wrongs another only, in fact, injures himself. He sinks the
dagger into his own heart. But we still have under our control the remedy of
evil, and the increase of good. We can implement the powers of love, purity
and spirituality. This Degree is therefore philosophical and moral, teaching
not only repentance, but also reformation. It is devoted also to an
explanation of symbols of Masonry, especially those connected with the ancient
and universal legend of death and restoration of life. A deeper meaning is
that the rule of darkness and evil is only temporary and that light and good
shall be eternal.
must sow carefully, therefore, if we would reap a harvest of happiness. Our
Philosophical Degrees impart-and each of our degrees from the First to the
Thirty-second teach by ceremonial and instruction-that the noblest purposes
and duties of man in life are to struggle and overcome and win mastery over
the material and sensual, to reach the spiritual and divine within himself.
There is in him, as in the universe, God's harmony and beauty and equilibrium.
This laudable aim requires a knowledge that man is possessed of a spiritual
nature-an eternal soul advancing ever nearer and nearer to perfection and the
light of the Divine Presence-He of omnipotence and omniscience-infinite in
power and wisdom and mercy, with love and infinite pity for the frail and
imperfect creatures of His creation.
we have dealt with the Lesser and Greater Mysteries that have come down to us
over the long centuries
ancient times, the truths they impart are as pristine pure and as timely to us
as our modern civilization. We can look at the creative purpose behind the
universe in many ways, rejecting idolatry, superstition and infantile
fantasies. We can refuse to believe in a capricious Deity that metes out
favors and punishments according to rules and regulations. The Scottish Rite
does not insist upon following man-made dogmas as a necessary step toward
eternal salvation. Our teachings are relevant to contemporary problems and to
our social and moral obligations.
stress that it is God who gives us good, freedom, love, reason, moral choice
and identity. Those are things for which we can ask and pray. They are
synonymous with God if we condemn evil and strip from all religions their
orthodox tenets, legends, allegories and dogmas. And, since religions proclaim
the Omnipotence of God, so also are the basic characteristics omnipotent that
are synonymous with God. A definition of omnipotence may be "the infinite,
unlimited source of all power."
follows then that if we have faith in those basic characteristics of God, if
we reflect them in our lives, and if we think those thoughts and exclude from
our conscious ness the opposite, we have within us an infinite, unlimited
source of power. This requires conscious rejection of the opposites, a
blotting-out from the mind of despair, forebodings, self-pity, fear and
anxiety, and filling the vacuum with thoughts of harmony, health, perfection,
faith and courage.
world this would be if all nations would practice that philosophy. We would
have achieved a true New Age. No more wars, no more crime; Brotherly Love and
life would be lived in all God's glory. That age was foreseen when Henry James
told us in his autobiography:
half the power that fills the earth with terror,
half the wealth bestowed on camps and courts,
to redeem the human mind from error, There were no need of arsenals or forts."
Perhaps the stars in transition have a message for us, as the world plunges
through space into the Age of Aquarius. The astronomers point out that the
celestial motion of our galaxy completes an orbit every 26,000 years. This can
be divided into twelve divisions, or some 2,100 years of space. These events
are related to Masonry. We celebrate the feasts of the equinox and of the
solstice. Our altar is in the East. Lights, furniture and symbols refer to the
in mind, as Einstein demonstrated, that matter and energy are interchangeable,
so that actually everything is material or vice versa, we know that the new
division we are entering will bring new energies. These may have tremendous
effects upon us, our civilization and our earth, just as sunspot cycles are
related to weather changes and economic cycles.
Wells, in his novel, "In the Days of the Comet," told of a world beset with
warfare, treachery and intrigue over which a mysterious comet discharged a
gigantic green cloud. It put everyone on earth into a strange sleep. Then they
awoke to an encouraging change. Anger and mistrust were gone. In the calm of
genuine human understanding, soldiers threw down their weapons and, in the
fullness of peace, greeted as friends the former objects of hatred. So, also,
an eventually awakened mankind will reject material ambition for a conquest of
self in the new age of happiness.
Diogenes and Thoreau, each in his day, were exponents of the contented life.
Diogenes declared "you lose the elusive object of your search when you
scramble for the luxurious life." One day Alexander the Great went to where
huge crowds were waiting to hear him speak. But Diogenes stayed home. Noting
the absence, Alexander asked, "What can I do for you?" Diogenes replied, "Just
one thing. Stand aside; you are blocking my sunlight."
PRINCE OF MERCY
things are beyond our jurisdiction. For example, we do not say to a Moslem
that whether he believes in the divinity of Mohammed is subordinate to his
belief in but One God. We do not call a Hebrew a heretic because he refuses to
believe the Messiah was born in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago. We do not say to
Christians that Christ was a mere man, whose life story is only a revival of
similar older stories. To do any of these things would be irreverent. We utter
no such words. We respect all credal beliefs that do not desecrate the Deity.
Masonry belongs to no one sect, no one religion, no one age, no one man. It
encompasses and reverences the truth of all. That is why it blossoms into
beauty and greatness when tended with an understanding and tolerant touch.
Masonry is an exciting treasure chest that can be opened by those who seek the
perceptive wisdom, the artistry of divine fire, the pleasure of compass
sionate companionship. The human structure is brought into the Temple of the
Infinite Spirit while conceding that finite man cannot fully fathom the
infinite structure. But zest for the search is coequal with the rewards of the
trinity of God's attributes-wisdom or intelligence, force or strength, harmony
Degree treats of God's Tripled Covenant of mercy- with Abraham by
circumcision, with the Israelites in the wilderness by the intervention of
Moses, and with all mankind by the death and suffering of Christ. We primarily
are taught the importance of truth and we focus attention again on the Greater
Mysteries as practiced during earliest Christianity.
scene of action is set late at night in a meeting of Christians deep within
catacombs under Rome, for the Emperors were cruel and persecuted them. There
is in progress a conferral of the final degree of Faithful.
early church was divided into three degrees. The Novices, known as auditors,
were prepared to receive instruction. Next were those that were called
Catechumens, who had received part of the learning, or had received
instruction and training and were awaiting baptism. Then there were the
Faithful, who had been given the full knowledge, had been baptized and who
participated in the communion service of bread and wine. It is obvious that
this progression parallels the phases of Revelation in the Ancient Mysteries.
lesson deals with man's groping for understanding of himself and of the
universe in which he dwells and by which he is surrounded, and of his relation
to the Deity.
actual knowledge is minute, but he knows there are forces other than material.
Hence, he aspires toward an understanding of the spiritual and of his true
search for truth, all too often man becomes embroiled in disputes about dogma
instead of centering upon the substance of the One Supreme Being, His superior
permanence, the immortal aspects of man's soul and his inherent impulse toward
a revelation of the great truths.
Masonry disbelieves no truth and instead reverences all the great teachers of
morality. It is beyond our purpose to decide among conflicting claims that
beset the followers of Moses, Confucius, Zoroaster, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed
and others. We do reject any attempt to lower or degrade the Deity, or to deny
man's glorious destiny or to countenance immorality or to evade the duties our
Fraternity enjoins upon its members.
Masonic workshop is one in which all men may explore the mystery of the first
cause, God; may express through our feeble human comprehension a wonder in the
forces of the universe such as love, goodness, wisdom, mercy, justice and
benevolence; may pierce the firmament with our most powerful telescopes and
see spheres in motion, spinning through infinite space with inconceivable
rapidity-millions of suns, each with its own retinue of worlds and so distant
that their light travels for centuries upon centuries before it reaches us. We
simply say that God speaks in the soul of every man that lives and in all
creation, in the stars, the trees, the wind, the earth, the whisper of the
pines and the murmuring of the brook, in the light of love and in the song of
birds and in the laughter of man. Perhaps thousands or millions of years will
go by before we truly find the secret between our spirit and our body.
Survival of the spirit after death always has intrigued man. If we consider
our spirit as an emanation of our brain, analogous to light produced in an
electric bulb, then it is separate and separable. When the bulb is
continues onward in an unending travel through space. Astronomers can
photograph, for example, the arrival of light that has been emitted by stars
long dead, perhaps four hundred million light years. We can, therefore, assume
that spiritual energy of our brain radiates into regions far beyond space and
time and also continues in existence following our death.
Einstein was 70 and living in Princeton, he had a poignant exchange of
correspondence with an ordained rabbi. The rabbi had a young daughter he
sought to com fort over the death of her sister. No solace was found on
traditional religious grounds so recourse was made to the scientist. Einstein
wrote in reply, "A human being is part of the whole, called by us 'universe,'
a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and
feelings as something separated from the rest-a kind of optical illusion of
his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to
our personal desires and to affection for persons nearest to us. Our task must
be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to
embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is
able to achieve this completely. But the striving for such achievement is in
itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security."
KNIGHT COMMANDER OF THE TEMPLE
Degree revives the old knightly spirit of duty and worship of truth. There was
a time when a knight would die rather than utter an untruth or profess an
opinion for the sake of mere expediency, profit, or fear of worldly disfavor.
He would not color or pervert the sayings or acts of other men; would not
speak or argue insincerely nor soil his fair escutcheon under any pretext. All
this he would observe whether in or out of his Chapter. Despite all our
idealistic endeavors, philosophies of wisdom and restraint and sublime and
exalted meditations, there are times and events that call for aggressive
action, displays of strength and indomitable will to victory in battles which
must be waged to support the virtues we proclaim. Our lives should scorn the
base and selfish, and make manifest the
knightly attributes of character and charity, truth and honor, rather than be
examples of accumulations of wealth and worldly power. This is practical
Masonry in action, as when we perform our duties to the poor and helpless, the
weak and unhappy, the distraught and infirm.
Degree revives the old knightly spirit of chivalry, regard for the virtues in
which we believe, and the steadfast defense of duty.
action concerns an applicant for knighthood in the Order of Teutonic Knights
of the House of Saint Mary of Jerusalem, founded about 1191. The applicant
underwent tests and ceremonies and, in accordance with ancient requirements,
was posted on guard before the altar. He was given strict warning that
desertion would disqualify him. There then occurred successive temptations for
him to abandon his post. He rejected love, defense of his castle, and dire
danger to his church. Unexpectedly, a real and furious enemy assault was
launched against the city. The outcome was perilously close and apparently
only the knight's fighting leadership could rally the defense. The knight
applicant realized the terrible danger to the inhabitants, so he unselfishly
abandoned his ambitions, seized his arms, and led the defenders to victory.
This was recognized, however, as a sacrifice of self for others and, as a
reward, he was knighted and received the deserved title of "Commander of the
Scottish Rite-the strong right arm of Masonry that wields aloft the flaming
sword of truth-has labored to
humanity its birthright of freedom of thought, freedom of speech and a free
government, to overcome tyranny, injustice and usurpation, and to smite the
despotism of a despot. The betterment and upbuilding of the human race are the
duties of every Mason in the spirit of a knight's selflessness. This does not
mean we should lose our lives when the loss would effect no good result.
Rather, we should help our fellow man, sacrifice our personal comfort and
desires and help him ascend onto a higher plane of spiritual enfoldment so he
may understand himself. As Epictetus wisely said: "Be not diverted from your
duty by any idle reflections the world may make upon you, for its censures are
not in your power and consequently should not be any part of your concern."
good to all men. Try to remember that the human race is one great family of
which you are a part. Every true Knight of our Scottish Rite labors for the
good of his Brother so as to benefit him mentally and morally, teaching that
he should practice humility, patience, charity and self-denial, but never
submit to oppression, injustice or usurpation, to spiritual tyranny or
Throughout its inspirational history, the Scottish Rite of the Mother
Jurisdiction has been a champion of the rights of the people, teaching,
practicing and inculcating among all men a knowledge of truth, striving to
free them from animalistic passions and from ignorance, bigotry, intolerance
and spiritual slavery. There the true knight sounds the bugle and draws his
reminded also that life is not a meadow for meditation. Instead, as Horace
said: "All virtue is a struggle; life is not a scene of repose but of
requires energetic action. Similarly, Masonic responsibilities require Masonic
action, the kind that I have called "Shirt-sleeve Masonry." By this I mean the
practical application in our daily lives of those principles which we are
taught in our Lodges.
Charles Dickens said: "Possibly we might even im
the world a little, if we got up early in the morning and took our coats off
to the work."
is "Shirt-sleeve Masonry." Taking off our coats to the work, instead of
indulging solely in vague or mystical contemplations. Let's take off our coats
to the work. Let's do some real live, day-by-day, down-to-earth, practical
considering that we of the Scottish Rite are doers as well as thinkers, bear
in mind what Professor William James of Harvard University said:
"Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together;
and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the
will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not."
KNIGHT OF THE SUN, ADEPT
love for God can be made manifest in our love of Truth, Justice and Nobility
of Soul. These forms can comprise a mighty confluence of the universal act of
total piety. We are continually and forever in and out of great forces of
God's vast universe. We also come face to face with the Infinite Deity when we
confront God's thought as we attain a truth; when we discover God's rule of
conduct as we learn the right; or when we partake of God's feeling as we
experience disinterested love. These were taught in ancient religions but we
could not hope to complete a study of these even if we devoted an entire
lifetime to the task. Long before the pyramids of Egypt or the Sacred Tower of
Babylon, ancient man worshiped the sun and its planets, as well as fire, light
and heat as symbols and outward signs of the Supreme Being or Intellect.
is a Kabalistic and Hermetic Degree of the greatest antiquity, dealing with
the primal matter of all things. The allegory is man in search of truth. It
teaches a philosophic design for a doctrine of natural religion as part of the
accordance with the philosophic approach, there are seven stations
representing planets that anciently explained the passage of souls between
heaven and earth. We learn that creation brings opposing forces of equilibrium
and harmony. Thus, the hammering blows of adversity are useful for the
development of character. Another presentation is the belief of the old sages
that what we see in this life are reflections of things that exist in the
invisible spiritual world. Hence, similar life after death was assured. Nature
also was commended for study and for finding there the characteristics of the
Deity. Then, as we learned previously, faith is taught as the miraculous lever
that can move humanity. Once you have grasped and believe this concept of
faith in an All Powerful Creator, you have a shield which forever will deflect
combine in a belief of the Great Architect of the Universe, the Infinite,
Incognizable, One Eternal God. Our teachings, however, are not sacramental. We
say that crea tion is the manifestation of God. Everyone is entirely free to
inquire for himself into the methods. Space symbolizes this idea of divinity.
It is boundless, infinite, unfathom
unknowable. But it is. So, also, man is. God is not deduced from nature but
nature is derived from God. The stability of nature is coequal with His
unchanging presence therein.
can conceive an imperfect concept of the Deity according to his own
conscience, insight, mental calculation and powers. One man's intellect can
grasp a higher image than can that of another. The Indian of the American
plains made his devotions to the Great Spirit. The Chinese will know the law
of love that Lo Lao-tze taught centuries before Christ was born, and will
believe in our similarity of truths. Some civilized men formulate special gods
to speak to suit their spiritual needs and to endow them with personal
attributes. But as the mind rises above social traits, so there is experienced
something grand, sublime and ennobling that senses an underlying divinity in
all things. While contending creeds assert claims to the exclusive possession
of truth, Masonry inculcates its belief that there is One God, Creator and
Preserver of the Universe under eternal laws; that He breathed into man the
breath of life and immortality; that man can do evil or choose good and is
responsible for his acts and subject to punishment for his sins; that all
wrong and suffering are temporary discords of the great harmony that will ring
out in a final great harmonic chord of truth, love, peace and happiness.
simply impossible for the finite to understand fully the spiritual infinite.
Man searches and struggles for spiritual realization, like Sisyphus, the cruel
king of mythology who was condemned to roll the rock forever almost to the top
of the mountain in Hades, only to see it roll back again. Whether a positive
truth of the spiritual is attained by reason or revelation, it impinges upon
the human mind only to the extent that the finite human intelligence is
capable of receiving. We do believe in and know the greater truths, the
infinity of space, and the spiritual nature of the soul from the One God. But
the full idea and details of that infinity and spirituality must elude us in
unless our finite conditions or powers of revelation are improved.
assured also that as we proportionately contribute thought, energy and action
in accordance with the rule of right which the Supreme Intelligence has
prescribed, so will we promote our happiness and fulfill the purpose of our
existence. He who does this is imbued with a new life, partakes of the eternal
harmonies, and is more truly under the influence of a higher wisdom.
search for ultimate truth, man might well ponder the words of Polybius, the
"Truth, by her own unadorned charms, forces herself into the heart of man; she
at last bursts forth in dawning splendor and conquers by her innate force."
SCOTTISH KNIGHT OF SAINT ANDREW
days of old, the knights held virtue, truth and honor the greatest qualities
of personal character. Love of God, loyalty to superiors, faithful adherence
to promise, and active resistance to unfair judgment were steadfastly
observed. Traditions and folk songs and tales of knightly performance of long
ago are the foundation stones of national character. We can form into beacon
lights the glorious achievements of our ancestors for shining inspiration
toward our efforts today. The Cross of St. Andrew always has been the emblem
of humility, patience and self-denial and, even more than these, that of
charity and forbearance for the weak, the poor and the helpless. Duty includes
that of superiors. With assumption of power there come oblige
and duties. To maintain supreme power one must learn the responsibilities of
great power. A good man can captain a ship but a better man can capture
this Degree we examine what originally was a Scottish Degree which King Robert
Bruce created for the Knights Templars in 1314 following the Battle of Ban
nockburn. Their Order had been destroyed in 1307, its properties and
possessions confiscated, and their leaders killed. Some had fled to Scotland
and, joining the army of King Robert, fought and helped defeat an invasion of
Scotland by King Edward II of England. As a result of this bravery King Robert
created the Order of St. Andrew of Scotland into which they were received. The
Scottish Degree was later incorporated into the Scottish Rite, following its
action of the Degree illustrates that extreme secrecy is necessary when
ruthless opponents throughout the world seek to destroy Masonry. The candidate
presented himself for admission as a Knight of St. Andrew, but was met by
officials who declared they represented the Holy Inquisition. They charged him
with being a Mason. This he admitted. Then they demanded that he renounce
Masonry and name his associates and superiors. This he refused to do, even
when he was sent to the rack for torture. Finally he was released and his
challengers revealed they actually were Knights in disguise, testing the
applicant's loyalty. Left to guard a banner during the night, armed only with
a sword and forbidden to seek aid unless three or more attacked him, he was
set upon by three, fought them and defended the banner. His Brother Knights
relieved him and accepted him as a member. The qualities of knighthood were
expounded to him, including the virtues of high-mindedness in adversity,
openheartedness in connections, generosity in honor, superiority in courtesy
and firmness in manly honesty.
understandable why this Degree sometimes is called the Patriarch of the
Crusades. Chevalier Ramsay first promulgated the mythical legend in his famous
oration wherein he described the experiences of Masons in a society of knights
building Christian churches in Palestine. The Saracens sought to prevent the
execution of this purpose, which caused the knights to institute secrecy and
security measures. When the Saracens finally became too strong to be resisted,
the knights moved to England where they cultivated architecture and the fine
Toleration of religion is a central lesson of this Degree. Masonry tolerates
all religions that observe its basic principles and asserts that no mere man
may dictate what another shall believe. Freedom of thought is essential for
mans exercise of free will. We say that all men have a right to judge the
claims and evidence of so-called truths that religious creeds put forth. Then,
if investigations satisfy the tests of veracity and of proof, it is truth for
them. A man's faith belongs to himself alone, as part of the world he makes
for himself. He is free to think and reason for himself without opposition
from any source. This includes lifting himself onto a higher plane of
spiritual unfoldment and thus dominating any animalistic propensities. He has
conquered himself when he subdues the animal within himself and has learned to
control his passions and improve himself in Masonry.
trace our historical journey from remote periods, we should bear in mind there
are four ways in which we can look -backward, inward, upward and for ward.
Looking backward is retrospective. It is extremely
valuable for the virtues we have been taught and the inspiration we gained for
the future, but if it is too dominant a stance we tend to immobilize ourselves
for appropriate action in the present. As one wit observed, "Some people have
been looking back to the 'good old days' ever since Adam's fifty-first
inward look is introspective. This also has value, if not excessively
indulged. Saroyan wrote a parable of a modern viola player who, day after day,
played his instrument, sounding only the same, single note and none other.
Finally his long-suffering wife gently suggested that other players had a
broader range of notes and melodies. But the indignant reply was: "Of course,
other viola players sound many notes. They are looking for the right one and I
have found it!" We obviously must sound more than one note.
Freemasonry we are concerned mainly with the upward and forward looks. The
ruling cynic at one point of the French Revolution asked a peasant, "What will
you do when we tear down your churches?" The reply deserves immortality: "We
still have the stars!" And so we of the Scottish Rite live primarily in the
present, but press forward and upward, instructed and inspired by the past.
KNIGHT KADOSH OR KNIGHT OF
THE WHITE AND BLACK EAGLE
the most important of the great Degrees, this one reminds us that there is
life in the death of martyrs of history, since they live in the hearts and
minds of their followers. Every Mason who has attained the Thirtieth Degree
should reread the inspirational stories of the Order of Templars. Similarly,
the esoteric teachings of Masonry must be studied diligently and continually
to be appreciated. Formed in 1118 after the First Crusade, the purpose of the
Order of Templars was to guard pilgrims to the Holy Land. Kings and Popes
supported the military Order of noble fighting men, and it became so vastly
wealthy and powerful that Philip IV (the Fair) of France coveted its riches.
He conspired and entered into devious plots with ambitious priests in high
places, destroyed the Order, confiscated its properties and burned at the
stake its Grand Master, Jacques DeMolay, for refusal to violate his vow and
the secrets of the Order. Political tyranny and spiritual despotism are as
real now as then. We must continually combat arbitrary and unscrupulous power
that keeps the people in the chains of ignorance.
is one of the mandatory Degrees that humanizes the old lesson of vengeance.
The candidate vows in the solemn presence of death that he will oppose
spiritual despotism and political tyranny. The qualifications required for a
Kadosh are made evident to the Frank Judges. Finally, honoring the memory of
the last Grand Master of the Knights Templars, Jacques DeMolay, symbolic
action is taken to spurn all attempts of any church or state to crush man's
liberty, lessen his freedom, or degrade and detract from his worship of the
supreme spiritual power of his choice.
Masonry long has used the great inspirational story of Jacques DeMolay to
illustrate its truths. It brings to dramatic emphasis the greed of Philip the
Fair of France and his jealousy of the Templars' rising powers. Philip
secretly conspired in a scheme to elect Pope Clement, who consented to a then
undisclosed condition. After Clement's election, and to his reported horror,
the condition was revealed as the destruction of the Templars. But Clement
nonetheless acquiesced in this cruel demand. DeMolay, as the Grand Master and
leader, was arrested and steadfastly refused to reveal the identities of his
fellow Templars or
secrets of the Order. The heroic DeMolay, imprisoned for years, finally was
burned at the stake without betraying his vows.
uphold, defend and safeguard the ringing declarations of American freedoms so
we may transmit to posterity its great constitutional guarantees of justice,
liberty and a democracy clothed in the protective robes of a republic. But the
Roman Catholic Pope Innocentius III (1198-1216) condemned the Magna Carta, the
English charter of human liberty and justice and great progenitor of our own
Bill of Rights, in these words:
. . do utterly reprobate and condemn this agreement; and under ban of anathema
we command that neither the King shall presume to observe it nor the Barons
and their accomplices to require its observation; utterly cancelling and
making void both the charter itself and any pledges or obligations so ever
that have been made in any way concerning it, so that neither now nor
hereafter shall they be of any validity."
Vatican thinking reflects its demands for church dominance over the people.
Pius IX (1846-1878), Leo XIII (1878-1903), Pius XI (1922-1939) and others
similarly condemned popular government, the public schools, the separation of
church and state, freedom of speech and conscience and, at the same time,
placed the Canon Law of their hierarchy above the civil law.
Vatican has fulminated against Freemasonry since 1738 in some 17 major
encyclicals and allocutions. Leo XIII ratified and confirmed the bitter Bull
of Clement XII. This, according to Joseph Cardinal Firrao, condemned every
Freemason to death and to confiscation of his property, and damned him to die
papal pronouncements never have been officially revised or rejected. Indeed,
the official thinking of the Vatican hierarchy on these subjects apparently
has not changed despite the ecumenical attempts of Pope John.
and Newsweek magazines of July 16, 1973 told of an order from the Vatican to
all its members, expressed through the Sacred Congregation for Doctrine of the
Faith, that they must reject any overtures toward reconciling Roman Catholic
and Protestant theology, and declared that it alone was the true church, and
reaffirmed the theory of papal infallibility. This department of the Vatican
formerly was the infamous Inquisition that inflicted reprisals, tortures,
mutilations and horrors which must rank among the most grisly of man's
inhumanity to man. It burned Giordano Bruno at the stake, banned and threw
into fires thousands of books of learned authors, and condemned Galileo to
perpetual imprisonment and silence because he taught the deductions of science
on the movement of the earth.
view of that July 1973 order of the Vatican, we fairly may ask, do the flames
still crackle around Joan of Arc as she burns in agony at the stake in Rouen?
Do the streets of France still echo to the shrieks of 30,000 Huguenots, the
French Protestants who were massacred in the week-long blood bath of St.
Bartholomew? In response to this outrage, does Pope Gregory XIII still express
to the perpetrators his pleasure, command bonfires to be lit, and order a
congratulatory medal to be struck? Does Tomas de Torquemada still throw
innocent victims into dungeons and subject them to barbaric practices and
cruel tortures in his heresy-hunting as the Inquisition Chief?
good American Roman Catholics oppose these papal condemnations as un-American
and contrary to the principles of justice and freedom. We recall with
patriotic pride that Roman Catholics served with great honor and distinction
in our Armed Forces, fighting to uphold American principles. Many died in
defense of their country. We profoundly admire and honor them. They fought
against the bloodiest and most monstrous horrors ever to curse this 20th
century, led by Hitler and Mussolini, both of whom pretended to embrace that
faith. The barbaric acts of
two gangsters, the concentration camp tortures and killings of Jews and Poles,
and rapes of other lands, will live long in our memories. Neither Hitler nor
Mussolini, however, was excommunicated. If they had been Masons, this fact
alone under the encyclicals may have made excommunication from Roman
ideas of Masonry collide with despotic and oppressive rule. Hence, the
ruthless and irresponsible dictators, Mussolini and Hitler, persecuted,
imprisoned and murdered Masons and confiscated their properties just because
they were Masons. Criticism has been levelled at the Vatican's clergy for
alleged commissions and omissions during World War II including: neutrality
toward the diabolical dictators; blessing Mussolini's military forces as they
sallied forth to slaughters in Abyssinia; failing to condemn Nazi invasions of
neutral nations; silence on exterminations of Jews.
neither bigotry nor intolerance to protest against those who display enmity
toward Freemasonry or toward principles such as those set forth in our Bill of
Rights; nor to protest attempts to unite church and state in this country and
compel the American taxpayers to support church schools that indoctrinate
religious dogma. It is not a violation of the ecumenical spirit so to protest;
rather, not to do so would be craven servility.
might ask what has this to do with the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry? I would
answer: Everything! For, Masonry is the oldest bulwark of liberty and justice
and champion of constitutional freedoms. The real issue is American and
Masonic survival. Witness the situation in many countries where the Roman
Catholic Church dominates the state. Masonry there has been blotted out or
exists only by sufferance. Hence, the law of sheer selfdefense justifies
counteraction. This does not come within the prohibition of being "political"
or "religious." Masonry has an inherent right of self-defense. We protest
ecclesiastical tyranny and spiritual despotism. Were it not so,
Masonry would contain within its too pacific self the seeds of its own
applaud the efforts of our Roman Catholic friends who joined with a candidate
for President, later President, when he dealt with the subject frankly and
fairly. He stated his opposition toward clerical intrusion into politics. He
committed himself to the principle of church-state separation and to a denial
of public funds for church schools. He thus affirmed his belief in religious
coexistence for America.
prior to his election, President John F. Kennedy, a Roman Catholic, said,
September 12, 1960 in Houston, Texas:
believe in an America where the separation of church and state is
absolute-where no Catholic prelate would tell the President, should he be a
Catholic, how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners
for whom to vote where no church or church school is granted any public funds
or political preference."
statement of this position is compatible with the best Judeo-Christian
thought. It is an accomplishment of courageous magnitude. Many of our friends
who are members of that sect reject as foreign to America the medieval
fulminations against our Fraternity, realize how very much we have in common,
accept the standards of American democracy, recognize we have a pluralistic
system in a new and permanent form of relationship between religion and
government, and call upon their church leaders to stop attacks upon Masonry
and upon Masonic ceremonies. They hope for winds of freedom that may create in
America a friendly, tolerant atmosphere and climate which Masons seek as men
of good will.
example, the Rev. John A. O'Brien, Ph.D., speaking in 1973 at a luncheon
sponsored by the Chicago Lawyers Shrine Club, said:
Roman Catholic, a research professor of theology at the University of Notre
Dame, and a priest for more than half a century, I want to pay a long overdue
tribute to the Freemasons for the distinguished contribution which they have
made to the civic, commercial, scientific, cultural and spiritual life of our
nation. They have given us some of our greatest presidents, generals,
legislators, statesmen, citizens and patriots. If that rich and many-faceted
contribution were withdrawn, our nation would be impoverished indeed.
"During a priestly ministry of more than fifty years, many of my closest and
dearest friends have been Masons, and I count their friendship as a pearl
beyond all price."
Actually, a start, at least, has been made right in the Vatican. There have
been discussions for liberalization of the restrictive provisions of canonical
laws. It has been said that since the codification of the canonic laws in the
Codex Juris Canonici the papal Bulls and Briefs are only the expressions of
personal opinions. And John Cardinal Willebrands, Secretariat for Christian
Unity, addressed DeMolay representatives during their 50th Anniversary and
a pleasure and an honor for me to welcome you-at the request of the
Secretariat of State-in the house of the Holy Father. The Holy Father is
taking a short and necessary vacation in his residence at Castel Gandolfo,
preparing at the same time his journey to Africa. Therefore he can now receive
only on Wednesdays. . . .
fulfill the commandments given in the book of Deuteronomy (6,5), and quoted by
Christ in the gospel of Mark (12,29): 'Hear, O Israel: the Lordour God, the
Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with
all your soul and with
your mind and with all your strength,' and Christ adds to this first command
the second, which we find also in the book Leviticus (19,18): 'You shall love
your neighbor as yourself,' and he concludes: 'there is no other commandment
greater than these.'
inspiration animates the Order of DeMolay and therefore you as its members, in
your service of humanity, especially of the sick, the abandoned, the invalids,
I, as the President of the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity, express
my gratitude and joy that the membership of the Order includes Catholics and
Protestants and Jews in a great cooperation for the benefit of humanity.
congratulate you particularly on the occasion of the 50th anniversay of the
Order and I pray that the Lord of Hosts may bless you in all your noble work."
Examination is the key word of this Degree. Every person-and more especially,
every Mason-must ponder self-examination of the day's activities prayerfully
and soberly. Wrongs committed today should be avoided and corrected tomorrow.
Each day should shed some light for our future guidance. Then, as time goes
on, our character shall be so formed and strengthened that the world will
pronounce judgment and instinctively say: "There is a good man for he is a
Mason." Examination leads to judgment in the act of dispensing justice. This
maintains relations among men. It holds the balance in equipoise between
nation and nation, man and his family, man and man and the interests of the
individual that are sometimes antagonistic so conflicting rights may be
resolved fairly. Justice must be done and demanded of all. It is a universal
human claim. The administration of justice between con
tenders in controversies is not an exact science and may err, for secret
motives and events are retained within the human breast. But if we continually
try to practice justice in our daily lives we may leave the world a better
place. In so doing, we know that a just act has God's support.
final division of our Degrees, the Thirty-first and Thirty-second, is
ceremonial and official.
Degree opens the Consistory. It is not historical in nature but talks of
judicial power and is of great spiritual and religious significance. It is
based partly upon the Book of the Dead, the earliest codification of moral
tenets basic to an outstanding world religion and prior, of course, to
despite his Hebraic mind and loyalty to the tribal religion, was a thoroughly
cultured Egyptian philosopher.
Interesting confirmation of the antiquity and character of the Book of the
Dead will be found in that literary and moral code of great merit contained in
the teachings of Ptah-hotep. He lived in the 15th century B.C. and held high
office in the Egyptian world of that day, serving at even the advanced age of
110 years as Vizier to the Pharaoh Amenhotep 111. Witness these admonitions:
thou desirest that thy conduct be worthy, withhold thee from all evil, and
beware of avarice. It is an ill and incurable disease ... It makes bitter the
sweet friend, it alienates the intimate friend. . . , it estranges fathers and
mothers and the mother's brothers, it sunders wife and husband ... Great is
righteousness ... Hold fast the truth and transgress it not ... Attain
character ... Precious to a man is the virtue of his son and good character is
a thing remembered. A wise man is recognized by that which he knows. His heart
is the balance for his tongue, his lips are correct when he speaks, and his
eyes in seeing. His ears together hear
is profitable for his son who does righteousness and is free from lying."
Legend of the Egyptian god, Osiris, told of the trial and final judgment in a
supreme tribunal of every soul after death. The final judges were Osiris, his
wife, Isis, Nebtei, Atum and Anufu. The Master of Ceremonies was the
jackal-headed Horus, who conducted the soul during and after the trial. The
advisors and judges searched and evaluated the soul with penetrating
questions. Sometimes they developed a "negative confession"; that is, the
failure in life to do more than merely adhere to the strict letter of the law.
Personal answers were required for acts and for failure to act.
Knight Kadosh seeks to enlarge his experience and advance opportunities for
service by learning the meaning of the "judgment" that is upon himself and
others. He listens as the Soul of Cheres, son of Suphis, the symbol of our
mortality, is brought before the chamber of the dead. He learns the measure of
justice and the chief duties of a judge.
course, epitomize only from the vast store of our present knowledge of
Egyptian history, religion, ethics and cultural development. The dramatic
scenes portrayed in the Degree are truly remarkable and contain many guides
for everyday living. What could be of more importance than the eternal destiny
of the soul?
story presented comes as a segment of ancient Egyptian life, verified on the
ablest archaeological research. Actually, the cross-section in this Degree
comes from the 17th century B. C. The basic documents are papyri in the
British Museum. As you view these, you feel a surge of wonder and admiration.
You behold the progress of the trial and the historic, dramatic and artistic
accuracy with which the philosophy of the ancient but mature civilization has
been revealed to us. We experience a symbolic lesson of the imperishable
processes of the human mind in its age-long quest for truth, in its belief in
the immortality of the soul, in its concept of conscience as a moral control
of human motives and actions, in its sense of justice as a basis
reverence toward God and behavior toward one's fellow beings, and in its
respect for divine authority as the supreme jurisdiction of human life.
realize, therefore, that man is a moral as well as a physical outcome of
civilization, arising from the savagery of the jungle. Good overcomes evil.
Obligations are due to fellow beings, to family and to the One Supreme God.
ancient Egyptian life also first recognized the monogamist family as the basis
of society. Upon his ascension to the throne, Pharaoh Ikhnaton had evolved the
concept of a single Supreme Being for all men and nations and established a
regime founded upon this religious fundamental. While the priests grew jealous
and overthrew this dynasty, the doctrine still prevailed and grew in
acceptance among Israelites, Christians and Moslems. Then, despite attacks of
bestial dictators upon the moral order, and the hope that military power could
crush these human experiences of the ages, the unanswerable conclusions of
this Degree demonstrate the eventual triumph of good in the world.
hear those lessons, we are also reminded that the time now has arrived for
decisions and for action, and that failure to decide is itself a decision and
that none can escape the ultimate judgment. Every person at times must act as
a judge and therefore is charged with a duty to hear patiently, weigh
deliberately and dispassionately, and decide impartially. Masonic symbols
again remind us of these obligations: the Books of Faiths-that as you judge
here so will you be judged hereafter; the Square and Compasses, the Plumb and
Level-well known to you as a Mason; the Tetractys of Pythagoras, with its nine
external points forming a Triangle- the Deity.
are reminded also that in your life and conversation you should give evidence
of the excellence of our Masonic Doctrines and of the institution itself. For
if you go astray, or succumb to intolerance and bigotry, or express
displeasure unfairly, it is time for you to take corrective
in your own life.
Masons we learn that we must not always play for safety. We must act with
confidence and daring if we are to mobilize in this modern world our moral
ideas and spiritual values. We must help give strength and stability to life
and society. The Pilgrims who sought refuge from religious persecution upon
our eastern shores could have played it safe and remained in Holland. Your
Masonic Brethren, who lived in the midst of Loyalists and valued colonial
ties, could have sought security. Instead, they fought for independence and
freedom, as did their English forebears in the 1600's. The group of men in the
Philadelphia Congress could have played it safe and have avoided the criticism
of being called violent men. But they said, "We will not play it safe. We
declare our independence. We shall create a better world even though thereby
we risk our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor." What would they say
now, looking toward the great tomorrow, in a message to us?
think they would say, "Activate the idea of freedom and individual liberty as
a way of life that works. Believe in religious freedom. Know that we must keep
that climate in America so Masonry can live and grow and flourish. As
civilization in its rise is studded with stars, so you can generate and
preserve the patrimony of your Masonic forebears. Thereby you will have done a
deed for freedom."
a deed is done for Freedom, through the broad earth's aching breast
thrill of joy prophetic, trembling on from east to west,
the slave, where'er he cowers, feels the soul within him climb
awful verge of manhood, as the energy sublime Of a century bursts
full-blossomed on the thorny stem of Time."
MASTER OF THE ROYAL SECRET
Degree presents the crowning power of designs we have drawn upon the Scottish
Rite trestle-board. Those of the Lodge of Perfection traced for us how our
spiritual nature is enabled to assert itself. In the Philosophical, the values
of the virtues encourage us to subdue our animal passions and appetites. In
the Chivalric, we learn how the spiritual and divine in man are superior.
Life, we learn, is a battle. To fight that battle heroically and well is the
overriding purpose of man's existence. Genuine Brotherhood requires mutual
regard, opinion, esteem and charity. Brethren in the true sense of the word
look for the good in others and expect and allow for evil, making generous
allowance for the human faults and failings of God's imperfect children. As we
progress toward the end of this Degree and seek seriously the Royal Secret
which is concealed like the occult science of the ancients, we remember,
reason sinks exhausted." Magic, after all, is but the absolute science of
nature and its laws. So the Star of Hope shines for us as truly as when, like
a magnet, it drew the wise men to Bethlehem. Today, as at the time of the
initial creation of the entire universe, the Balance of Equilibrium is the
ultra activating force in the eternal plan of the Omnipotent. Thus, vacuum and
matter, matter and antimatter, positive and negative, light and darkness, male
and female, attraction and repulsion, evil and good, justice and mercy, are
examples of what the Magic of Balance can create under the law of Universal
Equilibrium. You will seek the Holy Doctrine-the Blazing Star of Truth, the
Royal Secret-of creation. So do we slowly climb toward the final goal, the
state of perfection.
Thirty-second Degree formerly was the Twentyfifth Degree of the Rite of
is depicted the ceremony at which a chosen aspirant for knighthood is elevated
during the Medieval Ages. Carefully chosen, he undergoes a vigorous catech ism
and advances humbly for admission. Warned of its rigors, he is clothed in
white to symbolize the purity he must maintain. Austere fasts, penance and a
clean life are required. He passes a vigil in a church with no arms, except
those of his sponsors, and is allowed only meager food. These are trials
against solitude, fatigue and worldly temptations. All this culminates with
final acceptance into the Rite.
Degree now summarizes the Degrees that have been given. We learn, for example,
in the Degrees of the Lodge of Perfection that we must generate and develop
our spiritual attributes. Those of the Philosophical and Histori
Degrees gave us an insight into the value of spiritual virtues.
action of this Degree, which features a review of those preceding, occurs
within a campground, technically "the camp." The deep import and true
interpretation of this Degree leads to the "Royal Secret." Located in the
center of the camp is a tracing board, the most important part of which
includes the three oldest symbols known to man:
we have a Circle representing the Fourteenth Degree Ring, the single Deity
without beginning or end. Second, we have an Equilateral Triangle showing, as
do the pyramids, the concept of the Deity. Similar concepts come to mind as
wisdom, strength and beauty; three senior officers; three degrees; three
ruffians; as well as the sun, the moon and Worshipful Master.
Equilateral Triangle enables us to discover the truth of perfect balance-the
secret law of universal equilibrium-attraction and radiation, sympathy and
antipathy, fixedness and movement. If this law is canceled, all creation would
evaporate into nothing, for the effect of this law holds the opposing forces
law of reciprocal balance operates throughout the universe-divine justice with
divine mercy, divine omnipotence with man's free will, constitutional
authority and individual rights, material with the spiritual.
third ancient symbol is a representation of the Cross, reflecting the positive
and negative powers of the world out of which come creation and procreation.
tremendous truth of balance lets us understand the tensions within us as they
struggle for good and evil. With this knowledge, we realize that our
characteristic for good should be enhanced while those characteristics that
propel toward evil should be overcome. Just as a counterweight can raise a
mighty elevator, so can we accomplish the desired result with little effort if
we will move in the direction we should desire.
Science now confirms these ancient truths and the wisdom of the Ancient
Mysteries. Outstanding scientists have confessed their confusion and inability
to com prehend basic inquiries through a rational approach. Faith healings are
confirmed medical facts. A teacher takes her pupils out of a classroom just
before the ceiling falls but she cannot explain why. Black holes in the outer
reaches of the universe swallow up matter, it even being hypothesized that
perhaps the matter reappears in another universe!
some modern scientists concede that in the search for enlightenment, recourse
must be made to the mystic. The eminent German physicist-philosopher,
Weizsacker, said, "Mysticism is one of the great discoveries of mankind."
Albert Einstein, the outstanding scientist of our generation, once remarked,
"The most beautiful and most profound emotion we can experience is the
sensation of the mysterious."
Tennyson, brilliant British poet, said that "an authentic mystic has absolute
clearness of mind." William James, the American giant of psychology,
harmonized religion and mysticism, concluding that "personal religious
experience has its roots and center in mystical states of consciousness."
Immanuel Kant, the great mystic-philosopher, discovered that human logic and
reason can go only so far. This revolutionized his life. He said there was a
higher power, greater than mind power, and that this mysterious force is
available for those who will seek beyond the rational. It enables an awareness
of reality more than does conscious thought of will.
essay, "Spiritual Laws," Ralph Waldo Emerson summarized:
little consideration of what takes place around us every day would show us
that a higher law than our will regulates events; that our painful labors are
un necessary and fruitless; that only in our easy, simple, spontaneous action
are we strong. Place yourself in the middle of the stream of power and wisdom
which animates all whom it floats, and you are without effort impelled to
truth, to right, and a perfect contentment."
Telepathy and esoteric psychology can work within us and release energy,
insight and imagination. There are those, for example, whose minds can control
their bodily functions, their heart, blood pressure and temperature. Modern
knowledge of the brain shows there are two different kinds of mathematical
intelligence, the analytic and
geometric. The analyst proceeds linearly, while the geometer views a problem
from above and works with intuitive grasp of the whole. Everyone at times
receives flashes of intuition. These contracting counterparts themselves are
in balance, the left side of the brain controlling the right side of the body
and being the locus of logical and verbal processes, while the right side
grasps for the whole of things. Aberrations may occur when these two parts of
the mind have contrary reactions, they being then out of balance.
Holy Doctrine-the Royal Secret-heretofore has been concealed, imperfectly
revealed or disfigured, obscured under arrogant pretensions and enveloped in
mys terious, impenetrable enigmas. But the veil now has been lifted for you.
For the mystery of the balance will be found in the law of universal
equilibrium. As a sublime Master of the Royal Secret, you are possessed of an
inner strength of great value and now you may discover and apply this for
Scottish Rite symbology and teachings and studies have made the creative law
of the universe susceptible of discovery. Thales and Pythagoras, Initiates in
the Greater Mysteries, knew but dared not disclose to the uninitiated that the
earth revolves around the sun, because to do so would have compromised the
secret knowledge of creation and cause of life. This included the
manifestations of the double law of balance and equilibrium. Abraham carried
from Chaldea the traditions which, with knowledge of the Omnipotent One Deity,
were practiced in Egypt during 3oseph's time. Moses took this orthodoxy out of
Egypt and recorded it in the obscure language of the Kabalah.
Nature's secrets are those of the supernatural sciences. For example, in all
the apparent emptiness of space there is no void. The infinite is filled with
manifestations of the ever-active Deity. His justice prevails and, as Saint
Thomas Aquinas said, "A thing is not just because God wills it; but God wills
it because it is just." Masonry confirms this. Man has an immortal soul,
imprisoned for a time within a mortal body, which is capable of improvement
and of spiritual development. It is released when death occurs, thus mingling
the divine with the human.
wisdom and power, justice and mercy, necessity and liberty, omnipotence and
free will, good and evil, light and darkness are examples of the ultimate law.
Man attains the true word when these contrary natures of the spiritual and of
the sensual, the moral instincts and the carnal passions, are in equipoise. He
feels then the impact of the Royal Secret. Yet, never explicitly explained,
you must learn and find it for yourself like Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz
wearing magic slippers that she finally knew could transport her back to
Kansas. So, if you will seek and discover, you can travel beyond the material,
you can grasp the supersensual, you can touch the Divine. You will be carried
toward total truth and to that rare and ultimate mystic understanding of self
and the universe. You then will know why we are here, what we are doing, and
where we are going.
may end the quest for answers to these heroic questions:
there a grandeur of destiny for some or all human passengers on this
relatively insignificant globe as it plunges through space toward its
is the end product the earth-machine is intended to produce?
must you do to assure the possibility there is a creative, eternal continuance
of your life?
short, will your life serve a cosmic purpose?
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