Brother seeker of enlightenment,
We have just completed the study of the Thirtieth degree and will move on to the Thirty-First Degree. We have concluded our studies of the Council of Kadosh, and now we begin our lessons on the Consistorial degrees. Our next session which will be held on Wednesday, October 18th at 7:00 p.m. There will be dinner before this session at 6:30 p.m. with the class to follow. We now meet at the Winter Park Lodge No. 239, next door to the Scottish Rite Center. Even if you have not attended before each session is a separate degree so there is no need to feel that you must have prior experience to enjoy the class. As before the resource material for this and all subsequent degrees is as listed below. It is suggested you bring your copy of “A Bridge to Light” to class and study the 31st degree beforehand at home. At the completion of the 32nd degree, we will have a graduation ceremony for those brothers who have attended 50% or 15 sessions. This will be held at the January stated meeting. With three sessions remaining this gives you a good chance to catch up and qualify for this honor. We will then be starting a new class with the 4th degree in February 2018.
- Morals and Dogma by Albert Pike, 33°
- A Bridge to Light by Dr. Rex R. Hutchens, 33°, G.C.
- Clausen’s Commentaries on Morals and Dogma by Henry C. Clausen, 33°, Past Sovereign Grand Commander
- Scottish Rite Ritual Monitor and Guide by Arturo de Hoyas, 33°, G.C.
- Maat, the Egyptian goddess of Justice
- Winged Globe with Basilisks
- The Scale or Balance
- The Color White
- The Lesser Tetractys
- The good man is able to portray himself and his actions positively and not simply assert the absence of wrong in his life.
- Justice and mercy are two opposites which unite in the great harmony of equity.
- To aim for the best but be content with the best possible is true wisdom.
- Judge yourself in the same light you judge others; consider both actions and motives.
- One must not only avoid evil but do good.
- Impartiality in law is necessary.
Topics for Discussion:
- One of the great dualities examined in this Degree is that of action and motive. Good actions can be the result of negative motives. Discuss this and give examples.
- There are three possible sources of judgment which we can apply to our lives and actions; our own, those of society and those which are Divine. How can a person find the necessary balance between these standards which often conflict?
- Take and defend your position on this famous quandary, “Is the man a thief who steals a loaf of bread for his hungry children?”
- How do we know that crime and injustice does not pay when inhumanity, wickedness, partiality, and vice seem so prevalent and strong?
- This degree focuses on the concept of the relationship between human law and divine law. What does it teach us about the human condition? What does it teach us about contradictions?
- Is this degree aimed more at reminding us that Man must realize what he actually is, how much moral latitude he gives himself, and the degree of self-deception he practices in his life, or does it warn us that God is only interested in selecting saints and therefore most of us will face an unpleasant judgement in the end?
- The central symbol of this degree is the balance. What does the scale weigh, estimate and assess? When we balance the scale, what have we achieved? The symbol of the balance as a concept of equilibrium discuss it as a basis for a creative and productive life or the basic dynamic of the universe.
- Contrast the characters of the squire and the older knight and how are they a microcosm of the action in the Court of the Dead?
- The Hall of Justice is sometimes called the Hall of Two Truths; one representing our visible conduct, the other absolute truth. What is the difference between the two; between appearance and reality? Who knows the difference more than any other?
- The Hall of Equity represents Man’s laws enacted for governing society. However, these focus on the letter rather than the spirit of the law, and therefore define an obedient soul but cannot reveal a noble one. What is the focus of judgment in this degree, what should be our motives in judging others, and as inspectors what are we inspecting? How does “as above, so below” fit into the lesson on judgment?
- Do you believe man has a natural sense of justice, a natural moral faculty, a conscience that gives him an intuitive perception of right from wrong? If so why is there so much evil in the world?
- The entire lesson if this degree can be summed up by completing these sentences:
- It is an absolute condition of justice and equity that he who passes judgment on any other must first ______________________________.
- For any judgment to be just, one has to be free from all ________________________________________________.
Looking forward to an interesting and rewarding session,
Harry Eisenberg, 33°-elect