Brother seeker of enlightenment,
We held the second session of our VMAP series on March 21st, and we discussed the 5th degree. All who attended agreed it was a most valuable and enlightening evening of discussion, sharing of views and learning. All the participants now have a good understanding of what it means to be a “Perfect Master.” Our next session will be on Wednesday, April 18th, again with a light dinner at 6:30 p.m. followed by a discussion of the 6th degree, “Confidential Secretary.” 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 6th degree beforehand at home.
- 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.
- The Triple Delta
- King Solomon and King Hiram
- The color crimson
- The sword of justice
- Zeal and fidelity to duty are always rewarded
- Act the peacemaker
- Be zealous, faithful, disinterested and benevolent
- Do not jump to conclusions
Topics for Discussion:
- The central lesson of this degree is to be a peacemaker in our daily lives. What is the duty of a Mason to be a peacemaker; to whom does it extend and what does it encompass? How are benevolence and disinterestedness and acting the peacemaker forms of generosity?
- In this degree, King Hiram twice rushes to judgment based on incomplete information. To jump to conclusions is an inherent flaw in the human condition. How can we develop the discipline not to judge on appearances only and know when we have enough knowledge to make an informed decision?
- In this degree, it is noted cunning is not the same as wisdom. What is the difference and how do we distinguish between the two? How do we balance keeping our word in spirit as well as by the letter?
- Dishonor, fidelity, and zeal can be represented as two sides of the same action depending on how one’s motives are perceived. Explain this dichotomy in relation to the confrontation between Solomon and Hiram. Compare this to the plight of Constance in the 27th degree when he is torn between two obligations.
- The symbol of the compasses teaches us to subdue every discord and passion within us. Relate this to the duty of Masons to be peacemakers. What is the difference between anger and outrage? Can outrage be morally justified? Can one be a peacemaker while feeling outraged?
- Explain Solomon’s statement, “Every day God forgives us much, else He would not permit us to live.”
- In Morals and Dogma Pike says duty is the moral magnet of a Mason; “We are not born for ourselves alone…” What is Pike suggesting how this defines a man?
- There is a parallel between Zabud and the 20 cities. At one point both appear to be dead. But when the facts are made known, they will bear greater fruit than ever. Discuss why this is so.
- Zabud’s and Solomon’s intentions are seen as being as important as manifested physical facts; as in contract law, a promise is legally binding as the deed itself. But most people think as in My Fair Lady; I’m sick of words…show me. However, one of the implicit points of this degree is trust in a brother’s good intentions. How do we apply this in our lives?
- Discuss the symbolism of the Triple Delta and its associations in the teachings of Freemasonry.
Looking forward to an interesting and rewarding session,
Ill:. Harry Eisenberg, 33°