Brother seeker of enlightenment,
We had a nice turnout last month for a discussion of the 6th degree. It was nice to see some new brothers join the class. There was a great discussion and the members of the class now have a better idea of being a “Confidential Secretary.”
Our next session will be on Wednesday, May 16th, again with a light dinner at 6:30 p.m. followed by a discussion of the 7th degree, “Provost and Judge.” 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 7th 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 balance (scales)
- The box of ebony and the key
- Color red
- The triangle
- All actions have consequences
- Let justice be the guide of all your actions
- Be just in judging other’s motives
- We can only be just when charitable
Topics for Discussion:
- The seventh degree runs more contrary to human nature than any other degree because its lessons require more growth and strength in overcoming natural tendencies. In this, it is close to the 31st degree. Why is this so?
- A common theological position is that to think evil is the same as to do evil. Is this true? This leads to a consideration of intent. Is to think doing good the same as doing good? Discuss intent vs. action as it applies to the teachings of this degree.
- In this degree, there is a distinction between the brothers (Jews) and non-brothers (Phoenicians). What are our relationships in the workplace with others not of the craft, especially in light of affirmative action?
- The confrontation in this degree between Retribution and Inaction is ultimately resolved by Justice. Is justice really the synthesis and/or compromise if the two? What does this suggest about the nature of human administered justice?
- Is Retribution merely an outward manifestation of moral outrage? Or is it something different?
- Zabud notes that as a judge he knows a brother not. How do we reconcile this with the obligations of assistance from the Blue Lodge? Is administering justice ultimately a form of assistance even if the individual affected doesn’t see it as such?
- Can we ever be absolutely certain before we act? If not, how can we justify sitting in judgment?
- Can anger serve as a tool, as well as a vice? What are the circumstances when there is a moral justification for anger and how does this serve humanity for the better?
- How does compassion play a part in the process of judgment? Do you agree or disagree?
- The Bible tells us “judge not, lest ye be judged.” Yet the judge must sit in judgment. Thus his role is like Ayn Rand’s “Judge and Prepare to be Judged,” He cannot avoid the task of judging if justice is served. Discuss this paradox.
- Pike states in Morals and Dogma, “So active injustice may be done in one of two ways-by force and by fraud-of which force is lion-like and fraud foxlike, both utterly repugnant to social duty but fraud the more detestable.” Compare this to Machiavelli’s concept of “The Prince”, which also speaks of the fox.
- Define justice as you understand it, giving examples from your own experience.
- Of all the aprons in the Scottish Rite, only the one of this degree contains a pocket, which holds the plans for the Temple. While it is true the action in this degree concerns the building of the Temple, so do many other degrees. Discuss this possible significance of the pocket and why it is in this degree.
Looking forward to an interesting and rewarding session,
Ill:. Harry Eisenberg, 33°