Brother seeker of enlightenment,
We had a nice session in June discussing the 8th degree. There was lively discussion among the attendees. Won’t you be one of them this month? Our next session will be on Wednesday, August 15th, again with a light dinner at 6:30 p.m. followed by a discussion of the 9th degree, “Elu of the Nine.” 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 9th 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 Arm holding the dagger
- The Hand holding a Bloody Head
- The Dagger
- Ignorance is the principal enemy of human freedom
- A free press is indispensable to true liberty
- Be vigilant in the interest and honor of our country
- Let your conduct be guided by principles and not sentiment
- Instruct and enlighten the people
- Remorse and guilt are God’s punishment
Topics for Discussion:
- Discuss the differences and similarities between education and enlightenment.
- How is it that the Ruffians represent the “chief foes of human liberty”?
- Pike focuses on the gap between abstract good intentions and personal action. How would you apply this in terms of modern life?
- How do the teachings of this degree reflect bravery, devotedness and patriotism?
- The apron of this degree is sprinkled with the blood of those who have been persecuted for the sake of Masonry and Truth. Give an example from History.
- Jubelum is described as bearing the “Mark of Cain”. What does this mean?
- In his soliloquy Jubelum says he has had to survive by eating the flesh of ghouls. What is the significance of the fact that he has been cannibalizing dead bodies?
- Why does the Blue Lodge end the story of Hiram Abiff in the third degree and the capture and execution of the ruffians as a group, whereas the Scottish Rite ends it in the 9th through 11th degrees, and the ruffian’s deaths are separate? What is the symbolic meaning of this in terms of the development of the myth of the Lodge of Perfection?
- What is the nature of tyranny? Is a strong ruler a tyrant? What kinds of tyranny are found in a democracy?
- The jewel of the degree is a dagger with a gold hilt and silver blade. We have here the combination symbolism seen with Jachin and Boaz, the lesser lights, darkness and light. Is this appropriate for a weapon?
- The degree teaches that evil-doers are punished by remorse and their own conscience. Is this always true? Are there absolute standards of good and evil or are they situational and relative? If so, what are they? Who is right and how do we know?
Looking forward to an interesting and rewarding session,
Ill:. Harry Eisenberg, 33°