Brother seeker of enlightenment,
We have just completed study of the Fourteenth Degree and the Lodge of Perfection which we learned was the completion of the symbolic lodge and symbolically us as well. We had a lively discussion as to the nature of perfection, with a well- attended class, gratifyingly consisting of a number of our young and newest members. I hope this trend continues as they add much to our discussions. We now move on to the Fifteenth Degree and the Chapter Rose Croix at our next session which will be held on Wednesday, April 17th at 7:00 p.m. We are now getting into the Philosophical degrees and the pivotal 2nd Temple, where we start to find out the true meaning of what Masonry is all about. This should provide lively discussion and a lot of fun, which you surely will not want to miss. There will be dinner before this session at 6:30 with the class to follow. Even if you have not attended before each session is a separate degree so there is no need to feel that you have to 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 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 bridge with the letters L, D, P.
- The trowel
- A bleeding head upon two crossed swords.
- A chain of triangular links.
- Rebuilding of the Temple.
- Three concentric triangles.
- Broken Columns
- Union of the colors green and red.
- Fidelity to trust, honor, duty and obligation.
- Perseverance and constancy under difficulties and discouragement.
- Change and development does not come quickly or easily.
- Honor and Integrity are absolute, not relative or convenient.
Topics for Discussion
- The degree focuses on the building of the second temple in Jerusalem. What is the meaning of that symbol? If a Mason is to build his life on the model of the temple of Solomon (i.e. third degree), what is the meaning of the second temple? Why is such rebuilding necessary? What sort of things cause the destruction of the Mason’s first temple?
- The concept of liberty is central to this degree. Are liberty and freedom the same thing? How can liberty for the individual and liberty for society coexist?
- Zerubbabel is tempted three times, with gold, freedom and the holy treasures of the Temple of Solomon. What are the symbolic meanings of these temptations and what are they supposed to teach us about living ethical lives in our own time?
- What are the spiritual values inculcated by this degree?
- This degree presents “Principles Ethics” also called “Deontological Ethics.” It is best exemplified by the work of Immanuel Kant by what he termed “categorical imperatives.” A categorical imperative is that which must always be done, regardless of the circumstances, e.g. lying or killing. Give examples of such in your daily life with the resultant positive and negative outcomes.
- There are two major apartments in the Degree, the Hall of the West representing the Hebrew encampment in the ruins of Jerusalem, and the Hall of the East representing the Council Chamber of Cyrus. There is a bridge between the two and a third apartment representing Cyrus’ treasure chamber. What do the three apartments and the bridge symbolize?
Looking forward to an interesting and rewarding session,
Ill. Harry Eisenberg, 33°