Brother seeker of enlightenment,
We have just completed study of the Twenty-first degree and will move on to the Twenty-second Degree in the Council of Kadosh at our next session which will be held on Wednesday January 15, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. We are now getting into the Philosophical degrees so this should provide lively discussion and a lot of fun. There will be dinner before this session at 6:30 p.m. 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 had 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 Cedars of Lebanon
- The Carpenter’s tools: saw, plane and axe.
- There is nobility in labor
- Man’s and by extension the Mason’s mission in life is to work and therefore create
- Duty is with us always and forbids us to be idle.
- Rank and privilege do not exempt one from work.
Topics for Discussion
- What is the symbolic significance of the Cedar tree?
- The degree teaches the virtue of work, that it is noble and sacred. What virtues are tied to work?
- The axe is the main symbol of this degree, nobler than the sword. Explain this concept in regards to building and progress.
- We tend to have a hierarchy of work, some more noble than others. On what is this based and is it valid? Do these attitudes about people’s occupation lead to unfair value judgments?
- The theme of the degree stresses the nobility of work and implicit is the idea that man has the right to benefit from his labor. If this is true does government have the right to restrict the profit or benefit?
- Pike uses the axe as the great civilizing instrument for it cleared forests to make land to produce food. True in his time, but in today’s world where we are urged to “think green” can you think of a more appropriate symbol to convey the same lesson?
- Pike describes the “wrong use” of work as a desire to accumulate wealth for the sake of living a life of ease and gratification. Yet we think of this as a normal goal for our retirement. What must we watch out for in such a life? What does the ambition fo wealth accumulation too often lead to? And what has history shown us as examples of this in men, cities and empires?
- The “good use” of work is to create wealth for higher aims as well as generous and benevolent purposes. Give some examples which have benefited society and mankind. What kind of work ennobles the human spirit, has changed the world for the better or raised the intellectual character of man?
- The last and perhaps most beneficial aspect of work is working on oneself. This can be as noble as broadening one’s intellect or as modest as working against temptation. What do you think is important in labor aimed at improving oneself?
Looking forward to an interesting and rewarding session,
Ill. Harry Eisenberg, 33°