Thursday, July 3, 2008

Scottish Rite

I have taken the 32 degrees of the Scottish Rite, in the Orient of Maryland. It is the most exciting part of Freemasonry for me so far. I am currently working my way through the Master Craftsman program, which is a series of directed readings and examinations that focus your thoughts.

One of the questions in each of the tests, is what interesting or surprising thing have I discovered in my readings. There has been much that surprised me. Probably the most surprising thing about my whole experience is how many truly nice, admirable men and women I've met. I have included women because in our Valley, it's a family affair. Of course, at 59, I truly lower the average age in the room when I come in, and so there aren't a lot of kids toddling around. When my wife came to our first dinner, she was absorbed by the ladies there, and treated as a long lost friend. And so have I been.

Of course, we're meeting on the level with the high poobas of the state and Grand Lodge. Sit at table with three or so PGMs, and the current GM. We ain't exactly buddies yet, but we are brothers.

Then there's the content of the lessons of the degrees. I don't know how much is public and how much I need to shut up about, so I'll be very discrete. Suffice it to say that I'm struck with elation about the obligations I've taken, and to intellectual excitement by the demands to not just see or hear the ritual, but to know and live it. The theme is to build on the most valuable tenets of our craft through an expansion of the mythos of the building of the temple.

The choice of a craftsman, a builder, even a master builder, as our hero has been brought to a greater level of clarification for me. That a man, by his ability is elevated to talk and plan with kings has truly profound implications for us all.

While writing this, I'm going to go off on a train of consciousness thing for a bit: I was about to say "for society," in the preceding paragraph, but that is trite to the point of meaninglessness. The meaning is to us. We are society. We are the nation. Our participation is required for any of these structures to function. This isn't politics. It's the nature of the world.

Many of our earliest brothers were part of the age of enlightenment, both in philosophy and in science. They were looking to find out the nature of God by studying his works, and to find the nature of the world. This is it. The nature of the world is participation. Governed by the Law of Love.


Tom Accuosti said...

It's nice to see that the appendant bodies keep the tradition of teaching through allegory.

I haven't joined any of the other bodies, in part because I haven't gotten bored with the Blue Lodge work yet. My next step will probably be the local York Rite chapter.

59 lowers the average age in your group, eh?

M.M.M. From the North Eastern Corner said...

That sounds great GM. As tempting as they are, and belive me they are, I too am holding off on an appendant bodies for now. To tell you the truth it would be a hard sell right now to my wife to add to my extremely busy masonic schedule. Like Tom I'll probably end up in the York rite first although I can just imagine how deep the degrees written by brother Pike must be!

JamesCanby said...

Like Brother Tom Accuosti, I have immersed myself in the Blue Lodge in Maryland (Highland 184), serving as SD this year. My next step will most likely be York Rite, given that Royal Arch is described, historically, as one of the Blue Lodge degrees and is a direct continuation of the temple allegory. What you have written about the 32nd degree, however, is intriguing and may cause me to re-think my plans. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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