Monday, November 28, 2011

Huston Smith and the Primordial Tradition

I had the good fortune to hear Prof. Huston Smith speak, back in the '80s.    Like Albert Pike, he is interested in foundation or primordial religion.
Huston Smith and the Primordial Tradition

Huston Smith and the Primordial Tradition
Four Levels of Reality
The Great Chain of Being begins with the Source and proceeds through emanationist through various stages of manifestation, down to matter and non-being.  Thus Reality is described in terms of a specific structure.  The accounts of different traditional and pre-modern esoteric and exoteric cosmologies are similar enough for it to be possible to present a single account embracing all of them
Such a unified account has already been presented, at least on a basic level, by one contemporary scholar of comparative religion  Professor Huston Smith (formerly of Syracuse University, N.Y.), who (in his books  Forgotten Truth and  Beyond the Post-Modern Mind) refers to four levels, which pertain to bioth the microcosm (the individual) and the macrocosm (the universe and reality as a whole):

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I was "Principle" (representative initiate for the class) for the 28°

I was "Principle" (representative initiate for the class) for the 28°.  Wow!   I was sitting in a chair, having 8 remarkable lectures presented to me by 33° masons, while the rest of my fellow initiates listened from the pews.  It was the most jam packed philosophical degree we have seen.    Only 3 more degrees to go!  They've just flown by!

28° - Knight of the Sun, or Prince Adept  We learn in this degree that our love for God manifests itself in our love for truth, justice and nobility of soul. The apron worn is white lambskin with a vermilion pentagram. The jewel is a gold five-pointed star. The duties are to be devoted to truth, honour, loyalty, justice and humanity.

29° - Scottish Knight of Saint Andrew  The virtues taught in this degree are love of God, loyalty to superiors, faithful adherence to promise and active resistance to unfair judgment. There is no apron. The jewel is a gold St. Andrew's cross ("X"), surmounted with a knight's helmet with a thistle of gold between the arms at the bottom. In the center of the cross is a Hebrew YOD and on its points, clockwise from bottom, the Hebrew letters N M I N.  The duties are to reverence and obey God; to serve the truth; to protect virtue and innocence; to defend the people against tyranny."

Degrees of the Scottish Rite:

Al-Ahram Weekly | Egypt | The masonic story

Al-Ahram Weekly | Egypt | The masonic story
The masonic story

WHAT is Freemasonry? When did it come to Egypt? And what does it have to do with the Great Pyramid?

Khedive Ismail, although himself not a Mason, patronised the order as a prominent humanitarian organisation and allowed his son Tewfik to be initiated. In 1881, Khedive Tewfik Pasha became Grand Master and held sway over more than 500 Lodges working in English, French, Greek, Hebrew, Italian and Arabic, and obtained recognition for the Grand Lodge of Egypt from most of the recognised Grand Lodges of the world

Friday, November 11, 2011

27° - Knight Commander of the Temple

This was the best degree yet!   I like the Chivalric degrees the best.
Degrees of the Scottish Rite:
 "27° - Knight Commander of the Temple  This degree teaches the apprentice to scorn selfishness and to uphold the knightly virtues of charity, truth and honor. We should always strive to assist the poor, helpless and infirm. The apron is of scarlet lambskin, lined in black, with a Teutonic Cross (cross potent sable, charged with a smaller cross double potent or surcharged with the escutcheon of the Empire, the two-headed black eagle) and a black key surrounded by a laurel wreath. The jewel is the Teutonic Cross shown on the apron. The duties are to be a lover of wisdom and to be faithful to your promises made within Masonry."

See Minnesota Valley Photo Gallery here:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Degrees of the Scottish Rite

Degrees of the Scottish Rite: "

Attended 25° and 26° s  Difficult to follow the ceremony.   Only had a few hours sleep the last couple days.

25° - Knight of the Brazen Serpent  This degree attempts to explain the conceptualities of celestial purity and the eternal soul of man. The apprentice is driven to look within his faith, life and God to get a clear look at his inner self. The apron is white, lined in black with gold stars on the white side (Pleiades, Hyades, Orion, Capella) and with silver stars on the black side (Perseus, Scorpio, Bootes). Also on it is a serpent (ouroboros) surrounding a scarab, a triangle in a glory with the Tetragrammaton in its center and the four initials of the stars Regulus, Aldebaran, Antares and Fomalhaut. The jewel is a gold tau cross (crux ansata) with a serpent entwined around it and the Hebrew words HLThI (he has suffered or been wounded) and NChShThN (the Brazen Serpent) on it. The duty is to fulfill your destiny and to re-create yourself by reformation, repentance and enlarging your knowledge.

26° - Prince of Mercy, or Scottish Trinitarian  In this degree we explore for "the rewards of the trinity of Gods attributes - wisdom or intelligence, force or strength, harmony or beauty". The apron is scarlet, bordered in white, with a green triangle (point-down) in the center. In the triangle are the initials of force, wisdom and harmony, and a flaming heart of gold with the initials I.H.S. (Jesus Hominum Salvator or Imperium, Harmonia, Sapientia). The jewel is gold and is the same triangle, suspended by a purple ribbon. The duties are to practice forgiveness and mercy; tolerance; to be devoted to the teaching of the principles of Masonry.

Ordered my Scottish Rite Cap Today.

Got the "Old Style." Size  7.5"

If the apron is the "badge of a Mason" in the Blue Lodge, the cap can be said to be the public badge of a Scottish Rite Mason. In our Order, the cap is both a prayer cap in the Jewish tradition and a symbol of the Scottish Rite Mason as a soldier in the "Empire of Intellect, Reason, Philosophy, and Wise Morality" (32°). Similarly, a cap was worn by English knights, including the Templars, and was later given a military significance by British regimental soldiers in the 19th century. The Supreme Council adopted the present caps in 1927.
When To Wear The Scottish Rite Cap