ISSUE 16, January 2006
Editorial
Historic: Sherlock Holmes incarnate
Travel: In the Footsteps of the Incas
Sport: Batting for England
Grand Lodge: Pro Grand Master's speech and Quarterly Communication
Supreme Grand Chapter: First Grand Principal's speech and Committee of General Purposes
Royal Masonic Girls' School: Stories in windows
Specialist Lodges: Brotherhood of the Angle
    Napoleonic Wars: A Mason's Word
International: Macedonia: New Grand Lodge consecrated and Enthusiasm unbound
Grand Lodge: Development of Freemasons' Hall
Masonic Rebels: Rise and fall
Bristol Museum: A Phoenix from the Ashes
Freemasonry and Religion: United in diversity
Library and Museum: Most glorious of them all
First Aid: Masons learn to shock
Education: The Third Degree and Forthcoming events
Masonic Charities, Letters, Book Reviews, Gardening

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Right
Raised to the "Sublime Degree of a Master Mason"

   


In the third ceremony in Craft masonry, a brother is raised to the ‘Sublime Degree of a Master Mason’. It is indeed a ‘Sublime’ Degree, which, as a full member of the Craft, a Mason may study for years without exhausting it.
    Any interpretation in this article must necessarily be a hint only. Yet a hint may stimulate a Mason to reflect upon it himself, and to study it more thoroughly in the future.
    In the First and Second Degrees, the candidate was surrounded by the symbols of architecture, nature and science. In the Third Degree a different order of symbolism is found, cast in the language of the soul – it is life, tragedy and triumph. To recognise this is the first step in interpretation.
    The second step is to recognise that the Third Degree has many meanings. It is not intended to be a complete lesson in itself, but rather a signpost pointing out paths to follow, a new departure in the form of an awakening of all the faculties. It is like the unfolding of a drama, or a work of art or symphony to which one may evermore return to find new significance and implications.
    The Third Degree is indeed a drama. It is the drama of the immortality of the soul. It sets forth the truth that whilst man withers away to crumble and decay, there is deep within him that something that will never perish.
    So, what does this ‘Raising’ ceremony of the Third Degree signify? To have the answer to this question is to have found the key to open up all the meanings of the Degree.
    The life of a man is organised into a number of groups of experience. Some of these experiences are incidental to our passage through time, from childhood, through manhood to old age.
    The most difficult of all to deal with is that made up of the evils of life, such as hard experiences, sin, defeat, suffering, disease, pain, loss of friends or fortune, enmity, treachery, crime, wickedness, sorrow and death.
    Herein lie our greatest problems, our most trying ordeals and severest tests. If we can find the wisdom to deal with these, if we can triumph over and solve these problems, our characters will be secure, our happiness assured.

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