Assist, encourage and defend the brethren.
Protect the oppressed and relieve want and distress.
Enlighten the people.
Serve the common good and be fruitful
of all good works.
If perfection is not attainable, for what does the
Baptism, horizontal passageway to the vault,
the cube, Seal of Solomon, columns
triangular pedestal, Great Candelabrum with
The Fourteenth Degree
~ Summary ~
This degree is considered the Degree of Perfection and
is the most mysterious of all. In it, the Mason finds the
meaning of the concept of Deity in his own conscience,
and thus opens for himself the gate to true knowledge.
Knowledge has two sources. One is human and is
obtained by intelligence and labor. The other is divine
and revealed only to those who have prepared
themselves well. Until these two sources are united, one
cannot be perfect. But to the Mason who truly becomes
a Perfect Elu, he will recognize no frontiers in this life.
The apron is of white lambskin, lined with crimson and edged with blue. Around it, on the inside of the blue edging is a delicate embroidery in crimson representing a wreath of flowers. In the middle of the apron is painted or embroidered the jewel, and on the flap is a representation of a flat square stone to which is attached a ring, representing the entrance to the secret vault of the preceding degree. Of its three colors, white, like the snowy purity of the ermine, represents justice; blue, the color of the perfectly symmetrical and changeless arch of the sky, represents right; and crimson, the color of fire which tries and purifies all things, represents truth.
The cordon is a collar of crimson velvet, worn over the neck and coming to a point on the breast. On the left side is embroidered, in green, a branch of acacia, symbolizing immortality. On the right is embroidered, in silver, a five-pointed star, with a Phoenician word meaning 'perfection' in the center. The five-pointed star, as a type of all stars, is representative of Masonic light. The five points also stand for the five points of fellowship and remind us of the other interpretations of this number given in the lecture of the 2nd Degree of the Symbolic Lodge.
The jewel is a pair of compasses, opened upon a quarter of a circle, and surmounted by a pointed crown. Within the compasses is a medal, representing on one side the sun, and on the other a five-pointed star, in the center of which is a delta, and on that the name of Deity in Phoenician characters. This jewel is gold and worn suspended from the collar. On the segment of the circle are enameled, at proper distances from each other, the numerals III ... V ... VII ... IX. The compasses remind us that science, united to honor and virtue, made the architect of the Temple the companion of kings; and that the men of intellect and learning, the great kings of thought, are in this age the rulers of the world. The sun as the source of light to our system was once worshiped as a god. The star as a type of the myriad suns that light other countless systems of worlds is an emblem of that Masonic Light in search of which every Mason travels - the correct knowledge of the Deity and of His laws that control the universe.
The brethren of this degree also wear white gloves, symbolic of purity.
"This degree is styled the Degree of Perfection because it represents the perfection or completion of the degrees of the Scottish Rite Symbolic Lodge. Mackey identifies it has having a history of France, tying it to certain groups who desired the restoration of the Stuart dynasty to the throne of England. The degree has been rewritten to remove the blatant political motives, replacing those lessons with ones of a frankly more religious and philosophical character.
This degree and the 13th are very closely related. The legend associated with the cubical stone bearing the Ineffable Name of Deity discovered and taken to King Solomon in the 13th Degree is continued here. Solomon decides to place the cubical stone in a special underground vault used by himself, King Hiram of Tyre and the Master Hiram for private conferences. The contrast between the crypt of Enoch and that of Solomon form an important part of the allegory of this and the 13th Degree.
These crypts, one built by Enoch and the other by Solomon have two important symbolic interpretations. The first is that the crypts are 'inward' symbols; that is, being hidden under the earth they direct us to focus our reflection upon the inward qualities of man, a reminder of the Symbolic Lodge instruction that it is the internal, and not the external, qualifications that recommend a man to be made a Mason. The second is that these crypts were built in a very different fashion and must be seen as distinct, yet united, symbols: distinct because each has its own meaning and united because together they form an entirely different symbol with its own interpretation. The crypt of Enoch was built vertically. The vertical direction is symbolic of the spiritual dimension of the universe. Enoch receives a prophetic vision directing him to build his crypt and deposit the sacred treasure therein. Following the completion of this spiritual task Enoch does not suffer death but is taken directly to heaven (Genesis 5:24). The crypt of Enoch is discovered and the treasure is removed and taken to Solomon who now deposits it in the innermost chamber of his crypt, constructed horizontally between his most retired apartment and the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Temple. The horizontal direction signifies earthly things. Solomon was not a spiritual leader; his wisdom was the wisdom of the earth - he was a wise and just ruler of men, but less so of himself. He began to worship strange gods and led a majority of his people into idolatry with him. Thus were the Hebrew people punished by their conquest and captivity in Babylonia - a story which will occupy our attention during the next two degrees. Uniting the vertical with the horizontal create the symbol of the cross. All the world's messiahs have sought to unify the spiritual and earthly qualities of man, providing a model of perfection.
This is the perfection taught in Masonry: living this life to the fullest while preparing for the next. In the 18th Degree this lesson will itself be brought to completion." (A Bridge To Light, pp. 96-98)
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Ill. Jack M. Newport, 33°, Webmaster@aasrvalleyofjax.org
Ill. David A. Yarborough, 33°, General Secretary
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This Website was last updated on November 23, 2012