Sunday, December 28, 2008

EA Lessons--- How Would You Respond To These....

These are in the Entered Apprentice degree of the AASR Rituals.
I know these dissertations are not given in the Preston/Webb rituals I recieved, and after reading them, I wonder how a candidate would respond to these after the Chamber of Reflection and first being brought into the Lodge.
I would love to hear from other masons on how they would react and feel if these were related to you when first embarking on the journeys involved in the EA Degree.

WM- The partial state of nakedness in which all must be introduced to our mysteries constitutes the first symbolic lesson, and personifies the primal state of man after his creation. Although surrounded with every element of comfort, he found himself with no other resource than that of his bodily strength and powers, which he knew not how to use in consequence of his primitive ignorance. This is symbolized by the darkness to which you have submitted yourself. In that helpless condition he must have been a prey to great anxiety, and his loneliness must have been oppressive. The puncture which you have felt on your left bare breast is also the symbol of those first sufferings of his mind, and of the loneliness which overshadowed his heart. The future and the object of his creation were inexplicable and a source of great uneasiness. Many an idea, no doubt, arouse in his mind suggesting what he might do to make his way through the immensity which had suddenly unrolled itself before him, in all the brilliant glory of the new creation, but want of experience led him to uncertain views, and he found himself a slave, bound down by his own perplexities in the abode of liberty, which is symbolized by the cord which appears to restrain you of the free use of your limbs, and keeps you defenseless in the hands of an unknown guide. In a word, your condition is intended to impress upon your mind the circumstances attending the introduction of man upon earth, his entrance to a new and untried existence, with a world to conquer and subdue. So with you, you enter upon this new world naked, blind and helpless, and chaos appears to reign supreme. Let your mind seek for light, truth and liberty in this new world, and they will surely come to you. Is it of your own free will and accord, unactuated by motives of curiosity or self—aggrandizement, that you have asked to be initiated into the mysteries of this Ancient Institution? (Candidates answers.) It behooves you then to give heed to the difficulties which will beset you on every side. The path of life is strewn with care and disappointment; every step in knowledge, which leads to light, calls for labor. So here, your every step will be attended with fatigue, difficulties and trials, not to say dangers, which will call for the exercise of patient endurance on your part, accompanied by a persevering effort and presence of mind. Are you ready, calmly and steadily, to encounter them? (Candidate answers.) It being so, we now leave you for a short time to commune with your own thoughts.


W.M.—Like all institutions, whether sacred or profane, Masonry has not escaped the tongue of envy, jealousy and uncharitableness. It has been said by thoughtless persons that our mysteries are but childish plays; that we meet for the purpose of passing our leisure hours in the revels of the banqueting hall; that the tendency of the Institution and the observance of its obligations and precepts is to make us forgetful and negligent of the duties and love we owe our families, and that we even propagate pernicious doctrines in matters of religion and politics. Without assuming to ourselves perfection in all things, we sincerely believe that you will soon discover that we are not amenable to these accusations; that they are unfounded and proceed from the envious and malicious. On the contrary, it is chief among our aims to attain to a true knowledge of our duties to God to our country, and to our fellow—beings. Now, if you have been prompted to approach our portals and ask for initiation to these ancient mysteries of Freemasonry with no more praiseworthy motive than the gratification of a vain and idle curiosity, regardless of the consequences of imposing on our kind indulgence we would most earnestly advise you to withdraw, reminding you that in so doing your trials will probably terminate in a manner quite different from what you have been led to expect. Can we rely upon the earnestness of your determination to become a faithful, honorable, upright Freemason, true to your fellow—men? (Candidate answers.)


W.M.—We believe that amidst the stupendous works of Nature with which man found himself surrounded at his first appearance on earth, an inspiration from above informed him of his physical and mental powers, placing him at the head of all animated creation, and that on viewing the splendors of the heavens above and the wonders of the earth beneath, he saw the handiwork of an infinite, all—wise and beneficent being, calling for unbounded adoration and praise as the Author and Creator of all things, believing himself to be the image and direct heir of his heavenly Father. In subsequent ages man's heart became subject to evil passions, and his great source of comfort and intelligence was obscured by the appalling darkness of all evil—and paganism, with all its attendant degrading slavery, succeeded to the knowledge of the true God, and man was not far removed from the beasts of the forest. In all ages we find that there were a few wise and righteous men, who strove with all their power to stem the mighty torrent of ignorance and of mental and political degradation. They had to contend against the mightiest for evil, among the religious and civil institutions of their time. We find these wise men uniting in secret societies for the acquisition of strength, for the preservation of the knowledge of the true God, and for the restoration of man to his original political and mental liberty and dignity of character. By the blessings of God they were powerfully instrumental in raising man to the high position in which we now find him. We, as direct successors of those learned and philosophical societies, have a great work to do in the careful preservation of the wisdom and virtues of those true founders of our ancient and honorable Institution.

W.M.—Mr. __________, will you please tell us what you understand by the term virtue?

(Candidate answers.)

W.M.—In the same manner as there is in the universe a physical light which spreads its rays over the wonders of the earth in order that man may see, admire and avail himself of them, so is there in every man an inward and intellectual light which diffuses itself in his mind, which shows what he owes to himself, and to his fellow—beings. A continued and sincere obedience to that inward light or inspiration is what we call virtue, because it depends upon us either to exercise or refuse that obedience, and we cannot lay claim to those divine qualities which distinguish man from all created beings, without a judicious and active exercise of reason in guiding us in our selection of good from evil. Virtue is, therefore, that energy and tendency of the mind and feelings which determines us in doing that which is good, beautiful and true.

W.M.—Mr. __________, will you please tell us what you understand by the word vice? (Candidate answers.)

W.M.—Vice in our estimation is the reverse of virtue and results from a perverted judgement in the exercise of our powers of selection, and leads us to adopt the evil rather than the good. We consider a man to be vicious who, instead of obeying the inward light or inspiration which prompts to all that is good, beautiful and true, gradually falls into an inclination to abuse his sensual powers and suppress his morality without consideration of the duties that he owes to himself and to humanity. These three subjects, the ideas concerning Deity or universal being, virtue and vice are at the foundation of the purest philosophy, comprise the whole of its moral teachings, and are susceptible to infinite development. We had briefly to examine them with you preparatory to your initiation, for we can receive no one without being well satisfied that the mind and heart are in a proper state gradually to attain to a participation of our mysteries and purposes.
You now have several voyages to undergo. Are you prepared?

(Candidate answers.)


Not until after this Light is garnered can the candidate proceed through the journeys/trials that await the candidate.

This seems to be more enlightening compared to the Preston/Webb rituals and does seem to be more in line with the 18th century movement of Freemasonry.

1 comment:

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