1. "It is a serious thing to defame and belie a whole world; to speak of it as the abode of a poor, toiling, drudging, ignorant, contemptible race. You would not so discredit your family, your friendly circle, your village, your city, your country." Albert Pike.
Discuss the extent to which global communications, rapid mass transport, and increased human mobility have disrupted the ties which formerly contributed to the maintenance of coherent human societies and have thus engendered carelessness, even contempt, for local customs. Can you discern any compensating effects?
2. "That I can be a friend, that I can have a friend, though it were but one in the world: that fact, that wondrous good fortune, we may set against all the sufferings of our social nature. That there is such a place on earth as a home, that resort and sanctuary of in-walled and shielded joy, we may set against all the surrounding desolations of life. That one can be a true social man, can speak one's true thoughts amidst all the janglings of controversy and the warring of opinions: that fact from within outweighs all facts from without." Albert Pike.
Review your own "facts from within". What are the "true thoughts" you feel you must speak?
3. "Measure your desires by your fortune and condition, not your fortune by your desires. Be governed by your needs, not your fancy; by nature, not by evil customs and ambitious principles. It is no evil to be poor, but to be vicious and impatient." Albert Pike
Discuss the above quotation in the light of your personal character and circumstances.
4. "A great agony is an epoch in our life. We remember our afflictions, as we do the storm and the earthquake, because they are out of the common course of things. They are like disastrous events because extraordinary, and with whole and unnoticed periods of prosperity in between. We mark and signalise the times of calamity: but many happy days and periods of enjoyment pass unrecorded either in the book of memory or in the scanty annals of our thanksgiving." Albert Pike.
Reflect upon this quotation in the light of your recent experience. What are the implications for your personal happiness?
5. How well do the principles discussed in this lecture mirror those expounded in Unto Thee I Grant the Economy of Life?