Degree IX — Questions

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Degree IX Lecture
Introducing a System of Study

"Most men have sentiments, but not principles. The former are temporary impressions, the latter permanent and controlling impressions of goodness and virtue. The former are general and involuntary, and do not rise to the character of virtue. Every one feels them. They flash up spontaneously in every heart. The latter are rules of action, and shape and control our conduct; and it is they that Masonry insists upon." — Albert Pike.

1. Discuss the proposition that in a democracy, there is a temptation for politicians to legislate for sentiment rather than principle, thus favouring state intervention over personal responsibility and liberty.

2. "A man may be a good sort of man in general, and yet a very bad man in particular; good in the Lodge and bad in the world; good in public and bad in his family; good at home and bad on a journey or in a strange city."
In what respects, if any, does this apply to yourself?
[Suggestion: Read what Lecture 1 in the Hermetic Philosophy section has to say about the absence of unity in man.]

3. List and describe some non-financial benefits of being industrious.

4. What distinguishing characteristics do you consider make men "fit to be free"? How can these qualities be inculcated?

5. "He has already lived too long who has survived the ruin of his country; and he who can enjoy life after such an event deserves not to have lived at all."
What do you consider to be the principal dangers that presently threaten the ruin of your country? What can you do to help to avert them?

6. "If we but eat and drink and sleep, and let every thing go on around us as it pleases; or if we live but to amass wealth, or gain offices, or wear titles, we might as well not have lived at all."
What are the political implications of this assertion?