2. The Ancient and Accepted rite declares that "Masonry is a worship".
a. What does this mean to the ordinary English-speaking person today?
b. What difference does it make to learn that "worship" is derived from the Old English weorthscipe, a combination of worth and -ship?
c. Discuss whether and why a coherent system of values requires the foundation of belief in One God as the eternal Principle of the Universe?
4. "Scarcely a Masonic discourse is pronounced or a Masonic lesson read by the highest officer or the humblest lecturer, that does not demonstrate the necessity and advantages of this faith and earnestly teach the two constitutive principles of religion, the two great tenets that make all true religion Love of God, and Love of our neighbour." Albert Pike.
a. Discuss relevance of these "constitutive principles of religion" to the peaceful attainment of "one world" under the pressures of "globalisation.
b. Why, despite knowledge of these principles, do you think hatred and conflict are the most frequently recurring themes in the history of mankind?
4. "When Despotism and Superstition ruled everywhere and seemed invincible, it [the tradition of which Free-Masonry is part Ed.] invented, to avoid persecution, the Mysteries: that is to say, the Allegory, the Symbol and the Emblem; and transmitted its doctrines by the secret mode of initiation." Albert Pike
a. Why do "Despotism and Superstition" inevitably imply "persecution"?
b. By what characteristics might you recognise the influence of "the Mysteries"?
c. Why do "the Mysteries" require "initiation", and why must it be "secret"?
d. Why does initiation proceed "by degrees"?
5. We are all of us, though not all equally, mistaken. The cherished dogmas of each of us are not, as we fondly suppose, the pure truth of God, but simply our own special form of error, the fragmentary and refracted ray of light which has fallen on our own minds. Albert Pike.
a. Why do religious and philosophical writings so often seem to contain paradoxes?
b. Why does Free-Masonry place so much emphasis on the virtue of tolerance?
c. By what means do you think it may be permissible to oppose intolerance?