Degree XX — Questions


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Related Essay(s):

Degree XX Lecture
Degree XIX Lecture
Government, Pleasure, and Justice


"The true Mason ... is a practical Philosopher who, under religious emblems in all ages adopted by wisdom, builds the moral edifice of knowledge upon plans traced by nature and reason." — Albert Pike

1. What lessons can you learn from the Masonic experience of organisational degeneracy? Can you think of any human organisations which are immune from similar degeneracy? Why does Pike place so much emphasis on simplicity?

2. "The Mason kneels, no longer to present his petition for admittance or to receive the answer, no longer to a man as his superior who is but his brother, but to God, to Whom he appeals for the rectitude of his intentions and Whose aid he asks to enable him to keep his vows." — Albert Pike

Discuss the proposition that large-scale democracy requires universal acceptance of a single super-human authority in order to be effective and long-lasting.

3. "Preacher of Liberty, Fraternity and Equality, it [Freemasonry] desires them to be attained by making men fit to receive them...." — Albert Pike.

Discuss how "Equality" must be interpreted in order to make it compatible with "Liberty", "Fraternity", and the maintenance of "good order"?

4.a. Drawing your examples from your own knowledge of history, society, industry, commerce, politics, and religion, discuss the proposition that slavery in one form or another is a characteristic of all non-fraternal organisations.
4.b. Why is it necessary to practise the virtue advocated in Degree XIX when combatting what are perceived to be social evils?

5.a. Why do human organisations generally exhibit some form of hierarchy?
5.b. What merits and/or demerits do you discern in the Masonic system of degrees, classes, leading ideas, symbolism, and duties?
5.c. Can you suggest alternative principles on which to base the administration of an educational institution for teaching "Great Truths, inspired by an upright and enlightened reason, a firm and constant wisdom, and an affectionate and liberal philanthropy"?

6.a. What are the duties of the Master of a Masonic Lodge?
6.b. What improvements, if any, would you propose in the system of Degrees up to the Twentieth as a training and preparation for high-level administration?
6.c. To what extent do you consider the administration of any organisation with which you are familiar would benefit from the practical application of Masonic principles?