Degree XXIII — Questions


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Related Essay(s):

Degree XXIII Lecture
Phaedo
Introducing a System of Study
Categories of Man
Understanding
Newgrange


1. "Among most of the Ancient Nations there was, in addition to their public worship, a private one styled "the Mysteries", to which those only were admitted who had been prepared by certain ceremonies called initiations." — Albert Pike
a. How would you distinguish between "public" and "private" in the contexts of religion, education, and politics?
b. What could initiatic "mysteries" contribute to public order and welfare in present-day "multicultural" and "multireligious" societies?

2. "Clemens of Alexandria says that what was taught in the great mysteries concerned the Universe, and was the completion and perfection of all instruction wherein things were seen as they were, and Nature and her works were made known." — Albert Pike.
a. Comment on whether and to what extent any present-day "university" with which you are familiar would satisfy Clemens of Alexandria.
b. What subjects would you consider it essential to include in a syllabus leading to a Degree from a Clementine University?

3. "...Socrates, in particular, is said to have eschewed dogmas, endeavouring, like the mysteries, rather to awaken and develop in the minds of his hearers the ideas with which they were already endowed or pregnant, than to fill them with ready-made adventitious opinions." — Albert Pike.
Referring to Phaedo or any other sources of your choice, select examples of Socrates' teaching which bear out the truth of the above statement. Compare the Socratic method with those employed by your own teachers.

4. Illustrate with examples the potential value of drama as an instructional medium, and discuss whether active participation in dramatic production would be more or less effective than passive viewing or play-reading.

5. a. What relics of ancient initiatory "theatres" are still to be found in your own country?
5. b. Are they recognised as such — or have they been "re-classified" for the protection of vested interests or degraded out of ignorance into mere "curiosities" or "burial chambers"?

6. a. What human qualities do you consider most worthy of respect?
6. b. Can such qualities be nurtured in the population at large in the absence of an adequate proportion of truly admirable "rĂ´le models" at all levels in society?
6. c. If not, what percentage would you consider might be an "adequate" proportion?
6. d. Is there in your country any widely recognised organisation for the express purpose of developing present-day "initiates"?
6. e. If not, how can the would-be "initiate" pursue his or her objective?