Degree XXV — Question Set 7

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Lecture for Degree XXV
The Sign of the Cross
Exercise 3

1. The "Ouroboros" is a symbol showing a serpent with its tail in its mouth.
a. What ideas does the Ouroboros evoke in your mind?
b. Does it help you to a deeper appreciation of the mystery of time?
c. Does it help you to a better understanding of the mystery of life?
d. How do you imagine the serpent could come to be seen as a dragon?
e. Explore in your mind the significance of the difference between a circle and a spiral.
f. What thoughts are evoked in your mind by the "caduceus", symbol of the art of medicine?

2. The circle and the cross are universally adopted as symbols.
a. What different ideas arise in your mind in connection with the sign of the cross?
b. What fresh ideas are suggested by enclosing the cross within a circle?
c. Draw a "stick man" by placing a cross beneath a circle. What happens now?

3. In these lectures, the origin of Freemasonry is attributed to the Jewish King Solomon.
a. To what extent do symbols drawn from astronomy and nature help you to understand ancient religions?
b. Think of some examples of symbols used in everyday life, and imagine some of the possible consequences of misunderstanding them.
c. Can misunderstanding of religious symbols explain some of the antagonisms between religions?

4. a. Write a short essay explaining with the aid of examples how and why regularity and order observed in occurrences of natural phenomena tend to be expressed as laws.
4. b. What advantages arise from the employment of symbols in the expression of laws?