Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry

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Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, or simply Morals and Dogma, is a book of esoteric philosophy published by the Supreme Council, Thirty Third Degree, of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction of the United States. It was compiled by Albert Pike, was first published in 1872 and was regularly reprinted thereafter until 1969. An upgraded official reprint was released in 2011, with the benefit of annotations by Arturo de Hoyos, 33°, G∴C∴, the Scottish Rite's Grand Archivist and Grand Historian.

Contents[edit]

The Double Headed Eagle emblem of the Scottish Rite, from the cover of Morals and Dogma.

Morals and Dogma has been described as "a collection of thirty-two essays which provide a philosophical rationale for the degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. The lectures provided a backdrop for the degrees by giving lessons in comparative religion, history and philosophy".

The original printing had 861 pages of text, while a 218-page Digest-Index was added by Trevanion W. Hugo, 33°, G∴C∴, in 1909. Its thirty-two chapters discuss the philosophical symbolism of a degree of Scottish Rite Freemasonry in extensive detail. In Pike's original Preface, he noted:

In preparing this work, the Grand Commander has been about equally Author and Compiler; since he has extracted quite half of its contents from the works of the best writers and most philosophic or eloquent thinkers. Perhaps it would have been better and more acceptable if he had extracted more and written less.

He continued:

Everyone is entirely free to reject and dissent from whatsoever herein may seem to him to be untrue or unsound.

Though it discusses the minutiae of Masonic ritual at length, it is written so as not to reveal the Masonic secrets. Ritual motions and objects are named and elaborated upon, but not described. In his allocution of 1947, Pike's successor, Grand Commander John Henry Cowles, noted that some Masonic publications had used large extracts from the text, which practice he sought to curtail by adding the following words to the title page: 'Esoteric Book, for Scottish Rite use only; to be Returned upon Withdrawal or Death of Recipient' (Transactions of the Supreme Council, 33°, S.J. (1947), p. 38). Although Morals and Dogma is an esoteric book, it was not a secret one; Pike's original preface was clear that any Mason could own the book, but only Scottish Rite Masons would be encouraged to own one.

There are 32 chapters (1 per degree in the masonic ranks of the southern jurisdiction, the 33° being the only exception), These chapters generally consist of Comparative Religion, Philosophy, Comparative Etymologies, Symbolism, And Numerology. The primary themes are the "Secrets" or the "Great Mysteries" and their symbolism & rituals. It is stated that nothing in the book is meant to reveal any of the secrets to freemasonry but to simply hint or shed light. A empathizes on religious and cultural tolerance is shown throughout the work, empathizing that the root of all religion was the same. These common traits and symbols in all religions are explained in detailed, Beginning with the Orphic Egg or the Cosmic Egg, and then moving towards Ancient Egyptian, Phoenician, Buddhist, Hindu Texts, & The Abrahamic Religions.

A copy of Morals and Dogma was given to every new member of the Southern Jurisdiction from the early 1900s until 1969 (although some local Scottish Rite bodies offered copies through the mid-1970s), when it was deemed "too advanced to be helpful to the new Scottish Rite member."[citation needed] In 1974 it was initially replaced by Clausen's Commentaries on Morals and Dogma, written by Henry Clausen, 33°, Sovereign Grand Commander, which in 1988 was itself replaced by A Bridge To Light, by Rex Hutchens, 33°, G∴C∴, which book continues to be given to initiates into the Scottish Rite in the Southern Jurisdiction. With the release of the authorized edition of 2011, Morals and Dogma is once more being given to new Scottish Rite Masons in the Southern Jurisdiction, and all restrictions on sales to the general public have been removed.

During Pike’s lifetime the Northern Jurisdiction based many of their degrees upon Pike's rituals, although they subsequently revised them many times, and never presented initiates with Morals and Dogma, nor any of the subsequent commentaries.

Selected Excerpts[edit]

1° Degree - Apprentice

Force, unregulated or ill-regulated, is not only wasted in the void, like that of gunpowder burned in the open air, and steam unconfined by science; but, striking in the dark, and its blows meeting only the air, they recoil, and bruise itself. It is destruction and ruin. It is the volcano, the earthquake, the cyclone; — not growth and progress. It is Polyphemus blinded, striking at random, and falling headlong among the sharp rocks by the impetus of his own blows.

Ch. I : Apprentice, The Twelve-Inch Rule and Common Gavel, p. 1

Intellect is to the people and the people's Force, what the slender needle of the compass is to the ship — its soul, always counselling the huge mass of wood and iron, and always pointing to the north. To attack the citadels built up on all sides against the human race by superstitions, despotisms, and prejudices, the Force must have a brain and a law. Then its deeds of daring produce permanent results, and there is real progress. Then there are sublime conquests. Thought is a force, and philosophy should be an energy, finding its aim and its effects in the amelioration of mankind. The two great motors are Truth and Love.

Ch. I : Apprentice, The Twelve-Inch Rule and Common Gavel, p. 1

The Sun is the ancient symbol of the life-giving and generative power of the Deity. To the ancients, light was the cause of life; and God was the source from which all light flowed; the essence of Light, the Invisible Fire, developed as Flame manifested as light and splendor. The Sun was his manifestation and visible image; and the Sabæans worshipping the Light — God, seemed to worship the Sun, in whom they saw the manifestation of the Deity. The Moon was the symbol of the passive capacity of nature to produce, the female, of which the life-giving power and energy was the male. It was the symbol of Isis, Astarte, and Artemis, or Diana. The "Master of Life" was the Supreme Deity, above both, and manifested through both; Zeus, the Son of Saturn, become King of the Gods; Horus, son of Osiris and Isis, become the Master of Life; Dionusos or Bacchus, like Mithras, become the author of Light and Life and Truth.

Ch. I : Apprentice, The Twelve-Inch Rule and Common Gavel, p. 1

2° Degree - The Fellow-Craft'

Remember, that though life is short, Thought and the influences of what we do or say, are immortal; and that no calculus has yet pretended to ascertain the law of proportion between cause and effect. The hammer of an English blacksmith, smiting down an insolent official, led to a rebellion which came near being a revolution. The word well spoken, the deed fitly done, even by the feeblest or humblest, cannot help but have their effect. More or less, the effect is inevitable and eternal. The echoes of the greatest deeds may die away like the echoes of a cry among the cliffs, and what has been done seem to the human judgment to have been without result. The unconsidered act of the poorest of men may fire the train that leads to the subterranean mine, and an empire be rent by the explosion.

Ch. II : The Fellow-Craft, p. 43ˀ'

3° Degree - The Master

All religious expression is symbolism; since we can describe only what we see, and the true objects of religion are the seen . The earliest instruments of education were symbols; and they and all other religious forms differed and still differ according to external circumstances and imagery, and according to differences of knowledge and mental cultivation. All language is symbolic, so far as it is applied to mental and spiritual phenomena and action. All words have, primarily, a material sense, howsoever they may afterward get, for the ignorant, a spiritual non-sense. To "retract," for example, is to draw back, and when applied to a statement, is symbolic, as much so as a picture of an arm drawn back, to express the same thing, would he. The very word " spirit" means " breath," from the Latin verb spiro, breathe.

Ch. III : The Master, p. 62

Justice to others and to ourselves is the same; that we cannot define our duties by mathematical lines ruled by the square, but must fill with them the great circle traced by the compasses

Indented line
Ch. III : The Master, p. 72

11° Degree Sublime Elect Of The Twelve'

The duties of a Prince Ameth are, to be earnest, true, reliable, And sincere; to protect the people against illegal impositions and exactions; to contend for their political rights, and to see, as far as he may or can, that those bear the burdens who reap the benefits of the Government.
You are to be true unto all men.
You are to be frank and sincere in all things.
You are to be earnest in doing whatever it is your duty to do.
And no man must repent that he has relied upon your resolve, your profession, or your word.
The great distinguishing characteristic of a Mason is sympathy with his kind. He recognizes in the human race one great family, all connected with himself by those invisible links, and that mighty net-work of circumstance, forged and woven by God.

'Ch. XI : Sublime Elect of the Twelve, or Prince Ameth, p. 176

Masonry will do all in its power, by direct exertion aud co-operation, to improve and inform as well as to protect the people; to better their physical condition, relieve their miseries, supply their wants, and minister to their necessities. Let every Mason in this, good work do all that may be in his power.
For it is true now, as it always was and always will be, that to be free is the same thing as to be pious, to be wise, to be temperate and just, to be frugal and abstinent, and to be magnanimous and brave; and to be the opposite of all these is the same as to be a slave. And it usually happens, by the appointment, and, as it were, retributive justice of the Deity, that that people which cannot govern themselves, and moderate their passions, but crouch under the slavery of their lusts and vices, are delivered up to the sway of those whom they abhor, and made to submit to an involuntary servitude.
And it is also sanctioned by the dictates of justice and by the constitution of Nature, that he who, from the imbecility or derangement of his intellect, is incapable of governing himself, should, like a minor, be committed to the government of another.
Above all things let us never forget that mankind constitutes one great brotherhood; all born to encounter suffering and sorrow, and therefore bound to sympathize with each other. For no tower of Pride was ever yet high enough to lift its possessor above the trials and fears and frailties of humanity. No human hand ever built the wall, nor ever shall, that will keep out affliction, pain, and infirmity. Sickness and sorrow, trouble and death, are dispensations that level everything. They know none, high nor low. The chief wants of life, the great and grave necessities of the human soul, give exemption to none.

Ch. XI : Sublime Elect of the Twelve, or Prince Ameth, p. 180

12° Degree - Grand Master Architect

We seem never to know what any thing means or is worth until we have lost it.

Ch. XII : Grand Master Architect, p. 190

A dim consciousness of infinite mystery and grandeur lies beneath all the commonplace of life. There is an awfulness and a majesty around us, in all our little worldliness.

Ch. XII : Grand Master Architect, p. 190

We live our little life; but Heaven is above us and all around and close to us; and Eternity is before us and behind us; and suns and stars are silent witnesses and watchers over us. We are enfolded by Infinity.

Ch. XII : Grand Master Architect, p. 190

Man is encompassed with a dome of incomprehensible wonders. In him and about him is that which should fill his life with majesty and sacredness. Something of sublimity and sanctity has thus flashed down from heaven into the heart of every one that lives. There is no being so base and abandoned but hath some traits of that sacredness left upon him; something, so much perhaps in discordance with his general repute, that he hides it from all around him; some sanctuary in his soul, where no one may enter; some sacred inclosure, where the memory of a child is, or the image of a venerated parent, or the remembrance of a pure love, or the echo of some word of kindness once spoken to him; an echo that will never die away.

Ch. XII : Grand Master Architect, p. 191

The faculty of moral will, developed in the child, is a new element of his nature. It is a new power brought upon the scene, and a ruling power, delegated from Heaven. Never was a human being sunk so low that he had not, by God's gift, the power to rise. Because God commands him to rise. it is certain that he ran rise. Every man has the power, and should use it, to make all situations, trials, and temptations instruments to promote his virtue and happiness; and is so far from being the creature of circumstances, 'that he creates and controls them, making them to be all that they are, of evil or of good, to him as a moral being.

Ch. XII : Grand Master Architect, p. 192

19° Degree - Grand Pontiff

All the great and beneficent operations of Nature are produced by slow and often imperceptible degrees. The work of destruction and devastation only is violent and rapid.

Ch. XIX : Grand Pontiff, p. 317

There are Seven Seals to be opened, that is to say, Seven mysteries to know, and Seven difficulties to overcome, Seven trumpets to sound, and Seven cups to empty. The Apocalypse is, to those who receive the nineteenth degree, the Apotheosis of that Sublime Faith which aspires to God alone, and despises all the pomps and works of Lucifer. Lucifer, the Light-bearer! Strange and mysterious name to give to the Spirit of Darkness! Lucifer, the Son of the Morning! Is it he who bears the Light, and with its splendors intolerable blinds feeble, sensual, or selfish Souls! Doubt it not! for traditions are full of Divine Revelations and Inspirations: and Inspiration is not of one Age nor of one Creed. Plato and Philo, also, were inspired.

Ch. XIX : Grand Pontiff, p. 321

22° Degree - Knight Of The Royal Axe

There is a perennial nobleness and even sacredness in work. Be he never so benighted and forgetful of his high calling, there is always hope in a man that actually and earnestly works: in Idleness alone is there perpetual Despair.

Ch. XXII : Knight of the Royal Axe, or Prince of Libanus, p. 341

Almost all the noblest things that have been achieved in the world, have been achieved by poor men; poor scholars, poor professional men, poor artisans and artists, poor philosophers, poets, and men of genius.

Ch. XXII : Knight of the Royal Axe, or Prince of Libanus, p. 347

32° Degree - Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret

Magic is that which it is; it is by itself, like the mathematics; for it is the exact and absolute science of Nature and its laws. Magic is the science of the Ancient Magi: and the Christian religion, which has imposed silence on the lying oracles, and put an end to the prestiges of the false Gods, itself reveres those Magi who came from the East, guided by a Star, to adore the Saviour of the world in His cradle.

Ch. XXXII : Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret, p. 841

The Secret of the Occult Sciences is that of Nature itself, the Secret of the generation of the Angels and Worlds, that of the Omnipotence of God.

Ch. XXXII : Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret

To organize Anarchy, is the problem which the revolutionists have and will eternally have to resolve. It is the rock of Sisyphus that will always fall back upon them. To exist a single instant, they are and always will be by fatality reduced to improvise a despotism without other reason of existence than necessity, and which, consequently, is violent and blind as Necessity. We escape from the harmonious monarchy of Reason, only to fall under the irregular dictatorship of Folly. Sometimes superstitious enthusiasms, sometimes the miserable calculations of the materialist instinct have led astray the nations, and God at last urges the world on toward believing Reason and reasonable Beliefs. We have had prophets enough without philosophy, and philosophers without religion; the blind believers and the skeptics resemble each other, and are as far the one as the other from the eternal salvation.

Ch. XXXII : Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret

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Authorized Republication History[edit]

After 1969 the copyright of Morals and Dogma was not renewed; and, like many out-of-copyright works, it was reprinted many times by various publishers. However, in August 2011 the Supreme Council, 33°, S.J., announced that a new, authorized edition had been published. Titled Albert Pike’s Morals and Dogma: Annotated Edition, the work was prepared by Arturo de Hoyos, 33°, G∴C∴, K.Y.C.H., the Scottish Rite’s Grand Archivist and Grand Historian. The text is reprinted in full, with about 4000 scholarly notes on difficult passages, touching on historical, religious, and philosophical issues. The new edition is augmented by subject headings, and illustrations from the original books Pike used, new paragraph numbers, and corrections based upon original texts.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Albert Pike WIkiquotes". Wikiquotes. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 

External links[edit]