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13 OCTOBER 2008

The Steps of Freemasonry

"American Freemasonry resembles two sets of stairs that begin and end together, as the enlarged chart of Masonic structure shows. A Mason's first step is to become an Entered Apprentice. He climbs to the third step where most Masons stay. If he wants to go on in Masonic heirarchy, he enters either the Scottish or York Rites. Many authorities say the Scottish Rite was begun by Scots emigrés in France; the York Rite is named after York, England where, by legend, the first Masonic body was organized.

In the Scottish Rite a Mason climbs 30 steps, or degrees. The name he takes on at each degree is written on each step in the chart (and listed below the chart). Where there are two names the top is used by northern Masons, the italicized one by southern Masons (only northern names are listed below the chart). Some figures a Mason meets in Rite ceremonies stand on the steps (from bottom): King Solomon, King Cyrus, acolyte, George Washington, Sultan. Each degree teaches a moral. To earn a degree a candidate learns the moral and participates in a ceremony dramatizing it. A 32 ° is the highest degree a Mason can earn. The 33 ° is awarded by the Supreme Council, ruling body of the Rite.

A Mason in the York Rite advances 10 degrees, known by name and not by degree number. On the chart are figures he meets at each degree or the degree symbol. Figures are: temple workman, Past Master (Virtual), Israel tribesman, High Priest of Jews, King Hiram of Tyre, Knight of Malta, Knight Templar, equal in prestige to 33 ° in Scottish Rite.

Under the Arch are organizations allied to Freemasonry. Master Masons are eligible for Grotto and Tall Cedars of Lebanon. Girls with a Mason in the family can join Job's Daughters or Rainbow Girls; women, the Eastern Star; boys, DeMolay. Only 32 ° Masons or Knights Templar can join the Shrine. A Shriner's wife can be a Daughter of the Nile.

Most important of the many Masonic symbols are the open Bible with square and compass on it (left); Solomon's temple (below Bible); and the 'G' with the all–seeing eye inside (upper right). In the United States the 'G' stands for God."
(Matawan Lodge No. 192, 2008)

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TAGS

authoritative historyfreemason • freemason symbols • freemasonry • mason • masonic symbols • Matawan Lodge • monotheismmorality • rite • ritualSolomonstepssymbolism

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
20 MAY 2007

Status Quo solution for Jerusalem

"Sharing sovereignty of political territory is not practiced often, yet it seems to be the only reasonable solution for the complex issue of Jerusalem. Using the holy places of Jerusalem as a model, the author shows how sharing sacred space, albeit on a very small scale, can be done peacefully. For more than a century Greeks, Latins, Armenians, and Copts have shared the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in an interlocking system of scattered sovereignty. Such a system also could work between Israelis and Palestinians as they share the sacred space of Jerusalem.
...
If Israel continues to maintain control over all the land of Israel/Palestine, of course, then there is no need to discuss sharing Jerusalem. But in anticipation of the day when there most likely will be some form of Palestinian entity in existence side–by–side with Israel, and knowing that both peoples claim the city as holy and as their capital, then somehow the two nations have to agree on how to share the city. Ideally, the Israelis and Palestinians should sit down and demarcate control, because they are the ones who best know the facts on the ground. Given the imbalance of power between the two parties, however, perhaps the United Nations or the United States could play the role of arbitrator, like the Ottomans did in the past."
(Chad F. Emmett)

Chad F. Emmett (1997). 'The Status Quo Solution for Jerusalem.' Journal of Palestine Studies 26(2).

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TAGS

Al-Aqsa Mosque • autonomy • Church of the Holy Sepulchre • civil rights • Emmett • Haram esh-Sharif • holy • interlocking • IsraelJerusalemJewmosaicMuslimnationOttoman Empire • Ottomans • PalestinianpeacesacredshareSolomonsovereigntytempleterritorytoleranceUnited Nationsviolence
10 APRIL 2005

Giulio Camillo's Memory Theatre

"The Renaissance marks a turning point in the history of academic practice. As the knowledge and understanding of the world became more complex, oral discourse, based uniquely on mentally archived facts, was no longer an adequate means of storing information. The increasing number of knowledge theories and models required dissemination facilitated by the printing press, which perpetrated and accelerated the accumulation of written knowledge. Information could be more easily recalled as the library became the new 'palace of memory'. With regard to the structure, summoning and visualisation of stored information, mnemonic treatises of the Gutenberg Era abandon the presentation of individual storage strategies. In place of these, systems of arranging and visualising the by now immense knowledge of the world itself were developed. One example was the well–known Memory Theatre of Giulio Camillo. (Fig.1)

Based on the seven pillars of Solomon's House of Wisdom, it was divided into seven levels representing the order of the world from the seven planets up to Arts and Sciences, Religion and Law. The accumulated knowledge was presented in images, symbols and texts, some of them immediately visible, others confined to drawers, boxes or coffers beneath the images."

(Katja Kwastek)

Fig. 1. Reconstruction of the memory theatre of Giulio Camillo. Reproduced after: Aby Warburg: Der Bilderatlas Mnemosyne, Warnke, M. (ed.), Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2000, p. 85.

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TAGS

Aby Warburgallegoryconceptual metaphorEuropean Renaissance • Giulio Camillo • Johannes Gutenberglibrarymemorymemory palace • memory theatre • mnemonic • palace of memory • Solomon • Solomons House of Wisdom • storage
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