PART 2 - The Lowly Initiate
Over the centuries, Freemasons have been instructed to hide their secrets from the vulgar. The “Obligation of First Degree,” or oath to secrecy, from Malcolm C. Duncan’s Ritual and Monitor of Freemasonry written in 1866, outlines this directive:
I…do hereby and hereon most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, that I will always hail, ever conceal, and never reveal, any of the arts, parts, or points of the hidden mysteries of Ancient Free Masonry, which may have been, or hereafter shall be, at this time, or any future period, communicated to me, as such, to any person or persons whomsoever, except it be to a true and lawful brother Mason, or in a regularly constituted Lodge of Masons.
All this I most solemnly, sincerely promise and swear, with a firm and steadfast resolution to perform the same, without any mental reservation or secret evasion of mind whatever, binding myself under no less penalty than that of having my throat cut across, my tongue torn out by its roots, and my body buried in the rough sands of the sea, at low-water mark, where the tide ebbs and flows twice in twenty-four hours, should I ever knowingly violate this my Entered Apprentice obligation.[iv]
- Is there meaning behind the various classical architectural forms used throughout the world and specifically in Washington, DC?
- Why is the Greek goddess Athena so often represented in art and architecture? When did she first appear in history?
- What is the meaning behind the triangle reference to Athena that the Pythagoreans so often used?
- Why are the characters and story of the Trojan War still remembered today even though the city of Troy had been thought fictional up to its discovery in 1868?[v]
- Why have the sacred symbols of ancient mystery religions of the Egyptian, Babylonian, and Anatolian civilizations been so readily adopted by the Greeks and Romans, and why do they remain in Freemasonry?
- What was the Roman cult of Mithras all about?
- How do the answers to these questions give insight to the meaning of the enigmatic symbols on the dollar bill, the currency of the United States?
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