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“Tier Two”

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This manual does not disclose any of the esoteric portions of the ritual. The contents of this manual therefore may be discussed with, and read by, any person interested in acquiring knowledge about Freemasonry. This manual has been produced for the use in this

“Online Masonic Education Course”


Table of Contents

The Fellowcraft Degee

Basic Teachings of the Second Degree
Symbolism of the Degree
Duly and Truly Prepared
The Preparation
The Reception
Rights and Responsibilities of a Fellowcraft

The Working Tools

  • The Square
  • The Level
  • The Plumb
  • The Jewels

 

Other Important Symbols

  • The Pillars on the Porch
  • The Winding Staircase
  • Admission to the Middle Chamber
  • Wages of a Fellowcraft
  • The Masonic Letter "G"

Number, Order, Symmetry and Proportion

Interpretation of the Ritual of the Second Degree

Masonic Glossary: Fellowcraft

Questions

 

THE FELLOWCRAFT DEGREE

BASIC TEACHINGS OF THE SECOND DEGREE

In one sense the Fellowcraft Degree symbolizes the stage of adulthood and responsibility during a man's life on earth. In this stage, his task is to acquire knowledge and apply it to the building of his character and improving the society in which he lives. As the father of our Masonic lectures, William Preston saw Masonry as a means to educate men in the liberal arts and sciences. A Fellowcraft Mason is urged to advance his education in these fields during the ritual of this Degree.

Some view the three grade system of Blue Lodge Masonry as representing a progressive teaching directed toward perfecting human nature. It is a simple and straightforward view of human nature divided into three parts: body, mind and soul. Each Degree addresses and instructs one part. The First Degree encompasses the body and our faculties of action in the world. The four cardinal virtues are extolled as the proper guides to our action in the world that we may perfect our relation to it. The Second Degree addresses the mind and its faculties. We are instructed in the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences which were formulated hundreds of years ago in order to develop and perfect the mental nature. The intention was to prepare the mind for spiritual truths. The Third Degree confers the central Mystery of Freemasonry; that is, how the soul may be brought to its perfection.

If we accept the view of Masonry’s purpose given above, then it is obvious that the Fellowcraft Degree encompasses much more than just gaining a broad-based education. The teachings of this Degree are extremely profound and surprisingly exact.

SYMBOLS AND ALLEGORIES OF THE SECOND DEGREE

In the Second Degree you discovered that a number of emblems and symbols of the First Degree reappeared in it; you will also discover in the future that a number of its own emblems and symbols will reappear in the Third Degree. It shall, at this time be confined to those symbols and allegories that belong peculiarly to the Second Degree.

Among the allegories peculiar to it, the most striking and important one is that rite in which you as a candidate acted the part of a man approaching King Solomon's Temple; you came into its outer precincts, passed between the Two Pillars, climbed a winding stair, and at last entered its Inner Chamber, or Sanctum Sanctorum; standing in it you acted the part of a Fellowcraft workman who received his wages of Corn, Wine, and Oil; and during certain stages of this allegorical journey you listened to various parts of a discourse which Masonry calls the Middle Chamber Lecture. We become invested with the ability to hear the teachings of our Fraternity and keep them close to our heart. Finally, we are reminded of our central focus in the symbolism of the letter “G” and the humility it should inspire.

This entire acted allegory is a symbolic picture of the true and inner meaning of initiation. The Temple is the life into which a man is initiated. That which lay outside the walls of the Temple, from which as a candidate were supposed to come, represents what in Masonry is called the profane world— not profane in the usual sense of the word as being blasphemous, but profane in the technical sense; the word literally means "shut away from the altar," and it thereby signifies all who are not initiated; when a brother is instructed not to reveal the secrets to a profane, it means not to reveal them to an uninitiated person; that is, to one who is not a Mason. The stairs you climbed represented the steps by which the life of initiation is approached—qualification, petition, election, and the Three Degrees. The Pillars represent birth; when a candidate passes between them it signified that he is were no longer a profane but had now entered the circle of initiates. The Middle Chamber represents initiation completed; once arrived there the candidate receives the rewards for the ordeals and arduous labors he had endured on the way; he has arrived at his goal.

This, as was said, is an allegorical picture of Masonic initiation, but our interpretation cannot stop here; for the whole process of Masonic initiation is itself a symbolic allegory of something else, so that in this central portion of the Degree we have an allegory within an allegory. We must ask then what is symbolized by Masonic initiation itself.

The answer is that it symbolizes, and in so doing interprets, the experience of every man who seeks the good life; and by interpreting it teaches us how the good life is found. This will be best explained by one or two examples.

As one of these examples consider that form of the good life which we are seeking when we seek education or enlightenment. Ignorance is one of the greatest of evils; enlightenment is one of the greatest of goods. How does a man pass from one to another? In the beginning a man is a profane, stands in the outside darkness, is in that ignorance from which he would escape into the Inner Chamber of Knowledge. How is he qualified? By having the necessary desire to learn and by possessing the required faculties and abilities. How does he find his way? By trusting to his guides, that is, his teachers, and these may be teachers in the professional sense, or they may be others who have themselves learned that which the seeker needs to know, or they may be books. What kind of path does the seeker follow? It is a winding path, that is, he must feel his way along from stage to stage, for he has never walked it before; it is an ascending path, that is, laborious, arduous, difficult, for there is no royal road to learning. What is the door through which he can enter? It is a door composed of the Two Pillars, which means birth; this signifies that knowledge must be won inside our own natures, through what happens there; others may assist but their assistance is limited; each man must learn by his own efforts, and knowledge is never permanently won until it is made a part of ourselves. What are the rewards? The rewards are found in knowledge itself which not alone is useful because of what it enables us to do but is a thing to be enjoyed for its own sake, like food or sleep or music; it is its own Corn, Wine, and Oil. The value of enlightenment is represented by the Temple; this means that it is holy and sacred. Why holy? Because it is set apart from the world of ignorance. Why sacred? Because it has been won at the cost of great sacrifice, sacrifice by ourselves and by all our forefathers who at great cost won it for us.

It is by the same methods that a man wins all the other great goods of life: religion, which is the knowledge of God; brotherhood, which is a life of fellowship grounded in good will; art, which gives us ways and means of enjoying the beautiful; citizenship, by which we are enabled to enjoy the goods of communal life; science, by which we learn the nature of the world we live in; and literature, by which we enter into communion with the life of all mankind. A good life is one in which all such good things are enjoyed.
All this, you may say, is commonplace. It is commonplace only in the sense that it conforms to the experience of all wise men everywhere and always. It is not common in the sense that all men understand it or follow it. For it is certain that many men do not understand it, or if they do, have not the will to follow it, or else do not sincerely believe in it in their hearts.

Such men, when they are young, are so impatient, or else are so indolent or so self-conceited, that they refuse to submit themselves to a long and painful apprenticeship, but rush out into adult life with all its tasks and responsibilities, without training and without knowledge, trusting, as we say, to their luck.

This belief that the goods of life come, or ever can come, by luck, or that they happen by chance or fall out by accident to the fortunate, is their chiefest and most fatal blunder. The satisfying goods of life, whether they be spiritual, moral, intellectual or physical, have a nature which renders it impossible for them ever to be won by luck, like a lottery prize, or for them to drop into a man's lap by some happy accident. They cannot come at all except by our toiling to make them come, and even then they cannot come except at the cost of changes and trans-formations in our own natures, which are often painful and costly to make.

Such is the meaning of your allegorical entrance into Solomon's Temple as a candidate in the Second Degree. You can see at once that all the other symbols and allegories in the Degree are to be interpreted in the light of that meaning; you can also see that in the light of that meaning the Degree itself and as a whole becomes a living power, by which to shape and build our lives, not only in the Lodge room itself but in the world of human experience of which the Lodge room is a symbol.

DULY AND TRULY PREPARED

At the outset of this Degree, it should be clear to the candidate that although much of it seems familiar, it is also very different, and some aspects even seem to be in opposition to the previous Degree. There are certain avenues of further exploration that should be brought out here. We are usually given an explanation for most parts of the ritual in the various lectures. Some seem to allude to deeper interpretations. As we prepare to enter the Mysteries of Freemasonry certain things should be kept in mind. For example, the number three keeps emerging in the rituals in one way or another. Geometrically, three is the triangle. And in fact, there are three kinds of triangles: the equilateral triangle (all three sides equal), the isosceles triangle (two sides equal), and the scalene triangle (no sides equal).

Many of the mythological gods or heroes that were smiths or artificers for the gods were lame. For example, the Roman god Vulcan and the Greek god Hephaestus. Vulcan was crippled as a result of being thrown down to earth. He is usually depicted with tools as he is patron of craftsmen. Scalene in one sense means unequal and used in another means limping. The most celebrated scalene triangle is, of course, the 3-4-5 right triangle, which is of special concern to Freemasons. We will cover this more fully in our discussion of the Master Mason Degree. There is an interesting story by the Roman poet Virgil in his epic The Aeneid that is highly suggestive. In Book IV he writes about Queen Dido who, because of her despair and anguish, commits to sacrificing herself. She performs various rites in preparation of that supreme moment and finally: “Dido herself with consecrated grain in her pure hands, as she went near the altars, freed one foot from sandal straps, let fall her dress ungirdled, and, now sworn to death, called on the gods and stars that knew her fate.” It is also noteworthy that she was supposed to be of Tyrian origin.

There is a Byzantine painting known as “Our Lady of Perpetual Help,” which pictures the divine child in his mothers’ arms. Angels are shown at either side with implements of the Crucifixion. The child is turning towards an angel, and one of his shoes is falling off.

THE PREPARATION:
The changes in dress from an Entered apprentice Mason to a Fellow Craft Mason have been explained in the ceremony. Gaining admission is similar to the First Degree, with addition of a pass, which is given for him by his conductor. We are trying to teach that the knowledge and energy are freely given toward gaining the privileges of Freemasonry, and that by the aid of others, we are able to advance.

THE RECEPTION:
It takes on a new significance during your reception for this Degree. The square should be a rule and guide to your future actions with mankind.

RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF A FELLOWCRAFT
In addition to the rights you acquired as an Entered Apprentice Mason, you have the right to sit in a Lodge when opened in the Fellowcraft Degree, when accompanied by a Master Mason who has sat in Lodge with you. You may visit another Lodge opened in the Fellowcraft Degree. You have the right to be instructed and examined. If found proficient, you may request advancement to the next degree.
The responsibilities are found in part in the Obligation, and you should review these along with the Obligation of the Entered Apprentice. Finally, you are reminded that you are to acquire the special knowledge introduced in this Degree and seek to apply that knowledge to your duties in life so you can occupy your place in society with satisfaction and honor.

THE WORKING TOOLS

THE SQUARE
The Square is the symbol of morality, truthfulness and honesty. The direction of the two sides of the Square form an angle of 90°, or a right angle, so-called because this is the angle which stones must have if they are to be used to build a stable and upright wall. It symbolizes accuracy, not even varying by a single degree. When we part upon the Square, we go in different directions, but in full knowledge that our courses in life will be going according to the angle of the Square (which means in the right direction), until we meet again.

THE LEVEL
The Level is a symbol of equality. We do not mean equality in wealth, social distinction, civic office, or service to mankind; but, rather, we refer to the internal, and not the external, qualifications. Each person is endowed with a worth and dignity which is spiritual, and should not be subject to man-made distinctions. Masonry recognizes that one man may have greater potential in life, service, or reward, than another; but, we also believe that any man can aspire to any height, no matter how great. Thus, the Level dignifies labor and the man who performs it. It also acknowledges that all men are equal without regard to station. The Level also symbolizes the passage of time.

THE PLUMB
The Plumb is a symbol of uprightness of conduct. In Freemasonry, it is associated with the plumb line which the Lord promised Amos he would set in the midst of His people, Israel, symbolizing God's standard of divine righteousness. The plumb line in the midst of a people should mean that they will be judged by their own sense of right and wrong, and not by the standards of others. By understanding the Plumb, a Mason is to judge his Brothers by their own standards and not those of someone else. When the plumb line is thought of in this way, it becomes a symbol of an upright life and of the conscience by which each person must live. This idea is closely tied to the concept of Justice. For, in truth, Justice is giving another man his due.

THE JEWELS
The attentive ear, the instructive tongue, and the faithful breast, remind the Craftsman that the time-honored method of instruction is by word of mouth. These Jewels should signify the necessity to learn to utilize good Masonic instruction and develop a devotion to the teachings of our Craft.

OTHER IMPORTANT SYMBOLS

THE PILLARS ON THE PORCH
Two pillars were placed at the entrance to King Solomon's Temple, which are symbolically represented within every Masonic Lodge. These pillars are symbols of strength and establishment - and by implication, power and control. One must remember that power and control are placed before you, so you might realize that power without control is anarchy, or that control without power is futility. Man must have both if his life is to be successful.

The construction of dual pillars, obelisks, sphinxes and so on was not uncommon in the ancient Near East. It is not known what their exact symbolism was. Speculation ranges from their signifying duality (that duality or polarity are twin forces throughout Creation), guardianship of the temple, symbolic gateways, to the idea of being a connection between heaven and earth.

Some researchers have thought that the two pillars before Solomon’s Temple represented the Pillar of Water and the Pillar of Fire, which led the Israelites through the desert to the Promised Land. It was their guide in the light as well as in the dark. These pillars were designed and cast by Hiram out of Tyre, a widow’s son from the tribe of Naphtali. (Reference: 1st Kings 7: 13-14)

The globes on the columns are said to be the celestial and terrestrial spheres representing heaven and earth.
The two pillars also correspond to the Three Great Supports of Masonry. The columns of Wisdom and Strength are emblematically represented by the pillars in the South and North, respectively. The candidate, as he is brought into the Lodge, comes to represent the third column of Beauty or Balance.

THE WINDING STAIRCASE

As we mentioned before, the Winding Staircase is a symbol of ascension. It is described as consisting of three, five, and seven steps. The number of steps has changed over the years. Sometimes there were only five and at others seven. Preston listed thirty-six, dividing them into one, three, five, seven, nine and eleven. The Hemming lectures listed the number at twenty-five. American Masonry has kept to fifteen. Note the connection between this number and the number of Fellowcrafts in the Third Degree.

Much of the symbolism of the Winding Staircase is explained in the ritual itself. There are some points to bring out that may lead one to further research and insight.

The significance of the number three has already been mentioned. We have the three Degrees, the Three Great Lights, the three Columns, the three Officers, the Three Grand Masters and the three Principle Tenets of Freemasonry. What we want to emphasize here is the Three Theological Virtues: Faith, Hope, and Charity. These virtues were considered a ladder to heaven, another symbol of ascent. The Four Cardinal Virtues presented in the First Degree compliment these in the sense that the Four are symbolically horizontal (basically dealing with our actions here on earth) while the Three are symbolically vertical (referring to our method of ascent to further light). Our Aprons are composite examples of the Three and the Four making Seven.
The Five Steps are also explained in some detail. A few points for further consideration concern the symbolism of the number five. The geometrical symbol of five is, of course, the pentagram. The emblem of Pythagoras’ fraternity was the five-pointed star. At each point of the star was a Greek letter which all together spelled a Greek word meaning “health” (ugitha). The pentagram is a symbol of the Microcosm, that is, Man.

Another avenue to explore is the ratio of the column height to diameter. They are approximately: Tuscan 1/7; Doric 1/8; Ionic 1/9; Corinthian and Composite 1/10. The Doric, Ionic and Corinthian were designed by the Greeks; they were the original orders of architecture and differed from each other. It is also worth studying which order of architecture was used to build a particular type of temple. The Parthenon on the Acropolis, dedicated to Athena, is Doric, as is her temple at Delphi. The Ephesian temple of Diana, a moon goddess, is Ionic. The importance of the compass to the Ionic Order is also worthy of study.

The Seven Steps symbolize the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences. They are Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, and Astronomy. The greatest of these is Geometry, Geometry is the first and noblest of sciences and the basis upon which the superstructure of Freemasonry is erected). These were formulated as early as 330 CE. The Christian scholars adopted them soon afterwards and we find their full flowering at the Neo-platonic Cathedral School of Chartres in 12th Century France. The interesting work that came together here was the union of the philosophies of Neo-platonism and Christianity. The study of the Seven Liberal Arts was considered a means to the knowledge of God. This principle was actually expressed in the construction of the Gothic Cathedral of Chartres. We even find for the first time sculpted representations of the Seven Liberal Arts on the West Door of the Cathedral.

The Masters of Chartres taught that the proper study of the Seven Liberal Arts guided the intellect to approach the hidden light behind the world. The invisible underlying structure of Reality, the Truth, could be apprehended in this way. As another matter of interest, it was in the mid-thirteenth century that the humble mason who had mastered the Seven Liberal Arts was entitled to the designation of architect.

ADMISSION TO THE MIDDLE CHAMBER
The passage from the Outer Porch to the Middle Chamber represents a definite step in the journey to enlightenment. The wages received in the Middle Chamber come as a result of achieving this distinction. Remember that the candidate had to first ascend the Winding Staircase in order to gain admission. The Fellowcraft must become proficient in the Seven Liberal Arts. A regular study of the subjects is demanded to gain admission to the outer doors leading to this Middle Chamber. It is when the initiate begins to perceive the synthetic vision of this Masonic education and a special intuition begins to dawn within his mind and conscience that he knows the inner doors are opening to that Chamber within. Outside, the candidate was shown a symbol of plenty, but here it has been established in fact.

THE WAGES OF A FELLOWCRAFT
Corn, Wine, and Oil are symbolic wages earned by the Fellowcraft Mason who arrives at the Middle Chamber. These symbolize wealth in mental and spiritual worlds. Corn represents nourishment and the sustenance of life. It is also a symbol of plenty, and refers to the opportunity for doing good, to work for the community, and to the performance of service to mankind. The Corn referred to in this Degree is actually what we call wheat.
Wine is symbolic of refreshment, health, spirituality, and peace. Oil represents joy, gladness and happiness. Taken together, Corn, Wine, and Oil represent the temporal rewards of living a good life.
The actual "wages" are the intangible but no less real compensation for a faithful and intelligent use of the Working Tools, fidelity to your obligations, and unflagging interest in and study of the structure, purpose and possibilities of the Fraternity. Such wages may be defined in terms of a deeper understanding of brotherhood, a clearer conception of ethical living, a broader toleration, and a more resolute will to think justly, independently, and honestly.

Corn or grain has also represented the concept of resurrection. Wine has symbolized mystical attainments, divine intoxication and ecstasy. Oil is one of the elements of consecration. Perfumed oil was used to anoint.

THE MASONIC LETTER "G"
Why the letter “G” is so prominently displayed in Masonic lodges is an enigma to Masonic historians. Like the sphinx before the pyramids, it stands before us in silence and mystery. It is not consistently displayed throughout the Masonic world and there are Masonic scholars who feel it should be removed. The reason that it is so displayed is plainly given to the candidate in this Degree. We are told that it is the initial of Geometry as well as the initial of the name of the Supreme Being. From the time of the “Old Charges” and manuscripts up to the present, the synonymous nature of Geometry and Masonry is clearly stated. It is also obvious that “G” is the initial of God. This alone may be sufficient reason for its presence.

There are other considerations that the Masonic student might want to take into account. The immediate question for some may be why is Geometry given such exalted status? One might also observe that the word “God” is not a name per se, but is a category of being – like “human being”. The name of the Supreme Being depends on what tradition a person follows, and it would not be incorrect to say that the True Name of the Supreme Being cannot be known. Obviously, then, the letter "G" does not refer to the common usage of that term.

These two issues have given rise to much speculation regarding the focus given to this one letter of the alphabet. We will offer a few of these speculations for your benefit.

The ancient languages of Phoenician, Hebrew and Greek all placed the “G” in the third place. In Hebrew, the order is aleph, beth, gimel. In Greek, the order is alpha, beta, gamma and so on. The Phoenician/Hebrew letter gimel means camel. There is an interesting passage in the Gospel of St. Matthew regarding our patron John the Baptist: “And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins.” (Matt 3:4) In both Hebrew and Greek, each letter is assigned a numerical value as well as a phonetic one, so that “G” is equivalent to the number “3” in both languages. The Greek letter gamma looks like an upside down “L”. It is two perpendicular lines forming the angle of a square. Gamma is also associated with Dionysus and resurrection.
The importance of Geometry to a full understanding of Freemasonry becomes apparent to the candidate as he progresses through the degrees. He is unequivocally informed that Geometry is the basis or foundation of Masonry. A full explanation for this importance is not forthcoming, just that it is very important to undertake the study. We would suggest that the Masonic student might follow some of the following lines of research that he may come to his own conclusions.

It is thought that the Egyptians became skilled at surveying because the annual flooding of the Nile obliterated boundary markers in their fields. They had to set out and calculate new boundaries each year. The Greeks named this skill Geometry, or “earth measurement.” Empirical generalizations were derived, presumably, from their experience in field measurement. The Greeks, it is thought, made the advancement of using deductive logic to expand the knowledge into a theoretical science, and Pythagoras is credited with this achievement. This actually set the groundwork for the development of the sciences. So we may consider Geometry the first science.

Pythagoras and his Society, and later, Plato and his Academy, raised Geometry to a sacred science of discovering the nature of reality and through it the Deity. We have such statements from Plato as: “Geometry rightly treated is the knowledge of the eternal.” And also: “Geometry must ever tend to draw the soul towards the truth.” Later, Euclid systemically presented all the knowledge of Geometry in his work Elements of Geometry, beginning with five unproved principles about lines, angles, and figures, which he called postulates. Euclid uses only the compass and straight edge for all the drawings, proofs, and solutions.

There are some Masonic researchers who think that the letter “G” represents a little known method of Biblical interpretation known as gematria. One of the earliest known references to this method is found about 200 CE in the Bariatha of R. Eliezer ben R. Jose, the Galiean, which is a collection of 32 rabbinical rules. Gematria is listed within this treatise as a rabbinical method of biblical exegesis. As already mentioned, the Hebrew and Greek alphabets were also used as numbers. Therefore, every Hebrew word and every Greek word is the sum of the value of the individual letters. Exploring this technique of letter-number substitution, one looks for words, names, and phrases that add up to like values. Like values are thought to have meaningful relationships. For example, the Hebrew word for “heaven” (ha-shamayim) has the same gematria value as the word for “soul” (neshamah); that is, 395, derived by adding up each letter to arrive at a total. The Qabalist would say this means that the soul is identical with heaven.

Another example of gematria can be found by comparing the Hebrew words for “love” (ahebah) and “unity” (echad), both of which add to 13. Combining the values of these two words gives us 26, the number of the Hebrew word rendered in English as Jehovah, the principal Name of God. This is a clear intimation that the nature of God can be understood as Love and Unity.

This exegetical technique can be used with both the Hebrew scriptures and the Greek Christian scriptures. There are other texts that have been found to contain hidden gematria in Latin and Arabic, as well. From the practice of gematria have arisen extremely interesting techniques, which reveal a type of spiritual Geometry hidden within the Scriptures.

NUMBER, ORDER, SYMMETRY AND PROPORTION
The great teachings of this Degree revolve around the importance of the Masonic study of number, order, symmetry and proportion. The Masonic use of the term Geometry includes all of these. Nature is the true temple of the Deity. If this is so, then cosmic and natural laws are like the Trestleboard. These laws are discovered in the practice of the Seven Arts (they were called liberal arts because their practice liberated the mind). The ancient philosophers considered Geometry to have the power to lead the mind from the world of appearances to the contemplation of the divine order. Further study would most certainly include a detailed study of Pythagorean number philosophy, the Golden Mean, Plato’s work, the Neoplatonists, and Qabalistic gematria.

INTERPRETATION OF THE RITUAL OF THE SECOND DEGREE
As a Fellowcraft Mason. The purpose now is to try to explain something of the meaning of the Degree of which it is the name; I say "something of the meaning" advisedly, because it would require many whole evenings to explain it in full.

Because the Fellowcraft Degree chances to lie between the Entered Apprentice and Master Mason Degree you must not permit yourself to fall into the error of considering it a half-way station, a mere transition from one to the other. It has in itself the same completeness, the same importance, as each of the other two, with a definite purpose of its own; and unless you understand its teachings thoroughly your initiation will fail of its purpose.

There are two great ideas embodied in it. They are not the only ideas in it, but if you understand them they will lead you into an understanding of the others.
One of these is the idea of adulthood.

"Where the Entered Apprentice represents youth standing at the portals of life, his eyes on the rising sun, and where the Master Mason stands as the man of years, already on the farther slope of the hill with the setting sun in his eyes, the Fellowcraft is a man in the prime of life—experienced, strong, resourceful, able to bear the heat and burden of the day.

It is only in its very narrowest sense that adulthood can be described in the terms of years. When he comes to experience it a man discovers that the mere fact that he is forty or fifty years of age has little to do with it. Adulthood is a condition, a state of life, a station charged with a set of duties.

It is the man in his middle years who carries the responsibilities. It is he upon whom a family depends for support; he is the Atlas on whose shoulders rest the burdens of business; by his skill and experience the arts are sustained; to his keeping are entrusted the destinies of the State. It is said that in the building of his Temple, King Solomon employed eighty thousand Fellowcrafts, or "hewers in the mountains and quarries"; the description is a suggestive one, for it is by these men and women who live in the Fellowcraft period of life that the hewing is done, in the mountains, or in the quarries, or anywhere else.

And it is not their responsibility for toil alone that tests the metal in their nature; they live in a period of disillusionment. Youth is enthusiastic, carefree, filled with high hopes; the up-ward sloping path before it is bathed in morning light. Old age is mellowed, the battle lies behind it; it does not struggle or cry aloud, and walks where the landscape lies in the mystical light of the dying sun. Young men see visions; old men dream dreams.

The Fellowcraft walks in the full, uncolored light of the noon time. Everything stands starkly before him, in its most un-compromising reality; if he was buoyed by boyish illusions as to the ease of life and the sufficiency of his strength a little while ago, those illusions have now evaporated in the heat of the day; and if after a few more years he will have learned mellow peace and resignation, that time has not yet come. It is for him to bend his back and bear the load.

What does the Second Degree have to say to the Fellowcraft, whether in Masonry or in the world at large? The answer to that brings us to our second idea.

That idea is this, that the Fellowcraft may so equip himself that he will prove adequate to the tasks which will be laid upon him.

What is that equipment? The Degree gives us at least three answers. Let us ponder each of them a moment.
The first answer is that the Fellowcraft must gain direct experience from contact with the realities of existence. You will recall what was said about the Five Senses. Needless to say, that portion of the Middle Chamber Lecture was not intended to be a disquisition on either physiology or psychology; it is symbolism, and represents what a man learns through seeing, touching, tasting, hearing and smelling—in short, immediate experience. A man garners such experience only with the passage of time; each day he must come into contact with facts; what he learns one day must be added to the next, and so on from year to year, until at last, through the very contacts of his senses with the objects which make up the world, he has come to understand that world, how to deal with it, how to master it at the point where he stands.

The second answer is education. After all, an individual's possible experience is extremely limited, circumscribed by the length of his cable tow. Could we learn of life only that in it with which we are brought into contact by our own senses, then would we be indeed poorly equipped to deal with its complexities and responsibilities! No! To our own store of hard-won experience, we must add the experience of others, supplementing our experience by the information of countless men brought to us through many channels; our own knowledge must be made complete by the knowledge taught us by the race and its teachers.

We have a perfect picture of this inside Freemasonry. Consider the Apprentice in the days when Masons were builders of great and costly structures. He was a mere boy, ten to fifteen years of age, scarcely knowing one tool from another, entirely ignorant of the secrets and arts of the builders; and yet, after seven years or so he was able to produce his master's piece and to take his place at any task to which the Worshipful Master might appoint him. How was this miracle accomplished? Not by his own unaided efforts, but by teaching, by the Master Masons about him guiding his clumsy hands and passing on to him in many lessons what they had been years in acquiring.

Such is education. It is symbolized in the Second Degree by the Liberal Arts and Sciences. Perhaps you were somewhat nonplussed to hear what was said about grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy, and wondered what such schoolroom topics had to do with Masonry. You understand now! The explanation of these subjects was not meant to be an academic lecture out of a college course; like so much else in the Degree it was symbolism, and the symbolism signifies all that is meant by education—our training by others in skill and knowledge to do or to understand certain kinds of tasks.

A Fellowcraft of life then must be equipped with experience and knowledge. Is there anything more l Yes, there is a third answer, and it is of more importance than either of the other two. That third answer is wisdom.
Experience gives us awareness of the world at that point where we are in immediate contact with it; knowledge gives us competency for special tasks in the arts, trades, professions, callings and vocations. But a man's life is not confined to his own immediate experience; nor is he day and night engaged in the same task; life is more complex, is richer than that! It comes to us compounded of all manner of things, a great variety of experiences, a constant succession of situations, a never-ending list of new problems, and it is full of people with all of their reactions, emotions, varied characters, and behaviors. The world is infinitely greater than what each of us now sees, hears or feels; it is far more complex than our accustomed daily tasks.

Therefore, if we are to be happy in our life in such a world, we must have the ability to understand and to cope with this complex whole; we must be able to meet situations that have never arisen before. Imagine a symphony being rendered by an orchestra. Each player must be able to see, to touch, and to hear, or he cannot even hold an instrument in his hands; he must have knowledge of his own musical score and of the capacities of his instrument; but the conductor must have all this, plus an understanding of all the instruments and of the com-position as a whole. His skill and knowledge must embrace not only each instrument in turn, with each player's score, but all of them together, and at once.

This conductor is not a misleading picture of wisdom. A man may see, hear, touch, and handle things so much that he wins a rich experience, and yet not have knowledge; and a man may have such knowledge, may have mastered some task, or art, or trade, and yet be unhappy and a failure as a human being be-cause he cannot adjust himself to the complex system of realities, experiences and facts which make up life as a whole. He may lack wisdom—competency to deal with each situation that arises, it matters not what it may be.

The Middle Chamber, or Sanctum Sanctorum, which is so conspicuous an element in the Second Degree, doubtless has many other meanings, but it most certainly has this—that it is a symbol of the wisdom of which I have just been speaking. Through the experience of the Five Senses, up through the knowledge gained of the Liberal Arts and Sciences, the candidate is called to advance, as on a Winding Stair, to that balanced wisdom of life in which the senses, emotions, intellect, character, work, deeds, habits and soul of a man are knit together in unity, balanced, poised, adequate.

If the Fellowcraft will thus equip himself—whether you think of him as inside Masonry or without—he need not shrink from his toil nor will he faint beneath the heat and burden of the day, because his competency as a human being will be equal to the demands made upon him.

This interpretation of the Fellowcraft Degree, as stated in the beginning, touches but the hem of its manifold meanings; but it has been the purpose only to give you certain suggestions; and hope that with them now in your possession you may be inspired to search out all the other meanings for yourself.


MASONIC GLOSSARY - FELLOWCRAFT
Admonish to caution advise or counsel against; to express warning or disapproval; to give friendly, earnest advice and encouragement
Artificer a skilled or artistic worker or craftsman; one who makes beautiful objects
Beneficent doing or producing good
Bourne boundaries; limits
Brazen made of brass
Candor freedom from bias, prejudice or malice; fairness; impartiality
Capital the uppermost part of a column
Chapiter an alternate, and earlier, form of the word capital
Column a supporting pillar consisting of a base, a cylindrical shaft and a capital
Composite one of the five orders of architecture, combining the Corinthian and Ionic styles
Conflagration fire, especially a large, disastrous fire
Contemplate to look at attentively and thoughtfully; to consider carefully
Contrive to devise; to plan; to invent or build in an artistic or ingenious manner
Corinthian one of the three classical (Greek) orders of architecture - the most ornamented of the three. Originated in the City of Corinth in Greece.
Cubit an ancient unit of linear measure, approximately 18 inches in today's measure
Depressed underneath; lower than its surroundings
Discerning showing insight and understanding; excellent judgment
Dispersed scattered; spread widely
Diurnal recurring every day; having a daily cycle
Doric one of the three classical (Greek) orders of architecture - the oldest and simplest of the three, originated in an area of ancient Greece known as Doris
Edifice a building, especially one of imposing appearance or size
Ephraimites members of one of the twelve tribes of Israel, descended from Ephraim, one of the sons of Jacob
Homage
respect or reverence paid or rendered; expression of high regard
Injunction an order or requirement placed upon someone by a superior
Inundation to overflow with water; a flood
Ionic one of the three classical (Greek) orders of architecture, originated in an area of ancient Greece known as Ionia
Judicious having, exercising or characterized by sound judgment; discrete; wise
Naphtali one of the sons of Jacob, brother of Joseph, and a founder of one of the twelve tribes of Israel
Novitiate a beginner; a novice
Palliate to try to conceal the seriousness of an offense by excuses and apologies; to moderate the intensity of; to reduce the seriousness of; to relieve or lessen without curing
Pilaster an upright architectural member that is rectangular in plan and is structurally a pier, but is architecturally treated as a column; it usually projects a third of its width or less from the wall
Pommel a ball or knob
Reprehend to voice disapproval of; to express an attitude of unhappiness and disgust
Salutary producing a beneficial effect; remedial; promoting health; curative; wholesome
Severally one at a time; each by itself; separately; independently
Summons a written notice issued for an especially important meeting of a Lodge, the written notice or requirement by authority to appear at a place named
Superfice a geometrical object which is of two dimensions and exists in a single plane
Superstructure anything based on, or rising from, some foundation or basis; an entity, concept or complex based on a more fundamental one
Tuscan one of the five orders of architecture, originated in the Tuscany area of southern Italy
Undiscovered
Country From Whose Bourne No Traveler Returns

that which lies beyond death; the afterlife

Shakespeare, Hamlet: Act III, Scene 1

Vicissitudes the successive, alternating or changing phases or conditions of life or fortune; ups and downs; the difficulties of life; difficulties or hardships which are part of a way of life or career


Questions for the Fellowcraft Degree

1. Which part of man is dealt with in the Fellowcraft Degree?

2. This degree depicts man in which period of his life?

3. What is the central motif of this degree, and what is its most prominent symbol?

4. How were you received upon first entering a Lodge of Fellowcraft Masons? What is this meant to teach you?

5. What are the four rights of a Fellowcraft Mason?

6. What are the responsibilities of a Fellowcraft?

7. What are the Working Tools of this degree and what do they symbolize?

8. Name the Three Jewels of a Fellowcraft Mason.

9. What do the Two Brazen Pillars represent?

10. Is there a third Pillar? Where is it and why is it significant?

11. How many steps are there on the Winding Staircase? Give three examples of the number three in Freemasonry.

12. Give three examples of the number three in Freemasonry.

13. What are the Three Theological Virtues? Which Virtues do they compliment from the Entered Apprentice Degree.

14. According to Masonic Tradition, who fashioned the original Pillars at King Solomon’s Temple?

15. What are the five Orders of Architecture?

16. Which three are particularly essential to Masons? Why?

17. Name the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences.

18. Which of the seven is most important to Masons and why?

19. Where is the Middle Chamber? How do we gain admission?

20. What are the Wages of a Fellowcraft Mason?

21. What do these Wages symbolize?

22. Which letter is suspended in the East, and what does it represent?

23. Did reading this book add anything to your experience in taking the Second Degree of Masonry?


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