Iowa Freemasonry is a personal journal of a Freemason in central Iowa. This blog documents my Masonic research interests, experiences, and reflections. Welcome!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Master Craftsman Two rolls on...

Yesterday, I completed the seventh quiz in the Master Craftsman 2 course. This quiz covered the twenty-third through twenty-seventh degrees and was the most challenging of all the quizzes I’ve completed in either the first or the second course. I found it difficult for two main reasons: the length of the reading involved and the depth of analysis required to understand and write about several of the symbols in these mystery degrees.

The sheer volume of material in this quiz is staggering: the Knight of the Sun lecture alone is over 200 pages in Morals and Dogma. One of the books (A Bridge to Light by Rex Hutchens) used for the course claims that this lecture is the “...most lengthy of all, encompassing nearly one-fourth of the book.” I didn’t read the entire lecture, but I did refer to it in answering the essay question for the quiz. The challenge of reading Albert Pike is part of the fun of taking the Master Craftsman quiz for me. I don’t think I would have read as much of Morals and Dogma as I have without the structure of the Master Craftsman program to guide me through his writing. Some people take the quizzes without referring to the books, similar to a more traditional testing format. I complete the quizzes “open book” using the quiz as a guide to reading. The course can be completed either way, although I am baffled as to how anyone could do it closed book.

The other challenge for me was analyzing the symbols used in the mystery degrees. Many of the symbols are used throughout other Masonic degrees and some are quite familiar. For me, I learned that these seemingly simple symbols have more meanings than I thought, and that those meanings are deeper than I knew. That’s another reason why I enjoy the course: I’m learning more about Freemasonry through a structured course than I could have independently.

I would highly recommend the Master Craftsman course to anyone interested in learning more about Freemasonry. Just be prepared for a lot of reading!

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