Chapter 5
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This webpage -- and all others that start with -- were written entirely by Jason C. Russo 32°, as his personal summary of the book, Morals and Dogma, written by Albert Pike in the 1800s. The credit for the content of these summaries belongs exclusively to Bro. Russo, and compliments, comments, and questions can be emailed to him at 




Chapter V: Perfect Master

Our time on this earth is extremely short; when our probationary state is complete the Divine Judiciary will judge the deeds we have performed with the life we had been given. Our actions will be the litmus test for the future and direction of our soul. The degree of Perfect Master teaches us to inculcate the principles of honesty and industriousness during our earthly life. While these are simply stated, their import will greatly impact our level of divine justice and God’s final judgment for either condemnation or eternal salvation. Our actions within society reflect not only upon ourselves but also upon our Masonic fraternity since we are known as Masons. It is the ultimate goal of every Mason to attain that heavenly calling and receive the divine blessings of our Creator by vigilance and service to humanity. By extolling and inculcating the virtues of honesty and industriousness during our short lives we will fulfill the obligations contained within this degree.

As the Beehive was presented to us in a previous degree as a symbol of our requirement to be industrious individuals and productive members of society, this degree requires us to contemplate past the philosophical symbolism and our devotion towards living our lives according to these principles. We are to dedicate ourselves towards a personal application that is goal oriented for the end result—the fruition of our lives and our individual judgment for the deeds we have performed. 

Just as we ourselves must be dedicated towards hard work, honest labor and truthful dealings with our fellow man, we as Masons must abhor those members of society who are akin to parasites, leaching their existence off of the hard work and labor of their neighbors. While we are always to inculcate a charitable nature, it is our Masonic obligation to render aid and assistance to all those in need. Those who constantly place themselves in a position of need and choose to remain dependent upon the generosity of others are detestable. Those who place themselves deliberately in a circumstance to be perpetual recipients of welfare and are completely capable of working but do not out of sheer laziness should receive the highest degree of contempt, and scorn from every God fearing man and Mason.

Laziness is a social and parasitic disease. No man or woman should ever believe they are owed a livelihood for being born to this earth. Programs geared towards providing relief to those who have experienced calamity, disability, or other emergencies are an honorable practice to provide aid and assistance. It is the duty of every Mason to render those who abuse this generosity with the highest degree of derision. Charitable donations are not meant to breed worthlessness by providing the indolent members of society with a livelihood for their own lethargy. Providing for those who have undergone a legitimate experience causing their destitute state despite hard work and industriousness is a requirement of our generosity. Never should the two be confused, and never should we withhold our generosity from those truly in need.

The idle and lazy individuals who leech off social programs and government subsistence at the expense of others are contemptible; they are so useless as members of society it would better before God and man had they never been born. They are vermin; they steal the fruits of labor from every productive member of society.  Their only desire is to receive something for nothing and to be supported by the hard work of others. They are constantly plotting new schemes to defraud the government, charities and the church. 

It is our duty to be hard working and productive because we are living examples of the tenets of Freemasonry—ever proving our industriousness thereby elevating society. It is further the obligation of every Mason to be charitable towards all creatures under the canopy of heaven found to be less fortunate. Lazy social parasites should not receive our kind offices; they should be cursed and outcast as social burdens dragging down society by teaching their immoral and unethical practices to their children. Every crumb of bread they receive unworthily is undeserved because of their laziness and idleness. They are damned, their souls are cursed; we should have no desire to commiserate with them in their ultimate fate. As Mason’s having nothing in common with these parasites we should be ever vigilant to remove ourselves from their association.

Our most vigilant efforts should be applied by attempting to elevate society through moral and ethical examples of hard work and dedication. We should not be ashamed if we experience calamity and require assistance. As it is our duty to cheerfully provide aid and relief to others in need, it is also our duty to humbly accept the aid and relief from others when our situation requires it, and with all possible dignity. In this circumstance we should work hard to extricate ourselves from our dire situation, remaining ever cautious never to grow too comfortable receiving the kind offices of others. The twenty-four inch gauge teaches the Entered Apprentice to manage his time, and to work diligently during the portions of our day allotted for honest labor, service to God and our neighbors and then refreshment and sleep.

The proper utilization of time management will aid each of us in preparing and managing the accomplishment of our goals. In youth our lives seem long enough to accomplish all of life’s endeavors. In short order middle age has crept upon us and then the golden years of our lives are spent wondering where all of the time had gone. All too rapidly the scythe of time cuts short the chord tethering us to our youth. Before we realize it the sands of our life have nearly been exhausted and when the hourglass has nearly run its course we wonder where our youth has gone. We should never procrastinate when it comes to accomplishing our aims; the scythe of time is an unforgiving enemy. When our goals are realized we should set our aims, plot our course, and immediately set to work to bring our will to fruition. 

Our purpose on this earth is two fold; we must acquire knowledge for the development of our soul, and we must develop as many accomplishments as possible fulfilling our lives as having been productive. Our soul is like the rings of a tree, when our life is complete it will tell the story of our life, whether it was well spent or wasted. The rings of our soul will measure our accomplishments, our actions and the amount of applicable knowledge we have accumulated. These rings verify how we spent our lives; for the Mason it confirms our time was spent cultivating and refining our soul in preparation of a heavenly purpose to be employed by God. 

Those who choose not to develop their soul and show no desire to rise above their own base level of humanity will accomplish nothing in life. Those who wasted their time on this earth learning nothing, lacking any desire to rise above their most base and animalistic nature have failed to develop their soul any higher than their common inferiority. Those without aspiration, desire, drive and purpose are a waste to this earth and have committed the most grievous sin by having left this earth with an imperfect and unfulfilled soul.

It is the duty of every Mason to observe, study, and learn, thereby acquiring knowledge, reason, and wisdom. The process by which we commit any action or deed is begun by learning and diligent study. After learning, thought is transformed into action by vigorously applying the principles we learnt for the purpose of elevating humanity, fraternity and country. No action preconceived in thought will harbor dishonest or unproductive gain; the developed conscience of the Perfect Master will prohibit dishonest deeds.

Honesty is a requirement for the development of the soul in addition to action and accomplishment. We are obligated to deal squarely and honestly with all mankind whether they are Masons or not. We need to be honest in all of our deeds, business dealings, and contracts. We should not attempt to conceal the truth for personal profit—concealing the truth is lie. Honesty is more than just not uttering a lie; honesty requires us to deal fairly with others. We must be sincere in all of our dealings, acting simply and straightforward with all men, never hiding our true intentions. Honesty entails the faithful execution of our word. We are either honest or dishonest; we are either straightforward or shady.

“The duty of a Mason as an honest man is plain and easy. It requires of us honesty in contracts, sincerity in affirming, simplicity in bargaining, and faithfulness in performing. Lie not at all, neither in a little thing nor in a great, neither in the substance nor in the circumstance, neither in word nor deed: that is, pretend not what is false; cover not what is true; and let the measure of your affirmation or denial be the understanding of your contractor; for he who deceives the buyer or the seller by speaking what is true, in a sense not intended or understood by the other, is a liar and a thief. A Perfect Master must avoid that which deceives, equally with that which is false (Pike p. 116).”

The prices we set should be fair and not inflated to mark up our profits. Fairness should prevail in all things; we should not attempt to attain every profit the law allows. There is a difference between what is ethical and moral and what is legal. A profit obtained through gouging the customer is neither ethical nor pleasing in the sight of God. The same holds true for theimpoverished; poverty is no excuse for unethical or immoral practices. God will reward those who are honest despite their circumstances. The poor individual who takes a loss for their honesty will reap their rewards in heaven. The eyes of God pity the poor and unfortunate; the honest pauper is beloved by God. It is not worth risking the loss of God’s blessings for cheating a rich man out of a few dollars. God’s rewards are eternal; the few dollars cheated from the rich person will be short lived and spent quickly.

It is our obligation to dutifully keep our promises and obligations, even if our bonds will result in a disadvantage to ourselves. After committing ourselves we should not attempt to alter our obligations. A promise should never be broken unless it becomes unlawful or impossible to fulfill our pledge. Should our requirement become intolerably difficult or unjust, only then is it permissible to break our promise—but done so in a tactful and ethical manner to lift from ourselves the obligation. 

We must be ever mindful of the consequences of our actions. The outcome of our pursuits should not negatively impact another brother’s ability to support his family. It would betray the moral and ethical concepts of justice, charity, and equality if by our direct or indirect action we caused the financial ruin of another. We should remember the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

Gambling is a fundamental evil every Scottish Rite Masons should avoid. It is a Masonic tenet not to receive undue financial compensation. We should not derive profit at the expense of another’s financial loss. At no time should Masons gamble among one another and obtain financial gain at another’s financial loss, nor should a Mason covet the belongings of his brother. It is the same for the salesman who attempts to sell an inferior product at a premium price, or the businessman who gobbles up distressed property and displaces homes and livelihoods. These individuals are not fair, nor are they honest; they are base, ignoble, immoral and unethical. These actions have made themselves unfit for eternal life and heavenly immortality.

The Perfect Master must endeavor to live his life as though each day were his last. At any time the Perfect Master may be fully confident his dealings have always been honest and upright. The Perfect Master has no weight or guilt carried about his shoulders; the Perfect Master does not fear for any man to lay a claim before heaven at having been cheated or defrauded seeking diving justice and retribution. The Perfect Master is clean and unblemished for having dealt squarely and fairly with all of humanity. Our God is just and his divine justice will prevail by means of strict enforcement. All who have defrauded others; all who have cheated; all  who have profited by unethical means and all who have profited at gambling will be required exact just and due compensation before entering the gates of heaven. 

We must exercise extreme care and eternal vigilance not to receive any benefits or wages we did not earn; If we wrong someone and take from them that which God has given them, regardless whether it is financial,  material, title or position, we will be required to make a full accounting. This is the requirement of the Perfect Master; we should strive to be honest in all of our dealings large and small. We should diligently perform all of our labors and take pride in our hard work. As Perfect Masters we should be industrious members of society, productive, and always striving to do our part to elevate the whole. Thieves, gamblers, indolent and perpetual welfare recipients should be treated with scorn and contempt. While we attempt to elevate society and raise the level of humanity towards heavenly pursuits, these individuals are servants of the devil; they are the anchors weighting down society towards the pits of hellish despair. 

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