Chapter 9
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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 IX: Elect of the Nine (Elu of the Nine)

This degree was originally designed to recognize those individuals who have espoused and proven the application of Freemasonry's tenets within their lives. Patriotism most notably and fidelity, which are respected and ennobled within the Scottish Rite. This degree was specifically crafted for those who have worked diligently to the service of others by protecting those who would be taken advantage of, and or have devoted their lives to the service of their country as soldiers or public servants.

Contrary to popular perceptions Masonry is not merely speculative, or theoretical, it is a constant experiment of sociological practicality and requires a personal reformation of character and self-denial of base pleasures. Masonry requires we constantly do battle against the vices of fanciful pleasures. The ceremonies and rituals we utilize to enact these philosophies provide us with the initial sentiments to follow their precepts. After the degrees have been viewed and received it is up to the individual to begin the process of turning these sentiments into principles. Each individual Scottish Rite Mason must begin the battle or moral war within one's self to fight off the impulses of darker passions. Where we envision a world of Masonic sentiment, we all to often find a world without Masonic application. Many individuals may claim to honor the virtues of charity, generosity, and good will, but fail to put these sentiments into application. Sentiments are fleeting, they rise up and on occasion cause periodic impulses of generosity and kindness, but they are only temporary inclinations and do not mandate warmth in an individuals heart. Failing to have mastered these passions and convert these sentiments into active principles relegates the individual Mason to perpetually sitting in the North East corner of the Lodge, not having mastered within himself the ability to advance morally in the degrees of Freemasonry. A Mason has made himself over and has progressed when sentiments have become principles, and those principles are a conscience for the promotion of goodness and virtue. Everyone feels sentiments, everyone recognizes the character of good will and the necessity to perform acts of beneficence, and may on occasion perform these duties on an impulse, or whim. Those who have transformed themselves and developed principles allow the conscience of virtue to control their actions. For them charitable good will is not a spontaneous action or induced by guilt, it is a rule of conduct and a requirement for all Masons.

All too often we agree with what is right, espouse our support but pursue the opposite out of our frail human nature. There are very few individuals who will espouse injustice, fraud, tyranny, slander, jealousy, adultery, and oppression; yet at the same time there are individuals who condemn them, practice within themselves one or more of these base injustices. Every individual will view the current news and feel anger and wrath over some featured injustice, yet neglect private injustices. Too many talk of virtue, espouse religious faiths and tenets, and genuinely believe in the sentiments of charitable good will, but the application of their lives denies these. 

While in the Lodge the Constitutions of Masonry deny the ability for contentions to exist. The Lodge cultivates only the opportunity for virtue, thereby allowing emotions to experience charity and good will. Once the jewels are broken and the Tiler lays down his sword, each Mason returns to his concerns and employments where the tug and pull of vice and pleasures gnaw at him. The conscience is eroded thus yielding to things he has only recently disavowed. Virtuous sentiments are real and sincere; men are truly interested in the more noble aspirations of Masonry despite falling victim to their own base behaviors. This is not always hypocrisy; we are forever battling against our own human nature. Some men may be moral and upright but yield to a particular temptation; a Mason may be exemplary in the Lodge, but base in the world; he may be a fair employer but a poor father. It is the earnest and sincere desire for Masons to be moral and upright, but if required to resist a particular vice may find himself incapable of being a good Mason in that one particular area; he is not able to resist his nastiest inclination. It is our requirement to be ever vigilant and on guard against our own particular vices and avoid temptations. No man can ever truly master his own personal sins, it must be a constant battle and moral war waged on a continuous basis.

There are aspects of our lives and duties we must honor above our own personal pursuits. It is necessary we consecrate the service to our country, our family and our neighbors above ourselves. We must strive to leave our mark upon this world for having performed a good deed in the service of others, and our society. It is a social evil and disrespect toward life if the time on this earth was wasted, having accomplished nothing save lived and died. Masonry admonishes us toward accomplishment, requiring physical and mental labor for the benefit of mankind. Our chief employment is the betterment of society by providing education and enlightenment to all humanity. This should be our effort toward the higher pursuit and development of our souls. Oppression cannot overtake an educated society; virtue cannot prevail at the pinnacle of society if it does not exist at its base. Social ignorance is an invitation to the tyrant; those lulled to slumber will soon awake to torment as a nightmare wrests them from their repose. A silent predator that patiently waits for the opportunity to pounce upon society cannot overtake their liberties if the populace is educated and wary of its wiles.

The very nature of Masonry is proactive in accomplishments; it should never stand still becoming idle and stagnant. All Masons from the youngest Entered Apprentice to the eldest Master Mason are required to labor in aid and assistance to their fellow Masons, neighbors, communities, and nation. Masonry seeks accomplishment, not to simply rest upon their laurels at the end of the day, but the knowledge that there is no sin greater than having wasted time on earth. Not having performed sufficient good works to improve this world is considered a sin for having left this earth in no better condition than having found it. Education and acts of beneficence are our primary responsibilities; an uneducated society is all too easy to take advantage of. Intelligence among society preserves their rights and prevents them from being taken advantage of by would be tyrants and artists of flimflammery. 

Masons should be obedient to their the lawful government and civil society, not given to conspiracies or plots against their country. Masonry opposes zealotry in all its many forms; fanatics who propagandize their beliefs are intolerant of the views, opinions and beliefs of others. Our fraternity seeks to uphold our ancient precepts of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. Regardless of the lawful government of our homeland, whether it is a constitutional republic or a monarchy, we should be ever vigilant in our duties to our country. Masonry is above sectarianism and fanatical devotion to parties or issues; our aim is more congenial and calm in its own right as above the fray. Those easily given sway to propagandist theories, to notions of a communist manifesto or utopian society would not be suited to the tenets of our fraternity. The philosophies of decency, morality and temperance in our daily dealings are our pursuit and guarantor of political independence. Our ability to recognize truth and justice in the process of enacting legal code ensures us the safety and security of our national laws. Even if the majority of the population clamors for revolution we should not be swayed by the mob of public opinion. Our dedication is to do our duty; our obligations lie in the strict adherence to what is moral and ethical, to what is just and proper. We should not be swayed by the bloodlust of an angry mob. Dedication to duty first and foremost, the moral high ground always.

Should the national government betray its trust and no longer serve the good of those governed; should it become injurious to the rights and freedoms of the populace, then it is an unjust government having breached our faith. When a country usurps our liberties our agreement to be peaceable citizens is null and void; it becomes our duty and obligation to resume our inalienable rights and freedom. The usurpation of the unjust is mandated by all of our Masonic values and principles, requiring of us to aid in the restoration of our gifts endowed by the Creator. This duty is not for our own personal benefit; it is for the benefit of our neighbors and communities as is our obligation to the whole of society. Vigilance to the protection and preservation of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity is our soldierly requirement at all times.

As good citizens and soldiers in defense of liberty and justice, the true Mason is ever willing to aid in the protection of his country against all enemies who would attack religious and personal freedoms. Agents of terror who are armed with a legion of extremists bent on creating fear and mayhem to support their dogma and zealotry are our enemies wherever they are found. Against these all Masons are soldiers in the battle of ideology regardless of their national origin. Every Mason is obligated to combat the forces of terror on whatever ground they occupy. The factions of extremism are enraged at the ability of an individual to have the right of self-determination, diversity, and acceptance of individualism. Our ramparts lie on the bosom of public opinion, our sword is truth and our shield the great laws of justice. Our victories and vigilance are not restricted to bloody battle fields. Our battles against brutality, subjugation, and dogma occur on many planes of existence; the cost can be as great as a blow from a sword, and as devastating as having been pierced by a bullet, but it can also be as rewarding as the highest honors benighted by a King, and as eternal as God's good gifts and graces.

The results of failure cannot be calculated nor conceptually realized by their moral degradations. Conquest is the loss of life even if the heart still beats. There can be no life amidst the despair, impoverishment, and cruelty wrested by the oppressor. The ensuing religious dogma and zealotry that follows does not permit any deviation from their incomprehensible brand of tyranny. All Masons in all countries need to man the battlements of peace by opposing every vestige of malevolence, indignation, and zealotry so as to enjoy the benefits of liberty. Diligence begets the sweet results of prevailing justice.

The life of a man is not calculated simply by the time he has occupied a place on this earth, but also by the deeds he has performed in the service of his neighbors and countrymen. The useless and unproductive life is short regardless if the calendar shows he had lived to be a hundred. Alexander, Julius Cesar, Mark Anthony, Napoleon Bonaparte, and George Washington, all deceased yet still alive in the public consciousness. It is possible to perform great deeds for the benefit of humanity in a short amount of time. Those heroes who have earned the Medal of Honor did so in a matter of moments forever recalled by their heroism. A useless individual will have performed nothing given their entire life of opportunity; if an individual makes no effort except to rise in the morning, eat his bread and rest his slumber, he has no right to be remembered after he fails to wake again. He has not improved his soul having wasted his time accomplishing nothing save having existed.

This degree has taught the Mason to ennoble the defense of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity; it has provided a sound admonition to be vigilant in the defense of one's country. This degree requires that each Mason be vigilant against the zealot who uses terror and mayhem to advance his cause. Our lives regardless of length of days are measured by accomplishment. To have given our lives in patriotic defense of our country in order to preserve liberty will secure our lives as being worthy of immortality in annals of the history and will distinguish our soul in the hereafter.

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