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The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite: Tradition, Symbolism, and the Grand Architect of the Univers

In a perpetually evolving world, Man seeks a purpose for his life amidst the turmoil of changes that disrupt daily life.


Society is shaken by disturbances that come from all sides. Freemasonry, as a social reality, does not escape this rule, and that is perfectly understandable because the Mason is a being who lives in his time and is not detached from the turmoil around him.


But Freemasonry, in the tranquillity of its temples, presents itself as a mansion of serenity that, through the reflection it evokes, protects its followers from the harsh blows received from the outside world.


This is particularly true for the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, whose motto is, and I emphasize, "Ordo ab Chao."


The primary sense of this theme refers to the universe organized within the Order from the confused chaos that characterized it at the beginning. Similarly, in modern society, reference is made to the good organization of an institution that dispels disorder to establish harmony among its members.


In this way, some followers would willingly do away with the presence of the Bible on the altar of oaths to replace it with an unspecified volume. This signifies a lack of understanding of the teachings of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, whose thematic legends in all degrees refer to episodes from the Bible, starting with the construction of Solomon's Temple.


Since its foundation, Freemasonry has been of Judeo-Christian inspiration.


We belong to Lodges of St. John, as evidenced by the Volume of the Sacred Law, opened in the prologue of the 4th Gospel.


We may search for that gospel in any other book, but we won't find a mention of it. The only case where the presence of another Volume of the Sacred Law can be tolerated alongside the Bible is during the oath-taking moment of an initiate, on the day of initiation, if they belong to a different religion. Without excluding the Bible, alongside the Square and Compass, displaying the Three Great Lights of Freemasonry. The Bible represents a significant symbol of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and not a book of any revealed religion, even if it's one's own.


Another equally harmful mistake that is made is trying to displace the Bible by replacing it with a blank book, or even the Constitution book, as is done in other rites.


Any sensible person cannot avoid doubts about the sacred character of a Constitution book that has no more than purely administrative and contingent value.


On the other hand, a blank book is nothing but a senseless archetype.


Firstly, on which page should this Volume of the Sacred Law be opened?


And delving deeper: the Volume of the Sacred Law is, by definition, the Symbol of the Tradition of our Rite. However, Tradition means transmission.


The presence of a blank book signifies that the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite has nothing to transmit; not even the origin of our legends. This would be a pure and simple denial of the teachings of the Rite.


In contrast, the issue of the Grand Architect of the Universe would arise. Since the sacred dimension of our Temples is eliminated, why complicate matters with this symbol of the transcendent?


The Jurisdiction subscribed to the declaration of principles of the Lausanne Convention of 1875, which recognises and proclaims the existence of a Creator Principle, acknowledged as the Grand Architect of the Universe. But to say principle is to say the first active and original cause. Even the most refractory spirit to all metaphysics is forced to admit that:


After the Source (or before it), there is energy. After energy comes law, that is, a set of rules. After law comes the Plan that allows the arrangement of rules.


And the Plan brings forth the Architect who conceived it.


This is perfectly in line with the concept of the Grand Architect of the Universe, a symbol that is less limiting and less determining than the interpretation of the revealed God in religions and a metaphysical approach accessible to human reason.


The concept has, among others, the advantage of reconciling dogmatic religions and religions that do not acknowledge the existence of a creating God or a demiurge. Hence its ability to "gather what is scattered," a concise definition of the universality of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, which allows ascending from the unknowable to the knowable, linking the visible and the invisible, and proposing a union of the human with the divine.


Wanting to communicate a practice that dates back to the most remote antiquity (even though Freemasonry was only institutionalised in the 18th century, its code of conduct is as old as the ancient builders' guilds), some spread confusion among Brothers who are insufficiently instructed in the Histories and roots of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.


The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite is an initiatory and rational rite. Tradition should not be confused with conservatism, just as spirituality should not be confused with religion, modernity, and modernism.

Order's Headquarters, Zenith in Portugal, 11th November 2016


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28 ago 2023
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Diving into the Essence of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite - A Journey of Wisdom and Enlightenment. Unveiling the Mysteries of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite - A Deep Dive into Symbolism and Principles. Thanks,🍁

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28 ago 2023
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A Profound Exploration of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite - Tradition, Symbolism, and Unity.

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