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Past Master's Emblem

PAST MASTER'S LABOR


          A principle of the Past Master's Degree – one should be a Past Master of the Art if he or she is to advance in the Mechanic's art. The relationship of those who have received the advanced degrees – and understand them - to their less informed brethren is that of an elder brother or sister, whose duty it is to encourage them to advance to a better understanding of the underlying principles and teachings.

          A Past Master has a responsibility to both learn Mechanism and to assist others to learn. Let us know Mechanism first. When the candidate of this degree is handed the gavel, it is a reminder that he or she has been elevated in station above the common level. This advancement implies enhanced knowledge and ability. To be a Past Master in name one should strive to be a Past Master in fact. The requirements of this degree presume a skill and knowledge of the art commensurate with the title.

          The “labor” to which one is now called as a Past Master is “the Self”. The idea behind the Past Master receiving the gavel is not that he or she wields authority so much over the Lodge or Chapter, but that he or she has achieved authority over “the Self”. The expression of this principle is found in the explanation given for the gavel in the Entered Apprentice degree.

          To be a Past Master of the Art is a worthy distinction, but one is not a Past Master in fact unless he or she endeavors to measure up to the responsibilities implied by the title; a Master of Self, a Master of his or her own passions and prejudices, a Master in leadership of those less informed, submissive only to the Will of God and the laws of civil society, and therefore a Master in their own destiny.

          In this light, to be a Past Master in name, one should strive to be a Past Master in fact. One who would assume to govern others must first learn to govern themselves!



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