Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Modern Rite's Orders of Wisdom: a brief description of the 1° or Élu.

The main oeuvre of the Modern Rite's Orders of Wisdom is that they brought the expanding ritual field which had grown out of control in the view of the Grand Orient, especially in the realm of Écossisme. This branch of Freemasonry which led eventually to the 33 degrees of the Scottish Rite, was in the late 18th Century in direct competition with Paris, and both because of the growth of rituals in the Grand Orient and outside of it, the ritualists in Paris felt a response was needed.

The motivation behind the creation of the Orders of Wisdom was to simplify and condense the degrees current in France, which amounted to no less than 25 degrees, roughly parallel to Morin's Royal Secret, into a much reduced number of degrees without losing the teachings inherent in these degrees. The result was a 5 Grade system with a total of 9 degrees. Not only did these degrees include all the main teachings of the ultimately 33 degrees of the Scottish Rite, but because of their greatly reduced number, it was possible for an initiate to travel through all the degrees by actual ritual participation, instead of through the once remove of ritual drama. This was a significant point, and one which, at least to those involved, represents a significant advantage of the Orders of Wisdom.

The 1° Order – Élu.

There are no less than thirteen rituals whose synthesis lead to the writing of the Modern Rite's First Order of Wisdom. The rituals which comprise the Order of Wisdom derive from the rituals of the ancient écossisme or Early Scottish Rite as it evolved in France. This first series includes the essences of the following higher degrees: Perfect Master, Secret Master, Irish Master, all the major intermediates between the Master's degree and the Élu (Elected). It also incorporates the family of all the Élu degrees including the different grades of the  Élu,  small Élu, Unknown Élu, Élu of the fifteen, and Élu of the nine.

The Attributes of the 4° of the 1st Order of the Orders of Wisdom of the Modern Rite, as taken from the catechism for this grade are as follows:

A love and zeal for the truth, to provide the good example to prefer virtue to vice; to demonstrate generous efforts in opposing error and crime, and ultimately an eternal aversion to fanaticism, superstition and ignorance.

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