Fourteenth Degree, Perfect Elu
The Completion Of The Temple

Jim Tresner, 33°, Grand Cross
PO Box 70, Guthrie, Oklahoma 73044–0070


Photo: Original oil painting by Bro. Robert H. White, 32°


Red, white, and blue appear again in the regalia of the 14°. Here they symbolize truth, justice, and right. The apron is of white lambskin, bordered in blue, and lined in red. Red flowers form a second border, and within that is embroidered the jewel of the Degree, crowned compasses open to 45° on an arc marked with III, V, VII, and IX. Inside the compasses is a pendant showing the sun on one side and a five-pointed star on the reverse side (not shown). A delta is within the star, and the name of Deity, in Phoenician letters, is within the delta. On the flap of the apron is a flat stone, fitted with a ring. The collar of the Degree is crimson, with a sprig of acacia on one side and a silver, five-pointed star on the other. Within the star is the Phoenician word for "perfection."

The compasses represent spirituality. They also represent science and knowledge, and are crowned because, in the legend of Hiram, knowledge made him the companion and equal of kings. The sun represents Divine Light while the star represents the uncounted suns spread throughout the universe, all obeying the laws of nature established by God. The stone is a reminder of the 13th Degree, in which the cube containing the triangular plate of gold with the name of Deity is discovered, and the plate itself is within the star on the reverse of the jewel's pendant. The sprig of acacia here, as in the Blue Lodge Degrees, symbolizes immortality.

As Rex Hutchens points out in A Bridge to Light, the 13° and 14° must be considered together if we are to understand all the meanings involved in each Degree. In the 13°, the treasure is discovered in the vaults constructed by Enoch (a man of great spirituality), and those vaults are built vertically into the earth, symbolic of the penetration of Light and understanding deep into the human psyche. Solomon (who is not a spiritual man but who has great earthly wisdom) has the treasure placed in a vault built horizontally between his palace and the Temple. This arrangement is symbolic of Light which is treasured and protected, but which does not become the foundation and basis of life.

The symbols of the Degree, then, reflect the three aspects of man—the physical, represented by the stone; the intellectual, represented by Solomon; and the spiritual, represented by Enoch and by the triangular plate of gold. That is one of the senses in which the Mason of the 14° is said to be a Perfect Elu. The three elements of his being are supposed to be in perfect balance and harmony.

But the Degree also makes another point: mankind—all men and women—are far more than mere accidents of fate or chemistry. They are individual, unique souls and spirits. That bond, that similarity is much greater than any possible difference which can separate us. Thus, each of us should truly think of every other person as a brother. We fight much the same battles, share much the same pain, have much the same dreams. As a result, the Scottish Rite Mason can never be indifferent to others. He has two fundamental obligations—first, to strive to see that the physical needs of his fellow human beings are met and, second, to look to their spiritual and emotional needs as well, sharing what he has learned by example and by action. Perfection, of course, is unattainable. But the search for perfection is critical. We receive as much Divine Light as we are prepared to receive and are capable of understanding. As we become better prepared, we receive more.


Jim Tresner
is Director of the Masonic Leadership Institute and Editor of
The Oklahoma Mason. A frequent contributor to the Scottish Rite Journal and its book review editor, Illustrious Brother Tresner is also a volunteer writer for The Oklahoma Scottish Rite Mason and a video script consultant for the National Masonic Renewal Committee. He is the Director of the Thirty-third Degree Conferral Team and Director of Work at the Guthrie Scottish Rite Temple in Guthrie, Oklahoma, as well as a life member of the Scottish Rite Research Society, author of the popular anecdotal biography Albert Pike, The Man Beyond the Monument, and a member of the steering committee of the Masonic Information Center. Ill. Tresner was awarded the Grand Cross, the Scottish Rite's highest honor, during the Supreme Council's October 1997 Biennial Session. 


Scottish Rite Regalia Photos And Prints

Illustrations of the Scottish Rite regalia paintings by Brother Robert H. White, 32°, (Fourteenth Degree, Perfect Elu, painting pictured above) are available in two formats:

(1) individual 8" x 12" or 11" x 14" color photographs and
(2) grouped photos in a color 22" x 33" poster.

To order individual photographs, please contact Brother Bruce A. Dehlin, K.D. Enterprises, 10114 Farmington Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030–2049. Credit cards accepted. Tel. (703) 591-5318; Fax: (703) 591-6026; E-mail: dehlinb@cais.net

To order color posters picturing all the regalia paintings, Fourth through Thirty-third Degrees, including the K.C.C.H. and Grand Cross, use VISA or MasterCard or send a check (domestic only) for $20.00 payable to The Supreme Council, 33°, S.J., USA to:

Grand Executive Director's Office
1733 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009–3103


 

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